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A Canadian Ruse

Ваагн Карапетян

Форма: Рассказ
Жанр: Проза на иностранных языках
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"Jimmy, it’s a complete failure, the operation failed. More later. As for now, I’m resigning… Thank you for an honor of working with you”, Cyrus Vance, the now ex-Secretary of the State, put down the receiver and slowly left his office. While in his car he regretted not taking his belongings with him, but decided not to return. "An ill omen”, he smiled.
Operation Eagle Claw, a secret military rescue of 52 employees of the American embassy in Tehran, was a total failure, and the fate of the hostages – citizens of the USA – was uncertain. The next day all newspapers told of what had happened and America shuddered. People crowded around news stands, and read information about their fellow-citizens trapped in captivity again and again. They tried to fish out at least some reassuring information from newspapers. The country was completely disappointed with its government’s clumsy actions.

President Jimmy Carter canceled his previously appointed meeting with the journalists and went back to his rancho dispirited. He took the latest newspapers with him, and retired to a small pavilion on the lake shore. But the evening brought a phantom hope: Stansfield Turner, the Central Intelligence director and admiral, called him and said six diplomats had been able to escape. Undergoing trying experience, they ended up in the home of the Canadian ambassador Ken Taylor. He, perfectly aware of what he was doing, took a risk and showed his Canadian cunning to save his American colleagues.

"Meet me at 10 am tomorrow. Invite anyone you want”, said Jimmy Carter to Turner, inspired with the news.

He couldn’t sleep that night. He knew, America would not forget him such a failure.

Neither did the CIA director sleep. Feeling nervous, smoking one cigarette after another, he was noisily moving around his house, thinking nothing of his sleeping family, hitting against chairs and pushing and pulling drawers of his table. By two in the morning he has arranged a plan to rescue the diplomats and, despite late hours, called a CIA expert on disguise and exfiltration Tony Mendes and asked him a very reasonable question at such a time: "Are you sleeping, Tony?”

"Not anymore”, answered Tony, rubbing his eyes.

"Then I’m awaiting you at my place”.

The expert got up, put on his clothes and drove, as he had used to, to the CIA director. They sat till dawn, working out details of the plan, that’s why the morning meeting at the President’s was rather long.

The President approved of the idea to present the diplomats as a Canadian film crew scouting locations for a film and to take them to a third country with fake documents. The Canadian government was immediately informed. And the work began. Among other things, for a better cogency, they decided to make large badges with the film studio logo: that would help to avoid unnecessary questions at the customs, as the sly Iranian customs officers could notice the Canadian filmmakers’ American accent while questioning.

To make things even more true to life, a draft script was prepared with the help on the Canadian side, with main events happening in the Middle East. It was decided not to rush things, moreover as the US-loyal government of Mehdi Bazargan had resigned, and its place went to the more aggressively minded Muslim clergy.

At the appointed time the packet with passports arrived at the Canadian embassy in Iran from Ottawa by diplomatic mail. But in their haste to do the job they forgot to include the badges with the fake film studio logo. But they decided to pursue the idea of using the badges and addressed a local souvenir company. It agreed to make the order in the shortest time.

On the day of departure to Switzerland the group of tired "filmmakers”, exhibiting new and shiny badges, was successfully making it’s way past the customs borders in the Mehrabad International Airport in Tehran. And just before boarding the plane, a young airport employee noticed the badges and exclaimed with an unconcealed curiosity:

"What a lovely badge! I have a large collection of badges with film studio logos from all over the world, but not this one. And I have never heard of such a film studio”.

The group froze in terror. But then Robert Anders, whom the young Iranian worker had addressed, smiled, unclasped the badge and handed it to him without a word. The man was taken aback, took the badge hesitantly, beamed with delight, and bowing in respect, fastened it on his jacket.

Three and a half hours later the Boeing 777-300 EP successfully arrived at the Zurich airport.

© Ваагн Карапетян, 2015
Дата публикации: 07.12.2015 13:02:33
Просмотров: 1128

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