Biographer and political writer Ronald Kessler tackles the hot political topic of national security, analyzing the 9/11 attacks and explaining just how the nation is defeating its enemies. Narrator Alan Sklar offers a poignant and gripping reading through his terse, firm delivery. With a pitch-perfect, clear narration, Sklar's gritty tone brings an urgency to the work, his deep voice commanding the listener's attention from the very beginning. Sklar knows the material inside and out, particularly where to emphasize certain points. The result is a taut performance dealing with extremely sensitive material that will appeal to a wide range of listeners.
In his New York Times best-sellers A Matter of Character: Inside the White House of George W. Bush and Laura Bush: An Intimate Portrait of the First Lady, Kessler gained unprecedented access to the Bush administration. Now he has combined that access with the extraordinary network of contacts he has developed in the intelligence community to provide a headline-making, myth-busting insider account of how the U.S. intelligence agencies, under the leadership of the Bush administration, have completely reinvented themselves to thwart terrorist activity wherever it occurs.
Never before has a reporter gained such entry to the FBI, the National Counterterrorism Center, and the other agencies that are doing the real, unheralded work in spotting and capturing terrorists. By bringing listeners inside the key war rooms of the war on terror, from the Oval Office to the Pentagon, and from the CIA to the National Security Agency, Kessler destroys the common myths about our government's handling of the terrorist threat.
Filled with news breaks, The Terrorist Watch will take listeners up to the minute by focusing not simply on the immediate aftermath of 9/11 but also on the more recent breakthroughs and successes, such as the thwarting of the 2006 London terrorist plot, as well as the discovery and breakup of terrorist cells in Canada. In The Terrorist Watch, the full story is told for the first time.
He presents very important information that Americans need to know. Appears to have good sources and his writing style kept my interest. He clearly presents information/ideas about why there hasn't been additional attacks, yet.
He spends too much time preaching against the media, particularly the "NY Times" and "The Washington Post". His criticisms have some merit. However, his long rants against the left, media, and opponents to some of the features of the Patriot Act belong in a speech by Dick Chaney, not in a piece of nonfiction that explains what has, and is being done to protect us from another attack.
16 of 18 people found this review helpful
This book is a must ! The information is clearly presented and deep into detail and facts . I was impressed with the detailed description of how the media has often harmed efforts to keep us secure .the sometime almost arrogant spin not always objective .I was particularly impressed with the comparisons of how the media had operated just a few decades ago and how they operate now Mr.Kessler provides us a vivid picture of how the war on terror is being and has been fought. Trust me he is persuasive enough to make one question our pre conceived notions . Most importantly to me is that Mr. Kessler respects the truth ! Chips fall where they may .one may not see the our media institutions like the NY Times in quite the same light as we once did .I am not naive nor am I an ideologue. I have no axe to grind. I have a deep and heartfelt passion for honesty in government and media alike, and I often feel we are being failed by both. Mr.Kessler has given much reason to be proud of both as well. I have heard many of these same issues put forward by devoted public servants . I do not wish to leave the impression that this book is an attack upon the media and our government it illuminates some of the problems .The book is about so much more .This is one of the finest works of journalism I have come upon in decades. it stands as a fine example of great in depth, interesting, thought provoking, and detailed journalism. There is so much here ! Mr.Kessler paints with a finely detailed brush .This is not a liberal nor a conservative book it is a book every American should read, and appreciate the sacrifice and hard work of those charged with the protection of our Country. It is at times frightful how politics and agendas creep into the mix ,or how simply we tend to view the war on terror .Please Read this book and next time some ignorant blowhard thinks that they have the answers or those who are dismissive of the threat You can take them to task based on the facts .Thank you
9 of 12 people found this review helpful
The author criticizes the media of today for being sensationalist and unbalanced, while writing a wholly one-sided telling of the Bush Administration's efforts to combat terrorism. According to the author, the intelligence community is not to be faulted; the Bush Administration has never overreached; but the Clinton Administration all but caused 9/11 with their improper respect for all portions of the Constitution. If you're looking for the neocon spin on the war on terror, this is your book. If you are looking for a balanced presentation, look elsewhere.
10 of 18 people found this review helpful
Would you consider the audio edition of The Terrorist Watch to be better than the print version?
Never read the print version
What was one of the most memorable moments of The Terrorist Watch?
Finding out how bad our Government watched for terrorists before 9/11 and the details of how each of the past terrorists have been able to infiltrate our supposed tight security network. Most of this all predates Obama, but I would like to see just what his administration has done to step it up even more and how we have initiated a more elaborated intelligence network.
What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?
All of the audible books I have ordered so far come from audible.com and all have been excellent and easy to listen to. There isn't anything to say negative.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
No Easy Day
Any additional comments?
I'd like to see more James Paterson and politically conservative books on audible.com. I am sure if I looked harder i would find them.
Published in 2008, I am just now getting around to Ronald Kessler’s The Terrorist Watch. In this book, Kessler brings us up to speed on what has changed in security intelligence since 9/11. Readers are taken inside the FBI and CIA and given glimpses into what has been happening in the White House since then. This is really a revealing and exciting read. Every page has insights fully worth the effort. That said, readers who come to the Bush Administration with preconceived notions about how the War on Terror was carried out during his terms, might feel a little uncomfortable. Kessler’s position on media coverage of the War on Terror also might inflame some. However, the book still has a great deal to say about how we reacted, what the Government is doing to secure our security, and the implications of 9/11. The publication date is 2008, but the book is no less relevant still. The reading of Alan Sklar is well done.
This book attempts to present a view of the conduct of the "war on terror" but is really an apologia for the Bush administration. He conveniently blurs the distinction of the war against Al Qaeda with the war in Iraq, forgetting to mention that there was no relation between Iraq and 9/11, and that there were no terrorists in Iraq before Bush created them. Somehow he fails to mention Bush's infamous comment after a PDB mentioned that Al Qaeda was determined to attack the USA, "OK, you have covered your asses," doing nothing. He repeated says that 9/11 could not have been prevented, but I wonder what would have happened if Bush had called in the directors of the CIA & FBI, and demanded that they work together.
The Joe Wilson/Valerie Plame fiasco is likewise distorted. There is an attack on the reporter who broke the story while there is no mention that there was no other source of Plame's identity other than from The V.P. and that this was retribution, plain and simple. Several anecdotes are interesting; otherwise the book was a total waste of a credit.
2 of 6 people found this review helpful