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 create a completely new identification for anyone, at any place, every time. Combining the crafty tips of a magician with the analytical perception of a psychologist, Mendez exhibits us how he helped hundreds of thousands of individuals break out in all probability deadly occasions.

From "Wild West" adventures in East Asia to chilly warfare intrigue in Moscow, Mendez used to be there. He earned the CIA's Intelligence superstar 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 exchange, venerated with the Trailblazer Award, and granted specific permission to inform his attention-grabbing story--all of it. the following he offers us a privileged examine what fairly occurs within the box and at the back of closed doorways on the maximum point of foreign espionage: a few of it stunning, scary, and wildly inventive--all of it unforgettable.

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Whilst the Communists left their lodge for dinner that night the neighborhood TOPS officer helped the case officials input their rooms and plant what he known as “compromising fabrics” within the men’s baggage. He was hoping Lao Customs on the airport might locate the incriminating files within the morning and deplane the boys, cancel their transit visas, and ship them again to Bangkok. regrettably the Lao officers have been too well mannered to invite the boys to open their luggage, they usually departed accurately for Hanoi. the 2 Communists back ten days later and have been booked on a flight to Bangkok the subsequent afternoon. The problem now dealing with the Station used to be to trap the questionable proof they might take to Stockholm. The Station had already alerted a small crew of neighborhood adolescents referred to as the Flying Squad to behavior surveillance on them and take hold of the facts, reporting that the 2 males consistently carried a denim shoulder bag. certain sufficient, a short yet thorough seek in their room published that the facts should have been within the bag, so Mark ordered the Flying Squad to grab it. That night, because the Communists strolled all the way down to a riverfront cafe, Squad individuals coasted by way of on a Honda motorcycle. one in every of them jumped off, grabbed the bag, and leaped again onto the motorbike. They roared away, and had virtually became a nook while one of many Communists shouted, “Stop, thief! ” A Royal Lao military lieutenant got here to the rescue, flattening the Flying Squad contributors, and retrieving the bag, which he proudly back to the thankful Communists. Our boys escaped within the confusion, however the Communists nonetheless had their invaluable facts. Mark had a fallback plan. He controlled to cancel the Communists’ airline reservations and buy each seat on the entire advertisement flights leaving Vientiane for Bangkok within the subsequent week. yet this proved futile in addition. The North Vietnamese embassy then prepared for the Communists to take the ferry around the Mekong to Nong Khai and commute at the in a single day educate to Bangkok. creative as ever, Mark became to the following contingency plan, procuring teach tickets for the Flying Squad individuals in a last-ditch attempt to grab the bag. at the same time, the Station implored its Thai contacts to have their customs specialists confiscate the 2 Communists’ baggage lengthy sufficient for us to ascertain it. Our officials defined that the lads have been Communist spies carrying out espionage operations in Thailand, and we'd supply reliable facts. Our declare appeared convincing to the Thais, who have been embroiled in a violent Communist insurgency of their northeastern hinterland. They swiftly put the 2 males below apartment arrest and allowed Mark’s crew to look their baggage, giving us simply twenty-four hours out of worry of retaliation from the men’s govt. What Mark chanced on made every little thing important. The fabrics incorporated a can of 16mm filmed statements from captured American pilots. those prisoners have been tortured into making fake confessions of college and health center bombings, in addition to different gruesome offenses.

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