First, this is not exclusively a spy story. More accurately, it is Pop’s memoirs, laced with a liberal serving of political and social commentary. Starting aroung 1944, the stories peak during the years from 1973 to 1987, with a few comments about 2006, the time at which Pop committed his words to “paper”. And, unlike his obituary, I will make my best effort to publish his works as they were written. However, I reserve the right to clarify or comment, if I feel the interjection is appropriate.
Hang on to your hats.
Watching From The Tall Grass
I was Christened Robert Frederick, which is why everybody called me Bobby. You can call me Fred.
Over the years, several people have suggested that I write about my experiences on the rim of the spying and lying business, watching from the tall grass. I have avoided doing that for several reasons.
First, there is Martha Stewart. If I tell you something you shouldn’t know and some hostile tells the FBI and/or that you know it, and the FBI and/or snags your ass, and you try to scam them, you could wind up next to Martha on the mess hall line dealing cookies to the other inmates.
How? For—lying—to—a—federal—agent (*), that’s how. (Another indication of the ongoing Nazi-fication of our grand republic.)
(*) SIDEBAR: Not too long ago, lying to government officials–all government officials, whether or not “they” were armed “chicken inspectors”, dogcatchers, local cops–or any kind of cops–or the Gestapo–was an ironclad rule among most native Europeans, their American descendants and other regionals in my world. (Too many people went to the death camps for telling the truth. I’ll tell you about my friend’s Uncle Max and CIOTKA [Aunt] Trudy some time.) Today, it’s the opposite—If a federal game warden in the Everglades asks you where you got that fresh moose carcass you have in your boat, you better have a true story or quick as a wink you’ll be bumping butts with Marty on the mess line.
Personally, I think it is equal justice to send the unbelievably self-important, the nauseatingly self-righteous and the seriously pompous guardians and intruders of our freedoms [who usually can not find their own ass without using both hands, but will quickly grab yours] down the yellow brick road to Oz. Their specialties seem to be nailing the barn door shut (or wide open) after the horse has run away….and punishing the many for the sins of the few!
And they always seem to get away with their crimes against freedom, even when exposed.
Second, there is the British Official Secrets Act they were so fond of poking me in the eye with: “You do understand that severe penalties may be imposed…” as if I was potentially another infamous defector like Kim Philby or Donald Maclean.
Third, there is the U.S. equivalent to Britain’s Official Secrets Act, “The 1917 Espionage Act”, old and vague, but deadly when used in concert with that Draconian Nazi-style Patriot Act, et alia.
Fourth, because there is so much bullshit out there in TV and movies about fantasy, not fact, it’s difficult to compete. (I never read fiction, because non-fiction–a/k/a truth– is so much stranger and fascinating than either fiction or bullshit.)
Fifth, because people’s eyes quickly glazed over if maybe I drank too much wine and blabbed occasional tales, or they didn’t believe that a non-James Bond type could have done all that stuff. (They should not have asked, eh?)
Why me, Lord?
But last, and more important, The Question: Why? Why talk about it now, so many years later?
A) Because you keep bugging me, that’s why;
B) Because I’m dying and maybe it’s time to sing; and
C) The Patriot Act NeoCon Nazis may not have time to target their religious racism on a born U.S. citizen of non-Arab descent, unless there is an express lane to Guantanamo for heretics.
Words, But No Noises
The major problem with recounting my stuff is that text is so neutral. There are no voice inflections, no shouts or whispers, no curses or dramatic gestures of pain or anger, no gunshots or airplane noises or explosions, no beer bottles or bones breaking, and worst of all—no smells, no tastes, no touches and few sights. Written words are very dull, compared to sight and sound and the other senses.