Shades of Intelligence

Fair Play: The Moral Dilemmas of Spying
by James M. Olson
Potomac Books, 2006
(291 pages, $28.95, hardcover)

reviewed by Tristan Abbey

Before the attacks of September 11, the “ticking time-bomb” scenario—whether or not torture is morally permissible in averting an impending attack—was a purely academic question for most Americans. It is now something many religious Christians seriously debate.

A former operations officer in the Central Intelligence Agency, on the frontlines in the struggle against “expansionist, oppressive, and atheistic Communism,” James Olson admits that he “lied, cheated, manipulated, and deceived every day,” but explains, “I believed then and still do that all these actions were in the service of a noble cause—but no one could have . . .

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