September 13, 2013 by David K. Sutton
America Spends Billions On Police State, Ignores The Real Security Issue
Because of the NSA leaks by Edward Snowden, not only are we fully aware of the violations to our civil liberties, we also know our tax dollars are being used against us, in the name of national security. There’s a lot of money being spent on a shiny new police state, and what is it buying us? — Less freedom. Less liberty. That’s not a very good bargain.
Alternet — The existence of a secret US budget, amounting to a well-financed shadow government, used to spy on American citizens and monitor their daily activities, was always derisively consigned to insane conspiracy theorists. After recent revelations by National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden, called a traitor and being forced to hide from the Obama Administration in Russia, the existence of this budget is no longer in question. Snowden has smoked out the details of the secret budgets used by the intelligence community, known as the “Black Budget.”
The reported amount of this budget is approximately $52.6 billion. These funds are in addition to the congressionally-approved budgets of the Armed Forces and the Department of Defense of $526.6 billion dollars for a total of more than half a trillion dollars.
So we already have an insanely expensive military-industrial complex, costing us half a trillion per year, and a full ten percent on top of that is dedicated to clandestine operations, only now seeing the light of day. Do we really need to spend this much money on “security”? What security are we getting? It’s certainly not economic security. It’s certainly not the security of knowing you won’t go bankrupt because of a medical emergency. And it’s definitely not securing a good education for every American child.
During a peace-time economy, the budgets of the five intelligence agencies have grown exponentially while urban cities and social services have dwindled. For example, the CIA budget was increased to $14.7 billion dollars, a 56% increase since 2004. The NSA budget for domestic and international spying has increased to $10.8 billion dollars or 53% since 2004.
While the CIA and NSA enjoyed nice increases in their respective budgets, the rest of America saw mostly stagnant wage growth, a real estate bubble, and a Great Recession. In the aftermath of the financial collapse, the top 1% are doing really well, capturing 95% of the economic gains, while the other 99% are told they are socialist for even pointing this out. Something has got to give here. I think Occupy Wall Street was only the beginning. We cannot keep traveling down this path without some kind of backlash, a revolt of the citizenry.
Had the US civil rights movement that was celebrated on the National Mall with pomp and presidential ceremony occurred today, the $56.2 Billion dollar budget and its thousands of foot soldiers would have left no stone unturned to undermine and destroy the movement and its leaders leaving some to face life in prison, like Bradley Manning, or others to seek refuge in foreign lands like Edward Snowden.
We now have a glimpse into the biology of the US shadow government that is stunning in depth, detail and viciousness. It allows cities and populations like Detroit to decay while exhorting the rich culture of Motown and the African heritage that gave rise to the music that became a global anthem. Dead children, particularly dead black children, perishing for lack of basic nutrition, disproportionate exposure to environmental toxins, a lack of access to quality education and an over exposure to societal violence continues while the national security state demands more power and money.
If that isn’t a recipe for an uprising, for a people to rise up and slay their oppressors (metaphorically of course) — I don’t know what is.