Former US ambassador to Kenya Johnnie Carson, who is among 75 former diplomats who have said they will vote for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP
Former US diplomats endorse Hillary Clinton
Two former US ambassadors to Kenya are among 75 retired diplomats who have publicly endorsed Democratic White House candidate Hillary Clinton, claiming her opponent Donald Trump lacks knowledge in foreign policy.
In a statement circulated on Thursday, the former envoys, including Johnnie Carson and Aurelia Brazeal, said they will vote for Clinton because Trump is incompetent.
“None of us will vote for Donald J. Trump. Each of us endorses Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine,” they said in a statement dated September 21.
“One of the candidates, Donald J Trump, is entirely unqualified to serve as President and Commander-in-Chief. He is ignorant of the complex nature of the challenges facing our country, from Russia to China to ISIS to nuclear proliferation to refugees to drugs, but he has expressed no interest in being educated,” they said.
The former ambassadors’ statement is a first by diplomats in presidential campaigns, but they said they made the move because of the importance they attached to the election.
The ambassadors, who served in 52 different countries, said they had worked for both Democratic and Republican presidents throughout their careers but decided to endorse Clinton because her rival was clueless about America’s national interest.
“Indeed he has recently demonstrated he entirely misunderstands and disrespects the role of the very officials who could educate him: the senior career officers of our intelligence services and of our military services (whom he has characterised as “rubble”).”
Trump, the Republican nominee, has carried with him a trail of controversy, including making comments relating to a TV presenter’s menses, attacking immigrants, insulting Muslims and voicing public support for Russian leader Vladimir Putin.
Mr Carson and Ms Brazeal both worked under Bill Clinton, Hillary’s husband, as ambassadors to Kenya in the 1990s at a time when Kenya was clamouring for multiparty democracy, with pressure from the US and other Western countries.
Ms Brazeal served between 1993 and 1996 before serving in Ethiopia in 2002 under George W. Bush.
Mr Carson, on the other hand, served under Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, serving in Zimbabwe, Uganda and Kenya.
He was ambassador to Kenya between 1999 and 2003, serving under both Bill Clinton and his successor Bush.
In 2009, President Obama appointed him assistant secretary of state for African affairs, a position he served until 2013.
Other ambassadors on the list rejecting Trump include former US envoy to Tanzania and Somalia Donald Petterson.