A direct consequence of the War on Terror launched after the attacks of September 11, 2001 is an awareness of the need for homeland security. This war is being used to justify a huge expansion of government powers and spending, but funds allocated for homeland security are often for programs far removed from anything that might be termed "defense" or "security." In Homeland Security Scams, James T. Bennett shows that this government spending is doing very little to make us safer, but a great deal to make us poorer, less free, and more dependent on the federal government.
Regardless of the color of the "security alert" issued by the Homeland Security czar, the spending light is always green as pork barrel dollars are showered on programs of dubious worth. Lobbyists lobby for homeland security grants and contracts; corporations and state and local governments are becoming ever more dependent on federal subsidies; the vested interest in prolonging and intensifying the concern about homeland security increases; and lobbyists press for ever more money. As Bennett makes clear, with government money comes government control. Law enforcement and emergency response agencies at all levels of government are being effectively "nationalized." Police power is being concentrated, and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) envisions a "surveillance" state that the East German State Police under Communism would have envied.
In this hard-hitting critique, Bennett argues that all the spending and surveillance will not win the War on Terror or preserve us from natural disasters. The foe cannot be beaten (we're having trouble even finding the enemy), cannot surrender, and still has awesome powers to lay waste to American cities and citizens. He argues that we should view terrorism as just one of many other serious threats to individuals and to nations. More sternly, he warns that the War on Terror is also a War on Privacy and a War on Liberty.