Well, the two purveyors are Dana 'I got a Pulitzer for exposing clandestine CIA interrogations of dangerous terrorists' Priest, and William Arkin, best known on righty blogs for this description of US troops from 2007:
But it is the United States and instead this NBC report is just an ugly reminder of the price we pay for a mercenary – oops sorry, volunteer – force that thinks it is doing the dirty work.So there's your context.
The site details the layers of the counter-intelligence complex, including an incredible estimated 850,000 people who maintain top-secret clearances (many of them are in DoD). But the front page also has a 'latest news' section. The lead-off story today was from the Atlantic Wire where Max Fisher sums up the bottom line by linking to lefty bloggers Marcy Wheeler, Tim Shorrock, Spencer Ackerman, and last but not least Digby, who Fisher blockquotes:
Liberal blogger Digby writes [as if he's the only lefty linked -ed] "I don't know if it includes Homeland Security, but if it doesn't I suspect another investigation should be done there. This gravy train has taken on sacred status as the right has managed to morph the "support the troops" mantra into a 'support the Military Industrial Complex,' which is just another way of maintaining the police welfare state for connected white guys. If there's belt tightening to be done, this is the place to start."Bolded to ask whether this would ever be permissible to reverse in any way imaginable. BTW, the other two news stories listed were a vanilla wire story from Fox News (without opinion) and to another lefty site, Firedoglake, this time to writer 'Rayne', who also makes a point about spending. Beginning to see the point?
Indeed, the first thing that should strike most readers after wading through several pages is the overarching notion that our counter-intelligence apparatus appears to be spiraling out of control, which could lead to the dreaded stovepipe effect that helped produce 9/11 but just as important, wasting taxpayer money (for connected white guys, apparently).
It's hard to argue in light of the fact they missed the underbomber, Hasan, Abdulhakim (Little Rock) and the Times Square bomber. Of course, it's hard to say this apparatus was entirely to blame for missing these threats but good luck finding any criticism of Obama on this new site.
Again, the bottom line--money, ie, we are wasting money on national intelligence and fighting a war on terror, seems to be a driving force of the site. After all, the federal pie is only so big and much more money is needed to waste on out of control, unwieldy social projects that have been spiraling out of control for years.
So, while there most definitely should be a common sense assessment of all programs with an emphasis of ending contractor abuses, folks like Digby, or Priest, or Arkin, would likely react like hissing snakes if Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh came up with a similar web site tracking abuses in the social safety net.
Since this seems to be in part an expose designed to set up defense cuts; and since Obama is out today demagoguing the unemployment extensions by calling them 'stimulative', isn't a bloated defense/intel establishment also 'stimulative'? Think of all the jobs that have been created!