Bombs, Bugs, Drugs, and Thugs: Intelligence and America's Quest for Security

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NYU Press, Apr 1, 2002 - Political Science - 298 pages
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Recent years have seen numerous books about the looming threat posed to Western society by biological and chemical terrorism, by narcoterrorists, and by the unpredictable leaders of rogue nations. Some of these works have been alarmist. Some have been sensible and measured. But none has been by Loch Johnson.

Johnson, author of the acclaimed Secret Agencies and "an experienced overseer of intelligence" (Foreign Affairs), here examines the present state and future challenges of American strategic intelligence. Written in his trademark style--dubbed "highly readable" by Publishers Weekly--and drawing on dozens of personal interviews and contacts, Johnson takes advantage of his insider access to explore how America today aspires to achieve nothing less than "global transparency," ferreting out information on potential dangers in every corner of the world.

And yet the American security establishment, for all its formidable resources, technology, and networks, currently remains a loose federation of individual fortresses, rather than a well integrated "community" of agencies working together to provide the President with accurate information on foreign threats and opportunities. Intelligence failure, like the misidentified Chinese embassy in Belgrade accidentally bombed by a NATO pilot, is the inevitable outcome when the nation's thirteen secret agencies steadfastly resist the need for central coordination.

Ranging widely and boldly over such controversial topics as the intelligence role of the United Nations (which Johnson believes should be expanded) and whether assassination should be a part of America's foreign policy (an option he rejects for fear that the U.S. would then be cast not only as global policeman but also as global godfather), Loch K. Johnson here maps out a critical and prescriptive vision of the future of American intelligence.

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Bombs, bugs, drugs, and thugs: intelligence and America's quest for security

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Johnson, Regents professor at the University of Georgia, has produced several important works on American security agencies, including, most recently, Secret Agencies: U.S. Intelligence in a Hostile ... Read full review

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User Review  - JBD1 - LibraryThing

Another good survey of covert ops and intelligence-gathering. Read full review

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About the author (2002)

Prof P. Gopalakrishnakone is a world leader in the characterization of the structure and function of animal and plant toxins and chemical poisons, which contain highly specific and biologically active components. He has contributed significantly to the body of knowledge regarding the anatomy of snake venom glands and the development of drug candidates from animal toxins.

Prof Gopal pioneered the development of the NUS Venom and Toxin Research Programme, which has put NUS at the forefront of toxin research internationally. The technology platform that has been built over the years under the Venom and Toxin Research Programme, coupled with its extensive library of protein and peptides, has enabled Prof Gopal and his team to complete the discovery process of lead candidates in time and to transfer valuable supplementary information to the next discovery steps involving profiling and optimization of lead candidates. The objective is to characterize the venom components and natural toxins at a molecular level and identify promising compounds amenable to the development of novel human therapeutics. Prof Gopal's lab has identified over twenty peptides with unique medical indications from venom-based proteins with some already under development as therapeutics.

Prof Gopal's research studies includes structure function studies (toxin detection, biosensors, antitoxins and neutralization factors), toxicogenomics and expression studies, antimicrobial peptides from venoms and toxins and PLA2 inhibitors as potential drug candidate for inflammatory diseases. The techniques he employs include quantum dots to toxinology, computational biology, microarrays and protein chips. He has patented analgesic peptide, anti inflammatory peptide as well as anti rheumatoid arthritis peptides. He is exploring various possibilities of delivery systems for these peptides to target sites and administration of these peptides orally, transdermally, ocular and injections.

Prof Gopal has over 100 international peer-reviewed papers in venom and toxin research, drug discovery, biosensors, and toxinogenomics. His research awards include the Outstanding University Researcher Award from the National University of Singapore (1998); Ministerial Citation, NSTB Year 2000 Award in Singapore; and the Research Excellence Award from the Faculty of Medicine, National University of Singapore (2003). His awards in teaching include, Faculty Teaching Excellence Award 2003/4 & NUS Annual Teaching Excellence Award 2003/4. He also received the Faculty Teaching Excellence Award in 2009/10 and the Annual Teaching Excellence Award, NUS FOR 2009/10. He is the President of International Society on Toxinology till 2012, and is a member of the editorial board of Toxicon, the official journal of the International Society on Toxinology.

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