Corera, Gordon. The Art of Betrayal: Life and Death in the British Secret Service. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2011.
Coughlin, Telegraph (London), 5 Sep. 2011, calls this a "highly readable and well-researched account" of MI6. The author believes that "a desire to justify its existence" after the end of the Cold War "led MI6 to form its disastrous alliance with Tony Blair in the build-up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003.... [T]he entire justification made by the Blair government for removing Saddam [Hussein] was a sham and MI6 deserves most of the blame for this, for allowing raw intelligence to be politicised." For Peake, Studies 56.1 (Mar. 2012) and Intelligencer 19.2 (Summer-Fall 2012), this is "[a] fine overview, well told and well documented."
To West, IJI&C 25.2 (Summer 2012), this book "manifests some attributes that set it apart from its competition. First, a couple of cases ... have not been documented elsewhere. Then come the detailed, directly quoted recollections of a small group of SIS retirees." Nevertheless, "sufficient slips suggest that some of Corera's knowledge is a little shallow." While this work "emphatically is not a comprehensive history of the postwar era," it is "a very readable account," and "is generally accurate."
Corera, Gordon. "Growing Pangs of Britain's Spy Agencies." BBC, 29 Jan. 2008. [http://news.bbc.co.uk]
According to the annual Intelligence and Security Committee report, "Britain's intelligence and security services have been growing fast since 9/11.... The Secret Intelligence Service (SIS [MI6]) ... grew at a rate of 3.6% in the last year compared to nearly 30% for MI5, but it has still been undergoing significant changes.... In its broadest definition, counter-terrorism now takes up 56% of MI6's work and that figure is rising.... MI6's greater focus on counter-terrorism has also led to a significant increase in the number of direct 'disruption operations' against terrorist targets, the report says.... The government's eavesdropping agency, GCHQ, has also been put under pressure with resources increasingly devoted to supporting MI5 operations. Making sure its resources keep pace has not always been easy."
Corera, Gordon. "MI6 'Is Not Complicit' in Torture." BBC, 10 Aug. 2009. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/8188307.stm]
Sir John Scarlett "has told the BBC there is no torture and 'no complicity in torture' by the British secret service.... Speaking on BBC Radio 4's programme MI6: A Century in Shadows," the head of MI6, "defended the actions of his organisation.... He denied that British intelligence services had been compromised by their close relationship with counterparts in the US." Scarlett "will step down as the head of MI6 in November."
Corera, Gordon. "Radical Reform Required in US Intelligence Community." Jane's Intelligence Review, Apr. 2004, 42-47.
Corera, Gordon. Shopping for Bombs: Nuclear Proliferation, Global Insecurity and the Rise and Fall of the A.Q. Kahn Network. London: Hurst, 2006.
This is the story of Pakistani national hero and worldwide nuclear proliferator. He was finally taken down in early 2004 -- at least, to the extent of being placed under house arrest by the Pakistani authorities. Peake, Studies 51.2 (2007), finds that the author's "documentation is impressive.... How much damage Kahn did is a question yet to be answered. Corera's story is well told and of value to intelligence officers and students of national security."
Coriden, Guy E. "Report on Hungarian Refugees." Studies in Intelligence 2, no. 1 (Winter 1958): 85-93.
The author reports on the collection of "intelligence information and material from the Hungarians who were admitted to the US" in the wake of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956.
Cormac, Rory. Confronting the Colonies: British Intelligence and Counterinsurgency. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014.
Shaffer, Studies 58.3 (Se. 2014), finds that this work "provides important insight into the Joint Intelligence Committee's (JIC) activities of assessing intelligence, making recommendations, and reforming local intelligence operations to meet shifting Cold War and postcolonial demands." The author presents four cases studies: the Malayan Emergency (1948-1951), Cyprus (1955-1959), Aden 1962-1967), and the Dhofar rebellion in Oman (1968-1975).
Cormac, Rory. "Organizing Intelligence: An Introduction to the 1955 Report on Colonial Security." Intelligence and National Security 25, no. 6 (Dec. 2010): 800-822.
From "Abstract": "This article introduces, places in historical context and publishes selected extracts from chapter one of the Report on Colonial Security,... [w]ritten by General Sir Gerald Templer in 1955."
Cormack, Andrew, ed.
1. "No. 1 Balloon Section, Royal Engineers, in the Boer War." Part 1. Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research 68 (1990): 253-261.
2. "No. 1 Balloon Section, Royal Engineers, in the Boer War." Part 2. Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research 69 (1991): 33-44.
Corn, David. Blond Ghost: Ted Shackley and the CIA's Crusades. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1994.
Theodore (Ted) G. Shackley, retired CIA Associate Deputy Director for Operations, died on 9 December 2002 at the age of 75. He was a three-time recipient of the Distinguished Intelligence Medal. J.Y. Smith, "Theodore Shackley Dies; Celebrated CIA Agent," Washington Post, 13 Dec. 2002, B8.
Clark comment: The "discovery" that CIA officers respond and act according to bureaucratic behaviors well-established in the literature of public administration is somewhat labored. To suggest that the CIA should somehow be immune to such behavior patterns is to ask more of its people than an unrelenting critic has any right to expect.
Frank, WIR 13.2, notes that the author is "known for his decidedly left-of-center views ... [and] for many years shared sympathies with the Christic Institute." To Chambers, the book is "hostile and muddle-headed. It's strange that Shackley rose as high as he did if he screwed up as badly as Corn would have us believe." For Halpern, Periscope, Feb. 1995, the book "is a work that mixes fact and fiction.... More often than not he and his researchers have not understood and have rejected valid documentary evidence of the truth.... This reviewer believes the work is so biased ... and contains so many errors of fact that reading it is not worth the effort."
John Barron, WIR 13.3, writes: "I have never heard anyone refer to Shackley as the 'Blond Ghost.'" Corn has produced "turgid prose and puerile reportage." Worse than that, however, he "displays ignorance of elementary intelligence procedures and terminology." In essence, Corn represents "virtue as vice" and accuses "by innuendo without evidence." On the other hand, for NameBase, the book's "70 pages of end notes and chapters liberally sprinkled with unpublished CIA names" make it "a durable contribution to intelligence history." And McGehee, CIABASE Jan. 1995 Update Report, praises Blond Ghost as "one of the few excellent books on the CIA."
To Warner, WPNWE, 7-13 Nov. 1994, Shackley is "less interesting than the covert world of which he was a part." The image here is one of Shackley as "an organization man," but "the real subject is the CIA as a working bureaucracy." Corn's "writing style veers from the competent to the eloquent and back again." Overall, this is an "impressive feat of research." The author "appears to have a latent personal bias against Shackley that ... colors his judgments of Shackley's successes and failures." Nevertheless, the book "greatly enlarges our understanding of the CIA as an organization."
Easterbrook, Washington Monthly, Sep. 1994, calls the book "an amazing compendium of C.I.A. fact and lore.... But every so often you run across a well-researched, well-written book that some reason doesn't quite click. This is one.... Corn's book seems to have trouble coming to conclusions beyond straightforward ones, such as that intelligence operations should be lawful.... Blond Ghost needed more conclusions, and fewer accounts of whose names were on what memos."
Warren, Surveillant 4.1, comments that this is a "meticulously researched biography of a relatively obscure civil servant ... [which] neither interests nor informs the reader.... Corn's lack of understanding and his biases show.... But in the end, Corn's book fails because of a lack of consistent focus and because of a plethora of details to no apparent purpose."
[CIA/70s/Gen & 80s/Gen & Biogs][c]
Corn, David. "C.I.A. Mole Seeks Daylight: A Talk with Aldrich Ames." The Nation, 11 Sep. 1995, 238-240.
This article gives us little (?nothing) new about Ames, but uses him to reiterate points Corn has seemingly adopted as his personal theme: the CIA, and specifically human source intelligence, is neither very good nor particularly needed.
Corn, David. "The Company They Keep: How the C.I.A.'s Clubby, Insular Culture Yields Little Valuable Intelligence and Gave Us Aldrich Ames." Washington Monthly, Jul.-Aug. 1994, 34-38.
Corn clearly does not understand that the development of organization-specific cultures is a common -- perhaps even necessary -- trait of bureaucracies. The idea that such cultures are amenable to being changed from outside the organization runs counter to the literature.
1. "The Top Secret at the CIA Is That It's a Bloated Bureaucracy." Washington Spectator 20, no. 18 (1 Oct. 1994): 1-4.
The CIA is certainly a bureaucracy; it is that by definition. It may even be "bloated," but the case is not made here.
2. "The Senate's Hearing Problem." New York Times, 13 Feb. 1993, 21.
Cornelius, George. "Air Reconnaissance: Great Silent Weapon." U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings 87, no. 5 (May 1959): 35-42.
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