[cryptome] Re: Microsoft and the NSA

  • From: John Young <jya@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: cryptome@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 19 Jul 2013 09:04:23 -0400

Points most valid. Public discourse on national security
is deficient. It has become a vast racket concealed by
secrecy and ample economic rewards.

As global threats dwindle there is more openness
until the next threats, then return to greater secrecy than
before as the national security racket further advances
more than it retreated.

The greater the racket the greater chances it will become
corrupt, suffer from gigantism, internal fractures and factions,
overweaning leaders and their supporting infrastructure of
contractors and lobbyists, and disaffected minions who get
fed up with the corruption of their bosses and a few bravely
go public.

As we see lately from a tiny number of honorable grunts.
Amazing that there are not thousands among the several
million of natsec feeders, perhaps only 1% of which contribute
significantly to protection of the nation -- for the rest it is
job protection, no joking matter, or for top natsec firms
officers fortune protection, many of whom are ex-officials,
a sick joke which should be criminal except lawmakers
are beneficiaries. This is amply reported, customarily to
no effect.

DIY national security is no joke. Now impossible due to
secrecy bloat and exclusion of the public from participation
in meaningful ways. NatSec is now a bastion of scoundrels,
and natsec news coverage is complicit. The worst offenders
are the pundits, essayists, apologists and opportunists in
academic and policy institutions who are actually covert

Corrpution of insufficiently-checked power is well documented
in historical studies of the rise and fall of powerful states. Secrecy
is essential to preventing democracy.

Anybody who has been a grunt in any of these anti-democratic
organizations, mil, com, edu, org, is acutely aware of abuses and
threats of punishment for disclosures -- insiders always the
greatest threat to power. Let us hope the abused grunts will
continue to now and then let us in on the latest iteration of
public opinion manipulation. But expect, by "human nature,"
most will pitifully believe they have a shot at upward mobility
so long as national threats endure.

This is not to ignore that disclosing natsec corruption can
be a successful shot at upward mobility. Natsec industry
rewards critics who do not go too far with disclosures and
castigates those who do -- ie, compliant media constitutionally
blessed in contrast to "conspiracy theorists." So we have a
small sub-set of the industry which briefs selected outsiders
with insider golddust at lunches, by leaks, by FOIA, by anonymous
sources, by security confabs, by securitized contracts, by
whatever means assures friendly oversight is as cooperative
as loyal opposition.

At 08:02 AM 7/19/2013, you wrote:
On 7/18/2013 7:59 PM, John Young wrote:
...its greatest enemy is its hyper-paranoia.

National security is not about protecting the nation, its aim
is to generate fear of its inevitable failure.
John, perhaps you are too pessimistic. I don't like the panopticon or the surveillance state. But with 7 billion people on the planet and the inglorious history of human nature, parts of the security programs may be needed. I would prefer that people prevent abuses of the National Security state and surveillance, rather than calling for its abolition.

Constructive criticism is needed and pointed questions must be raised. But in the end, it is not the nature of the State that is our primary concern; it is human nature itself. But both the behavior of both the State and the People give reasons for great concern.

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