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  • Chapter Thirty-three
    "concerning the use of classified material": Ford in National Security Council meeting minutes, October 7, 1974, GRFL.

    "We don't have the tools we need": Schlesinger in ibid.

    "everything the President knew": Colby quoted in John L. Helgerson, Getting to Know the President: CIA Briefings of Presidential Candidates, 1952-1992, CIA/CSI.

    "It is inconceivable": Angleton testimony, Church Committee hearings, September 23, 1975.

    "Ford asked me to come into the White House": Silberman oral history, FAOH.

    "Mr. Helms may have committed perjury": Helms had been torn between truth and secrecy. Testifying before Congress before his posting as the American ambassador to Iran in 1973, he had lied about what the CIA had and had not done to overthrow the elected government of Chile. During his four years as an ambassador, he had been ordered back to Washington continually by congressional committees, criminal investigators, and the high councils of the White House. Humiliated but defiant, Helms stood before a federal judge in Washington on November 4, 1977, and received a two-year suspended sentence and a $2,000 fine in lieu of an eight-count felony indictment. He accepted a misdemeanor charge of failing to testify fully to Congress--a white lie, a sin of omission. Helms had argued that he had sworn a higher oath as director to protect the nation's secrets. The Carter administration had weighed the prosecution and decided to let it proceed. The court said the dictates of the Constitution and the laws of the United States were stronger than the power of secrecy.

    "the CIA would be destroyed": Memorandum of conversation, January 3, 1975, GRFL.

    "Frankly, we are in a mess": Memorandum of conversation, January 4, 1975, GRFL. Notes from this meeting were declassified in December 2002:

    Ford: Colby has gone to Silberman not only with his report but numerous other allegations.

    Rockefeller: At your request?

    Ford: Without my knowledge...[Dr. Kissinger described the "horrors" book.]

    Ford: We are concerned that the CIA would be destroyed.... And Helms thinks Colby shafted him; Helms made it clear if there were any dead cats to be thrown out he would throw some of his own.

    Kissinger: And Colby has taken to Justice the question of possible perjury by Helms.

    Rockefeller: This raises real questions on his judgment.

    Ford: We debated this and decided we could not move him out now.

    The CIA "made a mistake": Gerald R. Ford oral history, July 8, 2003, JFKL.

    "the investigation of the CIA": Memorandum of conversation, February 21, 1975, GRFL.

    "Within the CIA there is bitter dissension": Memorandum of conversation, March 28, 1975, GRFL.

    Chapter Thirty-four
    "Let me get a grasp on the situation": Minutes of the Washington Special Actions Group, April 2, 1975, declassified September 7, 2004. Days after this conversation, Cambodia fell. The American ambassador, John Gunther Dean, and the CIA station chief, David Whipple, had a better grasp on the situation surrounding them than their colleagues in Saigon. "The CIA had a good idea of the makeup and leadership of the Khmer Rouge," Dean recounted. "David Whipple...gave us documentation of some of the barbarous acts being committed by the Khmer Rouge before April 1975." Dean oral history, FAOH.

    Polgar awoke to the sound of rockets: Polgar interview with author. When he took over in January 1972 from Ted Shackley, Polgar commanded 550 CIA officers, 200 of them covert operators. His instructions from Nixon and Kissinger remained constant after the Paris Peace Accords of 1973 were signed: "Continue the war by other means to preserve a non-communist Vietnam." Polgar had witnessed firsthand some of the diplomacy for which Henry Kissinger had been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The grand strategist had negotiated terms of a peace accord and a cease-fire with North Vietnam weeks before the 1972 American presidential election--without the approval of the president of South Vietnam, the corrupt Nguyen Van Thieu. In Saigon, at a dinner attended by Kissinger, the American ambassador Ellsworth Bunker, and Kissinger's aide John Negroponte, Kissinger had personally instructed Polgar to "put pressure on Thieu" through CIA assets among the South Vietnamese military. Polgar replied that Kissinger's order made no sense; that was not how things worked in Saigon anymore. It made even less sense after Kissinger leaked the story of his secret negotiations to a favorite reporter at Newsweek. The reporter filed his story by cable from Saigon, and South Vietnam's intelligence service intercepted it and gave copies to both President Thieu and Tom Polgar. The station chief showed it to Kissinger, who replied: "This has the unpleasant smell of truth."
    The CIA station's budget stayed at an even $30 million a year as the American military presence dwindled in 1973 and 1974. Polgar ran intelligence-gathering operations, not paramilitary missions. CIA interrogators grilled captured communist troops and suspected spies. CIA analysts combed through piles of reports from the field. CIA branch chiefs in each of South Vietnam's four military sectors coordinated hundreds of American and South Vietnamese officers. And the enemy marched on.
    The CIA kept trying to locate an enemy field headquarters--the Bamboo Pentagon was what the American military called it--but there was nothing out in the jungle but tents and tunnels and a determined foe. After the fall of Richard Nixon in August 1974, Congress revolted against the war and began cutting hundreds of millions of dollars out of the effort to keep the South Vietnamese military afloat. By March 1975, North Vietnamese troops were wiping out South Vietnamese divisions and advancing on Saigon. The failure to create a coherent plan for the evacuation of Saigon led to the death or the imprisonment of thousands of Vietnamese who had worked for the United States. Ambassador Martin returned to Washington and became a special assistant to Henry Kissinger.

    "imperative that the evacuation proceed without delay": Arnold oral history, recorded by Gayle L. Morrison. Morrison, an ethnographer, spent nine years recording first-person eyewitness accounts of Hmong and Americans who remembered the fall of Long Tieng. Her extraordinary book is Sky Is Falling: An Oral History of the CIA's Evacuation of the Hmong from Laos (Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 1999). My reconstruction relies on her work, including her oral histories of General Aderholt and Captain Knotts.

    forced a political arrangement: Richard L. Holm, "No Drums, No Bugles: Recollections of a Case Officer in Laos, 1962-1965," Studies in Intelligence, Vol. 47, No. 1, Spring 2003, CIA/CSI.


    • Chapter Thirty-five
      "Bury Bush"..."a graveyard for politics"..."the total end of any political future": George Bush, All the Best, George Bush: My Life in Letters and Other Writings (New York: Scribner, 1999), pp. 195-196, 239-240; Herbert S. Parmet, George Bush: The Life of a Lone Star Yankee (New York: Scribner, 1999), pp. 189-194.

      "This is the most interesting job I've ever had": Bush, All the Best, p. 255.

      Bush ran headlong into Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld: Douglas F. Garthoff, "Directors of Central Intelligence as Leaders of the U.S. Intelligence Community, 1946-2005," 2006, CIA/CSI. 347 Rumsfeld was "paranoid": Carver oral history interview, May 13, 1982, CIA/CSI.

      "a turbulent and troublesome period": George Bush letter to the president, June 1, 1976, declassified August 9, 2001, CIA.

      "We had been forced out of Vietnam": Frank G. Wisner, Jr., oral history, FAOH. He recounted at the outset, "I grew up in World War II and have vivid memories of a father going to war.... As a child I had met General Marshall, Allen Dulles, and had known many Secretaries of State and Defense in passing as a little boy.... I have very, very strong memories of the end of the war, the emergence of the post-War period, the onset of the Cold War itself, sharp reflections born of the time.... My father was for a number of years the head of the clandestine services of CIA. I remember the outbreak of the Korean War, its passage, the crisis in Washington during the McCarthy years, the emergence of NATO, and the Suez War. I was in England at school and felt almost as if I were on the battlefront.... When I arrived in Washington at the beginning of the Kennedy Administration to join the Foreign Service, I had in a very real sense already lived a life of foreign affairs."

      Bush prepared to meet the governor of Georgia: The Bush-Carter briefings are detailed in CREST documents and in John L. Helgerson, Getting to Know the President: CIA Briefings of Presidential Candidates, 1952-1992, CIA/CSI.

      the Church Committee, the Senate panel that investigated the CIA: The committee went down blind alleys trying to investigate the "alleged assassination plots" without coming to grips with the fact that presidents had authorized them. Its lasting contributions were a highly competent history of the CIA and the transcripts of the depositions it took, most of which were not declassified until after the end of the cold war. The House committee dissolved into rancor; a final draft of its report was leaked but never formally published. The first real attempt at congressional oversight was not a success. "When we got through with it, what did it amount to but a media circus?" John Horton, a forty-year veteran of the CIA and a very open-minded man, said of the Church Committee in 1987. "Who did the CIA ever assassinate? Nobody, as far as I can tell. But you would have thought that was all we were up to."

      "Bush wanted to be kept on": Helgerson, Getting to Know the President. 351 he revealed a handful of ongoing operations: George Bush, "Subject: Meeting in Plains, Georgia, 19 November 1976," CIA/FOIA. Bush told Carter about "warrantless electronic surveillance" of American citizens, the CIA's contacts with the Palestine Liberation Organization, and the unresolved case of Nicholas Shadrin, a Soviet defector working for the CIA--or perhaps a double agent--who had been murdered in Vienna eleven months before. There was another aspect to the CIA's operations in Vienna that Bush did not mention. After the December 1975 murder of Richard Welch in Athens, Bill Colby, in one of his last acts as director, had ordered that direct talks be held in secret between the CIA and Soviet intelligence officers in Vienna. He wanted to know if Moscow had had a hand in the killing, which would have been a violation of the unwritten rules of the cold war. He also wanted to talk for the sake of talking. The two sides had never had an official channel of communication at the highest levels. Each found the conversation useful. The line stayed open for the rest of the cold war.

      "howling right-wingers": Lehman oral history interview, "Mr. Current Intelligence," Studies in Intelligence, Summer 2000, CIA/CSI.

      "Let her fly!!": Bush notation, George Carver memo, May 26, 1976, CIA/ CREST.

      the agency put Team B's findings to the test: Raymond L. Garthoff, "Estimating Soviet Military Intentions and Capabilities," Gerald K. Haines and Robert E. Leggett (eds.), Watching the Bear: Essays on CIA's Analysis of the Soviet Union, CIA/CSI.

      In retrospect, you see: Robert M. Hathaway and Russell Jack Smith, "Richard Helms as Director of Central Intelligence," 1993, CIA/CSI, declassified February 2007.

      "the greatness that is CIA": Bush address, CIA headquarters, January 19, 1977.

      Chapter Thirty-six
      Carter...wound up signing almost as many covert-action orders as Nixon and Ford: While no precise number has been declassified, "the Carter administration...availed itself frequently of covert-action programs," said Carter's deputy director of central intelligence, Frank Carlucci. Carlucci oral history, FAOH.

      "I had a brother who had worked for CIA undercover": Sorensen interview with author. His brother Thomas Sorensen worked for the CIA during the 1950s. Thomas served as the number-three man at the United States Information Agency under JFK and Edward R. Murrow; he was the USIA's liaison with Richard Helms, merging news and propaganda, while Ted wrote speeches at the Kennedy White House.

      "President Carter called me in": Turner interview with author.

      "I was in charge of human intelligence collection": Holdridge oral history, FAOH.

      "he sought to overthrow their system": Robert M. Gates, From the Shadows: The Ultimate Insider's Story of Five Presidents and How They Won the Cold War(New York: Simon and Schuster, 1996), p. 95.

      a long hard look: Brzezinski said, "Colonel Kuklinski volunteered to collaborate with the U.S., emphasizing that he would like to collaborate with the U.S. military as a Polish officer. He was very instrumental in providing the United States with a much better understanding than it theretofore had regarding the war plans of the Warsaw Pact, the Soviet plans for a sudden massive onslaught against Western Europe--including, incidentally, a little-known plan to use nuclear weapons from day one of the attack on Western Europe. I'll give you one specific example. On day two of the attack on Western Europe the Soviet war plans provided for the use of forty tactical nuclear weapons against Hamburg alone, in West Germany. So this was an extremely important contribution to filling major gaps in our understanding of Soviet war planning. And to the extent that the agency was the channel that provided the communication link with him, it was a success for the agency even though Colonel Kuklinski was himself never in a strict sense a CIA agent. He volunteered. He operated on his own. He didn't actually receive instructions." Brzezinski interview with author.

      "By God": Smith interview with author. Drafted out of Dartmouth at the start of the Korean War and trained in the Russian language by the army, Smith had focused on the Soviet target in the CIA stations in Prague, Berlin, and Beirut throughout the late 1950s and the 1960s. He had personally recruited and run six Eastern Europeans and trained hundreds of young CIA officers on the basics of spying in cold-war capitals without getting caught. By 1975, when Angleton was forced into retirement, Smith and his colleagues started recruiting their first Soviets.
      His biggest recruitment was Sergei Federenko, a diplomat assigned to arms control issues at the United Nations secretariat in New York. An engineer by training and a member of the Soviet elite by birth, Federenko was young and ambitious. He liked to drink. He had a beautiful wife and a girlfriend on the side in the suburbs north of New York.
      "Now, I'm a con man," Smith said. "That's my nature and my training. You don't 'recruit' a Soviet. The Soviet has to recruit himself. It's like when you set your cap for a female. Each of you has to find something in the other that's attractive. It is in many respects a seduction.... So I recruited the guy. And--guess what? He had been educated as a scientist and he had worked on Soviet rocketry." Federenko provided a who's who of the Soviet delegation at the United Nations in New York, including a rundown of the names and foibles of the KGB officers posing as diplomats. For his stellar work, Smith was promoted to chief of a CIA division focused on counterterrorism. But when it came to selecting a case officer to handle Federenko in New York, the CIA had very few to choose from. The ranks of fluent Russian speakers in the Soviet/Eastern European division of the clandestine service were very thin. Headquarters selected a thirty-four-year-old alcoholic who became a traitor to the CIA. In 1954, he had been a boy floating down the Irrawaddy River in Burma with his father when he found out that the old man worked for the agency. He had been a file clerk at the CIA for five years in the 1960s while he tried to finish a college degree. He had finally become a member of the clandestine service in 1967. He was married to a CIA officer and, in every sense, married to the CIA. His name was Aldrich Ames.

      "The possibilities are there to change this from a black-white conflict into a red-white conflict": "Subject: South Africa and Rhodesia," Special Coordination Committee Meeting, February 8, 1977, and National Security Council meeting minutes, March 3, 1977, JCL.

      "nobody wanted to pay attention to Africa": Carlucci oral history, FAOH.

      Gerry Gossens, a station chief: Gossens interview with author. Born in Texas and reared in Beirut, Gossens joined the CIA in 1960 and worked through the Middle East under deep cover as an Evinrude outboard-motor salesman before joining the Africa division. Hundreds of young and ambitious CIA men--and a few women--scrambled for advantage against Soviet, Chinese, and East German spies in Africa throughout the '60s and '70s. "We were young people willing to go to hellholes," Gossens said. "We were espionage-oriented well before the rest of the Agency came around. Our branch chief used to say: 'Give me $25,000 and I can rent any African president.' But that was not what we were in business to do. We were in business to conduct espionage. And Africa was still a place that was so fluid you were in on history being made. You could start an operation by accident. You go with the Ambassador to see the President. A member of the President's staff says, 'You know, I have a broken Pentax camera. I can't get spare parts.' You do him a favor. You wind up looking at the Presidential archives."

      "My greatest single crisis": Wisner oral history, FAOH.

      "I asked my station chief if it were true": Eagleburger oral history, FAOH. 364 "one of their basic skills": Stansfield Turner, Burn Before Reading: Presidents, CIA Directors, and Secret Intelligence (New York: Hyperion, 2005), p. 187.

      "They're a unique culture": McMahon interview with author.

      "Talk about apoplexy--they went bonkers": McMahon interview with author.

      "In spite of its current (and worsening) morale": Memorandum for Zbigniew Brzezinski, "Subject: Covert Action Possibilities in Selected [Deleted] Areas," February 5, 1979, NSC, JCL. There was, however, one other covert operation that started under Carter and bore fruit fifteen years later. Itwas aimed at uncovering the connections between cocaine traffickers and the government of Colombia. In 1977, "the CIA station chief came to me with a plan for CIA involvement in anti-narcotics work," said Robert W. Drexler, then the deputy chief of mission at the American embassy in Bogota. "This was not to be made known to the DEA. So I approved it, and we started it. It was, in essence, a fine operation in which we used a very small number of trusted Colombian law enforcement officials, who we could monitor closely so as to ensure that they weren't being turned against us or corrupted, or that we would see it when they were; and in which we collected intelligence on the contacts between the drug traffickers and high-level Colombian officials. The idea was to pass this on in Washington. The program worked very well. The intelligence it gathered was horrifying, because it detailed the rapid spread of corruption." In 1994 and 1995, this operation climaxed with a CIA-backed takedown of one of the major Colombian cocaine rings, the Cali cartel, achieved in conjunction with the DEA.

      the CIA failed to warn the president of the United States: Though almost all the records of the failure to warn of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan remain classified, Douglas MacEachin, the deputy director of intelligence from 1993 to 1995, published an appraisal of the CIA's performance in 2002, basing his work on the secret record as well as his own firsthand experience as one of the agency's best Soviet analysts. Douglas MacEachin, "Predicting the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan: The Intelligence Community's Record," Center for the Study of Intelligence, 2002, CIA/CSI. My account of the failure relies in large part on his work, as well as interviews with Brzezinski and Gates.

      "the deteriorating situation": Gates, From the Shadows, p. 132. Though Gates does not say so, this passage evidently appeared in the president's daily brief.

      "CIA does not see this as a crash buildup": "Subject: Iran," Special Coordination Committee, December 17, 1979, National Security Archive collection.

      "The pace of Soviet deployments": The December 19, 1979, report to the president is cited in The Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan, a classified CIA history cited in MacEachin's "Predicting the Soviet Invasion."

      "a spectator sport": MacEachin, "Predicting the Soviet Invasion."


      • Chapter Thirty-seven
        "a virtual dictatorship": Nixon to Haig and Ambassador Douglas MacArthur II, April 8, 1971, FRUS 1969-1976, Vol. E-4, Documents on Iran and Iraq, declassified September 12, 2006.

        "to confirm that the Shah was our puppet": Precht oral history, FAOH. In September 1979 Precht was in a Washington hospital awaiting surgery: "Before going into the operating room, I looked over and there was another person lying there, waiting his turn. It was Loy Henderson, who had been Ambassador in 1953 when Mossadegh was overthrown. I thought, 'present at the creation and present at the destruction.' After I was able to walk around, I went to his room.... I asked him what [the Shah] was like in his time in Iran. He said, 'He didn't count. He was insignificant. He was a weak person. And yet, we had to deal with him.' So, he confirmed what I had suspected--that the Shah had been inflated by the power that had come to Iran with the jump in oil income plus the adulation of Nixon and Kissinger and other foreign leaders.

        "an island of stability": The phrase President Carter used had an Iranian provenance. Kissinger told Nixon in an October 1969 memo that the shah "is genuinely committed to the West and feels the good job he is doing in Iran--'an island of stability,' he calls it--is an important service to the Free World." Kissinger to Nixon, October 21, 1968, FRUS,

        1969-1976, Vol. E-4, declassified September 12, 2006.

        Howard Hart's view from the streets: Hart remarks, Miller Center of Public Affairs, University of Virginia, September 7, 2005.

        "very, very sensitive classified conversations": Laingen oral history, FAOH.

        "We paid for t": Laingen oral history, FAOH.

        "We were just plain asleep": Turner, Burn Before Reading: Presidents, CIA Directors, and Secret Intelligence (New York: Hyperion, 2005), p. 180.

        "We haven't a clue as a nation": Hart remarks, Miller Center, September 7, 2005. Greg Miller, "In from the Cold, to a Cold Shoulder," Los Angeles Times, May 19, 2005.

        "I knew little about Iran": William J. Daugherty, "A First Tour Like No Other," Studies in Intelligence, Spring 1998, CIA/CSI.

        "Don't worry about another embassy attack": William J. Daugherty, In the Shadow of the Ayatollah: A CIA Hostage in Iran (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2001), p. 3.

        " Blank the Shah!": Jimmy Carter interview, Jimmy Carter Oral History Project, Miller Center, November 29, 1982.

        "ignorant of the local culture and language": Daugherty, "A First Tour Like No Other."

        the brainchild of the CIA's Tony Mendez: Mendez interview with author; Tim Weiner, "Master Creator of Ghosts Is Honored by C.I.A.," The New York Times, September 19, 1997. See also Antonio J. Mendez, "A Classic Case of Deception," Studies in Intelligence, Winter 1999-2000, CIA/CSI.

        "The effort relied very heavily on the CIA": Quainton oral history, FAOH.

        "an unsmiling cadaver": Daugherty, "A First Tour Like No Other."

        "an act of vengeance": Kenneth M. Pollack, The Persian Puzzle: The Conflict Between Iran and America (New York: Random House, 2004), pp. 128-180.


        • Chapter Thirty-eight
          "His view of how you fight a war": Gates interview with author.

          "I don't think he meant to say 'scrap the Constitution'": Webster interview with author.

          "not qualified to be the head of the CIA": Ford oral history in Deborah Hart Strober and Gerald S. Strober, Reagan: The Man and His Presidency (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1998), p. 72.

          "Casey was an inappropriate choice": Bush quoted in John Helgerson, "CIA Briefings of Presidential Candidates," May 1996, CIA/CSI. Two other views of the man and the job: Laurence Silberman--the federal judge who led the 2005 investigation of the CIA's work on weapons of mass destruction in Iraq--was co-chair of Reagan's foreign policy group in 1980. "I truthfully would have agreed to be CIA director, which was being discussed," Silberman said. "But Casey...had a greater claim, although I thought it unwise to put a campaign chairman in that job." Lawrence Eagleburger, who served as secretary of state under President Bush in 1992, put it more directly: "Either you do away with the clandestine side of the CIA, which I would not like to see happen, or you simply have to be very, very careful about the kind of person you make CIA director, and that means you don't appoint Bill Casey." FAOH interviews.

          "Who was going to be in charge of foreign policy?": Poindexter oral history in Strober and Strober, Reagan: The Man and His Presidency, p. 111.

          "It was a hare-brained idea": George P. Shultz, Turmoil and Triumph: My Years as Secretary of State (New York: Scribner, 1993), pp. 294-297.

          "a hog on ice": Ibid., p. 84.

          "a freelance buccaneer": Inman interview with author.

          "he did not want to be the traditional Director of Central Intelligence": Inman testimony, Nomination of Robert M. Gates to Be Director of Central Intelligence, U.S. Senate, Select Committee on Intelligence, 102nd Congress, 1st Session, September 20, 1991, Vol. I, p. 926.

          "a blindered fraternity": Robert M. Gates, From the Shadows: The Ultimate Insider's Story of Five Presidents and How They Won the Cold War (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1996), p. 209.

          "I didn't have that fire in the belly": McMahon interview with author. When McMahon was assigned to shake up the analysts at the directorate of intelligence, he found that the entire structure needed reshaping. "If I wanted to know what was going on in a country, I had to ask three different offices," McMahon said. "There was an office for military intelligence, an office for economic intelligence, an office for political intelligence. So if I said, 'What's going on in Mexico?' I had input from three different offices, and I had to do the integration and come up with the analysis."

          "CIA is slowly turning into the Department of Agriculture": Gates, From the Shadows, pp. 223-224. 379 "close-minded, smug, arrogant"..."flat out wrong"..."pretending to be experts": Nomination of Robert M. Gates, 1991, Vol. III, pp. 7-23.

          "Working for Casey was a trial for everybody": Lehman oral history interview, "Mr. Current Intelligence," Studies in Intelligence, Summer 2000, CIA/CSI.

          "The CIA's intelligence": Shultz interview with author. In the summer of 1982, Secretary of State Shultz set up a weekly lunch with Bill Casey. After the better part of a year, Casey and Shultz, who had been friendly for a decade, discovered that they could not stand one another. "He had too much of an agenda," Shultz said. "It's a mistake for the CIA to have an agenda. They're supposed to produce intelligence. If they have an agenda, the intelligence can get slanted." From 1985 to 1987, Deputy Secretary of State John Whitehead and the CIA's Bob Gates carried on these meetings. Whitehead was appalled at "how little help I got from the CIA in knowing what was going on in countries where we had interests and where there were problems.... The analyses were shallow, contained very little of what I would call hard information, and often were incorrect.... I thought that the organization itself somehow had deteriorated, so that the information that it was receiving and the system of gathering information was not very productive anymore." Whitehead oral history, FAOH. Gaping holes were growing in the agency's map of the globe. "The principal worry I have at this point has to do with the adequacy of our intelligence effort...all over the world," Admiral Inman said, presciently, just before joining Casey at CIA headquarters in 1981. "We lack a data base on the areas of the world which were overlooked in the 1960's, when we were focused totally on Southeast Asia. There wasn't a lot of worry about countries in Central America, the Caribbean, Latin America, Africa. I believe the odds are very high that in this decade we will face a lot of challenges in those areas." Bobby R. Inman, "Managing Intelligence for Effective Use," Center for Information Policy Research, Harvard University, December 1980.

          "Sometime in the dark of night": Clair George testimony, Nomination of Robert M. Gates, 1991, Vol. II, p. 96.

          a calculated ruse: The American ambassador to Nicaragua from 1982 to 1984, Anthony Quainton, knew the operation was a sham. "The White House had given up on the prospects of any dialogue. Egged on by Bill Casey of the CIA, it believed that the only way to solve the problem was to get the Sandinistas out. The means for doing that was an elaborate covert action program. At first, it was presented to the Congress in an extremely disingenuous way. The administration argued that harassment would make life uncomfortable for the Sandinistas, would keep them from consolidating their power, and would bring them to the negotiating table. They would see that there were unacceptable costs to their economy if they did not negotiate. The CIA argued that this was the only way to persuade them to change their policies. As with other covert operations elsewhere in the world, it didn't seem to have the promised immediate effect." Quainton oral history, FAOH.

          "raised hell with Casey": Gates, From the Shadows, pp. 242-248.

          "'figure out what to do about Central America'": Clarridge interview for the CNN Cold War series, 1998. National Security Archive transcript available online at 18/clarridge1.html. "The Latin American division had always been an isolated division within the Agency; it was almost like a little barony," Clarridge said in another oral history. "So the main thing was to carry the division within me. After a couple of weeks I went back up and told Casey, 'This is what we ought to do: Why don't we take the war to Nicaragua...?' This was exactly what Casey wanted to hear." Strober and Strober, Reagan: The Man and His Presidency, p. 165.

          "The secret war began" and "The CIA had a planning process of their own": Quainton oral history, FAOH. In the Reagan years, ambassadors very rarely spoke up in public when the CIA created foreign-policy snafus. In one of many examples of the public-relations disasters of the war in Central America, the CIA quietly offered the State Department a public-relations bonanza. The agency had debriefed a nineteen-year-old Nicaraguan captured in El Salvador. He said he had been trained in insurrection by Cuban soldiers in Ethiopia. He had a great story to tell. Was State interested in presenting him to the public in Washington? At the CIA's behest, the State Department organized a private briefing for four trusted reporters. A press spokesman escorted the reporters into a little room and then brought in the captured Nicaraguan, who said, in so many words: "I've been tortured by the CIA. They tried to force me to say that I was sent into El Salvador. I'm a patriotic Nicaraguan. I've never been to Ethiopia." The CIA had been stung by a slick teenager.
          The agency's unique "planning process" almost ended the careers of Senator Gary Hart and Senator William Cohen, the latter a future secretary of defense. They came close to being killed on a fact-finding mission in Nicaraguan when a CIA plane that had just unleashed two five-hundred-pound bombs crashed into the VIP lounge at Managua's international airport. "This created a very negative attitude in those two senators about the quality of the covert operations of the CIA," Ambassador Quainton aid.

          The secret war did not stay secret: The CIA could not have won that war, whether or not Congress had approved it. "We never had the ability to build back the paramilitary capability that we needed to conduct a war in Nicaragua," said John McMahon. "The agency was not prepared--in personnel particularly--to fight a war or train others to fight a war." McMahon interview with author.

          "yuppie spies": Duane R. Clarridge with Digby Diehl, A Spy for All Seasons: My Life in the CIA (New York: Scribner, 1997), pp. 303-318.

          Congress strongly supported a bigger, better, stronger, smarter CIA: The Senate had confirmed Casey 95-0 and the Congress gave him hundreds of millions of dollars in new funds at the end of 1981. "They wanted us to have a worldwide clandestine capability so we could provide intelligence on intentions and warning," said John McMahon. "They wanted us to have a good covert-action infrastructure. Now the beauty of having a good clandestine operation is that often the individual that you have recruited to provide you intelligence of what's going on in their government is also influential--and you can use him as a covert-action asset. If he's the foreign minister, you can subtly influence that country to support a UN vote or to say good things about the United States. So our covert-action capability began to come back very strongly." McMahon interview with author.

          "guilty of contempt of Congress from the day he was sworn in": Gates, From the Shadows, p. 213. 382 "I hope that will hold the bastards!": Barry Goldwater of Arizona, the defeated Republican candidate for president in 1964, was the chairman of the Senate intelligence committee from 1981 to 1984. Casey was so stingy with the truth that Goldwater demanded chaperones from the State Department to accompany him to the witness table to serve as custodians of fact. One of those chaperones, Ambassador Dennis Kux, heard Casey muttering this line as he left the hearing room. Kux oral history, FAOH.

          "specifically evasive": Fiers testimony, Joint Hearings, Iran-Contra Investigation, Washington, D.C., 1988.

          "'I caught him lying to me'": Inman interview in Stansfield Turner, Burn Before Reading: Presidents, CIA Directors, and Secret Intelligence (New York: Hyperion, 2005), pp. 196-201.

          "If Congress would not finance the CIA's operations in Central America": In 1984, when Congress cut off funds for the CIA's contras, the war stalled, and elections were held. The CIA provided money and propaganda for Arturo Cruz, Sr., a former ambassador to the United States and the legitimate leader of the political opposition to the Sandinistas. But the Sandinistas' leader, Daniel Ortega, trounced him two-to-one. At this writing, Ortega has been re-elected and Nicaragua remains one of the poorest and most benighted nations in the Western Hemisphere. "The war was unnecessary, inhuman, and unwise," Cruz said after Reagan and Casey were dead and departed. "We have to say that we all make tremendous mistakes.

          Despite Casey's open disdain: Kux oral history, FAOH.

          "The CIA was deeply involved": Norland oral history, FAOH.

          The official foreign policy of the United States: "We would like to see a peaceful resolution of Chadian factional fighting," a November 17, 1981, State Department briefing paper said. It was hard to see how the CIA's arming one faction to the teeth promoted that goal. "Libyan Threat to Sudan," Department of State, declassified July 30, 2002.

          "'Fuck the Congress'": Blakemore oral history, FAOH.


          • "What the hell did we give Stinger missiles to Chad for?": Richard Bogosian oral history, FAOH. Bogosian, the American ambassador to Sudan during the 1991 Gulf War, witnessed Baker's query. The answer, said James K. Bishop, the principal State Department officer for military and intelligence affairs in Africa, was that Habre was "the enemy of our enemy.... We didn't know his full history until later." Bishop oral history, FAOH. "Our intelligence on the parts of Africa which were of principal concern to us was not good" throughout the 1980s, Bishop said. "Intelligence from human sources was not particularly good throughout Africa. Intelligence assets were principally employed against the 'main enemy'--the Soviets--in cat-and-mouse recruitment games of dubious national interest."

            The CIA's biggest gunrunning mission: A few Americans--very few--foresaw the Soviet invasion. "I remember writing reports for Brzezinski as early as August 1979 saying that the level of Soviet military advisory personnel in Afghanistan at the time portended some kind of major military involvement there," said William Odom, then the senior White House military aide, in an interview with the author (Odom would later be a three-star general who ran the National Security Agency under President Reagan). "Now, as for the exact timing and the exact day that it happened, that's another issue. It did come as a surprise to the world and to a lot of people in the Carter administration." The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan began during Christmas week of 1979, and the CIA gave the president of the United States next to no warning. Carter, helpless to free the Americans trapped in Iran, approved a plan to help the Afghans fighting against the brutal Soviet invasion. In January 1980 he ordered the CIA to ship Soviet-bloc weapons out of the arms stockpiles of American allies into Pakistan. The Pakistani intelligence service would transship them to a handful of Afghan rebel leaders. "Two days after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan I gave a memo to the President of the United States which, if I recall correctly, started with the words, 'We now have the opportunity to give the Soviet Union its Vietnam,'" Brzezinski said in an interview with the author. "And it then went on to argue that this was an act of aggression that posed a threat to the stability of that region, and potentially to our position even in the Persian Gulf, and that we should do what we can to bog the Soviets down by aiding the mujahedin. And the President approved that. A quiet coalition was created involving us, the Pakistanis, the Saudis, the Chinese, the Egyptians, the British to provide support. And the purpose of that was essentially in keeping with the first words of that memo to the President." Howard Hart's remarks are from his speech at the Miller Center of Public Affairs, University of Virginia, September 7, 2005.

            "you always have to think of the endgame": McMahon interview with author.

            "the growing desperation of the men in the Kremlin": Gates, From the Shadows, p. 258. What was really happening in Moscow? Casey wanted to deliver intelligence on the players at the Politburo, on the Soviet people, on Soviet minorities and dissidents, on day-to-day existence inside the evil empire. But when the CIA could not provide it through espionage, he clung to his preconceptions. Ambassador Warren Zimmerman was the deputy chief of mission at the American embassy in Moscow from 1981 to 1984, and for those four years Casey and the CIA junked his unvarnished reporting of a collapsing Soviet empire. When he arrived, Zimmerman recounted, the Soviet leader, Leonid Brezhnev, "was in his dotage, he was slurring his words, he was falling asleep, he was getting drunk." When Brezhnev died, the nation was led briefly by Yuri Andropov, the chief of Soviet intelligence, who was dying, too, and then by Konstantin Chernenko, another leader at death's door.

            The Politburo, the decision-making machine in Moscow, was "an absolutely paralyzed, ineffective political apparatus" led by "a bunch of 70-and 80-year-olds, some of whom had never been out of the Soviet Union," Zimmerman said. "Their view of the United States was entirely stereotyped, based on what they read in their horrible newspapers and magazines." They had "only the most rudimentary knowledge and understanding of the United States." The American understanding of what was going on in the Soviet Union was not much better. Geriatric generals and corrupt old-guard Communist Party apparatchiks doddered through their last days, the Soviet economy crumbled under the costs of sustaining a world-class military, harvests rotted in the fields for want of fuel to truck the food from farms to markets--and few of these facts entered the collective consciousness of the CIA. Nor did the agency grasp the calculus of the balance of terror.Every single national intelligence estimate on Soviet strategic forces sent to the White House from 1974 to 1986 would overstate the rate at which Moscow was modernizing its nuclear firepower.

            The peak of the unseen nuclear crisis of 1982 and 1983 came when Reagan announced that the United States would build a missile defense system--"Star Wars"--that would strike and destroy Soviet nuclear weapons in midair. America did not have--and twenty-five years later still does not have--the technology that Reagan envisioned. The Reagan administration bolstered the Strategic Defense Initiative with a rigorous counterpropaganda campaign, to convince the Soviets that "Star Wars" was based on real science and to blunt world criticism of the visionary plan. The information-warfare program gave the Soviets shivers. "They were genuinely scared," Zimmerman said. "They assumed, funnily enough, that we could build it. As it turned out, we faked our tests, and they believed it." In turn, the Soviets faked their own strength--in political lies to their people, in the public pronouncements of the Politburo--and the CIA believed it. Zimmerman oral history, FAOH.

            The agency's line on Soviet nuclear weaponry and weapons research was at the time enhanced by an operation run by Jim Olson, later the CIA's counterintelligence chief. During the Carter administration, as Olson recounted, the new Keyhole photoreconnaissance satellites looked down as the Soviets dug a trench alongside a highway outside Moscow and laid telecommunications cables in it. The line ran to a nuclear-weapons research and development center outside Moscow. Manhole covers marked the line. Olson went to Moscow after elaborate training on an underground mock-up, shook off his KGB surveillance team, put on a disguise, opened a manhole, went underground, and tapped the line. The take ran for almost five years--and then the tapes went blank. James M. Olson, Fair Play: The Moral Dilemmas of Spying (Washington, D.C.: Potomac, 2006), pp. 9-11.

            the Farewell dossier: Gus W. Weiss, "The Farewell Dossier," Studies in Intelligence, Vol. 39, No. 5, 1996, CSA/CSI. Weiss was the National Security Council staffer who devised key elements of the plan of attack.

            "It was a brilliant plan": Richard Allen, Miller Center of Public Affairs, University of Virginia, Ronald Reagan Oral History Project, May 28, 2002.


            • Chapter Thirty-nine
              "After a couple of jelly beans, the President dozed off": Quainton oral history, FAOH.

              "the Soviets were secretly directing the dirty work of the world's worst terrorists": After the cold war, evidence emerged of direct Soviet support for Wadi Had dad, a renegade Palestinian terrorist who died in 1978. Haig's charge remains unproven.

              Ali Hassan Salameh, chief of intelligence for the Palestine Liberation Organization: On March 2, 1973--the day Bill Colby took over the CIA's clandestine service--the PLO, which had burst into Americans' consciousness six months before by murdering eleven Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics, kidnapped the American ambassador to the Sudan and his second-in-command. The Americans were seized at a reception at the Saudi embassy in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan. The attack was a consequence of a coup against the prime minister of the Sudan, whose paid relationship with the CIA had just been exposed. "Putting the prime minister on our payroll was just an invitation for trouble and totally unnecessary," said the State Department's Robert Oakley, Reagan's counterterrorism coordinator. "By putting him on the CIA payroll we corrupted him politically and made him extremely vulnerable." The kidnappers in Khartoum demanded that the United States free the convicted murderer of Bobby Kennedy, a Palestinian named Sirhan Sirhan. President Nixon, responding off the top of his head to a reporter's question that day, said the United States would not negotiate with terrorists. The Palestinians, on orders from Yasser Arafat, murdered the two American diplomats in cold blood.
              The CIA could not respond because the U.S. government had no policy to guide it. The PLO had been in action for nine years, financed chiefly by the government of Saudi Arabia and the emirs of Kuwait. The fixation at the CIA and throughout the U.S. government with the idea of state-sponsored terrorism continued after the cold war. It made it much harder, twenty years later, for Americans to understand the rise of a rich Saudi who had lived in the Sudan, a self-anointed prince named Osama bin Laden--not a state-sponsored terrorist, but a terrorist who sponsored a state.

              The first stirrings of a Middle East peace process after the 1973 Yom Kippur war led the CIA into a new and uncharted territory. In secret, Deputy Director of Central Intelligence Vernon Walters flew to Morocco to meet Ali Hassan Salameh. The meeting was initiated by Yasser Arafat; he was sending a signal that he wanted to be treated as a national leader, not a stateless terrorist. He wanted the PLO to negotiate for the West Bank after the Yom Kippur war. He wanted to establish a Palestinian National Authority. He was trying to establish himself as the moderate voice of Palestinian aspirations. Walters remembered: "Kissinger said, 'I can't send anyone else, because that would be negotiation, and the American Jewish community would go crazy. But you are an intelligence contact.' I said, 'Dr. Kissinger, I'm deputy director of the CIA. I'm probably number six or seven on their hit list.' He replied: 'I'm number one. That's why you're going.'" The meeting bore fruit.

              The CIA opened up a channel of high-level communications with the PLO. After Salameh returned from Morocco to his base in Lebanon and made contact with the CIA station in Beirut, the PLO intelligence chief began to meet on a regular basis with the CIA's Bob Ames. Walters oral history, FAOH.
              Not everybody believed the information that the CIA was buying in Beirut. "They were prisoners of their lousy reports," said Talcott Seelye, who arrived as the American ambassador in Lebanon after his predecessor, Francis Meloy, was murdered while attempting to present his diplomatic credentials in 1976. The Salameh channel lasted for five years, until he was assassinated by Israeli intelligence in 1978. It represented a high-water mark in the CIA's understanding of the roots of rage in the Arab world, a glimmer of insight into who the Palestinians were and what they wanted--the sole and signal triumph of Bill Colby's time as director of central intelligence. Seelye oral history; FAOH; Colby interview with author.

              His case officer was Bob Ames: Ames was "uniquely talented," Bob Gates said in an interview with the author. "I always considered my greatest recruit in my whole life at the agency was recruiting Bob Ames out of the clandestine service to be the head of the CIA analytical office working on the Middle East. And ironically after all of his years in the agency, working in the Middle East in dangerous operations, putting his life on the line, he was in Beirut as chief of the analytical office, visiting the embassy, when he was killed. So he was working for me when he was killed, not the clandestine service. I have often thought that if Bob Ames had lived, the United States might not have intervened in Lebanon and the course of history there might have been changed somewhat."

              "the wave of the future": Timothy Naftali, Blind Spot: The Secret History of American Counterterrorism (New York: Basic, 2005), p. 85.

              "the Agency people were busy": Dillon oral history, FAOH.

              "He was exhilarated to be back": Susan M. Morgan, "Beirut Diary," Studies in Intelligence, Summer 1983, CIA/CSI. Morgan's recently declassified firsthand account conclusively contradicts several published versions of the Beirut embassy bombing, notably that of the CIA's Bob Baer, who describes Ames's hand being recovered hundreds of yards out in the harbor of Beirut.

              "leaving us with too little intelligence": Lewis oral history, FAOH.

              "Our intelligence about Grenada was lousy": Clarridge interview for the CNN Cold War Series, 1998, National Security Archive transcript available online at clarridge1.html.

              "The CIA had a plan to form a government": Gillespie oral history, FAOH.

              Chapter Forty
              "There was a presidential finding signed by Ronald Reagan": Wells interview with author.

              "To save his own ass": O'Neill oral history, FAOH.

              "The Reagan Administration took a covert operation": Korn interview with author and oral history, FAOH.

              "Casey's recommendation to kidnap Mughniyah": Oakley oral history, FAOH.

              "Reagan was preoccupied with the fate of the hostages and could not understand why CIA could not locate and rescue them": Robert M. Gates, From the Shadows : The Ultimate Insider's Story of Five Presidents and How They Won the ColdWar (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1996), p. 397.

              "the Agency had to reach outside itself": McMahon interview with author.

              "the mines has got to be the solution!": Clarridge interview for the CNN Cold War Series, 1998, National Security Archive transcript available online at The late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, then the ranking Democrat on the intelligence committee, described the CIA's defamation of Senator Goldwater in an interview with the author. In 1984, while cutting off funds for the contras, Congress approved a CIA covert operation to spend more than $2 million to ensure the election of the Christian Democrat Jose Napoleon Duarte as president of El Salvador, while blunting the candidacy of the death-squad leader Roberto d'Aubuisson.

              "He was running a great risk": Gates, From the Shadows, p. 315.


              • Chapter Forty-one
                "It could be a breakthrough": Ronald Reagan, An American Life (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1990), pp. 501-502. Unless otherwise noted, the facts, figures, and quotations concerning the Iran-contra affair in this chapter are taken from the records of the joint congressional committee and the final report of the independent counsel team that investigated the fiasco.

                "We received a draft secret executive order telling us to go knock off terrorists in pre-emptive strikes": McMahon interview with author.

                "North's rationale": Kelly oral history, FAOH.

                "the CIA was corrupted": Wilcox oral history, FAOH.

                "get that plane the hell out of Costa Rica!": CIA interview with Joseph Fernandez, CIA Office of the Inspector General, January 24, 1987.

                "The intelligence we passed to them": Oakley oral history, FAOH.

                "The person who managed this whole affair was Casey": Sofaer oral history in Deborah Hart Strober and Gerald S. Strober, Reagan: The Man and His Presidency (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1998), p. 500.

                "The meeting was an unmitigated disaster": James McCullough, "Personal Reflections on Bill Casey's Last Month at CIA," Studies in Intelligence, Summer 1995, commentary by David Gries, CIA/CSI.

                "No scandal and a good many solid successes": Casey's remarkable talking points are cited in Douglas F. Garthoff, "Directors of Central Intelligence as Leaders of the U.S. Intelligence Community, 1946-2005," 2006, CIA/CSI. These words are part of the strong body of circumstantial evidence suggesting that Casey's brain tumor sparked otherwise inexplicable conduct during his last eighteen months as director of central intelligence. His divorce from reality in those days was exemplified by his romance with Renamo, the Mozambique National Resistance Movement. Renamo was a black guerrilla army created by the white racists of South Africa and Rhodesia and the most vicious rebel force afoot in the region. Trained, armed, and financed by BOSS, the South African intelligence service, Renamo used tactics including "the cutting off of ears, the severing of limbs and breasts, and general mutilation," said Ambassador Chas W. Freeman, Jr., who oversaw African affairs under President Reagan. "This mutilation became the norm, and perhaps half a million people perished." Renamo was "reminiscent of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia," said James Bishop, the principal State Department officer for African political and military affairs, "vicious and excessive in its use of terrorism."
                Casey told President Reagan that Renamo deserved the CIA's support as freedom fighters in the global war on communism. His tactics included the "cooking of intelligence to magnify the impact of Renamo," said Ambassador Freeman. Barred from direct support to the rebels, Casey took another tack. In 1986, after a ten-year ban, Congress took his word and revived covert military aid to the CIA's favored armies in Angola, including Stinger missiles, antitank weapons, and tons of automatic weapons. The agency had been backing one Angolan faction or another off and on for thirty years. The renewal of the Angola program opened an arms pipeline from the agency that ran through South Africa and depended on the apartheid regime's support. The most powerful American diplomats involved in the region strongly suspected that Casey opened up a back channel of lethal aid to the renegades of Renamo. "Casey, who was prone to follow his own foreign policy, indeed did become, to some extent, involved with Renamo, against the declared policy, and indeed the strongly held internal policy of the administration," Ambassador Freeman said.
                "Casey set out to destroy our diplomacy" in southern Africa, said Frank G. Wisner, Jr. "And he almost succeeded." FAOH interviews.

                "Bill Casey had a lot to answer for": McCullough, "Personal Reflections."

                "a job no one else seemed to want": Robert M. Gates, From the Shadows: The Ultimate Story of Five Presidents and How They Won the Cold War (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1996), p. 414. Gates had to go to Capitol Hill to answer for his nomination. "How do you like the job so far?" a newspaper photographer asked. Gates replied with the twangy title of a country-and-western hit: "Take This Job and Shove it." An open microphone caught him. Everyone knew the next line of the song: "I ain't working here no more."

                "It quickly became clear that he was too close": Webster interview with author.

                "The clandestine service is the heart and soul of the agency": Gates interview with author.

                Chapter Forty-two
                "It took me months to get a clear understanding": Webster interview with author.

                "No one else can understand it": Thompson interview with author.

                "We probably could have overcome Webster's ego": Duane R. Clarridge with Digby Diehl, A Spy for All Seasons: My Life in the CIA (New York: Scribner, 1997), p. 371.

                "A point Dick Helms made": Webster interview with author.

                "Congress doesn't believe you": Webster interview with author.

                Clarridge briefly considered fighting back: Clarridge, A Spy for All Seasons, pp. 381-386.

                "American intelligence was generous with him," Gorbachev remarked: Politburo minutes, September 28, 1986, Cold War International History Project, Woodrow Wilson Center.

                "an exercise, nothing more": Webster interview with author.

                Florentino Aspillaga Lombard: It is hard to overstate how devastating was the realization that Castro's intelligence service had outsmarted the CIA for twenty straight years. Nor was Aspillaga's 1987 defection the end of it. On September 21, 2001, the FBI arrested Ana Belen Montes, the senior Cuba analyst for the Defense Intelligence Agency, who confessed six months later that she had been spying for Cuba since 1985. Hundreds of spies from Cuba's Direccion General de Inteligencia, the DGI, have lived and worked in the United States ever since the Bay of Pigs, according to former members of the Cuban service who have defected. They operate as diplomats and cab drivers, dealers of guns and drugs and information. The Cuban intelligence service, which reports to Defense Minister Raul Castro, Fidel's brother, has infiltrated Cuban exile groups and U.S. government agencies with notable success. Take the case of Jose Rafael Fernandez Brenes, who jumped ship from a Cuban merchant vessel in 1988. Embraced by American intelligence, he helped set up and run TV Marti, the U.S. government-financed station that beamed anti-Castro information and propaganda at Cuba, from 1988 to 1991. The Cuban government jammed TV Marti's signal the moment it went on the air in March 1990--thanks to the data supplied by Fernandez Brenes. Then there was Francisco Avila Azcuy, who ran operations for Alpha 66, one of the most violent anti-Castro exile groups, all the while reporting secretly to the FBI--and Cuban intelligence. Avila planned a 1981 raid on Cuba, telling both the FBI and the DGI all about it. His information helped convict seven members of Alpha 66 for violating the Neutrality Act by planning an attack on a foreign nation from U.S. soil. Tim Weiner, "Castro's Moles Dig Deep, Not Just into Exiles," The New York Times, March 1, 1996.

                "they actually did something right": Lilley interview with author.

                a brilliant plot against the Abu Nidal Organization: Tom Twetten interview with author. The best summary of the operation is Timothy Naftali, Blind Spot: The Secret History of American Counterterrorism (New York: Basic, 2005), pp. 196-198.

                half-baked insurgency: John H. Kelly oral history, FAOH. Kelly became assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern Affairs in June 1989.

                grudge match: In a May 1, 1987, letter to President Reagan, Son Sann, the president of the Khmer People's National Liberation Front, the intended recipient of the CIA's aid, warned against "improved US-Vietnam relations" and cautioned Reagan against "moderation" toward "the main Soviet proxy in Southeast Asia." Son Sann's letter and Powell's memo to Reagan warning against a resurgent Khmer Rouge were both declassified May 28, 1999.

                "One by one we killed them": Howard Hart remarks, Miller Center of Public Affairs, University of Virginia, September 7, 2005.

                "we don't have any plan": Twetten interview with author.

                "drastically reduce our assistance to the real radicals": Oakley oral history, FAOH.


                • Chapter Forty-three
                  "Casey saw him as a protege": Davis oral history, FAOH.

                  "The CIA, who had dealt with him for so long": Pastorino oral history, FAOH.

                  "As a former deputy director of the CIA": Dachi oral history, FAOH.

                  The CIA's Don Winters testified: Trial transcripts of United States v. Manuel Noriega.

                  "Saddam Hussein was known to be a brutal dictator": Wilcox oral history, FAOH.

                  "The arrested agents were tortured to death": Giraldi interview, Balkananaly, July 30, 2006. The author interviewed Giraldi in 1994 and 1995. Leaving aside the human tragedy of the agents' deaths, the CIA's reporting and analysis on Iran was consistently off the mark during this period. In the summer of 1987, during the final agonies of the Iran-Iraq War, Iran was harassing Kuwaiti oil tankers at sea. The ships then were placed under the American flag and protected by navy warships. The CIA assessed the situation in the Persian Gulf and strongly advised an end to the reflagging operation. The question went to the national security adviser, Frank Carlucci, the former deputy director of central intelligence. "The Agency produced a report which essentially said no military confrontation with Iran would work," Carlucci said. "The Iranians provoked us and we sank half their Navy in twenty-four hours. They went back and put their ships in the harbor, so we were able to sail with impunity in the Gulf. The CIA was wrong." Carlucci oral history, FAOH.

                  "Is Iraq Bluffing?": Richard L. Russell, "CIA's Strategic Intelligence in Iraq," Political Science Quarterly, Summer 2002. Russell served for seventeen years as a political-military analyst at CIA.

                  "I did sound the warning bell": Charles Allen remarks, "Intelligence: Cult, Craft, or Business?" Program on Information Resources Policy, Harvard University, April 6, 2000.

                  King Hussein of Jordan told the president: Memorandum of telephone conversation, with King Hussein, July 31, 1990, HWBL.

                  "there wasn't much intelligence": James A. Baker III with Thomas M. DeFrank, The Politics of Diplomacy: Revolution, War and Peace, 1989-1992 (New York: Putnam, 1995), p. 7.

                  "an unfortunately quite typical pattern": Freeman oral history, FAOH. On January 10, 1991, the CIA warned the White House and the Pentagon that "Saddam Hussein almost certainly will unleash a major terrorist campaign against Western--particularly U.S.--interests. Multiple, simultaneous attacks are likely to occur in several geographic regions--possibly including the United States--in an effort to capture maximum publicity and sow widespread panic." There was never any evidence that Iraqi intelligence cells had penetrated the United States, but the CIA and the FBI did track at least three groups of Iraqi military officers in the Middle East and Asia and captured them in the days immediately before the American attack on Iraq. CIA, "Terrorism Review," January 10, 1991, CIA/FOIA.

                  "'CIA hadn't a clue'": Clarke interview, Frontline, "The Dark Side," January 23, 2006, edited transcript available online at

                  "a tidal wave of history": Robert M. Gates, From the Shadows: The Ultimate Insider's Story of Five Presidents and How They Won the Cold War (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1996), p. 449. Gates oversaw a National Security Council staff under Bush filled with experts who disdained the work of the analysts Gates had led at the CIA. Ambassador Robert D. Blackwill was the NSC staff man for Soviet and European affairs in 1989 and 1990. "The Agency was still putting out gobs of analytic products that I never read," he said. "During the two years I did not read a single [National Intelligence] Estimate. Not one. And except for Gates, I do not know of anyone at the NSC who did." Blackwill quoted in Jack Davis, "A Policymaker's Perspective on Intelligence Analysis,"Studies in Intelligence, Vol. 38, No. 5, 1995, CIA/CSI.

                  "the basic elements of Soviet defense policy": NIE 11-3/8-88, "Soviet Forces and Capabilities for Strategic Nuclear Conflict Through the Late 1990s," December 1, 1988, CIA/CSI.

                  "people would have been calling for my head": MacEachin cited in Kirsten Lundberg, "CIA and the Fall of the Soviet Empire: The Politics of 'Getting It Right,'" Case Study C16-94-1251.0, Harvard University, 1994, pp. 30-31.

                  "He'd never once been there": Palmer oral history, FAOH.

                  "They talked about the Soviet Union": Crowe oral history, FAOH.

                  "What are we going to do when the Wall comes down?": Walters quoted in David Fischer oral history, FAOH.

                  "there were no Soviet spies": If there was ever a time for the CIA to press hard to understand why those spies had died, it was during the collapse of the Soviet Union, in 1990 and 1991. "When I was [first] nominated to be director in 1987 I had lunch with Dick Helms," Bob Gates told me. "And I remember Helms wagging his finger at me at the lunch in the Director's dining room, it was just the two of us, we were all by ourselves, and him telling me, never go home at night without wondering where the mole is." In 1992, in the last months of Bob Gates's short turn as director of central intelligence, the case began to be resolved. Aldrich Ames was arrested in February 1994. Gates interview with author.

                  "It was easy, once upon a time, for the CIA to be unique": Bearden interview with author.

                  "The ultimate tragedy is spiritual": Giraldi interview with author.

                  "this was rapidly evolving into a very bad situation": Arnold Donahue, "Perspectives on U.S. Intelligence," Program on Information Resources, Harvard University, April 1998.

                  "Sitting alone in the vice president's office was surrealistic": Michael J. Sulick, "As the USSR Collapsed: A CIA Officer in Lithuania," Studies in Intelligence, Vol. 50, No. 2, 2006, CIA/CSI.

                  "Adjust or die": Gates note and announcement to CIA employees cited in Douglas F. Garthoff, "Directors of Central Intelligence as Leaders of the U.S. Intelligence Community, 1946-2005," 2006, CIA/CSI. Garthoff worked at CIA from 1972 to 1999, serving many years as an analyst of Soviet affairs under Gates.

                  "We have lost": Richard Kerr, "The Evolution of the U.S. Intelligence System in the Post-Soviet Era," Program on Information Resources, Harvard University, Spring 1992.

                  "19-year-olds on two-year rotations": MacEachin cited in Robert Steele, "Private Enterprise Intelligence: Its Potential Contribution to National Security," paper delivered at conference on Intelligence Analysis and Assessment, Ottawa, Canada, October 22-29, 1994. Steele is a CIA veteran who champions open-source analysis.

                  "Tensions rising as budget pinches": Gates note cited in Garthoff, "Directors of Central Intelligence."


                  • Chapter Forty-four
                    "immense democratic and entrepreneurial opportunity": Anthony Lake, "From Containment to Enlargment," Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, September 21, 1993.

                    he would be the next director of central intelligence: Bill Clinton charmed most of the CIA briefers, who came to Little Rock, holed up in $38.50-a-night motel rooms at the Comfort Inn by the airport, and drove out to the governor's mansion to school him. But they were never quite sure how much he was really taking in. John L. Helgerson. Getting to Know the President: CIA Briefings of Presidential Candidates, 1952-1992, CIA/CSI.

                    "Admiral, I didn't know" and "I didn't have a bad relationship": Woolsey remarks, Council on Foreign Relations, May 12, 2004; Woolsey interview with author.

                    "nobody's seen the president": Twetten interview with author.

                    dozens of covert-action proposals during his first two years in office: While the precise number remains classified, "the Clinton administration requested a remarkable number of covert action proposals to deal with the increasingly troublesome array of problems it faced in the early 1990s, only to conclude that covert action could not save the United States from overt military intervention," in the words of John MacGaffin, the number-two man in the clandestine service under Clinton and the author's downstairs neighbor after he left the CIA. By the way, MacGaffin never leaked. See his "Spies, Counterspies, and Covert Action," in Jennifer E. Sims and Burton Gerber (eds.) Transforming U.S. Intelligence (Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2005), pp. 79-95.

                    "No harsher test was there than Somalia": Wisner oral history, FAOH.

                    "the intelligence failure in Somalia": Crowe oral history, FAOH. Before the admiral took over the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, he had to tell President Clinton what it was: "Early in the Administration, the President and I talked about what I would like to do," Crowe recalled. "I said, 'PFIAB,' and he said, 'What's PFIAB?' So I had to tell him what it was."

                    Not long after dawn on January 25: The events of January 25, 1993, are reconstructed from a report that Nick Starr filed for the CIA's in-house newsletter and from court records. Four and a half years later, the killer, Mir Amal Kansi, was arrested in Pakistan in a rendition operation coordinated by the CIA and backed by a $2 million reward. He said the murders were an act of vengeance for American foreign policy in the Middle East. The state of Virginia convicted him of murder and put him to death by lethal injection.

                    "a member of the Central Intelligence Agency in Khartoum": O'Neill oral history, FAOH.

                    "But the CIA eventually concluded": Intelligence memorandum, "Iraq: Baghdad Attempts to Assassinate Former President Bush," CIA Counterterrorist Center, July 12, 1993, CIA/FOIA.

                    "proportionate to the attack on President Bush": Tim Weiner, "Attack Is Aimed at the Heart of Iraq's Spy Network," The New York Times, June 27, 1993.

                    "Saddam tries to assassinate": Woolsey remarks, Restoration Weekend, Palm Beach, Florida, November 16, 2002.

                    Many of its leaders had been on the CIA's payroll for years: Tim Weiner with Steve Engelberg and Howard French, "CIA Formed Haitian Unit Later Tied to Narcotics Trade," The New York Times, November 14, 1993. A brief portrait of one of the CIA's men in Haiti, taken from that article: Among the military officers who took the agency's cash and led the Haitian intelligence service was Colonel Ernst Prudhomme, a member of the anti-Aristide junta that seized power in Haiti. On November 2, 1989, while he held the title of chief of national security and received the CIA's largesse, he led a brutal interrogation of Evans Paul, the mayor of Haiti's capital, Port-au-Prince. The interrogation left the mayor with five broken ribs and internal injuries. "Prudhomme himself never touched me," Paul said. "He played the role of the intellectual, the man who searched carefully for contradictions in your account--the man who seemed to give direction to the whole enterprise. He wanted to present me to the world as a terrorist.... He seemed to have so much information about my life, all the way from my childhood. It was if he had been following me step by step."

                    "the Thomas Jefferson of Haiti": Woolsey remarks, Council on Foreign Relations, May 12, 2004.

                    a CIA study saying half a million people might die: Tim Weiner, "Critics Say U.S. Ignored C.I.A. Warnings of Genocide in Rwanda," The New York Times, March 26, 1998. It was hard to see what the CIA could have done to prevent the slaughter even if the White House had the will, for it had no one stationed in Rwanda. "The CIA was not very helpful in terms of internal African politics. Never had been," said Clinton's ambassador in Rwanda, Robert E. Gribbin III, a professional diplomat with long service on the continent. "They weren't particularly interested in it."

                    The president's response to Rwanda: That response came in a major foreign policy order called Presidential Decision Directive 25. Dated May 3, 1994, and still largely classified, it aimed to make the United Nations take the lead in peacekeeping operations.

                    "Frankenstein's creature": James Monnier Simon, Jr., "Managing Domestic, Military, and Foreign Policy Requirements: Correcting Frankenstein's Blunder," in Sims and Gerber, Transforming U.S. Intelligence, pp. 149-161.

                    Chapter Forty-five
                    "I know what the Soviet Union is really all about": Ames interview with author.

                    "Their names were given to the Soviet intelligence service": Hitz interview with author.

                    "You have to wonder whether the CIA has become no different from any other bureaucracy": Glickman interview with author.

                    "I would disembowel the CIA": Odom interview with author.

                    "The place just needs a total overhaul": Specter interview with author.

                    "What does it all mean now?": Aspin interview with author.

                    "Our goal is to sell intelligence": Snider quoted in Loch K. Johnson, "The Aspin-Brown Intelligence Inquiry: Behind the Closed Doors of a Blue Ribbon Commission," Studies in Intelligence, Fall 2004, CIA/CSI.

                    "Counterterrorism received little attention": Johnson, "The Aspin-Brown Intelligence Inquiry."

                    "inadequote numbers of people on the front line": Hitz interview with the author.


                    • Chapter Forty-six
                      "The president asked me whether I was interested in being the director of central intelligence": Deutch interview with author.

                      "Plagued by poor leadership, the Agency is adrift": John A. Gentry, "A Framework for Reform of the U.S. Intelligence Community," available online at Gentry had been a CIA analyst for twelve years.

                      "seeing it as nothing but trouble": Helms interview with author.

                      Eight thousand people were dead, and the agency had missed it: Stephen Engelberg and Tim Weiner with Raymond Bonner and Jane Perlez, "Srebrenica: The Days of Slaughter," The New York Times, October 29, 1995.

                      the CIA's Paris station had run an elaborate operation: Tim Weiner, "C.I.A. Confirms Blunders During Economic Spying on France," The New York Times, March 13, 1996.

                      The division was a world apart at the CIA: Tim Weiner, "More Is Told About C.I.A. in Guatemala," The New York Times, April 25, 1995.

                      "The CIA station in Guatemala was about twice the size it needed to be": Stroock interview with author.

                      "The chief of station came into my office": McAfee interview with author.

                      "Let me explain life to you": Tenet interview with author.

                      "Dick Clarke came to me and said, 'They're going to blow you up'": Lake interview with author.

                      the agency conspired with an Iraqi exile named Ayad Alawi: In May 2004, a year into the American occupation of Iraq, the United States propelled Alawi into the post of prime minister. Despite his articulateness and ambition, he was not a political success. The near-universal knowledge of his long-standing ties to the CIA was not counted in his favor.

                      an old and troubled romance: In the summer of 1972, the agency delivered a $5.38 million package of aid and arms personally approved by Nixon and Kissinger "to assist...the Iraqi Kurds in their resistance against the Ba'athi Iraqi regime," in Kissinger's words. Kissinger then sold the Kurds down the river two years later, abandoning American support for their cause in order to pacify the shah of Iran, who had grown fearful of an independent Kurdish state. Kissinger memo, undated but on or about July 31, 1971, in FRUS, 1969-1972. Vol. E-4, document 322, declassified September 2006.

                      "The Saddam case was an interesting case": Lowenthal interview with author.

                      "It would have been a great challenge": Lake interview with author.

                      "a dancing bear in a political circus": Lake interview with author.

                      "It is impossible to overstate the turbulence": Hitz interview with author.

                      Its ability to collect and analyze secrets was falling apart: A strong encryption program called PGP, for Pretty Good Privacy, had been available for free on the World Wide Web since the end of the cold war. On March 20, 1997, the deputy director of the National Security Agency, William Crowell, told Congress: "If all the personal computers in the world--260 million computers--were put to work on a single PGP-encrypted message, it would still take an estimated 12 million times the age of the universe, on average, to break a single message." How was American intelligence going to unscramble that? Crowell testimony, House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts and Intellectual Property, March 20, 1997.

                      "great successes are rare and failure is routine": "IC21: The Intelligence Community in the 21st Century," Staff Study, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, 1996.

                      The careers of three years' worth of CIA trainees were blighted: Completion of the CIA's training course was no guarantee of success when stationed overseas. Jim Olson, who served as chief of station in Moscow, Vienna, and Mexico City, told the story of a bright young couple who reported to him as newly minted case officers. She was a lawyer, he was an engineer. "I had high hopes for them," he recounted. But after less than a week, they told him that they had ethical qualms about recruiting agents "under false pretenses. They said they simply could not bring themselves to mislead and manipulate innocent people that way." Of course, that is what CIA officers overseas do for a living. The couple could not be salvaged. They quit, and wound up driving a long-haul tractor trailer in tandem. Olson was "very curious why their moral reservations had not turned up in training." It turned out that they had indeed expressed their fears, but their instructors told them not to worry--that "everything would be fine once they got to their first assignment." Everything was not fine. Olson, Fair Play: The Moral Dilemmas of Spying (Washington, DC: Potomac, 2006), pp. 251-252. A 2003 graduate of the CIA's training school., T. J. Waters, has reported similar misfeasance by his instructors. There seems to be a problem down on the Farm. T. J. Waters, Class 11: Inside the Largest Spy Class in CIA History (New York: Dutton, 2006).

                      "depth, breadth, and expertise": Report of House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Representative Porter J. Goss, Chairman, June 18, 1997.

                      "From the vantage point of 2001...intelligence failure is inevitable": Russ Travers, "The Coming Intelligence Failure," Studies in Intelligence, 1997, CIA/CSI. Travers wrote: "Failure may be of the traditional variety: we fail to predict the fall of a friendly government; we do not provide sufficient warning of a surprise attack against one of our allies or interests; we are completely surprised by a state-sponsored terrorist attack; or we fail to detect an unexpected country acquiring a weapon of mass destruction. Or it may take a more nontraditional form: we overstate numerous threats leading to tens of billions of dollars of unnecessary expenditures; database errors lead to a politically unacceptable number of casualties in a peaceenforcement operation; or an operation does not go well.... In the end, we may not suffer a Pearl Harbor, but simply succumb to a series of mistakes that raises questions about an intelligence budget that dwarfs the entire defense budget of most countries. The Community will try to explain the failure(s) away, and it will legitimately point to extenuating circumstances. But we are going to begin making more and bigger mistakes more often. It is only a matter of time before the results rise to the level of acknowledged intelligence failure.... The reasons will be simple: we have gotten away from basics--the collection and unbiased analysis of facts."

                      Chapter Forty-seven
                      "We were nearly bankrupt": Tenet testimony, 9/11 Commission, April 14, 2004; Tenet remarks, Kutztown University, April 27, 2005. Tenet testified that he inherited a CIA "whose dollars were declining and whose expertise was ebbing.... The infrastructure to recruit, train, and sustain officers for our clandestine service--the nation's human intelligence capability--was in disarray.... Our information systems were becoming obsolescent during the greatest information technology change in our lifetimes."

                      the fifty greatest: The list of the CIA's "Trailblazers" included Robert Ames, lost in the Beirut embassy bombing of 1983; Dick Bissell, progenitor of the U-2 and the Bay of Pigs; Jamie Critchfield, who had run the Gehlen organization; Allen Dulles, the Great White Case Officer; Richard Lehman, whose briefings Dulles had judged by their heft; Art Lundahl, the photo interpreter in the Cuban missile crisis; Tony Mendez, the master of disguise; and, of course, Frank Wisner, the avatar of covert action.

                      "The only remaining superpower": Helms interview with author.

                      "The trust that was reposed in the CIA has faded": Schlesinger interview with author.

                      "Intelligence isn't just something for the cold war": Goss interview with author.

                      "a very disturbing event": Charles Allen remarks, "Intelligence: Cult, Craft, or Business?" Program on Information Resources Policy, Harvard University, April 6, 2000.

                      "The likelihood of a cataclysmic warning failure is growing": Mary O. McCarthy, "The Mission to Warn: Disaster Looms," Defense Intelligence Journal, Vol. 7, No. 2, 1998.

                      Tenet decided to cancel the operation: The blow-by-blow is in the 9/11 Commission report.

                      "We will need much better intelligence on this facility": McCarthy quoted in 9/11 Commission report.

                      "It was a mistake": Petterson oral history, FAOH.

                      "The decision to target al Shifa": Carney interview with author. I covered the Nairobi bombings and the al Shifa aftermath for The New York Times; interviews for the latter story included senior CIA, NSC, State, and Defense officials. They were conducted on background and sadly must re-main there, but two were with members of the "Small Group," the highest national-security circle, whose six members included the national security adviser and the director of central intelligence. Clinton's sexual dalliances with an intern had just become public, and the officials I interviewed were not quite sure what they believed anymore. But they put up a good show.

                      "a catastrophic systemic intelligence failure": Cited in "Counterterrorism Intelligence Capabilities and Performance Prior to 9/11," House intelligence committee hearing, September 5, 2002. The sense that something terrible was about to happen was unbearable for some members of the intelligence community. Three weeks after that September 11, 1998, warning, John Millis, a veteran clandestine service officer who was the staff director for chairman Porter Goss at the House intelligence committee, gave a speech to CIA retirees. Millis said the agency was drowning in meaningless data, short on brainpower, approaching collapse. "People used to come to us and brag that CIA is the 911 of the government," he mused. "Well, if you're dialing 911, intelligence has already lost." Millis blew his head off with a shotgun in a seedy motel outside Washington on June 4, 2000.

                      "in ten years we won't be relevant": Tenet interview with author.

                      "to use deception, to use manipulation, to use, frankly, dishonesty": Smith interview with author.

                      "people that are a little different": Gates interview with author.

                      gung-ho became go slow: Gary Schroen's accounts of the misfires against bin Laden are in his 9/11 Commission testimony. He summed it up years later: "We didn't do enough. We didn't penetrate bin Laden's inner circle; we still haven't. So, yeah, there was a failure." Schroen interview, Frontline, "The Dark Side," January 20, 2006, edited transcript available online at interviews/schroen.html.

                      "the United States had the capability to remove Osama bin Laden": MacGaffin, "Spies, Counterspies, and Covert Action," in Jennifer E. Sims and Burton Gerber (eds.), Transforming U.S. Intelligence (Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2005).

                      The Afghans kept tracking bin Laden's travels: The pursuit of bin Laden and the hesitation of the CIA, the Pentagon, and the White House are detailed in the 9/11 Commission report.

                      "The bombing of the Chinese embassy": Vice Admiral Thomas R. Wilson, Harvard Seminar on Intelligence, Command, and Control, Program on Information Resources Policy, November 2001.

                      "You Americans are crazy": 9/11 Commission report, "Intelligence Policy," Staff Statement No. 7.

                      "The threat could not be more real": Tenet cited in 9/11 Commission report.

                      "a lot of money": Clarke testimony in 9/11 Commission report.

                      Al Qaeda was the obvious suspect: The pre-and post-election briefings of George Bush by the CIA and Bill Clinton are in the 9/11 Commission report. The bombing of the USS Cole brought an unusually vehement attack from John Lehman, the secretary of the navy during the Reagan administration. He raged at "the obscene failure of intelligence" in the attack in an opinion article published in the Washington Post three days afterward. "But of course, no one could be surprised by intelligence failure. In 14 years of government service in three administrations I observed many historic crises, and in every one the consolidated product of the intelligence bureaucracy either failed to provide warning, as in Kuwait, or was grossly wrong in its assessment.... But nothing is ever done. Cole is the latest victim of a $30 billion jobs program that takes the most wondrous products of space and electronic technology and turns them into useless mush."


                      • Chapter Forty-eight
                        "why a foreseeable disaster went unforeseen": James Monnier Simon, Jr., Seminar on Intelligence, Command, and Control, Program of Information Resources Policy, Harvard University, July 2001.

                        "cut off from the realities of the outside world by their antiquated information technologies": I had heard tales of how bad the CIA's work stations and information technologies were, but I never fully understood them until Bruce Berkowitz, a former CIA officer and a highly respected consultant to the agency, published the hard facts in Studies in Intelligence in 2003. "Analysts know far less about new information technology and services than do their counterparts in the private sector and other government organizations," he wrote after spending a year at the agency as a CIA scholar in residence. "On average, they seem about five years or more behind. Many analysts seem unaware of data that are available on the Internet and from other non-CIA sources." He said the message from CIA managers was: "that technology is a threat, not a benefit; that the CIA does not put a high priority on analysts using IT easily or creatively; and, worst of all, that data outside the CIA's own network are secondary to the intelligence mission." Bruce Berkowitz, "Failing to Keep Up with the Information Revolution," Studies in Intelligence, Vol. 47, No. 1, 2003, CIA/CSI.

                        "When these attacks occur, as they likely will": Clarke e-mail cited in 9/11 Commission report.

                        "Either al Qaeda is a threat worth acting against or it is not": Clark cited in 9/11 Commission report.

                        "One hopes they won't be fatal": Garrett Jones, "Working with the CIA," Parameters (U.S. Army War College Quarterly), Vol. 31, No. 4, Winter 2001-2002. Among the fatal consequences of 9/11, little noticed in the civilian world, was this: by blind chance, the plane that struck the Pentagon killed most if not all of the naval intelligence staff of the Defense Intelligence Agency.

                        "the dark side": Speaking from Camp David on Meet the Press on Sunday, September 16, 2001, Cheney said, "We also have to work, though, sort of the dark side, if you will. We've got to spend time in the shadows in the intelligence world. A lot of what needs to be done here will have to be done quietly, without any discussion, using sources and methods that are available to our intelligence agencies, if we're going to be successful."

                        President Bush issued a fourteen-page top secret directive to Tenet and the CIA: On January 10, 2007, the existence of the directive was acknowledged in a court filing by the CIA. The secret order authorized the CIA "to detain terrorists" and "to set up detention facilities outside the United States." Declaration of Marilyn A. Dorn, ACLU v. Department of Defense.

                        "What would it have? Well, a thumbprint": James M. Simon, Jr., "Analysis, Analysts, and Their Role in Government and Intelligence," Harvard seminar, Program on Information Resources Policy, July 2003.

                        "I could not not do this": Hayden testimony, Senate intelligence committee, May 18, 2006. At this writing, Hayden is running the CIA. He has been articulate about how close to the edge of the law he is willing to go. "We're going to live on the edge," he has said. "My spikes will have chalk on them."

                        "Not everyone arrested was a terrorist": Tenet remarks, Nixon Center Distinguished Service Award Banquet, December 11, 2002. The agency acknowledged in December 2006 that it had been holding fourteen "high-value" prisoners in its secret jails and was transferring them to Guantanamo.

                        Chapter Forty-nine
                        He based that statement on the confessions of a single source: "Postwar Findings," Senate intelligence committee, September 8, 2006.

                        "It was the wrong thing to do": Tenet testimony, July 26, 2006, cited in "Postwar Findings," September 8, 2006.

                        "We did not have many Iraqi sources": James L. Pavitt remarks, Foreign Policy Association, June 21, 2004. The best source the CIA had was provided by the French intelligence service, which had cultivated Naji Sabri, Iraq's foreign minister, as its agent. Sabri said that Saddam did not have an active nuclear or biological weapons program. Evidently his reporting was rejected. Sabri was the man to whom Tenet referred in a February 5, 2004, speech, when he said the CIA had had "a source who had direct access to Saddam and his inner circle." The CIA had almost no ability to analyze accurately what little intelligence it had. Its experts were few and far between, and they were supported by scores of rookies. After 9/11, "analysts unfamiliar with terrorism, al-Qaida, or Southwest Asia were scrambling to get up to speed on their new assignments," noted the CIA veteran Bruce Berkowitz. "Months later, people were still rearranging furniture, remodeling offices, and rewiring computers." Berkowitz, "Failing to Keep Up with the Information Revolution," Studies in Intelligence, Vol. 47, No. 1, 2003, CIA/CSI.

                        "If we are not believed, we have no purpose": Richard Helms, "Intelligence in American Society," Studies in Intelligence, Vol. 11, No. 3, Summer 1967, CIA/CSI. The article was adapted from a speech Helms gave to the Council on Foreign Relations on April 17, 1967.

                        "Ultimately, I think, the Iraqis were right": Duelfer remarks, Miller Center of Public Affairs, University of Virginia, April 22, 2005.

                        "We were bereft of any human intelligence": David Kay, "Weapons of Mass Destruction: Lessons Learned and Unlearned," Miller Center Report, Vol. 20, No. 1, Spring/Summer 2004.

                        Tenet looked him in the eye: Colonel Larry Wilkerson, Colin Powell's top military assistant, was there when it happened. "I can still hear George Tenet telling me, and telling my boss in the bowels of the CIA" that the intelligence was rock solid, said Colonel Wilkerson. "I sat in the room looking into his eyes, as did the Secretary of State, and heard it with the firmness that only George could give it.... George Tenet assuring Colin Powell that the information he was presenting at the U.N. was ironclad, only to have that same individual call the Secretary on more than one occasion in the ensuing months after the presentation and tell him that central pillars of his presentation were indeed false." Wilkerson remarks, New American Foundation, October 19, 2005; Wilkerson interview, Frontline, "The Dark Side," December 13, 2005, edited transcript available online at views/wilkerson.html.

                        "I think we did get Saddam Hussein": Off Target: The Conduct of the War and Civilian Casualties in Iraq, Human Rights Watch, December 2003. The report concluded: "The intelligence for 50 strikes aimed at 55 members of the Iraqi leadership was perfect: not one leader was killed but dozens of civilians died."

                        The agency had predicted that thousands of Iraqi soldiers and their commanders would surrender: That was the last word on the eve of the ground attack, said army major general James Thurman, the overall operations director for the invasion. "We were told that by the CIA," said General Thurman. "And that isn't what happened. We had to fight our way through every town." Thurman quoted in Thomas Ricks, Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq (New York: Penguin, 2006), p. 118.

                        Major General Abed Hamed Mowhoush, who...had turned himself in voluntarily to American forces: Command's Responsibility: Detainee Deaths in U.S. Custody in Iraq and Afghanistan, Human Rights First, February 22, 2006.

                        "the cause celebre for jihadists": declassified excerpt in "Trends in Global Terrorism: Implications for the United States," April 2006, CIA.

                        "Every Army of liberation": Lieutenant General David H. Petraeus, "Learning Counterinsurgency: Observations from Soldiering in Iraq," Military Review, January-February 2006. The article is posted in the U.S. Army Professional Writing Collection, available online at professionalwriting/volumes/volume4/april_2006/.

                        "As Iraq transitions from tyranny to self-determination": Pavitt remarks, Foreign Policy Association, June 21, 2004.

                        too many hours drinking at the Babylon bar: Lindsay Moran, who quit the clandestine service in 2003 and based her statement on reports from friends and colleagues at the Baghdad station, said: "The climate there is such that you simply cannot conduct standard case officer operations. A male colleague has described it to me as a kind of relentless overage frat party in Baghdad; that is, the case officers, without being able to conduct operations, are just sort of forced to stay on the compound and party." Moran remarks, "U.S. Intelligence Reform and the WMD Commission Report," American Enterprise Institute, May 4, 2005. 493-94 "They had grave, grave difficulty finding a competent individual": Crandall oral history, Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training, Iraq Experience Project, September 20, 2004.

                        "misinformed, misleading, and just plain wrong": Tenet statement, CIA Office of Public Affairs, August 11, 2003.

                        it no longer mattered much to the White House: By 2004, it was clear that intelligence analysis was not relied on in making even the most significant national security decisions, wrote Paul Pillar, the national intelligence officer for the Middle East from 2000 to 2005. "What is most remarkable about prewar U.S. intelligence is not that it got things wrong and misled policymakers; it is that it played so small a role in one of the most important U.S. policy decisions in recent decades." Paul Pillar, "Unheeded Intelligence,"Foreign Affairs, March/April 2006.

                        "just guessing": Bush news conference, September 21, 2004. The president dismissed pessimistic reports from the Baghdad station chief as defeatist drivel.

                        "We're at war": Silberman remarks, "U.S. Intelligence Reform and the WMD Commission Report," American Enterprise Institute, May 4, 2005.

                        "even more misleading": Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction, March 31, 2005.

                        "Those were the two dumbest words I ever said": Tenet remarks, Kutztown University, April 27, 2005.

                        "the meteor strikes on the dinosaurs": Richard Kerr, Thomas Wolfe, Rebecca Donegan, and Aris Pappas, "Collection and Analysis on Iraq: Issues for the US Intelligence Community," Studies in Intelligence, Vol. 49, No. 3, 2005, CIA/CSI.

                        "We didn't get the job done": Tenet remarks, Kutztown University, April 27, 2005.

                        "We think intelligence is important to win wars": Kay, "Weapons of Mass Destruction."


                        • Chapter Fifty
                          In his farewell at CIA headquarters: Tenet remarks, CIA Office of Public Affairs, July 8, 2004. Unlike Tenet, Nixon in his own farewell speech had the good grace to quote the full passage about the man in the arena, "whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes short again and again because there is not effort without error and shortcoming, but who does actually strive to do the deed, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumphs of high achievements and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly."

                          a painful personal memoir: George Tenet with Bill Harlow, At the Center of the Storm: My Years at the CIA (New York: HarperCollins, 2007). The cited passages are on pages 110 and 232. Tenet did himself no favors by opening the book with a dramatic story about confronting the neoconservative mandarin Richard Perle outside the West Wing of the White House on September 12, 2001, and Perle saying: "Iraq has to pay a price for what happened yesterday." Perle was in France on that day; the quotation was at best a howling error. Tenet's owning up to the CIA's mistakes was admirable as far as it went. But he called himself "a member of a Greek chorus" and "a prop on the set" at Colin Powell's United Nations speech--every passage of which he had defended. He tried to explain away "slam dunk," but he could not. Tenet's book was attacked upon publication from right, left, and center. Among its few defenders were six senior officers who had served Tenet. They wrote an open letter calling him a man with "the courage to acknowledge errors that were made and accept the responsibility that belongs to him and the intelligence community he led."

                          "I couldn't get a job with CIA today": Goss told an interviewer, on camera, in a clip transcribed and posted by the leftist filmmaker Michael Moore. "I was in CIA from approximately the late 50's to approximately the early 70's. And it's true I was a case officer, clandestine service officer, and yes, I do understand the core mission of the business. I couldn't get a job with CIA today. I am not qualified. I don't have the language skills. I, you know, my language skills were romance languages and stuff. We're looking for Arabists today. I don't have the cultural background probably. And I certainly don't have the technical skills."

                          "a stilted bureaucracy incapable of even the slightest bit of success": Goss printed statement, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, June 21, 2004.

                          "it will take us another five years of work to have the kind of clandestine service our country needs": Tenet statement for the record, 9/11 Commission, April 14, 2004.

                          "We haven't done strategic intelligence for so long": Ford interview with author.

                          "It is an organization that thrives through deception": Hamre interview with author.

                          "Can CIA meet the ongoing threat?" Hart remarks, Miller Center of Public Affairs, University of Virginia, December 3, 2004.

                          "We can't get qualified people": Smith quoted in CIA Support Functions: Organization and Accomplishments of the DDA-DDS Group, 1953-1956, Vol. 2, Chap. 3, p. 128, Director of Central Intelligence Historical Services, declassified March 6, 2001, CIA/CREST.

                          "I don't want to give aid and comfort to the enemy by telling you how bad I think the problem is": Goss testimony, Senate intelligence committee, September 14, 2004.

                          "I never in my wildest dreams expected I'd be back here": Goss transcript, CIA Office of Public Affairs, September 24, 2004, declassified July 2005.

                          He would not wear two hats, like his predecessors. He would wear five: Within a few months, Goss, who preferred not to work a five-day week, was complaining that he was exhausted: "The jobs I'm being asked to do, the five hats I wear, are too much for this mortal," he said in remarks at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library on March 2, 2005.

                          He forced almost every one of the CIA's most senior officers out the door: Goss sacked the number-two man, Deputy Director of Central Intelligence John McLaughlin; the number-three man, Executive Director Buzzy Krongard; the chief and the deputy chief of the clandestine service, Stephen Kappes and Michael Sulick; the chief of intelligence analysis, Jami Miscik; the chief of the counterterrorist center, Robert Grenier; and the barons who ran operations in Europe, the Near East, and Asia. In all, Goss got rid of three dozen of the CIA's top people in a matter of months.

                          John D. Negroponte: Born in London in 1939, the son of a Greek shipping magnate, Negroponte had gone to Yale with Goss but gravitated toward the State Department instead of the CIA. After a tour in Saigon, he landed on Henry Kissinger's National Security Council staff, in charge of the Vietnam portfolio. He had been President Reagan's ambassador to Honduras, where he worked closely with the CIA and the brutal Honduran military. Negroponte served for nineteen months as director of national intelligence before stepping down to take the number-two post at the State Department. He left little visible progress behind.

                          "That sent seismic shudders through the intelligence community": Joan A. Dempsey, "The Limitations of Recent Intelligence Reforms," Harvard seminar, Program on Information Resources Policy, February 23, 2006. "We're fighting the last war," Dempsey said. The men and women of American intelligence "spin a lot of wheels trying to deliver on what is expected of them, but in my opinion they just don't have the capabilities surrounding them that really allow them to succeed."

                          "nobody had any idea of who was doing what where": Fingar interview with author.

                          "And we do not live in the best of worlds": Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction, March 31, 2005.

                          "the burial ceremony": Goss interview with Mark K. Matthews, Orlando Sentinel, September 8, 2006.

                          "the Ethic's Guy": U.S. v. Kyle Dustin Foggo, United States District Court, San Diego, February 13, 2007.

                          "The distrust of the Americans increased": U.S. vs. David Passaro, United States District Court, Raleigh, North Carolina, February 13, 2007.

                          Arar, who had been seized by the CIA: In 2003, during the months of Arar's ordeal, President Bush noted in passing that Syria's rulers had left "a legacy of torture" to its people.

                          "The only remaining superpower": Helms interview with author.