- Paperback: 312 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press; Reprint edition (December 15, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0190663995
- ISBN-13: 978-0190663995
- Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 1 x 5.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #220,797 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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National Security and Double Government Reprint Edition
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"To Michael J Glennon, in National Security and Double Government, . . . no matter who is elected to run White House and Congress, they are puppets of a permanent apparatus. In less capable hands, Glennon's thesis might come across as sophomoric. Yet as a scholar who worked on Capitol Hill for years, Glennon is that rare thing: an academic with real world experience. Instead of a rupture between George W Bush and Obama, Glennon sees remarkable continuity. Towards the end of his presidency, Bush was asked what most surprised him about the job. 'How little authority I have,' he said. That is also what people say about Obama." -Edward Luce, Financial Times
"Mr. Glennon smartly points out that while lawmakers aren't experts in social policy, education, economics and countless other areas subject to legislation, it is only in the realm of national security and intelligence that they surrender the reins of power. This is a powerful part of his argument: The lack of oversight means there is neither check nor balance on how our national-security policies are implemented or on how they are created in the first place." -Ali Soufan, The Wall Street Journal
"Glennon's book is not a breezy read: It's thick with fact and not unappreciative of conundrum. Nor is he glib with proposed solutions: to adequately respond to the threats posed by a below-the-radar second government will require. But if Glennon's book is enlightening it is also scary. And it's not fiction." -Mickey Edwards, The Boston Globe
"Glennon has written a unique book that stands out among the collection of post-9/11 works for the way it lashes historical trends to the most contemporary problems of government secrecy, power and overreach in a highly readable way. I underlined passages on just about every page and can't wait to reread it. The 'ah ha!' moments are endless." -Dana Priest, The Washington Post
"Michael Glennon's book is important precisely because it pulls back the curtain to reveal the realities of the largely unconstrained U.S. national security state. In doing so, Glennon's analysis shows how the national security apparatus is a threat to the very freedoms its inhabitants and supporters purport to protect." -Christopher J. Coyne, Public Choice
"Glennon's argument is powerful and troubling. Whatever the exact diagnosis of a problem that is clearly multidimensional, Glennon is devastating in his critique of Congressional weakness in checking Executive actions and overseeing military and intelligence agencies. Whether or not it helps resuscitate American democracy or serves as an autopsy on its demise, Double Government is essential reading." - Clifford Bob, New Rambler
"If constitutional government is to endure in the United States, Americans must confront the fundamental challenges presented by this chilling analysis of the national security state." -Bruce Ackerman, Yale University
"Shrewdly updating Walter Bagehot's theory of 'double government,' Michael Glennon shows how present-day Washington really works. In our faux democracy, those we elect to govern serve largely ornamental purposes, while those who actually wield power, especially in the realm of national security, do so chiefly with an eye toward preserving their status and prerogatives. Read this incisive and richly documented book, and you'll understand why." -Andrew J. Bacevich, Boston University
"Taking a leaf from Walter Bagehot's thesis of dual government in Britain, Michael Glennon has transported the concept of 'double government' to the United States analyzing the constitutional institutions, or what he calls the 'Madisonian' side; and a cohort of several hundred senior military, diplomatic, and intelligence officials who run the daily business of national security, or what he calls the 'Trumanite' side. This explains the relatively little difference between the Bush 43 and the Obama presidencies. In this brilliant, deeply researched book, Glennon spells out the relation of his overall thesis to contemporary issues such as the Snowden revelations." -Charles G. Cogan, Harvard Kennedy School
"His answer is altogether darker and more radical than you'd reasonably expect from a former Senate Foreign Relations Committee legal counsel and current international law professor at Tufts. Glennon argues, in essence, that the national security state has become a runaway train and that presidential elections are contests that determine who gets to pretend he's driving." -Gene Healy, Cato Institute
"Michael Glennon has written a brilliant book that helps explain why U.S. foreign policy changes so little over time, despite frequent failure. Barack Obama certainly promised to fundamentally alter America's approach to the world, but little changed after he took office. Glennon shows how the underlying national security bureaucracy in Washington - what might be called the deep state - ensures that presidents and their successors act on the world stage like Tweedledee and Tweedledum." -John J. Mearsheimer, University of Chicago
"In this timely book Michael Glennon provides a compelling argument that America's national security policy is growing outside the bounds of existing government institutions. This is at once a constitutional challenge, but is also a case study in how national security can change government institutions, create new ones, and, in effect, stand-up a parallel state. This is a well-argued book of academic import and policy relevance. It is recommended reading for an informed debate on an issue of great significance." -Vali Nasr, Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies
"National Security and Double Government is an important and insightful book. It should be read by anyone concerned that Obama's national security policies differ so little from those of the Bush Administration, and by every in-coming President and her staff." -Morton H. Halperin, Senior Advisor, Open Society Foundations
"Michael Glennon's National Security and Double Government explains why U.S. foreign policy is prone to recurring failure and resistant to genuine reform. Instead of being responsive to citizens or subject to effective checks and balances, U.S. national security policy is in fact conducted by a shadow government of bureaucrats and a supporting network of think tanks, media insiders, and ambitious policy wonks. Presidents may come and go, but the permanent national security establishment inevitably defeats their efforts to chart a new course. Gracefully written and extensively researched, this book is the most penetrating analysis of U.S. foreign policy that I have read in years." -Stephen M. Walt, Harvard Kennedy School
"National Security and Double Government is brilliant, deep, sad, and vastly learned across multiple fields--a work of Weberian power and stature. It deserves to be read and discussed. The book raises philosophical questions in the public sphere in a way not seen at least since Fukuyama's end of history." -David A. Westbrook, Del Cotto Professor, SUNY Buffalo Law School
"My favorite nonfiction book this year is National Security and Double Government by Michael J. Glennon, which argues that the president and Congress are largely figureheads in setting U.S. national security policy." -Tom Jackson, Sandusky Register
"In his provocative new book, National Security and Double Government, he [Glennon] analyzes political developments after World War II that should be of great interest to those who follow constitutional law." -Lou Fisher, The Federal Lawyer
National Security and Double Government is a well-written and researched work. The author eloquently states his case with support from numerous examples, quotes, and case studies from past political, military, and judicial personnel. Overall, this book provides an important and timely contribution to the current political discourse." -George Washington International Law Review
"Michael Glennon is a respected scholar; his book is objective and nonideological; and his contentions and conclusions are carefully documented and corroborated." -David S. D'Amato, The Future of Freedom Foundation
"It is refreshing to read a book or article that avoids optimistic but unachievable normative proposals. Glennon's book neatly captures a real phenomenon in the national security arena: executive-branch experts have significant, and sometimes unchecked, power to make critical policy decisions that are hard to unwind."-AJIL, Ashley Deeks, University of Virginia School of Law
"Michael Glennon's book is important precisely because it pulls back the curtain to reveal the realities of the largely unconstrained U.S. national security state. In doing so, Glennon's analysis shows how the national security apparatus is a threat to the very freedoms its inhabitants and supporters purport to protect." - Christopher J. Coyne, Public Choice
About the Author
Michael J. Glennon is Professor of International Law at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University. Before going into teaching, he was the Legal Counsel to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He co-authored Foreign Affairs Federalism: The Myth of National Exclusivity (with Robert D. Sloane, Oxford, 2016). He also co-authored Foreign Relations and National Security Law, and he is the author of Constitutional Diplomacy, among other books. His op-ed pieces have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, International Herald-Tribune, Financial Times, and Frankfurt Allgemeine Zeitung. He lives in Concord, Massachusetts, with his wife and son.
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Top Customer Reviews
Michael J. Glennon set out to answer this question in his unsettling new book, National Security and Double Government. And he clearly dislikes what he found.
The answer, Glennon discovered, is that the US government is divided between the three official branches of the government, on the one hand — the “Madisonian” institutions incorporated into the Constitution — and the several hundred unelected officials who do the real work of a constellation of military and intelligence agencies, on the other hand. These officials, called “Trumanites” in Glennon’s parlance for having grown out of the national security infrastructure established under Harry Truman, make the real decisions in the area of national security. (To wage the Cold War, Truman created the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Department of Defense, the CIA, the NSA, and the National Security Council.) “The United States has, in short,” Glennon writes, “moved beyond a mere imperial presidency to a bifurcated system — a structure of double government — in which even the President now exercises little substantive control over the overall direction of U.S. national security policy. . . . The perception of threat, crisis, and emergency has been the seminal phenomenon that has created and nurtures America’s double government.” If Al Qaeda hadn’t existed, the Trumanite network would have had to create it — and, Glennon seems to imply, might well have done so.
The Trumanites wield their power with practiced efficiency, using secrecy, exaggerated threats, peer pressure to conform, and the ability to mask the identity of the key decision-maker as their principal tools.
Michael J. Glennon comes to this task with unexcelled credentials. A professor of international law at Tufts and former legal counsel for the Senate Armed Services Committee, he came face to face on a daily basis with the “Trumanites” he writes about. National Security and Double Government is exhaustively researched and documented: notes constitute two-thirds of this deeply disturbing little book.
The more I learn about how politics and government actually work — and I’ve learned a fair amount in my 73 years — the more pessimistic I become about the prospects for democracy in America. In some ways, this book is the most worrisome I’ve read over the years, because it implies that there is no reason whatsoever to think that things can ever get better. In other words, to borrow a phrase from the Borg on Star Trek, “resistance is futile.” That’s a helluva takeaway, isn’t it?
On reflection, what comes most vividly to mind is a comment from the late Chalmers Johnson on a conference call in which I participated several years ago. Johnson, formerly a consultant to the CIA and a professor at two campuses of the University of California (Berkeley and later San Diego), was the author of many books, including three that awakened me to many of the issues Michael Glennon examines: Blowback, The Sorrows of Empire, and Nemesis. Johnson, who was then nearly 80 and in declining health, was asked by a student what he would recommend for young Americans who want to combat the menace of the military-industrial complex. “Move to Vancouver,” he said.
The mounting evidence notwithstanding, I just hope it hasn’t come to that.
On the half of the problem that is within our government, where William Binney has summed it up nicely -- the bureaucrats live to keep the problems alive and the money moving, this book is now the new gold standard, and Bravo Zulu for that. It does, not, unfortunately, point the way toward how we might restore the US Constitution, Article 1 particularly, and re-establish integrity across the three branches of government, each subverted by religious, ideologicial, and financial treason not adequately addressed by this book -- hence the reduction to four stars.
The index is most helpful in confirming what I consider a form of "slight of hand." This is a book that has the best of intentions and stellar scholarship in its focus on one narrow aspect of why US foreign policy is criminally insane, but it obscures, with stunning nonchalance, the deeper pathologies of how the US Government is managed of, by, and for the 1%; with two specific foreign countries -- Israel and Saudi Arabia -- having catastrophically pernicious influence on our policies and how we spend the taxpayer dollar.
The author's focus on NSA surveillance is a compelling contribution. I was among those who tried to tell Mike Hayden he was in violation of the Constitution, and I know Bamford and Binney and Drake and admire them all -- Snowden leaves me confused -- at first I thought he was a first class Chinese op now I wonder if he is a White House sanctioned CIA slam on NSA's going one blackmail op too far -- but I embrace Snowden's outcomes as useful. NSA and CIA and USDI are out of control. I applaud the author's focus on excessive secrecy -- I testified on this point to the Moynihan Commission both publicly and privately in the Senator's office. The bottom line, however, is that none of this would persist if we had an honest Executive, an honest Legislature, and an honest Judiciary.
In my view, the Executive was neutralized when John F. Kennedy was assassinated by a mix of LBJ and Hoover and private sector interests along with Israel (Rabin was in Dallas as was George Bush Senior, at the time a CIA proprietary officer -- CIA Office of Technical Services probably provided the Secret Service credentials that allowed Hunt and the others to escape). The question we have to ask is this: is CIA, immortalized by Col Fletcher Prouty The Secret Team: The CIA and Its Allies in Control of the United States and the World truly corrupt as an institution, or does it have elements, as I have written elsewhere ("Seven CIA's") that are directly responsive to Wall Street, to the Nazi Hydra, and to the Mafia as well as the Catholic Church, Saudi Arabia, and Zionist Israel? If the FBI were a serious organization, I would not have to be asking this question.
Congress was neutralized by Newt Gingrich when he destroyed Speaker Jim Wright, a story told in The Ambition and the Power: The Fall of Jim Wright: A True Story of Washington. That was when Article 1 was dumped and the two-party tyranny took over, turning all "Members" into foot-soldiers for party voting sold to the highest bidder -- as of last week, 42 specifically identified billionaires led by the Koch brothers. We no longer have a government, we have hired hands doing the bidding of a very small class of very wealthy individuals, and the public is so blinded by lazy academics, pontificating think tank pundits, and down-right corrupt media personalities, that we can reasonably consider -- as Princton recently concluded -- that democracy does not exist in the USA today.
The Judiciary was finally neutralized at the Supreme Court level by Justice Powell and the US Chamber of Commerce after a 25 year campaign culminating in CIITZEN's UNITED.
I note the author's appreciation for Amy Zegart's work -- we are indeed in a fix big or don't fix at all situation -- but he is missing the larger point: the out of control bureaucracy is not the problem, the problem is the out of touch citizenry. Absent Electoral Reform and the restoration of integrity to our electoral process and our government, we will continue to be a criminal state not because the bureaucrats want it that way -- millions of good people trapped in a bad system -- but because the 1% both at home and abroad want it that way. We have been captured. Washington is not in friendly hands and it is in constant betrayal of the public trust with the active and persistent approval of many of the author's key membership institutions, the Council on Foreign Relations among them.
Here are a few other books to balance this one.
The American Deep State: Wall Street, Big Oil, and the Attack on U.S. Democracy (War and Peace Library)
The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic (The American Empire Project)
Killing Hope: U.S. Military and C.I.A. Interventions Since World War II--Updated Through 2003
Confessions of an Economic Hit Man
Shadow Government: Surveillance, Secret Wars, and a Global Security State in a Single-Superpower World
Griftopia: A Story of Bankers, Politicians, and the Most Audacious Power Grab in American History
Pay Any Price: Greed, Power, and Endless War
Washington is not the heart, soul, or brain of the Republic -- it is at best the arms and legs, the base of the tentacles with global reach. Most troubling to me is that this excellent book feeds the cultural disposition to blame the bureaucrats rather than Goldman Sachs, George Soros, the Koch Brothers, and others whose greed outside the government is vastly more responsible for the sorry state of affairs than any irresponsible spend-thrift bureaucrat.
Best wishes to all,
Robert David STEELE Vivas
OPEN POWER: Electoral Reform Act of 2015 - Open Source Activists' Toolkit
It's not perfect: he makes a bit of a straw man argument when discussing alternatives to his theory, and occasionally the evidence he cites doesn't support his point very well. That said, his analysis of how our national security apparatus came to be what it is, and the incentives that cause the institutions to behave the way they do, is fascinating and very thorough.
Overall I found it to be a real eye-opener and would recommend enthusiastically to anyone.
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