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July 20, 2010

And you thought the TSA was bad?

intelligence agenciesThe silliness of the federal government’s security theater policy has long been a common topic on this blog. But if you thought that the government’s security theater jobs program is bad, check out this first installment of the Dana Priest-William Arkin/Washington Post series on the explosion in the hiring of government contractors and employees doing top-secret work for the government’s intelligence agencies and programs:

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.  .   .   . 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.  .  .  . Every day, collection systems at the National Security Agency intercept and store 1.7 billion e-mails, phone calls and other types of communications. The NSA sorts a fraction of those into 70 separate databases. The same problem bedevils every other intelligence agency, none of which have enough analysts and translators for all this work.

The first Post installment goes to detail the utter failure of the matrix of government intelligence resources to generate the quantity or quality of intelligence that would justify the billions of dollars being spent on them, while telling the all-too-familiar tale of Congress failing to require any meaningful accountability from the intelligence agencies.

All of which prompts one to wonder. We already know what happens when Wall Street crashes.

But with the explosive growth in the intelligence and security theater bureaucracies, as well as the growth in government that is just beginning in regard to Obamacare and the 2,000-plus page Dodd-Frank financial regulation reform legislation -- and not to overlook the bloated bureaucracy that already exists to enforce the federal government’s absurdly-complex tax laws – what happens when out-of-control government growth crashes?

Posted by Tom at July 20, 2010 12:01 AM |


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