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The Secrets of the FBI

The Secrets of the FBI [Kindle Edition]

Ronald Kessler
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

The Secrets of the FBI by New York Times bestselling author Ronald Kessler reveals the FBI’s most closely guarded secrets and the secrets of celebrities, politicians, and movie stars uncovered by agents during their investigations.

Based on inside access, the book presents revelations about the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound, the recent Russian spy swap, Marilyn Monroe's death, Vince Foster’s suicide, and J. Edgar Hoover’s sexual orientation. For the first time, it tells how the FBI caught spy Robert Hanssen in its midst and how the FBI breaks into homes, offices, and embassies to plant bugging devices without getting caught.

From Watergate to Waco, from congressional scandals to the killing of bin Laden, The Secrets of the FBI presents headline-making disclosures about the most important figures and events of our time.

From the Hardcover edition.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 4492 KB
  • Print Length: 306 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: B009BJ4UQG
  • Publisher: Crown Forum; Reprint edition (2 Aug 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004J4WLKK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #102,486 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Revealing 7 Feb 2014
By John
This very fascinating book is as revealing as it is educative, insightful and entertaining. Not only did Ronald Hessler introduce us to the workings of the bigger than life Hoover whose legacy is controversial for the good he did to his country, but also to the damages he wrought on its citizens, he did so in a way that made reading it pleasurable. Spanning several decades, this book takes us into the world of intelligence and the conflicts involving the different branches, than few other books have done.

But the most interesting aspect of the book is the way it delved into and dealt with the current intelligence threats facing America---from economic, terrorist, military and ideological. The global nature of it makes reading all the more good coming with knowledge of current world dynamics. I just read Triple Agent Double Cross, The Triple Agent before reading this book, so it gave me a better perspective of the threat of global terror. Overall, this is a book that needs to be read a second time, if not more than twice.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Informative and wide-ranging 25 Jun 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Good content, although some of the terminology is a little too "American". Easy to read, entertaining, and certainly paints a picture of the FBI that one would not expect.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.8 out of 5 stars  69 reviews
39 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars J. Edgar Who? 4 Aug 2011
By Robert Taylor Brewer - Published on
Two drunks get on a city bus. It starts up, drives away, and a short time later, the passengers begin disrobing. They have revolvers strapped to their hips, radio gear, maybe Uzis. Seeing this, the drunks get nervous, get up and start pulling the overhead chain. They're desperate and want off the bus. The bus driver is knocking over garbage cans making his turns on the city streets. He yells back at the drunks "Hey, quit playing with the bell!" One of the passengers approaches the drunks. He's carrying a shotgun. "Do we know you?" the passenger says to the drunk. Now the drunks begin to pull the bell so hard they nearly rip it off its moorings. The passenger with the shotgun yells "Hey Phil, stop the bus. We got a couple of riders here." According to Ronald Kessler in his new book The Secrets Of The FBI, the passengers were FBI agents on a stakeout. The bus picked up the two drunks by mistake. Is this any way to run a government agency? Got that right. Welcome to the post 9/11 world of keeping America safe.

As Mr. Kessler indicates, this is not your grandfather's FBI. They think out of the box these days, and do imaginative things like staging fake car accidents to find terror suspects. They can and will impersonate almost anybody, although not a journalist or members of clergy. And female agents are not permitted to use sex to entrap a subject. So, if in doubt about who your date really is, kiss her. If she's FBI, she can't respond.

As to the question everyone has been wondering about, on page 17 we get: "Every other week, agent Louis Grever meets with his counterparts at the CIA". So yes, there is sharing of intelligence information, which was generally not the case prior to 9/11.

The FBI also doesn't like barking dogs, and will use tranquilizer darts to silence them. Other times they encounter more exotic species. On page 22 we get agent Mike McDevitt: "I hear all this noise ...I have a penlight in my mouth... I turn my head towards that... I see these orange eyes looking at me... a jaguar in a cage."

There are rewards that go beyond the tangible. Grever: "You love getting the phone call at home, grabbing your bag, and telling your family, `I gotta go! They need me! The country needs me!" When there's nothing more to learn about someone, the FBI clamps on the cuffs. "The day we arrest someone is the day I can't collect against him anymore," according to FBI assistant national security director Art Cummings II.

Overall, this book will answer most questions about the FBI's mission and its handling of important cases, including the hunt for Osama Bin Laden in Chapter 21. One new battleground is cyber terrorism, and industrial espionage, especially signals emanating from China. "We are being flooded, absolutely flooded by predominantly Chinese cyber attacks," Cummings says.
40 of 52 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Fallacious and salacious 11 Nov 2011
By Dusty - Published on
After hearing the author tell stories on After Dark Radio of how FBI agents break into homes to plant bugs, my interest was piqued. But when I bought the book and started reading my interest turned to annoyance. The main problems are that the book is unsourced (i.e. no footnotes), and frequently offers little more than gossip passed off as fact. Secondly, it is also heavily filled with fallacious reasoning. I hope that a couple of examples will suffice.

Chapter 3, "Red Dress," is about J. Edgar Hoover's alleged homosexuality. The "proof" that Kessler offers is found in two main pieces of "evidence." One is a story of Susan Rosenstiel (which I will not dignify by repeating here); however, Rosenstiel is not a creditable witness (she pled guilty to perjury in the 1970s), as Kessler himself admits later in the chapter. The other evidence offered is Hoover's relationship with Clyde Tolson--his deputy and successor at the FBI--which Kessler believes was romantic. This rumor dates back to the '40s and is based on hearsay with no solid evidence behind it. Kessler himself notes that the FBI spied on Hoover and Tolson but found no evidence of anything unusual. This chapter ends with Kessler grasping at straws: "Still, the fact that Hoover spent his leisure time with a man and that they took adoring photos of each other points to Hoover's being homosexual" (p.36). The fact that two men spent leisure time together "points to" a homosexual relationship? This is nonsense. Kessler continues, "[Hoover] conceivably could have had sexual relations with Tolson when the two were alone together" (p.36). They also conceivably could have spent time reading Icelandic poetry, breeding horseflies, or listening to baseball on the radio - but these are not very interesting theories to pass off as fact. Kessler offers no description of what "adoring photographs" is supposed to mean.

A second example is the story of Vince Foster's suicide, for which Kessler tries to blame Hillary Clinton. I have been an harsh critic of Hillary's for years and hate to have to defend her, but again, Kessler's proof is so absurd that I felt the need to write this review. A week before Foster's suicide, Hillary insulted him publicly, calling him a hick-town lawyer. According to Kessler, after this incident Foster's behavior changed dramatically, and he demonstrated signs of depression and eventually committed suicide. This is a false cause argument; there is no necessary correlation between the two events. If I receive a flu shot and a week later find out I have lung cancer, I would not blame the flu shot. Furthermore, Ken Starr spent 3 years investigating Foster's death and issued an exhaustive 114 page report which does not even make mention of the Hillary "incident." Kessler finds this strange; I find it strange that he finds this strange.

Other lowlights include: his tendentious account of the FBI's siege at Ruby Ridge and subsequent massacre at Waco, which has all the sophistication and depth of a 3 minute TV news piece (and which was the catalyst for me to write this, my first ever Amazon review), the chapter "Mole in the CIA" is filled with lascivious tales that have no apparent relevance to his topic, and as several other reviewers have noted, the book contains a lot of old material that Kessler has recycled.

If you enjoy reading titillating gossip, then perhaps you may enjoy this book. Otherwise, stay clear.

Full Disclosure: I did not read the entire book; after a while I could take no more.
15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and Credible - 5 Aug 2011
By Loyd E. Eskildson - Published on
The most interesting part of Kessler's book covered how former director Hoover (48 years) built secret files in his office with sensitive information about celebrities and political leaders. Hoover made certain that those he had information on knew what the files contained on them. The book contains a number of examples of who was targeted (eg. Robert Kennedy and his relationship with Marilyn Monroe, Martin Luther King), what was contained, and how the information was fed back to the targeted individual. Ironically, columnist Jack Anderson in turn publicly scandalized Hoover in columns after rifling through the director's garbage; more seriously, it turns out that Hoover also abused his position - having employees build a front porch, fish pond, and rear deck on his home, as well as prepare his tax returns and ghost-write 'Masters of Deceit' for him.

Other sections cover the recent raid on bin Laden's compound, Vince Foster's suicide (reportedly triggered by a week earlier encounter with Hillary Clinton), how the FBI caught Russian spy Robert Hansen within its ranks (paid a Russian agent big money for information - had about 300 personnel working on the case), its investigation of 9/11, Chinese cyber attacks, digging a tunnel under the new Soveiet Embassy in D.C. (supposedly cost $1 billion - including new spying techniques), as well as how the FBI breaks into offices and embassies to plant bugging devices without getting caught - eg. drugs dogs or scares them off with CO2 extinguishers). The really bad news - the lead FBI expert on terrorism believes we'll be attacked with WMD for certain, sooner or later.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting perspective on the modern FBI, and even-handed 10 Feb 2012
By Roger J. Buffington - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is the first book by this author that I have read. The writing style is only OK, but I will give him credit for presenting some pretty interesting facts. I also commend him for what I perceived to be an even-handed perspective on the FBI. This book cuts neither Left nor Right. It is critical of the FBI when the author deems it to be appropriate, and gives credit where credit appears to be due. I thought that the author's analysis of the Ruby Ridge and Branch Davidian fiascoes was pretty even-handed and rang true. Mostly he exonerates the FBI, but not without some criticism and frank second guessing. By contrast, the author pretty much concludes that J. Edgar Hoover was a gay man in a common law marriage with his Deputy Director. As most FBI buffs know, these rumors have circulated for decades. Obviously this took place before today's more enlightened and tolerant view of such relationships.

The overall thesis of this piece is that the FBI has learned to think outside of the box particularly since 9/11. This is plainly a good thing. I came away after reading this book with a more favorable opinion of the FBI. This book is an engaging read and I recommend it. RJB.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Secrets of the FBI 28 Oct 2011
By butch - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
As a 28 year FBI agent of the Hoover era, including eight years beyond, I find the indication by the author as to Hoover's sexual preference an insult to the man and the organization. Hoover had his faults, all built around his ego and his desire to keep the FBI's reputation beyond criticism.

No doubt he stayed too long as its director, but to insinuate he was a homosexual is a failure to understand the man. Hoover was rumored with various celebrity females in his earlier years which the author failed to cover. In truth, he obviously lived, breathed and dedicated his life to the FBI, very apparent to those who served under him. He was indeed the father of modern law enforcement.

During my 28 years, I never heard any fellow agent or support employee question Hoover's sexual preference. There were approximately 6000 agents during my service time, many of whom were savvy WWII veterans. Surely, we would have known or suspected what the author insinuates. He only bases his insinuation on Hoover's association with his close friend and assistant.

Otherwise, the book, to my limited knowledge of the present organization, is rightfully both critical and complimentary of the organization at present, especially its current director.
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