Saturday, February 7, 2009

Executive Secrets or Laboring to Learn

Executive Secrets: Covert Action and the Presidency

Author: William J Daugherty

Since its inception in 1947, the Central Intelligence Agency has been vital to maintaining national security. Yet the covert action programs managed by the intelligence agency at the behest of American presidents have often been misunderstood and the agency itself deemed suspect in its operations and priorities. In Executive Secrets: Covert Action and the Presidency, William J. Daugherty, a seventeen-year veteran operations officer with the C.I.A., explains the nature of the intelligence discipline of covert action and presidential decision making processes since World War II. By examining the agency's history in this way, he establishes and clarifies the role of covert action as a necessary tool of presidential statecraft. Daugherty refutes the widespread notion that the C.I.A. often behaves, in the words of the late Idaho senator Frank Church, like a "rogue elephant" rampaging out of control, initiating risky covert action programs without the knowledge, much less the sanction, of either Congress or the White House. Daugherty illustrates how these and other misperceptions about covert action have seeped into the public consciousness. He argues that covert action is a legitimate foreign policy option and examines the congressional and legal oversight of these actions.

Citing congressional investigations, recently declassified documents, and his own experiences in covert action policy and oversight, Daugherty demonstrates that the C.I.A.'s covert programs were initiated by the president. In addition to explaining how covert programs transform presidential foreign policy into reality, he details how each president conducted the approval, oversight, and review processes for covert action and examines specific instances in which U.S. presidents have expressly directed C.I.A. covert action programs to suit their broader policy objectives. A former Marine Corps aviator with a combat tour in Vietnam, Daugherty's first tour with the C.I.A. was in Iran, where he was one of fifty-two Americans held hostage for 444 days during the Carter administration. Combining unique inside perspectives with sober objectivity in judging the true nature and scope of C.I.A. covert actions during the last half century, Daugherty reveals an agency whose essential functions are necessary in a complex and often dangerous modern world.

Table of Contents:
1The role of covert action in intelligence and foreign policy9
2The "romances" of covert action23
3Covert action policy and pitfalls47
4The military and peacetime covert action59
5The discipline of covert action71
6Approval and review of covert action programs in the modern era91
7Harry S. Truman113
8Dwight D. Eisenhower131
9John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson151
10Richard M. Nixon and Gerald R. Ford167
11Jimmy Carter183
12Ronald W. Reagan193
13George H. W. Bush and William J. Clinton213

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Laboring to Learn: Women's Literacy and Poverty in the Post-Welfare Era

Author: Lorna Rivera

The American adult education system has become an alternative for school dropouts, with some state welfare policies requiring teen mothers and women without high school diplomas to participate in adult education programs to receive aid. Very little has been published about women’s experiences in these mandatory programs and whether the programs reproduce the conditions that forced women to drop out in the first place. Lorna Rivera bridges the gap with this important study, the product of ten years’ active ethnographic research with formerly homeless women who participated in adult literacy education classes before and after welfare reform. Analyzing the web of ideological contradictions regarding “work first” welfare reform policies, Rivera argues that poverty is produced and reproduced when women with low literacy skills are pushed into welfare-to-work programs and denied education.

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