US distances itself from social media postings by expelled diplomat & wife

The Obama administration on Monday distanced itself from offensive social media postings by an American security official and his wife, both of whom are believed to have left New Delhi as part of the tit-for-tat expulsions following the monumental diplomatic fiasco between US and India centering on a dispute between an Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade and her housekeeper Sangeeta Richard.

“Those comments absolutely do not reflect US government policy, nor were they made on any official US government social media account,” state department spokeswoman Marie Harf said about the now widely reported social media banter by the couple and their associates, in which they mocked Indian cultural and religious sensitivities and broadly expressed their unease and discomfort about serving in India. “I would underscore that these do not in any way represent the US government position,” Harf added.

Citing “privacy considerations”, the spokesperson did not name the officials, but they were identified in New Delhi as Wayne May, the head of the US embassy’s security deployment in India, and his wife Alicia Muller May, who is the embassy’s community liaison officer.

They are said to have helped “evacuate” Sangeeta Richard’s husband and children from New Delhi because they believed Devyani Khobragade was legally strong-arming the family, who worked for a succession of US embassy officials, in an effort to force the housekeeper to withdraw her complaints against the diplomat. —IANS