By Tim Weiner
For the final sixty years, the CIA has controlled to take care of a powerful attractiveness even with its bad list, burying its errors in top-secret documents. Its undertaking was once to understand the area. while it didn't be triumphant, it got down to swap the area. Its disasters have passed us, within the phrases of President Eisenhower, “a legacy of ashes.”
Now Pulitzer Prize–winning writer Tim Weiner deals the 1st definitive heritage of the CIA—and every little thing is at the checklist. LEGACY OF ASHES relies on greater than 50,000 files, essentially from the records of the CIA itself, and hundreds of thousands of interviews with CIA veterans, together with ten administrators of critical Intelligence. It takes the CIA from its production after international warfare II, via its battles within the chilly warfare and the warfare on terror, to its near-collapse after 9/ll.
Tim Weiner’s prior paintings at the CIA and American intelligence used to be hailed as “impressively reported” and “immensely entertaining” within the long island occasions.
The Wall highway magazine referred to as it “truly awesome . . . the simplest ebook ever written on a case of espionage.” this is the hidden historical past of the CIA: why 11 presidents and 3 generations of CIA officials were not able to appreciate the realm; why approximately each CIA director has left the business enterprise in worse form than he discovered it; and the way those disasters have profoundly jeopardized our nationwide security.
From Publishers Weekly
Starred evaluation. Is the principal Intelligence company a bulwark of freedom opposed to harmful foes, or a malevolent conspiracy to unfold American imperialism? a bit of either, in response to this soaking up learn, yet, the writer concludes, it really is generally a reservoir of incompetence and delusions that serves no one's pursuits good. Pulitzer Prize–winning manhattan instances correspondent Weiner musters vast archival examine and interviews with top-ranking insiders, together with former CIA chiefs Richard Helms and Stansfield Turner, to provide the agency's saga as an workout in attempting to switch the area with no bothering to appreciate it. Hypnotized by means of covert motion and harassed via presidents, the CIA, he claims, wasted its assets fomenting coups, assassinations and insurgencies, rigging international elections and bribing political leaders, whereas its infrequent successes encouraged fiascoes just like the Bay of Pigs and the Iran-Contra affair. in the meantime, Weiner contends, its right functionality of accumulating exact intelligence languished. With its operations simply penetrated through enemy spies, the CIA was once unaware of occasions in antagonistic nations like Russia, Cuba and Iraq and tragically mistaken in regards to the an important advancements lower than its purview, from the Iranian revolution and the autumn of communism to the absence of Iraqi WMDs. a number of the misadventures Weiner covers, every now and then sketchily, are prevalent, yet his complete survey brings out the continual difficulties that plague the company. the result's a reputable and damning indictment of yankee intelligence coverage. (Aug. 7)
From Bookmarks Magazine
Tim Weiner, a number of Pulitzer Prize winner, longtime ny instances reporter, and the writer of Betrayal: the tale of Aldrich Ames, American secret agent (1995) and clean payment: The Pentagon's Black finances (1991) hits his marks in Legacy of Ashes. Drawing on greater than 50,000 files and three hundred on-the-record interviews with key avid gamers (10 of them former administrators of the company; the entire book's many notes and quotations are attributed), Weiner treats his topic with a ruthless, journalistic eye, skewering Republican and Democratic administrations alike for the CIA's slide into mediocrity. One critic reveals a weak point in Weiner's exuberant dismantling of the previous shield on the price of extra modern research. nonetheless, this is often a major booklet that would trap the eye of somebody drawn to the CIA's checkered history.
National-security journalist Weiner helps an American clandestine espionage provider yet flays the one who has been in company for the prior 60 years. His historical past of the CIA attracts largely from fundamental documentation, yielding energetic episodes of brokers and operations and the reactions to their effects by way of CIA administrators and presidents. The identify costs President Dwight Eisenhower's unfavorable opinion of the intelligence association, a recurrent government criticism that activates Weiner's research of the CIA's old difficulties. He argues that covert motion has deflected the CIA from espionage's vintage functionality of ascertaining adversaries' secrets and techniques and intentions and, consequently, populates those pages with covert-action fiascoes (the Bay of Pigs in 1961) and intelligence disasters to ward off one other Pearl Harbor (one cause the CIA used to be created) equivalent to 9-11. even though serious, Weiner expresses esteem for definite CIA administrators, reminiscent of Richard Helms. those administrators understood espionage fundamentals, and Weiner concludes with the desire that the CIA gets again to them. hundreds of thousands of the CIA's annual candidates will search out an institutional heritage, and Weiner's ably meets that desire. Taylor, Gilbert
"Must interpreting for an individual drawn to the CIA or American intelligence given that global warfare II." —The Washington Post“Legacy of Ashes is the simplest publication I've but learn at the CIA's covert actions." —Edward Jay Epstein, The Wall highway Journal"Legacy of Ashes will be must-reading for each presidential candidate—and each American who desires to comprehend why the kingdom time and again stumbles into one catastrophe in another country after another.”—The Boston Globe “A well timed and very important contribution . . . [that] glitters with relevance.”—Los Angeles Times“This is by way of some distance the scariest publication of the year.”—The Christian technological know-how Monitor
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Extra info for Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA
On Sunday evenings in 1947, it became the seat of the emerging American nationalsecurity establishment. The foreign policy of the United States took shape at the Wisners’ table. They started a Georgetown tradition, a Sunday night potluck supper. The main dish was liquor, all hands having sailed out of the Second World War on a tide of alcohol. The Wisners’ eldest son, Frank’s namesake, who in time rose to the heights of American diplomacy, saw the Sunday night suppers as “extraordinarily important events.
His men called the place the Rat Palace. He worked himself into a controlled frenzy, twelve hours or more a day, six days a week, and he demanded the same of his ofﬁcers. He rarely told the director of central intelligence what he was doing. He alone would decide whether his secret missions conformed to American foreign policy. His organization soon grew bigger than the rest of the agency combined. Covert operations became the agency’s dominant force, with the most people, the most money, the most power, and so they remained for more than twenty years.
As election day approached, Dulles was putting his ﬁnal touches on the report that was to serve as his own inaugural address at the agency. He was conﬁdent that Truman would be defeated by the Republican Thomas Dewey, and that the new president would elevate him to his rightful place. The report, which remained classiﬁed for ﬁfty years, was a detailed and brutal indictment. Count One: the CIA was churning out reams of paper containing few if any facts on the communist threat. Count Two: the agency had no spies among the Soviets and their satellites.