Moscow Rules: The Secret CIA Tactics That Helped America Win the Cold War by Antonio & Joanna Mendez with Matt Baglio
From the spymaster and inspiration for the movie Argo: how a group of brilliant but under-supported CIA operatives developed breakthrough spy tactics that helped turn the tide of the Cold War.
Antonio Mendez arrived in Moscow in 1976, at one of the most dangerous moments in the Cold War. Soviets kept files on all foreigners, studied their patterns, tapped their phones, and even planted listening devices within the US Embassy. In short, intelligence work was effectively impossible. The Soviet threat loomed larger than ever.
The Moscow Rules tells the story of the intelligence breakthrough that turned the odds in America’s favor. As Chief of Disguise and Authentication, Mendez was instrumental in creating and honing a series of tactics that allowed officers to finally get one step ahead of the KGB. These techniques included everything from elaborate, Hollywood-inspired identity swaps, to deception or evasion techniques, to more mundane document forgery. With these new guidelines in place, and with an armory of new gadgets perfected by the Office of Technical Services including miniature cameras, suitcase release body doubles, and wall repelling mechanisms, the CIA managed to gain a foothold in Moscow and pull off some of the greatest intelligence operations in the history of espionage.
As America is again confronted by the threat of Russian disinformation, the dramatic inside story of how we defeated our once-and-future enemy is as timely as ever.