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Download A Pretext for War: 9/11, Iraq, and the Abuse of America's Intelligence Agencies Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample A Pretext for War: 9/11, Iraq, and the Abuse of Americas Intelligence Agencies Audiobook, by James Bamford Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (165 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: James Bamford Narrator: Ray Childs Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2004 ISBN: 9780739312551
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The bestselling author of Body of Secrets and The Puzzle Palace presents his most hard-hitting book to date—a sweeping, authoritative, and fearless account of the failures of America’s intelligence agencies and the Bush administration’s calculated efforts to sell a war to the American people.

In The Puzzle Palace, James Bamford revealed the existence of the NSA, the largest, most secretive, and best-financed intelligence organization in the world. In Body of Secrets, he took readers inside the ultrasecret agency, charting its deeds and misdeeds from its founding in 1952 to the end of the twentieth century. Now Bamford applies his relentless investigative drive and unparalleled access to intelligence sources to produce a headline-making book about the most pressing issues of the present day.

From the mishandling of the pre-9/11 threat to the unproven claims about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, Bamford argues that the Bush administration has co-opted the intelligence community for its own political ends, and at the expense of American security.  Bamford makes the case that the Bush administration’s Middle East policy decisions, from overthrowing Saddam to ignoring the situation of the Palestinians, are driven by long-held beliefs and goals of an elite group of conservatives inside and outside of government.

A Pretext for War
 homes in on the systematic weakness that led the intelligence community to ignore or misinterpret evidence of the impending terrorist attacks of 9/11—a failure rooted in the refusal to acknowledge the central role of the Palestinian cause in igniting Arab rage against the United States.  Compounding the errors, the Bush administration’s immediate response to 9/11 was to call for an attack on Iraq, and it subsequently invented justifications for the preemptive war that has ultimately left the United States more vulnerable to terrorism. 

A Pretext for War 
is an unprecedented, utterly convincing exposé of the most secretive administration in history.  

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • Probably the best one-volume companion to the harrowing events in the war on terrorism since 1996. Time
  • Highly readable and well-researched. . . . Bamford does a superb job of laying out and tying together threads of the Sept. 11 intelligence failures and their ongoing aftermath, using original research, the public record and a light, fast-paced writing touch. The Washington Post Book World
  • A damning portrait of the country’s intelligence agencies. . . . Bamford unearths new details . . . to create a vivid, unsettling narrative. . . . Highly persuasive. The New York Times
  • Not only contains significant new information, but also combines that information with previously known material to make . . . sense of Sept. 11 and its aftermath. . . . A vital book. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alice | 1/13/2014

    " This is the best book on pre-Iraq war Washington. Gives you the personalities and the currents of thought in a fast, exciting format. Sort of the anti-Woodward. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 M | 11/11/2013

    " An interesting account of the Bush administration's gross negligence in committing the grave act of taking the nation into a "war of choice", twisting intelligence information at every step along the way to fabricate the rationale for what to date appears to have been a massive strategic blunder. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 columbialion | 11/3/2013

    " Intel expert Bamford (Body of Secrets)connects the evasive dots of the pliable CIA to alter and retrofit intelligence to justify Iraqi invasion under G W Bush "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Scott | 7/11/2013

    " Pretext for War gives an overview of what the American military, intelligence, and White house were doing in the space between 9/11 and the invasion of Iraq. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mike | 1/7/2013

    " you think you know about the Iraq War, you have no idea. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Susan | 9/16/2011

    " Should be required reading for all future presidents and their advisors "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jordan | 7/27/2011

    " This book is an interesting look at the problems of our intelligence system, and why it has been such a problem lately. It is also full of conspiracy theories, and lot of unconnected dots that Bamford tries to pull together. Interesting, if nothing else. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Martha Johnson | 12/6/2010

    " Important for people to read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Aram | 11/12/2010

    " The first half of the book is OK, if a little too obsessed with Pentagon gadgetry. But the second half is A MUST READ for anyone who wants to understand where this Iraq quagmire came from. James Bamford doesn't pull any punches. And he has done his homework. Very convincing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jose | 7/15/2010

    " good audio book...had learned a lot of this already in other books...still interesting. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Stephen | 3/17/2010

    " Worth reading for the inside look at the U.S. Intelligence Community, but sub-par foreign policy analysis... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 columbialion | 1/16/2010

    " Intel expert Bamford (Body of Secrets)connects the evasive dots of the pliable CIA to alter and retrofit intelligence to justify Iraqi invasion under G W Bush "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Stephen | 6/9/2009

    " Worth reading for the inside look at the U.S. Intelligence Community, but sub-par foreign policy analysis... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Susan | 5/30/2009

    " Should be required reading for all future presidents and their advisors "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alice | 2/3/2008

    " This is the best book on pre-Iraq war Washington. Gives you the personalities and the currents of thought in a fast, exciting format. Sort of the anti-Woodward. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Aram | 11/13/2007

    " The first half of the book is OK, if a little too obsessed with Pentagon gadgetry. But the second half is A MUST READ for anyone who wants to understand where this Iraq quagmire came from. James Bamford doesn't pull any punches. And he has done his homework. Very convincing. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jordan | 7/8/2007

    " This book is an interesting look at the problems of our intelligence system, and why it has been such a problem lately. It is also full of conspiracy theories, and lot of unconnected dots that Bamford tries to pull together. Interesting, if nothing else. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Scott | 4/28/2007

    " Pretext for War gives an overview of what the American military, intelligence, and White house were doing in the space between 9/11 and the invasion of Iraq. "

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About the Author
JAMES BAMFORD, the author of the bestsellers Body of Secrets and The Puzzle Palace, has written extensively on national security issues, including investigative cover stories for the New York Times Magazine, the Washington Post Magazine, and the Los Angeles Times Magazine. Formerly the Washington investigative producer for ABC’s World News Tonight with Peter Jennings, and a distinguished visiting professor at the University of California, Berkeley, he lives in Washington, D.C.
About the Narrator

Ray Childs is a successful audiobook narrator. He can be heard on such titles as Black like Me, The Vanderbilts, and Amos Fortune.