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THE SECRET HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN EMPIRE by John Perkins

THE SECRET HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN EMPIRE

Economic Hit Men, Jackals, and the Truth About Global Corruption

By John Perkins

Pub Date: June 5th, 2007
ISBN: 0-525-95015-X
Publisher: Dutton

Perkins follows up the bestselling Confessions of an Economic Hit Man (2004) with a still repentant but now broader view of the unconscionable plundering of the planet and endangerment of its future by the “corporatocracy.”

That is, powerful, usually American-based corporations in concert with politicians. These unchecked organizations, avers the author, tend to work through the U.S.-dominated World Bank and International Monetary Fund, which extend credit to needy nations. There, graft is siphoned off by co-opted local officials, and benefits accrue to corporate contractors of massive projects while downtrodden economies in the long run acquire only debt. Perkins takes on every variation of the corruption model, from keeping labor costs down among sweatshop producers of consumer goods craved by U.S. consumers to maintaining affordable petroleum for the nation that swills a disproportionate portion of the world’s supply and generates commensurate climate-threatening pollution. Unfortunately, current events put the author’s case in sharper focus than he does. Headlines fresh from the Iraq misadventure, for example, affirm the notion that America doesn’t need to win its wars in order for fat-cat companies with no-bid contracts to reap huge profits from them. And the CIA that Perkins pictures once sending “jackal” minions to eliminate South American heads of state at the flick of a conspiratorial finger seems almost preferable to the one that was unable to get a clue on Saddam’s WMD situation. Perkins may indeed be “wracked with guilt” (as he chooses perhaps too often to remind readers), but so much undocumented, rehashed innuendo from someone acknowledging a former career in distorting facts does not make for compelling penitence.

Anecdotal inside info on the dirty deeds of the military-industrial complex, replete with sermons on resisting and changing it.