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The Upside of the Feds Spying on Each Other


If you put “Insider Threat Program” into Google you will get over 2 million results, and will probably end up on a government watch list based on all the stories we’ve seen about Snowden, the NSA and all the electronic snooping that is supposed to be going on.

Today the media is filled with reports about President Obama ordering federal employees to spy on each other. Almost all of the reporting directs back to a McClatchy story which refers to an Executive Order signed by President Obama in October 2011.

There are quite a few Executive Orders. So, I’ll save you looking, click here.

It seems that after the Bradley Manning Affair the president decided to spring into action to protect America’s secrets, and do what he does best, create yet another government expanding bureaucracy which I doubt has done one thing to improve our national security.

When I was in the Strategic Air Command, over four decades ago, I had a top security clearance as my job involved highly classified weapons and materials. In those days everyone cleared at my level had to attend security classes to learn about Classified information and how to protect it. There were a lot of rules, all of them common sense. I do remember the first day when an instructor asked my class,

Do you know how to keep a secret?

We shrugged and looked at each other,

Keep it…secret!” he bellowed.

Lesson one, and it works every time.

I’m still not clear about what Snowden is purported to have done or has supposedly taken or what he has told and/or to whom.

I am not convinced that this isn’t some elaborate dis-information campaign by the CIA.

It’s kinda ridiculous, really. He was supposedly using computers that had access to highly classified information, but the files weren’t encrypted so they could only be used by someone properly cleared and with a need-to-know?

I read one account that said he used a “flash drive” to download some files, even though such devices were not allowed in the work area, and that the USB ports on the computers were still connected. What kind of security is that?

It isn’t.

Disconnect the USB ports. Snip the cables with some dykes. Unplug them from the circuit board, fill the ports with super glue, for cripes sake!

They’re not periodically hooking up highly cleared personnel to lie detectors and asking them questions about their handling of Classified information, or running checks on their bank accounts?

We all know the technology is there for the government to spy on us. But I can’t really take it too seriously when, as Sarah Palin pointed out so well,

Our government spied on every single one of your phone calls, but it couldn’t find two pot-smoking deadbeat Bostonians with a hotline to terrorist central in Chechnya…really?”

And, the Russians also warned us about them. <<shakes head>>

But, as I was listening to the news reports and all the opinions about this I thought to myself;

You know, having government employees spying on each other might actually have an upside.”

What if in addition to reporting the “James Bond wannabe” or the “night owl.” they also reported to their superior if a co-worker was;

  • Delaying applications and other paperwork of conservatives.
  • Planning elaborate “conferences” in Las Vegas and other expensive vacation spots.
  • Preparing a “Line Dancing” class on the taxpayer’s dime.
  • Walking around the office dressed up like Mr. Spock.
  • Building a $34 million dollar building at Camp Leatherneck in Afghanistan that the military did NOT want, while cutting the number of hot meals to our troops so they could “dismantle” the kitchens at the very same location to ship them back to the states..
  • Ignoring repeated requests for more security at a consulate office in an unstable and violent middle east country.
  • Delivering thousands of untraceable weapons to Mexican drug trafficking organizations.

These are just a few ideas that immediately come to mind. But, I wouldn’t object at all if these and similar actions were reported…and something was done about it.

BTW, while wading through the numerous Executive Orders signed by the president I ran across this one from two years ago:

June 13, 2011
Executive Order 13576—Delivering an Efficient, Effective, and Accountable Government

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and in order to cut waste, streamline Government operations, and reinforce the performance and management reform gains my Administration has achieved, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Policy. My Administration is committed to ensuring that the Federal Government serves the American people with the utmost effectiveness and efficiency. Over the last 2 years, we have made good progress and have saved taxpayer dollars by cutting waste and increasing the efficiency of Government operations by curbing uncontrolled growth in contract spending, terminating poorly performing information technology projects, deploying state of the art fraud detection tools to crack down on waste, focusing agency leaders on achieving ambitious improvements in high priority areas, and opening Government up to the public to increase accountability and accelerate innovation.

Now, would someone please report to me who really wrote this one? Maybe Snowden knows.



Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery. - Winston Churchill



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