|Plot Summary of See No Evil|
|"In this book, Robert Baer tells the story of his career with the CIA, starting with his recruitment and then moving to his training at the secret facility in Virginia called ‘The Farm'. He then tells the story of his career as a case officer in the field, mostly in the Middle East but also in Europe and Russia.
The book opens in March 1995 with Baer, having worked in the CIA since the ‘70s, being pulled back to Washington from Northern Iraq and becoming the center of a legal/political struggle initiated by President Clinton's national security advisor over a bungled attempt to remove Saddam Hussein from power. In the next chapter Baer flashes back to his childhood and his experiences in those years that would later make him a good candidate for the CIA. He then moves to his college years, his recruitment by the CIA (which, he claims, almost didn't happen due to a couple of hippie-like radicals he briefly roomed with in college) and his training at ‘The Farm'.
Baer recounts his extensive experiences in the Middle East and his misadventures in the former Soviet republic of Tajikistan driving Soviet tanks and sky diving in the middle of the night from a Soviet AN-2 airplane, among other things. Baer provides an enlightening, insider's glimpse into the politics and culture of the Middle East. He meticulously explains—in a non-partisan fashion—how the politics of Washington—especially after the end of the Cold War—slowly dismantled the CIA with political correctness and ineptitude. Neither political party nor any presidential administration gets a free ride here and Baer describes how an environment of arrogance, political correctness, greed, incompetence and corruption led, finally, to the attacks of September 11, 2001. He ends with a reminder that the need for human intelligence gathering will never end and that the CIA and the American government must be willing to do what's necessary to have any hope of winning the war on terror. His tone in the epilogue however, isn't very optimistic.
Robert Cox, Resident Scholar
|Review Analysis of See No Evil|
Our unique search engine provides a wealth of detail about books by breaking them down into many different literary elements, all of which are searchable (click here).
Ratings are on a 1-10 scale (Low to High)
War/Cloak & Dagger story?
- Spying for secrets
Subject of Biography
- American (!)
How sensitive is this person?
- hard edged
Sense of humor
- Cynical sense of humor
- Smarter than most other people
- very athletic
How much descriptions of surroundings?
- 4 ()
- climbing on trails
- hostile arabs
- fort/military installation
- mostly 1st
Accounts of torture and death?
- moderately detailed references to deaths
Is book humorous?
If humorous, kind of humor
- eccentric personalities
Commentary on society?
Writer's slant towards subject:
Story of entire life, or part?
- story of set of events during life
- A lot 11-15 B&W
How much dialogue in bio?
- significantly more descript than dialog
How much of bio focuses on most famous period of life?
- 76%-100% of book
How much is philosophy rather than life story?
- 0-25% of book
Click here for more information about this book
Robert Baer Resident Scholar Profiles|
Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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