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Jawbreaker: The Attack on Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda: A Personal Account by the CIA's Key Field Commander

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Jawbreaker: The Attack on Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda: A Personal Account by the CIA's Key Field Commander Cover

ISBN13: 9780307351067
ISBN10: 0307351068
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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's 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 painta vivid portrait of a new kind of warfare, showing what can and should be done to deal a death blow to freedom's enemies.

CIA Commander Gary Berntsen on...

His eyebrow-raising style:

Most CIA Case Officers advanced their careers by recruiting sources and producing intelligence, I took a more grab-them-by-the-neck approach...I operated on the principle that it was easier to seek forgiveness than ask for approval. Take risks, but make sure you're successful. Success, not good intentions, would determine my fate.

Doing whatever it took:

I didn't just want to survive: I wanted to annihilate the enemy. And I didn't want to end up like one of my favorite historical characters--Alexander Burns...He was one of the first of more than 14,000 British soldiers to be wiped out by the Afghans in the First Afghan War. Like Burns before me, I was also an intelligence officer and spoke Persian. This was my second trip into Afghanistan, too. The difference, I told myself, was that Burns had been a gentleman and I would do whatever it took to win.

Dealing with a Taliban official who controlled American hostages:

Tell him that if he betrays me or loses the hostages I'll spend every waking moment of my life hunting him down to kill him. Tell him I'm not like any American he has ever met.

The capabilities of his Tora Bora spotter team:

Working nonstop, the four men directed strike after strike by B-1s, B-2s, and F-14s onto the al-Qaeda encampment with incredible precision. Somehow through the massive bureaucracy, thousands of miles of distance and reams of red tape...the U.S. had managed to place four of the most skilled men in the world above the motherlode ofal-Qaeda, with a laser designator and communications system linked to the most potent air power in history...As I listened over our encrypted radio network, one word kept pounding in my head: revenge.

Also available as a Random House AudioBook

From the Hardcover edition.

Synopsis:

Berntsen, until recently one of the CIAUs 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.

Synopsis:

The Book the CIA Doesnt Want You to Read

Gary Berntsen, the CIAs key commander coordinating the fight against the Taliban forces around Kabul, comes out from under cover for the first time to describe his no-holds-barred pursuit—and cornering—of Osama bin Laden, and the reason the terrorist leader escaped American retribution. 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 freedoms enemies.

About the Author

Gary Berntsen spent more than twenty years as an officer in the Clandestine Service and served in an array of Field Command assignments. He has been awarded both the Distinguished Intelligence Medal and the Intelligence Star.

Ralph Pezzullo is a former journalist, award-winning playwright, and screenwriter, and is the author of At the Fall of Samoza, Plunging into Haiti, and the mystery novel Eve Missing.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Chris Blaker, January 18, 2015 (view all comments by Chris Blaker)
Reads like a typical action screenplay which makes sense since it was partly written by a screenwriter. The phrase "tough as nails" and other similar cliches are used entirely too much. I would not recommend this book. It's main redeeming quality is that the author was actually there on the ground in Afghanistan and provides his eyewitness account of events. His account near the end about the failure to capture bin Laden is the most important part of the book.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780307351067
Author:
Berntsen, Gary
Publisher:
Three Rivers Press (CA)
Author:
Gary Berntsen and Ralph Pezzullo
Author:
Pezzullo, Ralph
Subject:
Political Freedom & Security - International Secur
Subject:
Political Freedom & Security - Intelligence
Subject:
Government - U.S. Government
Subject:
Politics-United States Politics
Subject:
Politics-United States Foreign Policy
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20061031
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
1 8-PAGE 4-COLOR INSERT
Pages:
352
Dimensions:
7.72x5.72x.75 in. .58 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Art » General
History and Social Science » Military » Afghanistan
History and Social Science » Military » Gulf Wars
History and Social Science » Military » US Military » General
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Foreign Policy
History and Social Science » World History » General

Jawbreaker: The Attack on Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda: A Personal Account by the CIA's Key Field Commander Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$4.95 In Stock
Product details 352 pages Three Rivers Press (CA) - English 9780307351067 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Berntsen, until recently one of the CIAUs 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.

"Synopsis" by , The Book the CIA Doesnt Want You to Read

Gary Berntsen, the CIAs key commander coordinating the fight against the Taliban forces around Kabul, comes out from under cover for the first time to describe his no-holds-barred pursuit—and cornering—of Osama bin Laden, and the reason the terrorist leader escaped American retribution. 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 freedoms enemies.

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