Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Surveillance by Akin Gump: How It Might Have Begun

From mid-September 1985 till late February 1988 I was worked as an agency-supplied temporary employee in the Computer Applications Department (CAD) of the law firm of Hogan & Hartson.  Two of my coworkers in the department were Craig W. Dye ("Blandon Broke" in the following creative piece) and Daniel D. Cutler ("Cadler" in the following creative piece).

In early 1987 there emerged a rumor in the department that I was a homosexual who was in love with Craig.  In about late July or early August 1987 I wrote the following creative piece about my interpersonal relations in the department.  In late May 1987, the previous supervisor (Sheryl Ferguson) was replaced by Miriam T. Chilton ("Mary Cheltenham" in the following creative piece).  During the spring of 1987 there also emerged a rumor that Craig Dye had embarked on a sexual relationship with the department's data base administrator (Espe Rebollar) in exchange for Rebollar's efforts in securing a job promotion for Craig.

Craig Dye had started working at Hogan on October 6, 1986.  From the time he was hired and for many months thereafter, he continued to maintain the fiction that he was waiting for a government security clearance; he used to say, "Once I get my security clearance I'm out of here" (or words to that effect).  He never did leave CAD, but was eventually promoted to the position of department manager, in which position he proved to be very successful; the position was a stepping stone to a very successful career.  Daniel Cutler later went on to law school (Seton Hall) in 1989.  He was a friend of Douglas Rosenfeld, Esq. a Hogan -- and later an Akin Gump -- associate.  Rosenfeld started working in the labor group at Akin Gump on March 13, 1989; his office adjoined that of David P. Callet, a senior attorney for the client Eastern Airlines.

In mid-October 1988 I wrote my autobiography, The Caliban Complex: An Attempt at Self-Analysis.  I sent a copy each to Daniel Cutler and Craig Dye at Hogan: and to a third Hogan employee, Michael J. Wilson (who went on to become a partner at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius).  Wilson worked in the CAD at Hogan while earning his law degree.  Another law student in the Department was Tom MacIsaac, who, like Wilson, attended Catholic University law school.  MacIsaac was later hired as an associate at Dechert, Price & Rhoades (Leonard Garment's old firm; Garment, President Nixon's White House counsel, was a friend of Bob Strauss).

I formed the unsubstantiated opinion (or paranoid belief) that either Cutler, Dye or Wilson forwarded a copy of my autobiography on to Akin Gump in late October 1988, where I had worked since early March 1988.  I also believe that either Cutler, Dye or Wilson forwarded to Akin Gump a copy of the following brief creative piece, which concerns a suspected communist who tries to infiltrate the FBI in the early 1950s.  Uncannily, in June 1991 I learned that after graduating law school in 1941, Akin Gump's founder, Bob Strauss, had become an FBI Special Agent, assigned to tracking down suspected communists in various regions of the country.  I read about that fact in early June 1991 in newspaper reports about President George H.W. Bush's nomination of Robert Strauss to the post of U.S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union.  Perhaps someone showed a copy of the following creative piece to Bob Strauss.  And the rest, as they say, is history.

Malice With Dignity

Scenario for Short Story

Scene: early 1950’s

Cadler was a middle level supervisory employee at the FBI. He was a 100% American with unquestioned loyalties to his country. The mere mention of the word communist was enough to make him see red. He was always on the lookout for suspected communists. Ordinarily he would have nothing to do with communists or persons suspected of communist leanings.

His associate at the Bureau was one Brandon Bloke (or as his Chinese friends in Taiwan simply called him, Blandon Broke 1/), another thorough going, dyed-in-the wool 2/ American. Bloke had an even more intense hatred of Communists and persons suspected of Communist sympathies. Bloke was a middle level employee at the Bureau, but was hoping to move up in the ranks. He was waiting for his security clearance, 3/ which would enable him to move on to a higher position within the Bureau. Because he was being investigated for his security clearance he was even more scrupulous than usual in avoiding persons suspected of having left-wing leanings since this would jeopardize his chances of advancement in the Bureau, and compromise his status with fellow agents (not to mention his position vis-a-vis the more politically-conservative Wahine 4/).

Enigman 5/ had applied for a position with the Bureau. He was an unknown quantity to everyone. No one knew about his background or his loyalties. Was he loyal to his country? Did he have left-leaning tendencies?  Was he in fact a communist? There were many rumors about Enigman. One rumor had it that he was really a Soviet agent who was trying to infiltrate the Bureau, that he was desperate to get a position with the Bureau simply to betray his country.

Bloke and Cadler decided on a plan of action. Cadler would get friendly with Enigman simply to find out more about his motives. Ordinarily, Cadler wouldn’t have anything to do with someone of such suspect political orientation was Enigman, but he could pretend to be friendly with someone like Enigman for the sake of Bureau and Country.  (Cadler would be acting out of a desire to protect his country 6/ and what it was meant to stand for).

As noted, little was known about Enigman, but what was known was not too promising. It was known that he liked opera--Russian opera (he had real pinko interests). He didn’t appear to have normal American interests, like a regular Joe (no one ever saw him eating apple pie).

There were other things known about Enigman, however. He was known to be a very bright fellow. Bloke knew that if he was in fact loyal to his country, Enigman might prove to be a valuable employee of the Bureau.

Then there was Mary Cheltenham, the alluring and nubile 7/ supervisor of the Bureau’s intelligence decoding operation. She monitored the situation surrounding Cadler, Bloke, and Enigman with interest. She too wanted to know more about Enigman.

So, Cadler, proceeded with the plan. He used to engage Enigman in conversation, always reporting back to Bloke what he had learned. Bloke used to pick Cadler’s brain about what was learned in Cadler’s conversations with Enigman to the point where Cadler’s brain started to look like Swiss cheese.

Enigman was no fool. He knew what was going on. He had formulated his own game plan. Enigman was different--but not a Communist. He seemed to derive some perverse pleasure out of playing along with Cadler--even going so far as to lead Cadler on to thinking he was interested in infiltrating the Bureau. Enigman would sit back and watch Cadler and Bloke draw their typical inferences and end up embarrassing themselves in front of Mary Cheltenham.

On one occasion, Enigman even rearranged his lunch schedule, just to lead Cadler and Bloke on--to make them believe he was interested in meeting with them to further his goal of getting a job with the Bureau.


(According to Freud, humor veils aggression, permitting the joke-teller, in Freud’s words, “to be malicious with dignity.”)

1/  Craig Dye in fact had spent some time in Taiwan, or so he claimed.  He mentioned that his foot was injured by shrapnel while he was in Taiwan.  Note that "foot fetishism" is a well-known sexual perversion.  In Wagner's opera Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg, the central character Hans Sachs is a shoemaker; the opera contains veiled sexual imagery relating to the foot.
2/  Around December 23, 1986 (my 33rd birthday) I dyed my hair, which was turning gray. I was feeling old. This contributed to a rumor in the Computer Applications Department at Hogan & Hartson, where I worked at the time, that I was a homosexual who was in love with Craig Dye and desperate to win his attention. In Thomas Mann's novella Death in Venice the aging character Gustav von Aschenbach dyes his hair to attract a young adolescent boy, Tadzio. Daniel Cutler, literati that he is, used to refer to Death in Venice -- which I saw as an allusion to my dying my hair to (supposedly) attract Craig Dye, who was 6 years younger than I.

3/  Coincidentally, in September 1982 I interviewed for a position as an operative with the CIA.  I was interviewed by an individual who identified himself as "Mr. Scott" in a hotel room in downtown Philadelphia.  Former President George H.W. Bush, a friend of Bob Strauss, had been CIA Director at one time.  Craig Dye had earned a masters degree in international relations from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

4/  On August 7, 1987 Craig Dye departed Washington, DC for a one-week vacation in Miami, Florida.  He wrote a memo to the supervisor Miriam Chilton giving formal notice of his vacation plans.  The memo was rife with sexual innuendo and explicit sexual references.  Craig referred to mixing with the local "Wahine."  Miriam Chilton told Craig firmly that she considered the memo to be unprofessional and offensive, and directed Craig to rewrite the memo.  Incidentally, Wahine can refer to a member of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa's ladies sports teams, the Rainbow Wahine.  Craig's mother was a physical education teacher.  See also entry for "August 7" in the following blog post.

5/ Enigman is the name I have given to myself.  It is derived from the word "enigma."  Schizoids typically fear that they are incapable of being understood by others: that they remain forever an enigma.  Also, Enigman, like the comic book character Superman, has mysterious origins.  Note the following significant association.  In a dream I titled "The Dream of Craig at Wanamakers" I included a YouTube video of a British Remembrance Sunday observance in which the piece Nimrod is performed by a British military band.  Nimrod is one of the Enigma Variations, written by the British composer, Sir Edward Elgar.  Nimrod was Elgar's private name for his closest male friend, A.J. Jaeger.

6/  "Protect his country and what it was meant to stand for" carries sexual overtones, if you'll pardon the expression.  Here, "country" symbolically refers to the penis and "stands for" refers to an erection.  The phrase "protect his country" refers symbolically to castration anxiety.  Incidentally, the Walter Langer psychological profile of Adolf Hitler prepared for the OSS in World War II interpreted Hitler's idealization of Germany as a displacement of his idealized feelings for his mother.  In this creative writing I seem to suggest that my feelings about the United States are a displacement of my phallic fantasies.

7/  In early 1987, while I worked at Hogan & Hartson, Elliot Mincberg, an attorney for the Milwaukee Public Schools desegregation litigation, held a luncheon to mark the completion of a phase of work in preparation for the trial that was held in the spring.  Elliott Mincberg referred to a female (I can't remember who it was).  I then used the word "nubile" to refer to the female.  My supervisor Sheryl Ferguson glared at me with contempt; she appeared to view my language as inappropriate and offensive.  Steven Routh was present at the luncheon.  I recall that the attorney Maree Sneed handed out souvenir red shirts for everyone involved in the project.  Compare my inappropriate sexual language with footnote 4 (above) that refers to Craig Dye's use of inappropriate sexual language.  Psychologically, Craig and I were like twin siblings in certain ways.


Gary Freedman said...

"Although Freedman may have honestly believed that everything that happened to him had sexual overtones, the nature of the evidence precludes a finding that the Department’s contrary conclusion was in any way arbitrary or capricious." Brief of Appellee District of Columbia, Freedman v. D.C. Dept. Human Rights, D.C.C.A. no. 96-CV-96 (Sept. 1, 1998).

In point of fact, sexual overtones can be pervasive -- it's just a matter of searching them out.

Gary Freedman said...

At the time I wrote this creative piece the Iran-Contra Hearings were ongoing in the U.S. Senate.

Oliver North was represented by Williams & Connolly partner, Brendan v. Sullivan: hence the name Blandon Bloke.


Gary Freedman said...

The creative piece I wrote in the summer of 1987 contains the following line:

"There were many rumors about Enigman. One rumor had it that he was really a Soviet agent who was trying to infiltrate the Bureau, that he was desperate to get a position with the Bureau simply to betray his country."

Oddly enough, the line parallels a passage from Hermann Hesse's novel Demian.

I didn't read Demian until the summer of 1988 so I had no knowledge of it. Quotations from Demian are featured prominently in my book Significant Moments.

Demian reads:

At any rate, many rumors were in circulation about the "new boy." If I could remember them all now, each one would throw some light on him and could be interpreted. I remember first that Demian's mother was reported to be wealthy and also, supposedly, neither she nor her son ever attended church. One story had it that they were Jewish but they might well have been secret Mohammedans.

Gary Freedman said...

On the background of Superman:

"The birth of Superman shows that no one, not even fictional characters, can escape their roots. In the case of the Man of Steel, those roots lay in the Golem's Clay.

This new hero was built of rugged stuff: he was based, in part, on the ancient myth of the Jewish golem folklore at a time when European Jews were fleeing mass extinction; he owed the narrative form of his tales to both the Gothic Romances of the land his creators families' had fled and the American monomyth, the promise of success in this new land earned through hard work and traveling the virtuous path regardless of the obstacles one must face; and he owed much of his final form to the tales of swashbuckling male heroic figures immortalized in contemporary pulps and adventure films.

He was the embodiment of the alien coming to a strange new land and becoming the savior of the lesser mortals. He was the perfect escapist male romance for post-depression, and apparently remained so for the next seventy years. He also reminded the reader that the social order must be protected. Even though he was omnipotent, he chose to defer to the laws and social mores of man, a lesser being. He was, or rather is, the Superman.

Although Jerry Seigel and Joe Shuster's new Character was All-American, like most of the American kids who grew up admiring him, his background was tied to the 'Melting Pot' streets of the Mid-West. More specifically, Cleveland, Ohio. This new hero was an immigrant who blended the best of the old world with the new narrative myths of America."