In the New York Times, Mark Landler reports about a new biography a legendary CIA operative titled The Good Spy: The Life and Death of Robert Ames, by Kai Bird.
Mr. Bird explores Mr. Ames’s shadowy path in the Middle East, where he formed an unlikely friendship with the intelligence chief of the Palestine Liberation Organization and used it to try to draw the Israelis and Palestinians together in peace negotiations.
The book comes complete with what looks like a bona fide scoop about the 1983 bombing of the U.S. embassy in Beirut, which killed 63 people, 17 of them Americans. Among them were eight CIA officers, including Ames himself. Landler writes that
… in sifting through the long-dead embers from the embassy bombing, Mr. Bird makes a startling assertion: that an Iranian intelligence officer who defected to the United States in 2007 and is still living here under C.I.A. protection, oversaw the 1983 bombing, as well as other terrorist attacks against Americans in Lebanon.
… “This is a classic intelligence dilemma,” he continued. “When do you deal with bad guys? When do you agree to give them asylum? In my opinion, this goes over the line.”