Thursday, June 12, 2014

Review Of Jack Devine's CIA Memoir "Good Hunting"

Philip Mudd, a retired CIA officer, reviewed Jack Devine's CIA memoir Good Hunting for The Nation.

Nearly two decades into Jack Devine’s career at the CIA, he was tasked with what was then the agency’s largest-ever covert program: the effort to aid the ‘mujahedeen’ fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan. Should the agency take a huge risk by providing the Afghan fighters with sophisticated shoulder-fired antiaircraft missiles? Mr Devine and his colleagues decided that the answer was yes.

He remembers walking into the CIA director’s office in 1986 with a report on the controversial introduction of hundreds of these Stingers. “Mr Director,” he recalls saying, “we had a tremendous breakthrough yesterday. We deployed the Stinger and we shot down three helicopters.” Director William Casey, a passionate Cold Warrior, responded: “Jack, this changes it all, doesn’t it?”

“Good Hunting,” Mr Devine’s memoir, is a refresher course on the breadth of America’s covert campaigns against the spread of Soviet influence and ideology, and Mr Devine’s 32-year career is a microcosm of the secret thrust and counterthrust that defined those years.

The son of a blue-collar, Irish-Catholic family from Philadelphia, Mr Devine began at the CIA in the 1960s after reading a book about the agency and sending in a handwritten request for employment. He rose through the ranks, ultimately overseeing the entirety of the agency’s clandestine operations in the mid-1990s.   

You can read the rest of the review via the below link:

I interviewed Philip Mudd, who was the former deputy director of the CIA's Counterterrorism Center, for Counterterrorism magazine. You can read the interview via the below link:

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