In the previous post I embedded the video of NSA Chief General Keith Alexander speechifying at something called "Black Hat" -- that before yesterday, I had never heard of, as I bet many, many others never had, either.
OK. So. He gave me the willies, the whole thing did, big time. These are supposedly the best "minds" in the IT/Security industry, all coming together in loving embrace of one another acting in one another's best interests. God save me.
Alexander I've seen in various congressional hearings spouting pious nonsense, but this was over the top, I mean REALLY over the top as The General transformed himself into an ever-so-humble and pious television preacher selling snake oil and salvation to the masses, if only they would believe. Yes, believe to save their mortal souls.
Part of what creeped me out about him and his presentation is the memories it evoked of when I was a federal employee handling sensitive and confidential data and otherwise private information and training others how to do it "lawfully." I am sworn to confidentiality for the rest of my life. I won't even mention the name of the agency that employed me, nor where I was assigned nor will I say specifically what I did let alone will I reveal any of the information I was privy to (not that I remember that much any more!)
What I will talk and write about though is something about the environment and ethic within which I worked and what I was trying to train others to understand and... well, believe.
So The General is standing up there like a minister in church, telling his flock how humble and god-centered he is and how they, if they would only believe can be saved and ascend to heaven. I've seen this kind of performance too many times before from practically every superior I ever had, right up to the agency top dog. They are all so very pious.
Butter wouldn't melt, and you just know their shit don't stink like mine does.
And you know what? Most of them -- not all of them -- were absolute, stone liars. And it got worse, multiple times worse in my view, once the Obama regime settled in. I decided I was too old for this shit and I wasn't going to take it anymore, and I packed up and left. Buh-bye.
Some of the lies they told -- and they wanted us to believe, and me to tell every newbie I trained -- were abominations. They've been told so often, though, and are such a part of the fabric of the agency by now that I'm sure that most of those who tell them believe them implicitly -- even when they know they're false. Cognitive dissonance, as I've said, is a way to break down resistance and build faith. They tell lies, they believe them, and they know they're false. Do thou likewise, my son.
The lies filled the room whenever the top people paid a call on the field. And it really did get worse after February or March of 2009. For me it was too much, but for others... meh. They had careers.
Alexander at Black Hat was such a reminder of that shit. I was appalled all over again, and fascinated just the same watching his little performance.
He was heckled to be sure, but not very well, and it wasn't sustained. I also noticed that the crowd by and large, and certainly the hosts, loved them some Keith Alexander, whoo boy howdy. Their whooping cheers chilled me to the bone.
I've thought from the outset of this affair that what we're really witness to is an Inner Party factional struggle for control of the Security/Police State -- which in time, I have little doubt, will become our defacto government, if it hasn't already -- and from what I could tell between the lines of Alexander's speech, it is a struggle between the Spookeries for dominance, dominance of the State, dominance of the Empire, dominance of the World. These Inner Party things are usually pretty boring, because the outcome will make no real difference below; we're fucked no matter what. But this time, I really wonder if it might make a difference which Spookery comes out on top.
The Revelations are obviously designed to cripple the NSA, and The General's pious defense of his actions and philosophy and those of the brave troops below him is clearly designed to stanch the hemorrhaging. So he's in full Limited Hangout mode, showing and saying things that he never would before, couldn't you know because it was all so very secret, and so to protect the remaining secrets, he'll reveal some of the "facts" to the whole wide world in front of a friendly -- very friendly -- audience of professionals and peers. You see?
Of course he's lying, of course he is.
Cocktailhag over at FDL suggested it was really cringe inducing to watch him, and he's right. Made my skin crawl. It was awful. And they loved him.
We are so fucked and we don't even know in how many ways.