Friday, September 15, 2006

The War on Peanuts

Bill Bonner is wondering about a War on Peanuts.

Since 2001, terrorists have caused fewer deaths in America than allergic reactions to peanut butter. We are awaiting a War on Peanuts....

But the spending...the searches...the bullying...the scare-mongering continue. Why?

Since 9/11, reports The Observer in London, "a highly lucrative industry" has arisen in the United States of America - protecting the homeland from terrorists.

In the entire fifty states, there may not be enough terrorists to fill a small county jail, but that doesn't mean there isn't any money in homeland security. In fact, since the dawn of the 21st century, almost half of all new jobs have come, directly or indirectly, from two booming industries - housing and homeland protection - one a delusion, the other a diddle.

"Seven years ago, there were nine firms with federal homeland security contracts. Now there are 33,890. Since 2000, $130 billion of government contracts have been dished out."

"There is a powerful economic incentive," continues the report, "to exploit the terror threat - even government officials are leaving office to join the gold rush. John Ashcroft, former Attorney General, controversially extended state surveillance powers before leaving to set up the Ashcroft Group, which lobbies on behalf of technology firms aiming to capitalize on the new powers."

The Observer wonders whether the money was well spent. It mentions one contract, for example, to provide bullet-proof vests for dogs in Ohio. Is that a worthwhile expenditure? We don't know. But we will take a wild guess: from now until Hell freezes over, not a single American Homelander will be saved from terrorists by a dog from Ohio wearing a bullet proof vest.

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