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I just finished reading a couple of spy novels faintheart lent… - Terrafactive Armageddon

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March 9th, 2007

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07:55 am
I just finished reading a couple of spy novels faintheart lent me. One was Greg Rucka's Private Wars, which containes the following, directed at a young Foreign Service Officer:
You remember who you work for, don't you, Chuck? [...] You work for the Secretary of State, who works for the President, who works for the American People. So you work for the American People, and those people have elected a leader they believe will make the right decisions for them. And that leader has selected a Secretary of State who will pursue his agenda. And your job is to support that agenda, regardless of whether or not you agree with it.

All I could think when I read that was how I somehow managed to save myself from myself when I decided not to pursue the interview process to enter the Foreign Service. I did quite well on the initial test, but thinking things over before I went for the first interview, it occurred to me that I was setting myself up for a lot of unpleasantness - I'm not nearly gregarious enough to make a good member of an embassy staff, even a minor one.

Now of course I am even more grateful. I could be working for the current administration, and have real blood on my hands rather than merely residual guilt for helping move the money along by working for the Department of Treasury. The quote is absolutely true: you have to support the agenda, whether or not you agree with it. Working for the cowboy king and his torture-dismissing posse of pre-emptive-striking cronies at Halliburton-on-Potomac while feeling suicidal would not have been healthy. Thinking over the progress of my depression the last few years and trying to imagine myself in those circumstances and under that pressure makes me really happy to be where I am now.

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Date:March 14th, 2007 04:50 am (UTC)
If you like Greg Rucka, I suggest you check out one of his primary inspirations, the old British series The Sandbaggers (out on DVD). It's about MI6 but extremely realistic, with a lot of that flavour of "You work for Her Majesty and her people, whether you agree or not."

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