This is Tim Weiner's first book on the National Security State (His second is Legacy of Ashes: A History of the CIA). Beginning with the early history of nuclear policy and weapons production, Weiner illuminates the inflated, delusionary, and utterly inaccurate intelligence upon which the National Security State is founded. Once President Eisenhower warned to U.S. people to "guard against...the "unwarrented influence...of the military-industrial complex" even deeper levels of secrecy ensued. Neither citizens nor most members of Congress are permitted to know the budgets spent on any intelligence agency (e.g. CIA, NSA), spy technology or nuclear weapons production. This amounts to a BLANK CHECK for hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars a year, with no accountability. It's unconstitutional (See Bomb Power), absurd, and clearly ill-fated.