Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Diplomatic Immunity

It's Wednesday, so let's do something a little light hearted.

I don't like diplomatic immunity as it seems wholly un-American. Seems a bit like a special right for the privileged few. Which sort of rings of nobility, and unless I'm mistaken, our country has a history of bristling at such concepts.

Anywho, I like Family Guy, and I saw this episode recently, and I think it is hilarious, and vaguely relevant to diplomats. So enjoy.


  1. I think you might like diplomatic immunity a bit more when you're living in a foreign country, serving the US and doing something in the line of work of which your hosts don't approve. They can't throw you in jail for doing your job, even if what you're doing is something their citizens aren't allowed to do. There are a lot of countries - including my current posting- in which I wouldn't set foot without immunity. And yet - just two days ago I was down at the police station paying a traffic ticket. Diplomatic immunity only goes so far.

  2. After I posted, I tried to find an even funnier clip. Perhaps you've seen the episode of the Simpsons when they go to the US Embassy in Australia? It's hilarious. I was trying to find it for you, when I realized: what the heck am I thinking? My packout is happening one week for today! I don't have time to scour the internet for old simpsons episodes! So I won't link you to it. But if you have time, you should absolutely go looking for it. Seriously. It's that funny.

  3. I hope you didn't spend too much time looking for that clip. I definitely remember that episode, it is a diplomatic cartoon instant classic.

  4. No, EF'm, no! Not diplomatic immunity! You're starting to sound like you're not on board here!

    Maybe it would help to look at it this way: your immunity does not elevate you above the status of other Americans, but it does elevate you above other foreigners. Sound any more American?

  5. From what I understand, all American laws AND all of your host nation's laws apply to you. All the time. (So when you go to Mexico, all US laws AND all Mexican laws will apply to you.)

    Diplomatic Immunity doesn't mean you can't get in big trouble for disobeying them; it just addresses who can punish you for it. But you can still be punished.