The Monday, July 19, 2010, edition of The Washington Post featured an investigative report entitled “Top Secret America,” with the subtitle, “A hidden world, growing beyond control.” The report begins, “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.
*Many security and intelligence agencies do the same work, creating redundancy and waste. For example, 51 federal organizations and military commands, operating in 15 U.S. cities, track the flow of money to and from terrorist networks.
*Analysts who make sense of documents and conversations obtained by foreign and domestic spying share their judgment by publishing 50,000 intelligence reports each year-a volume so large that many are routinely ignored.”
On the surface, the Post report appears to be a valiant effort by a major mainstream newspaper (second in influence to only the New York Times) to expose widespread government abuse and chicanery. But don’t get too excited yet.
In Joel Skousen’s World Affairs Brief (July 23, 2010), Skousen writes, “The [Post] series has just enough tantalizing information to sell a lot of papers, but almost nothing that exposes the illicit side of US operations-a large portion of which is involved in recruiting, training, and running covert agents-only a small portion of which are spying on real enemies. A lot of spying targets our allies and patriotic Americans who the government worries could someday provide a source of rebellion against the growing totalitarian state.”
Skousen further charges that there is a “dark side” to “each agency of [federal] law enforcement.” This “dark side” involves “a lot of compartmentalization, front activities, hidden budgets and false stories in order to keep honest government employees and agents from knowing what’s going on behind their backs.”
Skousen continues: “What few do get a glimpse into government’s dark side are warned off with threats, some subtle and some lethal-threats which send a chilling message to others to not ‘ask too many questions.'” Skousen then quotes the Post report as saying that since 9/11, the NSA (National Security Agency) has grown to where it now consumes “1.7 billion pieces of intercepted communications every 24 hours: emails, bulletin board postings, instant messages, IP addresses, phone numbers, telephone calls and cellular conversations.”
Concerning all those government organizations and private companies working on counterterrorism projects that the Post report refers to, Skousen writes, “Once again, the series tells us nothing about the substance of what they do, much of which is unsavory and illegal.”
Skousen goes on to say, “What [the Post report] won’t tell you is that almost a third of these [NSA] operations are dedicated to black operations against Americans and other Western governments who need to be surveilled in order to control them and keep them from resisting the agenda of the New World Order. Much expense is allocated to spying on the unsavory private behavior of Congressmen, and even State officials-building compromising dossiers on people who influence the political process so they can be coerced into compliance when necessary.”