William Arkin
William Arkin

The top-secret world that the government created in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks has become so enormous, so unwieldy, and so secretive that no one knows how much money it costs, how many people it employs or exactly how many agencies duplicate work being done elsewhere. The result is that the system put in place to keep the United States safe may be putting us in even greater danger. The far reaching implications of a huge, unregulated and invisible universe is hard to grasp but we are seeing the tip of the iceberg: over 1,300 government facilities in every US state; nearly 2,000 outside companies used as contractors; and more than 850,000 people granted "Top Secret" security clearance.

Come join Vermont resident and award winning journalist William Arkin on February 2, 2012 at the Big Picture Theater in Waitsfield at 7pm. Arkin co-wrote TOP SECRET AMERICA with fellow Washington Post journalist Dana Priest and will present on their findings and conclusions from their many years of research on the topic.TOP SECRET AMERICA is considered a landmark exposé of a new, secret "Fourth Branch" of American government. The book has sparked national and international concern, as well as received broad praise. William M. Arkin has been a columnist and reporter with The Washington Post since 1998. He has worked on the subject of government secrecy and national security affairs for more than 30 years. He has authored or co-authored more than a dozen books about the U.S. military and national security.

Top Secret America

Reviews of Top Secret America:

"This is an invaluable book, a breathtaking investigative account of America's vast new secret world...it offers an indispensable guide to anyone who worries about the explosive growth of what the authors call America's terrorism-industrial complex since September 11th... Priest and Arkin explain better than Congress ever has the staggering waste and ineptitude that inevitably has followed." (Los Angeles Times Bob Drogin )

"Priest and Arkin blow the whistle on how, since 9/11 and the adoption of the Patriot Act, the government and its contractors use classification and security screens to conceal expenditures that have failed to enhance national security...This is an important book." (Publishers Weekly )


Venue: The Big Picture, 7 p.m. start. This is a free event and open to the public.