The Excesses of the Security State

In today’s Washington Post, there is an article about the largess of  the modern national security state. It is truly mind boggling to read how large and inefficient the intelligence community has become since 9/11. To give a sample of what is in store, here is a description of the numbers involved:

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.

[We] 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.

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.

Over at the Independent Institute’s blog, Robert Higgs has an excellent analysis of this article.

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