GROW Government GROW….


In today’s excerpt – in the wake of 9/11, an enormous number of departments and organizations have been created or enlarged to better combat terrorism. The result has been an unprecedented expansion of both secrecy and bureaucracy in American government – over 850,000 people now have top secret security clearance and more than twelve hundred top secret government organizations exist to help find and capture terrorists:

“William Arkin and [Dana Priest] wanted to see if [they] could calculate the growth in agencies after 9/11 and then count how many were doing the same work as each other and/or preexisting agencies. The results were stunning.

“Looking at only government organizations working at the top secret level on counter- terrorism and intelligence, Arkin counted twenty-one new organizations created in just the last three months of 2001, among them the Office of Homeland Security and the FBI’s Foreign Terrorist Tracking Task Force. In 2002, thirty-four more organizations were created. Some tracked weapons of mass destruc­tion, others joined the cyberwar and collected threat tips. Still others coordinated counterterrorism among different agencies, attempting to tame the growing information load. Those were followed the next year by thirty-nine new organizations, from the formidable Department of Homeland Security to Deep Red, a small naval intel­ligence cell working on the most difficult terrorism problems.

“In 2004, yet another thirty organizations were created or redi­rected toward the terrorism mission. That was followed by thirty-four more the next year and twenty-seven more the year after that; twenty-four or more each were added in 2007, 2008, and 2009. After two years of investigating, Arkin had come up with a jaw-dropping 1,074 federal government organizations and nearly two thousand private companies involved with programs related to counterterrorism, homeland security, and intelligence in at least 17,000 locations across the United States – all of them working at the top secret classification level.

“With more work, he discovered that 263 of these organizations had been established or refashioned in the wake of 9/11. But the biggest growth had come within the many agencies and large cor­porations that had existed before the attacks and had since inflated to historic proportions. For example, the Pentagon’s large Defense Intelligence Agency, which collects and analyzes defense-related intelligence from countries around the world, had grown from 7,500 employees in 2002 to 16,500 at the end of 2010, DIA officials told me. Thirty-five FBI Joint Terrorism Task Forces – ‘joint’ because they included representatives from law enforcement, the military, intelligence, and the private sector – ballooned to 106 total, with over 5,000 agents and analysts involved daily. …

“Dueling organizations have fought over who will lead in securing U.S. computer networks, who should supervise and launch offensive cyberwarfare – which includes disrupting enemy websites, attacking enemy financial and electrical systems, and planting deceptive information on networks – and who should be responsible for tracking spies, hackers, and other intruders….

“Of all the top secret units fighting terrorism after 9/11, [a separate organization, the Joint Special Operations Command] is the single organization that has killed and captured more al-Qaeda members around the world and destroyed more of their training camps and safe houses than the rest of the U.S. government forces combined. [JSOC also killed Bin Laden through its Navy SEAL Team 6]. And although it greatly benefited from the technology produced by [the resources within the Department of Defense], the secret to its success has been otherwise escaping the behemoth created in response to the 9/11 attacks.”

Author: Dana Priest and William M. Arkin

Title: Top Secret America

Publisher: Little, Brown

Date: Copyright 2011 by Dana Priest and William Arkin

Pages: 86-88, 222

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