Not so long ago — before I was sprayed by political skunks and had to excuse myself to avoid subjecting others to the stench of political vilification — I had occasion to spend some time thinking about intelligence, in the sense of the analysis of information relevant to statecraft.
Next Tuesday, just four days from now, we Americans will select a new president and his back-up. Exactly eleven weeks later they will take office. They will inherit a dog's breakfast of policy catastrophes from the outgoing administration. Everyone will look to them to clean these up.
Welcome to Washington!
Roy Gutman, now foreign editor for McClatchy newspapers, has written a narrative history of U.S. policy toward Afghanistan from the Soviet withdrawal to the 9/11 attacks. It is a painstakingly researched book with a great many interviews and references to original documentation.
Torture Team is a fascinating book that ably and clearly navigates through legal memos and traces the origins of the decision to use torture on those captured and imprisoned in Guantanamo.
When Jane Mayer’s The Dark Side was published a few months ago, it stunned reviewers with its revelations of torture and other abuses that government officials have committed since 9/11 in the name of the “War on Terror.” These ugly acts, painful to read about, were far more painful to