looked the way an agent is supposed to look, square-jawed and solid, right out of Hollywood.
stood in the same spot for the whole interview, a solid hour.Then he
picked up the piece of shrapnel.
pulled out his
card, and scrawled this on the back:
...ON APRIL 17, 1997,Tom Nicoletti and another FBI agent, Peter Hoffman, flew in to Phnom Penh.
...Nicoletti and Hoffman quickly focused on Hun Sen's bodyguard unit, which by March 1997 had emerged as a private army of 1500 men, under the de facto control of Hun Sen's lieutenant, Hing Bun Heang.
Over dinner, Hoffman and Nicoletti
offered advice to the Cambodian police officials, led by General Teng Savong, about how they should handle their own ongoing investigation.
, who had previously noted that the Cambodian team had come up with nothing, told them that they must blame the military units whose chief had said they were ordered out to the park by Hun Sen's cabinet.He
told General Savong that Hun Sen's bodyguards had let the throwers escape.You have to mention it in your report, Nicoletti
"What can I say?"
Hoffman and Taister left Cambodia the next day, Nicoletti
But the real reason the FBI agents left was that just as they were assembling the evidence pointing toward Hun Sen's inner circle, Nicoletti
got the word: The agents were targeted for assassination by the Khmer Rouge.
...Quinn (who retired from the State Department when his Cambodia posting ended) told us that the threats were real, but insists that Nicoletti had already come to his house to tell him that the investigation was complete.
...Quinn also said that it was Nicoletti who told him about the warnings, not the other way around, and that it was the FBI chief in Bangkok who pulled the agents out, not the ambassador in Phnom Penh who pushed.
A spokeswoman in the Los Angeles office, where Nicoletti
was transferred, said that he
would not be permitted to speak about this or any other case.He
has ignored repeated entreaties to discuss it.
...Nicoletti left the FBI to work in the federal air marshall program after September 11, 2001.