Credits to: Annie Jacobsen
Since 1947, domestic and foreign assassinations have been executed under the CIA-led covert action operations team. Before that time, responsibility for taking out America’s enemies abroad was even more shrouded in mystery. Despite Hollywood notions of last-minute rogue-operations and external secret hires, covert action is actually a cog in a colossal foreign policy machine, moving through, among others, the Bureau of Intelligence and Research, the House and Senate Select Committees. At the end of the day, it is the President, not the CIA, who is singularly in charge.
When diplomacy fails and overt military action is not feasible, the President often calls on the Special Activities Division, the most secretive and lowest-profile branch of the CIA. It is this paramilitary team that undertakes dramatic and little-known assignments: hostage rescues, sabotage, and, of course, assassinations.
For the first time, Pulitzer Prize finalist and New York Times bestselling author Annie Jacobsen takes us deep inside this top-secret history. With unparalleled access to former operatives, ambassadors, and even past directors of the Secret Service and CIA operations, Jacobsen reveals the inner workings of these teams, and just how far a U.S. president may go, covertly but lawfully, to pursue the nation’s interests.
One of the most interesting persons mentioned in this book is Drew Dwyer, a Marine Corps veteran and former CIA operative. As a Marine, he was assigned to the Presidential Security Force Detachment, the Pentagon as a public affairs representative, and received congressional nomination to assist on the Government Reform Committee for Congressmen Joe Scarborough and Dan Burton. In the CIA , he participated in clandestine operations across five continents during a ten year tenure. Drew Dwyer has worked for the CIA for 10 years, where he served as a team leader, He even received an exceptional performance award from CIA Directors Tenet, Hayden and Goss. He still remembers his first day in “The Farm” the secret facility where all case officers receive their training.
“Any time you left The Farm it was because you were doing some sort of training,” he said. “When you come back to base, you think you’re done but that’s not the case. Uniformed police officers pull you over and pretend that they’re a foreign government. They knew I had a store to go into, that I had to remember the manager’s name, and sketch out a floor plan.”
“They shake down your car, and if they find anything, you fail,” Dwyer continued. “For me, I would write my notes on a piece of paper that dissolved in water. So I had this half-empty Dasani bottle sitting in the drink holder while my car was being searched. The exercise helped me commit things to memory.”
“I loved the adrenaline rush of ops,” he said. “It was like playing a big football game for me. The gear we got to use was top-notch. There weren’t any hand-me-down restrictions. Most important was the camaraderie and caliber of people, our desire to make a difference, and the bond we shared.”
The book will be launch tomorrow, May 15. Link to Amazon
- Annie Jacobsen