A shadow soldier in the CIA

Ric Prado is a trainer at a Saint Augustine training center. These bullets are real. Although he is now retired from the CIA, he still trains SWAT teams in his local area.

A shadow soldier in the CIA

David Martin, CBS News' national security correspondent, said that "you are a dangerous man."

Prado responded, "Not to my Allies,"
He refers to himself as a meat-eater, but he isn't talking about his diet. Martin was shown a display of his "tools-of-the trade" He said, "I like knives because I scare them." "So, I think they scare everyone else too. They're a great weapon to have.

Prado worked for the CIA for 24 years and wrote a book called "Black Ops": The Life of a Shadow Warrior. It all began in Cuba when Fidel Castro seized Prados' coffee roasting company.

Prado stated that Castro had "cracked down really, really hard".

After a last dinner, the family took their 10-year-old to a flight to the United States by themselves. Imagine putting your child on an airplane to a foreign country, where there are no guarantees you will be able to travel with them.

He was raised in an orphanage, until his parents took him out eight months later. Then he settled in Hialeah in Florida. He joined the Air Force in 1971 and became a pararescueman.

Prado stated, "I loved it."

"If you love it so much, then why did you leave?"

"Vietnam was gone. "My dream was to visit Vietnam."

"So, Martin, 'No war', I'm outta there'?" Martin asked.

"Exactly, yes, no real mission."

Undercover work with rebel anti-communist rebels in Honduras jungle camps was his mission. He discovered his mission in CIA. He said, "I was only CIA officer operating within the camps." "All their training, I was the one who conducted it for them." It was the most rewarding job I have ever held."

They were known as contras because they were fleeing a communist revolution in Nicaragua and wanted to retake their country.

Martin asked Martin, "The contras are your kind of people?"

Prado stated, "I loved them." "I saw what the communist octopus beast did to my family and what it did for my country. It's a simple task to help others who have been faced with the same monster.

He took a group lobster divers and made them into frogmen, who then destroyed a Nicaraguan port pier. He said, "Here I'm, the Cuban guy. Now I just cut off some tentacles from that damn octopus."

The Reagan doctrine was based on the Cuban kid. Some contras were also accused of atrocities. Prado stated that "these guys were definitely bad but they were the exception." "The majority contras I worked with were simple, God-loving, and very religious. They would risk everything to get their country back.

The whole thing started when a CIA aircraft was shot down over Nicaragua and Eugene Hasenfus (a former Marine) was captured.

Prado stated, "First, shake down before you go out. Make sure that you don't have any items that could compromise you." He owned all sorts of stuff. That blew the entire program out of water.

"Boom! It all goes to hell!" Martin asked.

It was demoralizing for me and everyone else involved in the station. "How could something so wonderful go so wrong?"

The scandal grew into the largest scandal in the Reagan administration's history, but Prado's name has never been revealed. He remained undercover and fought against communist insurgencies from Peru and the Philippines.

Prado stated, "I was called up to headquarters from our office of medical services." They wanted to conduct a psych assessment on me to determine why I was moving from danger to danger.

"What did the psychiatrist say?"

He said, "I believe in what it's doing, and that I'm good at it." "And I'm trying to repay the bad guys for what they did my family."

The bad guys started to change with the fall and collapse of communism. Prado was given the task of following Osama Bin Laden, a rising terrorist financier in 1995. Prado hadn't heard of him but had heard about the CIA operative that had been following bin Laden. He said, "There is only one Billy Waugh" in the world.

Waugh, now 92 years old, is a legend within the black ops world. He was the first to take surveillance photos of bin Laden by the CIA, back when he was in Khartoum (the capital of Sudan).

Martin was told by Waugh that he took many photos of him.

"How many photos did you take?"


Martin asked, "If you can take these kind of photos from close enough, then are you close enough? Martin asked.

Waugh replied, "Yes sir." "And it was requested many times. That's all you have to do. He could have been my savior every day of the week."

Waugh was primarily targeting Carlos the Jackal, a terrorist who orchestrated the 1975 kidnapping in Vienna of OPEC oil ministers. He was the most wanted man in the world, living in Khartoum, where Waugh discovered him and took photos from the fifth floor of the hideout across the street.

The Jackal was taken into custody and sentenced to life imprisonment. Bin Laden was still free.

Martin asked Prado: "Was there any consideration to trying to take bin Laden out?"

He replied, "Yes, of course," "Unfortunately, our political willpower was not yet there." We could have kidnapped his family at that point, but it was not permitted."

"Obviously, if bin Laden was removed from the landscape, many historical events would have been different." The CIA cannot just travel the globe and kidnap every terrorist.

"No, they cannot."

"So, if you claim there wasn't political will, would have been political will?"

Prado said, "I believe so." I'm not suggesting that we should have killed bin Laden immediately. Abducting bin Laden and putting him in interrogation to see what he could give us is something that we can do and it would have been justifiable.

Prado retired two years after 9/11. He was frustrated by the CIA's refusal to pursue his plans for pursuing terrorists.

"How can you justify a target being killed by a drone but they hate the fact that you are willing to shoot a single bullet into their heads?" He said. "That's why you retired. It was my time."

Martin stated, "A lot people are going to hear you and say, ‘There’s a great American.’ There will be others who will listen to you and ask, "Who let this guy go?"

"Or who didn’t let this guy loose?" Prado said. "And what difference would that have made?" Prado said. "If we had taken out bin Laden in Khartoum when he was there, then chances are that 9/11 wouldn't have happened."


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