• April 1: Reflecting on My Image

    April 1, 2012

    Tags: , ,
    Posted in: Embassy/State, Iraq

    Diplomatic Security electronic monitoring foolishly recorded the following subject interaction April 1.

    Thank you for coming in Mr. Van Buren. Image Consultants, Inc. was founded to assist people in your situation, so you’ve come to the right place.

    To begin, we think that you’ve lost touch with your true narrative. You need to get back in touch with what your core story is all about. We understand the temptations—the Playgirl photo shoot was probably a fun tie-in to your blog pieces, but in the end things like that just hurt you. You can’t turn against the very people who read your blog. Yes, yes, I know God made you that way, but hanging it out in public isn’t where you want to be right now. Sometimes it is OK to not say everything that is in your head. Maybe, quite often it is OK. Try an avoid the obvious train wrecks, yes?

    I think however you do need to reconsider the State Department’s offer. After all, you’ve spent a good portion of your adult life there, and working for Alec Ross is not a bad career move at this stage. Yes, we know it would be as his “Special Assistant Valet” responsible primarily for dispensing hair gel, but a year or two isn’t that long in a hardship assignment like that, and look how well your last hardship tour turned out for you! We’ve heard he usually lets his assistants watch him review the Tweet drafts sent up to him by his writing staff, so that is a bonus.

    Now, looking ahead, we’ve run some numbers. Your book has sold well among your extended family, with some decent sales in the Ikea niche market. Apparently the cover art colors pairs well with their Speigleflugfluf collection and people have been buying multiple copies to decoratively fill up their shelves. Our research suggests if you can cut about 40 pages from the next edition you’ll increase sales to Ikea by 10-15%, assuming no color changes to the cover of course. Turns out it won’t matter which 40 pages you cut, so we’ll recommend taking out the parts that aren’t funny. That shouldn’t be too hard, yes?

    Looking ahead, let’s sift through some of the offers. I see you’ve taken our advice and stopped returning calls to Lindsey Lohan, good. Assuming you do not go with the Alec Ross gig, we feel the offer from Trader Joe’s is probably your best bet. They are ready to give up on the no blogging rule as long as you avoid talking about competitor’s prices and you do get the free Hawaiian shirt to wear at work plus the employee discount. That other offer—whistleblower at NBA games—seems sexy and cool but our polling says the $8 an hour you’ll make at Trader Joe’s will eclipse your book earnings after only two days. Kind of a sure thing.

    Anyway, I know you have to run to put in some telework OT, but think it over and we’ll talk more. We’ve got the Gingrich account coming in for a makeover any minute now…

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  • Recent Comments

    • joe carson said...


      I worked on my image on 3/30 at OccupyEPA rally. My wife of 26 years, Karen, accompanied me and we listened to your Boiling Frogs podcast when driving to DC from Knoxville, TN. She is trooper to hang in there this long with me in this “stuff” which has now been part of my life for over 20 years.

      My speech at OccupyEPA rally focused on merit principles of federal civil service, how the President has the explicit statutory duty to “take any action….necessary” to ensure the laws to protect the merit principles are properly interpreted and applied, how the Presidents have failed to do this for past 34 years, and how this is a causal factor in much which has befallen America in that time.

      I then “connected the dots” to how the 1% want a dysfunctional, corrupt federal civil service – just as the 1% in many Countries around the world do – because: 1) it allows them to capture the gov’t and use it for their predating on their Countrymen, and 2) it causes the 99% to distrust, if not despite their gov’t – just like you described in saying the easiest person to censor is the one who self-censors – if the people cannot conceive of their gov’t as being a tool to advance the common good, they will not demand that it do so.

      Tom Devine of GAP is *THE* biggest obstacle to President Obama directing the Office of Legal Counsel to resolve my well-evidence, long-standing, far-reachinhg and good-faith concerns. He puts his self-interest above the common good whenever necessary to protect it.

      I do not blame him for the broken system by which Congress and media ask me “what does Tom Devine think?” when I describe my concerns, but he exploits it, just as he exploits fools like us.

      Others in federal whistleblower community have a similar perception of him. The State Dept is singling you out, just as DOE singled me out, but the reason it can follows from larger causes, starting with Presidents, for 34 years, failing to “take any action….necessary” to ensure the merit principles are viable. I presume the “merit principles” apply to FSO’s, because if they did not, then OSC would not have jurisdiction for your PPP complaint.

      Joe Carson

      04/1/12 5:08 PM | Comment Link

    • jhoover said...


      Robert Kagan: The World America Made

      04/1/12 10:04 PM | Comment Link

    • Lisa said...


      Wicked, wicked boy, Peter 😉

      Per, “Sometimes it is OK to not say everything that is in your head. Maybe, quite often it is OK”:

      I have heard that for awhile from some, and as a woman I presume that is a way to silence and marginalize me. Speech is the power of the greatest and the least; it is the true equalizer, when wielded well.

      Please keep exercising yours.

      04/2/12 6:10 PM | Comment Link

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