Richard Clarke was appointed by President Clinton as the first National Coordinator for Security, Infrastructure Protection and Counter-terrorism in May 1998 and continued in that position under George W. Bush until March 2003.
A few bars of heavy, ominous-sounding orchestral music set the tone for this incendiary account of the events that occurred inside the White House on 9/11 and the months and years prior to it. Former counterterrorism director Clarke starts out by describing how he took charge in the situation room on the day of the attacks and facilitated communication among the White House, the FBI and the FAA. The level of detail Clarke includes is impressive. Not only does he paint a vivid portrait of the White House in crisis mode, but he even recalls a number of conversations (including one in which Bush, after learning of al Qaeda's involvement, purportedly tells Clarke, "See if Saddam did this. See if he's linked in any way"). Whether one chooses to believe Clarke's version of events or not, this first chapter is riveting, and Clarke delivers it like a pro. With his deep tenor and weighty pauses, Clarke never lets listeners forget the gravity of the situation, but he isn't above making an attempt at the various accents and inflections of the major players. His frustration over how the current administration has responded to 9/11 and how he believes the FBI and CIA failed to act leaks through at times, but by the end of this compelling audiobook, many listeners may share it. Simultaneous release with the Free Press hardcover. (Mar.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
'This is an angry yet authoritative polemic that demands to be read by anyone interested in the exercise of American power' SUNDAY TIMES 'Mr Clarke's book is a rare literary phenomenon, a thriller, contemporary history and kiss-and-tell all rolled into one' THE TIMES 'This book is not just another hysterical anti-Bush polemic but a forensic glimpse into the entrails of government' SCOTSMAN