This week we have a riddle for you. Comments are welcome, as always. For answer, link here.
Cross dressing has captured our cultural imagination since the advent of high heels. Countless plays and films depict stories of people dressing for the other side. Necessity in the form of a child custody dispute and the pursuit of a paying job put Robin Williams and Dustin Hoffman, respectively, in drag. Throughout history there have been accounts of women dressed as men (Jeanne d’arc) and likewise men dressed as women (Charles d’Eon) either by preference or as a political strategic ploy.
Disguise is often part and parcel of effective intelligence and war craft. This was certainly true on a Spring day in the early 70s, when elite commando units penetrated an enemy’s capitol city on a mission to assassinate leaders of two notorious terrorist groups, in the middle of the night, in their homes.
To better simulate civilians, two of the shortest soldiers dressed as women: in wig, dress, fake breasts and heels. One blond and one brunette. The mission was rehearsed months in advance down to the last component, which included having the designated ladies stroll hand in hand with their ‘lovers’ so that this cover would look convincing. Although extremely risky, the operation had access to excellent intelligence as well as agents on the ground who knew the terrain. But in an account of the action, the operation commander confirmed that when the targets and their guards perceived civilians on the street or at the door, their split second hesitation in responding made the raid’s success possible.
The brunette went on to earn a BS in Physics and later an MS in Engineering from Stanford University. During his career, he served in a variety of high level military and political posts for his country.
Can you name this ‘cross dresser’?