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Gideon's Spies

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Created in 1951 to ensure the future of an embattled Israel, the Mossad has been responsible for the most audacious and thrilling feats of espionage, counterterrorism, and assassination ever ventured. For the first time ever, resulting from closed-door interviews between the author and Mossad agents, informants, and spymasters, as well as classified documents and top-secret sources, the truth about the Mossad is about to be revealed. From the Mossad agent in the Clinton White House who enabled Israel to call the ...

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Overview

Created in 1951 to ensure the future of an embattled Israel, the Mossad has been responsible for the most audacious and thrilling feats of espionage, counterterrorism, and assassination ever ventured. For the first time ever, resulting from closed-door interviews between the author and Mossad agents, informants, and spymasters, as well as classified documents and top-secret sources, the truth about the Mossad is about to be revealed. From the Mossad agent in the Clinton White House who enabled Israel to call the shots in the ongoing Middle East peace process to the nuclear secrets smuggled out of the U.S. and used to jump-start Israel's own atomic weapons program, Gideon's Spies reveals the Mossad as it truly is: brilliant, ruthless, flawed, but ultimately awesome.

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Editorial Reviews

Daniel Pipes
...[C]ontains many eye-popping claims....If conspiracist tracts of this nature cannot be entirely discredited, it is nevertheless of critical importance that they be exposed and denounced. At the very least, one can thereby hope to minimize the damage they are likely to do.
Commentary
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The discipline of Israel's Mossad is legendary: members and former members fiercely guard the intelligence agency's methods and rarely talk to journalists. But many, apparently, did talk to Thomas, a former reporter for Britain's Daily Express, whose numerous books include Chaos Under Heaven, about China's democracy movement. Astute readers, however, will question whether these unnamed informants have given the straight scoop. The opening tale is a case in point. Thomas grabs attention with a riveting yarn about Ritz Hotel chauffeur Henri Paul, driver of the car in which he, Princess Diana and Dodi Al-Fayed all died. Thomas portrays Paul as a slick operator who accepted bribes from photographers seeking to snap the various celebrities he was charged with protecting. According to Thomas, the Mossad threatened to reveal Paul's scam to Ritz authorities if Paul didn't agree to spy for Israel. Thomas breathlessly raises a series of questions before hammering his point: "Was [Paul] not only responsible for a terrible road accident but also the victim of a ruthless intelligence agency?" The story, while titillating, ultimately goes nowhere. The question-mark ending is a device on which Thomas relies all too often, giving readers the impression that his book is full of many more questions than answers. Thomas writes with the pulpy charm familiar to readers of English tabloids; however, his use of unnamed sources and his reliance on conjecture will leave readers intrigued but determined to reserve judgment. Foreign rights sold in Germany, Holland, Israel and the U.K. (Mar.)
Publishers Weekly
Among the world's most respected and feared intelligence services, the Israeli Mossad encompasses shadowy networks of katsas (case officers) often operating undercover, from Washington to Tehran to Beijing. The third update of this well-received book adds expanded sections on postinvasion Iraq, the black market in nuclear material, and other topics, tying up several loose ends from the earlier editions. Large portions remain unchanged, however, giving the book an uneven quality, as some chapters were written in 1994, some in 1999, some in 2004 and some last summer. Thomas's engrossing stories about assassinations, target surveillance and other skullduggery keep the pages turning, but the serious student of the Middle East may be put off by some purple prose, for example, about Saddam in incarceration: "His shaggy salt-and-pepper beard is trimmed once a week, enhancing his sharp, penetrating eyes.... But he will have an opportunity to state his case-more than he had ever allowed those he murdered." Skeptics will wonder what ulterior motives inspired Thomas's many tight-lipped sources to open up to him and will question their information, particularly regarding the more incredible conspiracy theories he writes about. Overall, however, Thomas provides a rare and valuable glimpse at the inner workings of a very secretive organization. (Jan.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
The Mossad is one of Israels elite security agencies, responsible mainly for operations outside the countrys borders. Its reputation (somewhat tarnished in recent years) for efficiency and daring combined with more than a touch of ruthlessness still evokes fear in Israels perceived enemies. Thomas, a prolific author of fiction and nonfiction on espionage and international security, has pieced together a book based largely on interviews with people both inside and outside the Mossad, as well as from other international intelligence agencies. Each chapter examines a particular action, operation, or political crisis and offers an entertaining and heavily anecdotal account. While the book is neither as scholarly in approach as Ian Black and Benny Morriss Israels Secret Wars: A History of Israels Intelligence Service (LJ 6/1/91) nor as controversial as ex-Mossad agent Victor Ostrovsky and Claire Hoys By Way of Deception (LJ 11/15/90), Thomas has a winner here. Recommended for academic and larger public libraries, especially those collecting in Israeli politics or international intelligence.Stephen W. Green, Auraria Lib., Denver
Daniel Pipes
...[C]ontains many eye-popping claims....If conspiracist tracts of this nature cannot be entirely discredited, it is nevertheless of critical importance that they be exposed and denounced. At the very least, one can thereby hope to minimize the damage they are likely to do.
Commentary
Kirkus Reviews
Forget (largely) about the "history" part; this is an anecdote-rich, if sometimes factually questionable, series of tales about the extraordinary derring-do of Israel's vaunted elite foreign intelligence service. Prolific British journalist Thomas (Enslaved, 1991; Chaos Under Heaven: The Shocking Story Behind China's Search for Democracy, 1991; etc.), whose 38th book this is, spent over 100 hours interviewing Mossad heads and agents, as well as others whose lives have been affected by the agency, including Yasir Arafat (a frequent assassination target before the 1993 Oslo agreement). To his credit, he delves into the organization's more significant bungled operations, including the mid-1970s killing of an innocent Arab waiter in Norway who was thought to be one of the PLO perpetrators of the 1972 Munich massacre of Israel's Olympic team. Thomas also provides readers with a good sense of how the Mossad trains its operatives in the field and of how extensively Israeli agents have infiltrated even the most apparently inaccessible parts of the Arab world. (It was a Mossad case officer in the Iraqi desert who, days before the 1991 Gulf War began, discovered that Baghdad had far more SCUD missiles in advanced positions than the CIA knew.) For the most part, though, Thomas contributes to the mythologizing of the Mossad by portraying an endlessly resourceful, often ruthless service that seems straight out of a James Bond film. How many of his tales are true? As Thomas doesn't document, aside from a short list of "primary interviewees" and other sources, it's hard to say. Nor does he build credibility by getting certain basic facts wrong or by occasionally offering hyperventilating prose. Inshort, this fun read, while containing much juicy ready-for-film-adaptation material, should be approached with a skeptical eye by readers interested in serious history. .
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312199821
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/1999
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 382
  • Product dimensions: 6.45 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 1.31 (d)

Meet the Author

Gordon Thomas is the author of thirty-seven books published worldwide, several of which have dealt with various aspects of the intelligence world.

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Table of Contents

Ch. 1 Beyond the looking glass 1
Ch. 2 Before the beginning 31
Ch. 3 Engravings of Glilot 53
Ch. 4 The spy in the iron mask 73
Ch. 5 Gideon's nuclear sword 89
Ch. 6 Avengers 109
Ch. 7 The gentleman spy 135
Ch. 8 ORA and the monster 157
Ch. 9 Slush money, sex, and lies 173
Ch. 10 A dangerous liaison 191
Ch. 11 Unholy alliances 211
Ch. 12 Blessed are the spymasters 229
Ch. 13 African connections 245
Ch. 14 The chambermaid's bomb 259
Ch. 15 The expendable cartoonist 277
Ch. 16 Spies in the sand 303
Ch. 17 Bunglegate 325
Ch. 18 New beginnings 349
Ch. 19 After Saddam 373
Ch. 20 God's banker, whistleblower, and Osama bin Laden 405
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