Authors: Haggai Carmon
In 1985 I received a recommendation to hire Haggai Carmon, a well-known and skillful Israeli attorney. At the time, as the Director of the Office of Foreign Litigation in the Civil Division of the Department of Justice, I was responsible for the worldwide defense of lawsuits against the United States and for finding private lawyers to protect the U.S. interests.
I had reason to be glad I picked Haggai. In our Israeli litigation he was hard to beat - winning all cases for the U.S. government. From the beginning, Haggai and I developed a special relationship. As soon as the case was filed, he was full of ideas and ready to develop the best strategy in our defense. I quickly realized that Haggai had additional expertise in the
field that would prove to be of great benefit to the U.S. government.
The money laundering work I asked Haggai to do was new to me and I believe for the U.S. government as well. And the scope of the work was indeed global in nature – we had reports of stolen funds in many different countries. He was given a relatively free rein to do his work with several general restrictions: 1) don’t do anything to embarrass the U.S; and 2) comply with the laws of the foreign country you are working in. I never heard complaints about Haggai’s work internationally and I never had reason to doubt that he was operating within the law of the country where he was working. He was commended for his recovery efforts by a number of federal agencies including the Postal Inspection Service, IRS, and from a number of U.S. Attorney’s offices throughout the country.
Somewhere along the line, I realized that his investigations were providing great material for thriller espionage novels. I looked forward with great anticipation to reading every report he submitted to the office. You can see from his four novels, how successfully he accomplished his work. To me, the best feature of his books is that you are reading true to life accounts written by a professional who knows how to give the reader a
feeling and authentic description of how undercover agents do their work – and what is really happening behind the scenes.
Haggai once told me that “white collar criminals are different from robbers and burglars who want cash to hide their criminal behavior. White collar criminals want their activity to look legal, so they leave a paper trail. Somewhere along that trail, they are bound to make a mistake, and I’ll be waiting there to catch them.” And we, the readers, are excited to learn about his latest adventures.
A Dan Gordon
To my family
by Haggai Carmon
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
For information about permission to reproduce
from this book, write to:
, 767 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10017
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Defection Games: a Dan Gordon intelligence thriller /
Haggai Carmon. —
. Espionage — Fiction.
. Nuclear bombs — Fiction.
. Government investigators — Fiction. I. Title.
Although this book was inspired by the author’s work
the U.S. Department of Justice and other federal agencies
in foreign intelligence gathering
is not an autobiography, but rather a work of fiction. Apart from historical events,
names, characters, personal history, and events described in this
have never existed and are purely works of fiction.
ther thrillers by Haggai Carmon in the
Dan Gordon Intelligence Thriller®
THE RED SYNDROME
THE CHAMELEON CONSPIRACY
TRIANGLE OF DECEPTION
December 2, 2006, Agarak, Armenia
A chill mist blurred my view, mist with freezing showers. They obscured the figure approaching me from 100 yards or so down the hill. He pushed through some thorny bushes, and looked around. Nervously, I glanced at my wristwatch. It was nearly sundown, not that I could tell from the thick, leaden coating of sky.
I was two miles from Agarak, a small town on the left bank of the Araks River, on the Armenian side of Armenia’s border with Iran. More than misty weather blurred my vision. Blood oozed from the crease where a bullet had grazed my skull, its thick red drops mingling with the rain and dripping through my eyebrows, though I wiped at it with my sleeve, and burning my eyes. The pain wasn’t helping, either. Had I been a few inches taller than my 6’4”, or the bullet a few inches lower, I’d be dead with it right between my eyes.
I waved my hand at the man, palm toward him. I even risked calling, “I’m here,” in his direction, but not too loudly
—“It’s an oxymoron, you moron”--
said the little devil inside me.
Some people hear voices. Some see invisible people. Others have no imagination whatsoever. I hear a little devil.
I’d survived the
shooters’ first attempt, and though I might not be as lucky the second time, if I had to go I was going take a few of them with me. I had the will, the anger, and enough ammunition to make it happen: I’d learned a thing or two in my three-year stint in the Israeli Mossad, and in Israel’s Special Forces before that. I wasn’t too concerned that my attackers would re-emerge from wherever they were holed up, waiting for me to move, and finish the job they were probably ordered to do: kill me and the man who came to meet me, never mind who dies first, as long as we both die today. “
Hey, hold your horses,”
ordered my inner devil
, “Who says both of you should die? Maybe the bullets were meant only for you? Consider your options.”
Maybe they would re-emerge, maybe they wouldn’t. Should I retreat? Run away? Never. Not yours truly.
As the man came closer, I could make out his thick mustache. He was limping on his left leg. I wondered if a bullet had got him, too. The CIA operational brief hadn’t mentioned any physical disability.
He continued slowly but steadily toward me. He was in khaki military gear, black boots, and black
rimmed glasses. He looked younger than 53, his listed age in the CIA fact sheet. Serving for almost twenty-five years in the Iranian Revolutionary Guards had given him a soldier’s upright poise, even when he was on the
run. He came closer, but so did a sudden, short barrage of bullets pounding over my head, just when I thought that the pursuers had given up on us. I ducked to the ground, taking cover under the nearest scrubby bushes. The man couldn’t be more than a fifty yards away
ipped my Para Micro-Uzi submachine gun and looked around to identify the source of the fire. I knew I could return hellfire. This little toy, only 3.3 pounds and 19 inches long, was designed in Israel especially for counterterrorism activities. It could fire 1,250 rounds in one minute. However, the Micro-Uzi’s range effectiveness was only 100 feet. That means that you must be close, very close. Oh, yes, you must also be brave, because at that range you still don’t know what kinds of weapons your enemy carries. While you must be less than 100 feet away to hit him, a gun with an effective range of 300 feet can hit you. You’d be dead on the ground before your bullets got a third of the way towards your enemy, wasting their short lives for nothing.
“This is Orange. I’ve just been under fire and took cover. I saw Tango about 50 yards away, but no contact yet,” I reported to the command post. My handheld device’s AES 256 key length encryption automatically scrambled all communications. NSA had
approved that symmetric key cryptography for top-secret communication. Although I could rely on it, as an added precaution, I also used code words.
“Report location,” came the response.
How the fuck should I know? I was in a remote point on earth, 6,000 feet or more above sea level, huddled on the ground with the Uzi in my left hand and the handheld in my right, barely hidden by a pair of scrubby bushes. The land was arid; it was now night, blade-cold, and, arid land or no, it was pouring rain. My GPS navigation gear had stopped working, probably because of the massive, sharp-edged mountain slopes around me, and any minute the barrage could start again. What else could go wrong?
Sheltering my hand-held GPS from the rain with my body, I tried to reactivate its personal locater beacon. The internal GPS receiver signal was, I hoped, re-acquiring my position and transmitting it through the SARSAT satellites to HQ.
When the GPS stayed dead, and rain mixed with blood ran into my mouth, I yielded to the whining question that my inner little devil kept asking, “
How did you get yourself into this mess
?” The truth was, I
had to be there.
Sense of mission and tenacity—those I had in spades.
So, who the hell had been firing at us? The Armenians?
Unlikely, because the shooting seemed to come from the Iranian side of the twisting river.
If Iranian border patrol guards were shooting, there’d been a serious breach of security. However, without identifying the shooters, we wouldn’t know if Iranians were pursuing the man I had come to pick up. If they were, that was bad, bad news. It was bad, bad news as well if an Armenian border patrol was in fact shooting: whenever someone tries to cross their border, they shoot first and ask questions later. From my perspective, it really didn’t matter who was shooting, if they hit me, I was dead, regardless of the shooters’ national origin.
A cold breeze chilled my skin, but my blood was boiling with expectation and rage. In a few days, if all went well, I’d be back in a warm room sipping a hot drink, savoring the accomplished mission – unless I was zipped up in a black body bag stretched on a metal slab in the coroner’s freezer. I hunched forward from underneath the bush to give me some visibility, and at least some view, in case Tango came closer.
More than 10 minutes of silence, and then – nothing. Tango should have reached me by now, and I’d lost sight of him. Where did he go? He was a trained soldier, I told myself. He knew how to camouflage himself, how to hide, and how to dodge between the
bushes and boulders littering the slope. It was now completely dark. I was losing patience, my feet and hands turning to ice. How come the command post was in a heated apartment overlooking the painfully modest village square, while I was soaked with water and blood, freezing my ass off? Next time, you shouldn’t be the first to volunteer, or agree to be “volunteered,” I told myself. And my inner little devil, opening just one eye, added, “
Don’t whine. You were ordered to be on the forefront because you didn’t function well as a team member, remember?