The Wizards of Langley
Inside the CIA's Directorate of Science and TechnologyBook - 2001
In 1956, the CIA dramatically breached the Iron Curtain when its U-2 began overflying Soviet territory to photograph that nation's military installations. Four years later, the Soviets would shoot down pilot Francis Gary Powers and his U-2, thereby ceasing these missions. Within months, however, the CIA had another, and better, technical program in operation - the CORONA satellite. Throughout the Cold War and beyond, the CIA's scientific wizards would continue to devise high-tech ways to collect and analyze information about potential adversaries. Their mission was of such importance that a new branch of the CIA was created - the Directorate of Science and Technology. In this first full-length study of the CIA's Directorate of Science and Technology, author Jeffrey Richelson introduces us to key personalities who helped shape the directorate: Edwin Land of Polaroid, Albert Wheelon, Carl Duckett, and others who operated secretly within the directorate such as Antonio Mendez, whose "technical service" skills helped six Americans escape Iran after the seizure of the U.S. Embassy in 1979.Richelson presents intriguing details - many never before published - of the directorate's programs and activities. For example, the CIA's wizards: Designed, developed, and operated a series of high-tech imagery and eavesdropping satellites and aircraft, including the KH-11 and RHYOLITE, which revolutionized U.S. intelligence capabilities Established ground stations in Iran, Norway, and China to monitor missile testing as well as manning embassy listening posts around the world Employed technical intelligence analysts and photographic interpreters to unravel the secrets of foreign missile and space programs and monitor developments, including Chernobyl and the Gulf War, across the globe Devised a vast assortment of equipment to support clandestine operations-from collecting intelligence to assisting the escape of Americans hiding in Iran to helping Delta Force apprehend an ally of Somali warlord Mohammed Farah Aideed Developed a key component of heart pacemaker technology and other scientific advances, which have medical or other purposes Attempted to employ psychics to uncover foreign military secrets Employed birds (and unmanned aerial vehicles that appeared to be birds) and cats as intelligence collection platforms The Wizards of Langley walks us down the corridors of Langley through the four decades of science and bureaucratic warfare, in which lives and careers were risked, that produced the CIA we have today. Based on original interviews and extensive archive research, Jeffrey Richelson sheds a piercing lamp on many of the Agency's least understood activities.
Publisher: Boulder, Colo. : Westview Press, 2001
Branch Call Number: 327/.1273/009/Ric 698901 1
Characteristics: xiii, 386 p. : ill