15 December 2014

Legacy of Ashes, The History of the CIA, by Tim Weiner

An audio book. While I was "reading" this book, the so-called Senate Torture Report became a major news item. That was unintentional; I read the book on the recommendation of a friend.

Legacy of Ashes is, among other things, a good review of American History since World War II. It is also a sobering look at just how dishonest, desperate, and corrupt the political leaders of this country have been in that period of time, and how willing they were to quickly abandon principle to accomplish their ends -- even though, so very often, the projects of the CIA failed miserably.

An alternative title for this book might have been Why They Hate Us.

As an American citizen, all I can say to the people of the rest of the world is, most of us have no control over these things. Our system has gotten away from us. It isn't exactly our fault, but then, I suppose, it is...

A review on the CIA's website.

A NY Times review.

An article about the CIA in The Guardian. A snippet: "Even the agency’s most successful mission – slowly bleeding out the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the 1980s by arming the mujahideen – paved the way for the worst terrorist attack on the US in its history."

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