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7:40AM

Tom's "Inside the War Against Robert Gates" at Esquire.com

This is me subbing for fellow Esquire contributing editor John Richardson, a very seriously talented journalist and writer, in his weekly "Richardson Report" (political column) at Esquire.com. Richardson is otherwise occupied and Esquire's online editor, Matt Sullivan, asked me to help out this week and next, so this is the first of a planned two columns.

Not my title (Inside the War Against Robert Gates), but then they never are. As always, the title jacks up the drama a bit but accurately captures the intent and main content of the piece--namely, Gates is going to come under a lot of attack for trying to make this momentous shift happen.

I wrote it yesterday. I wanted people to understand just how serious Gates' effort truly is.

Now here's a funny bit: military officer inside the Pentagon (in the Office of the Secretary of Defense) emails me and asks me to send him a copy of the piece. Turns out he can't access Esquire.com from a government computer there--blocked! So I archive a print version of the piece and send it to him as an attachment to pass around OSD.

God I don't miss working for the government.

My favorite memory: trying to access hate sites on my Naval War College PC and finding the sites blocked. I complained to the SysAdmin: "This is the Naval War College, not the Peace College. I need to be able to access hate sites for my work!" (at the time, I was researching millennial terrorist groups).

Alas, I was told that was against government web policy . . ..

Apparently, Esquire is too racy for the Pentagon.

Reader Comments (4)

Great piece Tom. Gates gives me peace of mind.
April 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterVincent Bataoel
Tom,

Just so you know for a long time your weblog was banned at Fort Sill and Fort Hood, I used to try and access from my govt computer.

You are unblocked in Afghanistan,

Mike1LT, FA
April 15, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermike
I noticed your piece in the Early Bird this morning - so us government types can now read it, too!
April 15, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRobert L
Had the same 'blue screen of shame' issues when I was working chemical weapons demilitarization. TPMB I can get now, but not blogspotters like Information Dissemination (or Mountain Runner). Oh, the irony.
April 15, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTEJ

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