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Reading Others’ Mail…or Going Blind on the Battlefield

October 29th, 2013 - 7:32 pm

“Gentlemen don’t read each others’ mail,” said U.S. Secretary of State Henry Stimson back in 1929.  False then, false now.  What?  Spies are actually spying?  asks the blogger known as the DiploMad, who has done a bit of spying himself.  Ridiculous!

Virgins are losing their virginity?  Surely no serious person can be surprised, least of all any American who — even occasionally — follows the news.  “Privacy” has been abolished, long since.  We live in the age of Wikileaks and Anonymous, as readers here have known for some time.  Snooping is omnipresent, although the White House has said it will do less in the future.

Don’t forget that eight years ago the Wall Street Journal told us:

In a recent survey of 840 U.S. companies by the American Management Association, 60% said they now use some type of software to monitor their employees’ incoming and outgoing e-mail, up from 47% in 2001,” wrote staff reporters for The Wall Street Journal on March 9, 2005. “Other workplace privacy experts place the current percentage even higher.

And that’s just the private sector.  The government’s bigger, by orders of magnitude.

What are we to make of all this?  For guidance, I turned to the spirit of the late James Jesus Angleton, once upon a time the head of CIA counterintelligence, himself a consummate snooper.  I wasn’t sure my untrusty ouija board would work, having been occupied with writing obligations of late, but it was fine.  There he was, gravelly voice and all, seemingly happy to chat.

JJA:  Wow!  Talk about action…so many circular firing squads, it’s amazing anyone is still standing in the intel world, huh?

ML:  I’ll say.  And everyone’s an expert.

JJA:  Of course.  As a general matter, knowledge is power and status.  Not always, of course.  Ignorance is blissful at scandal time.   But the general rule is that admitting ignorance is tantamount to confessing weakness and lack of importance.  So they feign knowledge.  But not the president, who wants to blame his assistants in this case.

ML:  Well, there ARE others who purport to be ignorant.  The Feinstein woman, for example…

JJA:  Good point.  She’s calling for an investigation, as if that wasn’t her job all along.  I mean, she’s the chairwoman of the Senate Intel Committee, isn’t she?  So she’s supposed to be on top of such activities.  What does she need an investigation for?  She should just tell us what she thinks about it all.

ML:  I agree.  Her call for an investigation is a bit of misdirection to protect herself, and it also fits well with the president’s strategy.

JJA:  Yup.  They want to develop a picture in which lots of otherwise important people didn’t know.  That’s standard scandal practice.

ML:  It’s unlikely anyone is going to step forward and say “but I briefed the president on such and such a date,” so we’re left to ponder the logic of the ignorance claim, right?

JJA:  It’s certainly unlikely, but it’s well short of impossible.  Remember that NSA is a military organization, and there are many current and former top officers who are very upset with Obama.  You’ve been reading the stories about the so-called purge of the military, right?

ML:  Yes.  This one, for example, by one of the best journalists in Washington.

JJA:  It’s conceivable that someone in the military might actually know that the president gets briefed on the targets of our intercepts, and might be so angry at what he sees as a purge of his friends and colleagues that he comes forward.

ML:  Or someone who straddles the line between the military and intelligence communities…

JJA:  Yes, a Petraeus type.  Or someone close to Panetta.  But this is all what the Italians call fantapolitica, and there’s plenty of reality to deal with here.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
Firing non-cooperative flag officers allows the promotion of women/ gay/ anti US flag officers. Notice that the preponderance of those fired were war fighters rather than desk jockeys.
Just sayin'
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (8)
All Comments   (8)
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Literary form does make a difference. Who would think a ouija board interview would allow you to shed some light on the subtler aspects of l'affaire Snowdon.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
If Obama does pick out terrorists to attack by drones it's because he wants to save those he knows by name. Any double agent would do the same.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
In light of what Obama and his cohorts are doing to our military I can't understand why there aren't 5 million people standing at the WH gates and at federal courthouses everywhere in this nation demanding this fraud be thrown from office. And take the trash out with him - like Jarrett etc.

I've had about all I can take from this lying SOB!!!


43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Stimson must have known that the State Department's American Black Chamber code breakers were breaking diplomatic codes as they did so at the 1922 Naval Conference. Stimson led the US delegation to the 1930-1931 US Naval Conference. Also, as Secretary of State and choosing whether to defund the Black Chamber, which had been breaking Japanese diplomatic codes, he used the ethical stand about not reading mail to pull State Department funding in 1929. The US Army was too impoverished to increase their share of funding so the Chamber was fired and its files destroyed, except for fragments saved by individuals who were hired by the Army.

The US Navy code breakers had to be pulled from reading Japanese military codes in 1941 to reading the different Japanese diplomatic codes. Stimson's 1929 action caused the White House to get the Navy off of Japanese military traffic as there were no other assets. The Black Chamber had been gone since 1929. The result was that that Pearl Harbor Attack was changed from the biggest ambush in history to what it was in fact. This only be came clear in 1942 when the Navy code breakers went over the set-aside 1941 traffic and found chapter and verse on the attack instead of the non-specific vagueness in the diplomatic traffic.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
"The US Navy code breakers had to be pulled from reading Japanese military codes in 1941 to reading the different Japanese diplomatic codes."

This is NOT true!

The diplomatic (Purple, a "machine" code, By the way)) code was broken first, in 1940, because that was being intercepted much more frequently prior to 1941, and it is always easier to break a code with heavy traffic.

The Navy had been working on the Japanese Naval code (JN) for years, but without much success because of few intercepts. But in 1941, the traffic increased exponentially, and the code (JN25) was partially broken a few months after Pearl Harbor. There were, in fact, some Japanese military codes that were never broken because they weren't used very much by the Japanese.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Sadly, dangerously sadly, this key fact is ignored all over Washington's Establishment......".... and we’re in a real war, ...."

Anyone who remembers the total mobilization here in America during the fight against our Japanese and German enemies simply has to shake his head over the current situation.

Today, our Muslim enemy repeatedly attacks us wherever possible and declares War against us, and we remain oblivious in our politically correct manner.

That's sick.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
They murder you for more than three decades...but today, the Islamists and Communists in the same trench, both are under the auspices of Mr. Obama's regime. alas!
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Firing non-cooperative flag officers allows the promotion of women/ gay/ anti US flag officers. Notice that the preponderance of those fired were war fighters rather than desk jockeys.
Just sayin'
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
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