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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 out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Risen gives a very detailed look into the Bush White House and the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq.
This is a must read book, one that will help the reader make sense of so much and make the reader quite angry at what has happened to our country.
As a professional researcher and author I can attest that the book is well documented and supported by factual data.
A terrifying and highly insightful look into the world of the CIA.Published 15 hours ago by Sylvie Thrush Marsh
Book arrived earlier than expected and the content was NO SURPRISE after hearing from Edward Snowden.Published 2 days ago by candace chambers
Great stuff this book like any book about Iraq and the war on terror can depress you but at least we can open our eyes and demand more truth from our leadersPublished 6 days ago by H. Justo
I'm not so much a political wonk or historian as an observer of language and the ways in which we use it not merely to express and communicate thought but, above all, to... Read morePublished 19 days ago by Caponsacchi
A great book by James Risen! A must read for those unfamiliar with the realities of President G. W. Bush administration and its complete failures in Foreign Policy during its... Read morePublished 22 days ago by Karim Mouline