Rabbit Hole Upchuck

September 20, 2013

tumblr_loh9fkBUx81qfralpo1_500Crystal-clear and a bit chilly this Friday morning on California’s north coast with a majestic full moon hanging mega-bright over it all — despite that, we’ve a 90 percent forecast for rain later today, maybe with some thunderstorms tonight.
Weather is as peculiar as life nowadays.

Apparently, in this humanistic, modern age, guns are king: At least 18 people were shot, one fatally, in less than four hours in attacks in Chicago Thursday evening, police said. In attack in Back of the Yards, 12 people, including a 3-year-old boy, were shot at Cornell Square Park, authorities said.
And we keep on singing.

Meanwhile, the US is losing whatever sense it once possessed with the American people caught in a crossfire of bullshit and distortion.

(Illustration found here).

Consider this in the war against being scared of every-fucking-thing:

The FBI is instructing local police departments and “communities against terrorism” to consider anyone who harbors “conspiracy theories” about 9/11 to be a potential terrorist, in a circular released to local police departments.
The circular thus adds 9/11 official story skeptics to a growing list of targets described by federal law enforcement to be security threats, such as those who express “libertarian philosophies,” “Second Amendment-oriented views,” interest in “self-sufficiency,” “fears of Big Brother or big government,” and “Declarations of Constitutional rights and civil liberties.”

Not only that, regular people on the sidewalk hurrying to make ends meet in this really lopsided country, are out of the reality loop of those who think they’re in charge — a shame.
The main-factor problem is those in charge are delusional loons.

In a horrible Norman-Rockwell-ink-stain gone berserk, the NSA has sent out a be-of-good-cheer letter to all its employees to make sure they understand spying on citizens is good and those in charge of all that hardware are not villains or idiots. The letter is signed by NSA head honcho Gen. Keith Alexander and NSA Deputy Director John Inglis, — it would be hilarious if not so bullshit frightening.
Kevin Gosztola at Firedoglake takes a look at the missive, which starts:

“We are writing to you, our extended NSA/CSS family, in light of the unauthorized disclosure of classified information by a former contractor employee.”
“We want to put the information you are reading and hearing about in the press into context and reassure you that this Agency and its workforce are deserving and appreciative of your support.”
“Some media outlets have sensationalized the leaks to the press in a way that has called into question our motives and wrongly cast doubt on the integrity and commitment of the extraordinary people who work here at NSA/CSS—your loved one(s),” the letter suggests.
“It has been discouraging to see how our Agency frequently has been portrayed in the news as more of a rogue element than a national treasure.”
“For more than 6 decades, NSA/CSS has been responsible for protecting the United States and its allies through its information assurance and signals intelligence missions.
All of the things we do to conduct our mission are lawful…”

Gosztola adds some reality to the mix:

The entire letter is emblematic of the insular culture of people who have committed their lives to Top Secret America and have placed themselves above criticism by any person, whether they be in the halls of power, a media organization or a civil society group in this country.
It is not the NSA who has engaged in operations that infringe upon privacy with very little discernible proof that the programs have stopped numerous actual terrorist plots, who should be shamed.
It is the press, who have convinced many Americans that the NSA is some kind of “rogue element.”
And, even though the NSA director built a replica of the bridge from starship Enterprise and called it the “Information Dominance Center” and that wholly perverts the values of peace and cooperation creator Gene Roddenberry intended to promote, it is not a “rogue element” but a “national treasure” that we all should shower with honor and praise.

Happy, happy, joy-joy.

And in a seemingly vicious circle of incompetence — via NBC News:

USIS, a private security firm that conducted the background check of ex-National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, acknowledged Thursday that it also conducted the 2007 background check of Aaron Alexis that allowed the Washington Navy Yard shooter to get a security clearance.
“Today, we were informed that in 2007, USIS conducted a background check of Aaron Alexis” for the Office of Personnel Management, Ray Howell, a spokesman for the Falls Church, Va.-based company, said in a statement emailed to NBC News.
“We are contractually prohibited from retaining case information gathered as part of the background checks we conduct for OPM and therefore are unable to comment further on the nature or scope of this or any other background check.”

A recent review by U.S. intelligence officials of the 2011 background check of Snowden “revealed several areas of incomplete coverage” resulting in a report “that did not present a comprehensive picture of Mr. Snowden,” according to a copy of an Aug. 23 letter obtained by NBC News that National Counterintelligence Executive Frank Montoya sent to the Office of Personnel Management.
USIS has acknowledged it did the 2011 background check of Snowden as part of a “reinvestigation” of him to permit him to retain his high level security clearance, but said it had been previously told by OPM that “all standards were met.”

On Wednesday, NBC News reported that federal prosecutors had expanded their probe to include the circumstances surrounding Alexis’ security clearance.
In particular, they want to know why he received his initial security clearance in March 2008 — despite a 2004 arrest in Seattle for shooting out the tires of a neighbor’s car — and why he was permitted to keep it after two additional arrests and mental health problems reported to the Navy.
Federal officials have said that the prior arrests — for which Alexis was not charged — would not necessarily have precluded him from receiving his “secret” clearance.

The company on Wednesday had denied to NBC News that it performed the background check on Alexis.
Howell did not offer an explanation for the earlier denial.

The explanation is that if a lie doesn’t work, then…
As anyone can see, all our national treasures are lies, and if the lies aren’t sufficient, then laugh as if we’re all in on the joke.

Alice’s rabbit hole goes way-deep.

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