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Blank Spots on the Map: The Dark Geography of the Pentagon's Secret World Paperback – 27 Jan 2011

4.2 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; Updated edition (27 Jan. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451229169
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451229168
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.8 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,104,880 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


aTrevor Paglen set out to map the darkest corners of the U. S. national security apparatus. Heas done that and more. The result is a fascinating, deeply troubling, and absolutely essential book.a
aAndrew J. Bacevich, professor in international relations at Boston University, retired colonel in the US Army, and author of "The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism"
aTrevor Paglen gets into the black heart of Americaas black sites. There is no better guide to this great American mystery. What goes on inside these bases will determine the future of warfareaand who we areafor the rest of the century.a
aRobert Baer, former case officer at the CIA and author of "See No Evil: The True Story of a Ground Soldier in the CIAas War on Terrorism"
a"Blank Spots" is an important, well-researched, and insightful expose that opens a window into the black world of secret operations. Paglenas conclusion that aour own history, in large part, has become a state secreta is both a warning and a call to arms. It is time to heed the warning and take up arms.a
aJohn Perkins, author of "Confessions of an Economic Hitman"
aA chillingly literal tour de force. Paglen doesnat so much fill in the blanks as trace their outlines and give their shifting shapes a density that says as much about the future of democracy as it does about the dismal confines of the black world.a
aDerek Gregory, Professor of Geography, University of British Columbia
aLiving among us is an entire shadow industry of secret careers, unmarked flights, and razor-wired compounds evoking stereotyped images of the Cold-War Soviet Union. In what is still the world's most open society, Paglen adroitlyexposes this dark geography. His book is fascinating and necessary.a
aLaurence Smith, Professor of Geography, University of California Los Angeles
aSome of the worst crimes in the American landscape are hiding in plain sight, and nobody has ever pursued them more thoroughly or explained them more chillingly and engagingly than Trevor Paglen. What he is doing is important, fascinating, and groundbreaking.a
aRebecca Solnit, National Book Critics Circle Award Winner and author of "Wanderlust"

About the Author

Trevor Paglen, Ph.D., has published numerous research papers in academic journals and his writing has appeared in The Village Voice and The San Francisco Bay Guardian. He is the author of I Could Tell You But Then You Would Have to Be Destroyed by Me and Torture Taxi. He is also an internationally recognized artist who exhibits frequently in major galleries and museums around the world. He lives in Berkeley, California.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This book is more travel and history than conspiracy, however I was kind of hoping for a bit of the latter. Being interested in military aviation I was eagerly anticipating the release of this book, which had been hyped-up in a couple of articles I read about it. I was expecting a lot more facts and rumors about secret military projects and technologies, which is what you tend to think of when the `black world' is mentioned. Such staple subjects of discussions surrounding the `black world' as Area-51 and the Aurora Project are glossed over by the book or ignored altogether, and it offers no new insights in this regard. I also found the chapters on secret military spy satellites frankly boring and poorly written. What you do get however is a lot of history and geography, mainly about the CIA, which is interesting nonetheless. The book would certainly be insightful for anyone who has no prior knowledge of the subject, but I imagine that most people who buy it will already have an interest in the subject, and will be disappointed in this regard.
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Format: Kindle Edition
The two prior reviewers miss the dynamite in this book --- the shocking revelation that by invoking "state secrets" the government (no matter which party is in power) has succeeded in garnering a series of court judgements that effectively geld judicial inquiry into any alleged crimes committed by the government. This is demonstrated by Paglen's reference to court decisions and verbatim quotes from government advocates and the final summing up by the judges --- all verbatim from the record. There's nothing vague or hunchy about this. More than adequate documentation is provided and pp.144-167 nails down the boiler plate that the executive branch can stop judicial inquiry into anything, that is: ANYTHING that the government is doing or has done.

Here's a key exchange:
Judge: "Suppose you had a collision between a [U.S.] mail truck and a taxicab and the attorney general came in said that in his opinion discovery in the case [even in tightly controlled, closed session] would imperil the whole military position of the United States, and so forth. Would the court have to accept that [& be barred from looking into any aspect of the validity of the government's claim to immunity] ?" The government replied that was exactly their position. Mention "state secrets" and the case will be kicked out at the start. No inquiry, no examination of alleged abuses, period. Carrying this point up the ladder in a series of appeals, the government triumphed. Mumble the two magic words and the executive can do whatever it wants. This included the case, documented by Paglen on pp.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great if like me you enjoy a conspiracy!
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