America's Secret Power: The CIA in a Democratic Society

Framsida
In 1975, after The New York Times published a devastating critique of the CIA, three government panels--the Rockefeller, Church, and Pike Committees--were formed to examine these allegations in depth. What they uncovered--assassination plots, opened mail, drug experiments against unsuspecting
subjects (two of whom died from side effects)--shocked the American people and moved Senator Frank Church to call the CIA a rogue elephant rampaging out of control. Clearly, America needs a strong, effective intelligence effort, but just as clearly, this effort must operate within the bounds of an
open, democratic society.
Based on hundreds of interviews with CIA officials, national security experts, and legislators, as well as a thorough culling of the archival record, America's Secret Power offers an illuminating and up-to-date picture of the Central Intelligence Agency, stressing the difficult balance between
the genuine needs of national security and the protection of individual liberties. Loch Johnson, who has studied the workings of the CIA at first hand as a legislative overseer, presents a comprehensive examination of the Agency and its relations with other American institutions, including Congress
and the White House (he offers particularly astute analyses of the CIA's use of journalists and academics to gather intelligence) and he illuminates the CIA's three major missions--intelligence analysis, counterintelligence, and covert action--providing vivid descriptions of their purpose and their
pathologies. For example, he offers a fascinating analysis of the Seven Sins of intelligence work, revealing how the best intelligence reports can be distorted or ignored (in the mid-1960s, the evidence against a quick American victory in Vietnam was dismissed); how covert actions can spin out of
control despite extensive safeguards, as in the Iran-Contra scandal; and how the CIA has spied on American citizens in clear violation of its charter. Further, he provides a thorough review of legislative efforts to curb these abuses, suggesting several important ways to achieve the delicate
balance between national security and democratic ideals.
Vividly written and meticulously documented, America's Secret Power draws the strands of a vast amount of research into a balanced critique of our intelligence networks. It is a work that stands alone in its thoroughness and objectivity, a thoughtful and sobering portrait of the contemporary
CIA.

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Democracy and the CIA
3
The Purpose of American Intelligence
12
Seven Sins of Strategic Intelligence
59
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Om författaren (1989)


About the Author:
Loch K. Johnson is Professor of Political Science at the University of Georgia, and was recently named a Meigs Professor, the University of Georgia's highest teaching honor. He has served on the Senate and House committees on intelligence and on foreign affairs and has been a consultant to the
National Security Council, the U.S. State Department, and the Senate Subcommittee on Separation of Powers. He is the author of A Season of Inquiry, the winner of the 1986 Certificate of Distinction of the National Intelligence Study Center.

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