5 for Khobar, 3 for Omissions or Misdirection, 4 on Balance,
The books gets four stars over-all because of one exceptional aspect: the authoritative account of what we knew about the Iranian responsibility for Khobar Towers, when we knew it, when the President (Clinton) knew it, and when Lake and the others knew it. For this alone Clinton, Albright, and Lake, in particular, should be held accountable, for that specific attack on U.S. soldiers was the opening shot in the Iranian covert war against the United States. The Clinton team chose to focus on Saudi contributions to the Clinton library rather than defending America, setting the stage for equal dereliction of duty by the Bush team.
Freeh’s book does earn four stars from me, and merits special recognition as a small part of the mosaic of truth that is emerging long after the 9-11 cover-ups and the complete refusal of Washington stake-holders to acknowledge any of the recommendations of either the Aspin-Brown Commission or the 9-11 Commission or the Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission. In the former case (Aspin-Brown) legitimate and heavy recommendations were made and ignored. In the latter cases, the recommended reforms are lipstick on the pig. Nothing has changed, we will get hit again.
I recommend that Freeh’s book be read together with Stansfield Turner’s very new publication, “BURN BEFORE READING,” because the two together persuade me that intelligence, like Justice, needs a Supreme Court and leaders appointed for life that are beyond the manipulative powers of the White House or the pork barrel politics of Congress. The Bush White House, like the Clinton White House, but for different reasons, chose to betray all Americans and ignore the clear and present danger of the Iranian attacks on the U.S., the Saudi support for global radicalization of Islam, and the Pakistani nuclear program. Today, Hamas and Hezbollah–creatures of the Iranians–not Al Qaeda–are the greatest threats to the destabilization of South Asia, Latin America, and portions of Africa, and despite the heroic efforts of the Special Operations community, it is not possible for them to be successful in the absence of honest adult leadership in Washington that demands a 24/7 full court press from ALL the instruments of national power.