Review (Guest): Lords of Secrecy – The National Security Elite and America’s Stealth Warfare

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Scott Horton

5 out of 5 Stars.

Excessive control that is out of control . . .

By Still Singin’ on February 16, 2015

LORDS OF SECRECY is one of the finest books I’ve read on national security “creep.” Scott Horton manages to retain at least some distance from obvious bias, but some of the information he lays out would cause any legitimate American citizen clenched teeth and a few well-placed emphatic comments.

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Mar 5

Review: National Insecurity – American Leadership in an Age of Fear

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David Rothkopf

4.0 out of 5 stars SUPERB Conclusion–Has Flaws But Still a Strong Contribution, February 25, 2015

Wow. I have met the author and I gave an earlier book of his, Running the World: The Inside Story of the National Security Council and the Architects of American Power a strong review, but I was not expecting the deep common sense and pragmatic observations that conclude this book. There are many aspects of our insecurity that the author is not willing to address — notably the deep corruption of our political system and undue influence by foreign “allies” that are in fact enemies but that pales in light of his deep evaluation of how badly we are doing as a government. There are many flaws in the author’s arguments better covered by Reviewer Frank J. Wassermann, I put this down to the author trying too hard to not completely alienate all the mandarins he still meets for lunch and at evening events. I embrace most of Reviewer Wasserman’s comments but still give the book four stars instead of his two.

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Feb 25

Review (Guest): The End of Intelligence

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David Tucker

2 Stars Half-Baked Intelligence

The author of this book, David Tucker, appears to be one of those folks whose careers have often put them on the fringes of the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC), but who have only superficially been involved in any aspect of intelligence production. Tucker compounds this deficiency by an unwillingness to either research or reflect seriously on his chosen subject. The goal of this book presumably is to demonstrate the dynamic relationships between intelligence, the power of nation states, and the so-called information age. Because Tucker is unwilling to really think through what he means by these terms, the book utterly fails to achieve this goal.

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Feb 2

Review: The End of Intelligence – Espionage and State Power in the Information Age

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David Tucker

3.0 out of 5 stars A poor thesis, rotten sources, with no quality control in the literature review, January 27, 2015

This is a hugely disappointing book. It reads like a graduate thesis badly overseen (with zero in the way of serious literature search). While the author has some experience in the foreign service (perhaps in the clandestine service) and as an action officer and minor manager in the Pentagon bureaucracy responsible for Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict, he knows little about intelligence in all its complexity, less about the information revolution, and nothing at all across 80% of the relevant literatures he fails to discover or cite.

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Jan 28