No institution is as critically important to America's security. No American institution is as controversial. And, after the White House, Congress, and the Supreme Court, no institution is as powerful. Yet until now, no book has presented the full story of the FBI from its beginnings in 1908 to the present... The BureauThe Secret History of the FBIBased on exclusive interviews-including the first interview with Robert Mueller since his nomination as director-The Bureau reveals why the FBI was unprepared for the attacks of September 11 and how the FBI is combating terrorism today. The book answers such questions as: Why did the FBI know nothing useful about al-Qaeda before September 11? What is really behind the FBI's more aggressive investigative approaches that have raised civil liberties concerns? What does the FBI think of improvements in airline security? How safe does the FBI think America really is?An Award-winning investigative reporter and New York Times bestselling author of Inside the White House, Ronald Kessler answers these questions and presents the definitive history of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The Bureau reveals startling new information-from J. Edgar Hoover's blackmailing of Congress to the investigation of the September 11th attacks.
With the CIA at the core of the war on terror, no agency is as important to preserving America's freedom. Yet the CIA is a closed and secretive world-impenetrable to generations of journalists-and few Americans know what really goes on among the spy masters who plot America's worldwide campaign against terrorists.Only Ronald Kessler, an award-winning former Washington Post and Wall Street Journal investigative reporter, could have gained the unprecedented access to tell the story. Kessler interviewed fifty current CIA officers, including all the agency's top officials, and toured areas of the CIA the media has never seen. The agency actively encouraged retired CIA officers and officials to talk with him as well. In six years as director, George J. Tenet has never appeared on TV shows and has given only a handful of print interviews, all before 9/11, but Tenet agreed to be interviewed by Kessler for this book. He spoke candidly and passionately about the events of 9/11, the war on terror, the agency's intelligence on Iraq, and the controversies surrounding the agency.The CIA at War tells the inside story of how Tenet, a son of Greek immigrants, turned around the CIA from a pathetic, risk averse outfit to one that has rolled up 3,000 terrorists since 9/11, was critically important to winning in Afghanistan and Iraq, and now kills terrorists with its Predator drone aircraft.The book portrays Tenet as a true American hero, one who overcame every kind of Washington obstacle and the destructive actions of previous director John Deutch to make the agency a success. As Tenet said in a recent speech, "Nowhere in the world could the son of an immigrant stand before you as the director of Central Intelligence. This is simply the greatest country on the face of the earth."The CIA at War discloses highly sensitive information about the CIA's unorthodox methods and its stunning successes and shocking failures. The book explores whether the CIA can be trusted, whether its intelligence is politicized, and whether it is capable of winning the war on terror. In doing so, the book weaves in the history of the CIA and how it really works. It is the definitive account of the agency.From the CIA's intelligence failure of 9/11 to its critical role in preventing further attacks, The CIA at War tells a riveting, unique story about a secretive, powerful agency and its confrontation with global terrorism.
Since publication of his New York Times bestselling book In the President's Secret Service, award-winning investigative reporter Ronald Kessler has continued to penetrate the wall of secrecy that surrounds the U.S. Secret Service, breaking the story that Secret Service agents who were to protect President Obama hired prostitutes in Cartagena, Colombia and revealing that the Secret Service allowed a third uninvited guest to crash a White House state dinner. Now in The First Family Detail: Secret Service Agents Reveal the Hidden Lives of the Presidents, Kessler presents far bigger and more consequential stories that will make headlines about our nation's leaders and the agency sworn to protect them. Kessler widens his scope to include presidential candidates and former presidents after they leave the White House. In particular, he focuses on first ladies and their children and their relationships with the presidents. From seeing reckless behavior that threatens the country's safety, to overhearing First Lady Michelle Obama's admonitions to the president, to watching their own agency take risks that could result in an assassination, Secret Service agents know a hidden world that Ronald Kessler exposes in The First Family Detail.From the Hardcover edition.
Never before has a journalist penetrated the wall of secrecy that surrounds the U.S. Secret Service, that elite corps of agents who pledge to take a bullet to protect the president and his family. After conducting exclusive interviews with more than one hundred current and former Secret Service agents, bestselling author and award-winning reporter Ronald Kessler reveals their secrets for the first time.Secret Service agents, acting as human surveillance cameras, observe everything that goes on behind the scenes in the president's inner circle. Kessler reveals what they have seen, providing startling, previously untold stories about the presidents, from John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson to George W. Bush and Barack Obama, as well as about their families, Cabinet officers, and White House aides. Kessler portrays the dangers that agents face and how they carry out their missions-from how they are trained to how they spot and assess potential threats. With fly-on-the-wall perspective, he captures the drama and tension that characterize agents' lives.In this headline-grabbing book, Kessler discloses assassination attempts that have never before been revealed. He shares inside accounts of past assaults that have put the Secret Service to the test, including a heroic gun battle that took down the would-be assassins of Harry S. Truman, the devastating day that John F. Kennedy was killed in Dallas, and the swift actions that saved Ronald Reagan after he was shot.While Secret Service agents are brave and dedicated, Kessler exposes how Secret Service management in recent years has betrayed its mission by cutting corners, risking the assassination of President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and their families. Given the lax standards, "It's a miracle we have not had a successful assassination," a current agent says.Since an assassination jeopardizes democracy itself, few agencies are as important as the Secret Service-nor is any other subject as tantalizing as the inner sanctum of the White House. Only tight-lipped Secret Service agents know the real story, and Ronald Kessler is the only journalist to have won their trust.From the Hardcover edition.
In the President's Secret Service: Behind the Scenes with Agents in the Line of Fire and the Presidents they Protectby Ronald Kessler
Never before has a journalist penetrated the wall of secrecy that surrounds the U. S. Secret Service, that elite corps of agents who pledge to take a bullet to protect the president and his family. After conducting exclusive interviews with more than one hundred current and former Secret Service agents, bestselling author and award-winning reporter Ronald Kessler reveals their secrets for the first time. Secret Service agents, acting as human surveillance cameras, observe everything that goes on behind the scenes in the president's inner circle. Kessler reveals what they have seen, providing startling, previously untold stories about the presidents, from John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson to George W. Bush and Barack Obama, as well as about their families, Cabinet officers, and White House aides. Kessler portrays the dangers that agents face and how they carry out their missions--from how they are trained to how they spot and assess potential threats. With fly-on-the-wall perspective, he captures the drama and tension that characterize agents' lives. In this headline-grabbing book, Kessler discloses assassination attempts that have never before been revealed. He shares inside accounts of past assaults that have put the Secret Service to the test, including a heroic gun battle that took down the would-be assassins of Harry S. Truman, the devastating day that John F. Kennedy was killed in Dallas, and the swift actions that saved Ronald Reagan after he was shot. While Secret Service agents are brave and dedicated, Kessler exposes how Secret Service management in recent years has betrayed its mission by cutting corners, risking the assassination of President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and their families. Given the lax standards, "It's a miracle we have not had a successful assassination" a current agent says. Since an assassination jeopardizes democracy itself, few agencies are as important as the Secret Service--nor is any other subject as tantalizing as the inner sanctum of the White House. Only tight-lipped Secret Service agents know the real story, and Ronald Kessler is the only journalist to have won their trust. From the Hardcover edition.
Examination of the CIA from the perspective of its prominent directors, veteran officers, and significant critics
When Laura Bush moved into the White House on January 20, 2001, everyone wanted to know what kind of first lady she would be. Would she be like Mamie Eisenhower? Would she follow in Barbara Bush's footsteps? Would she be another Hillary Clinton? "I think I'll just be Laura Bush," she would say.
Palm Beach is known around the world as the most wealthy, glamorous, opulent, decadent, self-indulgent, sinful spot on earth. With their beautiful 3.75 square-island constantly in the media glare, Palm Beachers protect their impossibly rich society from outside scrutiny with vigilant police, ubiquitous personal security staffs, and screens of tall hedges encircling every mansion. To this bizarre suspicious, exclusive world, New York Times bestselling author Ronald Kessler brought his charm, insight, and award-winning investigative skills, and came to know Palm Beach, its celebrated and powerful residents, and its exotic social rituals as no outside writer ever has. In this colorful, entertaining, and compulsively readable book. Kessler reveals the inside story of Palm Beach society as it moves languidly through the summer months, quickens in the fall, and shifts into frenetic high speed as the season begins in December, peaks in January and February, and continues into April. When unimaginable wealth combines with unlimited leisure time oil an island barely three times the size of New York's Central Park, human foibles and desires, lust and greed, passion and avarice, become magnified and intensified. Like laboratory rats fed growth hormones, the 9,800 Palm Beach residents--87 percent of whom are millionaires--exhibit the most outlandish extremes of their breed. To tell the story, Kessler follows four Palm Beachers through the season. These four characters--the reigning queen of Palm Beach society, the night manager of Palm Beach's trendiest bar, a gay "walker" who escorts wealthy women to balls, and a thirty--six-year-old gorgeous blonde who says she "can't find a guy in Palm Beach"--know practically everyone on the island and tell what goes on behind the scenes. Interweaving the yarns of these unfor-gettable figures with the lifestyle, history, scandals, lore, and rituals of a unique island of excess, The Season creates a powerful, seamless, juicy narrative that no novelist could dream up.
The Secrets of the FBI by New York Times bestselling author Ronald Kessler reveals the FBI's most closely guarded secrets and the secrets of celebrities, politicians, and movie stars uncovered by agents during their investigations. Based on inside access, the book presents revelations about the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound, the recent Russian spy swap, Marilyn Monroe's death, Vince Foster's suicide, and J. Edgar Hoover's sexual orientation. For the first time, it tells how the FBI caught spy Robert Hanssen in its midst and how the FBI breaks into homes, offices, and embassies to plant bugging devices without getting caught.From Watergate to Waco, from congressional scandals to the killing of bin Laden, The Secrets of the FBI presents headline-making disclosures about the most important figures and events of our time.From the Hardcover edition.
Thisfirst serious volume focusing exclusively on Joseph Patrick Kennedy --Ronald Kessler recreates the life and times of this ambitious, powerful, masterfully manipulative man. Utilizing extensive research and interviews with Kennedy family members and their intimates, speaking on record for the first time, Kessler reveals stunning details of JPK's enormous accomplishments and the terrible personal losses he suffered.
Biography of Joseph Kennedy.
"You make a mistake, there are dead people." --FBI Special Agent Art Cummings, head of international counterterrorism operations Drawing on unprecedented access to FBI and CIA counterterrorism operatives, New York Times bestselling author Ronald Kessler presents the chilling story of terrorists' relentless efforts to mount another devastating attack on the United States and of the heroic efforts being made to stop those plots. Kessler takes you inside the war rooms of this battle--from the newly created National Counterterrorism Center to FBI headquarters, from the CIA to the National Security Agency, from the Pentagon to the Oval Ofﬁce--to explain why we have gone so long since 9/11 without a successful attack and to reveal the many close calls we never hear about. The race to stop the terrorists, Kessler shows, is more desperate than ever.Based on exclusive interviews with FBI Director Robert Mueller, CIA Director Michael Hayden, White House Counterterrorism Chief Fran Townsend, and dozens of key intelligence operatives at all levels, The Terrorist Watch:* tells the previously unreported story of how the United States helped thwart the 2006 London terrorist plot, broke up terrorist cells in Canada, and prevented numerous other attacks * reveals how the CIA and FBI have rolled up more than 5,000 terrorists worldwide since 9/11 * provides a stunning insider's account from the FBI agent who spent eight months debriefing Saddam Hussein after his capture* pinpoints press leaks that have resulted in CIA agents' deaths, caused foreign countries to stop cooperating on key investigations, and even tipped off Osama bin Laden to U.S. surveillance* destroys numerous media myths, such as the canard that the FBI and CIA still don't cooperate on investigations * discloses the truth about the number of U.S. mosques where imans preach jihad* shows how the intelligence community has radically changed its mission--and how the media have misled the public about those changes Never before has a journalist gained such access to the FBI, the CIA, the National Counterterrorism Center, and the other agencies that are doing the unheralded work of ﬁnding and capturing terrorists. Ronald Kessler's you-are-there narrative tells the real story of the war on terror and will transform the way you view the greatest problem of our age.
Based almost entirely on sources within the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Central Intelligence Agency--prominently including FBI Director Mueller, CIA Director Hayden, and White House Counterterrorism Chief Townsend--this work by Kessler (chief Washington correspondent for NewsMax.com), aimed at a general audience, is an entirely one-sided and hagiographic account of US government counterterrorism operations in the wake of the September 11th attacks. Describing the activities of his heroic FBI and CIA agents, Kessler not infrequently descends outright into cynical apologia. To cite but one example, torture is mentioned exactly three times in the book, twice to claim that the CIA never engages in such practices, although it is admitted that they do employ sleep deprivation and stress positions, techniques considered by many reputable experts to be torture, and once to dismiss any concerns about the so-called "extraordinary rendition" program, which often hands American-held detainees over to countries that routinely employ torture for interrogation. "Why should the U.S. give them a safe haven from the laws and practices of their own countries?" asks Kessler. Annotation ©2008 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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