What are the real motives of the coin-collecting and coin-selling organisations behind this FOIA request?
Peter Tompa has now turned his attention to US Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns (a former US Ambassador to Greece). Tompa asks the question:
Did then Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns order the controversial decision to impose import restrictions on coins of Cypriot type as a "thank you" to a coalition of Greek and Greek Cypriot lobbying groups called "the National Coordinated Effort of Hellenes" or "CEH" which had given him an award?
Burns has pleased to receive the award (quoted in States News Service, May 16, 2007):
I wear this title of Philhellene rather proudly. You don't spend four years in Greece, as my wife and three daughters and I did, and not come back feeling committed to Greek thought, to the Greek way of life, to Greece itself in my case. My wife and I have lived in West Africa, we've lived in Egypt, we've lived in Israel, we've lived in France, we've lived in Belgium, we've lived in Greece. We have double the number of friends in Greece than all the other countries combined. [Laughter]. On my name day, December 6th, Nicholas, I still get 10 to 15 phone calls, e-mails from friends in Athens, in Salonika, in Crete, and elsewhere. So we love Greece in our family. We're personally committed to the country, to the relationship. My daughters always are pestering me, when are we going back to Greece?
Tompa appears to be questioning the integrity of Burns. He continues:
Hopefully, a pending FOIA lawsuit will shed further light on the issue whether our own State Department sold out American coin collectors and its own CPAC-- and all because an award given to Undersecretary Burns. If so, the price for betrayal of the interests of American coin collectors and likely the State Department's own CPAC was quite low indeed.
This is emotive talk ("sold out", "price of betrayal") from Tompa. Is he suggesting that organisations that "honour" individuals have ulterior motives? What about organisations that reward congressmen for supporting "collector rights" or intervening "in issues of importance to ancient coin collectors"? Or is that different?