In a series of articles beginning on Oct. 2, 1966, I wrote about the long-forgotten history of the Liberty Tree. To call attention to how obscure the site had become, I interviewed waitresses at the Essex Delicatessen below the plaque on Washington Street. None knew what the Liberty Tree was.
Because of the terrorist threat, the FBI and CIA have become as important as the military in preserving our freedom. Yet while thanking our military is standard practice in American life, no one thinks of thanking the FBI, the CIA, or the rest of the intelligence community for keeping us safe since 9/11.
The media are always on the lookout for possible sightings of D.B. Cooper, the man who parachuted from a plane with $200,000 in ransom money in November 1971. But the truth is, the mystery man wearing dark sunglasses almost certainly died during the jump, according to the FBI agents on the case at the time.
Lacking a profit motive, workers in the government by and large have a different work ethic from those in private industry. When they could make one call, federal workers take a meeting. When they could find an answer on the Internet, they form a study committee. Instead of appointing one supervisor, they appoint five.