WikiLeaks: Britain seen as ‘paranoid’ by US

Saturday, December 4, 2010

LONDON - US diplomats are amused by what they called Britain’s “paranoid” fears about the so-called special relationship between the two countries, according to documents made public by whistleblower website WikiLeaks.

“This period of excessive UK speculation about the relationship is more paranoid than usual — This over-reading would often be humorous, if it were not so corrosive,” US deputy chief of mission in London, Richard LeBaron, wrote in February 2009.

The documents were given to the Guardian daily, which along with other media was releasing in stages some 250,000 US embassy cables.

British assistance to helping the US achieve its global agenda was labelled as “unparalleled”, however, and diplomats insisted in the cables that it was important to remind the British public that Washington valued the support.

Among other fears, US officials noted that the British media focused heavily on the removal of a Winston Churchill bust from the Oval Office after President Barack Obama moved into the White House.

Current Foreign Secretary William Hague, in talks with US officials when he was still a member of the opposition, offered a “pro-American” government, if his conservative party rose to power, as it did earlier this year.

Party members were “staunchly Atlanticist” and “children of Thatcher”, Hague told Washington’s envoy to London, referring to the former British premier Margaret Thatcher.

Filed under: Diplomacy

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