posted on Oct, 18 2004 @ 05:59 AM
My father was a decorated military officer in a three-letter agency. I briefly followed in his footsteps as an independent contractor for a separate
Our situations were very different. He saw himself as performing his oaths as a military officer. In the middle of his career, when I was a young
child, he achieved a very high clearance and worked underground during the cold war. There was one family day in 5 years, and what I saw was amazing.
It's all outdated by today's standards, but at the time, everything was state of the art. By the end of his career in the late 90's, he was a
nuclear arms specialist working side-by-side with independents. The only time I saw his workplace was at his retirement party, and that is by far the
coolest thing I ever saw.
He'd come home from work, though, pale as could be, sometimes trembling. Once I became older he would say very cryptic things like, "you don't know
how close it came today..." He had troubles sleeping, but he used his insomnia to get a PhD in Aeronautical Engineering. He got a phone call on
9/13/2001, but he was given the opportunity to refuse, which he did. He is now happily remarried and working part-time as an ESL instructor on the
Gulf coast. One neat thing is the last time I talked to him we talked about declassified info for the first time, seeing who knew what.
My experience, the only thing that was great about it was the salary, and knowing internally that I was assisting the war on terror. Depending on your
position, there's a lot of things you give up. You can't talk to your family or friends about anything, even when you know they may be hurt, as an
independent you don't get any recognition for your work. I uncovered activities that I believed were worthy of at least a parade in Times
Square, but again, I can't ever speak or write about it. There are no pats on the back. Just very mundane appreciations like : "Thank you for your
time and service." I reported to only one person the entire time. It isn't like the movies when you get handed a badge and can move throughout the
building looking at cool inventions (though I must admit the building I reported to was the second coolest thing I ever saw).
The old adage is true. Don't call them, they'll call you.
I had no clearance. I was providing raw data that would later be investigated and filed away as they saw fit. When I would brief/debrief, EVERYTHING I
said was written down. If I yawned, it was written down. I was unimportant most of the time.
The fun point of the month was when I would hang out and drink with other independents in our "off" time (lots of off time - lots of cocktails), and
I would also mingle with single Colonels . But even in the presence of others with my same duties, we rarely talked about what we knew, or what our
It was then that I started drinking alone. I had NO ONE to talk to.
I ended up not being able to handle it. Maybe it's a man's world after all. I had too many feelings and emotions, plus a big underlying factor that
I was trying to hide. I attended many universities-it was all free-but could never focus enough on one task to finely tune my specialty. I ended up
becoming clinically insane. I asked to get out, and was eagerly "retired"
within a week. It was never said to me, "Don't tell anyone anything..." It was a clearly understood fact.
So, here I rant at ATS, where I know every keystroke of mine is being watched, and everything I download is catalogued. I do not even tell my doctors
about what I did...I can only say that I was an independent contractor. Hell, even if I did tell them they'd just write it off as a delusion. Perhaps
you will as well. I know the truth, and God knows the truth, and that is all that matters.
[edit on 18-10-2004 by dotgov101]