American Spymaster Jack Devine, the Man Behind Charlie Wilson's War

Friday, June 06, 2014

Jack Devine was in the CIA Jack Devine was in the CIA for more that 30 years. (Sarah Crichton Books/Courtesy of the publisher)

Jack Devine talks about his life in the CIA. He ran Charlie Wilson’s War in Afghanistan—the largest covert action of the Cold War—and he gave the brand-new Stinger missile into the hands of the mujahideen during their war with the Soviets, paving the way to a decisive victory against the Russians. He talks about the CIA’s effort to run down the narcotics trafficker Pablo Escobar in Colombia, his role in Iran-Contra. and tangling with spies and moles. In Good Hunting: An American Spymaster’s StoryDevine’s writes about his more than 30 years in the agency, rising to become the acting deputy director of operations, responsible for all of the CIA’s spying operations.



Jack Devine

Comments [5]

Peter Talbot from Harrison, NJ

Actually a wonderful interview. Mr. Devine is a brilliant speaker, and as convincing a spokesman for pathological murder in the service of the state as you could possibly wish for. There was absolutely nothing wrong with his analysis, based as it is on the following uncritical belief:
Whatever actions or inactions that apparently serves the United States' poorly defined interests at any given moment is justified without need for any moralizing debate, and if those commissions or omissions cannot stand the light of discussion or debate, it is in the nations' interest to silence that debate by any means necessary. This is the morality of James Bond and Captain America writ large.

Here are the corollaries:
1. all persons or policies that don't fit this parameter are at best collateral damage waiting to happen, at worst enemies of the state.
2. everyone else is immoral, so America must fight immorally to preserve its hegemony and protect its citizens from contact with or perversion by ideas, actions, monies or organizations that might call American interests into question by means of empathetic argument.
3. anyone that entertains a notion contrary to US superiority and absolute right to all actions (including destabilization, assassination, etc.) is a sucker or foreign operative who merely weakens America's intelligence position and may be dealt with without recourse to legality to preserve domestic American support of unilateral action.

His audience selection was a bit off on your show, but he is nonetheless confident that his primary audience of American citizens will acknowledge the philosophical primacy of security over liberty and "us" over "them". He is absolutely right, and I don't agree that he is cynical. He is, with all respect for his disintel prowess, a true believer. He probably has a superman costume in his attic from his first Halloween.

To argue with his tactical analysis, you have to question the unthinking defense of our "country right or wrong", which makes you a dupe or traitor in his eyes. So I will do no such thing. I will point to one fact only: the rest of the world doesn't believe the premise, and it will be harder and harder and more and more expensive in money and lives (ours and others) to defend this completely imperialist position. Every other country's average citizens believe that all Americans and all American government representatives are controlled by the CIA/NSA cabals. This, Devine is sheepishly proud of. In fact, it means that the bully pulpit has been chopped up and burned for firewood.

Jun. 09 2014 11:07 AM
Jose from Brooklyn

What a fine piece of human scum to have on your show.
I'm so happy that after engaging on some of the most destructive behavior that a person could he gets a platform to peddle his petty little book on the public airwaves. Bravo Leonard. Please bring Oliver North next.
This guy's intro sounds like a rap sheet.

Jun. 07 2014 11:52 AM

So the CIA was just trying to preserve freedom of speech in Chile and was shocked, shocked by Pinochet's behavior?

Maybe Cialis could sponsor this work of fantasy as a loyalty reward for their bulk buyers, instead of the publishing industry foisting this on an unsuspecting public as non-fiction.

Jun. 06 2014 12:37 PM
Andrea from Philadelphia

Allende "fell of his own weight"? Come on! Thanks for follow-up question re: Pinochet, Leonard,

Jun. 06 2014 12:28 PM

Snowden's whistle-blowing was made his life hell more difficult, not less.

That's pretty much the opposite of laziness.

Jun. 06 2014 12:19 PM

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