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DENIAL AND DECEPTION: AN INSIDER'S VIEW OF THE CIA FROM IRAN-CONTRA TO 9/11
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DENIAL AND DECEPTION: AN INSIDER'S VIEW OF THE CIA FROM IRAN-CONTRA TO 9/11

Author: Melissa Boyle Mahle
Publisher: PERSEUS / RUNNING PRESS, Mar 2005
Binding: Hardcover
ISBN: 1-56025-649-4

Synopsis
Describes the last generation of the CIA & is a unique contribution to our understanding of the secret world of intelligence. Afraid to take risks, exhausted & demoralized by demonization & poor performance, the CIA simply became unable & unwilling ?to get down & dirty to do the hard part to fight a real war on terrorism." 5x8 inches, 320 pgs.

More Information
The recent resignation of CIA boss George Tenet has only highlighted what is for many the greatest political scandal of a generation: the failure of the U.S. intelligence community to combat the threat poised by Islamic fundamentalists and prevent the 9/11 attacks. Melissa Boyle Mahle risked her life working as an undercover CIA field operative in the Middle East until her departure in 2002. She therefore has a unique vantage point from which to view the political and operational culture of the agency in the post?Cold War climate. From Reagan to Bush Jr., Mahle provides a vivid personal and historical narrative on how the CIA became an anorexic organization, lost in the post?Cold War world. Afraid to take risks that might offend Washington politicos and European allies, gutted of the clandestine operators who knew how to run secret wars, exhausted from reform whiplash, and demoralized by demonization and poor performance, the CIA simply became unable and unwilling ?to get down and dirty to do the hard part to fight a real war on terrorism.? Denial and Deception describes the last generation of the CIA and is a unique contribution to our understanding of the secret world of intelligence.

EXCERPT:
If September 11 was the only intelligence failure on the books during the 1990s, I might be willing to make excuses or to claim unique extenuating circumstances. However, it was not. There had been a series of intelligence failures and those failures fit a predictable pattern?especially with the advantage of hindsight?of insufficient human reporting sources, non-critical analytical thinking leading to groupthink and mirror imaging, and worst of all, being tricked by denial and deception operations. It was shades of Pearl Harbor all over. But more to the point, when looked at systematically, it is possible to see significant trends in organizational development and organizational behavior that developed in the late 1980s and through the 1990s that created an environment in which failure became inevitable....

The CIA put us baby spooks through the training wringer to make sure we had the right stuff. After a six-week orientation??death by wiring diagram? we called it?the fun stuff began. The operations officers went through intensive operational training. We were told to forget about our families for months on end as we were whisked off to a ?black? training facility, the ?Farm,? and taught the secret tradecraft of espionage. Months were spent on refining our ability to recruit agents, detect surveillance, and master clandestine communications methods. We spent days and nights on the streets of America practicing our skills. Operational training was the main part of the training, but as mentioned earlier, I also went through paramilitary training. Training segments were broken up with interim working assignments at CIA Headquarters. I lucked out with two great interim assignments, one working on Persian Gulf issues and the other in the Counterterrorism Center, working against radical Palestinian groups. All the while, we were drilled with the messages of institutional loyalty, secrecy, and excellence.


 
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