‘Track’ and ‘Whack’

July 22, 2013

ddn061113ideascartoonUnbelievable but true — it’s Monday!
And overcast and chilly this morning on California’s north coast as we gear up for another fact-tested work week.
All is well.

Big climax this morning — Kate is in labor, and a royal baby to due at any micro-second. The world awaits and will apparently hold it’s collective breath until the end.

In seeking info on Kate’s situation, maybe the earth and its people should turn to the NSA for data — they seem to know everything else.

(Illustration found here).

Even if the baby is a phoney: Home Secretary Theresa May has said she won’t be at the birth.
Centuries ago, “the home secretary had to be there to evidence that it was genuinely a royal birth and that a baby hadn’t been smuggled in,” May explained.
But she said that tradition is now defunct.

Nowadays nothing goes extinct — it’s stored away for future reference.
A by-product of Ed Snowden’s big-open adventure — the secret FISA court on Friday okayed another round of sucking up and storing the phone records of tens of millions of American cellphone customers, but, surprise, surprise,  the NSA announced the court’s decision “in light of the significant and continuing public interest in the telephony metadata collection program.”
Is the public interested? Yes, and that interest is growing.

A recent Quinnipiac survey shows a reversal in public opinion.
Three years ago, Americans overwhelmingly supported anti-terrorism actions over civil liberties.
Pollster Peter Brown says a slight majority now think those efforts are eroding freedoms.
“That’s a really big change and it’s significant,” says Brown.

But the NSA doesn’t give a shit, never has, and the only item these eavesdropping clowns care about is…continued growth.
One of the more professional MSM reporters, Dana Priest of the Washington Post, has a great background story of this NSA explosion of power and space since September 2001, and little tidbits of insider foolishness.
Some snips:

The nation’s technical spying agency has enlarged all its major domestic sites — in Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Texas and Utah — as well as those in Australia and Britain.
Since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, its civilian and military workforce has grown by one-third, to about 33,000, according to the NSA.
Its budget has roughly doubled, and the number of private companies it depends on has more than tripled, from 150 to close to 500, according to a 2010 Washington Post count.
The hiring, construction and contracting boom is symbolic of the hidden fact that in the years after the Sept. 11 attacks, the NSA became the single most important intelligence agency in finding al-Qaeda and other enemies overseas, according to current and former counterterrorism officials and experts.
“We Track ’Em, You Whack ’Em” became a motto for one NSA unit, a former senior agency official said.

By September 2004, a new NSA technique enabled the agency to find cellphones even when they were turned off.
JSOC troops called this “The Find,” and it gave them thousands of new targets, including members of a burgeoning al-Qaeda-sponsored insurgency in Iraq, according to members of the unit.
At the same time, the NSA developed a new computer linkup called the Real Time Regional Gateway into which the military and intelligence officers could feed every bit of data or seized documents and get back a phone number or list of potential targets.
It also allowed commanders to see, on a screen, every type of surveillance available in a given territory.

The upgrades to the cryptologic centers were done “to make the agency’s global enterprise even more seamless as we confronted increasingly networked adversaries,” according to the NSA statement to The Post.
“However, we always adjust our efforts to exploit the foreign communications of adversaries and defend vital U.S. networks in accordance with national priorities and in full accordance with U.S. law.”
It added: “The notion of constant, unchecked, or senseless growth is a myth.”

As if to emphasize the dumb-ass irony, Priest used the last line above as also the last line in the article — even after all that’s occurred, and all that’s in the Post story, the NSA continues to dodge reality and continues the great lie.
And Priest knows her NSA — she worked on a massive investigative series at the Post three years ago that explored the enormous explosion in national intelligence gathering, and the bottom line:

Underscoring the seriousness of these issues are the conclusions of retired Army Lt. Gen. John R. Vines, who was asked last year to review the method for tracking the Defense Department’s most sensitive programs.
Vines, who once commanded 145,000 troops in Iraq and is familiar with complex problems, was stunned by what he discovered.
“I’m not aware of any agency with the authority, responsibility or a process in place to coordinate all these interagency and commercial activities,” he said in an interview.
“The complexity of this system defies description.”

Maybe things have changed in three years, but…
Meanwhile, maybe we can satellite photos of Kate, make sure it’s a pure royal, and not some bogus baby — the truth will set your teeth on edge.
But, it’s Monday, and everything is on edge.

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