- 12,99 €
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.
Retired CIA agent Kiriakou tells an engrossing story and delivers some strong opinions. Kiriakou earned a degree in Middle Eastern studies, but jobs in this field were scarce in 1988, so he listened when a favorite professor suggested applying to the CIA. As an analyst at the Iraqi-Kuwaiti desk, he oversaw intelligence during Iraq s 1990 invasion of Kuwait. By the late 90s, yearning for action, Kiriakou transferred from analysis to operations. There followed a stormy tour in terrorist-ridden Greece and the peak of his career after 9/11 as chief of counterterrorism in Pakistan, where he led a raid that captured an al-Qaeda chief. Except for a hair-raising account of the Bush administration s enthusiasm for torture, the account winds down in its final third when the author returns to the U.S., resigning in 2004. While readers may skim details of his unhappy first marriage, they will enjoy a mostly admiring portrait of the CIA but with telling critiques of its bureaucracy and of Congress s meddling in CIA affairs. 8 pages of b&w photos.