Gay British lawmaker Alan Duncan, a one-time oil industry trader and current international development minister, has his own file at the U.S. State Department, the giant file dump by Wikileaks revealed.
Among the 250,000 supposedly private cables between American intelligence officials and embassies around the globe is one signed by U.S. State Department intelligence operations chief Elissa Pitterle, who thanked her British operatives for compiling a dossier on Duncan, which included the time he shared a home in London with William Hague, the one-time Conservative Party leader and sitting lawmaker who is married and face a rash of gay rumors (fueled by his acknowledgment that he shared a hotel room with a 25-year-old aide). The Daily Mail reports:
On January 22 – four months before Tories formed a coalition with the LibDems – a cable about Mr Duncan was signed off by Elissa Pitterle, head of intelligence operations at the State Department. She thanked the London embassy for its intelligence on Mr Duncan’s ‘friendship with… William Hague’. She described it as ‘particularly insightful and exceptionally well timed, as analysts are preparing finished products on the Conservative leadership for senior policymakers’. The cable called for further intelligence on ‘Duncan’s relationship with Conservative party leader David Cameron and William Hague’, and asked: ‘What role would Duncan play if the Conservatives form a government? What are Duncan’s political ambitions?’
It’s already been enough to have Britain’s chattering class take up the issue as a possible example of American intelligence officials treating foreign gays with suspicion: An absence of openly gay cabinet-level officials “feeds paranoia about them,” argues former Catholic Herald editor Cristina Odone. “Meanwhile, away from Capitol Hill, homophobia is thriving: it is the ugly side of the Tea Party activists; it reigns supreme among the Christian Right in America; and has fuelled such a spate of gay-bashing among young Americans that Elton John has weighed in, expressing his shock at the cruelty the America he loved was capable of. The Land of the Free is no place to be, if you are an Alan Duncan.”
The full cable, from January 2010, shows America’s curiosity wasn’t over.
Friday, 22 January 2010, 13:29
C O N F I D E N T I A L STATE 006439
EO 12958 DECL: 01/22/2035
TAGS PINR, UK
SUBJECT: (C/NF) KUDOS AND FOLLOW-UP QUESTIONS FOR
BIOGRAPHIC AND PERSONALITY REPORTING ON UK SHADOW MINISTER FOR PRISONS ALAN DUNCAN (C-RE9-02552)
REF: LONDON 002656
Classified By: ELISSA G. PITTERLE, DIRECTOR, INR/OPS
1. (C/NF) WASHINGTON ANALYSTS GREATLY APPRECIATED POST’S BACKGROUND AND BIOGRAPHIC REFTEL ON SHADOW MINISTER FOR PRISONS ALAN DUNCAN. ANALYSTS FOUND THE INFORMATION REGARDING DUNCAN’S MIDDLE EAST EXPERTISE, AS WELL AS COMMENTS ON HIS FRIENDSHIP WITH SHADOW FOREIGN SECRETARY WILLIAM HAGUE PARTICULARLY INSIGHTFUL AND EXCEPTIONALLY WELL-TIMED AS ANALYSTS ARE PREPARING FINISHED PRODUCTS ON THE CONSERVATIVE LEADERSHIP FOR SENIOR POLICYMAKERS. ANALYSTS WOULD APPRECIATE ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON ALAN DUNCAN AS TIME AND RESOURCES PERMIT.
A. (C/NF) WHAT IS DUNCAN’S RELATIONSHIP WITH CONSERVATIVE PARTY LEADER DAVID CAMERON AND WILLIAM HAGUE?
B. (C/NF) WHAT ROLE WOULD DUNCAN PLAY IF THE CONSERVATIVES FORM A GOVERNMENT?
C. (C/NF) WHAT ARE DUNCAN’S POLITICAL AMBITIONS?
2. (U) PLEASE CITE C-RE9-02552 IN THE SUBJECT LINE OF REPORTING IN RESPONSE TO THE ABOVE QUESTIONS. CLINTON