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Paperback See No Evil : The True Story of a Ground Soldier in the CIA's War on Terrorism Book

ISBN: 140004684X

ISBN13: 9781400046843

See No Evil : The True Story of a Ground Soldier in the CIA's War on Terrorism

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Book Overview

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...

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I saw Robert Baer on CNN last night and he said he thinks the CIA is improving. He says the agency has finally realized it cannot carry out it's mission without field operatives. He says, however, it will take five years to train agents to operate in places like the Middle East. Apparenly, agents cannot get the hang of things overnight. The gist of SEE NO EVIL is that for years, the agency moved in the wrong direction--relying almost exclusively on technology and less and less on human contact. Baer left the CIA in 1997 and was working as a "consultant" last summer in Lebanon when he heard something was afoot. It seems the folks in Washington preferred to look the other way and see no evil--hence Sept. 11. Baer says on that dreadful day, the FBI, CIA, INS, and plenty of others failed. A small band of fellow citizens on a plane flying over PA saved Washington. (The Pentagon is in South Arlington--and as it happens--a few blocks from my house where I stood and watched black smoke rise into the sky. Although the Pentagon was damaged, the damage would have been far worse if the plane had crossed the river, because the Pentagon is constructed of reinforced concrete. Experts think the plane that crashed in PA was headed for DC. Two of my work colleagues were on that flight--Federal workers.)Since I work for a Federal agency, I can certainly identify with some of the bureacratic struggles Mr. Baer experiences. However, there are ways to get things done, and Mr. Baer himself shows how he managed to do so on more than one occasion. First you have to give up the idea of rapid advancement. Bureacracies don't reward risk-taking. Baer skated on thin ice more than once because he made the decision that he had to live with his own conscience. His his final citation (awarded to him without his knowledge) says, "He repeatedly put himself in personal danger, working the hardest targets, in service to his country." This is not poppycock. Plenty of career Feds take their jobs very seriously and love the country as much as Mr. Baer. Many have made sacrifices and been sacrificed, and not always for a good cause. Many like Baer have become whistle blowers. Unfortunately, whistle blowers are often seen as "bad" because they upset the status quo and force all of us to face reality. In a land where indulgence and fanasy entertainment rule, many people don't want to be reminded of that evil is real. Many of our elected officials and appointees are narrowly focused on career advancement, shortsighted and care only about what happens during their watch, and can hardly contain themselves as they prepare for the next election, the next big job, the next salary increase. But don't throw the baby out with the bath water, there are good guys in Washington. Some of them are elected officials like John McCain and John Kerry. Some are appointed like Donald Rumsfield. Many are career civil servents like Mr. Baer.Robert Baer's book reads like a John LeCarre thriller and I enjoyed it

Where Did We Go Wrong? Baer Tells Us

'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 available and fewer lives will be lost. Sounded like a good idea at the time, but not to Baer. You'll read about how terrorists in the Middle East and in other parts of the world were quickly ignored after the Cold War in favor or special interests in Washington. You'll also see how close we really were to putting an end to Saddam Hussein forever. You'll read about many other events that will surprise you, shock you, and make you mad as hell. 'See No Evil' made me experience all those feelings and more. How could the CIA have fallen to such a level as Baer describes in this book? What a terrible price we as a nation have paid and continue to pay for our lack of top-notch intelligence. I'll admit that twenty years ago I pretty much ignored all the fighting and disputes going on in the Middle East. I ignorantly thought that it didn't concern me, so I didn't give it much thought. The country was doing well, I was doing well, and that's all that mattered. I won't make that mistake again. I hope that Baer's book is read by millions of Americans and especially the big boys in Washington. This is not a book to be swept under the rug. It's a book to be read and heard by America, screaming at the top of our lungs, if need be.


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.

The most significant book about our failure to protect

As odd as it may seem coming from a operative overseas, this book reveals why we were left open for attack more so than any other write on the market. Washington certainly would not let us in on what was happening with the terrorist networks, since they really did not have information they SHOULD of had. That is the one convincing message of this astounding book. Our government deliberately let our guard down. After leaving Iraq militarily inept, our government thought that was the victory and could live with a few foreseen terrorist attacks. The USS Cole type of attack, and embassies bombed considered acceptable losses. According to this book, they wouldn't care to believe 911 was a possibility so they gave up on any routine type of terrorist intelligence prevention matters. This book is worth buying, I'm sorry I cannot mention all the info here, but the book is written in a way that draws you in and interests you even if you had zero interest in the matter. I read it since my brother left it at my home, I picked it up, and was taken. The book is of high material quality as well. Another excellent book and must read concerning 911, Afghanistan, speaks of this religious deviance by saying they in fact would bring the buildings down by insane actions and deny it was terrorism but divine direction and future occurrences is SB 1 or God by Karl Mark Maddox
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