Fairly or not, polygraph examiners for the Central Intelligence Agency and other institutions that require security clearances for staff are not necessarily the most popular guys in the coffee shop. And for good reason: much of their professional lives are devoted to ferreting out secrets their subjects would prefer to leave untold.
Perhaps it’s something in the water: The National Archives has an ongoing exhibit, “Spirited Republic,” celebrating America’s love affair with drink. And last week this newspaper reported skullduggery in Kentucky where whiskey has been burgled by the barrel and one brand of local hooch fetches $2,000 a bottle. Now comes a book to champion bourbon alone. Perhaps we’re getting over the hangover of Prohibition, and it’s OK to enjoy drinking again, “responsibly,” of course.
For nearly a decade, American forces fighting in Afghanistan were largely blinded by a lack of intelligence from roughly half the Pashtun population of Afghanistan; that being women. Pashtunwali (the way of the Pashtun) decrees that women be protected from the eyes and presence of men not from their immediate families.
Sophisticated cynicism is the coin of the realm for distinguished British journalists like Andrew Marr, who has a reputation as an editor, a BBC political commentator and a historian. This is a dark and shining example of his talent as a satirist.
For most diehard Monty Python fans, the excitement generated at the idea of John Cleese writing an autobiography must have been enormous. After the announcement of the book’s release, the speculation must have included thoughts such as:
At exactly 10:35 a.m. on Dec. 17, 1903, at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, Orville Wright slipped the rope restraining the Flyer and started down the track. At the end of the track the Flyer lifted into the air.
Of the American intelligence and military officers who spied for the Soviet Union and successor Russia, who deserves the most scorn for odious conduct? Topping any list would be Aldrich Ames of the CIA, whose treachery cost the lives of sources working for the United States, followed closely by Robert Hanssen of the FBI, who gave the KGB the bureau’s “game plan” for tracking spies.