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My FBI: Bringing Down the Mafia, Investigating Bill Clinton, and Fighting the War on Terror Hardcover – September 15, 2005

3.5 out of 5 stars 71 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Freeh defends his performance as FBI director (1993-2001) and retaliates against Richard A. Clarke's Against All Enemies and Bill Clinton's My Life in this smooth memoir, written with the help of Means. "I spent most of the almost eight years as director investigating the man who had appointed me," Freeh declares on the book's first page, but readers expecting juicy revelations about those investigations are going to be disappointed. Freeh goes into fascinating detail when describing the FBI's work on the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia-the most damning thing he has to say about Clinton is that Clinton didn't push for the prosecution of the bombers. Freeh's recounting of his work as an FBI agent in 1970s, when his team helped eviscerate the power of the Italian mafia in New York, is similarly generous with details. And his accounts of his childhood in New Jersey and his years working his way through Rutgers are also engaging. Freeh argues convincingly against the establishment of a separate Domestic Intelligence Service, for the FBI's use of international agents and for a major investment into the Bureau's technological capacity-it's horrifying to realize that the agency has less computer power than any of America's major enemies. In a few pages of near end of the book, Freeh lambastes Clarke, calling him a "self-appointed Paul Revere" and a "second-tier player." He also accuses Clarke of deception, alleging that Clarke lied or distorted information in five places, including Clarke's assertion that Freeh is a member of Opus Dei. If corroborated, these accusations may deal a serious blow Clarke's reputation. When it comes to the Clinton investigations, however, Freeh doesn't really deliver anything new. And his explanations for the rift between them come off as disingenuous. "Maybe I was, in Clinton's eyes, too much the altar boy," Freeh muses on page 17. More than two hundred pages later, he reveals that he snubbed the President's first two collegial gestures, and elsewhere Freeh drops references to his close friendship with H.W. Bush, who worked as director of the CIA before he was president and after whom Freeh names the FBI's new command center in 1999. "We had differences of temperament," Freeh acknowledges about Clinton. His book would have been stronger if he acknowledged more directly that he and Clinton had differences of politics, too. After all, it's to Clinton's credit that he appointed Freeh despite those differences, and to Freeh's credit that he didn't allow them to hamper his excellent performance on the Oklahoma bombing and Robert Hanssen cases, among others.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


“A scorching account of [Freeh's] relationship with Bill Clinton and of leading the bureau...MY FBI is no ordinary Washington memoir.” ―The Washington Post

“Freeh did his country a great service by staying on as FBI director to be a witness--a truth teller, if you will--to all the nefarious goings-on at the Clinton White House. As with most debates surrounding the Clinton presidency, it comes down to this: Do you believe Louis Freeh, or do you believe Bill Clinton? If there remains any doubt, this book forever answers that question.” ―The Philadelphia Inquirer

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; 1st edition (October 11, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312321899
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312321895
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,075,690 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Dr. Nazareth V. Asorian on October 11, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Louis J. Freeh, the former FBI director(1993-2001), has put together a string of life's accomplishments, struggles, obstacles, and frustrations presented in the clarity of the moment, as he sees it.

The chronicle is his own biography, and nearly half of the book encompasses educational background, and experiences with New York city crimes while working in the US Attorney's office. But, make no mistake! The theme of the book craftily pivots on issues that involve his difficult relationship with Bill Clinton, who had chosen him, as a "law enforcement legend", and later regretful as his "worst" appointment.

Freeh graduated from the New York University Law Scool in 1975, worked as an FBI agent from 1975-1981, and then in the US Attorney's office in New York city until 1991. He was appointed as the US District Court from 1991-1993.

The book is interesting, informative, captivating, and easy to read. There is a hint of venom that Mr. Freeh carefully guards, as he delves into his chapter critical of his boss, his President, our President -- intelligent and politically skillful, but a crack in his thought process, which let the truth slip by...just slip by!

The following are the highlights that troubled Mr. Freeh:

>The Kobar Towers investigation in Saudi Arabia, which he believes Mr. Clinton ignored, and the interference in the probing of the matter...allowing the terrorists to escape.

>He is surprised by the underestimation of casualties by Mr. Clinton in his book "My Life"...by as many as 70...and even the misrepresentation or the inference that these terrorists were caught.

>Modernization of FBI computer system, requesting $90 million but only receiving two million.
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Format: Hardcover
There was a time when the FBI could do no wrong. J. Edgar Hoover carefully crafted an image of excellence that, true or not, made the agency greatly respected. Later came Ruby Ridge and Waco. In the darkness that followed Bill Clinton appointed Louis Freeh to be the head of the organization.

During the years that followed, it almos tseemed that Bill Clinton himself was the target of most of the high profile investigations conducted by the Bureau. As we all remember, it was one scandal after another.

This was, however, also a time of other developments - the bombing of the Khobar Towers, the Unibomber, Robert Hanssen the Soviet spy working at the FBI, the build up of the al Queda attack at the World Trade Center, and more.

Mr. Freeh's relationahip with Bill Clinton was strained (to say the least) and in this book he lays out a lot of the reasons why. Obviously his view is his own, Clinton's view is a bit different. Clinton supporters will hate it, others will love it.

In summary, this is one of those books that come out after the person leaves office and begins to explain to us what really happened. This is one story, other writers will produce others, and in ten years or so the historians will put it all together. As for this book, it is well written and tells what was going on in a very important agency during a critical time in its history. It is well worth reading.
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Format: Hardcover
No matter what the year, which director of the FBI sits at the head of the organization or how many major catastrophes are in focus at any given time, the FBI will always take the heat for the so called negative occurrences perceived by the public, media or other security related departments.

If Louis Freeh, William Sessions or Pope Bendedict was the main man in the FBI office, it wouldn't make an ounce of difference.

The critics would always find fault with decision making inside the bureau.

From where Louis Freeh sat during his reign, he believed, and still does, that he did the best job he possibly could.

Anyone given such a position with the nation's security in his hands would not go out of his way to harm or hinder the Justice of the day.

MY FBI is written with thorough thought via the eyes and mind of Louis Freeh.

There is nothing new regarding his testimony of his predecessors or his relationship with President Clinton.

Freeh acknowledges making mistakes, he cared deeply for his country.

Louis Freeh has written an honest, outstanding account of his sojourn in one of the top positions in this wonderful United States of America.

For all the critics out there, have a good, hard, long look in your own backyard.

-Yvonne Bornstein, Author, Eleven Days of Hell - My True Story of Kidnapping, Terror, Torture and Historic FBI and KGB Rescue
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
150 of 152 people found the following review helpful:

Foreword: When will Amazon clean the closet and let people post a review only after the reviewer has actually bought the book here rather than just post their incorrigible perceptions of the author and abuse this venue as a place to vent anger? Amazon . . . ?

My Review: I actually did pre-order this book from Amazon prior to its publication and I read it entirely. What most surprised me in this book was that his professional relationship with Janet Reno was not as tense as I had thought it to be. Overall. I found this book to be very engrossing; I could not put it down.

As the photo on the jacket of this book suggests, this is a profile of Louis Freeh, by Louis Freeh. It is not a personal vendetta against the Clintons as some have suggested. Yes, Mr Freeh does write about the atmosphere between the FBI and the White House but he does not fan flames here, he simply states his views without placing guilty convictions. As Mr Freeh clearly outlines, he did not choose to investigate the Clintons, that is a legal process which was handed to him and yet, the top cop can not be expected to befriend the one whom he is lawfully obligated to investigate while upholding the laws as outlined in the Constitution of the United States of America.

Mr Freeh begins the book with a chapter on Khobar Towers and how that 1996 terrorist attack which killed 19 of our US Military members in Saudi Arabia profoundly affected him throughout his tenure as FBI director. Some have said that he jumps all over the place between chapters and subjects but I found that he states his views and gives examples, sometimes elaborating on facts to exemplify his points and with ethical reasoning to back them up.
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