Legacy of Ashes is a very different kind of book on introducing or revealing intelligence operations in the past years. Of all the intelligence books you have seen before, they are all about talking on the positive side or making some compliments on CIA’s amazingly problems-solving skills. But the author’s writing skills on this book is very unusual, he writes in the negative side to describe how the most powerful country in the history of Western civilization has failed to create a first-rate spy service. In my opinion, I called Tim Weiner as a lawful dirt-digger, who traced more than 50000 documents, primarily from the archives of the CIA itself, and hundreds of interviews with CIA veterans, including ten directors of central intelligence. That’s why when it first put it on the shelf, it suddenly cause some shivers not only on CIA but also on the public
At the beginning of this book, Tim Weiner used a paradoxical sentence to be an opening remark by saying that “All Truman wanted was a newspaper.” It means that Truman never wanted the CIA to act as spy organization. That was never the intention when it was organized. But his vision was subverted from the start. General Donovan, who proposed to President Roosevelt to create a peacetime Central Intelligence service, believed that in a global and totalitarian war, intelligence must be global and totalitarian. From Donovan’s view, he thinks that he could learn the “capabilities, intentions and activities of foreign nations” while running “subversive operations abroad” against the America’s enemies if necessary. That’s why when President Roosevelt died; Truman didn’t want to keep the secret intelligence operations working and accept the Donovan’s plan of establishing the peacetime Central Intelligence Service because he had thought that Donovan’s plan had the earmarks of a Gestapo. So Truman ordered the OSS (the office of Strategic Service) to disband and fired Donovan.
And the rest part of the story, I think merits for people who interested to read. Hope you can enjoy as I can....Continua