Adams, James. The Financing of Terror. London: New English Library, 1986.
Jenkins, I&NS 3.1, comments that the title "promises far more than it delivers. This is essentially two substantial case studies, respectively on the PLO and the Provisional IRA.... There is far too much general background here, and many lengthy digressions from the central financial issue." However, when he focuses on the financing of the PLO and the IRA, Adams "makes a real contribution to the literature" on terrorism.
Adams, James. "MI6 Digs Its Spies into Hong Kong to Pass on Chinese Whispers." Times (London), 20 Apr. 1997. [http://www.the-times.co.uk]
When Britain hands over Hong Kong to Chinese rule in July 1997, some of its "agents will stay behind under deep cover. Others are being assigned to secret listening posts throughout the Far East." GCHQ "has dismantled its Stanley Fort satellite station"; and its "operations have been transferred to Geraldton in Western Australia, a listening post established in 1993 in co-operation with the Australian Defence Signals Directorate. In addition, GCHQ and MI6 ... have boosted their operations in Malaysia, Thailand and South Korea.... To ensure continued intelligence from Hong Kong, GCHQ and MI6 have also established extensive 'stay behind' networks that include agents and bugs embedded in computers and buildings."
Adams, James. The New Spies: Exploring the Frontiers of Espionage. London: Hutchinson, 1994.
Clark comment: Adams is the Washington Bureau Chief of The Sunday Times. Surveillant 3.6 notes that the author discusses the "steps the intelligence community has taken to identify new roles..., movements to bring back the traditional spy..., [and] the machinations of Whitehall and the 'forcing out of the shadows' of MI5 and MI6."
To Herman, I&NS 9.4, Adams has produced a "journalist's book about intelligence that is not full of the customary shock-horror frissons. This ... businesslike production ... shows some feel for intelligence organization." It is "nice to find the case for intelligence after the Cold War put cogently in a book intended for a wide readership." But Adams makes "rather superficial recommendations.... The important question is how to make intelligence work as a community, not how to reorganize it."
Peake, WIR 13.4, comments that the author's "distorted ideas expressed at the outset give way to more balanced descriptions, if not assessments.... When it comes to fixing problems, Adams falls into the trap that changes in organization are the solution.... He also concludes that some kinds of intelligence agencies are necessary in the new world order.... This is ... a provocative book and should be read and discussed."
Adams, James. The Next World War: Computers Are the Weapons and the Front Line Is Everywhere. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1998.
Adams, James. Secret Armies: Inside the American, Soviet and European Special Forces. New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1988.
Valcourt, IJI&C 2.3, says the "title is overly ambitious," since there is "a relative lack of information on the special forces of all nations except the United States.... Despite considerable lip service by politicians and military chieftains..., the units have generally been resented and ignored." The book is "readable" and a "good introduction to the field."
According to NameBase, "Adams ... frequently seems overly enthusiastic, as if he were writing ad copy in a magazine for would-be mercenaries. But ... [he] does manage some credible reporting on Britain's Special Air Service (SAS) and their efforts against the IRA, the war in Afghanistan, and the series of complete screw-ups in Grenada.... Other chapters deal with special forces training and equipment, Charles Beckwith's Delta Force, and Soviet operations. There is also a bibliography with 90 titles, and a 13-page appendix that describes special forces alphabetically by country."
Adams, James. Sellout: Aldrich Ames and the Corruption of the CIA. New York: Viking, 1995.
Surveillant 4.1 comments that "[w]hile this 3-month journalistic rush-job is far from complete, it is a useful look at the investigation ... and does have merit.... Adams examines the intelligence community to explain why such an underperforming intelligence officer would be protected despite abysmal tradecraft.... Of special note ... are [Adams'] two long interviews with William Webster and Robert Gates, with Gates providing exceptionally sound analysis and suggestions."
According to Warren, WIR 14.1, what he gained in getting the first book out on the Aldrich Ames spy case, "Adams sacrified in quality.... It reads like a series of three-by-five research cards strung together." The book's "details are generally accurate," but there are factual errors. For example, Ames "was not ... 'former chief of Counter intelligence Division in the CIA' (pp. 9-10)." Sellout is "a flawed work that adds little to the public's knowledge." Peake, CIRA Newsletter 22.2, also comments on the negative effect that the rush to publish had on this book. More broadly, however, Adams "doesn't appreciate ... that organizational fixes do not solve operational problems."
Arana-Ward, WPNWE (19-25 Jun. 1995), says that "Adams writes clearly,... [b]ut 'Sellout' has troubling inaccuracies." These include mistakes that Maas, Weiner, and Wise get right. Adams does not mention Jeanne Vertefeuille at all. Doyle, Periscope (Jun. 1995), also finds "a few errors or ambiguities... But his errors really don't detract from the fact that this is a good compilation of mostly open source material of interest to outsiders." Powers, NYRB (10 Aug. 1995) and Intelligence Wars (2004), 321-332, refers to Adams work as "a serviceable summary."
Click for Alec Chambers' consolidated review of Maas' Killer Spy, Adams' Sellout, Wise's Nightmover, and Weiner, Johnston, and Lewis' Betrayal .
Adams, James, and David Leppard. "Spy Rivals Crow as GCHQ Faces Cuts." Sunday Times, 26 Mar. 1995.
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