Right on! Tom Engelhardt is a lone voice of sanity. Our National Security State (NSS), as he dubs it, has indeed grown out of control. Its reason for being has become self-perpetuation and -aggrandizement.
As I posted back in March, the Department of Homeland Security, which didn't even exist prior to 9/11, has spent about $800 billion since then in order to prevent any more such attacks. Never mind that that plot could have been thwarted if the FBI had simply listened to its field agents. No, we had to go an make a "monstrosity" (in Ron Paul's words), a real "Department of Defense" to rival the Pentagon -- the "Department of Offense."
This is not to forget the outrageous $700 billion Pentagon budget that is bigger than the next 13 biggest military budgets in the world combined; and let's ponder in awe and disgust that the Pentagon employs, directly and via contractors, about 3.3 million Americans, making it the single largest U.S. employer. Finally, let's remember Pentagon's network of hundreds of military bases worldwide. (For comparison, by one estimate, the Roman Empire had about 37 major bases at its height, while the British Empire had 36. So what does that make the United States, Rotary International?!)
And of course we have the NSA. What can I say that hasn't already been said? The NSA assures us that they have foiled some 54 "9/11"-type attacks (but only 13 in the U.S.... maybe we should start charging Europe a fee?) with their ceaseless spying on innocent Americans, but they can't tell us anything about these so-called plots because they're so secret. But the NSA did tell a Presidential task force, which responded, essentially with, "Phooey." So that's more money and liberty down the drain.
Folks, this is all done in our name, ostensibly to protect us. We're not innocent bystanders in all this. We're enablers. We must stop enabling. We must tell our Congressmen -- I'm talking to you, "fiscally responsible" Tea Partiers -- that the NSS has grown out of our control and must be chopped down. This monster now exists to feed itself and make babies, not to protect us.
By Tom Engelhardt
January 5, 2014 | Tom Dispatch