The Black Banners is a totally engrossing read, for anyone interested in Al Queada, Bin Laden, 911, and the endless web of twisted, complex stories and issues that are part of this never-ending tragedy. For the first time, we really get to know many previously unreleased inside details through the personal story of Ali H. Soufan. The United States and the FBI were lucky to have such a committed agent, who contributed so much to the investigations of Al Queada both before and after 911. Soufan is without doubt an extremely brave, loyal, and intelligent man, but it seems the CIA and the highest levels of the US government under George W. Bush didn't seem to agree with the way he did things. The details of how the CIA withheld crucial information that could have possibly intercepted the 911 terrorists before they could strike, and then denied it afterwards, are very disturbing. The conflict between Soufan's methods of interrogation, which resulted in a huge amount of valuable information, and the CIA's rejection of those methods in favour of enhanced techniques like waterboarding, are also shocking. The CIA's lies, denials, and failures are laid out by Soufan in complete detail. Obviously this has not made Soufan popular with the CIA, as they have heavily redacted large portions of this book, which makes some sections virtually unreadable. The worst part of the redactions are the totally ridiculous blacking out of personal pronouns like "I", "my", "me" and "myself". This happens numerous times, and it's really puzzling as to what purpose this serves----the reader can clearly see where these words apply. The "Frontline" show has a great report on this book, and a great interview with Ali Soufan that should definitely be watched by any reader of this book. An absolutely indispensable book for anyone interested in the war against Islamic terrorism.