Argo: How the CIA and Hollywood Pulled Off the Most Audacious Rescue in History

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By Matt Baglio

The actual account of a bold rescue that encouraged the movie ARGO, winner of the 2012 Academy Award for most sensible Picture

On November four, 1979, Iranian militants stormed the yankee embassy in Tehran and captured dozens of yankee hostages, sparking a 444-day ordeal and a quake in worldwide politics nonetheless reverberating this day. yet there's a little-known drama hooked up to the problem: six american citizens escaped. And a top-level CIA officer named Antonio Mendez devised an creative but enormously dicy plan to rescue them prior to they have been detected.

Disguising himself as a Hollywood manufacturer, and supported by way of a solid of specialist forgers, deep disguise CIA operatives, international brokers, and Hollywood lighting tricks artists, Mendez traveled to Tehran less than the guise of scouting destinations for a pretend technological know-how fiction movie known as Argo. whereas pretending to discover the suitable movie backdrops, Mendez and a colleague succeeded in contacting the escapees, and smuggling them out of Iran.

Antonio Mendez ultimately information the terribly complicated and hazardous operation he led greater than 3 a long time in the past. A riveting tale of mystery identities and overseas intrigue, Argo is the gripping account of the history-making collusion among Hollywood and high-stakes espionage. 

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Sorry,” he acknowledged, “but you’ll need to get your individual. ” there's an figuring out between intelligence prone that there's no such factor as a “friendly” carrier. at present in historical past Canada didn't admit to even having a mystery intelligence carrier. yet this guy was once most likely very with reference to representing that potential. And it definitely felt pleasant. Mr. Delgado endured, “Do you've got an inventory of names for use for the passports? ” he requested. “And incidentally, we will want photos to boot. ” with out hesitation Joe reached into his briefcase and taken out an envelope, the contents of that have been the checklist of names that he had already ready as aliases for the six. Accompanying each one identify was once a passport-sized picture. alongside the vertical margin on each one picture we had cast the alias names within the handwriting of every of the six houseguests. This was once how it might be within the Canadian passport. Mr. Delgado reviewed the cloth in a short time. He commented that the images appeared strong yet that one of many names we’d selected had a touch Semitic sound to it—not a good suggestion in a Muslim kingdom. He notion we must always repair it and Joe advised a brand new identify. Delgado nodded within the affirmative and Joe produced one other fresh picture of Kathy Stafford, handing it to me. “You’re an artist-validator, Tony,” he stated. utilizing a method I’d discovered from my early days within the bullpen, I located the photograph at the nook of Delgado’s table and signed Kathy’s new identify in her handwriting. Joe and that i left the assembly inspired. the 1st section of our plan used to be coming including less attempt than we had ever imagined. We had a dedication for 6 Canadian passports for our matters plus a collection of duplicates, which might provide us an choice for a fallback plan if we would have liked it. After breaking for lunch on the Lord Elgin, we have been picked up via an legitimate vehicle and brought to the ministry of protection. ahead of coming to Canada, we had realized that Ambassador Taylor used to be within the technique of drawing down his embassy, that could support us with our intelligence-gathering operation. Of specified curiosity to us have been the army police who have been operating on the embassy. a few of the army police have been good traveled and accustomed to border approaches world wide. we needed to establish a procedure during which if any further of them traveled in or out of Mehrabad Airport, they might have a typical debriefing at the controls. With that performed, I again to Washington the following morning, leaving Joe at the back of to persist with up at the passports and to fulfill with the nationwide safety forces who could assist in rounding out the documentation applications that might supplement the passports. they'd additionally organize for the gathering of an Iranian visa issued in Canada. Joe could spend the next ten days in Canada tending to those chores. I boarded my flight domestic feeling a feeling of achievement followed by way of reduction that we have been capable of movement this venture ahead in a massive manner. I additionally felt gratitude that we have been operating with a neighbor who used to be really supportive of America’s challenge.

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