Barry Eisler

Monday, February 01, 2016

The US Govt, Practically Writing My Thrillers For Me...

Here's an article I wrote for Salon -- Holy Smokes, This Stuff is All Real? How I Get My Best Thriller Ideas From the Good ol’ US Government.


Whenever people ask where I get ideas for my thrillers, I say, “Direct from the US government.”

They laugh, but it’s true—in a time of indefinite imprisonment without charge, trial, or conviction (“detention”); torture (“enhanced interrogation”); extrajudicial assassinations (“targeted killing”); and, of course, the unprecedented bulk surveillance revealed by whistleblower Edward Snowden, third-party villains like SMERSH and SPECTRE and the rest can feel a bit beside the point. Indeed, when the NSA, in its own leaked slides, announces its determination to “Collect it All,” “Process it All,” “Exploit it All,” “Partner it All,” “Sniff it All” and, ultimately, “Know it All,” it’s safe to say we’re living in an age of “We have met the enemy, and he is us.”

Does that claim sound extreme? Have a look at this National Reconnaissance Office mission patch. What is this Octopus doing to the earth?



Read the rest here.
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