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Vol 21 No 9 Sept/Oct 2016

Book of the Month

Cover of Goode on Commercial Law

Goode on Commercial Law

Edited by: Ewan McKendrick
Price: £170.00

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When Should State Secrets Stay Secret?: Oversight, Accountability, Democratic Governance, and Intelligence

ISBN13: 9781107042476
Published: June 2015
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: £59.99
Paperback edition , ISBN13 9781107616530

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Contrary to popular assumption, the development of stronger oversight mechanisms actually leads to greater secrecy rather than the reverse. When Should State Secrets Stay Secret? examines modern trends in intelligence oversight development by focusing on how American oversight mechanisms combine to bolster an internal security system and thus increase the secrecy of the intelligence enterprise.

Genevieve Lester uniquely examines how these oversight mechanisms have developed within all three branches of government, how they interact, and what types of historical pivot points have driven change among them. She disaggregates the concept of accountability into a series of specified criteria in order to grapple with these pivot points. This book concludes with a discussion of a series of normative questions, suggesting ways to improve oversight mechanisms based on the analytical criteria laid out in the analysis. It also includes a chapter on the workings of the CIA to which a number of CIA officers contributed.

1. An analytical approach: intelligence, accountability and oversight
2. Organizing secrecy: the CIA and institutional control
3. External accountability: the development of congressional oversight
4. Congress and oppositional oversight
5. An independent judiciary? The domestic implications of intelligence and the politics of secret oversight
6. Conclusions.