Responding to Terror Attacks is So Profitable, Is That a Danger, Too?
|November 20, 2013||Posted by Staff under War / Peace|
This 2013 excerpt of AlterNet, Aug 16, by Alex Kane.
Post-9/11 America has witnessed a boom in private firms dedicated to the hyped-up threat of terrorism. The drive to privatize America’s national security apparatus accelerated in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks, and it’s gotten to the point where 70 percent of the national intelligence budget is now spent on private contractors. The private intelligence contractors have profited to the tune of at least $6 billion a year. There are 1,931 private firms across the country dedicated to fighting terrorism.
What it all adds up to is a massive industry profiting off government-induced fear of terrorism, even though Americans are more likely to be killed by a car crash or their own furniture than a terror attack.
Former NSA head Michael Hayden, the man at the center of the Bush administration’s 2005 surveillance scandal, was defending his former agency on CBS News in the wake of the latest NSA spying scandal. Former Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff had a similar message when he appeared on ABC News. CBS and ABC did not see fit to inform viewers that both Hayden and Chertoff are employees of the Chertoff Group, a private firm created in 2009 that companies hire to consult on best practices for security and combatting terrorism. Some of the companies the firm advises go on to win government contracts. Chertoff is the founder and chairman of the group, while Hayden serves as a principal. So they profit off a war on terror they say is crucial to keeping Americans safe. The TSA ordered 300 body scanners by Rapiscan, one of the Chertoff Group’s clients. The Huffington Post reported that Rapiscan made $118 million from the government between 2009-2010.
Booz Allen Hamilton wins massive government contracts. Its vice president is the former director of national intelligence, while the current director of national intelligence is a former employee of Booz Allen. Booz Allen Hamiltion made over $5 billion last fiscal year. The company announced that it had won a contract with the Defense Department that’s worth up to $5.6 billion.
Formerly California-based Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), sometimes referred to as “NSA West” because so many former NSA employees go on to work for them, this firm makes a ton of cash off government contracts. When John P. Jumper, the current CEO of SAIC, was an Air Force general, he said the threat of terrorism is “greater than Nazism, greater than communism.” SAIC boasts 42,000 employees —- 20,000 of whom hold U.S. government security clearances. It is the NSA’s largest contractor. Last year it reported a net income of $525 million.
Through Homeland Security grant programs, the federal government has doled out over billions of dollars to private companies to provide education and training to members of the U.S. national security community, including law enforcement agencies. One of these companies is called the Center for Counterintelligence and Security Studies. Staff members include former FBI, CIA and Defense Department personnel. A five-day course for government employees on the “Global Jihadist Threat Doctrine” costs $39,280.
Security Solutions International is another private firm hawking anti-Muslim training to law enforcement. This Miami-based company founded in 2004 uses its Israeli security connections to boost its standing in the market. They use Israeli security trainers in their courses and their president, Henry Morgenstern, is a dual Israeli-U.S. citizen who says he “developed excellent high level contacts with the Security Establishment [in Israel], making SSI the premiere training company for counter-terror related subjects.”
Ed. Notes: The runaway spending by politicians on insiders, such as these ex-government employees in the war machine, is contributing to the bankrupting of the US. Is the high cost worth it? One way to find out just how threatening the suicidal bombers really are is to make the state response to them totally non-profitable. Make our fighting totally “patriotic”. Pay these contractors no more than how much we pay low-ranking GIs. If those insiders could not rake in billions, I bet they’d have nothing to say about the threat.
So that citizens could feel exactly how expensive all its various wars are, make the income tax fund one thing and one thing only and that is the violent response to threats. All the rest of the Federal budget, either fund by charging user fees or eliminate the subsidized programs and replace with a Citizens Dividend funded by recovered rents, by all of society’s spending for land and resources.
A bonus! As this model spreads to other nations, they’d prosper and produce fewer disgruntled citizens, so the threat of attacks would drop to nearly nil. At much less cost, the world could enjoy security, prosperity, and freedom. Start geonomizing today!