- Explore more great deals on thousands of titles in our Deals in Books store.
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
Spies for Hire: The Secret World of Intelligence Outsourcing Hardcover – Bargain Price, May 6, 2008
|New from||Used from|
Top 20 lists in Books
View the top 20 best sellers of all time, the most reviewed books of all time and some of our editors' favorite picks. Learn more
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Special Offers and Product Promotions
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
"Spies for Hire is an excellent roadmap to the daunting new terrain of U.S. intelligence, in which the explosive growth of intelligence contracting threatens to overwhelm any possibility of independent oversight. In this groundbreaking work, Tim Shorrock explores who has benefitted, who has paid, and why it matters to us all." -- Steven Aftergood, Project on Government Secrecy, Federation of American Scientists
"Tim Shorrock is a digger, and he has penetrated a secret and fascinating world to write a telling and readable book." -- Evan Thomas, editor at large of Newsweek, author of Sea of Thunder
"Tim Shorrock's well-researched and convincing book reveals how the intelligence community now subcontracts out most of its work -- 70 percent -- to private-sector companies that inevitably have their own agendas, which may or may not accord with the national interest. By laying out very specifically how all this works, Shorrock has provided a very important service to the country." -- Burton Hersh, author of The Old Boys: The American Elite and the Origins of the CIA
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
I sat down with this book today and found it absorbing. It is perhaps the best overview for anyone of names and numbers associated with the $60 billion (or more, perhaps as much as $75 billion) a year we waste on the 4% we can steal, and next to nothing on Open Source Intelligence (OSINT). The book loses one star for failing to integrate over 300 relevant books (see the annotated bibliographies to my first two books), and for failing to apply any visualization at all. This book is a mass of facts and figures, names and places. With or without visualization, it is a seminal reference point and recommended for all university and public libraries.
The book focuses mostly on technical waste--the inputs--and does not cover outputs nor constituencies. The reality is as General Zinni has put it so well: the IC produces 4% of what is needed, at a cost so horrendously wasteful as to warrant severe outrage among all taxpayers.
Having read the book, I can state that the author's agenda, if he has one, is to expose the risk to our civil liberties of creating a national surveillance state in which the bulk of the expertise is outside the government and subject to corruption and cronyism as well as lack of oversight.
Here are three tid-bits that strongly support the author's general intent, and some links.
1) Secret intelligence scam #1 is that there is no penalty for failure. Lockheed can build a satellite system that does not work (for NASA as well as the secret world--two different failures--or get the metrics wrong so priceless outer space research does not deploy a parachute--}and get another contract.Read more ›
"Spies for Hire is one of those books so brimful of detail, including mergers and acquisitions by intelligence companies, that one wishes for coded links and two or three charts illustrating the career trajectories and corporate genealogy of a couple dozen of the key players."
Another reviewer told an unsourced anecdote about an intelligence contractor who was downsized into driving a limo. Well, consider the story of neocon visionary Stephen Cambone. A charter member of PNAC, Cambone was appointed as the undersecretary of defense for intelligence at the Pentagon, a position of immense power and influence, which was forged from the conflict between Rumsfeld and the CIA.
"Among his other duties was overseeing "Copper Green," the interrogations, much of them by private contractors, of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib. Cambone was so widely despised and feared at the Pentagon that an Army general had jokingly said that "if he had one round left in his revolver, he would take out Steve Cambone," according to the Washington Post's Thomas Ricks."
When Rumsfeld was forced out of his job, his loyal retainer, Cambone was shown the exit a few months later, in January of 2007. However, Cambone did not end up driving a limousine:
"In January 2008, the Pentagon's Counter-Intelligence Field Agency granted a $30 million contract to the Missions Solutions Group of QinetiQ North America...Just two months before that contract was awarded, QinetiQ hired a new vice president for strategy. His name is Stephen Cambone."
So, why is this book a must-read?Read more ›
At any rate, this is an important work, and my views of Shorrock's book are almost isomorphic with those contained in the reviews by Steele and "Retired Reader."
With respect to the issue of private corporations being restricted to not breaking the law (either international, US, or any any other country's), one must realise that the gathering of covert HUMINT essentially ALWAYS involves breaking someone's laws. If a contractor is expressly forbidden to do this or is to be held accountable for such trangressions, then contractors cannot perform positive intelligence gathering functions.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was a very informative look at how much of our national security has been farmed out to the private sector. It shows , also, how easily our elected officials can be bought.Published 15 days ago by Lyle J. Sanford
Shorrock has tried to fold back some of the pages of intensely interconnected companies and people with some good historical perspective on how we got into this mess. Read morePublished 14 months ago by R.L.D.
INTERESTING DOCUMENTARY OF GOVERNMENT USE OF PRIVATE INTELLIGENCE SUPPORT.Published 14 months ago by C. H. Fuller
The book is well-referenced, making skillful use of first-person sources. Each chapter is filled with information and provide deeper insight into what, in some books, is just a... Read morePublished on January 2, 2014 by George
This book really goes into detail about how the intelligence field and it's spy work is being outsourced today. Read morePublished on December 27, 2013 by Glen Robertson
This is an absolute must read for anyone interested in the world of modern intelligence. Very well researched and written.Published on July 31, 2013 by Jason
Thots well presented considering the
complexity of info. presented
Clearly written for lay person......
Therefore.. Read more