YOUR FEDERAL TAX DOLLARS AT WORK
Wow, Tom. So what you're saying is, we should prepare to deal with profligate spending and civil liberties squeezes for . . . well, forever? That doesn't sound like good news. Yet nothing in his speech seems to look at this revelation as deeply troubling or unfortunate. So upon whom did Mr. Ridge bestow this information, you may ask?
The RAND Corporation, "a research and analysis institution focused on policy and problem solving [which] remains involved in a range of national security issues" (emphasis added). And where, when and why? The opening of RAND's new office in Pittsburg, in Ridge's home state of Pennsylvania. Needless to say, the boys at RAND probably don't find the news as troubling as the rest of us.
Now it's true that according to its webpage, RAND is a "nonprofit" organization dedicated to finding obective solutions to blah, blah, blah. Nonetheless, further perusing of their site tells us that "federally funded research and development centers" and their relationships to RAND enable it to "work closely with the institutions responsible for our national security, helping them tackle problems that require the sustained analytical attention of many disciplines over many years." This Federal Funding "also enables staff members to provide analytical support quickly when national security policymakers must respond to world events and emerging critical issues."
Now, am I trying to say that RAND has some nefarious, venal influence on national policy? No. We have Halliburton for that. But when I read that the former head of Homeland Security attends the opening of this "nonprofit" group's new office, and he tells the boys that the endless war on a military tactic (that'd be the "War on Terror") just got a little more endless, and those very same fellas will stay busy, getting federally-funded contracts for the duration, well let's just say my antennae go up.