During the Vietnam War, my part-time job was correspondent for the United States Information Agency (USIA), and one assignment portended today’s global power alignment.
The assignment was to interview ten ministers from various African nations to gain their impressions of a trip they were concluding in the United States. The article would be translated for their nation’s newspapers after review by Washington officials.
My recollection was a 500-word report to be sent Western Union to USIA headquarters (@ $1 a word). I was paid $30.
The ministers had gathered at International House, Chestnut St., Philadelphia, and some were dressed American-style and others were in native garb.
I introduced myself as a writer from USIA and then the room filled with shouts.
“You are not USIA! You are CIA…” Continue reading →