In This Review

Betrayal: How the Clinton Administration Undermined American Security
Betrayal: How the Clinton Administration Undermined American Security
By Bill Gertz
Regnery, 1999, 291 pp.

A dirty little secret in Washington is that the respectable Washington Post often finds itself scooped in national security matters by the conservative and raffish Washington Times. That is largely because Gertz, the Times' defense and national security correspondent, gets his hands on amazing quantities of highly classified documents, leaked (presumably) by disgruntled defense and intelligence officials. Troubling as this might be, the results can make for interesting reading. This book is a collection of vignettes that delivers a crude and uncompromising message: the Clinton administration has been craven and opportunistic in dealing with a variety of nasty foreigners -- from Russians attempting to blind American military personnel with lasers to Chinese companies aiding the Pakistani nuclear program. True, disingenuous and discreditable behavior is not unknown in other administrations, but this admittedly partisan account is disturbing. The publicity surrounding the book involves some 60 pages of classified documents, most of which are, in fact, a bit less startling than one might expect. A book sure to reinforce the darkest views of confirmed Clinton-haters -- and make even stalwart defenders of the administration uneasy.