“The Watchdogs Didn’t Bark” by John Duffy & Ray Nowosielski

As you would expect from such a title, this book is about something that went horribly wrong. It sure looks like the watchdogs didn’t bark!! Would you believe that the horrendous events of 9/11 could probably have been avoided, if not the damage vastly minimised?  To refresh your memory, though on this event most do not need reminders, 9/11 must rank as one of the greatest tragedies in American history. On that fateful day in September 2001, Islamic terrorists of Al Qaeda crashed 4 hijacked aeroplanes in a series of meticulously planned attacks. Two aeroplanes crashed into the iconic World Trade Centre in New York, one crashed into the supposedly invincible Pentagon, HQ of the US Department of Defense, while the fourth heading to Washington DC ( with the White House, no less, as a possible target) was thwarted by passengers who fought with the hijackers forcing them to crash the aeroplane into a field in Pennsylvania. In all, it is reported that 2996 people were killed and over 6000 injured in these attacks. This event, more than anything else, changed the way people reacted to terror threats forever. 

“The Watchdogs Didn’t Bark: The CIA, NSA, and the Crimes of War on Terror” by John Duffy and Ray Nowosielski now divulges how the CIA knew about the presence in the United States of two of the terrorist planners for nearly two years before the actual terror strike took place. Why, then was this information not shared with the FBI and the other Government agencies fighting terror? Why were top officials including those close to Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush silent on this hitherto unknown issue? How come the US agencies failed to arrest two men suspected of being deeply involved in planning terror strikes for Islamic terror groups.

Researching the subject for a decade, the authors bring to light the facts of this shameful story.  John Kiriakou, a former CIA officer writes about this book, ” The authors lay bare… an intelligence failure of historic proportions.” John Duffy is a writer and activist, while Ray Nowosielski is a documentary film maker and journalist.

The book is comprehensive as it describes the lengths some people and Governments will go to, to hide what is inconvenient for them and for the public to know. Yes, there is some amount of repetition which could have been avoided but overall the book makes for interesting reading.

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