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Rats in the State Department: A 1968 Washington Post Story

This 1968 Washington Post article by Mike Causey is an amusing look at the rat problem in the State Department. Learn about the 'Rat Patrol East' and the 'GSA counter-rate team' tasked with dealing with the rodents!
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rats are gross
rats are gross

Yes … literally, not figuratively. This is an amusing article by Mike Causey of the Washington Post, published October 7th, 1968.

Despite some talk about cleaning up the mess in Washington, none of the candidates has yet promised to throw the rats out of the State Department.

The Foggy Bottom diplomacy factory has its share of rats who seem to think that life with the Government is one big coffee break.

But some employes have divided into hawk and dove cliques over the rodent problem. It is a change from Vietnam and other rises and, besides, it is closer to home. Somebody has called the situation “Rat Patrol East,” which is probably as good as any code name.

One faction is hoping to keep the rat war from escalating. It feels a two-man GSA peacekeeping force, bolstered by adult male local volunteers, can cope with the rodents. So far, the friendlies have dispatched two rats in this manner.

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The GSA counter-rate team is proud that it handled the explosive situation with conventional weapons. Armed with a light H-B-5LB-3 (Corn, Broom, Upright), and a 7920 (Mop, Floor, Cleaning) the team chased one rat through the cafeteria during a breakfast attack, and dispatched the brute before some 60 employes. there was a lot of squealing by some women workers, but not panic.

A more militant group at State feels that the rats must be stopped now before the Government gets bogged down in an unwanted ground war. They favor the use of tactical weapons–including chemical agents–until the cafeteria is declared completely under Government control.

Wow, this is great, and given the publication date, it is awkwardly humorous.

Department of State
Department of State
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Enjoy daily

Ghosts of DC stories.