Saturday, January 21, 2012

Forging the American Garrison State by Privatizing the State's Repressive Apparatuses

In 2008, James Galbraith defined a “predator state” as “a coalition of relentless opponents of the regulatory framework on which public purpose depends, with enterprises whose major lines of business compete with or encroach on the principal public functions of the enduring New Deal” (p. 131). Predatory corporations dictate and “poach” upon public purpose and have no loyalties for nations or populations (p. 131).

Majia here: U.S. security apparatuses are increasingly privatized, illustrating how private companies prey upon public purpose since warmongering and intensive domestic surveillance and policing are rarely in the public interest.

Transformation of American society into a “garrison state” ( is ongoing and serves the interests of private corporations over the general interest of creating a more free, healthy, and economically sustainable society.

Below find some recent examples of this ongoing institutionalization of the US Garrison State through Predatory Privatization:

Privatizing the War on Terror By John W. Whitehead, 18 January 12

[excerpted] "America’s troops may be returning home from Iraq, but contrary to President Obama’s assertion that "the tide of war is receding," we’re far from done paying the costs of war. In fact, at the same time that Obama is reducing the number of troops in Iraq, he’s replacing them with military contractors at far greater expense to the taxpayer and redeploying American troops to other parts of the globe, including Africa, Australia, and Israel. In this way, the war on terror is privatized, the American economy is bled dry, and the military-security-industrial complex makes a killing - literally and figuratively speaking.

The war effort in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan has already cost taxpayers more than $2 trillion and could go as high as $4.4 trillion before it’s all over. At least $31 billion (and as much as $60 billion or more) of that $2 trillion was lost to waste and fraud by military contractors, who do everything from janitorial and food service work to construction, security, and intelligence - jobs that used to be handled by the military. That translates to a loss of $12 million a day since the U.S. first invaded Afghanistan. To put it another way, the government is spending more on war than all 50 states combined spend on health, education, welfare, and safety. [end quote]

Florida Bill to Allow Secret Privatization of Prisons By James L. Rosica, Associated Press 20 January 12

[excerpted] "Senate committee, bucking a decades-long trend of open government in Florida, formally introduced two bills on Wednesday aimed at allowing the secret privatization of prisons. But the measures also would make secret the outsourcing of other state agency functions, which has raised concerns from open government advocates.The Senate rules committee introduced the first bill (PCB 7170), which essentially means that an agency would not have to report its privatization of a program or service until after the contract is signed.

Committee chair John Thrasher, a St. Augustine Republican, told a standing-room-only audience that the introduction of the bill and that of its companion (PCB 7172) means both will be assigned to other committees for "substantive consideration."

A staff analysis says the first bill "makes clear that the Legislature may direct privatization of agency function itself, without any agency request." [end quote]

Janine Wedel's series on the Shadow Elite:

[excerpted] "Many contractors are integrally involved in formulating and influencing policy on issues ranging from defense (as seen in the mentoring program), to the economy and energy to homeland security and intelligence. Even when many, if not most, of these contractors perform admirably, whether contractors always have the public interest at heart, or whether, beholden to shareholders, they might have their own...."

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