"The Sorrows of Empire:
Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic
Chalmers Johnson
(New York: A Metropolitan / Owl Book -- Henry Holt and Company, 2004)

Prologue: Unveiling of the American Empire

"... slowly but surely the Department of Defense is obscuring and displacing the Deparment of State as the primary agency for making and administering foreign policy. We now station innumerably more uniformed military officers than civilian diplomats, aid workers, or environmental specialists in foreign countries -- a point not lost on the lands to which they are assigned. Our garrisons send a daily message that the United States prefers to deal with other nations through the use or threat of force rather than negotiations, commerce, or cultural interactions and through military-to-military, not civilian-to-civilian, relations." p. 5


"... From 1967 to 1973, I served as a consultant to the Office of National Estimates of the Central Intelligence Agency. ..." p. 9

"Although I had been given a very high security clearance, I soon found that I did not have to worry about inadvertently disclosing national secrets. The best reason to keep the national intelligence estimates secret, I once told my wife, was their utter banality. Perhaps they were so highly classified because it would have been embarrassing to have it known that such conventional journalism passed for strategic thought in the Oval Office.” pp. 9-10

"...So much for the valuable contributions of my consultancy, an experience that cured me of any tendency to think that the government keeps secrets as a matter of national security. Agencies classify things in order to protect themselves from congressional scrutiny or from political or bureaucratic rivals elsewhere within the government. True secrets need not be classified. They are simply closely held by prudent leaders. Interestingly enough, in September 2002, as the Bush administration was daily terrifying the world with statements about Saddam Hussein’s clandestine weapons and the need for preventing invasion of Iraq the CIA revealed that there was no national intelligence estimate on Iraq and that it had it had not thought to prepare one for over two years.” pp. 10-11

. . . “The concept of the ‘official secret’ is the specific invention of the bureaucracy, and nothing is so fanatically defended by the bureaucracy as this attitude. . . . In facing a parliament the bureaucracy, out of a sure power instinct, fights every attempt of the parliament to gain knowledge by means of its own experts or interest groups. . . . Bureaucracy naturally welcomes a poorly informed and hence powerless parliament – at least in so far as ignorance somehow agrees with the bureaucracy’s interests.” p. 13

2 The Roots of American Militarism

“Having grown accustomed to our empire and having found it pleasing, we have come to take its institutions and assumptions for granted. Indeed, this is the mark of a convinced imperial power: its advocates never question the virtues of empire, although they may dispute the way in which it is administered, and they do not for a moment doubt that it is in the best interests of those over whom it rules. The habitual use of imperial methods over the space of forty years became addictive. It ultimately transformed the defense establishment and vastly enlarged the size and scope of the role played by military forces in the political and economic life of the nation.” pp. 64-65

. . .

3 Toward the New Rome

“One certain legacy of the war in Iraq is that American political and military leaders can no longer be believed or trusted.” p. 95