Spies in the Sky: Surveillance Satellites in War and Peace


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Surveillance Satellites in War and Peace

Even weirder, Gottlieb hired an eccentric cop, George Hunter White, to be a chief operative.

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The C. Later, White took his act to San Francisco, where he expanded his research to include observing the effects of LSD on prostitutes and their clients during sex—the C.


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Your tax dollars at work. What might be a rational goal of such a research project—to identify forms of interrogation that would not require the slow and brutal uncertainties of torture, or the unreliability of sexual bribes—was never seriously pursued. Many of the LSD experiments were administered in harsh, isolated environments, without warning and in ways that would induce extreme panic. By secretly subcontracting LSD-related experiments throughout American academia, Gottlieb inadvertently seeded the great wave of psychedelia in which half of young America turned on, tuned in, and dropped out.

Then it spread to students who took it in CIA-sponsored experiments. Finally it exploded into the American counterculture, fueling a movement dedicated to destroying much of what the CIA defended and held dear.

Spies In The Sky: Surveillance Satellites In War And Peace Paperback

Everything is the opposite of what it is. This story, like most monocausal stories, is probably too neat. LSD was used as a weapon in the fifties, but it was also used openly at the same time as a therapy for alcoholism; the relation of the C. The oddity is that Gottlieb and his circle saw acid as causing breakdowns and psychosis—and, indeed, their stealthy experiments produced such symptoms, even in the relatively benign premises of the Village and North Beach.

M, of course, has anticipated the attack, and installed a descending shield in the ceiling above his desk. That none of this was real did not make it less emotionally credible. The theory held that the agency had long been penetrated by a high-ranking mole and that the K. A truly fascinating man, Angleton was a devoted student of the matchless British literary critic William Empson, who descried, in the densely metaphoric poems of Donne and Shakespeare, patterns of subtle contradiction, self-reference, and ambiguity.

Angleton had, in effect, weaponized this strategy of interpretation—convinced that any apparently straightforward reference in the world in fact meant something shadowier than it seemed to. A dose of acid was the last thing this kind of highbrow paranoia needed.

An older and overlooked book raises similar questions about the intelligence of national intelligence. Their triumph, somewhat lessened by the reality that Ames had been doing pretty much everything short of wearing a nametag written in Russian, is made more touching because of the bureaucratic obstacles they had to overcome at each turn. Among them was the way female agents were almost always relegated to less important tasks, and were handed this urgent one largely as an afterthought.

Their account, more a document than a book, shows a purely civil-service mind-set intersecting with what seems like extraordinarily high stakes: the discovery of the ultimate mole. Competition with the F. And how underpaid the people who are entrusted with national security are! Ames, who started spying for Russia in the mid-eighties, typically received sums of between twenty thousand and fifty thousand dollars for delivering information, and was seen as wildly greedy, this at a time when traders at Drexel Burnham Lambert were making millions a year.

A giveaway of his guilt came when one of the C.

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Only a Russian spy would have that kind of dough! Grimes and Vertefeuille make plain the extent to which internal C. Meanwhile, the C. Such dispatches, Grimes and Vertefeuille say, provided a thrillingly complete picture of what the K. But knowing exactly what the other paper is doing is not at all the same thing as actually beating the other paper to the news. Knowing what the K. You could have arrived at better judgment about what was going on in Russia by reading the newspapers, it seems, than by working for the C.

The conclusions that the intelligence services reached in the crucial period of the late eighties tended to be wildly wrong—as with the widely shared belief that Gorbachev was part of a ploy to put America off its guard—or bizarrely skewed by politics. Ronald Reagan was outraged by a supposed Russian plot to plant mini bombs in West Germany, and his C.

The K.

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Spy Satellites Evolve Into Private Eye in the Sky - Los Angeles Times

Angleton, had he lived to see it, might at least have been impressed to learn that the text of the Cold War, although not as ambiguous as he had supposed, truly was—another favorite term of his beloved Empson—ironic. In court, Ames countered that his fellow American spies spent their days cajoling, or blackmailing, Russians into selling out their colleagues. Ames never changed his ideology; he merely added another checking account. His real sin, from this perspective, was not betraying his colleagues but betraying the Russians whom his colleagues had persuaded to betray their colleagues.

Which leads us to the final paradox of paranoia.

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Espionage and intelligence are so conducive to mistrust that the people who make the best use of them tend to be the most equable and disinclined to suspicion. Christopher Andrew has praise for the way George Washington would shrewdly, serenely evaluate multiple intelligence sources, rather than relying upon a single spectacular one.


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  5. There were many code breakers, much had been done already by the Poles, and multiple sources were always in use by the Brits in any case. And, when decrypts were available, the judicious use or non-use of the information involved agonizingly difficult deliberation. Whom to tell when was just as important as what was known and how. Even the significance of the unquestioned coups can be exaggerated: the Allied victory on D Day ultimately rested on numbers and equipment, while atomic espionage only marginally accelerated a Russian bomb that was bound to be developed anyway.

    Spies In The Sky: Surveillance Satellites In War & Peace - Norris

    Scientists and literary critics and chess masters, intent on spotting hidden patterns, may benefit from being mildly paranoid. But spy agencies benefit from having sincere optimists in charge, since the paranoia will always supply itself. Andrew makes this point in reference to the Soviet penetration of F. History is what happens, not what we want to have happen, and the State Department did have a lot of Russian spies in it. Sign in New customer?

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    Spies in the Sky: Surveillance Satellites in War and Peace Spies in the Sky: Surveillance Satellites in War and Peace
    Spies in the Sky: Surveillance Satellites in War and Peace Spies in the Sky: Surveillance Satellites in War and Peace
    Spies in the Sky: Surveillance Satellites in War and Peace Spies in the Sky: Surveillance Satellites in War and Peace
    Spies in the Sky: Surveillance Satellites in War and Peace Spies in the Sky: Surveillance Satellites in War and Peace
    Spies in the Sky: Surveillance Satellites in War and Peace Spies in the Sky: Surveillance Satellites in War and Peace

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