Broken by Richard Gid Powers
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By Richard Gid Powers


The Troubled Past and Uncertain Future of the FBI

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Format: Paperback

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Broken by Richard Gid Powers

Book Description

The FBI that failed on 9/11 is the creation and captive of its spectacular and controversial past. Its original mission -- the investigation and prosecution of only the most serious crimes against the United States -- was forsaken almost from the beginning. This abandonment of purpose has been accompanied by a long history of political pressure, both from within and without. This sorry and scandal-ridden path culminated in a twenty-five-year run-up to 9/11 in which predictable and preventable lapses became hopelessly entrenched. In Broken, Richard Gid Powers, one of the country's leading historians of national security and law enforcement, offers a definitive and provocative study of the Bureau from its origins to the present. Combing through the archives, and interviewing more than 100 past and current agents, he unearths stories behind some of the most famous cases and characters in our history. Powers, who attended new-agent training classes at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia, was granted access to restricted FBI facilities. His research included visits to the scenes of controversial FBI cases across the country, including Ruby Ridge, Waco, and the Indian reservation at Pine Ridge. Powers did not set out to write a muckraking attack, and he gives the Bureau its due for many triumphs. Nonetheless, his story features an astonishing range of political abuses, misdirected investigations, skewed priorities, and sheer intelligence failures. From the Bureau's outrageous participation in the anticommunist Palmer Raids and their successors, to its abuses of civil liberties during the Cold War, to its flagrant acts of domestic political interference during the civil rights era, it has often seemed to be consumed by feuds with such opponents as Harry Truman, Martin Luther King Jr., the Kennedys, and Bill Clinton. With the discovery of turncoat spies within its own ranks, and with the severe intelligence failures of 9/11, the Bureau has finally proven itself incapable of spotting the true enemies of our country within our borders. Richard Powers's account is a searing indictment of failure, yet it is also strong evidence that the Bureau could be returned to its original mission of detecting the most serious crimes against the United States: terrorism, political corruption, corporate crime, and organized crime. Readers must decide for themselves whether America should mend it or end it.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781416568223
ISBN-10: 1416568220
Format: Paperback
(229mm x 152mm x 30mm)
Pages: 544
Imprint: The Free Press
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publish Date: 27-Jun-2007
Country of Publication: United States

Other Editions...

Books By Author Richard Gid Powers

Secrecy by Richard Gid Powers Secrecy, Paperback (January 2000)

An account of the development of secrecy as a mode of regulation in American governance since World War I - how it was born, how world events shaped it, how it has adversely affected momentous political decisions and events, and how it has eluded efforts to curtail or end it.

Not Without Honor by Richard Gid Powers Not Without Honor, Paperback (April 1998)

The American anticommunist movement has been viewed as a product of right-wing hysteria that deeply scarred American society and institutions. This book restores the struggle against communism to its place in American life.

» View all books by Richard Gid Powers


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