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"Playing To The Edge" by MIchael V. Hayden (2016) Penguin Press.
As some of you know I read alot, mostly history and high tech. So this being a current title is somewhat out of my normal review. But it is an important book and a good read.
This is the memoir of 4 star General Michael Hayden, who during a full carreer in Intelligence was head of NSA (the National Security Agency aka No Such Agency), and the CIA, plus other alphabet soup Intelligence groups. The book is interesting because Hayden is a man who is exclisively military. He is not a politician, who has held high level Intelligence responibilities that are usually headed by carreer politicians. He has never run for elected office since running for president of his high school class. His background is blue collar with a military start through the ROTC program.
As Hayden says simply, "The world is not getting any safer, and espinage remains our first line of defense".
The book has 21 short chapters, each dealing with a separate event or issue that will let the reader feel the nature of intelligence and the decisions needed. Most of Hayden's experience is covered by government secrecy, so CIA approval was required to publish it. But one gets a good picture of the working of the intelligence community during real military/political events.
I watched an interview with Hayden about the book and he was asked a question about whether the US ever targeted civilians and Hayden said "Heavens no." That response was not accurate, as we directly targeted the civilian populations of Germany and Japan during WWII. Two books illustrate the facts of the matter, The Night Hamburg Died and A Torch To The Enemy. I doubt it was an intentional misstatement but perhaps a misunderstanding of the question, as being current VS historical. Hayden would, as a USAF General be aware of the history of the Army Air Corps.
____________________ "who can afford so to cover his country with troops for its defense as that 10,000 men descending from the clouds might not in many places do an infinite deal of mischief before a force could be brought together to repel them?"
Should have mentioned that the US has about 40 intelligence agencies. Until late last month even NYC had an intelligence agency (disbanded allegedly to save money?)
All of these agencies have different charters and jurisdictions. Hayden spent 30+ years in US intelligence agencies.
But he headed up both the CIA and NSA, appointed by Clinton, stayed under Bush. Fired by obama for a more political candidate and a none professional.
The CIA and The NSA can spy on US citizens with a proper search warrant. There is even a special court to sign such warrants. Think of NSA as an information gathering and analyzing agency. Think of the CIA as the "doing" arm of government in international area. The NSA and the Cia, along with other agencies "share" intelligence among themselves and most actions are coordinated among agencies..including our friendly foreign countries' intelligence agencies. It IS a LARGE 'community'.
The FBI is a national agency and can spy on US citizens whenever.
Rapier, I think you would like the book. It details lots of thinks that the media has covered, but with facts and details. You may not even like the CIA and NSA after you read it! It isn't a cover your a$$ or turn coat book.