Nora Slatkin's Mission Impossible: The Cia

The CIA executive director must help rebuild morale and reinvent a furtive, balkanized bureaucracy

It was a Capitol Hill ritual in the late 1980s and early 1990s. When House and Senate conferees gathered to haggle over billions of dollars of weapons in annual defense bills, one aide from each side would stride to center stage and take charge. A bear of a man--6-foot, 4-inch, 235-pound John J. Hamre--would rise from behind the senators seated at the conference table. From the House staff seats would come his counterpart, a foot shorter and half his weight: data-devouring, Diet Coke-swilling, workaholic Nora R. Slatkin.

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