Blond Ghost: Ted Shackley and the CIA's Crusades

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Simon & Schuster, 1994 - Political Science - 509 pages
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Based on once-secret government records and interviews with over 100 ex-CIA officers, Blond Ghost offers a fascinating portrait of Ted Shackley - a real-life George Smiley. It exposes the inner workings of the CIA and details the failure of the Agency's most important covert enterprises. It reveals dozens of top-secret operations: how the CIA recruited children as agents in Vietnam: how it encouraged perjury before Congress; how it paid off a suspected drug dealer; how it tried to use sex to blackmail communist officials; how it uncovered a Soviet-bloc spy in the German parliament; and more. Washington journalist David Corn discloses that for decades, the CIA's commitment to dirty tricks and secret wars compromised its ability to gather intelligence. Blond Ghost probes the CIA's Cold War record and shows that the Agency's efforts to penetrate the Iron Curtain in the 1950s were utterly unsuccessful, with an appalling and pointless loss of life: that the CIA tried to foment rebellion in Cuba, despite intelligence asserting no uprising was likely; that the CIA foisted on its Laotian allies unrealistic military operations that led to the death and displacement of tens of thousands of Laotians; that the CIA bungled miserably in Vietnam - ignoring intelligence collection for years and then suppressing information on the corruption and ineptness of the Saigon regime. Blond Ghost tells the tale of an important, decorated, and controversial spymaster, unveils the nitty-gritty of life in the Agency, and reveals the real job the CIA did in the Cold War.

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BLOND GHOST: Ted Shackley and the CIA's Crusades

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Nation Washington editor Corn delves thoroughly and with gusto into the career of Ted Shackley, one of the more shadowy CIA agents of the Cold War period. Shackley was the child of a broken home, son ... Read full review

Blond Ghost: Ted Shackley and the CIA's crusades

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

To recount some of the main events of the Cold War, this book uses a biographical format, telling the life story of dedicated CIA employee Ted Shackley. The topics covered include the attempts to kill ... Read full review



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About the author (1994)

David Corn is the Washington bureau chief for Mother Jones magazine and an analyst for MSNBC and NBC News. He is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Hubris (with Michael Isikoff) and The Lies of George W. Bush, and regularly provides commentary on National Public Radio.

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