Pham Xuan An, also known as agent X6, was one of the most successful spies of the Vietnam War. He worked as an assistant for reporters during the war, performing both journalist and assistant roles for such prestigious news sources as Reuters and Time. This unique position gave him special access to the military secrets of South Vietnam, secrets that he fed to the North Vietnamese communist leaders.
He was undercover among his enemies for nearly 20 years, and to facilitate this, an elaborate background was constructed. For this reason and others, many of the facts regarding Pham’s life are in question. Some believed that in addition to working as a journalist and spying for the Viet Cong he had also been brought in to help the CIA and South Vietnamese intelligence, the CIO. If this is truth, it would have given him access to even more vital information to help his communist allies achieve victory.
It is believed that the information he gained played an essential role in the defeat of the U.S. and South Vietnamese forces. Later, once the communists had won the war and the truth came out, many of those he worked with, who had once considered him a close friend, were shocked to discover his true motives. Some, however, simply shrugged it off and expressed that they still considered him to be a good person, despite his differing ideals.
His good nature was proven when the North Vietnamese army finally took the city of Saigon. Despite the fact that his friends were considered dangerous enemies of the Viet Cong, he helped them to escape. This almost certainly saved their lives.
Pham Xuan An was a man who believed in a cause, but did not see the lives of those he cared for as being disposable, no matter what the consequences. Even in seeking victory for his people, he still remained human.