Mukhabarat, Baby! My Life as a Wartime Spy for the CIA

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9781634903776: Mukhabarat, Baby! My Life as a Wartime Spy for the CIA

This is the story of a young American who would eventually fulfill his dream of becoming a CIA Case Officer, only to have a promising career cut short after having been purposely poisoned by a contact.
   Eric Burkhart was raised in Europe in a bilingual household, and accepted a job in Africa right out of college. Upon his return to the United States, he was hired as an Immigration Agent in Laredo, Texas, working Inspections on one of the busiest port-of-entries connecting the United States and Mexico. This experience is detailed in this humorous, occasionally heartbreaking memoir about choosing to be a survivor.
   In 2000, Burkhart accepted a position as a Case Officer with the Central Intelligence Agency. The book includes details of both the notoriously arduous hiring process and the rigorous training program, including Burkhart's eventual successful completion of the Espionage Course taught at the famous "Farm". Burkhart's first overseas working experience was in war-torn Kosovo, where he was unwittingly poisoned by an unstable intelligence contact. Burkhart would struggle with the repercussions of this episode for the remainder of his career, and eventually be obliged to accept full medical retirement from the CIA.
   However, before retiring, Burkhart completed tours in Iraq and Africa. His time spent in the Green Zone almost immediately following the occupation of Baghdad, constitutes the majority of this enlightening book. Burkhart exposes the reader to the human element within the CIA, and we are introduced to a variety of characters, some who will seem familiar, and some who reveal the eccentricities we expect with this kind of occupation.
 Follow Burkhart through the battlefields of Iraq, past the Iraqi Insurgency, and to his next assignment in Africa. Burkhart leaves no emotion unexpressed as he details his medical struggles with the horrific damage caused to his body from Toxic Exposure. Wracked by pain, Burkhart reaches the point where he must consider quality of life issues, and has to accept retirement as a necessary decision. Burkhart has a story to tell, and leaves no stone unturned during this turbulent time both in his life, and in our history.

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From the Back Cover:

Mukhābarāt  مخابرات‎
Arabic term for intelligence, as in intelligence agency. In the West, the term is sometimes used negatively, connoting repression, often by means of secret police or state terror, in Arab countries.
  
In the summer of 2003, I became a man. It wasn't something that occurred quickly with fireworks and a key to the city, it was a change that developed during the first six months of my tour in Iraq. I wasn't alone in this episode of personal evolution.  I could sense young men, Americans in uniform, everywhere experiencing the same physical sea change. I've often wondered how many boyhoods ended in the sands of Iraq. I can think of at least three-thousand. I am not a soldier. I am a professional spy, trained by the best and known by my reputation. This wasn't my first journey into a war zone.  I left Kosovo in 2001, pregnant with death . . . and although I recovered, the sickness still lingers with me to this day.  But Iraq was different.  All that sand and heat and everything the same two or three colors: my own personal Heart of Darkness. It was a challenge not to lose your wits in that place. I'm still not sure how much of myself I left behind in Baghdad.  This is my story.

From the Inside Flap:

As we stopped for a military convoy to take right-of-way, a tall man came out from nowhere carrying something in his hand. It didn't take me long to realize that he was carrying a switch. I was shocked, and I was even more surprised when he started to walk up and down the rows of women, beating every single one with the switch as he passed them. The women were wailing and the guy with the switch was obviously preaching something or other, but I could still make out the sound of the switch as it flew through the air and then made contact. I looked to our linguist, who was a local hire, and asked what was happening. He told us that the women were Shi'a, and they were being punished. I asked him, almost rhetorically, "What for?" His answer will stick with me forever. "For being women. I'm sure they did something to deserve the beating."

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Book Description Booklocker.com, 2015. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. My name is Eric Burkhart. I recently retired after a successful career as a CIA Case Officer. Poisoned while working in Kosovo in 2001, I continued my career into Iraq and beyond. I always seemed to be living out of a suitcase. From a post-college job in African townships, to a stint as an Immigration Agent on a Texas Border Bridge, ending up in the CIA seemed pre-ordained. This is my story. Bookseller Inventory # LIE9781634903776

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