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America's Secret Power : The CIA in a Democratic Society - Loch K. Johnson

America's Secret Power

The CIA in a Democratic Society

Paperback Published: 11th March 1991
ISBN: 9780195069440
Number Of Pages: 368

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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 CIA, 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, and looks closely at how it pursues its three major missions--intelligence analysis, counterintelligence, and covert action.
At once fascinating and sobering, Johnson's book reveals how the best intelligence reports can be distorted or ignored; 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, and suggests several important ways to achieve the delicate balance between national security and democratic ideals.

Industry Reviews

"...a fine overview....a refreshing approach."--James J. Wirtz, Defense Analysis "[Johnson] writes in clean, easy prose about the covert actions that grab the headlines but, happily, his book ranges across the agency's functions. It is imbued throughout with good sense about how secret intelligence and democratic society can be made to coexist."--Foreign Affairs "Breaks new theoretical ground...and adds important data about many contemporary intelligence activities....the importance of Johnson's contribution to the debate about he future of U.S. intelligence agencies cannot be stressed enough."--American Political Science Review "Johnson's experience as a staffer on various Congressional intelligence oversight committees is evident throughout, both in his impressive command of detail and in his general 'Capitol Hill' orientation."--American Politics Review "A meticulous study of increasing congressional assertiveness and distrust....The book is also prescriptive and, as such, written for a wider audience in Washington....The book then is aimed at two audiences: those interested in the role of the CIA; and those interested in congressional oversight. Both audiences will find this book excellent."--Political Studies "A magiserial study....A fair-minded and balanced critique of the CIA and intelligence policy....Must now be considered the standard work on the Central Intelligence Agency."--International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence "Solid work. Readable."--Dan Struble, Occidental College

Abbreviationsp. xv
Figuresp. xix
Tablesp. xxi
Chronologyp. xxiii
The Intelligence Mission
Democracy and the CIAp. 3
The Purpose of American Intelligencep. 12
The Design of American Intelligencep. 38
Problems of Strategic Intelligence
Seven Sins of Strategic Intelligencep. 59
Pathologies of the Intelligence Cyclep. 76
The Quiet Optionp. 100
The CIA and the Rights of Americans
The Huston Planp. 133
The CIA in the Groves of Academep. 157
The CIA and the Mediap. 182
Intelligence in a Democratic Framework
Congress and the New Intelligence Oversightp. 207
Controlling the CIA: A Critique of Current Safeguardsp. 234
Pathways to Reformp. 256
Appendixp. 268
Notesp. 272
Selected Bibliographyp. 319
Indexp. 336
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780195069440
ISBN-10: 0195069447
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 368
Published: 11th March 1991
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.65  x 2.52
Weight (kg): 0.59

Earn 105 Qantas Points
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