Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Top Security? Take a Deep Breath! (And Hold It!)

During my first 3 months at the State Department in 1978, as the Director of the Office of International Visitors, I had Top Secret clearance. I had no idea how they knew they could trust me, but… One afternoon some Top Secret material landed on my desk.  It was frightening. I didn’t know what it was, but TOP SECRET was no joke, or so I thought.  Anyway, I put the envelope in my underwear and traveled by State Department bus over to what was called Main State.  My office was in an annex.  Once there, I located the Deputy in the Visitors  office because she had Top Secret clearance, and more importantly, experience.  She was in some half-assed meeting, which was not a rarity at State, and I pulled her out of the meeting and into the Women’s room where's I pulled the Top Secret document out of my underpants. She looked at it and started to laugh.  As it turned out, it may have been Top Secret but it was not for me. 

This is not a excuse for Hillary’s sloppy treatment of Top Secret emails, or her private server.  The hours I spent in security training were numerous, so I get the importance of respect for these important documents.  During  the Clinton administration my position demanded an even higher level of security clearance. There was never a time when I put the documents in my underwear.  This was different. The documents that came to us, all of which we read, hardly merited a top security clearance.  Usually they were delayed because of demanding  State Department clearances, and if you actually wanted to get something to someone in a timely manner you figured out a way to circumvent the system.  Again, this is not an excuse for Hillary, it is the reality about an antiquated system. The real question is, why didn’t someone on her staff tell her what she was doing was questionable.  That is the real question. 

I get that no one likes to be told they can't do something—certainly I don’t — but that being said, this “entitled” bullshit is just foolish, and can be dangerous.

That’s not what I wanted to blob about. How about having a gross  surgical procedure?   What qualifies as gross?  Certainly giving birth and absolutely having a colonoscopy – which I did today — not the birth thing but the tuchas thing. People always talk about the beauty of birth. And truthfully, the results are worth whatever but….  Here's what I remember.  Three weeks past the due date, (July 3) I marched into the doctors office and announced that I was not leaving the office until I went to the hospital. He checked and agreed.  We went to the hospital where he induced labor. For the next 12 hours I suffered from a back labor. It was like a Mack Truck running me over every 5 minutes. In those days we did an unmedicated birth—which added to the torture. When the time came they wheeled me through a hallway where a painter was on a ladder painting the wall. There I was, legs spread in the air. Nothing was humiliating when you were in pain.  When people say you never remember the pain, that is a lie. You have this precious reward at the end of the process, but the pain, nope, it’s not something you forget. 

The other procedure, a colonoscopy, is  mostly unpleasant prior to the surgical procedure.  You drink mega amounts of this gross liquid and spend the next 12 hours on the throne.  They perform this delicate maneuver at the “Endoscopy Center,” and of course my question was, “which End?”  You have to do this in order to prevent colon cancer. But how does a medical student decide that their dream job is to look up a tuchas for the rest of their lives.  You understand that the Definition of gross doesn’t always mean blood, pus and guts.  It can mean humiliation, pain, or doing something stupid, like messing with Top Secret material.  Unlike birth or a colonoscopy, that is totally  avoidable.  We’re just sayin’… Iris

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