THE AIR FORCE MAFIA by Peter N. James

THE AIR FORCE MAFIA

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KIRKUS REVIEW

In Building 828 of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio, James says, there exists ""a hush-hush operation of spies who answer to no one but the U.S. Air Force, who spy on their fellow citizens and whose operations are so illegal and unethical that they are known privately as the Air Force Mafia."" He worked for this undercover agency for three years -- it is known as the USAF Foreign Technology Division and supposedly gathers scientific and technical data on foreign aerospace developments. Its ""intelligence"" often consists of falsifications -- misconstrued or fictive information strung together to fulfill the FTD's need for official-sounding reports to justify its existence. They are then referred to aircraft companies making USAF hardware. FTD, unlike the CIA, is not directly connected with Congress, and carries on sub rosa espionage work that is untouchable even by the Air Force. Its translations from Russian technical journals are not only expensive but, James says, 99 percent useless, based mostly on information released by the KGB. He charges the FTD with recruiting civilian spies, harassing Americans abroad, influencing the award of billion dollar contracts, squandering money, infiltrating and intimidating American companies, manipulating American embassies, and with general moral idiocy. Predictably his life was threatened while writing this book. If James' extravagant charges are to be believed, the FTD is another arm of the nascent police state -- the Air Force's very own ""plumbers.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1975
Publisher: Arlington House