Reading this book will open a new world for you -- The world of Special Intelligence Operations. From Viet Nam to Cambodia to Laos and North Viet Nam the action will show you why so many veterans from the Viet Nam War have PTSD. The potential for recurring nightmares will be apparent. Next you will take a trip from Libya to Spain to Italy and Romania. You will find out that the war against terror did not start in 2001.
The following exert will demonstrate what
World of Mirrors is all about.
In 1974, I met and was briefed by a "Mr. Martin", a high level individual from the American Embassy in Rome, Italy, on an operation to insure that a particular individual would not continue funding communist political activities in Italy. He was a bag man for the KGB. It was less than two months until a very important election was to take place. He was spreading money around to help the communist political candidates get elected. I was simply told "Make Him Stop"! They gave me carte blanche to get it done. Anytime in the next seven days would be just fine. This was only one of the 83 missions ran by a Special Intelligence Operative code named the Iceman
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INSIDE THE WORLD OF MIRRORS
The Story of a Shadow Warrior
By J. Max Taylor
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2013J. Max Taylor
All rights reserved.
The Chinese Shooting Gallery
After many months of training in intelligence and Special Intelligence Operations (SIO) techniques, I had been sent to Seoul Korea as an "Intelligence Editor" at 8th Army. I was there for about 5 months when the CIA Chief of Station (COS) at the U.S. Embassy called me. I agreed to meet him at the embassy at 1400. I had met David Rhinehart before, so when I got to the embassy, they took me upstairs to his office. We sat down at a conference table, and drank coffee while the rest of his staff came in.
When his staff was finally seated at the table, it was obvious that something big was going on. The entire table had been covered with maps and imagery of an area about 5 kilometers inside of North Vietnam. They wanted to put together a special mission, and had a small 48 hour window to plan and execute a mission team into the area.
Somewhere in the chain of intelligence, it had determined that a high ranking Chinese officer and, probably, one or two of his staff were going to be inspecting a series of sites which the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) regulars were using for special training activities.
The next TET (Vietnam's New Year celebration) offensive was about 10 weeks out, and intelligence reports indicated that this would be a very active TET because of the special training and advanced equipment that was being supplied to the NVA by the Peoples Republic of China (PRC).
David had been instructed to send in a sniper team to take out the Chinese officers. It was thought that if the Chinese officers were killed while in North Vietnam, that the repercussions would cause difficulties in the North Vietnamese government's relations with China. The equipment being supplied represented by the largest commitment of materials that the PRC had ever provided.
David's usual operation teams were already out in the field on other missions. He said it wasn't possible to get them back into the base, brief them, and send them back out in time.
While I had been trained to a high level, this would be the first time that I would actually go into the field as a sniper. This made me a little nervous, but also charged me up. I would finally have an opportunity perform the mission I had been trained to do.
The mission specifications called for a chopper insertion about 15 kilometers from the training area. I would have two Special Forces personnel and two Montenyards (indigenous personnel sometimes referred to as Yards) that were familiar with the area. They had run missions into the general area before, but only for intelligence gathering. This would be the first active attack mission to be run in this area of North Vietnam.
David told me that he had a C-130 waiting at Kimpo Air Base. It was about a 40 minute drive to get there, and they were fueled and ready to take off immediately. He had my field kit, which I always had stored with Security at the Embassy. It included my jungle uniform, sniper rifle and 2 scopes, my silenced pistol, and other equipment. It was ready for me to take with me when I got on the plane.
I expressed my concern that the 15 kilometer infiltration would be almost impossible to accomplish in the time frame we would have available. In areas where the enemy forces were present in large numbers, it was difficult to move more than 4 or 5 kilometers maximum in a night. If you moved faster than that, you were probably going to be seen, heard, or found. If you were noticed prior to starting your attack, then it was highly probable that you would not be coming back.
We looked for, and found an insertion point much closer to the NVA training area. It was only about 5 kilometers from the target area.
The only problem was that the LZ was too small for the helicopter to land in. We would have to go down by rope. This was actually a good thing. The small size of the LZ was actually an advantage, as it probably would not have trail watchers or an ambush set up in the area.
When no enemy fire took place during an insertion or an extraction by helicopter, it was called a "Cold LZ (Landing Zone)". If there were any enemy troops present, then it was called a "Hot LZ".
The site we chose was usable for an insertion, but not practical for an extraction. The closest set of extraction points were between 5 and 8 kilometers further away from the training area.
David agreed to my proposed rope insertion and the alternate extraction points. Ten minutes later I was in a car on the way to Kimpo Air Force Base. An hour later I boarded the C-130 and we took off. The layout of the C-130 included a sleeping area for the backup crew to use on long flights. This would only be a short flight, so I went to the crew quarters, put on headphones to block out the noise, and lay down to sleep. I was going to need all the sleep and rest I could get.
I woke up when we landed at Nakhon Phanom. This was a special operations base for Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) activities and was located in the northern portion of Cambodia. My first impression was quickly and permanently imprinted in my brain. It had a smell like nothing else I had ever been exposed to.
A jeep took me to the Tactical Operations Center (TOC) and I met the mission control officer (MCO), the Forward Air Controller (FAC) that would be supporting us, and the rest of the mission team. The team included 2 green berets and 2 Montenyards. We spent about 3 hours discussing the mission.
We then ate a high protein meal, and prepped all our equipment. My primary weapon was the AK-47 developed by Automat Kalashnikov in the Soviet Union. The team was surprised when I pulled out my LC-1A sniper rifle, checked the scopes, and loaded it up in a case I slung over my shoulder. They were surprised because it was such a strange looking weapon.
It had 23" of barrel beyond the stock, and was supported by a bipod providing a stable firing position. In addition it was a single shot weapon with a model 1887 brass nitrogen filled scope and a sighting scope mounted beside the targeting scope. The team looked at me as if I were a little crazy. I would be carrying the LC-1A in a case over my shoulder, and an AK-47 in hand to be ready if we got into a fire fight. In addition, I always carried a 22 berretta with a silencer just in case I needed to wage a quiet war.
We were soon ready and headed for the helicopter that was taking us in. We loaded up, and were airborne in less than 15 minutes. The flight took about 2 hours. When we were about 30 minutes from our insertion point, we started putting on all our gear, and getting the repelling ropes attached and ready for use.
At 5 minutes out we were standing on the skids of the chopper, hands on the ropes, and ready for the signal to go. The helicopter suddenly slowed down and came to a hover over a small opening in the jungle canopy. They gave us the go signal and down we went. This was the point where the adrenaline really started to pump. If any of the enemy were on the ground around the insertion point, we would be in big trouble.
It took about 20 seconds for everyone to reach the ground. We immediately ran to the edge of the clearing into the bush and hit the ground. In the time that it took for us to get there the chopper was already gone. It's was a strange feeling to know that the only backup and your ride home had just left. We were on our own now. Fortunately, the LZ was cold as we had hoped it would be.
After about 15 minutes, we moved out. In another 30 minutes it was completely dark. The trip to the site was right out of the training manual as I had been taught in Panama.
At no time did we come close to walking on a trail. We had a point man out in front
Excerpted from INSIDE THE WORLD OF MIRRORS by J. Max Taylor. Copyright © 2013 by J. Max Taylor. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse.
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Table of Contents
Chapter 1 The Chinese Shooting Gallery.................... 1
Chapter 2 Gate Keeper on the Ho Chi Mein Trail.................... 13
Chapter 3 The Technical Side of War.................... 21
Chapter 4 A Political Errand.................... 33
Chapter 5 The Ghost of Hill 328.................... 43
Chapter 6 The Color of Life and Death.................... 51
Chapter 7 Who Let the Bureaucrats Run the War.................... 73
Chapter 8 Cambodia Didn't Count.................... 83
Chapter 9 A Visit to an Irish Pub.................... 95
Chapter 10 A Tea Party in KhaddafiLand.................... 107
Chapter 11 Dancing in the Shadow of the Vatican.................... 113
Chapter 12 The Romanian Connection.................... 127
Chapter 13 Basking with the Basque.................... 137
About the Author.................... 149