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Enemies A History of the FBI [download] by Tim Weiner

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Bureau’s first and foremost mission Enemies is the story of how presidents have used the FBI as the most formidable intelligence force in American history   Here is the hidden history of America’s hundred year war on terror The FBI has fought against terrorists spies anyo. Why is it so hard for the United States to have an effective intelligence service and achieve a reasonable balance between individual rights and national security Weiner s history of the FBI had me asking that uestion and the likely answers were not comforting Ever since 1917 when the Red Threat arose and J Edgar Hoover joined what would become the FBI abuse of power and confusion have been the hallmarks of the FBI Hoover s need to keep tight personal control meant the FBI was never properly organized His legacy haunts it to this dayHoover as bad as he was with his private collection of secrets on everyone of importance knew his limits and not to go beyond them which is why he lasted in the FBI 55 years Worse than Hoover were presidents such as JFK Nixon Reagan and Bush 43 who tried to do the FBI s job themselves but didn t know their limits and went out of control Weiner s recounting of the presidents relations with the FBI and their attempts to bypass or usurp it were interesting to me than those of the FBI itself and upsetting Here are some highlights Many presidents were happy to take advantage of Hoover s secrets FDR LBJ and Nixon used information from Hoover s secret files for their own political purposes Truman was skeptical of Hoover but would not dare take him on JFK had plenty of reasons to be terrified of Hoover who had the dirt on his many affairs including the one with Judith Campbell who JFK shared with mob boss Sam Giancana The JFK administration tried to enlist the mob to assassinate Castro for the CIA with Campbell serving as a go between with benefits JFK literally in bed with the mob had to be a new low but Nixon s Plumbers a bumbling crew of Watergate fame led by the inept G Gordon Liddy were scraping the bottom too Reagan not to be outdone established his own White House anti terrorist group under the nefarious Oliver North hitting bottom with active support of murderous regimes in El Salvador and Nicaragua financed by skimming money from the sale of missiles to Iran an example of duplicity hard to beat But then came George W Bush descending to new lows with lots of advice from one who always knew best Dick Cheney Bush and Cheney implemented torture on a wide scale sending people at will to secret prisons and abandoning any pretense of individual rights The proclivity to secrecy and control for personal and ideological gain at the expense of individual rights seems so pervasive that it is hard to believe it will ever changeWeiner ends on a bit of an upbeat note as Obama takes office with Director Mueller as FBI Director and the FBI CIA and Defense Department agencies finally begin to cooperate Mueller and his assistant and current FBI Director James Comey were notable for standing up to the Bush administration refusing their demands for wiretaps without warrants Mueller began rebuilding the FBI following twenty years of incompetent leadership by FBI Directors Louis Freeh and William Sessions both having furthered the FBI s decline While overall intelligence effectiveness SEEMS to have improved now due to better organization and coordination of intelligence agencies only time will tell if this is true History still has to decide if the latest twist on counterterrorism operations the drone strike program has downside than upside While many terrorists are killed so are innocent people and many new enemies are created as people turn against the US in what they see as abuse of power The final answer may lie in how well the program is controlled and history does not bode well here Would Reagan have used drones in Central America in his support of ruthless dictators or Cheney with Bush s ever ready approval against the Lackawanna Six in New York simply because HE thought they were an al aeda cell later disproven Cheney wanted the US Army to capture the Lackawanna Six American citizens on American soil so they could be treated as enemy combatants sent to Guantanamo tortured and denied a trial which except for the intervention of FBI Director Mueller might well have happened For Cheney drones would have provided a much expedient solution So what does the future hold for ever present paranoid politicians euipped with ever increasing technical capabilities We can only guess but if you are scared well history says you should be

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Enemies A History of the FBI

Enemies is the first definitive history of the FBI’s secret intelligence operations from an author whose work on the Pentagon and the CIA won him the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award   We think of the FBI as America’s police force But secret intelligence is the. J Edgar Hoover is the main character in this book at least for the first 23rds and if there was ever any uestion that Hoover is one of the most conseuential people in American history that uestion no longer exists in my mind But the Hoover of the book surprised me my mind s eye had always pictured Hoover as a Machiavellian power hungry manipulator the Master of Whispers of the American government But the Hoover I read about is less a scheming Edward G Robinson type and of a dedicated patriot I have no doubt in my mind that Hoover loved this country even if he also loved the accolades power and influence that came with his station as head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation The fact that Hoover was America s top cop from the FDR Administration through Nixon is almost unfathomable But he wasn t kept in that position because of any dirty secrets he held over the power brokers or at least not that the book reveals He was simply the best person for the job for the better part of four decades He was a tactical genius and yes he did skirt around certain legal obstacles but from what I can tell he did it out of a true love of countryWithin the story of Hoover and the shadow he casts over the Bureau nearly half a century later is a chronicle of all the growing pains and traumatic events in American history From the Red Scares 1910s and 1950s to essentially destroying the Klan in the 1950s and 60s to the COINTELPRO of the the last decade of Hoover s life The latter when the FBI started spying on American citizens for fear of subversion is kind of the turning point of the FBI when it became less about defending America and about spying and tapping the phones of people who aren t necessarily breaking the law but have dangerous ideas After Hoover s death in 1972 the Bureau went through a few years of triumph finding the evidence for Watergate and about two decades of relative incompetence When Bill Clinton shit canned Director William Sessions in 93 nobody protested because he was patently awful Although Louis Freeh wasn t much betterOne of the interesting chapters in the Bureau s history is the final chapters of the book which detail the course correction of the Bureau moving away from warrantless wiretaps and waterboarding to using gasp the law to take down terrorists I d be curious to see if they put in any kind of addendum later on to include the Comey firingIf you have a fancy for American political history of the 20th century you d be hard pressed to find a interesting and fact filled book

Tim Weiner ô 8 free read

Ne it deemed subversive and sometimes American presidents The FBI’s secret intelligence and surveillance techniues have created a tug of war between protecting national security and infringing upon civil liberties It is a tension that strains the very fabric of a free republ. Dryly factual Five stars for the overwhelmingly interesting facts one star for the dry writing style which rarely goes into sufficient detail in its rush to recount large events often taking up large swaths of time Of course the detail I m looking for would at least triple the length of the book so you may disagree The writing style would certainly make me hesitant to read three times the pagesThis book should be read by all Americans despite the intelligence report style of writing This is an honest and seemingly unbiased account of the many failures and few triumphs of the FBI in the areas of counterintelligence and terrorism The complete disregard and contempt for the strict rule of law that the FBI has often demonstrated in the past is well documented It also shows how even well meaning ideology morals and political views can hamper and destroy what should be a completely independent and apolitical branch of the government


9 thoughts on “Enemies A History of the FBI

  1. says:

    Tim Weiner's Enemies A History of the FBI is an interesting book about the FBI's straddling the line between legal and illegal pursuit of criminals The book spends a lot of time discussing the career and legacy of J Edgar Hoover dispelling myths most evidence discounts the commonly held belief that he was a closeted homosexual and describing in detail his relentless pursuit of power in his personal fight agains

  2. says:

    A free people must have both security and liberty They are warring forces yet we cannot have one without the other When William Webster became Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1978 he was shocked to find that the FBI spawned from the Bureau of Investigation in 1935 was without a legal framework for its activities and operations Author Tim Weiner describes The Bureau had no charter—a legal birth certif

  3. says:

    J Edgar Hoover is the main character in this book at least for the first 23rds and if there was ever any uestion that Hoover is one of the most conseuential people in American history that uestion no longer exists in my mind But the Hoover of

  4. says:

    Why is it so hard for the United States to have an effective intelligence service and achieve a reasonable balance between individual rights and national security? Weiner’s history of the FBI had me asking that uestion and the likely answers were not comforting Ever since 1917 when the Red Threat arose and J Ed

  5. says:

    Reading this book i realized a couple things i didn't know before One that J Edgar Hoover was probably the most powerful man in American history only because of the amount of sway that he had on just about anyone And two that the FBI is this weird mix of 1984 and the Wizard of Oz where you have this agency that is presumably watching you all the time but it does have a head; and that head until his death was J EdgarI really love

  6. says:

    If you liked Legacy of Ashes you'll like Enemies The converse also applies; Weiner retains the fast paced journ

  7. says:

    An informative disturbing book on the history of the FBI which at its worst moments has functioned as something like the United State

  8. says:

    Dryly factual Five stars for the overwhelmingly interesting facts one star for the dry writing style which rarely goes into sufficient detail in its rush to recount large events often taking up large swaths of time Of course the detail I'm looking for would at least triple the length of the book so you may disagree The writing style would c

  9. says:

    What a fascinating book I was really disturbed at how much intelligence was floating around before the 911 attacks Even as far back as the mid 1990s I have a lot greater respect for director Robert Mueller Mueller was essentially thrown into the position after battling an aggressive cancer right as the 911 attacks happened His resolve to maintain a bureau of integrity and legality is uite impressive Knowing what Mueller is up to

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Tessa Young is an 18 year old college student with a simple life, excellent grades, and a sweet boyfriend She always has things planned out ahead of time, until she meets a rude boy named Harry, with too many tattoos and piercings who shatters her plans.