William Arkin, one of America’s most outspoken investigative journalists on the government’s domestic intelligence network, will speak at the fifth annual Bookstock on Saturday July 27. His research provides insights into the extensive monitoring of individuals in the United States and many more abroad.
Arkin asserts that the network’s power has effectively performed a “coup” over the federal government, through aggressive expansion and deception of elected officials.
Revelations in the recent days may confirm to many Arkin’s concern that Congress has been misled by top intelligence officials, who most recently in April testified that they are not collecting data on millions of Americans.
Some secretive intelligence network’s key plans and operations surfaced in an English newspaper in recent days. A National Security Agency employee, Edward Snowden, came forth over last weekend to reveal that he leaked the documents to the Guardian. Arkin has reported for some time on the way in which Snowden gained access to top secret plans, through government outsourcing intelligence to private contractors.
With over a decade of research and publishing on the intelligence network, Arkin has been an awardwinning analyst, military affairs columnist, and persistent critic of the country’s vast and secret intelligence bureaucracy. He began writing books on contemporary military subjects in 1981.
His current focus, the post-9/11 growth of secret world of intelligence and private contracting, was the subject of Washington Post articles he wrote with Dana Priest in 2010, then in 2011 with publication of his book, Top Secret America: The Rise of the New American Security State. His latest book, American Coup: Martial Life and the Invisible Sabotage of the Constitution, will be published by Little, Brown and Company in September 2013.
At Bookstock, Pomfret resident Arkin is expected to describe the extensive outsourcing of top secret work to private contractors, such as the one which the self-admitted leaker Snowden worked. Arkin says that “Perhaps no area of that growth is more alarming than in programs officially designated ‘special access programs’ or SAPs, where additional security measures restrict the kind of routine knowledge that government officials, auditors, inside kibitzers, and even Congress needs for effective oversight.” He refers to SAPs as a “license to lie. If an official with knowledge of an SAP is asked about it by a member of the press or Congress, he or she can simply brush away the inquiry. Oversight doesn’t have the right security clearance.”
Bookstock has arranged for him to speak on July 27 at the Norman Williams Public Library at 4 p.m.
Other speakers at Bookstock will also discuss current and historical controversial topics. Kirk Kardashian, author of
Milk Money, will confront the challenge to small Vermont dairy farmers raised by corporate owned dairy farms. He will trace the developments in dairy farming, and describe the hidden forces behind dairy farm consolidation. He will also point to how the small dairy farmer can be better sustained economically.
Kardashian is a senior writer at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. He lives in Woodstock with his wife and two small children. Sustainable Woodstock is sponsoring his talk, scheduled for Saturday, 1 PM at Norman Williams Public Library.
Jeanne Theoharis will present a keynote address on Rosa Parks, whose refusal to sit in the back of a Montgomery, Alabama, bus in 1955 sparked the civil rights movement as much as any specific act of peaceful defiance did. Parks was, according to Theoharis, not a naïve, isolated individual but a smart, highly informed activist who had already challenged Jim Crow. The address begins at 10 AM in the Town Hall Theater. Her talk is sponsored by Mimi Baird.
Arkin, Kardashian and Theoharis are three of some two dozen authors scheduled to speak at Bookstock this year.
For more information, visit www. bookstockvt. org as well as www.Facebook.com/ BookstockLiteraryFestival.