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State of War: The Secret History of the C.I.A. and the Bush Administration

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With relentless media coverage, breathtaking events, and extraordinary congressional and independent investigations, it is hard to believe that we ... Show synopsis

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Reviews of State of War: The Secret History of the C.I.A. and the Bush Administration

Overall customer rating: 4.000
rovinrobyn

Bush and the CIA

by rovinrobyn on Jan 16, 2008

"State of War : The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration " As the subtitle says, this book deals with the secret history of the CIA and the Bush Administration. There are many details of how and why the intelligence on Iraq, particularly regarding that having to do with Weapons of Mass Destruction, was not forthcoming, was inaccurate, and was largely ignored by the Administration officials. From the point of planning the American invasion, only reports that favored the war and/or returned evidence that all was going well on the battlefront were considered worthwhile. The role of George Tenet, the man who wanted to please everyone - especially George W. Bush - is explored in detail. Whether Bush was fully informed of field-agent findings is questionable. The daily briefings passed through several department heads before being presented to the President, and content was often altered. There were times, however, when Bush did agree to act on solutions to particular problems; but then failed to follow through. The lack of personnel, the lack of policy guidelines, and the lack of translators or agents who spoke Arabic contributed to the chaotic approach resorted to in handling intelligence matters during the Iraq War. Often times, individual agents tried to do their job, but found themselves resorting to bizarre tactics in an attempt to carry out any kind of meaningful action. There was little or no coordination among the different arms of government (the Department of Defense, the National Security Council, and the Department of State, to name the main offenders). Had these departments been on top of things, they may have contributed to improved handling of what intelligence there was. Instead they engaged in in-fighting and ignored the CIA. In general, the Department of Defense, headed by Donald Rumsfeld, wielded the most power and made the majority of decisions. These decisions rarely contributed to improving the lot of CIA intelligence gathering. More often than not, Rumsfeld was disdainful of the efforts made by others to solve problems. Things had to be done his way or no way. Among the major problems reported by the author are: the difficulties in capturing Osama bin Laden, the developments that amount to failure in Afghanistan, the alienation of Iran because of their nuclear program, and the worsening situation in Iraq as the disenfranchised Sunni's take every measure possible to regain control of the country. Another situation that is called into question is our relationship with Saudi Arabia. I appreciated the look behind the scenes that this author afforded. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to understand the Iraq war beginnings through the time of George Tenet's resignation from the CIA

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