Summary of Bush At War

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Rating

9

Qualities

  • Innovative

Recommendation

This detailed account sometimes reads with the inside perspective of a Tom Clancy thriller. Famed Watergate reporter Bob Woodward’s "fly on the wall" story relies on detailed accounts from excellent sources who were in the room when key decisions were made. This exposition lives up to his reputation, and even promotes it to another level - if there is one. He takes us inside the White House bunker, Camp David and the halls of political power. Sometimes you’ll think you’re reading yesterday’s headlines, but the story is more interesting when Woodward tells it. His narrative line is strong and you never feel that he is pandering to an action-film audience. This volume’s most important contribution is its colorful portrayal of the key decision makers and its insight into how things really worked in Washington at the nation’s most critical moment. getAbstract.com highly recommends this book to anyone yearning for a deeper insight about the World Trade Center attacks and their continuing aftermath.

About the Author

You almost can’t mention the name Bob Woodward without thinking of Watergate, but as assistant managing editor of The Washington Post, his career also covers more than 30 years and eight number one national nonfiction best-sellers. His focus has spanned the Supreme Court, the Hollywood drug culture, the CIA and the Pentagon. Woodward lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife, Elsa Walsh, a writer for The New Yorker, and his two daughters

 

Summary

Shock The most serious moment a nation can face is when its leaders decide to go to war. For the George W. Bush administration, the events that led to war occurred on Sept. 11, 2001.

Perhaps no one understood the cost of war better than George Tenet. As long time director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), he was well versed in political Armageddons. Tenet knew that the business of putting intelligence officers in the field to gather human-sourced intelligence (HUMINT) as opposed to intelligence gathered remotely through electronic signals (SIGINT) had fallen into a state of disrepair that had left the U.S. vulnerable to surprise attack. The nadir came in the 1990s; at one point, only 12 individuals were being taught to gather human intelligence. During the Clinton administration, Tenet increased that number tenfold to restore the country’s ability to conduct intelligence operations.

The morning of Sept. 11, Tenet was enjoying breakfast at the St. Regis Hotel, three blocks north of the White House, with his political mentor, former Sen. David L. Boren (D.-Okla.). When Boren asked what international threats he saw, Tenet replied, "Bin Laden." The CIA had received...


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