Only on my blog will you find non-fiction opinions and assertions. As for books and stories I stick to fiction . I religiously avoid even contemplating writing an opinion filled non-fiction book about intelligence based upon my or any other former intelligence operative’s career. Such books invariably turn into polemics of what is wrong or right with Congress and Intelligence, the Presidency and intelligence, the Department of Defense and intelligence, the FBI and intelligence and, of course, the CIA and intelligence. Most of these books have an “if only they had listened to me” tone to them. I have yet to read, and some of them I only skim for they are simply too outre because I know the true bona fides of the author, a book that is other than a thinly veiled paean to the author themselves and how “if only the bosses” had paid more attention to the author the world would be a better place.
I do not disparage the occasional astute observer who wants to push their arguments about how the intelligence services should be structured and run but even the most astute outside observer (i.e. politician or academician) will not understand the intricacies of “real” intelligence work. I could point out a few of these intricacies but what purpose would that serve. Suffice to say that failing to grasp the depth of the skill sets of targeting, recruiting/obtaining and running ongoing sources of intelligence even the most clever of authors will “get it wrong” and thus push out yet another incorrect assessment that will become part of the “authoritative” body of work on intelligence.
Still, those who do the most damage are the former “Intelligence operatives” whose careers provided them only narrow slits through which to observe the entire process but who claim knowledge they really don’t have. There are a few authors out there whose insights are valid but the majority are simply writing “look at me” books. You’ll need to do your homework on the authors.
So, to all my readers, Caveat Emptor for you’re about to buy some, what did that African Chief call it? Oh, yes “Bazonga” as in let’s go see our herd of cattle but be careful not to step in any bazonga, he said to the visiting dignitary whose just finished speech had been punctuated by cheers of Bazonga!!!