Skip to comments.Being Joe Wilson in a Dream…
Posted on 07/14/2005 5:57:40 AM PDT by Tumbleweed_Connection
I have a dilemma and Im hoping readers can help me out.
See, Ive been approached by the U.S. government for a special assignment. Ive been asked to visit China on a fact-finding mission in an attempt to discover if the Chinese government is using the Internet to spy on Americans. These are sensitive issues since the U.S. is contemplating serious actions against the Chinese, in part based on concerns that they are using the Internet to spy on America.
The assignment will require my visiting China. It will require my talking to various folks in and out of governmental bureaucracies, people in relevant industries, asking lots of uncomfortable questions of people who probably would rather not give up information.
Indeed, my being there will make life difficult for the people Im talking to. So much so that its reasonable to assume that some of the folks Ill be talking to and asking about might wonder who I am to be there snooping around in the first place. It would be natural for them to want to hamper my efforts, to make my life uncomfortable for posing these difficult questions and seeking to get to the bottom of some sensitive matters. They may even want to find out information about me and my life, provided that would prove useful to them.
Theres no guarantee that this would happen, of course. But its certainly reasonable, given human nature, to think some folks in the Chinese government, intelligence, and technology sectors would be eager to find out more information about me in efforts to know what, exactly, they are dealing with. Heck, Ill be practically asking for it by going there.
Anyway, I am certainly qualified for the job. Thats not the dilemma. And the work would be interesting. Its the intersection of lots of my lifelong interests and I have skills in terms of knowledge and diplomacy that I enjoy exercising.
No, the problem is something else.
Dont tell anyone this, O.K.? Promise? You have to promise. O.K., good.
See, my wife works for the CIA. Shes an undercover agent. Not only that, she works on espionage issues Chinese espionage issues. In fact, as dumb luck would have it, her specific area of focus is Chinese efforts to use the internet to spy on Americans. Now, dont tell anyone this, O.K., because if anyone found this out, it would jeopardize national security. Whats more, outing her would ruin my wifes career that shes worked so hard on her entire life and nothing, absolutely nothing, is more important to me than making sure that doesnt happen to her.
Given all of this, am I the best person to carry out the task at hand? Well, like I said, Im qualified, and obviously Im interested in the issue. Hell, my bedmate, the love of my life, and partner for all time works on these exact issues!
But thats exactly the problem. Ask yourself: Is the husband of a person who works undercover on Chinese internet espionage really the best person to be rattling cages and shaking information trees in China and agitating lots of hostile and suspicious folks about Chinese Internet espionage?
I could certainly do a good job, as Ive already pointed out, and do what my country is asking me. But then again, there are dozens upon dozens of civil servants and ex-civil servants who could do just as good a job. But many of those folks dont have a potential conflict of interest. They might be married to a doctor or auto mechanic or librarian. Whatever it may be, they arent married to people whose identity absolutely must be kept secret as a matter of national security. And many indeed, probably all the other potential qualified candidates for this assignment arent married to folks who work on the very issues Ill be investigating. If any of these people were to go instead of me, theres absolutely no way my wifes cover and Americas national security could possibly be compromised, right? I mean, how could my wifes cover be blown if someone else does the job?
That being the case, maybe I shouldnt take the assignment. Im flattered and honored that my country needs me. But discretion suggests a different person might be a wiser choice. Of course, if I didnt care about the jeopardy posed to the countrys security or my wifes career by my going or her identity weren't actually the top-secret issue I'm making it out to be then it would be a no-brainer and Id pack my bags tonight. But Im so close to this situation, it really makes it a pickle, doesnt it?
Thats why, dear readers, Im asking you to help me. Should I take the assignment? Help me out here.
Are you married to Kathy the Ops Officer who's on the "I chose the CIA" web-site?
Neat alternate universe speculation. Wonder what color the sky is in that world?
Yes, Uncle Joe. That's what anyone that hates his wife should do.
I don't know ... but I hear they eat yellow cake at every meal.
My only issue is that it should have been that the wife should have been a publicly known CIA officer, someone who was outed by the traitor Aldrige Ames years earlier.
What was it again that I wasn't supposed to tell?
"My Marriage is Sacrosanct! Just ask the Clintons!"
Great post! LOL
All depends .. will you get to drink Mint Tea?