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“The pundits forget that if we had been so fortunate as to interdict any of the nineteen 9-11 hijackers, months before the attacks, they might have been dismissed as a laughable bunch of losers who didn't inspire fear or confidence. The liquids plot saga turned out to be emblematic of my CIA career. If there was a common thread during my lengthy time at the agency it was that no good deed went unpunished. The liquid plot incident further drove home to me the importance of swift action, of nimble decision making, and of being able to hold and interrogate key terrorist suspects ourselves without relying on surrogates who have a different and uncertain agenda.

Throughout my career controversy followed me around like a hungry dog. I wish all my decisions and all my actions were universally supported and applauded, but I am comfortable with who I am and what I have done. I have been extraordinarily privileged to play a role in some historic events and believe I'm uniquely positioned to explode some myths and clarify some mysteries that have heretofore gone unexplained.

As memories of 9-11 faded, political correctness and timidity grew. The unanimity of support that the intelligence community enjoyed eroded and one by one the tools needed to fight those that wish to destroy our country have been taken away. Worse, those men and women who volunteered to carry out our Nation's orders in combating Al Qaeda found themselves second guessed, investigated, and shunned.”

Jose A. Rodriguez
Hard Measures: How Agressive CIA Actions After 9-11 Saved American Lives

“ . . . The missionaries, therefore, found themselves in a society where a sexual relationship between two males had no moral valence, and they wished to tread lightly in a new land but still preach their truth. Their somewhat prevaricating response was to translate aikāne, in their budding Hawaiian English lexicon, as ‘best intimate friend’, with no mention of its original context. This came back to haunt them in a demoralizing way when a subsequent eleven shiploads of new missionaries fanned out into new villages to spread the gospel, relying on the Hawaiian-English dictionaries provided them. Learning the language as best they could and relying on this translation, new preachers would sometimes announce to a local chief in their best, new Hawaiian the desire to become his ‘best intimate friend’, which was greeted with considerable surprise, not to say enthusiasm.”

James L. Haley
Captive Paradise: A History of Hawaii

“I can't always be in the wild. Sometimes I have to be in places that smell of fear, fumes, and ambition. When I'm there it helps very much to know that badgers are asleep inside a Welsh hill, that an otter is turning over stones in one of the Rockford pools, that a fox is blinking in the same sun that makes me sweat in my tweed coat, that a red stag is cutting amongst ghost trees by a stone circle near Hoar Oak, and that there's a swift hatched above my Oxford study hunting almost beyond human sight in the high, hot blue over the Congo River. That these things should be a comfort is strange. They should taunt, not comfort. They should say, ‘you're not there—ha, ha, ha’. Why does that not happen? Well, I note that I get a similar sense of comfort only from being assured of the continued existence of things, and notably people, that, whatever love is, I love. Perhaps then, whatever love means, I love these creatures.”

Charles Foster
Being a Beast