DHS Has Received $791 BILLION Since 9/11 HOMELAND SECURITY??

03/01/13 11:30 AM—Updated 09/13/13 08:47 AM

FILE - In this Oct. 29, 2010 file photo, Deputy National Security Adviser for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism John Brennan briefs reporters at the...

FILE – In this Oct. 29, 2010 file photo, Deputy National Security Adviser for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism John Brennan… AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File

What is “homeland security?”

Whatever it is, the federal government has spent on a fortune on it. In the aftermath of 9/11 and the beginning of the interminable War on Terror, the Bush administration founded the Department of Homeland Security to act as a central, coordinating office which could respond to the new threats of the modern era. But in addition to the funds pouring into that department, Congress has allocated vast sums for “homeland security” expenditures in other departments, most notably at the Pentagon.

In fact, according to a new investigation from the Nation Institute’s Tomdispatch, $791 billion dollars in federal funding have gone to homeland security, both within and without the department.

“To give you a sense of just how big that is,” write analysts Chris Hellman and Mattea Kramer, “Washington spent an inflation-adjusted $500 billion on the entire New Deal.”

It is perhaps easy to understand why Congress would be willing to shovel so much money into homeland security. After all, nobody wants to be seen to vote against keeping America safe—particularly given that the Department of Homeland Security was founded in the aftermath of the worst terrorist attack in American history. For that reason, homeland security will likely emerge from the American austerity wars relatively intact.

Whether homeland security spending should remain intact is another question entirely. For one thing, it’s unclear exactly where all of that money is going, or whether it is really doing much to keep the homeland safe.

“Homeland security” encompasses a swatch of disparate policy goals being pursued by numerous departments with little in the way of actual coordination. This is the state of affairs which led the Washington Post’s Dana Priest and William A. Arkin, in their landmark investigative report on “Top Secret America,” to write that “the system put in place to keep the United States safe is so massive that its effectiveness is impossible to determine.”

The other reason why this spending deserves more scrutiny is that, as Hellman and Kramer write, “there is no agreed-upon definition for just what homeland security is.” There’s obvious political advantage in labeling an initiative as crucial homeland security, but there’s no guarantee the programs being awarded that gold star won’t be motivated by narrow bureaucratic interests or ideological obsessions.

In his book The Reactionary Mind, the political theorist Corey Robin (who I interviewed for msnbc) writes, “Under the banner of a seemingly neutral, universal value, political elites are allowed, indeed encouraged, to pursue partisan and ideological courses of action they would ordinarily find hard to justify.”


His primary example is the Lavender Scare: that strange moment in the 1950’s when members of the United States government decided they needed to track down and fire all of the homosexuals in the State Department (among other departments) before they could be blackmailed by the Soviets.

Thus the vague, malleable concept of national security justified a witch hunt which had very little to do with security and everything to do with the prejudices of that era. One doesn’t need to go very far to find similar examples from our own time: for example, the mass deportations conducted by the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

Case studies like this demonstrate why the incentives surrounding homeland security spending are more than a little perverse: They’re able to get by with far less scrutiny than other federal spending programs, even though, if anything, they should receive far more?


One thought on “DHS Has Received $791 BILLION Since 9/11 HOMELAND SECURITY??

  1. WISCONSIN-5 Republican — James Sensenbrenner Jr – Chair, Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations — James Sensenbrenner Jr. – WI-5 Republican — James Sensenbrenner Jr. sits on the following committees: House Committee on the Judiciary Chairman, Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations Member, Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet – House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology Member, Subcommittee on Environment Member, Subcommittee on Oversight
    T18CFR1001CRIME – The millions of DEATHS: OPM FEHB PATIENT DUMPING _ Each Year, are Due to ANTI TRUST Enforcement http://www.usdoj.gov/atr/public/div_stats/1638.htm – Policy of the Department of Justice – U.S. Attorney General ERIC HOLDER – Public Official Criminal and Financial Misconduct — HOUSE JUDICIARY – 24 FEB 2010 — 12:00 PM Noon — U.S. House H.R. 4626 just passed — Removal of the ( 1998 CLINTON Administration _ Deputy U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder http://www.JUSTICE.gov/dag/pubdoc/HIPAA00ar21.htm and HHS OIG June Gibbs Brown – http://oig.hhs.gov/fraud/selfdisclosure.asp – illegal ) Anti Trust Exemption for the Health Insurance Industry —- Michigan, State Attorney Generals Jennifer Granholm and Wallace Hart HCF Division, USING Hospital HHS social workers, for enactment of a Dispute Resolution Procedure, fully Launched AGAINST the elderly and poor in 1999: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/HMO_Complaint_Informationa_158401_7.htm – Denial of Existing Federal _ OPM FEHB, et al _ HMO hospital and nursing facility service Claims: PATIENT DUMPING, which results in physical injury and death, a $25,000 felony Each Adverse Determination – T18CFR242CRIME, to force illegal application for HCFA|CMS State MEDICAID HMO Kickback Conversion ~ eligibility poor another $50,000 felony – T18CFR371CRIME – HHS OIG collecting approximately $100,000 in ” Volentary Fines ” on EACH Defrauded RETIRED United States Citizen – Civil and Crime Victims Rights DENIED CITE: 2007 – H.R. 3199 Sensenbrenner – HHS OIG Volentary Disclousure Program – 9-110.800 Violent Crimes in Aid of RACKETEERING Activity (18 U.S.C. § 1959)
    — Dems: YES 238 – Reps: NO 181
    4:00 PM HR 4626 regarding 1945 McCarron|Ferguson Act – Make Health Insurers subject to both State and Federal Regulations – — Passed – 406 YES – 19 NO *** T18CFR1001CRIME — NOT PASSED by the SENATE JUDICIARY and federal health insurance fraud|Patient Dumping continues …….

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