Permanant war and meaningless chatter

| May 7, 2012 | 4 Replies

What’s on the table for this election season? Glenn Greenwald explains:

But like almost all of the most consequential and destructive policies — endless war, the Drug War, the sprawling and barbaric American prison state — the domestic Surveillance State expands with equal fervor under both Democratic and Republicans administrations, and opposing it thus affords no partisan gain and it is therefore entirely off the table of debate. In lieu of any dispute over these types of actually consequential government policies, we instead endure a series of trivial weekly scandals that numb the brain, distract attention, and produce acrimony as virulent and divisive as it is petty.

Greenwald pointed out that some mainstream writers are starting to take note of America’s endless state of war and surveillance. For instance, the following excerpt is the writing of Fareed Zakaria:

Since September 11, 2001, the U.S. government has created or reconfigured at least 263 organizations to tackle some aspect of the war on terror. Thirty-three new building complexes have been built for the intelligence bureaucracies alone, occupying 17 million square feet – the equivalent of 22 U.S. Capitols or three Pentagons. The largest bureaucracy after the Pentagon and the Department of Veterans Affairs is now the Department of Homeland Security, which has a workforce of 230,000 people.

The rise of this national security state has entailed a vast expansion in the government’s powers that now touch every aspect of American life, even when seemingly unrelated to terrorism. Some 30,000 people, for example, are now employed exclusively to listen in on phone conversations and other communications within the United States.

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Category: Propaganda, Secrecy, Spying

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich and his wife, Anne Jay, live in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where they are raising their two extraordinary daughters.

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  1. Erich Vieth says:

    In our contemporary political debates, “Punishment Y” can be limitless, secret surveillance, and torture, and due-process-free and oversight-less citizen assassinations ordered in the dark, and indefinite detention, and extra-judicial killings carried out by drones. As for the question Caesar posed — when a future malevolent leader, “with this precedent before him,” shall invoke this newly created power in malignant ways, “who shall limit or restrain him?” — the answer is: nobody. That’s the point of his rhetorical inquiry. He even answered it himself: “All bad precedents have originated in cases which were good; but when the control of the government falls into the hands of men who are incompetent or bad, your new precedent is transferred from those who well deserve and merit such punishment to the undeserving and blameless.”

    http://www.salon.com/2012/05/08/a_vital_and_unlearned_lesson_from_julius_caesar/singleton/

  2. grumpypilgrim says:

    For more on permanent war, read some of the article about Mitt Romney’s many ties to the Bush Administration’s neo-cons who dragged us into the unnecessary invasion of Iraq:

    http://www.plunderbund.com/2012/03/19/on-iraq-wars-9th-anniversary-mitt-romney-has-same-old-pnac-neocon-crew-lined-up/

    http://www.democraticunderground.com/125133422/.

    Or, just Google “PNAC Mitt Romney” for a frightening look at what U.S. (imperialist) foreign policy might look like if Romney were to win the election. These folks want to massively increase military spending and manpower — far more than the Pentagon has asked for — for the express aim of subjugating the rest of the world to U.S. domination. That top 1% that’s backing Romney doesn’t just want to own the U.S., they want Orwellian control of the planet.

  3. grumpypilgrim says:

    I suspect it has a lot to do with PNAC’s apparent goal of using U.S. military power to control the planet’s natural resources. These resources are finite, and at least some of them are located in countries that might not sell them to the U.S. (at favorable prices or at all). So, under the banner of “national security,” PNAC apparently wants the U.S. to obtain them militarily.

    I can’t prove this, but I can’t see another reason for PNAC to support vastly more military spending and manpower than the Pentagon wants.

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