Thursday March 6, 2014
At the end of the Cold War, the American people had a grand opportunity, one that entailed the dismantling of the national-security state apparatus that had been grafted onto our governmental system after the end of World War II. It would have made sense, given that the justification for making the national-security state apparatus a permanent feature of American life was the Cold War itself. No more Cold War should have meant no more national-security state.
Unfortunately, however, that was the last thing the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA were going to permit. Having become essentially the fourth branch of the US government — and the most powerful branch at that — they weren’t about to permit themselves to be dismantled despite the fact that the justification for their existence — the Cold War — had suddenly and unexpectedly come to an end.
Instead, the national-security state apparatus went on what seemed to be a desperate campaign to convince Americans that it was still needed. The drug war. The war on immigrants. An unsafe world. The possibility of a resurgent communist threat. We’ll do anything; just don’t dismantle us, they said.