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Original Essays | September 15, 2014

Lois Leveen: IMG Forsooth Me Not: Shakespeare, Juliet, Her Nurse, and a Novel



There's this writer, William Shakespeare. Perhaps you've heard of him. He wrote this play, Romeo and Juliet. Maybe you've heard of it as well. It's... Continue »
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1 Beaverton Military- Elite

This title in other editions

Killer Elite: The Inside Story of America's Most Secret Special Operations Team

by

Killer Elite: The Inside Story of America's Most Secret Special Operations Team Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A top-secret U.S. Army Special Operations unit has been running covert missions all over the world, from leading death squads to the hideout of drug baron Pablo Escobar to assassinating key al Qaeda members, including Iraqi leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, and, in one of their greatest missions, capturing Saddam Hussein. "The Activity," as it became known to insiders, has achieved near-mythical status, even among the world's Special Operations elite. Now journalist Michael Smith gets inside this clandestine military team to expose their explosive history and secrets.

The Activity's story begins with the abortive attempt to rescue the American hostages from Iran in 1980. One of the main reasons Operation Eagle Claw failed was a chronic lack of intel on the ground, so in January 1981, U.S. military chiefs set up the "Intelligence Support Activity," a cover name for a secret army surveillance team that could operate undercover anywhere in the world. Hidden from the politicians and the government bean counters, it would carry out deniable operations preparing the way for Delta and SEAL Team Six.

Michael Smith has spoken to many former members of the Activity, and we follow them on operations from the war on the drug barons that led Colombian "death squads" to the hideouts of Pablo Escobar and his men. We learn of more recent missions, including snatching war criminals from their safe houses in the Balkans (at one time disguising themselves as French soldiers to lull a Serb warlord into a false sense of security), and operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Horn of Africa. Killer Elite reveals the incredible truth behind the world's most secret Special Operations organization, a unit that is at the forefront of the War on Terror.

Review:

"Former British intelligence officer Smith (The Emperor's Codes) shines a light on one of the U.S. Army's blackest agencies and best-kept secrets, the Intelligence Support Activity — aka the Activity — in this extensively researched and crisply written expos. The Activity was established, after the failed attempt to rescue the American hostages in Iran in 1980, as 'a dedicated special operations intelligence unit' to provide signals, imagery and human intelligence to other black units: e.g., the army's Delta Force. Although opposed by army traditionalists, the Activity proved itself in operations from El Salvador to Iraq, playing important roles in tracking down Colombian drug czar Pablo Escobar, Somali warlord Mohamed Farah Aideed and several prominent Bosnian war criminals. Since 9/11 and Operation Iraqi Freedom have exposed the shortcomings of U.S. intelligence, the size and scope of the Activity has, according to the author, 'dramatically increased.' Drawing on recently declassified documents and confidential interviews with key participants, Smith has produced an important primer for anyone hoping to understand the (usually quiet) successes and the (well-documented) failures of U.S. intelligence in the last 25 years. 16 pages color photo insert." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Well written and authoritatively sourced, Killer Elite is the first detailed account of a special operations unit that Smith regards as America's most effective." Sunday Telegraph (UK)

Review:

"Intelligence authority Michael Smith has produced a controversial new book which reveals details of an extraordinary covert operation currently in place to track down and eliminate major terrorist figures." Eye Spy Magazine

Review:

"Absorbing material, superbly presented." Scottish Legion News

Review:

"A prideful, patriotic and impassioned account." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"This book is finally a portrait of the unit's founder, Jerry Ryan, who had the usual spec-ops specialist's trouble with the brass. But his unit, now expanded to regimental strength, seems likely to remain on U.S. Army rolls, and military buffs and authorities may some day rank Ryan with Charles Beckwith, the founder of Delta Force." Booklist

Synopsis:

A top-secret U.S. Army Special Operations unit has been running covert missions all over the world, from leading death squads to the hideout of drug baron Pablo Escobar to assassinating key al Qaeda members, including Iraqi leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, and, in one of their greatest missions, capturing Saddam Hussein. 'The Activity," as it became known to insiders, has achieved near-mythical status, even among the world's Special Operations elite. Now journalist Michael Smith gets inside this clandestine military team to expose their explosive history and secrets.

 

The Activity's story begins with the abortive attempt to rescue the American hostages from Iran in 1980. One of the main reasons Operation Eagle Claw failed was a chronic lack of intel on the ground, so in January 1981, U.S. military chiefs set up the "Intelligence Support Activity," a cover name for a secret army surveillance team that could operate undercover anywhere in the world. Hidden from the politicians and the government bean counters, it would carry out deniable operations preparing the way for Delta and SEAL Team Six.

 

Michael Smith has spoken to many former members of the Activity, and we follow them on operations from the war on the drug barons that led Colombian "death squads" to the hideouts of Pablo Escobar and his men. We learn of more recent missions, including snatching war criminals from their safe houses in the Balkans (at one time disguising themselves as French soldiers to lull a Serb warlord into a false sense of security), and operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Horn of Africa. Killer Elite reveals the incredible truth behind the world's most secret Special Operations organization, a unit that is at the forefront of the War on Terror.

About the Author

Michael Smith writes on defense for the Sunday Times of London and was named the 2006 UK Press Awards Specialist Writer of the Year. He has worked for a number of newspapers, including the Daily Telegraph, where he was defense correspondent. A former member of the British Army's Intelligence Corps, Smith covered the wars in the Balkans, Afghanistan, and Iraq and has broken a number of important stories, most notably the infamous Downing Street Memos. He is the award-winning author of numerous bestselling books, including The Emperor's Codes, a true story of code-breaking during World War II.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780312362720
Subtitle:
The Inside Story of America's Most Secret Special Operations Team
Author:
Smith, Michael
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Subject:
Military - General
Subject:
Military - United States
Subject:
Military policy
Subject:
Special operations (Military science)
Subject:
United states
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20070306
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Plus one 16-page color photo insert
Pages:
352
Dimensions:
9.27 x 6.1 x 1.08 in

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Military » Elite
History and Social Science » Military » General

Killer Elite: The Inside Story of America's Most Secret Special Operations Team Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$11.50 In Stock
Product details 352 pages St. Martin's Press - English 9780312362720 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Former British intelligence officer Smith (The Emperor's Codes) shines a light on one of the U.S. Army's blackest agencies and best-kept secrets, the Intelligence Support Activity — aka the Activity — in this extensively researched and crisply written expos. The Activity was established, after the failed attempt to rescue the American hostages in Iran in 1980, as 'a dedicated special operations intelligence unit' to provide signals, imagery and human intelligence to other black units: e.g., the army's Delta Force. Although opposed by army traditionalists, the Activity proved itself in operations from El Salvador to Iraq, playing important roles in tracking down Colombian drug czar Pablo Escobar, Somali warlord Mohamed Farah Aideed and several prominent Bosnian war criminals. Since 9/11 and Operation Iraqi Freedom have exposed the shortcomings of U.S. intelligence, the size and scope of the Activity has, according to the author, 'dramatically increased.' Drawing on recently declassified documents and confidential interviews with key participants, Smith has produced an important primer for anyone hoping to understand the (usually quiet) successes and the (well-documented) failures of U.S. intelligence in the last 25 years. 16 pages color photo insert." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "Well written and authoritatively sourced, Killer Elite is the first detailed account of a special operations unit that Smith regards as America's most effective." (UK)
"Review" by , "Intelligence authority Michael Smith has produced a controversial new book which reveals details of an extraordinary covert operation currently in place to track down and eliminate major terrorist figures."
"Review" by , "Absorbing material, superbly presented."
"Review" by , "A prideful, patriotic and impassioned account."
"Review" by , "This book is finally a portrait of the unit's founder, Jerry Ryan, who had the usual spec-ops specialist's trouble with the brass. But his unit, now expanded to regimental strength, seems likely to remain on U.S. Army rolls, and military buffs and authorities may some day rank Ryan with Charles Beckwith, the founder of Delta Force."
"Synopsis" by ,
A top-secret U.S. Army Special Operations unit has been running covert missions all over the world, from leading death squads to the hideout of drug baron Pablo Escobar to assassinating key al Qaeda members, including Iraqi leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, and, in one of their greatest missions, capturing Saddam Hussein. 'The Activity," as it became known to insiders, has achieved near-mythical status, even among the world's Special Operations elite. Now journalist Michael Smith gets inside this clandestine military team to expose their explosive history and secrets.

 

The Activity's story begins with the abortive attempt to rescue the American hostages from Iran in 1980. One of the main reasons Operation Eagle Claw failed was a chronic lack of intel on the ground, so in January 1981, U.S. military chiefs set up the "Intelligence Support Activity," a cover name for a secret army surveillance team that could operate undercover anywhere in the world. Hidden from the politicians and the government bean counters, it would carry out deniable operations preparing the way for Delta and SEAL Team Six.

 

Michael Smith has spoken to many former members of the Activity, and we follow them on operations from the war on the drug barons that led Colombian "death squads" to the hideouts of Pablo Escobar and his men. We learn of more recent missions, including snatching war criminals from their safe houses in the Balkans (at one time disguising themselves as French soldiers to lull a Serb warlord into a false sense of security), and operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Horn of Africa. Killer Elite reveals the incredible truth behind the world's most secret Special Operations organization, a unit that is at the forefront of the War on Terror.

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