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Top Secret America: The Rise of the New American Security Stateby Dana Priest
Synopses & Reviews
The top-secret world that the government created in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks has become so enormous, so unwieldy, and so secretive that no one knows how much money it costs, how many people it employs or exactly how many agencies duplicate work being done elsewhere. The result is that the system put in place to keep the United States safe may be putting us in greater danger. In TOP SECRET AMERICA, award-winning reporters Dana Priest and William Arkin uncover the enormous size, shape, mission, and consequences of this invisible universe of over 1,300 government facilities in every state in America; nearly 2,000 outside companies used as contractors; and more than 850,000 people granted Top Secret security clearance.
A landmark expos of a new, secret Fourth Branch of American government, TOP SECRET AMERICA is a tour de force of investigative reporting-and a book sure to spark national and international alarm.
"Priest and Arkin, columnists for the Washington Post and other media outlets, won the 2010 George Polk Award for their exposÃ© of the surveillance state. Here, they blow the whistle on how, since 9/11 and the adoption of the Patriot Act, the government and its contractors use classification and security screens to conceal expenditures that have failed to enhance national security. Volumes of information defy efforts to be processed or analyzed as layers of bureaucratic intermediaries dilute command and control. For instance, Northcom (Norad's re-placement) has no command over other agencies while former Defense Secretary Gates refused to lead the new National Intelligence Directorate because the position had no real power. Furthermore, the authors contrast the disorganization of stateside security with methods employed by General Stanley McChrystal in Iraq and Afghanistan — where, for example, social networks generated cell phone user data to provide target lists for Exord special teams. Overall, this is an important book that should receive greater attention. (Sept.) Agency: Ross Youn" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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