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Top Secret America
The Rise of the New American Security State
Dana Priest and William M. Arkin

Hachette Audio
September 8, 2011 / ASIN: B005M38DDQ
Nonfiction / Security / Audiobook – Unabridged/Audio CD/12 hrs, 8 min

Reviewed by Jo Rogers

Top Secret America is full of interesting information. It tells about security in America after September 11, 2001. Before that date, the United States had several agencies charged with gathering information that could help keep our country safe and our citizens safe both here and abroad. But they weren’t obligated to share the information they received or to work together to act on that information.

Thus, the Department of Homeland Security was born. It was headed by a Director who, with his staff, was supposed to correlate the information and see that it was sent to the proper people to take care of it. However, the various agencies acted like spoiled, selfish children and got Congress to take away the director's power to actually force the individual agencies to share the information. Instead of consolidating security efforts and eliminating the overlapping work, another giant bureaucracy skilled in wasting taxpayers' money was created.

With all the redundancy, important information was often buried in the many terabytes of mundane information sent daily. Billions of dollars were spent preserving individual jobs without any concern, force, efficiency or cost. President Obama, faced with a fourteen-trillion-dollar debt, made no effort to cut the budget for this huge sinkhole of inefficiency. In fact, now that many Al Quaida officers have already been killed along with most of their financial support, this massive agency could easily be trimmed down to a much smaller and cheaper size.

Will this book change anything? It should. It contains enough information that the agencies involved in national security asked the authors not to publish the book. There's nothing in it to harm national security, but it could cost a lot of cushy jobs, especially in Congress. So, in this coming election year, listen to "Top Secret America" and stop being scared. Instead, get mad and get involved.

Reviewer's Note:
Reviewed 2011
© 2011