# In times of crisis, I am priceless

In times of crisis,

I am priceless.

I’m illegal, yet permissible.

Enemies call me despicable..

But what is my profession?

That is the question.

Concealed among bureaucrats,

Researchers and scholars affected,

My identity I hide,

but with you I confide.

Or have I left you eyeless,

With my politeness?

You may be

a spy

In times of crisis,
I am priceless.


Getting inside information is invaluable, particularly in times of war or conflict.

I’m illegal, yet permissible.


Not legal, but pretty much everyone does it and it’s more or less accepted as part of statecraft

Enemies call me despicable..


Yup. Treasonous even, sometimes.

But what is my profession? That is the question.

A spy

Concealed among bureaucrats,


Spies are often under diplomatic immunity in these types of positions to help them get in and out of their posts easier

Researchers and scholars affected,


Technical areas are often the subject of espionage, particularly corporate espionage

distrust spreads, disconnected.
My identity I hide,


Yup

but with you I confide.


Spies report the confidential information they’ve obtained to their handlers

Or have I left you eyeless,
With my politeness?


Not sure here. Perhaps a play on “I spy with my little eye”, or more likely a reference to double agents

I think you are

BLACK GOLD (also known as petroleum)

My identity I hide,
but with you I confide.
Or have I left you eyeless,
With my politeness?

These lines clue ignoring lines with the letter 'I' ("I hide"), where the clue may include the letter 'U' ("with you I confide") The lines that fit this criterion are "Concealed among bureaucrats," and "Researchers and scholars affected,". Only the former line contains the letter U, and we see that Au (the chemical symbol for gold) is hidden in bureaucrats. Therefore, the first step is "gold".

Next,

We find an attribute of the answer, in the line "I’m illegal, yet permissible." This sounds like a black market (can be an illegal traffic of legal yet scarce goods). Thus, the second step is the attribute "black". Combining the two first steps, we get the answer, "black gold".

In times of crisis,
I am priceless.

Literal crises, as in oil wars

I’m illegal, yet permissible.

Petroleum tends to have destabilizing effects on lawful order, despite being legal to use in many aspects of everyday life.

Enemies call me despicable..

Climate change activists may agree about the deleterious/despicable effects of petroleum on the environment.

But what is my profession? That is the question.

The associated profession for petroleum is a petroleum engineer.

Concealed among bureaucrats,

People associated with petroleum are involved in influencing government policy (interacting with bureaucrats/diplomats) through lobbying.

Researchers and scholars affected,

Conflicts over the legitimacy/relevance of climate science have erupted around the effects of using petroleum and other fossil fuels. These conflicts can be very divisive ("disconnected") and spread distrust.

My identity I hide,
but with you I confide.
Or have I left you eyeless,
With my politeness?

Petroleum itself is hidden deep underground/underwater, in most cases. If you "confide" in someone, you trust them a lot, which could refer to Rockefeller's Standard Oil Trust. The "eyeless" line might relate to eyeless shrimp after the BP oil spill. Furthermore, "polite" behavior could be said to be "refined", in reference to refined petroleum products.

My guess is kind of a long shot, but here goes nothing:

The truth

In times of crisis,
I am priceless.


In an emergency, knowing the facts can be invaluable.

I’m illegal, yet permissible.
Enemies call me despicable..


In some places, telling the truth can get you arrested, but people do anyway. Enemies of the truth will call them lies.

But what is my profession?
That is the question.


Maybe another way of asking what is the true answer of this riddle?

Concealed among bureaucrats,


Bureaucrats and politicians can be know for sometimes hiding the truth.

Researchers and scholars affected,


Researchers and scholars spend their lives seeking truths. If the truth is disconnected from what is said, then it generates distrust.

My identity I hide,
but with you I confide.


The truth can sometimes be hidden and you need to seek it. Confessions are a revelation of the truth.

Or have I left you eyeless,
With my politeness?


Could mean people can be "blind" to the truth, and especially when the truth is something blunt or harsh. The "politeness" part could possibly be implying "With my (lack of) politeness".