National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Investigating the Spook-Industrial Complex

All of Washington is abuzz over a Washington Post investigative report into the vast network of public and private security organizations that have sprung up since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The two reporters, Dana Priest and William Arkin, are to commended for this two-year investigation that concludes: “The government has built a national security and intelligence system so big, so complex and so hard to manage, no one really knows if it’s fulfilling its most important purpose: keeping citizens safe.”

It is clear from the report, that since 9/11 terrorism has been one problem that both parties have been content to throw money at. In a sense, I see no objection to such an approach at first. Throwing money at a problem sometimes works, encouraging entrepreneurial solutions that might not have survived a bureaucratic review, involving private companies as well as the government in trying to devise new strategies and technologies to combat terrorism, and generally leaving no stone unturned. That said, now is the time to devise a managerial, bureaucratic method of oversight to assess how that money was spent and is being spent.

People forget that then-Senator Harry Truman rose to national prominence largely because of investigations he led into corruption and excessive spending by military contractors during World War II. Repeat: during World War II. Which Senator will have the courage to begin an investigation into the current anti-terrorism spending to root out excess and corruption? Honor awaits.

Enjoy this article?
Help support more like it by donating today!

NCR Comment code: (Comments can be found below)

Before you can post a comment, you must verify your email address at Disqus.com/verify.
Comments from unverified email addresses will be deleted.

  • Be respectful. Do not attack the writer. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the original idea will be deleted. NCR reserves the right to close comment threads when discussions are no longer productive.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report abuse" button. Once a comment has been flagged, an NCR staff member will investigate.

For more detailed guidelines, visit our User Guidelines page.

For help on how to post a comment, visit our reference page.

 

Laudato-Si_ff3.png

NCR Email Alerts