Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Top Secret America – the Post 9/11 Terrorism-Industrial Complex (updated)


In 1961, then outgoing President Dwight D Eisenhower made a now-famous farewell address to the American public. Now known as the Industrial-Military Complex speech, President Eisenhower gave a dire warning to his fellow citizens. Here, in part, is the essence of his (himself being a retired and celebrated military man) concern…


“Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations.

This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence, economic, political… even spiritual… is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.”

In that speech, President Eisenhower gave a second warning…

“Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades.”

Now… fifty years later… ten years after 9/11… a new and greater threat, the next generation of the Industrial Military-Complex… is being investigated by two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter for The Washington Post, Dana Priest. Priest has just published a book, along with co-author William Arkin, entitled: Top Secret America: The Rise of the New American Security State.

The book outlines the rapid growth of Top Secret America, which began with an impulse to secrecy and a blank check from Congress in the days after 9/11, and which now employs nearly a million people at 1,900 private companies and 1,300 federal organizations.

Here is an excerpt from a piece that recently aired on NPR…

Thousands of government organizations and private companies work on programs related to counterterrorism, homeland security and intelligence. Last December, The Washington Post reported that this… "top-secret world ... 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."

Priest also profiles the Joint Special Operations Command, or JSOC, the clandestine military command that now conducts more anti-terrorism operations than the CIA. The organization, established in 1980, conducted hostage rescues for many years. It has since developed into a highly secretive and lethal force responsible for reconnaissance and targeted military operations — including the one last May in Pakistan that found and killed Osama Bin Laden. Priest describes JSOC as… "sitting at the center of a secret universe as the dark matter that shapes the world in ways that are usually not detectable."

The Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) is a component command of the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) and is charged to study special operations requirements and techniques and to conduct special operations exercises and training, and develop Joint Special Operations Tactics. It was established in 1980 on recommendation of one Col. Charlie Beckwith, in the aftermath of the failure of Operation Eagle Claw… strange pedigree. It is located at Pope Army Air Field and Fort Bragg in North Carolina, USA.

Sync Alert… Elsewhere in the news: (September 09, 2011) 14,000 rounds of assault rifle ammunition reported missing from Fort Bragg. Authorities are trying to find 14,000 rounds of ammunition missing from Fort Bragg in North Carolina. The ammunition went missing from the 1st Brigade Combat Team at Fort Bragg, said Staff Sgt. Joshua Ford. The missing ammunition can be used in the M-4 and M-16 assault rifles. Someone alerted Fort Bragg leadership about the missing items on Wednesday, Ford said. After the report, the 1st Brigade team, about 3,500 people, was placed on lockdown during an initial investigation, Ford said.


The missing ammunition story aside, this is all extremely scary stuff. The reality that a terrorism-industrial complex has run amok for the last ten years indicates a complete loss of control… by our government… over this “Black Op” juggernaut. What is most unsettling, aside from the mass killings being carried out, is the total abdication of authority and responsibility by our government, into the hands of private contractors who are carrying out said black ops. Once government relinquishes control, we lose the capacity to provide oversight of these operations. The checks and balances of a legitimate government vanish… thus fulfilling the prophecy of John Robb concerning the Hollow State theory.     

This is genuine fodder for Conspiracy Theory Buffs. Once a nation goes down this slippery slope… the end result is predictable.

Legitimate Government → Hollow Government → Contractor Ops → Illuminati


Call me alarmist, but this is a very real concern for all citizens… not just right-wing neo-cons or left-wing anarchists. The proliferation of the terrorism-industrial complex is an erosion of civil liberties and individual freedom. We shouldn’t be surprised. Dear old Ike gave us fair warning fifty years ago. The question is… is it too late to do something about it?

9/14/12 Update...

 Mike Clelland's blog, Hidden Experience ...brought this clip to our attention. We thought it would make a fitting addendum to this post... - J♥




 
Jack Heart is an activist in the fine tradition of the old Wobblies of the Pacific Northwest and a card-carrying member of the Legion of Dynamic Discord, Siskiyou/Cascadia cabal.
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