American Heroes

In light of l'affair Plame, I though that this was kinda relevant:

A little-known addendum to the Iranian hostage crisis of 1979-81 is that six American State Department employees, having avoided being taken hostage by the Revolutionary Guards, spent several months hiding in the Canadian Embassy before being spirited out of the country by a top-secret CIA operation.

The operation, which involved the co-operation of the US and Canadian goverments at the Presidental/Prime Minster level, was classic cloak-and-dagger stuff, straight of of John Le Carre. A key part of the operation involved the creation of a shell company in Hollywood to give the "Canadian Six" a believable reason for being in Iran in the first place, and there's a great throwaway line in there: "The Mafia and many shady foreign investors were notorious for backing productions in Hollywood, where fortunes are frequently made and lost. It is also an ideal place to launder money."

Go check out the entire story -- it's a great read.