4 mins read

Center Stage

The National Security State at work.

From this mornings NYT.

“WASHINGTON — A leading figure in the Afghan resistance has retained a Washington lobbyist to seek military and financial support in the United States for a fight against the Taliban, according to a lobbying contract and a representative of the resistance leader.

Ahmad Massoud, the leader of one of the most prominent groups of fighters seeking to oust the Taliban from power, signed the contract this week with Robert Stryk, who built a lobbying practice during the Trump administration working with clients that others on K Street were wary of representing.”

And making it more exciting, the story, by Kenneth P. Vogel has this;

“Three lobbyists said they heard the Taliban are seeking representation on K Street as they seek international funding and legitimacy. It is unclear how such an arrangement could be structured to comply with sanctions expected to restrict the finances of the Taliban, which the United States considers a terrorist organization.”

I’m about to reread, let’s say, glance at Garry Wills…Bomb Power: The Modern Presidency and the National Security State. Think General Mark Milley glanced at this recently? I’m not sure Colonel Vindman has.

“Accountability is the essence of democracy. If people do not know what their government is doing, they cannot be truly self-governing. The national security state assumes the government secrets are too important to be shared, that only those in the know can see classified information, that only the president has all the facts, that we must simply trust that our rulers of acting in our interest.”

“…that the Bomb altered our subsequent history down to its deepest constitutional roots. It redefined the presidency, as in all respects America’s “Commander in Chief” (a term that took on a new and unconstitutional meaning in this period). It fostered an anxiety of continuing crisis, so that society was pervasively militarized. It redefined the government as a National Security State, with an apparatus of secrecy and executive control. It redefined Congress, as an executor of the executive. And it redefined the Supreme Court, as a follower of the follower of the executive. Only one part of the government had the supreme power, the Bomb, and all else must defer to it, for the good of the nation, for the good of the world, for the custody of the future, in a world of perpetual emergency superseding ordinary constitutional restrictions.”

“The advantage of a permanent emergency for the executive is that even trivial things can routinely be accomplished by the crisis presidency. If everything is an emergency, all power is emergency power.”

― Garry wills, Bomb Power: The Modern Presidency and the National Security State

By the Buy. This pandemic has made dead in the water a move we were planning, which means, among other things, thirty years of print books are still boxed in our storage area. This can necessitate a kindle purchase when a particular subject matter needs revisiting. And it’s really beginning to piss me off.

OK. A new iPad Mini, OK. I got a new iPad Air 4. But I want to play with Center Stage.


r.Douglas

I’m spry yet retired. I reside in the inner city of a major metropolitan area of the United States. I read politics. I watch baseball. I hum along with the tune. I June swoon, and moon the bad poem. Post here, are old and new. Opinions are my very own, except when wrong.

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