Despite the lack of evidence linking Orlando mass murderer Omar Mateen to Daesh (ISIS) in any operational (direct) sense, the first inclination of U.S. Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton was to renew American bombing of Syria, Iraq and Libya— the very nations that were destroyed by U.S. bombs directed by Mrs. Clinton and from whence Daesh arose. In so doing Mrs. Clinton made it evident that she is an unrepentant militarist whose bloodlust, combined with her longstanding interest in promoting American business interests, ties her to the U.S. imperial project of the last century and one-half. The precise moral difference between mass murders for personal and state reasons depends on a theory of the state at odds with this imperial project.
The company that employed Omar Mateen, G4S, is a British-based ‘security’ company that operates in 120 countries and as a ‘private’ supplier of public services to the Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Army and to the very same State Department that Mrs. Clinton led as Secretary of State. The company advertises itself capable of ‘mitigating liability’ for the U.S. government— the ruse used by the CIA and other clandestine and quasi-clandestine government agencies to circumvent civil prohibitions on their activities by employing ‘private’ companies to carry them out. The NSA’s domestic surveillance programs tie to those of the FBI, DEA and CIA through this legalistic dodge. And ‘private contractors’ were behind some of the more grotesque slaughters in recent American wars.
The classical liberal separation of economic from political interests used to legitimate state violence is one that the Clintons have spent their ‘public’ careers undermining. As leading proponents of neoliberalism, the Clintons have spent three decades conflating ‘private’ interests with the public interest. In history this tie of U.S. business interests to U.S. military incursions runs from residual European imperialism, including genocide against the indigenous population and slavery, to direct wars, proxy wars, coups, assassinations, murders and particularly odious ‘wars of attrition.’ What is corruption in the liberal worldview is the nature of the capitalist-state acting in / on imperial interests in a Marxian frame. If this corruption is ‘solvable,’ s