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A veteran case officer in the CIA's Directorate of Operations in the Middle East, Baer witnessed the rise of terrorism first hand and the CIA's inadequate response to it, leading to the attacks of September 11, 2001. This riveting book is both an indictment of an agency that lost its way and an unprecedented look at the roots of modern terrorism, and includes a new afterword in which Baer speaks out about the American war on terrorism and its profound implications throughout the Middle East.
"Robert Baer was considered perhaps the best on-the-ground field
officer in the Middle East."
–Seymour M. Hersh, The New Yorker
From The Preface
This book is a memoir of one foot soldier's career in the other cold war, the one against terrorist networks. It's a story about places most Americans will never travel to, about people many Americans would prefer to think we don't need to do business with.
This memoir, I hope, will show the reader how spying is supposed to work, where the CIA lost its way, and how we can bring it back again. But I hope this book will accomplish one more purpose as well: I hope it will show why I am angry about what happened to the CIA. And I want to show why every American and everyone who cares about the preservation of this country should be angry and alarmed, too.
The CIA was systematically destroyed by political correctness, by petty Beltway wars, by careerism, and much more. At a time when terrorist threats were compounding globally, the agency that should have been monitoring them was being scrubbed clean instead. Americans were making too much money to bother. Life was good. The White House and the National Security Council became cathedrals of commerce where the interests of big business outweighed the interests of protecting American citizens at home and abroad. Defanged and dispirited, the CIA went along for the ride. And then on September 11, 2001, the reckoning for such vast carelessness was presented for all the world to see.
Amazing story about how "political correctness and self serving govt. personnel eviscerated one of our most potent weapons in the war on terror and put America in harms way. Read morePublished 20 days ago by john schnauz
This is a good book to read to understand what is happening to not only the CIA, but the United States as a whole. Read morePublished 22 days ago by Johnny
Kept me on the edge of my seat. After working 33 years for the federal government, I was aware of most of what he writes about. I wanted to get the "back story. Read morePublished 22 days ago by Jill Bikowski
It's maddening to think how we have squandered intelligence gathered by our assets in the CIA. We are still debating after 70 years whether we should have known the Japanese are... Read morePublished 1 month ago by preacherman
An interesting point of view on one of our Intel agencies. Not to be taken as pure fact but a very interesting take the May or may not change your views of the CIA. Read morePublished 1 month ago by William Bates
This book often reads like a spy thriller novel until you realize it is non-fiction. I enjoyed the direct writing style and no-nonsence approach to a complex environment. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Bob
I gave this book a high four. Once again Mr. Baer takes us on a trip through the murky odious bog that is the C.I.A.
I emphatically recommend this book!