Sunday, January 20, 2008

Mole...It Isn't Just for Dinner Anymore

Part of my job at the bookstore is to read book reviews. It's a win-win situation in that I get to read the paper over coffee, appear in the know, and build my to-read list to the point of ridiculousness. Usually this is a pleasant enough task, but today I had the last filaments of shreds of hope torn asunder by Nathan Glazer's review in the New York Times of Hugh Wilford's book The Mighty Wurlitzer: How the CIA Played America. Not surprisingly, the CIA was sugar daddy to a number of so-called progressive organizations. Sadly, Gloria Steinem knew and didn't seem to mind:
A youthful Gloria Steinem had just spent a year and half in India, where, we are told, she befriended Indira Gandhi and the widow of the “revolutionary humanist” M. N. Roy, and had met a researcher who seems to have been a C.I.A. agent or contact. Attractive and progressive, Steinem was hired to run the I.S.I.[Independent Service for Information] and to recruit knowledgeable young Americans who could debate effectively with the Communist organizers of the festival, defending the United States against Communist criticism of segregation and other American failings.
The C.I.A.’s connections to the I.S.I. and a host of other organizations and publications was exposed in a storm of magazine and newspaper articles in 1967, and just about everything that had once been secret became public. Steinem stood up bravely: “I was happy to find some liberals in government in those days who were farsighted and cared enough to get Americans of all political views to the festival,” she told The New York Times. And to The Washington Post she said: “In my experience the agency was completely different from its image: it was liberal, nonviolent and honorable.”

Maybe that is naive youth speaking. I'll have to read the book to find out. Was everyone on the bloody take? Oh, and by the way, Gloria thinks we feminists should all vote for Hillary.
From the New York Times:
What worries me is that some women, perhaps especially younger ones, hope to deny or escape the sexual caste system; thus Iowa women over 50 and 60, who disproportionately supported Senator Clinton, proved once again that women are the one group that grows more radical with age.

This country can no longer afford to choose our leaders from a talent pool limited by sex, race, money, powerful fathers and paper degrees. It’s time to take equal pride in breaking all the barriers. We have to be able to say: “I’m supporting her because she’ll be a great president and because she’s a woman.”

What worries me that someone who thought the CIA was "liberal,non-violent, and honorable," wants us poor deluded non-Boomer women (who can't possibly think for ourselves) to vote for a dynasty. Sigh. I'll stop the rant before it starts.

I wonder how this would pair with Tim Weiner's Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA, which is also on my long list.

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