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Tracy Riddle
11-02-2014, 11:20 PM
http://truth-out.org/progressivepicks/item/27142-the-national-security-state-has-filled-us-with-fear-but-not-improved-our-well-being

The National Security State Has Filled Us With Fear but Not Improved Our Well-Being Sunday, 02 November 2014 00:00 By Tom Engelhardt, Haymarket Books | Book Excerpt Of Tom Engelhardt's new book, Shadow Government: Surveillance, Secret Wars, and a Global Security State in a Single-Superpower World,

Glenn Greenwald writes: "The point of Tom Engelhardt's important work at TomDispatch and in Shadow Government is to help us find the way to break [the] chains" of the surveillance state. Read this compelling book now. Click here to contribute and receive Shadow Government. Noam Chomsky also praises Shadow Government: "In his regular, incisive, and often searing columns, Tom Engelhardt has uncovered layer after layer of deceit, fraud, and distortion to reveal to us harsh truths about power and its exercise that we must comprehend, and resist, and reverse, if there is to be any hope of decent survival. Shadow Government is essential reading." The following is an excerpt from Engelhardt's revelations about the covert branch of government hidden behind a classified wall: The Shadow Government's Secret Religion In a 1950s civics textbook of mine, I can remember a Martian landing on Main Street, USA, to be instructed in the glories of our political system. You know, our tripartite government, checks and balances, a miraculous set of rights, and vibrant democracy. There was, Americans then thought, much to be proud of, and so for that generation of schoolchildren, many Martians were instructed in the American way of life. These days, I suspect, not so many. Still, I wondered just what lessons might be offered to such a Martian crash-landing in Washington today. Certainly checks, balances, rights, and democracy wouldn't top any list. Since my childhood, in fact, that tripartite government has grown a fourth part, a national security state that is remarkably unchecked and unbalanced. In recent times, that labyrinthine structure—of intelligence agencies morphing into warfighting outfits, the US military (with its own secret military, the special operations forces, gestating inside it), and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), a monster conglomeration of agencies that is an actual "defense department," as well as a vast contingent of weapons makers, contractors, and profiteers bolstered by an army of lobbyists—has never stopped growing. It has won the undying fealty of Congress, embraced the power of the presidency, made itself into a jobs program for the American people, and been largely free to do as it pleased with almost unlimited taxpayer dollars.

(read the rest at the link) Copyright (2014) by Tom Engelhardt. Not to be reprinted without permission of the publisher, Haymarket Books.