Richard Clarke

Our Man in Bananastan

by Jeff Huber

Truth is truly stranger than fiction. Graham Greene's 1958 spy novel Our Man in Havana told a tragicomic tale of false intelligence crafted to suit the needs of a political agenda. John le Carre's 1996 The Tailor of Panama repeated the theme.

Ahmed Chalabi was Dick Cheney's real life man of the hour when it came time to shake and bake the intelligence on Iraq, and the Dark Lord and his neocon chamberlains are still trying to fabricate a casus belli for Iran. The Persian Ploy may be running up against a term limit, but there's all the time in the world left to slip on the Bananastan peel. Heck, western superpowers have been flinging themselves down that slope for centuries.

At this point in the American experiment, U.S. intelligence is to intelligence what Kenny G is to jazz. After nearly a decade of getting gang-buggered over the kitchen table by the minions of the Office of the Vice President, our spy agencies have no more credibility than our sacked and pillaged mainstream press. In fact, the lines between intelligence and news and popular entertainment have virtually vanished. As evidence of this, witness Exhibit A: "Plans of Attack," by intelligence analyst, counterterrorism expert, news commentator and novelist Richard A. Clarke.