Shadow Government: Surveillance, Secret Wars, and a Global Security State in a Single-Superpower World

Shadow Government: Surveillance, Secret Wars, and a Global Security State in a Single-Superpower World

Tom Engelhardt, Glenn Greenwald

Language: English

Pages: 200

ISBN: 1608463656

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

In 1964, a book entitled The Invisible Government shocked Americans with its revelations of a growing world of intelligence agencies playing fast and loose around the planet, a secret government lodged inside the one they knew that even the president didn't fully control. Almost half a century later, everything about that "invisible government" has grown vastly larger, more disturbing, and far more visible. In his new book, Tom Engelhardt takes in something new under the sun: what is no longer, as in the 1960s, a national security state, but a global security one, fighting secret wars that have turned the president into an assassin-in-chief. Shadow Government offers a powerful survey of a democracy of the wealthy that your grandparents wouldn't have recognized.

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news in 2014 about the president’s plan to “end” the NSA’s gathering of phone metadata (or at least turn it over to the phone companies) and Congress’s version of the same—with the devil in the future small print—Paul Waldman made an important point at the Washington Post: the larger urge of the national security state to listen in on and gather the communications of everyone everywhere on the planet hasn’t changed a bit. Waldman wrote: Assuming some version of these proposals passes Congress

insurgents. The CIA and its expanding paramilitary forces are capable of kidnapping people of interest just about anywhere, from rural Macedonia to the streets of Rome and Tripoli. For its many prisoners, it has set up (and dismantled) secret jails across the planet and on its naval vessels. It spends more on its military than the next most powerful thirteen states combined. Add in the spending for its full national security state and it towers over any conceivable group of other nations. In

a single-superpower world. Its main symptom: the belief in the possibility of controlling the planet not just through staggering military might but also through informational and surveillance omniscience and omnipotence. In these years, the urge to declare a global war on communications, create a force capable of launching wars in cyberspace, and storm the e-beaches of the Internet and the global information system proved overwhelming. The idea was to make it impossible for anyone to communicate

They happen because they can’t help but happen, because they are engraved in the policy DNA of our national security complex, and can evidently no longer be altered. In other words, they can’t help themselves. That’s the only logical conclusion in a world where it has become ever less imaginable to do the obvious, which is far less or nothing at all. Downsizing the mission? Inconceivable. Thinking the unthinkable? Don’t even give it a thought! America as a Shining Drone Upon a Hill Here’s

construction of Guantánamo and the creation of “black sites” from Poland to Thailand—the president’s own private offshore prison system—followed naturally, as did the creation of his own privately sanctioned form of (in)justice and punishment, a torture regime. At the same time, they began expanding the realm of presidentially ordered “covert” military operations (most of which were, in the end, well publicized)—from drone wars to the deployment of special operations forces. These were signposts

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