Originally published in TUT Oct. 27th 2015
According to Tim Weiner in his fantastic and lengthy book Legacy of Ashes…The history of the C.I.A., Robert Ames was “the most influential C.I.A. officer and the leading C.I.A. analyst in the Arab world.” He quotes Robert Gates, former DCI and former Secretary of Defense saying that Ames was “uniquely talented”.
There is a relatively new book with a lot more information on Ames called The Good Spy by Kai Bird that is packed with much more information on this all-star clandestine officer.
Ames had incredible contacts and dealt directly with King Hussain of Jordan with Arafat himself as well as the leadership in Lebanon.
All these sources describe Ames as a ‘superstar spy’ and a handsome and charismatic man and an American whom the Arabs liked.
More importantly, Bob Ames was the case officer for Ali Hassan Salameh, the infamous “Red Prince”. Salameh was chief of Intelligence for the PLO and a world famous “terrorist”. It was Salameh who masterminded the 1972 assassination of Olympic athletes in Munich. He was a superstar terrorist and playboy who married Ms. Universe the gorgeous Georgina Risk.
Salameh was brilliant and for a while even outwitted the Mossad sending them on a wild goose chase which culminated in their blowing away an innocent waiter in Lillehammer Norway whom they mistook for Salamah, proving that even Mossad makes mistakes.
Arafat turned over Salameh to the Americans in trying to win them over. Bob Ames became the case officer for Salameh and the two men worked out an understanding that the PLO would not attack American targets. For four years the two men shared intelligence on their mutual enemies in the Arab world. No American targets were hit. This was an absolutely fantastic source. Ames and the Red price became friends.
Tragically Ames was killed when the CIA station in Beirut was blown away by (allegedly) Imad Muganeah, a top Hezbollah commander. The worst loss of life in CIA history. They lost 63 CIA officers and staff.
Read The Good Spy carefully and you will find a tremendous amount of tension between the CIA and its supposed ‘counterpart’, Mossad.
Quote–“C.I.A. reporting on terrorism in the Middle East was better than it had ever been or would ever be again”
The Americans had a good thing going until Mossad blew away The Red Prince in 1978. Salameh was spotted by a Mossad asset undercover literally as a “crazy cat lady”. Our man in the PLO had been blown away.
We were then that much more dependent on Mossad. The book The Good Spy goes into great detail on this massive loss to CIA.
Not every guy in the CIA was a bad guy. Bob Ames was an America hero.
It is also interesting to note that a (claimed) joint CIA/Mossad operation took out Imad Magneah in a car bomb attack.
Muganeah was supposed to be behind the 1983 bombing that killed 241 US Marines in Beirut as well as the TWA flight 847 hijacking and the embassy bombing in 1983 that killed Robert Ames. Muganeah would have been second only to Bin Laden as alleged terror mastermind of the century. So why no major media frenzy when they got Muganeah? Could it be the Israelis have had some kind of foreknowledge of the attacks? Therefore the Zionist controlled media kept this story relatively suppressed? Victor Ostrovsky sites in By Way of Deception that Mossad allegedly had foreknowledge of the Marine barrack attacks and did not let the Americans know.
Worse still–was Mossad behind the attack itself in an effort to keep the Americas involved in the Middle East and keep them blind and dependent on Israel for ‘good intelligence’ in the region?
One thing for sure things is that it would have been a lot better if Robert Ames was not killed and his back-channel contacts kept open. There would have been at least some chance for peace in the Middle East via this special relationship.
This is an old story. But it is just one of many that indicates that the “American Empire” has paid dearly because of her ‘special relationship” with Israel.
The killing of Bob Ames was just one of many sad stories of missed opportunity for peace that have now culminated in 911, ISIS, etc.
God bless Mr. Ames but only for the right reasons.
Tim Weiner Legacy of Ashes the history of the C.I.A
The Quest for the Red Prince: Israel’s Relentless Manhunt for One of the World’s Deadliest and Most Wanted Arab Terrorists by Michel Bar Bar Zohar and Eitan Haber.
The Good Spy: The Life and death of Robert Ames Kai Bird
Victor Ostrovsky By Way of Deception