See On April 18, 1983 in Beirut,

See No Evil. Robert Baer. New York: Crown Publishers, 2002.

The attack toward the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 shocked the world. Many people died, and the scar still remains in people’s hearts. Was this whole thing predictable? No, but it could have been avoided says Robert Baer in his book, See No Evil.

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This book is a memoir of a man who joined the CIA to satisfy his curiosity he had toward what was happening in the world, and became to realize the problems the CIA faced and the never told inside story he encountered. Baer used to work for the CIA for 20 years. He started off at India, and went around countries that most Americans would not have heard or never will step foot on.

He worked as a case officer in the Directorate of Operation, where the job was to recruit agents to gather information from the assigned country and pass it to the Directorate of Intelligence. At the beginning he made many mistakes, and sometimes he almost died. As time went by, however, he became better and better at his job, the number of mistakes he made decreased and the information he collected became bigger and more important. On April 18, 1983 in Beirut, Lebanon, a terrorist group attacked the American embassy. A truck smashed in to the embassy, detonating a bomb that killed 63 people, including 6 CIA officers. Never before had the CIA lost so many officers in one attack.

Baer received this news while studying Arabic in Tunis. He thought it was a radical Palestinian group behind it and they would be caught in a week or so. He was wrong. The bombers did really good, that the CIA could not locate the ringleader. Baer has tried to catch them throughout his career as a CIA officer, although this case has never been officially solved. Four months after the bombing, Baer finished up his Arabic course and traveled to the Middle East.

There he started out by building connections with people, and went on collecting information for the CIA. When an attack to the American marine situated on the Lebanese coast killed 241 troops, Baer asked if he could relocate to Lebanon. At that time the world was watching the crisis unfold in Lebanon, and he wanted to go for it. Balabakk, Lebanon was the place where “every terrorist, radical, and lunatic who thought he could drive the Israelis out of Lebanon had set up shop.E It.

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