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It’s almost as if a domestic war is about to be formally declared.
July 12, 2013 8:01 AM   Subscribe

Creating a military-industrial-immigration complex.
In a world where basic services are being cut, an emerging policing apparatus in the borderlands is flourishing. Since September 11, 2001, the United States has spent $791 billion on “homeland security” alone, an inflation-adjusted $300 billion more than the cost of the entire New Deal.
posted by adamvasco (32 comments total) 29 users marked this as a favorite

 
> The result, Senator John McCain proudly said, will be the “most militarized border since the fall of the Berlin Wall.”

You mean the wall your hero Reagan wanted torn down?
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:04 AM on July 12, 2013 [23 favorites]


We should have colonized Mars with the money instead.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:07 AM on July 12, 2013 [4 favorites]


spent $791 billion on “homeland security” alone, an inflation-adjusted $300 billion more than the cost of the entire New Deal

But the important thing is that this money went to the right people.
posted by DU at 8:11 AM on July 12, 2013 [12 favorites]


And in related news, DHS head Janet Napolitano is soon departing for California.
posted by fuse theorem at 8:12 AM on July 12, 2013


We should have colonized Mars with the money instead.

But there's so much of Earth still left to be colonized!
posted by pracowity at 8:12 AM on July 12, 2013 [8 favorites]


Real life is turning this Simpsons episode from 1996 into a documentary...except for the part about taxes being raised by $5.
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:15 AM on July 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


Not all of that is new spending, though - for example, the Coast Guard is now under the Dept of Homeland Security

can I have my tax money for "national security" back?
posted by thelonius at 8:19 AM on July 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


Wait, we're paying for a whole New Deal and not getting a WPA out of it? This is lame.
posted by jsturgill at 8:19 AM on July 12, 2013 [14 favorites]


Wow, depressing read. So much money and energy being poured into the politics of fear. And, if you look at conservative feeds on Twitter and comments on message boards, you would think our border is a highway paved with gold for illegal immigrants with Democrats driving buses full of illegals to cushy jobs. What a sham.
posted by zzazazz at 8:20 AM on July 12, 2013 [7 favorites]


for example, the Coast Guard is now under the Dept of Homeland Security

So the guy who keeps telling us to join the Coast Guard is recruiting for Homeland Security?
posted by pracowity at 8:23 AM on July 12, 2013


But there's so much of Earth still left to be colonized!

Yes, we've been to Iraq, what's next?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:25 AM on July 12, 2013


The result, Senator John McCain proudly said, will be the “most militarized border since the fall of the Berlin Wall.”

An interesting comment, especially when you consider other things like local police militarization and surveillance of email/phone/social media. What is used to keep people out could someday also be used to keep people in...
posted by CosmicRayCharles at 8:27 AM on July 12, 2013 [9 favorites]


But I thought immigration from Mexico was going down due to our lousy economy. As usual, fighting the last war.
posted by seemoreglass at 8:28 AM on July 12, 2013 [4 favorites]


But good times are just ahead, so we have to be ready when people once again see the US as the land of opportunity!
posted by filthy light thief at 8:41 AM on July 12, 2013 [3 favorites]


Wasn't there a recent study that showed that all of our additional border security was almost completely ineffective?
posted by schmod at 8:55 AM on July 12, 2013


Rule of Law on the Border.
As a U.S. Border Patrol agent told journalist Margaret Regan, within a hundred miles of the international divide, “there’s an asterisk on the Constitution.”
posted by adamvasco at 9:01 AM on July 12, 2013 [3 favorites]


Isn't amazing that the same guys who praise St. Reagan for forcing the USSR to defense-spend itself into oblivion are incapable of drawing any parallels?
posted by Benny Andajetz at 9:23 AM on July 12, 2013 [33 favorites]


But the important thing is that this money went to the right people.

There's right people, than there's the right people. The former feel right, but only the latter got the right connexion.
posted by elpapacito at 9:29 AM on July 12, 2013


Benny Andajetz: Isn't amazing that the same guys who praise St. Reagan for forcing the USSR to defense-spend itself into oblivion are incapable of drawing any parallels?
Ironically, this time the part of "Reagan" will be played by the undersea corpse of a tall Saudi, with a special guest appearance by a skinny young man trapped in an airport as "NATO".
posted by IAmBroom at 9:35 AM on July 12, 2013 [4 favorites]


Wasn't there a recent study that showed that all of our additional border security was almost completely ineffective?

Of course it's a sham through and through. Where is this money now?

WHERE IS OUR GODDAMN MONEY?!

$791 billion, and yet our bridges collapse, our roads are a mess, our train system is a joke, our rivers are polluted, our coastal cities need to be protected against destructive weather patterns, and yet, there's people somewhere who decided they were going to take this money for themselves, and created an immigration panic among the brown-fearing masses. Who wants to bet the current arguments in Congress right now are pretty much part of the show? If there were real immigration reform that satisfied all parties, the money train wold shut down for certain folks, and that can't happen. Does anyone really think that's going to happen, with every administration since Reagan having these so-called "fights" in Congress and passing laws that never seem to work to solve the problem on either side of the border? Bah.

Yes, I'm sure the builders and guards are being paid, but I'll bet my eyeteeth it's a pittance compared to the folks who run the construction companies and the "security" apparatuses.

And again, I ask:

WHERE IS OUR GODDAMN MONEY?

I'm just getting really, really, really angry at what's been happening on so many levels in this country. Voting, stern letters to Senators and Congress folk, and protesting aren't working anymore, and as a concerned citizen, I don't know what to do to help stop the madness. I feel like TPTB know that we know their game, but don't care and are blowing us raspberries while they rob us blind. I feel like they just want to sit and have champers and strawberries while they amuse themselves by watching us destroy each other.
posted by droplet at 9:57 AM on July 12, 2013 [25 favorites]


"The politics of failure have failed! We must make them work again."
posted by blue_beetle at 10:22 AM on July 12, 2013


Since September 11, 2001, the United States has spent $791 billion on “homeland security” alone, an inflation-adjusted $300 billion more than the cost of the entire New Deal.

Pushed, largely, by the same folks who scream that big government can't do anything right and should be defunded until it dies.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:23 AM on July 12, 2013 [5 favorites]


Oddly, while we're all focused on the leaky southern border where the brown people so feared by white america seep in, we busily militarize the rest of the country, again mostly so we can control/attack/intimidate the any-color-but-white-or-rich folks in the middle. These guys are out of control.

This does not please me.
posted by FauxScot at 10:28 AM on July 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


Radar shows U.S. border security gaps: Vader, a system originally used to track the Taliban, finds that more immigrants elude capture at the U.S.-Mexico border than previously estimated.
posted by homunculus at 11:53 AM on July 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


Border ‘surge’ plan would be financial bonanza for private firms: The immigration bill contains a $46 billion “border surge” of security measures, a 10-year spending gusher that would produce a financial bonanza for some of America’s largest aerospace, technology and security companies, as well as some border states.
posted by homunculus at 11:55 AM on July 12, 2013


Border Patrol Drone Fleet Straying Far From The Borders When Not Being Loaned Out To Whatever Agency Comes Asking
posted by homunculus at 12:45 PM on July 12, 2013


Glenn Hubbard is, in economist terms, often a dogmatic verging on hacky hack.

But he's dead right on this one about wall building being an empire late stage act, and never a good sign....

How the US is repeating one of history's Great Blunders
posted by C.A.S. at 1:53 PM on July 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


we busily militarize the rest of the country, again mostly so we can control/attack/intimidate the any-color-but-white-or-rich folks in the middle.

Oh, please. Anybody who isn't part of the security apparatus is an officially n-word the second they get a notion to shoot your dog and throw a flashbang through your window.
posted by codswallop at 2:57 PM on July 12, 2013


re the "one of history's great blunders" links - in college, there was a history professor whose work was about comparing the US - Mexico border to the borders with "barbarians" in the late Roman Empire. I always thought this was fascinating.
posted by thelonius at 3:04 PM on July 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


$791 billion? Phphhhh! Chump change. $8 TRILLION SPENT ON FEAR SINCE 9/11. Sometimes I sit and wonder what that kind of spending could have done for schools, infrastructure, science, broadband, and healthcare. You know, the crap I care about.
posted by pashdown at 6:03 PM on July 12, 2013 [3 favorites]


Customs & Border Protection Logged Eight-Fold Increase in Drone Surveillance for Other Agencies
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:07 PM on July 12, 2013


That's Why They Call It Dope
posted by homunculus at 12:07 PM on July 24, 2013


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