Honored and Betrayed: Irangate, Covert Affairs, and the Secret War in Laos

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Wiley, Sep 16, 1992 - Biography & Autobiography - 405 pages
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When Richard Secord appeared before a special select committee of Congress investigating Iran-Contra, his testimony riveted the nation. As a retired major general in the U.S. Air Force, a former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, and the man who had been the Shah of Iran's most intimate U.S. military advisor, Secord had been the obvious choice for operations chief in charge of President Reagan's top secret Iran Initiative and covert Contra supply effort. What Secord hadn't known when he agreed to help Ollie North and CIA director William Casey was that he would soon find himself embroiled in the biggest political scandal of the decade. Now, in his provocative autobiography, Honored and Betrayed, Richard Secord fires back at his accusers and reveals the inside story of "Irangate". The book tells how Iran-Contra worked and the true roles played by the men involved, from those at the highest levels - including President Reagan, then-Vice President Bush, Secretary of State Schultz, National Security Advisors McFarlane and Poindexter - to the shadowy intermediaries and secret agents in the jungles of Central America and the streets of Tel Aviv and Tehran. But Irangate is only part of General Secord's story. His no-holds-barred autobiography charts the meteoric career of a highly dedicated, fierce individualist whose disdain for "politics" and bureaucratic foot-dragging and devotion to getting the job done were the keys to his brilliant success in the military and political spheres. Ironically, the same qualities led to his undoing. Drawing on personal experiences spanning three decades, Secord offers us the ultimate insider's view of some of the most momentous hot and cold war operationsof our time. Secord's induction into the shadow world of covert affairs began as a young pilot in 1961 when he was one of a handful of U.S. "advisors" who fought in the Air Force's covert Project Jungle Jim in the war-torn republic of Vietnam. In 1966, he was detailed to the CIA to help organize its covert air war over Laos, which he ran for three years. While serving in the Pentagon in 1972, Secord helped plan and implement Nixon's historic "Christmas bombings" that drove Hanoi back to the bargaining table and ended America's longest war. Following three years as the head of the U.S. Air Force Military Advisory Group in Iran, Secord was picked, after the failure of the 1980 Desert One mission, to secretly organize and train a second, much larger, attack force to rescue the U.S. Embassy hostages in Iran. In 1981, Secord spearheaded the Defense Department's successful battle to sell controversial AWACs aircraft to Saudi Arabia - a Pyrrhic victory that earned him powerful political enemies and ultimately short-circuited his career. Full of the grit and gristle of combat operations, clandestine intrigues and hardball politics, Honored and Betrayed packs the wallop and precision of a cruise missile.

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