Ghost: Confessions of a Counter-Terrorism Agent – Fred Burton

The Bureau of Diplomatic Security is the State Department’s security arm and is responsible for the safety of all U.S. diplomatic workers and any visiting foreign dignitaries. Ghost: Confessions of a Counter-Terrorism Agent, the true story of Burton’s time working on the Counter-Terrorism team for the DS, is riveting reading. Along with its protection duties, the DS also provides analysis on terrorist attacks on U.S. personnel in foreign countries and determine how to prevent similar attacks in the future.
Burton tells of his starting in a department of three in the 80’s and rising through the ranks until he was running a much larger department as the terrorist threats to the nation grew.
Burton’s hard-boiled prose can be a little overblown, but it’s worth it for the revelation of the amount of terror attacks that the United States was facing throughout the eighties and nineties. Anyone who believes that the threats to American national security began with 9/11 are mistaken. From plane hijackings to embassy bombings, Burton takes us back to an era that is hard to imagine in this day and age. The difference being that then we faced state sanctioned acts of violence, whereas now the threat can come from individual groups bent on causing the maximum damage.
Last Words: A fast and interesting read, Burton takes the reader behind the scenes in some of the biggest terror attacks of the 1980’s and early 90’s. Worth searching out.

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