In A Pretext for War, acclaimed author James Bamford–whose classic book The Puzzle Palace first revealed the existence of the National Security Agency–draws on his unparalleled access to top intelligence sources to produce a devastating expos? of the intelligence community and the Bush administration. A Pretext for War reveals the systematic weaknesses behind the failure to detect or prevent the 9/11 attacks, and details the Bush administration’s subsequent misuse of intelligence to sell preemptive war to the American people. Filled with unprecedented new revelations, from the sites of “undisclosed locations” to the actual sources of America’s Middle East policy, A Pretext for War is essential reading for anyone concerned about the security of the United States.From the Trade Paperback edition.
Published: VintageAnchor an imprint of Random House Publishing Group on May 10, 2004
Despite the weighty subject, this book reads like a novel. Some reviewers pan it as a work of fiction. You owe it to yourself to read this book and decide for yourself.James Bamford asserts that the current Bush administration commenced its service with an agenda to topple Saddam Hussein, end involvement in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and rearrange the dominoes in the Middle East. Bamford's premise is that the Bush administration, with the able assistance of its neo-conservatives previously employed by the Israeli government, manipulated the inadequate intelligence it received to increase public support for its war on Iraq. Along the way, tax dollars were used illegally to propagandize American citizens while the inept US media mutely watched. Additionally, the NSA spied on the UN Security Council and Hans Blix, the chief of the Iraq weapons inspectors.Despite the complexity of the story author James Bamford writes, A Pretext For War is very readable and in fact is very interesting. Initially, Bamford follows the 9/11 terrorists and then the President and other US officials. The second section of the book traces the intelligence gathering. The third and final section of watches the Bush administration as it weaves the events, gathered intelligence and speculation into a tapestry of its own designI recommend the well written reviews posted by Robert D. Steele and "autonomeus".In the "how I would improve this book" category, I would like to have read more on the FBI / CIA turf battle over the terrorist investigations. In particular, more details about John P. O'Neill who headed the bureau's Counterterrorism Division. Finally, the noted fact that George Tennet, as Director of the CIA only controlled 15% of America's intelligence empire while Donald Rumsfield as Secretary of Defense controlled 85% of the intelligence was mentioned twice in the book (p 214 & p 353). Once would have been enough.read more
A review of the role of the CIA and other people as to the rationale for the war on Iraq. Good read and overview of how WMD's were pushed as the cause of the start of the war.read more
Read as a book on disc, so not experienced quite as deeply as actually reading. And, honestly, lots that I already knew. But part 1's depiction of the events of 9/11 is quite compelling and detailed.read more
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