- Hardcover: 250 pages
- Publisher: Encounter Books; 1 edition (April 14, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1594032130
- ISBN-13: 978-1594032134
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 9.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #720,484 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Willful Blindness: A Memoir of the Jihad Hardcover – April 14, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
In this annotated retrospective, the prosecutor responsible for leading the investigation of Blind Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman and others involved in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing dissects the miscues between federal agencies that led to that event while laying bare the challenges facing the war on terror today. The pre-1993 comedy of errors begins with the CIA's decision to funnel arms and money to Afghanistan during the Soviet-Afghan war and continues with inexplicable lapses of communication between the State Department and immigration officials (despite having been placed on a State Department terror watchlist, the sheikh travels freely to the United States). The most enduring oversight, however, at least from McCarthy's perspective, is the refusal among academics and political leaders to confront fundamentalist Islamic tenets, the 800-pound gorilla that is somehow always in the middle of the room when terror strikes. The jihadist philosophy that guided the Blind Sheikh is traced through generations of Islamic thinkers to the Prophet Mohammed himself. Though McCarthy's language is at times cumbersome, his firsthand account of jihad's rise and the sheikh's trial of the century is an important contribution (and in some instances, counterpoint) to existing literature on the attack that foreshadowed disaster to come. (Mar.)
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Top Customer Reviews
McCarthy, a talented writer, draws deep insights from his experience into the shortcomings of prosecuting terrorists as criminals. He ends with a thoughtful exposition of the disconnect between national security and criminal law. He is a voice of clarity, reason and experience in the dialogue now going in America on issues of law and national security.
What makes Andrew McCarthy's book a must read for everyone is that he is not a journalist telling someone else's story. He is the lead prosecutor in the case against the perpetrators of the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993, and this is his first-hand account of that high-profile prosecution and the events leading to it.
After reading Willful Blindness the inescapable conclusion is that all of the societal structures that are supposed to serve us have broken down. The Intelligence Agencies failed to warn us; Law Enforcement failed to protect us; the Press failed to understand the implications and meaning of the events they reported on; the Courts, obsessed with legal abstractions, mis-judged the very real danger we faced; our political leaders were too timid, self-absorbed, and focussed partisan advantage to fulfill their first and most fundamental obligation: to defend the nation above all else. Only the Military, our last line of defense, has succeeded in raising the shield. Yet, even now their efforts to protect us are underminied by those same elements of society that so singularly failed in their past duties.
It is tempting to shrug and say, "Hindsight is always 20/20." A better cliche to adopt as our slogan is Santayana's famous dictum, "Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it." We closed our eyes and chose to forget what happened in 1993, only to see history repeat itself - with a vengeance - in 2001.
The cast of characters today is familiar to us all.Read more ›
In `Willful Blindness', Andrew McCarthy weaves the narrative of, not only his experience investigating and subsequently prosecuting Islamic jihad in the US, but a solid, albeit brief, history of the resurgence of jihad (as a means of terror rather than ideals) in Islam, itself. His rude introduction to the jihad came courtesy of the `The Blind Sheikh' - Omar Abdel Rahman:
Bungled bureaucracy, pathetically weak coordination of government agencies and enormously frustrating and embarrassing law enforcement failures allowed The Blind Sheikh to enter and flourish in America. This well known Egyptian rabble-rouser (well known I say to Egyptian, but also U.S. authorities), member of the U.S. `Terror Watch List', and brilliant Islamic scholar was nevertheless allowed to set up shop in NYC and New Jersey. From his new base, the Blind Sheikh preached hatred, incited violence and ultimately terrorism, culminating in the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993.
Fortunately, for the United States we had a team led by Andrew McCarthy who assembled and successfully prosecuted The Blind Sheikh and his terrorist cabal. The story of the daring, and often hair-splitting, Egyptian informant embedded inside the Sheikh's inner ring is worth the price of this book alone! By educating themselves on the roots of Islamic terror and piecing together the connections of the Blind Sheikh's organization, McCarthy and his team were able to wrap up this terror outfit just before another, more ghastly strike, occurred in NYC. The reader is taken behind the scenes to the offices of Janet Reno, the US Attorney General, FBI & CIA headquarters and most important, inside the U.S.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The first World Trade Center bombing and the continuing threat without the proper defense.Published 16 months ago by Byron Furseth
Frightening story by a man who knows more then most anyone about these crazed non-humans! If you think that an over statement watch about 3-5 of the numerous gruesome beheadings on... Read morePublished on September 30, 2014 by tom claridge
I read this book for the 1st time in 2008 while being mentored by the late Charles Colson. I read it at his recommendation.
The jest of the book is... Read more
The professional critics encountered something in the text I did not wait around to see. Three chapters were enough to tell me this book is not for me. Read morePublished on September 23, 2014 by Miller.
A deep subject for our days, well written
I really liked the way it was written. The events were up front and relevant.
This is the second book I've read by Andrew McCarthy. His books are informative, well researched and easy to read. Read morePublished on November 7, 2011 by Peter
A powerful book by a Federal prosecutor of the first World Trade Center basement bombing in 1993, when terrorists Muslims tried to collapse one of the towers into the other [pg... Read morePublished on April 23, 2011 by hotchas