Reliable Security Information

Poverty and the Annual National Security Ogres & Wealth Festival

You're not one of those disingenuous types who still think threats to the security of Americans are external, right?

Good, because I have a few statistics for you, taken from the wires:

"By race, nonwhites still have a higher risk of being economically insecure, at 90 percent. But compared with the official poverty rate, some of the biggest jumps under the newer measure are among whites, with more than 76 percent enduring periods of joblessness, life on welfare or near-poverty.

"By 2030, based on the current trend of widening income inequality, close to 85 percent of all working-age adults in the U.S. will experience bouts of economic insecurity ..."

Taken as a whole, four out of five Americans, can now expect to be unemployed, near poverty, on welfare or otherwise in serious economic peril at least once durihg their lives.

Now, a quick jump to a couple of select quotes from national security megaplex 1-percenters at the Aspen Security Forum:

NSA director Keith Alexander: "Make no mistake about it: These are great people who we're slamming and tarnishing and it's wrong. They're the heroes, not this other and these leakers!"

"The bad guys...hide amongst us to kill our people. Our job is to stop them without impacting your civil liberties and privacy and these programs are set up to do that ... The reason we use secrecy is not to hide it from the American people, but to hide it from the people who walk among you and are trying to kill you ..."

Mike Leiter, former director of the National Counterterrorism Center (NCC) and lawyer for Palantir, tech spying software contractor for the NSA: "Just seeing us here ...that inspires confidence, because we're not a bunch of ogres."

When you're protesting you're "not a bunch of ogres," it's a tacit admission of self-consciousness over moral standing in the national security megaplex.

Army general and NSA director Keith Alexander is a special case. As someone who publicly tries to pass off the fiction that Chinese cyber-espionage is the "greatest transfer of wealth in history" at a time of great personal hardship for millions of Americans he is easy to portray as socially tone deaf on a grand scale, someone at the top of the national security pyramid pursuing and building things which are only of importance to the mandarins, corporate and government.

And he's going to properly have that bit of bald-faced national security rent-seeking hung on him until he's retired. One of the benefits of the Edward Snowden affair has been is its exposure as one of the more extreme examples of national scary story-telling.

Yes, yes, yes, there is Chinese cyber-espionage every day. That's not what's economically ailing the place.

More statistics on what is:

46.2 million people in poverty, a record high

"Four out of 5 U.S. adults struggle with joblessness, near-poverty or reliance on welfare for at least parts of their lives, a sign of deteriorating economic security and an elusive American dream."

"Marriage rates are in decline across all races, and the number of white mother-headed households living in poverty has risen to the level of black ones."

From census data: "[People] ages 35-45 had a 17 percent risk of encountering poverty during the 1969-1989 time period; that risk increased to 23 percent during the 1989-2009 period. For those ages 45-55, the risk of poverty jumped from 11.8 percent to 17.7 percent."

For comparative purposes, Keith Alexander's salary: somewhere between 230,000 and 290,000/year.

Amount spent on the military and homeland security during the war on terror: $8 trillion.

The annual Aspen Security Forum, make no mistake, is for the privileged in American society, those who work as the peddlers and crafters of the national security megaplex. It has more in common with a summer festival for wealth in Monaco than anything the American citizenry might experience.

And therein lies a central dilemma in any attempt to restore prosperity and fairness in the country. The ogres on holiday every year at the national security wealth festival are a big part of the problem.

Jobs and the national swag went somewhere. Care to guess one of the destinations?

The A-List at the Aspen Security Forum -- from Cryptome.

Originally published at Dick Destiny blog. About the author.

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