London Review of Books
Vol. 41 No. 2 · 24 January 2019
pages 9-12 | 5853 words
In the beginning, the officer told me, ‘there was a great fear that the Russians were ten feet tall. What we found was total incompetence.’ Moreau’s team were amazed to find how easy it was to reverse Soviet influence – often with little more than generous offers of American dollars and American arms. Across the Third World – in countries such as Chad, Senegal and Côte d’Ivoire – the offer of advanced American electronics and communications equipment was also invaluable. ‘The Russians simply were not liked abroad,’ the officer said. ‘They were boors with shoddy clothing and shoes made out of paper. Their weapons were inoperative. It was a Potemkin village. But every time we found total incompetence on the part of a Soviet mission, the American intelligence community would assume that it was Soviet “deception”. The only problem was that it was not deception. We came to realise that the American intelligence community needed the threat from Russia to get their money. Those of us who were running the operations were also amazed that the American press was so incompetent. You could do this kind of stuff all over the world and nobody would ask any questions.’
Tip of the Hat to Contributing Editor Eagle.
Book below the fold.
“Reporter is just wonderful. Truly a great life, and what shines out of the book, amid the low cunning and tireless legwork, is Hersh’s warmth and humanity. This book is essential reading for every journalist and aspiring journalist the world over.” —John le Carré
From the Pulitzer Prize-winning, best-selling author and preeminent investigative journalist of our time—a heartfelt, hugely revealing memoir of a decades-long career breaking some of the most impactful stories of the last half-century, from Washington to Vietnam to the Middle East.