Review: 935 Lies – The Future of Truth and the Decline of America’s Moral Integrity

Amazon Page

Amazon Page

Charles Lewis

5.0 out of 5 stars Title Short-Changes Value — This is One of the Most Important Books of Our Time, July 12, 2014

I’m not thrilled with the title because it implies to the browser that the book is about the 935 now-documented lies that led to the war in Iraq, and that is not the case — those lies are simply one of many evidentiary cases spanned a much broader spectrum. As the author himself outlines early on, the book is about a retrospective review of the struggle for truth from the lies that led to Viet-Nam to date (less 9/11); a concurrent review of the corruption and diminuition of commercial journalism; and finally, the future of the truth.

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments Off
Jul 12

Review: They Were Soldiers – How the Wounded Return from America’s Wars: The Untold Story

Amazon Page

Amazon Page

Ann Jones

5.0 out of 5 stars A necessary book — Gabriel’s trumpet on true cost of war, December 3, 2013

A necessary book. The author has rendered a national — a global — service in documenting the psychological, social, and physical costs of war, costs that surpass the continually astonishing financial cost of war. SIX STARS (my top 10%)

I read this book this afternoon while waiting for a flight out of Afghanistan. The book hit me hard. Although I have been well aware of the staggering number of disabled veterans and suicidal veterans, most of what this book offers up was new to me and deeply disturbing.

The book also made me realize that as an intelligence officer save in a basement — the occasional big car bomb not-with-standing — my time in Afghanistan has been illusory, in that I have not at any time confronted the blood and guts pathos that this book lays out with a professionalism that is compelling.

The book also forces me to think of my three sons, the youngest of whom is contemplating joining the military after college. While I served and retired honorably from the Marine Corps, my wars were Viet-Nam as the son of an oil man and El Salvador as a clandestine case officer for the Central Intelligence Agency. I’ve seen my share of dead people across all three, but I never personally experienced the deep gut-wrenching mind-altering pathos that this book lays down.

QUOTE (5): [This book] is about the damage done to soldiers, their families, their communities, and the rest of us, who for another half-century at least will pay for their care, their artificial limbs, their medications, their benefits, their funerals, and the havoc they dutifully wrought under orders around the world.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments Off
Dec 4

Review: The Media Ecosystem — What Ecology Can Teach Us About Responsible Media Practice

Amazon Page

Amazon Page

Antonio Lopez

5.0 out of 5 stars A unique and timely integrative overview with many original insights, August 22, 2013

I received this book as a gift, and am glad that I did as I normally would not have noticed it, bought it, or reviewed it. I hope my review will inspire others to buy the book, and if not, provide a summary of some of the highlights that I consider quite timely, original, and useful.

This is a manifesto of sorts, on CRITICAL INFORMATION, or stated another way, on public decision-support needs and the urgency of restoring both integrity (tell the truth) and holistic soundness (report on everything, and on the cause and effect cost and consequences of everything in relation to everything). Of course modern media fails this test, and the author should be credited with providing a manifesto and high-level handbook of how we might proceed.

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments Off
Aug 22

Review (Guest): Surveillance or Security?: The Risks Posed by New Wiretapping Technologies

Amazon Page

Amazon Page

Susan Landau

5.0 out of 5 stars Definitive text on the topic July 8, 2011

Ben Rothke

Surveillance or Security?: The Risks Posed by New Wiretapping Technologies is a hard book to categorize. It is not about security, but it deals extensively with it. It is not a law book, but legal topics are pervasive throughout the book. It is not a telecommunications book, but extensively details telco issues. Ultimately, the book is a most important overview of security and privacy and the nature of surveillance in current times.

Surveillance or Security? is one of the most pragmatic books on the topic is that the author never once uses the term Big Brother. Far too many books on privacy and surveillance are filled with hysteria and hyperbole and the threat of an Orwellian society. This book sticks to the raw facts and details the current state, that of insecure and porous networks around a surveillance society.

In this densely packed work, Susan Landau, a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University details the myriad layers around surveillance, national security, information security and privacy. Landau writes that her concern is not about legally authorized law enforcement and nationally security wiretapping; rather about the security risks of building surveillance into communications infrastructures.

Comments Off
Apr 30

Review: Saucers, Swastikas and Psyops: A History of A Breakaway Civilization: Hidden Aerospace Technologies and Psychological Operations

Amazon Page

Amazon Page

Jospeh P. Farrell

5.0 out of 5 stars This is an Information Operations / Counterintelligence Hidden Gem, December 23, 2012

The cover does this book a dis-service. This is a SERIOUS book that should be used in serious courses of instruction for both Information Operations (IO) and Counterintelligence (CI). The book lacks an index, a terrible mistake on the part of the publisher, but I have to say the notes are world-class and this book earns my intuitive respect quickly.

This book is a bit rough but I put it at a solid five stars and even considered six (my top ten percent across 1800+ books) because this book does something extraordinary:

01 It makes the case for UFOs being a terrestial Information Operations (IO) Psychological Operation (PSYOP — never plural).

02 It connects US underground tunnel civilization (a possible explanation for the Pentagon’s missing 2.3 trillion) and advanced technologies including “Nazi physics” versus “Jewish physics”

03 It connects the Rockefeller-Morgan Nazi-philes, Latin America, Switzerland, the Bank of International Settlements, and the drug cartels — in other words, this is also an excellent reading for Counterintelligence (CI).

I draw two major insights from this book:

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments Off
Dec 23

Review: Hard Measures – How Aggressive CIA Actions After 9/11 Saved American Lives

Jose Rodriguez and Bill Harlow

3.0 out of 5 stars 5 as Personal Memoir, 1 for Nonsense About “Hard Measures”, May 3, 2012

As a memoir of time in the CIA bureaucracy and occasional righteous deeds in the field, the book is a must read along with a handful of others by former case offices of stature-no one denies the stature of the primary author-I do question the role of the second author. Unfortunately, the author himself may not realize the falseness of the context, the premises, the claims, the reports, and the ethics surrounding rendition and torture. All I can do is point this out and hope that readers will take the time to reflect and read beyond this book.

I am a former clandestine case officer from the Latin America Division, and among those from CIA, including former Director Stansfield Turner, case officers Robert Bauer and Vince Cannistraro, and many others, who signed the letter to Senator McCain against torture.

Real professionals, which is to say, not the Ollie North’s of CIA, know that torture does not work. Anything in this book that says it does, and that leads came out of torture that were important, is in my independent judgement a lie-perhaps not a deliberate lie. The primary author was so far removed from the ground reality as to be unwitting of the lies being told to him by contractors and case officers who sought only to improve their “record” without regard to the truth or the consequences.

Anytime there is an argument over whether something is torture or not, it is. This will not be understood by the loosely-educated who lack an appreciation of ethics and the strategic value of morality.

Dick Cheney committed over 20 impeachable crimes (I itemize them in my review of Vice: Dick Cheney and the Hijacking of the American Presidency, while also telling 935 now documented lies. The primary value of this book may be in clearly identifying the author as an enabler of Dick Cheney’s crimes and lies, and a subject for future investigation if the USA ever gets an honest government again.

The CIA is an empty shell, with child analysts and no bench in the clandestine service. This is one reason DIA is working so hard to create its own “Class A” clandestine service, but sadly, DIA is turning to the same low standards that CIA has had all these years, and will be hard pressed to get much beyond its present standard for clandestine operations, “push ups done silently.”

I love books and I love the truth. I have written, edited, and published nine books on intelligence so far, and believe with all humility that I am helping set the gold standard for what ethical intelligence could and should be. In my personal opinion, this book demeans everything that CIA, the US Government, the Constitution, and the Republic should stand for.

You can find almost all of my reviews on books about intelligence at one single consolidated list easily found by searching for the phrase below (all reviews lead to their respective Amazon page). Buy something other than this book — it shames us all and does no service to the craft of intelligence.

Worth a Look: Book Reviews on Intelligence (Most)

Here are nine other books [Amazon has a ten link limit]-the first two show CIA at its best, the rest at its normal worst.

A Spy For All Seasons: My Life in the CIA
Jawbreaker: The Attack on Bin Laden and Al Qaeda: A Personal Account by the CIA’s Key Field Commander

Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA
See No Evil: The True Story of a Ground Soldier in the CIA’s War on Terrorism
Devil’s Game: How the United States Helped Unleash Fundamentalist Islam (American Empire Project)

Dark Alliance: The CIA, the Contras, and the Crack Cocaine Explosion
Someone Would Have Talked
Spying Blind: The CIA, the FBI, and the Origins of 9/11

Robert David STEELE Vivas
ON INTELLIGENCE: Spies and Secrecy in an Open World

Comments Off
May 13

Review: The Information Diet – A Case for Conscious Consumption


Amazon Page

Clay Johnson

5.0 out of 5 stars Gift Book, Gift Idea, Gift Economy, Get a Grip,February 18, 2012

I received a copy of this book as a gift, and gladly so since the top review at this time is unfairly dismissive while also confessing that the reviewer only read the first third of the book (but evidently not the preface (first page) that states plainly (first sentence, actually), “The things we know about food have a lot to teach us about how to have a healthy relationship with information.”

Having just reviewed The Telescreen: An Empirical Study of the Destruction and Despiritualization of Consciousness, and so many other books here at Amazon, I easily connect the point in last night’s reading: that food, medicine, education, and the media are all “co-conspirators” in dumbing down a human population whose brains started out as enormous pools of potential creativity, to this book. The information — and the food and the medicine and the tabloid garbage we are ingesting — is killing us.

What the first reviewer completely misses is that this is the first manifesto, beyond The Age of Missing Information, to actually focus on how out of control our relationship is to the world of information. As a lifetime professional in these matters I can state clearly that not only are governments substituting ideology for intelligence and corruption for integrity, but so are all the other communities of information (academia, civil society, commerce, government, law enforcement, media, military, and non-government / non-profit. We live in a totally corrupt world where — right now — banking families (Rothschild et al) own the banks and the banks own the two-party tyrannies (or the outright dictators) that own government, and they own the the corporations, with the 99% being expendable fodder for 1% theft from the commonwealth. This book is a cry from the heart, and an eloquent one at that.

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments Off
Feb 18

Review: The Telescreen – An Empirical and Philosophical Study of the Destruction of Consciousness in America


Amazon Page

Jeffrey Grupp

5.0 out of 5 stars You need a brain to read this book; if you have one, the book will scare you,February 17, 2012

I have been keeping in touch with “alternative” sources for some time, ever since I realized in about 1988 that neither the US secret intelligence world nor the US media were at all reliable — they are each very good at what they choose to do, but that does not include the public interest.

The author refers very often to his 2007 book, Corporatism: The Secret Government of the New World Order, to the point that I do recommend that be bought and read before this book.

I am hugely impressed by this author. He does detailed, meticulously documented research and the presentation is excellent. I especially like footnotes I can see while reading the body instead of endnotes.

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments Off
Feb 17

Reference: The Privatization [Corruption] of Democracy – Honoring & Documenting the Work of Eva Waskell

Tags: ,

Gordon Cook

I am honored that Eva Waskell has entrusted me to present The Privatization of Our Democracy, a work that I regard as her Profile in Courage. For 25 years she has labored to correct what is possibly the most significant public policy failure of the computer age—the privatization of vote counting carried out under the rationale that computers are simply automatic calculators that can tabulate votes more cost effectively than old analogue machines. I have known her for 19 of those years.

. . . . . .

People think they know that something is wrong with the way elections are conducted in this country.  They are correct. There is. But readers only now will get access to a full history of the abuse of public trust by the elected politicians of the United States of America. That’s a large claim to make, but see for yourself.

Click on Image to Enlarge

I believe that there are multiple publications here in what Eva has to say. The scholarly monograph. An Elections for Dummies paperback. A paperback of humorous tabby cat photos where the kitties are running elections.  Eva is a national treasure and I am proud to be able to use the Internet to make her story known. Fortunately, there are many, many public spirited citizens left.

Full Report (PDF 160 Pages)

Cook Report Home

Table of Contents and Selected Quotes Below the Line –


Read the rest of this entry »

Comments Off
Nov 6

Review: Extreme Prejudice – The Terrifying Story of the Patriot Act and the Cover-Ups of 9/11 and Iraq – The Ultimate Conspiracy to Silence the Truth

Susan Lindauer
5.0 out of 5 stars Priceless Content Tediously Presented – Merits a Big House Re-Issue, SEE YOUTUBE!, October 15, 2011

Bottom line: there is an enormous amount of priceless information in the book that is the equal of Abu Ghraib but against an American citizen who was by all evidence a source if not an agent for a non-official cover officer of the CIA based in the DC area. From being ignored to being locked up without any due process to being declared mentally incompetent by people lacking all integrity to being held without trial for years, the mind just boggles. What especially troubled me was the degree to which the prisons the author was exposed to used drugs to turn prisoners who refused to confess into drug-stupored vegetables.

I remove one star because this book has not been fully developed and the author as well as all associated with the book have failed to present compelling visualizations, a timeline, snapshot biographies of the key players, etcetera. I strongly believe that this book should be reissued by a major house, with a major foreword, and tied to the Occupy Wall Street concerns about institutionalized corruption.

I RESTORE the star to a full five because the YouTube videos featuring the author are nothing short of sensational. Together with the short film Hypocrisy, this could be the “story” that breaks the back of the Empire. The author is engaging and authentic in her video appearances, I do not believe any American can understand the deep corruption in the US Government without absorbing what she has to share.

The book is TEDIOUS. It is a stream of consciousness account by the author leavened with direct quotations from testimony. If it were not so tedious it would make my blood boil with outrage, but sadly, for such an important story, what we have here is just over 450 pages of run-on text including appendices with copies of some documents and depositions.

From where I sit as a former spy who has also done counterintelligence, published books on intelligence, and generally been the leading critic of fraud, waste, and abuse in the secret intelligence and counterintelligence worlds, the following stay with me from this book:

1 CIA is using non-official cover officers to run operations within and against the Congress. Congressional staffers are both targets and sources, some may be agents (paid).

2 The author clearly had advance warning of 9/11 and communicated that warning to the intelligence community (I have written elsewhere of how nine nations warned us in advance, the FBI blew off two walk-ins in Orlando and Newark, Dick Cheney scheduled the national counter-terrorism exercise for “the day” three months in advance, etc etc.

3 Where the book excels and is easily a five star book if the publisher had shown more creative commitment, is in documenting the lengths to which the government will go to lie, cheat, and otherwise abuse the Constitution, individual citizens, and the public at large. This book is an indictment of the Department of Justice (which we have recently learned claims the right to lie to the Court when it and it alone thinks it appropriate), the FBI, the CIA, and the White House consider it useful, which turns out to be most of the time.

4 The “wild card” in this story is Andrew Card, then Chief of Staff at the White House, and a direct family relation of the author. The smoking gun in this book is its documented evidence that the White House knew full well that 9/11 was coming, and leveraged that event, overlooking the 3,000 murdered (most of them in my view by controlled demolitions planted by Larry Silverstein in a massive insurance scam that was convenient to both the political government and to Wall Street (destroying all SEC files in WTC 7, never hit by anything).

I am not at all sure why the author did not get murdered while in prison with an overdose of whatever drug of choice they use these days. I have often reflected on the schizophenic nature of some of my colleagues, honorable people who try to do their best, while also playing drone or gerbil to out and out war criminals like Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and Paul Wolfowitz, to name just three.

I recommend readers buy the book, and also search for various web options including her April 2001 YouTube (1:36:12), and the book’s website. My counsel to the author would be to post the book immediately online in full text by the chapter for ease of automated translation by Google Translate. Certainly I would be glad to do that at Phi Beta Iota the Public Intelligence Blog. What this book desperately needs is the application of “cognitive surplus” such that timelines, visualizations, and other value-added sense-making can be integrated. I’d like to see a sharp two page executive summary of findings and implications.

We now know that Obama feared a coup if he prosecuted CIA officials and others including political appointees for their various high crimes and misdemeanors, and while this is understandable, it does not negate the need to return the US Government to the rule of law, a rule that has been so flagrantly violated so many times more under Obama than under Bush. I write this review in the aftermath of the first ever PUBLICIZED murder of a US citizen by drone without due process. We now know that the President (Obama) and the national security apparatchiks (led by Goldman Sachs lobbyist in the role of National Security Advisor) claim the right to kill anyone anywhere, including Americans, if they are deemed to be a threat to national security, where national security is left open-ended and can include any threat to the First Lady’s vegetable garden. That pretty much makes all 99% of us a threat.

I salute the author, and the publisher, for getting the book out, and below list some other books that are advancing our understanding of the depraved nature of the US Government as now owned and controlled by Wall Street through the two-party tyranny (there are 65 parties in the USA, only two gets to loot the US Treasury at will, taking 5% political payoffs for taxpayer-funded programs).

Certainly I hope that the author prospers and that over time she and the authors of the books below are recognized as righteous and more in harmony with the Constitution than the executive or legislative branches of the US Government are today.

See Also:

Edward Lansdale’s Cold War (Culture, Politics, and the Cold War)
The Secret Team: The CIA and Its Allies in Control of the United States and the World (Second Edition)
JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters
An Act of State: The Execution of Martin Luther King
The Human Factor: Inside the CIA’s Dysfunctional Intelligence Culture
Long Strange Journey: An Intelligence Memoir
Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA
Vice: Dick Cheney and the Hijacking of the American Presidency
Grand Illusion: The Myth of Voter Choice in a Two-Party Tyranny
Griftopia: A Story of Bankers, Politicians, and the Most Audacious Power Grab in American History

Vote and/or Comment on Review

See Also (Owl Recommends):

Gary Null Interviewing Susan Lindauer

Gary’s Null’s 3-hour forensic investigation into the lies of the Official 9-11 Commission Report

Extreme Prejudice – CIA Whistle Blower Susan Lindauer PDX 911Truth

Comments Off
Oct 15