Good Advice

Every candidate — hell, everybody — simply must assume henceforth that their every word and email, thanks to technology and the Bush administration’s overwrought defensive reaction to 9/11, is being monitored, taped and weaponized, if need be.
As far as "everybody" goes, maybe; but if the NSA is really recording everything you say, they're being remarkably circumspect about it. Elements within the CIA seemed to love to play politics with leaks to the press during the Bush administration, and occasionally even in this administration (for the agency's own benefit, rather than against the President). The NSA may have access to tons of our secrets, but if so they seem to be responsible stewards. That in a way is refreshing, an oasis of encouraging professionalism just where it is most needed.

Still, whether you wanted to fight on this hill or not, here you are and there's a fight. Fortuna audaces iuvat!

8 comments:

MikeD said...

I may simply be incredibly naive, but when they hammered chapter and verse into us that knowingly recording or listening to US communications, once it was determined that one or more participants were US citizens was a violation of United States Signals Intelligence Directive 18, and would put you in Federal prison for a long time... I took them seriously. I actually know people who, because of TV and film, believe that NSA has "wetwork agents" who assassinate people. Nevermind that if such existed, they'd be CIA. And as I tell people, there are literally tens of millions of communications that go on across the USA by the hour (and that's probably underestimating that). Almost all of it uninteresting and not useful to the government (i.e. they really don't care what your Aunt Mildred's apple pie recipe contains). The manpower/computer power it would take to process all that and glean the fact that you know about their sekrit mind control lazors is unimaginable. And to do so would mean they don't have those resources to do the jobs that they're actually tasked with (i.e listening to foreign communications... and again, not Joe Schmuckatelli's phone calls either). Listening to, recording, and analyzing comms channels that are LIKELY to hold actionable intelligence takes an unimaginable amount of resources. So I think people either believe the same government that can't run AmTrak, a DMV, or post office worth a damn suddenly becomes omnicompetent in this one area, or they're just nuts.

E Hines said...

... they really don't care what your Aunt Mildred's apple pie recipe contains....

But, but, her recipe is a coded message for how to make them funny brownies.

As to that computing and analytical power, we all know the gummint has that already--it's on the teevee. Person of Interest proves it.

Eric Hines

battleblue1 said...

Thanks for the reference to the 366th Air Expeditionary Wing motto - I'm sure it was unintentional!

MikeD, since when do some people care about felonies? John Corzine at MF Global and a whole slew of people at DOJ committed felonies that stole millions of dollars or contributed to the deaths of thousands, and they are still walking free today. And if such capabilities are so outlandish, then how do you explain the Brandon Raub case?

MikeD said...

There's a difference. Those guys are rich and powerful. The lower enlisted who actually do the work (and thus would be the first ones under the bus if this happened) are not. Plus, you're now at the argument that no lower enlisted person ever wants to be rich or famous. And I guarantee you, if DIRNSA came to your office and asked you to violate federal law, do you honestly think you would not be rich or famous if you report it to the press?

As for Brandon Raub (I actually had to look it up to see who that was), he was spouting crazy all over Facebook. Either they reported him to the local cops (doubtful) or someone who could read his posts could. Was it wrong to bring him in? Sure, but was it the Federal government who used their massive computing power that found his private communications? Let me say this about that:

Bwahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahah!

battleblue1 said...

he was spouting crazy all over Facebook. Either they reported him to the local cops (doubtful) or someone who could read his posts could.

What I had heard was that he was talking in a private group with his brother and sister, not visible to the entire world. That is a key difference, otherwise you would be correct.

if DIRNSA came to your office and asked you to violate federal law, do you honestly think you would not be rich or famous if you report it to the press
I dunno. I personally don't think you would get all that much money if you went to the press with it (unless you had a book in the works like this Seal 6 person). Besides, in Fast & Furious individual agents were told to let the guns walk, and when they objected were given orders to leave, and when the agents objected again were pretty much told STFU and leave or you are fired.

Glad to provide such amusement.

MikeD said...

Look, you are absolutely free to believe whatever you like regarding this, but I can assure you... I've stood in that parking lot. I know (roughly) how many cars can park at the No Such Agency. There's just not enough to contain all the people to do what you think they're doing. Second, there's already an agency tasked with investigating crimes inside the US, the FBI. But no one seems to think they're the ones doing any potential snooping. Why is that? Why, in fiction and in many people's minds, is it always the NSA?

Maybe in that former Marine's case Facebook turned him in. I simply doubt it because I doubt they have the staff to read every post every user makes. And I really honestly do doubt it was the Feds, simply because it was local cops that picked him up. If it had been the Feds, I'd have expected the FBI to be at his door, not the County Sheriff. So the most likely person who reported him was someone who was in that group (if it was indeed a private group).

Anonymous said...

I was told that the reason Amtrack, the Post Office and other Fed projects are so poorly run is to hide how well Federal intel agencies and monitoring systems are run. In the interest of full disclosure, the gent who informed me of this also firmly believes in chemtrails and swears that the Rothschild family control the world's economy.

LittleRed1

Grim said...

Thanks for the reference to the 366th Air Expeditionary Wing motto - I'm sure it was unintentional!

I'm afraid so! I was thinking of the Romans, several of whom used it. Of course, it didn't always work out for them; Pliny the Elder is supposed to have said it right before ordering his ship closer to Mt. Vesuvius. He died in the ensuing explosion.