The author introduces you to a myriad of characters, expatriate embassy personnel, Royals, spies, and party-goers. From mansions of the oil-rich to surprise haram (forbidden) gambling junkets with members of the Royal family to being charged in absentia and imprisoned and tortured for espionage, Chuck held on to tell us his story.
You will be introduced to this flamboyant host and his hostess and their worldwide travels. They have journeyed through African Safaris and exploited the waters of the Nile, have been special guests of the King of Thailand, and held meetings with one of Chuck's counterparts in Moscow.
Cross over to the other side of his cover jobs as he exposes the intrigue of the Jeddah Conference where kings, princes, and ministers begged Kuwait to arbitrate with Saddam Hussein to save their country. Learn how Kuwait's ruling family not only spurned efforts to hold off invasion but failed to even make preparations to protect their population from impending death and destruction. For many years the Kuwaitis had been stealing Iraqi oil, and Saddam was there for payback. Purse strings and the toss of a coin decided which side the Americans would be on and where the line would be drawn in the sand.
Follow Chuck on Ali Baba runs and night crawling, behind enemy lines and closed doors of Ministries, palaces, and mosque offices, while searching for monetary trails destined for terrorist links.
During his on and off relationship with Kuwait, Chuck moved his efforts over to the Horn of Africa, to the stifling hot dusty streets of Mogadishu, Somalia, where the United Nations was trying to set up a legitimate government.
With six to seven Marine Corp shooters for constant protection, he conducted business from the seaport and airport via the K-4 sniper alley to the United Nations compound on the grounds of the former American Embassy. In Somalia his daily duties included personal negotiations with the two opposing War Lords, Mohammed Farah Aideed and Moha
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Almost a Spy
By Charles Petty
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2011 Charles Petty – Former political Section Head of Ministry of Information of Kuwait
All right reserved.
Chapter OneGet the News Bearer
I'm half way around the world, lying on the cold marble floor of a Kuwaiti prison. I'm feverish and shaking profusely now, and sweating as if it were summer, when in fact, it is December. My body, mind, and spirit are nearing an end. I feel like I've already gone through the beginning phase of physical shut-down. I'm suffering from dramatic weight loss and a weakening heart. My pulse has alternately gone from racing to almost unintelligible. My whole bruised and busted body can't take the brutal punishments any more.
Keeping track of days and nights—or days from nights—has been almost impossible because police and guards almost never leave me alone, dragging me from room to room and floor to floor. They often start out by dragging me by the hair on my head. If a clump of that gives way, they usually reach for the ears. I know most of the cartilages from my ears must be shattered by now. Some time ago, my belt was removed for "my own personal safety," as they said. I guess they must have thought I would have the energy to commit suicide, before they beat me to death. I need that belt now because losing nearly fifty pounds in just over three weeks has created this new Jack-LaLanne waistline that doesn't allow my pants to stay where they ought to be.
I guess if it weren't for all the swelling, I'd look anorexic. Food is now a thing of the past. I haven't been able to digest or take nourishment since my throat got messed up in a drop kick by an overly zealous Kuwaiti policeman who surprised me during a nap. Talk about kicking a man while he's down and asleep! My legs and hips have swollen to the point I can no longer remove my pants over them, and the fever raging within my body has grown more and more dangerously. Most of the time, I just lie here, drifting in and out of consciousness. Surely this isn't the way my life will end, or is it?
There's a lot of irony in my story. For instance, I'm imprisoned in Kuwait, the country my own nation so generously helped in defeating that ferocious Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and his half million strong—but dumb—occupying army. One day, I was working for one of the most powerful men in the Middle East, and the next I was arrested and thrown into a filthy overcrowded prison cell, sharing the same fate as all other expats who dared complicate the lives of these lazy oil-rich Arabs.
My dilapidated substandard prison cell is unfit even for criminals. There's been neither trial nor confrontation by my accuser, and no impassioned concessions made on my behalf for all the things I've done for Kuwait's Royal Family as well as several Kuwaiti Ministers, for whom I've directly been working.
I'm still a bit dazed by the rapid acceleration of events that led to my imprisonment, but hardly surprised or shocked. I've felt it coming for a while. As probably the only outsider who really knows Kuwait's overall sinister picture, I should have expected no more and no less of them. Kuwaitis' cruelty to their servants, women folk, and those who don't follow their every whim with adulation, is legendary; still I dared to double cross those arrogant white robed ingrates with my own version of personal combat. There came a time when being bought off was no longer a priority of mine. I had to begin waging my own personal war on His Highness and others, the only way I knew how.
Now, my plan is simply preservation, instead of the usual self promotion and financial success. My lust for money be damned for now. My mind and energy have to be focused on resolving the huge crisis unfolding between me and them, before it gets further out of hand, and either leads to a confrontation between my country and my host nation, or my destruction.
I knew when I went up against such influential men inside their own country, there would be a price to pay, and I'd have to be dealt with sooner or later; of course, much later would have been preferable.
My hosts had planned to kill some of my fellow countrymen, a group of Ranger soldiers who were on desert maneuvers in Kuwait. I couldn't let that happen. Some of these same soldiers could have been a part of that massive coalition of military forces that fought so valiantly to liberate Kuwait. And now some of Kuwait's top generals have sanctioned a plan to kill the Americans and make it look like the Iraqis did it in a cross-border missile attack.
I've continually reminded the Generals from the Minister of Defenses' Office and several other plotters at our nightly dewaniya gatherings, that I am an American. Just because they pay me a great salary, I can't let my silence be mistaken as loyalty to Kuwait. I've reminded them that I have residency in Kuwait, not citizenship. My loyalty remains with my own country and countrymen, now and always. Their indiscreet discussions on how to kill American soldiers makes my blood boil. They seem to think of me as one of them, but I'm not. And that has to be understood.
The way Kuwait would kill the American soldiers was discussed on several occasions within an ear shot of me, and probably on many more occasions before I had actually heard of it. The tape recording I turned over to a sub-committee of the United States Congress somewhat crudely outlined the steps necessary for the attack. The list included the Kuwaiti Generals' names to most likely be selected to oversee the covert operation. On the tape recording, the Kuwaitis also suggested how to slip some scud missiles back into Iraq from Kuwait soil through the demilitarized zone as well as spoke of their satellite photos of the targeted area and desirable grid areas for launch. Other necessary information on routine American Airwac reconnaissance time frames and scheduled activities within that border region were also verbally supplied on that recording. Most importantly, they emphasized the missile attack would occur the month prior to Kuwaiti troops joining the Americans in the desert exercises.
The taped Kuwaitis also reveal which munitions storage facility within their country has the confiscated Iraqi scuds needed. They go into detail how they should be taken back through UNSKOM, United Nations-Kuwaiti border lines. Next, and not least of all, the discussion included how to target the largest concentration of American soldiers on maneuvers; the plans stretched even so far as to prepare several specific ministries within Kuwait on how they would react once the terrible news of the incident and deaths was released.
These ministries were to condemn the Iraqi terrorists, and aggression, and then call for a timely unilateral response against Baghdad from the United States, Gulf Cooperation Council States, the Arab League and the United Nations.
The Kuwaitis have for some time wanted to reignite a war between the United States and Saddam Hussein, and this plot was but one discussed. The Kuwaitis would enlist extreme elements within their own military, bring in a few ringers from al Qaeda, to kill the American soldiers and make it look as though the attack came from the Iraqis. The Americans would then be forced to go back into Iraq and kill, or remove Saddam Hussein. In turn, the plan would rid the Kuwaitis of their menace to the Northwest and save them from having to pay for continued arms purchases and huge protection expenses from former coalition partners, and the United States in particular.
This information was so extremely sensitive and privileged that I handled it with kid gloves, for all the good that it did me. The news of my treason acts against Kuwait reached their ears even before my plane departed from JFK, New York, back to Kuwait City.
It's somewhat surprising that I've been arrested, and even more so that I've been incarcerated, rather than silencing me with a bullet to the back of my head, or worse yet; beheading me within the walls of the Governorate building in downtown Kuwait City, as they did with many others before me. Sure, they say beheadings stopped in 1972; but ask families of the expats that have just gone missing in Kuwait, about what their friends really thought or heard, had happened to them. Where's Amnesty International when you really need them? They should be on their knees with little forensic test kits checking the area within the Governorate's inner courtyard. I can show them just where to look. After all, I know the place well. As a part of my punishment, I had to kneel with my white death robes across my arms, just a dozen feet from the guys being beheaded each Friday, following prayers at the nearby mosque. My captors would then say to me that next Friday, "it'll be my turn."
Those riding high against me in Kuwait, some members of the Royal Family, the Minister of Information and the Crown Prince's henchmen have been especially perturbed recently at what they're saying is my proven disloyalty to them. During my eight years here, I've openly and often strongly expressed many opposing viewpoints to them, at times in less than subtle tones; but I've always remained diplomatic and respectful of my host country and the many Kuwaiti friends I've made in high places here.
Until recently, I had never ratted on them for their many past indiscretions, but now I have no choice. So I ratted on them in the biggest way I could, exposing their murderous plot against American soldiers by flying back to the U.S. and telling everything I knew to a New York Senator that I trusted at the time, then several days later to a sub-committee chair person that was to take the information before Congress, I thought.
It seems the United States Senator from New York was working on some pretty big financial investment packages with the Royal Kuwaitis and others. He just happened to let them know that I had gone to New York and libeled them terribly. Needless to say, my reception upon returning to work at the Ministry of Information, and then again at Dasma Palace was less than welcoming. My arrest wasn't immediate, but quickly enough, the boom was lowered and the noose was tightened, literally. Each following day thereafter, I wondered what would be their ultimate pleasure: a noose around my neck, a firing squad, or my head on the chopping block.
Breaking the confidence of my influential moneyed political and military Kuwaiti friends, and then exposing them for what they intended to do, had to be done. No one else from the American government had privy to such damning information against Kuwait as I did; certainly no one from the U.S. Embassy with all their political might and ass-kissing power, could or would do it.
Without coercion and before the beatings started, I owned up to what I'd done in recent months against Kuwait. Well, not everything; there were quite a few more surprises, following my "first interview" and the many interviews that followed. After all, I've been here for eight years and we've barely scratched the surface of what I've really been doing over a much longer period of time than they will probably ever realize. I've provided them with just a little fodder to feed on, knowing that if the real can of worms was opened, I would probably; though I can't see how, be in even worse shape than I'm in now.
My confessions to all the interrogators haven't been apologies; especially to those arrogant bastards that really thought they could get away with killing American soldiers and starting another war with Saddam just to remedy what they called "the Americans bleeding their pocketbooks." For some time, the Kuwaitis have suspected that the Americans lied and showed them old altered satellite photos, supposedly proving Saddam's army was poised for invasion again, when in fact, they were not. It was simply a technique used by the Americans during intelligence briefings to make the Kuwaitis increase their annual spending to around two and a quarter billion dollars for protection by patriot missiles, jet aircraft, maintenance, joint military exercises, ass-kissing, building contracts, and many other things.
Most of what I've done I remain proud of, even some of the shocking ways I went about doing them. Since early last year I've continued endangering the safety of my wife Maia and myself while keeping in mind one thought: "If I leave this predatory den of lions now, who will take my place? "There's no other American or even westerner in sight who can be the eyes and ears for our side. The Central Intelligence Agency and National Reconnaissance Center, an umbrella of intelligence gathering agencies would tell you that only someone trained behind a desk in Virginia, or in a Colorado facility, could be in such a position of "know," but it ain't so. (The NRC is the biggest "bad boy" out there, and most Americans have never even heard of it. They're bigger than the CIA, the FBI, and many other intelligence organizations combined. Like the others though, they too do not like sharing information.)
I haven't seen any spooks around me except the British. Those two at the American Embassy must have some strange priorities because I've never seen them taken into confidence within the Royal Family or by the Kuwaiti Generals. No other westerner within Kuwait has had such expansive access to the power hungry men who use their money; positions and religion to put strangle holds on the United States and other western nations like I have. I certainly can't leave it up to the American Ambassador (who now shuns me) or other diplomats who hear and see only what the Kuwaitis want them to hear and see. Both the diplomats and the Ambassador don't want to hear or see anything that might get between them and their objectives in the Middle East, especially the lucrative arms deals and building contracts, strategic military bases, and of course oil.
Here amongst these ever wavering and almost always embattled Arabs is black gold, and the Ambassador and other westerners know why they're here. It's like the Ambassador told me before he alienated me, "we go to poor countries to have them kiss our ass while we give them money and aid, and buy their United Nations vote. We go to rich countries to kiss their ass and seek lucrative contracts, airbases, seaports, and arms agreements."
Kuwaitis are well adept at wooing the West with all the above vices, or sometimes they just do like other countries do, they woo us to do their dirty work for a price in hard cash. After all, don't Americans fancy themselves as the policemen of the world?
Worldwide, our dignitaries from the United States and other western countries are greeted by a day of good will and handshakes. What they don't seem to realize is that sooner or later they'll end up paying dearly for those donations and contracts. Either they'll have to support those arrogant bullies in times of crisis and war, and they'll do it with American lives and tax-payers' dollars or through having to significantly reduce those countries' past due loans; bolster their governments' economies and resupply their militaries with hundreds of millions of dollars in used military equipment, clothing, and training, like we've done to Egypt, Israel, and Jordan to name a few.
Kuwaitis, as other oil rich Arab nations are known for not paying their debts; at least not until they've had time to delay, renege, or cheat on all their prior commitments. With a Kuwaiti, you're never going to get what was agreed upon, even with their signature on a contract.
Since the 1991 Gulf War and the ousting of Saddam Hussein from Kuwait, the American Government is still owed billions of dollars by the Kuwaitis, who have been dragging their feet on payments for arms purchases and maintenance contracts. They seemed surprised many purchases like aircraft didn't come with free maintenance contracts. They assumed they had perpetual care, like cemetery lots. Kuwait is not just in debt to the United States, but too many other coalition partners who saved Kuwait's palaces and gold as well. They also still owe deployment expenses to other coalition governments for troops who came to their rescue.
In my near eight years here, I've done my share of groveling; not to the extent that diplomats do because I've always had something else to sell, and they bought it pretty readily, and for a lot of money. I learned to serve Kuwait's big boys with their own little covert needs packages. Indeed, I am and have been a "yes-man and their own well paid "step-and-fetch-it" And in years past, I've been the "token" American they've invited to parties, cultural events and holiday trips, births, deaths and weddings.
Clearly, I've had my own agenda all along. It's been dominated by money, seconded only by my curiosity to know things I shouldn't. The little parts I played early on, evolved into international matters against Iraq or Iran, and even Bahrain. Ah, but once I started my own little payback war against the Kuwaitis, I used some of the same information back against them to bite them in their ass.
Excerpted from Almost a Spy by Charles Petty Copyright © 2011 by Charles Petty – Former political Section Head of Ministry of Information of Kuwait. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Contents1. Get the News Bearer....................1
2. Going on the Offense....................12
3. Prisoner Swap....................22
4. Bail Denied....................30
5. A Night-Time for Secrecy....................42
6. A Message from Saddam Hussein/Emergency Jeddah Conference....................52
7. Clouds of War....................71
8. Like Sitting Ducks....................94
9. The Iraqis Are Here....................117
10. Like Nero Watching Rome Burn....................138
11. All Communications Are Cut....................151
12. A Line in the Desert Is Drawn....................168
13. "Scorched Earth"....................182
14. Valley of Death....................199
15. From the Rubble....................212
16. Mines Bombs and Royal Ordinance....................225
17. Ali Baba Runs....................234
18. Munitions for a Princess....................249
19. Repairing Life and Lakes of Fire....................267
20. Force Feeding Somalia....................281
21. Cozying Up to Some War Lords....................309
22. Sleeping With the Lions....................326
23. Staged for a Kidnapping....................341
24. Secret Passages....................362
25. Cover Job for a Double Life....................381
26. Dedication of the "New American Embassy"....................396
27. Marine Corp Ball....................417
28. Moon and Rain over the Euphrates....................430
29. Terrorist Funding in America....................443
30. I've Stayed Too Long....................463
31. Behind Enemy Lines Again and Again....................479
32. Germ Warfare and Propaganda....................491
33. Kill the Americans....................502
34. Kicking Ass and Taking Names....................521
35. A Royal Confrontation....................538
36. Walking With a Zealot....................555
37. Night Crawling....................574
38. A Bomb for Halloween....................585
39. Prison Indignations....................593
40. "I am Beaten"....................610
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