I’m just finishing Against All Enemies: Inside America’s War on Terror by Richard A. Clarke (Free Press, 2004). Richard Clarke spent almost 30 years in government under seven presidents. He was appointed the first National Coordinator for Security, Infrastructure Protection, and Counterterrorism (aka the Terrorism Czar, a term he hated) by President Bill Clinton, and continued in that role in the early days of the administration of President George W. Bush. On 9/11, he was in effect running the government from the White House. The first chapter is an almost minute-by-minute account of that terrible day.
If you’ve ever wondered what was really going on in government regarding counterterrorism during this period, or how we got into the present situation, I highly recommend this book. But be forewarned — a lot of people don’t come off well.