State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration

State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration

by James Risen
3.9 13

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State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If someone tells you that you have the flu, your car needs new brakes, or your house is on fire, they don't try to 'balance' the message. The news that we invaded a country that had no atomic weapons, no other weapons that threatened us, and no desire to start a war with us, does not require balance. There is no balance to torture (as John McCain has said, torture will produce any claim that you demand, but not very often the truth). There is no balance to the news that the president is breaking the law (or, as Oliver North's tart claimed, is acting 'above' the law). The release of this book triggered the Times into writing stories they had beeen sitting on, since before the 2004 elections, and it is worth buying for that alone (it is also worth asking why a so-called liberal newspaper sat on this story until Bush was re-elected). So 'The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration' is fair and perhaps Mr. Bush can write a book that explains why he broke the law. In these days of a lick-spittle congress that rubber stamps torture (that puts real soldiers at risk), we need all the truth we can stand, and not the spin. This book is part of our facing the reality of the actions of our nation's administration, and offers us the chance to balance it at a polling booth (no one asking for balance for Bush is asking for balance in the courts).
Guest More than 1 year ago
This useful book explores the conflict within the US state between the CIA and the rest of the Bush administration. Risen¿s thesis is that a flawed administration has overridden and distorted a trusting and trustworthy CIA. He writes, ¿It is a cautionary tale, one that shows how the most covert tools of American national security policy have been misused. It involves domestic spying, abuse of power, and outrageous operations.¿ What he actually shows is that the whole US state is corrupt. He notes of the thirty Iraqi sources on WMD, ¿All of them ¿ some thirty ¿ had said the same thing. They all reported to the CIA that the scientists had said that Iraq¿s program to develop nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons had long since been abandoned.¿ The US state protects its allies in the Saudi autocracy, and thus protects their allies, Al Qa¿ida. As Risen notes, ¿Yet it is still true that, both before and after 9/11, President Bush and his administration have displayed a remarkable lack of interest in aggressively examining the connections between Osama bin Laden, al Qaeda, and the Saudi power elite. Even as the Bush administration spent enormous time and energy trying in vain to prove connections between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden in order to help justify the war in Iraq, the administration was ignoring the far more conclusive ties with Saudi Arabia.¿ Afghanistan is now a narco-state and a large part of its drug profits goes to Al Qa¿ida. ¿For Afghanistan¿s drug lords, business was very good under the United States Central Command. Flush with drug money, the insurgency in Afghanistan intensified in the summer of 2005 to its most dangerous levels since the American invasion nearly four years earlier. There were steady reports that the rebels, a confusing mix of Taliban, al Qaeda, and others, were surprisingly well armed and equipped ¿ evidence that they were also well financed. The Bush administration had purchased an illusion of stability in Afghanistan at the price of billions of dollars¿ worth of heroin that was flooding into the streets of Europe and the United States.¿ Risen summarises, ¿The establishment of a series of secret prisons around the world and the widespread use of harsh interrogation tactics against prisoners in American custody has been part of a broader and disquieting pattern by the Bush administration. The White House has interpreted the constitutional powers of the president to fight terrorism in such an expansive way that long-standing rules governing the military and intelligence communities have been skirted or ignored, and secret intelligence activities inside the United States have been approved that may be violating the civil liberties of American citizens. In particular, the technical wizards of the National Security Agency have been engaged in a program of domestic data mining that is so vast, and so unprecedented, that it makes a mockery of long-standing privacy rules.¿
Guest More than 1 year ago
A well-written account of the disturbing behind-the scenes manipulations of the NSA and CIA and the administrations they dance with.
Guest More than 1 year ago
First off let me discuss my rating of five stars. The book read as an apparent series of New Yorker style articles. Some of the chapters would make great topics for a whole book in themselves. Yet in tying these far ranging topics together the book give the general reader (and voter) a place to go to get a broad short hand version of this administrations (and to some extent Clinton¿s) undermining of national intelligence. It is really a story told by anonymous sources. So my rating is for content and the books eye opening information. To most reader it will not come as a surprise to learn of the political militarization of American intelligence by neoconservatives lead by Rumsfeld, Cheney, and their enabler George W. Bush. Risen is just informing us (and apparently many of our elected leaders) what our government is doing in our name, with our tax dollars. The CIA/Department of Defense misadventures are in them selves worth what is a very short read, they are after all, a kind of a wag the dog story (as in attack Iraq, take you eyes off Bin Ladin, allow Afghanistan to become a warlord ¿narco state¿, and ignore that most of the 9/11 highjackers came from Saudi Arabia). Bush is now into his second term and we should begin to see early histories and memoirs which will, in future years, become the pebbles in the river of histories judgment of the Bush dynasty. No mater what you think or think that you know or want to believe I encourage you to spend a few hours and read Mr. Risen¿s book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book, among other things, details Dr. Sawsan Alhaddad's trip to Iraq in search of WMD's - which he does not find. But the CIA 'ignored' this fact. The book sheds some more light on the influence of The Project For a New American Century. It is also a great book to read in conjunction with 'The Pentagon's New Map' by Barnett Thomas P.M. Simply gaining more perspective on the current administration's foreign policy and its related techniques is worth the price of the book. Hold on to your hats, here comes more contraversy.
ClarkP More than 1 year ago
This book is a nice quick read which offers great evidence of the failures of the current administration. Although I can see people finding fault with his sources, I fully understand why many of the sources have to remain unknown. THIS BOOK IS A MUST READ!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Why do liberals hate him? Awnser: because he truly cares about iur contitution.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was hands down the worst book I have ever read! It amazes me that someone would actually publish this book. Although, if you are a card carrying ACLU members, a Bush bashing Democrat, or a bleeding heart liberal¿you may like this book. For the rest of us who actually understand the need for aggressive tactics in order to beat or at least try to stay ahead of these terrorist, I can guarantee you will dislike this book as much as I did! It still amazes me how people would choose to put their lives and worse, other lives in jeopardy by tying the hands of our government. Do us all a favor Mr. Risen, take Mr. Moore and deport yourself to Venezuela where you both have the same message of hate!
Guest More than 1 year ago
When I got this book I thought it would give an accurate and balanced account of the Bush Administration. However, my hopes were crushed when I began to read the first pages. The author from the start points out the mistakes of the Bush administration. He does not give a balanced view of the situations discussed in the book, but instead he continuously points out mistakes that were made or tries to interpret and fabricate ones that just do not exist.Also throughout the book he cites anonymous sources to back up his claims which just adds to the unreliability of his work. If he would of portrayed history like it was instead of in an one-sided, biased look then this would of been a more relevant source.