Instaread summary Playing to the Edge American Intelligence in the Age of Terror by Michael V. Hayden
Three out of five stars
As a lifelong political junkie, I was unimpressed with this summary, there was nothing in the recapitulation of the programs and facts that has not been mentioned in the news media many times over. Given that Hayden was such a high level intelligence official for so long and during the administration of George W. Bush, it is also not a surprise that he praises both his boss and by indirection himself.
The obviousness of the content is summarized very well by the statement of key takeaway seven.
“The intelligence community must work to consciously balance the need for national security and the legitimate privacy concerns of US citizens.”
Another very important and completely predictable point is made in the author’s perspective section.
“Hayden saves his harshest words for the journalists whom he believes developed biased and critical stories about the work of the NSA and CIA.”
In conclusion, the book is a self-serving explanation by a high official of how the intelligence community acted, a defense of the premise that George W. Bush was in charge and heaps the blame for their bad press on the press. Standard operating procedure for ex-government officials and there is no new content. So this summary convinced me that there is no point in my reading the book.
This book was made available for free for review purposes.