France is known for many things. In recent years its most popular exports have been its fierce cowardice and its lack of diplomacy. Today members of the French Government showed its lack of class at the American Embassy’s annual July 4th garden party where the guest of honor, France’s top security official, thanked his hosts by publicly dressing down the United States, denouncing alleged U.S. “espionage” of France and other countries.
Interior Minister Manuel Valls was a guest of honor at the fete hosted by Ambassador Charles Rivkin on Thursday. In a speech before hundreds of guests, he said that “in the name of our friendship, we owe each other honesty. We must say things clearly, directly, frankly.”
He said that President Francois Hollande’s demand for clear and precise explanations about reports of U.S. spying are justified because “such practices, if proven, do not have their place between allies and partners.”
Later Thursday, Valls said France had rejected an asylum request from National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden. In a statement, Valls said the request, received via the French embassy in Moscow, had been rejected after “taking into account a legal analysis and the situation of” Snowden.
Real Classy! If Mr. Valls wanted to make a statement about the American spying program he should have stayed and told his hosts he didn’t feel he could show up based on the revelation, that would have been the honorable thing to do.
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Instead Valls shows up at a party celebrating the birth of the United States, where he is the guest of honor and shows the bad form of embarrassing his host and bashing his host nation.