It is no stretch to say that the season's most anticipated book of investigative journalism is Enemies Within: Inside the NYPD's Secret Spying Unit and bin Laden's Final Plot Against America, being published today by Simon & Schuster. Written by Associated Press investigative journalists Matt Apuzzo and Adam Goldman, it is based on a series of meticulously reported articles that won the duo a Pulitzer Prize last year.
The book — which deals with the police department's surveillance of Muslim communities in the wake of 9/11 — has generated plenty of heat in recent weeks. There was, for one, a lengthy excerpt in New York magazine, tantalizingly titled "The NYPD Division of Un-American Activities." Then came police commissioner Ray Kelly's dismissal of the book as containing "a fair amount of fiction."
Well, it's hard to brand as fictional the documents posted on the website for Enemies Within this morning, coming as they do straight from One Police Plaza. In what has to be one of the most clever — and genuinely beneficial — book promos in recent memory, Apuzzo and Goldman have posted an "interactive document map" that lets readers browse through actual NYPD documents related to Muslim surveillance.
For example, there's a "Memorandum for the Director of the CIA regarding the relationship of the NYPD and the CIA" and an "Official request to the Commanding Officer of the Intelligence Division to begin inquiry into Dennis Burke and associates, suspected to be connected to a bombing at a Times Square Armed Forces recruiting center based on their online activity."
Goldman told The Atlantic Wire over Twitter, "The book is based on 100s of new documents. We want readers to be able to examine the documents we referred to in endnotes."
Certainly, some may find the posting of NYPD internal memos to be a foolhardy move, one crassly being deployed to promote a book. Indeed, right-leaning editorial pages have lambasted the AP investigation from the start. Many others, however, will rightly deem Enemies Within, and all its digital accoutrements, as residing squarely within the fine tradition of American investigative journalism.