WHEN MY BLOND, BLUE-EYED grandchild lectures me on how we have to save the planet by not asking for plastic and paper on the supermarket check out line, I want to tell her that the planet can take it, but she won't hear of it. She points her finger at me and tells me that all nations should coexist peacefully. Thankfully, she was a toddler when W. was president so she was much too young to Bush bash. I nod my rheumy-eyed head. I am sitting at the kitchen table, sipping my coffee, gazing at my generic grandchild as I realize she doesn't acknowledge how fascist the Moslems are. How can she, she was brought up to adhere to the twenty first century socialist dogma? I realize what a Marxist Big Bird is. Play fair. Share. Think only in primary colours.
In all honesty, I don't know why I do what I do anymore. No matter what I do, I always get criticized and ostracized yet I realize that is within our constitutional rights.
I am in the business of preserving our basic freedoms. Our right to a free enterprise system. Our right to speak what we think. Our right to vote. Our right to believe in a God that best suits us. Our right to get away with what we can. I am aware that our forefathers didn't exactly put it in those words -- but I'm sure that is what they meant.
Or why else would they bother?
And that is why I am bothering. Still.
As I get older I have a feeling that I am working against cross-purposes. I have devoted my life working in the clandestine channels, which maintain the status quo despite all the obstacles. Mind you, I am not a man of action; I am a man of neurosis.
I do all I can to harness my neurosis to preserve our freedoms, yet, no matter what, my efforts always come back to bite me either by my granddaughter, Georgia, or the knee jerk liberal media or worse Winky-Leaks. The website that releases intra diplomatic scuttlebutt. Winky-Leaks was founded by rogue hacker named Simon Bray who has profited by publishing government back talk that was meant to be private.
Simon Bray is fucking everything up. I don't know how he finds all those disgruntled bottom feeders (in particular Cecil Milton) to feed him those marginally classified communiqués between the ambassador and their respective state departments. The reason why diplomacy is diplomatic is because two opposing parties who vehemently hate one another engage in a polite dance of the veils in order to achieve a goal that both can profit from.
When Simon Bray publishes the latest exchange, it isn't as though he is making known something the diplomatic corps don't know anyway. But what Bray has done is that he has jeopardized the sanctuary of keeping dispatches private. Now no one is allowed to keep a secret. Now no one can get things done privately in the scrim of a functioning state department.
Now bloggers are privy to things that are none of their business. When things are so transparent -- I hate that Obama term -- as if he isn't transparent like a phantom -- but when things are so open things can't get done because everybody knows about it. When everybody knows something -- nothing can get done simply because it can't. It is not effective enough. It is simply not efficient. There is no element of surprise. Secret information once public becomes sluggish. How can deals be made? Spies exchanged? Money transferred? Backs scratched?
What Mohammad Atta has done to air travel, Simon Bray has done the same to the secret channels of government. What downloading music did to the music industry, Simon Bray is doing to diplomacy.
In short, Simon Bray has to be stopped.
"Georgia," I say to my grandchild, "stop playing with your oatmeal." She shrugs. She pouts. Her lower lip protrudes. I am a meanie. She looks longingly in her bowl. Granted, oatmeal does have an uncanny resemblance to the wet mud that is so ideal for building sand castles on the beach.
Jennifer, my daughter, then sweeps into the kitchen. She fits in perfectly to the single mother -- young professional demographic. Surprisingly, she is not as bitter as I would be if I were she. She doesn't fervently resent the father of her child as I do. In that sense, she is much more mature than I. She gets up weekday mornings at four thirty to exercise. By seven, she has showered and is dressed in a pert little pants suit to work as a system analyst. By seven thirty, we leave my Georgetown residence. Jennifer commutes directly to work. I drop off Georgia at her school, on my way to Langley.