WaPo’s “Top Secret America” investigation is crafted to form Orwellian conclusions. The political and intellectual classes are biting the bait to reel us in.
“Top Secret America“, a special investigation by Dana Priest and William Arkin at The Washington Post (WaPo), highlights the “concentration of top-secret government organizations and the companies that do work for them” that includes over 850,000 people with top secret clearance—over a quarter-million in the ‘private sector’—and an annual $10bn National Security Agency regime within the $75bn Big Brother black hole.
The reaction from Capitol Hill and the mainstream media is strikingly uniform: that the problem is the cumbersome inefficiency of the Big Brother regime, not that Big Brother is watching us.
Today’s addition to the report highlights the extention of the National Surveillance State without limits to ‘Main Street’. “In some parts of the cluster, they occupy entire neighborhoods. In others, they make up mile-long business parks connected to the [National Security Agency] campus by a private roadway guarded by forbidding yellow ‘Warning’ signs,” Ms. Priest and Mr. Arkin reported, adding later: “Six of the 10 richest counties in the United States, according to Census Bureau data, are in these clusters.”
The investigation has identified 45 governmental organizations with 1,271 sub-units and 1,931 non-governmental corporations “engaged in top-secret work for the government”—categorized in 23 types of spying, datamining and execution.
The narrative that has become of this investigation hasn’t scratched the surface of privacy rights, free speech or the moral authority of government to criminalize every human being. The National Surveillance State shifts the burden of proof from the State to the citizen. The very nature of “this behemoth” is immoral, let alone unconstitutional.
David Ignatius at the WaPo is the one who calls this system a “behemoth”, but his criticism—like most—is against the size, the cost, the inefficiency. The danger of this dominating the narrative is that it quickly monopolizes the narrative—and it has. “The paradox here is that a smaller, better-controlled intelligence community will actually make the country safer than the unmanaged sprawl we have now,” he wrote yesterday.
He notes that “this complex features many of the old Cold War giants” and goes on to list the beneficiaries within the military-industrial complex, but supports the government turning these corporations into welfare queens, though he adds: “The war on terrorism has been a magnet for spending, just as the Cold War was.”
Mr. Ignatius is taking this report and criticizing, not the Big Brother violations, but that it’s “bloated” and calls for it to be “leaner and meaner”.
What these line-pushers are hiding is that the smaller these programs become, the more centralized the data collection becomes and the less likely whistleblowers come out to shed light on the rights abuses of Washington. By definition, there will simply be less people capable of whistleblowing, less with access to evidence of abuses and in reality the “bloated” government bureaucracy is outsourced to corporations replacing the people with technology. Technology incapable of identifying when it’s undeniable that government has gone too far. Technology without a weighed conscience.
The paradox is that a “leaner and meaner” spying complex, this investigation at the WaPo would’ve hit so many brick walls that it wouldn’t exist. The functions would remain the same; just deeper in darkness.
The 1,931 corporations will just dwindle down to the “Cold War giants” monopolizing the contracts and threatening employees with losing their jobs if they violate confidentiality.
What’s missing from the overall discussion is that this places the so-called ‘progressives’ is a spot with shit in their faces. They can’t strike the root of the Big Brother conundrum without conceding it as the inevitable lovechild of big government and mass consent, as Justin Raimondo wrote at AntiWar.com:
Government programs have many more lives than the mere nine attributed to cats: efforts to kill them off or even trim them down meet with defeat a great deal of the time. This hardiness is rooted in their very existence, which automatically creates a made-to-order political constituency. Once a government program is created, a pressure group—consisting of the economic beneficiaries of the program—inevitably arises which lobbies to extend and expand it. This applies in spades to those “private” companies whose sole “customer” is the U.S. government, and it is one of the chief energizing factors behind the exponential growth of “Top Secret America.” It is also the classical libertarian explanation for the growth of Big Government, not only in America but everywhere the State exists.
The core mainstream defense for the State is blown away by this reality that delegitimizes the loyalists even more, as Mr. Raimondo added:
Conservatives who question the utility of multiple layers of bureaucracy, and even cite Hayek, usually fail to apply the same principle to the realm of national security, where they’re all for what they would otherwise denounce as “big government.” Yet the general principles governing economic science are equally applicable to all the realms of human action, including intelligence-gathering and the defense of the nation. Indeed, it is precisely here, where failure to understand those principles can lead to mass death, that they must be applied most stringently.
To be more precise, a middle class family paying a couple hundred dollars within the same federal health care program as politicians is a socialist welfare program where we’re supposed to fear that it means Stalin gives us our next prostate exam or pap smear; but some corporation that creates nothing but the resources and manpower to destroy lives and liberty being handed billions every year become untouchable issues.
In The General Idea of the Revolution (1851), Pierre-Joseph Proudhon aptly reasoned:
To be governed is to be watched over, inspected, spied on, directed, legislated at, regulated, docketed, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, assessed, weighed, censored, ordered about, by men who have neither the right, nor the knowledge, nor the virtue.