The Master of Disguise: My Secret Life in the CIA

By Antonio J. Mendez

From the writer of Argo comes an unforgettable behind-the-scenes tale of espionage in motion. within the first ever memoir by means of a top-level operative to be licensed by means of the CIA, Antonio J. Mendez unearths the crafty tips and insights that helped keep countless numbers from lethal situations.

Adept at developing new identities for an individual, wherever, Mendez was once fascinated by operations around the world, from “Wild West” adventures in East Asia to chilly warfare intrigue in Moscow. In 1980, he orchestrated the break out of six americans from a hostage state of affairs in innovative Tehran, Iran. This striking operation encouraged the motion picture Argo, directed through and starring Ben Affleck.

The grasp of Disguise offers us a privileged examine what quite occurs on the optimum degrees of foreign espionage: within the box, undercover, and at the back of closed doors.

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While NESTOR had disappeared from the Soviet embassy, the KGB resident had pulled out the stops, flooding the airport and the entire educate stations with safeguard males. by means of the tip of that day, the SB had coated each bus station within the teeming capital. the subsequent morning, newspapers around the kingdom ran tales asserting the “disappearance below mysterious conditions” of a tender Soviet attaché. each one tale bore an outstanding picture of NESTOR. as a result defense state of affairs, all passengers leaving the rustic through air have been suggested to reconfirm their flight in individual twenty-four hours earlier than their departure at a neighborhood commute place of work. If this order used to be left out, the vacationer wouldn't seem at the flight show up and will be detained on the airport. basically, NESTOR’s defection had brought on essentially the most excessive and complete defense operations within the sleek background of this area. NESTOR used to be undaunted. while he arrived on the touch website within the port urban at the appointed day and hour, he displayed the correct acceptance signal—a rolled up reproduction of the days in his left hand—and used the parole, or code notice, “Igloo. ” The case officer used to be stunned by way of NESTOR’s visual appeal. The Soviet had turn into only one of millions of different mixed-blood or upper-class locals, wearing a flowing white Nehru blouse and a black lamb’s wool cap. It used to be effortless to work out how NESTOR had avoided the mixed KGB and SB look for the former ten days. The CIA base officials instantly whisked NESTOR to a secure condominium south of town. They then despatched cables inquiring for Jacob to collect a staff and arrive “soonest” to assist mount a dicy yet very important exfiltration operation. in the course of NESTOR’s preliminary debriefing at this secure condo, it grew to become transparent what a in all probability very important defector he was once. even though purely in his thirties, he had spent such a lot of his lifestyles within the KGB. Coming from a well-established “Chekist” kin with roots some distance again within the Soviet safety providers, NESTOR used to be the 1st defector from the gang that the CIA’s Soviet-East eu department had dubbed the “Junior KGB. ” less than aliases, NESTOR had spent a few of his teenage years because the “son” of a Soviet embassy connecté in London, after which a number of extra years because the nephew of a GRU (military intelligence) officer in Washington, attending Bethesda-Chevy Chase highschool. He for this reason spoke either British and American English with out an accessory. again in Moscow, he attended KGB institutes, rising with complex levels in Asian languages, together with Hindi and Urdu. He used to be on his moment travel on the residentura while he defected. For the CIA, NESTOR represented a treasure trove of data. not just might he determine the full new release of “juniors” being expert for abroad assignments, yet he can also provide us a digital “wiring diagram” of the KGB’s massive Afghan, Sri Lankan, Indian, Pakistani, and Burmese espionage operations. eventually, prior to leaving the embassy, he had accrued a pleasant sampling of categorised messages and code-pad fabrics that may preserve the pc wizards on the nationwide safeguard service provider busy for years.

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