After the General lashed out at the media recently, accusing it of causing irreversible damage to his organization and the government. He’s not exactly wrong. The NSA has, in many ways, become a Creative Commons entity that everyone and anyone (especially in the media) can judge. It is by now a transparent but not accountable organ of the government.
Keith Alexander said this week at Georgetown University:
I just put that on the table because that’s a key issue that we as a nation [are] going to face. My personal opinion: these leaks have caused grave, significant and irreversible damage to our nation and to our allies. It will take us years to recover.”
Update from SXWS special event-
Edward: So it is very interesting to see officials like Keith Alexander talking about damage that has been done to the defense of our communications. Because more than anything there have been two officials in America who have harmed our internet security and actually our national security so much of our country’s economic success is based on our intellectual property. It is based on our ability to create and share and communicate and compete. Now those two officials are Michael Hayden and Keith Alexander, two directors of the National Security Agency in the post 9/11 era who made a very specific change. That is they elevated offensive operations that is attacking over the defense of our communications. They began ____ the protections of our communications. This is a problem for one primary reason – that is America has more to lose than everyone else when an Attack ______ when you are the one country in the world that has sort of a vault that is more full than anyone else’s it doesn’t make sense because if you attack it all day you never defended ______ and it makes even less sense when the standards for vaults worldwide to have a backdoor anyone can walk into. When he says these things have weakened national security no these are improving our national security. These are improving our national security. These are improving the communications not just around _____but everyone in the world because we rely on the same standards. We rely on the ability to trust our communications. Without that we don’t have anything. Our economy cannot succeed.
see more http://anewdomain.net2014/03/11/aclu-edward-snowden-sxsw-google-hangout-transcript-highlights/
The chief of the NSA spaceship has clearly lost his direction … as aNewDomain’s Ted Rall shows.
Loss of Reputation
As an Israeli who knows something about the Mossad, it is clear to me that the NSA has lost a huge advantage. From an agency that used to scare its own populace and the the world, the NSA has become the laughing stock of many pundit’s best evening satire.
The secret image of an organization like the NSA is 50 percent of its success. The Mossad built an incredible amount of its success on its “Do not mess with me!” posture. That stance, if backed up and presented correctly, has a high value when you deal with those who really have something to hide. But General Alexander and the NSA blunders have turned the once-feared agency into a topic for comedians.
As The Guardian reports:
Alexander has previously mused about ‘stopping’ journalism related to the Snowden revelations. ‘We ought to come up with a way of stopping it. I don’t know how to do that. That’s more of the courts and the policymakers but, from my perspective, it’s wrong to allow this to go on,’ he told an official Defense Department blog in October.”
General Alexander, having come out of the dark, NSA cave, is blinded by the Klieg lights of the media. The media is now his number one enemy. This, of course, is a big win for democracy. As Intelligence Chief Clapper admitted, they should have been upfront years ago about surveillance.
I probably shouldn’t say this, but I will. Had we been transparent about this from the outset right after 9/11—which is the genesis of the 215 program—and said both to the American people and to their elected representatives, we need to cover this gap, we need to make sure this never happens to us again, so here is what we are going to set up, here is how it’s going to work, and why we have to do it, and here are the safeguards… We wouldn’t have had the problem we had.”
Congress will now have to rethink surveillance. The “Do Not Mess with Me” slogan worked for the NSA and Congress until last year. But no more. Changes are hopefully coming soon.
But the CIA is not playing by these rules. The CIA, it was just revealed, has actually decided to spy on Congress. Investigating torture is the premise, and it puts a different light on the exchange of government agencies.
The CIA Inspector General’s Office has asked the Justice Department to investigate allegations of malfeasance at the spy agency in connection with a yet-to-be released Senate Intelligence Committee report into the CIA’s secret detention and interrogation program, McClatchy has learned. The criminal referral may be related to what several knowledgeable people said was CIA monitoring of computers used by Senate aides to prepare the study. The monitoring may have violated an agreement between the committee and the agency.”
For aNewDomain.net, I’m David Michaelis.
Based in Australia, David Michaelis is a world-renowned international journalist and founder of Link Tv. At aNewDomain.net, he covers the global beat, focusing on politics and other international topics of note for our readers in a variety of forums. Email him at DavidMc@aNewDomain.net.