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Top Secret America

The explosion of America’s intelligence world after 9/11. We’ll look at security, civil liberties, and the cost of everything that’s now top secret.

The headquarters of the National Security Agency at Fort Meade, Md. (AP)

The headquarters of the National Security Agency at Fort Meade, Md. (AP)

Since 9.11, America’s world of top secret intelligence and security operations has exploded in scale and reach. However big you may think it is, odds are it’s much, much bigger.

A vast, underground, often unaccountable sprawling universe of agents and agencies, public and private, tracking and tracing and probing, and killing.

Ten years on, it’s time to take stock of whether it’s defending or infringing. We’ll do that today with Dana Priest of the Washington Post, and Glenn Greenwald of Salon.

This hour On Point: the explosion of top secret America.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Dana Priest, staff writer for the Washington Post, who covers national security, intelligence, and counterterrorism. Her new book, co-authored with William M. Arkin,  is “Top Secret America: The Rise of the New American Security State.”

Read an excerpt, and watch the Frontline documentary based on the book.

Glenn Greenwald, previously a constitutional law and civil rights litigator in New York, he is a blogger for Salon.com and the author of “Great American Hypocrites: Toppling the Big Myths of Republican Politics.”

Vance Gilbert, folk musician who had a high-profile altercation with airport security this summer.

From Tom’s Reading List

The Washington Post “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.”

Salon.com “The ACLU decided to use the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attack to comprehensively survey the severe erosion of civil liberties justified in the name of that event, an erosion that — as it documents — continues unabated, indeed often in accelerated form, under the Obama administration.”

Boston Globe “A well-known member of the local folk scene, Gilbert maintains that after boarding a United Airlines flight on Aug. 14, he was pulled off the plane and questioned about his fanny pack (which he’d tucked into his backpack under the seat in front of him) and about a book he was reading on historic planes.”

More

FRONTLINE | Sneak Peek: Inside “Top Secret America” | PBS

Tom Ashbrook with Vance Gilbert (Jesse Costa / WBUR)

Tom Ashbrook with Vance Gilbert (Jesse Costa / WBUR)

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  • Terry Tree Tree

    Are ALL 3100 Security Agencies spying on me at the same time?  If they spy on each others’ operatives, do they still charge the U.S. Taxpayer?  YOU BET THEY DO!!!  Since there is little REAL oversight, they probably just surf the web for porn!!  
        My actual record as a patriot, probably exceeds 2/3 of theirs, or MORE.  So, if they waste time on me, they should pay the Gov’t. 3 times what they charge. 

  • Terry Tree Tree

    How many ACTUAL terrorists has EACH organization caught?   How many $Billions has it cost to catch each?  Precise breakdown of $Billions spent on security agencies, divided by the number of ACTUAL perpetrators caught.   Simple math that they cannot do! 
        Some of the actual cases I heard, make the Keystone Kops, and Teletubbies geniuses!!

    • Hidan

      Well at least Corporations are making profits
      How US firms profited from torture flights
      http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/aug/31/us-firms-torture-flights-rendition

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paolo-Caruso/1778940602 Paolo Caruso

        Many of these corporations are not even domestic. Israeli communications and security firms have been having a windfall bonanza on the terrorism mania, much of which lies their fingerprints.   2000 year old Roman logic still stands true” “Qui Bono”

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

          What is it with you and Israel?

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paolo-Caruso/1778940602 Paolo Caruso

            Just with ME???  or with most of the thinking world…including Israelis themselves?     Can you dispute my point?   Maybe you’ld like to discuss the conflicted interests of the Homeland Security Czar Michael Chertoff, just a one example, or the trillions missing from the DOD under Dov Zakheim as comptroller?
            FYI, I support the right of Israelis to have a nation.I do not support the chaos and destruction they’ve caused in the Middle East… not to mention the enormous burden that has humbled the USA.I am convinced that if Israeli went back to its 1967 borders, learned to live in peace with its neighbors, stopped meddling into the business of every other country on the planet, we could use intelligence and military resources on a real “tikun olam”.

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

            Trillions missing?  Was that a typo?  When I look at Israel, I see a nation that has our values and shares our problems.  Palestine, by contrast, reminds me of street gangs.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paolo-Caruso/1778940602 Paolo Caruso

            With all due respect,  you probably need a new prescription for your eye glasses.

            Israel is an apartheid state engaged in ethnic cleansing, unlawful killings and imprisonment.   Our values???? SPEAK FOR YOURSELF PAL !! 

            Your logic is clearly illustrated by your bigoted comment about Palestinians.

            Would you call the Jews of the Warsaw ghetto, who experienced the same thing as Palestinians under the Israelis ” street gangs.” ??????

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

            I haven’t heard Israel mentioned in this episode.  My point is that, as usual, you inserted Israel without relevance.  Still, I’ve been watching the situation over there for a while now and have seen one Israeli government after another offer the best deal that the Palestinians can get and only have it ignored.

            And yes, the rulers of Gaza, Hamas, are like a gang

          • AC

            i was wondering why there are always posts on Isreal in every topic….where’s the person who does the math that leads to God punishing us? I kinda like him….:)

          • Hidan

            You’ll see the same thing from the firsters when  the topic comes up on Israel, you’ll here about American Indians, places in Africa and a whole host of off topic reflections.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paolo-Caruso/1778940602 Paolo Caruso

            Seriously Greg,   You are saying that Israel has NO RELEVANCE to the enormous intelligence budget (and military) of the USA??? 
            Your bias is thus exposed. 
            You should probably propose that bit of naivite to school administrators in the inner cities, and make sure to wait for the answer.   And no,  “trillion” was not a typo.

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

            Of course, Israel is an ally, and rightly so.  It’s not relevant to every discussion, however.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paolo-Caruso/1778940602 Paolo Caruso

            It most certainly is relevant to this discussion, particularly so when, aside from foreign policy issues,  Israeli security companies are consulting, and in place at most major US airports.

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

            Israeli companies?  I presume that you mean the ones who participate in the Vast Zionist Conspiracy?

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paolo-Caruso/1778940602 Paolo Caruso

            I mean the Israeli contractors at every airport in the USA…no fantasy here….conspiracy….maybe.

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

            And China controls a lot of our debt, and Canada supplies a lot of our oil, and Europe sells our airlines many jets, and the Russians give us rides (or once did) to the space station…  What’s your point?

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paolo-Caruso/1778940602 Paolo Caruso

            China, Canada and Russia do not control the US Congress and US foreign policy.  Israel does and they openly admit it.  

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

            I thought that Big Oil controlled Congress.  Or is it the AARP?  Or the NRA?  Or Wall Street?

            Money controls Congress.  Politicians will kiss any hand that provides money.  The Israelis are just one lobbyist in a sea of lobbyists.

    • Jasoturner

      A related question might be, how many lives have been lost to auto accidents and homicides compared with terrorist attacks.  And how much money do we spend trying to contain or reduce those deaths?

      Wait, what?  We’re laying cops off?  But there are something like 12,000 homicides a year in the US.  That’s roughly 4 times the carnage of 9/11/01…

  • Hidan

    Sad thing is Obama has continued bushes policies on spying on Americans, of course congress see no issues and both sides gladly go along with reducing our civil liberties.

    The ACLU on Obama and core liberties
    http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2011/09/07/liberties/index.html

    Endless War and the culture of unrestrained power
    http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2011/09/06/war/index.html

    Top CIA official: Obama “changed virtually nothing”
    http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2011/09/01/obama/index.html

    Under Obama U.S. citizens can now be targeted for assassination without Due process, the FBI now promotes terrorist plots than pats themselves on the back for stopping the plots there helping.

    Oh yeah it’s been reported since 2004 the CIA and MI6 has been capturing and sending people to Libya to get tortured.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/libya/8748437/Libya-MI6-tricked-me-into-trap-claims-torture-victim.html

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/09/03/us-libya-usa-cia-idUSTRE78213Y20110903

    Of course there’s no accountability for any of this. And with the PA passing without debate or the SC ruling against free speech where one could face 23yrs but intentionally trying to sell U.S. information to a foreign power will only get one 13yrs.

     

    • just me

      Think of how far we’ve come.   When I was a kid, Kennedy’s assassination was the most terrible thing in the world.  I still feel it, still think if only Kennedy had lived, if only he hadn’t been assassinated.  Now “assassination without due process” is an issue.  Like if it was assassination WITH due process, that would be constitutional and ok?  God we suck.

  • Rational

    Other than the tools and the methods, how does America’s State Security Service differ from the Stasi? A massive group of dedicated government agencies pledged to spy on the nations citizens in the name of security to protect every citizens privacy and freedom.

    I’d rather have more freedom and privacy. Perfect safety is an absurd illusion, akin to the protection of the Gods.

    Absent of specious conjecture, what is our risk of death or injury by terrorist, compared to driving to work. What is the comparative expense, and return on investment… Including the corrosion of the Republic. 
      

  • john in danvers

    Tom,

    One thing that’s gone unrecognized is that security services is our new jobs program.  In fact, given our core competencies and our growing social stress, one should expect these services to multiply.  Employing the unemployed to protect us against real and imagined threats, including those presented by a permanent reserve army of the unemployed, makes perfect sense, from some perspectives.  

  • Jasoturner

    One wonders what the founding fathers would have thought about what we have become.  I think they would be devastated, frankly.

    Hat tip to George Orwell, however.  He saw it coming.  And it’s coming…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paolo-Caruso/1778940602 Paolo Caruso

    What do to with a over a million glorified welfare queens, living large, producing nothing and unaccountable, and invisible to the taxpayers ???
    Worse still, most are trained to lie, sneak, eavesdrop, deceive, kidnap, coerce and kill.  A self perpetuating untouchable monster that can create boggymen at will to preserve its own existence and invade the civil liberties of a once free people. 

    • Ellen Dibble

      So the welfare queens, pretrained to lie, sneak, etc., are going to be running the nation, ruining the nation, and meanwhile keeping those small private planes that are presumably going to be coming at us, grounded?

  • Anonymous

    [REDACTED]

  • Terry Tree Tree

    M*A*S*H’s Colonel Flagg x13,000?  The series can go on for a century with these paid-paranoids watching each other, and us patriots!!!
         Now we know what really happened to the economy or the U.S.!!!  They are spending it on watching the watchers, watching the watchers, watching the watchers, watching the watchers……….

  • Bill

    I’m annoyed I have to pay for all this “protection”. Just read this morning that only about 25% of the cost of the TSA is paid by fees, etc. The rest comes from taxpayers whether they fly or not.

    It would be cheaper and more cost effective in terms of saving lives to take all this intelligence money and shift it to underfunded government programs like the FDA and repairing our rotting infrastructure.

    • Ellen Dibble

      Having just watched the PBS piece about Dana Priest’s findings in re the TSA, I’d say Obama should do just what you say:  Reduce the TSA by however many billion is needed to create real productive jobs, and shift that.  Tonight.
         However, TSA jobs would be lost, whether contract or not.  But the fact they are not transparent makes it ripe for fraud and abuse.  So.
         I do wonder what Dana Priest thinks should be done about it, or to it.

  • AC

    When the show for ‘face recognition’ aired a while back, I thought, who cares? I’m boring and live my life in public anyway (facebook, twitter… onpoint comments!). & on the show for 9/11 the other day, I thought ‘it’s worrisome that lunatics exist willing to harm sooo many’.
    I feel ambivalent about this subject - I realize ‘the secret watchers have power’, & could easily be used against me, but i don’t know why i don’t care… 

  • Anonymous

    I feel as though we have stepped acorss the invisible line of what is considered condonable in the public and making decisions based on fear (top secret decisions) which will prove not to serve us in the long run: http://michaelmaczesty.blogspot.com/2011/06/non-talking-head.html

  • Terry Tree Tree

    850,000 Colonel Flaggs, paid several times their government counterparts, with NO accountability, and SOOO many more problems!!   This Alphabet-Soup comedy will KILL you, in so many ways!!

  • Terry Tree Tree

    Beyond Bin-Laden’s Wildest wet dream!!  Are we this afraid?  Who is, was?   Was it just a way for rich to get richer, without oversight?

  • Ellen Dibble

    I think I heard a statistic that about one in 200 people are involved in the security apparatus.  Sitting in a group where about half of them seem to have “front” occupations rather than something that feels authentic, I think to myself, what is happening to authentic identity?  This is who I am and what I do?

  • RJ from Norwich

    Well, the radio just went blank just as a commentator was dissing the security establishment.  Mmmmmm, guess they got too close to home.  Haven’t heard the “dead air syndrome” since the run up to the Iraq war when a pannel discussion on C-Span suddenly went to snow when the pannelist opposing the war came on.  15 minutes later, well after they were done the TV came back on.  Saw that happen twice around that time.  So much for Free Speach.  AC, you should be worried.

  • Aduzi

    Finally America is waking up.  Big Brother, ( The Patriot Act ) equivalent to pre Nazi Germany’s Furenprinzip.  Repeal the Patriot Act, say no to lies, half truths, deception. Quit giving this kind of power to undeserving individuals with a grudge, individuals with a competitive business, individuals with out sense of history, or worse, individuals with a prejudice or a commitment to a political party. America gone wild. Say no to vigilantes, say no to the Patriot Act. The bad being done by these people out weighs any good that may come from this un Constitutional Act. Glamorizing this type of behavior through television will just add to the Patriot Act’s unreliability as a tool for law enforcement.

  • Rational

    I have a gut feeling that a $200 stop sign has saved more American lives , than 800K data analysts and filers.

  • Bill

    Why is it when it comes to intelligence and anti-terrorism the whole paradigm of “not just throwing more money at the problem” just goes out the window?

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      Nobody really hates throwing money.  It’s just where it gets thrown that’s in dispute.

  • Ellen Dibble

    I think you can say we overreacted to 9/11.  Israel can no longer preach to us about, look, if you thought you could be bombed when you climb on a bus, you too might start to use stringent police actions.  No.  We have seen the terror, and our government did not want to have underreacted.  
        Next time there are a set of police stations attacked, or some town halls, or something like that, will we understand that there are hundreds of thousands that were not attacked, just as there are millions and millions of automobile drivers who are not struck by drunk drivers?
        I don’t know the answer.  But this show is a good start.

  • Rational

    Everything is TOP SECRET now. I bet the presidents dog taking a dump on the W.H. lawn is top secret. Secrecy is corrosive to democracy.

  • Aduzi

    Patriotic citizens are at war.  Spies are everywhere  jumping to conclusions about their neighbors.  Exciting isn’t it?  Gossip leagalized.  Truths ignored.  Lies expounded. Repeal the ( UN ) Patriot Act.  Yeah, I fear these people with unbridled power.

  • Jasoturner
  • Rational

    I guess the lack of comments is due to fear. LOL!

  • AC

    i guess i was viewing this subject from a self-absorbed perspective – it seems the focus should be on what ‘leaders’ are doing with this power. i guess it something that’s easy to abuse, but i still think it’s easy to catch them too. look at wikileaks, isn’t that what happens?

    • Ellen Dibble

      Does Assange have a database of terrorist leaks?  If so, why hasn’t he sold that to Homeland Security.  He should be their contractor number one, it seems.

      • AC

        mostly i’m just being lazy, assuming someone will always be willing to do the work (& hoping) the same ‘spy-ware’ can be used against those that do abuse….

        • Ellen Dibble

          I think this is the default position, and it is probably what Big Brother wants us to think.  Fortunately there are journalists who are willing to push and question, and I get to go out on a limb with them and question as well.  Probably neither of us has the wherewithal to do much more than that, lazy or otherwise.  I would have to be a lot more outgoing, for one thing, to undertake that sort of inquiry.  Maybe somebody I’ll put on a new skepticism, like a snake shedding a skin and starting anew, and become less lazy too.  Meanwhile, like a monkey, I watch and think I could never do that, I could never do that, I could never do that.  Then I think, but then, what is it I can do.

      • nj

        What’s a “terrorist leak”?

        • Ellen Dibble

          Maybe the effects of waterboarding?  No, no, the effects of some “courier” being noticed by someone who texts to someone who texts to someone who does NOT text directly to Foggy Bottom.

  • Akfaka

    I am pretty sure we are a bit safer then 10 years ago, even though I have no prove of that, but one can’t help to think over the ten years time, the terrorists would have many plots to hurt us? Perhaps there were many plots the government had successfully overthrown that the government want to keep secret in order not to cause public panic. 
    We are here to criticize the government, but we have to remember that the various agencies have very difficult job to do, what right do we have to criticize.With that said, we paid the price in terms of losing out liberty. And we are not doing anything to win the heart of the world, all we do now is to bomb and to kill, how are we suppose to win their hearts? And in the end, Al Qaeda won this round, despite the fact that we killed Bin Ladenand his followers, we can’t kill the evil idea. See where we are now?The war in Afghanistan successfully bankrupt  this country, like it did to the British empire and the former USSR.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      Afghanistan didn’t break the British Empire.  That took the Second World War.  The British just gave up on conquering the Afghanis.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    What’s the caller’s concern?  Are you serious?  Private contractors who decide whether or not we’re good citizens without being subject to Congress or an election–do I have to explain what’s wrong with that?

    • Anonymous

      We should let the credit score cartel run this.

      • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

        Ouch!  We’re all in trouble.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paolo-Caruso/1778940602 Paolo Caruso

        Please,  we don’t need Ben Stein browbeating us with his TV ads..  We all realize we are ultimately controlled by the credit score.   Unfortunately,we  individuals cannot get S&P and Moody’s to give us a punishing A+, after obscene financial  excess – plus a bailout,  like AIG and Goldman gets. 

  • Srkm13

    I have had the privledge of first hand witnessing HSD telling my husband to his face that “they do not operate under the constitution of the US, they operate as a seperate country”  They make up laws to suit their needs and have no accountability outside of their own agency. A federal judge I was with asked “what authority do I have with HSD” and he was told “none”.  How can this be allowed? We are not “more safe” with this covert operation happening around us in our own borders in the slightest!

  • Indignant

    What sort of protections do citizens have against private sector intrusions?

  • Ellen Dibble

    What’s the difference between being in the “Guardian Database,” which Dana Priest is talking about, versus being noted to local police. I mean, when I see something suspicious I report it and expect the police to see who shot that gun, or who is conspiring to smuggle drugs, or whatever it is.  They should keep it within the appropriate bailiwick.  That way I don’t have to prejudge is this a national Threat.

  • Whatpoint

    This book by Dana Priest is also by William M. Arkin, a well known military expert.  Why isn’t he mentioned and why isn’t he on the show?

  • Anonymous

    Safer? Has all this apparatus made our borders less porous? It certainly hasn’t prevented me from being harassed in my own neighborhood by young gangsters. It hasn’t cut down on the number of drug dealers I see on the corners in my neighborhood. Safety from whom? Safety for whom? Wake up. It isn’t about safety. It’s about population control in an overpopulated world where resources are diminishing and the environment is deteriorating. Unfortunately, as usual, the government is doing a lousy job because of the influence of mindless capitalism on it. 

  • ElRoi

    “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” Benjamin FranklinHistorical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

  • Sue

    One thing that is repeated over & over again is that America’s massive Homeland Security infrastructure is there to protect Americans.  American’s certainly pay for it, but it is in place to protect the corporate and moneyed interests. I don’t feel safer, in fact I resent the further loss of privacy and liberty.   

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    He was reading a book about pre-World War II aircraft and got pulled off a flight?  ?Como que huh?  I’m never flying again.

  • AC

    well, now the show is making me feel bad. i didn’t even consider how the perspective of ‘ethnicity’ would get abused……..
    fellin small right now….

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    Do these security nuts realize that if Vince Gilbert is “the guy,” we’re all the guy?  Keep being that stupid, dear Government, and “V for Vendetta” won’t be fiction.  It’ll be a documentary.

  • Middtenn

    To say “people of non-color” sounds racist too

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      Yes, that did undermine his message a bit.

    • just me

      My crayon box had white in it.  And “Flesh” I think — ?  Everybody’s a color.

      • Ellen Dibble

        I remember my first art assignment in kindergarten, or maybe first grade, was to draw my mother.  I looked among the crayons and picked out orange.  Not so good.  I picked yellow.  Not good.  I picked blue. Not so good.  I picked green.  Not good.  I picked brown.  Better, but I was using that for the hair.  If I colored all the red and green and everything with brown and black, it made my mother look less like a clown, but still, when I presented it to her, the way we were supposed to proudly do, she did not put it up on the refrigerator.  In fact, I never made it to her refrigerator at all.  Not after that.

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

          You never made it to the refrigerator?  She sounds like my parents.  I’m sorry.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Some people don’t care, or know how to be parents!  My children’s and grandchildren’s art work, and other accomplishments are VERY valuable to me!    Yours and Ellen’s too!!

        • just me

          You made me go back and find CNN’s video of Harry Shearer speaking at the National Press Club in March, here at 0:48:12 — http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/StateofJournalis.  Harry gets asked to what he attributes the longevity of the Simpson’s, and he says 2 things, one, the instant recognition of Matt Groening’s drawings and colorings, and second, no interference from the network.  So, if you didn’t listen to your mom, colored her yellow and made her hair taller — just think… :-)

          Harry Shearer:  “I
          think it was Matt Groening’s genius that he couldn’t draw very well — he says that himself — and he adopted this very iconic style. He
          chose the color yellow, which was the closest he could come to flesh…”So it’s good to be colored.  Thinking of Kermit the Frog, “It’s not easy being green” — but it’s wonderful.

          • just me

            Darn, where’s a moderator when you need one?  Formatting (how?) got screwed up on last paragraph.  Crossing my fingers, should be:

            - snip -
            Harry Shearer:  “I think it was Matt Groening’s genius that he
            couldn’t draw very well — he says that himself — and he adopted this
            very iconic style. He chose the color yellow, which was the closest
            he could come to flesh…”

            So it’s good to be colored.  Thinking of
            Kermit the Frog, “It’s not easy being green” — but it’s wonderful.
            - snip –

            Also, here’s a link to Kermit 1969. Just watched it again, I’ll be damned, it still gives me tears, and I think we had a black and white TV then:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RIOiwg2iHio

          • Ellen Dibble

            I am thinking of this now because I’m creating a “refrigerator” space in a wide window which has an air conditioner in one half.  The local hardware store sells a sort of framed screen that fits in the other half of the bottom of the window, but in winter I decided to buy a piece of Plexiglas rather than blocking it with a lot of styrofoam.  Now, the Plexiglas place has provided me with the pieces I use for posters that I use as window-draft blockades and so forth, with the office grips to keep the backing on.  So I want refrigerator art for my window, so I can shift from see-through to art.  And here is a catalog from art.com with art — see for yourself.  They have the well-known to the first steps of someone who’d accept $6.87 — from wood panels to plain sheets, probably all copies, but much better colors than I’ve seen before.  I want about half of the catalog’s offerings.  The art I like to do myself — I don’t know.  If someone wanted it, I’d do it.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Better yet, go to the nearest Kindergarden class, and ask for one from each child!  Maybe some have moms like yours!  Think of the lift you’ll give them!

      • just me

        From wikipedia:

        “Colors have been renamed through the years. In 1958, Prussian Blue was renamed Midnight Blue. The color known as Flesh was renamed Peach in 1962, partially in response to the U.S. Civil Rights Movement. Indian Red was renamed Chestnut in 1999 due to concern that some children thought the crayon color represented the skin color of Native Americans.[2] According to the company, however, the name originally referred to a reddish-brown pigment from India that is used in artists’ oil paint.[2] ”

      • Akfaka

        haha must we label people by color? where are the green people, the purple people, the magenta people…?

  • Rational

    Gilbert has given the air traveler important information about NOT being a suspect. Carry a book that puts you above suspicion…Dick Cheney’s memoir will due.

    • http://www.facebook.com/maria.sebastian1 Maria Sebastian

      My boyfriend and I each carried our books through security realizing  what they were after passing through–and it made us laugh.  Mine was The Autobiography of Malcolm X (which I was reading for the third time), and his was The History of the Atom Bomb.  No one stopped us; oh yeah, we’re white. 

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Yet a book on bi-planes and tri-planes is a threat?

  • Akfaka

    Please don’t bring the race issue into this conversation, I am an Asian guy, rarely I get pulled over but when I am asked to step aside, I cooperate fully with any authority with a good attitude. Try also to understand that the officer is also a human being, he/she has a job to do whether he’s black, white or whatever color we label them, one thing they don’t have is x-ray eyes.  

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      The have x-ray prosthetics, though.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      What about your race in 1942?  Asian-decended-Americans suffered a LOT, due to racial profiling!

      • Akfaka

        OK, you want to emphasize on race? fine. I was on a trip to a conference in Dallas with two colleagues (one black and one white),
        at Logan I was singled out by a black state trooper for search, he let my two colleagues went right pass but not me. Should I consider this racism? Is this officer a racist? 

        • Terry Tree Tree

          One incident?  Cannot tell!  I am a white male that rejected racism as a lie, before my teens!  The same for Chauvinism!   Racism is counter-productive!

          • Akfaka

            I am very tired of people pull the race card whenever they see fit.
            My CEO of this start up is an Afro-American, I am Asian. As far as I concern, this officer was just doing his job because I had an unfamiliar prototype bulky mobile device in my hand which made beeping noise and LEDs lighted up like the 4th of July fireworks. 
            I fully understand why this brought attention. I will be upset
            if this officer didn’t check it out. so please, people, including NPR,
            don’t just point your fingers to racism. In this unusual climate, we as the citizen, all have the obligation to cooperate no matter what color we are.

  • Aduzi

    Anybody who ever wanted to be sombody can now be a patriot by fabricating stories about their neighbors.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paolo-Caruso/1778940602 Paolo Caruso

    Hey Greg Camp,  I’ve made my points – you failed to make yours, and now inane rhetoric has grown tiresome.  Ciao

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      You made paranoid rants about Zionist conspiracies, while I asked you to broaden your perspective.  I’ll let others judge both.

      • Hidan

        A quick google would find that Paolo Caruso has some merit on . Israeli communications and security firms profiting.

        NPR
        Airport Security, Israeli Style : NPRForeign Policy: The Costs of Israel Level Security : NP
        Challenge: Airport Screening Without Discrimination : NPR
        Debating Behavior Profiling For Airport Security : NPR

      • Hidan

        As well as your “Street Thug”comment on Palestinians  was ill informed to say the least, and when Paolo called you on it you conflate Hamas and All Palestinians as the same without the separation of Fatah(which has recognized Israel and committed to non-violence) and many Palestinians such as Nabi Saleh or Abu Rahmah who preach non-violence protest and were arrested for doing so.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paolo-Caruso/1778940602 Paolo Caruso

        Hey Greg,  if you want to find REAL paranoia I suggest you visit inside the Beltway… or take a trip to Israel.   LOL

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      Until next time…

  • Aduzi

    Any Patriot who ever wanted to look better than their business competitors can now do so by fabricating stories about their competition.

  • Aduzi

    Any past love affairs are now fodder for patriots to fabricate stories about those they wish to exact revenge upon.

  • Aduzi

    Any patriot true to party politics can now use the Patriot Act to character assassinate rival political party members.  These kind of things are rampant and easily detected.  Unfortunately, once started down this path it is hard to turn back.

  • Pingback: Turning 9/11 into State Worship « Antiwar.com Blog

  • Pingback: Turning 9/11 into State Worship « Antiwar.com Blog

  • http://twitter.com/Dave_Eger Dave Eger

    I wonder how long it took Germans to realize that the SS wasn’t worth what it was costing them.

    • Subnumine

      In many cases, twelve years.

  • Cathoryn

    Dana & William, what the heck is your point?
    Are we wasting money? Numbers or percentages, please. (Yes, you can quantify it if you can define it.)
    Do they have a problem with FedEx’s earning 2-3x more as contractors than they did as .gov’s? If they’re the best of the best, .gov should pay them what they’re worth or lose them. That’s how Wall Street pays the Masters of the Universe.
    Are we losing free speech? Numbers or percentages, please. (Yes, you can quantify it if you can define it.)
    Have we lost the “right” to privacy? Numbers or percentages, please. (Yes, you can quantify it if you can define it.)

    The problem is corruption. That’s always been the problem. Nothing new. Nothing gained.

  • Hidan

    Cool you had on Glenn Greenwald, he’s been great at reporting how our government in the name of security has been slowly chipping away at our civil liberties

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paolo-Caruso/1778940602 Paolo Caruso

    While we are discussing Top Secret America,  we should also note that PBS has been constantly running TV ads for the FREEMASONS !!! for the past three years.  With a characature of a founding father no less, doing the recruiting.

    The last thing the USA needs is for business people and politicians to be joining more secret organizations. Democracy seems like its just a thin veneer on a repressive society of cabals, sneaks and creeps.

    The last I heard, the freemasons work with local police forces on fingerprinting children.  As if that is going to prevent them from preventing that one out of 100,000 kids from getting kidnapped. All our kids become adults with the same fingerprints that the police have on file. Next the retina scan for kindergarten kids.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      Answer me this:  Is there a conspiracy theory that you don’t believe?  Israeli agents participated in 9/11; Israel controls our Congress; the Masons are a evil secret society–do you also claim that aliens crashed at Roswell?  Was the Kennedy assassination a conspiracy?

  • http://www.facebook.com/maria.sebastian1 Maria Sebastian

    Vance Gilbert is a national treasure.  We love you in Buffalo, NY.

  • http://whilewestillhavetime.blogspot.com/ John Hamilton

    It’s always great to hear Dana Priest. It might be good to remember how the “911″ attacks happened in the first place. The Bush criminal regime was amply warned that attacks were immanent, but Bush went on vacation at his “ranch,” which he doesn’t go to anymore. Maybe there’s no more brush to clear. Beyond this, the negligence was active. It wasn’t a sin of omission. They actively prevented due diligence, almost as if they wanted the attacks to happen.

    In this context, the overkill that followed was and is meant to provide cover for the criminal negligence. “Look at us! We’re doing all this to protect you! Those others didn’t ‘connect the dots,’ but we will.” In other words, they behaved exactly like guilty parties would act if they needed to deflect attention from themselves. 

    So the current security megasilliness is all political. It might also help to look at how “Al Qaida” began. They were organized by Pakistani intelligence, the ISI, and the CIA during the “Russian” invasion and siege. Osama bin Laden was a “U.S.” ally. When we invaded “Iraq” the first time in 1990 a permanent military base was established, as is our wont. Mr. bin Laden was offended that “infidels” were present on holy ground, as he saw it. He devolved into terrorism as a way of convincing us to leave, to no avail.

    His terrorism escalated to the “911″ attacks, resulting in two wars and the explosion, so to speak, of various security measures, including kidnapping, torture, false imprisonment, trumped-up charges, domestic spying and strip searching of babies and grandmothers at airports.

    Another way of looking at it is that we are a nation in decline, and the decline is fueled by the rearguard actions in response to new realities. We have a corrupt system, and in previous times the corruption was tolerated because it worked integratively with a country that was growing and developing. It works to the detriment of the country when it is in decline. 

  • Cinschmid

    Do we know how much money our country is spending on this program?  It may well be contributing to the financial bankrupting of our country.  It is certainly eroding our freedom.  Unfortunately, I think the terrorists have finally won.

  • Cinschmid

    I just had a bad experience attempting to use my United frequent flyer miles.  Now I have another reason not to fly United.

  • Slater Torret

    Great show, Tom.  On an ancilliary note, I’ve been sending snarky comments to NPR about their Uncle Tom treatment of 9-11 and the Obama-Bush continuum, as well as forwarding proactive tactics to Anonymous via there “Whatis-theplan” website.  Today, in my Yahoo email account, I got male homosexual advertisements.  I’m hetero, I’ve never been to a gay website. Is this their retaliation?  Bwa-ha-ha! 

    I think there’s more to the story than what Priest and Greenwald are discovering. 

    Thanks for having a spine. 

    • Terry Tree Tree

      The eMail would be a weird retaliation?  What if you were interested?

  • Pingback: Turning 9/11 into state worship | Southern Nationalist Network

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=658033938 John Graff

    “Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force, of the people. The same malignant aspect in republicanism may be traced in the inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war, and in the degeneracy of manners and of morals engendered by both. No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.”  

    – James Madison, “Political Observations” (1795)

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Jul 28, 2014
This June 4, 2014 photo shows a Walgreens retail store in Boston. Walgreen Co. _ which bills itself as “America’s premier pharmacy” _ is among many companies considering combining operations with foreign businesses to trim their tax bills. (AP)

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Jul 28, 2014
U.S. Secretary of War Newton D. Baker watches as wounded American soldiers arrive at an American hospital near the front during World War I. (AP Photo)

Marking the one hundredth anniversary of the start of World War One. We’ll look at lessons learned and lessons for now.

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