Top Secret America

Did you know that more than 8000,000 Americans have top security clearance? That there are thousands of companies subcontracted to perform security operations? That the security infrastructure essentially is a shadow government? These are some of the findings from the Washington Post’s extensive two-year investigation labeled Top Secret America. Read the articles and find out that 265,000 individuals with top security clearance are not employed by any of the government intelligence agencies but are private contractors; find out where government agencies and subcontractors are located (we have some in New Jersey); and trace the networks that connect the government with industry. Two reliable sources of updated information include Secrecy News and GlobalSecurity.org. Other reliable sources include Strategic Studies Institute (especially its U.S. Army War Guide to National Security Issues), the Rand Corporation (and its section on National Security),  the Congressional Research Service’s numerous reports on security/secrecy/intelligence , recent Congressional hearings, and the Library’s Online Resources-Subject Guide-Security Studies. As the security community grows larger and larger, keep in mind President Obama’s statement of January 21, 2009:  

To be sure, issues like personal privacy and national security must be treated with the care they demand. But the mere fact that you have the legal power to keep something secret does not mean you should always use it. The Freedom of Information Act is perhaps the most powerful instrument we have for making our government honest and transparent, and of holding it accountable. And I expect members of my administration not simply to live up to the letter but also the spirit of this law.

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