Torpedoed!

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Torpedoed: An American Businessman's True Story of Secrets, Betrayal, Imprisonment in Russia, and the Battle to Set Him Free by Tom Shachtman & Edmond D. PopeTorpedoed: An American Businessman’s True Story of Secrets, Betrayal, Imprisonment in Russia, and the Battle to Set Him Free. By Edmond D. Pope and Tom Shachtman

It was the year 2000. Edmond D. Pope, former U.S. Naval Intelligence officer, then a private businessman, was in Russia looking for new technology to import to the United States.

Two things extraneous to him would come together to make his life into a nightmare. A top-secret Western intelligence attempt to steal one of Russia’s crown jewels, the plans to a submarine torpedo that traveled at an astonishing 300 miles per hour. And the coming to power in Russia of a new leader for the country, former KGB chief Vladimir Putin.

In TORPEDOED!, Ed Pope tells the real story of what led to his becoming the first American since Gary Powers to be convicted of espionage in Russia. Combining a gripping account of his arrest, trial and 253-day imprisonment with a deeply disturbing look at today’s Russia, Pope’s harrowing story reads like a Le Carré novel come to life. And with a large dollop of espionage-insider information and secret submarine warfare technology, Ed Pope’s harrowing memoir will remind readers of the best of Tom Clancy.

“Written with Tom Shachtman, this volume moves as quickly as its name suggests …. Pope gets thrown in prison within the first few pages. Accused of spying for the United States, he suffers indignities (strip searches, “mind games”) and intimidation (he’s told he belongs with terrorists and “serious criminals”) from the new state security guards. The indictment stems from his interest in the country’s “sensitive” Shkval torpedo, but what worries Pope the most, once he’s officially charged with espionage is his memory of “126 special clearances on matters of high importance to the security of the United States.” After all, the interrogations are intense and “you don’t just scrub [what you know] from your memory.” Pope’s fight for freedom is hampered by the questionable justice of the Russian legal system and a frustrating lack of support from the U.S. Embassy …. This is a page-turner, a great spy story that nearly encourages nostalgia for Cold War spy politics.” — Publishers Weekly.

“Ed Pope’s striking story tells us exactly what it’s like to be an innocent American caught up in Russia’s unchanged, Soviet-style judicial system still dominated by the Soviet secret police …. No spy novel could be as authentic – or as devastating.” – Thomas R. Pickering, Ambassador to Russia, 1993-96.

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