9/11 has turned out to be a golden opportunity for those who want to expand their bureaucracies. Every crisis is an opportunity, and they have certainly taken advantage of this one. Since 9/11 an vast and largely unaccountable “security” empire has grown up. This seems to be less about actually protecting America, then it is about growing fiefdoms, providing comfortable employment, exerting control, keeping the money flowing, and generally pursuing a wide variety of personal agendas. Aside from the massive cost and waste to maintain this octopus like bureaucracy, my concern is a lack of accountability, correct oversight, and the diminishment of our civil liberties and rights, as well as our privacy. Charles Hugh Smith in his blog has a few choice words to say on the matter. It is something we should think about.
Consider the National Security State, busily constructing rectangular mountains of office space to house its vast, unchecked, oversight-free Empire. Does anyone actually know what tens of thousands of highly-paid people are doing in all these sprawling fiefdoms of National Security? And I don’t mean the Pentagon or the NSA–the buildings sprouting all over the tonier bits of D.C. and its suburbia are the metastasizing results of the “green light” given to anything remotely connected to GWOT–the global war on terror, the war that by definition can never be declared won or even ended, the war that always requires more funding lest one “event” slip through the cracks.
If nobody in the elected chain of command actually knows where all this “black budget” money is going, what are the odds it’s being spent wisely and prudently? “No meaningful oversight” inevitably leads to abuse of budget and power. If we haven’t learned that, then we are well on the way to financial and political self-destruction.
Another problem with the whole “War on Terror” is that we have not put in place limits on how far we are willing to go. Obviously the TSA has lost all sense of decency and common sense in their quixoitic effort to plug every possible threat. If we don´t put limits, abuse and paranoia will result. Natural News chimes in.
naturalnews.com printable article
Originally published February 8 2012
FBI says paying for your morning coffee with cash a potential terrorist activity, urges coffee shop owners to report cash-paying customers to authorities
by Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
(NaturalNews) Purchasing a cup of coffee using cash instead of a credit or debit card, using Google Maps to view photos of sporting event stadiums and large cities, and installing software to protect your internet privacy on your mobile phone — these and many other mundane activities are now considered to be potential terrorist activities by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). And the agency is now distributing a new series of flyers as part of its new “Communities Against Terrorism” (CAT) program that urges shop owners and others to report such “suspicious” activity to authorities.
“The Communities Against Terrorism program is funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance through the SLATT Program to provide law enforcement agencies with a tool to engage members of the local community in the fight against terrorism,” writes SLATT.org, the program of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance that is promoting the program, on its website. “To assist law enforcement in the outreach effort, templates of flyers containing potential indicators have been created for distribution to specific industries” (https://www.slatt.org/CAT).
The SLATT program offers both on-site and online training (indoctrination) for coffee shop owners, financial institution employees, tattoo shop artists, and many others into how to spot potential terrorist activities. Included among the many propaganda flyers the FBI is distributing as part of the campaign are ones for how to spot terrorists at local hobby shops and beauty supply stores, for instance, as well as flyers for owners of farm supply and home improvement stores (http://publicintelligence.net).
This little gem warns internet cafe owners to watch out for and report customers that always pay for their coffee with cash, as they could be terrorists (http://info.publicintelligence.net). Another ridiculous flyer intended for owners of boat shops warns them to be on the lookout for people interested in becoming certified scuba divers, as they could be terrorists (http://info.publicintelligence.net).
Be sure to check out the entire set of flyers here:
A few years ago, this type of outlandish fear-mongering and Stasi-style spying on citizens would have been considered a crazy conspiracy theory by many. But today, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) with its “See Something, Say Something” campaign, the U.S. Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) “First Observer” citizen spying program, and the TSA’s Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response” (VIPR) internal checkpoint force, together with the new FBI spying program, are making this police state nightmare in America a tangible reality (http://www.naturalnews.com/034867_TSA_Super_Bowl_surveillance.html).
Sources for this article include: