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Disinformation : 22 Media Myths That Undermine the War on Terror Hardcover – October 24, 2005


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Disinformation : 22 Media Myths That Undermine the War on Terror + Mastermind: The Many Faces of the 9/11 Architect, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 275 pages
  • Publisher: Regnery Publishing; First Edition edition (October 24, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0895260069
  • ISBN-13: 978-0895260062
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 6.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,569,494 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

You’ve been fooled. If you think...

— Al Qaeda terrorists are likely to cross the Mexican border

— Suitcase nuclear weapons are a real threat

— There was no link between al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein (and no WMD in Iraq)

— That Halliburton made a fortune off Iraq ..then you’ve accepted some of the most prevalent myths about the War on Terror—myths that are demonstrably untrue. If truth is the first casualty of war, urban legends are the first product of America’s War on Terror. In Disinformation, investigative reporter and terrorism expert Richard Miniter punctures twenty-two myths about terrorism, al Qaeda, and the war in Iraq. He has sifted the written record, met with countless high-level sources, and traveled the globe, from Sudan to the Philippines, Egypt to Iraq, to track down and refute some of the most widely believed—and often pernicious—legends of the War on Terror. Provocative but irrefutable, with startling new reporting, Miniter reveals:

— Why racial profiling of terrorists won’t work

— Why Iraq is not "another Vietnam"

— Why Osama bin Laden is not a massively wealthy criminal mastermind, was not funded or trained by the CIA, and is not on dialysis

— Why poverty doesn’t cause terrorism Miniter gives you all the evidence to shoot down disinformation and refute those who mindlessly repeat it. If you want the truth about the War on Terror, start here.

About the Author

Richard Miniter is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Losing bin Laden: How Bill Clinton’s Failures Unleashed Global Terror and Shadow War: The Untold Story of How America Is Winning the War on Terror. A veteran investigative journalist, he was a member of the award-winning Sunday Times (of London) investigative team. Formerly an editorial page writer at the Wall Street Journal Europe and a columnist for the Journal’s OpinionJournal.com, he appears regularly on television and radio to discuss al Qaeda and global terrorism. An award-winning journalist, whose articles have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Christian Science Monitor, the Atlantic Monthly, the New Republic, National Review, Reader’s Digest, and Human Events, Miniter divides his time between Brussels, Belgium, and Washington, D.C.

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Customer Reviews

I just read this book and I found it very stimulating and unnerving at the same time.
Amazon Customer
The author gets very repetitious at times making one wonder if saying something multiple times will make it true or believed.
Clifford Nelson
The book remains interesting throughout, with good footnotes, appendices, and an index.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

84 of 107 people found the following review helpful By Various Artists on November 3, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is a great but not not excellent that is definitely worth reading by everyone regardless of their position on the left-right ideological spectrum.

Among other things, he puts to rest persistant myths such as the widely touted belief (even by the BBC, of all people) that Osama bin Laden suffers from a kidney disorder that may or may not require dialysis, and also takes aim at the the post-cold war Soviet suitcase-nukes myth that I first learned about from my father while I was growing up, and is has since undergone a revival since the 9/11 terror strikes.

There is one particular problem with this book, however, that is sufficiently bad enough to force me to give it only three stars, so listen closely.

At several points in the book, Richard Miniter makes extremely blatant factual errors that seem to throw a light on his professionalism (even though this isn't Miniter's first book, this is the only one of his I've actually read), and also gives me the impression that this was either rushed out to meet a publishing deadline, or that he couldn't afford to have it edited properly.

Here are a few:

--Several times (most notably during the chapter on Bin Ladens perceived health issues), Miniter incorrectly refers to General Pervez Musharraf as the Prime Minister of Pakistan. This is way wrong. Musharraf's proper title as leader of Pakistan is President, not Prime Minister. From his seizure of power in 1999 until November of 2002, Pakistan had neither a Parliament nor a Prime Minister to lead it. The current Prime Minister is a man named Shaukat Aziz.
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50 of 64 people found the following review helpful By Monty Rainey VINE VOICE on April 6, 2006
Format: Hardcover
It is rare that a book these days is able to cover a political subject with absolute fairness to both sides of the political aisle, but Richard Miniter has managed to do just that in his book, Disinformation: 22 Media Myths That Undermine the War on Terror. Miniter attacks both liberal and conservative myths with equal research, exhaustive footnotes and fervor. The overall focus here being exposing and dispelling myths of all types regarding the War on Terror.

The book covers six main topics, all with a similar theme; myths pertaining to bin Laden, September 11, Iraq, and terrorism, as well as myths perpetrated by both liberals and conservatives. Most impressive in Miniter's work is his inclusion of enormous amounts of footnotes to qualify his conclusions.

Miniter has done the world a great service with this book. Everywhere we turn, be it network news, newspapers, magazines, radio or the internet, we are bombarded with so-called "experts" giving their version of the facts which rarely contain facts at all. Regardless of your personal political persuasion, you will be shocked by what you will learn from some of Miniter's findings, and I promise you, you will learn a lot!

Some will not be able to contain their own political agendas and will find fault with much of what is presented here, but those people are blinded by their own ignorance and nothing will ever change that. If you want an idea of whether or not what the media is telling, and what the propaganda promoting politicians from both sides are spinning is the truth, then this book is an outstanding place to start your search.

Certainly, Miniter, with this work, has squarely placed himself in the crosshairs of both political sides. For that alone, he is to be commended. This is a very informative work that reads quite well and the documentation is superb.

Monty Rainey

[...]
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23 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Hawke on December 30, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Buy and read this book whether you're liberal or conservative. Sure, there are some points that can be contested...that's true of anything you'll read. Largely, this presents the other side of arguments most of us hear every day...and it doesn't just debunk liberal claims about how to handle the war on terror, there's a few widely held conservative beliefs it tackles.
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64 of 83 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 27, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Disinformation, by Richard Miniter, is a well-researched and documented book highlighting several myths that have been perpetuated by the media covering the War on Terror. This book is timely, but not timeless; I feel that some of these myths already have been accepted as wrong by most and are now non-issues. Miniter does do an excellent job exposing many of the myths, but only a minimal effort on others. I felt the arguments under "Conservative Myths" (the ineffectiveness of racial profiling and the Mexican border not being a door to terrorist entering this country) are weak. For example, just because the Canadian border is worse does not make the Mexican border immune to criticism. The myths on Bin Laden and 9/11 are very well covered, and worth the price of the book. The book remains interesting throughout, with good footnotes, appendices, and an index. This might seem an odd observation, but I feel the cover artwork stands out in a crowd of boring, low budget covers so commonly seen today, I find it simple, yet hauntingly beautiful.
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33 of 42 people found the following review helpful By R. Blewitt on November 12, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Disinformation is an unusual book for these times. Rather than dwelling on a particular thesis, opinion, or worldview, Disinformation is a collection of stand-alone chapters, each an attempt to dispel, with facts, what the author considers to be a media myth regarding the war on terror. My assessment is that Richard Miniter has done a conscientious and generally excellent job of sorting through historical facts to arrive at a reasoned position on each of these myths. I'll be honest -- when I picked up Miniter's book, I expected to see just another emotional diatribe about how dumb and stupid the other side is. If you like that kind of stuff, Disinformation will surely disappoint. If you're looking for an rousing endorsement of the Iraq war, you won't find that there either -- interesting!

That said, I found Miniter's next-to-last chapter very unconvincing. Unlike the myths of other chapters, which fly or die depending on whether they agree with historical fact, the subject of this chapter is the conservative media's claim that airline passenger screening should be concentrating more on those passengers whose nationality, sex, and/or ethnicity closely match that of previous perpetrators, that the current practice of selecting passengers totally at random is a poor use of limited resources. Rather than relying on factual data to debunk the myth, as in other chapters, Miniter instead presents arguments -- four of them. I'll let you decide whether or not they're convincing.
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