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National Security:" A Global Police State-Within-a-State

• OfTwoMinds.com/blog
 
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.

1 Comments in Response to

Comment by Ross Wolf
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Following 9/11 Bush II set into motion counter-surveillance networks, that allowed NSA illegal wiretaps and surveillance of Americans private emails—allegedly to prevent terrorists attacking America. Subsequently U.S. Government counter-surveillance networks have become huge, supported by thousands of government employees and private contractors, many duplicating work. There are now tens of thousands of U.S. Government counter-surveillance agents, employees and private contractors monitoring U.S. Citizens private records and communications with no Congress or U.S. Citizens’ oversight. It is probable spies have already infiltrated private contractor industries stealing or buying vast amounts of intelligence information.

What this Post report does not mention, in the U.S., government-private contractors and their operatives work so close with police exchanging information to arrest Americans and or share in the forfeiture of their assets, they appear to have merged with police. Similarly in 1933 after the German Parliament building was set afire, Hitler used the fire as vehicle to use taxpayer money to expand his private police, the Gestapo and increasing merged it with German national security. Even before the Gestapo was consolidated with the German Government, the Gestapo arrested Citizens and confiscated private property with no legal authority." However U.S. Government has already granted that power to private contractors. In 1939 all German Police agencies including the Gestapo were put under the control of the "Reich Main Security Office” the equivalent of U.S. Homeland Security.

Can History repeat itself? It is foreseeable that should there be a radical change in U.S. Government, many of the current government private contractors would continue working for e.g. a fascist U.S. Government; communist or other despot government against the interests of Americans. Consider the German police first work for a democracy; then under Hitler worked for the Nazi Fascists; then worked for the Soviet Union running the East German Police (Stasi) believed to be the world most oppressive police force until the German Wall came down.

Now consider the power Congress, perhaps negligently has given police and Black Box counter-surveillance entities; including private contractors to spy on U.S. Citizens. Under Bush II NSA illegally wiretapped your phone, fax and private email communications: Now NSA will monitor your Internet. In 2008 Telecoms were granted government immunity after they helped U.S. Government spy on millions of Americans’ electronic communications. Since, Government has not disclosed what happened to NSA’s millions of collected emails, faxes and phone call information that belong to U.S. Citizens? Could those wiretaps perhaps illegal, become a problem for some Americans? Neither Congress nor the courts—determined what NSA electronic surveillance could be used by police or introduced into court by the government to prosecute Citizens.

In 2004, former Attorney General John Ashcroft asked government prosecutors to review thousands of old intelligence files including wiretaps to retrieve information prosecutors could use in “ordinary” criminal prosecutions. That was shortly after a court case lowered a barrier that prior, blocked prosecutors from using illegal-wire tap evidence in Justice Dept. “Intelligence Files” to prosecute ordinary crimes. It would appear this information, may also be used by government to prosecute civil asset forfeitures.

See: http://www.securityfocus.com/news/5452  

Considering that court case, it appears NSA can share its electronic-domestic-spying with government contractors and private individuals that have security clearances to facilitate the arrest and forfeiture of Americans’ property—-to keep part of the bounty. Police too easily can take an innocent person’s hastily written email, fax, phone call or web post out of context to allege a crime or violation was committed to cause an arrest or asset forfeiture.

There are over 200 U.S. laws and violations mentioned in the Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act of 2000 and the Patriot Act that can subject property to civil asset forfeiture. Under federal civil forfeiture laws, a person or business need not be charged with a crime for government to forfeit their property. Again, in the U.S., private contractors and their operatives work so close with police exchanging information to arrest Americans and or share in the forfeiture of their assets, they appear to merge with police.

Rep. Henry Hyde’s bill HR 1658 passed, the “Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act of 2000” and effectively eliminated the “statue of limitations” for Government Civil Asset Forfeiture. The statute now runs five years from when police allege they “learned” that an asset became subject to forfeiture. With such a weak statute of limitations and the low standard of civil proof needed for government to forfeit property “A preponderance of Evidence”, it is problematic law enforcement and private government contractors will want access to NSA and other government wiretaps perhaps illegal and Citizens’ private information U.S. Government agencies glean monitoring the Internet, to arrest Americans and to seize their homes, inheritances and businesses under Title 18USC and other laws. Of obvious concern, what happens to fair justice in America if police and government contractors become dependent on “Asset Forfeiture” to pay their salaries and operating costs?

Under the USA Patriot Act, witnesses including government contractors can be kept hidden while being paid part of the assets they cause to be forfeited. The Patriot Act specifically mentions using Title 18USC asset forfeiture laws: those laws include a provision in Rep. Henry Hyde’s 2000 bill HR 1658—for “retroactive civil asset forfeiture” of “assets already subject to government forfeiture”, meaning "property already tainted by crime" provided “the property” was already part of or “later connected” to a criminal investigation in progress" when HR.1658 passed. That can apply to more than two hundred federal laws and violations Government can forfeit property—requiring only “A Preponderance of Civil Evidence” little more than hearsay.


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