Intelligence Matters

Version: Abridged
Author: Bob Graham , Jeff Nussbaum
Narrator: Sam Freed
Genres: Literature, Politics
Publisher: Random House (Audio)
Published In: September 2004
# of Units: 4 CDs
Length: 5 hours
Tell Your Friends:


In this explosive, controversial, and profoundly alarming insider's report, Senator Bob Graham reveals faults in America's national security network severe enough to raise fundamental questions about the competence and honesty of public officials in the CIA, the FBI, and the White House.

For ten years, Senator Graham served on the Senate Intelligence Committee, where he had access to some of the nation's most closely guarded secrets. Following the attacks of September 11, 2001, Graham co-chaired a historic joint House-Senate inquiry into the intelligence community's failures. From that investigation and his own personal fact-finding, Graham discovered disturbing evidence of terrorist activity and a web of complicity:

• At one point, a terrorist support network conducted some of its operations through Saudi Arabia's U.S. embassy–and a funding chain for terrorism led to the Saudi royal family.
• In February 2002, only four months after combat began in Afghanistan, the Bush administration ordered General Tommy Franks to move vital military resources out of Afghanistan for an operation against Iraq–despite Franks's privately stated belief that there was a job to finish in Afghanistan, and that the war on terrorism should focus next on terrorist targets in Somalia and Yemen.
• Throughout 2002, President Bush directed the FBI to limit its investigations of Saudi Arabia, which supported some and possibly all of the September 11 hijackers.
• The White House was so uncooperative with the bipartisan inquiry that its behavior bore all the hallmarks of a cover-up.
• The FBI had an informant who was extremely close to two of the September 11 hijackers, and actually housed one of them, yet the existence of this informant and the scope of his contacts with the hijackers were covered up.
• There were twelve instances when the September 11 plot could have been discovered and potentially foiled.
• Days after 9/11, U.S. authorities allowed some Saudis to fly, despite a complete civil aviation ban, after which the government expedited the departure of more than one hundred Saudis from the United States.
• Foreign leaders throughout the Middle East warned President Bush of exactly what would happen in a postwar Iraq, and those warnings went either ignored or unheeded.

As a result of his Senate work, Graham has become convinced that the attacks of September 11 could have been avoided, and that the Bush administration's war on terrorism has failed to address the immediate danger posed by al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, and Hamas in Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, and Somalia. His book is a disturbing reminder that at the highest levels of national security, now more than ever, intelligence matters.

Reviews (3)

Excellent First Read

Written by Dion on January 31st, 2009

  • Book Rating: 4/5

Because this book is somewhat dated now, I intended it to be an introductory book for me on 911 and it certainly hit the mark. Sen. Graham, through his position, was privy to a lot of information pertaining to the 911 attack, the governmental failures that led to it, the decision to go after Saddam instead of terrorists, and the compelling evidence of Saudi Arabia's DIRECT involvement in 911 that was completely covered up by the Bush administration. Sen. Graham lays that all out in this book.

Good Intelligence in the Hands of Dumb and Dumber

Written by Mandi Chestler on June 26th, 2006

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Senator Bob Graham presents an objective, factual evaluation of what we did and didn't know before 9/11, based on his work with the bi-partisan Senate Investigation Special Committee. He outlines 12 different instances where we could have foiled at least parts of the terrorists' plans for the attack on 9/11. Then he gives insider details on the administration's mishandling of events after the attack. Whether the Administration's mishaps were a result of incompetence, negligence or criminal obstruction is up for the listener to decide. However, one is left with the impression that our country's safety may have been in the hands of Dumb and Dumber. This CD is a must listen for anyone who wants to be informed about 9/11 and the War On Terrorism.

Intelligence really does matter

Written by Batman from Lanham, MD on April 15th, 2005

  • Book Rating: 4/5

It doesn't paint a pretty picture of W's adminstration. However, I really loved this book. I listened to it twice in three days. It was very insightful. As to the senator's point of view on terrorism and what role intelligence plays in preventing future attacks

Author Details

Author Details

Graham, Bob

Bob Graham, a former two-term governor of Florida, served from 1987 to 2005 in the United States Senate, including ten years on the Senate Select Intelligence Committee, which he chaired in 2001-2002. He currently leads the Bob Graham Center for Public Service at the University of Florida and University of Miami.