Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Security Machine

Via well-respected economist Duncan Black thinks the whole NSA spying scandal  is too firmly entrenched into Washington politics to dislodge:

...my basic belief is that aside from civil liberties issues, the security/surveillance state industry is just a giant grift, a big scam there to enrich certain communities in Northern Virginia. That it is a net good is bullshit, that it makes us "safe" is bullshit, and that "making us safe," as opposed to perpetuating its own existence and fattening the wallets of its members and those that play along, has much to with anything that goes on is bullshit.
I'm sure the Men in Black could pay me a visit and convince me otherwise. What do I know? There are known unknowns and unknown unknowns, and I can't claim knowledge of any of them. Much of what is "intelligence work" is boring, and stuff produced from that work is probably useful and the people who do it are probably doing good work for good reasons. But the unholy alliances with big businesses and third party contractors and the empire of well-paid informants and agents is just bullshit in which everyone takes their cut of your money.

Mr. Black's post was followed later by this one, called Deep Thought, which really gives me pause:

There's no reason to be concerned about an agency with a director who feels free to lie under oath.

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