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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 2/21/11

We Must Close Down the National-Security State

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Many people are concerned with a number of developments that are happening at the moment. They draw attention to TSA body scanners, surveillance technology, interference with the Internet, and other developments and are addressing the issues one by one.

But it seems to me that we overlook something more basic in approaching things this way. We overlook the primary issue.

Do you remember the Washington Post series perhaps last Spring or Summer in which they detailed the really huge growth and multiplication of personnel, organizations, and technologies which we could call for short the "national-security state"?  The national-security state is the offspring of the military-industrial complex that President Eisenhower and President Kennedy warned us about.

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         TSA body scanners

This effusion of surveillance systems, Internet interference technologies, scanners and so on, it seems to me, is testimony to the tremendous growth, budgeting, staffing, and work of that very structure that the Washington Post described.

For many reasons, not the least of which is the security of the American people, but another compelling reason for which is the ending of a huge budget drain, we must close down the national- security state (NSS).

Now by that I don't mean closing down the military. We need a military until such time as we close down crime and reduce political friction in the world. We don't need all the military hardware we have but we need some. However, we do not need the larger entity, the NSS.

Just the other day, I listened to an economist on CNN say, whatever we do, we cannot reduce the defense dollar. Oh, no. I beg to differ. Whatever we do, we must reduce the defense dollar. It's not butter we need to spend less on. It's guns.

The whole notion of defense, the whole notion of a war on terror, of the need for so many aircraft carriers, fighter jets, surveillance systems, tanks, depleted-uranium weapons, on and on, all of it must go. All of it must end. And it must end because we the people say so.

This NSS, this national-security state, is itself the problem. There are no terrorists lurking under bushes here and there. There may be people defending themselves against our aggression. There also may be some dark groups which we ourselves have created through our bogus "war on terror," etc.

But the NSS is itself creating its enemies in order to keep its funding up and the citizens of the world in a state of confusion and we need to get honest about that and stop refusing to address it.

The national-security state, which has grown up since 9/11, which  was itself engineered to provide a "new Pearl Harbor" that would spur the growth of the defense industry and the military, must be closed down. And, if it were, immediately prosperity would return to America and the threat of war would end on the planet.

Make that first on your list of issues please. It's time to stop talking about the nickels and dimes that are spent on social programs. If we want to save money, the way to do it is to close down the defense industry globally and with it the national-security state. When we do that - and we will - the money to send each child to university, to create a universal medicare system, to see that everyone is well fed, well sheltered, and well cared for will be there.

We are being myopic and we are allowing ourselves to be misled. The NSS has no future and we know it. It's the source of threat in the world and the source of our problems. I request that we refuse any longer to participate in the debate about austerity on any other grounds before the total closure of the national-security state is accomplished. Close the NSS down first and then let's take a second look at the state of the union.

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The author is a former Member of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada and a member of Mensa Canada. He is the author of several Internet books and articles on gender persecution, cross-cultural spirituality, life after death, and the 2012 (more...)
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