A few months back, the Washington Post did an incredible story about the web of secret government organizations that have sprung up in the wake of 9/11—a larger secret bureaucracy than anyone could keep track of, the Post discovered, or was even trying to keep track of.
Today the paper reports on a different but related phenomenon: How local and state governments, securitized (my word) in the wake of 9/11, are spying on Americans and reporting what they find to the secret bureaucracy described above.
In “Monitoring America,” the paper reports,
Nine years after the terrorist attacks of 2001, the United States is assembling a vast domestic intelligence apparatus to collect information about Americans, using the FBI, local police, state homeland security offices and military criminal investigators.
The system, by far the largest and most technologically sophisticated in the nation’s history, collects, stores and analyzes information about thousands of U.S. citizens and residents, many of whom have not been accused of any wrongdoing.
The government’s goal is to have every state and local law enforcement agency in the country feed information to Washington to buttress the work of the FBI, which is in charge of terrorism investigations in the United States.
This is important reading.