Tinker, Tailor, Soldier -- Screw-Up?

Even if ROBERT GATES shakes off the Iran-contra allegations that have stymied his chances to be head of the CIA, will his spy staff ever respect a guy who flunked Surveillance 101? When Gates was a young CIA trainee in the early 1960s, one of his early attempts to tail a suspect was notably unsuccessful, according to a former classmate. Gates was assigned to shadow a man in Richmond. But the local police became curious about the apprentice spy loitering on a street corner and hauled Gates in for questioning. Hours later, after a CIA instructor intervened, the spook-to-be was returned...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!