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 mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $4.67 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
Top Secret America: The Rise of the New American Security State Hardcover – September 6, 2011
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
"One of the many strengths of Top Secret America is that Priest and Arkin take nothing for granted. They ask basic, even faux- naïve questions about the purpose, accountability, and effectiveness of the acronym soup of covert programs, companies, and Pentagon commands created or expanded after September 11. Their analysis is neither naïve about the threat posed by al-Qaeda and similar groups, nor credulous about the generals, spies, and bureaucrats who have so dramatically expanded the country's defenses in response to September 11."―Steve Coll, New York Review of Books
"This is an invaluable book, a breathtaking investigative account of America's vast new secret world...it offers an indispensable guide to anyone who worries about the explosive growth of what the authors call America's terrorism-industrial complex since September 11th....Priest and Arkin explain better than Congress ever has the staggering waste and ineptitude that inevitably has followed."―Bob Drogin, Los Angeles Times
"Priest and Arkin fully flesh out how the Byzantine security maze actually works, breaking down its components....The authors' arguments are compelling."―Lydia DePillis, Washington City Paper
"The book is far more ambitious than was the [Washington Post] series...and makes the team's investigation available in detail to those of us who live beyond the Beltway....Since Priest and Arkin themselves lack security clearances, part of the interest of their book is how they acquired so much secret information."―Richard Rhodes, The Washington Post
"Priest and Arkin blow the whistle on how, since 9/11 and the adoption of the Patriot Act, the government and its contractors use classification and security screens to conceal expenditures that have failed to enhance national security...This is an important book."―Publishers Weekly
About the Author
Dana Priest is an investigative reporter for The Washington Post. She has won numerous awards, including the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for public service for "The Other Walter Reed" and the 2006 Pulitzer for beat reporting for her work on CIA secret prisons and counterterrorism operations overseas. She is the author of The Mission: Waging War and Keeping Peace with America's Military.
William M. Arkin has been a columnist and reporter with The Washington Post since 1998. He has worked on the subject of government secrecy and national security affairs for more than 30 years. He has authored or co-authored more than a dozen books about the U.S. military and national security.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Those purchasing this book expecting to find exposures of corruption and other villainies will be doomed to disappointment. The story Priest and Arkin paint is rather one of numerous examples of well meaning, patriotic people desperately trying to fight what until recently was called the `the Global War on Terrorism' without a clue as to how to go about it. Millions of dollars have been ignorantly wasted in creating new organizations, the purchase of exotic hardware and software, and in the creation of far reaching programs all under the rubric of `Counter-Terrorism'. Because there has been no single authority guiding this growth, agencies and programs have tended to overlap and even duplicate each other. Because of misplaced secrecy one agency will spend millions on a project that duplicates what another agency is already doing.
This general confusion has been exacerbated by the extensive use of private contractors, indeed of the over 800 hundred thousand persons who hold security clearances in this country over 200 hundred thousand are contractor personal. Again most contractors are not the venal crooks that are often portrayed by journalists and writers who ought to know better. Although Priest and Arkin did not go into it, contractors in the secret world usually provide three types of services: 1) collection and analysis services which some in the U.S, Intelligence Community do not think are core intelligence functions; 2) the design of information systems or collection systems that will improve the speed and efficiency of intelligence production in agencies that have contracted for their services; and 3) operating what are considered specialty functions such as the IT infrastructure management. Contractors are also used in smaller numbers to fulfill a host of other roles with varying degrees of success. The use of contractors no matter how well qualified for their missions has clearly added to the uncontrolled expansion of the secret world.
Priest and Arkin in the best Washington Post tradition report on this uncontrolled growth of the Secret World, but do not pass judgment on it except in the most obvious cases of duplication of effort and clear cut waste. Yet if the reader is attentive it is obvious that most of the uncontrolled growth of secret world that they so accurately report on could have been prevented had the U.S. Government actually developed a coherent counter-terrorism strategy that could have guided an effective response to the threats posed by al Qaeda specifically and terrorism in general.
The Iraq war based on a defectors lie so we got to spend trillions of dollars on a war we thought was fighting evil.
I thought the book was interesting and it just showed you how our government waste money on programs that duplicate themselves, it's incredible.
I thought this comment on page 136 was interesting they said that "Napolitano and many in the Obama administration believe that the next iteration of terrorism to hit the United States would be attacked by disinfected immigrants" hmmmmmmmm
Lots more of interesting things in the book, I highlight when I read a book, and it's just too many highlights to talk about.
Dana Priest has the skill to make even complex government rules and contracts easily understood and knows when to break up what could be dry explanations with quotes and compelling anecdotes. (Wonder what the hold up was with White House approval in Zero Dark Thirty? The other side of the scenario is laid out in this book.)
Compellingly written with an abundance of detailed footnotes, Priest has done a masterful job with this book. Unreservedly recommended.
What are the consequences of privatizing National Security?
If National Security was grounds for abuse ever since the National Security Act of 1947, as we approached Y2K the rate of abuse simply became uncontrollable. We still don't know the consequences of this; we might not know for decades.
We do know, however, that the bulk of our personal information - including our most personal correspondence - is firmly in the hands of corporations which are working side-by-side with the National Security State. Some people don't care, but I suspect this is only so because most don't understand the implications of feeding a "big data" computer with every personal information possible.
850,000 people hold Top Secret clearances. That is partly what is moving the US economy forward, but the people must be very careful in case they want to survive beyond 2020. This book gives you some weapons for this survival.