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Deep State: Inside the Government Secrecy Industry

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3.72  ·  Rating details ·  94 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
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, an ...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published April 1st 2013 by Wiley (first published February 14th 2013)
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David W Brown
Feb 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I love this book. Is it the book of the year? No—it's the book of the decade.

(But I'm also the coauthor so I'm probably biased. I think you should buy a copy and find out for yourself. In fact, buy two copies just to be really sure.)
Randall Wallace
Jun 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Easily the most complex book I’ve read since Lori Wallach’s “Whose Trade Organization?” This book reveals the entire US Deep State apparatus that stubbornly chooses to spy on the American people instead of the bad guys – What are the components of the Deep State and what do they each do? The overall role of the Deep State is to control people and thus dissent and knowing about it’s role in detail helps Americans who don’t enjoy being controlled to actually think of maybe disagreeing with it. Our ...more
Adam Rosenbaum
Apr 16, 2014 rated it liked it
Interesting take on the politics of secrets and the culture that makes it a tradeable currency. Will frighten some as to the liberties the NSA and the dozens of other secret agencies enact to collect data, all in the name of defense. Authors do a good job of identifying how data is collected and analyzed and by whom, and how different branches of government view the legality of intercepting the data. It also paints an often, decidedly, dysfunctional government that is incapable of keeping secret ...more
Robert
Jan 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent read on the contours and depths of the security apparatus of the U.S. Government. Ambinder details why the large scope and scale of the intelligence and secrecy community makes it more difficult to keep secrets, and the tension that exists between the press and the government in revealing secret information. It's also a good reference book for various secret covernames of government programs.
Mckinley
Mar 15, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, gov, history
Knowing there are state secrets is helpful. The question I am concerned with, however, is how the state is using that information and the object of the secrets.
Stephen
Dec 18, 2013 rated it liked it
This is fast becoming my favorite type of journalism: the ephemeral historical nonfiction. No one will read or talk about this book in 10 years, because its content is tailored to today's issues. But that's OK; it's a good overall picture of where we are now in terms of government secrecy and the intelligence community.

Actually, it already seems out of date, because although it was published after the Snowden disclosures of summer 2013, it doesn't mention them at all--my assumption is that the t
...more
Trevan Hetzel
Oct 08, 2014 rated it it was ok
A pretty boring book in my opinion. There's just a lot of acronyms and terms and departments that makes it pretty difficult to keep track of everything. I was expecting to read this and get some great insight into the corruptness of the US government and scandals that go on, but had to skim a bit just to get past the setups and into the good (although still pretty boring) bits. There were a couple interesting chapters (the Area 51 chapter was probably the most interesting to me), but the rest ju ...more
Tim Ervolina
Apr 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Ambinder and Grady provide a clear-eyed view of the American security apparatus and the apparatchik that runs it. There is good news here: the US intelligence services are neither as scary nor as effective as they could be. Civil libertarians should rejoice. Still, considering how much we spend on this somewhat unseemly portion of our national defense, we should have better results. And as the US ponders whether or not to invade yet another Middle Eastern nation, tottering on the edge of collaps ...more
Patricia L.
Jun 05, 2013 rated it liked it
I was impressed by much of the research, but did not enjoy some of the sensationalist-type claims which belong better to a newspaper "rag". Even bringing up Area 51 seemed to be a maneuver to attract the loony-tunes crowd to buy the book.

I'm certainly not dismissing the book and all its wonderful stories, it's just that I don't like the government's attempts at secrecy to be scorned when the safety of millions is at stake. If the Chinese are stealing our Defense secrets, we obviously face a cri
...more
Jennifer
I found this book to be both fascinating and even-handed; though the authors are open about acknowledging the failures of the U.S.'s current secrecy system, at the same time they point out the importance of having some means of keeping secrets. Ranging from the Cold War to the present War on Terror, it covers a lot of ground. The authors clearly did their research, and the result is well worth reading.
Michele
Oct 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I didn't think I was going to like this book...but I did. It helps provide a more rounded view of how government works. Our government has been managing secrets, institutionally, for more than a hundred years. There is no transparent accounting of this part of the government budget. This book gives us just a peak inside.
Sam
Mar 28, 2013 rated it liked it
An interesting, if overly detailed, overview of the growth of the American secrecy community. Could have used a touch more synthesis throughout and the author comes across as a bit of an apologist, but worth the read.
Paula
May 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Excellent writing by a pentagon whistle blower on the continuance of the Vietnam war.
Mike
Apr 29, 2014 rated it liked it
Interesting to say the least!
Vasil Kolev
Mar 21, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: history, politics
I expected a lot more from the book. A lot of it was boring "patriotic" drivel, with some interesting information here and there.
Kristine
Jun 03, 2013 rated it liked it
Pretty good, especially the first half. Got a little fuzzy in the second half; still, enjoyable and interesting.
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