Review: The Coup: 1953, The CIA, and The Roots of Modern U.S.-Iranian Relations

5 Star, Corruption, Crime (Corporate), Crime (Government), History, Intelligence (Government/Secret), Misinformation & Propaganda, Peace, Poverty, & Middle Class, Politics, True Cost & Toxicity, Water, Energy, Oil, Scarcity
Amazon Page
Amazon Page

Ervand Abrahamian

5.0 out of 5 stars We NEED Deep History to Counter-Act Criminal Insanity Within Our Elite, February 17, 2013

This book could not have come out at a better time, as the neo-conservatives continue to try to inspire confrontation with Iran, using the same methods that Dick Cheney used — in his case 935 now documented lies — to invade Iraq.

I was drawn to this book by Leon Hadar’s review (he is the author of Sandstorm: Policy Failure in the Middle East in Reason.com, “Our Man in Iran: How the CIA and MI6 installed the Shad.” I am a former CIA clandestine case officer, and today an arch-critic of expensive ignorant secret sources and methods, while also being a champion for open source everything and multinational information-sharing and sense-making — the anti-thesis of all that CIA represents.

Please do look up the Hadar review online, he writes from a geopolitical perspective. As an intelligence professional myself, and as someone who cares deeply about achieving intelligence with integrity in the public interest, my own comments focus on how vital this book is as a means of exposing information pathologies — below are a few books about such pathologies, all of which are illiminated by this book on UK-US perfidy and CIA “success” that is actually an ignominious denial of history, reality, and morality.

Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & ‘Project Truth’
Fog Facts: Searching for Truth in the Land of Spin
Weapons of Mass Deception
The Age of Missing Information

We are at a turning point in modern human history — the Earth will survive us, but if we are to survive and prosper, we must confront the stark reality that with a few exceptions (Iceland, Nordics, BENELUX) all Western governments are corrupt to the bone. In the USA, the two-party tyranny whores itself to Wall Street, and there is no difference between the high crimes and misdemeanors of the Cheney Regime (Bush Senior led the CIA team that assassinated JFK, see for example Dark Legacy, Bush Junior was nothing more than a well-intentioned idiot whose Dad and assorted criminal allies bought him the Presidency (and Al Gore’s playing dead)) and the Obama Regime with its drones and special forces teams doing extrajudicial killings all over the world, and the Department of Justice making torture and rendition and execution of US citizens “OK” while telling the Court they have a right to lie to the Court in case of national security. America gone mad, indeed.

It is in that context — and in the context of a new Secretary of State and a new Secretary of Defense — that we must ask the question this book answers: what price integrity? what price truth? Are we really to stand idly by while the Joint Chiefs of Staff lie to the Congress (and to the President), and we suffer the twin threat of Pentecostal and Jewish crazies in the US military bent on Armageddon on the one hand, and on the other, craven corrupt flag officers and senior executive officers who will tell any lie to protect their budget share irrespective of the FACT that they are overseeing both documented 40% waste across all acquisition programs AND a hollow military that is slowing to a crawl because it has been broken on the rocks of Afghanistan and sandstorms of Iraq?

I have reviewed over 1800 non-fiction books here at Amazon, and my two master lists as well as my list of over 300 intelligence reviews can be found by looking online for the following three as they are written, with all reviews leading back to their respective Amazon pages:

Worth a Look: Book Review Lists (Positive Future-Oriented)

Worth a Look: Book Review Lists (Negative Status-Quo)

Worth a Look: Book Reviews on Intelligence (Most)

Here with my four remaining links, one of the best features Amazon offers (see also Inside the Book above), I want to focus on the COST of secrecy in so far as secrecy enables lies to the public and war that is assuredly NOT in the public interest:

None So Blind: A Personal Account of the Intelligence Failure in Vietnam
War Is A Racket
Legacy of Ashes
The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic (The American Empire Project)

Imagine a book like this for every country the USA has harmed with its virtual colonialism, predatory capitalism, and and unilateral militarism — all at a cost to the publics both in the USA and in the encumbered countries — and all for the profit of a few whose crimes have actually been legalized by corrupt politicians thirsting for their 5% kick-backs. We need many more such books, but we also need for every reader to raise their voice and in emulatiion of the Egyptian meme, shout it out: ENOUGH!

For 20 years, after turning my back on spying and recognizing that what we do with secret intelligence is corrupt, a crime against humanity, very expensive, and of no value at all to the public interest, I have been trying to get an Open Source Agency adopted. One of my like-minded colleagues finally got a little box on pages 23 and 413 of the 9/11 Commission, and he was successful in part because Lee Hamilton watched me smash the secret world in an overnight benchmark exercise on Burundi for the Aspin-Brown Commission. Such an agency would have councils of multinational wise men and women for every country, every topic, every event, and it’s mantra would be, as mine is, “the truth at any cost reduces all other costs.”

This book, at this time, is a line in the sand. Bravo.

Robert David Steele
ON INTELLIGENCE: Spies and Secrecy in an Open World

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