In See No Evil, one of the CIA’s top field officers of the past quarter century recounts his career running agents in the back alleys of the Middle East. In the process, Robert Baer paints a chilling picture of how terrorism works on the inside and provides compelling evidence about how Washington politics sabotaged the CIA’s efforts to root out the world’s deadliest terrorists.
On the morning of September 11, 2001, the world witnessed the terrible result of that intelligence failure with the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. In the wake of those attacks, Americans were left wondering how such an obviously long-term, globally coordinated plot could have escaped detection by the CIA and taken the nation by surprise. Robert Baer was not surprised. A twenty-one-year veteran of the CIA’s Directorate of Operations who had left the agency in 1997, Baer observed firsthand how an increasingly bureaucratic CIA lost its way in the post–cold war world and refused to adequately acknowledge and neutralize the growing threat of Islamic fundamentalist terror in the Middle East and elsewhere.
A throwback to the days when CIA operatives got results by getting their hands dirty and running covert operations, Baer spent his career chasing down leads on suspected terrorists in the world’s most volatile hot spots. As he and his agents risked their lives gathering intelligence, he watched as the CIA reduced drastically its operations overseas, failed to put in place people who knew local languages and customs, and rewarded workers who knew how to play the political games of the agency’s suburban Washington headquarters but not how to recruit agents on the ground.
See No Evil is not only a candid memoir of the education and disillusionment of an intelligence operative but also an unprecedented look at the roots of modern terrorism. Baer reveals some of the disturbing details he uncovered in his work, including:
* In 1996, Osama bin Laden established a strategic alliance with Iran to coordinate terrorist attacks against the United States.
* In 1995, the National Security Council intentionally aborted a military coup d’etat against Saddam Hussein, forgoing the last opportunity to get rid of him.
* In 1991, the CIA intentionally shut down its operations in Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia, and ignored fundamentalists operating there.
When Baer left the agency in 1997 he received the Career Intelligence Medal, with a citation that says, “He repeatedly put himself in personal danger, working the hardest targets, in service to his country.” See No Evil is Baer’s frank assessment of an agency that forgot that “service to country” must transcend politics and is a forceful plea for the CIA to return to its original mission—the preservation of our national sovereignty and the American way of life.
It scares me how corrupt our politicians and bureaucrats are. These are the people we elect and trust. What a sham.
To Whom Cares
This is a book I find Credible from the Authors personal first hand accounts of places,times & events. I find this a Fast moving, Intriguing & a Wealth of otherwise Unknown Factual Information!!!
The eventual fall of the US?
This was an extremely insightful book from a true professional of intelligence. It gives a glimpse of the disastrous situation the US policymakers have put us in, in relation to terrorism and shows the layman what true intelligence collection should be. Mr. Baer gives a gloomy summary of what the Agency has become and why the organization he accidentally came to join and enjoy eventually became victim to the swamp of political agendas. He gives some very convincing observations on those behind the Beirut Embassy bombing and global terrorism in general. I commend him for his courage both in his career as well as now in his willingness and effort to try and bring to public light what the see-no-evil and political correctness culture has done to betray that public. It must be very frustrating for a man with his knowledge and those like him watch as this atrocity continues. I hope for this nation's sake and it's citizen's way of life that it's not too late to really address the issues he raises. Thank you Mr. Baer (and Mrs. Baer) for your continued efforts. I only wish my generation would have the foresight and understanding to create actionable change and save what so many of us take for granted.