Intelligence gathering…seriously.

Far be it for me to look a gift horse in the mouth, but I cannot refrain from comment about the pen given to me and the other attendees at the InfraGard member meeting yesterday.  The Special Agent who is the coordinator for the North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota chapters gave all the folks in attendance FBI pens at the meeting outset.  As the current president of North Dakota InfraGard it was my responsibility to run the meeting so I never really looked at the pen until I got home later that evening.

And then I saw it – there at the top in capital letters and when coupled with the Federal Bureau of Investigation running up the side it stood as a terribly perverse portrait – see for yourself – after all, a picture is worth a thousand words.

Do you see it there?  Do you see it at the top of the pen in an unmissable location?  Do you???  Even though this is just a pen -  it makes a statement.  A somewhat disturbing statement, but one that we have become so very familiar with – Made in CHINA.  I know that so much of what we buy anymore is made there, but come on Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Are you telling me that a national agency of the United States Government of your caliber can’t either utilize a producer from our own country or at least buy a pen from China that doesn’t prominently feature the name CHINA so clearly across the top? Aren’t you folks supposed to be elite gatherers of intelligence?  How did the big CHINA imprinted on the top of your pens escape your notice?  Or don’t you see the twisted irony in it?

I know it is just a pen but it symbolizes a bit more I think…the increasing ownership of America by China.  I know it may seem petty, but I deem it a small request to ask that our government agencies buy American made pens even if they cost a little more.  The FBI pen distributing pens with CHINA on top just because they are cheaper is the equivalent of me using UND pens because they are cheaper than NDSU pens.  Of course, all the tried and true NDSU fans rather use a broken stub of a crayon than a UND pen because we know that do otherwise is just wrong (and this is just good old college rivalry, not world politics).

So my friends in the FBI – on your next intelligence gathering escapade please gather intelligence on where to get new pens.  I’ll feel a lot safer about the country’s overall security when I know that you are paying attention to both the big and the little details.

Oh…and yeah – I am keeping the pen.

Day five hundred and eighty-five of the new forty – obla di obla da

Ms. C

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About Ms. C

I teach at NDSU...but I remain a student of life with all the enthusiasm that entails. My favorite saying is, "Sometimes you have to take the leap and build your wings on the way down." In the new forty that is what I am doing...building my wings.
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One Response to Intelligence gathering…seriously.

  1. M. L. Kingsley says:

    The Bureau is far from alone in this; one encounters “Made in China” with just about every agency’s branded items — CIA, NSA, Pentagon, etc.;always seemed less than ideal to me, too, for various possible reasons; maybe it was considered that such items could so easily be mimicked that it didn’t matter, or that one might as well take advantage of cost savings? Who knows.

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