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, Mystery, Crime, True Crime, War, Terrorism, Politics

Beirut Rules Review

  • 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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  • 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 learned that the United States had its hand “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 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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.
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