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'Way Of The Knife' Explains CIA Shift From Spying To Killing
When the CIA came into being in 1947, its mandate was to keep tabs on events around the world. Gather intelligence about foreign governments. Spy. But the agency has evolved away from this original mission, as Mark Mazzetti
reports in a new book, The Way of the Knife: The CIA, a Secret Army, and a War at the Ends of the Earth
Mazzetti, a national security correspondent for The New York Times, begins with a quote from John le Carre's Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy:
"Good intelligence work, Control had always preached, was gradual and rested on a kind of gentleness. The scalp hunters were the exception to his own rule. They weren't gradual, and they weren't gentle, either."
The "scalp hunters" in le Carre's novel are agents responsible for targeted killings. And while le Carre wrote fiction, "scalp hunting" isn't imaginary: Mazzetti writes that such killings, whether in person or by drone attack, are a large part of the CIA's post-Sept. 11 operations.
Of course, CIA killings aren't entirely new; in the '50s and '60s, the agency plotted to kill foreign leaders like Fidel Castro. But Sen. Frank Church's 1975 investigation of the CIA put an end to such assassination attempts. That ban lasted until the attacks on the twin towers; then the rules of engagement took a sharp turn.
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Mazzetti joins NPR's Renee Montagne to talk about vice presidential authorizations, tensions over drone attacks and why the CIA didn't predict the Arab Spring. (Shortride)… (more)
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Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Mark Mazzetti is a correspondent for The New York Times, where he has covered national security from the newspaper’s Washington bureau since April 2006.
In 2009, he shared a Pulitzer Prize for reporting on the intensifying violence in Pakistan and Afghanistan and Washington’s response. The previous year, he was a Pulitzer finalist for revelations about the C.I.A.’s detention and interrogation program.
Before joining The Times, Mazzetti was a staff writer for the Los Angeles Times, where he covered the Pentagon and military affairs from June 2004 until April 2006. Since the Sept. 11 attacks, he has made several reporting trips to Afghanistan, Iraq and the Horn of Africa.
From 2001 through 2004 he was the Pentagon correspondent for U.S. News & World Report, covering defense and national security. During the war in Iraq in 2003, he spent two months embedded with the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force and as a reporter in Baghdad. Before joining U.S. News, he worked as a correspondent for The Economist, based in Washington, D.C. and Austin, Tex. from 1998 until 2001. While with The Economist, he covered national politics, including the candidacy of George W Bush, as well as business, general news and culture stories in the Southwest.
Born in Washington, D.C. on May 13, 1974, Mazzetti received his Bachelor of Arts degree in public policy and history from Duke University in 1996, graduating Summa Cum Laude. He went on to earn a Masters degree in modern history from Oxford University in 1997.
Mazzetti received a 2011 Polk Award (with colleague Dexter Filkins) for coverage of Afghanistan and Pakistan, and was the recipient of the 2006 Gerald R Ford Prize for Distinguished Reporting on National Defense. In 2008, Mazzetti won the Livingston Award in the category of national reporting for breaking the story of the C.I.A.’s destruction of videotapes showing harsh interrogation of Qaeda detainees.
He lives in Washington, D.C. with his family.http://markmazzetti.net/biography/
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