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Deadly Deceits: My 25 Years in the CIA Paperback – July 1, 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 231 pages
  • Publisher: Ocean Press; 2nd edition (July 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1876175192
  • ISBN-13: 978-1876175191
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.7 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,304,780 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Acute Observer on April 14, 2003
Ralph W. McGehee spent 25 years in the CIA; he joined as an idealist, and left as a cynic. The crisis happened in Dec 1968. RWM wondered why we had to bomb the people we were trying to save? Why did the CIA report lies instead of the truth? He thought of his earlier work in Thailand, where his reports were first accepted, then denied in spite of his accuracy. The Agency preferred the old methods that resulted in more killings. RWM decided then to tell what he found out and warn the American people. The CIA is the covert action arm of the Presidency. It is not an intelligence agency because it only seeks the information that supports existing policies. Its propaganda uses disinformation to fool the US public, and justify policies by distorting reality.

RWM was class president and in the honor society, and All State as a football tackler. An ardent Baptist, he went to Notre Dame and played on an undefeated football team that won national championships; he graduated cum laude. A telegram recruited him to fight communism and save our way of life. RWM went to Washington and passed the tests. The chapters in the book tell about his career in the agency. Chapter 5 tells of his "Life at Langley" when he returned to Headquarters. His knowledge of the Bay of Pigs came from television news. It seemed they relied too much on an assumed uprising of the Cuban people. Could such a mistake ever happen again? Pages 57-8 tells how the CIA promoted a bloody extermination campaign in Indonesia. (Read L Fletcher Prouty's book on this.) Page 59 tells of agency coups in South America. American training of the military and police created traitors who overthrew their governments; was this the definition of subversion?
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Luc REYNAERT on September 3, 2003
This is another book by an ex-CIA agent which is full of disgust with the incompetence, bureaucracy, infighting for career reasons and opportunism of the Agency.
It was partly censured by the CIA, but it is nevertheless very revealing.
It shows how CIA agents concealed the truth by dispatching false reports and how they created their own reality, for the sole reason of saving their jobs. The end (jobs) justified all means.
The author didn't have the same high level duties as e.g. Joseph B. Smith (Portrait of a Cold Warrior). He was more an executive field worker and that mostly in Vietnam and Thailand.
His report contains however very interesting information about, among other things, the hiring procedures of the Agency, the terrible fate of the Hmong tribe in Laos or the training of Tibetan guerrillas for an invasion of Mao's China.
His conclusion is deadly: If the Agency reported the truth about the Third World, it would say that the US installs foreign leaders, arms their armies and empowers their police, all to help those leaders repress, kill, torture and impoverish an angry, defiant people in order to maintain their position of privilege.'
McGehee gives us an incisive view of the dark and murky ploys of a governmental institution.
Not to be missed.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By cher* on August 25, 2000
Ralph McGehee's book serves as an eye-opening glimpse into our nation's CIA history. From his beginning as a "gung-ho" patriot until his growing disillusionment with the Agency, leading to retirement, McGehee reveals the truth behind the many of the CIA's operations, not only domestically and in well-known regions of the world, but also within areas quite unaddressed by the common American. His revelations about the Agency were somewhat shocking to a naturally pessimistic person as myself. However, I found this book very helpful especially in my position as a student who's life began after much of the book's coverage occured, because it reawakened me to the dishonesty and means the CIA employs in order to acheive its goals not only in important past events, but even up to the present.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By H. B. Franklin on January 15, 2000
The first edition of this book was removed from libraries and bookstores by the C.I.A. They knew what they were doing! McGehee, once a superpatriotic star football player from Notre Dame, takes us step by step through his own terrifying education about the Company from inside. This book is essential reading about the Vietnam War and the future of America in the 21st century.
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20 of 25 people found the following review helpful By baylor on December 26, 2000
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Interesting book. i was half expecting something like in the more subdued spy movies, but McGehee is a very average, unremarkable person who was a paper pusher in the CIA
This book is a pretty detailed biography of McGehee's work at the CIA. i'm guessing that he was like the majority of CIA operatives, which is to say, he was a guy in the trenches with no special knowledge of the big picture and not a guy with any authority to change anything. He worked both in the field (primarily Asia during that whole Vietnam thing) collecting information and in the home office sorting paper. He devotes a lot of time to one of his biggest accomplishments, which was sorting index cards in a file cabinet
After reading the book, what i walked away with was that a)the CIA is really just a big, uninteresting, political, short-sighted, every-day bueracracy and b)that the managers at the top of this bueracracy just make up stuff and don't care about what their experts in the field say. Basically, the CIA is run like any large, terrible company
i thought this book would have a list of major crimes - assasinations, drug running, torture, political intrigue, coups and all that sort of stuff. In the non-crime category, i thought there'd be a lot of spying and covert activities. But there was practically none of that. Instead, he and his CIA buddies toured the country side, conducted surveys, established relations with remote hill tribes, paid informants for information, read reports and wrote reports. It's just so, what's the word, realistic
OK, so this book would make a lousy action movie. There's nothing exciting here. Even so, the book makes several very good criticisms of the CIA. Nothing criminal and whistle blowing.
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