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.


  • Grlight221

    Ron paul has help me define who i am.

  • Thank You for your weekly adress to us. The Federal Government is violating the 1st, 2nd, 4th, and 10th amendments in about every aspect of our lives. They haven’t done a great job in protecting our rights as citizens of the United States.
    We need more brave people like you to speak out!

  • defexorcist

    We will continue to be in pain until we listen to this man…then we will be in worse pain when we do but it will be better in the long run – you can’t kick junk without withdrawal.

  • ADubbFromDaH

    patriot act

  • numba1stunna4269

    Please run in 2012!

  • JackOffVille

    Send a link of this video to all of your friends, family, etc…
    Its time for people to come out of comas and if they are out
    of them then to prove it!

  • squirrelsarecute7

    comedy relief

  • slhines7

    I will vote for you once again in 2012 if you run. Why no one listens to you is beyond me. Too bad that you talked too much when asking Bernanke about things recently which qualified him not to answer your question.

  • AtlanticCitySlots

    Ron Paul i loved seeing you grill ben bercracky you made a complete fool of him stay with the hard hitting questions.

  • LadyBuggin777

    please please please run Dr. Ron Paul for president in 2012 i second third and forth that motion!!!!!

  • elfsoul23

    Please, please wake up, people are dying and it’s going to spread!! Listen to this –

  • kmg501

    The U.S.A as we knew it is finished. Gone.

    • Stars

      Perhaps… but I’m not ready to roll over and play dead just yet. Ron Paul cured my apathy!

  • joshpapendorf

    God bless Ron Paul. Let’s remove Barry Soetoro. History repeats itself as long as we play ignorant to our past. The revolution has never ended. We must realize the enemy has always been Europe and the Central Banks. Imperialist are playing us like a game. Playing one country off of another like chess pieces. They want to end free enterprise. The human being is what manifest great things not money. End the empire. Ron Paul 2012

  • kanelalee

    Ron Paul, the voice of reason and intelligence.

  • hazballs09

    Let us move forward ever boldly and patiently in this great, relatively new experiment known as FREEDOM!

  • VMATT500C


  • Arceumon

    End the FED.
    We beg of you Ron Paul, The American people need you.
    With your help, we can most definitely end the Fed.

  • sandythebear


  • cw30000
  • Crawleyman

    Please run in 2012