For years, we have been writing about the CIA’s campaign to undermine the Bush administration–the agency’s most successful covert operation in many years. Scott came up with the felicitous phrase Three Years of the Condor for the CIA’s secret war. For a long time we felt like voices in the wilderness, but it turns out that some of those who do this for a living were hard at work.
Yesterday, I got in the mail a new book by Kenneth Timmerman, author of Countdown to Crisis: The Coming Nuclear Showdown with Iran and other books. Timmerman’s new book is called Shadow Warriors: The Untold Story of Traitors, Saboteurs, and the Party of Surrender. I haven’t had time to read it yet, obviously, but I can’t resist quoting the book’s beginning:
Some have called it the CIA’s greatest covert operation of all time.
It involved deep penetration of a hostile regime by planting a network of agents at key crossroads of power, where they could steal secrets and steer policy by planting disinformation, cooking intelligence, provocation, and outright lies.
It involved sophisticated political sabotage operations, aimed at making regime leaders doubt their own judgment and question the support of their subordinates.
It involved the financing, training, and equipping of effective opposition forces, who could challenge the regime openly and through covert operations.
The scope was breathtaking, say insiders who had personal knowledge of the CIA effort. All the skills learned by the U.S. intelligence community during the fifty years of the Cold War struggle with the Soviet Union were in play, from active measures aimed at planting disinformation through cutouts and an eager media, to maskirovka–strategic deception.
It was war–but an intelligence war, played behind the scenes, aimed at confusing, misleading, and ultimately defeating the enemy. Its goal was nothing less than to topple the regime in power, by discrediting its rulers.
Many Americans believe this was the CIA’s goal during the 1990s, when the Agency had “boots on the ground” in northern Iraq, working with Iraqi opponents of Saddam Hussein. Most patriotic Americans probably hope that the CIA today has such an operation to overthrow the mullahs in Tehran, or North Korean dictator Kim John Il.
But the target of this vast, sophisticated CIA operation was none of them.
It was America’s 43rd President, George W. Bush.
I’m looking forward to reading the rest. Shadow Warriors is coming out on November 6, but can be pre-ordered on Amazon.
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