Dear Aunt Sophie,
I’m in a jam and I hope you’ll be able to help me figure out how to get out of it. You see, a personal trait that I’ve had all my life is now being turned against me and I could go to jail just for being myself. Let me explain.
I used to have a responsible post in government until the coup of 2000. OK, I guess it’s safe to say it – I used to be national security advisor. You know, it’s amazing – that makes me feel better already - I get so tired of this cloak-and-dagger stuff, not being able to say things, having to keep secrets all the time. Look how I even had to think twice before I told you what I used to do for a living. It’s hard on the psyche, I tell you.
Anyway, I’m accustomed to being around sensitive and top secret documents. I’m totally comfortable with them. It’s not as if I break into a sweat or anything when I have to handle them. So, since I had to testify before the 9-11 commission, as I was leafing through some documents that had to do with the millennium plot I must have put a few pages in my jacket. Also, I was making notes and I absent-mindedly must have put some of the notes in my socks and my pants. Doesn’t everybody?
When I was a kid I always used to put stuff in my underpants and socks so I wouldn’t have to carry very much in my hands. I was small and I was always being bullied and it seemed easier to run away if I wasn’t carrying a lot, so I found this way of dealing with the problem. It’s just an old childhood habit, but they’re trying to make a big deal out of it. They’re saying I shouldn’t have taken anything home. I was only doing what came naturally. You may know Shakespeare said, “To thine own self be true”. Well, that’s what I was doing.
When I was in school my desk was always messy and my mother used to yell at me all the time to clean up my room, and I was always misplacing my homework, so this is nothing new for me. Anyway, I’ve already apologized. That ought to be the end of it. And the timing of this investigation, if I may be permitted to say so, is very suspicious. Frankly, the whole thing smacks of politics.
I’ve returned all the documents except for the ones I can’t find. They might have been shredded in my fly or maybe they’re in the pockets of another suit or in my argyles. I don’t know. I haven’t had time to look, but they’ll probably turn up. In the meantime, they’re making this out to be some sort of security breach and saying I should have known better. Well, I certainly would have known better if I’d been paying attention, but I wasn’t. It’s hard to think about national security when your socks itch.
How can I convince them that I’m really sorry and they shouldn’t be investigating me for just being myself?
Maybe if you’d fought back instead of running away from your bully you wouldn’t be in such a predicament right now.
Given the trauma of your early childhood perhaps you can be forgiven for thinking of your BVD’s as your briefcase, but it still doesn’t explain why you thought you could stuff classified documents into that briefcase and take them home. Being comfortable around state secrets doesn’t mean molding them to your anatomy.
If only you’d learned to clean up your room. Then it would have been a snap for you to return all the documents – even the ones that show your former boss was more concerned with his briefs than with his briefings.
OK. Some important classified papers are missing and it isn’t your fault but people think it is. What to do. If you want to be a gentleman and keep your mother out of this, you could try to steer the Justice Department toward that bully who prompted you devise your unique filing system in the first place. Or maybe you could just hang it on Bush. Say he lied about Weapons of Mass Destruction. That seems to trump everything these days.
In any case, since the complete inadvertence of your actions ought to be obvious even to members of the Pablum set, don’t waste time worrying about going to jail for filching classified documents. If any of your former boss’ luck has rubbed off on you, it will all blow over by the weekend.
And if it doesn’t, you can always blame Halliburton.
Good luck and God bless.