• See No Evil

  • The True Story of a Ground Soldier in the CIA's War on Terrorism
  • By: Robert Baer
  • Narrated by: Robertson Dean
  • Length: 10 hrs and 56 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (709 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

See No Evil is a compelling account of America’s failed efforts to ‘listen in’ on the rest of the world, especially the parts of it that intend to do us harm.” (The Wall Street Journal

In his explosive New York Times best seller, top CIA operative Robert Baer paints a chilling picture of how terrorism works on the inside and provides startling evidence of how Washington politics sabotaged the CIA's efforts to root out the world's deadliest terrorists, allowing for the rise of Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda and the continued entrenchment of Saddam Hussein in Iraq. 

A veteran case officer in the CIA's Directorate of Operations in the Middle East, Baer witnessed the rise of terrorism first hand and the CIA's inadequate response to it, leading to the attacks of September 11, 2001. This riveting book is both an indictment of an agency that lost its way and an unprecedented look at the roots of modern terrorism, and includes a new afterword in which Baer speaks out about the American war on terrorism and its profound implications throughout the Middle East. 

“Robert Baer was considered perhaps the best on-the-ground field officer in the Middle East.” (Seymour M. Hersh, The New Yorker)

©2002 Robert Baer (P)2005 Books on Tape

What listeners say about See No Evil

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting perspective

You can never read just one book on a subject. Two or three and maybe you can triangulate something resembling the truth. I would reccommend Baer's work as something of a unique perspective among the endless string of books about American intelligence. Anyone who has worked for, or had close dealings with any government agency will recognize the struggle between those honestly trying to serve the nation's interests and the bureaucrats only interested in their careers. I give it only four stars because the author has a habit of digressing into a tirade when particularly annoyed by the facts he relates.

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Knowledge is Power

This is an excellent book.

I used to believe that we have always done our best as a country to protect ourselves; then I hear a clear, detailed, well narrated and consistent book like this one, and it makes me want to believe the book must be wrong. I mean, we're the good guys, right? The book may make one exclaim, "Say it ain't so!" But it is so.

The book discusses in detail how we dropped the ball and invited disaster by closing our eyes so we "See No Evil." It also lays out just how evil Iran-Contra was and how it facilitated the 9/11 attacks. But there is plenty of blame to go around and the book is very harsh on Clinton as well.

This book covers similar material as another from the same author "Sleeping with the Devil." Both lay out the true price we pay for oil.

If you as a reader do NOT want to know how we are our own worst enemy, do not read this book; you won't believe it anyway. For the rest of us who want to know more about what is being kept secret from us "for our own good," this is a must read.

And then listen to "Sleeping with the Enemy."

If you dare.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Book to avoid

This book is not for you unless you enjoy 12 hours of whining about how everyone but Mr. Baer is a fool, a crook, a coward, a lobbyist, etc, etc, etc. I now understand why the CIA is such a mess - it is cowboys like Bob Baer that are willing to ignore the law, morals and common sense and deal with the lowest scum on the planet. Hey it is just for the good of the old US of A he says. Be a realist, torture is necessary sometimes - there are bad people out there. People named Bob Baer. Do yourself a favor and read the condensed version - Oliver North's treason conviction.

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • DS
  • 02-03-13

A WAKE UP CALL

Baer is a terrific writer, a great CIA operative, and a true Patriot. The CIA should be, first and foremost, an intelligence gathering arm of the US government. Baer makes very clear that pre 9/11 we were fighting the last intelligence war and looking for information that would confirm our preconceived ideas. Let's hope that has changed.

On another note, this is an interesting account of who our operatives are and how they come to join the Agency.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Very Well Done


This is a great narrative of terrorism and of the CIA from an insider's point of view. Baer does a great job of connecting the dots in the tightly knit world of terrorism.

The only drawback I found with the book is that it can be hard to follow the names of the key players, but that is more of a linguistics issue than a beef about the book.

All in all, I'd highly recommend this book to anyone who wants a greater understanding of what is really going on in our world and who is to blame.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

The Best of Keyhole Voyeurism

I liked this book. Quite a bit. It’s probably one of the most authentic public works on the second half of the CIA’s history. It doesn’t talk down to you, preach up at you, or skew its message for political correctness. It has facts, information, and a point of view.

But it’s a little hard to not to feel a little perverted about liking it.

P.S. I think it’s a mistake to primarily understand this book as anti-Bush. It’s really anti-establishment.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Politics at its best

It is amazing to hear what you have always figured was the case with CIA and FBI--their competition has made the USA very vulnerable and I am curious if 9/11 actually made things safer in the USA. I would like to think so, but after listening to "See no Evil", I think it will take more than 9/11 to fix things. Very good book and more than I expected after watching "Syriana".

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Required reading

Close up personal insights on what is wrong with American intelligence service in the middle east and how this leaves us vulnerable to terrorist organizations. Some of the things which Baer says, if they came from another source, I might view with suspicion. But his credentials of having worked for the CIA in the middle east, in the field, give him credibility to say that we need to find different ways to deal with Islamic terrorist organizations than what we are currently doing.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Behind the Scenes of Behind the Scenes

Great story in all. There are a lot of minute details that never would have been thought about, but I guess that’s what COs have to do! It is a great deep dive into the real-world events that envelop the issues of modern terrorism. Robertson Dean’s narration gives a straight-forward, gruff, yet calm feel, but can get a bit monotonous and is easy to tune out from time to time. I’d recommend listening at 1.2x-1.5x the normal speed to help!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great book insanely timely

I couldn't believe my ears. The story of dubious Russian campaign finance donations being made to... Clinton! How Iranians were behind the embassy bombing in Beirut. This book was freaky too read at the very beginning of 2020. Robertson Dean is the best. Baer has a knack for story telling but cuts off right before 9/11.

1 person found this helpful

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  • mechanic44
  • 04-20-21

Eye opening

It shows that wherever you are in the world money and power corrupts. A very interesting and eye opening account from a man experiencing it on the front line. Bob, thank you for your service

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • I. MCMANUS
  • 06-26-19

Enthralling narration of global events

shockingly interest audio book, totally fascinating to key moments in history that have shaped the world today. Very good narration also.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Peter
  • 04-13-15

Good

Interesting insight into world of CIA. Easy to digest, page turner.
Clearly has a political agenda to push, but this is part of the book.

1 person found this helpful

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  • MR
  • 09-26-17

Disturbing and relevant

This is the story of an organisation slowly losing its way. The process is slow, but inexorable. It's a horrifying warning of what happens when those that want power for power's sake end up in command.

1 person found this helpful

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