With shocking revelations that made headlines in papers across the country, Pulitzer-Prize-winner Tim Weiner gets at the truth behind the CIA and uncovers here why nearly every CIA Director has left the agency in worse shape than when he found it; and how these profound failures jeopardize our national security.
A hugely controversial work that exposes a series of scandals from Oliver North to the British royal family, The Secret War Against the Jews reveals as much about political corruption inside Western intelligence as it does about Israel. Using thousands of previously top-secret documents and interviews with hundreds of current and former spies, Loftus and Aarons, both veteran investigators, Nazi-hunters, and authors, present a compelling narrative.
The authors demonstrate that numerous Western countries, especially the United States and Great Britain, have conducted repeated and willful spying missions on Palestine and later Israel over many decades. While on the surface these two countries and others profess to be ardent allies of Israel, they work, in fact, through their intelligence services to betray Israel's secrets to the Arabs. Their motive: oil and multinational profits, which must be attained at any price through international covert policies.
The pageant of characters appearing in this narrative is vast and shocking. This is not only a compelling work of history, but also a volume whose grave allegations will be debated for years to come.
The co-author of KGB: The Inside Story offers a thorough and revealing examination of how presidents have used or misused secret intelligence. A fascinating narrative that shows how only four presidents proved equal to the challenge of using the often controversial service of U.S. Intelligence: Washington and Eisenhower, two former career soldiers; Kennedy, after he recovered from the Bay of Pigs fiasco; and Bush. Among the book's final revelations is the intelligence that changed Reagan's policy toward the -Evil Empire, ' and new information on Bush and Desert Storm.
It's common knowledge that the U.S. armed the Afghans in their fight against the Soviet Union, but until now, the fact that this was possibly the biggest, meanest covert operation in history has been absent from press reports. In one of the most detailed descriptions of a CIA operation every written, the bizarre twists and turns of the full story are told in CHARLIE WILSON'S WAR. Veteran 60 Minutes producer George Crile explains how one Congressman was able to provide the CIA with hundreds of millions of dollars to fund the Afghan program, dwarfing the price tag for arming the Nicaraguan Contras that occurred at virtually the same time."The scope and nature of this campaign has still not registered in the consciousness of most Americans," Crile writes in the book's Epilogue. "Nor is it understood that such secret undertakings inevitably have unforeseen and unintended consequences which, in this case, remain largely ignored." When Crile produced his first story about Texas Congressman Charlie Wilson for 60 Minutes in 1989, he too underestimated the vastness of the program and its consequences. It was a later trip to the Arab world with Wilson, the Wilson's "princely" reception, and the events of 9/11 that opened his eyes to the far bigger picture of CHARLIE WILSON'S WAR. Among the book's more startling revelations: - By the latter years of the 1980s the CIA was not just providing arms to a half million Afghans, it had taken 150,000 of them and transformed them into what it called a force of "techno holy warriors." "From today's perspective," Crile observes, "that may seem more than a bit ill advised-particularly when you factor in the specialized training in urban warfare that the Agency sponsored to include the use of pipe bombs, bicycle bombs, car bombs, camel bombs, along with a host of other tactics to wreak havoc with the army of a modern superpower." - The United States continued to fund the Afghan rebels long after the withdrawal of the Soviet Union. Incredibly, the subsidies continued despite the fact that one of the most important mujahid leaders sided with Saddam Hussein in the Gulf War. - In addition to $200 million in aid from the U.S. and $200 million from Saudi Arabia, in 1991 and 1992 the rebels received Iraqi weapons captured by U.S. forces during the Gulf War. At the same time, the Berlin Wall came down and the Soviet Union ceased to exist. The Cold War was effectively over but what began as a war against Communism was continuing to be funded. "The question that has puzzled so many Americans: 'Why do they hate us?' is not so difficult to understand if you put yourself into the shoes of the Afghan veterans in the aftermath of the Soviet departure," Crile says. To them, the real superpower in their struggle was Allah. The United States eventually cut off its support in the 1990s. In the Afghan's minds, Allah did not. CHARLIE WILSON'S WAR is nothing short of a critical missing chapter in our political consciousness. Without a clear understanding of its impact, it may be impossible to comprehend the two world changing events that shook the United States on either side of the millennium: the sudden and mysterious collapse of the Soviet Union and the equally inexplicable appearance of a new global foe in the form of militant Islam. At its core, it tells of an unorthodox alliance-of a scandal-prone Texas Congressman named Charlie Wilson and an out-of-favor CIA operative named Gust Avrakotos-that armed and sustained the Afghan jihad and turned Afghanistan into the Soviet Union's Vietnam. "The origins of this book go back to a time when the Afghans were viewed by most everyone in the U.S. government as freedom fighters and allies against a common foe," Crile writes in the Epilogue. In 1988, Crile produced a 60 Minutes profile of Wilson that he now realizes barely scratched the surface of this fascinating story. Later, while, accompanying Wilson on a trip to Kuwait, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Afghanistan just prior to the first Gulf War, Crile was amazed at the "princely" reception accorded Wilson in the Arab world. "The trip was just the beginning of a decade-long odyssey uncovering the many dimensions of the CIA's Afghan War," he recalls. "In short order I realized that it had been anything but a typical CIA program." As incredible as anything in the pages of Tom Clancy or John le Carr , CHARLIE WILSON'S WAR is a gripping story of international intrigue, booze, drugs, sex, high society and arms deals. Between its covers, we meet: - The charismatic Congressman Charlie Wilson. While Ronald Reagan and William Casey were unable to persuade Congress to fund the Nicaraguan Contras, Wilson was procuring hundreds of millions of dollars to support his Afghan "freedom fighters" through back-room machinations that would have made even LBJ blush. A colorful man of many contradictions, he worked hard and played hard, earning the reputation as the "wildest man in Congreeeeeess" while representing an archconservative Bible-belt district in Texas. - The out-of-favor CIA operative, Gust Avrakotos, whose working-class Greek-American background made him an anomaly in the patrician world of American spies. Nicknamed "Dr. Dirty", this blue collar James Bond was an aggressive agent who served on the front lines of the Cold War where he learned how to stretch the Agency's rules to the breaking point. - The eccentric staff of CIA outcasts hand-picked by Avrakotos to run the operation. Among them were "Hilly Billy", the logistics wizard who could open an un-numbered Swiss bank account for the U.S. government in 12 hours when others took months; Art Alper, the "devilish" tinkerer from the Technical Services division who roamed the world creating such novelties as exploding typewriters and developed portable amplifiers that spread propaganda among the Soviet troops; and especially Mike Vickers, the former Green Beret so junior in status that he cou
Bizarre military history: In 1979, a crack commando unit was established by the most gifted minds within the U.S. Army. Defying all known laws of physics and accepted military practice, they believed that a soldier could adopt the cloak of invisibility, pass cleanly through walls, and--perhaps most chillingly--kill goats just by staring at them. They were the First Earth Battalion, entrusted with defending America from all known adversaries. And they really weren't joking. What's more, they're back--and they're fighting the War on Terror.An uproarious exploration of American military paranoia: With investigations ranging from the mysterious "Goat Lab," to Uri Geller's covert psychic work with the CIA, to the increasingly bizarre role played by a succession of U.S. presidents, this might just be the funniest, most unsettling book you will ever read--if only because it is all true and is still happening today.
Coming in Summer 2009, the major motion picture from Universal Studios
"ludicrously entertaining" ("Time"), " Public Enemies" is the story of the most spectacular crime wave in American history, the two-year battle between the young J. Edgar Hoover and his FBI, and an assortment of criminals who became national icons: John Dillinger, Machine Gun Kelly, Bonnie and Clyde, Baby Face Nelson, Pretty Boy Floyd, and the Barkers. In an epic feat of storytelling, Burrough reveals a web of interconnections within the vast American underworld and demonstrates how Hoover's G-men secured the FBI's rise to power.