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Read & download Legacy of Ashes the History of the CIA

Read & download Legacy of Ashes the History of the CIA Tim Weiner Ñ 0 Review Review â PDF, DOC, TXT or eBook Ñ Tim Weiner D “immensely entertaining” in The New York TimesThe Wall Street Journal called it “truly extraordinary the best book ever written on a case of espionage” Here is the hidden history of the CIA why eleven presidents and three generations of CIA officers have been unable to understand the world; why nearly every CIA director has left the agency in worse shape than he found it; and how these failures have profoundly jeopardized our national securit. Oddly enough it was The Looking Glass War that early on opened my eyes to the fact that intelligence work was not conducted with the hyper competency and machinelike efficiency with which it was depicted in most fiction When it comes to the Western intelligence agencies one would think with a seemingly bottomless budget and access to vast congeries of technology weaponry and personnel state of the art all there would be few secrets allied or enemy incapable of being swiftly ferreted out Alas intelligence work is ultimately reliant upon human intelligence which means its methods will always be vulnerable to all of the frailties and follies and failures endemic to human endeavorWeiner depicts how this applies to the fabled CIA ruthlessly and relentlessly in a book that sheds light upon an appalling history of misjudgments misdirections and mistakes beginning in the maelstrom final years of the Second World War and accreting throughout the progressing stages of the Cold War and the brief starburst of relaxed tension that followed gingerly in the wake of its demise The interagency collisions and confusions that hobbled their ability to detect the 911 attack in time to prevent it were entirely presaged by CIA failures in Eastern Europe Southeast Asia Cuba and Latin America Saddled with conflicting Directors of Intelligence and their political masters infiltrated by communist moles that compromised and frustrated major operations dogged by evidence of complicity in assassinations and barbaric experimentation the one redoubtable victory over the Soviet Union that severely affected the latter s fate that of supporting the Afghani mujahideen in their insurgency proving a double edged sword that cleaved its agency enablers on the rebound stroke from that which struck at the Soviet occupiers Weiner grimly provides the details clearly exasperated by the agency s remarkable ability to shoot itself in the foot on a steady basisSomewhat surprisingly I found the end result of Weiner s book was to engender a sympathy for the organization routinely overmatched by an enemy completely unrestrained by the legal ethical and political rules the agency had to operate or at least been seen operating within riven by the huge egos and personalities that cast their imprimatur upon their respective departments and operations endeavoring to penetrate alien cultures by means of methods co mingling the military with the bureaucratic and aided by contacts who tended to either disappear or betray so many career operators succumbed to the same bleak routine despair and disillusionment as they realized their limitations consolation within the bleary strictures of alcoholism and shockingly often premature death by means of a self administered bullet For some reason the story of Frank Wisner a wartime agent runner who sent countless covert teams to their deaths via nighttime drops into an Albanian countryside pre warned of their coming and who seemed to learn little of value from this exercise in lethal futility and his descent into insanity and suicide particularly haunted me The anguish accumulated over years of stunted achievement is perfectly captured by his presence in a photo in the book Amidst smiling colleagues the balding Wisner presents to the camera a bleak gaze of nullity he is the epitome of a shattered man Then there is James Jesus Angleton for ages the CIA s director of counter intelligence a man gifted and flawed in eual measure likewise driven to the limits of alcohol fueled paranoia over his inability to uncover the fabled CIA mole a paranoia that spread like a virus to infect much of the organization In the echoes of Weiner s condemning history it is clear that the agency has been deficient from inception and is badly in need of a reconfiguration if ever the United States is to consistently achieve first rate reliable intelligence It is the personal cost that of so many committed men broken on the wheel of futility that is the most stinging legacy of all

Review â PDF, DOC, TXT or eBook Ñ Tim WeinerLegacy of Ashes the History of the CIA

Read & download Legacy of Ashes the History of the CIA Tim Weiner Ñ 0 Review Review â PDF, DOC, TXT or eBook Ñ Tim Weiner For the last sixty years the CIA has managed to maintain a formidable reputation in spite of its terrible record burying its blunders in top secret archives Its mission was to know the world When it did not succeed it set out to change the world Its failures have handed us in the words of President Eisenhower “a legacy of ashes”Now Pulitzer Prize–winning author Tim Weiner offers the first definitive history of the CIA and everything is on the rec. I enjoyed Legacy of Ashes a little less than Enemies by the same author Not that it is not fascinating and horrifying just that perhaps it painted such an abysmal picture of the agency probably deserved I know but did not really point to things they do right or should do better The Central Intelligence Group the predecessor to the CIA was created in the wake of the end of WWII by President Harry Truman in order to focus the FBI on internal surveillance and investigation and have an intelligence gathering organization focused on outside sources The first director of national intelligence was wealthy Rear Admiral Sidney W Souers who also happened to make his fortune with the first self service supermarket chain the US Piggly Wiggly and FUN FACT I worked for a Piggly Wiggly when I was 13 15 and have fond memories of slicing the meat of my thumb open when cutting some OJ cartons and tipping over a 6 tier wine rack with the floor wax machine But Souers uickly found that there was no mandate and was not long in this position for this organization which itself had a very short shelf life The CIA was created in the wake of the dissolution of the CIG and continued with a poorly defined mission and with directors that were obsessed with black ops reversal of regimes hostile to the US and cloak and dagger stuff than the actual intelligence they gathered Due to this it took decades to have reliable information from the Soviet Union and yet the CIA prided itself in overturning regimes in Ira and Guatemala the true facts of these operations were far sordid as documented by Tim Weiner I was appalled at many of the details not the least of which was the use of Jew baiting as propaganda to try and raise a crowd to support the US backed coups Particularly enlightening was the description in chapter 14 of the attempted coup in Syria in 57 which has such painful and dramatic resonance now 60 years later Of course the Korean War also a CIA screwup by underestimating the Chinese strength amassed at the NK China border and the Vietnam War replete with senseless murders of civilians in Cambodia Laos and Vietnam including torture and napalm bombings Someone despite all these catastrophes the CIA was able to paint a nice picture to VP Nixon and later President Johnson From Weiner s notes we can see that there is a great deal of evidence behind the theories that the Cubans with some aid from the KGB had the best reason for Kennedy s assassination in retaliation for the Bay of Pigs disaster and that the Cuban Missile crisis was not the story of Kennedy bravely staring down the nuclear barrel but rather Kruschev offering an exchange of US removal of arms in Turkey for USSR removal of arms in Cuba A majority of the document sources Weiner is using are declassified dossiers from 2002 2004 so the research is relatively recent and contains many facts previously hidden to the public In fact there had been multiple illegal attempts on Castro s life by the CIA of which Bobby Kennedy as Attorney General was well aware and it is highly likely that the use of deranged USSR citizen wannabe Oswald was acting on the orders of the Cubans with aid from the USSR Moving on towards the late 60s early 70s the catastrophe in Indonesia was also largely the CIA s fault costing literally hundreds of thousands of lives The issue is that the massive amounts of dark money that could be coerced out of Congress to fund these operations regardless of their income were so appetizing to the folks running the CIA and they had no ualms about lying about their intentions spies being good at lying right This lead to incredible abuses of power and the law and a shocking number of lost lives both enemy and friendly both militaryCIA and civilian I am unable to continue detailing each of the many disasters that the CIA ham handed but I will mention the two that were most influential on my personal opinion of the CIA the false information on weapons of mass destruction that Saddam Hussain who the CIA put into power and armed that the CIA gave knowingly to Colin Powell who then knowingly lied about it in front of the UN justifying a useless invasion of Ira under Dubya and then the supreme crime of the CIA their complete lack of any warning whatsoever in the 911 bombings in NYC Due to these failures there was a bit of a come to Jesus moment back in 2005 2006 at which time the CIA was nearly disbanded Unfortunately the book was written in 2007 so I do not have any information on what happened in the 10 years lapse I suppose it does not look like Carrie Saul and uinn going after the bad guys but something far differentHighly readable and well researched Legacy of Ashes is an important book right now was some fundamentals of democracy are being called to attention and in some cases destroyed by Drumpf s government The uestion of collective national security vs individual freedom is one in which the latter has most often lost the battle and seems to be losing again in terms of Drumpf Internet Policy I think that this book makes the argument that hiding things from citizens nearly always leads to catastrophe and that when the government steamrolls individual rights it almost always comes back to haunt them one way or another

Tim Weiner Ñ 0 Review

Read & download Legacy of Ashes the History of the CIA Tim Weiner Ñ 0 Review Review â PDF, DOC, TXT or eBook Ñ Tim Weiner Ord LEGACY OF ASHES is based on than 50000 documents primarily from the archives of the CIA itself and hundreds of interviews with CIA veterans including ten Directors of Central Intelligence It takes the CIA from its creation after World War II through its battles in the cold war and the war on terror to its near collapse after September 11th 2001Tim Weiner’s past work on the CIA and American intelligence was hailed as “impressively reported” an. The idea of a Central Intelligence Agency is uite a good one and I do understand why the US might want such an organisation There are lots of nations in the world and some of them have very good reason to dislike the United States they hate your freedom your freedom to bomb them into the dark ages and so it is a pretty good idea for the US to have some idea what these nations are up to Are they building weapons of mass destruction for example and if they are what for Not everyone that builds a bomb necessarily wants to drop it on an American So finding out the motivation of your potential enemies sounds like a reasonable thing to do The CIA has been uite good at times of taking photos of places other countries might not want them to take photos of but incredibly hopeless at working out whyThe US is famously described as a melting pot that is out of many one has been made if you wrote that in Latin it could almost be a motto Anyway you would think that a nation that has been made up out of people from every other nation in the world it wouldn t really have all that much trouble in putting together a spy network But that hasn t really been the experience of the US over the years There are parts of this book that read like Greek tragedy My favourite is the telling of the story of the death of Kennedy For three years the CIA had been trying to kill Castro and suddenly they thought that Castro had gotten in first What to do The problem was that if it came out that the CIA had been trying to kill Castro then people might think Castro was within his rights to strike first So the CIA tried to cover up what it had been planning which meant having to lie to the Warren Commission Conspiracy theories are all very well but you don t need a conspiracy when straight history is this bizarreThe image that you get of the CIA from this book is mostly one of complete incompetence Essentially it is an organisation that knew virtually nothing about what was going on in the Soviet Union nothing at all about North Korea nothing about Iran and certainly less than nothing about Ira I was really surprised at how many Presidents simply didn t pay any attention to the advice the CIA gave In fact I was surprised to learn that most Republican Presidents felt the CIA was part of a leftwing conspiracy against them That is pretty much the exact opposite of what I would have thought myselfThere is instance after instance of uotes of advice given by the CIA to Presidents saying for example that there will be no war in Korea in the week the war started or Iran will be much as it is for 20 years as the Iranian revolution was starting or that Ira had weapons of mass destruction before the US launched one of the most expensive wars in historyThe failures are epic and breathtaking What is even breathtaking is how no one ever seems to take responsibility for any failure You would think that someone would get a kick in the bum for the error over WMD in Ira say but in fact the person who you would think was most responsible for it George Tennent was granted the Presidential Medal of Freedom the country greatest honour You can only say that the people in power in the US have no respect for their citizens otherwise giving Tennent such an award would be impossible Being a spy not only means never having to say you are sorry but also being congratulated for your mistakesThe most disturbing thing is the most obvious thing that the CIA prefers dictatorships to democracy as is confirmed time and time again It wants the world to be predictable and democracy doesn t really do predictable This is a story that proves truth is stranger than fiction Throughout its history the CIA those in charge have constantly said that it is five years away from being able to fulfil its mission It is time to admit that tomorrow never comes and perhaps it would be better to just close the whole thing down

  • Hardcover
  • 702
  • Legacy of Ashes the History of the CIA
  • Tim Weiner
  • English
  • 08 March 2019
  • 9780385514453