Tail of the Coin

By Thomas O’Hare








Based on actual events ―

The double life of a CIA Shadow Operator...










All Materials Within:
Copyright© 2021-2022, Thomas O’Hare – All Rights Reserved.


First Draft: July 11, 2022



Chapter 1 – Background


For a select few intelligence agents, the chance of an after-life is entirely plausible.  Their cloak-and-dagger personification is just one of several facades they live with daily.  These resources work autonomously and are referred to as ‘Shadow Operators’.  This is because they exercise their intelligence activities as dark shadows, away from the light of scrutiny.  They go to great lengths to show their normal civilian roles to the world.  Only a small handful of cohorts know they exist, handle their communications, and relay their objectives.  A continuous game of deception and false flag operations take place simultaneously to insure they stay imperceptible.  Their surreptitious activities include intelligence gathering, counter-intelligence, recruiting and training assets.  Their most valued role is being part of a ‘Coup d'état’ of a foreign government – like the Chilean Coup of 1973.  Who is better suited for a reincarnation than they?


If at some point their cover is blown or operations exposed, the asset must ‘up and die’.  That phrase is well understood inside intelligence circles.  This is the operation they dread and do their best to evade it.  Simply stated, ‘up and dying’ involves finding a way to convince everyone they actually died.  Although in reality, they are still very much alive.  This action includes relocating to a remote locale where they are totally unknown – normally in another country.  Plus cutting off all contact from their past, including family, friends, colleagues and anyone who even remotely knew them.


This narrative details one of the men who was forced to ‘up and die’ after twenty-plus years of service to his country.  The Watergate turmoil between 1972 to 1974 spelled the end to numerous operations being conducted by the U.S. intelligence services.  Unfortunately at that time, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was running activities within the borders of the United States – which is completely against its charter.  When the article by Seymour Hersh hit the front page of the New York Times on December 22, 1974, it exposed numerous illegal activities the CIA was currently undertaking.  As a result, in January and February of 1975 three U.S. Senate subcommittees were formed to investigate.

On March 23, 1975 the fallout became so extreme it forced one of their deepest shadow operatives to ‘up and die’.  If he had been discovered, there would have been subpoenas by all three Senate subcommittees to testify.  Super-secret CIA operations past and present would have been exposed.  The fallout would include a number of CIA associates going to prison, or worse.  There is no doubt the CIA would have been dismantled for engaging in operations far beyond the scope of their charter.  Especially for the domestic operations currently underway inside American borders.


As a result of the CIA being entangled in illegal activities they decided to summarily publish reports of past activities they had undertaken.  Those reports are now referred to as ‘The CIA’s Family Jewels’.  The reports included illegal CIA operations that took place between 1959 and 1973.  In the agency’s eyes they had bared their soul to the investigators.  The true fact is, they promised to publish a list of some embarrassing activities in order to hide the genuinely dirty ones.  The details of all the reports, even though highly redacted, were not fully released until 2007.  As the saying goes ‘toss a few bones to the dogs to keep them quiet’.  That is exactly what the CIA did.  They gave up the ‘Family Jewels’ reports in order to keep the senate subcommittees busy while they buried the more sinister plots they were involved in.


After the CIA shadow operative ‘up and died’, he was relocated to South Africa.  Along with him went just over One Million USD transferred from a CIA Black-Ops bank account.  That money became earmarked for use in future CIA operations.  That account contained money that didn’t exist intended for a man who is no longer alive.  His reincarnation began when he was placed in the care of an associate who had worked with the CIA on operations during the Congo Rebellion in the early to mid-1960’s.  He was tasked with taking the American under his protection and help him start a new life and a new mission.


This is where our story begins, some years later...


Across the South African shoreline clouds begin to billow as moist Atlantic air sweeps onshore.  Born with an acute power of observation, Full_Main_Name developed the ability to grasp what is invisible to most.  He observed white smoke from a chimney creating a vertical column rising skyward.  Instinctively drawing parallels between the insignificant, his ability of perception garners attention from clandestine circles.  This extraordinary talent is the same reason he had to quietly slip away to a new life.  Today, he is content making simplistic observations like those from his childhood.  Expanding clouds combined with a vertical column of smoke re-affirms that rain will soon fall.  A slight smile spreads across his face knowing the garden will soon bloom.


First_Main_Name was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York.  His father worked there as one of the city’s finest.  WWII was the cornerstone of his teenage years and the reason he joined the Army.  Serving in both Germany and Korea, he grew up fast and learned the hard way how to survive.  WWII taught him life’s tough lesson of living for today as tomorrow is never guaranteed.


In 1950 the Korean conflict loomed large.  This encouraged him to marry his childhood sweetheart that year.  During that conflict, he managed to start a small family.


As the Korean action ended in 1953, the Cold War continued to flourish since its inception in 1947.  Hot wars have now turned into a cold wars.  New kinds of warfare require learning advanced ways to fight a war in which the sounds of guns are seldom heard.


It was late 1956 when 82 South American Rebels made their way to Cuba by boat.  Their goal is to remove the country's leader, President Fulgencio Batista, from power.  Among the rebels are two men of notoriety; Fidel Castro and Che Guevara.  On December 2nd, they quietly landed on the western shore of Cuba.  This marked the beginning of their campaign to violently overthrow the Cuban government and install their own brand of socialism.


Several days after landing, a wandering naval patrol boat spotted the group and shelled their onshore position.  Three days later, a detachment of President Batista's rural guard attacked the Rebels' new encampment.  The Rebels split into small groups and fled into the nearby dense mountain foliage in hopes of surviving the attack.  When Fidel reached the planned rendezvous, he is shocked to discover only 19 of his group survived.  The rest of his comrades were either killed or captured by the rural guard.


Six weeks later, the remaining 19 revolutionaries began their bloody campaign.  Fidel Castro and his band capture the small village of La Plata, Cuba.  They execute the local mayoral (land-company overseer) Chicho Osorio, whom the locals despised.  That action on January 14, 1957, reverberated around the world.  This small piece of soil became the birthplace of the Cuban Revolution.  Their actions that day would change the geopolitical landscape for decades to come.  The shots fired echoed vehemently in the halls of the Kremlin, the White House, and Bejing.


That single action in a remote village on a small island alarmed the U.S. intelligence services.  A small band of guerrilla fighters is successfully beginning the overthrow of the entire Cuban regime.  An island nation only 90 miles from the southern tip of the United States, it is too close for a socialist dictatorship to start.  The reality is the White House continues to support the current regime and President Batista.  Ripples from the effects of Castro's action will now be closely monitored by intelligence agencies around the world.


The rumblings in Cuba reach First_Main_Name through the intelligence grapevine.  He is a true patriot and fully realizes this threat is close to American shores and must be nipped in the bud.  Veterans of past conflicts have lost too many brothers-in-arms in previous battles and vow to prevent any more bloodshed by a dictator.  They fully comprehend that another slaughter of innocent people is fast approaching.

First_Main_Name gathers his family, packs them in a Chevy station wagon, and heads south to Florida.  He has no idea what the future holds and once again throws himself into the hands of fate.  The year is 1957 and the world is on the verge of political revolution.


The fates are kind to First_Main_Name as he soon secures employment at a small printing company as a stationary salesman.  His family now has a stable environment in the sleepy Central Florida town of Winter Park.  His new life begins to fall into place.  It is also time for First_Main_Name to concentrate on the real reason he relocated to Florida.  Good intelligence assets take advantage of all the civilian resources they can muster and stay out of prying eyes.  Any overt help from government sources would expose himself and his intentions.  Over time he discretely continues to seek out assets for his covert mission.


First_Main_Name now concentrates on establishing a diverse network of resources.  He needs to get out among new groups and garner a reputation as a resourceful and trustworthy patriot.  Over time he joins a number of local community organizations to add to his expanding network.


He is a veteran of two major actions with the rank of non-commissioned officer in the U.S. Army.  Before leaving New York he transfers his military status to a reserve unit in the Air Force at the rank of Master Sargent.  Most military activity in Florida at this time is with the numerous airbases created during WWII.  McCoy Air Force Base (AFB) in Orlando, Patrick AFB in Cocoa Beach, and MacDill AFB in Tampa are some examples.  During this period he continually expands his network of both civilian and military assets at his disposal.  He is establishing a cohesive network of diverse resources for future paramilitary projects.  Continually developing his network he adds to his reputation as a trustworthy patriot.  The type of activity he is preparing for requires a vast web of discrete government, military and civilian contacts that he can rely on.


It is New Year’s day 1959.  President Fulgencio Batista fled Cuba the night before with $300,000,000.  Fidel Castro and his compatriots control the capitol city of Havana and most of Cuba.  Ninety miles from the United States coastline, Castro has successfully planted the seeds of Communism.  Military and intelligence officials scramble to deal with this new threat.  Half a world away, Moscow delights at the news.  The Kremlin is now searching for ways to use this new pawn against its arch foe, the United States of America.


Full_Main_Name understands the next several years will be critical for America.  Cuba has become a genuine threat to democracy in the Western hemisphere.  Russia continues to eye the resources in the west and befriends the Castro regime with money and materials.  The current U.S. Republican administration, led by the WWII Allied Supreme Commander Dwight D. Eisenhower, is about to leave office.  A new election campaign is underway to make either Richard M. Nixon or John F. Kennedy the next President of the United States.


In March of 1958 Nikita Khrushchev becomes the leader of the Soviet empire.  He manages to become a prominent player on the world stage in short order.  U.S. intelligence agencies are working overtime to plan the removal of the Castro regime from Cuba without increasing tensions with Russia.  The vacuum created by the flux in the global balance of power creates a need for the United States to remain strong, especially in the Americas.


On January 20, 1961, John F. Kennedy is sworn in as the 35th President of the United States.   Khrushchev and Kennedy have completely different personalities and global outlooks.  The game is on to show the world which country is stronger, the U.S. or Russia.  The two most powerful countries on earth with new administrations taking office severely complicates the geopolitical stage.  The world is forced to change according to what the two leaders require from it.  The 1960’s will be a time of global transformation and eventual confrontation.


The American Intelligence community is now working in overdrive to beef up their assets as it is painfully apparent they will be called upon to act in the near future.  'Powers to be' now tap First_Main_Name to begin training with military Special Forces while maintaining his civilian cover.  Under a calm exterior, the world is on edge as powers align for a global warfare – Cold and Hot.


The stage is set and the chess game begins.  Whatever happens in the near term will shape the world for the rest of the 20th Century and beyond.  Any major conflict could potentially turn nuclear and end all civilization.  This means all future struggles must be limited to insurgencies or counter-insurgencies in order to keep conflicts contained.  Proxy wars and cold wars must replace World Wars as it is evident another World War would lead to the end of civilization.


Full_Main_Name understands the world situation.  He also realizes official channels must be avoided at all costs.  Stealth is essential in all his activities.  Everyone involved has to be good at keeping a low profile.  Anyone with an ego who draws attention must be abandoned.  First_Main_Name realizes the stakes involved and the consequences if he is discovered.  He walks a tight-rope between two lives; one the world will see, the other no one can ever discover.  In this business, if your cover is blown, you have to quickly 'up and die' before they get to you.


First_Main_Name sits on his porch watching the rain begin to fall.  Once again he read the signs correctly.  If only he had been this accurate in his previous life.  'Up and dying' is not an easy task to accomplish.  It requires never contacting anyone from your past.  A family, a life, friends, it's all gone – there is no going back.  Half a world away from his former life, all he can do is be someone else.  He must, he has used up all his available resources.  Life now parallels his 'Airborne' days with the Special Forces.  He has cut away his malfunctioning main parachute and pulled the rip-cord on his reserve.  You can only pull that rip-cord once.  If found out again, the 'Shadow Operator' will belong to the darkness of the ages.  An unknown, a cold six feet below in a paupers grave.