In a previous post here I claim that American voters no longer control USGovt foreign policy. Nor do the representatives they elect.
In July 2010 the Washington Post published “Top Secret America”. According to Wikipedia:
Top Secret America is a series of investigative articles published on the post-9/11 growth of the United States Intelligence Community. The report was first published in The Washington Post on July 19, 2010, by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Dana Priest and William Arkin. …The three-part series, which took nearly two years to research, was prepared with the assistance of more than a dozen journalists.…An online database at TopSecretAmerica.com, as well as the articles to be published, were made available to government officials several months prior to the publications of the report. Each data point at the website was substantiated by at least two public records. The government was requested to advise of any specific concerns, but at that time, none were offered.
Mike Lofgren’s essay in February 2014 laid out the concept more recently in Anatomy of the Deep State.
This particular post extracts a few words from and links to three recent news items about a book by Professor Michael Glendon of Tuft’s University ‘National Security and Double Government’ by Michael J. Glennon”, published Oct 2014.
- A piece by Russ Baker, a highly experienced investigative reporter who has deeply investigated the “Boston Marathon Bomber” case
- A report by Jordan Smith a Boston Globe reporter, on Professor Michael Glennon’s “National Security and Double Government” book
- A book review of Professor Michael Glennon’s book by Mickey Edwards,who served in Congress from 1977 to 1993
Nov 04, 2014 by Russ Baker in WhoWhatWhy
You know something is going on when the cautious Boston Globe publishes not one, but two, pieces dealing with the “double government.” …..Next (though we aren’t holding our breath for this) we hope to see the Boston Globe publish an in-depth investigation of that sub rosa “Double Government” and its peculiar handling of the Boston Marathon Bombing….
The people we elect aren’t the ones calling the shots, says Tufts University’s Michael Glennon
By Jordan Michael Smith Globe October 19, 2014
The voters who put Barack Obama in office expected some big changes. From the NSA’s warrantless wiretapping to Guantanamo Bay to the Patriot Act, candidate Obama was a defender of civil liberties and privacy, promising a dramatically different approach from his predecessor.
But six years into his administration, the Obama version of national security looks almost indistinguishable from the one he inherited. Guantanamo Bay remains open. The NSA has, if anything, become more aggressive in monitoring Americans. Drone strikes have escalated. Most recently it was reported that the same president who won a Nobel Prize in part for promoting nuclear disarmament is spending up to $1 trillion modernizing and revitalizing America’s nuclear weapons.
By Mickey Edwards Globe Correspondent October 18, 2014
It has long been the province of conspiracy theorists to claim that the real power of government is not wielded by the obvious practitioners of statecraft — presidents, members of Congress, the judiciary — but by secret or semi-secret entities, real wizards whose hidden machinations send us to war, sell us out to enemies, siphon public treasure into private hands. Depending on your talk show or paranoia of choice, these are the bankers, oil barons, one-worlders, war profiteers, Bilderbergers, Masons, Catholics, Jews, or Trilateralists. Our formal institutions, in this scenario, are stage sets, Potemkin villages; our officials are puppets; we are an unsuspecting audience.
Michael Glennon, a respected academic (Tufts’s FLETCHER SCHOOL) and author of a book brought to us by an equally respected publisher (Oxford University Press), is hardly the sort to indulge in such fantasies. And that makes the picture he paints in “National Security and Double Government” all the more arresting. Considering Barack Obama’s harsh pre-election criticisms of his predecessor’s surveillance policies, for example, Glennon notes that many of those same policies — and more of the same kind — were continued after Obama took office. “Why,” he asks, “does national security policy remain constant even when one President is replaced by another, who as a candidate repeatedly, forcefully, and eloquently promised fundamental changes in that policy?”
….. In the aftermath of World War II, with the Soviet Union a serious threat from abroad and a growing domestic concern about weakened civilian control over the military (in 1949, the Hoover Commission had warned that the Joint Chiefs of Staff had become “virtually a law unto themselves”), President Truman set out to create a separate national security structure.
By 2011, according to The Washington Post, there were 46 separate federal departments and agencies and 2,000 private companies engaged in classified national security operations with millions of employees and spending of roughly a trillion dollars a year. As Glennon points out, presidents get to name fewer than 250 political appointees among the Defense Department’s nearly 700,000 civilian employees, with hundreds more drawn from a national security bureaucracy that comprise “America’s Trumanite network” — in effect, on matters of national security, a second government.
Glennon’s book is not a breezy read: It’s thick with fact and not unappreciative of conundrum (“The government is seen increasingly by elements of the public as hiding what they ought to know, criminalizing what they ought to be able to do, and spying upon what ought to be private. The people are seen increasingly by the government as unable to comprehend the gravity of security threats.”). Nor is he glib with proposed solutions: to adequately respond to the threats posed by a below-the-radar second government will require “a general public possessed of civic virtue,” which prompts Glennon to cite retired Supreme Court justice David Souter’s bemoaning of a “pervasive civic ignorance.” Not all of the problem can be laid at Truman’s feet. And if we ourselves are part of the zeitgeist that allows invisible governments to flourish, repair will be difficult. As Glennon puts it, “the term Orwellian will have little meaning to a people who have never known anything different, who have scant knowledge of history, civics, or public affairs, and who in any event have never heard of George Orwell.”
This is no secret conspiracy nor a plot to deprive Americans of their civil liberties. It is the unintended consequence of a thoughtful attempt to head off the very threats that those attempts have inadvertently created. But if Glennon’s book is enlightening it is also scary. And it’s not fiction.
Mickey Edwards, who served in Congress from 1977 to 1993, is the author of “The Parties Versus the People: How to Turn Republicans and Democrats Into Americans.”