READING / MY GOD, WHAT A CONCEPT
I will begin by saying, personally, my reading habits border on reference mostly and I enjoy a good story in non-fiction over fiction. I will read and enjoy a fiction novel if the story parallels history and there are things that can be learned by reading the story. Professionally, I read everything I can that is security related. I start the day off with the newspapers of the Richmond Times Dispatch and the Wall Street Journal. I then go to the Internet and read the latest Intel site stories CONUS and then OCONUS. Time is important in business so I keep all of this under two hours. Stories I find interesting I will add to the BLOG.
The following are books that I have read in the last six months. There are a number of books that I will buy and begin reading and they will not meet my standard of interest and I will donate them to Good Will. Don’t get me wrong, I love knowledge and reading as much as I can, but I do only have a limited amount of time and reading a book that was not well written, or does not have information in it that I can use in my work is unacceptable.
I will make it simple here, the GREEN means read and the RED means save your money.
Pay Any Price / Greed, Power, and Endless War
By James Risen
This is the follow-up book to State Of War. I am reading both of them at the same time, and both are thoroughly enjoyable reads. Risen does not take it easy on the CIA, or the U.S. Government’s way of doing things in the modern era. He keeps his cool though even with the Department of Justice breathing down his back about giving up his sources. They want him jailed. I say that based on “their” actions when the majority of people are now siding with Risen.
State of War
By James Risen
Excellent read on the CIA, the George Bush (43) administration, and Intelligence in the time of the Iraq wars, and afterward. James Risen is still being threatened with jail because of the information he gathered from “whistle blower” sources and the fact he will not give them up. he had to fight to get the stories written in the New York Times, which won him many awards, and then to get the book written.
How To Win On The Battlefield, 25 Tactics To Outwit, Outflank and Outfight The Enemy
By Rob Johnson, Michael Whitney and John Francs
The book is an excellent read. Just buy it and read it.
by BEN JUDAH
Any book that gives more insight into Russia and Vladimir Putin is going to be good for me. I have not finished the book yet, but so far it has been a great read. There are so many more questions to be answer about this guy though. What a PSYCHOLOGICAL PROFILE. Anyway, I have gotten lazy and started buying books on ITUNES to listen to in the car. The problem is it is hard to go back and reference when you are listening to a recording, so I bought the HARD COVER. I believe in the future I will get the ITUNES version.
By David Ignatius
Once you read books by authors as good as Ignatius, you expect every one of their books to be as good. The Director, though well written, never seems to accomplish the suspense and peril that is warranted. None of the characters achieve the “I like them and want them to survive” level that needs to be there. If it wasn’t Ignatius, I would have put the book down long before I finished it. I am not one to read the entire book just because I bought it. Time is too valuable. I have been on islands around the world where there was a collection of a couple of dozen books on the shelves of the local bar or hotel. If this was the case, and there are no other options, read this book in its entirety, if not, keep looking.
The Art of Intelligence: Lessons from a Life in the CIA’s Clandestine Service —
By: Henry A Crumpton
Excellent and fast read. Mr. Crumpton crossed paths with a number of folks I have known and crossed paths within my career. His take on certain CIA tactics that the legal community, politicians and the pure pink-pantied is interesting and informative. Read the Book.
The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden
By: Mark Owen and Kevin Maurer
No Review of this book would be complete without the “why?” Why did “Mark Owen” (pseudonym) betray his NON -DISCLOSURE AGREEMENT with the United States Government and the people that make it up. He can claim he used only “open source” information all he wants, but make no mistake there IS information in this book that is NOT out in the public realm, at least not until this book came out. We will discuss this later, but for now, the book itself.
The book moves around from Owen’s life as a Navy S.E.A.L.; from his B.U.D.S days, to his being chosen for the GREEN TEAM, and the training group one must qualify for to get into DEVGRU, also known as SEAL Team Six, the Alpha Alpha of the SEAL Teams. The story is informative and it is an easy read. There is no doubt that Owen was the perfect candidate for the Profession he chose. He served his country faithfully for more than a decade and there is nothing anyone can say about that. I also thank him for explaining in great detail in writing and in diagrams the finding of, the planning for, and the taking down of OBL. The book is DEFINITELY a BUY.
Now, to the NON-DISCLOSURE agreement, which he broke by putting certain information in the book which was off-limits. Owen stated he would donate MOST of the money he made off of the sale of the book, which was a nice gesture. And if we all buy the book that is a lot of money to donate! However, major recipients of that “donation” have publicly stated they will refuse any money from the book sales, to include the Navy Seal Foundation and the Tip of the Spear Foundation.
The old saying, “whenever someone says it ain’t about the money…IT’S ABOUT THE MONEY!” comes to mind.
But, that’s Uncles Sam’s problem.
The Closing of the American Border
Terrorism, Immigration, and Security since 9/11
By Edward Allen
I bought this book about five months ago and have begun reading it a number of times only to set it down and read something else, so I guess you know what I think about it.
Combat Leader’s Field Guide
Sgt. Maj. Brett Stoneberger, USA (Ret.)
This is an excellent book, well written and a MUST READ. There are many Chapters that can be used in discussions with Agents, students and other.
Latin Drug Lords, U.S. Lawmen, and the War America Can’t Win
By Elaine Shannon Sawyer
This book was OK, a possible read at the beach if you so desire. This situation changes on such a daily basis that any book on the subject is outdated by the time it hits the shelves, but it’s your time.
Kill Bin Laden
A Delta Force Commander’s Account of the Hunt for the World’s Most Wanted Man
By Dalton Fury
Do I really need to say anything on this book. “The individuals in it had one goal and failed miserably at it. Catch Bin Laden and the world will beat a path to your doorstep. Anything less is unacceptable and a waste of good paper and ink and a story with no ending, how wasteful is that.” I saw the Sixty Minutes take on this and all I got was irritated at the clowns running the show and the Delta Force operators that allowed it.
Just 2 Seconds
Using Time and Space to Defeat Assassins
With a Compendium of Attacks Against At-Risk Persons
By Gavin De Becker, Tom Taylor and Jeff Marquart
This is a MUST READ for anyone in the Personal Protection business. The information is a lot and intense so be ready to get your crayons out and do some writing. The book is worth the money for the stats alone.
Spies for Hire
The Secret World of Intelligence Outsourcing
By Tim Shorrock
The book is very informative on the subject, but by the time I finished reading it most of the parties running the agencies and companies had moved on and with so much information given it makes the read harder to keep up with.
The Shadow Factory
The Ultra-Secret NSA from 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on Americas Most Wanted By James Bamford
This was a great book for understanding and putting the faces on the true scary men. What is the saying about, “I have seen the enemy and he is me.” The more W stated we would not change for the actions of the terrorists, this book shows how we changed and will never be the same. Humpty Dumpty comes to mind. Do not read this book if you still believe the politicians and Executive branch have your best interests at heart.
Hitler’s Silent Partners
Swiss Banks, Nazi Gold, and the Pursuit of Justice
By Isabel Vincent
Don’t even walk in the same part of the store where this book is sold. I take that back, if you want something to put you to sleep by without the benefit of drugs, have at it.
A Journey Through the Global Criminal Underworld
By Misha Glenny
A very good book if one wants to look into the criminal world in other Eastern European countries and how it affects other countries around the world. The book is very detailed and maintains a good flow of information to keep you interested.