All in Spooks

Colonel Otto Skorzeny

Here is a man who the allies sure would have liked to have on their side. He was a qualified engineer, and an inventive and skillful strategic planner and operator who was animated by incredible courage and audacity. He was a born black ops commando. And he was an Obersturmbannführer SS...

Unlikely hero of the French Résistance

This story started in the bad old days at the beginning of the twentieth century. Women had yet to become more than second class citizens. Blacks lived under the Jim Crow laws that enforced apartheid and would until 1965. Blacks were very often lynched for no good reason. Also, …

Iron Felix

Felix Edmundovich Dzerzhinsky was the ardently Catholic scion of an aristocratic Polish-Lithuanian family, who wanted to become a Jesuit priest. Instead, he became known as Iron Felix, the head of the infamous Cheka Soviet secret police and then the …

Fair game - Updated

Valerie Plame was a CIA agent, working covertly under non-official cover (NOC), a most dangerous occupation. Because her husband, a diplomat, revealed that the whole yellowcake story was …

Sleeper or Flatliner?

… as well trained as we can presume her to be, Moscow chose to send her in as a Russian national emigrating to the West. Hiding in plain sight, as one might say. She married a British man to acquire the surname Chapman. One can only attempt to guess how …

Schindler made a list!

John R. Schindler was a professor of strategy at the Naval War College and a former NSA intelligence analyst and counterintelligence officer. A polyglot, he has written widely on issues of espionage, terrorism, and military history. He wrote three books and …

Smoke and Mirrors

If Reilly had been the only prototype for James Bond, there is no doubt Bond would have been a very bad guy indeed. Euphemisms like removal or targeted killing didn’t exist back in …

John Le Carré

Celebrated author John le Carré, (real name David John Moore Cornwell), who in the nineteen sixties and seventies came to proeminence with his bestsellers The Spy Who Came in from the Cold and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, had the dubious honor of having been blown by the infamous Cambridge Five who spied for the Soviets. 

The Man with the Perfect Gun

In his early novels, Ian Fleming gave James Bond a very small .25 caliber Beretta pistol, even though an experienced spook like Fleming should have known better. Then, a friend of his who happened to be an arms expert, pointed out to him that Bond's Beretta, as a self-defence and assassination weapon, was …

From Cuban Immigrant to Paisan

Not all spies are of the Bond kind. This spy became something of the “Don” kind. Garcia is a son of Cuban immigrants who fled to the US from Castro’s regime. He's a big guy averaging about 375 pounds, with an enormous personality and sterling self confidence, incredible

A Secret Recipe

This brings us to Julia Child, and another interesting and atypical carreer. Before she taught everyone how to whip up a nice béarnaise sauce, this tall, imposing woman with the deep …