Thursday, January 10, 2008

Phil Agee Dead

My late father's college roommate has passed away, Phil Agee, Notre Dame Class of 1956 died in Cuba Monday night. Mr. Agee worked for the CIA after his graduation from Notre Dame until 1968, in 1975 his notorious book Inside the Company: CIA Diary was published. The book named names and was certainly responsible for harming American intelligence operations directly and indirectly. He was also likely responsible for the deaths of Americans. My father and another friend who sits (sat) on the Federal bench were part of his legal talent in the United States during the times when Mr. Agee was essentially persona non grata here. The linked Reuters article notes that Mr. Agee had his United States passport revoked in 1979 and while that is true it leaves the reader with the impression that the reason for the revocation was his CIA turncoat activities, it was not. Mr. Agee had his passport revoked by the Carter State Department because he injected himself into negotiations during the American Embassy hostage crisis in Iran. American citizens cannot negotiate for the United States Government, something that Senator Kerry and Jesse Jackson may want to take note of.

For years I lived in Wrigleyville and it was always an interesting place as far as political diversity goes. Twenty years ago if you wanted to talk to a Trotskyite, well he used to live down the street. How a bout a Maoist or Marxist or a Free-Range Vegan Stalinist Wiccan? Yep, had them too. We even had the international headquarters of the Woblies, the International Workers of the World union (each time I hit the Answer.com link for IWW I found Obama as the page sponsor) in the neighborhood. Well to feed all of the craziness in the neighborhood there was Revolution Books, a place in the basement of an apartment building at the corner of Sheffield and Cornelia that had 7 foot ceilings and was loaded with communist paperbacks, leaflets and Che posters. I Googled Revolution Books and came up with a place on Ashland, good grief. Well one day I was walking by Revolution Books while the proprietor was sitting outside in front of two tables of leftist books, walking by I stopped short spying a copy of Inside the Company on one of the tables. I picked it up, leafed through it and saw that he wanted $2 for the hardcover. Here was a book that had sat on a shelf in our home while I was growing up, I started the book once or twice and could never finish the thing, it was too dull. Here was that book that I told myself that I would finish someday knowing full well that it would be a chore. I gave the man two bucks.

The revolutionary proprietor asked me why I stopped for one book and such a then obscure book at that, so I told the guy the story about how Agee had been my dad's roommate at Notre Dame and how Dad still kept in touch with him. Actually Agee often contacted the Americans due to the nearly stateless limbo that he lived in until he moved to Cuba in the '80s. Well the revolutionary proprietor loved the story and told me to stop by again, which I did on occasion. When I wanted read some of the nonsense of Marx, Engels or their ilk; if you are having problems sleeping try Marx on property. Cheap paperbacks was the guys specialty and whenever I wanted to read the treatises of Marxists that were thrilling some of my neighbors, the Agee story always got me a better deal. Capitalism, you just have to love it.

Hat Tip: Little Green Footballs

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4 Comments:

OpenID aybayb said...

>>>
...We even had the international headquarters of the Woblies, the International Workers of the World union (each time I hit the Answer.com link for IWW I found Obama as the page sponsor) in the neighborhood.
>>>>

I couldn't find the IWW/Obama page. Did you mean answers.com or answer.net or answer.org? All I get when I try to find answer.com is an 'Error' message.

Help!

1:17 PM  
Blogger El Rider said...

Well I can see why you are having problems, the sponsorship is no longer there. Last night the sponsorship was on the IWW page that I linked to. I was surprised and somewhat humored upon seeing the sponsorship last night but I assumed that it was some sort of random ad purchased from Answer.com that landed on the IWW page. Before writing that line last night I checked the page on multiple computers running multiple operating systems and using multiple browsers. I found the sponsorship using my trusty MacBook running OSX Tiger, using both Safari and Firefox, I also found the sponsorship using my Compaq running an annoying Microsoft Vista while using Explorer and Firefox. It was up there for a while last night however today there is no similar sponsorship at all on that page. Thanks for the question, I will keep an eye on that page and some others.

3:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

IWW stands for the Industrial Workers of the World, not International Workers of the World.

10:52 PM  
Blogger El Rider said...

Yeh, my bad on the name. In my defense when I lived in Wrigleyville there were less than 100 Woblies worldwide. If there is any group that I should care about it certainly is not those loser commies. Thanks for the correction.

10:20 AM  

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