James Risen is the poster boy for the Obama administration’s war on journalism. The New York Times reporter faces a prison sentence for his refusal to testify in the trial of whistleblower and former CIA employee Jeffrey Alexander Sterling. Sterling, who has been indicted under the Espionage Act of 1917 was a source for information that Risen wrote about in his book “State of War” and the feds are hellbent at setting an example. The archaic World War I law has been a favorite of the Obama Justice Department when it comes to squashing scrutiny of our now fully gangsterized federal government. While Risen awaits the decision on whether to lock him up behind bars he was written a new book that is a devastating critique of the profiteering off of the Global War on Terror (GWOT).
Risen, who has called President Barack Obama “the greatest enemy of press freedom in a generation” has made no friends within the bowels of the government with the scathing Pay Any Price: Greed, Power, and Endless War. The book gores the sacred ox of the post 9/11 Homeland Security state as being an irresponsible, incompetent and corrupt Leviathan that has squandered trillions in taxpayer money under the scam of keeping us safe. What has really occurred is that legions of opportunists, political cronies and con artists have grabbed a ride on the GWOT gravy train and will not easily be dislodged.
In the book’s prologue Risen writes: “Obama performed a neat political trick: he took the national security state that had grown to such enormous size under Bush and made it his own” and that “Obama’s great achievement – or great sin – was to make the national security state permanent”. There can be no argument with that given the revelations of the mass domestic surveillance programs of the American Stasi, the NSA. This is a massive agency gone totally rogue that has engaged in vast unconstitutional data-mining, warrantless surveillance, eavesdropping and most ominously storing information on Americans for some yet to be defined future use. That whopper of an NSA storage facility that sits in Bluffdale, Utah is a totalitarian wet dream and it has all been enabled by Obama and a bipartisan amen corner of fascists, political hacks, corrupt legislators and pocket judges.
What Risen does is in “Pay Any Price” is to provide multiple examples of thebottom-feeding parasites who have attached themselves to the war on terror for personal enrichment, both in terms of money and power. I except the following from the prologue:
The new homeland security-industrial complex operates differently. It is largely made up of a web of intelligence agencies and their contractors, companies that mostly provide secret services rather than large weapons systems and equipment.
These contractors are hired to help Washington determine the scale and scope of the terrorist threat; they make no money if they determine that the threat is overblown or if, God forbid, if the war on terror ever comes to an end.
There were more than 1,200 government organizations and nearly 2,000 private companies working on counterterrorism, homeland security, and intelligence programs, the Washington Post found in 2010, and more than 850,000 people in America had top-secret security clearances, producing 50,000 intelligence reports a year. The U.S. Intelligence budget alone has at least doubled since 2001, and by 2013, stood at more than $70 billion a year, including both civilian and military intelligence spending.
It is no accident that seven of the ten wealthiest counties in America are in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.
Consider that last line and it puts recent remarks made by Queen Hillary the Inevitable that businesses do not create jobs in a different light. The government islargely responsible for job creation – especially for the surveillance state Gomorrahthat has grown exponentially in the vicinity of the nation’s capital. The Washington Post story that Risen refers to is the three-part “Top Secret America” series by Dana Priest and William M. Arkin. It was later expanded into a book of the same name.
Some of the stories told in “Pay any Price” chronicle the billions of dollars of U.S. currency sent to Iraq out of the New York Federal Reserve’s East Rutherford Operations Center in the early days of Shock and Awe. According to Risen, “between $12 and $14 billion, mostly in $100 bills was taken from East Rutherford and flown into the war zone of Iraq in 2003 and 2004” with “another $5.8 billion” sent from the New York Fed to Baghdad via wire transfers. History shows that billions of dollars in that loot went missing with between “$1.2 and $1.6 billion” spirited away and now believed to be stashed in Lebanon. Risen nails it in writing that “it was the moment when thievery in the global war on terror achieved industrial scale”.
Even more interesting is the tale of a man named Dennis Montgomery, a chubby middle-aged degenerate gambler who would go on to be nailed for passing $1 million in bad checks in Las Vegas casinos. Montgomery was able to con the government into wasting taxpayer money on a software program that he claimed would be able to intercept and decipher secret Al Qaeda code that was embedded in Al Jazeera broadcasts. It was all bullshit though and nearly led to a tragic catastrophe when government officials pondered whether to shoot down commercial airliners over the Atlantic Ocean before sanity prevailed.
Another great piece on Montgomery comes from the website of Wired magazine, published in 2009 and entitled “Report: Programmer Conned CIA, Pentagon Into Buying Bogus Anti-Terror Code” which is priceless for the following:
When one CIA officer finally learned the source of the information his agency was being fed, he says he was livid.
“I was told to shut up,” “I was saying, ‘This is crazy. This is embarrassing.’. . . I said, ‘Give us the algorithms that allowed you to come up with this stuff.’ They wouldn’t even do that. And I was screaming, ‘You gave these people f*cking money?’”
Frances Townsend, a Homeland Security adviser to President George W. Bush, admits to the magazine that the bar code idea sounded far-fetched, but said the government had no choice but to pursue the leads Montgomery passed them.
“It didn’t seem beyond the realm of possibility,” she said. “We were relying on technical people to tell us whether or not it was feasible. I don’t regret having acted on it.”
It was a branch of the French intelligence services that finally helped convince the U.S. government in 2004 that the bar codes were fake after they and the CIA commissioned another company to try to detect the messages and were unable to uncover anything.
Mr. Montgomery at one time had enough political juice to be as Risen tags him, “The Emperor of the War on Terror”. The chapter on this con artist alone is in my opinion worth shelling out the dough for the book. Risen continues to go for the jugular throughout and I am sure that assholes within the Obama regime have been puckering since the publication date. They do have other fish to fry for the time being with elections and Ebola but I suspect that it won’t be long until the attack dogs are loosed on Risen for his blasphemy.
Americans have been getting screwed for years over the trumped up war on terror. We are really no safer than we were on September 10, 2001 but we have been robbed blind and methodically stripped of our cherished civil liberties by a government run amok.
And we really had no say in any of it.