The Secret Ball's Other Policeman

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A journalist acquaintance of mine in Hungary attended the annual U.S. Marine Ball in Budapest, slapped a post-write and some pictures up on his website, and the next morning,

some regional security type sees it, demands that I black out all the faces in the photos, and then insists that I remove all photographic evidence of the event from the site. Worst of all, the security [official] singles out the harmless joke I had sugar-coated the otherwise Orwellian redaction with.

The result is here. It is true, at least from my limited experience, that Embassy Marines very rarely get to mix with the population of their host countries, and of course are potential targets everywhere.

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  1. First they came for the faggy, breathless social papers columnists, and I did not complain…

  2. Embassy Marines spend a large amount of time on duty in full view of the public. I’ve never heard of restrictions on publishing their photos.

  3. Kinda dumb rule… yes, they are in the public’s eye a lot, but not necessarily their names. I guess the fear is that it aids an intelligence service in creating their “dossiers” on embassy personnel. Plus it aids terrorists in the same. Both groups hoping to suborn security personnel. I believe the Embassy guards in Moscow (?) in the 1980’s had allegations of this sort of thing happening.

  4. Yes, this hits some sort of new low for stupidity, given that I’m sure there are a half-dozen or more intelligence agencies photographing everyone entering and exiting the building anyway.

  5. Sorry, Joe L. had not posted yet when I started typing my reply.

  6. Of course, the pics are still there, just no longer referenced in the HTML. Try going to http://www.pestiside.hu/archives and looking at the .jpegs there (HINT: they were modified November 9th, and begin w/ the letter ‘M’).

  7. Hey Nobody, what are you some kinda tree-huggin’, Kerry-vote’n pinko-commie terrorist supporter?

  8. Somehow I was under the impression the Marine pix would include more hot, decorative babe-age in them.

    However, I did enjoy the “no-sex-for-zita” and “playboy” series of jpegs, as well as the “easyjet” and “ezerbet-grant” images. The “haromharemlany” image needs to be bigger. And some of the “iguana” series — most conveniently perused by going to http://www.pestiside.hu/archives/2004_11.php and scrolling down to the Halloween pix — were interesting too.

    (Sorry … it’s so hard for me to stay focused on the oppression.)

    Maybe they should make the Marines wear ski-masks at all times, for even better security.

  9. Matt –

    I am not sure about rules of engagement with host country nationals in this current climate, but I was an Embassy Guard in Amman, Jordan and Paris, France from 1977-1979. We had no restrictions about fraternizing with the locals, just a rational set of security precautions to be aware of when we were outside the Embassy compounds.

    Semper Fi

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