19 July 2010

I Really Cannot Wrap My Head Around this

As much as I rag on the Washington Post, there is some reporting of real value amongst the dross, including Dana Priest, who, along with William M. Arkin, have published an extensive investigative report on the burgeoning world of the American security-industrial complex:
These are some of the findings of a two-year investigation by The Washington Post that discovered what amounts to an alternative geography of the United States, a Top Secret America hidden from public view and lacking in thorough oversight. After nine years of unprecedented spending and growth, the result is that the system put in place to keep the United States safe is so massive that its effectiveness is impossible to determine.
Basically it points to a picture of a state security apparatus run amuck, where there are so many players, generating so much analysis, from so many sources, that it is impossible to separate the wheat from the chaff, or as Glenn Greenwald notes:
So it isn't that we keep sacrificing our privacy to an always-growing National Security State in exchange for greater security. The opposite is true: we keep sacrificing our privacy to the always-growing National Security State in exchange for less security.
(emphasis original)

More than ever, we need to ensrhine into the constitution something analogous to the the Swedish concept of Offentlighetsprincipen (openness), because right now all that our paranoia is generating is a massive trail of profiteers/contractors without generating much in the way of security.

It should be noted that reigning in this will not be easy. You can be sure that when the budgets are in jeopardy, the various wings of the state security apparatus will come up with scary stories to subvert any effort at real reform, and the current administration is terrified of being labeled, "soft on fillintheblank," so they do not have the inclination to even bend the curve.

I'll be going through the story, and the supporting material, to see if I have anything to add.


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