Uncompromised: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of an Arab American Patriot in the CIA


“Nada Prouty served her country loyally, with distinction, and, as universally acknowledged by her colleagues, with great personal courage as a CIA covert officer.  This tale of rampant trampling of citizen's rights is a vivid reminder of the responsibility of citizens to be vigilant against unaccountable government overreach if we hope to keep a strong democracy, where the rule of law prevails and where a citizen is presumed innocent until proven guilty.”

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Uncompromised: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of an Arab-American Patriot in the CIA

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“Nada Prouty served her country loyally, with distinction, and, as universally acknowledged by her colleagues, with great personal courage as a CIA covert officer.  This tale of rampant trampling of citizen's rights is a vivid reminder of the responsibility of citizens to be vigilant against unaccountable government overreach if we hope to keep a strong democracy, where the rule of law prevails and where a citizen is presumed innocent until proven guilty.”

                             -Valerie Plame, author of Fair Game

When Nada Prouty came to the United States as a young woman, she fell in love with the democracy and freedom of her new home. After a childhood in war-torn Lebanon with an abusive father and facing the prospect of an arranged marriage, she jumped at the chance to forge her own path in America-a path that led to exciting undercover work in the FBI, then the CIA. As a leading agent widely lauded by her colleagues, she worked on the most high-profile terrorism cases in recent history, including the hunt for Saddam Hussein and the bombing of the USS Cole, often putting her life on the line and usually getting her man.

But all this changed in the wake of 9/11, at the height of anti-Arab fervor, when federal investigators charged Prouty with passing intelligence to Hezbollah. Lacking sufficient evidence to make their case in court, prosecutors went to the media, suggesting that she had committed treason. Prouty, dubbed “Jihad Jane” by the New York Post, was quickly cast as a terrorist mastermind by the relentless 24-hour news cycle, and a scandal-hungry public ate it up.

Though the CIA and federal judge eventually exonerated Prouty of all charges, she was dismissed from the agency and stripped of her citizenship. In Uncompromised, Prouty tells her whole story in a bid to restore her name and reputation in the country that she loves. Beyond a thrilling story of espionage and betrayal, this is a sobering commentary on cultural alienation, the power of fear, and what it means to truly love America.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Former FBI special agent and CIA operative Prouty recounts her bittersweet immigrant success story in this sobering memoir. Prouty escaped a life of chaos and abuse in war-torn Beirut, Lebanon, when she came to the U.S. in 1989 on a student visa. She earned an accounting degree, married a physician, and attained U.S. citizenship. She joined the FBI as a special agent in 1999 and was assigned to work on “an international terrorism squad.” Despite the “endemic gender bias of the FBI,” Prouty enjoyed her work at the bureau that included several high-profile cases. In 2003, she transferred to the CIA and was soon working in Iraq. But Prouty’s American dream became a nightmare in 2007 when she learned that the Justice Department was investigating her for treason. Hounded and threatened by overzealous prosecutors, Prouty accepted a “farcical plea agreement deal” that kept her out of jail but cost her U.S. citizenship. Despite her harrowing ordeal, the author never lost faith in her adopted country and was exonerated. By turns uplifting and chilling, but never bitter, Prouty’s unflinching memoir is the story of a particularly resilient American patriot. (Nov.)
From the Publisher
'Nada Prouty tells her incredible life story.' – Marie Claire

'A dramatic memoir . . . Prouty remains a fierce yet wary patriot.' – MORE

'The heroic efforts of journalists to uncover the truth resonate in this era of punditry . . . Prouty provides a unique perspective on the war on terror.' - Booklist

'Nada Prouty served her country loyally, with distinction, and, as universally acknowledged by her colleagues, with great personal courage as a CIA covert officer.Her story of service is riveting but pales in comparison to the horrors she suffered as a result of the hubris of a heavy-handed prosecutor. Even though the investigation into Nada's actions and loyalty was totally discredited by a CIA counterintelligence investigation, an out of control prosecutor, apparently accountable to nobody, took from Nada virtually everything she cherished - her job and even her US citizenship.This tale of rampant trampling of citizen's rights is a vivid reminder of the responsibility of citizens to be vigilant against unaccountable government overreach if we hope to keep our democracy strong where the rule of law prevails and where a citizen is presumed innocent until proven guilty.' - Valerie Plame, author of Fair Game

'Nada Prouty's story reads like a Greek tragedy or a Dickensian novel. As an FBI Agent and later CIA Officer, Prouty conducted countless high-threat counterterrorism missions with more courage and conviction than most of us could muster in a lifetime. While Prouty served the United States government, her adoptive country of America, and all its citizens in a manner both superlative and selfless, she suddenly found herself caught in a maddening labyrinth of distrust and deception in which she is accused of being an enemy of the very people she sought to protect. Even after Prouty is exonerated and vindicated, her story remains one of tragic loss - to our country. Intelligence officers of Ms. Prouty's intellect, abilities and determination are few and far between. In this extraordinary story, we encounter a heroine who emerges as both human and superhuman. Anyone who cares about our country and its ongoing fight against terrorists will be stunned by this personal and political saga.' - Lindsay Moran, former CIA Operations Officer and author of Blowing My Cover: My Life as a CIA Spy

'A decorated FBI Special Agent and CIA operations officer, Nada Prouty is a true uncompromised patriot. It is deeply disturbingthat in a country that prides itself on equanimity in the realm of law, racially-biased prosecutors used fear to justify their misguided prosecution of someone who had repeatedly put her life on the line in defense of the United States. At a time when Prouty's proven skills are so desperately needed to fight terrorism, the short-sightedness of an overreaching prosecution for political and personal gain has compromised our nation's security.' - Stephanie Bellistri, chief of CIA's operational unit to counter terrorist use of WMD

'Nada Prouty's story is as instructive as it is inspirational. She has performed many heroic deeds in the service of the United States of America, from her work, obtaining confessions from Abu Nidal Organization terrorists who had murdered and maimed in a botched airliner hijacking to the months she spent operating undercover, pregnant and alone, in some of the most dangerous war-torn streets in the Middle East. I later stood by helplessly as her adopted United States turned upon her like a wounded animal, during a time of high-emotion and pain after 9/11, and accused her of being a traitor, when she had already risked more to defend this country than tens-of-millions of her fellow U.S. citizens could possibly imagine. The U.S. needs each of us to contribute to national security, and the reckless persecution of minorities and the foreign born will doom our values and way of life much more completely than our foreign enemies.' - Michael P. Dorris, FBI Special Agent (retired)

Kirkus Reviews

Lebanese-born ex-FBI and -CIA operative Prouty offers a disturbing account of how anti-Arab sentiment among key government officials led to her dismissal from the intelligence community and the suspension of her U.S. citizenship.

The understandably defensive tone of this book is established early on when the author writes that, though now Catholic, she was born a Druze and practiced "an amalgam of Muslim, Christian, Sufi, and Pentateuch teachings." When the American University of Beirut closed in 1989, she left Lebanon and an abusive family situation to live with an older sister who had established herself in Detroit. There, she doggedly pursued the education that would allow her to "break the cycle of dependency on men and become self-sufficient"--to the point of entering into an arranged marriage to secure her status in America. Prouty's path eventually led her into a career as an undercover agent at the FBI and then the CIA. At both agencies, she quickly developed a reputation as a dedicated, first-rate professional who played an important role in capturing top terror suspects including Saddam Hussein. But in 2005, her career suddenly ground to a halt when federal investigators charged her with passing intelligence to Lebanese operatives of Hezbollah. A righteously indignant Prouty clearly seeks vindication for the wrongs committed against her, but she rages neither against her U.S. government accusers nor the journalists who excoriated her as a traitor. Instead, she expresses concern that her experiences as a "nonwhite, non-ethnically West European, and non-Christian" are symptomatic of larger cultural paranoia that, if left unchecked, will undermine enlightened civil society.

A sobering account of democratic fallibility in an age of anxiety.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780230113862
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 11/8/2011
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 556,767
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Nada Prouty

Nada Prouty was an undercover spy for the FBI and CIA for over a decade, working on a host of high-profile terrorism cases, including the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole. She was also part of the team that developed the intelligence on the whereabouts of Saddam Hussein. Today, Prouty cares for her two young children, speaks about her experience nationwide, and awaitsthe reinstatement of her citizenship.

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Table of Contents

'Don't shoot - I'm an American'

Where I'm Coming From Charade Coming to America Joining the Fold Major Case Late Al Qaeda Nights September 11th, 2001

Vanishing Act Over to the Dark Side Family Affairs Decision Made Exonerated

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 20, 2011

    Uncompromised. Forget James Bond, Jason Bourne take a number. Meet Nada Prouty.

    Uncompromised shows the real life danger of uber-professional, ex-CIA intelligence operative Nada Prouty, spanning household headline cases like the USS Cole and Khobar Towers bombings, to solo missions in the war tearing back streets of Baghdad. This is an action packed reading. The shadow world of intelligence work is brought to life. The extreme life risks taken shake the imagination from meeting potential intelligence assets ¿outside the wire¿ of the Green Zone shielded by a thin, traditional Arab head covering abaya, a concealed Glock 9mm handgun, Colt Commando assault rifle, and driving a junky car. Skilled with fluency in Arabic, knowledge and respect of Arab cultural nuances, sharp wit, and training to save American lives, Prouty¿s value to the intelligence world is widely respected. Uncompromised should be a blockbuster movie.

    Truth is stranger then fiction. Nada Prouty grew up in war torn Lebanon, escaping civil war and family abuse, by going to college in the US, only to fall in love with America¿s foundation of freedom, equality, justice and fairness. Prouty took a naive short cut to US citizenship, only to learn later she would have easily been granted political asylum from the civil war in Lebanon. This immigrant loved America and sought to serve the country out of her gratitude. Her contributions to America¿s national security began when she joined the FBI. Her work in several major counterterrorism cases are revealed in breathtaking suspense.

    Prouty¿s skill and success lead to more counterterrorism work for the CIA¿s ¿prevention team.¿ Prouty consistently volunteered for dangerous missions and is widely believed by her peers to have saved many American lives. Prouty came under gunfire on multiple occasions. While pregnant, she wore larger flak jackets, choosing to stay on her mission over going home the USA. That¿s one up on James Bond!

    Enter the fiction. Federal investigators and attorneys doggedly pursue Prouty until it ended her intelligence work by advancing a fiction she was a Hezbollah mole who infiltrated the FBI and the CIA. A trial-by-media followed with mischaracterizations of Nada Prouty. The information hungry media played in the take down as they competed to report the unconfirmed leaks and insinuations, unwitting (and some witting) accomplices to the fiction that become real.

    Prouty brings this case back to truth. The prosecution threatned to strip her of her US citizenship (well past the statute of limitations), deport her to Lebanon where Hezbollah would presumably be waiting to torture and kill her, a probable fate because she worked in the FBI and CIA against extreme Hezbollah interests. The expected torture would force her to reveal American vulnerabilities, and compromised US national security. The means justified the end of removing her from service and a false, hallow, victory of stopping a Hezbollah mole was celebrated. Prouty acquiesced to accept the terms of the plea deal crafted by the prosecution. She lost her citizenship but not her love of country. She never compromised America¿s security or her integrity.

    The death threat is particularly disturbing. The system seems to have been hijacked to attack an American who was different, who was not white, and was not of western European descent. Truth is more disturbing than fiction. If this could happen to a tough, uber-professional intelligence operative, what chances do other Americans have?

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted November 9, 2011

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    Posted December 17, 2011

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