Fascinating insight—though much must be read between the lines—into how the nation’s data-mining apparatus works—and how...

THE NSA REPORT

LIBERTY AND SECURITY IN A CHANGING WORLD

Does keeping America free from harm in the post-9/11 world require that Americans surrender their Fourth Amendment rights? The country’s security apparatus behaves as if the answer is yes—the subject of this official report to President Barack Obama.

Headed by Clarke, of weapons of mass destruction renown, the president’s Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies allows that the National Security Agency is tasked, first and foremost, with protecting the country from harm at foreign hands—or, in ominous officialese, “protecting the homeland.” Given that our terrorist enemies, to say nothing of states such as China and Russia, have ample cyber assets, the key is to use technology to analyze signals intelligence while keeping the NSA’s eyes on the bad guys instead of the rest of us. Instead, by this report’s account—to say nothing of the preceding revelations by whistle-blower Edward Snowden—the NSA’s approach has been to drink the water from the fire hose, without regard for privacy rights. Early on in the report, therefore, the PRG recommends, “[a]ny program involving government collection or storage of such data must be narrowly tailored to serve an important government interest.” So who determines what’s important? Presumably the president, although the head of the NSA surely has an important voice in the matter—leading to another recommendation: that the NSA be headed by a military officer. The final recommendation among this set of nearly four dozen is rather pale, recommending the use of cost-benefit analysis and other tools to find out what’s working, which leads one to wonder what the folks at Fort Meade are using instead.

Fascinating insight—though much must be read between the lines—into how the nation’s data-mining apparatus works—and how it’s supposed to work.

Pub Date: April 20, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-691-16320-8

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Princeton Univ.

Review Posted Online: March 18, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

However charily one should apply the word, a beautiful book, an unconditionally involving memoir for our time or any time.

I KNOW WHY THE CAGED BIRD SINGS

Maya Angelou is a natural writer with an inordinate sense of life and she has written an exceptional autobiographical narrative which retrieves her first sixteen years from "the general darkness just beyond the great blinkers of childhood."

Her story is told in scenes, ineluctably moving scenes, from the time when she and her brother were sent by her fancy living parents to Stamps, Arkansas, and a grandmother who had the local Store. Displaced they were and "If growing up is painful for the Southern Black girl, being aware of her displacement is the rust on the razor that threatens the throat." But alternating with all the pain and terror (her rape at the age of eight when in St. Louis With her mother) and humiliation (a brief spell in the kitchen of a white woman who refused to remember her name) and fear (of a lynching—and the time they buried afflicted Uncle Willie under a blanket of vegetables) as well as all the unanswered and unanswerable questions, there are affirmative memories and moments: her charming brother Bailey; her own "unshakable God"; a revival meeting in a tent; her 8th grade graduation; and at the end, when she's sixteen, the birth of a baby. Times When as she says "It seemed that the peace of a day's ending was an assurance that the covenant God made with children, Negroes and the crippled was still in effect."

However charily one should apply the word, a beautiful book, an unconditionally involving memoir for our time or any time.

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 1969

ISBN: 0375507892

Page Count: 235

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1969

Did you like this book?

A Churchill-ian view of native history—Ward, that is, not Winston—its facts filtered through a dense screen of ideology.

AN INDIGENOUS PEOPLES' HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES

Custer died for your sins. And so, this book would seem to suggest, did every other native victim of colonialism.

Inducing guilt in non-native readers would seem to be the guiding idea behind Dunbar-Ortiz’s (Emerita, Ethnic Studies/California State Univ., Hayward; Blood on the Border: A Memoir of the Contra War, 2005, etc.) survey, which is hardly a new strategy. Indeed, the author says little that hasn’t been said before, but she packs a trove of ideological assumptions into nearly every page. For one thing, while “Indian” isn’t bad, since “[i]ndigenous individuals and peoples in North America on the whole do not consider ‘Indian’ a slur,” “American” is due to the fact that it’s “blatantly imperialistic.” Just so, indigenous peoples were overwhelmed by a “colonialist settler-state” (the very language broadly applied to Israelis vis-à-vis the Palestinians today) and then “displaced to fragmented reservations and economically decimated”—after, that is, having been forced to live in “concentration camps.” Were he around today, Vine Deloria Jr., the always-indignant champion of bias-puncturing in defense of native history, would disavow such tidily packaged, ready-made, reflexive language. As it is, the readers who are likely to come to this book—undergraduates, mostly, in survey courses—probably won’t question Dunbar-Ortiz’s inaccurate assertion that the military phrase “in country” derives from the military phrase “Indian country” or her insistence that all Spanish people in the New World were “gold-obsessed.” Furthermore, most readers won’t likely know that some Ancestral Pueblo (for whom Dunbar-Ortiz uses the long-abandoned term “Anasazi”) sites show evidence of cannibalism and torture, which in turn points to the inconvenient fact that North America wasn’t entirely an Eden before the arrival of Europe.

A Churchill-ian view of native history—Ward, that is, not Winston—its facts filtered through a dense screen of ideology.

Pub Date: Sept. 16, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-8070-0040-3

Page Count: 296

Publisher: Beacon Press

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2014

Did you like this book?

more