Written by Marc Ambinder, D.B. Grady
Publication Date: April 1, 2013 | ISBN-10: 1118146689 | ISBN-13: 978-1118146682 | Edition: 1
There is a hidden country within the United States. It was formed from the astonishing number of secrets held by the government and the growing 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.
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.
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.
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