Explaining how the US Embassy works, from the top down

David Jones
Published: Wednesday, 06/09/2004 12:00 am EDT

Observers are prone to thinking of embassies as monoliths -- perhaps analogous to that in the seminal cinema 2001 from which a single truth is projected by a monolithic slab. Perhaps, however (belabouring the movie's plot development), they are more akin to HAL , the perfectly functioning computer­ until it runs awry. Not that we have "rogue embassies" running with their own agendas (and particularly not in Ottawa where Washington's Big Brothers and Sisters can apply instant corrective), but there are more glitches and disconnects than meet the outside eye.

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