Review: Killing Pablo–The Hunt for the World’s Greatest Outlaw

5 Star, Empire, Sorrows, Hubris, Blowback, Intelligence (Government/Secret), Military & Pentagon Power, Secrecy & Politics of Secrecy, War & Face of Battle
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Mark Bowden

5.0 out of 5 stars Reveals US Sources & Methods, Weaknesses

July 25, 2001

Robert D. Steele (Oakton, VA United States) – See all my reviews

I remember being shocked when a book published by a former prisoner of war revealed all of the CIA's sources and methods for secret writing–one reason terrorists and others make photo-copies of incoming and outgoing correspondence these days….

This book provides an excellent overview of sensitive sources and methods used by the U.S. military to intercept and locate electronic transmissions. It specifically “blows” a cover company, two specific kinds of aircraft, and several U.S. Special Operations Forces standard operating procedures. I suspect that NSA and the CIA Centers dealing with terrorism and with crime and narcotics are having the same difficulties recovering from this book that NSA had when President Reagan inadvertently revealed in public that he was receiving transcripts of Politburo cell phone conversations made while in transit, from their car phones.

Having said that, I find that the author has performed very responsibly as an investigative journalist, and that his story is superior in every respect. I even find that he has withheld some key information out of respect for his sources,and that there are many lessons to be learned from this book about how we might improve our transnational campaign against non-state forces that have vastly more money, ruthlessness, and sheer people power than we do.

I like and recommend this book–it is a real-world story, well-researched and well-told.

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