The Reluctant Spy: My Secret Life in the CIA's War on Terror

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Long before the waterboarding controversy exploded in the media, one CIA agent had already gone public. In a groundbreaking 2007 interview with ABC News, John Kiriakou called waterboarding torture—but admitted that it probably worked. This book, at once a confessional, an adventure story, and a chronicle of Kiriakou’s life in the CIA, stands as an important, eloquent piece of testimony from a committed American patriot.

In February 2002 Kiriakou was the head of counterterrorism in Pakistan. Under his command, in a spectacular raid coordinated with Pakistani agents and the CIA’s best intelligence analyst, Kiriakou’s field officers took down the infamous terrorist Abu Zubaydah. For days, Kiriakou became the wounded terrorist’s personal “bodyguard.” In circumstances stranger than fiction, as al-Qaeda agents scoured the streets for their captured leader, the best trauma surgeon in America was flown to Pakistan to make sure that Zubaydah did not die.

In The Reluctant Spy, Kiriakou takes us into the fight against an enemy fueled by fanaticism. He chillingly describes what it was like inside the CIA headquarters on the morning of 9/11, the agency leaders who stepped up and those who protected their careers. And in what may be the book’s most shocking revelation, he describes how the White House made plans to invade Iraq a full year before the CIA knew about it—or could attempt to stop it.
 
Chronicling both mind-boggling mistakes and heroic acts of individual courage, The Reluctant Spy is essential reading for anyone who wishes to understand the inner workings of the U.S. intelligence apparatus, the truth behind the torture debate, and the incredible dedication of ordinary men and women doing one of the most extraordinary jobs on earth.
 
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About the author

John Kiriakou is a senior staff member in the United States Senate. He served in the Central Intelligence Agency from 1990 to 2004, first as an analyst and later as a counterterrorism operations officer. He was later named the executive assistant to the CIA’s Associate Deputy Director for Operations, in which capacity he was intimately involved in planning the Iraq War. His op-eds on the Middle East and Afghanistan have appeared in more than eighty newspapers in dozens of countries.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Bantam
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Published on
Mar 16, 2010
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Pages
224
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ISBN
9780553907339
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Military / Strategy
Political Science / Intelligence & Espionage
Political Science / Terrorism
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Tom Pecora is prepared to draw back the curtain on the little-known and misunderstood world of the CIA protective operations—security teams who work on the front lines in some of the most dangerous places in the world, doing battle with America’s most determined enemies in the War on Terror and more.Somalia was Pecora’s first deployment as a CIA Protective Operations Cadre (POC) officer, responsible for providing protective operations support in hostile areas of the world. He later headed up a series of the Agency’s undisclosed protective operations teams. From 1989 until his retirement in 2013, he was assigned to multiple war zones across Africa, Latin America, Southeast Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, doing the kind of work few are even aware exists.

But it does, and Pecora’s direct involvement allowed him to work behind the scenes of some of the most well-known conflicts of our time, including the infamous encounter known as Black Hawk Down, the hunt for Osama Bin Laden, and the hotbeds across the Middle East where fires continue to burn.

Over the course of a career that saw him receive the Career Intelligence Medal, Intelligence Star, Meritorious Unit Citation, and numerous Exceptional Performance Awards, Pecora distinguished himself as a Protective Operations Cadre (POC) member and as a CIA Security Officer. And now he’s prepared to shed light on the world of clandestine protective operations and the selfless, heroic warriors dedicated to keeping the United States safe at all costs…
To his friends and neighbors, Glenn L. Carle was a wholesome, stereotypical New England Yankee, a former athlete struggling against incipient middle age, someone always with his nose in an abstruse book. But for two decades Carle broke laws, stole, and lied on a daily basis about nearly everything. “I was almost never who I said I was, or did what I claimed to be doing.” He was a CIA spy. He thrived in an environment of duplicity and ambiguity, flourishing in the gray areas of policy.

 

The Interrogator is the story of Carle’s most serious assignment, when he was “surged” to become an interrogator in the U.S. Global War on Terror to interrogate a top level detainee at one of the CIA’s notorious black sites overseas. It tells of his encounter with one of the most senior al-Qa’ida detainees the U.S. captured after 9/11, a “ghost detainee” who, the CIA believed, might hold the key to finding Osama bin Ladin.

As Carle’s interrogation sessions progressed though, he began to seriously doubt the operation. Was this man, kidnapped in the Middle East, really the senior al-Qa’ida official the CIA believed he was? Headquarters viewed Carle’s misgivings as naïve troublemaking. Carle found himself isolated, progressively at odds with his institution and his orders. He struggled over how far to push the interrogation, wrestling with whether his actions constituted torture, and with what defined his real duty to his country. Then, in a dramatic twist, headquarters spirited the detainee and Carle to the CIA’s harshest interrogation facility, a place of darkness and fear, which even CIA officers only dared mention in whispers.

A haunting tale of sadness, confusion, and determination, The Interrogator is a shocking and intimate look at the world of espionage. It leads the reader through the underworld of the Global War on Terror, asking us to consider the professional and personal challenges faced by an intelligence officer during a time of war, and the unimaginable ways in which war alters our institutions and American society.

 

This changes everything we thought we knew about John Steinbeck. After languishing in the CIA’s archives for 60 years, a letter is uncovered in John Steinbeck’s own hand that shatters everything history tells us about the author’s life. Written in 1952, to CIA Director Walter Bedell Smith, Steinbeck makes an offer to become an asset for the Agency during a trip to Europe later that year. More shocking than Steinbeck’s letter is Smith’s reply accepting John’s proposal.

Discovered by author Brian Kannard, these letters create the tantalizing proposal that John Steinbeck was, in fact, a CIA spy. Utilizing information from Steinbeck’s FBI file, John’s own correspondence, and interviews with John’s son Thomas Steinbeck, playwright Edward Albee, a former CIA intelligence officer, and others, Steinbeck: Citizen Spy uncovers the secret life of American cultural icon and Nobel Prize–winner, John Steinbeck.

•Did Steinbeck actively gather information for the intelligence community during his 1947 and 1963 trips to the Soviet Union?

•Why was the controversial author of The Grapes of Wrath never called before the House Select Committee on Un-American Activities, despite alleged ties to Communist organizations?

•Did the CIA influence Steinbeck to produce Cold War propaganda as part of Operation MOCKINGBIRD?

•Why did the CIA admit to the Church Committee in 1975 that Steinbeck was a subject of their illegal mail-opening program known as HTLINGUAL?

These and a host of other resources leave little doubt that there are depths yet unplumbed in the life of one of America’s most treasured authors. Just how heavily was Steinbeck involved in CIA operations? What did he know? And how much did he sacrifice for his country? Steinbeck: Citizen Spy brings us one step closer to the truth.

A hands-on, practical survival guide from retired Navy SEAL Clint Emerson—adapted for civilians from actual special forces operations—to eluding pursuers, evading capture, and surviving any dangerous situation.

In today’s increasingly dangerous world, threats to your personal safety are everywhere. From acts of terror to mass shootings, and from the unseen (and sometimes virtual) matrix of everyday crime, danger is no longer confined to dark alleys or unstable regions. Potentially life-threatening circumstances can arise anywhere, anytime, and Clint Emerson—former Navy SEAL—wants you to be prepared.

100 Deadly Skills contains proven self-defense skills, evasion tactics, and immobilizing maneuvers—modified from the world of black ops—to help you take action in numerous “worst case” scenarios from escaping a locked trunk, to making an improvised Taser, to tricking facial recognition software. With easy-to-understand instructions and illustrations, Emerson outlines in detail many life-saving strategies and teaches you how to think and act like a member of the special forces.

This complete course in survival teaches you how to prevent tracking, evade a kidnapping, elude an active shooter, rappel down the side of a building, immobilize a bad guy, protect yourself against cyber-criminals, and much more—all using low-tech to “no-tech” methods. Clear, detailed, and presented in an easy-to-understand and execute format, 100 Deadly Skills is an invaluable resource. Because let’s face it, when danger is imminent, you don’t have time for complicated instructions.
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