The Tea Party

                                  Anti-Government Radicals Who Border on Sedition

The wish for more efficiency and less government spending has been described as dangerous by Bill Clinton, and bordering on sedition by Joe Klein.  It is not new.  

                                                         A High Ranking Mole

There is a tradition of right wing anti-government sentiment at State.  Ellis O. Briggs retired from his last post as Ambassador to Greece in 1963 while I was stationed at the Air Force Base – closed 1990 – which was contiguous with the Athens airport.  He testified in open session before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that he had “five times more staff than needed” and he “thought about having them play hopscotch on the Acropolis”.  His testimony before the close session was not revealed, but he may have commented on the incidence of drug abuse and alcoholism. 

The Air Attache in Belgrade told me of a similar problem there.  He related some funny stories about the matter of security in the then communist state.  There were middle aged female secretaries who were instructed in the need for security before being sent to Belgrade.  They were warned about the threat of romantic involvements with young Yugoslav men whose mission it was to gain information.  Some avoided such entanglements for about a day and a half.  It was necessary to send them home without their beloved despite loud protestations about true love.  All this revolving door was expensive, but as they say in the military, “it all counted towards twenty”. 

Ronald Reagan’s first budget director David Stockman recorded his frustration in trying to control spending in “The Triumph of Politics”.  He singled out Secretary of State Alexander Haig for special derision as one who wanted an increase in budget.  Therewas after almost twenty years of a steady budget increases after Ambassador Briggs’ testimony until Haig became Secretary of State.  One of the first remarks from Secretary Hillary Clinton was to voice a need for funds for several new envoys.  There was no plan to look for savings.

                                              An Anti-Government Arizona Militarist

Clive Cussler’s Secretary of State in “Corsair” had swept the house at Foggy Bottom, cutting out layer upon layer of redundant staff until State was a model of efficiency —“.  Mr. Cussler is a high income white male who lives openly in Arizona.  No doubt his fantasy of reduced numbers of government servants or what he calls “efficiency” is fueled by plain avarace – a desire to keep more of his outlandish income.    

Bill Clinton recently warned that violent extremists motivated by the shrill anti-government rhetoric of today could turn violent as did Timothy McVeigh did in Oklahoma City.  (We know the NYT does not publish goofy opinions.)  Cussler has access to sophisticated weaponry.  No doubt he has not revealed everything in his arsenal.  He has not been sighted at Tea Party meetings, but he is a master of disguise.  Clearly, the Tea Party represents a new level of threat.