Noam Chomsky: «The notion of security is used as if we understand it... There's a standard line of belief and international relations theory and public commentary, ... that the main goal of governments is to achieve security. But security for whom? And security against whom?»
«Any system of power (governments, corporations, ...) is interested in security for itself, in security for state power and they're interested in security against their enemies. But a primary enemy is always the domestic population. That's shown over and over...
States are interested in their own security.
What about enemies, like the domestic population? Well, they’re not concerned with their security. If you look at the actual record of state policy, it constantly subjects the general population to extreme dangers in the interest of protecting state security and the whole history of nuclear weapons illustrates this quite dramatically.»
«State power has to be protected from its domestic enemy; in sharp contrast, the population is not secure from state power. A striking current illustration is the radical attack on the Constitution by the Obama administration’s massive surveillance program. It is, of course, justified by “national security.” That is routine for virtually all actions of all states and so carries little information.
When the NSA’s surveillance program was exposed by Edward Snowden’s revelations, high officials claimed that it had prevented 54 terrorist acts. On inquiry, that was whittled down to a dozen. A high-level government panel then discovered that there was actually only one case: someone had sent $8,500 to Somalia. That was the total yield of the huge assault on the Constitution and, of course, on others throughout the world.
Another concern is security for private power. One current illustration is the huge trade agreements now being negotiated, the Trans-Pacific and Trans-Atlantic pacts. These are being negotiated in secret -- but not completely in secret. They are not secret from the hundreds of corporate lawyers who are drawing up the detailed provisions. It is not hard to guess what the results will be, and the few leaks about them suggest that the expectations are accurate. Like NAFTA and other such pacts, these are not free trade agreements. In fact, they are not even trade agreements, but primarily investor rights agreements.
Again, secrecy is critically important to protect the primary domestic constituency of the governments involved, the corporate sector.»