Floating in the Potomac

(With apologies to Sunset Boulevard)


The police found my body floating in the Potomac.

They didnít know who I was because I had no hands or teeth, and no one was going to find my birth records to see if my feet matched.

Career federal bureaucrats do not usually end up like this.

Even people in the sexy agencies like NSA, FBI or CIA get retired, not shot Ė and usually by someone on the other side like a communist or a terrorist, not by other bureaucrats.

But this is my hard luck story and Iím sticking to it.

Iím not telling you the State Department is a seat of brotherly love

Itís not.

Weíre all sharks like any other group of ambitious people.

Still we usually donít kill each other to get ahead.

I simply got careless.

A lot of other people might even have been satisfied to make what I was making on the side Ė not me.

I had a little deal going with a corporation or two that allowed them unauthorized access to federally protected land. All the corporations had to do was make a few regular deposits into a bank account with my name on it.

This is nothing new.

Every inspector from here to Oshkosh got a little something for looking the other way on violation. But up here on the hill, the money is staggering.

As I said I didnít think it was enough.

By boss, of course, knew all about my private deals, and kept quiet as long as it stayed reasonable.

What he meant by reasonable was that I never try to make as much as he made in the deals he had on the side.

I would need a promotion for that, and since his office was the next step on my ladder to success, he wasnít about to move over so I could climb passed him.

I guess maybe he had his eye on his bossí job, and had to watch his own back to make sure I didnít move into his office before he got a chance to move out of it.

I knew a lot more about my boss than my boss knew I did, such as the lucrative job with the energy company he had arranged for later by providing massive intrusions into federal lands today.

I also knew my boss had a rival on the Atomic Energy Commission who wanted the same energy company job, and was overlooking certain atomic plant violations in a show of good faith.

I tell my boss I need a promotion, then secretly meet with his rival with a dump of documents that will allow the Atomic Energy gun to end my bossí career.

Figuring, the two sharks will kill each other off, I tell my boss what his rival is up to, and give him a set of documents to prove it.

I never figured the two of them would put two and two together and come up with me.

But they did.

I thought my career was over when they found out. So I packed up my deck, carrying my personal belongings to my car where they had the hit man waiting.

As I said most people get fired, not killed.

I guess those two figured if I was hungry enough to turn them on each other, I might be desperate enough to turn them in when I got caught.

They were right.

Thatís why Iím floating in the Potomac.


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