PAKET UMROH BULAN FEBRUARI MARET APRIL MEI 2018




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Setelah asyik bermain di pantai tepatnya di Pulau Untung Jawa di bulan Maret 2013 lalu, perjalanan selanjutnya di bulan April 2013 AK dan beberapa teman mengadakan trip menuju Taman Wisata Cibodas dan sekitarnya. Berikut catatan perjalanannya :

Sabtu pagi setelah menunaikan sholat shubuh beberapa teman yang ikut dalam trip ini sudah berkumpul di star point yang ditentukan, beberapa lagi masih ada saja yang belum hadir dikarenakan sibuk dengan barang bawaan. Setelah semuanya kumpul dengan jumlah 8 orang dan mobil Innova serta sopirnya yang udah di booking sebelumnya siap untuk menuju Taman Wisata Cibodas.

Tepatnya jam 5.30 pagi AK dan teman - teman sudah berangkat menuju Taman Wisata Cibodas, hal ini dilakukan agar kami lebih cepat sampai ke sana dan tidak terjebak macet di jalur puncak Bogor. AK dan teman - teman  menikmati pemandangan sepanjang perjalanan dengan diiringi musik pilihan yang telah disediakan, mengobrol sambil menikmati beberapa makanan yang dibawa oleh teman teman cukup untuk menghilangkan suntuk dan bete serta agar suasana menjadi nyaman.

Perjalanan ditempuh sekitar 2 setengah jam dari Jakarta Barat, walaupun sempat kelewat sampai Cipanas karena asyiknya suasana di dalam mobil hingga tidak ada yang perhatikan tanda masuk ke Cibodas. Setelah berbalik arah, mobil pun memasuki kawasan Wisata Cibodas sekitar pukul 8 pagi saat itu.

Setelah membayar dipintu masuk seharga Rp. 9.500/ orang dan 16 ribu untuk mobilnya, kami pun mengitari dengan mobil  beberapa tempat yang asyik di kawasan ini. Akhirnya kamipun sepakat untuk memarkir mobil di parkiran menuju Air terjun Ciismun di kawasan Cibodas ini.

Perjalanan dari parkir mobil menuju air terjun Ciismun ditempuh sekitar setengah jam, melihat indahnya air terjun dan bermain air menjadi semangat kami untuk terus melangkah agar sampai ke tujuan. Dan beberapa momen yang tidak terlewatkan kami abadikan berikut ini :

Terpana adalah kata yang pas buat perasaan kami saat sampai di air terjun Ciismun ini, air terjun yang tersembunyi ini sangat memukau penglihatan kami kala itu, ditambah suasana pagi yang sepi saat itu serasa hanya kami yang menikmati keindahan air terjun Ciismun ini.  Beberapa dari kami langsung bermain air di air terjun ini, beberapa yang lain menikmati pemandangan air terjun yang memukau sambil mencari spot untuk berphoto ria.

Setelah kurang lebih 1 jam di air terjeun Ciismun, kami pun bersiap - siap untuk melakukan perjalanan kembali ke area parkir mobil, karena lelahnya perjalanan saat itu kami pun siap untuk  menikmati makan siang yang kami bawa dari rumah sambil menikmati hijaunya alam Cibodas.

Setelah menikmati makan siang kami kembali mengelilingi kawasan Cibodas dengan mobil, beberapa saat mobil berhenti agar kami bisa menikmati  hamparan  taman hijau yang  luas  atau pemandangan kolam air mancur yang indah serta gunung dan pohon pohon yang rindang.

Sebenarnya masih banyak area menarik di kawasan ini yang belum sempat kami kunjungi namun karena waktu sudah siang dan kami ingin melanjutkan perjalanan selanjutnya, kami pun segera menuju pintu keluar 2 dari kawasan Cibodas menuju parkiran air terjun Cibereum yang dekat dengan pintu masuk wisata Mandalawangi di kawasan Taman Nasional Gunung Gede Pangrango.

Namun sebelumnya kami santai sejenak di area parkir sambil menikmati beberapa jajanan yang ada di area ini, melaksanakan sholat dan bersih bersih di wc yang ada di area ini dengan membayar Rp. 2000 untuk buang air kecil dan Rp. 3000 untuk mandi dan buang air besar.

Sekitar kurang lebih pukul 13.00 kami pun mulai perjalanan menuju air terjun Cibereum yang berada 1.675 diatas permukaan laut ini harus kami daki sekitar 1 jam. Setelah membayar tiket di pintu masuk Rp. 2.500/ orang kami pun mulai memasuki jalan berbatu di tengah hutan.

Perjalanan menuju air terjun Cibereum ini amat sangat melelahkan, melewati hutan yang gelap walau kadang ada jalan yang sudah bagus. Sesaat berjalan kami harus istirahat sejenak untuk menghilangkan rasa lelah dan letih seraya memberi semangat kepada teman teman untuk sampai ke tujuan.

Setelah berjuang sepanjang jalan dengan keringat yang bercucuran, akhirnya air terjun Cibereum dapat kami taklukan. Kami pun hanya bisa bengong  melihat indahnya alam yang mempesona ini dan ternyata ada 2 air terjun lain yang berdekatan dengan air terjun Cibereum ini.  Sungguh menakjubkan, kami pun tak lupa mengabadikan momen ini.

Perasaan bangga dan bahagia bersatu dalam jiwa kami saat berada di tempat yang jauh ini, rasa lelah dan letih seakan sirna dengan sampainya kami di tempat ini. Kami pun mulai menikmati  suasana ramai saat itu, sesekali bermain air dan makan makanan yang kami sudah siapkan.

Ketika waktu sudah sore, kamipun mulai melangkah turun menuju parkiran mobil, sesampainya disana dan sebelum meninggalkan kawasan wisata tak lupa kami membeli beberapa oleh - oleh seperti sandal, kaos, tas, makanan ringan dan sayur - sayuran dengan harga terjangkau tentunya.

Akhirnya usai sudah perjalanan kali ini, mobilpun bergegas menuju Jakarta, sesaat kami berhenti di kawasan Puncak Bogor untuk sejenak menikmati indahnya hamparan kebun teh di Kawasan Wisata Gunung Mas. Demikian

TAMAN WISATA CIBODAS

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TIPS ON BUILDING CAPABILITY ESQ

Aksi nekat Irwan merampok di toko kelontong milik Ricky di Jalan Raya Ciledug, Kec. Larangan, Kota Tangerang dilatarbelakangi karena masalah utang piutang.

Pria asal Aceh yang tinggal di daerah Petukangan, Jakarta Selatan itu telah merencanakan perampokan lantaran terdesak membayar utang. Niat jahat pelaku muncul usai mengunjungi toko sembako milik korban yang ramai dikunjungi pembeli.

“Pelaku terlilit hutang. Niat merampok timbul setelah melihat toko sembako korban ramai dikunjungi pembeli. Keesokan harinya pelaku datang dengan membawa senjata tajam,” ungkap Kasat Reskrim Polres Metro Tangerang, AKBP Sutarmo.

Hingga saat ini Irwan dan Ny. Akim, istri pemilik toko, masih terbaring di ruang ICU RS Sari Asih, Ciledug, Kota Tangerang. Pelaku telah mengalami luka serius akibat dikeroyok warga yang geram dengan ulah jahatnya itu. Sedangkan istri korban telah mengalami luka akibat sabetan senjata tajam milik pelaku. “Keduanya masih dirawat di rumah sakit,” ujar kasat.

Dalam peristiwa perampokan itu, Ricky alian Anen yang berusia 45 tahun , pemilik toko tewas ditusuk ketika berduel dengan pelaku. Bapak empat orang anak itu tewas didalam toko kelontong miliknya ketika mencoba menggagalkan aksi perampokan tersebut.

Pagi itu, Ricky hendak mengantar sekolah anaknya. Namun, ia melihat pria tak dikenal sudah masuk ke rumahnya. Korban pun melawan, namun pelaku menusuknya hingga tewas di tempat. Usai menusuk Ricky, pelaku naik ke lantai dua dan bertemu dengan istri Ricky. Keduanya kemudian terlibat saling tikam.

Pelaku Perampokan di Toko Sembako Terlilit Utang
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Bojonegoro, begitu nama itu yang dikenal sebagai salah satu kabupaten di Jawa Timur. Letaknya sekitar 67 kilometer dari ibukota Jawa Timur, Surabaya. Meski telah memiliki hasil tambang melimpah, kehidupan masyarakat di Bojonegoro tidaklah makmur seperti perusahaan-perusahaan minyak asing yang menguasainya.

Dalam hal pendidikan misalnya. Jangankan sekolah bertaraf internasional mau berinvestasi di wilayah ini, sekolah negeri pun keadaannya juga sungguh miris. Apalagi keadaan rumah sakitnya, hanya ada satu rumah sakit pemerintah dengan kondisi yang memprihatinkan. Satu rumah sakit itu bernama RS Veteran berada dekat dengan alun-alun dan tidak jauh dari kantor Dewan Perwakilan Daerah Bojonegoro.

Cerita punya cerita, pemimpin negeri ini pun tidak mampir menginjakkan kakinya di Bojonegoro. "Tidak ada satu presiden yang menginjakkan kakinya di sini. Tidak tahu kenapa," kata Gus Mul, salah seorang tokoh masyarakat di Bojonegoro saat berbincang dengan merdeka.com Senin lalu.

Seingatnya, dari enam presiden Indonesia, hanya Soekarno yang 'berani' datang ke Bojonegoro. Gus Mul tidak mengetahui kenapa presiden tidak mampir ke Bojonegoro. Namun, dari cerita yang dia tahu, ada mitos yang beredar di kalangan masyarakat bahwa jika presiden mampir di Bojonegoro, dia akan turun dari tahta.

Sebagai seorang tokoh pemuka agama, Gus Mul mengenyampingkan mitos tersebut. "Itu hanya mitos. Kalau mau datang ya datang saja," ujar Gus Mul.

Selain daerah menghasilkan minyak bumi, Bojonegoro dikenal daerah religius. Hal ini karena banyaknya Pondok Pesantren - khususnya Nahdlatul Ulama - yang berdiri di wilayah ini. Namun, apakah benar presiden enggan datang ke Bojonegoro karena mitos turun tahta?

Bojonegoro dan mitos presiden turun tahta

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WASHINGTON — The last three men to win the Republican nomination have been the prosperous son of a president (George W. Bush), a senator who could not recall how many homes his family owned (John McCain of Arizona; it was seven) and a private equity executive worth an estimated $200 million (Mitt Romney).

The candidates hoping to be the party’s nominee in 2016 are trying to create a very different set of associations. On Sunday, Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon, joined the presidential field.

Senator Marco Rubio of Florida praises his parents, a bartender and a Kmart stock clerk, as he urges audiences not to forget “the workers in our hotel kitchens, the landscaping crews in our neighborhoods, the late-night janitorial staff that clean our offices.”

Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, a preacher’s son, posts on Twitter about his ham-and-cheese sandwiches and boasts of his coupon-clipping frugality. His $1 Kohl’s sweater has become a campaign celebrity in its own right.

Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky laments the existence of “two Americas,” borrowing the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s phrase to describe economically and racially troubled communities like Ferguson, Mo., and Detroit.

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Senator Marco Rubio of Florida praises his parents, a bartender and a Kmart stock clerk. Credit Joe Raedle/Getty Images

“Some say, ‘But Democrats care more about the poor,’ ” Mr. Paul likes to say. “If that’s true, why is black unemployment still twice white unemployment? Why has household income declined by $3,500 over the past six years?”

We are in the midst of the Empathy Primary — the rhetorical battleground shaping the Republican presidential field of 2016.

Harmed by the perception that they favor the wealthy at the expense of middle-of-the-road Americans, the party’s contenders are each trying their hardest to get across what the elder George Bush once inelegantly told recession-battered voters in 1992: “Message: I care.”

Their ability to do so — less bluntly, more sincerely — could prove decisive in an election year when power, privilege and family connections will loom large for both parties.

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Questions of understanding and compassion cost Republicans in the last election. Mr. Romney, who memorably dismissed the “47 percent” of Americans as freeloaders, lost to President Obama by 63 percentage points among voters who cast their ballots for the candidate who “cares about people like me,” according to exit polls.

And a Pew poll from February showed that people still believe Republicans are indifferent to working Americans: 54 percent said the Republican Party does not care about the middle class.

That taint of callousness explains why Senator Ted Cruz of Texas declared last week that Republicans “are and should be the party of the 47 percent” — and why another son of a president, Jeb Bush, has made economic opportunity the centerpiece of his message.

With his pedigree and considerable wealth — since he left the Florida governor’s office almost a decade ago he has earned millions of dollars sitting on corporate boards and advising banks — Mr. Bush probably has the most complicated task making the argument to voters that he understands their concerns.

On a visit last week to Puerto Rico, Mr. Bush sounded every bit the populist, railing against “elites” who have stifled economic growth and innovation. In the kind of economy he envisions leading, he said: “We wouldn’t have the middle being squeezed. People in poverty would have a chance to rise up. And the social strains that exist — because the haves and have-nots is the big debate in our country today — would subside.”

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Who Is Running for President (and Who’s Not)?

Republicans’ emphasis on poorer and working-class Americans now represents a shift from the party’s longstanding focus on business owners and “job creators” as the drivers of economic opportunity.

This is intentional, Republican operatives said.

In the last presidential election, Republicans rushed to defend business owners against what they saw as hostility by Democrats to successful, wealthy entrepreneurs.

“Part of what you had was a reaction to the Democrats’ dehumanization of business owners: ‘Oh, you think you started your plumbing company? No you didn’t,’ ” said Grover Norquist, the conservative activist and president of Americans for Tax Reform.

But now, Mr. Norquist said, Republicans should move past that. “Focus on the people in the room who know someone who couldn’t get a job, or a promotion, or a raise because taxes are too high or regulations eat up companies’ time,” he said. “The rich guy can take care of himself.”

Democrats argue that the public will ultimately see through such an approach because Republican positions like opposing a minimum-wage increase and giving private banks a larger role in student loans would hurt working Americans.

“If Republican candidates are just repeating the same tired policies, I’m not sure that smiling while saying it is going to be enough,” said Guy Cecil, a Democratic strategist who is joining a “super PAC” working on behalf of Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Republicans have already attacked Mrs. Clinton over the wealth and power she and her husband have accumulated, caricaturing her as an out-of-touch multimillionaire who earns hundreds of thousands of dollars per speech and has not driven a car since 1996.

Mr. Walker hit this theme recently on Fox News, pointing to Mrs. Clinton’s lucrative book deals and her multiple residences. “This is not someone who is connected with everyday Americans,” he said. His own net worth, according to The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, is less than a half-million dollars; Mr. Walker also owes tens of thousands of dollars on his credit cards.

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But showing off a cheap sweater or boasting of a bootstraps family background not only helps draw a contrast with Mrs. Clinton’s latter-day affluence, it is also an implicit argument against Mr. Bush.

Mr. Walker, who featured a 1998 Saturn with more than 100,000 miles on the odometer in a 2010 campaign ad during his first run for governor, likes to talk about flipping burgers at McDonald’s as a young person. His mother, he has said, grew up on a farm with no indoor plumbing until she was in high school.

Mr. Rubio, among the least wealthy members of the Senate, with an estimated net worth of around a half-million dollars, uses his working-class upbringing as evidence of the “exceptionalism” of America, “where even the son of a bartender and a maid can have the same dreams and the same future as those who come from power and privilege.”

Mr. Cruz alludes to his family’s dysfunction — his parents, he says, were heavy drinkers — and recounts his father’s tale of fleeing Cuba with $100 sewn into his underwear.

Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey notes that his father paid his way through college working nights at an ice cream plant.

But sometimes the attempts at projecting authenticity can seem forced. Mr. Christie recently found himself on the defensive after telling a New Hampshire audience, “I don’t consider myself a wealthy man.” Tax returns showed that he and his wife, a longtime Wall Street executive, earned nearly $700,000 in 2013.

The story of success against the odds is a political classic, even if it is one the Republican Party has not been able to tell for a long time. Ronald Reagan liked to say that while he had not been born on the wrong side of the tracks, he could always hear the whistle. Richard Nixon was fond of reminding voters how he was born in a house his father had built.

“Probably the idea that is most attractive to an average voter, and an idea that both Republicans and Democrats try to craft into their messages, is this idea that you can rise from nothing,” said Charles C. W. Cooke, a writer for National Review.

There is a certain delight Republicans take in turning that message to their advantage now.

“That’s what Obama did with Hillary,” Mr. Cooke said. “He acknowledged it openly: ‘This is ridiculous. Look at me, this one-term senator with dark skin and all of America’s unsolved racial problems, running against the wife of the last Democratic president.”

G.O.P. Hopefuls Now Aiming to Woo the Middle Class

Even as a high school student, Dave Goldberg was urging female classmates to speak up. As a young dot-com executive, he had one girlfriend after another, but fell hard for a driven friend named Sheryl Sandberg, pining after her for years. After they wed, Mr. Goldberg pushed her to negotiate hard for high compensation and arranged his schedule so that he could be home with their children when she was traveling for work.

Mr. Goldberg, who died unexpectedly on Friday, was a genial, 47-year-old Silicon Valley entrepreneur who built his latest company, SurveyMonkey, from a modest enterprise to one recently valued by investors at $2 billion. But he was also perhaps the signature male feminist of his era: the first major chief executive in memory to spur his wife to become as successful in business as he was, and an essential figure in “Lean In,” Ms. Sandberg’s blockbuster guide to female achievement.

Over the weekend, even strangers were shocked at his death, both because of his relatively young age and because they knew of him as the living, breathing, car-pooling center of a new philosophy of two-career marriage.

“They were very much the role models for what this next generation wants to grapple with,” said Debora L. Spar, the president of Barnard College. In a 2011 commencement speech there, Ms. Sandberg told the graduates that whom they married would be their most important career decision.

In the play “The Heidi Chronicles,” revived on Broadway this spring, a male character who is the founder of a media company says that “I don’t want to come home to an A-plus,” explaining that his ambitions require him to marry an unthreatening helpmeet. Mr. Goldberg grew up to hold the opposite view, starting with his upbringing in progressive Minneapolis circles where “there was woman power in every aspect of our lives,” Jeffrey Dachis, a childhood friend, said in an interview.

The Goldberg parents read “The Feminine Mystique” together — in fact, Mr. Goldberg’s father introduced it to his wife, according to Ms. Sandberg’s book. In 1976, Paula Goldberg helped found a nonprofit to aid children with disabilities. Her husband, Mel, a law professor who taught at night, made the family breakfast at home.

Later, when Dave Goldberg was in high school and his prom date, Jill Chessen, stayed silent in a politics class, he chastised her afterward. He said, “You need to speak up,” Ms. Chessen recalled in an interview. “They need to hear your voice.”

Years later, when Karin Gilford, an early employee at Launch Media, Mr. Goldberg’s digital music company, became a mother, he knew exactly what to do. He kept giving her challenging assignments, she recalled, but also let her work from home one day a week. After Yahoo acquired Launch, Mr. Goldberg became known for distributing roses to all the women in the office on Valentine’s Day.

Ms. Sandberg, who often describes herself as bossy-in-a-good-way, enchanted him when they became friendly in the mid-1990s. He “was smitten with her,” Ms. Chessen remembered. Ms. Sandberg was dating someone else, but Mr. Goldberg still hung around, even helping her and her then-boyfriend move, recalled Bob Roback, a friend and co-founder of Launch. When they finally married in 2004, friends remember thinking how similar the two were, and that the qualities that might have made Ms. Sandberg intimidating to some men drew Mr. Goldberg to her even more.

Over the next decade, Mr. Goldberg and Ms. Sandberg pioneered new ways of capturing information online, had a son and then a daughter, became immensely wealthy, and hashed out their who-does-what-in-this-marriage issues. Mr. Goldberg’s commute from the Bay Area to Los Angeles became a strain, so he relocated, later joking that he “lost the coin flip” of where they would live. He paid the bills, she planned the birthday parties, and both often left their offices at 5:30 so they could eat dinner with their children before resuming work afterward.

Friends in Silicon Valley say they were careful to conduct their careers separately, politely refusing when outsiders would ask one about the other’s work: Ms. Sandberg’s role building Facebook into an information and advertising powerhouse, and Mr. Goldberg at SurveyMonkey, which made polling faster and cheaper. But privately, their work was intertwined. He often began statements to his team with the phrase “Well, Sheryl said” sharing her business advice. He counseled her, too, starting with her salary negotiations with Mark Zuckerberg.

“I wanted Mark to really feel he stretched to get Sheryl, because she was worth it,” Mr. Goldberg explained in a 2013 “60 Minutes” interview, his Minnesota accent and his smile intact as he offered a rare peek of the intersection of marriage and money at the top of corporate life.

 

 

While his wife grew increasingly outspoken about women’s advancement, Mr. Goldberg quietly advised the men in the office on family and partnership matters, an associate said. Six out of 16 members of SurveyMonkey’s management team are female, an almost unheard-of ratio among Silicon Valley “unicorns,” or companies valued at over $1 billion.

When Mellody Hobson, a friend and finance executive, wrote a chapter of “Lean In” about women of color for the college edition of the book, Mr. Goldberg gave her feedback on the draft, a clue to his deep involvement. He joked with Ms. Hobson that she was too long-winded, like Ms. Sandberg, but aside from that, he said he loved the chapter, she said in an interview.

By then, Mr. Goldberg was a figure of fascination who inspired a “where can I get one of those?” reaction among many of the women who had read the best seller “Lean In.” Some lamented that Ms. Sandberg’s advice hinged too much on marrying a Dave Goldberg, who was humble enough to plan around his wife, attentive enough to worry about which shoes his young daughter would wear, and rich enough to help pay for the help that made the family’s balancing act manageable.

Now that he is gone, and Ms. Sandberg goes from being half of a celebrated partnership to perhaps the business world’s most prominent single mother, the pages of “Lean In” carry a new sting of loss.

“We are never at 50-50 at any given moment — perfect equality is hard to define or sustain — but we allow the pendulum to swing back and forth between us,” she wrote in 2013, adding that they were looking forward to raising teenagers together.

“Fortunately, I have Dave to figure it out with me,” she wrote.

Dave Goldberg Was Lifelong Women’s Advocate

Ms. Pryor, who served more than two decades in the State Department, was the author of well-regarded biographies of the founder of the American Red Cross and the Confederate commander.

Elizabeth Brown Pryor, Biographer of Clara Barton and Robert E. Lee, Dies at 64
Frontline  An installment of this PBS program looks at the effects of Ebola on Liberia and other countries, as well as the origins of the outbreak.
Frontline

Frontline An installment of this PBS program looks at the effects of Ebola on Liberia and other countries, as well as the origins of the outbreak.

The program traces the outbreak to its origin, thought to be a tree full of bats in Guinea.

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WASHINGTON — The former deputy director of the C.I.A. asserts in a forthcoming book that Republicans, in their eagerness to politicize the killing of the American ambassador to Libya, repeatedly distorted the agency’s analysis of events. But he also argues that the C.I.A. should get out of the business of providing “talking points” for administration officials in national security events that quickly become partisan, as happened after the Benghazi attack in 2012.

The official, Michael J. Morell, dismisses the allegation that the United States military and C.I.A. officers “were ordered to stand down and not come to the rescue of their comrades,” and he says there is “no evidence” to support the charge that “there was a conspiracy between C.I.A. and the White House to spin the Benghazi story in a way that would protect the political interests of the president and Secretary Clinton,” referring to the secretary of state at the time, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

But he also concludes that the White House itself embellished some of the talking points provided by the Central Intelligence Agency and had blocked him from sending an internal study of agency conclusions to Congress.

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Michael J. Morell Credit Mark Wilson/Getty Images

“I finally did so without asking,” just before leaving government, he writes, and after the White House released internal emails to a committee investigating the State Department’s handling of the issue.

A lengthy congressional investigation remains underway, one that many Republicans hope to use against Mrs. Clinton in the 2016 election cycle.

In parts of the book, “The Great War of Our Time” (Twelve), Mr. Morell praises his C.I.A. colleagues for many successes in stopping terrorist attacks, but he is surprisingly critical of other C.I.A. failings — and those of the National Security Agency.

Soon after Mr. Morell retired in 2013 after 33 years in the agency, President Obama appointed him to a commission reviewing the actions of the National Security Agency after the disclosures of Edward J. Snowden, a former intelligence contractor who released classified documents about the government’s eavesdropping abilities. Mr. Morell writes that he was surprised by what he found.

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“You would have thought that of all the government entities on the planet, the one least vulnerable to such grand theft would have been the N.S.A.,” he writes. “But it turned out that the N.S.A. had left itself vulnerable.”

He concludes that most Wall Street firms had better cybersecurity than the N.S.A. had when Mr. Snowden swept information from its systems in 2013. While he said he found himself “chagrined by how well the N.S.A. was doing” compared with the C.I.A. in stepping up its collection of data on intelligence targets, he also sensed that the N.S.A., which specializes in electronic spying, was operating without considering the implications of its methods.

“The N.S.A. had largely been collecting information because it could, not necessarily in all cases because it should,” he says.

The book is to be released next week.

Mr. Morell was a career analyst who rose through the ranks of the agency, and he ended up in the No. 2 post. He served as President George W. Bush’s personal intelligence briefer in the first months of his presidency — in those days, he could often be spotted at the Starbucks in Waco, Tex., catching up on his reading — and was with him in the schoolhouse in Florida on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, when the Bush presidency changed in an instant.

Mr. Morell twice took over as acting C.I.A. director, first when Leon E. Panetta was appointed secretary of defense and then when retired Gen. David H. Petraeus resigned over an extramarital affair with his biographer, a relationship that included his handing her classified notes of his time as America’s best-known military commander.

Mr. Morell says he first learned of the affair from Mr. Petraeus only the night before he resigned, and just as the Benghazi events were turning into a political firestorm. While praising Mr. Petraeus, who had told his deputy “I am very lucky” to run the C.I.A., Mr. Morell writes that “the organization did not feel the same way about him.” The former general “created the impression through the tone of his voice and his body language that he did not want people to disagree with him (which was not true in my own interaction with him),” he says.

But it is his account of the Benghazi attacks — and how the C.I.A. was drawn into the debate over whether the Obama White House deliberately distorted its account of the death of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens — that is bound to attract attention, at least partly because of its relevance to the coming presidential election. The initial assessments that the C.I.A. gave to the White House said demonstrations had preceded the attack. By the time analysts reversed their opinion, Susan E. Rice, now the national security adviser, had made a series of statements on Sunday talk shows describing the initial assessment. The controversy and other comments Ms. Rice made derailed Mr. Obama’s plan to appoint her as secretary of state.

The experience prompted Mr. Morell to write that the C.I.A. should stay out of the business of preparing talking points — especially on issues that are being seized upon for “political purposes.” He is critical of the State Department for not beefing up security in Libya for its diplomats, as the C.I.A., he said, did for its employees.

But he concludes that the assault in which the ambassador was killed took place “with little or no advance planning” and “was not well organized.” He says the attackers “did not appear to be looking for Americans to harm. They appeared intent on looting and conducting some vandalism,” setting fires that killed Mr. Stevens and a security official, Sean Smith.

Mr. Morell paints a picture of an agency that was struggling, largely unsuccessfully, to understand dynamics in the Middle East and North Africa when the Arab Spring broke out in late 2011 in Tunisia. The agency’s analysts failed to see the forces of revolution coming — and then failed again, he writes, when they told Mr. Obama that the uprisings would undercut Al Qaeda by showing there was a democratic pathway to change.

“There is no good explanation for our not being able to see the pressures growing to dangerous levels across the region,” he writes. The agency had again relied too heavily “on a handful of strong leaders in the countries of concern to help us understand what was going on in the Arab street,” he says, and those leaders themselves were clueless.

Moreover, an agency that has always overvalued secretly gathered intelligence and undervalued “open source” material “was not doing enough to mine the wealth of information available through social media,” he writes. “We thought and told policy makers that this outburst of popular revolt would damage Al Qaeda by undermining the group’s narrative,” he writes.

Instead, weak governments in Egypt, and the absence of governance from Libya to Yemen, were “a boon to Islamic extremists across both the Middle East and North Africa.”

Mr. Morell is gentle about most of the politicians he dealt with — he expresses admiration for both Mr. Bush and Mr. Obama, though he accuses former Vice President Dick Cheney of deliberately implying a connection between Al Qaeda and Iraq that the C.I.A. had concluded probably did not exist. But when it comes to the events leading up to the Bush administration’s decision to go to war in Iraq, he is critical of his own agency.

Mr. Morell concludes that the Bush White House did not have to twist intelligence on Saddam Hussein’s alleged effort to rekindle the country’s work on weapons of mass destruction.

“The view that hard-liners in the Bush administration forced the intelligence community into its position on W.M.D. is just flat wrong,” he writes. “No one pushed. The analysts were already there and they had been there for years, long before Bush came to office.”

Ex-C.I.A. Official Rebuts Republican Claims on Benghazi Attack in ‘The Great War of Our Time’

Mr. Pfaff was an international affairs columnist and author who found Washington’s intervention in world affairs often misguided.

William Pfaff, Critic of American Foreign Policy, Dies at 86

Mr. Tepper was not a musical child and had no formal training, but he grew up to write both lyrics and tunes, trading off duties with the other member of the team, Roy C. Bennett.

Sid Tepper Dies at 96; Delivered ‘Red Roses for a Blue Lady’ and Other Songs

A lapsed seminarian, Mr. Chambers succeeded Saul Alinsky as leader of the social justice umbrella group Industrial Areas Foundation.

Edward Chambers, Early Leader in Community Organizing, Dies at 85

BEIJING (AP) — The head of Taiwan's Nationalists reaffirmed the party's support for eventual unification with the mainland when he met Monday with Chinese President Xi Jinping as part of continuing rapprochement between the former bitter enemies.

Nationalist Party Chairman Eric Chu, a likely presidential candidate next year, also affirmed Taiwan's desire to join the proposed Chinese-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank during the meeting in Beijing. China claims Taiwan as its own territory and doesn't want the island to join using a name that might imply it is an independent country.

Chu's comments during his meeting with Xi were carried live on Hong Kong-based broadcaster Phoenix Television.

The Nationalists were driven to Taiwan by Mao Zedong's Communists during the Chinese civil war in 1949, leading to decades of hostility between the sides. Chu, who took over as party leader in January, is the third Nationalist chairman to visit the mainland and the first since 2009.

Relations between the communist-ruled mainland and the self-governing democratic island of Taiwan began to warm in the 1990s, partly out of their common opposition to Taiwan's formal independence from China, a position advocated by the island's Democratic Progressive Party.

Despite increasingly close economic ties, the prospect of political unification has grown increasingly unpopular on Taiwan, especially with younger voters. Opposition to the Nationalists' pro-China policies was seen as a driver behind heavy local electoral defeats for the party last year that led to Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou resigning as party chairman.

Taiwan party leader affirms eventual reunion with China
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