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See No Evil

The True Story of a Ground Soldier in the CIA's War on Terrorism
Narrated by: Robertson Dean
Length: 10 hrs and 56 mins
Categories: Non-fiction, Politics
4.5 out of 5 stars (27 ratings)

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Summary

See No Evil is a compelling account of America’s failed efforts to ‘listen in’ on the rest of the world, especially the parts of it that intend to do us harm.” (The Wall Street Journal

In his explosive New York Times best seller, top CIA operative Robert Baer paints a chilling picture of how terrorism works on the inside and provides startling evidence of how Washington politics sabotaged the CIA's efforts to root out the world's deadliest terrorists, allowing for the rise of Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda and the continued entrenchment of Saddam Hussein in Iraq. 

A veteran case officer in the CIA's Directorate of Operations in the Middle East, Baer witnessed the rise of terrorism first hand and the CIA's inadequate response to it, leading to the attacks of September 11, 2001. This riveting book is both an indictment of an agency that lost its way and an unprecedented look at the roots of modern terrorism, and includes a new afterword in which Baer speaks out about the American war on terrorism and its profound implications throughout the Middle East. 

“Robert Baer was considered perhaps the best on-the-ground field officer in the Middle East.” (Seymour M. Hersh, The New Yorker)

©2002 Robert Baer (P)2005 Books on Tape

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    5 out of 5 stars

Enthralling narration of global events

shockingly interest audio book, totally fascinating to key moments in history that have shaped the world today. Very good narration also.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Good

Interesting insight into world of CIA. Easy to digest, page turner.
Clearly has a political agenda to push, but this is part of the book.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Ryan & Alexandra
  • 09-07-07

Interesting perspective

You can never read just one book on a subject. Two or three and maybe you can triangulate something resembling the truth. I would reccommend Baer's work as something of a unique perspective among the endless string of books about American intelligence. Anyone who has worked for, or had close dealings with any government agency will recognize the struggle between those honestly trying to serve the nation's interests and the bureaucrats only interested in their careers. I give it only four stars because the author has a habit of digressing into a tirade when particularly annoyed by the facts he relates.

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Robert Solomon
  • 19-03-07

Knowledge is Power

This is an excellent book.

I used to believe that we have always done our best as a country to protect ourselves; then I hear a clear, detailed, well narrated and consistent book like this one, and it makes me want to believe the book must be wrong. I mean, we're the good guys, right? The book may make one exclaim, "Say it ain't so!" But it is so.

The book discusses in detail how we dropped the ball and invited disaster by closing our eyes so we "See No Evil." It also lays out just how evil Iran-Contra was and how it facilitated the 9/11 attacks. But there is plenty of blame to go around and the book is very harsh on Clinton as well.

This book covers similar material as another from the same author "Sleeping with the Devil." Both lay out the true price we pay for oil.

If you as a reader do NOT want to know how we are our own worst enemy, do not read this book; you won't believe it anyway. For the rest of us who want to know more about what is being kept secret from us "for our own good," this is a must read.

And then listen to "Sleeping with the Enemy."

If you dare.

9 people found this helpful

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  • DS
  • 03-02-13

A WAKE UP CALL

Baer is a terrific writer, a great CIA operative, and a true Patriot. The CIA should be, first and foremost, an intelligence gathering arm of the US government. Baer makes very clear that pre 9/11 we were fighting the last intelligence war and looking for information that would confirm our preconceived ideas. Let's hope that has changed.

On another note, this is an interesting account of who our operatives are and how they come to join the Agency.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • James Divine
  • 31-05-07

Very Well Done


This is a great narrative of terrorism and of the CIA from an insider's point of view. Baer does a great job of connecting the dots in the tightly knit world of terrorism.

The only drawback I found with the book is that it can be hard to follow the names of the key players, but that is more of a linguistics issue than a beef about the book.

All in all, I'd highly recommend this book to anyone who wants a greater understanding of what is really going on in our world and who is to blame.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kenneth
  • 16-03-07

The Best of Keyhole Voyeurism

I liked this book. Quite a bit. It’s probably one of the most authentic public works on the second half of the CIA’s history. It doesn’t talk down to you, preach up at you, or skew its message for political correctness. It has facts, information, and a point of view.

But it’s a little hard to not to feel a little perverted about liking it.

P.S. I think it’s a mistake to primarily understand this book as anti-Bush. It’s really anti-establishment.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Matthew
  • 07-08-06

Politics at its best

It is amazing to hear what you have always figured was the case with CIA and FBI--their competition has made the USA very vulnerable and I am curious if 9/11 actually made things safer in the USA. I would like to think so, but after listening to "See no Evil", I think it will take more than 9/11 to fix things. Very good book and more than I expected after watching "Syriana".

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Paul
  • 06-02-09

Required reading

Close up personal insights on what is wrong with American intelligence service in the middle east and how this leaves us vulnerable to terrorist organizations. Some of the things which Baer says, if they came from another source, I might view with suspicion. But his credentials of having worked for the CIA in the middle east, in the field, give him credibility to say that we need to find different ways to deal with Islamic terrorist organizations than what we are currently doing.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Utilisateur anonyme
  • 07-01-20

Great book insanely timely

I couldn't believe my ears. The story of dubious Russian campaign finance donations being made to... Clinton! How Iranians were behind the embassy bombing in Beirut. This book was freaky too read at the very beginning of 2020. Robertson Dean is the best. Baer has a knack for story telling but cuts off right before 9/11.

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  • clandestine
  • 10-05-19

Interesting look back at the life of a CIA field officer

Bob Baer certainly lead an interesting and exciting life. It was amazing to read about how he basically stumbled into the CIA and then became such an important asset to the CIA. He pulled no punches with his criticism of Washington and the multiple dirty hands of corruption that influence our nation’s politics, intelligence services, etc. An enjoyable read for anyone who wants to learn more about the CIA from the inside.

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  • MB777
  • 08-05-19

Thrilling

I’ve read this book two or three times, and I learn new information each time I read it.