• Rule No. 1: It is Poor Judgement to Talk About Fight Club

    April 18, 2012 // 44 Comments »

    What counts as poor judgement or lack of discretion these days such that Federal employment is no longer suitable? It is a good question, because the State Department is proposing to fire me in part for my “poor judgement” as shown, they say, by these two blog posts, about Hillary Clinton laughing at someone’s death and about Michelle Bachmann being, well, insane. Meanwhile, a State Department VIP apparently has had sex on an Embassy roof, captured on video, not that that matters.

    Now of course both the White House and Embassy Kabul on Twitter chortled over the deaths of other people, so we know that laughing about others’ deaths is not “poor judgement.” Point noted.

    We have learned that having posed for Playboy doesn’t count as poor judgement for a Foreign Service Officer. Point noted.

    And we can show that as the US Ambassador to Iraq dressing as JFK’s unsuccessful Secret Service bodyguard for a Halloween party as Baghdad burned around you apparently isn’t poor judgement. Even after photos are posted on a popular photo sharing spot. Point noted.

    We also know that drunken parties in Islamic war zones like Baghdad, or Afghanistan, are not considered poor judgement (and yes, two of three people dressed as women in the photo are not women). Point noted.

    And we know that being photographed partying in Colombia while the news is dominated by illicit Secret Service partying isn’t bad judgement, even if the media call attention to the issue with headlines like “Swillary” and “Is Hillary Clinton becoming an embarrassment as Secretary of State?” Given that I am a source of her stress, I guess I should be more charitable when Hillary needs a drink. Seriously, though, while “humanizing” Clinton to her fan base in the US, I wonder if the foreigners it is her job to influence see it as a positive image.

    So that leaves us with a final case to decide whether or not poor judgement is afoot.

    What if a video existed that showed a prominent State Department VIP on the roof of the Republican Palace in Baghdad receiving, um, pleasure of an oral nature from another State Department officer not his wife, or even his journalist mistress of the time? What if that video has been passed around among Marine Security Guards at the Embassy to the point where it is considered “viral” with many copies made? What if the Deputy Chief of Mission, hand in hand with the Diplomatic Security chief (RSO) at the time, decided that the whole thing needed to be swept under the rug and made to go away, at least until some blogger got a hold of it.

    Would that count as poor judgement? What if it was published during his oft-delayed Congressional hearings? Funny that State aggressively punishes some extramarital fooling around while ignoring other, er, well-documented cases.

    Or would the State Department once again excuse the act itself and instead punish the person who made the act public, claiming THAT was the example of poor judgement, the crime of not hiding State’s dirty laundry at a sensitive time?

    Remember Rule No. 1 of Fight Club at State: It is poor judgement to talk about Fight Club.

    (And before everyone gets all wound up over the photos posted, would you please first consider the point here, that judgement as contained in the acts pictured is the issue, not harvesting them from around the Internet where they already exist and reposting them here. For those too self-righteous to get it (oh, they’re colleagues ya’all!), the other point is that the State Department excuses all sorts of behavior when it wants to for people it likes or who are connected, and then hauls out the bully-bat of “poor judgement” when it is trying to stretch to justify firing someone they don’t like because of a blog. Thank you.)

    Also, Secret Service Agents abroad: always remember to pay your prostitutes to avoid undue hassle. Generous tips are encouraged; after all, they had to f*ck losers like you.

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    Posted in Embassy/State, Iraq