Frederick Forsyth

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Frederick Forsyth in 2003

Frederick McCarthy Forsyth CBE (born 25 August 1938) is an English author, former journalist and spy, and occasional political commentator.


  • Rawlings was a burglar and a thief, but like much of the London underworld he would not have anyone “trash” his country. It is a fact that convicted traitors in prison, along with child molesters, have to be kept in seclusion because professional “faces,” if left alone with such a man, are likely to rearrange his component parts.
  • In Moscow, the warrant officer radio operator removed his headphones and nodded toward the teleprinter. “Faint but clear,” he said.

The printer began to chatter, sending out a screed of paper covered with a jumble of meaningless letters. When it fell silent, the officer beside the radio tore off the sheet and fed it through the decoder, already set to the formula of the agreed one-time pad. The decoder absorbed the sheet, its computer ran through the permutations, and it delivered the message in clear. The officer read the text and smiled. He telephoned a number, identified himself, checked the identity of the man he was addressing, and said: “Aurora is ‘go.’ ”

  • The man with ten minutes to live was laughing.
  • The British Secret Intelligence Service works out of Century House, a rather shabby building south of the Thames between the Elephant and Castle and the Old Kent Road. It is not a new building and not really up to the job it is supposed to do and so labyrinthine inside that visitors really do not need their security passes; within seconds, they get lost and end up screaming for mercy.
  • Martin laughed. “President Bush,” he said, “and all the people around him will act according to their upbringing. Which is based on the Judeo-Christian moral philosophy supported by the Greco-Roman concept of logic. And Saddam will react on the basis of his own vision of himself.”
  • “Uh-unh. Islam has nothing to do with it. Saddam doesn't care a fig for the hadith, the codified teachings of the Prophet. He prays on camera when it suits him. No, you have to go back to Nineveh and Assyria. He doesn't mind how many have to die, so long as he thinks he can win.”
  • “Not really. There's a quantum leap in moral philosophy when you cross the Jordan."
  • "What you are saying,” suggested Martin, “is that Iraq decided to use Model-T Ford technology, and because everyone assumed they'd go for Grand Prix racers, no one noticed.”
  • "You got it, son. People forget—the old Model-T Ford may be old, but it worked. It got you there. It carried you from A to B. And it hardly ever broke down.”
  • They also drew their £1000 in five gold sovereigns and the “goolie chit.” This remarkable document was first introduced to the Americans in the Gulf War, but the ritish, who have been flying combat in those parts since the 1920s, understood them well. A goolie chit is a letter in Arabic and six kinds of Bedouin dialect. It says in effect, “Dear Mr. Bedou, the presenter of this letter is a British officer. If you return him to the nearest British patrol, complete with his testicles and preferably where they ought to be and not in his mouth, you will be rewarded with £5000 in gold.” Sometimes it works.

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