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Ultra Violence

Nelson Lichtenstein Dissent
Rachel Maddow’s podcast tells the story of American Nazis in the 1940s. But the era’s real and lasting authoritarian danger came from the spectacular growth of a national security state.


Beavis and Butt-Head Do America Stands the Test of Time

Leonard Pierce Jacobin
Looking for something other than sappy Christmas movies to watch over the holidays? There is no greater and more prescient skewering of the absurdity of the American national security state than Mike Judge’s Beavis and Butt-Head Do America.

North Korea and the Korean War: A Dissident Draftee Remembers

Mark Solomon Portside
The Korean War was central to the militarization of our society and to the creation a national security state. It was an essential element in fostering racism, sexism and in the cutting of social programs - creating growing inequality. Today, the threat of a cataclysmic war between Washington and North Korea cannot be discounted. It is vital for the US public to know that North Korea has been asking for a peace treaty with Washington and Seoul for sixty-four years.

Donald Trump, Democracy, and the Might of the Generals

William J. Astore TomDispatch
President-elect Donald Trump’s decision to elevate ex-generals to the highest civilian offices in America’s national security state represents a de facto military coup against civilian oversight of the world’s largest military machine. Former generals Michael Flynn, a warrior-crusader against Islam, will be Trump’s national security adviser; James “Mad Dog” Mattis, will be the nation’s secretary of defense; and John Kelley will head the Department of Homeland Security.

Liberty Is Security The Lesson Not Drawn From Post-9/11 Government Overreach

Karen J. Greenberg TomDispatch
Given the nature of the terrorist threat, no matter how many people it surveils or what kinds of communications it listens in on, no matter the drones in the air or the cameras on the streets, it remains remarkably helpless when it comes to finding the Syed Rizwan Farooks, Dahir Adans, and Ahmad Khan Rahamis of our world. It is incapable of picking those unexpected needles out of the vast haystack of us.

Uncharted Territory: Are We in a New American World?

Tom Englehardt TomDispatch
This is not war as we once knew it, nor is it government as we once understood it, nor are these elections as we once imagined them, nor is this democracy as it used to be conceived of, nor is this journalism of a kind ever taught in a journalism school. This is the definition of uncharted territory. A new, more frightening America is emerging and we can’t blame it all on Donald Trump. For it is this new America-in-formation that has paved the way for him.

Why NSA Surveillance is Worse than You've Ever Imagined

James Bamford Reuters
Despite the volume of revelations, much of the public remains largely unaware of the true extent of the NSA's vast, highly aggressive and legally questionable surveillance activities. Given the vast amount of revelations about NSA abuses, it is somewhat surprising that just slightly more than a majority of Americans seem concerned about government surveillance. Which leads to the question of why?

The U.S. is Heading Into a Heavily Militarized Future

Tom Englehardt TomDispatch
When President Obama came into office, in what may be the single exception to the rule of the era, he walked back one crucial set of Bush administration policies, ending torture and closing the “black sites” where it occurred. Since then, however, the CIA has expanded. It and the national security state within which it is lodged, has grown, and the process of expanding that shadow government and freeing it from supervision has been unending.

Remembering the Watts Rebellion, Operation Chaos and the Infectious Logic of National Security

Kara Z. Dellacioppa Truthout
Fifty years ago, Los Angeles erupted in a week long riot leaving dozens dead, 3,000 arrested and $40 million in property damage -- the 1965 Watts rebellion. This year also marks 40 years since the revelations of "official" investigations of US intelligence covert activity against US dissidents throughout the 1960s -- 1970s. Both events have something to teach us about the growth of the national security state and the criminalization of US dissent.

The Powerful Surge to Protect Gen. Petraeus

Ray McGovern ConsortiumNews
Ex-CIA official Jeffrey Sterling is going on trial for espionage because he allegedly told a reporter about a botched covert operation that sent flawed nuclear designs to Iran, but powerful people want to spare ex-CIA Director David Petraeus indictment for leaking secrets to his mistress, notes ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern. Sterling, a whistleblower, and Petraeus, a retired four-star general, are being held to "cruelly different standards."
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