Here’s a Ripley’s Believe It or Not! stat from our new age of national security. How many Americans have security clearances? The answer: 5.1 million, a figure that reflects the explosive growth of the national security state in the post-9/11 era. Imagine the kind of system needed just to vet that many people for access to our secret world (to the tune of billions of dollars). We’re talking here about the total population of Norway and significantly more people than you can find in Costa Rica, Ireland, or New Zealand. And yet it’s only about 1.6% of the American population, while on ever more matters, the unvetted 98.4% of us are meant to be left in the dark.
|By: Tom Engelhardt Monday October 20, 2014 6:30 pm|
|By: David Swanson Sunday October 19, 2014 6:59 am|
We live in an age in which the most important facts are not seriously disputed and also not seriously known or responded to.
The United States’ biggest public program of the past 75 years, now outstripping the rest of the world combined, is war preparations. The routine “base” military spending, not counting spending on particular wars, is at least 10 times the war spending, or enough to totally transform the world for the better. Instead it’s used to kill huge numbers of people, to make the United States less safe, and to prepare for wars that are — without exception — lost disastrously. Since the justification of the Soviet Union vanished, U.S. militarism has only increased.
|By: Tom Engelhardt Thursday October 2, 2014 6:02 pm|
Don’t call it a “march.” It was a “stand” — and a first stand at that, not a last one. The People’s Climate March, billed as the largest climate demonstration in history, more than exceeded expectations and was an experience that has yet to desert me. Its moment couldn’t have been grimmer in global warming terms. That week, record-breaking concentrations of greenhouse gases were reported in the atmosphere, with the added grim news that the oceans and the forests, the planet’s major “carbon sinks,” were starting to absorb less CO2. Under the circumstances, I had the urge to do my bit to make the march huge and so organized a group of 16 friends and family members, ranging in age from 2 to 72. Marchers were to gather on New York’s Central Park West between 86th Street and Columbus Circle at 59th, where the event was to kick off at exactly 11:30 a.m. At 11, when our crew arrived at 72nd Street, designated as a meeting place for children, families, and oldsters like me, the main route along Central Park West was already jam-packed and feeder streets like ours were filling fast.
|By: Tom Engelhardt Monday July 21, 2014 4:15 pm|
First Paragraphs on Turning 70 in the American Century That Was
* Seventy-three years ago, on February 17, 1941, as a second devastating global war approached, Henry Luce, the publisher of Time and Life magazines, called on his countrymen to “create the first great American Century.” Luce died in 1967 at age 69. Life, the pictorial magazine no home would have been without in my 1950s childhood, ceased to exist as a weekly in 1972 and as a monthly in 2000; Time, which launched his career as a media mogul, is still wobbling on, a shadow of its former self. No one today could claim that this is Time’s century, or the American Century, or perhaps anyone else’s. Even the greatest empires now seem to have shortened lifespans. The Soviet Century, after all, barely lasted seven decades. Of course, only the rarest among us live to be 100, which means that at 70, like Time, I’m undoubtedly beginning to wobble, too.
|By: Nick Turse Saturday January 14, 2012 1:59 pm|
Everything changed on September 11, 2001. It’s become an American truism. And for many, it’s also absolutely true. It certainly was the case for Tom Engelhardt. He was roughly seven miles north of the World Trade Center that morning and that’s about the furthest he’s been from it since.
|By: David Swanson Saturday June 26, 2010 2:00 pm|
Tom Engelhardt should be well known to anyone who’s looked online for information on U.S. militarism during the past several years. His website, TomDispatch.com, has been invaluable, publishing new articles every few days, either edited by Tom (I’ve written a few of those myself) or written by Tom. And it’s Tom’s own writing, I’m sure, that brings people back.
If a person could approach you on the street, gently caress your cheek, and walk away leaving you with the feeling of having been violently slapped and dowsed with a bucket of ice water, they would approximate Tom Engelhardt’s writing, including that in his newest book “The American Way of War: How Bush’s Wars Became Obama’s.” And it’s all perfectly composed, edited, and triple-proof-read. So, here today is our unique chance to read Tom Engelhardt unscripted by asking him about just about anything related to our wars, our empire, our media, or probably any other topic. I can’t imagine Tom Engelhardt lacking for an insightful and informative opinion on anything.