On October 12, 2000, eleven months before the 9/11 attacks, the USS Cole docked in the port of Aden in Yemen for a routine fueling stop. At 1118, on a hot, sunny morning, the 8,400-ton destroyer was rocked by an enormous explosion. The ship’s commander, Kirk Lippold, felt the ship violently thrust up and to the right, as everything not bolted down seemed to float in midair. Tiles tumbled from the ceiling, and the ship was plunged into darkness, beginning to sink. In a matter of moments Lippold knew that the Cole had been attacked. What he didn’t know was how much the world was changing around him.
The bombing of the Cole was al Qaeda’s first direct assault against the United States and expanded their brazen and deadly string of terrorist attacks throughout the Middle East. In this gripping first-person narrative, Lippold reveals the details of this harrowing experience leading his crew of valiant sailors through the attack and its aftermath. Seventeen sailors died in the explosion and thirty-seven were wounded—but thanks to the valor of the crew in the perilous days that followed, the ship was saved.
Yet even with al Qaeda’s intentions made clear in an unmistakable act of war, the United States government delayed retaliating. Bureaucrats and politicians sought to shift and pin blame as they ignored the danger signaled by the attack, shirking responsibility until the event was ultimately overshadowed by 9/11.
Front Burner captures a critical moment in America’s battle against al Qaeda, telling a vital story that has—until now—been lost in the fog of the war on terror.
|Edition description:||First Trade Paper Edition|
|Product dimensions:||5.60(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.50(d)|
About the Author
Table of Contents
Damage to the USS Cole xv
USS Cole: Killed in Action xvii
USS Cole: Wounded in Action xix
Introduction: Nightmare xxi
1 Destination USS Cole 1
2 Deployment to the Middle East 23
3 A "Routine" Refueling Stop 37
4 Attacked 47
5 Saving the Ship 61
6 Saving the Wounded 73
7 The Bucket Brigade 107
8 Assessing the Damage 135
9 Recovering the Fallen 151
10 Recovering From Stress 169
11 Underway Again 201
12 M/V Blue Marlin and USS Tarawa 217
13 Investigation and Responsibility 231
14 The Long Journey Home 267
Appendix Threat Condition Measures 337