Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Publisher's Weekly review of Frank Rafalko's book

He's got a book out on MH/CHAOS.  That's why the Spy Museum is hosting an event on this.

PW doesn't give it high marks:

More interested in rehashing old grievances than asking new questions, Rafalko's memoir misses the chance to explore a significant controversy from a turbulent era. In 1969, CIA counterinsurgency officer Rafalko joined dozens of other CIA agents in an effort to prove that American radicals were operating under the control of foreign enemies. While no evidence was found to suggest they were, the agency nevertheless compiled files on nearly 10,000 U.S. citizens. In 1974, when The New York Times exposes details of the domestic spying program, Operation MH/CHAOS was terminated amidst a chorus of condemnation, and became one of the agency's greatest fiascos. Rather than evaluating the propriety of his actions, Rafalko blames "the press, civil libertarians, and CIA bashers" for their exposure. Despite living through the Vietnam years, he still came to view the antiwar movement as being manipulated by communist enemies "into a kind of fifth column for the sole purpose of stage managing U.S. public opinion.

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