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The Masochistic Justiciar

Smithsonian Magazine has an interesting article about "The CIA Burglar Who Went Rogue."

The short version? Douglas Groat, a former Green Beret and police officer, became an elite CIA agent. After a mission got screwed up, Groat started complaining and trying to hold people accountable. He was warned to cut it out, but kept the pressure up. Eventually he was demoted, then fired.

At that point, he starts putting pressure on his former employer by leaking about a bug he'd planted to a foreign government. And he similarly kept pressure up, asking for $500,000 in severance sicne he'd lost his pension, retirement, and income after what had happened.

Now, here's the really interesting part.

The CIA actually offered Groat a contractor's position that would take him until his retirement, when he'd be eligible for his normal pension. They were offering him $300,000.

Sulla's Epitaph

Interesting guy, Sulla. His Wikipedia page gives you a starting point, but you can't really grasp Sulla from an objective point of view. He did a lot of things in his life, and made a lot of enemies, and a lot of friends.

At any given point, he'll do something really awful and seemingly incredibly self-centered and unjustified, and he'll seem like a real terrible human being

And then he'll turn around and do something really magnificent, brave, generous, honest, and selfless.

Hard to make sense of him. To really get a grasp of him, you need to look at him from a mix of perspectives -- from the perspective of Mithradates, the King of Pontus who fought against him in bitter struggle, from the Marian faction, from contemporaries and recent historians, and from people looking back through various ages.

One of the more interesting statements by him is his last words -- he wrote his own epitaph when he knew he was dying --

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