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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: 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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