|A valiant TSA agent at work (Photo: Flickr)|
Madison Ruppert, Contributing Writer
While the deadline for the end of the political circus that is the debt ceiling debate rapidly approaches, the American government continues to flush millions of taxpayer dollars down the toilet.
One could easily set aside the almost never ending invasions of privacy carried out by the Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration goons and still have a strong case against these cancerous government bodies.
One could also set aside the health implications and rapid rise in cancer associated with their pet naked body scanning technologies.
To make matters even more ridiculous, one can even set aside the cases of molestation, harassment, and drug trafficking at the hands of the TSA while still being able to build an iron-clad case against them.
In previous articles I have detailed just one of the ways the TSA and DHS are tearing apart the Constitution and the most basic fabric of American society through the eradication of our right to privacy and protection from unlawful searches.
However, in this article I am going to detail some of the ways that the DHS is actively engaging in economic warfare against the people of the United States while lining their own pockets and those of their cronies at the helms of various corporations.
The most recent example is this: despite our teetering on the age of a possible default thanks to the clowns in Washington, $72 million in our non-existent tax dollars have been guaranteed to Lockheed Martin by the TSA.
This sum was given in exchange for more naked body scanners, which have a proven track record of health dangers and invasions of privacy.
The imaging machines which just happen to take completely nude, almost pornographic images that can be removed from the monitoring station for later “use” are going to be rolled out to an additional 300 airports.
Just when you thought you found your favorite airport that doesn’t use the radiation bathing machines, the TSA stepped in and spent our money on helping to ensure that you will never be able to avoid them.
This is just the beginning of the Department of Homeland Security’s economic destruction; earlier this month the DHS announced a plan to obtain 400 new scanners in addition to the hundreds already in operation.
How much money will the American taxpayer have to provide for this expansion of the highly contested scanners? Only a measly $300 million! What a steal!
Well, it might be if you’re one of the filthy rich executives of Lockheed Martin, but for the rest of America this spending will only compound our overwhelming debt problem.
It is worth noting that one of the advisors to the Department of Homeland Security just happens to be none other than Norman “Norm” Augustine, Former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Lockheed Martin corporation.
Augustine had served as assistant director of defense research and engineering to the Secretary of Defense and both assistant secretary and under secretary of the Army among other so-called “distinctions,” according to the Department of Homeland Security.
Of course some of the completely ignorant or hopelessly propagandized people of America might think that this is completely okay since he no longer is CEO or Chairman and now all he does is lobby the DHS to give contracts to Lockheed Martin. Why is this acceptable? Why is a former CEO who unarguably has strong ties with his former corporation allowed to “advise” the DHS and clearly influence their spending?
The American people should be able to kick every corporate lobbyist in Washington. Every single so-called advisor and politician with ties to corporations needs to be removed from positions of influence.
Without ensuring that we do not have corporate lobbyists influencing contracting and who they are issued to, we will continue to see our tax money spent on useless, unwanted, and unnecessary projects. Why do the people of America not have control over our own money? Why are we just sitting back while the fascist corporate-government oligarchy robs us blind?
Our so-called representatives in Washington are just watching this happen, evidenced by the fact that the TSA purchased and installed 450 naked body scanners in March 2010 using funds from a stimulus package enacted by congress in 2009. The package, called the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, was looted in order to hand over even more money to the corporations that are actively destroying America. To call this an effort to reinvest in America and assist in the economic recovery is nothing short of laughable. This is just one of the more recent examples, and there are several instances going back over the years.
Before the naked body scanners were purchased and put into operation (which just happened to make Michael Chertoff a ton of money), the TSA attempted to use “puffer machines” from General Electric and Smiths Detection. In 2004 the TSA purchased $30 million worth, or only 207 units, of these faulty machines without any real prior testing. Had they rigorously tested units before signing us on to $30 million in additional debt, they would have realized that the devices were easily clogged by dust and even more importantly easily confused by jet fuel fumes or humidity. If the units were properly tested, as any product should be before the government spends tens of millions on it, it would have come to the surface that the unreliable devices would cost an additional $48,000 in operating costs on top of the $150,000 device itself in order to be accurate. The program was stopped in 2006 and tossed by the wayside in favor of the full-body scanners.
According to the Washington Post, the Transportation Security Administration has spent about $14 billion in over 20,900 contracts with defense companies since the TSA’s creation in 2001. In 2010, the TSA requested more than $1.3 billion in taxpayer money to fund additional airport screening methods.
Even some government bodies have pointed out the massive incompetence and willy-nilly spending sprees the TSA and DHS engage in. The Government Accountability Office or GAO pointed out that the TSA has “not conducted a risk assessment or cost-benefit analysis, or established quantifiable performance measures” on the new technologies they purchase. This means that they spend the money without even knowing if it enhances security in any way.
If this isn’t proof of the marriage of government and the corporate world and the destruction it is wreaking upon our nation and our nation’s economy, I don’t know what is.
It is not only the GAO that is getting fed up with the TSA and their absurd spending policies. Congressman John Mica, who helped create the TSA, said, “Everywhere I turn, I’m appalled at what’s taking place.” He further adds, “We’ve created an agency that’s run pell-mell away from security and turned into a huge, unthinking, non-risk based bureaucracy.”
He called most of the spending carried out by the TSA through their behemoth $80 billion budget as “idiotic.” Congressman Mica could not be more accurate; as the TSA has reported at least 25,000 security breaches since the 9/11 terror attacks in American airports.
This is an indication of the complete failure and mismanagement of the agency, not an indication that we need to give them more money. This fallacious argument has been made time and time again, regardless of the massive logical holes.
If there wasn’t enough damning evidence of the rampant corporatism and corruption in these departments, the threat made to Congressman Jason Chaffetz by the DHS regarding his discussion of the 25,000 breaches since 9/11 is another indication that something is seriously wrong here.
Nothing short of the entirety of America stepping back and noticing the over-arching trend of wealth redistribution from the people to the elite carried out by corporations and their government cronies can stop this. Without all of America demanding that our money be accounted for and only spent when and where we decide it should be, the DHS and TSA will continue to economically rape our nation.
Without even covering the invasions of privacy, humiliation, enabling of drug trafficking, molestation, etc. the TSA and DHS have given us enough evidence to criminally convict the corrupt individuals behind the contracting decisions.
Americans should stop blindly accepting government spending and start making it clear to our supposed representatives in Washington that we will no longer stand for the continuation of these practices that serve only the banksters who issue us the debt and the corporations to whom the money is funneled.