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The Failure Factory: How Unelected Bureaucrats, Liberal Democrats, and Big Government Republicans Are Undermining America's Security and Leading Us to War Hardcover – September 30, 2008


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Forum; 1 edition (September 30, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 030733807X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307338075
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,420,032 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for Bill Gertz

“Gertz is legendary among national security reporters. . . . He is the envy of his competitors.”
Washington Monthly

“Bill Gertz remains a national asset. And as he shines his light in unwelcome places, he remains as well an agenda setter.”
Weekly Standard

“The hottest reporter in town . . . [Gertz] breaks dozens of stories every year.”
Washington Post


Praise for Gertz’s latest New York Times Bestseller, Enemies

“This book is chilling. . . . I’m afraid of the impact it’s going to have, because it’s so shocking.”
—Rush Limbaugh

“A new blockbuster book.”
—The Drudge Report

“Bill Gertz is sui generis among Washington reporters. . . . Even someone who is reflexively friendly towards intelligence and law enforcement agencies must feel appalled at Mr. Gertz’s account of sweeping incompetence.”
Washington Times

About the Author

BILL GERTZ, the acclaimed defense and national security reporter for the Washington Times, is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Enemies, Treachery, Breakdown, and Betrayal. He is an analyst for Fox News and has appeared on many television and radio programs, including This Week, John McLaughlin’s One on One, Hannity & Colmes, The O’Reilly Factor, and The Rush Limbaugh Show. Gertz lives in Maryland.

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

64 of 73 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Utley on November 4, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This book makes me sick to my stomach and extremely fearful for our national security. Slimeballs from each party have infiltrated our security and military administration and are working to defeat our country from the inside. It's a hard subject to stomach but more people need to know about what's going on.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Jerry Saperstein HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 2, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Unfortunately, Bill Gertz is not the household name he deserves to be. In the media it seems, only the propensity to lie and hew to a left-wing line brings widespread fame and fortune. Think Dan Rather, for example.

Instead, a conservative interested in the truth like Bill Gertz has to be content with a much smaller measure of fame - but he is entitled to a full measure of our respect for telling the truths the left-wing media won't allow on their pages or on their airwaves.

Here Gertz tells the story - which any intelligent American concerned with destiny of their nation can sense and see - of unelected bureaucrats who have for all intents and purposes become the government themselves.

For those who didn't pick up the bits and pieces as the stories emerged, Gertz lays them out in detail here.

For example, the absolute travesty of the 2007 National Intelligence Estimate that irreparably damaged the United States in its efforts to force Iran to end its nuclear weaponry program. The NIE was under the control of Thomas Fingar, a left-wing intelligence analyst at the State Department. Gertz's examination of this tragedy - and that is not too strong a term for it - is very complete and should make your blood boil if you are a real American.

That we had a President and Secretary of State who would permit this to happen and go both uncorrected and unpunished is deplorable.

Worse, President Bush allowed his Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, to publicly contradict him on a policy issue. While the incident demonstrated the weakness of Bush, it also demonstrated the power of the careerists in our national government.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Diana Mayhew Rogers on November 25, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Outstanding Book Everyone needs to read
Give a great review of what is happening in our government,
that the everyday press is not looking into. It shows
how govenment employees can change what is not the
President wishes. Great Book
Great Author
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51 of 75 people found the following review helpful By Thomas M. Magee on October 27, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This book is probably the first of many to come. The book repeats the Hillary claim in reverse. That claim is that a secret conspiracy is the reason for inefficiencies or incompetence. However in the case of this book the finger points the other way. The book goes to great extent showing how Bush's failures weren't his fault, it was the great liberal conspiracy hiding in the civil service did him in. No attention is given to the bad decisions that have come out of the White House. However the author does mention names. He should get credit for backing up his accusations. However he goes overboard. His words are very laced with partisan rhetoric. I am sure there will be other books coming out from Administration folks saying much the same thing Gertz is saying, it is the other guy's fault we shot ourselves in the leg.

The book isn't a total failure. The book is like a collection of his famous columns in the Washington Times. He does draw attention to a few issues that need that attention. They seem to have slipped through the cracks in the media attention. Gertz broke the stories in the 90s about the Chinese influence in the country. He continues that chant in the book. He has a story all should read in the book. Gertz tells the story about Air Force General Butler of Strategic Command who went on a one man war to disarm the US military of nuclear weapons from the inside. More should be told of that disaster. Gertz also shows in very clear detail about how our political correctness is handcuffing the nation and sticking a bag over their head. It really does blind us to what the true harm is out there.

Overall it is a good easy read but lacks real meat about some of the underlying structural problems in our country.
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22 of 33 people found the following review helpful By D. W. MacKenzie on November 16, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I am not an expert on the minute details of foreign policy or national security, so I will take Gert'z word on the events and facts in is book. How we intepret these facts is a different matter. What is interesting here is his complaits about how unelected bureaucrats have subverted US foreign policy. It should not come as too much of a surprise that unelected bureaucrats shape policy to their own ends. High officials do face serious obstacles to achieving their aims through large public bureaucracies, given the size and complexity of these organizations (not to mention the absence of proper accounting). Bureaucrats can exercise considerable discretion, and in so doing undermine official policy. So the idea that state department bureaucrats turned on Bush because of the Iraq war is quite understandable. Gertz is probably right about that.

Gertz often comlains about liberal-minded bureaucrats, but there is a more general problem with bureaucrats of any mindset. The lesson we should learn from this book is that the Federal bureaucracies are too large to be very responsive to voters. The President and Congress cannot keep track of the daily functioning of government, so low level bureaucrats often exercise a surprising amount of discretion. Consequently, elected officials wield less influence that most people think: which means that voting matters less that many people imagine. Of course, voters are not powerless. But most of the voting public has accepted large and uncontrollable bureaucracies. Americans need to wake up to the fact that we cannot have both a free society and a bureaucratically regulated society.

That being said, I would say that the author's arguments need to be tempered with some economics. China is not the economic powerhouse that it is often made out to be.
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