Original Contributions to Intelligence Reform Dialog,
January 3, 2003
Ernest R. May
I stumbled across the reviews of this book by chance, and was quite stunned to see what almost appears to be an orchestrated trashing of what I regard as a useful barometer of informed professional opinion.Yes, some of the authors and some of the views of the authors are relatively conventional, but by and large I am not only quite pleased to have this book in my library, I find that the thoughts of Jennifer Sims, Douglas MacEachin, and Robert Kohler, and Britt Snider, to name just four–I like the others as well–are as essential a starting point for reform as the more radical ideas of myself, Senator Shelby, Senator Rudman, or others.
Bottom line: Roy Godson and these people have been troubled by intelligence ineffectiveness, and have done more than most to publish in this arena, than anyone else I know. This book is not the end all, but it is a vital historical reference point for any serious professional. I would not reprint it, but I would certainly recommend it as a used book acquisition, and I hope that a new set of authors comes together to provide a 21st Century “second look” in the aftermath of 9-11. In the meantime, I would point folks toward Godson’s “Dirty Tricks or Trump Cards,” Allen’s “None So Blind,” and Zegart’s “Flawed by Design,” inter alia. If you want a list of my top 20 recommended books, send me an email.