A legendary CIA spy and counterterrorism expert tells the spellbinding story of his high-risk, action-packed career while illustrating the growing importance of America's intelligence officers and their secret missions.
For a crucial period, Henry Crumpton led the CIA's global covert operations against America's terrorist enemies, including al Qaeda. In the days after 9/11, the CIA tasked Crumpton to organize and lead the Afghanistan campaign. With Crumpton's strategic initiative and bold leadership, from the battlefield to the Oval Office, U.S. and Afghan allies routed al Qaeda and the Taliban in less than 90 days after the Twin Towers fell. At the height of combat against the Taliban in late 2001, there were fewer than 500 Americans on the ground in Afghanistan, a dynamic blend of CIA and Special Forces. The campaign changed the way America wages war. This book will change the way America views the CIA.
The Art of Intelligence draws from the full arc of Crumpton's espionage and covert action exploits to explain what America's spies do and why their service is more valuable than ever. From his early years in Africa, where he recruited and ran sources, from loathsome criminals to heroic warriors; to his liaison assignment at the FBI, the CIA's Counterterrorism Center, the development of the UAV Predator program, and the Afghanistan war; to his later work running all CIA clandestine operations inside the United States, he employs enthralling storytelling to teach important lessons about national security, but also about duty, honor, and love of country.
No book like The Art of Intelligence has ever been written - not with Crumpton's unique perspective, in a time when America faced such grave and uncertain risk. It is an epic, sure to be a classic in the annals of espionage and war.
©2012 Henry A. Crumpton (P)2012 Penguin Audiobooks
Avid general reader with a fondness for British and Irish Writers and world history.
Interesting but not fascinating. This book contains details of the CIA's involvement in various world events but these are muddied by the author's use of acronyms and un-necessary descriptions of the physical attributes of his characters. It would have been much more rewarding to learn more about their interactions with others and less about whether they could 'growl, spit' etc. That the author was flattered by the fact that George W. Bush put his hand on his back is, perhaps, understandable but self-aggrandizing and his recall of conversations had with various people is either a result of perfect recall or that they were all recorded - both of which are unlikely. Still, there are lessons to be learned and the author points out some of these very clearly. It is to be hoped that politicians and public servants have taken note and action.
The organization. He organizes it in chronological order in parts, intelligence collection methods in others, and in other various ways. It makes allows for too many rapid departures and side stories.
Break it out into clear sections. Only occasionally drift off subject. Do not use the side story as a vehicle to lengthen the book and drive home obvious points. Its a book on Intelligence for the love of Pete! People interested in reading this subject probably have at least the basics down.
Only one Character so hard to say. But he was very dry.
I wanted to know more about some of the key individuals and events talked about. So i wiki'd them. I guess that counts.
Though it is informative, it is like reading a text book. 70% of the information you already know or have been exposed to. you have to wade through the personal and political agenda of the author to get at some of the better bits of info though.
Henrik de Gyor
An insider perspective of the world of intelligence and modern warfare as they hunt for the most wanted terrorists. Crumpton pinpoints the differences between multiple agencies he collaborated with over the years from education, technology, tradecraft, protocol, dealing with politics, decision making as well as working with the private sector.
An insider perspective of the world of intelligence and modern warfare. The reasons behind introducing drones and their evolution into effective predators is described in great detail. Fascinating look into use of data to improve decision making. The story is surprisingly revealing.
The narration was direct and purposeful, but not droning.
There were some beautiful uses of data described. The collaboration between government agencies described is awe inspiring. There is some parts of prayer and deep patriotic feelings by the author.
This is an excellent view from the inside. It is an essential perspective in the discussion of how to respond to modern asymmetrical warfare.
This story operates as a description of the evolution of thinking about how we confront and destroy modern threats to the nation.
Could only get 1/3 through this. Just nothing to keep my attention, and I really tried. No suspense. No enlightenment. Very slightly interesting in the beginning to hear about the history of the CIA. Nice to hear it from his voice.
There were some really good stories in this book, but Mr. Crumpton purposefully left out too many details....like what country was involved. As a result, it was often difficult for the listener to really get a mind's eye understanding of the full picture.
This book provides an interesting and compelling look at what happens in the CIA's world on covert intelligence without compromising the safety & security of those who continue to serve our nation. The perspective of the author is quite unique and he describes how decisions are made and what the Company did to respond to Al Qaeda before and after 9/11. He points out the same fault in the U.S. approach to foreign policy that Charlie Wilson has in the past--no matter how well we fight the battle, we always seem to screw up the end game. I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in int'l relations, espionage, politics, and/or the CIA. It's well worth listening to and the reading progresses quickly and smoothly.
I'm very much interested in military history, and this was a unique view into CIA operations and the initial war in Afghanistan post-9/11.
I found the story very engaging, so much so that I finished this audiobook in three days.
Definitely recommended for anyone who's interested in the intelligence services & military history.
An atypical CIA Autobiography, where the author's purpose isn't to tell us how "bad ass" he/she is and the reader/listener never knowing where the embellishment starts and ends.
Mr. Crumpton may have other than altruistic motivations in writing this book, but reading this work makes you feel like he has genuine concern for the future of his organization as well as the rest of the Intelligence Community. He introduces us to the complexities of source development and, most importantly, the time, effort and money that it takes to find reliable and high producing assets.
There is plenty of anecdotal evidence to support his justification for writing this book, which was primarily to inform the masses about how the intelligence cycle works and is usurped by ignorant policy makers. Mr. Crumpton writes a scathing report on policy makers in general and has legitimate criticism of Bush and company, but also delves plenty out to the current executive administration.
It does seem like he's painting a picture of infallibility of the agency ("hey we were 100% on Bin Laden before 9/11 and highly critical of the Iraq Invasion") when the reality was that, despite Mr. Crumpton's version, the CIA as a whole was not %100 on Bin Laden (see The Looming Tower by Lawrence Wright) nor were they highly critical of the Iraq Invasion, which was a CIA source validation failure (see Curveball by Bob Drugin). His book, his prerogative, but understand going in that he may not have an overt political agenda, he does have a CIA agenda.
Thank you for your service to this country and sharing with us Mr. Crumpton.
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This book blew me away. Crumpton is a skilled writer, which is a cherished talent amongst officers in the CIA who must often explain complex situations and actors through the medium of written report. The story, of both Crumpton's service and of the overarching intelligence/foreign security policy, is revealing and instrumental in demonstrating that the intelligence service requires much more than spycraft. It requires a good deal of open mindedness, cultural acceptance, and broad, inclusive perspective. A must read for any looking to someday work for the State Department or CIA.
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