Making my way through the WaPo piece on our massive national security police and surveillance state, the following quote from retired Army Lt. Gen. John R. Vines leaps out:

"I'm not aware of any agency with the authority, responsibility or a process in place to coordinate all these interagency and commercial activities. The complexity of this system defies description."

The result, he added, is that it's impossible to tell whether the country is safer because of all this spending and all these activities. "Because it lacks a synchronizing process, it inevitably results in message dissonance, reduced effectiveness and waste," Vines said. "We consequently can't effectively assess whether it is making us more safe."

And couldn't we also say the same of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan?