Chalkhead Mentalities

chalkheads, night

If you’ve been following Glenn Greenwald, you don’t need to read this, but if you haven’t, it’s a must-read. Beginning with Eisenhower’s warnings about the military industrial complex to the Bush Administration’s admittance to phone-tapping (when Greenwald started blogging) to the current anti-Wikileaks campaign, through the present-day campaigns against Wikileaks, Glennzilla traces frightening trends that I’m disappointed more people aren’t talking about. I would like to highlight a few points that Glenn made:

  • Last year, the Washington Post ran a series of articles and set up a whole interactive website called Top Secret America. I have mentioned before that it’s bad for the economy when you have a large portion of the population doing nothing but spying and participating in the new security industrial complex. These people are just consuming and are not really producing anything. As Dana Priest and William Arkin point out, it is dubious that these expenditures are keeping us any safer (producing actual security).
  • Political rhetoric is focused now on cutting government spending but not only are military cuts off the table, so are security cuts. Most of the cuts proposed are aimed at furthering the divide between rich and poor as reinstating taxes on the wealthy are also off the table.
  • This myopic collective amnesia about where our money really goes leads to things like bombing Libya with no congressional debate. (Each Tomahawk missile costs between $500k and $1 million so our little weekend adventure cost a billion dollars — leaving out whether it was the right or wrong thing to do.)
  • We have potential Presidential candidates getting away with criticizing the sitting President for being “nuanced” and accused by others of apologizing too much for the United States. Give me a break.
  • If anything, Obama should be criticized by both the left and the right more for not following through on many of his campaign promises — especially as Greenwald pointed out — where he said his administration would be the most transparent and supportive of whistle-blowers.

Where are the priorities, America?

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