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Direckshun
09-11-2010, 10:45 PM
http://www.newsweek.com/2010/09/04/zakaria-why-america-overreacted-to-9-11.html

What America Has Lost
It’s clear we overreacted to 9/11.

by Fareed Zakaria
September 04, 2010

Nine years after 9/11, can anyone doubt that Al Qaeda is simply not that deadly a threat? Since that gruesome day in 2001, once governments everywhere began serious countermeasures, Osama bin Laden’s terror network has been unable to launch a single major attack on high-value targets in the United States and Europe. While it has inspired a few much smaller attacks by local jihadis, it has been unable to execute a single one itself. Today, Al Qaeda’s best hope is to find a troubled young man who has been radicalized over the Internet, and teach him to stuff his underwear with explosives.

I do not minimize Al Qaeda’s intentions, which are barbaric. I question its capabilities. In every recent conflict, the United States has been right about the evil intentions of its adversaries but massively exaggerated their strength. In the 1980s, we thought the Soviet Union was expanding its power and influence when it was on the verge of economic and political bankruptcy. In the 1990s, we were certain that Saddam Hussein had a nuclear arsenal. In fact, his factories could barely make soap.

The error this time is more damaging. September 11 was a shock to the American psyche and the American system. As a result, we overreacted. In a crucially important Washington Post reporting project, “Top Secret America,” Dana Priest and William Arkin spent two years gathering information on how 9/11 has really changed America.

Here are some of the highlights. Since September 11, 2001, the U.S. government has created or reconfigured at least 263 organizations to tackle some aspect of the war on terror. The amount of money spent on intelligence has risen by 250 percent, to $75 billion (and that’s the public number, which is a gross underestimate). That’s more than the rest of the world spends put together. Thirty-three new building complexes have been built for intelligence bureaucracies alone, occupying 17 million square feet—the equivalent of 22 U.S. Capitols or three Pentagons. Five miles southeast of the White House, the largest government site in 50 years is being built—at a cost of $3.4 billion—to house the largest bureaucracy after the Pentagon and the Department of Veterans Affairs: the Department of Homeland Security, which has a workforce of 230,000 people.

This new system produces 50,000 reports a year—136 a day!—which of course means few ever get read. Those senior officials who have read them describe most as banal; one tells me, “Many could be produced in an hour using Google.” Fifty-one separate bureaucracies operating in 15 states track the flow of money to and from terrorist organizations, with little information-sharing.

Some 30,000 people are now employed exclusively to listen in on phone conversations and other communications in the United States. And yet no one in Army intelligence noticed that Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan had been making a series of strange threats at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where he trained. The father of the Nigerian “Christmas bomber” reported his son’s radicalism to the U.S. Embassy. But that message never made its way to the right people in this vast security apparatus. The plot was foiled only by the bomber’s own incompetence and some alert passengers.

Such mistakes might be excusable. But the rise of this national-security state has entailed a vast expansion in the government’s powers that now touches every aspect of American life, even when seemingly unrelated to terrorism. The most chilling aspect of Dave Eggers’s heartbreaking book, Zeitoun, is that the federal government’s fastest and most efficient response to Hurricane Katrina was the creation of a Guantánamo-like prison facility (in days!) in which 1,200 American citizens were summarily detained and denied any of their constitutional rights for months, a suspension of habeas corpus that reads like something out of a Kafka novel.

In the past, the U.S. government has built up for wars, assumed emergency authority, and sometimes abused that power, yet always demobilized after the war. But this is a war without end. When do we declare victory? When do the emergency powers cease?

Conservatives are worried about the growing power of the state. Surely this usurpation is more worrisome than a few federal stimulus programs. When James Madison pondered this issue, he came to a simple conclusion: “Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germs of every other … In war, too, the discretionary power of the executive is extended?.?.?.?and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force, of the people.

“No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual war,” Madison concluded.

Direckshun
09-11-2010, 10:49 PM
Money shot:

In the past, the U.S. government has built up for wars, assumed emergency authority, and sometimes abused that power, yet always demobilized after the war. But this is a war without end. When do we declare victory? When do the emergency powers cease?

This is actually a question I'd like anybody reading to answer.

alnorth
09-11-2010, 11:02 PM
The "environment" thread prefix? Did you pick that because the tree would stand out on the page?

Mr. Kotter
09-11-2010, 11:07 PM
Money shot:



This is actually a question I'd like anybody reading to answer.

Aren't Code Pink/Pacifist/Liberal radical types the ones who have said....the war on terrorism can't be a "war," because it has no end?

If in a moment of lucid analysis, are you admitting that the war on terrorism IS, afterall, a "war"...then you have answered your own question, if you were to really think about it.

Since it's a war without end, how and why the hell would we "demobilize?" Victory is maintaining a posture and preparedness to minimize terrorist acts--which, heretofore since 9/11, we've seemingly done (heck, even as the current administration could be accused, legitimately, of "napping" on.) We have many, many folks to thank for that, of course.

If, by "emergency powers" you mean powers that Obama has chosen/suggested should be extended beyond the original provisions...perhaps you should ask him. Or do the more logical thing, and assume that as someone whose done an about face on related issues, that "additional information" and "intelligence" has shown him the light--and the errors of his previous thinking.

:hmmm:

Of course, that would not be consistent with your America Sucks....perspective.

As Lady Thatcher said, "There are too many people who imagine that there is something sophisticated about always believing the best of those who hate your country, and the worst of those who defend it."

Just sayin.... :)

Direckshun
09-11-2010, 11:07 PM
The "environment" thread prefix? Did you pick that because the tree would stand out on the page?

I am practicing civil disobedience with thread prefixes.

alnorth
09-11-2010, 11:18 PM
Since it's a war without end, how and why the hell would we "demobilize?" Victory is maintaining a posture and preparedness to minimize terrorist acts--which, heretofore since 9/11, we've seemingly done (heck, even as the current administration could be accused, legitimately, of "napping" on.) We have many, many folks to thank for that, of course.

Well, first ever since we defeated the rogue nation which aided a terrorist group, the "war" on terror was over. This current "war on terror" is about as silly of a misuse of the word as "war on drugs". This may be semantics, but we are not fighting a war. What we have is a much higher degree of security in place to defend against a new potential threat.

Now, putting aside whether the word "war" in this context is silly or not, I think it is probably pretty clear that we have overreacted, the only question is by how much.

If this article is suggesting that we should "demobilize", as in tear everything back down and go back to where we were in 2000, no I do not think that is reasonable. The capability for small non-nation groups to inflict a lot of damage via terrorist acts is a reality that must be addressed.

However, we have spent a jaw-dropping amount of money on departments, government workers (who probably all have guaranteed pensions), equipment, infrastructure, and bureaucracy on a threat that can probably be addressed a lot more inexpensively.

That, and our military is draining billions of dollars a month getting shot at for no good reason in Afghanistan anymore. It is just destined to become a hellhole ruled by some dictator as soon as we leave, like many other nations in the world.

alnorth
09-11-2010, 11:23 PM
I am practicing civil disobedience with thread prefixes.

why?

It's not like thread prefixes are some harmful thing imposed on us all, they do serve a useful purpose. For example, if I want to see only environment threads, I dont want to see the results cluttered up with non-environment threads because some joker doesn't like the available prefix selection.

Direckshun
09-11-2010, 11:34 PM
why?

It's not like thread prefixes are some harmful thing imposed on us all, they do serve a useful purpose. For example, if I want to see only environment threads, I dont want to see the results cluttered up with non-environment threads because some joker doesn't like the available prefix selection.

It was implemented around the same time as DaFace refused to "bring back" DraftPlanet.

So it turned into a cause of mine to spite him.

Direckshun
09-11-2010, 11:41 PM
Since it's a war without end, how and why the hell would we "demobilize?" Victory is maintaining a posture and preparedness to minimize terrorist acts--which, heretofore since 9/11, we've seemingly done (heck, even as the current administration could be accused, legitimately, of "napping" on.) We have many, many folks to thank for that, of course.

Read WaPo's "Top Secret America," if you haven't already.

What it tells us is that in our everlasting fervor after 9/11, we've bloated up our intelligence bureaucracy to levels that are actually more harmful than they are helpful.

We've been able to pretty much shut down terrorist attacks, but we have much more money-sucks in the bureaucracy, including a vast dependence on private contractors, than what's necessary to accomplish that.

If, by "emergency powers" you mean powers that Obama has chosen/suggested should be extended beyond the original provisions...perhaps you should ask him. Or do the more logical thing, and assume that as someone whose done an about face on related issues, that "additional information" and "intelligence" has shown him the light--and the errors of his previous thinking.

Nah, I'm not going to defer to the President simply because he's the President and he must know better. I'm going to assume Obama has turned coat on this issue for the same reason every other President does: "power" has shown him the light. The executive branch, even under a liberal, is going to be incredibly resistant to reducing its own power.

Of course, that would not be consistent with your America Sucks....perspective.

As Lady Thatcher said, "There are too many people who imagine that there is something sophisticated about always believing the best of those who hate your country, and the worst of those who defend it."

Just sayin.... :)

k

Direckshun
09-11-2010, 11:42 PM
I think it is probably pretty clear that we have overreacted, the only question is by how much.

If this article is suggesting that we should "demobilize", as in tear everything back down and go back to where we were in 2000, no I do not think that is reasonable. The capability for small non-nation groups to inflict a lot of damage via terrorist acts is a reality that must be addressed.

However, we have spent a jaw-dropping amount of money on departments, government workers (who probably all have guaranteed pensions), equipment, infrastructure, and bureaucracy on a threat that can probably be addressed a lot more inexpensively.

That, and our military is draining billions of dollars a month getting shot at for no good reason in Afghanistan anymore. It is just destined to become a hellhole ruled by some dictator as soon as we leave, like many other nations in the world.

Good post.

petegz28
09-11-2010, 11:44 PM
As Lady Thatcher said, "There are too many people who imagine that there is something sophisticated about always believing the best of those who hate your country, and the worst of those who defend it."

Just sayin.... :)

This is an excellent quote.

Mr. Kotter
09-11-2010, 11:44 PM
....

That, and our military is draining billions of dollars a month getting shot at for no good reason in Afghanistan anymore. It is just destined to become a hellhole ruled by some dictator as soon as we leave, like many other nations in the world.

Yea, you are probably right.... :thumb:

I mean, money would be much better spent on yet more tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy. Yeppers.

Heaven knows, terrorists are now rendered 100% totally ineffective and incompetent, and they have no chance of ever pulling-off another 9/11. Nope. Never. Don't you worry your pretty little head, al.

Straight dope, brah. :toast:






:rolleyes:

Mr. Kotter
09-11-2010, 11:46 PM
Good post.

Wow, libertarian-al sucked off dickless-Direckshun. I really have lost my sense of this joint/cesspool. :spock:

And, you know what? That makes me feel really, really great. LMAO

Direckshun
09-11-2010, 11:46 PM
Wow, libertarian-al sucked off dickless-Direckshun. I really have lost my sense of this joint/cesspool.

And, you know what? That makes me feel really, really great. LMAO

Come again?

Mr. Kotter
09-11-2010, 11:48 PM
Come again?

You should direct that at al....

Heh. ROFL

petegz28
09-11-2010, 11:51 PM
Well, first ever since we defeated the rogue nation which aided a terrorist group, the "war" on terror was over. This current "war on terror" is about as silly of a misuse of the word as "war on drugs". This may be semantics, but we are not fighting a war. What we have is a much higher degree of security in place to defend against a new potential threat.

Now, putting aside whether the word "war" in this context is silly or not, I think it is probably pretty clear that we have overreacted, the only question is by how much.

If this article is suggesting that we should "demobilize", as in tear everything back down and go back to where we were in 2000, no I do not think that is reasonable. The capability for small non-nation groups to inflict a lot of damage via terrorist acts is a reality that must be addressed.

However, we have spent a jaw-dropping amount of money on departments, government workers (who probably all have guaranteed pensions), equipment, infrastructure, and bureaucracy on a threat that can probably be addressed a lot more inexpensively.

That, and our military is draining billions of dollars a month getting shot at for no good reason in Afghanistan anymore. It is just destined to become a hellhole ruled by some dictator as soon as we leave, like many other nations in the world.

Have we really overreacted? Or have we reacted in an irrelelevant manner? I would even go as far to ask have we under-reacted? While there is an argument to made about the amount of money spent on our military, I do need to remind some that protecting the people of this country from enemies, foreign and domestic is the primary responsibility of our government. Not building parks and sidewalks, funding schools, etc.

Direckshun
09-11-2010, 11:55 PM
Have we really overreacted? Or have we reacted in an irrelelevant manner? I would even go as far to ask have we under-reacted? While there is an argument to made about the amount of money spent on our military, I do need to remind some that protecting the people of this country from enemies, foreign and domestic is the primary responsibility of our government. Not building parks and sidewalks, funding schools, etc.

At the end of the day, we've bloated our bureaucracy so much that it actually hurts our intelligence gathering more than it helps. This is a demonstrable fact, especially if you've perused WaPo's Top Secret America.

The Homeland Security department is a bureaucratic boondoggle that drains this country of hundreds of billions of dollars every year making us less safe than more safe.

If this was any other department in the government, conservatives would be rightly up in arms. But they give DHS a complete pass, despite the fact that it could be sharply reduced in scope and funding and do a better job than it's doing right now.

Conservatives should be on the frontline of this issue. But they pass.

petegz28
09-12-2010, 12:05 AM
At the end of the day, we've bloated our bureaucracy so much that it actually hurts our intelligence gathering more than it helps. This is a demonstrable fact, especially if you've perused WaPo's Top Secret America.

The Homeland Security department is a bureaucratic boondoggle that drains this country of hundreds of billions of dollars every year making us less safe than more safe.

If this was any other department in the government, conservatives would be rightly up in arms. But they give DHS a complete pass, despite the fact that it could be sharply reduced in scope and funding and do a better job than it's doing right now.

Conservatives should be on the frontline of this issue. But they pass.

I would argue that our bureaucracy was bloated prior to 9/11 which led to the poor intelligence in the first place. And no, conservatives do NOT give DHS a free pass. That is just you spouting off bullshit. I for one was totally against the need for a DHS. It serves no purpose. We neutered our intelligence agencies prior to 9/11, thank you Bill Clinton, and instead of setting them back to the way they were supposed to be we dreamed up a new 3 headed monster.

Mr. Kotter
09-12-2010, 12:06 AM
At the end of the day, we've bloated our bureaucracy so much that it actually hurts our intelligence gathering more than it helps. This is a demonstrable fact, especially if you've perused WaPo's Top Secret America.

The Homeland Security department is a bureaucratic boondoggle that drains this country of hundreds of billions of dollars every year making us less safe than more safe.

If this was any other department in the government, conservatives would be rightly up in arms. But they give DHS a complete pass, despite the fact that it could be sharply reduced in scope and funding and do a better job than it's doing right now.

Conservatives should be on the frontline of this issue. But they pass.

LINKS????

:spock:

petegz28
09-12-2010, 12:07 AM
And just to show you, Mr. Direckshun, I would point out the support for Napolitano and her use use of the DHS when it comes to illegal immigration and the Left-Wing support thrown behind it.

I know that is a little fact you hoped would go unnoticed.

Direckshun
09-12-2010, 12:17 AM
LINKS????

Top Secret America (http://projects.washingtonpost.com/top-secret-america/)

alnorth
09-12-2010, 12:18 AM
I mean, money would be much better spent on yet more tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy. Yeppers.

There is another option, smartass. We could choose to not spend the money.

Heaven knows, terrorists are now rendered 100% totally ineffective and incompetent, and they have no chance of ever pulling-off another 9/11. Nope. Never. Don't you worry your pretty little head, al.

Straight dope, brah. :toast:

:rolleyes:

Awesome post. Don't even pretend to answer any questions or thoughts posed, no thats way too hard. Instead, it is so much easier to make shit up out of wholecloth that wasn't said, and then refute THAT. Congratulations. You do an excellent job of arguing with your invisible friend. Maybe someday you'll work yourself up to giving honest serious answers to posts that were in no way posed in a hostile tone to you.

I figured we could have a serious adult conversation and you are acting like you are on stage for open-mic night. Well I have bad news: you aren't even funny.

Direckshun
09-12-2010, 12:19 AM
I would argue that our bureaucracy was bloated prior to 9/11 which led to the poor intelligence in the first place.

And what's happened since then?

We've bloated it up even more.

The problem with 9/11 wasn't intelligence gathering. It was connecting the dots and acting on it. And all we've done is stack up more funding on intelligence gathering.

That's what this is all about.

alnorth
09-12-2010, 12:22 AM
Or have we reacted in an irrelelevant manner?

That is actually a very good question. We also need to define "reaction". Does reaction = money or is it some other, more vague quality.

Anyway, I do not believe we should look at the honest question "are we wasting money?" as heresy just because it is asked of projects and divisions within the Dept of Homeland Security.

Direckshun
09-12-2010, 12:24 AM
Second.

petegz28
09-12-2010, 12:27 AM
And what's happened since then?

We've bloated it up even more.

The problem with 9/11 wasn't intelligence gathering. It was connecting the dots and acting on it. And all we've done is stack up more funding on intelligence gathering.

That's what this is all about.

Thus my stating the neutered intelligence agenices compliments of Bill Clinton and Jamie Gorelick.

Mr. Kotter
09-12-2010, 12:32 AM
I figured we could have a serious adult conversation and you are acting like you are on stage for open-mic night. Well I have bad news: you aren't even funny.

You'd need to have an adult brain for us to have a conversation....since that's not even in the cards, I have always been an attention whore...ya know? I know I'm not funny--though I still enjoy trying; too bad you don't realize you don't have a brain to have a decent conversation. It's okay; we all have limitations. Some of us are just more aware of it, than others. Heh.

Direckshun
09-12-2010, 12:33 AM
Thus my stating the neutered intelligence agenices compliments of Bill Clinton and Jamie Gorelick.

What?

Okay, wait... before you go off the rails:

1. Do you think our intelligence agency is bloated?

2. Do you favor paring it down to more manageable levels which would demonstrably make our country safer while saving us hundreds of billions every year?

petegz28
09-12-2010, 12:35 AM
That is actually a very good question. We also need to define "reaction". Does reaction = money or is it some other, more vague quality.

Anyway, I do not believe we should look at the honest question "are we wasting money?" as heresy just because it is asked of projects and divisions within the Dept of Homeland Security.

I agree we should question where the money is going. I have no problems with that. And had we just reversed the wall Clinton built between the CIA and FBI we would have no need for DHS.

All that being said, there comes a time when war is ivolved when you have to put politics and more importantly political correctness aside and win the fucking war. That means bombing the ever living fuck out of your enemies to the point if submission or anhialation. Fuck all this nation building crap. And the whole cliche argument of we will breed more terrorists or terrorists will return to such and such country is BS. If they return, we bomb the fuck out of them again.

One of two things is going to happen eventually...

1. The people who don't want war on their country are going to learn not to tolerate terroists and terrorist supporting governments

or

2. They are all going to die.

When I look at the history of our country it says we had to go to war to overthrow the government we did not support. Yes, that meant the people with pitch forks had to pick up a gun a fight for their freedom.

The same thing is going to have to happen in countries such as Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan. Otherwise they will be victims of their own inaction.

Mr. Kotter
09-12-2010, 12:37 AM
What?

Okay, wait... before you go off the rails:

1. Do you think our intelligence agency is bloated?

2. Do you favor paring it down to more manageable levels which would demonstrably make our country safer while saving us hundreds of billions every year?

Pete,

He's proposing the either/or and false-proposition of "safe from terrorist attack" OR "save rich bastards and corporations a few bucks" scenario.

Don't fall for it, brah.... ;)

petegz28
09-12-2010, 12:37 AM
What?

Okay, wait... before you go off the rails:

1. Do you think our intelligence agency is bloated?

2. Do you favor paring it down to more manageable levels which would demonstrably make our country safer while saving us hundreds of billions every year?

Now it is bloated. Prior to 9/11 the bureaucracy was bloated.

I favor going back to the days of pre-Clinton where the FBI and CIA could work together without some over-funded bureaucrats calling all the shots.

In this day and age there was some need to grow things to address the global scenario. We overshot it by a wide margin.

Direckshun
09-12-2010, 12:38 AM
He's proposing the either/or and false-proposition of "safe from terrorist attack" OR "save rich bastards and corporations a few bucks" scenario.

I literally have no idea what you are talking about.

Direckshun
09-12-2010, 12:40 AM
Now it is bloated. Prior to 9/11 the bureaucracy was bloated.

I favor going back to the days of pre-Clinton where the FBI and CIA could work together without some over-funded bureaucrats calling all the shots.

In this day and age there was some need to grow things to address the global scenario. We overshot it by a wide margin.

Then... we're at the exact same spot. That the intelligence community and wide swaths of DOD and DHS need to be drastically reduced in scope and price. Kudos.

I can trust that if Obama & Gates ever grew some nuts and decided to pare down our intelligence community, you'd support it.

prhom
09-12-2010, 12:41 AM
At the end of the day, we've bloated our bureaucracy so much that it actually hurts our intelligence gathering more than it helps. This is a demonstrable fact, especially if you've perused WaPo's Top Secret America.

The Homeland Security department is a bureaucratic boondoggle that drains this country of hundreds of billions of dollars every year making us less safe than more safe.

If this was any other department in the government, conservatives would be rightly up in arms. But they give DHS a complete pass, despite the fact that it could be sharply reduced in scope and funding and do a better job than it's doing right now.

Conservatives should be on the frontline of this issue. But they pass.

Regardless of the efficacy of the DHS, I don't think you could honestly say that they make things LESS safe. I'm sure there are programs that are a complete waste of money, but I agree with pete's statement (quoted below) that this is actually one of the things that we should rely on government to provide.


I do need to remind some that protecting the people of this country from enemies, foreign and domestic is the primary responsibility of our government. Not building parks and sidewalks, funding schools, etc.

It's not that all conservatives think everything done in the name of nat'l security is beyond question, it's that this need cannot be effectively addressed privately or by individuals.

Direckshun
09-12-2010, 12:43 AM
Regardless of the efficacy of the DHS, I don't think you could honestly say that they make things LESS safe. I'm sure there are programs that are a complete waste of money, but I agree with pete's statement (quoted below) that this is actually one of the things that we should rely on government to provide.

A bit of a non sequitor there, because I'm not suggesting that the government shouldn't provide national security.

But if there are programs that are a complete waste of money and make us less safe, of which there is no doubt that there is a considerable chunk that is and does, they should be pared.

prhom
09-12-2010, 12:47 AM
A bit of a non sequitor there, because I'm not suggesting that the government shouldn't provide national security.

But if there are programs that are a complete waste of money and make us less safe, of which there is no doubt that there is a considerable chunk that is and does, they should be pared.

So what is it that DHS does that actually makes it easier for acts of terror to be effected on Americans?

Direckshun
09-12-2010, 12:52 AM
So what is it that DHS does that actually makes it easier for acts of terror to be effected on Americans?

Read Top Secret America. Read the OP.

prhom
09-12-2010, 01:02 AM
Read Top Secret America. Read the OP.

The only thing there that even comes close is saying that bureaucracy has made it harder for people within the organization to share information. If the organization didn't exist there wouldn't be any reports to be read or people to read them. That's my point. Can you get more bang for your buck? Probably. Is it a waste of money? Probably. Saying that it makes us less safe doesn't make any sense though. That's my point. I was just looking for something like "the color-code threat-level system is like crying wolf all the time", I'd rather not have to read the book before we can have a discussion.

petegz28
09-12-2010, 01:03 AM
Then... we're at the exact same spot. That the intelligence community and wide swaths of DOD and DHS need to be drastically reduced in scope and price. Kudos.

I can trust that if Obama & Gates ever grew some nuts and decided to pare down our intelligence community, you'd support it.

That would depend on the contents of the reduction.

Direckshun
09-12-2010, 01:06 AM
The only thing there that even comes close is saying that bureaucracy has made it harder for people within the organization to share information. If the organization didn't exist there wouldn't be any reports to be read or people to read them. That's my point. Can you get more bang for your buck? Probably. Is it a waste of money? Probably. Saying that it makes us less safe doesn't make any sense though. That's my point. I was just looking for something like "the color-code threat-level system is like crying wolf all the time", I'd rather not have to read the book before we can have a discussion.

It makes it extremely difficult to share information. It produces an unsustainable and unproductive volume of reports that could be gathered otherwise by a much, much, much smaller intelligence force.

I'm not saying let's dismantle DHS, although I think you could probably get away with it and be fine.

But it does need to be drastically reduced. It's not just a waste of money, it's a waste of hundreds of billions of dollars every year.

prhom
09-12-2010, 01:46 AM
It makes it extremely difficult to share information. It produces an unsustainable and unproductive volume of reports that could be gathered otherwise by a much, much, much smaller intelligence force.

I'm not saying let's dismantle DHS, although I think you could probably get away with it and be fine.

But it does need to be drastically reduced. It's not just a waste of money, it's a waste of hundreds of billions of dollars every year.

So you're saying that a bloated government agency is inefficient at accomplishing the task to which it is assigned. Color me shocked.

Direckshun
09-12-2010, 01:52 AM
So you're saying that a bloated government agency is inefficient at accomplishing the task to which it is assigned. Color me shocked.

Exactly. This is something conservatives should be salivating over.

But if you asked conservatives if they'd rather right this problem or eradicate the NEA, well, take a guess as to how that'd turn out.

prhom
09-12-2010, 02:11 AM
Exactly. This is something conservatives should be salivating over.

But if you asked conservatives if they'd rather right this problem or eradicate the NEA, well, take a guess as to how that'd turn out.

I'm assuming you are speaking about the National Education Association? You're saying that the NEA is just as useless as the DHS?

Direckshun
09-12-2010, 02:12 AM
National Endowment of the Arts

petegz28
09-12-2010, 02:21 AM
National Endowment of the Arts

Total waste of money

Direckshun
09-12-2010, 02:21 AM
Total waste of money

My point exactly.

petegz28
09-12-2010, 02:21 AM
I'm assuming you are speaking about the National Education Association? You're saying that the NEA is just as useless as the DHS?

He wasn't but it is.

prhom
09-12-2010, 02:33 AM
National Endowment of the Arts

Ah, I see. That was my other guess. That can hardly be even close to the budget of the DHS though.

Taco John
09-12-2010, 02:51 AM
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Direckshun
09-12-2010, 02:53 AM
The Ron Paul/Chris Wallace exchange is one of the best moments in televised debate history.

patteeu
09-12-2010, 03:05 AM
What a weak article.

Has Zarkaria given any thought to the possibility that the reaction we had to 9/11 has directly contributed to the fact that al Qaeda is not currently capable of fully realizing it's "barbaric intentions"?

A Zarkaria opposite twin could just as easily have written this article cheering the 9/11 reaction for it's stellar effectiveness at thwarting al Qaeda's efforts for the past 9 years.

There's no doubt that at the margin, some of the measures that the government has taken have been unnecessary and/or wasteful. But that's the nature of massive government action. When you decide to use a big government solution, and national defense pretty much has to be a big government solution, you have to accept the inefficiencies (e.g. errant programs) along with the benefits (security).

Direckshun
09-12-2010, 03:09 AM
Has Zarkaria given any thought to the possibility that the reaction we had to 9/11 has directly contributed to the fact that al Qaeda is not currently capable of fully realizing it's "barbaric intentions"?

Since that gruesome day in 2001, once governments everywhere began serious countermeasures, Osama bin Laden’s terror network has been unable to launch a single major attack on high-value targets in the United States and Europe.

Go Chiefs.

Taco John
09-12-2010, 03:09 AM
First things first, I can't wait for November. It's going to be awesome to see America deliver the message to DC that Massachussetts tried sending them in January 2010.

But after that... I'm really looking forward to the party nomination debates. I love this stuff.

patteeu
09-12-2010, 03:11 AM
Money shot:



This is actually a question I'd like anybody reading to answer.

This is a long war, but it's not a war without end. It ends when violent radical islamic extremism settles down to the level of annoyance rather than the geopolitical bull-in-a-china-shop that it is today. That happens when the governments of the world (a) agree to oppose it and (b) have the means to keep their own countrymen in check.

Why should we assume this is a war without end? Has there ever been a war without end? Why should this one be any different? I suppose that if the squishy folks among us insist on propping up the losing side like they do in the Israeli/palestinian conflict, it could go on a lot longer than it needs to, but eventually it will end.

Direckshun
09-12-2010, 03:12 AM
First things first, I can't wait for November. It's going to be awesome to see America deliver the message to DC that Massachussetts tried sending them in January 2010.

But after that... I'm really looking forward to the party nomination debates. I love this stuff.

Who do you have as an early, early, early projection as the GOP nominee?

patteeu
09-12-2010, 03:14 AM
Go Chiefs.

Then WTF is his point? He's saying that the reaction was an over-reaction, but you seem to think that he's giving adequate credit to the reaction for the positive result that have taken place. He doesn't make an argument about there being an over-reaction, he makes an assertion. That's why I called it a weak article.

Direckshun
09-12-2010, 03:16 AM
Then WTF is his point? He's saying that the reaction was an over-reaction, but you seem to think that he's giving adequate credit to the reaction for the positive result that have taken place. He doesn't make an argument about there being an over-reaction, he makes an assertion. That's why I called it a weak article.

After 9/11, one could conceivably have had three responses:

1. Underreaction.
2. "Proper" reaction.
3. Overreaction.

Underreaction likely would not have increased our security situation in the wake of 9/11.

Proper reaction would. So would overreaction, although not to the primo levels a proper reaction would.

Taco John
09-12-2010, 03:16 AM
The Ron Paul/Chris Wallace exchange is one of the best moments in televised debate history.

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I had goosebumps. There was plenty of fist pumping going on at my house while I was watching that. He nailed that debate.

Taco John
09-12-2010, 03:19 AM
Parody version:
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Taco John
09-12-2010, 03:20 AM
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Direckshun
09-12-2010, 03:20 AM
I had goosebumps. There was plenty of fist pumping going on at my house while I was watching that. He nailed that debate.

It was a phenomenal moment.

Direckshun
09-12-2010, 03:21 AM
Parody version:
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You just lost your burst.

patteeu
09-12-2010, 03:21 AM
At the end of the day, we've bloated our bureaucracy so much that it actually hurts our intelligence gathering more than it helps. This is a demonstrable fact, especially if you've perused WaPo's Top Secret America.

The Homeland Security department is a bureaucratic boondoggle that drains this country of hundreds of billions of dollars every year making us less safe than more safe.

If this was any other department in the government, conservatives would be rightly up in arms. But they give DHS a complete pass, despite the fact that it could be sharply reduced in scope and funding and do a better job than it's doing right now.

Conservatives should be on the frontline of this issue. But they pass.

Conservatives largely opposed the creation of DHS. As usual, democrats made it a political issue and the Bush administration caved on it because they had bigger fish to fry.

Taco John
09-12-2010, 03:21 AM
One more Ron Paul Anti War moment:

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patteeu
09-12-2010, 03:30 AM
After 9/11, one could conceivably have had three responses:

1. Underreaction.
2. "Proper" reaction.
3. Overreaction.

Underreaction likely would not have increased our security situation in the wake of 9/11.

Proper reaction would. So would overreaction, although not to the primo levels a proper reaction would.

Well sure. So, what's this article about? Is it about a dramatic over-reaction or is it about hiring 127 new air marshalls when 126 would have been adequate? The answer is that we don't know what the article is about because Zarkaria didn't bother to make a case of any kind.

Direckshun
09-12-2010, 03:36 AM
Well sure. So, what's this article about? Is it about a dramatic over-reaction or is it about hiring 127 new air marshalls when 126 would have been adequate?

Other than your dramatic underrepresenting the magnitude of the problem, that's exactly right.

patteeu
09-12-2010, 03:40 AM
Other than your dramatic underrepresenting the magnitude of the problem, that's exactly right.

What's exactly right? You can't even answer the question without remaining completely ambiguous because the article doesn't really give you anything to base an answer on.

Direckshun
09-12-2010, 03:43 AM
What's exactly right? You can't even answer the question without remaining completely ambiguous because the article doesn't really give you anything to base an answer on.

What's been your take on WaPo's Top Secret America?

VAChief
09-12-2010, 07:25 AM
Total waste of money

Ja! Ja! All we need is the complete works of Richard Wagner and Eduard von Grützner,

petegz28
09-12-2010, 07:50 AM
After 9/11, one could conceivably have had three responses:

1. Underreaction.
2. "Proper" reaction.
3. Overreaction.

Underreaction likely would not have increased our security situation in the wake of 9/11.

Proper reaction would. So would overreaction, although not to the primo levels a proper reaction would.


Actually you left out irreleveant reaction.

Direckshun
09-12-2010, 10:34 AM
Actually you left out irreleveant reaction.

That's fair.

patteeu
09-12-2010, 11:23 AM
What's been your take on WaPo's Top Secret America?

I've only skimmed a part of it and read a few commentaries about it. To the extent that it makes the case that the big bureaucracy we have built around intelligence and defense functions is inefficient and wasteful, that's hardly surprising. To the extent it makes the case that we would have been better off doing nothing at all or that it hasn't been effective despite it's inefficiency and wastefulness, I'd disagree. My relatively uninformed take is that it makes the former case, and I don't have a problem with that, but that doesn't address my criticism of Zarkaria's article.

Is Zarkaria suggesting that a few simple defensive precautions would have been adequate and that going to war, both with our military and with our intelligence agencies was an overreaction? Is he suggesting that gitmo and detainee interrogations were an overreaction? Is he suggesting that trading money and efficiency for speed was the wrong reaction? If he's saying any of these things, I disagree.

OTOH, is he simply using hindsight to identify some of the inefficiencies and wasteful aspects that were created as we rapidly redeployed our assets and our priorities? If so, I don't find that very insightful or distressing. He certainly doesn't make the case that we could have achieved the same effectiveness results with a less dramatic, less wasteful, less costly response. My personal opinion is and was that we didn't need a new federal bureaucracy like the DHS and that we didn't need a whole new layer of intelligence like the ODNI, but to me those bureaucratic tradeoffs were a sideshow compared to the general truth (IMO) that we needed to make a rapid and concerted effort to change our focus from the defensive/law enforcement paradigm of pre-9/11 to the aggressive intelligence and interdiction model of today.