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By Antonio J. Mendez

Tony Mendez led lives. To his buddies, he used to be a soft-spoken, nondescript bureaucrat operating for the dep. of protection. To the leaders of the CIA, he used to be their grasp of disguise--an undisputed genius who may perhaps create a wholly new identification for anyone, wherever, every time. Combining the crafty tips of a magician with the analytical perception of a psychologist, Mendez exhibits us how he helped enormous quantities of individuals get away in all probability deadly occasions.

From "Wild West" adventures in East Asia to chilly struggle intrigue in Moscow, Mendez used to be there. He earned the CIA's Intelligence celebrity of Valor for his function in engineering the break out of six americans from Tehran in 1980. at the 50th anniversary of the CIA, he was once named one of many fifty all-time stars of the undercover agent alternate, commemorated with the Trailblazer Award, and granted specific permission to inform his interesting story--all of it. the following he offers us a privileged examine what rather occurs within the box and at the back of closed doorways on the optimum point of overseas espionage: a few of it surprising, scary, and wildly inventive--all of it unforgettable.

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In the Soviet Union, radio proclaims from, instead of to, an agent-in-place had fallen out of fashion via the Nineteen Seventies, and had, actually, by no means been thought of actually clandestine. Any spurious radio sign, irrespective of how short, may be monitored by means of counterintelligence radio direction-finding devices. If the agent persevered sending radio messages, his transmitter should be pinpointed by means of DF triangulation. To thwart detection, agent transmissions needed to be super short and short-range, originating from regularly transferring destinations. yet all agent radio communications entailed heightened probability simply because they required transmitters, code pads, web site diagrams, and different compromising undercover agent apparatus. mystery writing and microdots have been additionally very safe agent commo concepts with lengthy pedigrees. using invisible ink, beginning with goat’s milk on parchment and lemon juice on paper dated again 1000s of years. via the Nineteen Seventies, all significant intelligence providers had built cameras that can picture an entire web page of textual content and decrease it to the dimensions of the dot on a fine-type letter “i,” utilizing unfavorable suggestions in order that the dot itself seemed white opposed to a white paper history. Microdots may be glued to the flap of an envelope or pasted contained in the fringe of a postcard. even if this way of conversation used to be tremendous safe, being stuck with a microdot digital camera or different mystery writing gear used to be primarily an admission of espionage, a capital crime within the Soviet Union. All intelligence companies used either lifeless drops and hand and motor vehicle “tosses” to move actual items with no making direct touch among case officer and agent. In a “timed drop,” the cloth stayed down just for a delegated interval earlier than it was once retrieved on the way to hinder inadvertent discovery. even if probably safe, useless drops really threatened severe peril if antagonistic surveillance used to be either refined and vigilant. If the drop or toss was once detected and the location staked out, the agent may in all likelihood be compromised, rolled up, and interrogated. To be powerful, lifeless drops additionally required complicated and altering units of signs. To alert an agent that “the drop is loaded,” an officer may possibly make an easy chalk mark on a gentle publish alongside the path in most cases traveled by means of the agent. If the publish was once selected good, the officer might position his sign whereas in complete view of surveillance. Such indications themselves can be a kind of impersonal conversation, might be a solution to a definite query brought by way of one-way shortwave radio. In Moscow as in different places, it used to be a part of the case officer’s day-by-day paintings load and self-discipline to be regularly at the alert for solid drop and sign websites as a result of have to swap websites often and to rotate the stock. Overuse of web sites may possibly identify a suspicious trend. Case officials spent loads of time in the street, not just finding most likely websites yet rigorously surveying them for angles of procedure and visibility from various views. as soon as sign and drop websites have been selected, a great deal of notion went into the kind of packing containers to take advantage of in making drops and tosses.

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