Matthew M. Aid
5.0 out of 5 stars Inside the Secret World,January 16, 2012
By Retired Reader (New Mexico)
This is an interesting and informed account of how the major players of the U.S. Intelligence Community have conducted what the administration of President George W. Bush usually called the Global War on Terror. In the course of doing this its author, Mathew Aid, does a good job explaining the complexities involved in that War and specifically provides a very good summary of U.S. operations in Afghanistan and rocky relationship with sometimes ally Pakistan. The book does not cover all of the many intelligence pockets that have been directed towards counter-terrorism, but concentrates primarily on the activities of CIA, the FBI, and the NSA, but also notes the work of the military intelligence services and the NGA. Surprisingly the book also provides what appears to be a fair and accurate assessment of the contributions of both the Office of Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Aid provides a balanced and apparently accurate assessment of the overall performance of these agencies. He notes their successes and failures, but makes clear that the U.S. Intelligence System continues to be hampered by serious technical flaws and very weak leadership in its higher echelons. A good read that provides an educated description of how the U.S. in general and its intelligence system in particular has handled the threat of terrorism since the 9/11 tragedy.
Phi Beta Iota: The author is very blunt across the book about the routine lying that seems to be the norm for senior officers in both the military and political arenas. He also has a great story about VP Cheney insisting on 24/7 helicopter cover for Blair Mansion when he was in residence as well as insisting that Google Map fuzz pictures of the place. We do not make this stuff up. We can only wonder at what other insanities uniformed officers accept in their confused substitution of loyalty for integrity.