September 11 was a shock to the American psyche and the American system. As a result, we overreacted. In a crucially important Washington Post reporting project, “Top Secret America,” Dana Priest and William Arkin spent two years gathering information on how 9/11 has really changed America.I get the basis for his argument. We grew our agencies and hence, our bureaucracies to fight al Qaeda. If al Qaeda was the only threat, he'd have a point. However, al Qaeda is a member organization of the Muslim Brotherhood, which includes a slew of others - most notably, the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), Hamas, the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the Muslim Students Association (MSA), the Islamic Association of Palestine (IAP) and countless others.
Here are some of the highlights. Since September 11, 2001, the U.S. government has created or reconfigured at least 263 organizations to tackle some aspect of the war on terror. The amount of money spent on intelligence has risen by 250 percent, to $75 billion (and that’s the public number, which is a gross underestimate). That’s more than the rest of the world spends put together. Thirty-three new building complexes have been built for intelligence bureaucracies alone, occupying 17 million square feet—the equivalent of 22 U.S. Capitols or three Pentagons. Five miles southeast of the White House, the largest government site in 50 years is being built—at a cost of $3.4 billion—to house the largest bureaucracy after the Pentagon and the Department of Veterans Affairs: the Department of Homeland Security, which has a workforce of 230,000 people.
Zakaria also points to the examples of the ineptitude in the Fort Hood shooting and the Christmas Day bomber to make his argument:
Such mistakes might be excusable. But the rise of this national-security state has entailed a vast expansion in the government’s powers that now touches every aspect of American life, even when seemingly unrelated to terrorism.I have no problem with these facts as stated here by Zakaria. It's the conclusions he draws from them that are head-scratching. We declared a war on terror after 9/11. How is any agency supposed to wage war against such nebulous enemy? The United States has been fighting ghosts since 9/11 out of political correctness (cowardice) and recent attempts have been made to paint an actual face on the enemy - al Qaeda, which is part of the enemy but only a small part. It's like declaring war on a platoon or a battalion - you're left very exposed elsewhere.
h/t to Free Republic