3 out of 4 stars
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Fortress of Deceit is an autobiographical account of a U.S. federal employee who became a whistleblower against the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) after the 9/11 attacks. The book shows the government’s lack of responsiveness to security problems before 9/11, as well as its denial of culpability after the terror attack. Bogdan Dzakovic shares his experiences serving in the military and different law enforcement and security agencies as he reveals the internal mechanics of what he calls “an unaccountable government.”
The book follows the author’s life as he describes his experiences working in military, law enforcement, and security agencies. From these experiences, the author learned a great deal about the poor security protocols that stem from a lack of accountability in particular government agencies. He eventually ended up working for the FAA, which he described its aviation security as “a total joke.” Despite the author revealing the agency’s problems with its air safety and security programs, the government failed to address such issues. After the 9/11 attacks and the Capitol Hill meetings that followed, the author realized that “both the Senate and House were intent on avoiding accountability.” This lead him to file a formal whistleblower case against the FAA with the United States Office of Special Counsel (OSC). The author also talked about the lengths that whistleblowers have to go through to reveal the failures of government agencies.
The book makes use of “Sherlock Holmes” as a thematic device, which is an interesting option given the author’s line of work. This is introduced at the beginning of the book, and it frames his experiences as mysteries that are to be solved. This theme is especially fitting for the book that emphasizes catching a crime before it occurs, a point that the author continually makes when talking about preventing the 9/11 attacks. This makes the book a riveting read.
Unfortunately, the book is riddled with multiple errors. Examples include misspellings of the words “contemptible” and “lawsuits” as “contemptable” and “law suits.” Other instances of errors include missing dashes and misused apostrophes. Based on the number of errors I’ve found, I can say that the book is not professionally edited.
Nevertheless, the book provides a rich account of the experiences of a whistleblower in the United States, reminding us of that of Snowden’s regarding the NSA. Overall, Fortress of Deceit is an interesting and reliable account of the bureaucratic inner workings of some U.S. government agencies. However, I have to rate this book 3 out of 4 stars because it could use an editor to fix the errors. But other than the errors, there’s nothing more I disliked about the book. I can recommend this book to those who wish to read about real-life law enforcement stories.
Fortress of Deceit
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