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The Military-Industrial Complex Stands as a Threat to Liberty

With the government using the military-industrial complex to strengthen its position at home, not abroad, liberties are bound to be trampled.

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By John Keller | USA

Arthur Henderson, a politician from Britain in the former half of the 20th century, wrote that “In some states, militant nationalism has gone to the lengths of dictatorship, the cult of the absolute or totalitarian state and the glorification of war.”

We are on the verge of the collapse of democracy. Back in 1961, we got one of the greatest messages, with one of the darkest warnings from the 34th President of the United States and former field marshal Dwight Eisenhower, when he said in his farewell address:

“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”

Eisenhower, the former field marshal that won World War II in Europe for the West, warned us of the growing influence of the military in the economy and politics and advised we keep our guard up against these invasions. What have we learned from this grave warning? Nothing. Eisenhower warned us of the expansive power of the military-industrial complex and how it will one day be used as a weapon, and we have not heeded his advice and allowed the military to dominate almost every major political decision in the United States. It is also important to look back on, arguably, the most important farewell address that was given by George Washington.

“Our detached and distant situation invites and enables us to pursue a different course. If we remain one people under an efficient government. the period is not far off when we may defy material injury from external annoyance; when we may take such an attitude as will cause the neutrality we may at any time resolve upon to be scrupulously respected; when belligerent nations, under the impossibility of making acquisitions upon us, will not lightly hazard the giving us provocation; when we may choose peace or war, as our interest, guided by justice, shall counsel… Harmony, liberal intercourse with all nations, are recommended by policy, humanity, and interest.”

George Washington argues against a large standing army and a military-industrial complex by writing that America should focus on neutrality and harmony with all nations. We did not take the original advice from George Washington, and when the threat grew to our liberties Eisenhower again warned America, and where are we now?

In 1960, 35% of the budget was military spending. This was during a very tense part of the Cold War with the Vietnam War heating up and the Cuban Missile Crisis right around the corner. In 2015 military spending was 54% of the budget, spending $589.5 billion (a roughly $200 billion increase from 1960) out of a total $1.11 trillion discretionary spending authorized in the budget.

Who is the enemy we are gearing up against? In 1968, during peak involvement of U.S forces in Vietnam and throughout the world in the Cold War, the United States had 1,082,777 soldiers stationed abroad. Now, there are at least 1,046,457 on U.S. soil, with only 387,920 soldiers abroad. When America propagandized that the communists were the enemy the number of soldiers deployed matched what the nation’s propaganda argued. The new age propaganda is against the “terrorists”, but who is the government really targeting?

The “Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act”, also known simply as the PATRIOT Act, is a clear example of who the enemy truly is. A Washington Post article from 29 October 2014 reports:

“The 2011 report reveals a total of 6,775 requests. 5,093 were used for drugs, while only 31 (or .5%) were used for terrorism cases. The 2012 report follows a similar pattern: Only .6%, or 58 requests, dealt with terrorism cases. The 2013 report confirms the incredibly low numbers. Out of 11,129 reports only 51, or .5%, of requests were used for terrorism.”

The PATRIOT Act is just one example of the government using fear mongering propaganda to get support for legislation that is actually used as a weapon against the people and not the threat they claimed it would be used against. Not only is it used against the people but it is a clear violation of the IV. Amendment, which in essence is the people’s right to be presented a search warrant, as guaranteed in the Bill of Rights (Amendments I – X).

With the government using the military-industrial complex to strengthen its position at home, not abroad, liberties are bound to be trampled. With the passage of the PATRIOT Act, we had unlocked the door to the government trampling our constitutional rights and liberties. With the door unlocked, it won’t be long until the government opens the door completely. Whether it is the alt-left or alt-right nationalism is irrelevant, as suggested in ‘Doomed Republic’, because, in the end, it is our liberties that will be lost.

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