A Love Letter to Spy-craft: A Conversation With Retired CIA Officer Douglas London

January 25th, 2022
AVvXsEgt7Go2Sy6kKAPLq9cCciUSGsNug23qUFYmwMjefxFZoNfp62yjTXt5FDm41AqIwSDwuzon3ELAnndO_K86FYZeNcHrQ1zcXzbyP15Wk7iEDMOHpR1fKFOkLnv9qJ3PMhyxfkMmuKq7PUUVv_NjE5Pgyycua47au3epF6CSd9XSIBOmIIvo_Hk=s320For as long as humans have interacted with each other, spies in one form or another, have been with us. To quote the legendary John le Carre, “Jesus had only twelve friends over for dinner, and still one of them turned out to be a double agent.”

And while the nature of spy-craft has evolved, its fundamental missions remain the same. To gather actionable information. To get results.

So when we look at our failure to fully understand the Soviet Union during the Cold War, our inability to understand what to expect in Afghanistan, our shock with the recent Chinese hypersonic missile launch, and the lack of certainty as to what the Russians are planning in Ukraine, what does it say about the state of American intelligence?

Today we’re told that technology is the successor to human intelligence, but what has that wrought, and doesn't it still take humans, and their infinite capacity for suspicion, to understand and interpret that data?

Retired CIA officer Douglas London write about this in his new book The Recruiter: Spying and the Lost Art of American Intelligence.

 
My conversation with Douglas London: 

Politics Without Celebrity - Kati Marton’s The Chancellor

January 13th, 2022
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Such was Angela Merkel, who served for 16 years as German Chancellor. Its first and only woman Chancellor, and without questions the glue that held parts of the world and certainly the Western Alliance together for many years.

What can we all learn from this Greta Garbo of geopolitics? To find out we have to dip into Kati Marton’s new biography of Merkel,  The Chancellor: The Remarkable Odyssey of Angela Merkel 

 
My conversation with Kati Marton:

January 6th Was a Rallying Point For White Hot Hate

January 4th, 2022
AVvXsEiQepXJ66MODXfiZQ34N-4TSYyGI9DKyQi_NHQ6YCqNLivZsH9DOYGPx8InzazG31gHbJbDadW1YIS1s8_JQnxibioBP_AsjD5szlx_IVe0Onx-eObNuBQVhd9qp1qMFHwXsOXkkZ9EflxLN-xyvdTXsjXb2CrSygmKw_UNXeOqPBvmnB2B8vE=s320As we witnessed on January 6th, the level of hostility and anger awash in the country today has real consequences. Demagogues and hateful rhetoric have real power. And while some argue that history teaches us that such rage burns white-hot and then dies out, what happens while it's burning hurts people and sometimes changes nations.

It’s really no different than when we see protestors in other countries attacking America, burning the American flag, and taking Americans hostage.

In a world moving at the speed of light, tribalism, and hatred for the other, for those that are different, are everywhere. Even in a small Kansas town,

That is the story that Dick Lehr tells us in White Hot Hate: A True Story of Domestic Terrorism in America’s Heartland.

 
My conversation with Dick Lehr: 
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