Skip to content

My Hero Osburn Cox

I’ve just watched “Burn After Reading” for the third or fourth time, and I still enjoy watching it. I identify with John Malkovich’s Osburn Cox, the fired CIA analyst. I was even an analyst for a while in State’s intelligence bureau, INR. I’m sure some of my old colleagues would say that my career did not even approach the success of Osburn Cox’s, but I can dream. I didn’t go to Princeton. I never lived in Georgetown, never had a yacht, but I did work on foreign policy. Probably at least one old boss, Richard Clark of 9/11 fame, saw me as an Osburn Cox, but because of the Foreign Service bureaucracy, he couldn’t get rid of me. Amb. Nicholas Rey eliminated my job in Poland while I was still in it, although he was always very polite to me personally. Sadly he passed on recently. When I went to Rome from there, they immediately disliked me so much that from the moment I arrived, they finagled the personnel system to get rid of me and replace me with the man who had the same position I had across the hall from me in Main State years earlier. He was deputy director of the OES office of science cooperation, while I was deputy director of the OES office working on environmental conservation and health issues. We worked side by side for two years, and I really didn’t think he was so much better than I. In fact, it was his office that persuaded me to take the assignment in Poland. Well, maybe they did have my number. On the other hand, his office was the one primarily responsible for the failure to fund our cooperation with Poland that led to the elimination of my position there.

I would like to think that Amb. Rey eliminated by job because the main part of it was promoting scientific cooperation between the US and Poland under a five-year agreement signed just before I got there. After two or three years, the Republicans under Newt Gingrich took over the House during the Clinton administration, and quit funding the cooperation, thus eliminating about half of my job. Then Newt shut down the entire government while I was moving from Warsaw to Rome, leaving me with no job and no place to live in either city, until Rome finally took me in. An Army Vietnam veteran with over twenty years in the Foreign Service, and the US Government put my wife and me out on the streets of Warsaw in November with no place to live! So Newt and company made me a liberal Democrat. They represented the fools that I, like Osburn Cox, have been fighting. However, I don’t plan to shoot anybody or chop them into pieces. I do plan to blog about it.

Perhaps someone will someday stumble over this blog and think that it contains sensitive information that they can sell to the Russians. They must decide, however, whether it is “drivel” or “dribble.” You want dribble? Listen to George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and John Bolton — absolute idiots, numskulls, and cowards (because they didn’t go to Vietnam, they didn’t go to New York City on 9/11, and they tortured people). They are of a piece with Newt. And Tom DeLay is dancing with the stars. Idiots on parade! But I’m the one who retired and went away. Ironically, I had relatively good efficiency reports and was in no danger of losing my position as a Foreign Service officer, although I was having trouble keeping an assignment. Well at least I have a hero: Osburn Cox.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *