A well-organized, troubling exposé of the pervasiveness of this shadowy “technology transfer.”

OPERATION SHAKESPEARE

THE TRUE STORY OF AN ELITE INTERNATIONAL STING

Well-handled, tricky research regarding the highly secretive work of Pentagon agents to keep American-made weapons out of Iranian and Chinese hands.

Reuters investigative reporter Shiffman (co-author, with Robert K. Wittman: Priceless: How I Went Undercover to Rescue the World’s Stolen Treasures, 2010) ably conveys the complexity and suspense around the CIA’s Operation Shakespeare, one of a dozen overseas counterproliferation stings aimed at the black-market arms networks that have developed since 9/11. The author delves into stories behind the figures buying highly sensitive American technology and munitions and using it against American soldiers abroad—e.g., an IED in Iraq with a remote control trigger that can be traced back to a manufacturer in California. In 2003, under the sprawling Department of Homeland Security, the agencies of U.S. Customs merged with the Immigration and Naturalization Service to become Immigrations and Customs Enforcement and grew much more aggressive in targeting shadow networks in Iran, Pakistan, Russia and China, many of which purchase arms from U.S. defense contractors and high-tech manufacturers—despite rigorous export security laws and regular visits to these businesses by Homeland Security agents. Operation Shakespeare involved the opening of a storefront as a lure to foreigner customers, where agent Patrick J. Lechleitner began sniffing out the bad guys. One example was Cross International, “worldwide procurer of military and defense-related items and technology” in Yardley, Pennsylvania. In 2004, a certain “Alex Dave,” purportedly based in Dubai, began requesting jet parts and radioisotopes; Dave was actually Amir Ardebili, an Iranian broker working for the Iranian navy and other outfits who eagerly ordered parts from Cross, wiring payment through Swiss banks and arranging convoluted transports via Dubai. Shiffman dutifully follows agents to Dubai, Frankfurt, Wilmington, and Tbilisi, Georgia, among other places, as the operation took on increasing complexity until Ardebili was finally nabbed in 2007.

A well-organized, troubling exposé of the pervasiveness of this shadowy “technology transfer.”

Pub Date: July 8, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4516-5513-1

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 17, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2014

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However charily one should apply the word, a beautiful book, an unconditionally involving memoir for our time or any time.

I KNOW WHY THE CAGED BIRD SINGS

Maya Angelou is a natural writer with an inordinate sense of life and she has written an exceptional autobiographical narrative which retrieves her first sixteen years from "the general darkness just beyond the great blinkers of childhood."

Her story is told in scenes, ineluctably moving scenes, from the time when she and her brother were sent by her fancy living parents to Stamps, Arkansas, and a grandmother who had the local Store. Displaced they were and "If growing up is painful for the Southern Black girl, being aware of her displacement is the rust on the razor that threatens the throat." But alternating with all the pain and terror (her rape at the age of eight when in St. Louis With her mother) and humiliation (a brief spell in the kitchen of a white woman who refused to remember her name) and fear (of a lynching—and the time they buried afflicted Uncle Willie under a blanket of vegetables) as well as all the unanswered and unanswerable questions, there are affirmative memories and moments: her charming brother Bailey; her own "unshakable God"; a revival meeting in a tent; her 8th grade graduation; and at the end, when she's sixteen, the birth of a baby. Times When as she says "It seemed that the peace of a day's ending was an assurance that the covenant God made with children, Negroes and the crippled was still in effect."

However charily one should apply the word, a beautiful book, an unconditionally involving memoir for our time or any time.

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 1969

ISBN: 0375507892

Page Count: 235

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1969

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A Churchill-ian view of native history—Ward, that is, not Winston—its facts filtered through a dense screen of ideology.

AN INDIGENOUS PEOPLES' HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES

Custer died for your sins. And so, this book would seem to suggest, did every other native victim of colonialism.

Inducing guilt in non-native readers would seem to be the guiding idea behind Dunbar-Ortiz’s (Emerita, Ethnic Studies/California State Univ., Hayward; Blood on the Border: A Memoir of the Contra War, 2005, etc.) survey, which is hardly a new strategy. Indeed, the author says little that hasn’t been said before, but she packs a trove of ideological assumptions into nearly every page. For one thing, while “Indian” isn’t bad, since “[i]ndigenous individuals and peoples in North America on the whole do not consider ‘Indian’ a slur,” “American” is due to the fact that it’s “blatantly imperialistic.” Just so, indigenous peoples were overwhelmed by a “colonialist settler-state” (the very language broadly applied to Israelis vis-à-vis the Palestinians today) and then “displaced to fragmented reservations and economically decimated”—after, that is, having been forced to live in “concentration camps.” Were he around today, Vine Deloria Jr., the always-indignant champion of bias-puncturing in defense of native history, would disavow such tidily packaged, ready-made, reflexive language. As it is, the readers who are likely to come to this book—undergraduates, mostly, in survey courses—probably won’t question Dunbar-Ortiz’s inaccurate assertion that the military phrase “in country” derives from the military phrase “Indian country” or her insistence that all Spanish people in the New World were “gold-obsessed.” Furthermore, most readers won’t likely know that some Ancestral Pueblo (for whom Dunbar-Ortiz uses the long-abandoned term “Anasazi”) sites show evidence of cannibalism and torture, which in turn points to the inconvenient fact that North America wasn’t entirely an Eden before the arrival of Europe.

A Churchill-ian view of native history—Ward, that is, not Winston—its facts filtered through a dense screen of ideology.

Pub Date: Sept. 16, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-8070-0040-3

Page Count: 296

Publisher: Beacon Press

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2014

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