Breakdown: How America's Intelligence Failures Led to September 11 [NOOK Book]


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Breakdown: How America's Intelligence Failures Led to September 11

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"The hottest reporter in town...he breaks dozens of big stories every year..."
—Washington Post

"What he's uncovered is shocking. He's done a great service for the people of this country."
—Rush Limbaugh
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Washington Post
The hottest reporter in town...he breaks dozens of big stories every year, and he's read carefully by people who follow national security issues.
Publishers Weekly
From the bestselling author of a scathing indictment of Clintonian foreign policy, Betrayal, comes an unbalanced but revealing expose on the mistakes, misdirections and blunders behind "the most damaging intelligence failure since Pearl Harbor." Gertz supports his argument that the intelligence community has "lost sight of [its] purpose and function" with interviews, news clips and almost 100 pages of government documents, some partially classified (a National Security Agency report reproduced within contains little but the date and the designation "TOP SECRET UMBRA"-the rest is "withheld at the request of U.S. intelligence officials"). He points a very stern finger at the FBI, the NSA and the CIA, "where preservation of the agency's budget takes precedence over its performance." In one confounding case, Gertz writes, veteran CIA field agent Robert Baer was investigated and nearly prosecuted by the FBI for planning an assassination of Saddam Hussein; when the CIA discovered their jig was up, they left Baer out to dry. But while the insights into a government overrun by bureaucracy can be fascinating (and infuriating), Gertz seldom assigns any blame toward either George H.W. or George W. Bush's policies in the Middle East. He saves his condemnation, instead, for the Clinton administration (again). This one-sided portrayal may leave the critical reader feeling as if only half the story is being told, as Gertz's strong conservative bent distorts what could have been an important and well-informed look at the terrorist disaster. (Aug. 25) Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
The defense and national security reporter for argues that US intelligence bureaucracies have lost sight of their mission to support defense and national security objectives, and are now devoted to their own security. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781596987104
  • Publisher: Regnery Publishing, Inc., An Eagle Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 3/28/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 256
  • File size: 3 MB

Table of Contents

Introduction: Breakdown 1
Ch. 1 The Osama File 7
Ch. 2 The Loud Bang No One Heard 21
Ch. 3 The DIA: Death by Bureaucracy 39
Ch. 4 The PCIA - Politically Correct Intelligence Agency 53
Ch. 5 The FBI: The Decline of Domestic Intelligence 83
Ch. 6 Congress and Destructive Oversight 105
Ch. 7 Technical Spying 127
Ch. 8 Nonsecurity 139
Conclusion: The Way Ahead 157
App. A: The Trace 171
App. B: The Evidence 215
Notes 257
Acknowledgments 259
Index 261
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Best-selling author and award-winning investigative reporter Bill Gertz taps his inside sources in the Pentagon and the CIA to track the path of terrorism and terrorists in the United States. Gertz tells us who knew what-and how our military and intelligence agencies and officials had information that could have prevented September 11. Extensive material on Bill Clinton, and how his complete mismanagement of both our military and our intelligence agencies made us sitting ducks for this kind of attack. Gertz shows what's being done now behind the scenes for our protection, and the further steps needed to avoid future disasters.
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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2003


    Very academically developed unravelling of the breakdown of our security. Reveals Clintonian non-policy, where everything seems to be for sale ( or worse ), and the great-parcers can justify anything. This litany of betrayal is revealed, and exposed as the root cause of our present dilemna. A perfect humorous companion to 'BREAKDOWN...' is my flip-side recommend, Keshner's 'COCKPIT CONFESSIONS OF AN AIRLINE PILOT.' Don't be turned off by the title, it should go by 'Secret Jew Flys Muslims to Mecca/Medina.' Keshner exposes the core-rotteness of liberal (non)values, and shows us what the Muslim world is really all about ( my islam is holier than your islam ). What a funny book. The hot-fudge here is the Indonesian and middle-east flying, the whipped cream is the sex.... the great pokes to the Saudis is our cherry on top... my kinda Sundae.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2002

    Not surprising to me.

    I found the book to be highly educating, for those who failed us. The in-action and pure laziness of the agencies in charge of anti terrorism comes as no surprise to me, what surprises me is how this book is so well put together to tell it like it is. We should put good authors as this in charge of the CIA. I recommend another good book about this topic,,,

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2002

    The truth comes out

    It took a year after Sep. 11 for this book to be published. It details in great detail the failure of the CIA, FBI, Congress, and INS to do their job of protecting the country. Each chapter highlights the failure of one agency. There are dates, personalities, and good research. What is shocking is that America - the only superpower remaining after the end of the Cold War, could virtually be brought to its knees at least for a short time, by a group of exchange students with box cutters. The American taxpayer pays $ 30 billion in taxes for intelligence, and what do we get back for that money - bureacratic, 'turf' mentality, politically-correct appointments, fear, failure, and mediocrity. The author details how the true bureaucrats rise to the top of the CIA, FBI, and other agencies, while the true patriots are hung out to dry. Unlike in other countries, where on Sep. 12 the heads of the intelligence agencies would have been forced by honor, tradition, and decorum to turn in their resignations for their obvious failure, in America, we have this perverse tradition of not holding them accountable. And we are a superpower. I just hope that this book shocks enought people, so that we can in future have real security and intelligence, and not the dangerous bureaucracies only interested in political correctness and their own survival, which we have now.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 28, 2002

    A must read for all Americans!

    Like most Americans I was stunned by the events of 9/11 and could not comprehend how the intelligence community failed to stop the attacks. This book shows how the intelligence community was destroyed by the Clinton Administration and why we as a country must insist on changes within the intelligence agencies so that they can get back to the business of protecting this country. As a public administration student this book gave me great insights into the intelligence organizations and key events in the Clinton Administration that led to this horrific failure. Now when I visit the 9/11 table at Barns and Noble, see the faces of the people who died and their families, I know this could have been prevented. My only hope is that historian will remember this correctly and credit this failure to Janet Reno and Bill Clinton.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2002

    What went wrong?

    This remarkable book chronicles the decline of the US intelligence gathering agencies, the effects of political correctness and the incompetence of the political leaders that resulted in the 9/11 catastrophy. It takes the reader through the chain of events and decisions from the 1970's to 2001, which when added together, allowed the terrorists to succeed in their surprise attacks on America.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2002


    This book is very informative on September eleventh. It describes the actions of 9/11 in great detail. This is beyond a doubt a great book to read. I recommend this book to all people who are interested in what is going on with our government and also with what is happening and what has happend with the sad activities of September eleventh. Overall, this book is no matter what a great book to read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 28, 2002

    Great Work

    Once again this great author does it. He provides the facts and the documents to prove it. Describing our intelligence system and how it has failed. This is a must read especially nearing the one year anniversary of this tragic event.

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