Federal spending on homeland security: Too much, just right, or not enough?

A Washington Post series on America's post-9/11 intelligence agencies, "Top Secret America," reveals startling data about the size and scope of the federal government's counterterrorism efforts. According to the Post:

• Some 1,271 government organizations and 1,931 private companies work on programs related to counterterrorism, homeland security and intelligence in about 10,000 locations across the United States.

• An estimated 854,000 people, nearly 1.5 times as many people as live in Washington, D.C., hold top-secret security clearances.

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• In Washington and the surrounding area, 33 building complexes for top-secret intelligence work are under construction or have been built since September 2001. Together they occupy the equivalent of almost three Pentagons or 22 US Capitol buildings – about 17 million square feet of space.

Given the demands of the war on terror, does this extraordinary growth in government seem justified?

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