From the recent academy graduate to our most seasoned international agents/playboys/concert pianists (and part-time private instructors), every covert operative in each of the variously acronymed national defense agencies relies on the most advanced technology available to insure the success of given missions. Whether because of the enemies continued lagging (due no doubt to their inherent laziness and shiftiness of character) or because budgets must be liquidated before the close of the fiscal year, our nation’s spying and antispying units remain constantly updated and outfitted with the finest weapons, measures, devices, countermeasures, antidevices, and overcoats.
Some measures, however, play a more pivotal role in the mission profile—especially those of an undercover nature.
There is one weapon in the agent’s arsenal that overshadows the rest—a veritable spinnerbait in the tackle of espionage. No operative could carryout his duties (whether congressionally sanctioned or black op) without this most requisite of spying items. “The strongest knuckle in the fist of national security is the disguise kit, “says former CIA agent ######## Mc ###### . “When wanting to appear to be someone else, a new look is sometimes necessary. This new look proves most useful when the targeted individual doesn’t already look a lot like the operative in question.” According to Mc ###### , an operative wishing to impersonate someone else will have his appearance ‘alterred,’ such that he (the agent) and the target will look more ‘similar’ than before. “In most cases, we, the agency, (known in black ops as ‘The Agency*’) are able to produce a veritable twin, a copy if you will, of the target in question. An example of this, covered in some detail in Samuel Carter’s book, CIA, IOU! , took place in a period we will refer to (for security reasons) as the late 70’s.
A certain ruling family in an area referred to, euphemistically, as the United Arab Emirates was causing what we termed "trouble." In order to prevent the spread of this "trouble" to other "areas of interest" the agency scheduled a "soft intervention." To this end, the specialists "had to transform one of our boys into the exact likeness of a member of an ‘emir’s’ immediate family."
The agency identified two primary obstacles to the completion of Operation Daddy'sLittleMan. Both remained defiantly opposed to the interests our great nation despite repeated attempts to exhaust "noninterventative means" of resolving their resistance. First, the emir knew this particular member of his family like his own son, who he was. Second, the target was alive, well, and living in the royal household. The operative would have to infiltrate the target’s home, carry out the mission, and return safely while occupying the space similarly inhabited by his target. Passing one another in the halls of the palace seemed inevitable. No one was certain of the consequences of two sons appearing for dinner at the same time. While this would be even more difficult in smaller home, even the emir’s grand palace2, with its golden halls, foyers of emerald, and dining tables of not inconsiderable length, could not long hide identical copies of the most prominent son of an even more prominent family.
For the cutting edge minds at the agency, this mission was completed with precision and verve. After outfitting the agent, our Prince*, with the most advanced special effects, facial yoga, and alterative surgery, he was the mirror image of the actual prince. (footnote) The reader may be wondering, "How hard can it be? Just find an olive skinned guy, wrap him in some sheets and throw a turban on him." To the uninitiated, this seems a reasonable solution. However, the reality is more complicated as Mc##### explains,
|“We can’t just use any old turban. Those royal guys have special turbaneers in their employ. Most people think despots, monarchs, and all the other megolamaniacs out there waste their peoples' money on palaces, fountains, concubines, and airliners. Well, they do, but they spend even more on hats. This royal family turned out to be more extravagant than usual than we suspected. We invested months of surveillance just to determine whether the prince’s headpieces were made with a cross or keyhole stitch. Thanks to the research, turbans are now a well understood facet of the faux sub-shaw’s covert arsenal.”|
After placing the operative in position, in the palace, under the teary, aging, yet crystalline gaze of the shah, the agency had to address the multiple son dilemma (MSD). The prince, it turns out, had been on a brief tour of the surrounding oases, visiting caravans, spreading the good will of the shah, cavorting with the occasional Persian beauty, and carrying on in exactly the manner expected of a young prince. Upon his return, he fell ill. Our operative’s entrance coincided with this brief illness. The royal family was convinced (with the help of cleverly placed soothsayers, seers, and nomadic fortune dispensers) that the prince had contracted some desert virus whose symptoms included general queasiness, loss of appetite, and the spontaneous generation of a doppelganger. Fortunately for the mission, and the operatives, the prince’s condition remained for several days—long enough to install a network of doubles spanning multiple residences and providing intelligence for the better part of a year. So many agents, indistinguishable from the prince, were placed on the mission that groups of them were able to confer in plain sight, and at great length. This caused no great concern in the palace because the prince was a relatively modern fellow, and his family referred to these nests of princes as "proof that what is modern is not necessarily good." 1
The only flaw in mission was the inadvertent stress experienced by the prince himself. He was a sport about the twins in the beginning. Being no expert on sand-bourne pathogens, he was unconcerned about his likenesses strolling about the grounds. AS more of these gents began to appear, however, the prince took a more interactive role in his recovery. Hours-long chases through the spice gardens were not uncommon. One agent was attacked with a pole-arm while nuzzling one of the prince’s panthers. The great cat, unsure which prince to defend, assumed the blame lay within, and attacked himself. After a great and heroic struggle, the cat managed to dodge a particularly ferocious swipe and with a final mauling blow, wounded himself mortally.
1 In Arabic, this quote is an uproarious quip involving the term sechaim, meaning "recent" or "plentiful," and a pun arising from the words for "wise, or good--malcharah" and "noisy--ma'alcharah." The description can then be seen to possess multiple angles of comedic attack. The prince is modern ('recent,' and alternately, 'plentiful, or numerous'), so prior to translation, we see a single word, sechaim offering sly commentary on the prince's inexperience, youthful exuberance for his role as successor to his father's regime, and his recent multiplication. However, all things modern are not "good," whose partner in the lowest of all crimes is "noisy." The speaker is able to offer a two-pronged attack-- a surgical strike on the chatter of the multiple princes and a broader stroke against the notion of modernity, and its presumed "good."
2 Once the operation was underway, the operatives discovered the royal palace was the literal tippy-top of an underground complex of palaces. According to the press releases which were written, censored, and eventually planted in the offices of a troublesome senator ( later prosecuted for "anticollusion with a non-enemy "), the subterranean complex was
|Karen Weisheit of CNN's "Late-Night All-Day Morning Show" quoting the unnamed source of the original press non-release.|