THE SPY WHO LOVED US: The double life of Time’s Saigon correspondent during the Vietnam War.

THOMAS A. BASS – The New Yorker

“Here is Pham Xuan An now,” Time’s last reporter in Vietnam cabled the magazine’s New York headquarters on April 29, 1975. “All American correspondents evacuated because of emergency. The office of Time is now manned by Pham Xuan An.” An filed three more reports from Saigon as the North Vietnamese Army closed in on the city. Then the line went dead. During the following year, with An serving as Time’s sole correspondent in postwar Vietnam, the magazine ran articles on “The Last Grim Goodbye,” “Winners: The Men Who Made the Victory,” and “Saigon: A Calm Week Under Communism.” An was one of thirty-nine foreign correspondents working for Time when the Saigon bureau was closed and his name disappeared from the masthead, on May 10, 1976.
Recognized as a brilliant political analyst, beginning with his work in the nineteen-sixties for Reuters and then for the New York Herald Tribune and The Christian Science Monitor, and, finally, as a Time correspondent for eleven years, Pham Xuan An seemed to do his best work swapping stories with colleagues in Givral’s cafe, on the old Rue Catinat. Here he presided every afternoon as the best news source in Saigon. He was called “Dean of the Vietnamese Press Corps” and “Voice of Radio Catinat”-the rumor mill. With self-deprecating humor, he preferred other titles for himself, such as “docteur de sexologie,” “professeur coup d’etat,” “Commander of Military Dog Training” (a reference to the German shepherd that always accompanied him), “Ph.D. in revolutions,” or, simply, General Givral.
We now know that this is only half the work An did as a reporter, and not the better half. An sent the North Vietnamese a steady stream of secret military documents and messages written in invisible ink, but it was his typed dispatches, now locked in Vietnam’s intelligence archives and known to us only through secondhand reports, which will undoubtedly rank as his chef d’oeuvre. Using a Hermes typewriter bought specially for him by the North Vietnamese intelligence service, An wrote his dispatches, some as long as a hundred pages, at night. Photographed and transported as undeveloped rolls of film, An’s reports were run by courier out to the Cu Chi tunnel network that served as the Communists’ underground headquarters. Every few weeks, beginning in 1952, An himself would leave his Saigon office, drive twenty miles northwest to the Ho Bo woods, and descend into the tunnels to plan Communist strategy. From Cu Chi, An’s dispatches were hustled under armed guard to Mt. Ba Den, on the Cambodian border, driven to Phnom Penh, flown to Guangzhou (Canton), in southern China, and then rushed to the Politburo in North Vietnam. The writing was so lively and detailed that General Giap and Ho Chi Minh are reported to have rubbed their hands with glee on getting these dispatches from Tran Van Trung-An’s code name. “We are now in the United States’ war room!” they exclaimed, according to members of the Vietnamese Politburo.
As Saigon fell to the Communists, An, like his fellow-correspondents, was hoping to be evacuated to the United States. Vietnam’s military intelligence agency planned to continue his work in America. The Politburo knew there would be a war-after-the-war, a bitter period of political maneuvering in which the United States launched covert military operations and a trade embargo against Vietnam. Who better to report on America’s intentions than Pham Xuan An? In the last days of the war, An’s wife and their four children were airlifted out of Vietnam and resettled in Washington, D.C. An was anxiously awaiting instructions to follow them, when word came from the North Vietnamese Politburo that he would not be allowed to leave the country.
An was named a Hero of the People’s Armed Forces, awarded four military-exploit medals, and elevated to the rank of brigadier general. He was also sent to a reeducation camp and forbidden to meet Western visitors. His family were brought back to Vietnam, returning a year after they left. The problem with Pham Xuan An, from the perspective of the Vietnamese Communist Party, was that he loved America and Americans, democratic values, and objectivity in journalism. He considered America an accidental enemy who would return to being a friend once his people had gained their independence. An was the Quiet Vietnamese, the representative figure who was at once a lifelong revolutionary and an ardent admirer of the United States. He says he never lied to anyone, that he gave the same political analyses to Time that he gave to Ho Chi Minh. He was a divided man of utter integrity, someone who lived a lie and always told the truth.
“An’s story strikes me as something right out of Graham Greene,” says David Halberstam, who was friends with An when he was a Times reporter in Vietnam. “It broaches all the fundamental questions: What is loyalty? What is patriotism? What is the truth? Who are you when you’re telling these truths?” He adds, “There was an ambivalence to An that’s almost impossible for us to imagine. In looking back, I see he was a man split right down the middle.”
In his 1965 book on Vietnam, “The Making of a Quagmire,” Halberstam described An as the linchpin of “a small but first-rate intelligence network” of journalists and writers. An, he wrote, “had the best military contacts in the country.” Now that Halberstam knows An’s story, does he bear him any grudges? “No,” he says, echoing the opinion of almost all of An’s former colleagues. “It’s a story full of intrigue, smoke and mirrors, but I still think fondly of An. I never felt betrayed by An. He had to deal with being Vietnamese at a tragic time in their history, when there was nothing but betrayal in the air.”
Ho Chi Minh City-or Saigon, as it is still commonly called-is a single-mindedly commercial place. Lined with pushcarts and venders selling everything from soup to CDs, the streets are roaring rivers of Chinese two-stroke motorcycles. The exhaust fumes are so thick that Saigon’s famously beautiful women have started covering their faces with scarves. “We are all Muslims now,” says Viet, my Honda man, on the back of whose motorcycle I travel around the city.
Approaching An’s house-a villa in District 3, a densely settled neighborhood near the train station-we pass an intersection full of motorcycle-repair shops and come to a street that specializes in selling tropical fish, including the Siamese fighting fish that An admires. I tug on the bell that hangs on his green metal gate. The dogs start barking, and I peer through the grille to see An shuffling down the driveway. A wispy figure, he wears a striped short-sleeved shirt with a ballpoint pen in the pocket, gray trousers flapping around his legs, and rubber sandals. He arrives winded but smiling, and greets me with a handshake that involves only the tips of his fingers. He was recently admitted to the hospital with a collapsed lung, the result, perhaps, of a lifetime of smoking Lucky Strikes, but General Givral, with his full-toothed grin, looks, at seventy-eight, as puckish as ever.
I had last visited An in the early nineties, while writing a book on Amerasians-the children of American soldiers and their Vietnamese lovers. When it was published, I sent him a copy, and I sent him other books when mutual friends visited Vietnam. An knew that I was interested in hearing his story. He was a gracious host to the visitors who were allowed to see him after Vietnam adopted doi moi, its version of perestroika, in the late eighties. He would spend hours explaining Vietnamese history and culture. But there was one subject on which he was silent: his life as a spy. It looked as if he would be a sphinx to the end, whether out of loyalty to his friends or fear of government reprisals. In January of 2004, though, I received a message that he might finally be willing to talk, not in formal interviews but in friendly conversations…
…An has pendulous ears, a high, square-domed forehead, close-cropped dark hair, and lively brown eyes. His left eye is slightly larger than the right, as if he were simultaneously taking both the long and the short view of the world’s affairs. In the pictures of him from the fifties, showing him wearing narrow suits, white shirts, and black trousers, An looks like one of the nice, clean-cut young men who joined fraternities and mastered social drinking. He was taller than the average Vietnamese, a scrappy young boxer and swimmer, who once thought, after failing his school exams for the second year in a row, that he might have to become a gangster. He doesn’t want to talk about himself, he says-there is too much to remember. “It’s too difficult. And too long. And I am old.” Then, leaning forward, he begins talking about himself, recalling in minute detail scenes from fifty years ago. He gesticulates with his fingers, which are long-boned and nearly translucent with age. He shapes the air in front of him as if it were a doughy ball, taking a punch at it from time to time. He divides his remarks into Confucian triads and pentads or draws a flowing curve that represents one of the deesses, the protective goddesses to whom he credits his success in life. An can talk for hours about world events, drawing parallels, for example, between Vietnam and the Iraq war (he says techniques first developed in Asia have been moved to the desert) or evaluating the world’s intelligence services (“The Americans are masters at gathering intelligence, but they don’t know what to do with it”).
Pham Xuan An was born in the Vietnamese Year of the Cat, at the Hour of the Buffalo, on September 12, 1927, twenty miles northeast of Saigon, in the Bien Hoa psychiatric hospital. At the time, this was the only medical facility in Cochin China open to Vietnamese. As the firstborn son of a cadre superieur, an educated member of the colonial administration, An had the rare honor of receiving a French colonial birth certificate.
Originally from Hai Duong, the heart of North Vietnam, in the densely populated Red River Delta lying between Hanoi and the coast, An’s great-grandfather, a silver- and goldsmith, was recruited by the Nguyen dynasty to make medals for the royal court at Hue, in central Vietnam. An’s grandfather, who rose through the mandarinate to become a teacher and the director of a primary school for girls, wears one of these gold medals on his chest in the photograph which stands as the centerpiece of An’s family altar. Given to him by the Emperor, the large tulip-shaped medal, called the kim khanh, signifies that An’s grandfather held a rank equivalent to that of a secretary in the government. Later, An shows me a picture of himself as a baby with this medal hanging around his neck. I ask if he still owns it. “It was sent to Ho Chi Minh for the Gold Campaign,” he says, referring to the huge bribe that Ho paid the Chinese occupation forces in 1945 to persuade them to withdraw from North Vietnam after the Second World War.
An’s father, trained as an engineer at the university in Hanoi, worked as a cadastral surveyor, establishing property lines and tax rolls in Vietnam’s southern frontier. He laid out roads in Saigon and canals through the U Minh Forest, along the Gulf of Siam. While surveying in Cambodia, he met An’s mother, another emigrant from the North. She was an industrious woman whose second-grade education allowed her to read and write. The work of a colonial surveyor in what was then the wilds of South Vietnam involved press-ganging peasants into carrying chains through the Mekong marshlands and building towers in the jungle to establish sight lines. “When you do land surveying and build canals and roads, you see the poor Vietnamese workers eking out their living,” An says. “You see the French system of forced labor, beatings, and other abuses. The only way to oppose these abuses is to fight for independence.” He adds, “The Americans did the same thing in 1776. My family was always patriotic in their desire to remove the French from Vietnam.”…
…An fell in love with Saigon, which at the time was a lazy colonial outpost surrounded by rubber plantations. He spent hours along the Saigon River, swinging in the banyan trees and jumping into the water. He made friends with the workers in the Ba Son shipyard, who cast fanciful coins for him to play with. He rode the electric train to Cholon, the Chinese district, and then rode back to the movie theatre near the bridge at Dakao. Here he watched all the films with Johnny Weissmuller swinging through the trees as Tarzan. “It was a beautiful dream of freedom in the jungle,” An says of those movies. “I thought under Communism I would live like Tarzan. I put this dream into the revolution.”
“Look at Tarzan!” An exclaims. “What does he have? Only his loincloth.” This is Communism as a pure state of nature, a Rousseauian idyll. It is the high-school-philosophy version of Communism, which An acquired from books sent to students in the colonies by the French Socialist Party. “Yes, I am a Communist,” he says. “Communism is a very beautiful theory, the most human theory. The teaching of God, the Creator, is the same. Communism teaches you to love each other, not kill each other. The only way to do this is for everyone to become brothers, which might take a million years. It is utopian, but it is beautiful.”
An the political analyst knows that Communism was responsible for millions of deaths in the twentieth century, and he knows intimately the limits of the Communist regime under which he lives. But An the patriot made a choice when he was young to fight for an independent Vietnam, and the most effective force in leading this struggle against the Japanese, French, Americans, Chinese, Cambodians, and other invaders of his divided country was the Communists. “Here in Vietnam, which organization did you have to join in order to carry on the fight for your country?” he asks. “You had no other choice but to join the Communist Party.”
An was an eighteen-year-old high-school student at the College de Can Tho, in the Mekong Delta, when he dropped out of school, in 1945, to enlist in a Vietminh training course. For more than a hundred recruits there were only fifty weapons, some left over from the First World War. Trainees had to pick up spent cartridges to make new bullets. Though he was involved in fighting first the Japanese and then the French, An dismisses this experience as little more than running errands. But a government Web site, recounting his activities as a Hero of the People’s Armed Forces, describes An as “a national defense combatant who participated in all battles in the western region of South Vietnam.”
By 1947, An had left his position as a platoon leader, involved mainly in propaganda, and moved back to Saigon to care for his father, who would have a lung removed and spend the next two years in the hospital with tuberculosis. An organized student demonstrations in Saigon, initially against the French and then against the Americans. He worked as a secretary for the Caltex oil company until, in 1950, he passed the exam to become a French customs inspector.
During the Tet New Year celebration in 1952, An was summoned into the jungle north of Saigon to meet the Communist officials who were setting up C.O.S.V.N.-the Central Office for South Vietnam. C.O.S.V.N. would lead the war against the Americans, who, even before the end of the First Indochina War, in 1954, were beginning to replace the French as the primary enemy. An was excited about this call to the war zone, where he hoped to join his sister, who had moved to the jungle three years earlier to become “the Voice of Nam Bo,” a radio broadcaster for the Communist network. An visited her sometimes, taking her food or medicine, and staying overnight in the Vietminh tunnel network, where the cooking fires were vented through termite mounds in order to evade the French spotter planes that flew overhead. (In 1955, An’s sister moved to North Vietnam to work for the state-run coal mines.)
An was disappointed to learn that he wouldn’t be joining his sister in the jungle but, instead, was being recruited to work as a spy in Vietnam’s newly established military intelligence service. “I was the first recruit,” he says. An found his new assignment ignoble. Spying is the work of hunting dogs and birds of prey, he says. “I had been beaten by the riot police during student demonstrations in Saigon, and I had no desire to be a stool pigeon or an informer.”
The first problem An confronted on slipping back into Saigon as a newly recruited spy was how to avoid being drafted into the French colonial forces. To practice the English that he was learning at the United States Information Service, he volunteered his services as a press censor at the central post office. Here he was told to black out the dispatches written for British and French newspapers by Graham Greene, a “troublemaker” who the French assumed was working for British intelligence during his frequent visits to Vietnam.
…This is where Colonel Edward Lansdale found An when he came to offer his services-and money-to Captain Giai. Lansdale, a former advertising man and an expert in psychological warfare, had been sent to run the C.I.A.’s covert operations in Vietnam. Arriving in the country soon after the French defeat at Dien Bien Phu, Lansdale found G5 and the rest of the old colonial military apparatus in a shambles. They were totally demoralized, with no idea what to do with themselves, until Lansdale and his innocuously titled Saigon Military Mission began turning South Vietnam into a country, complete with an army, a President, and a flag.
Finding a promising student in the young Pham Xuan An, Lansdale and his colleagues began teaching him the tradecraft that he would employ in his next twenty years as a Communist spy. “I am a student of Sherman Kent,” An says, referring to the Yale professor who helped found the C.I.A. Strategic intelligence, Kent wrote in his classic text, “Strategic Intelligence for American World Policy” (1949), is a “reportorial job” based on studying the “personalities” of world leaders. “It must know of their character and ambitions, their opinions, their weaknesses, the influences which they can exert, and the influences before which they are frail. It must know of their friends and relatives, and the political, economic, and social milieu in which they move.”
Pham Xuan An, the psyops intelligence agent, was beginning to acquire the “reportorial” method that he would later employ so brilliantly as Pham Xuan An the Time correspondent. “People usually have one career, while I had two, the job of following the revolution and the job of being a journalist,” An told the writer Nguyen Thi Ngoc Hai, who has published a Vietnamese monograph about him. “These two professions were very contradictory, but also very similar. The intelligence job involves collecting information, analyzing it, and jealously keeping it secret, like a cat covering its droppings. The journalist, on the other hand, collects information, analyzes it, and then publishes it to the world.”
As a quadruple agent moonlighting for France’s Deuxieme Bureau, working for his cousin’s indigenous Vietnamese intelligence organization and its C.I.A. sponsor, and reporting to his Communist handlers, An was beginning to live along the edge of his own personal nightmare. “I was never relaxed for a minute,” he says. “Sooner or later as a spy, you’ll be captured, like a fish in a pond. I had to prepare myself to be tortured. That was my likely fate.”
It was scant solace that most of An’s colleagues in G5 were in a similar predicament. “When we weren’t spying on each other, we smoked opium and played together as friends,” An says. “That was just the way things worked. I had to compartmentalize.” He acknowledges that it was hard to do. “But you can’t kill all the time. When the war was over, these were the people I would have to live with.”
It was Mai Chi Tho and Muoi Huong, An’s case officer, who decided to send him to the United States to be trained as a journalist. Muoi Huong, in an interview with the Vietnamese newspaper Thanh Nien, said that he got the idea to make An a journalist from Ho Chi Minh, who himself had worked as a reporter. It was the perfect cover for a spy, granting him access to obscure places and elevated people. The plan was approved at the highest levels of the Vietnamese Politburo, but it took several years to execute. An’s father was dying. An won a government scholarship which was rescinded and given to someone who was better connected. Then his visa was blocked by French-trained administrators who didn’t like the idea of sending a Vietnamese student to the United States. The Communist Party had a hard time finding enough money. Finally, Mai Chi Tho scraped together eighty thousand dong, which, at the time, was worth about a thousand dollars. This was sufficient to buy An’s airplane ticket to America and four new suits of clothing. An’s father died in his arms in September, 1957. A month later, An arrived in Costa Mesa, California, to enroll as a freshman at the local community college.
An was a thirty-one-year-old Communist spy, a retired customs officer, and a psywar specialist when he began studying at Orange Coast College, which had been recommended to him by an American adviser in Vietnam. He was possibly the first Vietnamese to live in Orange County. (It is now home to a hundred and fifty thousand Vietnamese.) Called Confucius by his classmates, An studied political science, American government, economics, sociology, psychology, Spanish, and journalism. He chaperoned eighteen-year-old coeds to the beach and spent a lot of time working on The Barnacle, the school newspaper, for which he wrote occasional articles, such as a movie review of “The Quiet American”-the first, anti-Communist version of Graham Greene’s book. Finding the movie potentially confusing, An recommended that it “not be shown in Vietnam.”
An describes his two years in the United States, which included internships at the Sacramento Bee and the United Nations, as “the only time in my life when I wasn’t anxious.” (His travels across America were financed by the Asia Foundation, which was later revealed to be a C.I.A. front.) He fell in love with America and he fell in love with an American, Lee Meyer, a lithe blonde who was his editor and writing coach at The Barnacle. “She knew I loved her, but I never told her,” An says. “We Vietnamese never tell what we really feel.” An’s sunny years in California were the darkest time in the history of the southern Vietminh, the Communists who had remained below the seventeenth parallel when Vietnam was divided in 1954. By 1959, as many as eighty-five per cent of these Vietminh fighters, numbering about sixty thousand, would be killed or arrested. An learned in a coded letter from his younger brother that Muoi Huong, his case officer, had been arrested and was being tortured. He also learned that he was being summoned home because the Vietminh-soon to be reborn as the Vietcong-were finally embarking on the armed struggle that would launch the Second Indochina War.
An vividly remembers standing on the Golden Gate Bridge in October, 1959, wondering what he should do next. In his pocket was an airplane ticket to Saigon. Rising below him in the harbor were the solitary tower and concrete walls of Alcatraz, the notorious island prison. He feared this was a sign of the fate that awaited him if he returned to Vietnam-years of prison and torture in the tiger cages of Vietnam’s own Devil’s Island. He had been offered a job teaching Vietnamese at the military language school in Monterey. He could travel to Cuba and try to get back to Vietnam through Russia. He could exile himself to France. Finally, An the loyal patriot, who had in his possession four suits that belonged to the Communist Party of Vietnam and should rightfully be returned to the people, boarded his plane and flew home to Saigon.
“I have two loves, like Josephine Baker,” he says. “I love my country, and I love the United States. When the war was over, I wanted them to get back together.”
On returning to Saigon, An was so frightened that he hid in his house for a month. Then, in a bold stroke, he used family connections to call on Tran Kim Tuyen for help. A former military surgeon, Tuyen was the brilliant, diminutive figure who ran South Vietnam’s intelligence network for President Ngo Dinh Diem and his younger brother Ngo Dinh Nhu. This vast C.I.A.-sponsored network of spies and clandestine military forces operated out of the President’s cabinet under the anodyne name of the Office of Political, Cultural, and Social Research. If Tuyen hired him, An figured he would be safe, at least for the moment, from arrest.
Tuyen put An in charge of the foreign correspondents working for V.T.X., the Viet News Agency. Many of them, with no training in the profession, had never filed a story as a journalist. An ordered them to write a story a week. They complained to Tuyen, saying that doing journalism would get in the way of their work as spies-their real job. Supporting An, Tuyen instructed his foreign agents to get “serious in your work” and start filing stories like the “professional pressman” An.
Tuyen fell out of power, after a failed coup, and An moved from V.T.X. to Reuters and from there to Time. Recognized as one of the most hardworking journalists in town, always ready to help his colleagues with informed opinions or telling anecdotes, An gave information in order to get it. Describing to Ngoc Hai the similarities between journalists and spies, An said, “Their food is information, documents. Just like birds, one has to keep feeding them so they’ll sing.”
“From the Army, intelligence, secret police, I had all kinds of sources,” An says. “The commanders of the military branches, officers of the Special Forces, the Navy, the Air Force-they all helped me.” In exchange for this steady stream of information, An gave his South Vietnamese informants the same thing he gave his Communist employers. “We discussed these documents, as the South Vietnamese tried to figure out what they meant. They had a problem. How were they going to deal with the Americans?” An then turned around and advised the Americans on how to deal with the Vietnamese. It was a high-level confidence game, with death hovering over him should he be discovered photographing the strategic plans and intelligence reports slipped to him by his South Vietnamese and American sources.
An worked through the night photographing these documents. Then his film cannisters were disguised to look like nem ninh hoa, grilled pork wrapped in rice paper, or hidden in the bellies of fish that had begun to rot. More fish or nem would be piled into baskets made to look like offerings being presented at a Buddhist funeral. In the morning, when An walked his German shepherd at the horse-racing track, he would deposit his nem cannisters in an empty bird’s nest high in a tree. For larger shipments, he hid his rolls of film under the stele of what he pretended was a family grave. An’s wife sometimes followed him at a distance. If he was arrested, she could alert his couriers.
Using live drops, dead drops, couriers, and radio transmitters that linked him through C.O.S.V.N. to military headquarters in North Vietnam, An was supported by dozens of military intelligence agents who had been detailed to work on his behalf. Of the forty-five couriers devoted to getting his messages out of Saigon, twenty-seven were captured and killed. “There were times before my departure on a mission when my wife and I agreed, if I were arrested, it would be best if I were killed,” An told Ngoc Hai. “It would be more horrible if they tortured me for information that put other people’s lives at risk. Sometimes it got so dangerous that, while my hands were steady, my legs were shaking uncontrollably. Despite my efforts to keep calm, the automatic reflexes of my body made me shiver with fear.”
“An was of paramount importance to the Communists, not only for getting information to the North but also for corroborating what they were receiving from other sources,” says former C.I.A. interrogator Frank Snepp. Author of “Decent Interval,” about the chaotic collapse of Saigon in 1975, Snepp now works as a television-news producer in Los Angeles. “An had access to strategic intelligence. That’s obvious,” Snepp says. “But no one has ‘walked the cat backward,’ done a postmortem of the damage he did. The agency didn’t have the stomach for it.” Snepp suggests that one source for An’s intelligence was Robert Shaplen, the New Yorker correspondent. Close friends and collaborators, An and Shaplen spent hours closeted in Shaplen’s room on the third floor of the Continental Palace Hotel, occasionally stepping out on the balcony to avoid being overheard. “Shaplen was one of our favorite journalists,” Snepp says. “We had orders from the top to give him unbelievable access to the embassy and high-level intelligence.
“We estimated there were fourteen thousand spies operating in South Vietnam. The Communists infiltrated right to the heart of the enemy. It was a government of Swiss cheese.” Describing turning points in the war, such as Henry Kissinger’s secret negotiations in Paris and the decision by the South Vietnamese government in 1975 to abandon its positions in the Central Highlands, Snepp says, “The Communists knew what was happening before the U.S. Embassy knew.
“We didn’t understand the degree of corruption in the South Vietnamese government,” Snepp goes on. “We didn’t want to look at corruption or morale. We didn’t want to know we were backing the wrong horse. This was true in Iran or Iraq or anywhere else where we’ve supported corrupt governments. An, of course, wanted very much to know these things. He knew under these conditions that Vietnamization would never work.”
…In 1970, An’s fellow Time correspondent Robert Sam Anson was captured by North Vietnamese soldiers and Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, where at least twenty-five other journalists were already dead or unaccounted for. After Anson’s wife pleaded with An to help her, he secretly arranged for Anson’s release. It would be another seventeen years before Anson learned the story of what An had done for him. When Anson saw An again in 1987, he asked him, “Why did you save me, if you were an enemy of my country?” An replied, “Yes, I was an enemy of your country, but you were my friend.” To this day, Anson works with a photo of An on his desk…
This article continues on, brilliantly. I can only suggest that those interested get it from The New Yorker, which owns the copyright.

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