“Shadow State” of surveillance inside the US

Developing Just Leadership

Crescent International

Muharram 09, 1436 2014-11-02

Daily News Analysis

by Crescent International

The US has become a vast surveillance state; everyone is being spied upon. No one is trusted except the inner core of operatives that carry out such activities for the benefit of the few at the top. It has been described as Oligarchy but in reality, it is a worse than a police state. Journalist Tom Englehardt describes it as “Shadow Government”.

Washington DC, Crescent-online
November 02, 2014, 14:19 EST

In his new book, Shadow Government, journalist and critic Tom Englehardt sheds light on the culture of secrecy that has spread inside the US following the War on Terror, to the point of creating a “shadow state” within the state.

On October 30, 2014, Englehardt gave an interview published on the alternate news site TruthOut, where he describes the phenomenon in chilling terms.

Englehardt notes that this state of surveillance has become so entrenched in the US government that it can almost be called a religion.

“Imagine what we call ‘national security’ as, at its core, a proselytizing warrior religion,” he observes in his book. “It has its holy orders. It has its sacred texts (classified). It has its dogma and its warrior priests. It has its sanctified promised land known as ‘the homeland’.”

The writer also highlights important facts about the national security state that shed light on why individuals such as Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel are talking about “a new world order” characterized by perpetual war.

For instance, we learn that 70 percent of the national security budget is farmed out to private subcontractors. This has made the founders and officers of these mercenary organizations, such as the infamous Erik Prince, extremely wealthy.

Englehardt makes clear this shadow state goes beyond the surface politics of the parties. He illustrates how this state of surveillance punishes those who threaten to rip the cover of secrecy, and that the Democratic Obama administration has been far less intolerant of whistleblowers than any administration in US history, including that of Republican George W. Bush.

“I can certainly confirm that the Obama administration has been fiercer than the Bush administration, or Nixon's, or any other past administration when it comes to prosecuting whistleblowers under the draconian World War I era Espionage Act and trying to keep the government's acts secret from the citizenry.”

We also learn the scale of the shadow state that is infringing on the civil liberties of US citizens at home, and creating mayhem abroad. Englehardt observes that were President Dwight Eisenhower, who coined the phrase “military–industrial complex,” to see the shadow state, he would roll in his grave in horror.

In many ways the term “military-industrial complex” has become inadequate to describe the shadow state today. “We'd have to call what we now have the military-industrial-homeland-security-intelligence-industrial complex, or something of the sort,” says Englehardt.

“It's a monstrous mix, engorged by simply staggering sums of money, post-9/11, fed eternally by fear and hysteria, and bolstered by a sense of permanent war, by a creeping militarization of our world, and by a conviction that, for all problems we face, there is, in a sense, only one solution: the US military and the national security state.”

The full interview can be read here: http://truth-out.org/news/item/27133-the-shadow-surveillance-state-is-really-a-secret-religion

END

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