Bill Arkin: “Top Secret America” + Tim Shorrock: Why did it take them 7 years to do this story?

Dandelion Salad

Democracy Now!
July 19, 2010

“Top Secret America” Washington Post Investigation Reveals Massive, Unmanageable, Outsourced US Intelligence System

An explosive investigative series published in the Washington Post today begins, “The top-secret world the government created in response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, has become so large, so unwieldy and so secretive that no one knows how much money it costs, how many people it employs, how many programs exist within it or exactly how many agencies do the same work.” Among the findings: An estimated 854,000 people hold top-secret security clearances. More than 1,200 government organizations and nearly 2,000 private companies work on programs related to counterterrorism, homeland security and intelligence in 10,000 locations. We speak with one of the co-authors of the series, Bill Arkin. [includes rush transcript]

William Arkin, columnist and reporter with the Washington Post. He is co-author of the investigative series, “Top Secret America:

via “Top Secret America” _Washington Post_ Investigation Reveals Massive, Unmanageable, Outsourced US Intelligence System

Tim Shorrock Asks Why It Took the Washington Post So Long to Investigate the US Intelligence System

“With all due respect to the Washington Post—and Dana Priest and Bill Arkin are very good reporters—we have to ask, why did it take them seven years to do this story?” says Tim Shorrock, an investigative journalist and author of Spies for Hire: The Secret World of Intelligence Outsourcing. “Anyone who’s been covering intelligence or national security in Washington knows that intelligence has been privatized to an incredible extent.” [includes rush transcript]

via Tim Shorrock Asks Why It Took the _Washington Post_ So Long to Investigate the US Intelligence System

StartLoving3 | July 19, 2010

From the archives:

Are You a “Perfect Citizen”? by Tom Burghardt

Peter Dale Scott: Continuity of Government Planning

Big Brother FBI: Data-Mining Programs Resurrect “Total Information Awareness” by Tom Burghardt

Obama’s Cybersecurity Plan – Bring in the Contractors! by Tom Burghardt

Private Spies: The Secret World of Intelligence Outsourcing

See also:

Corporate Media Discover Private Spies. In Other News, No WMD in Iraq | The Nation – by Jeremy Scahill

28 thoughts on “Bill Arkin: “Top Secret America” + Tim Shorrock: Why did it take them 7 years to do this story?

  1. Pingback: Will Griffin: Origins of the Modern Surveillance State – Dandelion Salad

  2. Pingback: Julian Assange Responds to Increasing US Government Attacks on WikiLeaks « Dandelion Salad

  3. Pingback: What the Tea Party has in common with the rest of us By Nikki Alexander « Dandelion Salad

  4. Pingback: 92,000 Reasons to Get Out of Afghanistan and Pakistan – Pick One by Dennis Kucinich « Dandelion Salad

  5. Pingback: Betrayed by Obama and the Democrats by Bruce Gagnon « Dandelion Salad

  6. Pingback: Afghanistan war logs: Massive leak of secret files exposes truth of occupation + Interview with Julian Assange « Dandelion Salad

  7. Pingback: Bill Arkin: “Top Secret America” + Tim Shorrock: Why did it take them 7 years to do this story? (via Dandelion Salad) « OntheWilderSide

  8. What an amazing journalist, William Arkin! How brave and persevering he and Dana Priest! Reminds me of the “who” in true America: Honest, hard-working, thorough–motivated by PRINCIPLE not MONEY!

    Arkin uses the term “Map of America” in identifying the scads of buildings being erected to house these national security “operatives.” Three towers fell and how many have now replaced them?!? The symbolism is horrifying!

    Exactly what purpose is behind all this layering? I’m getting the feeling that physical combat in countless other countries is a camouflage for the real agenda–a vying for world power-over, not harmonious living WITH all–the latter, my heart’s desire to which I will continue to live my one life.

  9. The point he’s making is really silly. His book was published in 2008. Why did it take him so long to do the story? Just a dumb argument and detracts from the issues at hand.

  10. Give me a break. Who cares who broke it and when. Tim Shorrock sounds like a jilted over. “Oh, they didn’t give me credit. Poor me.” Everyone knows the Post was late with this. Anyone who has driven the parkway in Maryland can see it. Doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have done it. Dana Priest, I’ll remind you, was busy writing about blacksites and Walter Reed. I guess Shorrock wants credit for those stories, too?
    By the way, as much as Shorrock would hate to admit it, his reporting doesn’t come close to providing the depth of data that the Post has put out there. I’ve read his book and his articles in Mother Jones/Slate.
    Get over the media bashing and start focusing on the issues raised in the story — and, yes, Shorrock’s reporting from years back. We should be applauding the body of work that shows how out of control this system has become instead of tearing down the Post for its timing.

  11. Curious how it’s only Democracy Now interviewing the original journalists who reported this. Corporate news is all acting as if they broke the story. Only Amy goodman has respect for investigative journalists?

  12. How silly and sad.
    And amerigoons wonder where their money went.
    850K ‘top securtity clearance? Contracted?? So sad, while Haiti still lives in tents. Amerigoon exceptionalists, shame on you.

    • So, there’s one spy per every 362 people in the US. Makes one wonder who are neighbors are really working for.

      Good point about the poor people living in Haiti.

    • Good point. That adds another dimension where exactly US priorities lie. The numbers went something like…

      2.) $1 million/soldier in AFPAK “theater”

      3.) $50,000/prisoner inmate

      4.) $5,000/college student

      • The WRL Piechart ( comes out every year for decades. I keep linking to it in public comments, several times in the NYT online, call-ins on live radio, and not a single rebuttal.

        Are their numbers correct all this time, that over 50% net of SS goes to war? Let’s hear it deficit hawks… (Didn’t check to see if they even counted thes unimaginable spy-industrial-complex figures).

  13. It sound’s like The Washington Post is plagiarizing Tom Burghardt’s and Tim Shorrock’s work as well as cryptomes photographic dimension to both downplay and disconnect the former hard hitting journalism the others have done by connecting the dots that this apparatus is pointed at the working class.

    The author repeated the same line this apparatus is somehow benign, fumbling around with nobody having a handle on it. The story sounds more like a controlled leak doing some perception management for the office of public diplomacy. The author sounds more like he’s a promotional advertiser. No doubt damage control caused by Tim and Tom.

    Another excellent source I offered Tom July 4, 2010 is a book titled:

    Servants of War: Private Military Corporations and the Profit of Conflict
    by Rolf Uesseler

    • Therein lies the rub: none of these reporters who did the original work will get the credit that the MSM outlets will, years after the fact.

      FF 10 years and 10 years TOO LATE: suddenly MSM will spring a series of “hardhitting/truther” articles verifying what we have all been screaming about 911 for years. Stuff they plagiarized off the internet patriots and pioneers they will declare as their own. Trumpet around the world as “breaking expose”.

      And the stupid American readers will say: “look how great our MSM is to break such stuff”!

      Both sides of the coin are painful jokes.

  14. Pingback: Julian Assange: Why the world needs WikiLeaks « Dandelion Salad

    • Naomi Klein also writes for The CFR which is an arconym for the State Department. wsws has a good article that calls her out for what she is.

      Now, Tom Burghardt who blogs at covers this territory like a master swordsman with great detail. Naomi Klein doesn’t offer anything comparable…

        • Once again DS is ahead of the curve. Were we listiening when she published the collapse like 2 years before it happened? That’s how badly informed we are (or how good DS is). News doesn’t happen by mistake nor getting lucky. Looks like burkhardt shoulda been footnoted by Arkin. But corporate news spreading this manline isn’t footnoting anything. Is that even legal?

        • Not to mention Sharock, Scahill & Klein per above. Why aren’t we getting the news mainstream? The consequences of this sort of policy are vast, all last summer the birthers ranted their fear of a black president, when the real problems were already published. I still blame the people. I found DS & DN, why can’t they?

        • The original phrase that Klein uses “shock doctrine”, was lifted from as far back as the early 1990’s when it was used to characterize the Harvard guided meltdown of the former USSR. (via the Jeffrey Sachs crowd).

          “Shock therapy” term had also been used by Kissinger, Brezinski back in the early 1970’s discussing the destabiliztion of nations and how to use disaster to bring them under control of the NWO.

          Naomi in CFR? Fits perfectly.

Comments are closed.