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April 11, 2005

As Many As Three People Will Find This Typo Hilarious

One little known aspect of the cold war is the assistance the AFL-CIO gave the US government—particularly the CIA—overseas. Generally this meant the AFL would try to organize competitors to unions that were deemed too left-wing. But they sometimes did more than that; for instance, in Chile in the early seventies the AFL helped the CIA damage the Chilean economy. The hope was this would also damage the Allende government and create the conditions for a military coup, which it did. (Some background on this general issue is here.)

So, people in progressive labor circles used to jokingly refer to the "AFL-CIA." It's therefore funny that when Daniel Moynihan entered a 1989 NY Post op-ed about that year's Salvadoran elections in the Congressional Record, it included this apparent typo:

The 17-person election observer team of the AFL-CIA reported that "at approximately 8:30 in the morning, a truck carrying campesinos from La Prensa cooperative was attacked with machine-gun fire. Ten people were wounded, three gravely."

If you read the whole thing, you'll see exactly why the CIA liked the AFL-CIO.

Posted at April 11, 2005 06:40 AM | TrackBack

Link to the Moynihan screed is fuxored, Jonathan.

Posted by: Harry at April 11, 2005 08:02 AM

Thanks for the heads up. The link is now fixed, so do not deny yourself this Moynihanic pleasure.

Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at April 11, 2005 08:22 AM

Up till now, an American political figure I have at least somewhat had respect for for his frankness and pragmatism is Moynihan, cut him a little slack.

Posted by: En Ming Hee at April 11, 2005 10:04 AM

He's in Hell now, where he belongs, and those murderers he assisted who haven't made it there yet will eventually wind up with him. It's not like the same policies he supported then have any credibility now. Let bygones be bygones.

I urge Jonathan to stop digging up the worm eaten corpses of respected elder statesmen to prove some kind of "historical" point.

Posted by: Harry at April 11, 2005 10:13 AM
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