Mark Riebling

Mark Riebling was Editorial Director of the Manhattan Institute from 2001 to 2010, managing its Book Program and editing publications for the Center for Civic Innovation. He was also Editorial Director of the Institute’s Safe Cities initiative, which helps state and local police formulate counter-terrorism policy. Independently of his previous work for the Institute, Mark Riebling writes on national security, military, and cultural affairs.

He is the author of Wedge: How the Secret War between the CIA and FBI Has Endangered National Security, From Pearl Harbor to 9/11. First published in hardcover in 1994 by Alfred A. Knopf, Wedge has been translated into Polish, Czech, and Japanese, and was reissued in paperback by Simon and Schuster/Touchstone, with a new epilogue on the intelligence failures of September 11, 2001.

Wedge changed the way everyone thought about national security,” says Michael Ledeen, Senior Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. In a Washington Post feature on Wedge, Vernon Loeb reflected: “If [Riebling’s] thesis—that the FBI-CIA rivalry had ‘damaged the national security and, to that extent, imperiled the Republic’—was provocative at the time, it seems prescient now, with missed communications between the two agencies looming as the principal cause of intelligence failures related to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.”

Former chief assistant U.S. attorney Andrew C. McCarthy, who led prosecution of the first World Trade Center bombers, noted in April 2004 that “Riebling’s thesis… has now become conventional wisdom, accepted on all sides. … Such, indeed, is the reasoning behind virtually all of the proposals now under consideration by no fewer than seven assorted congressional committees, internal evaluators, and blue-ribbon panels charged with remedying the situation.” In his January 2003 State of the Union Address, President Bush announced an initiative to close the “seam” between foreign and domestic intelligence, as recommended in Wedge.


Mark Riebling’s writings are used as course curricula for National Security and Intelligence in the Modern State, at the Carleton University Department of Political Science; for U.S. Intelligence and National Security, at Brigham Young University; and as research and instructional texts at the Air University (Maxwell AFB), the Army War College, the Naval Postgraduate Institute, the CIA Center for the Study of Intelligence, the Centre for Counterintelligence and Security Studies (London), and the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

Mark Riebling studied philosophy and comparative literature at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Columbia University, passing with High Honors the doctoral examinations in Ethics, Political Theory, and Aesthetics. He attended Dartmouth College and the University of California at Berkeley, as a President’s Fellow, and graduated from the latter magna cum laude, majoring in philosophy.

Before joining the Manhattan Institute, Mark Riebling was a book editor at Random House, where he worked closely with authors including Jean-Francois Revel, John S.D. Eisenhower, William F. Buckley, James Michener, Neil Peart, Margaret Truman, Vassily Aksyonov, and Carl Sagan