The Battle for the Soul of the Republic
The National Security Agency (NSA) mega-data center, combined with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) special relationship with Google, and the federalization of local police using Department of Homeland Security (DHS) funds to pay for monitoring both the locations and the conversations of anyone they wish — without a warrant –suggest that the government of the United States of America (USA)-from local to national-is no longer in friendly hands.
As a professional intelligence officer and a retired Marine Corps officer, I am deeply offended, personally threatened, and patriotically alarmed. Evil has triumphed across the United States of America. Every single institution — from academies to civil society to commerce to the government and law enforcement at all levels, the media, the out of control military-industrial complex, and the bottom-feeding non-governmental and non-profit organizations that suck at the federal government tits gorged with printed money — has failed to respect the Constitution. There is neither intelligence nor integrity at the highest levels of all of our institutions.
2012 is a year of confrontation and convergence. On the confrontation side, we have a federal government that dismisses the Constitution across all three branches — a Court that believes corporations are citizens and strip-searches for parking tickets are “okay”; a Congress that abdicates its Article 1 responsibilities, instead serving as foot-soldiers to the corrupt two-party tyranny that excludes the majority from the ballot and the vote; and an Executive that borrows a trillion a year in our name, wastes two trillion a year, and has claimed the right to kill US citizens without due process, and to lie to the Courts when it deems it necessary for “national security.”
There is nothing secure about the USA today, and the root of our insecurity is entirely of our own making. The traitors among us — the Wall Street banks and their front end, the Federal Reserve; the two political parties, best of the servant class; and a broad band of political appointee and uniformed flag officers (generals and admirals) as well as their civilian equivalent, the senior executive service, are all enmeshed in a grid of high crimes and misdemeanors that relegate the USA to being a Third World nation, crooked at the top, impoverished at the bottom.
The National Security Agency (NSA) is the poster child for the growth of Top Secret America: The Rise of the New American Security State. There are two major “costs” to the citizen of this pervasive national surveillance state. First is the cost of creating it. NSA and the Cyber-Command, led by the same politically-complacent individual, General Keith Alexander (the man responsible for ABLE DANGER not reporting its findings to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in advance of 9/11), now costs the taxpayer over $25 billion dollars a year. A drop in the bucket when compared to the trillion a year spent on the US military, or the trillion a year spent on earmarks, entitlements, and other forms of Congressionally-mandated waste, but a useful example to discuss. Second is the cost to society of a government focused on the wrong targets for the wrong reasons. For one third of what we spend on the US military including the secret intelligence world, we could eradicate the ten high-level threats to humanity from poverty to war to genocide to human trafficking. For what we spend on NSA we could give every one of the five billion poor a free cell phone for life, backed up by call centers that educate them “one cell call at a time.”
NSA is an example of a closed system, a secret system, a system without accountability, a system that processes less than 7% of what it collects on “important” targets such as China, and less than 1% of all that it collects. It is, in other words, a pathologically ineffective organization, not just a pathologically intrusive organization.
Bearing in mind that NSA has cost the taxpayer hundreds of billions of dollars — over a trillion dollars over its history and in today's inflated (devalued) dollars; it is quite salutary to recognize that still today NSA has not been able to build the ultimate computer. In the words of James Bamford, the foremost author of books about NSA, as he described the ultimate computer in his last sentence of the book BODY OF SECRETS: Anatomy of the Ultra-Secret National Security Agency:
Eventually NSA may secretly achieve the ultimate in quickness, compatibility, and efficiency — a computer with petaflop and higher speeds shrunk into a container about a liter in size, and powered by only about ten watts of power: the human brain.
“Top Secret America” is an Administrative Law state, an inverted democracy, a totalitarian attempt to micro-manage everything from agriculture to water (the latter now under military control according to the latest national security decision memorandum). The reason Congress strives to micro-manage is clear: this is how they extort money, using micro-management to frame earmarks and exemptions. The Congress refuses to acknowledge the ten high-level threats to humanity while making the first threat — poverty — much worse within the USA. We now spend more on food stamps [Obama dollars] than we do on education. In brief, our government is ignorant, unethical, and ineffective. It is also pathologically out of control and acting against the public interest across the board.
The corruption of the US Government is comprehensive — the Cabinet departments strive to protect budget share for the recipients of taxpayer revenue and borrowed funds, instead of actually striving to address the public interest. From agriculture, where 47% of the food is lost from mega-farm to processing to supermarket to home to trash; to energy where 50% of the generated energy is lost in the very inefficient downstream process; to health, where 50% of every federal dollar spent on health is documented waste; to the military, where the model for embedded fraud, waste, and abuse originated, We the People are no longer represented, nor served with integrity, by our so-called national government.
The time has come for the United STATES of America to dissolve the federation and eliminate the Congress, the Executive, and the Supreme Court. I recommend that Alaska, Hawaii, Maine, Oregon, Texas, Vermont, and Washington threaten to secede from the Union immediately, demanding a new Constitutional Convention as a condition for returning to a reconstituted Second American Republic. The rest of the STATES should be nullifying every federal regulation and expelling federal employees and especially federal military contingents, from their territory. We need to rebuild the USA from the bottom-up, at Human Scale, with integral resilience, which is to say, true deep independence from any external authority.
There is a better way, the Open Source Everything (OSE) way. For some time now the model created by Richard Stallman and other pioneers of Free/Open Source Software (F/OSS) has been migrating to other areas. Open Government, Open Society, and Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) are three such areas. Below is a figure from the forthcoming book (to be released 5 June 2012, now available for pre-order at all major online stores), THE OPEN SOURCE EVERYTHING MANIFESTO: Transparency, Truth & Trust.
The OSE way is the way of Panarchy — of harnessing and empowering every human brain, of enabling all humans to connect to all information openly, transparently, making truth the primary input and trust the primary output.
The OSE way breaks the back of the closed Industrial Era tendency to “manufacture evil” as Lionel Tiger put it. Commoditizing humans and locking up knowledge is the worst possible strategy for resilience in a complex delicate environment of “Peak Everything.” In the face to total corruption and total lack of responsibility at the federal level — a corruption inherent in the two-party tyranny that promises no public gain irrespective of which of the two theatrical puppets might “win” the 2012 election already plagued by vote manipulation across the primaries — we who wish to survive and prosper have no alternative but to reject the federal, secret, closed, corrupt system now in place as well as its illegitimate off-spring at the state and local levels.
THE OPEN SOURCE EVERYTHING MANIFESTO: Transparency, Truth & Trust is the culmination of my life's work as a former spy and former Marine Corps officer. It is my ninth book, the first written for the general public and the first to be available in all bookstores. It is also the first that is not also free online, a concession necessary to achieve the broadest possible sales to support North Atlantic Books / Evolver Editions. They have priced the book honorably, and it can be bought right now on Amazon for under $10.
We are in an era where the government is lying to the public about everything. The unemployment rate is actually 22.4% (and it is closer to 40% for the 18-24 and 55-65 year-old demographics). Jobs are not being created, they are being lost. Virtually everything that each Cabinet department claims in support of their respective budgets is a lie. The Department of Defense (DoD) of which NSA is a major part, is especially corrupt and ineffective. The infantry — the most honorable and decent part of defense, comprises 4% of the total force, takes 80% of the casualties, and receives 1% — ONE PERCENT — of the total defense budget. It is my judgment that at least 50% of the other 99% is fraud, waste, or abuse. The service chiefs have been dishonorable, rejecting intelligence (decision-support on policy, acquisition, and operations) and forsaking integrity. I am ashamed of what passes for “leadership” these days and agree with Lee Iacocca — there are no leaders in Washington, only craven over-promoted clerks striving to please their banking and corporate masters against the day they can “retire” after a career in betrayal of the public trust, and roll over into an even more lucrative second career as a “beltway bandit.”
I have led the Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) movement these past 20 years, and while 90 governments have created OSINT units, the US Government has refused to modernize its intelligence fiefdoms, and continues to provide no more than 4% — according to General Tony Zinni, USMC (Ret) — of what any major official needs, and nothing for everyone else. I have addressed this in my CounterPunch article, “Intelligence for the President-AND Everyone Else.”
Today I am seeking one government or one great international university that is interested in creating an Open Source Agency (OSA) such as a handful of us finally got on to pages 23 and 423 of the 9/11 Commission Report, but under diplomatic auspices rather than spy auspices. In the USA, Hillary Rodham Clinton has no legacy of note — this could be her legacy. Otherwise, I offer this to Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Russia, South Africa, Turkey, or Venezuela — together with the new financial system that is emerging in rejection of the vast corruption attendant to the US dollar. The OSA, integrating a World Brain, a Global Game, and a Multinational Decision Support Centre (MDSC), could create a prosperous world at peace.
The rest of the world is now routing around the US Government because its corruption and its pathological disconnect from both ethics and reality. The USG is now correctly seen as a fatal cancer for global to local governance, something Latin Americans realized long ago, as so ably described in Open Veins of Latin America. Hybrid governance is the new way of the world. This means that the eight communities of information: the academy, civil society including labor unions and religions, commerce, government at all levels, law enforcement, media including bloggers, military, and non-governmental/non-profit organizations — must all learn to achieve consensus on the basis of shared information and a shared process of sense-making.
True cost economics and a strategic analytic model that integrates the ten high-level threats to humanity and the twelve core policies from Agriculture to Water, must be the heart of this new global to local panarchic system of self-governance. The first major government or the first major university to create a School of Future-Oriented Hybrid Governance could become the de facto leader of the 21st Century, gaining enormous legitimacy and with legitimacy, global reach and effectiveness, from transparent truthful shared information. As long as they root everything in ethics, and understand Will and Ariel Durant's point in Lessons of History that the only lasting revolution is in the mind of man, I have no doubt that our future will be bright. There are not enough guns to keep us all down; the five billion poor and their brains are the one unlimited resources we have; from transparency, truth, from truth, trust, from trust, a prosperous world at peace. St.