Tenet, At the Center of the Storm


George Tenet was the director of the CIA from 1997-2004, and this is his ghostwritten autobiography from that time. A few points that I thought were interesting from an otherwise bland book. He talked for a while about the events that lead up to 9/11 and the vibe inside of the CIA at the time. It’s obviously hard to take anything with even the slightest grain of salt considering we’re talking about the CIA, he was the one ultimately in charge and responsible, and this is his ghostwritten autobiography.

Early in the book is a chapter where he describes getting outrageously drunk with a bunch of Russian diplomats and possibly even Gorbachev and making literally every single rookie mistake you could make, so much so that you had to put the book down you were cringing so hard.

A CIA veteran wrote about the book "Sadly but fittingly, 'At the Center of the Storm' is likely to remind us that sometimes what lies at the center of a storm is a deafening silence." That is the impression that it leaves. I think when you are the CIA director you have to play a fine line where you don’t want to reveal too much, but you want to have something to say for yourself. Tenet toes the line too carefully and ends up coming off like the dumbest person in existence.