War Profiteering and Intelligence Gathering


It always amazes that people are shocked that electeds and people in government seldom know what is going on during war time.  At the time of the Revolutionary War, troop movements were critical pieces of information, along with horse delivered dispatches from Generals to Officers in the field.  At the time of the Boston Tea Party, the secret identities of those so-called patriots that dressed up like Indians to unceremoniously dump English Tea into Boston Harbor was critical secret information which would have meant death of hanging, lifelong imprisonment, torture and most certainly loss of all material goods of the participant and his family.  There were double agents on both sides.  Some members of the Boston Tea Party were indeed British Loyalists.

The news articles of the day were rife about the War Time profiteering of Rum Merchants for American and British ships.  The early United States didn’t have enough official Naval Ships like the U.S.S. Constitution and had to hire out Contract Privateers to attack British ships and share in the booty obtained.  John Paul Jones, the First Admiral of the United States had to change Flag Ships three times, because of naval battles that left both sides in ruins.  Blanket salesmen, tinkers, food and every conceivable item of clothing became costly due to shortages.  The profiteering companies, including those of England, France and Spain all made millions of then dubloons by supplying war supplies to all sides.

In those days and arguably all the way until the launch of Windows 95 in the 1994, your best intelligence resource may have been simply the little old lady that lived down the street in your neighborhood.  She seemed to be always in the know.  She knew everything from which kids were bad and hanging out late at night, to when the trash man would come and whether he left any excess on the ground on each pass.  This concept of community has been around since the earliest days of society.  We have always been watched.  Those same little old ladies may well know, when you got your new car, your kid graduated from Junior High School and your dog got sick and had to go to the Vet in an Emergency.  You may well in fact, never have spoken to this little old lady.  Perhaps, she saw you when you were arguing with your parents, the neighbor or screaming at a passing car while your kids where out on the front lawn.  These little old ladies may be the ones that call the police when you are gone on vacation and she sees three thugs breaking in to your garage.  She might even see your 12 year old boy stealing a bike out from the neighbors back porch.

Today, people are shocked that companies like Haliburton, Blackwater, Brown and Root, The Carlyle Group and so many others are making huge profits during our last 25 years of war, starting perhaps in Deaert Storm, or Kosovo and Macedonia under the Clinton Administration and coming forward through the 2nd war on Iraq and Afghanistan today.  The days of the $300 dollar toilet seat are now considered “Chump Change”.  We now have close to 5 million people in the United States with Government Security Clearances.  Each and every one is being paid big money as Government Contractors.   These contractors have become the modern day cutting edge little old ladies down the street.  The little old ladies that knew that Benedict Arnold was meeting with British Secret Agents during the Revolutionary War are now reading every click of our computers.  They watch videos from drones on our daily conduct.  They know when we blow our noses and they know when we change our shorts.  Pretty soon, they will know almost as much about us as ….that little old lady down the street.

Going back to the public outrage on what the Govenment knows about our phone calls, our e-mails, our You Tube downloads, our Netflicks choices and how often we are cleaning our carpets………welcome to the bad old days.   Those were the days when our doors remained open all the time and the neighbor kid could come in and borrow a stick of butter for his mom’s cookies, or three eggs or maybe even a gulp of milk.  Today, the public tries to live behind locked doors, gates and guarded communities.  These people are very lonely.  They are constantly afraid.  They watch television and see the shootings, killings and terrorists activities going on throughout the world.  They now have to worry about the quiet kid down the street that keeps looking at your little five year girl when she plays with her dolls on the front lawn.

They say that the world has changed.  The reality of course is that that same awful things happened during the Revolutionary War.  There were rapes, there were burglaries, their were war time profits that exceeded any measure of fairness.  There was constant Intelligence Gathering by all sides.  There were atrosities of war which included killing and maiming entire communities…in the name of war.  There were pedophiles, there was incest, there was terrible wrong doing much as there is today.  The nature of man has not changed much.  The cell phone, i-pad and other technical innovations have not changed much…..except the possibility of using your cell phone to take photos of your car after a wreck or your babies first smile.

As we watch the modern day acts of treason or an acts of murder or acts of gross profiteering……we are all very aware that we are all under surveillance.  The biggest difference being that the “little old lady down the street” probably still knows much more about us than the Federal Government.  The difference also is that “the little old lady down the street” will call the cops – if you step out of line.  It might take the Federal Government a little longer to evaluate all those phone calls, e-mails and drone videos….before you are contacted.  The little old lady down the street can at least baby sit your kids on a Saturday night……the Government can’t do that.

The price of a oak barrel of Rum for a Navy ship is probably still very expensive, but  as Bob Dylan said:  “Oh you masters of war, you build the big guns, you build the death planes and you build all the bombs.  You hide behind walls, you hide behind desks……..”   But then the little old lady that lived down the street from him in Duluth, Minnesota or the one that lived down the street from him and Joan Baez in Big Sur, California……….might have just told him all that.   Waste, Fraud and Abuse…..is still very profitable today.  Not much changes.  The Price of Liberty is Eternal Vigilance!  Little doubt America!  Should we have employed Contractors to oversee our Intelligence Issues?  Of course, just as we did in the Revolutionary War.  The major difference is tha when they found a traitor….he was summarily executed.   War is hell.  War is also….a very profitable business.  Just ask Fast Eddie Snowden!

About Ron & Anna Winship

Independent News Producers/Writers and Directors for Parker-Longbow Productions. Independent Programming which includes a broad variety of Political, Entertainment and Professional Personalities. Cutting Edge - a talk show...is the flagship of over 30 URL websites developed or under development. The Winships have been blogging for the Orange Juice since back when nickels had buffalos on them, and men wore onions attached to their belts, because it was the fashion back then.