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Expanding Security State

affinis's picture

A few days ago, I noticed this piece at FDL: "’Homeland Security’ Spending Overtakes New Deal"
TomDispatch: this country has spent a jaw-dropping $791 billion on ‘homeland security’ since 9/11. To give you a sense of just how big that is, Washington spent an inflation-adjusted $500 billion on the entire New Deal.

Two indicators of the expanding security state that caught my attention in the last few days:

1. Glenn Greenwald: "Are all telephone calls recorded and accessible to the US government?"

2. A massive lockdown in the Madison WI area (where I live).

A fugitive, Paris Poe, whom the FBI wanted for parole violation and questioning in a murder investigation, was spotted at a hotel in a Madison, WI suburb. Poe had previously been imprisoned for armed robbery. A large area encompassing much of Vernona, Fitchburg, and part of Madison, WI was then essentially locked down and swarmed with SWAT teams in a day-long manhunt.

Reverse 911 calls were made to all landlines (about 30,000 homes) asking residents to lock their doors and remain inside. Police asked all the businesses in their area to close and lock their doors. All six schools in the area were placed on lockdown and surrounded by police. In Verona, no-one could enter or exit the schools. In some classrooms, children were told to crouch under their desks for hours. In some schools, children were herded into the gym. Children were prohibited from using the bathroom, since that would involve leaving their rooms, and were told to urinate in buckets. Parents could not pick up their children since entry or exit was prohibited. Once the lockdown was ended, parents were required to present ID to take their children home. During the escalating panic, it was stated that Poe was on the FBI’s most wanted list, but he was not.

Late in the day, Poe was arrested far outside the locked down area. He was apparently unarmed, faces no charges in WI, and will be transported back to IL. News stories here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Does anyone else see something wrong with this picture?


Submitted by cg.eye on

I trust there will come a time where the local or federal government will need the excuse to either immobilize a populace -- or, arrest violators of the freeze -- in order to quash political protest. Otherwise, why do they need all those bullets?

If they had this during the rise of Occupy Wall Street, there would have neither been the casual protestor nor observer out on the street -- which would conveniently make news coverage equally impossible, since any coverage only featuring the hardcore committed would be denounced as biased, and never air.