February 26-28, 2010 -- A "slightly fictional" account of Iran's takedown of CIA's Baluchi operative
The CIA definitely has egg on its face over the Iranian VEVAK intelligence operation that nabbed Langley's top Iranian Baluchi guerrilla commander in Pakistan and his subsequent arrest in Iran. With all the sordid details being revealed about the CIA's proprietary Blackwater/Xe/Paravant "cowboy" operations in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq, the following "slightly fictionalized" account of the capture by Iran of Baluchi operative Abdolmalek Rigi by WMR's Asian journalist colleague who has covered events in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India for a number of years could be the screenplay for a movie titled: "The Frigging of Rigi"
Jundallah, the CIA's Iranian Baluchi terrorist group, says its leader Abdolmalek Rigi was betrayed by the United States, United Kingdom, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. Perhaps the CIA should teach its would-be guerrillas to watch not only their backs but also both sides. The CIA is reportedly flummoxed by the actions of Iran's VEVAK intelligence service, as well as Pakistan's Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) in the capture of their main man who launched terrorist attacks in eastern Iran to soften up the Persians before the deadly U.S. and Israeli body blow. Here is the "how-to-reshuffle-the-deck Persian-style."
So the Persians, via their intermediaries on the ground know Rigi's destination, the
schedule of his meeting with the American VIP in Bishkek, and the arrangements, and they nod their heads and prepare two receptions at Bandar Abbas . . . meanwhile . . .
Through the gates of Shamshi, a small convoy of Americans, military and "civilian", together with their Pakistani minders, accompany Rigi to Gwadar Airport for the cross-Gulf hop to Dubai Airport, where he is to transit with a fake Afghanistan passport and a bogus Pakistani travel document to Bishkek-Manas.
The Americans wave from the tarmac as a small charter jet takes Rigi with his Pakistani
escorts to Dubai. The Pakistanis are along for the ride to ensure that Rigi doesn't bolt in Dubai for a local girlie bar but gets on the flight to Bishkek, since "Mr. Big" is waiting for him specially at the U.S. airbase at Manas.
The flight flies low and switches off radio contact to evade potentially hostile radar. The Pakistani escorts then divvy up the work. One orders Rigi and his pal to stay in their
seats, the other goes to the cockpit with new destination. The pilot says "What?" The
Pakistani answers "Top Secret Mission, part of the U.S. plan. Our men are on the ground
in Bandar. Just a delivery, a small detour."
The small jet lands on the spacious strip. The Pakistanis push Rigi and pal out the door with a huge "whew" and "good riddance, you Baluch camel shit!"
The smiling Iranians greet Rigi: "Welcome to Iran. You are now a guest of the Revolutionary Guards. Everything will be taken care of."
While the air crew and the Pakistanis go for a cup of coffee, the happy Iranians put
on their masks for the photo op next to the small jet with their 'trophy." And then they
whisk Rigi and his accomplice to a small "hotel room" for a series of "chats."
Next, the Pakistanis and the air crew return to the plane to resume the flight to
Dubai. In the passenger seats are two men - ah, they took a piss, smoked a
cigarette and are back, "OK, let's go."
Under the radar, the small jet dashes across the Gulf to make up for lost time and then lands at Dubai International. The Pakistanis thank the charter jet captain, who decides to have some drinks and spend the night with a hooker across "the Creek." A job
well done deserves a reward.
The Pakistanis now take "Rigi and friend" to Departures. "Oh, I nearly forgot, I've been holding the passports. Here you go. Have fun, Iranian girls are oooh-la-la!"
The Pakistanis head to a local hotel to ogle the Lebanese hookers.
"Rigi Junior and Friend Junior" go through immigration, and then board Kyrgyzstan flight 454. "Too bad we're not going to Kyrgyzstan, I hear those Uzbek girls are oooh-la-la. Iranian girls make for a good wife, but I hear as girlfriends they've got expensive tastes."
"Ahmed, my young friend, after this performance you will be able to have two wives, one Punjabi and the second a Pashtun!"
"Oh, Jamal, that would be a real war. The Pastuni would have to be No.1. Their women are crazy and violent!"
"Ahmed, do you suppose they serve drinks aboard this flight?"
"You mean halal vodka?" Both laugh.
By now the plane is already descending - on schedule, if you happen to be an
impostor with the ISI.
While the plane's descending, Abbott asks, "Haven't we seen this place before? I thought they said we're going to Tehran. The pretty girls . . ." Costelllo replies, "Don't worry. All the Gulf islands look same, except for the Palm that sank the UAE.
Together they say, "Not Bandaid Abcess again!"
The other passengers are chattering. "Isn't that's an island in the Gulf?" "Engine problems, oh no!" "Do you think we're going to crash?"
Prayer beads are clicking, one woman is sobbing hysterically. "Calm down, my dear, probably just a minor mechanical problem," an older businessman from Bahrain reassures the hysterical woman from Kyrgyzstan.
Smooth landing and then the plane idles on tarmac. Several uniformed Iranians with small arms board the plane, looking intensely at the passengers and then spot "Abbott and Costello."
"If you gentlemen will accompany us."
"Oh, my Allah! Terrorists aboard our plane!" says the overweight babushka from Osh, Kyrgyzstan's second-largest city.
"You are in no danger, madam. Everything is under control. Have a nice flight to
Kyrgyzstan," replies the Iranian security officer.
Meanwhile, the Iranian security officer in the cockpit reminds the air crew: "This is a routine exercise. We're not supposed to discuss details over radio. Your supervisor in Manas is already informed of details. Thank you, gentleman. Have a good journey, Ins'Allah!"
At Manas, a U.S. Embassy staffer is reading Time magazine in a VIP Lounge. "Don't
worry, the ragheads are always running late. The only ones who every show up on
time are the Taliban."
His Grey Eminence is bored. This is the worst VIP Lounge I've ever seen. Built with USAID money, too. I know, corruption as usual, he muses to himself.
The plane reaches the gate. The reception team waits. "Is that all the passengers?
Can you check the manifest for a Mr. Rigi?"
"We're sorry, sir, the record indicates he boarded in Dubai. He must've slipped past you."
The Americans rush down to the baggage carousel. The passengers are all gone by now. "What the . . . your mobile. What's the country code for Afghanistan?"
Mr. CIA shouts over his mobile phone: "Hey, there, did the package get into the mail? Yes? Double check the postage? Yes? Well, it never arrived!"
Back at the lounge. "Sir, there's been some sort of mix up. We've got a guy checking with the air crew."
Incoming cell phone call from another "Mr. CIA" at the airport: "Dude, just checked with a pilot. They landed in Bandar Abbas. Two passengers were taken off the plane."
"Oh, shit. Excuse me, sir. Our contact can't make it. Sends his apologies. Maybe you should take an earlier flight to Tbilisi."
"Goddammit, can't you people get anything right? What the fuck are we going to do now? Don't let this get out or you're going to be running PR in Helmand. Get me on that flight NOW!"
The junior agent was flipping channels between BBC and Al-Jazeera in the VIP lounge, waiting for the bad news to arrive.
On the flight to Tbilisi, where Georgian President Mikhael Saakashvili would provide a little cover by announcing that he was sending 1000 of his "crack" presidential security troops to Afghanistan, Richard Holbrooke, President Obama's Special Envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, could only think of the dressing down he was going to get for Rigi being snatched by the infernal Iranians.
There would be the deep Hebrew-accented remonstration from Mossad chief Meir Dagan. But the worst would come from White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, who would let loose a volley of four-letter epithets on Holbrooke: "Godammit Holbrooke! This delays our Iran military action and how will I explain this royal-ass fuckup to Bibi after his recent success in snuffing that Hamas asshole in Dubai?"
Holbrooke's evening in Tbilisi could be called "The Night The Lights Went Out in Georgia."
For Abdolmalek Rigi, the refrain would be "Don't trust your soul to no Presidential Harvard lawyer. Cause the judge in Tehran's got bloodstains on his hand."
Meanwhile, hidden away somewhere deep inside a forest dwelling in the Serb Republic of Bosnia, wanted former Bosnian Serb Army Commander Ratko Mladic raises a shot glass of slivovka plum brandy at the news he's just received from his contacts about Holbrooke's embarrassment in Manas. Before pounding down the shot, he boasts: "Good, that bastard got what's coming to him!"