My Encounter with Libyan Agents

It was 1986 and the US had recently attacked Libya in retaliation for the Berlin discotheque bombing and other mischief.  I was living In Tokyo, and at a social function for foreigners, I met two young men who worked at the Libyan Embassy.  We had an interesting conversation as I was more willing than most Americans to hear the Libyan side of the story.  Besides, I fancied myself an international man of intrigue whose associates included real live Libyan agentsBack home in the states, we didn’t have an embassy full of Libyan agents to befriend.

They wanted to talk more, and somehow convinced me to meet them at my home a few days later.  What was I thinking?  These were agents of a rogue state still smarting from an attack from my country, and I invite two of them into my apartment in a foreign country.  This was not the most sound decision.  Three American University of Beirut employees had already been killed in retaliation for the American strike.

When the Libyans arrived, I invited them in and they presented their case using a four page glossy pamphlet containing color photos of the damage that had been inflicted on their country.  One was a gruesome picture of a dead little girl who had been killed in the American air strike.  The Libyans told me the girl was Muammar Gaddafi’s daughter.  I offered my condolences.

As a result of the Libyan revolution, evidence has now surfaced that Hana Gaddafi did not die, but until recently was a powerful figure in the Libyan medical profession.  Those Libyan agents are good.  For 25 years they fooled everyone into thinking that a prominent doctor and jet setter was dead.  Now I don’t feel quite so gullible for inviting them into my apartment.

Anyway, the Libyans left without incident.  They were just the political version of missionaries who want into your home to press their case.  They gave me that pamphlet; I wish I still had it.


This article was originally published by John McGehee, Voom, Inc. under the CC BY 3.0 license.  Changes have been made.