Hello, friends! What's new? Last night I watched the ball game and had a few drinks at a local bar. Nothing too out of the ordinary for me. Boy, what a day today, though—so slow! Might be nice to chat for a while, as friends, and just casually share some gossip, right? After all, I've been living here with you, blending in for, what, three years now? I'd say we've gained each other's trust. So, buddy, got anything on your mind? Any juicy, top-secret information you're dying to tell me?
I'm a really good listener.
You can share anything you want and I promise I won't tell another soul. I swear. It can be any kind of secret, but, honestly, the bigger the secret, the better I am at not revealing it to rival foreign parties who can use it to their own advantage! Sometimes, there's just something you need to get off your chest, be it a secret crush, an embarrassing moment, launch codes, or even your favorite guilty pleasure. It gets tough carrying all that confidential info around, so why not put it out there and let your good pal Dave from rural Idaho help handle the load? You'll feel so much relief once you air out those schematics to the Navy's new line of submarines.
I know I shouldn't gossip. It's terrible! But on days like this, it seems like trading state secrets is the only thing that can break up the monotony and reveal a potential breach in America's national defense, you know?
Come on. I know you've got some delicious tidbit about which coworkers are secretly dating, which ones are undercover operatives, and what their names, ranks, mission protocols, and current locations are! Just write it on a slip of paper or encrypted disk, place it in a watertight titanium tube, and drop it into the fish tank at the Peking Palace Restaurant in Hobart, Indiana.
It'll just be between you, me, the appropriate ministry, and the walls.
Look, if you're worried I'll judge you, don't be. I'm just a regular guy, and you'd be surprised how sympathetic I can be if the information you're offering is damning enough to the integrity of the CIA's clandestine overseas operations. Maybe you're having relationship troubles. I hear you. Sometimes the stress of holding all those top-secret oil pipeline plans for Uzbekistan deep inside can be overwhelming. Lay it on me. Or if you'd prefer to vent about someone else, that's okay, too! Tell me all about that high-level Pentagon official with socialist sympathies you just can't stand.
You know, if you're shy about this kind of thing, you don't even have to tell me. How about I try to guess what your state secret is, and you just tell me if I've got it? Then, it's like you didn't say anything at all. Is it cruise missile coordinates? Tax records? Information on weapon sales to Taiwan? Methods for undermining the security of military communications?
Am I getting warm?
Two friends as close as we are shouldn't keep these kinds of state secrets from each other. But if it makes you feel more comfortable, I can tell you one of mine first. Okay, here goes: I am incredibly reliable. Phew! What a relief. I don't know why I kept that to myself for so long instead of telling it to one of my fellow Americans. Now your turn. Tell me your deepest, darkest U.S. port vulnerability.
Don't let these compromising details in matters of national defense eat you up inside. Listen to your trustworthy pal, Dave, and send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. You know you want to. 鱼