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My FBI: Bringing Down the Mafia,…

My FBI: Bringing Down the Mafia, Investigating Bill Clinton, and Fighting…

by Louis J. Freeh

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This FBI director, selected by Clinton, then going 2 years without seeing him remained in office until 2001,but before 2/11. He was very not satisfied with his support from Clinton, especially regarding investigating a Saudi Arabia bombing. It does not seem to have been a congenial appointment according to this sour grapes book.
  carterchristian1 | Apr 4, 2009 |
"Reverence for God and country, the difference between right and wrong, and kindess"; these are the values that Louis Freeh was armed with by his hardscrabble, blue collar childhood. Freeh, the son of immigrants from Irish, German, and Italian origins, learned the value of hard work and service from his parents and his siblings. Working at several odd jobs, including a stint as a dock worker with the local Teamsters union, Freeh scratched his way through college and law school, together with his brothers the first generation to attain a college education. Freeh then embarked on a career of law enforcement, holding positions as an FBI agent, an Assistant United States Attorney, a Federal District Judge, and finally as the Director of the FBI.

Freeh's memoir covers his childhood and all of his exploits in federal law enforcement, including his tenure as FBI Director which was sandwiched between two seperate attacks on the World Trade Center towers. As an agent and prosecutor, he was at the center of some of the most successful efforts of the FBI, including cases which broke up both American and Sicilian mafia families. As the FBI Director, he was at the center of some of the most contentious and politically charged cases the Bureau managed, including various investigations which touched the White House and man who appointed him Director, Bill Clinton. What shines through all of these experiences, is Freeh's unflinching and unwavering honesty. Freeh's time at the FBI obviously infused the institution with a sense of purpose, a sense of integrity, and a sense of courage that was unequaled both before or after him.

Undaunted by political or media pressure, Freeh led the FBI with an understanding that, in addition to blind, justice must sometimes be silent. Freeh lays out behind the scenes detials about several investigations for which the Bureau was criticized. Seeing behind the curtain, the reader is able to understand that Freeh shouldered criticism and vilification in the interests of seeing these cases through to their logical conclusion, ever mindful of his dedication to fairness.

The only criticism for this book is that Freeh sometimes falls into his old persona as a bureaucrat, rattling off statistics and describing several cases at once, all in rapid fire detail. Though proving some point, these passages call out for the slower, more personal touch, that the remainder of the book is blessed with. Indeed, some of the best stories in the book are ones that Freeh takes his time with. Most notably, Freeh recounts his relationship and interaction with Clinton and Clinton's White House with great care and effort, methodically laying out subtle layers of motivation and personality.

Highly recommended, especially for anyone who has an interest in law enforcement, the FBI, or politics.

4 1/2 bones ( )
  blackdogbooks | Dec 13, 2008 |
`Hope, which is the property of the desperate' according to Thucydides, seems to describe Freeh's book. The sub-title of the work is revealing which I can't help but point out describes the bringing down of the Mafia but only the fighting of terror. Would that Freeh could claim the FBI brought down terrorism but alas he did not.
  gmicksmith | Jul 27, 2008 |
My FBI is a very well-written work that presents the viewpoint of former FBI Director Louis Freeh as witness to some of the most compelling events in recent American history. The several terrorist attacks on American targets throughout the 1990's are presented as indicators of a larger conflict that became commonly understood only after Freeh's tenure ended. Candid views of the various investigations of President Clinton also provide details that help complete the picture when added to other accounts. Freeh is very candid with his shortcomings, and those of the FBI under his leadership. One example is the primitive state of FBI computer information systems, which made information sharing and aggregation from separate FBI offices nearly impossible. This was also noted in Never Again, written by former Attorney General John Ashcroft. Ashcroft cites My FBI as a source on more than one issue. While it is possible, and even understandable, to label the work as self-serving, it is a soundly-constructed narrative that flows well and spends just the right amount of time on each subject. ( )
  Helm | Mar 23, 2008 |
A little self-serving in my opinion. ( )
  LCDavis | Jul 30, 2006 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312321899, Hardcover)

Louis Freeh led the Federal Bureau of Investigation from 1993 to 2001, through some of the most tumultuous times in its long history. This is the story of a life in law enforcement, and of one man’s determined struggle to strengthen and reform the FBI while ensuring its freedom from political interference.

Bill Clinton called Freeh a “law enforcement legend” when he nominated him as FBI Director. The good feelings would not last. Going toe-to-toe with his boss during the scandal-plagued ‘90s, Freeh fought hard to defend his agency from political interference and to protect America from the growing threat of international terrorism. When Clinton later called that appointment the worst one he had made as president, Freeh considered it “a badge of honor.”

This is Freeh’s entire story, from his Catholic upbringing in New
Jersey to law school, the FBI training academy, his career as a US District attorney and as a federal judge, and finally his eight years as the nation’s top cop. This is the definitive account of American law enforcement in the run-up to September 11. Freeh is clear-eyed, frank, the ultimate realist, and he offers resolute vision for the struggles ahead.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:46:54 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

A former head of the FBI describes his appointment to the Bureau, efforts to overcome under-funding and outdated technical resources, and determination to reform the FBI while protecting its freedom from political interference.

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