The Looming Tower is the wide-ranging story of the attacks of 9/11. Lawrence Wright's research into the events and personalities involved in the attacks is impressive, yet it is what he neglects to mention that sheds light on his purpose.
In The Looming Tower, the CIA is Wright’s scapegoat. Wright cites the failure of the transfer of information from the CIA to the FBI as the central reason for the success of 9/11. Wright mentions the now-famous "wall" between the CIA and the FBI that prevented the transfer of information pre-9/11, yet Wright characterizes the wall an entire bureaucracy of lawyers feared as more imaginative than real. His premise is that the CIA took the law too literally when it could have easily ignored it. Interestingly, within the minutiae of detail that Wright presents, he never mentions the creator of the wall--Jamie Gorelick--a Democrat who was chosen to sit in the 9/11 Commission.
The hero of this work is John O' Brien, an unsympathetic FBI agent who aggravates practically everyone in his orbit. O' Brien is the establishment as antihero, a sociopath who senses that 9/11 is looming, yet cannot get out of his own way while efforting to communicate his fears to the powers that be. Another hero is Richard Clarke, who Wright paints as yet another stereotypical antihero. Tellingly, Michael Scheuer of the CIA is characterized as "burnt-out" and mentally unstable. It is Scheuer who has repeatedly made headlines by insisting that the Clinton administration missed numerous chances to capture or kill Osama Bin Laden.
This book is the Rosetta stone for the Clinton apologists, and the philosophy contained within will undoubtedly be the template for arguments supporting Clinton’s administration in future campaigns.
I think as we can see in the previous reviews here, which consist of criticism at the "Mamet sucks" level of intellectual inspection, this book is shaking the left to its core. Mamet's criticism (or Secret Knowledge) has the ring of authenticity. Mamet ranges fearlessly through closely held left-wing tenets such as big-government central control, wealth redistribution, the left's imagined ownership of intellectualism, the fallacy of do-goodism, the evolution of liberalism from its legitimate roots to the ugliness it has become, and many, many more.
The authenticity comes from Mamet's immersion in the heart of darkness itself, namely left-wing Hollywood. Mamet is a true Hollywood insider; however, his criticism is based on solid theory that springs from the headwaters of modern conservative theory in works by authors such as Friedrich A. Hayek. His life experience in Hollywood gives his work a fresh approach that is a delight to consider.
What is interesting is that Mamet states that much like the emperor with no clothes story, liberals know that their worldview is not exactly kosher, but part of being a liberal is not to admit to it. Any liberal who "calls out" the inconsistencies and outright lies on which liberalism is based will be "rejected from the herd," which is exactly what is happening to Mamet. Ironic.
Anyway, this book is more than worth the credit and the time - a really excellent book with a wealth of intriguing ideas. I wish I could have done it more justice here. Do yourself a favor and listen to it. It may be a life changer.
Look where you will, but you will not find a book that better explains the post-911 landscape than Civilization and Its Enemies. It is undoubtedly the best post-911 philosophical investigation into the causes and effects of that seminal event. This awe-inspiring book absolutely soars in its intellectual scope and rare insight. It is also a delightful listen. Rising above ideological constraints, Harris equally indicts both Martha Nussbaum’s cosmopolitan ideals and the NeoCon’s rationale for the Iraqi War. By providing historical context from Hegel’s philosophical treatise on the mind and Francis Fukuyama’s end of history thesis (and many points in-between), Harris provides substantive proofs for his theories.
This book does have its flaws, as any investigation that ranges as far as this one does. Even with its flaws, there is no other book like it—it is a must-read for any modern reader with an interest in how western civilization evolved, but more importantly, will survive.
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