Two wildly different links to a singular topic.
Maitri recounts an attempt to reenter the United States.
The Daily Dish examines the self-perpetuation and excesses of the security state.
So what will we get, when we have a marginally effective, non-accountable security apparatus with bi-partisan support that spends too much of its time and resources going after phantom security threats?
For one, that leaves us about as safe as we were on the evening of September 10, 2001, as the majority of resources will always be tasked somewhere other than where we are most vulnerable. And those resources are very, very expensive to a nation that can ill afford government inefficiencies at this time. Meaning that, even in a system with many resources, there will never be enough. After all, some other phantom security threat may need looking into. Real security threats are expensive to investigate, after all, and if you get something wrong regarding a Real Security Threat, you might be held responsible if it All Goes Wrong.
Meanwhile, Phantom security threats give you all the resources, and none of the liabilities. One wonders why we make fun of bureaucratic inefficiencies.
Two, phantom security threats ensure the Orwellian nightmare that anyone can be a target at any time for any reason. Third, even if you are completely innocent, yet end up considered a phantom security threat, there's little you can do to explain your way out of it. Facts are easily seen as lies if you're playing outside reality to begin with.
And, Four: now they can torture you. Now they can torture your friends. Now they can torture your spouse or parents. Now they can torture your kids.
And you can't do anything about it.
Luckily, America has always been a nation of loosely directed chaos, so the whole of society may move on to something completely different one day without even dropping off a memo to the old guard. That doesn't mean we won't have to deal with excesses and failures and blunders in the meantime.