In the whirlwind of accusations and recriminations that has attended the post 9/11 world, one man's vital testimony has been conspicuously absent. Candid and compelling, At the Center of the Storm is George Tenet's memoir of his life at the CIA - a revelatory look at the inner workings of America's top intelligence agency and its dealings with national leaders at home and abroad. With unparalleled knowledge and breadth, Tenet illuminates how the country was prepared, and in some respects was not prepared, to deal with a world full of new and deadly threats.Beginning with his installation as director of Central Intelligence in 1997, Tenet unfolds the momentous events that led up to 9/11: his declaration of war on Al Qa'ida, his worldwide operational plan to fight terror, his warnings to White House officials, and the plan for a response laid down just six days after the attack. Tenet also reveals the CIA's efforts since 9/11 to hunt down the fugitive members of Al Qa'ida's leadership.
In his gripping narrative of the run-up to the war in Iraq, Tenet provides fresh insights and background, including a privileged account of how the famous "sixteen words" made it into the president's State of the Union speech, the real context of his own now-famous "slam-dunk" comment, and the CIA's views of the rise of an Iraqi insurgency. Finally, as the country digs in for a prolonged war, he gives his thoughts on how we can forge a more secure world.
With a preface and afterword read by the author, this abridgment of former CIA Director George Tenet's memoir offers his perspective on the events that led up to and followed 9/11. Eric Conger gives an intelligent performance as Tenet spends an inordinate amount of time denying, then waffling over, his statement that the case against Iraq with respect to weapons of mass destruction was "a slam-dunk." Thanks to Conger's capable narration, the lack of communication between intelligence agencies is clear and deeply disturbing, and the questions left unanswered about current CIA policies speak volumes.
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