Having heard about ad-nausea (I know it’s not a word, it’s a condition) in the past few days, Top Secret may not be what we all think it is. Yes, once again I have a story – but they are always so entertaining.
In 1977 I was working in the Carter Administration, as the Director of the International Visitor Office. It happened that with my job came Top Security clearance. It was probably because we were bringing in persons of questionable character – like military murderers, but anyway, they gave the Office Top Security Clearance.
One day, as I was sitting around trying to figure out how to rid the Office of Military Murderers, (which I eventually did), some security person placed a Top Secret Communication on my desk. To tell you the truth, when I saw it, I didn’t know what to do. The first thing that come to my mind was, “how do they know they can trust me with National Security secrets?” I am a person who, when I have information that no one else has, I not only want to share it, I want to rub everyone’s nose in it.
Anyway, since I didn’t know, I put the papers in my underwear, and took the bus to Main State (aka “The State Department on C Street) to find my Deputy, Pauline. (My office was in a building in Rosslyn across the river, and Pauline was a Civil Servant who I knew would have an answer to this security quandary.). I called her out of an important meeting, (if anything can really be considered important at State), and explained the predicament. “Don’t you think we should open it before we make a decision?” she suggested. And so that is exactly what we did. Not only was it not a Secret Document, it wasn’t even for me. So yes, I put it back in my underpants, took it back across the river, and called the Bozos who mistakenly delivered the wrong document to the wrong person.
For the last week we have learned of Top Secret leaks about the Government spying on the public through their phones and internet. The scariest part of this is not that they have access to who I may speak to and what I may write (I hope they are as entertained as the blob readership) but that they have no idea what they are doing. When someone has no idea what they are doing, the likelihood of screwing up, is far greater than when they do.
Reread your e-mails and review your phone calls. Is it not possible that something you wrote or said might be misconstrued by people who have no idea about your sense of humor, your intentions, or -- you should excuse the implications -- your politics.
Here’s what ticks me off. The President is perfectly OK with this. This Democratic President doesn’t think this is a big deal. Surely he must be kidding, or so clueless that he doesn’t get what the consequences of this policy can be, After perusing millions of e-mails and phone calls, they found one potential terrorist who was such a dope that before blowing up the subway he sent a message to another terrorist to ask for the instructions, which he had forgotten. This is not a bad thing. Although I am much more frightened about the young U.S. citizens who want to shoot children, students, and just plain folks on the streets of whatever small town or city, for no apparent reason. Here’s what I want to leave you with. My underwear was the only thing in jeopardy when I got my Top Security letter, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there is other underwear that will suffer from the same stupidity. We’re just sayin’….Iris