Andrew Hecht's Reviews > The Company

The Company by Robert Littell
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's review
Oct 02, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: my-library, fiction
Read in July, 2004 , read count: 1

After many stops and starts, mostly for picking up non-fiction, I finally finished Robert Littell's tour de force novel about the CIA, The Company. I really enjoyed it, as I have all of Littell's books. He's the undisputed master of Cold War fiction.

I came across this passage to the right on the day that the report of the 9/11 Commission was released. And was interesting to me that my reading of this blurb about the inadequacies of intelligence coincided with a report on perhaps the greatest intelligence failure this country has ever known.

Interestingly here Littell is writing about the problems implicit with the Soviet intelligence services. The speaker, a Soviet agent placed deep in the highest echelon of the CIA, is explaining the relative ease that western societies, because of their openness and freedom, can be penetrated by agents against the fact that their leaders don't get the real intelligence because the information that "gets passed up tends to reinforce misconceptions instead of correcting them."

Doesn't that sounds eerily familiar to what happened that lead us to invade Iraq?

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