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The Master of Disguise: My Secret Life in the CIA

By Antonio J. Mendez

Tony Mendez led lives. To his neighbors, he was once a soft-spoken, nondescript bureaucrat operating for the dept of safety. To the leaders of the CIA, he used to be their grasp of disguise--an undisputed genius who may perhaps create a completely new id for anyone, anyplace, every time. Combining the crafty tips of a magician with the analytical perception of a psychologist, Mendez indicates us how he helped hundreds and hundreds of individuals break out possibly deadly occasions.

From "Wild West" adventures in East Asia to chilly struggle intrigue in Moscow, Mendez was once there. He earned the CIA's Intelligence megastar of Valor for his position in engineering the get away of six american citizens from Tehran in 1980. at the 50th anniversary of the CIA, he was once named one of many fifty all-time stars of the secret agent alternate, commemorated with the Trailblazer Award, and granted specific permission to inform his attention-grabbing story--all of it. right here he supplies us a privileged examine what relatively occurs within the box and in the back of closed doorways on the maximum point of foreign espionage: a few of it surprising, scary, and wildly inventive--all of it unforgettable.

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Rule One,” Jacques acknowledged, tapping the memo. “Assume each Soviet you stumble upon is attached to a bigger surveillance equipment. This contains the ladies shoveling snow within the wintry weather and the man promoting ice cream in Gorky Park. The ticket-taker on the zoo experiences to the KGB. The bartenders in each hard-currency bar and eating place are at the payroll of the 7th leader Directorate. part the taxis during this a part of the town are pushed by way of their males. ” “In short,” invoice extra, “we suppose consistent surveillance. ” This saturation point of surveillance, which some distance passed whatever Western intelligence providers tried of their personal democratic societies, had drastically restricted CIA operations in Moscow for many years. The KGB constantly made a concerted attempt to spot any business enterprise case officer assigned to Moscow, then stored him and his relatives less than tight surveillance all through their whole travel. This severe point of antagonistic scrutiny was once particular, even for the Soviet bloc. a talented officer working in Prague, Budapest, or Warsaw, for instance, may possibly use smart tradecraft to slide his surveillance periodically for safe conferences with vital resources. yet stipulations have been so tight in Moscow, invoice and Jacques defined, that such conferences have been infrequent; an officer may by no means carry one in the course of his whole two-year travel. notwithstanding, corporation case officials in Moscow have been nonetheless anticipated to accomplish an important responsibility of clandestine espionage operations: safe and well timed conversation with agents-in-place. the 2 station officials reviewed for us the clandestine agent communications plans they'd devised to maintain channels open to their resources in this kind of antagonistic zone. “We need to spend each waking second engaged on those problems,” Jacques acknowledged. “Everything we do open air our residences and, those places of work is aimed at agent verbal exchange. ” “I haven’t taken an unplanned walk in the street or had a pleasant tennis fit for nearly years,” invoice conceded. each time he was once outdoor the “sanctuary” of the yank challenge, he was once always at paintings, attempting to triumph over inevitable threats to our agent pipelines by means of enjoying brain video games with the a long way greater forces of the KGB. Turning again to the memo, Jacques defined the elemental constitution and reputed modus operandi of the 7th leader Directorate’s road surveillance groups. as soon as assigned to a suspected overseas intelligence officer, a devoted group centred their whole realization on that individual, twenty-four hours an afternoon. choosing senior CIA officials used to be occasionally made more straightforward by means of the service provider and nation Department’s perform of giving them quite senior diplomatic hide jobs so they had believable purposes to go to numerous Soviet govt workplaces, assembly and assessing capability Soviet reliable goals at the diplomatic social circuit to boot. Devoting around-the-clock surveillance to an officer who was once in simple terms suspected of espionage used to be now not easily an extravagance for the KGB: They understood the immeasurable damage to the Soviet Union that an efficient secret agent may well inflict.

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