WITH FRIENDS LIKE THESE

AN ASSET WHO MAY ALSO BE A KILLER CAUSES CRITICS TO QUESTION THE PRICE OF HUMAN INTELLIGENCE

With a little prodding, Milt Bearden will talk about the exploding camel. It was back in the late 1980s, when Bearden was the CIA field commander in Islamabad, Pakistan, training Afghan guerrillas in their anti-Soviet insurgency. Bearden, now retired, says he was a conscientious teacher, imparting military instruction but simultaneously making sure that his students knew the difference between acts of war and acts of terrorism or human-rights violations. He expressly prohibited indiscriminate "wide area" attacks. "I said, 'Never, never, never do car bombs,'" he recalls. Rueful pause. "I never said, 'Don't do a camel bomb.'" That was a mistake. It...

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