Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Con Men

Think Madoff was a cool cookie!

Did you ever see the late movie based on the story of a young miner who showed up a at a tavern that was a community gathering place for coal miners in a small mining town in Pennsylvania in the late 1800's.

He was looking for work in the mine and a place to stay. A genial man bought him a drink and offered him room and board at his house.

The next day the host invited the young man to join along with his sons the trek to the the mine shaft. A word to the Foreman and the new man was hired.

Over weeks and months at the tavern and at home the discussion often revolved about the the lousy unsafe working conditions, the low pay, and the firing of workers on a whim.

Finally the stranger was invited to a meeting. A union was being formed. A strike was to be held and maintained until management met basic requirements.

The young man had earned his stripes as a miner and was invited to be on a steering committee planning the strike along with his host family.

He was also "keeping company" with the daughter of the house.

On the day of the strike a swarm of Pinkerton strike breakers appeared and swiftly arrested the ringleaders.

At their trial the interloper was not among them. In fact, now dressed as a Pinkerton agent he was testifying for the prosecution pointing out his supposed benefactors as the key parties in the strike plan.

They were meted out prison sentences.

He married the young lady, now there was a con-man, and moved to Colorado where he again went undercover at a mine.

Prior to the coup bringing Saddam Husein to power Iraq much as it is now was a political quagmire with governments rising and falling with predictable regularity.

An attempt at stability boiled down to four men the most likely was a wealthy merchant.

Several years before he had migrated, the scion of an influential family that had lived in Brazil for a few generations, he had opted to return to the land of his fore bearers.

As his investments increased and began to bear fruit, he also began to be accepted into the higher levels of Iraqi society and into the confidence of the movers and shakers of the country.

He could well have been the Iraqi head of state.

Unfortunately, Soviet military monitors were getting the evidence of a clandestine radio transmission.

To their astonishment the source was traced to the home of our guy. He was found in his attic making a routine report to Tel Aviv.

He was an Israeli Mossad officer on assignment.


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