This has to be the most bizarre diplomatic crisis ever. A CIA station chief in Algeria is being investigated for drugging and raping Algerian women. According to news reports, he even made video recordings of the beastly affairs.
Observers are worrying this will reinforce the "Ugly American" image, but there's one yet more surreal detail that might complicate the discussion a bit. According to news reports, the guy's a convert to Islam, though presumably not a terribly practicing one given his alleged M.O. of serving alcoholic drinks spiked with "Rufy"-type drugs to women at his parties.
So much for him being a bridge between cultures. [You know the Firm will be sending a Mormon next time around!*]
Western men on the prowl in developing countries with money and prestigious jobs don't exactly have a lot of trouble getting dates. And if they're too impatient for such inconvenient formalities, buying sex is easy and (by American standards) quite cheap, thanks to global poverty.
Why in the world would someone in such a position resort to such shockingly predatory behavior? If the allegations are true, there must be some serious mental problems at work, as this is beyond irrational and self-destructive.
To say that life is stranger than fiction seems a heck of an understatement.
* I'm referring to how overrepresented Mormons are in US intelligence agencies due to the mix of upbringing (clean cut, patriotic, conservative) and life experience (missionary work, often abroad). Take the politico-cultural profile of a guy who grew up on a corn field in "Real America" and add a few years of international experience and perhaps even foreign language competence that most guys who grew up on corn fields by definition lack–namely significant experience interacting with people from other cultures–and you can see why these agencies are keen about these young men. Many of the advantages of a Peace Corps type without the (to the Man) inconvenient leftist politics or tiersmondiste leanings. [No offense intended to Mormons--I'm obviously generalizing.]
Since there are a lot of conspiracy theories about Mormons circulating, especially among American evangelicals, I should note that I'm not endorsing any theories of Mormon cabals (though the LDS Church clearly wields a lot of influence, as proponents of gay marriage–which the Mormon Church adamantly opposes–have discovered across the country).
The reasons for Mormons' relatively greater representation in intelligence and law enforcement are no more the result of a sinister conspiracy than the fact that a higher percentage of American Jews are lawyers is. Or the higher high percentage of Arab Americans being shop keepers. It's an unsuprising result of demographics trends, socio-cultural circumstances and the values that are transmitted from generation to generation.
Having said that, it's hard to find MSM sources online that discuss this–I suspect that his is more the result of MSM caution about fanning anti-LDS prejudices–so the following quotes from sites whose professionalism I cannot vouch for are merely intended to illustrate the prevalence of this perception.
From a published review of a book by a critic of Mormonism:
Interesting observations in a book review on an atheist website:
biographers. A disproportionately high number of Mormons in the ranks of the Central Intelligence Agency has been noted as well. (Some contend that Mormon agents in the field do not function well in the fleshpots and back alleys of foreign countries where much intelligence and blackmail material is gathered.)
The Mormon church is "establishment," with a strong streak of conservatism. The church opposes homosexuality, abortion, and courts the political conservatives of the
From an article on George Bush, Jr.'s alleged ties to the Mormon Church in a (seemingly credible) New Zealand newsite:
I did uncover one MSM discussion (and in none other than Salt Lake City's Deseret Times, of all things) that seems to document the point about Mormons being sought after within the intelligence community.
Concerning Brigham Young University in Idaho–the heartland of Mormonism in America–the article observes:
It helps that many of BYU's students are former LDS missionaries who served overseas, but the level of proficiency necessary to be a U.N. translator or CIA analyst is beyond the capabilities of returned missionaries.
Thus ends the most irrelevant tangent yet.