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Sunday, June 8, 2014

Big Fraud in the Far Abroad, Part IV . . . It's All About Me!

We are in the DC area to collect the material debris of our past life from a huge Public Storage facility in Virginia, and either throw it out or ship it out. I don't like DC; it brings back memories that are not always pleasant. I also hate what the current rulers of DC are doing to the rest of the country.

Well, no sense dwelling on that right now. Let me try a brief draft of a new chapter in the Long saga. My foul mood at being in the nation's capital fits in quite well with this part of the story--the personally most difficult part for me, and one I have some difficulty telling without getting very angry.

As noted at the end of part III, I had received a late night call from my Dutch friend. I called the RSO and told him about it. He said an odd thing, "Yes, we're on it. I have already sent out a couple of our guys to talk to the Indian." He said his Sri Lankan contacts at the airport had called him. I found the RSO, normally very open with me, somewhat evasive. He could not or would not explain what had led him to alert his contacts at the airport to be on the watch for a fraudulent visa. I didn't press the matter. This came back to haunt me.

The next morning, at our daily meeting, I asked the Ambassador if he had learned from the RSO how the interview had gone with the Indian national at the airport. I was told not much had resulted from the talk, but that the RSO would follow up. The Ambassador asked me to concentrate on other issues, such as working with the Aussies and the local government on terrorism, and with the Norwegians on the attempt to find an end to the civil war. At the time, again, I didn't think much about this, as my plate was, in fact, very full with all sorts of high priority topics.

My attention did drift away from Long and AC. I maintained a relatively cordial relationship with them, although I still had a nagging suspicion that something was not kosher. AC's boss in the consular section departed post and was replaced by an energetic younger officer who instituted some major changes in the way the consular section operated. I thought that was all fine. Every so often, Long would complain about the doctor and her alleged "rumor mongering." Long kept pushing me to support her effort to replace the doctor with one she favored. I put the matter off, and slow-rolled Long on the subject asking her for more information.

Then, as so often seems to happen in my life, I got one of those phone calls that make you feel as though somebody has hit you in the gut with a bat. A little background: the caller was a very senior career FSO and a close friend. We had been trying to arrange it so that I could work with him again. We had worked together in Pakistan and Washington. He had run into that senior political appointee I have mentioned before. A little more background: that senior appointee, let's call him Big Shot (BS), and I did not like each other. We had some open differences on certain issues. He, also, if you will remember had been a big promoter of Long.

All this came together on a sofa in the VIP lounge at Dulles Airport in DC when, somehow, my name came up in the conversation between my friend and Mr. BS. My friend mentioned that he wanted me to be his deputy. Mr. BS responded by saying, "You should wait on that. He's being investigated for fraud. Wait until the investigation is complete and then decide." My friend, who had known me for over 20 years, was shocked. First he did not believe that I was invovled in fraud, and second, that Mr. BS would so openly discuss what was, apparently, a highly sensitive and ongoing operation. My friend asked me, "Lewis, are you involved in fraud and being investigated?" I was almost speechless; my stomach tightened; the room seemed to spin. I angrily denied it. My friend said, "Yeah, I thought it was crap, but you better do something about it." I put down the phone, outrage and fury overwhelming me. I know myself in those situations and decided to sit for a few minutes before I did anything too rash.

I stop there as my ancient Ipad is acting up and my anger is coming back.

12 comments:

  1. I really would like the rest of the Long short story. No hurry... I'm only 67, plenty of time....

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  2. truly offensive point at which to stop, iPad or otherwise!

    - reader #1482

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  3. Your comment "I also hate what the current rulers of DC are doing to the rest of the country" really bothers me.
    I never thought of the elected officials as 'rulers.' This is America. At best, they should be temporarily occupying their positions until the public puts someone else in office.
    But, I am afraid they do see themselves as Rulers.
    As a guy who wore this country's uniform for better than thirty years, that makes my blood run cold.

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  4. The cliffhanger to end all cliffhangers. I bet that LongACBS were trying to stitch you up.
    Thats what criminal scum tend to do.

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  5. This is really good stuff. Please continue; NOW!

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  6. Hanging on every word..You are a master story teller..I wish you would write a book...

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  7. Keep this up, ancient i-pad or no!

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  8. Thank you for telling this. It's not only a great story, but important to hear as we wrestle with federal bureaucracies of all kinds.
    On DC, the last time I was there I couldn't believe how intense the traffic has gotten. I used to love the city in the spring, with all the blooming trees and bushes. My single favorite place was the balcony around the top of the Kennedy Center, especially at night. I used to think about that when I was in less pleasant places, such as Peru during the Sendero time.
    Hate the business with the storage facilities. Great feeling to get rid of it all, though.

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  9. And thank you for the manner of the telling. It's like listening to a war story told by an old friend.

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  10. This is so great. It's a chilling tale can't wait for the rest of it!

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  11. In many ways I am beyond naive. I form idealized mental pictures of these great Offices doing sensitive work that can affect the security of the country, that have operated so long, then assume that their personnel and procedures must be near perfect. Only to find that they are occupied by usual complement of scam artists, sycophants and charlatans with the most petty personal agendas. In other words they are like most offices around the country. The basic concept of loyalty to ones country (or even employer) seems totally alien to a percentage of the staff.

    One expects the political appointees to be puerile, I had hoped that the permanent staff had higher standards.

    Very entertaining exposure, even though I suspect the outcome will be bad for Diplomads future.

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  12. Keep up the good work! Love reading your posts.

    Tom Kratman just came out with another good one too..if you are interested.

    http://www.everyjoe.com/2014/06/09/politics/invasion-of-iraq-accidentally-clever-to-deliberately-idiotic/

    leaperman

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