Teeth-mashing. Infuriating. Disheartening. Scary, even. Those are only a few words that come to mind after reading the bombshell of a report that came out in the Washington Post today. It’s all over the Web today, trending incredibly high in the Twitterverse and even making Gawker’s list of “be terrified” articles. This is a very big story — a potential incendiary bomb that no one in the White House or the Company wants or needs right now. That being said, it had to be done. It’s confirming what many people have long suspected about U.S. Intelligence — it has gone absolutely bat-shit crazy in its consumption of money, time and resources, ultimately to little tangible or publicized success since 9/11.

Top Secret America
— a two-year investigative journalism project that reminds us a) how essential it is to have great print journalists out there like Dana Priest and forums to publish their work, and b) providing a reminder of how great the Washington Post used to be before it got sucked entirely into the Beltway vortex of power — is a damning series of pieces on the unwieldy nature of the U.S. Intelligence community. The long and short of the series’ thesis is this: government operations are costly endeavours, we know that. But just imagine a government service has grown so big, so out of control and so rife with waste that no one — not even the government itself — knows how much it costs anymore.

Ponder that for a moment. No really, drink that in.

See that picture above? That’s a map of all the operations in the continental United States that involve anti-terror work. You’d think all these projects would be making a difference, right? Nope, not really. Remember the attempted Detroit plane bombing? The attempted bombing in Manhattan? Of course you do — we were all made to feel scared at the prospect of more terror attacks on America.

This report may be 2010’s most essential published document yet. A must-read.