The American Police State

Title:                  The American Police State

Author:                 David Wise

Wise, David (1976). The American Police State: The Government Against the People. New York: Random House

LCCN:    76014173

JK468.I6 W49


Date Updated:  April 15, 2016

Kirkus Reviews says the following about this book.

Wise’s book is a medium-sized summary of the findings of the Rockefeller Commission and Congressional committees, fleshed out by interviews with Alexander Haig, Howard Hunt, and others, which adds up to nothing new. The first section itemizes Nixon-Kissinger wiretaps and surveillance of journalists and executive aides, charging that the Secretary of State was “deeply implicated and involved” in the wiretapping “despite his sworn testimony to the contrary.”

Next come the blackmail investigations and burglaries by the White House and intelligence agencies: Anthony Ulasewicz gathers dirt on Teddy Kennedy; the Internal Revenue Service spies on taxpayers; the FBI offers the press tapes of Martin Luther King’s purported sexual indiscretions. Two cases are examined at length. A Defense Department staffer suspected of leaking the government’s SALT position was polygraphed at Nixon’s order, and though he “passed,” his career was wrecked; and Leslie Bacon was detained as a suspect in the 1971 Capitol bombing on a slight pretext because the authorities wanted a scapegoat. Wise,co-author of The Invisible Government, a 1964 CIA expose, tabulates recent revelations on the CIA as well, concluding “They had been schooled at St. Grottlesex but learned their political morality from Eichmann.” Not original research but a smooth compilation.

The author of this book is a member of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO), and this book is listed on the Association’s website.

Reviewed by Paul W. Blackstock and Frank L. Schaf[1]

The author, a political journalist experienced in writing about U.S. intelligence organizations (see The Invisible Government[2], chapter 5, and The Politics of Lying[3], above), provides a well-organized and thoroughly documented account of the misdeeds of the CIA, FBI, and National Security Agency (NSA). He traces the use of intelligence and police organizations for political purposes or spying on Americans through seven administrations from Roosevelt to Nixon and Ford. Although much of the material has been taken from the Watergate and Nixon impeachment inquiries, the Rockefeller Commission Report[4] and the House (Pike Committee[5]) and Senate (Church Committee[6]) investigations of the intelligence community, this is no mere rehash of already exposed allegations. The book could provide a guide to illegal wiretapping, mail opening, cable reading, bugging, physical surveillance, and break ins perpetrated by intelligence (and police) agencies in the name of national security. Wise provides some suggestions for curtailing these activities.

[1] Blackstock, Paul W. (1978) and Frank L. Schaf, Jr. Intelligence, Espionage, Counterespionage, And Covert Operations: A Guide to Information Sources. Detroit: Gale Research Co., p. 89

[2] Wise, David (1964) and Thomas B. Ross. The Invisible Government. New York: Random House

[3] Wise, David (1973). The Politics of Lying: Government Deception, Secrecy, and Power. New York: Random House

[4] Rockefeller, Nelson A. (1975). Report to the President by the Commission on CIA Activities within the United States. Washington, DC: U.S. Govt. Print. Off.

[5] United States. Congress. House. Select Committee on Intelligence (1977). CIA: The Pike Report. Nottingham: Spokesman Books for the Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation

[6] Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities (1976). Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations With Respect to the Intelligence Activities United States Senate, Hearings Before the Select Committee To Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities of U.S. Senate. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office


This entry was posted in Counterintelligence and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to The American Police State

  1. Pingback: The Craft We Chose | Intelligence Analysis and Reporting

  2. Pingback: Intelligence, Espionage, Counterespionage, And Covert Operations: A Guide to Information Sources, Chapter 8 | Intelligence Analysis and Reporting

  3. Pingback: Intelligence, Espionage, Counterespionage And Covert Operations | Intelligence Analysis and Reporting

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s