Reddit Reddit reviews Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA

We found 65 Reddit comments about Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA. Here are the top ones, ranked by their Reddit score.

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Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA
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65 Reddit comments about Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA:

u/sterexx · 473 pointsr/worldnews

Gathering and analyzing intelligence on other countries is its primary, original role. Most directly for keeping specifically the President informed of just what the heck is developing around the world. It was started after WW2 in order to prevent another Pearl Harbor surprise. And they were not allowed to gather intelligence on US soil, but that has not been strictly observed.

This work involves gathering tasks as mundane as always reading the news in a target country, as political context matters as much as tapped phone conversations when putting together an analysis. But the movie-caliber stuff is important too. They tap phones, recruit sources in governments and industry, build a whole network of resources.

To collect this information, the CIA uses two kinds of employees. “Official cover” officers pose as diplomats in US embassies worldwide. All embassy staff will be under surveillance from the target country’s counter-intelligence organizations — their FBI equivalents — so meeting sources is risky and they might stick to less blatant parts of the job. But on the upside, they have diplomatic immunity and just get sent home if caught spying. Non-official cover officers get jobs in multinational companies or assume some invented identity that gives them a reason to be in country. They can more freely recruit local sources but must rot in prison or die if caught, unacknowledged.

Info goes back to legions of analysis teams working in offices in the US who prepare it into reports.

The CIA also engages in covert and clandestine activities meant to influence other countries. This latter role has grown, diminished, and changed in nature throughout its history depending on political climate. Some bad press from some really ugly leaks in the 70’s (I think) about the extent of these activities put a big damper on them for a while, requiring Presidential sign-offs on killings, iirc. Post 9/11, the CIA is back on the hard stuff but keeps a legion of lawyers to make sure it’s teccchhnically legal.

These cold war activities include funding and organizing Afghan resistance against communist rule, for example. A whole covert war. Also tons of election rigging, assassination, etc. Post cold war they have been involved in anti-terror activities like running the war against the Taliban and assassinating militants and their neighbors with drone missiles.

Fun fact: “covert” operations are meant to hide who is behind an operation, “clandestine” are meant to conceal the entire operation from anyone but us. Compare an assassination to a phone tap.

Edit: in one episode (2 or 3 i think) of Netflix docu series Inside the Mossad explains how Israel’s foreign intelligence uses elaborate sting operations to recruit sources. By the time they realize they’re working for Mossad, they’re in too deep to not go along with it. Intelligence orgs do this a lot when they know the people they need probably hate the org’s country. This is basically all the time for Israel spying on other middle east states. Case officers often use really impressively manipulative strategies for recruiting and controlling their local agents. “The Americans” illustrates some great examples of this, if a little more dramatic.

Edit 2A: There are a bunch of other specialized US foreign intelligence agencies, like the NSA that traditionally intercepts signals and cracks their codes.

Edit 2B: In the UK, MI6 of James Bond fame does foreign intelligence and MI5 does counter-intelligence. These existed during WW2 but back then the lines got blurred, with both organizations running their own double agents against Nazi Germany’s own two competing foreign intelligence orgs. In fact, 0% of any spies Germany sent to Britain were able to work for enough time before being caught to send anything useful over. By 1944, when the UK was more confident that they were controlling all the sources sending info to Germany (the ones that wouldn’t work for the UK as double agents radioing harmless intel back home were either dead or imprisoned), they fed Germany massive misinformation about the location (and timing?) of the D-Day Normandy invasion. Read the excellent book Operation Double Cross to learn about this incredible operation.

BOOK EDIT:

Books on the CIA I found rewarding.

“The Master of Disguise” by Tony Mendez. Ben Affleck played him in Argo. Memoir of this artist’s time in the CIA inventing disguises and forging travel documents, often to exfiltrate an exposed source. Watch or read Argo too if you haven’t, the film at least is incredibly cool because its evacuation of American diplomats from Iran as Canadian filmmakers is largely real.
https://www.amazon.com/Master-Disguise-Secret-Life-CIA/dp/0060957913/

“Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA.” Recent declassifications are exposing just how terribly the CIA bungled things in the early cold war, which is what this is about. From massive nuclear arms race miscalculations that threatened the world, to unfounded communism paranoia that led to totally unnecessary coups, they used classification to hide their greatest errors.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/0307389006/

“Spycraft: The Secret History of the CIA's Spytechs, from Communism to Al-Qaeda.” Beyond just the tech, you get insight into the lives of tech team members who would bug homes for their career. Interesting stuff. I think I read a different edition but this is probably fine.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/0452295475/

“Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001”
Tom Clancy name, but actually an extremely detailed history of the CIA’s 1980’s support for Afghan mujahideen against the USSR and continued involvement in the 90’s. Down to highlighting cultural generational differences within the multiple cohorts of CIA officers in charge of the long-running operation. Also highlights Pakistan’s demand to hand out all the money, both to act as kingmaker for the dominant factions and to skim hella bux off the top. Descriptions of the conflict and how the Afghans relentlessly persevered and how factions had independent deals and truces with USSR. Then much of the civil war aftermath of USSR pullout when the US stopped caring. Taliban become popular for not tolerating warlords raping local boys, an issue that remains to this day among US supported administration (a coalition of “former” warlords who you will recognize if you read the book). Great read, incredible breadth.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/0143034669/

u/[deleted] · 88 pointsr/SubredditDrama

>I have read too much about the CIA and president going along with it. JFK was the last president to really oppose the CIA and you saw what happened to him.

If this poster actually read anything about the CIA they'd be aware that the CIA has been comically inept for the majority of it's existence. This extensive history in particular is worth a read for anyone interested in reading about the CIA.

u/JohnnyYenOnFireAgain · 20 pointsr/worldnews

Try Legacy of Ashes. Superbly researched and covers everything from OSS beginnings to Iraq.

http://www.amazon.com/Legacy-Ashes-The-History-CIA/dp/0307389006

u/PrimusPilus · 15 pointsr/AskHistorians

I don't disagree with the bulk of this, but two points:

  • Are you not perhaps underestimating the efficacy of Soviet intelligence operations against the Axis? Decisive examples might include the use of moles inside of Allied intelligence to verify German plans before Operation Citadel in 1943, as well as the activities of GRU agent Richard Sorge in Tokyo in 1941.

  • Are you not perhaps overestimating the wartime efficacy of the OSS? Tim Weiner's Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA in particular, seems to paint a fairly damning picture of Donovan & Dulles' covert ops during World War II.
u/streetbum · 13 pointsr/worldnews

https://www.amazon.com/Sword-Shield-Mitrokhin-Archive-History/dp/0465003125

https://www.amazon.com/Legacy-Ashes-History-Tim-Weiner/dp/0307389006

A couple of books I've read recently about the intelligence side of things. Not sure about how their conventional forces compare to ours.

u/CVORoadGlide · 11 pointsr/todayilearned

read all about it -- and the whole CIA corruption of Planet Earth -- https://www.amazon.com/Legacy-Ashes-History-Tim-Weiner/dp/0307389006 -- still ongoing running our foreign policy for the good of Banksters, Multi-national Corps, and Military Industrial Complex ... under the guise of freedom & democracy until US rules planet earth's people and natural resources

u/neoquixo · 8 pointsr/AskHistorians

I would like to nominate Roger Goiran, a Bronze Star winning OSS Captain. Roger was head of CIA's Tehran station in the early 1950s and in Belgium in the early 1960s. Goiran had a very promising CIA career but somewhat fell out of favor after he resigned his Tehran post in protest when the plan to depose democratically elected Iranian President Mohammad Mosaddegh came through. Goiran believed the plan to put the Shah in power compromised US principles and threw its support behind English and French colonialism.

He is mentioned in Tim Weiner's Legacy of Ashes and Meyer and Brysac's Kingmakers

u/55tfg7879fe42e345 · 7 pointsr/worldnews

I think it might be time you do some reading. This will do: http://www.amazon.com/Legacy-Ashes-History-Tim-Weiner/dp/0307389006/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1322136184&sr=8-2

Warning: Will correct your views about the capabilities of the CIA.

u/kbergstr · 5 pointsr/TrueReddit

This is pretty much the thesis of Legacy of Ashes - The History of the CIA about the history of mistakes and failures in the CIA. It's obviously biased against the intelligence community, but it makes some pretty damning claims.

u/ShellOilNigeria · 5 pointsr/news

Indeed.

The CIA is responsible for some crazy shit.

I don't know if you have ever read Legacy of Ashes by Tim Weiner but it's a great book that talks about the agency from it's founding up to the 2000's.

http://www.amazon.com/Legacy-Ashes-The-History-CIA/dp/0307389006

u/DimitriRavinoff · 5 pointsr/todayilearned

From what I understand, the CIA had been running operations to assassinate Castro without Congress' consent and they thought/think that the Kennedy assassination was retaliation.

See here for a good history of the CIA and this incident in particular -- https://www.amazon.com/Legacy-Ashes-History-Tim-Weiner/dp/0307389006

u/Monkeyavelli · 5 pointsr/AskReddit

>We basically have a history of doing incredibly stupid things in foreign territory when our government has an interest in getting into a fight.

You find it easier to believe that our government is run by evil geniuses than by idiots who do stupid shit?

You should read Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA by Tim Weiner. You'll find that it's a history of complete bumbling and fuck-ups. Yes, even the Iranian coup they love to claim was success by blind luck despite their mistakes. Even JFK; not that they killed him, but that they worked overtime to hinder the investigation by the FBI to cover up their own idiot adventures in Cuba and elsewhere under JFK.

These theories just don't hold up. It's comforting to think there's a plan somewhere, even an evil one, that's guiding everything, but there really isn't.

u/jonlucc · 5 pointsr/politics

It's a bit of a mixed bag, if you look at the Politifact tracker. Even so, we're never going to have transparency into the DoD or intelligence operations. There's a book called Legacy of Ashes that points out that the very existence of an intelligence office is counter to an open democracy. That really made it clear to me that we can't actually have everything in the open, and we elect officials to be in those dim rooms seeing what we can't and making decisions in our best interest.

u/loki_racer · 4 pointsr/JoeRogan

Mike should read Legacy of Ashes for a different perspective of the OSS and CIA.

u/FactsBeforeFiction · 4 pointsr/france

je ne connais pas cette histoire, mais l'histoire de la CIA est bien connue malheureusement, "Legacy of Ashes" est un bon bouquin sur le sujet, et ce que l'on sait fait tres peur.

u/nusuth · 4 pointsr/TrueReddit

You should read "Legacy of Ashes" if you want to be terrified by just how incompetent the CIA is and has been.

u/Mookind · 4 pointsr/conspiracy

We do know why they're happening.

Have you ever read a history book? Generally speaking every single discussion* they ever had required a "note taker" and it's our custom to speak about these decisions a couple decades after. Obviously the whole truth isn't out there, and certainly not everyone tells the truth. But the motives behind everything I mentioned were clear as day.

I would encourage you to read books like

http://www.amazon.com/Legacy-Ashes-The-History-CIA/dp/0307389006

http://www.amazon.com/Osama-Bin-Laden-Michael-Scheuer/dp/0199898391

http://www.amazon.com/One-Minute-Midnight-Kennedy-Khrushchev/dp/1400078911

These men aren't all powerful, they don't take orders from some homogenous group that always retains the same position. And most importantly the information our leaders are given is often woefully inaccurate. The president more than anyone has the information that he is presented to him manipulated. Although some certainly have been more savvy than others.

u/NotYoursTruly · 4 pointsr/worldnews

I grew up during the Cold War in a military family that traveled around the world from Germany to Morocco to Japan. The Cold War was just an excuse for the military industrial complex to make a shit-ton of money.
Just like any business there's this thing called 'marketing' where you try to convince the customer they really need your fancy widget. Has worked really well for decades now.
Yes, the Soviet Union was a brutal dictatorship where Stalin murdered millions to keep power. They also lost a substantial amount of their male population during WWII and were ruined economically following the war. They were in no position to project power and if one wishes to do the research the Soviets really did little compared to the brutal dictatorships the US installed. The books listed below go into far greater detail about all of this if you chose to do some research. The Russians are human beings led by a corrupt government they don't support.
The same goes for the US. An 8% approval rating for congress, the lowest they've ever received in US history bears that out. You can't claim to have the moral high ground and be the world's policeman when your own country's people have such low regard for it's leadership.

Legacy of Ashes

http://www.amazon.com/Legacy-Ashes-The-History-CIA/dp/0307389006

The Secret History of the CIA

http://www.amazon.com/The-Secret-History-Joseph-Trento/dp/B002GJU3O6

All of Chalmer's Johnson's books

https://www.google.com/search?q=chalmers+johnson&rlz=1C1AFAB_enUS450US450&oq=chalmers+johnson&aqs=chrome..69i57j69i65j0l4.2975j0j8&sourceid=chrome&espv=210&es_sm=122&ie=UTF-8

u/fealos · 4 pointsr/worldnews

Except torture has been repeatedly shown to be less effective than other methods of interrogation. Read The Black Banners, Legacy of Ashes, or one of the numerous other books that cover the CIA's recent actions before you continue to perpetuate the lie that torture works.

u/jinkyjormpjomp · 3 pointsr/Documentaries

This is why there is such dissonance between the actual CIA and the one presented to us by Hollywood.

I'll just leave this here for those interested int he history of the CIA:

http://www.amazon.com/Legacy-Ashes-The-History-CIA/dp/0307389006

u/SpuckFez · 3 pointsr/WikiLeaks

> A legacy of ashes

Some of the reviews here are useful: https://www.amazon.com/Legacy-Ashes-History-Tim-Weiner/dp/0307389006

u/tcatlicious · 3 pointsr/worldnews

The CIA is the one who said that Iraq had WMD's to begin with. They also had the war plan already drawn up and in place. I thought this was common knowledge. There have been several investigative books written about this.

The CIA is a rogue organization that is the cause for much of the chaos around the world. "Legacy of Ashes" by Tim Weiner has the best book (best sourced and footnoted) on how the CIA actually operates.

https://www.amazon.com/Legacy-Ashes-History-Tim-Weiner/dp/0307389006/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1482114137&sr=8-1&keywords=cia

u/scarlet_stormTrooper · 3 pointsr/StrangerThings

one of my Criminal Justice professors recommended this book: legacy of ashes
Not entirely focused on the MK Ultra but good nonetheless.
It's a very good read.

Also the Men Who stare at Goats a good cinematic example.

It's very intriguing to see how they added the program into the show. Very cool way to introduce 11 (messed up) but cool.

u/TheHobbitryInArms · 3 pointsr/politics

Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA

Not our first misadventure. Sure as hell will not be the last.

u/Uhhhhdel · 3 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

I think the biggest reasons people hate the US is because of the CIA and how destructive its history has been. http://www.amazon.com/Legacy-Ashes-The-History-CIA/dp/0307389006 is a great read. It explains why the world thinks we are meddlesome. And by we, I mean the US government, not its people. As a whole, the US population doesn't really get how destructive the CIA has been and the repercussions because of that.

u/Cozret · 3 pointsr/suggestmeabook

Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA by Tim Weiner won the National Book Award for Nonfiction for 2007 and is based on >50,000 documents(mostly from from the CIA archives), and hundreds of interviews with CIA veterans (including ten Directors of Central Intelligence).

u/Vaeon · 3 pointsr/worldnews

> and paying them to efficiently and cheaply extract and sell local resources.

For your consideration.

https://www.amazon.com/Legacy-Ashes-History-Tim-Weiner/dp/0307389006

Skp to the section about how the CIA overthrew the government of Guatemala so the United Fruit Company got a sweet deal with the new government.

u/Jorster · 2 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

Legacy of Ashes: A History of the CIA by Tim Wiener. I've also read a few others I can tell you (if I find them).

u/dubyafunk · 2 pointsr/todayilearned

Read this book and you'll learn a lot more.

u/Thumpser · 2 pointsr/worldnews

The book Legacy of Ashes is a pretty good history of the agency. Sadly, the evidence points out that they weren't any better in the past. We continually meddle in other countries and seem to generally make things worse for it.

u/kleinbl00 · 2 pointsr/reddit.com

You know not of what you speak.

Read this and get back to me.

u/DiscursiveMind · 2 pointsr/books

With your interest in the Cold War, you might find Legacy of Ashes by Tim Weiner interesting.

As far as gaining new perspective, I alway suggest Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely. He's in the field of behavioral economics, which looks at the choices people make and how the arrive at those choices. One of my favorite books.

u/Lasting-Damage · 2 pointsr/todayilearned

This doesn't surprise me at all. The CIA is a notoriously horrible place to work, and has been plagued with extremely serious morale and management problems for decades. They have a tendency to focus on their slick covert operations part of the organization to the expense of analysts. You know, the people who actually provide...intelligence. Also, on more than one occasion the CIA has gotten news about a major development in world affairs from CNN.

Extremely good book on the subject.

u/fatkiddown · 2 pointsr/AdviceAnimals

> Because the moment americans start puting more trust in a foreign nation than their own institutions.

Of all such possible institutions, I trust the CIA the least.

Edit: getting downvoted so let me add: I am reading "Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA," and this is primarily why I made this comment.

u/LongformLarry · 2 pointsr/Intelligence

Legacy of Ashes by Tim Weiner is the history of the CIA from WWII through anti-terrorist policies post-9/11. Weiner interviewed former CIA bosses but the most attractive part might be the Agency's dismissive review:

"What could have been a serious historical critique illuminating the lessons of the past is undermined by dubious assertions, sweeping judgments based on too few examples, selective or outright misuse of citations, a drama-driven narrative, and a tendentious and nearly exclusive focus on failure that overlooks, downplays, or explains away significant successes."

If that's not a recipe for an entertaining read I don't know what is.

u/mugrimm · 2 pointsr/ChapoTrapHouse

Blackwater by Jeremy Scahill is a great look into OIF which is the most significant event to happen in the region in the 21st century.

His book Dirty Wars is also excellent.

Also, Legacy of Ashes

This is all super American centric, but there's a reason for that.

u/mmm_smokey_meats · 2 pointsr/todayilearned

You should read Legacy of Ashes . This story, and many others are included.

u/ProfShea · 2 pointsr/todayilearned

right... just like in the 500 page book, legacy of ashes or this lovely book, the main enemy. Argghhh! I wish we had books we could refer to!

u/I_Hate_Soft_Pretzels · 2 pointsr/CIA

Try reading the book "Legacy of Ashes" by Tim Wiener because it is a good non-biased history of the CIA. It will tell you about how they have behaved in the past as well as give you a good history about the CIA. They have done some very questionable stuff but they have also acted in the best interests of the USA at times. It really is a tough call but reading more about the history of them might help.

https://www.amazon.com/Legacy-Ashes-History-Tim-Weiner/dp/0307389006/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1511592188&sr=8-1&keywords=legacy+of+ashes

u/CatsAreTasty · 1 pointr/whatisthisthing

And you are implying that you have some understanding of the intelligence community?

Like most Americans, I have to go with the information that's available, but my conclusions don't seem to contradict what much better informed, Pulitzer-Prize-winning authors have concluded about the CIA.

u/restricteddata · 1 pointr/AskHistorians

One of the truly remarkable things about the history of American foreign espionage is how utterly out-of-its-depth the country was until relatively recently. Prior to World War II, they had literally no kind of permanent foreign intelligence or espionage service with the exception of informal contacts kept by various ambassadors and State Department officials stationed abroad. The creation of the OSS in World War II was the U.S.'s first tutelage in the art, by the British, and it was disbanded after the end of the war. The Central Intelligence Agency, the first dedicated, permanent US foreign intelligence/espionage/intervention wing was not created until 1947.

It is no surprise, in this case, that the US was so inadequately prepared for understanding the situation of the early Cold War, and its attempts at covert activity so bungled. So says, anyway, the author of a recent book on the history of the CIA: Tim Weiner, _Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA_. It is not a very flattering portrayal — Weiner argues that the US does not, and has never had, an intelligence service on par with that of many other nations (the UK, Russia/USSR, Israel, etc.) and that the CIA's record is mostly a bad one (bad intelligence, bad operation, lots of blow-back, completely compromised by other nations again and again).

So this isn't quite an answer to your question, but it is an answer that puts some limits on what one might expect. "Surely their must have been" is a big assumption, indeed; if there were interventions there, I would expect them to be much less formal than one would probably expect given a modern assumption about America's foreign intelligence ambitions.

u/themoleculoman · 1 pointr/politics

https://www.amazon.com/Legacy-Ashes-History-Tim-Weiner/dp/0307389006/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1478009894&sr=8-1&keywords=legacy+of+ashes

CIA wasn't very happy with how negative the talk of Weiner was and Weiner does seem to misrepresent quite a bit of information, but a lot of the information is true as well. You have to read other books on the events described in the Weiner book to get a more "unbiased" version of events, but Weiner highlights some pretty ridiculous operations the CIA has undertaken (just read it with a critical viewpoint).

u/itsfineitsgreat · 1 pointr/news

The first problem you're going to run into is that no one (with good reason) wants to tell you what "works" because as soon as that becomes public knowledge, people will craft means and methods against it. There's absolutely no value to disclosing what works aside from for public relations. So understand that.

Books like this and this are great for grasping a bit of knowledge and getting a storyline, but don't share much about the nitty gritty. I've read them both, and though I have no experience in operations in the 40s-70s, I do with what Bamford speaks of and there's quite a bit of fearmongering there. Either way, it's helpful to find the perspective of what's trying to be done. These aren't people trying to trample your friends, it's people trying to find a balance between freedom and security.

A book like this is basically just a nice story. It's a few biopics in one and the writer clearly likes the people he's writing about, so he's extremely pretty sympathetic to them. Still good for motivations and perspective, though.

These two are extremely useful because they get into that nitty-gritty that I spoke of earlier.

But as I said, it basically comes down to the balance between freedom and security. If you- like a crazy amount of redditors and young people seem to be- are way way way more interested than freedom than you are security, you're never going to like what people in the IC do. And that's your preoperative, but it seems that many people that of that cloth usually live within a secure environment and just don't really worry about. It's easy to not give a shit about heavy jackets when you live in West Maui. Moreover, the craze that I've seen in reddit is just...amazing? So many people with so little experience of education in these things that insist they know
just so much. These same people will flip shit if you wander into their area of expertise acting like you know what's up when you clearly don't but...if someone's talking about CIA/NSA/FBI/etc or even just international politics in general? Suddenly they're the expert. It's weird.

This is why I chuckle when people think the redacted portions of the 9/11 Commission Report somehow point to an inside job, letting it happen, or a vast Saudi conspiracy. The redacted portions were redacted because of classification, and things are classified to protect means and methods, 99% of the time. Sometimes technology is classified, but it's rare and I don't know much about that anyway.

u/lower_echelon_peon · 1 pointr/Christianity

I wouldn't hold my breath... The CIA has been up to some pretty shady shit for a long time- For a good, tidy account of the historical highs and lows of the CIA, check out Legacy of Ashes
by Tim Weiner. A good read but definitely not does make one very proud to be an American at times. That and the special cocktail of hubris, stupidity, and lack of accountability that the CIA displays is breathtaking.

u/WhatTheWhat007 · 1 pointr/politics

I truely hope Tim Weiner (Legacy of Ashes, Enemies) is working on a Comey biography. Or at least an update to Enemies.

u/SaitoHawkeye · 1 pointr/IAmA

> > Yeah the CIA is just super.

I don't even understand what your metaphor means anymore, re: the distributor. Saddam was a monster, and also the powerbroker for Mesopotamia. He was a monstrous asshole. And we took him out...and opened a political void into which dozens of smaller, even MORE MONSTROUS people are now rushing. It's not gone well.

It's not even about Machiavellian tactics. From a realpolitik perspective, Iraq was a total failure.

u/tollforturning · 1 pointr/politics

>the fact that you included iraq fake intel amongst your list devalues your entire argument.

No, no it doesn't. Here's one article from Foreign Policy Journal making the case. There are many, many more. It's well-known. My point is that, in general, the left evaluates the intelligence community's credibility based on political expedience, not reality. Right now it's expedient to grant credibility.

http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/120908-Hammond-Iraq-Intelligence-Failure.pdf

>the only truly damning independent act i can lay directly at the intelligence agencies footsteps is being active in the drug trade to fund their black projects.

Nonsense. Here's something something from the sea of information about the CIA's history of routine abuse and deception:

https://www.amazon.com/Legacy-Ashes-History-Tim-Weiner/dp/0307389006

u/DownWithDuplicity · 1 pointr/politics

I'm pretty sure Russia/U.S.S.R has always eclipsed the U.S. in covert ops. I don't really believe you would be saying such things if you read: https://www.amazon.com/Legacy-Ashes-History-Tim-Weiner/dp/0307389006/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1500791604&sr=1-1&keywords=tim+weiner

u/Ace4929 · 1 pointr/AskTrumpSupporters

>Your assuming that Russia does not alternative plans and is working in good faith. Historically, when has that ever been true?

What the hell would they use intel about ISIS for besides fighting ISIS?

>How does discussing this with the guy we bombed months ago for gassing his own people help fight ISIS. All must be forgiven in Syria??

I don't like the son of a bitch either but he's the least horrible faction in that whole conflict, except for maybe the Kurds. We need him, whether we like it or not.

>no chance of revenge for bombing the shit out of there airbase

So what are they gonna do, write us an angry letter? Assad knows that you shouldn't bite the hand that feeds you, and if we're giving them vital intel that will help them take out ISIS then I'm sure they can find it in their hearts to look past what was essentially a warning shot for a moment.

>Also, we told russia before we bombed syria too....that ended with nothing major being hit and planes in use the next day

Because it was a warning shot, and thank God that's all it was because I'm still not entirely convinced that Assad did it.

>Well i know that the plan talked about laptops and aircrafts...and i shouldn't know that information.

Alright, so what can you do with this information? That's kind of a wide topic, and if you read the article you'll see that the full intel was actually about a specific incident that was being planned, so you actually know nothing.

>We just gave them a reason to change there method.

It took them how many years to develop this capability and we took it away from them just like that? So what's the down side?

>Behind closed doors who knows, but no one expects a powerful nation to justify it on twitter of all places. When you make it public, it looks incompetent. When you support incompetence, leadership loses value

So the media starts autistically screeching to anyone who will listen, and you deride Trump for taking to the medium where he knows that everyone will see it?

>So you obviously are coming from a "i don't trust my own IC". Your own bias makes this discussion less about facts and more about your own personal feelings.

This isn't about facts, the US intelligence community is objectively bad. This is well documented. Read Tim Weiner's Legacy of Ashes if you don't believe me, it's the story of how the CIA bumbled their way through the cold war, got hundreds of operatives killed through sheer incompetance, was unable to plug leaks, was unable to penetrate their enemies, consistantly swallowed misinformation, failed to predict the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan, invented WMDs in Iraq, sent agents to countries where they couldn't even speak the language, and was played like a fiddle by Mossad and MI6.

u/Mercedes383 · 1 pointr/economy

You might be interested in a book Legacy if Ashes



Makes you get the impression everyone is just off doing their own thing.

u/sketchesofspain01 · 1 pointr/worldnews

I understand. I'll reply when I'm off mobile.

EDIT: Okay! So...I understand that you believe principles ought to dictate policy, but I'm going to have to pop that bubble for you: while you grab a few books on Pakistan's recent history, I also want you to pick up and read with the passion of a thousand suns: Tim Weiner's Legacy of Ashes. This book will destroy all ebbing flames of hope that you might have had that our foreign policy is controlled by any rational human mind.

The thing about foreign service, and advancing the interests of the US, means you're going to act and behave irrationally. The world is fucked. There are too many actors on the stage, and they all have self-interests. This doesn't just effect us, it effects every one.

Phillipines had an opportunity to build a lighthouse on a reef that would have given them standings to protect their economic activity zone off their shores from Chinese encroachment. It gets stopped by the Philippines politician -- who didn't want to antagonize China, so that he could get a seat on the UN Council. He believed, I'm sure, he could effect policy if only he got on the seat, but in doing so he crippled his nation's chances to protect their interests. This happens all the damn time.

Read Henry Kissinger's On China, to learn just why we need a dick and an immoral human piece of scum like Henry Kissinger in this world. It is fucking Game of Thrones out there, man. Any cynical and unbelievable plot-hole ridden villain-thing you've seen out of Hollywood could not compare to the stupid card house that is world politics.

Not supporting the Pakistani military is akin to supporting terrorism. Is it sad? Yeah...but this has been an integral component of the human condition since we invented city-state politics. Realpolitik hitting the gym, taking anabolic steroids, and calling his lawyer over the course of the last ten decades is all that differentiates the now from the past.

u/BravoTangoFoxObama · 1 pointr/politics

Don't get so butt hurt dude, I am not attempting to smear his character. I am simply pointing out he has made serious mistakes of judgment in the past.

If you are interested, my source is the national book award winning Legacy of Ashes. A very interesting book in which Gates tenure is examined, amongst all directors.

u/Unstopkable · 1 pointr/AskReddit

Read the book "Legacy of Ashes" by Tim Weiner.

http://www.amazon.com/Legacy-Ashes-History-Tim-Weiner/dp/0307389006/ref=tmm_pap_title_0

You can find a good used title for fairly cheap. It's a very compelling read and gives a detailed account of the CIA and all of its fuck ups from its the OSS of WWII to the information botch leading to Iraq.

u/insoucianc · 1 pointr/Libertarian

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_involvement_in_regime_change_in_Latin_America

Those corrupt governments are installed and supported by the US.

Gathering and analyzing intelligence on other countries is its primary, original role. Most directly for keeping specifically the President informed of just what the heck is developing around the world. It was started after WW2 in order to prevent another Pearl Harbor surprise. And they were not allowed to gather intelligence on US soil, but that has not been strictly observed.

This work involves gathering tasks as mundane as always reading the news in a target country, as political context matters as much as tapped phone conversations when putting together an analysis. But the movie-caliber stuff is important too. They tap phones, recruit sources in governments and industry, build a whole network of resources.

To collect this information, the CIA uses two kinds of employees. “Official cover” officers pose as diplomats in US embassies worldwide. All embassy staff will be under surveillance from the target country’s counter-intelligence organizations — their FBI equivalents — so meeting sources is risky and they might stick to less blatant parts of the job. But on the upside, they have diplomatic immunity and just get sent home if caught spying. Non-official cover officers get jobs in multinational companies or assume some invented identity that gives them a reason to be in country. They can more freely recruit local sources but must rot in prison or die if caught, unacknowledged.

Info goes back to legions of analysis teams working in offices in the US who prepare it into reports.

The CIA also engages in covert and clandestine activities meant to influence other countries. This latter role has grown, diminished, and changed in nature throughout its history depending on political climate. Some bad press from some really ugly leaks in the 70’s (I think) about the extent of these activities put a big damper on them for a while, requiring Presidential sign-offs on killings, iirc. Post 9/11, the CIA is back on the hard stuff but keeps a legion of lawyers to make sure it’s teccchhnically legal.

These cold war activities include funding and organizing Afghan resistance against communist rule, for example. A whole covert war. Also tons of election rigging, assassination, etc. Post cold war they have been involved in anti-terror activities like running the war against the Taliban and assassinating militants and their neighbors with drone missiles.

Fun fact: “covert” operations are meant to hide who is behind an operation, “clandestine” are meant to conceal the entire operation from anyone but us. Compare an assassination to a phone tap.

Edit: in one episode (2 or 3 i think) of Netflix docu series Inside the Mossad explains how Israel’s foreign intelligence uses elaborate sting operations to recruit sources. By the time they realize they’re working for Mossad, they’re in too deep to not go along with it. Intelligence orgs do this a lot when they know the people they need probably hate the org’s country. This is basically all the time for Israel spying on other middle east states. Case officers often use really impressively manipulative strategies for recruiting and controlling their local agents. “The Americans” illustrates some great examples of this, if a little more dramatic.

Edit 2A: There are a bunch of other specialized US foreign intelligence agencies, like the NSA that traditionally intercepts signals and cracks their codes.

Edit 2B: In the UK, MI6 of James Bond fame does foreign intelligence and MI5 does counter-intelligence. These existed during WW2 but back then the lines got blurred, with both organizations running their own double agents against Nazi Germany’s own two competing foreign intelligence orgs. In fact, 0% of any spies Germany sent to Britain were able to work for enough time before being caught to send anything useful over. By 1944, when the UK was more confident that they were controlling all the sources sending info to Germany (the ones that wouldn’t work for the UK as double agents radioing harmless intel back home were either dead or imprisoned), they fed Germany massive misinformation about the location (and timing?) of the D-Day Normandy invasion. Read the excellent book Operation Double Cross to learn about this incredible operation.

BOOK EDIT:

Books on the CIA I found rewarding.

“The Master of Disguise” by Tony Mendez. Ben Affleck played him in Argo. Memoir of this artist’s time in the CIA inventing disguises and forging travel documents, often to exfiltrate an exposed source. Watch or read Argo too if you haven’t, the film at least is incredibly cool because its evacuation of American diplomats from Iran as Canadian filmmakers is largely real.
https://www.amazon.com/Master-Disguise-Secret-Life-CIA/dp/0060957913/

“Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA.” Recent declassifications are exposing just how terribly the CIA bungled things in the early cold war, which is what this is about. From massive nuclear arms race miscalculations that threatened the world, to unfounded communism paranoia that led to totally unnecessary coups, they used classification to hide their greatest errors.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/0307389006/

“Spycraft: The Secret History of the CIA's Spytechs, from Communism to Al-Qaeda.” Beyond just the tech, you get insight into the lives of tech team members who would bug homes for their career. Interesting stuff. I think I read a different edition but this is probably fine.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/0452295475/

“Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001”
Tom Clancy name, but actually an extremely detailed history of the CIA’s 1980’s support for Afghan mujahideen against the USSR and continued involvement in the 90’s. Down to highlighting cultural generational differences within the multiple cohorts of CIA officers in charge of the long-running operation. Also highlights Pakistan’s demand to hand out all the money, both to act as kingmaker for the dominant factions and to skim hella bux off the top. Descriptions of the conflict and how the Afghans relentlessly persevered and how factions had independent deals and truces with USSR. Then much of the civil war aftermath of USSR pullout when the US stopped caring. Taliban become popular for not tolerating warlords raping local boys, an issue that remains to this day among US supported administration (a coalition of “former” warlords who you will recognize if you read the book). Great read, incredible breadth.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/0143034669/

u/B1gWh17 · 1 pointr/politics

If you want a super interesting read into America's failures at espionage, Legacy of Ashes is a great read. We are decades behind other nations as far as infiltrating successfully and keeping our people alive.

u/Dixnorkel · 1 pointr/worldnews

Didn't mean to sound like I was complaining about the downvotes, just noting the rate at which the karma dropped.

I'm not actually convinced you're hired by the Russians, just unsure why you're taking such a hard stance for them. Especially if you're a frequent Redditor and have seen the /r/worldnews articles over the past 3 years.

I'll admit I came out of the gate a bit accusatory, but as I have read several books on US intelligence and Russian counterintelligence (the most points against Russia can probably be found in Legacy of Ashes, definitely worth a read), it's hard not to see clear ties in the way Russian intelligence operates, and the way Trump is floating between their stances in his campaign. You'll notice that he seems to change stances depending on what is most contrary or striking, and usually mentions or implies the failures of democracy.

Furthermore, Donald is a billionaire, and his party is aiming to move the national debt to 29 trillion, from 19 trillion over 10 years, which will further increase inflation by a factor of at least 1.5, making living wages even higher. This push for income disparity reflects the way Russia functions, as it is really more of an oligarchy than a functional democracy. I think it mentions in the Wiki how lots of these people have lost huge sums of money since the Ukraine sanctions on Russia too, giving more reason for the government or private individuals to want to influence US politicians. Not to mention that many ballots with votes against Putin were found shredded during the last presidential election, along with accusations of fraud and miscounting.

I don't find your position to be crazy, but with the amount of strangely ignorant and stubborn arguments I've heard over the past week, it's hard to believe that some kind of push isn't going on. I know that Russian citizens had a lot of support for Donald during the election, but it seems like a disproportionate number of people are popping up in certain subs, where certain narratives weren't really embraced before.

u/missimudpie · 0 pointsr/politics
u/warren2345 · 0 pointsr/worldnews

What? The CIA absolutely DID say there were WMDs in Iraq.

https://www.amazon.com/Legacy-Ashes-History-Tim-Weiner/dp/0307389006

u/YachiruTheKittyKat · 0 pointsr/worldnews

you need an example of western intelligence agencies deceiving people?

https://www.amazon.com/Legacy-Ashes-History-Tim-Weiner/dp/0307389006