The Good Spy: The Life and Death of Robert Ames

By Kai Bird

The sturdy Spy is Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer Kai Bird’s compelling portrait of the impressive lifestyles and loss of life of 1 of an important operatives in CIA heritage – a guy who, had he lived, may need helped heal the rift among Arabs and the West.
 
On April 18, 1983, a bomb exploded outdoor the yank Embassy in Beirut, killing sixty three people.  The assault was once a geopolitical turning aspect. It marked the start of Hezbollah as a political strength, yet much more vital, it eradicated America’s such a lot influential and potent intelligence officer within the heart East – CIA operative Robert Ames.  What set Ames except his friends was once his remarkable skill to shape deep, significant connections with key Arab intelligence figures. a few operatives trusted threats and subterfuge, yet Ames labored by way of development friendships and emphasizing shared values – by no means extra particularly than with Yasir Arafat’s charismatic intelligence leader and inheritor obvious Ali Hassan Salameh (aka “The purple Prince”). Ames’ deepening dating with Salameh held the potential of an enduring peace.  inside of many years, although, either males have been killed by way of assassins, and America’s family members with the Arab international started heading down a direction that culminated in Sept. 11, the conflict on Terror, and the present fog of mistrust.
 
Bird, who as a toddler lived within the Beirut Embassy and knew Ames as a neighbor whilst he was once twelve years previous, spent years studying The sturdy Spy.  Not merely does the ebook draw on hours of interviews with Ames’ widow, and rates from hundreds and hundreds of Ames’ deepest letters, it’s woven from interviews with rankings of present and previous American, Israeli, and Palestinian intelligence officials in addition to different avid gamers within the center East “Great Game.”
 
What emerges is a masterpiece-level narrative of the making of a CIA officer, a uniquely insightful historical past of twentieth-century clash within the heart East, and an soaking up hour-by-hour account of the Beirut Embassy bombing.  much more outstanding, fowl attracts on his reporter’s talents to bring a whole file at the bombers and disclose the surprising fact of the place the attack’s mastermind is living this day.

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However it was once a charade that the U. S. executive felt certain to perform regardless of Begin’s objections. The problem stretched on for weeks. Sharon saved threatening to invade West Beirut and the sprawling refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila. On August 1, 1982, Sharon escalated his attack, and a few fifty thousand Israeli artillery shells landed in West Beirut within the area of merely fourteen hours. 1000s of civilians have been loss of life. That day a reporter in Washington requested President Reagan, “Are you wasting persistence with Israel?

Yet he inspiration it is going to need to be whatever significant, whatever Ali Hassan could treasure. Ames knew Ali Hassan used to be not only a parlor progressive. He walked round with a pistol in a holster on his belt. So he got here up with the concept he may still provide Ali Hassan a superb American pistol. For this, he knew he must get authorization from Langley. Headquarters didn’t just like the proposal. This crossed a few invisible moral line. The supplier can have dealings with a terrorist, however it will be unseemly to make a present of a gun.

37 “If Ali Hassan had lived”: Sam Wyman, interview, November five, 2010. 38 “We misplaced an important diplomatic channel …”: Frank Anderson, interview, November four, 2010. 39 “A few weeks later”: Ibid. forty “When Mossad killed Ali Hassan”: Charles Allen, interview, December 21, 2012. forty-one “He was once terribly useful …”: Nasr, Arab and Israeli Terrorism, p. 109. forty two “It is a gigantic investment”: Yoram Hessel, interview, Tel Aviv, October 10, 2012. forty three “A behind the scenes touch …”: Meir Harel, interview, Tel Aviv, October 18, 2012.

Bankruptcy Ten: Jimmy Carter and Hostage the United States 1 “The assaults on our embassy in Iran”: Richard Helms, “We Believed in Our Work,” speech added on the Veterans of the OSS Dinner, Washington Hilton resort, Washington, DC, may perhaps 24, 1983, www. foia. cia. gov/​sites/​default/​files/​document_​conversions/​45/​we_​belv_​wrk. pdf. 2 Beheshti had lately defended Ghotbzadeh: Bowden, visitors of the Ayatollah, p. 250. three “This did things”: Dr. Thomas Braman to Jack Harmer, March 10, 1995, and Thomas Braman to Kevin Ames, July 27, 2000, courtesy of Yvonne Ames.

He most popular to spend his unfastened time both training his Arabic within the suq or doting on his women. * * * * a long time later, in spite of the fact that, a retired CIA officer claimed that Archie Roosevelt had recruited Abu stated as an agent within the past due Forties. This resource acknowledged that Abu stated was once assigned the cryptonym PENTAD. This used to be corroborated in 2010 while Abu Said’s son stated Aburish confided to the Norwegian journalist Karsten Tveit that his father had confessed to him that he had certainly been an agent of the CIA.

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