Review: Without Cloak or Dagger –The truth about the new espionage

5 Star, Intelligence (Government/Secret)

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Amazon Page

5.0 out of 5 stars One of Two Required Intelligence Books for ANYONE,

April 7, 2000
Miles Copeland
This is one of my two required readings for any aspiring intelligence officer or student of intelligence (the other one is by Allen Dulles, “The Craft of Intelligence.” An absolute gem across the board, providing insights into both capabilities and culture. This is really the only down-to-earth book that combines “a day in the life of a spy” with a serious practical discussion of just how and why spies do what they do. It is fun and easy to read, and offers some real world annecdotes that do not violate security but offer instead glimpses of the joys, the insanities, and the terror (10% of the time) or boredom (90% of the time–such as spending hours if not days waiting for a senstive asset to show up) that characterize the life of a spy.

To his credit, Copeland understood very early on that the spy world was missing out on what is known today as Open Source Intelligence (see my own book, “The New Craft of Intelligence” or view the 30,000 free pages at OSS.Net). The description on pages 41-42 (of the original hard-cover version) of how “Mother” concocted an entire network and got the head of Secret Intelligence to agree its production was worth $100,000 a year (big money in 1946), only to reveal that his source was actually five issues of The New York Times “demonstrated not only the naiveté of our nation's only existing group of espionage specialists but the value of ordinary New York Times reporting on matters regarded as being of high-priority intelligence interest.” Nothing has changed in 50 years. We still need our spies, but they need to be a bit more serious, a bit less white, a lot older, and much more focused. We lack–we need–men of the caliber of Dulles and Copeland today.

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