Article Image
IPFS News Link • Books

Skewering the "Shadow Government"


I have just finished reading Tom Engelhardt's latest book Shadow Government: Surveillance, Secret Wars, and a Global Security State in a Single-Superpower World. I will be completely frank – it is a book I would have liked to have written myself. Indeed, I did try to write something like it a couple of years back but got so wrapped up in the complexity of what is taking place that I kept losing my focus as I was going along.

Engelhardt, however, gets it right. He cuts to the quick and never takes his eye off the ball: the national security state is here and now and while we were looking the other way beguiled by frequently fabricated tales of international terror it has gone global. Every American and many foreigners are now victims of an Orwellian universe of unending warfare coupled with constant surveillance and multifaceted manipulation that together make 1984 seem amateurish. Tom Engelhardt calls the development "Shadow Government" because it exists on the fringes of what we read every day in the newspapers and see every day on television.

At this moment we Americans are being subjected to largely fictional accounts of developments in the Middle East, where the United States is once again waging a war that not only makes no sense in terms of American interests but also is completely unwinnable by any reasonable standard.