The State of Secrecy

Richard Norton-Taylor


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Bloomsbury Academic
7 September 2023
ISBN: 9781350381933
352 pages

From the publisher

Described by a former senior Intelligence official as a 'long-term thorn in the side of the intelligence establishment', Richard Norton-Taylor reveals the secrets of his forty-year career as a journalist covering the world of spies and their masters in Whitehall.

Early in his career, Norton-Taylor successfully campaigned against official secrecy, gaining a reputation inside the Whitehall establishment and the outside world alike for his relentless determination to expose wrongdoing and incompetence. His special targets have always been the security and intelligence agencies and the Ministry of Defence, institutions that often hide behind the cloak of national security to protect themselves from embarrassment and accountability. Encouraged by his trusted contacts in intelligence agencies and Whitehall departments, Norton-Taylor was among the first of the few journalists to consistently attack the planned invasion of Iraq in 2003, and subsequently covered the devastating evidence of every witness in the Chilcot inquiry in the Guardian . With unique access to a wide array of defence sources, The State of Secrecy offers a provocative and rare insight into the disputes among top military commanders as they struggled to fight wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with under-resourced and ill-equipped troops.

Winner of numerous awards for his journalism, Norton-Taylor is one of the most respected defence and security journalists of his generation. The State of Secrecy is an illuminating, critical and provocative account of the author's experiences investigating this secret world.