Meyer, Cord. Facing Reality: From World Federalism to the CIA. New York: Harper & Row, 1980. 2d ed. Washington, DC: University Press of America, 1982.

Clark comment: Meyer's autobiography covers from the author's undergraduate years at Yale through 26 years with the CIA. Among other assignments, Meyer headed the CIA's International Organizations Division and (from 1962) the Covert Action Staff. It was in this position that Meyer's name became well known because of the Ramparts revelations in 1967 concerning CIA funding for the National Student Association. In 1973, Meyer became chief of station in London. He retired from the CIA at the end of 1977. Because of the positions he held and his close association with the use of covert political action as a weapon of the Cold War, Meyer's judicious presentation continues to be worth reading.

Cord Meyer, Jr., died on 13 March 2001 at the age of 80. Controversial to the end, the Washington Post found it necessary to correct the astonishingly misleading headline on Meyer's obituary. See Graeme Zielinski, "Key CIA Figure Cord Meyer Dies; Headed 'Dirty Tricks Department,'" Washington Post, 15 Mar. 2001, B6. The correction reads: "A headline on the obituary of Cord Meyer on March 15 incorrectly described his CIA role. As assistant deputy director for plans of the CIA, he was the number two figure in its Plans Directorate, sometimes referred to as the 'dirty tricks department.'" Washington Post, 16 Mar. 2001, B6.

Pforzheimer calls Facing Reality "an important and carefully written book." Similarly, Lowenthal finds it useful for giving a "sense of CIA views and outlook during the height of the Cold War."

Although only incidentally of intelligence interest, there is now a biography of Meyer's wife, killed in 1964 in the area of the C&O Canal towpath: Nina Burleigh, A Very Private Woman: The Life and Unsolved Murder of Presidential Mistress Mary Meyer (New York: Bantam, 1998). See Evan Thomas' review, Washington Post, 11 Oct. 1998, X5.

[CA/80s; CIA/Memoirs; CIA/60s/Gen & Subsidies]

Meyer, Eugene L. "Slain CIA Agent Receives Unusual Honor." Washington Post, 31 Dec. 1975, 1.

On the return of the body of Richard C. Welch, the slain CIA chief of station, Athens, to the United States.


Meyer, Herbert E. Real-World Intelligence: Organized Information for Executives. New York: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1988. Friday Harbor, WA: Storm King Press, 1991. [pb]

Miller, IJI&C 2.2: Meyer was "vice chairman of the National Intelligence Council and an associate editor of Fortune magazine." This book gives a "simple, clear, and correct statement of what business intelligence is." Intelligence professionals will not find much new to them here, but "CEOs and persons interested in business intelligence will certainly find the book extremely informative."


Meyer, Herbert E. "Reinventing theCIA." Global Affairs 7, no. 2 (Spring 1992): 1-13.


Meyer, John J., III. "Joint Task Force Communications for Command, Control, and Intelligence." American Intelligence Journal 14, nos. 2 & 3 (Spring-Summer 1993): 73-76.

[MI/Commo & JointCommands][c]

Meyer, John Stryker. Across the Fence: The Secret War in Vietnam. Expanded ed. Oceanside, CA: SOG Publishing, 2011.

[MI/SpecOps/Gen; Vietnam/Gen]

Meyer, Josh. "CIA Expands Use of Drones in Terror War." Los Angeles Times, 29 Jan. 2006. []

According to U.S. officials, "the United States is expanding a top-secret effort to kill suspected terrorists with drone-fired missiles as it pursues an increasingly decentralized Al Qaeda.... The CIA's failed Jan. 13 attempt to assassinate Al Qaeda second-in-command Ayman Zawahiri in Pakistan was the latest strike in the 'targeted killing' program.... Several U.S. officials confirmed at least 19 occasions since Sept. 11 on which Predators successfully fired Hellfire missiles on terrorist suspects overseas."

[CIA/00s/06; Terrorism/00s/06]

Meyer, Josh. "FBI Planning a Bigger Role in Terrorism Fight." Los Angeles Times, 28 May 2009. []

Under the still developing "global justice" initiative, the FBI and Justice Department will "significantly expand their role in global counter-terrorism operations, part of a U.S. policy shift that will replace a CIA-dominated system of clandestine detentions and interrogations with one built around transparent investigations and prosecutions.... The approach effectively reverses a mainstay of the Bush administration's war on terrorism, in which global counter-terrorism was treated primarily as an intelligence and military problem, not a law enforcement one."

[CIA/00s/09; FBI/00s/09; Terrorism/09]

Meyer, Karl E. "Inside the C.I.A.: A Bit of Sunlight on the Missile Crisis." New York Times, 24 Oct. 1992, A14 (N).


Meyer, Karl E., and Shareen Blair Brysac. Tournament of Shadows: The Great Game and the Race for Empire in Central Asia. Berkeley, CA: Counterpoint, 1999. Tournament of Shadows: The Great Game and the Race for Empire in Asia. London: Little, Brown, 2001.

To Gilmour, NYRB, 24 Jan. 2000, Meyer and Brysac have produced a "well-written and fair-minded book" that leaves readers "with a powerful sense of what it was like to be a participant" in the Great Game. "The sheer sweep of the contest, its imperial style and exhilaration, are admirably conveyed." Goodwin, NYTBR, 9 Jan 2000, calls Tournament of Shadows a "brilliant history" that "is much more than a magisterial work of scholarship: it is an absorbing inquiry into men and motives that is one part le Carre, one part Indiana Jones." The book is "a mine of information" and is "written with elegant assurance."

Mewshaw, Washington Post, 30 Jan. 2000, comments that the authors "do a commendable job of dramatizing incidents and recreating a vivid cast of characters. Moreover, they do this from multiple points of view.... Unfortunately, [they] stray too often from their theme and its setting, as Central Asia seems to drift like one of Tibet's legendary wandering lakes.... Even when Meyer and Brysac stick to the point and to the appropriate area, there are puzzling digressions and narrative choices.... Still, it's churlish to complain since many of the book's greatest pleasures constitute, strictly speaking, incidental information." The authors also "cursorily examine present-day conflicts that replicate and, in some cases, stem from earlier clashes."

For Rosenthal, NYTBR, 15 March 2000, Tournament of Shadows is "an illuminating and engaging history" of the Great Game. The authors draw "upon an immense range of secondary sources as well as original archival research" in presenting the exotic personages who played the game of "empire and adventure."


Meyer, Karl E., and Tad Szulc. The Cuban Invasion: The Chronicle of a Disaster. New York: Praeger, 1962.

Constantinides notes that while this account was written shortly after the event, it is "well done and stands up in its essentials.... The thesis presented [is] that it was the intelligence bureaucracy and the bureaucracy in general that were the institutional villains, rather than individuals."



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