According to an investigation published Thursday by the Nation Institute's TomDispatch.com, $791 billion in federal funding has been allocated to "homeland security" since 9/11."To give you a sense of how big that is," write the investigation's authors, Chris Hellman and Matea Kramer, "Washington spent an inflation adjusted $500 billion on the entire New Deal."The term "homeland security" is a nebulous one, note Hellman and Kramer. It can describe a number of wide-ranging policy goals simultaneously being pursued by multiple federal departments with little or no coordination. This structure(lessness) leads to a lack of accountability, as the Washington Post's Dana Priest and William M. Arkin wrote in their sweeping 2010 investigative report "Top Secret America": The system put in place to keep the United States safe is so massive that its effectiveness is impossible to determine. … [Homeland security programs are] able to get by with far less scrutiny than other federal spending programs, even though, if anything, they should receive far more.
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