The National Security State

President Obama and his administration have already given me plenty of disappointments. That's no big deal - I'm well left of center and know that not much will be progressive enough for me. And I understand that corporate interests are quite powerful and deeply ingrained into the political process, so that something like the TARP and various other bank bailouts will occur, no matter how bad I think the policies are, and I think that they're horrendous.

But there is no good explanation for this administration's wholesale adoption and promotion of the national security state that became the paramount concern of the government after 9/11. The policies are a direct attack on the Constitution - eliminating checks on the executive and destroying due process. There are no interest groups outside the government that are publicly pressuring anybody to support these policies. What group would benefit? I can't think of any. And no matter how many pundits clamor for blood, there is hardly any political benefit from being "tough on terrorism" for Obama. He only has to take on people that work for him. So why has he capitulated to the Bush program? I really don't know.

So it really boils my blood to read about another win for the national security state: Glennzilla is on the warpath over military commissions and preventative detentions. And rightly so. The key quote:
[T]his isn't about anything other than institutionalizing what has clearly emerged as the central premise of the Obama Justice System: picking and choosing what level of due process each individual accused Terrorist is accorded, to be determined exclusively by what process ensures that the state will always win. If they know they'll convict you in a real court proceeding, they'll give you one; if they think they might lose there, they'll put you in a military commission; if they're still not sure they will win, they'll just indefinitely imprison you without any charges.
Read it all and weep. He compares this to the Red Queen, "Sentence first - Verdict afterward."

UPDATE: Don't think that the national security state only harms the "worst of the worst" terrorists. The NSA is legally collecting all email traffic where one end is suspected of being outside the US.


Norwegian Shooter said...

That second paragraph was extremely naive. Google "Top Secret America" for the vastness (read $) of the National Secrecy State. And there is obviously tremendous political cost to being "weak" on terrorism. Live and learn.