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Spying Blind: The CIA, the FBI, and the Origins of 9/11

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Spying Blind: The CIA, the FBI, and the Origins of 9/11 Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In this pathbreaking book, Amy Zegart provides the first scholarly examination of the intelligence failures that preceded September 11. Until now, those failures have been attributed largely to individual mistakes. But Zegart shows how and why the intelligence system itself left us vulnerable.

Zegart argues that after the Cold War ended, the CIA and FBI failed to adapt to the rise of terrorism. She makes the case by conducting painstaking analysis of more than three hundred intelligence reform recommendations and tracing the history of CIA and FBI counterterrorism efforts from 1991 to 2001, drawing extensively from declassified government documents and interviews with more than seventy high-ranking government officials. She finds that political leaders were well aware of the emerging terrorist danger and the urgent need for intelligence reform, but failed to achieve the changes they sought. The same forces that have stymied intelligence reform for decades are to blame: resistance inside U.S. intelligence agencies, the rational interests of politicians and career bureaucrats, and core aspects of our democracy such as the fragmented structure of the federal government. Ultimately failures of adaptation led to failures of performance. Zegart reveals how longstanding organizational weaknesses left unaddressed during the 1990s prevented the CIA and FBI from capitalizing on twenty-three opportunities to disrupt the September 11 plot.

Spying Blind is a sobering account of why two of America's most important intelligence agencies failed to adjust to new threats after the Cold War, and why they are unlikely to adapt in the future.

Review:

"Ever since the end of the cold war, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the National Security Agency, and more than a dozen other intelligence organizations that answer to the president had been struggling to adapt their sources and methods to the new menace. As Amy B. Zegart argues in Spying Blind, they just weren't up to the job....Zegart, blaming institutional inertia more than individuals, counts more than 20 specific instances where the CIA or the FBI missed chances to stop the 9/11 attacks." Christopher Dickey, Newsweek

Review:

"Don't be fooled by the title of this book. It sounds as if the author is going to tread the same turf as Richard Clarke, Tim Weiner, Bob Woodward and a host of others, including the 9/11 Commission Report, but Amy Zegart in Spying Blind goes several steps beyond her predecessors....Zegart presents the facts behind this state of affairs in a more scholarly way than we've previously seen, by examining over 300 intelligence reform recommendations and by tracing the history of CIA and FBI counter-terrorism efforts from 1991 to 2001....Spying Blind provides a clear and comprehensive overview of a dire situation — the kind of knowledge that comes in handy when you call or write your congressman or, for that matter, when you vote." Mary Welp, The Courier-Journal

Review:

"There is no longer any doubt of the failure of our intelligence agencies in the years following the Cold War. Amy Zegart has examined the reasons for this failure in addition to the well-meaning but mistaken attempts to address the problem. An important book for all those interested in the nation's security." Thomas H. Kean, chairman of the 9/11 Commission and former governor of New Jersey

Review:

"Professor Zegart's work is breathtaking in scope and revolutionary. This is the first effort to put the CIA and other intelligence agencies under the microscope of social science." Gary Hart, former senator and chairman of the U.S. Commission on National Security in the 21st Century

Review:

"Amy Zegart has written a path-breaking book — picking a path through the rubble of countless reform commissions, congressional committees, and expert reports on how to adapt U.S. intelligence infrastructure to a post-Cold War, post-9/11 world. It is essential reading for anyone concerned with the theory or practice of national security in the twenty-first century." Anne-Marie Slaughter, dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University

Review:

"Amy Zegart believes, quite rightly, that even six years after the terrorist attacks the government of the United States continues to be plagued by deep-seated institutional deficiencies within the community of intelligence agencies. This outstanding book, clearly written and exhaustively researched, stands as a major contribution to our understanding ofwhy this is the case, and what can be done about it." Loch K. Johnson, University of Georgia

Review:

"Spying Blind is a thorough examination of those reform failures." i>David J. Garrow, The Wilson Quarterly

Book News Annotation:

Zegart (public policy, U. of California, Los Angeles) examined hundreds of documents to produce this succinct and convincing account of the origins of the intelligence agencies' ineffective procedures and the repeated efforts to reform them. What readers will find agonizing is how easily the tragedy of 9/11 could have been prevented--Zegart clearly describes the 23 opportunities they had to do so--if only intelligence agencies hadn't been trapped in a mindset and infrastructure that prevented their acting on the knowledge they had, communicating with their colleagues in the other branches, or even acting and communicating effectively within their own organizations. Annotation ©2007 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

About the Author

Amy B. Zegart is associate professor of public policy at the University of California, Los Angeles. She is the author of Flawed by Design: The Evolution of the CIA, JCS, and NSC.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xiii

CHAPTER ONE: An Organizational View of 9/11 1

CHAPTER TWO: Canaries in the Coal Mine: The Case for Failed Adaptation 15

CHAPTER THREE: Crossing an Academic No-Man's Land: Explaining Failed Adaptation 43

CHAPTER FOUR: Fighting Osama One Bureaucrat at a Time: Adaptation Failure in the CIA 61

CHAPTER FIVE: Signals Found and Lost: The CIA and 9/11 101

CHAPTER SIX: Real Men Don't Type: Adaptation Failure in the FBI 120

CHAPTER SEVEN: Evidence Teams at the Ready: The FBI and 9/11 156

CHAPTER EIGHT: The More Things Change . . . 169

APPENDIX: Intelligence Reform Catalog Methodology 199

Notes 203

References 273

Index 309

Product Details

ISBN:
9780691120218
Subtitle:
The CIA, the FBI, and the Origins of 9/11
Author:
Zegart, Amy B.
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Location:
Princeton
Subject:
Terrorism
Subject:
Intelligence service
Subject:
Political Freedom & Security - Terrorism
Subject:
Political Freedom & Security - Intelligence
Subject:
United States - 20th Century (1945 to 2000)
Subject:
Foreign Legal Systems
Subject:
Political Science and International Relations
Subject:
Sociology
Copyright:
Publication Date:
August 2007
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
College/higher education:
Language:
English
Illustrations:
10 line illus. 6 tables.
Pages:
336
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Politics » Covert Government and Conspiracy Theory

Spying Blind: The CIA, the FBI, and the Origins of 9/11 Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$8.50 In Stock
Product details 336 pages Princeton University Press - English 9780691120218 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Ever since the end of the cold war, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the National Security Agency, and more than a dozen other intelligence organizations that answer to the president had been struggling to adapt their sources and methods to the new menace. As Amy B. Zegart argues in Spying Blind, they just weren't up to the job....Zegart, blaming institutional inertia more than individuals, counts more than 20 specific instances where the CIA or the FBI missed chances to stop the 9/11 attacks."
"Review" by , "Don't be fooled by the title of this book. It sounds as if the author is going to tread the same turf as Richard Clarke, Tim Weiner, Bob Woodward and a host of others, including the 9/11 Commission Report, but Amy Zegart in Spying Blind goes several steps beyond her predecessors....Zegart presents the facts behind this state of affairs in a more scholarly way than we've previously seen, by examining over 300 intelligence reform recommendations and by tracing the history of CIA and FBI counter-terrorism efforts from 1991 to 2001....Spying Blind provides a clear and comprehensive overview of a dire situation — the kind of knowledge that comes in handy when you call or write your congressman or, for that matter, when you vote."
"Review" by , "There is no longer any doubt of the failure of our intelligence agencies in the years following the Cold War. Amy Zegart has examined the reasons for this failure in addition to the well-meaning but mistaken attempts to address the problem. An important book for all those interested in the nation's security."
"Review" by , "Professor Zegart's work is breathtaking in scope and revolutionary. This is the first effort to put the CIA and other intelligence agencies under the microscope of social science." Gary Hart, former senator and chairman of the U.S. Commission on National Security in the 21st Century
"Review" by , "Amy Zegart has written a path-breaking book — picking a path through the rubble of countless reform commissions, congressional committees, and expert reports on how to adapt U.S. intelligence infrastructure to a post-Cold War, post-9/11 world. It is essential reading for anyone concerned with the theory or practice of national security in the twenty-first century." Anne-Marie Slaughter, dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University
"Review" by , "Amy Zegart believes, quite rightly, that even six years after the terrorist attacks the government of the United States continues to be plagued by deep-seated institutional deficiencies within the community of intelligence agencies. This outstanding book, clearly written and exhaustively researched, stands as a major contribution to our understanding ofwhy this is the case, and what can be done about it."
"Review" by , "Spying Blind is a thorough examination of those reform failures." i>David J. Garrow, The Wilson Quarterly
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