A no-holds-barred chronicle and inside story of the war on terror by the former CIA director. In the whirlwind of accusations and recriminations that emerged in the wake of 9/11 and the Iraq war, one man's vital testimony has been conspicuously absent. Candid and gripping, 'At the Centre of the Storm' is George Tenet's time at the Central ...Read MoreA no-holds-barred chronicle and inside story of the war on terror by the former CIA director. In the whirlwind of accusations and recriminations that emerged in the wake of 9/11 and the Iraq war, one man's vital testimony has been conspicuously absent. Candid and gripping, 'At the Centre of the Storm' is George Tenet's time at the Central Intelligence Agency, a revelatory look at the inner workings of the most important intelligence organization in the world during the most challenging times in recent history. With unparalleled access to both the highest echelons of government and raw intelligence from the field, Tenet illuminates CIA's painstaking attempts to prepare the country against new and deadly threats, disentangling the interlocking events that led to 9/11, and offering explosive new information on the deliberations and strategies that culminated in the US invasion of Iraq. Beginning with his appointment as Director of Central Intelligence in 1997, Tenet unfolds the events that led to 9/11 as he experienced them including his declaration of war on al Qa'ida; the worldwide operational plan to fight terrorists; and the plan for a coordinated and devastating counterattack against al Qa'ida laid down just six days after the attacks. He then turns to the war in Iraq as he provides dramatic insight and background on the run-up to the invasion, including the CIA's critical role in an administration predisposed to take the country to war. In doing so, he sets the record straight about CIA operations and shows readers that the truth is more complex than suggested in other versions of recent history offered thus far. Through it all, Tenet paints an unflinching self-portrait of a man caught between the warring forces of the administration's decision-making process and his own conscience. Drawing on his experience within the wilderness of mirrors of intelligence collection and analysis and providing crucial information previously undisclosed, 'At the Centre of the Storm' is a moving and revelatory profile of both a man and a nation in times of crisis.Read Less
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Excellent book on background information as to what happened during Tenet's years at the CIA. He gives background and in depth detailed account of the Bush years.
I would highly recommend this book for anyone interested in these years.
Jun 23, 2007
Having served as Director of Central Intelligence under both Clinton and Bush 43, George Tenet brings a unique perspective to the recent history of U.S. Government policies. The preponderance of his tome deals with the Middle East. Part I covers several incidents regarding the Palestinian/Israeli dispute and some incidents from other parts of the world. The rest of the work provides an interesting background to the activities of the Bush/Cheney/Rove administration in dealing with terrorism and more particularly in conning us into war with Iraq and then destroying whatever chances there were for a ?peaceful? restoration of stability in Iraq. Perhaps most telling is a quote to the CIA?s Senior man in Baghdad attributed to Paul Wolfowitz: ?You don?t understand the policy of the U.S. government, and if you don?t understand the policy, you are hardly in a position to collect the intelligence to help that policy succeed.? Tenet carries this further by noting that the ?Policy makers [Bush, Cheney, Rice, Rumsfield et. al.] didn?t seem to want us dealing with anyone who wasn?t ?politically acceptable? to them on some firm but unannounced scale.? Tenet also speaks of CIA reports giving accurate assessments of the situation being leaked to the press and having the administration essentially shoot the messenger. In his conclusion Tenet states ?intelligence alone should never drive the formulation of policy.? He did not follow that with the converse, policy should never drive intelligence collection and analysis. Tenet?s book reveals that under the current administration partisan politicization of everything is the norm.
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