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United States Security Politics

FBI Edits Mission Statement: Removes Law Enforcement As 'Primary' Purpose 539

schwit1 writes with news that the FBI has altered their declared primary function from "law enforcement" to "national security." From the article: "Following the 9/11 attacks, the FBI picked up scores of new responsibilities related to terrorism and counterintelligence while maintaining a finite amount of resources. What's not in question is that government agencies tend to benefit in numerous ways when considered critical to national security as opposed to law enforcement. 'If you tie yourself to national security, you get funding and you get exemptions on disclosure cases,' said McClanahan. 'You get all the wonderful arguments about how if you don't get your way, buildings will blow up and the country will be less safe.'"
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FBI Edits Mission Statement: Removes Law Enforcement As 'Primary' Purpose

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  • by iluvcapra ( 782887 ) on Monday January 06, 2014 @10:16PM (#45883913)

    The military industrial complex did not destroy Rome. It was the free bread and circuses and other freebies designed to buy the votes of the citizenry. This not only racked up the debt but it undermined the concept of citizenship.

    OK, This is Mises's revisionism. Rome had corruption among the tribunes, but they also had praetorians killing emperors left and right; they had foederati and mercenaries defending the borders; they had a completely broken tax system which exempted most citizens from above-board taxation, which demanded a spoils-driven empire to merely sustain law and order. Rome also had a sclerotic civil administration that was never equal to the task of operating a vast continental empire, and lacked innovations even the Merovingians and Franks had, such as accounting of state appropriations.

    We also have the multi-cultural development of the Roman state, it's long-term tendency towards centralization, it's failure to integrate foreign societies as it did in the Republican era. Gibbon's belief that the rise of Christianity depleted the state of its legitimacy and caused the elite to give up on civic improvement can also be studied with profit.

    We also have the reorganization of the Roman state after the partition, and the Byzantine empire, which operated under approximately the same constraints as the Roman Empire, and would stage influence-buying sprees that made the Roman panem et circenses look like a church social, yet it lasted an extra thousand years.

    It's also a point of argument wether or not the Roman imperial office actually fell, or merely just reorganized itself as the Catholic Church, which, again, used religion and the narrative of salvation as a replacement for panem.

    The fact is that all states, or cultural orders, try to buy the consent of the masses; when they can, they do it with law and order, when they must, they do it with great feats of the state, military triumphs, evidence that whatever else may be wrong, we can beat the crap out of the Alemanni. If the Alemanni are no longer being defeated, worse, they're successfully sacking the city every couple years, the state tries to buy the people's obedience with "freebees." We moderns demand our government send men to the moon, and merely steal the oil of the barbarians and not slaughter them, so we might call that progress.

  • by king neckbeard ( 1801738 ) on Monday January 06, 2014 @10:27PM (#45884005)
    Drug use is a political crime. The criminalization of recreational chemicals have long been political, and the victims of such actions often differ substantially from the politics of those in power.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 06, 2014 @10:28PM (#45884013)

    It's funny when I meet people who think voting still matters.

    It's even funnier when I meet idiots like you who think the only thing to vote on is the President. I had a dozen items to vote on in the last presidential election, including a local Sheriff who won by 3 votes. (yes, three) I guess I should've gone around and convinced four people that voting is pointless, because this guy is a real ass-clown.

  • by Mitreya ( 579078 ) <mitreya&gmail,com> on Monday January 06, 2014 @11:12PM (#45884321)

    When I traveled to Europe, met foreign exchange students, or engaged with family friends who were from other countries, I was consistently impressed by their casual grasp of mathematics, history, and philosophy.

    It is worth noting that in my experience, "foreign exchange students" do not accurately represent the overall population. Average and below-average students are far more likely to stay where they are.

    Your family friends are probably not a random/average sample either.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 06, 2014 @11:31PM (#45884485)

    And why were mercenaries guarding the frontier?

    Mercenaries were guarding the frontiers because they were cheaper than a standing army. Service guaranteed citizenship. []

    Money is a reason why most nations do not have their army guarding their borders but just regular border patrol - civilians. Ie. Another form of mercenaries.

    Stop trying to squish entitlements as "The Reason" for fall of Rome. Rome fell for many reasons. To me at least, requiring that Roman legions were 100% citizens of Rome would kind of put a selective pressure where citizens that serves would be less likely to have offspring than the ones that avoided service.

    Then there was the advent of cavalry, and later heavy cavalry, that made roman legions quite obsolete. That was one of the most important reasons for fall of Rome.

    Anther very important reason was that Romans were not innovators. They were builders. Once they absorbed the knowledge of the Greeks, they didn't really improve upon it. Romans took the best parts of cultures and assimilated it. That alone was death to their empire.

    Lots of reasons to choose from. But "entitlements" was certainly not it. [] [] []

  • by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @12:09AM (#45884657)

    The mammoth TARP bailout of big banks was a one one of the most massive interventions in the economy ever and it was Republican lead.

    Let's look at the vote []:
    For TARP: 172 Democrats, 91 Republicans
    Against: 63 Democrats, 108 Republicans

  • by Aighearach ( 97333 ) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @01:30AM (#45885005) Homepage

    Well, to be fair, any foreign country is going to look that way. Just like Americans see one France, one Germany. Or these days, maybe even one Europe! And you see one USA.

    If you think Kucinich and Bush look like they're from the same political party, it just means you don't know anything about them.

    And if Obama is trying to make a bunch of center-left changes, and Congress is dysfunctional and little change happens, and we have enough Democracy that the President can't make changes by himself without the other elected officials, then to foreigners who mostly only the see the end result, the final policy, it might look fairly consistent over time. But that just means you don't have very much information, not that the different forces are the same.

  • by SuricouRaven ( 1897204 ) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @04:14AM (#45885569)

    The Democrats are not socialist.
      - Europe.

  • by erikkemperman ( 252014 ) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @04:19AM (#45885577)

    I think you will find lots of European countries are currently governed by rightwing coalitions (relative to the local spectrum, of course). Your observation that the continent as a whole is "socialist" is understandable, inasmuch as the US is from our point of view considerably to the right. And in the US it seems that left == socialism, which I suppose is an unfortunate remnant of the cold war (unfortunate because it blurs the distinction between quite different schools of thought on the left).

    So while I agree that, on average, most European parties are to the left of what you have in the US, I don't think it's fair to say the spectrum is narrower. That's just very unlikely given the number of parties. In fact the extremes on the right are almost as rightwing as the GOP (you know, roughly estimating an average of their positions) but the extremes on the left don't really compare to anything in the US, as far as I can tell. The Dems would, by my reckoning, considered a classical rightwing party here in Europe (what we call "liberal" but that word doesn't mean the same here as it does in the US).

  • by cold fjord ( 826450 ) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @09:17AM (#45886585)

    Socialists that want to get elected in the US tend to join the Democrats.

  • by Grishnakh ( 216268 ) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @10:41AM (#45887223)

    There's only one socialist-leaning person in Congress: Bernie Sanders. And he's not a Democrat.

When a fellow says, "It ain't the money but the principle of the thing," it's the money. -- Kim Hubbard