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Authors: F. W. Rustmann

The Case Officer

BOOK: The Case Officer
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many spy novels are written by those with little real-world espionage knowledge
or experience.  Fred Rustmann, a career CIA operations officer, steps out of
the shadows in The Case Officer, a book steeped in tradecraft, espionage,
betrayal, and the life-and-death risks an officer or his agent face.  Novel or
thinly-veiled nonfiction?  Like the profession itself – you will be caught up
in the action with little time to ponder the question.  Nor will you care. 
Authentic and fast-paced.”


S. Eugene Poteat


Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO)



of real tradecraft tricks, written by a master spy, engrossing page turner
inhabited by folks I knew when I was in the clandestine world!”


William Askins

Best Selling Author and 

CIA Case Officer (Ret.)



do CIA field operatives find clandestine sources?  Answer: with patience, hard
work, and above all - smarts.  Street smarts and people smarts.  In The Case
Officer, you’ll accompany a master operative step by step in his
tradecraft-rich pursuit of a high value target.  But be prepared for surprises
as Rustmann’s brisk narrative hurtles along to its unexpected but


Peter Earnest

Executive Director

International Spy Museum


you want to know how to make a martini or woo a woman, read James Bond.  If you
want to know what it’s sometimes like in the real world of espionage, read The
Case Officer.  Rustmann didn’t just write it, he lived it.”


Phillip Jennings

Author of
Goodbye Mexico



By F.W. Rustmann. Jr.


Inc.: Espionage and the Craft of Business Intelligence




















F.W. Rustmann,


















Rustmann, Jr.


All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be
reproduced or transmitted in any form without permission in writing from the
publisher, except by a reviewer who wishes to quote brief passages in
connection with a review.




Published in the United States by:



DoubleTap Books

330 Clematis Street,
Suite 220

West Palm Beach

Florida 33401


This is a work of fiction. The events and characters
portrayed are imaginary. Any resemblance to actual persons or events is
entirely coincidental.


The CIA’s Publications Review Board has reviewed the
manuscript for this book to assist the author in eliminating classified
information, and poses no security objection to its publication. This review,
however, should not be construed as an official release of information,
confirmation of its accuracy, or an endorsement of the author’s views.









“Far better it is to
dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure,
than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer
much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory nor












This book is dedicated to the clandestine case
officer, wherever he or she may serve; every nation’s best and brightest.




lthough this is
entirely a work of fiction, the events depicted in the book could reasonably
have taken place, and the players are realistic portrayals of case officers and
other intelligence operatives. I have drawn heavily from my experiences and
personal contacts as a CIA case officer to write the book. Some of my old case
officer friends will recognize portions of themselves in the characters of the
book, and all will recognize the clandestine techniques they, as case officers,
have used over the years. In short, the tradecraft is genuine, and the people
are reasonable facsimiles of the real thing.

should say a word or two about just exactly what a CIA “case officer” is. He or
she is an intelligence officer attached to the operational (clandestine) arm of
the Agency. The case officer typically is a college graduate, fluent in one or
more foreign languages, and always a fully trusted American citizen with a Top
Secret security clearance. He or she is an individual of exceptional
intelligence, integrity, and initiative. The case officer “handles”
cases—recruits and directs foreign spies, known as “agents.” The case officer
is not an “agent”—the FBI’s staff operatives are known as field agents, but the
CIA’s are known as case officers.

have taken the time to describe what a case officer actually is because so few
people ever get close enough to the Agency to know, and because so much “James
Bond”-type fiction distorts the truth and misleads the public about these
unique individuals. Case officers are indeed the Agency’s elite corps, and they
will remain so for as long as there is a need for human agents deep within
foreign governments to provide our policy-makers with intelligence information
concerning foreign intentions toward the United States.












The Case Officer




6 January 1991

US Embassy, Mogadishu, Somalia


he secure “bubble” was located on
the top floor of the luxurious, sprawling, state-of-the-art US embassy building
in Mogadishu, Somalia. It was a clear Plexiglas conference room assembled
within another secure room—a room within a room—located off the hall midway
between the ambassador’s office and the entrance to the CIA’s suite of offices.
The room was just large enough to fit the country team – ten senior embassy
officials and section heads – executive chairs around the conference table. But
today there were another dozen embassy staff employees and Marines crowded into
the bubble, standing uncomfortably behind the seated country team members.

The ambassador sat at one end of
the table, fidgeting nervously with a pencil. Holding it tightly around the
middle with his thumb and index finger, he bounced the eraser end repeatedly
against the table’s surface. It was already getting warm in the cramped bubble
when an armed Marine security guard dressed in camouflage fatigues, helmet, and
flak jacket pulled the outer door shut, secured the bubble door with two heavy
plastic levers, and activated the sound suppressor.

The ambassador motioned to the
CIA station chief seated at the far end of the table. “Okay, let’s have it,
Spinelli. What’s the situation?”

“Not good, sir. But the
evacuation is going as well as can be expected. More than four hundred foreign
nationals were taken out on Saturday on our helicopters and Italian planes, and
another two hundred fifty or so Americans and some foreign diplomats and their
families have been rounded up from their homes in the city and brought to this
compound. They’ll be airlifted out today to the aircraft carrier
and the amphibious transport ship
anchored offshore.”

Spinelli shuffled through his
notes, a drop of sweat, then another, falling on them as he did so. Finding
what he was looking for, he continued briefing the country team. “The UN
Security Council has said more than two thousand people have been killed and
another four thousand wounded since the rebels stepped up their campaign a week
ago. Siad Barre has reportedly fled the country for Nairobi, but that hasn’t
been confirmed. In any event, it’s clear that the rebels have made significant
advances and now control most of the city. The areas controlled by government
forces are getting smaller and smaller, just little pockets of resistance, and
their troops are deserting like rats leaving the proverbial sinking ship.”

The ambassador was now sweating
profusely. Beads of perspiration dripped from his bald pate down his hawk-like
nose and onto his notepad. “Can’t we get the bloody a/c working in here?” he
grumbled to no one in particular.

One of the Marines started toward
the door, but Spinelli put an arm out and stopped him. “It’s no use, sir. It’s
turned down as far as it will go. There are just too many people in here. I’ll
try to make this as quick as possible.”

He returned to his notes and spoke
rapidly. “The evacuation operations being run by the Italians, French, and
Americans are all reporting ground-fire, but thus far there hasn’t been any
significant damage reported by any of the aircraft. They are delivering their
evacuees to Mombassa. The airport is still relatively secure, although rocket
and mortar attacks are a worsening problem. A couple of Italian planes couldn’t
land there today because they began taking ground fire. Fortunately they
weren’t hit.  It’s getting harder and harder to move about the city; ambushes
are set up everywhere, and the favorite targets seem to be our evacuation

“The city is littered with bodies
baking in the sun, and no one is making any effort to remove them. The stench
is horrible. There was one report of about thirty-five dead Somali soldiers
lying in a perfectly straight row on a downtown street, rotting. This was
apparently done in retaliation for a similar thing done by Siad Barre to the
rebels about a month ago.”

The military attaché, an
overweight army colonel looking decidedly uncomfortable in his sweat-drenched khaki
uniform, asked, “Do you know how much longer the evacuation ships will remain
out there?”

Spinelli replied, “That’s a good
question.” His eyes locked onto those of the ambassador and held his gaze as he
talked. “As you know, both naval vessels, the
and the
were detached from the Persian Gulf armada to rescue us and a bunch of our
friends, including several foreign ambassadors and their staffs, from this
compound. Most of these evacuations have been completed, and we are basically
all that remain. There are only a couple hundred of us left, and we’re all on
the compound, fairly safe for now. The ships are urgently needed for Operation
Desert Shield, and the military wants us to complete this evacuation ASAP and
get the hell out of here so they can return to their bases in the Arabian

“Sure they do,” snapped the
ambassador, jabbing his finger toward Spinelli. “They want us to abandon this
embassy and leave it to be vandalized by General Mohamed Aideed’s filthy bunch
of murderers. This embassy compound was dedicated on the 4
of July
less than two years ago. It was built at a cost of $35 million to the American
taxpayer, and I’m not ready to fold the flag and carry it out of here. It’s a
veritable fortress...the newest and most state-of-the-art embassy in all of
Africa. We can stay inside and wait this out. Sooner or later the US government
will come to its senses and retake this city, and then we can go on about our
business of building a decent government here in Somalia.” He slammed his fist
on the table. “That’s what we’re going to do.”

The plastic room fell silent.
Spinelli averted his gaze, and no one else made eye contact with the
ambassador, now red-faced, shaking nervously, and perspiring profusely. He
appeared on the verge of a heart attack.

The silence was broken by a young
Marine officer standing erect in a starched camouflage uniform to the side of
Spinelli. “Mr. Ambassador, my name is Captain MacMurphy. I arrived yesterday
from Nairobi. I’m the officer in charge of the Marine security guard
detachments for the Horn of Africa region, which includes this one.”

The ambassador surveyed the young
officer standing at the end of the bubble. He looked cool and composed, while
everyone else in the room looked decidedly hot and uncomfortable, a fact that
served only to further inflame the ambassador. “So?” he demanded.

“So, with all due respect, sir,
I’m here to evacuate my Marines before Aideed’s rabble start climbing over the
walls of this compound. Those are my orders, sir. We can’t delay, because if we
do, those of us who remain will end up either dead or as hostages. We don’t
want a repeat of the Iranian embassy hostage crisis, do we, sir?” His unwavering
laser stare impaled the ambassador.

All eyes in the room turned to
the young Marine officer.

The ambassador pushed back his
chair abruptly and stood, gathering his papers. “This meeting is adjourned. I
want to see you, Captain,” indicating MacMurphy, “and you, Spinelli, back here
in thirty minutes. That should give the place enough time to cool off. Open the
door, Sergeant, and let some of the hot air out of this furnace.”


Chapter Two


hirty minutes later, the CIA
station chief and the Marine captain were seated across from one another near
the head of the conference table. The ambassador hurried in moments later,
secured the heavy levers of the bubble’s Plexiglas door behind him, and took
his place at the head of the table. His hands were still trembling, but he had
changed his shirt and looked decidedly cooler than before. Spinelli and MacMurphy
had been talking in low tones, but now they devoted their full attention to the

“Gentlemen,” the ambassador
began, “first of all, let me make something very clear.” His eyes locked on
MacMurphy’s. “My orders are my orders. Your orders are what I tell you to do.
If you don’t like my orders, you can get the hell out of my country. I am the
ambassador here. I am the president’s representative to this God-forsaken
country, and although God may have forsaken it, I don’t intend to. I give the orders
here.” His eyes burned, but MacMurphy held his gaze steady and remained

The ambassador broke the stare
and settled back in his chair as if to say,
Now that we have that settled,
we can move on.
MacMurphy sat motionless, unresponsive, while Spinelli
fidgeted. Now, feeling in control of the meeting, the Ambassador continued.

BOOK: The Case Officer
4.68Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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