3.1.14

BURN BEFORE READING, by Admiral Stansfield Turner

You know that old question about who would you invite to dinner if you could invite anyone? Stansfield Turner would be on my must-ask list (along with Elizabeth I). Turner, whose military career was distinguished, went on to head the CIA from 1977 to 1981. His history of American espionage and counter-intelligence highlights the difficulties a democracy has in protecting itself and its citizens. And it usually doesn't do such a good job (from Pearl Harbor to the Bay of Pigs to 9/11, much has gone wrong in the "intelligence" world). Current and recent events in the intelligence community, the posturing and pontificating and hand-wringing Congress is overly fond of, the turf battles short-sighted men indulge in to the detriment of getting the job done, all are fleshed out in this intense but very readable book. Whether you're pro-CIA or wish they'd be defunded, this book will enlighten you and give you a historical background necessary to not only understanding today's issues but perhaps coming toward better solutions to problems and situations that will never go away. It's a 5. Originally reviewed in 2013.