December 6, 2022

Humanity in the Kill Zone

I would bet A Time To Betray has the highest completion rate of any book published in the last five years, and maybe going back to 1979 and the Iranian Revolution. I can’t imagine anyone not finishing this book once they started reading it. There were skeptics that the man writing under cover of anonymity was really a CIA agent in Iran. Washington journalist David Ignatius did his own background check before reviewing and praising the book. One of the case officers told Ignatius that Reza Kahlili was brave. Yeah, and Tiger Woods is a pretty good golfer. He describes the savage torture, rape, and execution of teenage girls. Their crime is merely being related to suspected spies and traitors. The spies who have been caught get worse treatment, if that’s possible.

CIA spies are not known for documenting their books with footnotes. Names and locations are changed in places for protection. But the danger and demented behavior of the Islamic radicals so obviously challenges the passive view in Washington that you feel we’re in the 1930s trying to explain away Hitler. It wasn’t so long ago that the Iranians tried to blow up a Washington D.C. restaurant in an assassination attempt on the Saudi ambassador. Now they’re called rational by the top national security advisers in Washington.

Reza Kahlili is the pseudonym for a CIA spy and computer expert working for the Revolutionary Guards in the 1980s. He was stunned when the Reagan administration got caught in the Iran-Contra scandal. He writes, “I realized how foolish I had been. I had been risking my life to rid my country of the criminals running it and the Americans were negotiating with them. The CIA knew that the Guards were responsible for the barracks bombing in Lebanon that took the lives of 241 American servicemen. They knew their own people, like William Buckley, were kidnapped, tortured, and killed. Yet they were offering appeasement to these two-faced donkey-riding mullahs.”

I doubt the Iranians would be described as rational if they had succeeded in blowing up the D.C. restaurant, killing dozens. Kahlili describes a stoning of a young woman, with her mother forced to watch:

“The guards started shoveling more dirt in the hole until they buried Asieh up to her shoulders…A young woman was being slaughtered, and I had to stop hiding behind my shadow. I had to know her pain…The crowds attacked the pile of rocks. With all of the hatred they felt in them, they threw rocks at Asieh…Die you filthy, sinful woman. Die.”

Her mother sat in shock and utter despair in the dirt, unable to speak, unable to even cry. A Time to Betray is filled with these horrific accounts. Ask a national security adviser in Washington their favorite sport and the answer will probably be golf, jogging, swimming, skiing. A “national security adviser” to the ayatollahs lists his favorite sport as “Jihad in fierce war.”

Go Tigers…

Israel’s assassins have used motorcycles to do their hits on the Iranian nuclear scientists. Khalili and his boss in the Revolutionary Guard were attacked by motorcycle assassins. He barely escaped while his boss was killed. The CIA had few resources inside Iran after the 1979 Revolution. He was their “eyes and ears,” mailing letters written in code to England. A Revolutionary Guard member suspects Khalili is a spy but the man is killed during a battle in the Iran-Iraq War before Khalili can be interrogated.

Khalili tells a CIA case officer of the evil he has witnessed and the radical ideology. The CIA man says, “They really believe this stuff, don’t they?” You can imagine that question still being asked around Washington today as if nothing has been learned. While China provided training for the Revolutionary Guard at a base in China, the Russians provided expertise in the polygraph, torture, and truth serums at the notorious Evin prison.

I didn’t know the saying “One for the road” came from the British. A condemned man would be allowed one drink from the pub on his way to the execution. The saying “On the wagon” came from the guard who wasn’t allowed to drink and had to stay on the wagon with the prisoner. Falling off the wagon must be when the donkey riding mullahs have taken the appeasers into the kill zone.


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