Beirut Rules
From the New York Times bestselling coauthors of Under Fire: The Untold Story of the Attack in Benghazi comes the riveting true story of the kidnapping and murder of CIA station chief William Buckley, and the bloody beginning of the CIA’s endless war against Islamic radicalism.On April 18th, 1983, a van rigged with 2,000 pounds of heavy explosives broke through the security perimeter of the American embassy in Lebanon and exploded, killing sixty-three people and decimating intelligence operations throughout the Middle East.Only one man inside the CIA possessed the courage and skills to rebuild the networks destroyed in the blast: William Buckley. Assigned as the new Beirut station chief, Buckley arrived to a war-torn city and a CIA station in tatters. A field operative at heart, he delved into Beirut's darkest corners, developing new sources and handling assets. Then, on October 23rd, a US Marine Corps barracks was destroyed in a plot masterminded by a young terrorist named Imad Mughniyeh. But even as President Reagan vowed revenge, Mughniyeh eyed a new target: Buckley. Beirut Rules is the pulse-by-pulse account of Buckley’s abduction, torture, and murder at the hands of Hezbollah terrorists. Drawing on never seen before U.S. government documents, as well as interviews with Buckley’s former coworkers, friends and family, Burton and Katz reveal how the pursuit to find Buckley in the wake of his kidnapping ignited a war against terror that continues to shape the Middle East to this day.

Beirut Rules Details

TitleBeirut Rules
Author
ReleaseOct 23rd, 2018
PublisherNAL
ISBN-139781101987469
Rating
GenreNonfiction, History, Politics, Spy Thriller, Espionage, Mystery, Crime

Beirut Rules Review

  • Michael
    January 1, 1970
    Normally more like a 3 star book for me - an okay read on a very interesting topic. While the style was occasionally a bit melodramatic for my taste, the main problem is the book is full of distracting and annoying redactions. I have no idea why the authors/editors choose this approach instead of simply editing/rewriting those sections - these redactions are not used when the authors are directly quoting a partially declassified report or something like that, they are redacting their own writing Normally more like a 3 star book for me - an okay read on a very interesting topic. While the style was occasionally a bit melodramatic for my taste, the main problem is the book is full of distracting and annoying redactions. I have no idea why the authors/editors choose this approach instead of simply editing/rewriting those sections - these redactions are not used when the authors are directly quoting a partially declassified report or something like that, they are redacting their own writing. Maybe I'm missing something (other than what has been blocked out in the text) but I just don't get it. Less grouchy readers may not find this to be a deal-breaker but it really irritated me, so I ended up deducting/redacting a star from my rating.
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  • R J Mckay
    January 1, 1970
    BEIRUT RULES is thoroughly fascinating, absorbing, and terrifying story, all mixed into a great book. Even though I lived through these years as a young adult, I was stunned at how little I knew about the events described here. The terror that these agents lived with and the staggering number of them that lost their lives in service to our country is both sad and inspiring. What really caught my attention was how much of this book had been redacted. Makes me wonder what they removed and why we s BEIRUT RULES is thoroughly fascinating, absorbing, and terrifying story, all mixed into a great book. Even though I lived through these years as a young adult, I was stunned at how little I knew about the events described here. The terror that these agents lived with and the staggering number of them that lost their lives in service to our country is both sad and inspiring. What really caught my attention was how much of this book had been redacted. Makes me wonder what they removed and why we shouldn’t know the information. Very thought provoking.
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  • Kristi Richardson
    January 1, 1970
    “The Near East Division never formed a task force to retrieve Bill.”This is the story of the kidnapping of William Buckley, the CIA station chief in Beirut, Lebanon. It was the beginning of the USA’s war on terror that continues to this day, with no end in sight. I received an Advance Copy of this book so there were many sections that were blacked out or redacted. I am sure the finished book will read as exciting and thrilling as this copy did to me. I now understand that the finished book still “The Near East Division never formed a task force to retrieve Bill.”This is the story of the kidnapping of William Buckley, the CIA station chief in Beirut, Lebanon. It was the beginning of the USA’s war on terror that continues to this day, with no end in sight. I received an Advance Copy of this book so there were many sections that were blacked out or redacted. I am sure the finished book will read as exciting and thrilling as this copy did to me. I now understand that the finished book still has the redactions to show the sensitivity of this information.I learned that the United States had its hand tied on how the CIA could act in other countries thanks to Congress and the Church Commission. The CIA was caught in several regime turnovers that made Congress nervous so they clipped their wings. This book reports the facts, it does not get into whether it was right or wrong. I liked that about the book as so many books written today are one sided and biased. The US was looked at as a country that could be manipulated by kidnappings and bombings. Our hands were tied on many options and the terrorists took advantage of that fact. Some of this book was very hard to read, torture and mistreatment is never pleasant. If you are interested in the history of our dealings in the Middle East, you will like this book. It is a very human story of men and women who risk their lives for information to keep us safe. I was gifted this book by the publisher and I am very grateful.
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  • George Siehl
    January 1, 1970
    Burton and Katz in an earlier book, Under Fire, detailed the 2015 terrorist attack on an American Embassy facility in Benghazi, (see my review). That event resulted in the death of the American ambassador and three other security employees. Here, they address the terrorist crimes of the Eighties against American government personnel and facilities, as well as average citizens in the war-torn Mideast. These earlier assaults resulted in the murder of hundreds of Americans. The book opens with seve Burton and Katz in an earlier book, Under Fire, detailed the 2015 terrorist attack on an American Embassy facility in Benghazi, (see my review). That event resulted in the death of the American ambassador and three other security employees. Here, they address the terrorist crimes of the Eighties against American government personnel and facilities, as well as average citizens in the war-torn Mideast. These earlier assaults resulted in the murder of hundreds of Americans. The book opens with several chapters setting the violent context of the area, detailing the ongoing struggle of Israel against regional armed opponents such as Fatah, Hezbollah, and the Palestinian Liberation Organization. Funding, guidance, and trained troops for much of this opposition, the authors write, came from the theocratic Iranian government. In November 1982 a terrorist car bomb struck and destroyed the Israeli military and intelligence center in Tyre. Lebanon. Seventy-six Israelis and 15 local detainees were killed in the explosion. The method of attack would be repeated in the years ahead, with even more horrific loss of life. In chapter two, the subsequent master of the bombing attack, Imad Mughniyeh, is introduced and his early career described.Imad's wrath was forcefully turned on the Americans on April 18th, 1983. He sent a pickup truck filled with explosives and propane crashing into the U.S. Embassy. Seventeen Americans were among the sixty-three fatalities that resulted from the bombing. A number of those Americans were CIA personnel attending a security meeting. More carnage lay ahead.William Buckley was a decorated Korean war veteran, and an experienced special operations officer in Vietnam, now serving in the CIA. He came to Beirut as the new Station Chief. He took over the shattered office and started making the group functional once again. His group operated now in space made available in the British Embassy. Iran and its Lebanese surrogates struck American interests again on Sunday, October 23, 1983. They smashed another explosive-laden vehicle into the Marine Corps Barracks. This time they "killed 220 marines, 18 Navy corpsmen, and 3 soldiers." Just after the blast a second truck was sent into the housing units of the French Multi National Force. That killed fifty-eight French paratroopers. Although the American Ambassador requested the White House to retaliate, there was no reaction from America. The terrorists expected reprisals. When none came they felt they now had a free hand in Lebanon. Buckley endeavored to develop more hard intelligence on the hostile Shiites in the ghettos south of Beirut.His efforts came to an end in March 1984 when two carloads of terrorists intercepted him on the way to work and kidnapped him. He was then subjected to torture and interrogation until he died over a year later. The authors detail the efforts to find Buckley, although later some employees felt that his recovery was not adequately pursued. The wealth of knowledge Buckley had of CIA operations and plans provided rich pickings for his captors. Some questioned why someone with such critical information was sent to such a dangerous location.The same question would be raised with the 1988 abduction of Marine Lt. Col. William Higgins, themilitary chief of the UN peacekeeping in Lebanon. He too was held in captivity where he underwent interrogation and torture. His body was dumped near a Beirut road in December 1991. Buckley's remains were recovered under similar circumstances a week later.The Mideastern terror campaign included aircraft hijackings, one of which included the murder of a Navy diver, Robert Stethem who was a passenger on the ill-fated TWA 847 flight. The terrorist bombings went global with the destruction of an Argentine Jewish Center in retaliation for a fatal Israeli attack on a ranking Hezbollah official. Burton and Katz detail these incidents at length.The story concludes with a CIA honors ceremony in 2009. First, however, the authors trace the intervening lives of those immediately responsible for the carnage visited upon the United States and its allies in the bloody cauldron of the Mideast.As with Under Fire, this book is deeply researched through the literature and through personal interviews with participants and knowing observers. End notes identify the written sources. The chronology the book provides makes for a compelling story. That may have resulted in the outline-like narrative of this review. But, read this book, get all the details, chilling as they are. There is a glossary for a quick check of the many, easily forgotten acronyms. I am informed by the publisher, who provided my advance reading copy, that the final version does contain photographs.Beirut Rules is not only searing history, it presents current events for today. It led me to add a new shelf to my Goodreads library: terrorism.
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  • Lee Ann
    January 1, 1970
    I received this book as an advanced copy from the publisher based on my reviews of Burton's previous books. As a disclaimer, I should mention that I am personally acquainted with Fred Burton, as we went to school together and grew up in the same town. We still run into each other occasionally at events that support the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rescue Squad where Fred was a long time member. This is the second collaboration between Burton, chief security officer for Stratfor (a global authority on se I received this book as an advanced copy from the publisher based on my reviews of Burton's previous books. As a disclaimer, I should mention that I am personally acquainted with Fred Burton, as we went to school together and grew up in the same town. We still run into each other occasionally at events that support the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rescue Squad where Fred was a long time member. This is the second collaboration between Burton, chief security officer for Stratfor (a global authority on security & terrorism) and Samuel Katz, an international expert on Middle East security and former member of the IDF. Like their first book, Under Fire: The Untold Story of the Attack in Benghazi, the duo puts together a compelling, edge of the seat accounting. In Beirut Rules we learn the story of the kidnapping, torture & murder of Beirut CIA station chief William Buckley. Detailing the political climate of the Middle East during the 1980's, Beirut Rules introduces us to a young terrorist, Imad Mughniyeh, who made a name for himself as a brutal purveyor of car bombs and other acts of terror in his late teens. Mughniyeh, in short order, launches Lebanon's Islamic Jihad Organization & later becomes 2nd in command of Hezbollah. I was a young adult in the early 80's and aware of the bombings of American interests in Beirut, including the US Embassy bombing in 1982 and the bombing at the military barracks which killed 241 American peacekeepers in 1983. However, I never knew the full story of the US involvement in the Middle East during that time period or what was behind the desires of terrorists to carry out these bombings. And I certainly did not know anything about our CIA operations. Beirut Rules is redacted in several places and it's my understanding that the authors and publisher have chosen to leave the redactions in place to indicate that even 35 years later there are still many details that remain classified. We may never know much of what took place during this time. In a nutshell, the major take aways for me were these:1. The Middle East in the 1980's was a powder keg. Anti-Israel sentiment was high and that continues to this day. 2. The US was not prepared for the terrorist response to their presence with the UN Peacekeeping Force or their CIA station. 3. Due to both political considerations & classified intel derived from sources on the ground, our hands were tied to the extent that an all-out effort to locate and rescue Buckley was not going to happen. The inability to act on his behalf was a heartbreaking frustration to his fellow officers and friends from his days as an Army officer. 4. As civilians, the American people can't ever know the full truth of many of the actions of our government overseas. The troubling piece of this also is how unwilling they might be to locate and rescue any of us should we fall into the wrong hands outside of the US. The bottom line concern for us would depend on the interests of our government.I am never disappointed with the stories my friend Fred Burton writes. He and Katz have once again given us an accounting that gives us at times more info than we thought we wanted; however, discover later that it is info we need as the story further unfolds. I highly recommend this book.
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  • Lisa Carlson
    January 1, 1970
    VP of counterintelligence for intelligence firm Statfor, former DSS agent, author Fred Burton along with the former editor of Special Operations Report, author Samuel M. Katz write an absorbing and gripping account of US history in Beirut, Lebanon focusing on the abduction of the CIA station chief William Buckley (1983) in Beirut Rules. For many this cosmopolitan city along side the Mediterranean Sea offers up a series of striking contradictions; beauty, modern business, European money, tension, VP of counterintelligence for intelligence firm Statfor, former DSS agent, author Fred Burton along with the former editor of Special Operations Report, author Samuel M. Katz write an absorbing and gripping account of US history in Beirut, Lebanon focusing on the abduction of the CIA station chief William Buckley (1983) in Beirut Rules. For many this cosmopolitan city along side the Mediterranean Sea offers up a series of striking contradictions; beauty, modern business, European money, tension, war and violence at the hands of one of the United State's greatest foes, Hezbollah. It's a place for the fearless like the late William Buckley who I loved immediately. He was the antithesis of reluctant as he assumed the position with clarity, his own personal style and a high regard for those who worked for him in one of the most dangerous posts in the world. This book explains why the Middle East is such a complicated arena to balance in terms of political relations and why Islamic terror has increased. I couldn't put it down. Complete with glossary, photos, acknowledgments, notes and index.
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  • Vernon Luckert
    January 1, 1970
    Interesting read. I found the redactions to be annoying. Not sure the purpose of including text in the book that then is redacted - just rewrite those portions excluding the redacted text. Perhaps the redactions were included to make it seem more like a "classified" or "spy" type book. But other then the redactions, this was an interesting and at times infuriating book. I am not much of a diplomat or politician, so my approach to the evil of terrorism would be to respond swiftly with overwhelmin Interesting read. I found the redactions to be annoying. Not sure the purpose of including text in the book that then is redacted - just rewrite those portions excluding the redacted text. Perhaps the redactions were included to make it seem more like a "classified" or "spy" type book. But other then the redactions, this was an interesting and at times infuriating book. I am not much of a diplomat or politician, so my approach to the evil of terrorism would be to respond swiftly with overwhelming force. No doubt there would be collateral damage and negative political feedback from other countries; but for every 1 American citizen or ally, I would take out 10 from the side/country/sect of the terrorists.
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  • Chuckdee
    January 1, 1970
    Fascinating book told from the perspective of someone who was there (see Fred Burton’s CV...) I remember many of the events detailed and knew both the Buckley and Higgins stories...being able to get the behind the scenes story with little political spin . The authors make a strong case against Islamic extremism and iran. They also detail the case against Iran as a state sponsor of terrorism. If you had an inkling that Obama’s nuclear deal with iran was wise, think again...
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  • Hady
    January 1, 1970
    It’s a very good book detailing a crucial period in the history of the Middle East and how Hezbollah’s terrorist acts started. With perfect language and an amazing description I have enjoyed every chapter of it. I totally recommend it for anyone interested in the history of the middle east and the civil war in Lebanon. Also the audiobook by Ben Shapiro is -hands down - the best way to interact with this book.
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  • Bob
    January 1, 1970
    Great book. Well written. Tells the stories of the terror activities during the 70's 80's and 90's with a lot the intricacies of the players laid out, but without a lot of the confusion of factions, of which there are many. It is well laid out and easy to follow. Not a particularly happy story, to say the least, but very informative and thought provoking.
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  • Camille Kraus
    January 1, 1970
    I won this book in the giveaway! Fred Burton is an awesome story teller and picked the perfect subject to keep me entertained.
  • Tim
    January 1, 1970
    Outstanding book that tells of the chaos that was Beirut in the 1980s.
  • Victoria
    January 1, 1970
    Excellent telling of not only the kidnapping and death of William Buckley, but of some of the genesis of unrest and terror in the Middle East. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC.
  • Dоcтоr
    January 1, 1970
    Impressive! A Must read for those interested in fight against Terrorism.
  • Jay
    January 1, 1970
    In the past 15 or so years, I came to believed that George W Bush broke the world with his response to 9/11. His misplaced war with Iraq unleashed all the viruses that were just bellow the ground in the Middle East. Shame on me. I was in college, in DC, reading newspapers and following events in the Middle East when William Buckley was abducted and murdered, when the other hostages where captured and released, when Colonel Higgins was abducted. I was an adult and yet, memory works in strange way In the past 15 or so years, I came to believed that George W Bush broke the world with his response to 9/11. His misplaced war with Iraq unleashed all the viruses that were just bellow the ground in the Middle East. Shame on me. I was in college, in DC, reading newspapers and following events in the Middle East when William Buckley was abducted and murdered, when the other hostages where captured and released, when Colonel Higgins was abducted. I was an adult and yet, memory works in strange ways. Its not that I forgot any of it but somehow as 9/11 came and went, followed by the invasion of Iraq and the raise of ISIS, the civil war in Lebanon faded. It should not have. The "hostages for sale" trade that I thought was invented by Chechen militia groups after the first Russian-Chechen war of the early 90's was just a first grader’s attempt an a science fair project, compared to what had been happening in the mid 80's in Lebanon.Sadly, the Chechen militias where learning from the best.Shame on me, that I forgot it all and I am grateful to this strange, overly patriotic book for reminding me. This one is definitely for the bookshelves.
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