12 November 2008

The Costs of Joe Lieberman

In response to my prior complaint about Lieberman, several comments asked, in effect, "What is the big deal? The committee assignment is small potatoes, let's move on ...". It turns out that the premise of such replies may not be quite right. Here is an observation from a short piece over at The Nation:

One point I think needs to be made. This isn't about Joe Lieberman maintaining membership in a country club as a matter of feel-good "bipartisanship." There's actually a job that needs doing here, and when Chris Dodd and Evan Bayh say that they want Lieberman to retain his chairmanship, they are saying that the extraordinary waste, graft, greed and cronyism that have built the Department of Homeland Security to a bloated, ineffectual taxpayer-funded behemoth under Joe Lieberman is just fine.

Here's Naomi Klein from The Shock Doctrine:

In just a few years, the homeland security industry, which barely existed before 9/11, has exploded to a size that is now significantly larger than either Hollywood or the music business. Yet what is most striking is how little the security boom is analysed and discussed as an economy, as an unprecedented convergence of unchecked police powers and unchecked capitalism, a merger of the shopping mall and the secret prison.

No-bid contracts kept from public scrutiny in the name of "national security" have built a department of unprecedented waste and theft, all rubber stamped and protected from Senate investigation by Joe Lieberman's chairmanship. And what has it gotten us? Nothing. Basically, the Department of Homeland Security became just another front for the military industrial complex to feed off American taxpayers while neocons like Lieberman screamed "terror terror terror, just trust us."



Blogger Paul said...

Very interesting, I never thought of the Dept. this way. But it makes perfect sense. Are we really safer than we were 7 years ago? No. We are, I think, less safe. But a lot of people are making a lot of money. They are certainly richer than they were 7 years ago.

12 November, 2008 12:44  
Blogger Transient Reporter said...

Ouch... it's hard to argue with that. Still, perhaps I'm naive, but my instinct is to wait and see who Obama appoints to DHS before pulling the plug on Lieberman. My assumption is that these big bureaucratic institutions like DHS are better reformed from within, than without. Jim, do you disagree?

12 November, 2008 13:24  

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