1/29/2005

The Homeland Security State

From TomDispatch: Nick Turse on the security state and the imperial presidency:
The urge of the Bush administration to bring versions of the methods it's applying abroad back home is already palpable; the urge to free the President, as "commander-in-chief" in the "war on terror," from all the old fetters, those boring, restraining checks and balances, those inconvenient liberties won by Americans -- so constraining, so troublesome to deal with -- is equally palpable. Back in the Watergate era, we had a would-be imperial president, Richard M. Nixon, who provoked a constitutional crisis. Actually, it amounted to a near constitutional coup d'├ętat -- and if you don't believe me, check out The Time of Illusion, Jonathan's Schell's classic work on the subject. Now, it seems, we're in Watergate II, but without a Democratic Congress, a critical media, or a powerful antiwar movement (yet). All we have at the moment is the constitutional crisis part of the equation, various simmering scandals, a catastrophic war abroad, and an ever more powerful military-industrial-security complex at home. And we're not just talking urges here, we're talking acts. We're talking programs. We're talking the continual blurring of distinctions between the domestic and the foreign, the civilian and the military, between liberties at home and "securing the Homeland." The problem is, we can only guess at the extent of that "securing" process because so much is clearly happening just beyond our sight (or oversight).
In the first of a two-part series, Nick Turse, who follows the military-corporate complex regularly for Tomdispatch, offers as solid a sense as we are likely to get right now of the outlines of the new Homeland Security State being created within the bounds of the old republic. Let's face it, this is frightening stuff, but too important not to read.
Click on the title to read the whole article.

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