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The Triple Agent: The Al-Qaeda Mole Who Infiltrated The CIA (2011)

by Joby Warrick(Favorite Author)
3.99 of 5 Votes: 1
0385534183 (ISBN13: 9780385534185)
review 1: **Contains spoilers - don't know how to review this one without them - you've been warned**This is a really well done, fascinating account of the suicide bombing at Camp Chapman in Khost, Afghanistan in December 2009. Joby Warrick is to be commended for his thorough research and fair reporting. Reading between the lines in the notes, acknowledgement and afterword, it is clear that Mr. Warrick could not write about any American survivors due to ongoing security and secrecy concerns and/or rules protecting CIA agents. Given the confidentiality constraints, Warrick was able to paint a concise picture of the primary players involved, from the American CIA officers and security detail, to the Jordanian intelligence officer, and of course the triple agent himself, a children'... mores physician (and less so his family). He humanizes all of the subjects, recounting many of their hopes and dreams, their families, and how they all ended up in Afghanistan at the end of 2009. He gives a brief background to the importance of the region with regards to al Qaeda and the Taliban, how this situation differed from the use of double agents in the past, and the difference of opinions regarding procuring the meeting with the triple agent leading up to the fateful encounter. He places into context the unique challenges to this hostile region and the measures the U.S. is taking there (i.e. prolific use of predator military drones). Finally, the tribute paid to the fallen was given importance, both with regards to honoring their lives and also to seeking retribution for those responsible in Afghanistan.The best attribute of the book was the fairness in which it was written. Most popular history and reporting books written today are fictionalized versions of what might have happened with the author taking great liberties to make the subject matter more readable and appeal to the masses. This book was written more in the nature of legal memoranda or similar to the 9/11 Commission Report (but more concise and cohesive). The author does not overly engage in the thought process of all of the real life characters, and when he does reveal their thoughts, there is a notes section and acknowledgment section in which he explains that he used sources for them all - whether it be interviews with those directly involved (most anonymously), with colleagues, families or friends, to written correspondence or texts, or a combination of them all. He also explains his reasoning for choosing between differing accounts of the same events. He did not need to sensationalize the subject matter, as the dullest possible take on the subject would still be a riveting and fascinating read.The author also does not editorialize what he thinks went wrong and who was most to blame. He does present both sides to the argument of whether Jennifer Matthews was qualified to be appointed chief of operation at Camp Chapman, and that she and those in D.C. did go against the advice of many of the agents and security officers with regards to the meeting with the triple agent. The folks most in charge took a chance of doing what they did because the reward if successful would have been unprecedented. It could be inferred that the folks who perished largely because they were following orders that they disagreed with were tragic in the truest sense.This is not the type of book I typically read, but I would highly recommend it to everyone.
review 2: This is not what the title alludes to. I thought I was going to read a book about a American with al Qaeda ties becomes a cia agent. It's about the cia getting hoodwinked out of desperation for intelligence and in turn get a double double agent who screws them over. Anyways good book but it makes me understand how out tax money and no oversight got us in to trouble and than had to get us out. Over all well written but boy it pissed me off. less
Reviews (see all)
Good telling of some of the errors that led to this tragedy.
Fascinating stuff!
Great book!
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