Rants, Recipes and Ramblings

US sends nitwits to negotiate

Not true at all. spend a little time looking at the Kyoto accordsand other political resolutions to global warming. It’s economic warfare. we sent nitwits to the bargaining table and wound up getting screwed.

We always send nitwits.
<rant on>
Another lifetime ago (17 years – hard to believe) I was doing work for one of Uncle Sam’s three-lettered Agency’s in a Country that shall remain nameless (would not be to difficult to discover).  I had been in country for just over a year this particular trip laboring away in private sector positions (magazine editor/contributor, radio show host, US company quality control inspection rep, etc…) when I managed to obtain employment within the Host country’s government.  In fact I was working within their version of a State Department.  Not only that I was employed within the office that

dealt with US 301 trade issues.  Nominally I was charged with attending trade conferences on their behalf to listen to the US side and prepare reports as to what the US position really was in general and some items in particular.
US Trade missions to these conferences/meetings are a conglomeration of Bureaucrats (State, Commerce, etc…) and representatives of US companies with a particular interest in the current round of talks (aviation, agriculture, etc…).
For the Host Country’s side I was able to obtain a significant amount of intel for them during the “Continental Breakfast” before sitting down at the conference table.  The US attendees would see me bellying up to the pastry bar with them and since I had a “white-face” they assumed I must be part of their delegation.  I overheard lots of good information for my reports to the Host.
Obviously similar reports and much more were going out the backdoor to Uncle.
For the most part US attendees at these conferences seemed to be caught up in the moment of being overseas and wanting to get away from the stale boardroom setting to get some shopping down or sample some of the local delights.  They didn’t seem particular focused.  I can assure you the other side was focused 100% on a successful outcome to these meetings.
The reason I am no longer doing this type of work is that my Agency case officer blew my position through his sloppy procedures.  We (my wife and I) hightailed it back home before I got a knock at the door to become a “guest” rather then a visitor.  She had just become pregnant with our first child so the excuse was that we were moving back to the states for the baby.  She only found out the truth this last fall when I was yelling at the TV when some no nothing reporter/reportettte was going on about Plame being “undercover” and my kids how asked me how I knew that Plame wasn’t undercover and therefore no law had been broken.  Since it had been 16/17 yars I figured what the hell and told them.  Still have an old briefcase full of documents that worked their way out the backdoor.
<rant off>