GADGET GURU Barney Collier (Greg Morris) was a key member of the Mission: Impossible team.
By C. Michael Forsyth
The tiny African nation of Botswana has reportedly dispatched its own Mission: Impossible-type spy team to engineer the overthrow of Russian strongman Vladimir Putin. And even more shocking, their next target is American President Donald Trump!
“It’s total role reversal,” says a U.S. intelligence source who has compiled a dossier on the alleged scheme. “During the Cold War, it was the superpowers who sent spies to thwart the dictators of Third World countries. That scenario was played out again and again on the 1960s TV show Mission: Impossible, as the American spy ring concocted ingenious plots to bring about the downfall of the tin horn dictators of banana republics, played by actors like Ricardo Montalban and Fernando Lamas. Now it’s a small Third World country that’s deployed agents to rescue the two superpowers from authoritarian rule and make the world safe for democracy.”
Screen legend Ricardo Montalban frequently played tin horn dictators in ’60s spy shows.
The source likened the flip-flop to the movie The Mouse that Roared, in which the pint-sized European country of Grand Fenwick declares war on America and launches an invasion carried out by 20 men outfitted in medieval chainmail.
“The difference is that these are secret agents, not soldiers – and based on what we know of the efficiency of Botswana’s spy agency, there is a very real possibility that they will actually pull off their mission.”
President Putin is widely viewed as a vicious, cold-blooded tyrant. The former KGB boss has murdered a host of opponents, including journalists, activists, and political leaders – with radioactive materials his frequent weapon of choice — and he’s jailed scores of others, such as the peaceful protest group Pussy Riot. The Russian leader has also ruthlessly bombed civilians and rebel groups in Syria, brutalized Georgia and Chechnya, invaded Ukraine and brazenly annexed Crimea, the first such land grab in Europe since 1945.
Russians who dare to oppose Putin, like the group Pussy Riot, tend to wind up in jail — or dead.
“Putin has has flooded the West with so many spies that there are more in England today than during the Cold War – including those licensed to kill who carry out his personal vendettas,” the source revealed. “He’s a venal and violent real-life supervillain who usurped power and uses his position to enrich himself and his cronies, amassing a private fortune close to $200 billion. In the past, the CIA might have been ordered to quietly overthrow someone that evil, but that won’t happen, for obvious reasons. The government of Botswana’s president Seretse Khama Ian Khama sees Putin as a threat to world stability and feels it has a moral obligation to step in.”
Out of all the countries in Africa, it’s not entirely surprising that Botswana stepped up to the plate. While it has a miniscule population of about 2 million, it has never been conquered or colonized and is one of Africa’s most stable countries, boasting the continent’s longest continuous multi-party democracy. According to a recently BBC profile, it is virtually free of corruption and has an excellent human rights record.
“Botswana is the world’s largest producer of diamonds and the trade has transformed it into a middle income nation,” the report states. Gay rights groups have recently been granted legal recognition – a far cry from Russia, where Putin has issued draconian laws against the LGBT community. “Botswana has a long tradition of lively and unimpeded public debate,” according to the BBC, which notes that the government has allowed a “free and vigorous” press to flourish.
“In many ways it’s like the fictional country of Wakanda that the comic book hero The Black Panther calls home,” the intelligence source notes.
In contrast to the sober-minded leaders of Botswana, temperamental tycoon Trump has branded journalists “enemies of the people” – and that’s one of the red flags that raised concern in the African nation.
“Botswana sees Trump as potentially even more dangerous to world peace than Putin,” the source revealed. “A classified document we obtained describes him as an ‘emotionally unstable narcissist and pathological liar, with authoritarian tendencies.’ They fear that it’s simply too risky to allow someone like that to have his finger hovering over the red nuclear button.”
Could Trump really be overthrown like the buffoonish leader of some banana republic?
How the African secret agents intend to bring down the two leaders is as yet unknown. Experts say that the Botswana intelligence agency is highly sophisticated, modeled closely on the superpowers’ own Cold War-era spy networks.
“We anticipate the use of intricate and cunning plots, high-tech gadgets hidden in objects such as watches, cigarette lighters and shoes, the use of glamorous lady spies and other staples of the intelligence field,” the source says. “Their agents have been trained in methods such as gaining access to secure facilities by pretending to be carpet cleaners and crawling through narrow airshafts.”
The fact that the agents are African and the Russian population is almost entirely white won’t pose much of an obstacle, he adds. “There have been incredible advances in disguise technology since those masks of the Mission: Impossible era.”
TV’s Mission: Impossible team employed trickery, technology and clever disguises.
Copyright C. Michael Forsyth
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Agent Jim Phelps (Peter Graves) tries to recall the message he just heard, on Mission:Impossible
By C. Michael Forsyth
WASHINGTON — In the wake of the Hillary Clinton email scandal, State Department officials are returning to a tried-and-true method for sending sensitive messages securely: audiotapes that self-destruct!
“Emails are just too easy to hack, whether they’re stored on a private server or a government one,” revealed a State Dept. insider, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “We’ve decided to go old school.”
Fans of TV’s Mission: Impossible will remember how spy master Jim Phelps received each assignment on an audiotape, followed by the warning, “As always, should you or any of your I.M. Force be caught or killed, the Secretary will disavow any knowledge of your actions. This tape will self-destruct in five seconds.”
The insider explained, “Unlike the emails of today, back then no one could dig up proof that a Secretary of State or the President authorized the overthrow of a brutal dictator.”
While Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server got her in hot water, hackers believed to be working for the Russian government subsequently hacked the State Department’s own email system, in what intelligence officials called the “worst ever” cyberattack intrusion against a federal agency.
“That forced us to think outside the box and take a fresh look at older forms of communication such as telephone calls,” said the insider. “We developing a system that operates on an entirely different frequency from cell networks, to prevent signals from being intercepted. The technical details are classified, but it’s not unlike those pen phone communicators used by the agents on Man From U.N.C.L.E.“
To foil enemy agents, State Department officials may even resort to the most low-tech form of communication imaginable: meeting face to face on a park bench and trading information while sipping Starbucks coffee.
However, not everyone in the agency is excited about the throwback to antiquated technology.
Said one disgruntled official, “What’s next, shoe phones?”
On Man From U.N.C.L.E., Illya Kuryakin (David McCallum) could contact his boss securely using a communicator disguised as a pen.
Copyright C. Michael Forsyth
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SEAN CONNERY would never abuse Her Majesty's gadgets.
By C. Michael Forsyth
LONDON – A British secret agent faces severe disciplinary action after he used his car’s ejector seat to propel his yappy girlfriend from the vehicle!
The 38-year-old operative, whose name has been withheld by MI6 officials, admits that he exercised “exceedingly poor judgment” when he engaged the device as his vintage 1963 Astin Martin DB5 barreled down a country road at 75 m.p.h.
“She kept going on and on about how I was a ‘womanizer’ and was ‘afraid to commit,’” the spy confessed to his superiors. “I kept warning her that I was going to push the button, but the little fool wouldn’t listen. Finally, I just snapped.
“The last thing I remember hearing before she went airborne was, ‘You wouldn’t dare…’ ”
Miraculously, the 24-year-old brunette came down safely in a farmer’s field 150 feet from the road.
“She landed on her bum on a haystack,” said Police Constable Graham Lockenby, who responded to the incident. “Luckily, nothing was injured but her pride.”
According to reports in the British press, the field agent has had his license to kill suspended and he has been reassigned to a desk job pending a full investigation.
Some female officials at the intelligence agency are calling for the employee’s head.
“This is just the kind of reckless, misogynistic behavior we’ve been trying to eradicate from the espionage community for years,” fumed one administrator, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
“This irresponsible ruffian doesn’t deserve to carry a driver’s license, let alone a license to kill.”
Some of the agent’s male colleagues were more charitable.
“The old boy had been having a spell of rotten luck,” revealed a fellow agent. “He lost his favorite watch in a pool full of man-eating sharks, and he spent most of the morning trying to fit his miniature helicopter back into its suitcase.
“Yes, his conduct was unbecoming an English gentleman, but it was the sort of silly thing any of us might do at the end of a frustrating day.”
The agency has convinced the young woman, a West End beautician, not to file a lawsuit, for the “good of queen and country.” But she hasn’t yet forgiven her superspy sweetheart for his ungentlemanly behavior.
“These blokes think that because they have one of those bloody licenses to kill they can do whatever they please,” she told a London tabloid.
Copyright C. Michael Forsyth. All rights reserved.
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