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Publisher's Summary

In Jawbreaker, Gary Berntsen, until recently one of the CIA's most decorated officers, comes out from under cover for the first time to describe his no-holds-barred pursuit of Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda.

With his unique mix of clandestine knowledge and paramilitary training, Berntsen represents the new face of counterterrorism. Recognized within the agency for his aggressiveness, Berntsen, when dispatched to Afghanistan, made annihilating the enemy his job description.

As the CIA's key commander coordinating the fight against the Taliban forces around Kabul, and the drive toward Tora Bora, Berntsen not only led dozens of CIA and Special Operations Forces, he also raised 2,000 Afghan fighters to aid in the hunt for bin Laden.

In this first-person account of that incredible pursuit, which actually began years earlier in an East Africa bombing investigation, Berntsen describes being ferried by rickety helicopter over the towering peaks of Afghanistan, sitting by General Tommy Franks' side as heated negotiations were conducted with Northern Alliance generals, bargaining relentlessly with treacherous Afghan warlords and Taliban traitors, plotting to save hostages about to be used as pawns, calling in B-52 strikes on dug-in enemy units, and deploying a dizzying array of Special Forces teams in the pursuit of the world's most wanted terrorist. Most crucially, Berntsen tells of cornering bin Laden in the Tora Bora mountains, and what happened when Berntsen begged Washington to block the al-Qaeda leader's last avenue of escape.

As disturbingly eye-opening as it is adrenaline-charged, Jawbreaker races from CIA war rooms to diplomatic offices to mountaintop redoubts to paint a vivid portrait of a new kind of warfare, showing what can and should be done to deal a death blow to freedom's enemies.

©2006 Gary Berntsen and Ralph Pezzullo; (P)2006 Books on Tape

Critic Reviews

"Jawbreaker is both a thrilling read and a timely reminder of why America needs a clandestine service." (James Dobbins, Director of International Security and Defense Policy, Rand Corporation; Former U.S. Special Envoy to Afghanistan)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Joshua
  • San Luis Obispo, CA, USA
  • 07-01-08

A great read (err - Listen)

This audio book had me rivited to my speakers - I learned so much about our actions in Afganistan and at the same time was amazed by the actions, firepower and just how close we came to capturing Bin Laden. Unfortunately, the CIA sensored REDACTED so many parts of the book - I felt teased. I am DYING for an uncencored revision.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Robert
  • Geln Iris, VIC, Australia
  • 04-09-09

Fasinating

I really enjoyed this book, although it would of been so much better if there had been less censorship by the CIA. The frustration of about the censorship was only heightened because there was information removed that I had already heard in other books or had already been published in the media.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Deleted

Couldn't get comfortable with this book from the start. The "deleted" and "section deleted" parts start from the beginning and just never stop. It left me feeling like I was missing something throughout. Too annoying to even finish the book. Really disappointed. Too bad because I would imagine it was a pretty good story. If you want all your book without interruption I would recommend skipping this one.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Great Audiobook

Fantastic audiobook. This is a must listen if you want to get an understanding of events in the Middle East.
It's very unfortunate that the CIA felt was it necessary to take a censorship axe to what could be an excellent tool for educating listeners to recent historical events in a very troubled part of the globe.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Brilliant

Amazing book and as accurate as you can get under the strict rules and redactions by the head shed. If you are interested in knowing what truly happened the first couple months of our invasion this book is a must read! Take it from me who took part in ops during this time frame.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

A Disapointment

What would have made Jawbreaker better?

The deleted parts completely took away from the story

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Narrator did a good job

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Hard to follow

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Aaron
  • Salt Lake City, UT, United States
  • 06-11-12

Complete Fu"deleted"cking Bulls"deleted"hit

I've heard all of the deleted information on the History Channel. Bad editor or bad author. The book may be good, but it seams like a joke so far.

  • Overall

Disappointing

In too many places the author leaves us with "deleted" or "redacted." What's the point in this? Explain it or rewrite instead of telling half. A good story, spoiled. Also, the author rails against Clinton and praises Bush, who ultimately let bin Laden escape and allowed Afghanistan to rekindle into the hell it is now. And finally, do real heroes require so much self-congratulation? Why not let history do that?

2 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Full story but half a book!

I started listening to this book but couldn't get passed the second chapter! Every other word is "deleted" ( and yes, the narrator actually says that! For example " Mr. Deleted asked if the deal to deleted is still at deleted") rrrgghh! I know the story personally, the CIA and the author did this book a disservice. The CIA shouldn't have censored half the book and once the publishers saw the book was just an alphabet soup, they shouldn't have printed it!! What a waste a money! DO NOT BUY THIS BOOK!!

3 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • JR
  • 07-05-11

Terrible

While this is a great story it is a horrible audiobook. Unless you like hearing "deleted" every 20 seconds for 6 hours do not buy this.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful