“To treat this apparatus of the national security state as if it’s on any level acting in a rational sense, other than trying to have an enemy so we can have a big defense industry … is utter nonsense,” Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer told an audience at a conference on nuclear weapons hosted by the Helen Caldicott Foundation on Sunday.

He continued: “We don’t have adults watching the store.”

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In his fiery, 28-minute presentation, Scheer drew on research he did for his new book, “They Know Everything About You: How Data Collecting Corporations and Snooping Goverment Agencies Are Destroying Democracy,” to connect what the Obama administration alleges to be the necessity of a ready-to-fire nuclear arsenal to the excessive secrecy of the national security state. He ended on this note:

I started out as an editor of Ramparts magazine back in the ’60s, and our first big story was showing how the CIA had infiltrated the National Student Association, cultural organizations, OK. And that created a big scandal … ultimately led to the Church Committee report. And that is nothing compared to what is going on between the Pentagon, Silicon Valley and everything else. Nothing. The same folks who are running DARPA are now working at Google in their special unit. An organization probably many of you never heard about, In-Q-Tel … is a CIA-funded, venture capital company! They’re not supposed to be messing around in our domestic life! And that venture capital company has funded some hundreds of organizations in Silicon Valley, and one of them is Palantir. … It is now the main data-mining organization for all of the intelligence agencies, the New Orleans Police Department, the Los Angeles Police Department and so forth.

So finally, let me just say, we are developing a surveillance state that protects incompetence, protects people who do not respect freedom and will deny the American people from having that freedom, and will usher in the 1984, Brave New World vision of a population that censors itself because it will know it is under constant observation.

— Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

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