Manuscripts/Mixed Material Interview with John R. Ratigan
RATIGAN: I started on the immigrant side. The first, they started me on the immigrant visa side because they had two FSN's. One had 26 years of experience and one who had 20 years experience. There was no way I could screw this up. So the first case, literally the first case I had, I am interviewing this woman who was married to an Iranian guy but he was in the States. So there were problems. The marriage between the two was a proxy marriage. Somebody stood in for the guy in the States. I was pouring over the file and asking questions and one thing or another. At one point, you know this young woman is sitting opposite me and was carrying a pencil. It drops on the floor. She reaches down to pick it up and stands up again. Her blouse was wide open from the waist ushe was holding it open. I just, I mean honest to God the first case I ever got. All I can remember I felt my ears were about to burn off. I just whipped my head to one side. I realized oh I can look in the file. You know I just found some reason to turn her down and escorted her back out of the office. And then I thought, now did those two FSN women out there, did they know this was going to happen? Did they decide to test me out with this first case? I have not resolved that question yet, but I mean I wouldn't be surprised.
Q: The first day, orientation.
RATIGAN: The first day, you know we are going to test this guy out and see where he comes down on this. Of course like two or three months later, the woman comes back for her re-interview having established whatever else she had to establish. She looked like she was going to choke on this blouse that was buttoned up so tight and went halfway up her neck.
Q: Did she get her visa that time?
RATIGAN: She did. So that was a very memorable introduction into the business.
Q: Then later you moved to the NIV side.
RATIGAN: I did. My office was right in front of a window. Anyway in the course of my time in NIV I had two death threats. I think the first one came in the first two or three months I was in NIV. The consular officers were allowed to go one by one with the consul general to attend staff meetings, the ambassador's staff meetings. So anyway I was there, and when the CG reported I had this death threat, and Richard Helms who was the ambassador at the time just looked at me and said, “Welcome to the club.” So the response of the embassy's security team was to move my desk away from the window, but not to stop interviewing in the office or anything else.
Q: Nothing affecting your movement or travel.