Casually flipping through the map archive at Berkeley, Paglen discovers missing panels from this microfiche, kicking off a long and arduous search for those missing spots, the blank spots on the map where the US government has placed their black sites, their shadow army.
Paglen rents a hotel room in Vegas and sets up surveillance on the airport, noting which of the shadow army’s planes are headed where. He ends the book back in the hotel room, noting the “hopeless banality” of the workers returning from their secret jobs. “Sit outside a Wal-Mart during a shift change, and the scene would be more or less the same: Ordinary people slogging home after a day on the job.”
I really wanted to enjoy this one more than I did. Great subject matter but needed a better editor. (Example, in the epilogue, he uses “no doubt” twice within 4 sentences of each other.) I understand the importance of the creation of the CIA, but did he have to devote 2 chapters to Nicaragua/Honduras? My attention wandered at that point.
Further reading: Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War
sub=The Dark Geography of the Pentagon’s Secret World