The Power Line Show, Ep. 92: “We Can Win This Thing”

I’ve finished a long review of three new books out about Reagan and two key moments in the Cold War, specifically the “war scare” during the Able Archer exercise in the fall of 1983 when, it was subsequently learned, the Soviet Union went on high alert and possibly (it still isn’t clear) contemplated a pre-emptive first strike of their own, and Reagan’s efforts, through the CIA, to undermine Communism in Poland. I’ll let you know when the review comes out, but in the course of it I had thought it would be a good time to check in with Herbert Meyer, who was William Casey’s right hand man at the CIA back in the 1980s, and a great friend. Herb was one of the first persons in the Reagan Administration who began to think out loud what Reagan had thought more privately—we can win the Cold War with the Soviet Union!

To my dismay I learned a few days ago that Herb recently suffered a bad bicycle accident and is hospitalized in serious condition. I don’t know all of the details, but am praying for his full and swift recovery. Then I recalled that I have some old material in the archives that would make a good podcast, and decided to use it here until—fingers crossed—I can speak to Herb again. First, I hosted him for a segment on the Bill Bennett show back when I was occasionally guest-hosting, and then I interviewed him for a video series here on Power Line back in 2014, and figured that there was some of that material from that interview that I didn’t use, so why not put out the whole interview as a podcast. These conversations hold up extremely well, and in addition to some fascinating details about the CIA under Reagan, Herb also extends his experience to how intelligence can be better conducted today.

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(P.S. Closing bumper music this week is “Forgiven, Not Forgotten” by The Corrs.)