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At the Center of the Storm: My Years at the CIA Hardcover – Bargain Price, April 30, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Top Customer Reviews
Anyone who claims this book is former CIA director George Tenet's self-exonerating backlash against his former agency or his one-time boss, President George W. Bush, has not yet read At the Center of the Storm, and is in for a surprise. If no other part of this book is read, I'd urge anyone to turn to the chapter entitled "They Want To Change The World" and then defy anyone to walk away without feeling slightly less secure. Yes, Tenet does give his side of the story for his now-infamous "slam dunk" remark, and has select critical words for the current administration, particularly Secretary of State Rice, and Vice President Cheney, but instead of using this work as a vituperous denunciation of Washington insiders, he makes what I found to be a responsible criticism of exactly what was mishandled in the time between September 11, 2001, and the period that followed the end of the (first stage of the) Iraq War, and what has come to be termed the occupation of that country.Read more ›
The book loses one star for a lack of prior context. George Tenet was Staff Director of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) for many years, and then Intelligence Director for Bill Clinton. He avoids any mention of his long-standing role in helping dismantle the very IC he ended up leading, and he is terribly deceptive when he says he asked for more funding for anti-terrorism, but fails to mention his inability to redirect funds within the $35-40 billon he had at the time. Today the IC has $60-70B and we are no safer--these clowns cannot even put together a consolidated accurate terrorist watchlist five years after 9/11.
The bottom line on the author is that he is a big-hearted staffer, not a leader and not a strategic thinker. He was a place-holder in a job that two presidents saw fit to relegate to losers--a mouse, a pit-bull, and a turtle.
He takes credit for months of redesign dialog but fails to point out that there was no substantive contact with iconoclasts, published author-practitioners. I am especially angry that he placed Buzzy Krongard in as Executive Director. In my view, Krongard was there to look out for Wall Street interests and ensure Brown and Root did not get caught smuggling drugs into the USA through New Orleans and heavy equipment being returned to the USA "for repairs.Read more ›
To be sure, this is not any easy book to read. It is certainly long, and at times tedious, but that is the nature of this type of book. The names of the al-Qa'dia (as spelled in the book) members alone are enough to twist the brain, however those names are important to understand how the organization moved people through and around the world.
Two chapters that were fascinating to me were "They Want to Change History" and "Casus Belli". They contained information that changed, in some ways, how I perceive just what has happened, and how what happened did happen. I won't reveal more, as I think it is important for people to read the actual book.
Unlike so many people that are condemning the book before reading it, I found it to be as well balanced as any autobiography is. Mr. Tenet spreads blame to himself, as well as to a number of other people for failures that occurred. And it is important to realize that, while he made mistakes, others made larger and more costly mistakes, including Saddam himself.
This book has good information that will be helpful to the historians that will eventually write the entire story of this administration and the history of the world after 9/11. I realize this review won't change the minds of most people, but to condemn the book without reading it would be a shame.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
All I all, this is an outstanding book. It flows well and is an easy read. It is, however, a long book in that it is over 500 pages. Read morePublished 12 days ago by Mike Dillemuth
Very good memoir of a memorable time in our country's history. Portions of the book reviewed the history of terrorist acts against the United States since the period of time before... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Mark A Ludvigson
Intelligent, insightful look into the workings of the CIA and people in power.Published 3 months ago by snedwan
Reads like a spy novel ~ only better... it's REAL. History-in-action.Published 10 months ago by EvangelistofWisdom
Storm of controversy, a flood of doubts and questions
I recently bought and read George Tenet’s autobiographical book, which basically covers his tenure at the helm of... Read more
Great book. I wish I would have read it years before I did.Published 12 months ago by Richard H. Place