The Cancer of the National-Security State (Afterword Update)

By Jacob Hornberger

Suppose that after you visit your doctor for a physical examination, he informs you that you are suffering from the following ailments:

  1. A stiff knee, which requires six months of physical therapy.
  2. Being overweight, which requires a big change in diet.
  3. Kidney problems, which require you to give up drinking.
  4. A growing malignant tumor on your stomach that can be removed by surgery.

The doctor recommends that you give priority to ailment 4, but you instead decide to give priority to the first three ailments.

At the end of six months, you have resolved your knee problem, you have brought your weight down to an acceptable level, and you have totally given up drinking. At your six-month review, your doctor commends you on your accomplishments.

There is just one big problem, however. Your malignant tumor has grown so large that it can no longer be removed. Worse, the cancer has spread throughout your body. Your doctor advises you to get your affairs in order because you only have three months to live.

That’s the situation that the American people face with respect to the society in which we live. There are multiple problems facing our nation. But the biggest one is the national-security state form of governmental structure under which we have been living for some 75 years. It is this governmental structure that is a malignant tumor on the American body politic. This political cancer is taking us down from within. That’s why it is imperative that Americans make its removal their top priority.

Consisting of the Pentagon, the vast military-industrial complex, the enormous empire of domestic and foreign military bases, the CIA, and the NSA, along with its foreign policy of interventionism, the national-security establishment is the root cause of the perpetual wars in which the United States has been embroiled since 1947, when the federal government was converted from a limited-government republic to a national-security state.

The Cold War. The Korean War. The Vietnam War. The Persian Gulf War. The war on terrorism. The war on Islam. The War on Afghanistan. The War on Iraq. The war on Syria. The war on Yemen. The war on China. The war on Iran. Multiple military incursions. Multiple coups and state-sponsored assassinations. And now the renewed Cold War on Russia, which has gotten us perilously close to all-out, life-destroying nuclear war, just like it did back in October 1962.

Of course, there is lots of focus on ending America’s “endless wars.” But that’s akin to focusing on our knee problem rather than on our cancer problem. Ending one forever war accomplishes nothing from a longterm perspective because always around the corner is another forever war. That’s because the national-security state apparatus is the root cause of each forever war in which they embroil America.

A national-security state necessarily depends on forever wars or, at the very least, crises, dangers, and threats from official enemies, adversaries, opponents, and competitors in order to justify its existence and its ever-growing taxpayer-funded largess. The wars, crises, dangers, and threats keep people agitated and afraid. They become convinced that without the national-security establishment keeping them safe, the nation would inevitably be conquered by the Reds, the terrorists, the Muslims, the illegal immigrants, the drug dealers, the Russians, the Chinese, the Iranians, or some other scary bogeyman.

There is, of course, the out-of-control federal spending, debt, and monetary debauchery that comes with all this to consider. It’s not just the welfare state (e.g., Social Security, Medicare, etc.) that is taking us down from within. It’s also the warfare state, which is costing American taxpayers close to a trillion dollars a year.

There is also the omnipotent, totalitarian-like, dark-side powers that come with a national-security state, such as assassination, kidnapping, torture, and indefinite detention. Such powers are able to be exercised against both foreigners and American citizens.

For many years, I have been recommending a book titled National Security and Double Government by Michael J. Glennon, who is a professor of law at Tufts University and served as counsel to the U.S. Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee.

Glennon’s thesis is a simple but extremely ominous one. He persuasively makes the case that it is the national-security branch of the government — that is, the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA — that is actually running the federal government, especially in foreign affairs. The other three branches — the executive, legislative, and judicial — are permitted to maintain the veneer of power. But that’s all it is — an appearance. The real power, Glennon argues, lies with the national-security establishment.

That means that it is the Pentagon, not the deferential executive or legislative branches, that is calling the shots and running the show in Ukraine. Given the extreme anti-Russia hostility that drove the national-security establishment and its willingness to risk nuclear war during the Cold War, Glennon’s thesis does not bode well for the longterm future and well-being of the American people.

The national-security state is a malignant tumor on the American body politic. Although our nation faces lots of problems, the priority should be given to the removal of this cancer and to the restoration of our founding governmental system of a limited-government republic, before it is too late.

Source: The Future of Freedom Foundation

This post was written by:

Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show Freedom Watch. View these interviews at and from Full Context. Send him email.

Afterword by Pete Hendrickson from

HORNBERGER IS SO RIGHT in this observation, and in being so, he underscores the irony and the shame of his inability or unwillingness to study and come to recognize the truth about the income tax which is the sole solution to the problem he so nicely identifies. As do so many other pundits, Hornberger does a great job at raising consciousness, but trails off into silence, in the apparent hope that a consciousness-raised populace will effect change through the political process.

Unfortunately, the record makes clear that the political process is no longer a viable instrument by which even a consciousness-raised American public can effect change in national policy — and even if that consciousness-raised public amounts to a large-enough portion of the electorate to do so were the democratic process still functioning. When, after all, have we seen in recent years effective popular control over US policy in opposition to the agenda of the deep state, or even just the cronies and clients of the overt mammoth warfare and welfare state?

These days even if the democratic processes by which the majority is meant to exercise its will (within Constitutional limits) were allowed to function, the “engineering of consent” by the state apparatus is so mature and sophisticated that no amount of consciousness-raising effort could bring about change unwelcome by those doing that engineering.

Only individual action by those whose consciousness has been successfully raised, making use of the structure and limitations of the federal taxing power hard-wired into the Constitution, offers a solution. Each American can thereby cease his or her enabling of the Leviathan state. In doing so, each such actor arises as an irresistible lure to others, even those who know or care nothing about the perils of the national-security state, but who don’t want to relinquish wealth to anyone with which they need not be parting.

That is, individual self-interest — the most powerful political force in the universe — is inexorably invoked by the liberating truth about the income tax, and that invocation will yield the beneficial outcome hoped for by Jacob Hornberger and all others who decry the national-security state cancer where nothing else will manage to do so.

All that is needed to make it all happen is for a big enough core group of consciousness-raised Americans to act and be vocal– a spark which would be enormously and importantly hurried into action if Jacob Hornberger and others with bully-pulpits much bigger than my very suppressed one were to begin spreading the word.

 YOU can help make that happen.

If you have access to any pundits, share this article.

Further, independent commentaries, comments to these newsletter articles, and especially videos should be flying out from this community all the time! Remember, people, those defending the evil status quo are legion, and relentless. Those wanting them defeated, and their evil scheme and its evil progeny wiped away, need to be just as much so.

At a minimum, everyone in this community should be diligently sharing, with suitable exhortations and persuasions to the recipient, the special materials I have written for this purpose. For instance, clicking on the image of Dorothy and Glinda, below, will yield a short .pdf by which anyone not welded to a government teat will quickly be inspired and equipped to lend their strength to climbing out of our suicidal dive, if shared around with at least a subject line encouraging its perusal.

Others can be found here and here and here and here.

Seriously, people. It’s time to stop whistling past the graveyard and start curing the cancer.


P.S. DO YOU WANT THIS ARTICLE to make a difference? It only will do so if YOU PASS IT ON TO OTHERS. Please do that.

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