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Extended Audio Sample Spies for Hire: The Secret World of Intelligence Outsourcing Audiobook, by Tim Shorrock Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (46 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Tim Shorrock Narrator: Dick Hill Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2008 ISBN: 9781400177721
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Running spy networks overseas. Tracking down terrorists in the Middle East. Interrogating enemy prisoners. Analyzing data from spy satellites and intercepted phone calls. All of these are vital intelligence tasks that have traditionally been performed by government officials accountable to Congress and the American people. But that is no longer the case. Starting during the Clinton administration, when intelligence budgets were cut drastically and privatization of government services became national policy, and expanding dramatically in the wake of 9/11, when the CIA and other agencies were frantically looking to hire analysts and linguists, the intelligence community has been relying more and more on corporations to perform sensitive tasks heretofore considered to be exclusively the work of federal employees. This outsourcing of intelligence activities is now a $50 billion-a-year business that consumes up to 70 percent of the U.S. intelligence budget. And it's a business that the government has tried hard to keep under wraps. Drawing on interviews with key players in the intelligence-industrial complex, contractors' annual reports and public filings with the government, and on-the-spot reporting from intelligence industry conferences and investor briefings, Spies for Hire provides the first behind-the-scenes look at this new way of spying. Shorrock shows how corporations such as Booz Allen Hamilton, Lockheed Martin, SAIC, CACI International, and IBM have become full partners with the CIA, the National Security Agency (NSA), and the Pentagon in their most sensitive foreign and domestic operations. He explores how this partnership has led to wasteful spending and how it threatens to erode the privacy protections and congressional oversight that is so important to American democracy. Shorrock exposes the kinds of spy work the private sector is doing, such as interrogating prisoners in Iraq, managing covert operations, and collaborating with the NSA to eavesdrop on Americans' overseas phone calls and e-mails. And he casts light on a "shadow intelligence community" made up of former top intelligence officials who are now employed by companies that do this spy work, such as former CIA directors George Tenet and James Woolsey. Shorrock also traces the rise of Michael McConnell from his days as head of the NSA, to being a top executive at Booz Allen Hamilton, to returning to government as the nation's chief spymaster. From CIA covert actions to NSA eavesdropping, from Abu Ghraib to Guantanamo, from the Pentagon's techno-driven war in Iraq to the coming global battles over information dominance and control of cyberspace, contractors are doing it all. Spies for Hire goes behind today's headlines to highlight how private corporations are aiding the growth of a new and frightening national surveillance state. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • A sterling example of why investigative journalists are valuable during an era of deep, broad and unconscionable government secrecy. Kirkus
  • “A sterling example of why investigative journalists are valuable during an era of deep, broad, and unconscionable government secrecy.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “[A] well-researched and convincing book…Shorrock has provided a very important service to the country.”

    Burton Hersh, author of The Old Boys: The American Elite and the Origins of the CIA

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Keith | 10/19/2013

    " Made me want to apply for intel career. Supposed to outrage, I got a "meh" out of it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tony | 4/28/2012

    " God damn I thought I knew everything I needed to know about Beltway Banditry but then this book came in and changed everything - a real look inside the revolving door of government contracting! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jeff Brailey | 4/20/2012

    " Not my cup of tea. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Cwhittall | 6/16/2011

    " A detailed but badly written account of the state of information technology contracting in the intel community and DOD. Based on my experience Shorrock's book is directionally correct. This is a topic that should get more attention in my opinion and hopefully it will. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Douglas | 3/14/2010

    " The history is good in the book. However, if you didn't come into the book already believing that the outsourcing of the IC is, prima facie, a bad thing. If you don't believe that, however, the argument won't compel you. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Cwhittall | 3/7/2010

    " A detailed but badly written account of the state of information technology contracting in the intel community and DOD. Based on my experience Shorrock's book is directionally correct. This is a topic that should get more attention in my opinion and hopefully it will. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Steve Lee | 3/7/2010

    " An excellent top-level view of the outsourced intelligence industry. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Douglas | 6/26/2009

    " The history is good in the book. However, if you didn't come into the book already believing that the outsourcing of the IC is, prima facie, a bad thing. If you don't believe that, however, the argument won't compel you. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Steve | 7/2/2008

    " An excellent top-level view of the outsourced intelligence industry. "

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About the Author

Tim Shorrock is an investigative journalist who grew up in Japan and South Korea. He now lives in Tahoma, California, in the Sierra Nevada mountains near Lake Tahoe. Shorrock’s work has appeared in many publications in the United States and abroad, including the Nation, Salon, Mother Jones, Harper’s, the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Progressive, the Journal of Commerce, Foreign Policy in Focus, and the Asia Times. He also appears frequently on the radio as a commentator on US-Korean relations as well as US intelligence and foreign policy, and he has been interviewed on Pacifica Radio’s Democracy Now! Air America Radio, and CBS Radio.

About the Narrator

Dick Hill, named a Golden Voice by AudioFile magazine, is one of the most awarded narrators in the business, having earned several Audie Awards and thirty-four AudioFile Earphones Awards. In addition to narrating, he has both acted in and written for the theater.