Pham Xuan An

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Person.png Pham Xuan AnRdf-icon.png
(spook, journalist)
Born 1927
Died 2006 (Age 79)

Pham Xuan An was a Vietnamese journalist for Time magazine who spied for the US. His whole story is related by Larry Berman in his book, Perfect Spy: The Incredible Double Life of Pham Xuan An. According to his Guardian obituary, in 1953

the Viet Minh had found him a job as a post office censor and via this he worked with Col Edward Lansdale, then with Saigon's US "military mission", but really a CIA adviser to South Vietnam. With Lansdale as mentor, An studied Sherman Kent, author of a book describing espionage as a "reportorial" task. An's spy schooling had begun...
His two years in the US were partly financed by the Asia Foundation, later revealed as a CIA front. In 1959 An returned to Saigon fluent in English and trained in journalism - and espionage - by the Americans. The Viet Cong were replacing his old guerrilla comrades and he needed a job. He joined the Vietnamese news agency, which was riddled with spies, but An insisted they write proper articles, and they did. He moved to Reuters in 1960 and did such fine work that five years later the Time bureau chief, Frank McCulloch, hired him. An stayed with the magazine until the last Americans evacuated Saigon in 1975. Even then he kept filing reports until the North Vietnamese military seized the capital...
But at the war's end, An's friendliness towards the Americans caused his communist masters to enforce his "re-education", although they eventually promoted him to army general. However, he was not permitted to visit America after his secret came out in the late 1980s.

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