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Monday, August 19, 2013

5 Companies Ca$hing In By Keeping Americans Terrified of Terror Attacks

The below five companies may be the most notable examples, but you can bet there are innumerable wannabes nipping at their heels. E.g., during this year's marathon bombing coverage, I noticed a terrorism "expert" on NECN discussing the need of innovative surveillance technology...something that could be used at all large outdoor events that would scan crowds and red-flag anyone wearing a backpack. I googled the guy's name and - you guessed it - he had founded a fledgling company that claimed to have perfected this very technology. But neither the "expert" nor NECN mentioned his self-interest.  

5 Companies That Make Money By Keeping Americans Terrified of Terror Attacks

A massive industry profits off the government-induced fear of terrorism.
 
Michael Hayden, the former director of the National Security Agency, has invaded America’s television sets in recent weeks to warn about Edward Snowden’s leaks and the continuing terrorist threat to America.
But what often goes unmentioned, as the Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald pointed out, is that Hayden has a financial stake in keeping Americans scared and on a permanent war footing against Islamist militants. And the private firm he works for, called the Chertoff Group, is not the only one making money by scaring Americans.
Post-9/11 America has witnessed a boom in private firms dedicated to the hyped-up threat of terrorism. The drive to privatize America's national security apparatus accelerated in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks, and it’s gotten to the point where 70 percent of the national intelligence budget is now spent on private contractors, as  author Tim Shorrock reported. The private intelligence contractors have profited to the tune of at least $6 billion a year. In 2010,  the Washington Post revealed that there are 1,931 private firms across the country dedicated to fighting terrorism.
What it all adds up to is a massive industry profiting off government-induced fear of terrorism, even though Americans are more likely to be killed by a car crash or their own furniture than a terror attack.
Here are five private companies cashing in on keeping you afraid. > full piece
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