Rich Galen

Text documents take up very little space. The average MULLINGS column (about 750 words) uses about 90 kilobytes. The flash drive on which I keep my MULLINGS docs has a capacity of 32 gigabytes - 32 billion bytes of data. That means I could keep more than 350,000 MULLINGS columns on that one drive. Using inexpensive compression software, I could probably double that to about 750,000 documents.

Someone intent on stealing documents could easily plug in a flash drive, and download everything from the State Department's folders. A 1993 GAO report estimated there were more than 3 million people who had the appropriate clearance to access the SIPRNET. That was eight years before 9/11 so one could assume that number has at least doubled.

All it takes is one person, bent on doing harm, to download and share hundreds of thousands of documents. It appears a Private First Class sitting in an office 40 miles north of Baghdad may have been that person.

New Topic:

If you've watched television for more three minutes since Thanksgiving, you've seen and heard the new UPS "That's Logistics" commercial.

The song sounded familiar, very much like a 50's hit by Dean Martin. Thinking about that reminded me of one of my very favorite high school stunts:

Our social studies teacher was discussing how different people developed different cultures and different mores (pronounced "MORE-aze"). He asked if anyone knew what a "more" was.

I raised my hand, was called upon, stood up in the aisle, in full voce, and with fists pumping the air I sang:

"When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's amore!"

I was, of course, dismissed from class, sent to the main office where I took my assigned seat on the vice principal's naughty bench, received a week's detention and a stern talking to.

It's my favorite exploit because of its spontaneity. Still makes me smile.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at