U.S. security chiefs rage
but finger points at them
The security chiefs, and their congressional backers, screaming the loudest about Edward Snowden's surveillance disclosures are directing attention away from their own outrageous bungling.
Every spy agency -- including the National Security Agency -- has known for decades about the extraordinary dangers posed by defectors. And yet, somehow their system permitted a high-school drop-out hacker to inflict what they themselves assert is tremendous damage. And so they stand convicted by their own words.
They are not talking about why none of them seems to have had the slightest concern about what a defector might do, despite many, many lessons from the Cold War period. What we have here is unprofessionalism at its worst. How could they have set up a system that didn't include firewalls to limit the damage any one defector might do?
Of course, Snowden does not quite fit the classical profile of a defector. But that's small comfort to the national security big cheeses who have been made fools of by a canny "low level" insider.
Babylon the Great is fallen, is fallen
Snowden reportedly spirited away some 1 million secret documents from his NSA spy post. As a top-flight hacker, we can expect that he has them well-hidden in computer memories around the world, and even if a computer owner somehow ran across the file, it would be super-encrypted NSA style, with many backup copies elsewhere.
In other words, the current national security system is dead, slain by Snowden. Many in the system are not awake to this, but it has to be so, because those 1 million documents are bound to contain numerous career-wrecking secrets. That means there will be a mad scramble of infighting, which at first may not be visible, but eventually will become so.
Perhaps a system just as wicked will arise from the wreckage. Be that as it may, the current system has met its doom, like the cocky Titanic bragging its way across the treacherous seas, full steam ahead.