Part II of Roger Morris’ fantastic Robert Gates history is up at Tomdispatch.
I particularly like this quote from Archie Roosevelt in the 1960s about the Baathists on the CIA payroll:
“They’re our boys bought and paid for, but you always gotta remember that these people can’t be trusted.”
Man, it’s so hard to get trustworthy quislings these days!
BONUS: Archie was the cousin of Kermit Roosevelt, who ran the CIA coup in Iran in 1953. Via All the Shah’s Men, here’s what the British discovered at the time in a psychological study of Iranians:
The ordinary Persian is vain, unprincipled, eager to promise what he knows he is incapable of or has no intention of performing, wedded to procrastination, lacking in perserverance and energy, but amenable to discipline. Above all he enjoys intrigue and readily turns to prevarication and dishonesty whenever there is a possibility of personal gain. Although an accomplished liar, he does not expect to be believed. They easily acquire a superficial knowledge of technical subjects, deluding themselves into the belief that it is profound.
It’s quite strange the way the countries with all the oil are filled with such awful people. I guess we’ve just been very unlucky.