The Secrets of the FBI by Ronald Kessler
Reviewed by Jason Koivu
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Well, they ain't secrets no more!
And were they secrets in the first place? I guess "technically," but if we're being honest, come on, some of this stuff is just silly. Kessler tosses the FBI some grapefruits right up front in this one, giving the reader little vignettes of instances where the Bureau came away with mud on their face. It's like viewing their blooper reel: Agents foiled by cats and in-and-out jobs gone haywire by zany hijinks. *cue the laugh track!* I didn't have much hope for this one right off the bat.
But eventually it comes around. Kessler hits his stride when he starts in on the pros and cons of each of the Bureau's Directors: Hoover's suspicious denial of the mafia's existence; Freeh's technophobia; Sessions allowing his wife and her friends complete security clearance and access within FBI Headquarters. Many interesting how-to tidbits regarding their techniques are told via entertaining anecdotes. Kessler gives a rundown of how the FBI responded to major national events (Waco, 9/11, etc), not allows showing them in a positive light.
Overall though, The Secrets of the FBI maintains a balance, reporting equally on the good and bad of the FBI's checkered past, and it does so in an engaging manner that may not be as exciting or biting as some wish it to be. However, for those of us with a passing interest, it's a good read for sure!
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