A Trillion Ways To Build a New Military Industrial Complex

15/10/2014 21:46

Source: Who What Why

 

 

Just when did the United States government start referring to the country as the “homeland?”

If you were to answer “after 9/11,” you would be wrong. That’s the surprise. What is not at all surprising is the exponential expansion of what some call the “security-industrial complex” since that day in September thirteen years ago.

What’s happening now—the government’s search for self-justifying excuses to claim broader powers against a menace it says is ubiquitous—is a cycle that’s been repeated since America launched its first “War on Drugs” in the 1930s.

Today’s on-going proliferation of the national security state has created a new profit center for a large number of American companies with deep ties to military and intelligence agencies. And as bureaucracies and profits have grown, personal liberties have suffered their biggest contraction in a century, thanks to the Patriot Act and other legislation designed to increase surveillance in the name of eternal vigilance.

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And here’s the irony: It all began before 9/11, with the kind of bipartisan commission usually convened to bury a hot-potato issue beneath a slurry of platitudes.

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In 1998, President Bill Clinton tasked former Senators Gary Hart, a Colorado Democrat, and the late Warren Rudman, a New Hampshire Republican, to chair the  U.S. Commission on National Security/21st Centur y. The Commission panel was a cross-section of the military-industrial-media complex. Its members included Leslie Gelb, longtime New York Times correspondent and editor; Norman Augustine, former CEO of Lockheed-Martin; and Army General John Galvin.

Not If, but…  When

The panel gave its report and recommendations in January 2001. Both Senators Rudman and Hart concluded that it was not a matter of “if” the U.S. would suffer a mass-casualty terrorist strike but “when.”  Among the panel’s recommendations was the massive integration of all of the nation’s domestic security, disaster planning and recovery functions into one behemoth called the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

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