A clarifying bomblet drops in the final paragraph of the opening installment of the big Washington Post series on what is best described as National Intelligence Sprawl:
"Soon, on the grounds of the former St. Elizabeths mental hospital in Anacostia, a $3.4 billion showcase of security will rise from the crumbling brick wards. The new headquarters will be the largest government complex built since the Pentagon. ..."
National security meets mental hospital: How tragically appropriate. And yes, these inmates will definitely be running the asylum -- some of the Post-estimated 854,000 Americans with top secret clearance now filling massive new government complexes all over the country -- another unwanted legacy of 9/11.
Some of my conservative brethren worry that the Post series reveals national security secrets. The question is, with nearly a million people possessing top secret clearance, how many secrets are left to reveal? Is it possible that our national security apparatus has gotten too big not to fail?
The Post series focuses on the gargantuan-ness that, more than ever, bloats the intelligence realm. Last year's budget was $75 billion budget, two-and-a-half times larger than the budget was on 9/11. At least 20 percent of the government organizations pitted against terrorism, the Post reports, have been "created or refashioned" since 9/11, while many that previously existed have ballooned to historic size.
For example, the Pentagon's Defense Intelligence Agency went from 7,500 employees in 2002 to 16,500 today. Since the 2001 attacks, 17 million square feet of new office space has been built or is now under construction in the Washington area alone.
I feel safer?
As the intelligence budget increased by tens of billions, the Post reports, "military and intelligence agencies multiplied. ... In all, at least 263 [government] organizations have been created or reorganized as a response to 9/11." In round numbers, U.S. intelligence activity is now spread among 1,200 government organizations supported by 2,000 private corporations at 10,000 locations across the country.
But still we must endure the indignities of shuffling shoeless through full-body scanners at our airports just to have a nice flight, maybe. Our great halls and institutions remain defended by state-of-siege-like installations. And we continue to adapt, accommodate and accept the "post-9/11 world," and seemingly forever now that these massive new government bureaucracies and new industries will attempt to retain indefinite support.
The reason is this: In all of these scores and hundreds and thousands of organizations created and boosted and buffed up since 9/11 there is one thing they all forgot.
I will bet my bottom dollar that in all of the hyper-burgeoning bureaucracies there is no single office organized to study, in Pentagon parlance, the "enemy threat doctrine" of jihad, which has, whether it is acknowledged or not, driven this intelligence boom in the first place. Similarly, I will bet there is no program designed to investigate the historical, canonical goals of jihad movements: Namely, the spread of Islamic law (Shariah), and the attendant condition of dhimmitude that Shariah imposes on Islamized and Islam-dominated populations, even as such dhimmitude is an enabler of jihad.
Instead, what we see in this frantic, government-led explosion is an Orwellian study in mass denial, a hamster-in-a-cage approach to what was first masked as "terror" and is now disguised as "transnational violent extremists" despite the fact that the threat is precisely and guilelessly presented by perpetrators the world over as Islamic jihad.
Such is life in the politically correct, multiculturally dictated (read: dishonest) world.
Here's my idea for a brand new approach.
First, hire a crack team of true experts to catch military and security officials up on the fundamental doctrinal issues by which all of our strategy -- military, immigration, education, and intelligence -- should be informed. For example, on jihad as enemy threat doctrine, Maj. Stephen Coughlin; on jihad history and Islamic anti-Semitism, Andrew Bostom; on dhimmitude through the ages, Bat Ye'or; on revaluing the West, Ibn Warraq; on repositioning our military forces, Gen. Paul Vallely (U.S. Army retired).
That should get us going all right and save the taxpayer trillions. Heck, we could run the whole thing out of my house. Oh, and one more thing: Turn St. Elizabeths into a top secret rest home for several hundred thousand indefinitely furloughed intelligence analysts.
Examiner Columnist Diana West is syndicated nationally by United Media and is the author of "The Death of the Grown-Up: How America's Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization."