I was going to be running a “unilateral” espionage operation, which is to say, I not only wouldn't work with my South Vietnamese counterparts, who were heavily infiltrated by the communists, I was to consider them potential enemy agents, too.
A South Vietnamese colonel approached me during the party and asked what I did. Using my fresh-from-language school Vietnamese, I told him that I was Army civilian working with a civilian refugee assistance program.
“Oh,” he said with a smirk, “you’re a spook.”
I froze. Later on, driving back to our safe house (in a Jeep painted black with diplomatic license tags, no less), I nervously told my teammates about the encounter with the colonel.
“Oh, that’s nothing”, one said, chuckling. “The Green Berets captured a Vietcong terrorist map six months ago. It had a big X on our house.”
“What happened?” I asked. “Nothing,” they said in unison, smiling with war-weariness. “Obviously we haven't moved.
"It’s just Fubar."