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Discussion Starter #1
The top-secret world the government created in response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, 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.

These are some of the findings of a two-year investigation by The Washington Post that discovered what amounts to an alternative geography of the United States, a Top Secret America hidden from public view and lacking in thorough oversight. After nine years of unprecedented spending and growth, the result is that the system put in place to keep the United States safe is so massive that its effectiveness is impossible to determine.

The investigation's other findings include:

* Some 1,271 government organizations and 1,931 private companies work on programs related to counterterrorism, homeland security and intelligence in about 10,000 locations across the United States.

* An estimated 854,000 people, nearly 1.5 times as many people as live in Washington, D.C., hold top-secret security clearances.

* In Washington and the surrounding area, 33 building complexes for top-secret intelligence work are under construction or have been built since September 2001. Together they occupy the equivalent of almost three Pentagons or 22 U.S. Capitol buildings - about 17 million square feet of space................................
This shocking newspiece was two years worth of research that cannot even be described here and must be seen to be appreciated. Any red blooded American who considers himself informed MUST spend a couple of hours reading the articles, watching the video footage, and using the rich feature set of multimedia tools that are, quite frankly, the only way to fully visualize the massive Orwellian military industrial complex that is now touted as Americas fourth, and secret branch of government. I knew that a control grid was being implemented, and that all US citizens communications were being monitored, but even I was not prepared for the scale of the information presented in this report.

As for my somewhat controversial signature tagline that appears below my posts, this article confirms that the NSA intercepts some 1.7 Billion communications per day!

Read it and weep. http://media.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/ ... world.html
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Ron Paul: On the Bloated Intelligence Bureaucracy

Ron Paul: On the Bloated Intelligence Bureaucracy
On the Bloated Intelligence Bureaucracy
Campaign For Liberty
July 27, 2010


I have often spoken about the excessive size of government, and most recently how waste and inefficiency needs to be eliminated from our military budget. Our foreign policy is not only bankrupting us, but actively creating and antagonizing enemies of the United States, and compromising our national security. Spending more and adding more programs and initiatives does not improve things for us; it makes them much much worse. This applies to more than just the military budget.

Recently the Washington Post ran an extensive report by Dana Priest and William M. Arkin on the bloated intelligence community. They found that an estimated 854,000 people hold top-secret security clearances. Just what are all these people up to? By my calculation this is about 11,000 intelligence workers per al Qaeda member in Afghanistan. This also begs the question — if close to 1 million people are authorized to know top secrets, how closely guarded are these secrets?

They also found that since the September 11 attacks, some 17 million square feet of building space has been built or is being built to accommodate the 250 percent expansion of intelligence organizations. Intelligence work is now done by some 1,271 government organizations and 1,931 private contracting companies in about 10,000 locations in the United States.

The former Director of National Intelligence, Adm. Dennis Blair, has asserted that US intelligence now has the authority to target American citizens for assassination without charge or trial. How many of these resources are being devoted to spying on American citizens for nefarious reasons at home rather than targeting foreign enemies abroad?

It has been pointed out how much information we had about the impending attacks on 9/11, but because of layers upon layers of bureaucratic inefficiencies, our intelligence community was unable to act meaningfully on that information. Obviously we needed drastic change. But it was pretty clear that we did not need more bureaucracy, more confusion, more expenditures and more government.

It is even claimed by some leaders that the intelligence community has grown this way by design; that it is advantageous to have more than one set of eyes looking at the same information. With this logic, is there any number of intelligence employees at which we achieve diminishing returns? Can there ever be too many cooks in the kitchen, in their view?

Are there any problems at all that the government wouldn’t attempt to solve by throwing more money at them? Even now, the government is trying to solve our economic problems related to too much government spending and debt, with more government spending and debt.

The problem with our intelligence community before 9/11 was not an inability to collect information. Therefore, the post-September 11 build-up of the surveillance state does nothing to enhance safety. Instead what Americans have gotten in return for the billions of tax dollars spent on security is a surveillance state that reads our e-mails, wiretaps us without warrants, and strip searches grandmothers at airports. This is yet another instance in which Americans would be safer, richer and freer if our government would simply look to the Constitution and respect the boundaries it has set.

http://www.campaignforliberty.com/article.php?view=1032
 

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Discussion Starter #3
“Top Secret Americaâ€

“Top Secret Americaâ€
 

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Re: “Top Secret Americaâ€

No disrespect, and this article may have some shed of truth, but I don't believe ANYTHING the Post prints... If I ever run across the printed edition, I take it home with me and use it to pick up dog poo.
 

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Re: “Top Secret Americaâ€

scoom said:
No disrespect, and this article may have some shed of truth, but I don't believe ANYTHING the Post prints... If I ever run across the printed edition, I take it home with me and use it to pick up dog poo.
No disrespect either, but the Post has done some outstanding work over the years (ever hear of Bob Woodward?).

ALL news sources contain bias and should be reviewed in that light...but the Post has as much value as any other propaganda machine (FOX, CNN, etc.).
 

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For all intents and purposes, the three branches of the federal government have done nothing to prevent the massive expansion of unconstitutional governance by Washington, D.C.
Unconstitutional? What is all this misguided exaggeration about the 2nd and 17th amendments? This knucklehead needs to go read the U.S. Constitution:

Article I, Section 8:

Powers of Congress.

The Congress shall have Power...

To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions....

Article II, Section 2:

The President.

The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States.....

I have said it before, and I will say it again...if the situation requires the intervention of the federal (and state) governments to maintain or restore order, to control rioting and widespread looting, to recover from devastation whether natural or manmade [tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, massive flooding, chemical/biological/nuclear, or attacks by enemies "foreign or domestic" etc.], we need these systems to be in place, and most of us will be damn glad they are when they are needed....

Newspapers and talk shows do not objectively report news -- their job is to make the news interesting -- to attract an audience -- so they can sell soap or whatever else their advertisers want to sell to the audience being targeted.

This is fearmongering and hysteria masquerading as journalism. People who think that this is "government spending out of control" will not feel that way when these resources get deployed to rescue our own people from harm.

I am not saying we should be building multi-billion dollar buildings just so some bureaucrat can have a cushy office; I am saying we need to be watching what people outside of this country, and yes, inside of this country when necessary (and authorized under a warrant, or otherwise by law), may be planning to do, to harm the people who live here and do not want to be harmed by terrorists, thugs, criminals, lunatics, overly-religious zealots, radical extremists, or so-called "holy warriors."

This is both completely constitutional and completely lawful. If you think otherwise, you need to do more "homework!"

Quit letting other people tell you what to think...train your own mind. :wink:
 

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Clyde said:
For all intents and purposes, the three branches of the federal government have done nothing to prevent the massive expansion of unconstitutional governance by Washington, D.C.
Unconstitutional? What is all this misguided exaggeration about the 2nd and 17th amendments? This knucklehead needs to go read the U.S. Constitution:

Article I, Section 8:

Powers of Congress.

The Congress shall have Power...

To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions....

Article II, Section 2:

The President.

The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States.....

I have said it before, and I will say it again...if the situation requires the intervention of the federal (and state) governments to maintain or restore order, to control rioting and widespread looting, to recover from devastation whether natural or manmade [tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, massive flooding, chemical/biological/nuclear, or attacks by enemies "foreign or domestic" etc.], we need these systems to be in place, and most of us will be damn glad they are when they are needed....

Newspapers and talk shows do not objectively report news -- their job is to make the news interesting -- to attract an audience -- so they can sell soap or whatever else their advertisers want to sell to the audience being targeted.

This is fearmongering and hysteria masquerading as journalism. People who think that this is "government spending out of control" will not feel that way when these resources get deployed to rescue our own people from harm.

I am not saying we should be building multi-billion dollar buildings just so some bureaucrat can have a cushy office; I am saying we need to be watching what people outside of this country, and yes, inside of this country when necessary (and authorized under a warrant, or otherwise by law), may be planning to do, to harm the people who live here and do not want to be harmed by terrorists, thugs, criminals, lunatics, overly-religious zealots, radical extremists, or so-called "holy warriors."

This is both completely constitutional and completely lawful. If you think otherwise, you need to do more "homework!"

Quit letting other people tell you what to think...train your own mind. :wink:
Clyde, you are right in this one part, but in another part, there is the goverment which abuses its power and takes it to a different level. Where it takes those very principles and chooses to interpret their meanings to its own ends at the expense of the very people they represent. Democrats and Republicans both have done this.

At the current time, it is the Obama administration doing it. Case in point is what the Homeland Security is interpreting to be possible terrorist threats (homegrown), also the flexibility now that the FBI might have with emails, ect...There comes a point to how far does it go when the goverment instead of protecting, brings fear to its citizens?
 

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I understand your point, and those of the others who raise these topics, and your and their concerns are, at their core, valid ones, sensationalism aside.

That being said, I remain of the opinion that there are many knowledgeable and informed people, both in and out of government, who are watching out for anyone seeking to abuse these special enumerated powers, and I recognize that people get concerned that can happen if someone does obtain "absolute power" but honestly, I do not see this becoming a "permanent state of emergency" nor do I believe "martial law" will become the operating model for the U.S. government.

These events are by their very nature transitory, and while some people may have their legal and constitutional rights taken away during such public emergencies (which is in fact contemplated and in fact authorized by the Constitution, as written by the "Founding Fathers"), in the end these rights will be restored and the situation will normalize.

I know we had internment camps for Japanese Americans during World War II, and people did not have the same legal rights at this time of war as they did during times of peace...not exactly a shining moment in our Nation's history...but these camps did not remain after the threat of war had ended. What we are talking about, in certain situations, can mean whether the Nation itself survives...think global thermonuclear war for a moment...under those circumstances tougher choices exist, and toughest decisions must be made.

To me, it is a question of keeping things in perspective -- we need people to be prepared to deal with emergency situations, and because of the resources involved, that necessarily means the government has to do this, because not too many of us own helicopters and heavy equipment, and the governments (primarily the military and related executive branch agencies) have enough men and equipment to do what is necessary.

And yes, we need bunkers built underground, and blast doors built to protect people sent into the NORAD mountain shelters when all hell is about to break loose aboveground. And yes, we need to be able to conduct surveillance on people who plan to commit acts of terror or violence within our borders, or against our people abroad. Where some people see a threat, I see preparation; where some people see danger and something to fear, I see planning and steps being taken to ensure reemergence ("continuity of government").

We live in a world TODAY where China, North Korea, Pakistan, India, and Russia all possess offensive nuclear weapons. I don't know about you, but I want my government planning for what happens if some maniac in one of those countries decides to launch an attack. We will need all of those plans, and then some, to deal with what will come on the heels of such an attack. That is the harsh reality of the situation that confronts us. So, we prepare.

I am not worried about our own government "coming to get us." I am worried that these extremists, who will behead a person with a knife on camera and run around holding the severed head in their hands while doing war cries, may get their hands on these weapons and use them. I am also worried that in an all-out resource war, countries like China still pose an enormous military threat to our continued existence. You want to worry about jackboots...worry about 200 million Chinese coming forward to kill you in human swarms, as happened in Korea.... Worry about a nuclear Iran, or Arabic nations forming a new coalition and attacking Israel en masse, exactly as has happened in the past, dragging the UN, NATO and the US into a war right under Russia and China. That is where your fears, and your focus, should reside, in my opinion.

Again, in my humble opinion, and based on what contingencies confront us now....
 

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Clyde said:
I understand your point, and those of the others who raise these topics, and your and their concerns are, at their core, valid ones, sensationalism aside.

That being said, I remain of the opinion that there are many knowledgeable and informed people, both in and out of government, who are watching out for anyone seeking to abuse these special enumerated powers, and I recognize that people get concerned that can happen if someone does obtain "absolute power" but honestly, I do not see this becoming a "permanent state of emergency" nor do I believe "martial law" will become the operating model for the U.S. government.

These events are by their very nature transitory, and while some people may have their legal and constitutional rights taken away during such public emergencies (which is in fact contemplated and in fact authorized by the Constitution, as written by the "Founding Fathers"), in the end these rights will be restored and the situation will normalize.

I know we had internment camps for Japanese Americans during World War II, and people did not have the same legal rights at this time of war as they did during times of peace...not exactly a shining moment in our Nation's history...but these camps did not remain after the threat of war had ended. What we are talking about, in certain situations, can mean whether the Nation itself survives...think global thermonuclear war for a moment...under those circumstances tougher choices exist, and toughest decisions must be made.

To me, it is a question of keeping things in perspective -- we need people to be prepared to deal with emergency situations, and because of the resources involved, that necessarily means the government has to do this, because not too many of us own helicopters and heavy equipment, and the governments (primarily the military and related executive branch agencies) have enough men and equipment to do what is necessary.

And yes, we need bunkers built underground, and blast doors built to protect people sent into the NORAD mountain shelters when all hell is about to break loose aboveground. And yes, we need to be able to conduct surveillance on people who plan to commit acts of terror or violence within our borders, or against our people abroad. Where some people see a threat, I see preparation; where some people see danger and something to fear, I see planning and steps being taken to ensure reemergence ("continuity of government").

We live in a world TODAY where China, North Korea, Pakistan, India, and Russia all possess offensive nuclear weapons. I don't know about you, but I want my government planning for what happens if some maniac in one of those countries decides to launch an attack. We will need all of those plans, and then some, to deal with what will come on the heels of such an attack. That is the harsh reality of the situation that confronts us. So, we prepare.

I am not worried about our own government "coming to get us." I am worried that these extremists, who will behead a person with a knife on camera and run around holding the severed head in their hands while doing war cries, may get their hands on these weapons and use them. I am also worried that in an all-out resource war, countries like China still pose an enormous military threat to our continued existence. You want to worry about jackboots...worry about 200 million Chinese coming forward to kill you in human swarms, as happened in Korea.... Worry about a nuclear Iran, or Arabic nations forming a new coalition and attacking Israel en masse, exactly as has happened in the past, dragging the UN, NATO and the US into a war right under Russia and China. That is where your fears, and your focus, should reside, in my opinion.

Again, in my humble opinion, and based on what contingencies confront us now....
Again, I agree with you as well. But I also think this administration also focuses much on the point inward as it does outward and in some cases more inward. Case in point is Obama having Holder going after Arizona for illegal Immigration, and finding out that the White House may also give status to millions of illegals without Congressional approval. Homeland Security was targeting and may still be targeting 'home grown' terrorists for views which might be considered 'conservative',

We do need the goverment to monitor Iran/China/North Korea. They are major threats. We also need the goverment itself to be monitored for its views on its own citizens as well. The goverment is supposed to protect the people, but when it doesn't who does?

History has shown mass abuses of the goverment. Native Americans, Civil Rights up to the 60's. There is still major corruption in the goverment. The branches of the goverment are suppose to police each other, but when the branches are controlled by the same party, it's hard to police them when you are in the majority.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
It seems to me that you just don't see the big picture here. Homeland Security was never about a bunch of radicals in a cave, and shutting down the internet has nothing to do with protecting the power grid. We didn't even spend this kind of money or have these levels of secrecy during the cold war when we were fighting a sophisticated, well funded, resourceful enemy. A system of controls are being implemented which makes oversight by honest red blooded patriots all but impossible, and once this grid is completely in place, whoever is at the helm of the money flow can completely disregard the rights of the people.
 

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Trey73 said:
It seems to me that you just don't see the big picture here. Homeland Security was never about a bunch of radicals in a cave, and shutting down the internet has nothing to do with protecting the power grid. We didn't even spend this kind of money or have these levels of secrecy during the cold war when we were fighting a sophisticated, well funded, resourceful enemy. A system of controls are being implemented which makes oversight by honest red blooded patriots all but impossible, and once this grid is completely in place, whoever is at the helm of the money flow can completely disregard the rights of the people.
That is not completely true. There is still a balance of power, whether you believe it or not. It just depends on how strong that balance of power actually is and how far it wants to reach.
 

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Homeland Security was never about a bunch of radicals in a cave
Ahem:

6 United States Code 111:

SEC. 101. EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT; MISSION.
(a) ESTABLISHMENT.—There is established a Department of Homeland Security, as an executive department of the United States within the meaning of title 5, United States Code.
(b) MISSION.—
(1) IN GENERAL.—The primary mission of the Department is to—
(A) prevent terrorist attacks within the United States;
(B) reduce the vulnerability of the United States to terrorism;
(C) minimize the damage, and assist in the recovery, from terrorist attacks that do occur within the United States;


and shutting down the internet has nothing to do with protecting the power grid
Ahem:

PUBLIC LAW 107–296—NOV. 25, 2002 116 STAT. 2151
(2) COVERED FEDERAL AGENCY.—The term ‘‘covered Federal
agency’’ means the Department of Homeland Security.
(3) CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE INFORMATION.—The term ‘‘critical infrastructure information’’ means information not customarily in the public domain and related to the security of critical infrastructure or protected systems—
(A) actual, potential, or threatened interference with, attack on, compromise of, or incapacitation of critical infrastructure or protected systems by either physical or computer-based attack or other similar conduct (including the misuse of or unauthorized access to all types of communications and data transmission systems) that violates Federal, State, or local law, harms interstate commerce of the United States, or threatens public health or safety;
(B) the ability of any critical infrastructure or protected system to resist such interference, compromise, or incapacitation, including any planned or past assessment, projection, or estimate of the vulnerability of critical infrastructure
or a protected system, including security testing, risk evaluation thereto, risk management planning, or risk audit; or
(C) any planned or past operational problem or solution regarding critical infrastructure or protected systems, including repair, recovery, reconstruction, insurance, or continuity, to the extent it is related to such interference, compromise, or incapacitation.


A system of controls are being implemented which makes oversight by honest red blooded patriots all but impossible
Ahem:

There is a reason for Top Secret (and even higher levels of secrecy)classifications to exist....

Surely you aren't suggesting that "honest red blooded patriots" do not have a role in "oversight" of this "system of controls being implemented" -- I don't know what you consider the NSA, CIA, DIA, US Customs, Border Patrol, Coast Guard, and TSA to be, but I am pretty sure you will find at least one or two "honest red blooded patriots" among their leadership and ranks, and I would be willing to wager that they [and Congress, the President, and the Federal Courts] do in fact have oversight over this system of controls being implemented....

Look, you are free to believe whatever you want to believe.

I just think that some of the statements being made, and thought processes leading up to some (if not most) of these conclusions being reached, are being adversely affected by supposition, lack of legal and factual information, and exaggeration caused by half-baked notions of what is happening, and one-sided attempts at explanations of things that appear troubling to casual onlookers, unless and until you actually read the purposes of the laws that put this "system of controls" into legislation, that became law, in the first place.

In other words, it appears to me to be nothing more than thinking in extremes.
 
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