Her Majesty's Spymaster: Elizabeth I, Sir Francis by Stephen Budiansky

By Stephen Budiansky

Queen Elizabeth I and England’s First Spymaster

Sir Francis Walsingham’s reputable identify used to be important secretary to Queen Elizabeth I, yet actually this pious, tight-lipped Puritan used to be England’s first spymaster. A ruthless, fiercely dependable civil servant, Walsingham labored brilliantly behind the curtain to foil Elizabeth’s rival Mary Queen of Scots and outwit Catholic Spain and France, which had arrayed their forces in the back of her. notwithstanding he lower an incongruous determine in Elizabeth’s worldly courtroom, Walsingham controlled to win the belief of key gamers like William Cecil and the Earl of Leicester earlier than launching his personal mystery crusade opposed to the queen’s enemies. Covert operations have been Walsingham’s genius; he pioneered innovations for exploiting double brokers, spreading disinformation, and decoding codes with the newest code-breaking technological know-how that stay staples of overseas espionage.

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Extra info for Her Majesty's Spymaster: Elizabeth I, Sir Francis Walsingham, and the Birth of Modern Espionage

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Nomenclature Covert action (CA) is sometimes referred to as the "quiet option" within the CIA, which is usually the agency expected to design and execute this policy option. The phrase comes from a supposition that covert action is apt to be less noisy and obtrusive than some other instruments of American foreign policy, such as the landing of a Marine brigade. 26 Sometimes professional practitioners also refer to covert action as the "third option," one between diplomacy and open warfare. "27 Still others prefer the additional euphemisms "special activities" or "special operations" (though, technically, "special operations" is a term more properly applied to Department of Defense unconventional warfare, using such units as the Army Green Berets or the Navy Seals, or narrowly to CIA paramilitary operations; see later discussion).

A further blurring of distinctions has occurred with attempts by the Reagan administration to "privatize" covert action, that is, to raise funds for this option outside the government's established appropriations process—from foreign nations, including Brunei and South Africa, among others, and from wealthy private citizens, like the owner of the Coors brewery in Colorado (see chap. 6). S. government channels but with the knowledge and encouragement of the president and the NSC staff. S. intelligence agencies; and, no doubt, the overwhelming majority of the covert actions implemented by the United States are of this sort—in excess of 95 percent of the total number, according to those interviewed for this book, with almost all of these operations conceived of and carried out by the CIA.

Whatever the variation in terminology, the goal of covert action remains constant: to influence events overseas, secretly and in support of American foreign policy. The theory behind the use of covert action has been straightforward, though "theory" is no doubt too strong a word; its practitioners have been less theorists than practical men with an interest in advancing American interests around the world. Their main concern has been, in the words of a former chief of the CIA Covert Action Staff, "the global challenge of communism .

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