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Risen's description of what he says was called "the Program"--the ongoing eavesdropping operation, done with almost no judicial or congressional oversight, on the phone calls and emails of hundreds of Americans (and potentially millions more)--is only a chapter in his larger tale of the recent missteps and oversteps of U.S. intelligence. His evidence ranges from insider White House accounts of Donald Rumsfeld, "the ultimate turf warrior," outmaneuvering his rivals to make the Defense Department the dominant voice in foreign policy, to on-the-ground reports of the administration's willful ignorance of crucial intelligence on the dormancy of Saddam's weapons programs, Saudi support for al Qaeda, and the startlingly rapid transformation of Afghanistan into a "narco-state" under American authority. Some of the episodes he recounts--Saudi security officials with Osama bin Laden screensavers, an Iraqi scientist who had told the CIA his country had no nuclear program watching Colin Powell testify to the UN that they did--would be comical were the stakes less high.
Risen's loyalties are not with the opposition party--he's sharply critical of Clinton's disinterest in the CIA--but with the career field agents who are his best sources. Those agents and their expertise, he argues, have been cast aside, along with the long centrist tradition of U.S. foreign policy and the basic checks and balances of the American system of government, by the Bush administration's radical politicization and militarization of intelligence. He covers a lot of ground in a book of just over 200 pages, some of it familiar from other accounts, and at times his tradecraft anecdotes can be hard to assess without context. But his specific revelations and his well-sourced, angry overview of the way the battles against terror have been fought make for startling, newsmaking reading. --Tom Nissley --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
Got the CD set...listened on a long trip....fascinating stuff and great background for the mess in the Middle East,Published 20 days ago by Martin F. Schacht
Well, this book will open a rabbit hole that you will tumble down blown away by the crimes done in your name with your taxes. Incredible...Published 1 month ago by che handala
Those of us who served in Iraq (2005, plus Afghanistan..plus 3 tours HOA) often ask the question of who in the Bush Administration disbanded the entire Iraq Army and the total... Read morePublished 1 month ago by 05/11A
This is a book worth reading. It was written in the best spirit of American freedom and democracy, against abuse of power and corruption of democratic values. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Heli
I bought this book because I found the one-star reviews so imformative. By now, much of the content seems like an amazing analysis of the obvious, but in 2014 the author is facing... Read morePublished 1 month ago by David Guinn
I found this book by reading "Company Man" which was written in 2013 by former C.I.A. attorney John Rizzo. This book details the pre and post 9/11 world unlike any other. Read morePublished 4 months ago by John P. Yarusinsky
The inside information revealed in this book is absolutely amazing.. A we knew it was all a lie but had no proof.Published 7 months ago by Joe
It doesn't seem to me that this book is well titled, as it presents stories on a variety of stories, not all of which are about the CIA. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Peeter Joot
This book provides an easy reading background for understanding how we've come to the NSA surveillance scandal and the Syrian crisis. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Amazon Customer