- Posted October 6, 2012 by
Mata Hari and Osama bin Laden – The Truth Be Known
This is a tribute to the CIA’s secret weapons in the global war on terror – it’s corps of professional intelligence analysts; and, how they tracked down Osama bin Laden.
It has now been revealed that many of these analysts were women.
Margaretha Zelle was born in 1876 and became one of the leading exotic dancers in Paris, France.
Renamed Mata Hari, she used her tools of seduction and charm to become a French spy; extracting many military secrets while travelling throughout Europe.
She was eventually accused of being a double agent. Her final words are said to have been "Maybe a harlot, but never a traitor" before being executed by a firing squad.
In all her beauty and magnificence she was a testament to the fact that even the greatest men can fall victim to the allure of an intelligent woman.
So, let’s fast forward to 2011. Until recently, it was a little known fact that some of the unsung hero(ines) in the global war on terror were in fact women.
Newsweek’s Eli Lake tells this fascinating story in an article entitled “The CIA’s Secret Weapons” published on September 17, 2012.
His article is partly based upon the recently published account of a Navy Seal who participated in the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.
The Navy Seal – Matt Bissonette – was a team leader during that historic mission. With his book – No Easy Day – the Navy Seal wanted to “to set the record straight about one of the most important missions in U.S. military history.”
The book praises a female CIA intelligence analyst for her major role in the mission’s success. Identified in the book as “Jen”, for years the persistent analyst reportedly tracked the world’s most wanted man until she found him in his hiding place in Pakistan.
She briefed the raiding team before the raid and assured the Navy Seal team that she had absolutely no doubt that bin Laden was at that location. Her briefing was so detailed that she was even able to provide details like whether a door inside the compound would open inwardly or outwardly.
The article goes on to tell the story of how women in the CIA have moved beyond “traditional” secretarial roles and now are actively involved in all facets of espionage; including tracking global terrorists.
Of course, some will recall that in 2009 one of the CIA’s more senior female officers - Jennifer Matthews – was killed by a suicide bomber at a CIA base in Khost, Afghanistan.
One amusing anecdote noted in the article occurred in The Oval Office as President Obama was being introduced to a team of CIA intelligence analysts covering Pakistan. The team leader introduced the President to “the best Pakistan expert I’ve ever seen.”
Obama reportedly looked at the attractive female CIA officer, who was sporting stiletto heels, and said with clear amusement, “You don’t look like a Pakistan expert.”
Osama bin Laden might not have fell victim to the “allure” of an intelligent woman; but it is now known that intelligent women of the CIA, mostly operating in the shadows, rightfully deserve a major share of the credit for his death.
The article concludes that women of the CIA have earned the right to fight next to their male peers in those shadows.
We, as a nation, owe these ladies as well as their male counterparts a tremendous debt of gratitude.