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Deep State: Inside the Government Secrecy Industry Hardcover – April 1, 2013
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There are indications that this deep state is crumbling. Necessary secrets are often impossible to keep, while frivolous secrets are kept forever. The entire system has fallen prey to political manipulation, with leaks carefully timed to advance agendas, and over-classification given to indefensible government activities.
Deep State, written by two of the country's most respected national security journalists, disassembles the secrecy apparatus of the United States and examines real-world trends that ought to trouble everyone from the most aggressive hawk to the fiercest civil libertarian. The book:
- Provides the fullest account to date of the National Security Agency’s controversial surveillance program first spun up in the dark days after 9/11.
- Examines President Obama's attempt to reconcile his instincts as a liberal with the realities of executive power, and his use of the state secrets doctrine.
- Exposes how the public’s ubiquitous access to information has been the secrecy industry's toughest opponent to date, and provides a full account of how WikiLeaks and other “sunlight” organizations are changing the government's approach to handling sensitive information, for better and worse.
- Explains how the increased exposure of secrets affects everything from Congressional budgets to Area 51, from SEAL Team Six and Delta Force to the FBI, CIA, and NSA.
- Assesses whether the formal and informal mechanisms put in place to protect citizens from abuses by the American deep state work, and how they might be reformed.
Deep State is based on the authors' insatiable curiosity for the ground truth and layered 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. It draws on thousands of recently declassified documents and candid interviews with more than 100 military, industry, and government officials.
By the bestselling authors of The Command: Deep Inside the President's Secret Army: Marc Ambinder, editor at large at The Week, contributing editor at GQ and the Atlantic, who has covered Washington for CBS News and ABC News; and D.B. Grady, a correspondent for the Atlantic, national security columnist for The Week, and former U.S. Army paratrooper and Afghanistan veteran.
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From the Inside Flap
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.
From the Back Cover
"A riveting look at the nation's most closely held secrets. I learned more from this detailed and absorbing account than I ever thought possible in one book. Through phenomenal research and powerful writing, this is a book not to be missed. From the inside look at our country's deadly drone program to the surveillance programs that could affect every one of us, Ambinder and Grady have given us a careful, thoughtful view of a world once hidden and why it matters."
Martha Raddatz, ABC News Chief Global Affairs Correspondent
"An intense journey down the rabbit hole of U.S. government secrecy. They have written an adrenaline-fueled, fast paced spy story that will change the way our society views its government. As I read Deep State, I had to continually remind myself that what I was reading was not a novel. There will be some in the chambers of power who do not want this book published, and there will be others in the dark corners of Washington's world of covert ops who read it to understand the secret apparatus they actually help run. Deep State is the must-read book of 2013."
Jeremy Scahill, author of Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army
"Marc Ambinder and D. B. Grady have delivered a fine, clarifying history of the secretive American national security apparatus which does so much to avoid the necessary sunshine of public scrutiny. Deep State is deeply reported and very well written and shines some much needed light on the murky 'deep state.'"
Peter Bergen, author of Manhunt: The Ten-Year Search for bin Laden, from 9/11 to Abbottabad
"Many books promise to take you inside and reveal the hidden side of the U.S. national security state. This book delivers on its promises, revealing previously secret details about the U.S. intelligence community and the U.S. military's shadowy special operations forces units. A must-read for those seriously interested in national security matters."
Matthew M. Aid, author of Intel Wars and The Secret Sentry
An unprecedented look at the surprising truths of national security and secrecy that are found in the darkest corners of the American government
There is a hidden country within the United States. It was formed from the growing number of secrets held by the government and the expanding ranks of secret-keepers given charge over them. The government secrecy industry speaks in a private language of codes and acronyms, and follows an arcane set of rules and customs designed to perpetuate itself, repel penetration, and deflect oversight. It justifies itself with the assertion that the American values worth preserving are often best sustained by subterfuge and deception.
Deep State tells the inside story of how state secrets are created, why they get leaked, and what the government is currently hiding. It explains how the American secrecy apparatus works, unveils the largely unknown key players and agencies, and explores the dangerous trend of weaponizing secrets for political warfare.
- Publisher : Wiley; 1st edition (April 1, 2013)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 336 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1118146689
- ISBN-13 : 978-1118146682
- Item Weight : 1.25 pounds
- Dimensions : 6.7 x 1.2 x 9.6 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #2,072,696 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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IMO the origins of the DEEP STATE lie with the creation of the NUCLEAR PRIESTHOOD. That culture well documented until about 1960 but since operates largely undocumented in open source materials. As to nuclear weapons strategy and discussion IMO Lee Butler's
writing may be of interest. Few of the BOOMER PRESIDENT's really have taken the time to learn about nuclear weapons or perhaps they lacked competence. I postulate that those nation-states with nuclear ordnance and the ability to deploy them will be the only nation-states that survive into the next [22nd] Century because for many reasons the nation-state system largely derived to control warfare driven by religion since the Treaties of Westphalia  is breaking down for many reasons.
It is also clear that nation-states have survived on their organization of violence into a uniformed military. The DEEP STATE may or may not support a uniformed military and thus a classic Westphalian nation-state, or it [the DEEP STATE] may not do so. What is clear is that existing largely without oversight, and in its pretensions that it is the guardian of government from the people, by the people, and for the people the DEEP STATE could care less the form of government it serves.
There are differences between NATIONALISM and PATRIOTISM and it remains to be seen whether the DEEP STATE's membership knows the difference.
This book in somewhat scattered fashion provides some documentation but it avoids identifying the FIRST PRINCIPLES of the DEEP STATE. Number one being we [the members] know best and are always right!
Respectfully disagree with the author's conclusion that primarily due to Social Media the DEEP STATE can no longer keep a seccret!
The open-dirty-secret secrecy industry exposed in Deep State is as rouged as war harlotry, as venal as political campaigns, as crass as high-brass military coins, as formulaicly vulgar as thanking troops for service, as duplicitous as veterans' filthy hospitals and always delayed, cropped and denied benefits.
Top leaders lust for secretly sharing means and methods to exploit the bottom, so gather to swap kisses with PR whores in Aspen, Bilderberg and Davos. They serve on secrecy-slathered advisory boards of governments, rotate through government offices, eroticize military contracting officers with promises of future triple-dipping benefits.
Read Deep State to be informed, galvanized and bold-heartened to raise the black flag, commence cutting throats of secretkeepers.
The chapter on Wikileaks reads like state dept and Pentagon spin and are we surprised that the New York Times went into a serious dialogue with these agencies in a pre emptive self censorship role? And if as is the theme of this chapter, Julian Assange's assertions were "fairly modest" (the title of the chapter) the authors might like to explain why the US authorities have got themselves into such a tantrum and gone to so much trouble to have Assange arrested and expedited , and Corporal Manning under solitary confinement.The contradictions of what is happening on the ground bear little relationship to the book's narrative.
This disconnect became even more apparent when in the Chapter "Vital Information" I read what must be one of the great reconstructions of historical fact,when the JSOC under the now discredited Stanley McChrystal, didn't know about the extent of enhanced interrogation under his watch and despite all evidence to the contrary neither did the senior Bush officials! Tell that to the victims of this squalid barbaric behaviour by US security personnel and especially the JSOC.
Subsequent chapters also focusing on the JSOC, border on obsequious, despite it being coined as the "President's private army" and engaged in murderous global covert activities which have a eerie parallel with those they label as terrorists.The prose of the JSOC"s role in Iraq is brazen partisan chest beating. It seems these authors have no knowledge of international affairs that made the USA a global pariah with its illegal inviasion there.Ask Tony Blair.
This pattern of "spin reconstruction of history" has become worrying when again in defiance of well established historical fact, I read in the chapter "The Horrors book", that the CIA had nothing to do with the torture and death of the Congo's first elected Prime Minister Practice Lumumba, following an outrageous history of colonial plunder,rape, murder and pillage by the Belgiums. I've been the graveside of Practice Lumumba and spent some time in the Congo under the CIA supported awful late despot, Mobutu. For the authors to assert that the CIA had nothing to do with this defies well documented historical fact and again shows the writers disdain for accuracy and impartiality.Even Jeremy Scahill whose testimony is highlighted on the back cover, contradict's these author's spurious claims.
This is the second book by American authors I've bought because of the favourable testimony of other authors (Bergen and Scahill) whose books and respect I have, only to be badly let down. It seems a cozy club of US security intelligence writers exists in some mutual back scatch, regardless of the quality of their literature.Something that Scahill confirms in his book "Dirty Wars" where he describes co author Marc Ambinder as " as journalist with very close ties to to the Obama adminstration's national security team".