AlterNet: By Alex Kane; % Companies That Make Money By
keeping Americans terrified of terror attacks. Michael Hayden, the former director of the National Security Agency, has invaded America's television sets in recent weeks to warn about Edward Snowden's leaks and the continuing terrorist threat to America. But what often goes unmentioned, as the Guardian's Glenn Greenwald pointed out, is that Hayden has a financial stake in keeping Americans scared and on a permanent war footing against Islamist militants. And the private firm he works for, called the Chertoff Group, is not the only one making money by scaring Americans. Post -9/11 America has witnessed a boom in private firms dedicated to the hyped up threat of terrorism. The drive to privatize America's national security apparatus accelerated in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks, and it's gotten to the point where 70 percent of the national intelligence budget is now spent on private contractors, as author Tim Shorrock reported. The private intelligence contractors have profited to the tune of at least $6 billion a year. In 2010, the Washington Post revealed that there are 1,931 private firms across the country dedicated to fighting terrorism. What it all dds up to is a massive industry profited to the tune of at least $6 billion a year. In 2010, the Washington Post revealed that there are 1,931 private firms across the country dedicated to fighting terrorism. What it all adds up to is a massive industry profiting off government-induced fear of terrorism, even though Americans are more likely to be killed by a car crash or their own furniture than a terror attack. Here are five private companies cashing in on keeping you afraid. 1. The Chertoff Group. On August 11, former NSA head Michael Hayden, the man at the center of the Bush administration's 2005 surveillance scandal . Commenting on President Obama's half-hearted promises to reform some NSA practices, Hayden told host Bob Schieffer that "the President is trying to take some steps to make the American people more comfortable about what we're doing. That's going to be hard because, frankly, Bob, some steps to make Americans more comfortable will actually make Americans less safe."Former Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff had a similar message when he appeared on ABC News August 4. Speaking about the purported threat from an Al Qaeda affiliate in Yemen that led to the disclosure of 19 U.S. embassies, Chertoff said that "the affiliate in Yemen that led to the closure of 19 U.S. embassies, Chertoff said that "the collection of this warning information about Al Qaeda came from the kinds of programs we've been discussing about, the ability to capture communications overseas." CBS and ABC did not see fit to inform that both Hayden and Chertoff are employees of the Chertoff Group, a private firm created in 2009 that companies hire to consult on best practices for security and combating terrorism. Some of the companies the firm advises go on to win government contracts. Chertoff is the founder and chairman of the group, while Hayden serves as a principal. So they profit off a war on terror they say is crucial to keeping Americans safe.