In This Review

A Look Over My Shoulder: A Life in the Central Intelligence Agency

A Look Over My Shoulder: A Life in the Central Intelligence Agency
By Richard Helms and William Hood
512 pp, Random House, 2003
Purchase

Lost Crusader: The Secret Wars of CIA Director William Colby

Lost Crusader: The Secret Wars of CIA Director William Colby
By John Prados
380 pp, Oxford University Press, 2003
Purchase

Day by day, the visceral memory of September 11 is fading, but the tectonic reorganization of the federal government continues. In April, the Bush administration asked Congress to expand the powers of the Central Intelligence Agency. Specifically, the administration wants the CIA to have the authority to issue "national security letters" demanding access to a wide range of personal records held in the United States, including those kept by banks and on-line service providers. These de facto subpoenas would not require court approval.

Perhaps the most striking thing about the administration's proposal was how little controversy it generated. True, Democrats in a closed-door session of the Senate Intelligence Committee succeeded in temporarily delaying a vote on the measure. But its very introduction shows how significantly the parameters of government have altered in the past year and a half. During the 1990s, the national security state appeared to be slowly eroding. Now,

This article is part of our premium archives.

To continue reading and get full access to our entire archive, you must subscribe.

Subscribe
  • Zachary Karabell is a Vice President at Fred Alger Management. He is the author of Architects of Intervention: The United States, the Third World, and the Cold War and, most recently, Parting the Desert: The Creation of the Suez Canal.
  • More By Zachary Karabell