Thursday, October 20, 2011

Almost forty years ago

This description of the national security state certainly stands the test of time from almost forty years back. What has changed is that the national security state has mostly co-opted the press, Congress and the judiciary, and they now march to its orders compared to those days.

From The Best and the Brightest:
But arguments like this found little acceptance in those days, instead the Kennedy [Bush/Obama] Administration had been particularly aggressive in wanting to match the Communists [Terrorists] at new modern guerrilla and covert activities, and the lines between what a democracy could and could not do were more blurred in those years than others. These men, largely private, were functioning on a level different from the public policy of the United States, and years later when New York Times reporter Neil Sheehan read through the entire documentary history of the war, that history known as the Pentagon Papers, he would come away with one impression above all, which was that the government of the United States was not what he had thought it was; it was as if there were an inner U.S. government, what he called "a centralized state, far more powerful than anything else, for whom the enemy is not simply the Communists [Terrorists] but everything else, its own press, its own judiciary, its own Congress, foreign and friendly governments--all these are potentially antagonistic. It had survived and perpetuated itself," Sheehan continued, "often using the issue of anti-Communism [The War on Terror] as a weapon against the other branches of government and the press, and finally, it does not function necessarily for the benefit of the Republic but rather for its own ends, is own perpetuation; it has its own codes which are quite different from public codes. Secrecy was a way of protecting itself, not so much from threats by foreign governments, but from detection from its own population on charges of its own competence and wisdom." Each succeeding Administration, Sheehan noted, was careful once in office, not to expose the weaknesses of its predecessor. After all, essentially the same people were running the governments, they had continuity to each other, and each succeeding Administration found itself faced with virtually the same enemies. Thus the national security apparatus kept its continuity, and every outgoing President tended to rally to the side of each incumbent President.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

We all understand the stories about USMilitary in Vietnam who killed entire villages including women and children, toddlers and infants.
Unashamed vet in the public sector, SUPPORTED BY YOUR TAX DOLLARS, earning six figures/year. This history should have affected the family business as well.

10/23/2011 2:15 PM  

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