An investigative report researched over two years by the Washington Post and published this week has blown the cover on the mega-billion dollar financial “gusher” propping up the profits of the safety and security industry, thanks to the post-9/11 “war on terror.”
“This country’s top-secret national-security enterprise is both enormous and opaque,” Marcus Brauchli, the Post’s executive editor said. “We have sought through this long-term investigative project to describe it and enable our readers— including citizens, taxpayers, policymakers and legislators—to understand the scale and effectiveness of what has been created. The Post remains firmly committed to this kind of accountability journalism.”
Anyone in the travel& tourism industry reading through the series will soon realise that this security hydra sees the travel & tourism sector as yet another cash-cow ready to be milked by the large and growing number of retiring military, police, intelligence and other security personnel turned consultants and the accompanying phalanx of hardware salesmen.
It also raises some serious questions about what the global travel & tourism leadership, especially in the US is doing to put some checks and balances, accountability and transparency into what the Post called “Top Secret America, a sleepless place growing larger every day.”
This issue has long been flagged by Travel Impact Newswire over the years. As usual, the travel & tourism leadership, especially in the United States, steers clear of sensitive subjects such as racial profiling, increasing visa curbs, passport forgeries, privacy concerns, human rights violations, usage of body-scanners, no-fly lists, and the sharing of huge amounts of personal, financial and other data by unaccountable government agencies—and the impact this is having on travel trends.
Now that more important mainstream media like the Washington Post have joined the effort to help citizens, taxpayers, policymakers and legislators, understand the scale and taxpayers, policymakers and legislators, understand the scale and effectiveness of what has been created, hopefully some of our travel & tourism industry leaders may muster the courage to start raising a voice, and demanding some transparency. It’s only when the people lead, that the leaders follow.