[PDF] Ghost: Confessions of a Counterterrorism Agent By Fred Burton – Loufanet.info

Ghost: Confessions of a Counterterrorism Agent Where to begin with this book Fascinating content, candid description of how a the US counter terrorism portion of the diplomatic service originally had 3 overworked agent, 2 of them fresh out of training Interesting anecdotes about the writer s career.However, two huge flaws 1 Cluttered writingThe author repeats himself ad nauseum the type of warm jacket he wears, the car he drives, the fact that he sees the world as black and white and the nature of his work is shades of gray 2 No narra Where to begin with this book Fascinating content, candid description of how a the US counter terrorism portion of the diplomatic service originally had 3 overworked agent, 2 of them fresh out of training Interesting anecdotes about the writer s career.However, two huge flaws 1 Cluttered writingThe author repeats himself ad nauseum the type of warm jacket he wears, the car he drives, the fact that he sees the world as black and white and the nature of his work is shades of gray 2 No narrativeCounter terrorism grows across agencies, his own organization blossoms, technology changes but these are mere punctuation and not part of the story Ugh What was truly interesting came in quick glimpses of a mere second or two How does one reconcile letting a killer go free and be on the payroll for information which may save lives in the future.How does one balance family with vocation In This Hard Hitting Memoir, Fred Burton, A Key Figure In International Counterterrorism And Domestic Spycraft, Emerges From The Shadows To Reveal Who He Is, What He Has Accomplished, And The Threats That Lurk Unseen Except By An Experienced, Worldly Wise Few Plunging Readers Into The Murky World Of Violent Religious Extremism That Spans The Streets Of Middle Eastern Cities And The Informant Filled Alleys Of American Slums, Burton Takes Us Behind The Scenes To Reveal How The United States Tracked Libya Linked Master Terrorist Abu Nidal Captured Ramzi Yusef, Architect Of The World Trade Center Bombing And Pursued The Assassins Of Major Figures Including Yitzhak Rabin, Meir Kahane, And General Muhammad Zia Ul Haq, The President Of Pakistan Classic Cases That Have Sobering New Meaning In The Treacherous Years Since Here, Too, Is Burton S Advice On Personal Safety For Today S Most Powerful CEOs, Gleaned From His Experience At Stratfor, The Private Firm Barron S Calls The Shadow CIA Told In A No Holds Barred, Gripping, Nuanced Style That Illuminates A Complex And Driven Man, Ghost Is Both A Riveting Read And An Illuminating Look Into The Shadows Of The Most Important Struggle Of Our Time Author Fred Burton reveals the sinister realities of the global counterterrorism game in a very serious, readable, unpretentious way The book is devoid of the ego tripping and grandstanding that a lot of these memoirs suffer from i.e books like Jawbreaker etcI wasn t expecting tales of hair raising takedowns of terrorists in some Beirut slum or gun battles with Iranian agents in some Middle Eastern embassy, so if you re some ignorant film junkie who thinks that s what counterterrorism is Author Fred Burton reveals the sinister realities of the global counterterrorism game in a very serious, readable, unpretentious way The book is devoid of the ego tripping and grandstanding that a lot of these memoirs suffer from i.e books like Jawbreaker etcI wasn t expecting tales of hair raising takedowns of terrorists in some Beirut slum or gun battles with Iranian agents in some Middle Eastern embassy, so if you re some ignorant film junkie who thinks that s what counterterrorism is about, avoid this book.Instead of merely discussing the generally unnecessary though nonetheless advisable precautions taken to avoid tails, Burton paints dramatic portraits of imminent danger which ultimately lead tonothing It isn t the result nothing that I found frustrating, but rather the overly dramatic portrayal of relatively routine occurrences I have little doubt that at many points in his career he was truly and justifiably frightened, but every recounted story does not warrant a paragraph about how he may never see his family again Further, his constant referral to himself as a spook involved in the perilous dark world is destined to annoy some readers.I also found intersesting Burton s theory that the airplane crash that killed Pakistani President Zia was a KGB hit the Soviet Union s farewell kiss to the mujahadin as the Red Army withdrew from Afghanistan in defeat Burton was the lead investigator on that case In most books I ve read, Ghost Wars The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and bin Laden from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001, for example the incident is regarded as an accident Burton provides an interesting take on that, but also says that the Soviets would have had no plausible reason to carry out such an operation besides, plausible reasons that make sense are usually missing from conspiracy theorists What a surprise Burton suggests that it could have been India.On page 30, upon Burton s entering the CIA headquarters for the first time, I read a statue of Nathan Hale, a Revolutionary War spy who went to a British hangman s noose with the immortal words Give me liberty or give me death on his lips Give me liberty or give me death Those are certainly immortal words Nathan Hale Isn t that quote is attributed to Patrick Henry Hale is remembered for the words I regret that I have but one life to give to my country Written by one of the founding agents of the U.S State Department s Diplomatic Security Service s DSS Counter terrorism Division, this memoir reveals the shadowy contours of global terrorism and its shift from state sponsored attacks to thedecentralized activities of the Al Qaeda network Fred Burton provides a window into the working life of a professional field agent attempting to navigate these turbulent waters from their success taking down the first World Trade Centre bomber, or th Written by one of the founding agents of the U.S State Department s Diplomatic Security Service s DSS Counter terrorism Division, this memoir reveals the shadowy contours of global terrorism and its shift from state sponsored attacks to thedecentralized activities of the Al Qaeda network Fred Burton provides a window into the working life of a professional field agent attempting to navigate these turbulent waters from their success taking down the first World Trade Centre bomber, or the frustration he felt as the division tried to locate the Beirut hostages that would eventually culminate in the Iran contra affair Howeverrevealing were his allegations that the airplane crash which killed Pakistani President Muhammad Zia ul Haq in 1988 was a parting gift from the KGB as the Soviet Union withdrew from Afghanistan, and just how close Pakistan and India came to a nuclear exchange believing the assassination a precursor to an Indian invasion Along the way Ghost shows how the DSS has had to evolve their counter terrorism tactics as they themselves learned to appreciate just how sophisticated their enemies really are, and the types of tradecraft they ve had to adopt as a result.Burton proves an engaging author whose anecdotes provide an honest account of the many duties he and the other agents of the DSS perform protecting not only visiting international dignitaries, but America s embassies and staff in the trenches of the some of the world s most violent regions Reads almost like a spy novel at points, certainly worth picking up Fred Burton was a counterterrorism agent for the Diplomatic Security Service and was involved in investigating some of the worst acts of terrorism in U.S history from 1986 to 1995.In Ghost, he recounts three specific investigations the Lebanon hostage crisis later revealed as part of the Iran Contra scandal , the bombing of PAK 1 which lead to the death of Pakistani President Zia, the Lockerbie bombing, and the hunt for Ramzi Yousef mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and othe Fred Burton was a counterterrorism agent for the Diplomatic Security Service and was involved in investigating some of the worst acts of terrorism in U.S history from 1986 to 1995.In Ghost, he recounts three specific investigations the Lebanon hostage crisis later revealed as part of the Iran Contra scandal , the bombing of PAK 1 which lead to the death of Pakistani President Zia, the Lockerbie bombing, and the hunt for Ramzi Yousef mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and other acts of terror.As Burton s memoir reveals, terrorism is against U.S targets is not new, but our reactions to terrorism has evolved as the U.S has attempted to play catch up in response to these attacks, including the development of improved counter surveillance techniques However, even as we becomedeveloped in our response,problems arise Burton notes the turf wars between the FBI, CIA, DSS, etc have only grown over the years.One thing has not changed The axiom that we do not negotiate with terrorists is a huge myth Every nation has made its own deals with these devils All too often, terror is a blunt but effective political weapon As long as it works, terrorism will never be stamped out p 129 At first the premise for the book seemed appealing Hearing about the life of a counterterrorism agent directly from the source seemed appealing Like all books written by intelligence officers, it is understood that certain things just cannot be said or talked about for fear of it affecting current operations This is a real story after all Still, I jumped at the chance to read it not really sure what to expect What I got was a bit dissapointing It s intriguing to see what the author goes th At first the premise for the book seemed appealing Hearing about the life of a counterterrorism agent directly from the source seemed appealing Like all books written by intelligence officers, it is understood that certain things just cannot be said or talked about for fear of it affecting current operations This is a real story after all Still, I jumped at the chance to read it not really sure what to expect What I got was a bit dissapointing It s intriguing to see what the author goes through, his thoughts, his view of the things that are going on Still, that s part of the problem So many people are referenced mentioned throughout the chapters that you d have to spend a day on Wikipedia just to figure who is who and how they relate to the stuff that is going on It s really just impossible trying to keep track of it all Don t get me wrong, I have a good memory but without any real depth to the people everyone just blends together and I just couldn t remember who is who Honestly, I got halfway through the book and just had to put it down I didn t finish reading it but I have decided to base my review on just what I did read Excellent insight into a murky field You may not be familiar with the state department DSS AND that s exactly the way that they want it This was an excellent book that is well written and that offers a lot of insights into the world prior to September 11, 2001 I highly recommend it and thoroughly enjoyed it. I enjoyed this book as a reminder that trouble with terrorism did not start on 9 11 and that self sacrificing heroes, known and unknown, are used for the security we can so easily take for granted Looking at this world through the author s eyes, I think this book is somewhat impacted by his stiff personality and at least slight trend toward self aggrandizement At least the occasional Kennedyesque self deprecation that he took his job seriously and not himself would have gone a long way.The sec I enjoyed this book as a reminder that trouble with terrorism did not start on 9 11 and that self sacrificing heroes, known and unknown, are used for the security we can so easily take for granted Looking at this world through the author s eyes, I think this book is somewhat impacted by his stiff personality and at least slight trend toward self aggrandizement At least the occasional Kennedyesque self deprecation that he took his job seriously and not himself would have gone a long way.The section I most enjoyed was an abrupt departure from the rest of the book Burton suddenly goes into a how to sequence on the thinking process that goes into trailing a suspect and avoiding such attention A whole book of this might ve been much less interesting than Burton s memoir, but I did like the specific texture this section provided Snippets of activities covering Fred Burtons career as a counter terrorism agent Many of the stories are familiar, some are not None are covered extensively, so to me it wasof an overview of the areas his agency dealt with. I read it all the way through because I m really curious about the human equation in the world of the spook I learned little of any depth, so don t expect an expos No depth of feeling or learning by the author.


About the Author: Fred Burton

Former police officer and special agent.


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