In December 2003, after one of the largest, most aggressive manhunts in history, US military forces captured Iraqi president Saddam Hussein near his hometown of Tikrit. Beset by body-double rumors and false alarms during a nine-month search, the Bush administration needed positive identification of the prisoner before it could make the announcement that would rocket around the world.
At the time John Nixon was a senior CIA leadership analyst who had spent years studying the Iraqi dictator. Called upon to make the official ID, Nixon looked for telltale scars and tribal tattoos and asked Hussein a list of questions only he could answer. The man was indeed Saddam Hussein, but, as Nixon learned in the ensuing weeks, both he and America had greatly misunderstood just who Saddam Hussein really was.
Debriefing the President presents an astounding, candid portrait of one of our era's most notorious strongmen. Nixon, the first man to conduct a prolonged interrogation of Hussein after his capture, offers expert insight into the history and mind of America's most enigmatic enemy. After years of parsing Hussein's leadership from afar, Nixon faithfully recounts his debriefing sessions and subsequently strips away the mythology surrounding an equally brutal and complex man. His account is not an apology but a sobering examination of how preconceived ideas led Washington policymakers - and the Bush White House - astray. Unflinching and unprecedented, Debriefing the President exposes a fundamental misreading of one of the modern world's most central figures and presents a new narrative that boldly counters the received account.
©2016 John Nixon (P)2016 Penguin Audio
Yeah, I guess so - it's under 6 hours ,,,
I bought this book to hear the story of Saddam Hussein's interrogation, and those parts I found interesting, Unfortunately, Nixon devotes the last 40% of the book to a description of the intelligence community in Washington and his dislike of many of its members. That would have been better used in a separate book.
Not much - he's obviously not a professional narrator
The parts containing Hussein would be interesting. The rest, not so much
Every other paragraph starts with "this was redacted" makes it impossible to get into a rhythm and leaves you more curious than before you bought yhe book
A good listen makes for an amazing day!
The constant " this statement has been redacted by the CIA" became annoying and ruined the listener experience.
Overall, a decent and interesting story and insight in to this event.
Unfortunately, whenever it was just getting interesting large portions of content would be redacted. This in itself I found strange - instead of leaving huge chunks missing, why did the author not re-write those parts (omitting the specific details which caused the redaction)? It made it seem like they were either too lazy or, as an ego thing, wanted the redactions left in to prove how much sensitive info they knew.
As the book progressed, I found the jolting redactions quite annoying and off-putting.
great historical value and insight into the iraq war. The story is highly detailed so you learn allot about what transpires and how even with all the redactions.
The story does allot of bouncing around in the time line.
The interrogation of Saddam Hussein was interesting but the most enlightening part of this book took place in DC. After interrogating Saddam Hussein, the author returned to the US where he was asked to brief President GW Bush. He noted that he was excited to have the opportunity, and as he described it, the initial meeting went well. It was interesting to hear him describe the oval office, how the President took the briefing off track, and how others in the room would participate during the briefs. Being a Government employee myself who has interacted with the pentagon and routinely works on high level programs, I was particularly interested in the author's experience as he was a GS-14 during the briefs. Overall, the story was good and the narrator, who is also the author, spoke with a fairly flat tone throughout the book. I enjoyed the book and recommend it to others.
An incredible insight into the situation in Iraq before during and after the war. John Nixon was the head CIA Iraq analyst at the time and interrogated Saddam Hussein every day for months. Not only does this book give incredible insight into the intelligence findings before during and after the war but Nixon gives a scathing review of President Clinton not trusting the CIA, President Bush not listening to the CIA, President Obama not caring about intelligence reports in general, and the resulting foreign-policy disasters concerning Iraq. He also gives insight into Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, George Tenet and many others. The political insight into the connection between the intelligence community and the White House is incredible.
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