The Democrats and Republicans have enthusiastically joined hands to create a global police/national security state-within-a-state of unimaginable reach and power. Frequent contributor Michael Goodfellow sent me this investigative report, which I consider one of the most important of the decade: Top Secret America: A hidden world, growing beyond control (Washington Post).
Let's go back briefly to September 1, 2001, before the 9/11 attack. The national security "assets" of the nation had all the information needed to stop the attack. The various agencies did not stop the attack because there was essentially zero coordination and data-sharing between the CIA, NSA and FBI.
This was laid out in the PBS program The Spy Factory.
Now the national security "assets" have metastasized into a gargantuan national security state-within-a-state--and the exact same problem not only exists, it has become even more intracable.
Now that the national security state (NSS) has become much larger and even more unwieldy, coordination, collaboration and data-sharing have been rendered essentially impossible. This report makes that absolutely clear.
Rather than fix the problem of coordinating our national security assets, the Federal government and its leaders have amplified the problem. At the same time, they have created a monster which is beyond the control of elected officials or the citizenry, a secretive state-within-a-state which protects itself behind the inpenetrable shield of "national security" and "need to know."
The national security state is the ultimate protected fiefdom. Cutting one dollar of funding would be instantly characterized as "weakening our fight against global terrorism," as would any limits on the NSS's powers.
This is in effect a new arm of the "military-industrial complex" which dwarfs the power of the traditional military-industrial complex: "defense" contractors and the revolving door between the DoD (Department of Defense) and these Pentagon-dependent industrial corporations.
GWOT is the perfect defense for a state-within-a-state that is insatiable and beyond accountability. Even simple inquiries are quickly dismissed as "dangerous"--as if global terrorists would glean some useful information from knowing just how many hundreds of billions of dollars are being spent tracking them.
What's essential to our "fight"? It's a secret, so don't ask--just give us the money and don't try to limit our reach: we'll accuse you of being unpatriotic and "supporting the terrorists."
Just as "healthcare reform" wasn't about healthcare at all--it was all about securing an ever-larger share of the national income for the cartels which control sickcare in the U.S.--the global war on terror isn't about countering terrorism at all. It's about establishing overlapping bureaucratic fiefdoms with unlimited budgets and unlimited powers to mask their actions and their failures.
Despite spending hundreds of billions on "fighting terrorism," the last attempted terrorist attack in the U.S. was not foiled by this vast global machinery but by the alert passenger sitting next to the bomber.
What we have is a Keystones Cops tragi-comedy in which incompetence is rewarded with unlimited budgets and zero oversight and accountability. Since we couldn't integrate the reams of data we were collecting in 2001, then we expand that data stream a hundred-fold while hardening the bureaucratic silos around each feudal territory.
There is another pernicious feature of the global war on terror which benefits an ever-expanding national security state: we have to wire the entire world to root out terrorists. Terrorists can be anywhere, so we have to track every account, every message, every phone call, every email, and then mine it for meaning.
The scope and scale of this enterprise truly beggars imagination, but the U.S. national security state has long practice in global reach. To keep track of Soviet "boomers" (submarines armed with strategic nuclear missiles), the U.S. effectively wired the entire world's oceans for sound.
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