Monday, July 19, 2010

The terror-industrial complex

Is this the last gasp of the Washington Post? At least they're going out in style.

Emphases mine. Clearly "top secret" is now meaningless.
A hidden world, growing beyond control | Top Secret America - washingtonpost.
The top-secret world the government created in response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, has become so large, so unwieldy and so secretive that no one knows how much money it costs, how many people it employs, how many programs exist within it or exactly how many agencies do the same work.
These are some of the findings of a two-year investigation by The Washington Post that discovered what amounts to an alternative geography of the United States, a Top Secret America hidden from public view and lacking in thorough oversight. After nine years of unprecedented spending and growth, the result is that the system put in place to keep the United States safe is so massive that its effectiveness is impossible to determine.
The investigation's other findings include:
* Some 1,271 government organizations and 1,931 private companies work on programs related to counterterrorism, homeland security and intelligence in about 10,000 locations across the United States.
* An estimated 854,000 people, nearly 1.5 times as many people as live in Washington, D.C., hold top-secret security clearances.
* In Washington and the surrounding area, 33 building complexes for top-secret intelligence work are under construction or have been built since September 2001. Together they occupy the equivalent of almost three Pentagons or 22 U.S. Capitol buildings - about 17 million square feet of space...
Normally this would be a very sweet target for budget cutting, but now it's a form of bipartisan stimulus. Can't spend too much on security you know. (Of course this kind of Keystone Cops spending must actually reduce security).

WaPo has an online database summarizing what they learned from public records. The merely "secret" program was too vast to even consider.

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