by Jacob G. Hornberger
January 6, 2017
The Future of Freedom Foundation

The fight between Donald Trump and the CIA over the supposed Russian hacking scandal has at least two positive benefits: One, it helps to remind us what the conversion of the federal government to a national-security state has done to us here at home. Two, it enables us to ask an important fundamental question: Given that the Cold War ended decades ago, why don’t we just ditch the entire national security establishment and restore a constitutional republic to our land?

The conversion of the federal government from a constitutionally limited government to a national-security state occurred after World War II. U.S. officials said that the Soviet Union, Red China, and the communist world posed a grave threat to the United Staes. In order to combat this threat, they said, it would be necessary for the United States to become like them — a national-security state. If America failed to do that, the argument went, the country would end up falling to the Reds.

That meant, for the first time in U.S. history, a vast and ever-growing military establishment, which would consists of military bases and installations all over the country and all over the world.

It would also mean calling into existence the CIA, a secretive agency with omnipotent powers, including the powers to assassinate (i.e., murder) people, to kidnap people, to torture people, to bribe foreign officials, to incarcerate people, and to effect regime change operations in foreign countries, including ones whose leaders were democratically elected.

It also meant calling into existence the NSA, a secretive agency with the omnipotent power to secretly spy on both the citizens and foreigners.

It was all justified in the name of keeping us safe from the Reds. What most Americans failed to notice was that this new-fangled governmental structure was quite similar to that found in the governmental structures of the Soviet Union and China.

And sure enough, after the conversion, America became like them. For example, the CIA began assassinating people, including people who had never committed any acts of aggression against the United States. The assassination attempts against Cuban leader Fidel Castro come to mind. Neither Castro nor Cuba had ever attacked the United States or even threatened to do so. But it was considered okay to murder him simply because of his communist or socialist beliefs.

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