enemy of the (security) state

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For NYT reporter James Risen, "fighting the post-9/11 national security state is a full-time job," as his new book Pay Any Price: Greed, Power, and Endless War explains:

"we had this whole period, 13 years now, where we essentially 'took the gloves off,' in Dick Cheney's famous words, in order to fight a global war on terror. And what Cheney meant by that was deregulating national security, and what that meant was eliminating or reducing or relaxing the rules that had been put in place for 30 years, from the post-Watergate era, which were governing the way in which we conducted national security. [...]

As I mention in the book, there are all these secret new companies that have developed around Washington in particular, in what I call "the homeland security-industrial complex," which is kind of like the military-industrial complex which came before, but is really more secretive and more earmarked toward intelligence and counterterrorism and not so much toward the big weapons systems that were the hallmark of the military-industrial complex.

So it's harder to see and it's harder to keep track of.

From the interview:

How much do we share responsibility for this state of affairs because we're so unwilling to not be afraid?

Yeah, that's a big part of it. Sometimes I wonder how much of it is the media doing that to the American people, and how much of it is really fear.

I tend to think that people are pretty smart, and if you as a politician or as a pundit presented the facts as they really are and not try to overhype them, that [people] would be willing to listen to that. Especially after so many years. I know a lot of people are tired of war so I think, now, the American people are more willing to hear that kind of message.

That's a prime example of market failure--"that kind of message" is not something that is delivered to us by corporate media outlets. Risen continues that "the Bush administration kind of created this national security/counterterrorism apparatus on an ad hoc basis, and did it very quickly and haphazardly:"

What Obama has done is made it more permanent and made it more normal. He's normalized it. And I would argue that's going to be part of his legacy, that he took what Bush set up in a haphazard and ad hoc way and made it more permanent. To me, that is more troubling, because it raise the question: If the war on terror is now a bipartisan enterprise, what political path is there out of this?

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This page contains a single entry by cognitivedissident published on October 18, 2014 9:52 AM.

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