Book Discussion: Spies for Hire
Come meet author and Foreign Policy In Focus contributor Tim Shorrock, when he speaks at IPS about his new book, SPIES FOR HIRE: The Secret World of Intelligence Outsourcing.
Since 9/11 and the invasion of Iraq, newspaper headlines and the blogosphere have been afire with revelations about the U.S. government’s enormous use of private sector contractors to carry out the tasks of war: Halliburton’s lucrative Iraqi reconstruction contracts, CACI International’s civilian interrogators at Abu Ghraib, and the shooting of noncombatants in Baghdad by the shadowy security firm Blackwater, to name just a few. But the size and scope of the private sector’s influence on U.S. intelligence agencies—and the government’s unsettling efforts to hide the truth from the public—have never been known until now. In SPIES FOR HIRE: The Secret World of Intelligence Outsourcing (Simon & Schuster; May 6, 2008; $27.00), investigative journalist Tim Shorrock presents the first-ever comprehensive profile of the astonishingly lucrative intelligence contracting industry—where profit often trumps patriotism.
SPIES FOR HIRE exposes how, from the tracking of al-Qaeda to the Bush administration’s warrantless eavesdropping on U.S. citizens, private contractors have infiltrated every corner of intelligence gathering in America. Drawing on insider documents and exclusive interviews with sources including former agency operatives and CEO’s of private intelligence firms, Shorrock lifts the highly secretive veil off the mysterious world of intelligence contracting, demonstrating the shocking truth that over 70 percent of the massive U.S. intelligence budget is now spent on contractors, with minimal congressional oversight. Bankrolled with tax money, these private firms are exerting enormous influence on governmental policies that affect all Americans.