See No Evil: The True Story of a Ground Soldier in the CIA's War on Terrorism
In his explosive New York Times bestseller, top CIA operative Robert Baer paints a chilling picture of how terrorism works on the inside and provides startling evidence of how Washington politics sabotaged the CIA’s efforts to root out the world’s deadliest terrorists, allowing for the rise of Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda and the continued entrenchment of Saddam Hussein in Iraq.
A veteran case officer in the CIA’s Directorate of Operations in the Middle East, Baer witnessed the rise of terrorism first hand and the CIA’s inadequate response to it, leading to the attacks of September 11, 2001. This riveting book is both an indictment of an agency that lost its way and an unprecedented look at the roots of modern terrorism, and includes a new afterword in which Baer speaks out about the American war on terrorism and its profound implications throughout the Middle East.
“Robert Baer was considered perhaps the best on-the-ground field officer in the Middle East.” –Seymour M. Hersh, The New Yorker
From The Preface This book is a memoir of one foot soldier’s career in the other cold war, the one against terrorist networks. It’s a story about places most Americans will never travel to, about people many Americans would prefer to think we don’t need to do business with.
This memoir, I hope, will show the reader how spying is supposed to work, where the CIA lost its way, and how we can bring it back again. But I hope this book will accomplish one more purpose as well: I hope it will show why I am angry about what happened to the CIA. And I want to show why every American and everyone who cares about the preservation of this country should be angry and alarmed, too.
The CIA was systematically destroyed by political correctness, by petty Beltway wars, by careerism, and much more. At a time when terrorist threats were compounding globally, the agency that should have been monitoring them was being scrubbed clean instead. Americans were making too much money to bother. Life was good. The White House and the National Security Council became cathedrals of commerce where the interests of big business outweighed the interests of protecting American citizens at home and abroad. Defanged and dispirited, the CIA went along for the ride. And then on September 11, 2001, the reckoning for such vast carelessness was presented for all the world to see.
Straight Talk from Patriot--Should Testify at 9-11 Hearings
By Robert David STEELE Vivas - January 31, 2002
As a former clandestine case officer, leaving the Agency in 1988 after unsuccessfully chasing terrorists for a few years, I knew we were in bad shape but I did not realize just how bad until I read this book. The author, working mostly in the Near East (NE) Division of the Directorate of Operations, and then in the Counter-Terrorism Center when it was just starting out, has an extremely important story to tell and every American needs to pay attention. Why? Because his account of how we have no assets useful against terrorism is in contradiction to what the Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) told the President and his top advisors at Camp David on Saturday 15 September. According to the Washington Post of 31 January 2002, page A13, on the 15th the DCI laid out an ambitious "Worldwide Attack Matrix" and told the President that the United States had a "large asset base" from its years of working the terrorism target. One of these two men one is closer to the truth than the other... read more
HOW THE CIA WAS ONCE SUCCESSFUL AND A WARNING
By A Customer - January 21, 2002
Robert Baer provides a very interesting read and and warning for the future. He shows us how the old CIA operators in the Operations Division were trained to gather intelligence from human sources, who most of the time remained on the American payroll for years. This is the way we won the Cold War. But now, Baer tells us, the CIA has been eviscerated and is a shell of its former self, more preoccupied with political correctness and telling senior leaders what they want to hear. The human agent has been replaced by total reliance on satellites, electronic eavesdropping and other technology we have had for many years, but which are no substitute for a human being. He calls the failure of our intelligence networks regarding 9/11 a disaster and makes a compelling case that if we do not go back to the human element of intelligence gathering, such tragedies will become more and more frequent. Anyone interested in our national security should read this book.
Where Did We Go Wrong? Baer Tells Us
By A. Wolverton - March 17, 2002
'See No Evil' documents Robert Baer's career as a CIA field officer, but it also does much more. It shows us how intelligence in this country has drastically changed since the Cold War and the tragic consequences we as a nation are paying for those changes.At the beginning of his career, Baer describes himself as an extremely unlikely candidate for the CIA. He relates experiences of his training and facts from many events that we just _think_ we know about. Baer's story makes for very interesting and exciting reading as he describes the thrills and dangers of his first several years as a field officer. It was an incredibly tough and dangerous job, but a necessary one, as the author adequately demonstrates. Excitement quickly turns to anger for both the author and the reader. As the Cold War ends, the reader will learn how the CIA took a dramatic turn, seeking to gain intelligence from satellite surveilance rather than from agents in the field. Why not? The technology is... read more
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