That was back in 2010. This was reported in The Washington Post. There are probably more now. The Post reported:
At least 20 percent of the government organizations that exist to fend off terrorist threats were established or refashioned in the wake of 9/11. Many that existed before the attacks grew to historic proportions as the Bush administration and Congress gave agencies more money than they were capable of responsibly spending.
The Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency, for example, has gone from 7,500 employees in 2002 to 16,500 today. The budget of the National Security Agency, which conducts electronic eavesdropping, doubled. Thirty-five FBI Joint Terrorism Task Forces became 106. It was phenomenal growth that began almost as soon as the Sept. 11 attacks ended.
Nine days after the attacks, Congress committed $40 billion beyond what was in the federal budget to fortify domestic defenses and to launch a global offensive against al-Qaeda. It followed that up with an additional $36.5 billion in 2002 and $44 billion in 2003. That was only a beginning.
With the quick infusion of money, military and intelligence agencies multiplied. Twenty-four organizations were created by the end of 2001, including the Office of Homeland Security and the Foreign Terrorist Asset Tracking Task Force. In 2002, 37 more were created to track weapons of mass destruction, collect threat tips and coordinate the new focus on counterterrorism. That was followed the next year by 36 new organizations; and 26 after that; and 31 more; and 32 more; and 20 or more each in 2007, 2008 and 2009.
In all, at least 263 organizations have been created or reorganized as a response to 9/11. Each has required more people, and those people have required more administrative and logistic support: phone operators, secretaries, librarians, architects, carpenters, construction workers, air-conditioning mechanics and, because of where they work, even janitors with top-secret clearances.
What is being done about this? Nothing. It keeps growing.
How much does this cost? At least $80 billion a year. That is a lot of money. What is being done inside the federal government to control this? Nothing.
Do they monitor our phone calls? Yes. Did they deny this for years? Of course.
Then Edward Snowden blew the whistle. A British newspaper published it. Will this change anything? Yes. He will go to jail.
Anything else? He will get a great deal of publicity.
Anything else? No.
The Obama Administration is far more concerned with Snowden’s leaks than with the snoopers. The Obama Administration is the Bush Administration, digitally speaking. Conservatives swallowed Bush’s poison pills. Liberals are swallowing Obama’s.
This is bureaucracy on a massive scale. Only one thing can change it: an $80 billion a year budget cut. Will this happen? No.
The London Financial Times reports:
For the time being – and foreseeable future – US public opinion will continue to be more jittery about terrorism than it is of any dilution of its own civil liberties. In just the same way that social media companies rely on the often unwitting data striptease of their customers, so the data-intelligence complex rests on the acquiescence of US public opinion. “Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society,” said Eisenhower. Today, the military-industrial complex is alive and well. But the real story is about its post-9/11 data-intelligence arm.
Privacy? Gone. Civil rights? Going. Voters’ concern? Minimal.
That’s the bad news. The good news is that the federal government will default. The snoopers’ budgets will be cut.
The leviathan state keeps growing, because it keeps spending other people’s money. But it will run out of other people’s money at some point. That will be a great opportunity to spread the word of freedom by saying, loud and clear, “We told you so.”
We must lay the groundwork now. More people will listen. There will be more “Snowden events.” Then more people will listen.