The Telegraph's obituary on Peter Malkin, the remarkable Mossad agent who captured Adolf Eichmann, shows he had a soft side too:

He was a master of disguise and a black belt in karate, but there were limits to his tough-guy stance. When his mother once challenged him, suspecting that he was going on an important mission, Malkin conceded: "Even secret agents can't lie to a Jewish mother."

UPDATE: Michael Ledeen pays tribute, and adds another anecdote:

Back in the '50s, when the Singaporeans got Israeli help in setting up their intelligence and security services, Zvika went down to see what they had done. To his surprise, he found that a single building housed both the defense ministry and the intelligence service, and he suggested that wasn't very smart. "Once someone gets in he'll get both the defense and the intelligence secrets," he observed. The Singaporeans weren't convinced. They thought it was easier to secure one installation than two, and the head of the intelligence service balked at separating the two. This man's prize possession was a carved turtle, which he locked in his safe every night. Shortly after his conversation with Zvika, the intelligence chief came to his office early one morning and unlocked the safe. The turtle was gone, and there was a note in the safe: "Nothing is really secure, not even a turtle."

|||Clive|||http://clivedavis.blogspot.com/2005/03/james-bonds-chicken-soup-telegraphs.html|||3/05/2005 09:57:00 am|||||||||