Pot Shards: Fragments of a Life Lived in CIA, the White House, and the Two Koreas

51TiN2RPLlL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_The long awaited book written by “Uncle Don”. Of course the book is completely screened by the agency, but still a good read.

Donald P. Gregg

From the publisher:

Pot Shards is a memoir, based on the author’s memorable experiences. Donald P. Gregg spent thirty-one years as an operations officer in CIA and ten years in the White House under presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan and Vice President George H. W. Bush. Pot Shards is his memoir. It tells of a philosophy major who graduated from college in 1951 and immediately joined CIA when told, “You’ll jump out of airplanes and save the world!” With raucous humor, he describes his parachute training and arctic survival course in Idaho. His book is a window into the Cold War-era CIA, both its failings (twenty years in a Chinese jail for a close friend) and unheralded successes, including Gregg’s role in saving the life of Kim Dae-jung, a Korean political dissident who later, as president, won the Nobel Peace Prize. Gregg colorfully describes his tours in Japan, Burma, Vietnam, and South Korea.

Governing Through Crime

GouverningThroughCrimeThis book was recommended by one of our NA producers. It seems to me an interesting read on the subject of crime and crime fighting and the increasing role the government has taken to “protect” the citizens.

From the publisher:

Across America today gated communities sprawl out from urban centers, employers enforce mandatory drug testing, and schools screen students with metal detectors. Social problems ranging from welfare dependency to educational inequality have been reconceptualized as crimes, with an attendant focus on assigning fault and imposing consequences. Even before the recent terrorist attacks, non-citizen residents had become subject to an increasingly harsh regime of detention and deportation, and prospective employees subjected to background checks. How and when did our everyday world become dominated by fear, every citizen treated as a potential criminal?

 

In this startlingly original work, Jonathan Simon traces this pattern back to the collapse of the New Deal approach to governing during the 1960s when declining confidence in expert-guided government policies sent political leaders searching for new models of governance. The War on Crime offered a ready solution to their problem: politicians set agendas by drawing analogies to crime and redefined the ideal citizen as a crime victim, one whose vulnerabilities opened the door to overweening government intervention. By the 1980s, this transformation of the core powers of government had spilled over into the institutions that govern daily life. Soon our schools, our families, our workplaces, and our residential communities were being governed through crime.

 

In the president’s secret service

In the presidents secret serviceThis book was mentioned by Adam Curry on show 400. This book conveiniently was brought up in the media at the same time the US Secret Service prostitution scandal in Cartagena broke as a distraction from the drug legelisation propsals at the American summit.

From the publisher:

Never before has a journalist penetrated the wall of secrecy that surrounds the U.S. Secret Service. After conducting exclusive interviews with more than one hundred current and former Secret Service agents, bestselling author and award-winning reporter Ronald Kessler reveals their secrets for the first time.

•    George W. Bush’s daughters would try to lose their agents.

•    Based on a psychic’s vision that a sniper would assassinate President George H. W. Bush, the Secret Service changed his motorcade route.

•    To make the press think he came to work early, Jimmy Carter would walk into the Oval Office at 5 a.m., then nod off to sleep.

•    Lyndon Johnson gave dangerous instructions to his Secret Service agents and ­engaged in extensive philandering at the White House.

It Can’t Happen Here

It_cant_happen_hereThis work from 1935 gets mentioned by John C Dvorak sometimes in relation with the current political and economic situation. Can it happen here?

  • Mentioned again in show 440 and 441

From Amazon:

The only one of Sinclair Lewis’s later novels to match the power of Main Street, Babbitt, and Arrowsmith, It Can’t Happen Here is a cautionary tale about the fragility of democracy, an alarming, eerily timeless look at how fascism could take hold in America. Written during the Great Depression when America was largely oblivious to Hitler’s aggression, it juxtaposes sharp political satire with the chillingly realistic rise of a President who becomes a dictator to save the nation from welfare cheats, rampant promiscuity, crime, and a liberal press. Now finally back in print, It Can’t Happen Here remains uniquely important, a shockingly prescient novel that’s as fresh and contemporary as today’s news.

Legacy of Ashes, The history of the CIA

This book is one of the basic reading materials of the show (like the confessions of an economic hitman). This book descibes the upcomming of the CIA from WWII and the turn to a covert operations only organisation.

Revisiting the many moments of failure in the history of the CIA makes you wonder why they are still in business.

From the publisher:

This is the book the CIA does not want you to read. For the last 60 years, the CIA has maintained a formidable reputation in spite of its terrible record, never disclosing its blunders to the American public. It spun its own truth to the nation while reality lay buried in classified archives. Now, Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter Tim Weiner offers a stunning indictment of the CIA, a deeply flawed organization that has never deserved America’s confidence.

Legacy of Ashes is based on more than 50,000 documents, primarily from the archives of the CIA. Everything is on the record. There are no anonymous sources, no blind quotations. With shocking revelations that will make headlines, Tim Weiner gets at the truth and tells us how the CIA’s failures have profoundly jeopardized our national security.

Nullification

nullificationJohn likes to point out the possibility for states to nullify an unconstitutional federal law. This book explains all about the history behind the process. It also points out why this could become quite important in the near future.

From the publisher:

Citizens across the country are fed up with the politicians in Washington telling us how to live our lives—and then sticking us with the bill. But what can we do? Actually, we can just say “no.” As New York Times bestselling author Thomas E. Woods, Jr., explains, “nullification” allows states to reject unconstitutional federal laws. For many tea partiers nationwide, nullification is rapidly becoming the only way to stop an over-reaching government drunk on power. From privacy to national healthcare, Woods shows how this growing and popular movement is sweeping across America and empowering states to take action against Obama’s socialist policies and big-government agenda.