We have big problems that are currently out of control and taking
our nation careening towards a future that is dangerously out of
control. We have, deeply ensconced within our power
infrastructures, institutions, organizations and job categories
where there are gross violations of the law, of the constitution,
of the rights of citizens. These organizations and the people who
operate freely as perpetrators of crimes and abuses of the
constitution are protected by the power hierarchy that is supposed
to supervise them and hold them accountable.
These rogue institutions are costing the USA trillions of
dollars annually. But it goes beyond money.
The perpetrators behind these problems don't use guns. They use massive holes in the law and intentional ignoring of laws and crimes by people who should be enforcing them.
(image by AK Rockefeller) DMCA
Let's take a look at some of the worse offenders. There's no
new news here. But my hope is to frame this as a bigger problem
that needs to be addressed by new responses-- responses which I'll
My goal in this article is to start a conversation that needs
to be raised to a much higher level. So here are a few examples of
the abusing entities.
-Law enforcement agencies and officers, from the top down to
cops on the street. The US is quickly moving towards becoming a
militarized police state, as Radley Balko
has exposed. Police
cover each other and routinely violate the law without
accountability. They work with homeland security and intelligence
agencies to spy on innocent activist organizations and individuals.
As Glenn Greenwald has said, they use terrorism as an excuse for
almost anything. They use swat teams for actions that are totally
inappropriate. Sometimes they lead to innocent people being, at
worst, killed, at the least, mistreated with violations of rights.
We need a set of laws and a system that enforces them so police,
who are given the public trust, are held accountable when they
abuse the powers they are entrusted with.
-Intelligence and surveillance agencies, like FBI, CIA, NSA
engage in spying that is unconstitutional and illegal. Then, the
heads of these agencies lie to congress, to the congressional
committees that are supposed to supervise them. And then, congress
lets them get away with it. People like hawk Democrat Dianne
Feinstein propose legislation that retroactively protect the
criminals who violate these laws. People like congressman Peter
King would give the NSA a blank check to despoil American's
-Military mystery spending. At this point, there are more than
a trillion dollars of unaccounted
spending tied to Defense. A few people have shown this
to be true. Why haven't these missing billions been tracked down,
the people responsible for accounting for them
-Military murder. Just because Obama takes time to decide who
to kill with drones each day does not make such murders okay. Just
because a president appoints an attorney who will say that what
he's doing is legal does not make it legal. Jeremy Scahill has
documented this in articles and his book and movie, Dirty
-Wolves in sheep's clothing are running government regulatory
and consumer and worker protection agencies. it has become
common for presidents to appoint and for congress to authorize the
appointment of people with massive corporate conflicts of
interest-- moles who use their positions to remove regulatory
impediments, create sham regulations that, worse than not working,
actually enable further corporate malfeasance. Start by looking at
the FDA and the Department of Agriculture.
-Bankers and finance industry people have engaged in criminal
actions that have hurt millions, yet the Department of Justice has
failed chosen not to prosecute almost all of them.
This is NOT a failure to act. It is intentional permission of
criminal action. Attorney General Eric Holder has made it clear
that he feels some people are exempt from prosecution. The problem
is bi-partisan. Both parties are protecting the economic industries
from robust regulations that would protect consumers.
in the highest places. We know
that one to two percent of the population are psychopaths--
predators who don't care-- they are without empathy and don't care
about laws, about who they hurt. The smart ones skirt the laws,
evading arrest. The less smart ones cost the US alone over half a
trillion dollars a year in prison, prosecution and crime costs, yet
the research budget to understand and prevent harm and damage
caused by them is less than twenty million dollars a year. I would
argue that if you include hurt and damage by uncaught, smarter
psychopaths, the costs exceed a trillion dollars a year. How
much damage can a psychopath CEO or member of congress, or a high
level aide do? Massive amounts!!
We need to take a step back and see these symptoms as part of
a much bigger problem.
The system is broken. There is no agency, no organization
tasked with the job of going after the problems described above. We
need to find a way to put all of these problems not only on the
table but on the chopping block, so the crimes and abuses can be
stopped and new ones prevented. The creation of a solution to this
problem won't happen overnight.
I don't have a solution to how to even get started. I don't
trust politicians or the president to appoint people who are
incorruptible. Perhaps the first step might be to massively
revise the way the nation treats whistleblowers. Maybe even appoint
whistleblowers, people who have already put their lives on the line
to reveal criminality, corruption and lies.
Imagine Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning, Dan Ellsberg,
Thomas Drake, Jeff Wigand, Karen Kwiatkowski, Marsha Coleman
Adebayo, Jesselyn Radack, Coleen Rowley, Sibel Edmonds, Joe Wilson,
Robert J. McCarthy, Wendell Potter, (see a more complete list
of whistleblowers at wikipedia
,) overseeing a commission delegated to
begin opening the vile can of worms I've described above. Yes, some
would need to be pardoned. I say go further. Pardon them, hire them
and pay them very well to take on a job that will be the cleaning
ofwhat may be the worse cesspool in America, one desperately
defended by people who should be helping but who are, instead
When it comes to psychopaths, we need to start down the path
towards creating a Manhattan or Apollo Moon Landing level project
aimed at understanding psychopaths better, so we can understand the
full impact, hurt and damage upon society, government, individuals
and the planet caused by psychopaths, then how to identify them and
prevent or decrease the harm and damage they cause. With costs
that probably exceed a trillion dollars a year, we should be
spending billions, not tens of millions each year dealing with this
major un-addressed problem.
The first step is having a conversation about this, seeing the
bigger picture, identifying the systemic and administrative
impediments to solving the problems. Once that starts, we can begin
developing strong interventions that actually work to clean up this
very dangerous situation.
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