In 500 Days, master chronicler Kurt Eichenwald lays bare the harrowing decisions, deceptions, and delusions of the eighteen months that changed the world forever, as leaders raced to protect their citizens in the wake of 9/11.
Eichenwald’s gripping, immediate style and trueto- life dialogue puts readers at the heart of these historic events, from the Oval Office to Number 10 Downing Street, from Guantanamo Bay to the depths of CIA headquarters, from the al-Qaeda training camps to the torture chambers of Egypt and Syria. He reveals previously undisclosed information from the terror wars, including never before reported details about warrantless wiretapping, the anthrax attacks and investigations, and conflicts between Washington and London.
With his signature fast-paced narrative style, Eichenwald— whose book, The Informant, was called “one of the best nonfiction books of the decade” by The New York Times Book Review—exposes a world of secrets and lies that has remained hidden for far too long.
About Kurt Eichenwald
Kurt Eichenwald has written about Wall Street for The New York Times since 1987. He began investigating the Prudential scandal in 1989 and, in 1993, took a leave from his daily Market Place column to investigate Prudential Bache full time. His efforts yielded Serpent on the Rock and a Publisher’s Award from the Times.
Former New York Times reporter Eichenwald (Conspiracy of Fools, 2005, etc.) chronicles the entire post-9/11 year-and-a-half spectacular, demonstrating literally how the anti-terrorist hysteria in the United States, and the hatred of America and general global paranoia, forged the “trauma that haunts the world to this day.” The author begins in medias res, from the frightened exodus of White House workers fleeing the executive mansion once news of the World Trade Center attack erupted that morning. He moves in swift, tidily edited steps—e.g., discussions by White House Counsel officials in choosing Guantanamo Bay for detainees in custody; Vice President Cheney’s urging of immediate aggressive action against al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan; the unanimous passage in the Senate of Bush’s sweeping and unprecedented war powers resolution; the seizure and torture of the Kuwaiti Ahmad El-Maati on suspicion of carrying a “sensitive” Canadian map later proved specious; the discovery of the American John Walker Lindh fighting for the Taliban; British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s agreement to help America’s efforts in Iraq as long as it emphasized the dictator’s threat of weapons of mass destruction, which Iraq did not have; and on and on. All the dramatis personae from various government departments are here as well as foreign leaders and al-Qaeda operatives, all gunning for war, subterfuge and mayhem. Eichenwald ends with a desultory epilogue depicting the demise and burial at sea of Osama bin Laden. – Kirkus Reviews
Book review: ‘500 Days,’ by Kurt Eichenwald, on Bush’s response to 9/11
The Washington Post Book Review – August 31, 2012 (Excerpt)
Kurt Eichenwald is a master at making complicated stories easily understood. In the past, he has focused on business, notably the implosion of Enron and price-fixing at Archer Daniels Midland. In his latest effort, the former New York Times reporter turns his attention to the George W. Bush administration’s “war on terror” and the decisions its officials made in the course of 18 months that changed the world.
“500 Days” opens at the Bush ranch in Crawford, Tex., more than a year before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Bush had just won the Republican nomination for president, and a lineup of experts had begun making pilgrimages to Crawford to brief him.
The deputy director of the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center, Ben Bonk, arrived with a ruse in mind. Because of Bush’s reputation for folksiness, Bonk decided to provide him with a vivid example of the terrorist threat. He smuggled a fake briefcase bomb into the briefing room, and while he had let the Secret Service in on what he was doing, the future president was left in the dark. The briefcase contained no poison gas, but the device was real enough. It was based on a design by a Japanese cult that had released sarin gas on the Tokyo subway in 1995. [Read the full article...]
THE BLEEDING HILLS A Novel by Wilfried F. Voss
I have fought a good fight,
I have finished my course,
I have kept the faith. - 2 Timothy iv. 7
The Irish War is officially a part of history, but not for Finnean Whelan, an IRA veteran of almost 40 years. British Intelligence has produced evidence that he is the mastermind behind a conspiracy to assassinate the First Minister of Northern Ireland. For Whelan this is not only a mission of revenge, but marks the beginning of a journey into the past and the return to the one true love: Ireland. [More...]
We are the only country that makes guns, including military-style assault weapons, available to anyone who wants to buy them. This is not freedom. It is a tyranny of death and destruction — a tyranny of which the National Rifle Association is proud. The Washington Post
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