Ph.D. Octopus

Politics, media, music, capitalism, scholarship, and ephemera since 2010

Orwellian Nonsense or Just Bloated, Corrupt Security State?

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by Weiner

Andrew Sullivan is still ranting about Trig Palin. Meanwhile, Glenn Greenwald has rather more cerebrally called attention to the bloated and corrupt security state apparatus in America that has been growing steadily (exponentially?) since 9/11. The details are in the special Washington Post report on “Top Secret America.” Greenwald highlights this lead paragraph:

The top-secret world the government created in response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, has become so large, so unwieldy and so secretive that no one knows how much money it costs, how many people it employs, how many programs exist within it or exactly how many agencies do the same work.

He argues that not only is this security state apparatus inefficient, it actually makes Americans less safe: “we keep sacrificing our privacy to the always-growing National Security State in exchange for less security.”

Indeed, going down this road leads Greenwald to lament the pernicious private interests involved in the security state, and then basically start railing that the fact that nobody cares about all this is another indication that everything is going to shit.

I don’t really know how to evaluate all this. I think Greenwald is real smart and is not a conspiracy theorist type. He’s not saying that America is responsible for 9/11, but he is asking us to follow the money trail.

I don’t really feel like my freedom is in jeopardy as in some sort of Orwellian nightmare, but I do think that the United States has a lot of problems and is probably wasting a lot of resources on an inefficient security apparatus, to say nothing of hopeless and perhaps morally dubious war efforts when it could be doing more to improve healthcare, reduce the gap between rich and poor, increase foreign aid, etc.

Would love to hear anyone’s thoughts on all this.

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Written by David Weinfeld

July 26, 2010 at 16:18

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