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February 05, 2008

Dad's Secrets


The CIA is under renewed scrutiny this morning. Lawyers and judges in Denmark and Spain have announced their push for evidence that the CIA directed secret flights through their countries. It's suspected that these flights were used to transport suspected terrorists to prison at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.

Charlotte Dennett has faced the secrecy of the CIA up close. Her father was a high level spy for the OSS, the pre-cursor to the CIA, based in the Middle East. He was killed in a mysterious plane crash in 1947, when Charlotte was just a baby. Charlotte never knew much about him, but years later, she became curious enough to go into her family's attic and open up an old steamer trunk. She found four scrapbooks of his letters and photographs - and ever since, she has been on a quest to find out who her father really was, and what he did when he was a spy.

So far she knows her father's code name was "Carat." And that there has been talk that his plane was sabotaged. For Charlotte, the personal fight to get at the truth has become political - fighting to get her father's papers, even going so far as to file suit against the CIA, she feels that she is fighting for the democratic process itself.


Adewale Adewumi heard the story of first-time memoirist Harry Bernstein. Harry talked about the rift in his childhood between Jews and Christians. Adewale is a pastor and he sees a similar rift in his congregation between blacks and whites.

Adawale is Nigerian by birth, and he's just decided to get his American citizenship. Though he won't be able to vote in the primaries, he's been inspired by the energy of the current election season and believes it's his duty to enable himself to vote. As he tells Dick, people back in Nigeria have died trying to exercise their democratic right. There's no excuse not to participate here.


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