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Book Beat: At the Center of the Storm

Book Beat: At the Center of the Storm

Estimated read time: 1-2 minutes

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I finally finished it. It took me several weeks to digest the 500 pages documenting George Tenet's time as Director of the CIA. This is not a commentary on the quality of the book so much as much lack of long stretches of free time, although I think a few more edits would have helped the book.

In general I recommend the read. It is a captivating look at a time in our recent history from a major player in these events. There is nothing quite like reading about meetings at Camp David with Yasser Arafat where the Palestinian leader would get angry and put all of his suitcases outside the door of his cabin, which was a cue for us to offer something more in the negotiations.

He does discuss his now famous "slam dunk" comment in detail in the book. There's a whole chapter entitled "Slam Dunk." He doesn't deny making the comment about the case for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and he never explains his use of it to this reader's satisfaction, but he does make a clear and compelling argument that those two words were made months after the president and especially the vice president had already decided to go to war in Iraq.

Here's an example of the straight-talk feel of the book: "Organizations such as the CIA exist to defend democracy, not to practice it." I think you'll enjoy it - probably for weeks. The new bestseller from George Tenet is At The Center of the Storm.

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