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Brendan Maloney

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How should we Americans disassemble our new National Security State?

Our new post- 9/11 National Security State, with over 1,900 new “Homeland Security” agencies and private contractor companies and more than 17,000 secret spy centers inside the US, was created by our leaders, not by us. How can we disassemble it?

This 55-minute "Top Secret America" PBS FRONTLINE program will be more than most of you will want to explore, though students of the Constitution and Bill of Rights will certainly find it all interesting and frightening.

Much of the film explores the history of our new National Security State, most of which was planned long before the terror attacks of 9/11/2001. But if you want to see what it actually consists of, there are two parts of the film that show that best. Fast forward to these segments:

27.5 minutes to 32 minutes

44.5 minutes until the end

http://video.pbs.org/video/2117159594/

Transcript of FRONTLINE Top Secret America

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/iraq-war-on-terror/topsecretamerica/transcript-6/

“as the physicians say it happens in hectic fever, that in the beginning of the malady it is easy to cure but difficult to detect, but in the course of time, not having been either detected or treated in the beginning, it becomes easy to detect but difficult to cure”
― Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince

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  • Apr 4 2014: The biggest threat to America are Americans.
  • Apr 3 2014: I believe one way is for those who have husbands, wives, sons, daughters, nephews or nieces,
    aunts or uncles, friends, lovers, cousins, grandsons or granddaughters, grandfathers or grandmothers,
    boyfriends or girlfriends, who work in any of the fields or agencies that are integral to this insecure Security System,
    such as police, lawyers, judges, business people, SWAT or Riot Squad members, military personnel and others,
    to speak with them as often as possible and continue to remind them that they are supposed to protect us/Us,
    the citizens and not their bosses. It is we, We the People, it's us/US, who are the Constitution and those with arms
    and firearms, continually and robot-like tell us/US they are in some perverted way, defending and protecting us/US as they point weapons at us/US, spy on us/US and do their best, following orders, just doing my job, to outlaw peace.

    We are us/US. They are not and it is not their country, they do not own it. What they are is the first line of real
    Artificial Intelligence entering our midst, that the populace should be concerned with rather than fearing machines that will take away their jobs.

    They are Mental Robots and have willingly allowed themselves to be brainwashed for a dollar, a job and then told they are the good guys and we are not. But the truth of what we know and believe is also the same truth that lies deep within them and we need to continually seek accessing it and one way is to continually remind them of it so that eventually it will find its way to where the truth is held in the human psyche: that is in the un or sub conscious mind.
    Then it will stand a chance of awakening.
    They know this truth and they know that what they are doing is wrong. They have to be confronted and reminded of it over and over again, just how brainwashing is done. Those people closest to these types will have the best chance of getting through.

    That's just one idea. Many have to be enacted or acted upon. Anyone can talk. Then do!
  • Apr 3 2014: Thats a good question sir. I think it would take something akin to what the "wobblies" did in the 1910s and 20s. We would have to fill their detention centers up and keep on coming. I think civil disobedience and/or nonviolent noncooperation is the only proven effective way to affect change in oppressive regimes. It comes with a high cost and a lot of sacrifice, though. I suppose its possible with enough public outcry through the current forms of social media there may be an effect on policies, its just a little hard for me to buy. The next logical question is how do you educate and mobilize the general public in this direction.
  • Apr 2 2014: Take guns out of the Constitution so that the have-not-guns don't have to worry about have-guns.
  • Apr 8 2014: I have to say first that I'm pretty ignorant about all of this (though there is so much rhetoric on every thing political, its hard for me to recognize "truth" when/or if I see it).

    That being said, I'll go with my gut and say that it seems to me that concentrations of power have seldom, if ever, in humam history had positive benefits for the common person on the ground (I.e. me). Has there ever been a benevolent concentration of power?

    Sometimes when I hear people defending these concentrations (such as main topic, or multi national conglomerates for example) I wonder if this is some form of stockholm disorder, this isn't meant as an insult by any means, its just hard for me to understand staunchly defending structures of power that have such a negative track record in the course of human history. Again this is just a gut feeling and not meant as an attack, just an observation.
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      Apr 8 2014: Hi, Jacob-

      For the benefit of TEDsters, here is an excerpt from Wikipedia re the Stockholm syndrome:

      "Stockholm syndrome can be seen as a form of traumatic bonding, which does not necessarily require a hostage scenario, but which describes "strong emotional ties that develop between two persons where one person intermittently harasses, beats, threatens, abuses, or intimidates the other." One commonly used hypothesis to explain the effect of Stockholm syndrome is based on Freudian theory. It suggests that the bonding is the individual's response to trauma in becoming a victim. Identifying with the aggressor is one way that the ego defends itself. When a victim believes the same values as the aggressor, they cease to be a threat."
      • Apr 8 2014: Thank you sir, I didn't even think to add a definition!
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    Apr 5 2014: FromTop Secret America, a Washington Post Investigation:

    The Top Secret Network of the Government and its Contractors. Interactive - clicking on links and boxes will keep you busy for hours.

    http://projects.washingtonpost.com/top-secret-america/network/#/overall/most-activity/
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    Apr 5 2014: The price We the People pay for the US "War on Terror." Any historian or political scientist worthy of the name ignores media hype and follows the Money Trail:

    United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime chart showing that opium production in Afghanistan was at its lowest under Taliban rule and has skyrocketed since. The present worldwide heroin epidemic is a direct result of the "War on Terror." The US routinely sprays coca fields in Columbia with herbicides, but never did so in poppy fields in Afghanistan.

    How did vast amounts opium get transported out of Afghanistan, other than on US and Allied military transports? On mules?

    http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/66062000/gif/_66062704_afghan_opium624x389.gif

    What happened to the price of oil after 9/11:

    http://www.wired.com/images_blogs/photos/uncategorized/2008/05/23/oilparabolic1.png

    True cost of the war in Iraq, which had nothing to do with 9/11

    http://www.motherjones.com/files/column_1.jpg

    Costs of War on Terror (not including long-term care/disabilities of wounded or PTSD veterans)

    http://stats.areppim.com/ressources/war_costofgwot_800x575.png
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    Apr 5 2014: Hi, Darrell-

    Did you watch the FRONTLINE video in its entirety?
  • Apr 4 2014: Why would we want to disassemble it?
    • Apr 4 2014: It costs money and doesn't do what it says on the tin.
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      Apr 5 2014: Darrell-

      “In peace one is despoiled by the mercenaries, in war by one's enemies.”
      ― Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince

      “It ought to be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things. Because the innovator has for enemies all those who have done well under the old conditions, and lukewarm defenders in those who may do well under the new. This coolness arises partly from fear of the opponents, who have the laws on their side, and partly from the incredulity of men, who do not readily believe in new things until they have had a long experience of them.”
      ― Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince

      “But in Republics there is a stronger vitality, a fiercer hatred, a keener thirst for revenge. The memory of their former freedom will not let them rest; so that the safest course is either to destroy them, or to go and live in them.”
      ― Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince

      Perhaps you are too young to remember our former freedoms, Darrell?

      “And yet we cannot define as skillful killing one's fellow citizens, betraying one's friends, and showing no loyalty, mercy, or moral obligation. These means can lead to power, but not glory.”
      ― Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince

      So perhaps you are a believer in power, but not glory? For surely spying on all US citizens is a merciless betrayal, showing no loyalty or moral obligation to our nation's Constitution.
      • Apr 6 2014: What freedom has been taken?

        The standard for private information and privacy has not changed.

        As it always has been, the letter in the sealed envelope is protects and can only be viewed based on warrant with probable cause. The address on the outside of the envelope, as has been the standard since before there was a Constitution, is public information and can be viewed and recorded without warrant.

        The NSA's meta data collection program is just reading the "address off the outside of the envelope". A warrant is not needed, and has never been needed, to track who is talking to whom (meta data). The content of the envelope (the content of the phone call, content of the email) still is, as has always been, private and can only be viewed with warrant based on probable cause.

        Nothing has changed other that our efficiency in tracking all that non-private, outside the envelope information.

        As for not being old enough, I'm 47.
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          Apr 6 2014: Hi, Darrell-

          I wish I had your trust in government and optimism that it will always abide by limits imposed upon it. Here is a recent TED Talk that might give you something to ponder re the likelihood of the "envelopes" you refer to remaining sealed, if indeed they ever have been:

          http://www.ted.com/talks/christopher_soghoian_government_surveillance_this_is_just_the_beginning

          I have seen in other posts that you are a masterful historian and I see here that you are an exemplary spokesman for the government party line. If you are not a member of the Council on Foreign Relations already, you should be. I don't perceive the CFR as an "evil entity," as some do since it has dominated every presidential administration since Wilson's presidency, with approximately 400 CFR members in each administration, Rep or Dem. But I do believe it has an essentially Anglo-Masonic agenda epitomized in this Rhodes - Milner Roundtable discussion that compares Anglo Masonry with French Masonry:

          http://watch.pair.com/roundtable.html

          As an example of Anglo Malthusian philosophies at work here in the US, over 500 treaties were made with American Indian tribes, primarily for land cessations, but 500 treaties were also broken, changed or nullified when it served the government’s interests.

          Money is power in a strongly capitalistic system like ours, Darrell. Our vanishing middle class is becoming more powerless year by year in a steady socially engineered Malthusian process. I would be happy for any reasons you might provide that might prove me wrong, believe me, my dear sir! Link to "Who Rules America." Please see Table 4 that shows the steady engineered decline in the wealth of the 99% since 1975, when we hit a record high of 80% of US wealth. In earlier years you will notice a natural randomness. The current decline is 1) unnatural and 2) slow so we don't realize what is happening and revolt.

          http://www2.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/wealth.html

          Best!
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          Apr 11 2014: 3 days ago: Hi, Darrell-

          The surveillance itself may seem innocuous to some, but I don't share that view. The thing we should all remember is that surveillance is only one facet of the new National Security State.

          There have been drone strikes on American citizens abroad, that a federal judge very recently ruled the perpetrators of could not be penalized by a civil (rights) suit.

          http://article.wn.com/view/2014/04/06/US_officials_not_liable_for_drone_strikes_on_citizens_rules_/

          Obama has recently beefed up martial law provisions and special presidential powers that he said he was going to do away with when he first ran for office. From Huffington Post "... the new Executive Order puts the government completely above the law, which, in a democracy, is never supposed to happen. The United States is essentially now under martial law without the exigencies of a national emergency."

          http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jim-garrison/martial-law-under-another_b_1370819.html

          Dozens of new secret overseas prisons/detention centers have been established and used.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extraordinary_rendition

          "Enhanced interrogation" (torture) has become an accepted norm.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enhanced_interrogation_techniques

          FEMA concentration camps/detention centers have been established inside US borders.

          http://www.apfn.org/apfn/camps1.htm

          Microwave weapons have been developed for riot/crowd control.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Active_Denial_System

          The spying is only a small part of the National Security State, Darrell.

          As National Security honcho Richard Clarke said, " You can look, if you’re objective, at all of this money and all of this effort and say, “What would have happened if we hadn’t done that?” And in almost every case, nothing would have happened. It’s true that there hasn’t been another attack. It’s not true that all of this expenditure and all these people have stopped it."
      • Apr 7 2014: I do not trust government on matters of economics. Council on Foreign Relations may as well be called "return to the Gilded Age where a few people had all the money and the masses lived in poverty council".

        However, I also understand what the NSA does. I am FAR, FAR, FAR less afraid of the NSA, than I am of Wall Street.
      • Apr 14 2014: Your argument seems to be "guilt by association".

        You do not like other things the government is doing, so collecting data that the Supreme Court has been ruling as public, not protected, for over 200 years, is now suddenly bad, because the government is getting better at collecting public, not-protected data.


        I prefer to take issues one at a time, on their own merits.

        Drone strike on a US citizen abroad. Don't be hanging out with terrorists! Constitutional Rights only apply to US territory.

        Can't sue government officials for decisions made in conducting their jobs. LONG established, and upheld, legal policy.

        You are going to have to provide a link better then Wikipedia on dozens of secret prisons.



        It was my opinion on Sept 12 2001, that our response to the WTC attack should have been to flat out ignore it. Rebuild and go on.

        That said, I see nothing wrong with tracking who is calling whom, pinging off which cell phone tower, and how long they talked. That is all "outside of the envelope", legally unprotected, public information.
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          Apr 15 2014: Hi, Darrell-

          Now you have me wondering what you do for a living, for that often skews one's view, but don't feel obligated to respond. Myself, I am just a carpenter/woodworker. I have a nephew who writes computer code for drones, my father was chief functional engineer for developing engines and power systems for the F-15 and F-16, and a good friend is a detective in Indianapolis (police are tied to Homeland Security now), so I know a thing or three about being inside the "belly of the beast."

          Best!
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    Apr 3 2014: From 9/11 Survivor Sharon Pamoli's website, Justiceagainstterrorism.net

    "Now is the time to close a gaping hole in the security of our nation by closing down the money pipeline that feeds terrorism and al Qaeda. The financial networks of the terrorists that were in place in 2001 have yet to be closed down. There is only one way to assure that another 9/11 never happens again: STOP the flow of money to terrorists NOW. That can be achieved by Congress passing the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act.

    "TELL CONGRESS TO PASS THE JUSTICE AGAINST SPONSORS OF TERRORISM ACT (JASTA - H.R. 3143/S.1535), which was introduced on September 19, 2013 by Reps. Peter King (R-N.Y.) and Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) in the U.S. House of Representatives and by Sen. Charles “Chuck” Schumer in the U.S. Senate with a strong bipartisan cast of cosponsors.

    Co-Sponsors in the House:

    Rep. Nadler, Jerrold [D-NY-10), Rep. Frelinghuysen, Rodney P. [R-NJ, Rep. Maloney, Carolyn B. [D-NY-12], Rep. Grimm, Michael G. [R-NY-11], Rep. Meehan, Patrick [R-PA-7], Rep. Swalwell, Eric [D-CA-15] ,Rep. Poe, Ted [R-TX-2], Rep. LoBiondo, Frank A. [R-NJ-2], Rep. Welch, Peter [D-VT-At Large] Rep. Wolf, Frank R. [R-VA-10], Rep. Buchanan, Vern [R-FL-16], Rep. Fitzpatrick, Michael G. [R-PA-8], Rep. Tonko, Paul [D-NY-20], Rep. McCarthy, Carolyn [D-NY-4], Rep. Farenthold, Blake [R-TX-27] Rep. Israel, Steve [D-NY-3], Rep. Jones, Walter B., Jr. [R-NC-3], Rep. Cohen, Steve [D-TN-9]

    Co-Sponsors in the Senate:

    Sen. Cornyn, John [R-TX], Sen. Coons, Christopher A. [D-DE],Sen. Feinstein, Dianne [D-CA]
    Sen. Graham, Lindsey [R-SC], Sen. Hatch, Orrin G. [R-UT], Sen. Klobuchar, Amy [D-MN]
    Sen. Markey, Edward J. [D-MA), Sen. Menendez, Robert [D-NJ],Sen. Whitehouse, Sheldon [D-RI)
    Sen. Flake, Jeff [R-AZ], Sen. Lee, Mike [R-UT]

    CONTACT YOUR MEMBERS OF CONGRESS NOW AND ASK THEM TO SUPPORT JASTA!

    IF YOU DO NOT KNOW WHO YOUR MEMBERS OF CONGRESS ARE, SIMPLY CALL (202) 224-3121 TO FIND OUT AND THEN BE CONNECTED"
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    Apr 3 2014: The Daily Beast World News 12/15/2013:

    How Bin Laden Escaped in 2001—The lessons of Tora Bora

    In 2001, a small U.S. special operations force had won extraordinary victories in Afghanistan and closed in on Bin Laden before high-level blunders allowed him to escape into Pakistan.

    " After spending a couple seconds too long on his radio, the CIA pinpointed bin Laden’s location to within ten meters. One hour later, forty of America’s most elite special operations forces raced to kill the most infamous man alive. It was the only day for nearly a decade in which the United States knew exactly where Osama bin Laden was. And, it was the last time that the majority of al Qaeda’s leadership would ever be in the same place."

    "So, perhaps the most surprising fact about the Bush Administration’s response to September 11, was that no one in the White House was paying attention when bin Laden was cornered at Tora Bora."

    "And, it was no surprise to the American operatives on the ground that bin Laden would escape. For weeks, Gary Berntsen, the top CIA officer in Afghanistan, pleaded for eight hundred Army Rangers to seal the six-by-six square mile sierra of Tora Bora. Then-colonel John Mulholland, the commander of the Special Forces A-teams in Afghanistan, was “concerned about the inadequacy of the force to the mission at hand.” General James Mattis, who commanded twelve hundred Marines at Camp Rhino near Kandahar, asked to reposition his forces to seal the border at Tora Bora. And, more than one thousand troops from the Tenth Mountain Division lay ready at Bagram Air Base near Kabul and Kharshi Khanabad in Uzbekistan."

    "When the opportunity came to kill bin Laden and decimate al Qaeda, less than one hundred special operations forces were deployed to pursue bin Laden in Tora Bora. Over those five days, hundreds – if not thousands – of al Qaeda and Taliban operatives crossed effortlessly into Pakistan and disappeared."

    Live Bin Laden better for National Security State!
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    Apr 3 2014: Great replies, Rodrigo, Jacob and Random!

    Educating the US populace and the power elite about the National Security State is the first step in any movement, as Jacob and Random point out. I, and so many others, including candidate Barak Obama but not president Obama, believe the 9/11 Investigation must be re-opened, since our vast National Security State exploded out of the events of 9/11/2001.

    The original "Investigation" was an utter farce: The W Bush administration did not want one to take place at all at first. When public outcry forced their hand, only a measly $4 million was appropriated for it at first, after Congress had spent $100 million taxpayer dollars investigating the harmless and irrelevant sexual activities of Bill Clinton and consenting adult women. When the Investigation opened finally, the administration stonewalled it, refusing to supply the Commissioners with requested documents for months, and then finally, two weeks before the hearings, flooding the investigators with (literally) truck loads of documents that they had no chance to sift through to find the relevant documents they requested.

    Here is why. Several lines of investigation implicated the Saudis, not least that the largest number of jet hijackers were Saudis, and for "National Security" reasons those lines of investigation were blocked at every turn. When the 9/11 Commission Report was published, 28 pages of it re the Saudi connection were blacked out completely. Here are the two authors of the 9/11/2012 Huffington Post article, "Re-Open the 9/11 Investigation Now," in the link below.

    "Bob Graham is a former U.S. Senator from Florida, Chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and co-Chair of the Congressional Joint Inquiry into 9/11. He is the author of two books on 9/11. Sharon Premoli, a survivor of the attack on the North Tower of the World Trade Center, now runs the website Justiceagainstterrorism.net."

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bob-graham/911-saudi-arabia_