George M James
Intercepting a Covert Intelligence
418 pages in paperback
In Code Name Moonlight, we take a hard look at counter-espionage and not our usual subjects, counter-terrorism and espionage. It is seldom that you find someone liking both fields, the two groups don’t usually mix well.
When Angelique Dawson inherited the counter-espionage desk (like a department), she was not overly impressed. She is at heart a spy, not a counter-espionage operator. But what Angelique likes most in life, professionally wise, is to prove that a woman is as good as, if not better than, any man and when playing chess with human lives, which is the game of spymasters, she is the best in the business.
There are also standing death warrants in this world. If you see someone on it, you will take the shot and make an end, no questions asked unless you did not take the shot.
The modern Western Agencies pride themselves in that they don’t do “wet work” as the KGB refers to it, that too is just so much nonsense. If you target a fellow for death, and Special Forces find that fellow and “laser paints” his house for an airstrike, it is “wet work” since the results are the same as if walking up to him and shooting him numerous times at close range (the traditional Mossad way). The rules are clear, if you can get close to a designated target, then you do so.
In Moonlight, we shall see how two enemy agents seem they are defecting and then turn deadly. I furthermore wanted to illustrate how an intelligence gathering vessel may meet clandestinely with agents. It happens even on US coasts. A submarine may be used but that is dangerous for many reasons - the submarine is a major asset. The Admirals are not amused when asked to help the spies out. The other problem is political. Whereas a spy gathering vessel, a converted trawler or whatever, can be denied, a warship cannot be. Spy vessels are seldom attacked directly and never by warships, if attacked, it must be done by other means or a conventional war could break out.
Angelique finds out that a clandestine rendezvous is about to take place and she wants the spy vessel captured in the act. However, there may be a double bluff going on, and perhaps, she is the real target…
Spymaster extraordinaire, Angelique Dawson and her team are in Zululand, South Africa, close to the Hole-In-The-Wall, a well-known landmark. She has been informed that a clandestine meeting is about to take place between an intelligence gathering vessel of unknown origin. Enemy agents are trying to smuggle someone or something out of the country. She decides to capture the enemy vessel in order to uncover more, however, she is unknowingly heading into a trap.
The enemy agents are organizing the rendezvous using broken communication lines in order to expose a friendly agent inside their ranks who is reporting to Angelique. They are also after Angelique herself, she has an automatic death warrant against her. If the two groups shall meet, much violence will follow.
Her long time bodyguard and later husband, former Police Special Forces Company Commander, Geoffrey Foxtrot is doing his best to keep Angelique safe, but she is her usual “otherwise” self.
With the help of his best friend, legendary Special Forces officer, Geelslang Peter Ndebele, they set up an ambush for the enemy vessel. They have plenty of unplanned surprises, and Angelique is not amused with some of the events that follow.
If you wish to read about Covert and Special Forces Operations in sub-Saharan Africa, the GMJ Books are the place to start. You will learn about Special Forces techniques and military history not known outside the select few.
Code Name Moonlight is the 29th book of the popular GMJ Series.
Code Name Moonlight (GMJ 29) Yes Indeed! Excellent!
This novel, like all the GMJ books, combines a fictional spy/operative story along with some serious warning to the West. The story revolves around the South African spymaster Mrs Dawson and her two free-lance operators. As head of the anti-terrorism and anti-insurgency agency of her government she has access to all of the state's resources when needed, but mostly relies on retired Major Foxtrot and retired Captain Ndebele for advice and her most critical missions. It's a novel and does involve a love interest between Mrs Dawson and Major Foxtrot along with some very humorous lines. One memorable passage is when Foxtrot, in a radio conversation, asks to borrow Geelslang's truck:
“I suppose your wife can hear me speaking right now? She being born inquisitive. Yes? You tell her I expect another Mercedes Unimog U-500 model if I see even one new scratch on her and I know every scratch already on her. Yes, no problem, mate. And Foxtrot, she drives her, not you! Acknowledge my last, if you please.”
“Why not me?” I inquired slightly hurt.
We go many years back, Geelslang and I. He knew I am a good and in no way abusive driver. This was the first time he ever said that, I expected the reverse, letting Angelique sit in the passenger seat. She was smirking now, so widely that her teeth started gleaming.
“Because she reads the handbook first, unlike you. She knows exactly what button does what, again, unlike you."
There are other funny scenes which I'm sure you'll enjoy as much as I did. These books by George M James are much more than novels however. The author is using his books as a platform to inform the West that South Africans really know a lot more about counter insurgency and counter terrorism than what is generally known. Here are his words:
"What is entirely dreadful is that if you are a GMJ reader, you know more about counter insurgency and counter terrorism in Africa than what any known Western War College professor knows. That means that the young officers graduating now, also know nothing, men are going to die as they try to learn on the job what we already forgot, unnecessarily so. Africa is where Al-Qaeda is hiding and where he needs to be found and taken out, the place is going to be important. Then ask yourself, why are my books translated to Chinese illegally and read at Eastern Military Academies? Be that as it may, in general, everyone, from the top generals to the spymasters, gave George W Bush terrible advice for a long time, he trusted his generals way too much. The price is still being paid.
"Today, when you mention the US Military anywhere in the world, the response is extremely negative, the aura of invincibility is gone, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, failure, incompetence, demoralisation and whatever else is bad backed by the screaming and whining liberal mainstream media. Sometimes it feels to me that we are back in the early 1970s after Vietnam, a time I hoped never to see again. The point here is not whether the US Military is indeed incompetent and powerless or not, I most certainly don’t think they are but what likely enemies believe to be true… that is what perception does to a nation, the mother of all equalisers. And all this starts with leadership right at the top projecting a no nonsense image, something all successful military officers do naturally, men you can look up to. Sufficient to say that we found this lacking in the US in recent years. (See in your mind's eye a manly looking Vladimir Putin in his judo robe, black belt, able and dangerous against a Barack Obama hastily drawing lines on the canvas, and you will understand what Foxtrot just said to you, Angelique)." Here's another quote that should get our attention:
"The sad reality is this; Sub Saharan Africa is not a place where any Western Intelligence Agency operates well. There is the natural detestation of the former colonial masters and then the Yanks are seen as runners, they will run for home when a few die. There is no respect, lip service yes, but no real intelligence flowing to them."