Have you noticed anything missing in the political discourse about the National Security Administrations unprecedented mass surveillance?
Theres certainly been a robust discussion about the balance between security and liberty, and theres at least been some conversation about the intelligence communitys potential criminality and constitutional violations. But there have only been veiled, indirect references to how cash undoubtedly tilts the debate against those who challenge the national security state.
Those indirect references have come in stories about Booz Allen Hamilton, the security contractor that employed Edward Snowden. CNN/Money notes that 99% of the firms multibillion-dollar annual revenues now come from the federal government.
Those revenues are part of a larger and growing economic sector within the military-industrial complex a sector that, according to author Tim Shorrock, is a $56 billion-a-year industry.
For the most part, this is where the political discourse about money stops. We are told that there are high-minded, principled debates about security.
We are also told of this massively profitable private industry making billions a year from the policy decisions that emerge from such a debate. Yet, few in the Washington press corps are willing to mention that politicians attacks on surveillance critics may have nothing to do with principle and everything to do with shilling for campaign donors.