More Secrets, More Surveillance, Less Security

On the Bloated Intelligence Bureaucracy

by Ron Paul

I have often spoken about the excessive size of government, and most recently how waste and inefficiency needs to be eliminated from our military budget. Our foreign policy is not only bankrupting us, but actively creating and antagonizing enemies of the United States, and compromising our national security. Spending more and adding more programs and initiatives does not improve things for us; it makes them much much worse. This applies to more than just the military budget.

Recently the Washington Post ran an extensive report by Dana Priest and William M. Arkin on the bloated intelligence community. They found that an estimated 854,000 people hold top-secret security clearances. Just what are all these people up to? By my calculation this is about 11,000 intelligence workers per al Qaeda member in Afghanistan. This also begs the question – if close to 1 million people are authorized to know top secrets, how closely guarded are these secrets?

They also found that since the September 11 attacks, some 17 million square feet of building space has been built or is being built to accommodate the 250 percent expansion of intelligence organizations. Intelligence work is now done by some 1,271 government organizations and 1,931 private contracting companies in about 10,000 locations in the United States.

The former Director of National Intelligence, Adm. Dennis Blair, has asserted that US intelligence now has the authority to target American citizens for assassination without charge or trial. How many of these resources are being devoted to spying on American citizens for nefarious reasons at home rather than targeting foreign enemies abroad?

It has been pointed out how much information we had about the impending attacks on 9/11, but because of layers upon layers of bureaucratic inefficiencies, our intelligence community was unable to act meaningfully on that information. Obviously we needed drastic change. But it was pretty clear that we did not need more bureaucracy, more confusion, more expenditures and more government.

It is even claimed by some leaders that the intelligence community has grown this way by design; that it is advantageous to have more than one set of eyes looking at the same information. With this logic, is there any number of intelligence employees at which we achieve diminishing returns? Can there ever be too many cooks in the kitchen, in their view?

Are there any problems at all that the government wouldn’t attempt to solve by throwing more money at them? Even now, the government is trying to solve our economic problems related to too much government spending and debt, with more government spending and debt.

The problem with our intelligence community before 9/11 was not an inability to collect information. Therefore, the post-September 11 build-up of the surveillance state does nothing to enhance safety. Instead what Americans have gotten in return for the billions of tax dollars spent on security is a surveillance state that reads our e-mails, wiretaps us without warrants, and strip searches grandmothers at airports. This is yet another instance in which Americans would be safer, richer and freer if our government would simply look to the Constitution and respect the boundaries it has set.


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  • cool

  • cool !! .. great reporting congrats

  • aseohosting

    cool !! .. great reporting congrats

  • me001ist

    Good luck America hope this guy is what he says he is.

  • Jimmy Hoffa for President.

  • TheCBGBoy

    Jimmy Hoffa for President.

  • nowthatsinteresting1

    He’s saying the right stuff – so did Obama. The question is – is Ron backed by the same scumbags, or not?

  • SteelMartini

    I like Ron but don’t know of I could support someone that is too republican for my comfort level.

  • CptPacMAYNE

    Whew 1 million innies, I think I know 1 too.

  • soulfeltart

    Ladies and Gentlemen, we have been submerged in lies and darkness for DECADES by evil, shadowy, manipulative forces, that seeks power through greed, fear, and control. when will the yearning for light dissipate all the hate and lies they bring?
    Gandhi, my wise, peaceful brotha once said “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” victory and freedom will be for all of us who want it. For all of us deserve it, and Ron paul can serve it. Thanks, Dr.

  • Great comment. Ron seems to be one of the few if not the only one that uses logic when solving a problem with the U.S. government. I hope he gets elected and renounces his party to bipartisan. Creating a third party perspective in our government. We need some mediators!

  • Disappointed

    I am disappointed that this was the reaction from Ron Paul. I would think the inability for the Washington Post to not exercise proper operational security would be the actual focus of the article. Instead, demonizing national security and the men and women (including military) that provide this service is disgusting.

    I was fully prepared to support Ron Paul in 2012 but his stance on this is colossally unintelligent. In addition, his assertion of the so-called facts illuminates his credence for Washington Post articles. Truly a disappointment.

    • Disappointed

      Instead of hiding behind a spineless virtual “thumbs-down,” hit reply and express which facet of my comments inhibit you from pointing your thumb northward.

      • Dillon W.

        Ron Pauls point is that Government in all facets is overstepping its constitutional boundaries and in effect limiting our freedoms.
        Thumbs Down sir,

        • BUNKER

          Dillion im sure your a good American but do you like that the Queen of England is collecting your social security money Do some research and lets unite as free men not slaves to the system.

      • fred the protectionist

        Well usually I thumb down the Ron Paul fawning, but you were vague to the point to where I just skipped over what you typed.

    • Disasspointed

      As usual, the unintelligent unite. Try to put together a coherent thought. Skipping over my comments and then responding to them means you did read it numbnuts.

      • John

        Yeah I’m real disasspointed at all of the unintelligence here. I get a boner just thinking about the government spying on me.

    • Godwillprevail

      Intelligence is necessary for the protection of our country, but not when it is used to spy on the people that they claim to protect. They are invading our privacy and trying to controll the population. Do you want to live like the people in China?

  • egnarocyg

    Refreshing. Most polititians render themselves ineffectual because of their obsessive quests for unearned respect and unearned rewards. Nice to see someone with a backbone. It is perfectly possible to do good in this world. We just have to identify it and choose to realize it. The world needs men like you. Thank you.

  • RonPaulRevolution4u


    I agree with you that he’s the best thing we have now. He’s totally unique and changing the way a lot of people think. And YES he DOES demand change. Change is everything his message is about. However, this change can’t be forced until we have built up our numbers large enough to win elections. We are growing and our day will come, but we MUST be patient and not seek to shoot the messenger because he’s the one building the mass “army” we’re going to need take hold of the power.

  • Get rid of all of this wasted spending, we don’t need it and it doens’t make us any more secure.

  • ShawnHydedotcom

    Get rid of all of this wasted spending, we don’t need it and it doens’t make us any more secure.