I'm about 2/3 of the way through Legacy of Ashes, a book by Tim Weiner about the CIA. Truly, the book should be renamed Legacy of Shame.
Well written and informative, if a bit biased, the one question that isn't directly addressed is: Should the U.S. even have an intelligence branch? The answer has to be yes. No nation can exist without knowledge of the world around it, and even during the American Revolution intelligence operations were necessary.
But another more pressing question is whether the U.S. should throw out its moral foundation to interfere in other governments under the guise of national security. My vote is NO. There is NEVER a good reason for assassinations, fixing elections, and meddling in the internal affairs of other nations. The whole mindset has led us to where we are today: hated and despised by the rest of the world, feared even by U.S. citizens. We are bankrupt in more ways than one. The CIA needs to be eliminated, and a new intelligence agency that provides information only--even by placing people in sensitive positions--needs to be formed. Then all we need is operatives and politicians with moral fiber. Yeh, right, if that's even possible in today's America.