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willemite

willemite

Currently reading

Hieroglyph: Stories and Blueprints for a Better Future
Neal Stephenson
Ukraine: Zbig's Grand Chessboard & How the West Was Checkmated
Natylie Baldwin, Kermit D. Larson
The Girl on the Train: A Novel
Paula Hawkins
Our Souls at Night: A novel
Kent Haruf
Above the Waterfall
Ron Rash
On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
Stephen King
Designs on Film: A Century of Hollywood Art Direction
Cathy Whitlock
The Homicide Report: Understanding Murder in America
Jill Leovy
Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania
Erik Larson
The Gods of Mars
Edgar Rice Burroughs
Against All Enemies - Richard A. Clarke This is the center of the controversy. Clarke is the most informed insider when it comes to the federal government's response to and planning for terrorism. He should know. As the White House anti-terrorism Czar he was in a central position from the 90s to the present, and was in the business for 30 years, covering the presidencies of Reagan, Bush the first, Clinton and Bush 43. He says that the incoming Bush administration was so contrarian about Clinton that they ignored the plans and advice proffered by the outgoing experts. He describes Bush as completely uninvolved, and apparently uninterested. Seen as a Clinton holdover, Clarke was moved down an organizational notch, and deprived of cabinet level interaction. He says that they dropped the ball, that there was no real urgency in the administration despite the fact that Tennet was giving Dubya daily briefings that included daily alarms about al Quaeda.

I found it occasionally difficult to follow some early parts of the book, sections that dealt with US policy in the 80's, but overall that area is quite strong. He shows how various actions and events contributed to the growth of contemporary extremism. This was quite fascinating.