Friday, June 6, 2008

BOOKSHELF: OUTSOURCING SPYING

SPIES FOR HIRE

Tim Shorrock

PHIL MATTERA , DIRT DIGGERS DIGEST Tim Shorrock, a veteran investigative journalist has just come out with a book called Spies for Hire: The Secret World of Intelligence Outsourcing. Shorrock describes how an activity that used to be handled by spooks on the federal payroll has been steadily transformed into a $50 billion intelligence-industrial complex. . .

Since 9/11, Shorrock says, the Central Intelligence Agency has been spending 50-60 percent of its budget (or about $2.5 billion a year) on contractors-both individuals and companies. At the CIA and its sister spook agencies: "Tasks that are now outsourced include running spy networks out of embassies, intelligence analysis, signals intelligence (SIGINT) collection, covert operations, and the interrogation of enemy prisoners."

Shorrock devotes an entire chapter to Booz Allen Hamilton, known to most people as a management consultant for large corporations but which pioneered the intelligence outsourcing industry (though it recently agreed to sell its federal business to the Carlyle Group). When Mike McConnell, a former Booz Allen executive, was named by President Bush as Director of National Intelligence, it was the first time, Shorrock notes, that a contractor was put in charge of the country's entire spy apparatus.

ORDER

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