“Whereas the late scholar of militarism Chalmers Johnson used to refer to the CIA as “the president’s private army,” today JSOC performs that role, acting as the chief executive’s private assassination squad, and its parent, SOCOM, functions as a new Pentagon power-elite, a secret military within the military possessing domestic power and global reach.
In 120 countries across the globe, troops from Special Operations Command carry out their secret war of high-profile assassinations, low-level targeted killings, capture/kidnap operations, kick-down-the-door night raids, joint operations with foreign forces, and training missions with indigenous partners as part of a shadowy conflict unknown to most Americans.”
Nick Turse on SOCOM “The (US) Military’s Secret Military.”
“The federal government has appropriated about $635 billion, accounting for inflation, for homeland security-related activities and equipment since the 9/11 attacks. To conclude, though, that “the police” have become increasingly militarized casts too narrow a net. The truth is that virtually the entire apparatus of government has been mobilized and militarized right down to the university campus.” –Stephan Salisbury, “How to fund an American police state.”
Bowles’ and Jayadev’s “Garrison America.”
Ever wonder why Americans can’t say no?
Here’s your answer: 1 in 4 Americans participating in the “United States economy is now engaged in guard labor–providing security for people and property, and imposing work discipline.” And that doesn’t even count hegemonic policing.
On the Ultra Rich’s Surveillance State.
Remember right after Katrina, when we were told over and over, by people brimming with righteousness, how black people were running amok in New Orleans like fast zombies? (Like how white parents who murder their children claim a black man did it.) Meanwhile, our right-wing militarized police heroes are actually running around gunning people down, raping and pillaging. Then the political-economic elites turned New Orleans into a neoliberal fortress. It never fucking gets old for us, does it.
“Democrats and Afghanistan: What’s at Stake” by Glenn Greenwald nicely reviews what the US political capitalist class does and is, via a succinct description of CA Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein, excerpted below.
“Dianne Feinstein is a fairly typical Democratic Senator from a solidly blue state. In 2002, she voted to authorize the attack on Iraq. Throughout the Bush years, she repeatedly stood with the GOP to fund the war without the conditions and timetables sought by some of her fellow Democrats. Using her position on the Intelligence and Judiciary Committees, she was the key Democrat who twice voted to legalize Bush’s warrantless eavesdropping program — first with the Protect America Act (which Obama opposed) and then with the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, which also immunized lawbreaking telecoms. She led the Senate effort to confirm Gen. Michael Hayden as CIA Director even after he had been caught presiding over the illegal surveillance program (confirmation which Obama opposed), and she then joined with Chuck Schumer to single-handedly assure Michael Mukasey’s confirmation as Attorney General even after he refused to answer basic questions about torture and indefinite detention of U.S. citizens (confirmation which Obama also opposed). In 2006, she proudly described herself as the “main Democratic sponsor” of a Constitutional amendment to criminalize flag burning. Just this past week, she used her position as Chair of the Intelligence Committee to gut virtually every proposed reform to the Patriot Act.
Feinstein isn’t merely a typical (though particularly destructive) Democratic Senator, but also a very typical Washington insider, as her substantial personal wealth is tied directly to the very National Security State policies she relentlessly works in the Senate to expand. As her hometown San Francisco Chronicle put it in 2003 — in an article headlined “War brings business to Feinstein spouse: Blum’s firms win multimillion-dollar defense contracts in Iraq, Afghanistan”…Other than the Daschles and the Bayhs, it’s difficult to find a spousal team whose public and private activities feed off one another as synergistically as theirs do.
In light of this long record, it should come as absolutely no surprise that, last weekend, Feinstein joined with GOP Sen. Saxby Chambliss of Georgia to apply public pressure on Obama to escalate further the war in Afghanistan.”
What do Americans spend their money on, besides disposable consumer trinkets, interest, and overblown mortgages?
They are currently involuntarily donating:
$2238/capita/annum to military expenditures,
$39,000/capita in wealth redistributions (recent bailouts) to finance capitalists, and
over $6000/capita/annum to the private insurance-lobbyist-pharma-and gross-inequality-lovin’-physicians-run US medical complex!
Such a lucky slave-peoples.