Farmer, senior counsel to the 9/11 Commission, updates the commission's report in this thorough and bipartisan analysis. Drawing on newly declassified records and recent investigative reports from the departments of defense and transportation, the author concludes that the failure to detect and prevent the attack lay in the [bureaucratic] nature of modern government. Most significantly, rules proscribing information-sharing within and among agencies meant that no one had complete access to all available intelligence or information--typical bureaucratic inertia that presaged the government's bungled response to Hurricane Katrina. Farmer faults the disconnect between decision-makers and operational employees, concluding that leadership was irrelevant on 9/11 and the official version of events was almost entirely, and inexplicably, untrue. Farmer's conclusion that bureaucratic government does not adapt fast enough to changing missions to be effective is not original, but in his careful exegesis of the events of 9/11, he transcends easy generalizations to expose the fault lines in contemporary governance and point the way to fundamental reform. (Sept.)
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"All Americans should read John Farmer's The Ground Truth. With keen analytical insight, Farmer rips the lid off of many mysteries pertaining to both the 9/11 attacks and Hurricane Katrina. A highly recommended historical curative for our times."
--Douglas Brinkley, author of The Great Deluge
"No one is more qualified to write the definitive book about the tragedy of 9/11 than John Farmer. Fortunately, he has done so. Even more fortunately the language is clear, alive and instructive for anyone who wants to make certain this never happens again."
--Bob Kerrey, Former US Senator and Member of the 9/11 Commission
"In revisiting the tragedy of the 9/11 attacks that still haunt America, John Farmer provides a devastating account of how what government and military officials told Congress, the 9/11 Commission on which he served, the media, and the public 'was almost entirely, and inexplicably, untrue.' The result is a major, carefully documented and deeply disturbing book, one that deserves the most serious attention of every American concerned about our future."
--Haynes Johnson, Pulitzer Prize winner and best-selling author.
"Physics teaches us that waves of the same frequency amplify each other. That's what brought down the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. The Ground Truth reveals 9/11 as a manifestation of that same phenomenon, with waves of history cresting together. It does so with perfect clarity, thanks to the brilliance of finding, in the examples of two "minor" national security agencies, the dysfunctionality that plagued the mightiest-seeming arms of the government. I made the mistake of not writing down the first two or three times I felt goosebumps. The Ground Truth is superbly conceived and carried out. What a great book." --Jim Dwyer, author of 102 Minutes: The Untold Story of the Fight to Survive Inside the Twin Towers
"Revelatory-Farmer makes shattering new sense of the day's events and exposes the true disarray and arrogance in the military and government responses."
-William Langewiesche, author of American Ground and The Atomic Bazaar