More Cheerleading For The Military Industrial Complex From Bill Kristol

What was slightly surprising about this week's Fox News Sunday is that Dana Priest, who's done some pretty extensive reporting on the United States', as Chris Wallace actually pretty aptly described it, "terrorism industrial complex" for The
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What was slightly surprising about this week's Fox News Sunday is that Dana Priest, who's done some pretty extensive reporting on the United States', as Chris Wallace actually pretty aptly described it, "terrorism industrial complex" for the Washington Post was allowed on the show to say anything critical at all about the intrusion into our daily lives in the name of "national security" or the fact that the industry has pretty well grown out of control.

What's not surprising is war monger Bill Kristol was there to downplay the terrible costs we've paid for these excesses, and naturally to cheer on the military industrial complex.

KRISTOL: Well, you compare it to the military, the industrial complex from the Cold War. The military industrial complex helped win the Cold War. And if we pay a little price, a little waste and a little bit of excessive stuff at the airports to help win this war, which I think is comparable to the Cold War in the sense that we don't need to just defeat Al Qaida or a few leaders of Al Qaida, we need to change the character of the Middle East otherwise the 20 percent is going to be unmanageable. There will be other Al Qaedas, there will be other state sponsored terrorism. There will be nuclear weapons next time. And we'll be back where we were on 9/11 and in a way even worse.

So I think the effort -- I don't really believe we can cut back any more than we could have cut back 10 years into the Cold War in the mid-1950s before saying, oh well now we've -- Korea was very difficult, it's been divisive at home, General McCarthy. We surely need to get out of this war mentality.

In fact, we stayed with it with bipartisan leadership. And the Soviet Union collapsed. And I think we're in a similar moment today.

Yeah, just what harm can there be from paying "a little price" or for "a little waste" or a little bit of "excessive stuff?" I guess those prices do appear small to someone like Kristol who's never served in the military, who doesn't live in one of those countries we decided to invade, and who is making a nice salary constantly cheerleading on the next military invasion and isn't worried he might starve to death, say if he loses his Social Security benefits because, you know, we're supposedly "broke" and need some "shared sacrifice."

Full transcript below the fold.

WALLACE: Dana, in you new book "Top Secret America" you report how in the wake of 9/11 a kind of terrorism industrial complex has developed like the military industrial complex after the cold and during the Cold War. How big is it? And what is your concern about it?

PRIEST: Nearly a hundred -- nearly a million people work who have top secret clearances on programs that are secret. Thousands of corporations and about 1,200 organizations. It is a giant complex that grew up after congress gave the executive branch a blank check basically to stop what everyone thought was going to be a next attack.

Ten years later, it's grown so large it's not manageable. We're supposed to put the director of national intelligence in charge, but he is not in charge. And in fact, that organization itself has grown to the size of buildings that are five Wal-Marts stacked on top of each other.

The Department of Homeland Security, a lot of people inside the community still don't know exactly what value it brings to a lot of things other than border security and transportation security. But 88,000 people work there. The building their building is going to be larger than the Pentagon. And half the employees are contractors.

So I think it's time with the death of bin Laden, with the near- death of the al Qaida network and with the precision and the growth of real expertise of following terrorist networks it's time to step back and reassess what have we built? Do we still need all of it as we're constructed, as it's been constructed, and should we keep growing it? Or should we reassess and cut back in some places, figure out what works and what doesn't work? That has not been done yet.

WALLACE: Bill?

KRISTOL: Well, you compare it to the military, the industrial complex from the Cold War. The military industrial complex helped win the Cold War. And if we pay a little price, a little waste and a little bit of excessive stuff at the airports to help win this war, which I think is comparable to the Cold War in the sense that we don't need to just defeat Al Qaida or a few leaders of Al Qaida, we need to change the character of the Middle East otherwise the 20 percent is going to be unmanageable. There will be other Al Qaedas, there will be other state sponsored terrorism. There will be nuclear weapons next time. And we'll be back where we were on 9/11 and in a way even worse.

So I think the effort -- I don't really believe we can cut back any more than we could have cut back 10 years into the Cold War in the mid-1950s before saying, oh well now we've -- Korea was very difficult, it's been divisive at home, General McCarthy. We surely need to get out of this war mentality.

In fact, we stayed with it with bipartisan leadership. And the Soviet Union collapsed. And I think we're in a similar moment today.

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