Spy Watching: Intelligence Accountability in the United States

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Product Details
Oxford University Press, USA
Publish Date
6.4 X 2.0 X 9.3 inches | 2.25 pounds
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About the Author
Loch K. Johnson is one of America's leading experts on the nation's intelligence organizations. He is the Regents Professor of Public and International Affairs at the University of Georgia and served as staff director of the Senate Committee on Intelligence, as well as assistant to the chairman of the Aspin-Brown Commission on Intelligence. Johnson is the author of America's Secret Power and The Threat on the Horizon, both published by Oxford University Press.

"Johnson offers a necessary and encyclopedic account of intelligence oversight...bring[ing] a wealth of knowledge to this ambitious project... Spy Watching will surely come to be seen as an essential part of the literature on intelligence administration in the US."--CHOICE

"In this insightful examination of America's struggle to balance liberty and security, Johnson... writes from personal experience and extensive scholarship, so readers will encounter a great deal of information, much of it unsettling... [A] thoughtful, not terribly optimistic analysis of the perpetual tension between secret services and liberal democracy."--Kirkus

"This is a learned, mighty and magisterial book."--Professional Security Magazine

"With his experience as a congressional staffer involved in the investigation of abuses by the intelligence community and a distinguished career as a scholar of intelligence issues, Johnson brings a wealth of knowledge to this ambitious project... Spy Watching will surely come to be seen as an essential part of the literature on intelligence administration in the US."--CHOICE Reviews

." . . . a superb, beautifully written book, teeming with eminently quotable passages and erudition . . . Johnson calls for greater public understanding of the value of intelligence accountability, a laudable ambition that academics can play a part on helping to achieve. His book is a first step in the right direction . . . . Spy Watching is history writing of the first rank that demands time to mine its treasures and to absorb fully the important issues it raises."--Christopher R. Moran, Intelligence and National Security

"Spy Watching is an impressive, even encyclopedic, review of America's experience regulating its large, powerful, and compulsively secretive intelligence agencies... Johnson is eminently qualified to undertake this study-a highly-regarded professor, author, journal editor, and icon in the small but growing academic discipline of intelligence studies... Spy Watching is a valuable history and comprehensive study of America's ongoing experiment with democratic oversight of its essential, but imperfect, intelligence enterprise."--Lawfare Blog

"[A] deeply informed study of political oversight of US intelligence services... [Spy Watching] deserves close attention, because of the personal experience that underpins [Johnson's] judgments, together with their evenhandedness and common sense. He considers the past only to address the future: How can intelligence services that have been granted unprecedented powers since President George W. Bush launched his ill-named War on Terror be subjected to democratic scrutiny? How can the loss of public trust be restored? How can citizens be taught to recognize that the US, like all nations, possesses secrets that must be preserved for the common good; that absolute openness on the part of government and its institutions is the enemy of national security?"
--Max Hastings, New York Review of Books