Against All Enemies: Inside America's War on Terror

Against All Enemies: Inside America's War on Terror

4.2 72
by Richard A. Clarke

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The one person who knows more about Usama bin Laden and al Qaeda than anyone else in this country, Richard Clarke has devoted two decades of his professional life to combating terrorism. Richard Clarke served seven presidents and worked inside the White House for George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush until he resigned in March 2003. He knows, better than…  See more details below


The one person who knows more about Usama bin Laden and al Qaeda than anyone else in this country, Richard Clarke has devoted two decades of his professional life to combating terrorism. Richard Clarke served seven presidents and worked inside the White House for George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush until he resigned in March 2003. He knows, better than anyone, the hidden successes and failures of the Clinton years. He knows, better than anyone, why we failed to prevent 9/11. He knows, better than anyone, how President Bush reacted to the attack and what happened behind the scenes in the days that followed. He knows whether or not Iraq presented a terrorist threat to the United States and whether there were hidden costs to the invasion of that country." Clarke was the nation's crisis manager on 9/11, running the Situation Room - a scene described here for the first time - and then watched in dismay at what followed. After ignoring existing plans to attack al Qaeda when he first took office, George Bush made disastrous decisions when he finally did pay attention. Coming from a man known as one of the hard-liners against terrorists, Against All Enemies is both a powerful history of our two-decades-long confrontation with terrorism and a searing indictment of the current administration.

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Editorial Reviews

Anne Markowski
Sharply aimed at President George W. Bush and the strategies of his administration in the war on terror, this blistering attack comes not, as expected, from the liberal left -- rather it comes from White House insider Richard A. Clarke, former counterterrorism czar, national security counselor to three presidents (including Democrat Bill Clinton), and a trusted member of Bush's own advisory staff until May 2003. Sending seismic waves through political circles, Clarke paints an alarming picture of a newly minted administration of right-wing ideologues caught in an eight-year-time warp and utterly fixated on Iraq and Saddam Hussein. He describes how, prior to 9/11, the Bush White House turned a blind eye to repeated warnings about the threats posed by al Qaeda, choosing instead to focus on imagined Iraqi-sponsored terrorism. He recounts how, in the aftermath of the attacks, he was urged by the president to find a connection between Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein, even though such a link had been thoroughly investigated and discredited. And he chronicles a series of post-9/11 blunders, culminating in the abandonment of the hunt for bin Laden in order to pursue regime change in Iraq.

Although Clarke documents serious mistakes made by previous presidents -- notably Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and Bill Clinton -- it is the younger Bush who gets the lion's share of blame for the breakdown of counterterrorism efforts. It is clear that Clarke believes the missteps of Bush's administration contributed, unwittingly, to the attacks of September 11th and that their continued Machiavellian manipulation has seriously endangered America's national security. Unlike so many left- and right-wing bestsellers written by and for converts, this book's incendiary power lies in the fact that its author's allegiance is not to a party -- although Clarke is a Republican -- but to the nation itself. It's a stance that makes this indictment all the more compelling.

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Free Press
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Product dimensions:
6.36(w) x 9.34(h) x 1.06(d)

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Wolfowitz fidgeted and scowled.... "Well, I just don't understand why we are beginning by talking about this one man bin Laden."

"We are talking about a network of terrorist organizations called al Qaeda, that happens to be led by bin Laden, and we are talking about that network because it and it alone poses an immediate and serious threat to the United States," I answered....

Wolfowitz turned to me. "You give bin Laden too much credit. He could not do all these things like the 1993 attack on New York, not without a state sponsor. Just because FBI and CIA have failed to find the linkages does not mean they don't exist." I could hardly believe it, but Wolfowitz was actually spouting the totally discredited Laurie Mylroie theory that Iraq was behind the 1993 truck bomb at the World Trade Center, a theory that had been investigated for years and found to be totally untrue.

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Against All Enemies: Inside America's War on Terror 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 73 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Stock full of an exorbitant amount of insider insights, from a bi-partisan mentality, I might add. Anyone who would recommend you not reading this book is clearly trying to salvage the blind faith of their brutal fraternity.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
LEAVE BUSH ALONE! Will you stop saying bad things about him? WMDs in iraq would be a serious threat. Also notice how no attacks on american soil have been carried out since 2003.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
No one provides Richard Clarke's insight into how we functioned on 9/11.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Whether you are a Democrat or Republican, this is a must read for any American that wishes to have an opinion on our country's handling of terrorism. A lifelong Republican, Richard Clarke gives his first-hand account of our country's handling of terrorism. Serving 5 presidents Clarke reveals why he believes Clinton did the best job trying to prevent more terror; and why G.W. Bush's invasion of Iraq has set America back a generation for ending global terror.
gragonfly More than 1 year ago
this is a great read for anyone that wants to know ( politically) about 911 --- this was my first read after the horro --- clarke is well qualified with a blow right to the gut ( he doesn't play around). clear cut read without the BS.
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SighKoBlahGrr-Blogspot More than 1 year ago
It is 1990. Bush 41 is President. Mikhail Gorbachev is Premier of the Soviet Union. A group of Islamic fundamentalists have just defeated the world's No. 2 superpower in a ten-year war in Afghanistan. A year later, the Soviet Union collapses. The same Islamic fundamentalists figure they can accomplish the same thing with the No. =1= superpower. In a hair-raising 300 pages that read like a Tom Clancy novel, but which in fact are the pages of =history= book, 30-year National Security Council veteran and National Coordinator for Security and Counterterrorism for Presidents Clinton and Bush 43, Richard Clarke, details why - and shows us =how= - Osama bin Laden and the rest are doing so. Published in 2004, =Against All Enemies: Inside America's War on Terror= is the single most compelling and disturbing spellbinder I have encountered since Morris and Denton's =The Money and The Power=. While the implications of the latter book are =very= disturbing; the implications of the former are downright horrifying. Clarke is no ideologue. He is a can-do pragmatist. He ran the entire United States government from the command center in a nearly empty White House for 30 hours on September 11 and 12, 2001. He is no blamer. His orientation is simply, "Here's what happened; and here's what resulted from it, for better or for worse." Republican and Democratic administrations, the CIA, the FBI, the Departments of Defense and State are all praised and blamed equally. The reader - if he can put the book down every now and again to get some sleep - will almost surely come away with a detailed grasp of the entire epic that has transpired since the Shah of Iran was deposed by the Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeini in 1979. Worse, that reader will come away realizing that the vision Clarke laid out in 2003 and 2004 is almost exactly what the Islamic fundamentalists have managed to accomplish. The Middle East is =not= Vietnam redux. It is much, =much= worse. The reader may also come away with a bad case of anxiety. This is not a work of fiction. And it is not for the squeamish. Read it at your own risk. But for your sake as an informed voter, do =read= it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The attack on 9/11 was decades in the making. It was the result of opportunities taken and opportunities missed, both on the parts of the terrorists and of our foreign policies. This was an excellent 30- year look into national security.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Absolutly enlightening.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Beirut768 More than 1 year ago
Either fight or scuttle.
It is not (and should not be) `Business as usual' anymore.

Those who advocate resignation in the face of the different facets of ` international threats - disguised as promotion of science and technology' tend to exaggerate.
If you give up as The World Power (bound to play an important role) you will, in that case, be abdicating your responsibilities.
Then you will lack a sense of measure and will lose to some demented and screaming `gangsters' labelling themselves as `leaders'.
Panic can give way to submissive fatalism as happened to you in many countries in the Middle East and even in Somalia and Kenya wherefrom unfortunate events sounded like a work of fiction but indeed they led to real-life drama in which there were `many heroes'.
It was your fault to let the gathering clouds coming from small countries to herald worldwide storms that overtook (because they misinterpreted) your delay in taking immediate action.
Now you are acting differently.
But, would countries in Asia learn the lesson and take heed that America is now more serious than before; at least you've wiped-out the sense of defeatism.

Perhaps the scenario of deliberations between your two main `rival' parties should be tightly knit to become acceptable to the world ears so that future course of action can `pass' without qualms.

Continuity is Key....
Guest More than 1 year ago
Mr. Clark gave his all and caveat's to try to alert the people that should no better about the pending doom. I just finished reading The Looming Tower subtitle 'Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9-11' Written by Lawrence Wright. According to his fine research there was two very vocal people in the country in 1998 who were screaming about the threat of terrorist. Richard Clark and John O'Neill, former FBI Agent who died at the World Trade Center. They were acutely aware of the pending danger and Alqaeda and Osma Bin Laden. President Clinton did what he could but the subsequent administration closed the door on any pending threats. That threat is worst today then it was before we went into Iraq. We could have won this war if we had stayed in Afganistan, but this little cabal of civilians thought they knew best and as a consequence, were in dire trouble. Just today I heard three General's testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee, it was ugly, they all have been or have been involved with the Iraq Theater. And yet, the people of this country are not being told the truth and as Richard Clark so predicted, we are in harms way. This did not have to be and as the General's so pointed out, Rumsfeld has to go. And now we have Bob Woodward's book, State of Denial. I fear many Americans' have their head in the sand and we need to move forward and save not only this country, but our Democracy. Thank you Richard Clark for being one of the first to bring this to our attention and your courage.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In AAE's, Richard Clarke paints a portrait of the GW Bus Administration as being so preoccupied with Saddam Hussein that they ignored the threat posed by Al Qaeda, until 9/11 forced them to finally sit up and take notice. If you question Clarke's credibility, consider this: Clarke was one of the main sources in conservative author Richard Miniter's own book, Losing Bin Laden. Miniter NEVER Questoned Clarke's Crediblity in LBL-Not Once. Consider also that, while the Bush Adminstration made a lot of GENERAL criticisms of Clarke, not a single participant has personally denied the SPECIFICS of his recollections of the events in question. Consider finally that Clarke served in the administrations of three Presidents, both Republican and Democrat. Whether or not Clarke's memory is 100% accurate on every detail-which he himself admits it may not be-his many years of public service has earned him the right to tell his story.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I gave it a 4 star rating because I think that the book well illustrates the level of incompetence that our elected officials can show in the spirit of competition between departments. It also illustrates the level of naivete' the government and the rest of us felt and seem to be feeling again with repsect to our vulnerabilities and thoughts that we are invincible as a nation. However, it seemed the author was often tooting his own horn. It almost read like it was written by a certain national cyndicated talk radio personality that claims to be 'all knowing'. This author comes from the left, rather than the right wing. Its political, obviously biased towards the previous administration, and at times self agrandizing, but I think the author's indignation is, at times, righteous. It must have been extremely frustrating to deal with the weak commitment and half &^%ed attempts to address terrorism that, if properly dealt with, could have prevented 3500 dead on 9-11.