Sunday, November 07, 2004

The Pentagon: Public or Private?

To what extent is the Pentagon privately owned and operated? USA taxpayers don't manage to cover expenses (cite deficit). A lot of the management is outsourced.

This move to electronic voting without even the possibility of audits is further eroding the sense that the American people have any real say with regard to ongoing military adventures.

Big media will be tasked to glue these two together (a national will with a military force), but then, big media is likewise privately owned and operated -- with some of the same Pentagon players waving the flag on television. The War on Terror remains essential programming.

What's kept it together in the past was a set of principles. The claim that bombing Fullajah is part of a principled campaign to bring freedom and self-determination to the people in Iraq commits big media to some very thin ice. People increasingly call it "corporate media" with good reason. Our legal contrivance called "the corporation" has outstripped government institutions, in terms of global influence and command over assets. The private sector rules.
"More than two centuries of law have been enacted to protect Americans against Big Government. These laws begin with the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and include ethics and transparency laws, restrictions on the political conduct of officials, limits on official pay, and the uniform military code of justice. These laws apply to officials, not contractors, on the presumption that officials are in control. The rules do not apply—or protect the public—when, as is increasingly the case, contractors are doing the basic work of government, and government lacks the expertise and experience to control the contractor workforce." Commentary by Dan Guttman, The Shadow Pentagon: Private contractors play a huge role in basic government work—mostly out of public view.
Of course, it all comes back to private individuals at the end of the day (no one here but us chickens). Fortunately, many of us, including those with businesses, and of various political and religious persuasions, still have faith in those same principles which guided the USA's original founders. We should not be expected to follow blindly, when other enterprises and schools of thought, including much bigger ones, decide on a course for disaster. Computations show some reason for hope, even yet.