Deep State: Inside the Government Secrecy Industry [NOOK Book]

Overview

If a democracy can be judged by the secrets it keeps, it's hard to know what to make of the United States. The American government declares all manner of information "top secret," but little remains secret for very long. Whether the constant stream of leaks from numerous sources is as good for democracy as it is bad for national security is debatable, but why do leaks happen? How do leaks happen? Is there any way to stop them? Do we want to stop them?

In Deep State, veteran ...

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Deep State: Inside the Government Secrecy Industry

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Overview

If a democracy can be judged by the secrets it keeps, it's hard to know what to make of the United States. The American government declares all manner of information "top secret," but little remains secret for very long. Whether the constant stream of leaks from numerous sources is as good for democracy as it is bad for national security is debatable, but why do leaks happen? How do leaks happen? Is there any way to stop them? Do we want to stop them?

In Deep State, veteran journalists and national security analysts Marc Ambinder and D. B. Grady reveal how the exponential increase in state secrets has resulted in an unprecedented number of secret holders and a rapidly growing legion of secret leakers.

This penetrating exposé delves into the key elements of the secrecy apparatus in the United States. Based on a foundation of original and historical research as well as unprecedented access to lawmakers, intelligence agency heads, White House officials, and secret program managers, Deep State also draws from thousands of recently declassified documents and interviews with more than a hundred officials. Many of the interviews are on-the-record, candid, and insightful.

The authors explain how the increased exposure of secrets affects everything from budgets to Area 51 (and what really goes on there) to Congress to Seal Team Six, Delta Force, the FBI, CIA, NSA, and organizations that remain official secrets. They provide the fullest account to date of the NSA's controversial surveillance program spun up in the dark days after 9/11, and they explore President Obama's attempt to reconcile his instincts as a liberal with the realities of the executive branch he inherited. They also explore the ways in which the ubiquity of information access has become the secrecy industry's toughest opponent to date. This discussion includes a full account of how WikiLeaks and other organizations are changing the government's approach to handling sensitive information, for better or worse.

As the deep state's influence in our daily lives has become pervasive, it has also become clear that its edifice is crumbling. Real secrets can't be kept, trivial ones are held forever, and sensitive ones are far too susceptible to political manipulation. Deep State turns the secrecy apparatus of the United States inside out, and explores the real-world ramifications of a trend that ought to trouble everyone from the most hardened hawk to the most ardent civil libertarian.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Journalists Ambinder and Grady provide a rendering of the U.S. government’s secrecy apparatus in both international and domestic affairs, offering an acronym-laden fest for fans of the NSA, CIA, and Department of Defense while providing few revelations. The authors display unabashed enthusiasm for the machinery of shadows, particularly the secretive Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) profiled in Ambinder and Grady’s earlier book The Command, entire chapters of which are reprinted here. A congratulatory account of the coordinated spying activities conducted in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the operations that resulted from them, are labeled as unprecedented successes. Meanwhile, the authors are blithely dismissive of Julian Assange and Wikileaks. Admiration of JSOC and others, and a subtle contempt directed at those who would question “official stories,” trickles through, forming two overarching themes. The first is an Orwellian feat of circular logic that states that no secrets really exist, because if they did, we would already know about them. The second defensively posits that neither the government nor American citizens can stomach the truth about what it really takes to keep us safe. Despite some insights in a chapter on the NSA’s controversial wiretapping program, the majority of the book details the players, rationalizes their actions, and, ironically, keeps their secrets. (Apr.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781118235737
  • Publisher: Turner Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 2/14/2013
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 1,286,950
  • File size: 923 KB

Meet the Author

MARC AMBINDER is a contributing editor at GQ and the Atlantic and a former White House correspondent for National Journal. He has covered politics and policy for CBS News and ABC News.

D. B. GRADY is a correspondent for the Atlantic and a regular contributor to the Week and Mental Floss. He is a former U.S. Army paratrooper and a veteran of the war in Afghanistan.

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Table of Contents

Authors’ Note xi

Introduction: Asleep under Fire 1

1. Need to Know 12

2. The Curious Case of Primoris Era 21

3. From Inception to Eternity 33

4. Fairly Modest 48

5. Vital Information 67

6. The Horrors Book 78

7. Conspiracies 91

8. Inside the Enclave 101

9. The Tip of the Spear 110

10. Necessary Secrets 122

11. The Tools for the Job 136

12. The Known Unknowns 147

13. The Structure of Secrecy 159

14. Partisan Transparency 176

15. Open Source Strikes Back 187

16. Resistance 194

17. The Flicker of a Piercing Eye 213

18. Olympic Games 254

19. The Next Battlespace 261

Conclusion: Shooting at Ahmadinejad 280

Acknowledgments 291

Notes 293

Index 311

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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2014

    Meeting Place

    ~Striking

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2013

    If this does not spark some discussion and controversy¿. nothing

    If this does not spark some discussion and controversy…. nothing else ever written will

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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