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“A good account of what went on within the White House and CIA after 9/11. Early on it focuses on Dick Cheney, who created the One Percent Doctrine. The latter really focuses in the CIA and Gerge Tenet, among others. I would recommend this book.”Hans Hoffmann wrote this review Sunday, February 17, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Very interesting read!”Stephen wrote this review Friday, January 25, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Breezed through is one... wonder if it's all true or opinion? ”Richard F wrote this review Wednesday, October 12, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“interesting read”Erin L wrote this review Wednesday, July 14, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Penetrating look at Cheney & the Bush administration and their response to 9/11.”Rick C wrote this review Thursday, September 10, 2009. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Interesting look into the way our country became more than what meets the eye”Nicolai3rdeye wrote this review Sunday, May 17, 2009. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
This is a trenchant recounting by prominent reporter Ron Suskind of the Bush Administration's confused reaction to 9/11 and its determination even before 9/11 to pursue war with Iraq, the facts be damned. Cheney insisted that even a 1% possibility of a terrorist attack must for purposes of determining action be treated as a certainty, regardless of evidence, and they all wanted to make of Saddam an example of what could happen to anyone who dared to question American hegemony.
The real heroes here, as far as Suskind is concerned anyway, are "the invisibles," the career intelligence agents working below the level of public notice to punish terrorists and prevent further attacks. His tragic hero is George Tenet, torn between his loyalty to Bush for retaining him from the Clinton administration and again after 9/11, on the one hand, and his loyalty to those under him fighting the real war, on the other. Colin Powell comes off as reasonably decent but shut out of decision making. Suskind also gives some respect to Brent Scowcroft for futilely trying to lead the neocons to basing policy on realistic, fact-based conclusions, as the administration of George H. W. Bush was more wont to do.
For villains, he has a wire roster available. There are the chaotic Department of Homeland Security, the often fumbling FBI, and the corporations that kowtowed to the administration and violated the privacy rights of countless loyal Americans. There are Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith and their ilk, long scheming to create what they called the "New American Century." There are also the dishonest and treacherous Condi Rice, the arrogant but befuddled Don Rumsfeld, and the undereducated and inexperienced but blustering George Bush with his insistence on relying on "gut instinct." Most villainous of all is Dick Cheney, the real power behind the throne, who for thirty years has been determined to assert the executive branch's dominance over the other branches of government, the government's dominance over the American people, and America's dominance over the world.
A couple of things about the way this book was written bothered me. Suskind's novel-like use of conversation made the book very readable, but impairs its credibility. He surely made up long stretches of dialogue, especially those of meetings at the highest or most secret levels that he cannot have had access to. My other concern is that he makes several assertions of fact on every page, but not a single one of them is backed up in a footnote. Nevertheless, I'd recommend this book even to those who feel like they've paid close attention to the events of the six years, as I thought I had, because it gives a much clearer picture to the peril our republic suffered under until recently.
“I found this book well written, educational, easy to read, enlightening, funny, encouraging, inspirational. While it's bias is clearly against the Bush administration I feel it is telling a story in a manner that is consistent with the facts of the case. Too much has been easily hidden by the process of classifying what one wants to keep hidden and declassifying that which helps to make one's case. Obviously difficult decisions are made at the highest level of government. Decisions are made to protect people's lives that are threatened by extremist groups, how that war is waged, whehter is being waged to the best of our capability is the main theme of this book. ”Meg M wrote this review Friday, October 31, 2008. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No