I just finished reading “The Case Officer” by Fred W. Rustmann, Elite Senior Intelligence Service CIA retired. This book is a must read for anyone who wants to know what it is really like to be in the CIA as a Case Officer, Embassy detail and so on. Mr. Rustmann is fair and honest about how far the CIA has fallen from it’s former glory years. Mr. Rustmann has everything take place in 2004 so he does not let the Bush Administration off the hook. Mr. Rustmann even tells the story of how the CIA was destroyed back in the 1970’s. It is clear that both Democrats and Republicans share the blame for the destruction of the CIA.
This book is fiction only because Mr. Rustmann artfully takes elements of many operations and blends them in such a way as to protect real operations and Case Officers. You could say that Mr. Rustmann puts operations together similar to the way you put a variety of vegetables in a blender so you get the nutrients but can not identify the individual vegetables put in the blender, much like a home made V8. This book gives the real world of the CIA without putting anyone in danger.
Mr. Rustmann not only critiques the CIA but does offer a solution to our loss of this once great Agency. There is some instructional material in this book as to how to do spy craft. The more ambitious of the American people could try to be their own spy and do their own little part to take back America from the “International”. I do not know if Mr. Rustmann intended the American people to “Fire at will” to defend America but this book does remind me of old 1990’s Military Intelligence lectures that “We the people” could attend, to educate the people on how to fight back. Military Intelligence had people travel across America to give lectures on intelligence gathering and military fighting operations. The military was warning us about a time when we, America, would loose our sovereignty and be controlled by Europe and other nations. Well it looks like that is sure true. So I wonder if Mr. Rustmann like Military Intelligence back then, is now trying to get American citizens to become a Resistance much like in the 1940’s French Resistance. The Father of the CIA, the OSS helped the Resistance movement by handing a little booklet out to Resistance people. This little booklet gave instructions on every thing to gum up the Nazi works. This little booklet told you what to do depending on your position, skills and courage. It ranged from simple delay tactics to full blown munitions destruction like blowing up bridges and so on. This is the old question; could history repeat itself?
This is a man’s book and not for the faint hearted. If it were a movie, it would be rated “R”. There are parts of this book that are so chilling your hair will stand on end. Other parts are very sensual and loving. “The Case Officer” is the real world of intelligence gathering and covert operations. James Bond move aside because here comes Fred W. Rustmann!
The best part of this book is the CIA Case Officer is portrayed as a real person, with strengths and weaknesses. It is a three dimensional view of the Case Officer. Most spy novels the spy character lacks depth. You cry for the main character, Mac, as well as the destroyed and dysfunctional CIA. You get angry with Mac when the petty people in the CIA are jerks. Here the CIA is portrayed as any other work place with all the bad traits that ruin any working environment. You cheer for Mac when he triumphs. You are very surprised by the way it ends, because no clues are leaked at all leading up to the ending.
Mr. Rustmann surprises you by his tenderness, something not seen today. Mr. Rustmann is clearly a tough guy, but he can be gentle. Mr. Rustmann does not spare you from the realities and risks of being a Spy, Agent or Asset. This book does help the civilian to understand the necessity of having an intelligence service like the CIA. Mr. Rustmann clearly shows you the difference between the Heroic Spy and the Villain Spy. There are good guys and bad guys, just in the spy world the scales are different than the civilian world. This important lesson shows there is such thing as being an up standing moral CIA person at the same time being a little “Dicey” when it is necessary.
This ends my review. Next I want to add a link to Newsmax because there is a video interview of Fred w. Rustmann, Elite Senior Intelligence Service CIA retired where Mr. Rustmann tells you about his book called "The Case Officer" and his successive book called "Plausible Denial" and other possible up coming books that he will write. Here is the link;
This should help anyone who wishes to consider purchasing "The Case Officer by Fred W. Rustmann. I hope you enjoy this very informative book and consider helping Mr. Rustmann and the CIA.