Sunday…..my last day of mental relaxation and recuperation…….I am so much happy on the weekends……but Monday reality bites me in the ass and the cycle starts all over again……
I have written several articles about the possibility of a “Skynet” moment that could very well be in our future…….there was the robot that is handling complex tasks and the AI that is actually making logical decisions on its own……all that is very scary if you think about it…..very I, Robot!
But this story is a bit of Big Brother meets Skynet…………not only can it be used to spy on people but to target them if they are in the way…….can you say Paranoid?
The contracts, which Wired reports are for work on surveillance projects, could make drones more adept at targeting specific individuals.
One is to develop drones with strong facial recognition that prevents the drone from losing a face in a crowd. Others are for machines that can integrate intelligence data with information from an informant to determine your intent.
Part of a broader effort called TTL (for “Tagging, Tracking and Locating”), these new projects will support the Pentagon as it attempts to monitor enemies and insurgents in places like Afghanistan, where the strategy has switched from rebuilding societies to targeting specific individual bad actors.
Current technologies include using tiny transmitters that can use cellular, satellite or radio frequencies to report their whereabouts and lingering scents that mark targets with a vapor that can be tracked for hours. But they are inadequate because targets may discover their transmitters and remove them, and scents eventually dissipate.
Where will the line be drawn on letting robots and technology do all the work for us?
Humor is where you find it! And then there is the absurd…….
Remember last year when a flock of Russian spies were uncovered, especially the sexy red head (oh so much I could say on that)…..you have seen all the gadgets on the 007 movies which enhances the operatives effectiveness…..but now there is a great twist to this……
BBC News is reporting…….
Saudi Arabian officials have “detained” a vulture on accusations of being a spy for Israel, media reports say.
The griffon vulture was carrying a GPS transmitter bearing the name of Tel Aviv University, prompting rumours it was part of a Zionist plot.
Last month, Egyptian officials implied the Israeli spy agency Mossad was to blame for shark attacks off its coast.
In December, the governor of Egypt’s South Sinai province, Mohamed Abdul Fadil Shousha, suggested the spy agency may have had a hand in a string of deadly shark attacks off the coast of the Sharm el-Sheikh resort.The vulture, which can have a wing span of up to 265cm (8ft 8in), was caught after it landed in the desert city of Hyaal a few days ago.
When locals discovered the GPS transmitter, they suspected the worst and handed it over to the security forces, said Israel’s Ma’ariv newspaper.
Conspiracy theories quickly began circulating in Saudi newspapers and on websites that the bird was involved in espionage.
This would give a whole new definition to the term “bird’s eye view”……..
WikiLeaks!…….now here is the subject of the week……everyone has an opinion on what is to be done with this Assange dude that has leaked these quarter million documents…I have heard that he is guilty of treason or something just as strong…..as I think back to the release of the “Pentagon Papers” by Daniel Ellsberg (yes I am that old!) I recall hearing a bunch of the same criticism….that Ellsberg was killing American soldiers or that it would harm our diplomatic mission for years to come…..on and on and on……
To begin with…this latest release of previously secret documents is mostly gossip, NOT intel of any kind….I mean when you have emails or the like that calls Sarkozy a “naked emperor”…..that is NOT something that is classified……yes there has been some released that could be seen as some sort of secret….. but treason?
I heard Mike Huckabee say that the person releasing these was guilty of treason and should be executed…..made me think back…..some little toad named Scooter outed an active CIA agent named Plame…..did anyone on the Right call for him to be executed? Do not hurt yourself….NO THEY DID NOT! Even though it is a massive crime to do so…..this is just a political football….it is a use of news to make points back home and reinforce the idea of “American Exceptionalism”……..
But the airwaves are full of people, some well intentioned, calling for someone’s head….mostly the head of Assange….but ask yourself this…..
How did a lowly PFC get access to all this info if we have such a good security system in place for our computer system that is so basic to our national security? And now the US has changed the way info is accessed…kinda like closing the proverbial barn door after the cows have made their escape……and is NO one looking at the higher ups that allowed this type of thing to happen? I mean the Minister of Defense in S. Korea resigned after the N. Korea attack last week….why is the US placing the blame solely on the shoulders of this lowly analyst….apparently it was not that hard to retrieve the info….someone at the top was asleep at the wheel….and they are the REAL criminals in this continuing saga……I am sure this is FAR from over!
Another point…..this is being used to avoid talking about the real issues that face Americans….lack of jobs, a struggling economy……it is all smoke and mirrors….hoping that the American people will feel betrayed by someone other than their elected officials…..nice try….but it does not work…..well maybe on idiots!
It began a little over a year ago….three friends working in Iraq in or near the Kurdish area that borders on Iran…decide to go for a stroll in the mountains and valleys for a little R & R……then while marveling at the beauty of the area they were arrested by the Iranians for they had strayed into a no-no zone….into Iran…and accused of spying…..
After much international exposure and the promise that one of the crew was ill and needed medical attention…..one of the wayward hikers was released and returned home to their loved ones and a country that was so concerned about their welfare….it seems that some Omani potentate was the go between that got the person released after someone (no one knows who) posted the $500,000 dollar bail…..and the person left Iran for the West and freedom…..and after a clean bill of health and a massive debriefing the person is now on just about every network telling the world what was what…..
And now the world can worry and fret over the fate of the two remaining prisoners in Iran……
Now that I have covered most of the events of this saga, even though it is a bit simplistic, I would like to comment on what started this whole magilla……the promise of a stroll in the country………
Okay….for one, the border between Iran and Iraq is NOT clearly marked, especially in the area that these people wanted to take their stroll…..actually, it is pretty much a no-man’s land since the days of the war between the two countries……with this known and almost everybody who is in the area knows this, why would someone want to tempt fate and hike along this area?
There are two possible answers to this quandary….one…these people were just plain STUPID, if this is the case then maybe whoever they worked for should be a little more selective in their employees and the mental capacities….. and two…..they were actually spying or at least on some sort of probing action…..
There you go…..you choose which…..BTW, the sound you here is the cashing in on the experience…..
From the VOMITORIUM
Okay this one is for my friend and colleague, Quin at Quintessential Havoc (please venture to my blogroll and visit his blog)…we have been bitching about the massive bureaucracies that we in the West seem to think that we cannot live without ….well we in the US seem to do it better than most and this post is about our latest big deal…..
The BBC is reporting on a WaPo investigative report on the intel industry in our government……
Secret US intelligence gathering has grown so much since 9/11 no-one knows its exact cost, nor how many people are involved, the Washington Post reports.
It says nearly 2,000 private companies and 1,270 government agencies are involved in counter-terror work at 10,000 locations across the country.
According to the Washington Post:
- Some 854,000 US citizens have the highest level of security clearance
- A fifth of the US government’s anti-terror organisations have been created since the September 2001 attacks
- More than 250 security bodies have been created or restructured since 9/11
- More than 30 complexes with 17m sq ft of space (1.6 sq m) have been built for top-secret intelligence work in the Washington area since the attacks
- Various agencies publish so many reports these are often ignored by officials
A massive bureaucracy created out of fear and now it is a beast with NO control.
Have you heard of such moronic BS? This is just scary……that a million people have clearance to the intel and how it works…it is just unbelievable…at least to me….this is what Quin and I have been telling people…….the government creates a massive bureaucracy with YOUR money and it is about as worthless as tits on a boar….I just wish we could get more people to PAY ATTENTION!
Do you feel safer? Of course you do NOT!
From the desk of the Scriptorium
Have you seen the hottie that is being accused of spying for Russia? Of course you have. Come on…let’s be honest…..she could get your ATM pin number without much effort…..that is okay, I would be smiling as I called my bank to change the number….I like red heads!
Sorry about that….I just had to digress for a moment….
The Economist is reporting:
According to the documents provided by the FBI to the courts, the suspects were “illegal” agents of the Russian Foreign Intelligence agency (SVR), a descendant of the KGB, who had mostly lived in “deep cover” since the 1990s in sleepy suburbs of New York, Boston and Washington, DC.
In fact, the spies were not even successful enough to have espionage charges brought against them. Their task, it seems, was to infiltrate influential political circles in America and find out their thinking on Russia and Barack Obama’s intentions for last year’s summit in Moscow, but there is no sign that they succeeded beyond what could have been gleaned from reading the better papers. (One of the alleged moles, Vicky Pelaez, was, in fact, a left-leaning columnist for El Diario, New York’s largest Spanish language newspaper.)
By now the whole country is talking and even laughing at the Russian spies now in US custody…..yes, I said laughing…why? Some think that they were just silly exercising some lame Cold War tactic that could not have gleamed much intel at all….
The media is STUPID! They were doing what “real” spies do…..in the days before the emphasis on the techno geek side of intel gathering….a spy went into the culture and society to pin point people that could be used to gather the intel for them….people with lavish lifestyles or vulnerable in other ways…..these people were doing what spies use to do…..work on the ground building relationships and NOT staring at some monitor at Langley…..
All I am saying is that it is great to see spies working like spies and not some techno geek that only speaks computer-ese….okay, technology is a wonderful thing, but like in war….you cannot win without troops on the ground….and so it is with espionage…..
Have you heard about the spies that were recently arrested in the US? They were deep cover moles for Russia….and you thought the Cold War was over…silly Americans!
Anyway, there is a story on the Newser website about one of the spies….she is a red head and as anyone who visits Info Ink regularly knows I have a soft spot for red heads….and this “spy” could have got me to divulge anything she wanted to…….damn!
Read it and see what I mean….
Recently the CIA had a brain fart and let 7 of their best people in Afghanistan get popped…..this in my opinion was a STUPID mistake…I mean last year one of the many princes of Saudi Arabia was almost killed by a “butt bomb”….a bomb canceled in the rectum of a suicide bomber…..these people are ingenious and yet they let a double agent waltz into a meeting with the top Afghan analysts and blow his ass up taking the CIA operatives with him……
Let’s ask…..other than that professor how is the CIA doing in Afghanistan?
CNN reported on the testimony of CIA:
U.S. spies “can do little but shrug” when commanders ask for the information they need to fight the Taliban insurgency, the top U.S. military intelligence officer in Afghanistan said in a blistering report.U.S. military intelligence officers in Afghanistan spend too much time focusing on enemy groups and tactics and not enough on trying to understand Afghanistan’s culture, people and networks, Maj. Gen. Michael Flynn wrote in a report published Monday.
American military intelligence gathering is “ignorant of local economics and landowners, hazy about who the powerbrokers are and how they might be influenced, incurious about the correlations between various development projects and levels of cooperation among villagers, and disengaged from people in the best position to find answers,”
The report said some good work is being done on the ground, and that local intelligence officers “know a great deal about their local Afghan districts.” But, the report said, they “are generally too understaffed to gather, store, disseminate and digest” information.
And, critically, they do not have the resources to gather information which could give Americans a better understanding of Afghanistan, such as census data, patrol debriefs, minutes from councils with local farmers and tribal leaders, polling data, translated summaries of radio broadcasts that influence local farmers and the like.
I would say that it is a bit of a critical report on the CIA operations in Afghanistan…….the people on the ground SUCK and then the only ones that have experience they allow to be killed…..sounds like an agency that has its head up some bureaucrats ass…..and does not sound like a way to win the war for minds and hearts…..if they cannot deal with trivial info, how can they handle important stuff?
This is NOT the way to win the War on Terror!
By now the airwaves are lit up like a Xmas tree with the news of the 8 CIA operatives killed by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan….if not here is the deal…..as reported by ABC News:
The officers who were killed in the attack were at the heart of the United States’ effort against senior members of al Qaeda and the Taliban, former intelligence officials say. They collected intelligence on the militant commanders living on both sides of the border and helped run paramilitary campaigns that tired to kill those commanders, including the drone program that has killed a dozen senior al Qaeda with missiles fired from unpiloted aircraft.
The only victim of the attack who has been publicly identified is 37-year-old Harold Brown Jr., a father of three. The base chief, a woman in her 30s, was also killed, according to current and former intelligence officials. She is believed to have been focused on al Qaeda since before 9/11. A former U.S. official says a second woman was also killed in the attack, and that both women had “considerable counterintelligence experience.”
The attack also killed Captain Al Shareef Ali bin Zeid, a member of the Jordanian spy agency Dairat al-Mukhabarat al-Ammah, according to people who have spoken with bin Zeid’s family. The Jordanian military released a statement acknowledging bin Zeid had been killed in Afghanistan, but did not mention he was working with the CIA.
Now this is my favorite quote from the ABC report:
“Because of this attack, the CIA will be very, very careful about who it trusts, how it vets its agents, how it searches its agents,” Clarke says. “And this will mean that in the future, it will be much more difficult for CIA to operate in the field because of probably new security roles affecting what they do.”
Ya think?!? The genius of the people just amazes me……
Now my question is…..who was the f*cking genius that put 8 CIA operatives in the same room with an informant, a untried informant? In my day the best an informant would have gotten is one maybe two low level operatives….reminds me of Reagan, “trust but verify”…….once the info was verified as good then meet with the biggies…..but to put the people with the most knowledge of the situation in the same room with a suicide bomber, which, btw, was not searched….is just plain STUPID!
I am NOT condemning the whole organization….just the mental midget that put all those operatives in the same location as the informant….if he had not blown himself up….we would have still be able to ID the people in the room……who was the pea brain? That is the question that should be asked……
If you truly want to win the War on Terror then stupid is NOT the way to go……….
Since the nature of the beast is secrecy….we may NEVER know who the mental midget was…….but I hope he/she NEVER gets another nights sleep…..”you cannot fix STUPID!”
I read an article in the NY Times and then I heard a news bite on the tube about the story.
President Karzai’s younger half brother, long accused of links to the drugs trade, was embroiled in fresh controversy today after The New York Times reported that he had been on the CIA’s payroll for the last eight years.
Ahmad Wali Karzai had been paid by the agency for services including arranging contacts with the Taleban and helping to recruit an Afghan paramilitary force in the southern city of Kandahar where he lives, the newspaper said.
He was also paid for allowing the CIA, US special forces and the local militia, called the Kandahar Strike Force, to use a large compound outside the city — the former home of Mullah Omar, the Taleban’s founder — it said.
There seems to be a bit of a quandry in the news……I heard some of the pundits concerned that CIA may have a thug like this guy on their payroll……(thinking)……I ask who do you think would be on the CIA payroll? Nun? Or perhaps a priest or two?
Are you people stupid or just doing a few downers?…..Of course CIA has thugs like this a/hole on the payroll….how do you think they get things done in the shadowy world of espionage? CIA has ALWAYS had thugs on its payroll; if you want someone whacked you do not call on a preacher to do it for you…please people pay attention….you cannot be as naive as these pundits seem to be…..
Now thanks to the NY Times, this guy will be looking over his shoulder for the next thug to step up and do his job….and there is a possibility that that guy will also be on the CIA payroll. This guy’s brother, the pres of Afghanistan, might want to try and remember history a bit…..the pres of South Vietnam, Diem, was whacked by CIA thugs…they did not like his way of handling things in the country…..keep an eye on history…..my only suggestion for Karzai…..