Against All Enemies: Inside America's War on Terror

( 70 )

Overview

THE EXPLOSIVE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER
With all-new excerpts from Richard Clarke's dramatic public testimony, and revealing corroboration from The 9/11 Commission Report
From the 9/11 Commission Report:
"On the day of the meeting [September 4, 2001], Clarke sent Rice an impassioned personal note. He criticized U.S. counterterrorism efforts past and present. The 'real question' before the principals, he wrote, ...

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Against All Enemies: Inside America's War on Terror

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Overview

THE EXPLOSIVE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER
With all-new excerpts from Richard Clarke's dramatic public testimony, and revealing corroboration from The 9/11 Commission Report
From the 9/11 Commission Report:
"On the day of the meeting [September 4, 2001], Clarke sent Rice an impassioned personal note. He criticized U.S. counterterrorism efforts past and present. The 'real question' before the principals, he wrote, was 'are we serious about dealing with the al Qida threat?...Is al Qida a big deal?...Decision makers should imagine themselves on a future day when the CSG has not succeeded in stopping al Qida attacks and hundreds of Americans lay dead in several countries, including the US,' Clarke wrote. 'What would those decision makers wish that they had done earlier? That future day could happen at any time.'"

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
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.. Anne Markowski

From the Publisher
The New York Times Book Review Against All Enemies is too good to be ignored...It is a rarity among Washington-insider memoirs — it's a thumping good read.
New York Times
The explosive details about President Bush's obsession with Iraq in the immediate aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks captured the headlines in the days after the book's release, but Against All Enemies offers more. It is a rarity among Washington-insider memoirs - it's a thumping good read.

The first - and by far the best - chapter is a heart-stopping account of the turmoil inside the White House on the morning of Sept. 11, when Washington suddenly came blinking into a bloody new world. I hope Clarke has sold the rights to Hollywood, at least for his opening chapter, because I would pay to see this movie.
—(James Risen)

Washington Post
...the bulk of the book seeks to fill in the considerable gaps in the White House record leading up to Sept. 11. Beginning with the Reagan administration's financial and military support of the mujaheddin who led the resistance to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, Clarke shows how Washington's military and intelligence sachems consistently underestimated the threat that a growing global network of Islamic extremists posed to America's interests and security. Washington will be abuzz for some time over Clarke's recollections of the president's orders. But the real indictments in Against All Enemies involve the long policy background to those frantically barked directives.
—(Chris Lehmann)
Foreign Affairs
Clarke's book turned out to be one of the first shots in the gradual undermining of President Bush's reputation as a war leader-especially since many of Clarke's more damaging accusations have been corroborated elsewhere, including in the investigations undertaken by the 9/11 Commission. The opening sequence, as Clarke describes his efforts as "counterterrorism czar" to respond to the incoming news of the September 11 attacks, is gripping, and his description of the development of policy during the George H.W. Bush and Clinton administrations is useful, if unavoidably self-centered. The big story, of course, lies in his depiction of the current Bush administration's failing to take seriously the al Qaeda threat and then going off on its Iraq tangent.
Publishers Weekly
A few bars of heavy, ominous-sounding orchestral music set the tone for this incendiary account of the events that occurred inside the White House on 9/11 and the months and years prior to it. Former counterterrorism director Clarke starts out by describing how he took charge in the situation room on the day of the attacks and facilitated communication among the White House, the FBI and the FAA. The level of detail Clarke includes is impressive. Not only does he paint a vivid portrait of the White House in crisis mode, but he even recalls a number of conversations (including one in which Bush, after learning of al Qaeda's involvement, purportedly tells Clarke, "See if Saddam did this. See if he's linked in any way"). Whether one chooses to believe Clarke's version of events or not, this first chapter is riveting, and Clarke delivers it like a pro. With his deep tenor and weighty pauses, Clarke never lets listeners forget the gravity of the situation, but he isn't above making an attempt at the various accents and inflections of the major players. His frustration over how the current administration has responded to 9/11 and how he believes the FBI and CIA failed to act leaks through at times, but by the end of this compelling audiobook, many listeners may share it. Simultaneous release with the Free Press hardcover. (Mar.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
The Washington Post
… the bulk of the book seeks to fill in the considerable gaps in the White House record leading up to Sept. 11. Beginning with the Reagan administration's financial and military support of the mujaheddin who led the resistance to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, Clarke shows how Washington's military and intelligence sachems consistently underestimated the threat that a growing global network of Islamic extremists posed to America's interests and security … Washington will be abuzz for some time over Clarke's recollections of the president's orders. But the real indictments in Against All Enemies involve the long policy background to those frantically barked directives. — Chris Lehmann
The New York Times
The explosive details about President Bush's obsession with Iraq in the immediate aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks captured the headlines in the days after the book's release, but Against All Enemies offers more. It is a rarity among Washington-insider memoirs - it's a thumping good read.

The first - and by far the best - chapter is a heart-stopping account of the turmoil inside the White House on the morning of Sept. 11, when Washington suddenly came blinking into a bloody new world. I hope Clarke has sold the rights to Hollywood, at least for his opening chapter, because I would pay to see this movie. — James Risen

Publishers Weekly
A few bars of heavy, ominous-sounding orchestral music set the tone for this incendiary account of the events that occurred inside the White House on 9/11 and the months and years prior to it. Former counterterrorism director Clarke starts out by describing how he took charge in the situation room on the day of the attacks and facilitated communication among the White House, the FBI and the FAA. The level of detail Clarke includes is impressive. Not only does he paint a vivid portrait of the White House in crisis mode, but he even recalls a number of conversations (including one in which Bush, after learning of al Qaeda's involvement, purportedly tells Clarke, "See if Saddam did this. See if he's linked in any way"). Whether one chooses to believe Clarke's version of events or not, this first chapter is riveting, and Clarke delivers it like a pro. With his deep tenor and weighty pauses, Clarke never lets listeners forget the gravity of the situation, but he isn't above making an attempt at the various accents and inflections of the major players. His frustration over how the current administration has responded to 9/11 and how he believes the FBI and CIA failed to act leaks through at times, but by the end of this compelling audiobook, many listeners may share it. Simultaneous release with the Free Press hardcover. (Mar.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Foreign Affairs
Clarke's book turned out to be one of the first shots in the gradual undermining of President Bush's reputation as a war leader-especially since many of Clarke's more damaging accusations have been corroborated elsewhere, including in the investigations undertaken by the 9/11 Commission. The opening sequence, as Clarke describes his efforts as "counterterrorism czar" to respond to the incoming news of the September 11 attacks, is gripping, and his description of the development of policy during the George H.W. Bush and Clinton administrations is useful, if unavoidably self-centered. The big story, of course, lies in his depiction of the current Bush administration's failing to take seriously the al Qaeda threat and then going off on its Iraq tangent.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780743260459
  • Publisher: Free Press
  • Publication date: 9/14/2004
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 172,579
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard Clarke was appointed by President Clinton as the first National Coordinator for Security, Infrastructure Protection, and Counterterrorism in May 1998 and continued in that position under George W. Bush. Until March 2003 he was a career member of the Senior Executive Service, having begun his federal service in 1973 in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, as an analyst on nuclear weapons and European security issues. In the Reagan administration, Mr. Clarke was the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence. In the first Bush administration, he was the Assistant Secretary of State for Politico-Military Affairs.

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Read an Excerpt

from Against All Enemies

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.

Copyright © 2004 by RAC Enterprises, Inc.

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Table of Contents

1 Evacuate the White House 1
2 Stumbling into the Islamic world 35
3 Unfinished mission, unintended consequences 55
4 Terror returns (1993-1996) 73
5 The almost war, 1996 101
6 Al Qaeda revealed 133
7 Beginning homeland protection 155
8 Delenda est 181
9 Millennium alert 205
10 Before and after September 11 227
11 Right war, wrong war 247
App. A Excerpts from public testimony to the 9/11 commission, delivered by Richard Clarke on March 24, 2004 293
App. B Excerpts from the 9/11 commission report 299
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 70 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(45)

4 Star

(11)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(5)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 71 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2004

    Absolutely amazing

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 10, 2012

    An Eye Opener

    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.

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  • Posted August 23, 2012

    this is a great read for anyone that wants to know ( politically

    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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  • Posted April 7, 2011

    This book makes you wonder...

    The book is pretty good. If you think it is all fact based, it gives a lot of inside information in the workings of the US Government.

    It is simply appalling what Bush and his croonies got away with. They declared war on Irak for no reason, other than distract americans from the real dangers of terrorism. Irak had nothing to do with 9-11 nor with al Qaeda.
    Where is all this nonsense going to?

    I recommend this book if you want background info into the reasons for 9-11.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 20, 2009

    NOT a Bedtime Story

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2009

    Eye opening

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2009

    Against All Enemies

    Absolutly enlightening.

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  • Posted November 17, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Continuity is Key.........,

    Either fight or scuttle. <BR/>It is not (and should not be) `Business as usual' anymore. <BR/><BR/>Those who advocate resignation in the face of the different facets of ` international threats - disguised as promotion of science and technology' tend to exaggerate. <BR/>If you give up as The World Power (bound to play an important role) you will, in that case, be abdicating your responsibilities. <BR/>Then you will lack a sense of measure and will lose to some demented and screaming `gangsters' labelling themselves as `leaders'. <BR/>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'. <BR/>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. <BR/>Now you are acting differently. <BR/>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. <BR/><BR/>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. <BR/><BR/>Continuity is Key....

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 30, 2006

    RICHARD CLARK IS A HERO FOR SPEAKING OUT

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2006

    Is Clarke Credible? Richard Miniter Thought So.

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2006

    Mixed review

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 20, 2005

    I Learned A Lot

    Clarke has written an excellent chronological history of our terrorist efforts. Learned a great deal about behind the scenes preparation & reaction to terrorist events. Must reading for anyone who wants to understand how the United States reacts to terrorism.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2005

    Richard Clarke writes a phenomenal book, that depicts President Bush and his faction's thrist for war in Iraq.

    Richard Clarke writes a extraordinary book. It stupefies the reader, by explaining how Bush and his cronies perceived the 9/11 attack. How Bush and his faction wanted to connect the attacks on the World Trade Center with Iraq, detailing how this administration pushed for a war in Iraq. Furthermore, he writes of the mendacities by the entire Bush administration for their plan to invade and occupy a foreign country under the guise of democracy. Clark also illuminates his discussions with President Bush how Bush was completely uninterested in the truth he wanted only associations to Iraq, so there could be an invasion. Moreover, he writes that Bush and his faction looked for ways to manipulate or lie about the facts to justify a war and an invasion to the American people and more important Congress. In addition, Clarke had information that he tried to give to Bush almost a year in advance, but this was to no avail.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2004

    We have met the enemy and they are us!

    This is a very well told story of Richard Clarke's experiences working in Washington D. C. during four presidencies (Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush). Except for having to wade through all the acronyms (and I often had to go back and remind myself what they stood for), Richard Clarke tells of his experiences, thoughts, frustrations, and finally, disillusionment with Washington bureaucrats and the apparent lack of priority and understanding that 'terrorism in America' is present. And this was long before 911. Richard Clarke pulls no punches. I couldn't put it down. It was like reading a suspense novel -- except it actually happened and is continuing to happen.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2004

    Take notice

    It is the responsibility of every American to pay attention to elected officials. When people like Richard Clarke, who has devoted his career to national security issues, feels strong enough about the direction the Bush administration has taken to speak out, people need to pay attention. Read this book but don't stop there. Read all you can on this administration and the big picture will become clearer.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2004

    Very informative but also very inadequate

    Against All Enemies has two themes: (A) Al Qaeda, how US security agencies gradually became aware of it, bin Laden¿s role in it, and the Bush administration¿s disregard of Al Qaeda before 9/11; and (B) Iraq, particularly the Bush Administration¿s obsession with deposing Saddam Hussein. Clarke discusses (A) extensively and provides wonderful insights into how the security agencies dealt with terrorism during the Clinton years, but for all the venom he expends criticizing Bush for focussing on (B), he really says very little about how he personally would have handled Iraq. His bitterness about the failure to prevent the 9/11 attacks is unmistakable, and rightly so, but this is no substitute for an adequate plan of how Iraq should have been dealt with. Against All Enemies is a godsend for people who like to hate President Bush and don¿t want to exert themselves by thinking realistically about Iraq. If you read only this and other books of a similar bent, you will have no choice but to hate Bush even more than you already do. It is only by reading books that seriously discuss Iraq that you become aware of how grossly inadequate Clarke¿s book is. I would recommend Kenneth Pollack¿s book The Threatening Storm, written before the invasion of Iraq, and his article in Jan 2004 issue of The Atlantic. Clarke asserts, correctly I think, that Al Qaeda was the more immediate threat before 9/11 and remained the more immediate threat up to the invasion of March 2003. But Al Qaeda will probably never have the means to produce a nuclear bomb itself. It can only obtain one from another source. Clarke says nothing to justify his belief that Bush could have let Saddam off the hook in 2003 and still have kept Iraq under control via sanctions and inspections. All the evidence points the other way. The sanctions regime was crumbling because of increasing Iraqi trade and smuggling with Iran, Jordan, Turkey, Russia and France. I have yet to read an analysis that discusses that trend on a serious adult level and still conclude that Saddam would not become a far greater security threat to the US than Al Qaeda over time.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2004

    wonderful and fun!!!

    I just loved this book. I feel like I just understand so much more and it was an easy book to understand.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2004

    Inside Story From Counterterrorism Professional

    Clarke does excellent job of a concise and readable history of rise of terrorism from the 80s to now. He analyzes every president since Reagan on their actons that effected terrorism. He focuses on Clinton and Bush II. This is not an attack book on Bush II. He criticizes Clinton as well and most of the book is about Clinton's counter-terrorism efforts. I thought it was very telling his description of Clinton with his drive to understand issues staying up to 2 or 3 AM with Bush in bed by 10pm looking for the bumper sticker solution. Also very telling about his consideration of airplane attack for 96 Olympics. Another good lesson was Clinton's difficulty in getting Dept of Defense or CIA to get bin Ladin. He could not make the beaucracy move. For those of you who are rational analtical people who are not blindly partisan this is a must read prior to November.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2004

    BOOK THAT WILL BRING BUSH ADMINISTRATION DOWN

    Sad but true.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2004

    Excellent

    Wealth of information. Althought the author admits that the writing is influenced by events as he saw them, it's easy to identify the facts from his opinions and you can't argue with the facts he presents. Highly recommend this book as an indication of why it is so important to pay attention to the people we elect to run our country.

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