Wednesday, September 7

Counter Terrorism

Members of China's armed police demonstrate a rapid deployment during an anti-terrorist drill held in Jinan, capital of east China's Shandong Province July 2, 2008, roughly one month ahead of the Beijing Olympics.(Xinhua/Fan Changguo Photo)

US counter-terrorism spend since 9/11: $1 trillion (The Economist; estimate, true figures top secret and unknown). There is little to no oversight, either. Hi-tech equipment, often developed for Iraq or war, now used by contractors on US citizens outside the law and without a warrant, as reported by the Washington Post. The largest US anti-terrorist facility located next to the Baltimore airport and a massive complex housing communications, equipment and people and multiple programs outsourced by the Government often without Congressional approval. "Wastage" could be greater than 60% of expenditures.

"[After 9/11] The government said, 'We're facing an enemy we don't understand, we don't have the tools to deal with it, here's billions ... of dollars and a blank check after that for anybody with a good idea to go and pursue it,' Not only does the government find it difficult to get its arms around itself, [but now] it doesn't know what's inside, it doesn't know what works, it doesn't know what doesn't work. And nobody still, 10 years later, is really in charge of those questions."
--Dana Priest, co-author "Top Secret America: The Rise of the New American Security State" and Washington Post reporter