When Obama was running for president, he eloquently campaigned against "national security and counterterrorism policies." And yet, as President, those same policies he was against, "from the NSA’s warrantless wiretapping to Guantanamo Bay to the Patriot Act," are still ingrained in the system. According to Tufts University’s Michael Glennon, the problem is that the people citizens vote for "aren't the ones calling the shots."
Though it’s a bedrock American principle that citizens can steer their own government by electing new officials, Glennon suggests that in practice, much of our government no longer works that way. In a new book, “National Security and Double Government,” he catalogs the ways that the defense and national security apparatus is effectively self-governing, with virtually no accountability, transparency, or checks and balances of any kind. He uses the term “double government”: There’s the one we elect, and then there’s the one behind it, steering huge swaths of policy almost unchecked. Elected officials end up serving as mere cover for the real decisions made by the bureaucracy.
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