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Weapons

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  1. 5.2 hrs • 5/3/2016 • Unabridged

    Here are major revelations about the US government’s drone program. New York Times bestselling author Jeremy Scahill and his colleagues at the investigative website The Intercept expose stunning new details about America’s secret assassination policy. When the US government discusses drone strikes publicly, it offers assurances that such operations are a more precise alternative to troops on the ground and are authorized only when an “imminent” threat is present and there is “near certainty” that the intended target will be killed. The implicit message on drone strikes from the Obama administration has been trust, but don’t verify. The online magazine the Intercept exploded this secrecy when it obtained a cache of secret slides that provide a window into the inner workings of the US military’s kill-capture operations in Afghanistan, Yemen, and Somalia. Whether through the use of drones, night raids, or new platforms yet to be employed, these documents show assassination to be central to US counterterrorism policy. The classified documents reveal that Washington’s fourteen-year targeted killing campaign suffers from an overreliance on flawed signals intelligence, an apparently incalculable civilian toll, and an inability to extract potentially valuable intelligence from terror suspects. This campaign, carried out by two presidents through four presidential terms, has been deliberately obscured from the public and insulated from democratic debate. The Assassination Complex allows us to understand at last the circumstances under which the US government grants itself the right to sentence individuals to death without the established checks and balances of arrest, trial, and appeal. The book includes original contributions from Glenn Greenwald and Edward Snowden.

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    The Assassination Complex

    Foreword by Edward Snowdenand Afterword by Glenn Greenwald
    5.2 hrs • 5/3/16 • Unabridged
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  2. 1 reviews 0 5 5 5 out of 5 stars 5/5 (1)
    16.5 hrs • 4/19/2016 • Unabridged

    Americans have always loved guns. This special bond was forged during the American Revolution and sanctified by the Second Amendment. It is because of this exceptional relationship that American civilians are more heavily armed than the citizens of any other nation. Or so we’re told. In The Gunning of America, historian Pamela Haag overturns this conventional wisdom. American gun culture, she argues, developed not because the gun was exceptional but precisely because it was not: guns proliferated in America because throughout most of the nation’s history they were perceived as an unexceptional commodity, no different than buttons or typewriters. Focusing on the history of the Winchester Repeating Arms Company, one of the most iconic arms manufacturers in America, Haag challenges many basic assumptions of how and when America became a gun culture. Under the leadership of Oliver Winchester and his heirs, the company used aggressive, sometimes ingenious, sales and marketing techniques to create new markets for their product. Guns have never “sold themselves”; rather, through advertising and innovative distribution campaigns, the gun industry did. Through the meticulous examination of gun-industry archives, Haag challenges the myth of a primal bond between Americans and their firearms. Over the course of its 150-year history, the Winchester Repeating Arms Company sold over eight million guns. But Oliver Winchester—a shirtmaker in his previous career—had no apparent qualms about a life spent arming America. His daughter-in-law Sarah Winchester was a different story. Legend holds that Sarah was haunted by what she considered a vast blood fortune, and became convinced that the ghosts of rifle victims were haunting her. In this provocative and deeply researched work of narrative history, Haag fundamentally revises the history of arms in America and, in so doing, explodes the clichés that have created and sustained our lethal gun culture.

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    The Gunning of America by Pamela Haag

    The Gunning of America

    16.5 hrs • 4/19/16 • Unabridged
    1 reviews 0 5 5 5 out of 5 stars 5/5 (1)
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  3. 18.4 hrs • 9/22/2015 • Unabridged

    The definitive history of DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency, from the author of the New York Times bestseller Area 51. No one has ever written the history of the Defense Department’s most secret, most powerful, and most controversial military science R&D agency. In the first-ever history about the organization, New York Times bestselling author Annie Jacobsen draws on inside sources, exclusive interviews, private documents, and declassified memos to paint a picture of DARPA, or “the Pentagon’s brain,” from its Cold War inception in 1958 to the present. This is the book on DARPA—a compelling narrative about this clandestine intersection of science and the American military and the often frightening results.

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    The Pentagon’s Brain

    18.4 hrs • 9/22/15 • Unabridged
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  4. 9.4 hrs • 6/9/2015 • Unabridged

    The page-turning, inside account of how three kids from Florida became big-time weapons traders—and how the United States government turned on them In January of 2007, three young stoners from Miami Beach won a $300 million Department of Defense contract to supply ammunition to the Afghanistan military. Incredibly, instead of fulfilling the order with high-quality arms, Efraim Diveroli, David Packouz, and Alex Podrizki—the dudes—bought cheap Communist-style surplus ammunition from Balkan gunrunners. The dudes then secretly repackaged millions of rounds of shoddy Chinese ammunition and shipped it to Kabul—until they were caught by Pentagon investigators and the scandal turned up on the front page of the New York Times. That’s the “official” story. The truth is far more explosive. For the first time, journalist Guy Lawson tells the thrilling true tale. It’s a trip that goes from a dive apartment in Miami Beach to mountain caves in Albania, the corridors of power in Washington, and the front lines of Iraq and Afghanistan. Lawson’s account includes a shady Swiss gunrunner, Russian arms dealers, corrupt Albanian gangsters, and a Pentagon investigation that impeded America’s war efforts in Afghanistan. Lawson exposes the mysterious and murky world of global arms dealing, showing how the American military came to use private contractors like Diveroli, Packouz, and Podrizki as middlemen to secure weapons from illegal arms dealers—the same men who sell guns to dictators, warlords, and drug traffickers. This is a story you were never meant to read.

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    Arms and the Dudes

    9.4 hrs • 6/9/15 • Unabridged
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  5. 10.2 hrs • 3/10/2015 • Unabridged

    This essential, page-turning narrative on the history of drone warfare by the acclaimed author of Rumsfeld explores how this practice emerged, who made it happen, and the real consequences of targeted killing. Assassination by drone is a subject of deep and enduring fascination, yet few understand how and why it has become our principal way of waging war. Kill Chain uncovers the real and extraordinary story of drone warfare—its origins in long-buried secret programs, the breakthroughs which made drone operations possible, the ways in which the technology works, and, despite official claims, does not work. Taking the listener inside the well-guarded world of national security, the book reveals the powerful interests—military, CIA, and corporate—that have led the drive to kill individuals by remote control. Most importantly of all, the book describes what has really happened when the theories underpinning the strategy—and the multibillion dollar contracts they spawn—have been put to the test. Drawing on sources deep within the military and intelligence establishments, Andrew Cockburn’s Kill Chain unveils the true effects, as demonstrated by bloody experience, of assassination warfare—a revelation that readers will find surprising and shocking.

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    Kill Chain by Andrew Cockburn

    Kill Chain

    10.2 hrs • 3/10/15 • Unabridged
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  6. 6.9 hrs • 6/4/2013 • Unabridged

    At the time of his tragic death in February 2013, former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, the top sniper in US military history, was finishing one of the most exciting missions of his life: a remarkable book that retold American history through the lens of a hand-selected list of firearms. Kyle masterfully shows how guns have played a fascinating, indispensable, and often underappreciated role in our national story. “Perhaps more than any other nation in the world,” Kyle writes, “the history of the United States has been shaped by the gun. Firearms secured the first Europeans’ hold on the continent, opened the frontier, helped win our independence, settled the West, kept law and order, and defeated tyranny across the world.” Drawing on his unmatched firearms knowledge and combat experience, Kyle carefully chose ten guns to help tell his story: the American long rifle, Spencer repeater, Colt .45 revolver, Winchester rifle, Springfield 1903 rifle, Thompson sub-machine gun, 1911 pistol, M1 Garand, .38 Special police revolver, and the M-16 rifle platform Kyle himself used as a SEAL. Through them, he revisits thrilling turning points in American history, including the single sniper shot that turned the tide of the Revolutionary War, the firearms designs that proved decisive at Gettysburg, the “gun that won the West,” and the weapons that gave US soldiers an edge in the world wars and beyond. This is also the story of how firearms innovation, creativity, and industrial genius has constantly pushed American history, and power, forward. Filled with an unforgettable cast of characters, Chris Kyle’s American Gun is a sweeping epic of bravery, adventure, invention, and sacrifice.

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    American Gun

    6.9 hrs • 6/4/13 • Unabridged
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  7. 25.0 hrs • 12/5/2011 • Unabridged

    The Shadow World is the harrowing behind-the-scenes tale of the global arms trade, revealing the deadly collusion that all too often exists among senior politicians, weapons manufacturers, felonious arms dealers, and the military. Pulling back the curtain on the secretive world of the global arms trade, Andrew Feinstein reveals the corruption and the cover-ups behind a range of weapons deals, from the largest in history—between the British and Saudi governments—to the guns-for-diamonds deals in Africa and the imminent $60 billion US weapons contract with Saudi Arabia. He exposes in forensic detail both the formal government-to-government trade in arms and the shadow world of illicit weapons dealing, laying bare the shockingly frequent links between the two. Drawing on his experience as a member of the African National Congress who resigned when the ANC refused to launch a corruption investigation into a major South African arms deal, Feinstein illuminates the impact this network has not only on conflicts around the world but also on the democratic institutions of the United States and the United Kingdom. Based on groundbreaking reporting and unprecedented access to top-secret information and major players in this clandestine realm, The Shadow World places us in the midst of the arms trade’s dramatic wheeling and dealing—from corporate boardrooms to seedy out-of-the-way hotels—and reveals the profound danger and enormous financial cost this network represents to all of us.

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    The Shadow World

    25.0 hrs • 12/5/11 • Unabridged
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  8. 7.8 hrs • 1/21/2010 • Unabridged

    In Bomb Power, Garry Wills reveals how the atomic bomb transformed our nation down to its deepest constitutional roots—by dramatically increasing the power of the modern presidency and redefining the government as a national security state—in ways still felt today. A masterful reckoning from one of America’s preeminent historians, Bomb Power draws a direct line from the Manhattan Project to the usurpations of George W. Bush. The invention of the atomic bomb was a triumph of official secrecy and military discipline—the project was covertly funded at the behest of the president and, despite its massive scale, never discovered by Congress or the press. This concealment was perhaps to be expected in wartime, but Wills persuasively argues that the Manhattan Project then became a model for the covert operations and overt authority that have defined American government in the nuclear era. The wartime emergency put in place during World War II extended into the Cold War and finally the war on terror, leaving us in a state of continuous war alert for sixty-eight years and counting. The bomb forever changed the institution of the presidency since only the president controls “the button” and, by extension, the fate of the world. Wills underscores how radical a break this was from the division of powers established by our founding fathers and how it, in turn, has enfeebled Congress and the courts. The bomb also placed new emphasis on the president’s military role, creating a cult around the commander in chief. The tendency of modern presidents to flaunt military airs, Wills points out, is entirely a post-bomb phenomenon. Finally, the Manhattan Project inspired the vast secretive apparatus of the national security state, including intelligence agencies such as the CIA and NSA, which remain largely unaccountable to Congress and the American people. Wills recounts how, following World War II, presidential power increased decade by decade until reaching its stunning apogee with the Bush administration. Both provocative and illuminating, Bomb Power casts the history of the postwar period in a new light and sounds an alarm about the continued threat to our Constitution.

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    Bomb Power

    7.8 hrs • 1/21/10 • Unabridged
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  9. 6.4 hrs • 8/17/2009 • Unabridged

    H. G. Wells sets forth an intriguing, first-hand observation of Italy, France, and Britain under severe duress during the “War to End All Wars,” World War I. He examines the technological effects of modern warfare on human nature, particularly the introduction of the tank and aerial bombing. Two prophetic visions of his philosophy to truly end all war are revealed: the control of war weapons and the creation of a world state.

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    War and the Future

    6.4 hrs • 8/17/09 • Unabridged
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  10. 10.0 hrs • 6/16/2008 • Unabridged

    Soon after its debut at the time of the Civil War, the Gatling gun changed the nature of warfare and the course of world history. Discharging two hundred shots per minute with alarming accuracy, the world’s first machine gun became vitally important to protecting and expanding America’s overseas interests. Its inventor, Richard Gatling, was famous in his own time for creating and improving many industrial designs, from bicycles and steamship propellers to flush toilets, though it was the gun design that would make his name immortal. A man of great business and scientific acumen, Gating used all the resources of the new mass age to promote sales across America and around the world. Ironically, Gatling actually proposed his gun as a way of saving lives, thinking it would decrease the size of armies and, therefore, make it easier to supply soldiers and reduce malnutrition deaths. The scientists who unleashed America’s atomic arsenal less than a century later would see it much the same way.

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    Mr. Gatling’s Terrible Marvel

    10.0 hrs • 6/16/08 • Unabridged
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  11. 14.2 hrs • 10/9/2007 • Unabridged

    From the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Making of the Atomic Bomb: the story of the entire postwar superpower arms race, climaxing during the Reagan-Gorbachev decade when the United States and the Soviet Union came within scant hours of nuclear war—and then nearly agreed to abolish nuclear weapons. In a narrative that moves like a thriller, Rhodes sheds light on the Reagan administration’s unprecedented arms buildup in the early 1980s, as well as the arms-reduction campaign that followed, and Reagan’s famous 1986 summit meeting with Gorbachev. Rhodes’s detailed exploration of events of this time constitutes a prehistory of the neoconservatives, demonstrating that the manipulation of government and public opinion with fake intelligence and threat inflation that the administration of George W. Bush has used to justify the current “war on terror” and the disastrous invasion of Iraq were developed and applied in the Reagan era and even before. Drawing on personal interviews with both Soviet and U.S. participants, and on a wealth of new documentation, memoir literature, and oral history that has become available only in the past ten years, Rhodes recounts what actually happened inthe final years of the Cold War that led to its dramatic end. The story is new, compelling, and continually surprising—a revelatory recreation of a hugely important era of our recenthistory.

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    Arsenals of Folly

    14.2 hrs • 10/9/07 • Unabridged
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