Against All Enemies by Richard Clarke
Inside America's War on Terror

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"The [Bush] administration has squandered the opportunity to eliminate al Qaeda....A new al Qaeda has emerged and is growing stronger, in part because of our own actions and inactions. It is in many ways a tougher opponent than the original threat we faced before September 11, and we are not doing what is necessary to make America safe from that threat."
No one has more authority to make that claim than Richard Clarke, the former counterterrorism czar for both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. The one person who knows more about Usama bin Laden and al Qaeda than anyone else in this country, he has devoted two decades of his professional life to combating terrorism. Richard Clarke served seven presidents and worked inside the White House for George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush until he resigned in March 2003. He knows, better than anyone, the hidden successes and failures of the Clinton years. He knows, better than anyone, why we failed to prevent 9/11. He knows, better than anyone, how President Bush reacted to the attack and what happened behind the scenes in the days that followed. He knows whether or not Iraq presented a terrorist threat to the United States and whether there were hidden costs to the invasion of that country.
Most disturbing of all are Clarke's revelations about the Bush administration's lack of interest in al Qaeda prior to September 11. From the moment the Bush team took office and decided to retain Clarke in his post as the counterterrorism czar, Clarke tried to persuade them to take al Qaeda as seriously as had Bill Clinton. For months, he was denied the opportunity even to make his case to Bush. He encountered key officials who gave the impression that they had never heard of al Qaeda; who focused incessantly on Iraq; who even advocated long-discredited conspiracy theories about Saddam's involvement in previous attacks on the United States.
Clarke was the nation's crisis manager on 9/11, running the Situation Room -- a scene described here for the first time -- and then watched in dismay at what followed. After ignoring existing plans to attack al Qaeda when he first took office, George Bush made disastrous decisions when he finally did pay attention. Coming from a man known as one of the hard-liners against terrorists, Against All Enemies is both a powerful history of our two-decades-long confrontation with terrorism and a searing indictment of the current administration.

About Richard Clarke

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Richard Clarke was appointed by President Clinton as the first National Coordinator for Security, Infrastructure Protection, and Counterterrorism in May 1998 and continued in that position under George W. Bush. Until March 2003 he was a career member of the Senior Executive Service, having begun his federal service in 1973 in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, as an analyst on nuclear weapons and European security issues. In the Reagan administration, Mr. Clarke was the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence. In the first Bush administration, he was the Assistant Secretary of State for Politico-Military Affairs.
Published March 26, 2004 by Free Press. 352 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, History, War, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Against All Enemies

The New York Times

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''Guess who was about to start an exercise of all their strategic nuclear forces?'' While Clarke and his aides were holding down the fort in the Situation Room and the president was flying around the country on Air Force One, Vice President Ch...

Mar 29 2004 | Read Full Review of Against All Enemies: Inside A...

The Guardian

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Against All Enemies: Inside America's War on Terror by Richard A Clarke Free Press £18.99, pp305 On 20 January 2001, George W Bush swore the oath of office as the 43rd President of the US.

Mar 28 2004 | Read Full Review of Against All Enemies: Inside A...

Publishers Weekly

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A few bars of heavy, ominous-sounding orchestral music set the tone for this incendiary account of the events that occurred inside the White House on 9/11 and the months and years prior to it.

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Publishers Weekly

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But those inclined to believe Clarke will find that he makes a devastating case about the Bush administration's failure from the beginning (when Clarke's position was downgraded and he was taken off the top-level Principals Committee) to make terrorism as high a priority as Clinton's did.

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Also, Clarke, a career bureaucrat, appears to have been be more highly valued by Clinton's National Security advisers than by the Bush staff, which, by Clarke's report, shunted him.

Apr 15 2004 | Read Full Review of Against All Enemies: Inside A...

The Age

Mrs Cheney, who Clarke describes as a right-wing ideologue "like her husband", was offering advice and opinions while the Vice-President talked with President Bush, who had just left a primary school in Florida.

Apr 17 2004 | Read Full Review of Against All Enemies: Inside A...

Project MUSE

(Readers should also consult The Age of Sacred Terror by Clarke's colleagues at the CSG, Daniel Benjamin and Steven Simon.) It is, however, the single best account of the global antiterrorist problem and the failures of a weakened Clinton presidency and the blindness of the Bush administration in...

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The Sunday Times

In Against All Enemies, he levels the explosive charge that Bush and his high-powered national security team failed to recognise the threat from Al-Qaeda, and ended up making America less safe by launching an unnecessaryTo see the full article you need to subscribeConnaught Partners - London - Sa...

Apr 04 2004 | Read Full Review of Against All Enemies: Inside A...


(According to Clarke, a survey of "168 American cities showed that 90 percent of them had not received any significant additional federal assistance since the September 11 attacks.") In sum, Clarke believes invading Iraq has made us considerably less safe.

Jul 22 2004 | Read Full Review of Against All Enemies: Inside A...

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