Monday, June 21, 2010

Ready For Trouble, But Not Ready Now

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The current issue of State Magazine has an article on page 14 about our "trouble-ready" new embassy construction projects, in which the Office of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) tells anyone who can access the internet that it has built secure new facilities in some of the dodgiest places on Earth. And that's true. Good for them, way to go, keep it up, etc.

I was very surprised to learn from that publicly available source of information that a new consulate compound in Karachi, Pakistan, has been "completed." That's the word used in the text of the article:

"They worked through these obstacles to complete the new consulate compound, which includes a new office building and secure living quarters for employees."

And used again in the caption of a photo:

The new compound of the U.S. Consulate in Karachi was completed in the last 12 months.

And that's not all I learned. The article also says that new consular offices were built in Jerusalem. Again, in the text:

OBO "worked diligently to address the daily construction issues to complete the project."

And in the caption of a photo:

"New consular offices were built in Jerusalem."

So both of those new facilities are completed? As in finished, over, brought to an end, concluded?

I hate to quibble, but, has a VIP cut a ribbon and has the staff moved in? Are the buildings in operation? If I went to either place today, would I find a working consulate?

Granted that I am blogging anonymously, and so, for all anyone knows, I could be a 12-year-old living in Montana who has no knowledge of these matters whatsoever. However, I do not believe I would find an operating consulate in either place today, and it might be quite some time yet before I would.

I appreciate that glossy magazines like State have a long lead time for publication which makes it hard to time articles. But that article is jumping the gun by many months.

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