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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Secret Police in a Free Society, April 24, 2001
This review is from: Spy Catcher: The Candid Autobiography of a Senior Intelligence Officer (Hardcover)
Peter Wright was a former assistant director of MI5 (Britain's secret service or counter-intelligence). This is his story of his career, including his anecdotes about his American allies. He joined MI5 as a scientist who specialized in tools for espionage. He had been promised credit for his years as a civilian scientist. When this promise was broken at retirement, he wrote this book to even out things.
This is an interesting book that can't be summarized in a few paragraphs. It is definitely worth reading for the details on government activities in a "democracy". Watergate was a notable failure of such activities. Do these activities continue? Of course!
Pages 158-9 tell of his proposal for a "Bolshevik model" for former colonial countries: let a political party control the army and secret police so that neither the army or another political party could gain control of the government. He pointed out that only those newly created countries that adopted this principle have escaped military dictatorships and civil war.
Does the above advice seem to cynical and radical? But our Establishment DOES control the army and secret police so that neither the military or a populist political party (one not controlled by corporate interests) can gain control.
Yet the classic solution for democracies, from Aristotle to Machiavelli to our Founding Fathers was well-armed citizens and their militia. It has worked well for over over a century, and the idea still survives today.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 1, 2007 10:54:16 AM PST
How is it that two pages of this book take up half of your review? This was such a minor part of the book that I had forgotten Wright even said anything on the topic and I've read the book twice.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 13, 2012 5:24:03 PM PST
Since 1789 the USA has escaped being controlled by the army or a Federal Agency (secret police).
"It Can't Happen Here" is a novel by Sinclair Lewis.
Jesse Ventura's "Sixty-three Papers" tells about some attempts at a revolution.
SInce that advice sticks out from the pages you should have noticed it.
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