Technology and the militarization of America

After providing a link in last night’s Around The Blogs segment to Vox Day, who pointed out that the USA is effectively already a police state, I wanted to research the subject a little more, out of personal interest.  I came across this article at TechCrunch that seems ominously appropriate.  Here are a few excerpts.

Over the last decade, pretty much every arm of American authority invoked “homeland security” as an excuse to acquire boatloads of new technology, and used it to help expand their power and authority to unprecedented levels. There is nothing at all exceptional about the NSA’s massive overreach. It was only keeping up with the Joneses — FBI, DEA, Border Patrol, police forces everywhere — who have all been busy doing exactly the same thing.

. . .

And it’s not just equipment. It’s ethos and attitude. Police across America have increasingly begun to apply the military doctrine of using overwhelming force whenever possible. So SWAT raids rose over two decades from 3,000 a year to 50,000, including SWAT raids on illegal gambling, underage drinking, and Tibetan monks who overstayed their visas. Seven-year-olds are handcuffed and interrogated for hours over a missing five dollars (which they did not steal).

. . .

This collective power grab — I really don’t think that’s too strong a phrase — isn’t actually about security; it’s about organizations like the NSA concluding that since they can use new technology and novel legal interpretations to increase their power (and their budgets), therefore it’s imperative that they do.

. . .

The anthropic law of bureaucracies dictates that the ones which thrive are the ones which make self-perpetuation their first priority. And so now the police, and just about every American agency you care to name, and the contractors who supply them — call them the “security-industrial complex” — are implicitly colluding in the business of fear. The more shadowy enemies we have, and the more dangerous they seem, the more money the security-industrial complex gets, the bigger and more powerful it becomes, and the more secrecy it can justify.

There’s more at the link.  Worthwhile reading, albeit disturbing.


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