Monday, October 1, 2007

This is the end

Well folks, it appears that the State Department uncovered my true identity through their background investigation. My boss asked me very politely today to put the blog on ice and I have decided to honor his request.

To be honest, I hate the idea of self-censorship, but it looks like I have no way around it while I'm a Presidential Management Fellow. I can't have my (possibly controversial) personal views to undermine the credibility of the policy advice I will dispense over the next two years.

I never really imagined sticking with the civil service until retirement. This is just more of an incentive to explore all of my options when my PMF bid is up.

I don't know whether I will need to delete the blog entirely or just let it gather dust until I'm no longer a government official. For now, it will gather dust.

I'd like to end activity on this blog by giving an enormous 'thank you' to my readers. You are what made this blog worthwhile. I will miss our conversations and your always relevant input and criticism.

Update (10/3/2007): Thanks again for all of the support. You've encouraged me to talk to DS about keeping the blog, but refocusing it on my photoshoping and artwork. I can't let this creative outlet completely go to waste.

DISCLAIMER: The following posts represent only my personal views prior to October 1, 2007. They have no bearing on the advice may provide to current or future employers.


Arnold said...

I am now completely disappointed in the Secretary. I was willing to stick with her through what many considered was ineffectual handling of competing power centers in the national security system during the run up to the war in Iraq. I looked the other way when the U.S. transparently allowed Israel to have its way in its short lived conflict with Hezbollah. But this!?! Censorship of this blog?!? Where is Bolton when you need him?

Galrahn said...

Good luck sir, it has been a pleasure enjoying this blog and your insights.

Good luck to you as your journey continues.

J. said...

Dude - this completely sucks. I've valued your observations and activities. Don't be a stranger, stay in touch.

Trent said...

Really sad to see you go, your blog was one of my daily stops, but it's understandable.

Good luck with the new job. It's good to know the US government will be able to count on someone like you for advice.

I'll miss the photoshop-fu though!

Anonymous said...

You will be missed. GL! S!

Robot Economist said...

Oh you guys are making me all misty-eyed...

I won't be a stranger -- I think I can get away with commenting on other people's blogs, provided the comments are too incendiary. I might even be able to get away with photoshoping -- I've gotta keep the skills sharp somehow.

I'll be around guys, don't worry.

Anonymous said...

You know, they can't legally obligate you to stop blogging. And remember, once you're a fed, it's really really really hard to get rid of you. I say, stick with it. You provide great insight that is appreciated by a large community... It would be a shame to see you go due to some work-a-day S.O.B. that probably doesn't even know what a blog is!

Robot Economist said...

Mr. Anonymous -

Actually, I was initially offended because my boss said Diplomatic Security called it a 'blip' in my background check. I've taken great pains not to compromise classified or even controlled unclassified information on this blog. I know the folks in DS are being cautious, but that is a bit much.

Thankfully, my boss didn't put much stock in DS's view. He instead put it in the context of the policy process. I've essentially been hired to dispense advice and work actions for policy-makers. If they heard that I write about administration policy on the side, they might hesitate to be candid with me.

Again, I've never discussed policy deliberations on this blog, but my boss made a good point that I will paraphrase:

'We're here to prevent the spread of WMDs and, where possible, destroy existing WMDs. Ego, bureaucracy, and politics should come second.'

If there is one thing that has always worked on me, it is appeals to my sense of idealism.

Eli said...

Good luck in the future. Myself, I just got started in the game in the DC thinktank end of arms of control, maybe we'll run into each other one day. And the best thing is, we'll never know it.

Anonymous said...

This blog was part of my daily blog's sad to have to give it up for the near future!

Robot Economist said...

I really appreciate the support guys. You all are what made typing out my thoughts worthwhile.

Lao said...

Adios, Robot.

From Lao Tao Ren.