Tag Archives: National-security state

A Limited-Government Republic versus a National-Security State, by Jacob G. Hornberger

What we have now is the exact opposite of what the founders had in mind. From Jacob G. Hornberger at fff.org:

The worst mistake that the American people have made in the entire history of the United States was to permit the conversion of the federal government to a national-security state. That conversion has played a major role in the destruction of our liberty, privacy, and economic well-being.

What is a national-security state? It is a totalitarian-like governmental structure that consists of an enormous military-intelligence establishment with extraordinary powers, such as indefinite detention, torture, secret surveillance, and even assassination of both citizens and foreigners.

To put the matter into a larger context, North Korea is a national-security state. So are Egypt, China, Cuba, and Russia. And the United States. All of the regimes in those countries wield totalitarian-like powers.

It wasn’t always that way in the United States. Our nation was founded as a limited-government republic and remained that way for nearly 150 years. No Pentagon, no CIA, and no NSA. There was an army but it was relatively small — big enough to win battles against Indian tribes or a neighboring weak and impoverished country such as Mexico, but nowhere big enough to engage in wars around the world.

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Donald Trump and the Ten Commandments (Plus One) of the National Security State, by Andrew Bacevich

The national security state is set up for permanent war, and doesn’t take kindly to anyone who questions that. From Andrew Bacevich at tomdispatch.com:

Let us stipulate at the outset that Donald Trump is a vulgar and dishonest fraud without a principled bone in his corpulent frame. Yet history is nothing if not a tale overflowing with irony. Despite his massive shortcomings, President Trump appears intent on recalibrating America’s role in the world. Initiating a long-overdue process of aligning U.S. policy with actually existing global conditions just may prove to be his providentially anointed function. Go figure.

The Valhalla of the Indispensable Nation is a capacious place, even if it celebrates mostly white and mostly male diversity. Recall that in the eighteenth century, it was a slaveholding planter from Virginia who secured American independence. In the nineteenth, an ambitious homespun lawyer from Illinois destroyed slavery, thereby clearing the way for his country to become a capitalist behemoth. In the middle third of the twentieth century, a crippled Hudson River grandee delivered the United States to the summit of global power. In that century’s difficult later decades, a washed-up movie actor declared that it was “morning in America” and so, however briefly, it seemed to be. Now, in the twenty-first century, to inaugurate the next phase of the American story, history has seemingly designated as its agent a New York real estate developer, casino bankruptee, and reality TV star.

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The Real Reason The Propagandists Have Been Promoting Russia Hysteria, by Caitlin Johnstone

If you’re ever confused about why the US government is doing something, the answer is probably to  preserve and extend the US empire. From Caitlin Johnstone at medium.com:

Former MSNBC host Krystal Ball slammed her ex-employer’s relentless promotion of the Russiagate conspiracy theory following the embarrassing spectacle of Robert Mueller’s hearing before the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees on Wednesday.

“After watching seven hours of a spectacle that felt much more cruel than enlightening, I cannot avoid pondering a question which honestly gives me no joy to ponder: just how much damage has MSNBC in particular done to the left?” The Hill’s Rising star began, before excoriating her former employer’s “fevered speculations” about an “Infowars conspiracy theory” and the way it hosted people like Jonathan “maybe Trump has been a Russian asset since the 1980s” Chait and “conspiracy gadfly Louise Mensch” in search of ratings bumps.

“This whole setup has done more damage to the Democrats’ chances of winning back the White House than anything that Trump could ever have dreamed up,” Ball argued. “Think about all the time and the journalistic resources that could have been dedicated to stories that, I don’t know, that a broad swath of people might actually care about? Healthcare, wages, the teachers’ movement, whether we’re going to war with Iran? I’m just spitballing here. I actually heard some pundit on Chris Hayes last night opine that independent women in middle America were going to be swayed by what Mueller said yesterday. Are you kidding me? This is almost as bonkers and lacking in factual basis as that time Mimi Rocah said that Bernie Sanders is not pro-women because that was what her feelings told her. Rocah, by the way, a political prosecutor with no political background, is only opining at MSNBC because of her role in leading viewers to believe that any day now SDNY is going to bring down Trump and his entire family.”

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The Worst Mistake in US History, by Jacob G. Hornberger

The American empire has warped American principles and values. From Jacob G. Hornberger at ronpaulinstitute.org:

The worst mistake in US history was the conversion after World War II of the US government from a constitutional, limited-government republic to a national-security state. Nothing has done more to warp and distort the conscience, principles, and values of the American people, including those who serve in the US military.

A good example of how the national-security state has adversely affected the thinking of US soldiers was reflected in an op-ed entitled “What We’re Fighting For” that appeared in the February 10, 2017, issue of the New York Times. Authored by an Iraq War veteran named Phil Klay, the article demonstrates perfectly what the national-security state has done to soldiers and others and why it is so imperative for the American people to restore a constitutional republic to our land.

Klay begins his op-ed by extolling the exploits of another US Marine, First Lt. Brian Chontosh, who, displaying great bravery, succeeded in killing approximately two dozen Iraqis in a fierce firefight during the 2003 US invasion of Iraq. Klay writes:

When I was a new Marine, just entering the Corps, this story from the Iraq invasion defined heroism for me. It’s a perfect image of war for inspiring new officer candidates, right in line with youthful notions of what war is and what kind of courage it takes — physical courage, full stop.

Klay then proceeds to tell a story about an event he witnessed when he was deployed to Iraq in 2007. After doctors failed to save the life of a Marine who had been shot by an Iraqi sniper, those same doctors proceeded to treat and save the life of the sniper, who himself had been shot by US troops. Klay used the story to point out the virtuous manner in which US forces carried out their military mission in Iraq.

Well, except perhaps, Klay observes, for Abu Ghraib, the Iraqi prison in which Saddam Hussein’s government had tortured and abused countless Iraqis and which the US military turned into its own torture and abuse center for Iraqis captured during the 2003 US invasion of the country. Klay tells the story of a defense contractor named Eric Fair, who tortured an Iraqi prisoner into divulging information about a car-bomb factory. Encouraged by that successful use of torture, Fair proceeded to employ it against many other Iraqis, none of whom had any incriminating evidence to provide.

To continue reading: The Worst Mistake in US History