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Two at One Blow

January 30th, 2014 - 5:22 pm

The New York Times reports that President Obama has nominated a new NSA director. “The Obama administration announced Thursday that it would nominate Vice Adm. Michael S. Rogers to become the new director of the National Security Agency and the commander of the new Pentagon unit that directs the country’s offensive cyberoperations, according to senior administration officials.” The Washington Post notes that “In an unusual move, Obama himself interviewed Rogers last week, in a reflection of the job’s high profile at a time when the NSA has drawn fire for the scope of its surveillance practices.”

That’s not all that’s unusual. It seems to represent one of the few times that both the NSA and the NSA Deputy have been replaced in the same year. In a paragraph a little further down in the NYT article it says: “The administration also intends to nominate Rick Ledgett to serve as deputy director of the N.S.A. Mr. Ledgett leads the agency’s Media Leaks Task Force, which has been assessing the damage done by Edward J. Snowden, the former agency contractor who obtained more than a million documents as a systems administrator in Hawaii.”

Wikipedia lists the tenures of NSA directors going back to 1952.

MG Ralph Canine 1952–1956
Lt Gen John Samford 1956–1960
VADM Laurence Frost 1960–1962
Lt Gen Gordon Blake 1962–1965
LTG Marshall Carter 1965–1969
VADM Noel Gayler 1969–1972
Lt Gen Samuel C. Phillips 1972–1973
Lt Gen Lew Allen 1973–1977
VADM Bobby Ray Inman 1977–1981
Lt Gen Lincoln Faurer 1981–1985
LTG William Odom 1985–1988
VADM William Studeman 1988–1992
VADM John M. McConnell 1992–1996
Lt Gen Kenneth Minihan 1996–1999
Lt Gen Michael Hayden 1999–2005
LTG/GEN Keith B. Alexander 2005-2014

Now let’s look at the tenures of the Deputy Directors as shown by Wikipedia, as shown below. The reader will have no difficulty noticing that the terms of the Directors and Deputies are separated by a year or so. This may be coincidental, but it might also be caused by a desire to maintain continuity within the NSA.

Joseph Wenger 1952–1953
John Ackerman 1953–1956
John A. Samford Jun-56
Deputy Director Term
Joseph H. Ream 1956-1957
H. T. Engstrom 1957-1958
Louis W. Tordella 1958-1974
Benson K. Buffham 1974–1978
Robert E. Drake 1978–1980
Ann Z. Caracristi 1980–1982
Robert E. Rich 1982–1986
Charles R. Lord 1986–1988
Gerald R. Young 1988–1990
Robert L. Prestel 1990–1994
William P. Crowell 1994–1997
Barbara A. McNamara 1997–2000
William B. Black, Jr. 2000–2006
John C. (Chris) Inglis 2006–2014

In 2014 the director and the deputy have been replaced at the same time. This suggests that the replacement of General Alexander is not entirely a routine event. But since the NSA is “no such agency”, then we are unlikely to be told why. My guess is that something out of the ordinary is happening, a shakeup of more than the normal scale. But it’s only a guess.


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Top Rated Comments   
Speaking as someone who had to maintain qualification twice a year for 28 years with my career agency [two kinds of pistol, AR-15, scoped .223, and Remington 870 12 gauge; no you don't use hollow points for training. There is no training advantage, and hollow point rounds cost a metric butt-load [480 liters, 1/2 tun, nothing scatological] more than round nose ammo. Hollow points only have one use, and evince an intent other than "serve and protect". There is a lot of .223 NATO being bought, and stun grenades, and tear gas. And I have yet to see a reasonable explanation why any civilian law enforcement agency needs MRAPs.

Subotai Bahadur
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
Is anyone else bugged by the fact that we're reduced to reading the tea leaves, like a bunch of kremlinologists looking to see who's on the podium at the May Day parade?
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
This is going to be a year of Consequences, as we have noted before. Note the changes in command in the armed forces also. These have been .... interesting. The "civilian" parts of the Executive Branch have been militarized beyond reason and precedent. Why do both the National Weather Service and the Social Security Administration, among others, have multiple freaking SWAT teams? Hostage-taking virga? Suicide bombing paraplegic seniors? Why have "civilian" agencies literally purchased more ammunition than used during the entire Iraq War? [Don't say training and qualification. You do not use hollow points for training and qualification.]

If something that involves an attempt to collect all the aggies, steelies, and alleys is in motion; having a team of players totally loyal to the Princeps in the intelligence organs of the State can be considered a prerequisite, and perhaps a reason to modify DEFCON's both foreign and domestic.

Subotai Bahadur
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (23)
All Comments   (23)
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Uddy Barsen and friends here's another prediction for you. Watch and observe what Dead Elephant shills do about Scalia's quote at the University of Hawaii that internment (aka FEMA) camps could happen in America again like they did for the Nisei population during WWII:

http://westernrifleshooters.wordpress.com/2014/02/04/camp-2/#comment-65959

If they stay silent or accuse Scalia of being full tinfoil hat Alex Jones crazy, there's your big fat neon sign that a lot of the Fake Right have gone full TWANLOC to shill for the banksters and N Stasi A.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
I concur with Subotai that 2014 will be the year of consequences -- when the banking system and other systems start to creak and reveal the cracks and rot beneath the impressive facade. Ditto for the Panopticon and its compartmentalized pieces, such as the Booz Allen Hamilton 'backdoor' Snowden exploited which I contend was deliberately left open for others to run domestic ops evading NSA's audit trail, as Snowden was able to do for over nine months.

As even honorary members of #TeamNSA have admitted with respect to the claims of Jacob Applebaum about the Agency hacking or backdooring iPhones, what if Snowden wasn't the only inside man? What if there are other leakers not yet revealed that Snowden has covered for wittingly or unwittingly?

The last line of defense for #TeamNSA is twofold: 1) everything we did while objectionable to some was legal and 2) we didn't specifically target an American for a malicious purpose, whether corporate espionage, blackmail or intimidation. Line of defense no. 1 has just folded North of the Border as Greenwald finally seems to have hard evidence released yesterday that Canada's version of NSA conducted an illegal 'training op' (which Jerry Bruckheimer film starring Will Smith and Gene Hackman does that sound like?). It was already under attack by the claims of Obama critics Larry Klayman and Doug Hagmann that they were tapped/harassed, which NSA's friends in the MSM have desperately sought to ignore or downplay.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-debate/now-we-know-ottawa-can-snoop-on-any-canadian-what-are-we-going-to-do/article16625310/#dashboard/follows/

If CSEC's PowerPoint cannot be spun away as mere hypothetical training using unwitting Canadians as practice targets at Calgary or Halifax airports, we can assume the results would've been shared with both NSA and GCHQ. And if the Canadians are found out to be keeping lists of American gun owners (U.S. concealed carry holders have already reported harassment and interrogations such as 'how many guns do you own?' at the Border prompted by them owning a Concealed Handgun License) that means NSA could very well be laundering data on Americans it is unlawful for it to possess via its 5Eyes partners clouds.

Thus #TeamNSA's fanatical Angosphere defenders like ex-MP Louise Mensch or the Economist's Edward Lucas may have bitten more off than they can chew. Because if Sir Ian Lobban, his CSEC counterpart, or their lieutenants were storing Americans lawful firearms purchase data in order to launder it for the NSA or the Obama Administration's gungrabbers (and avoid the 1986 Firearms Owners Protection Act's prohibition on a nationwide gun registry), Sir Iain et al could be facing Interpol warrants. And these warrants would be issued not by corrupted D.C. authorities but demanded by the Attorney Generals of the States of Texas, Oklahoma, Alabama -- any gun loving American jurisdiction. NSA/GCHQ/CSEC haven't a clue what all out lawfare waged against them could look like.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
There are also even more shoes waiting to drop, as hinted at by the questions various Senators in the know have asked in recent hearings. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Socialist-VT) asked whether the NSA was specifically gathering the metadata of members of Congress. The NSA denied the allegation and insisted it was no more closely monitoring Congressional metadata from U.S. Reps./Sens. phone calls than the general population. Bernie probably wouldn't have asked the question if he didn't expect a lie as an answer. So NSA is about to be hoist on their own petard of lies on that score.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/14/bernie-sanders-nsa-letter_n_4597978.html

The second shoe dropping concerns whether CIA has returned to domestic spying prohibited under its executive order charter. Marcy Wheeler, a liberaltarian Democrat who apparently lives in Rep. Justin Amash's district (aka the Congressman the Naval War College's professors loves to campaign against in gross violation of the Hatch Act on DoD time) has some interesting stuff on this subject:

http://www.emptywheel.net/2014/01/29/is-cia-spying-by-hacking-americans-computers/

And by data it is unlawful for NSA to possess on specific individuals without a specific warrant, I was referring to 18 U.S.C. § 921 et seq. which prohibits a nationwide gun registry.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
Should we view this NSA development against the backdrop of the extensive housecleaning that has been proceeding in the regular military branches for a couple of years, but growing in intensity since Benghazi?
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
The case that this irregular behavior is just mere incompetence keeps growing dimmer and dimmer. Again, something here is amiss. Political prosecution is gaining steam with nary a pushback from the Republicans. Given the current NSA domestic spying capabilities and recent misdeeds, the probability that the new director is being brought in to bring about a new sophisticated form of a Police State is all too high.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
I also note that, prior to the last two directors, all previous directors served terms of 4 years or less. The last two directors served six years and none years respectively. Maybe, they have been hanging around much too long.??
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
Any competent national government is good at identifying a country's friends and enemies. Is it at all possible that the militarization of domestic Federal agencies is simply another tell that the foolish and incompetent Obama Administration gets friends and enemies backwards?

Loyal and patriotic ordinary American citizens - must be the enemy - they try to hurt Obama's feelings. Foreign barbarians who want to destroy America - definitely friends - they pretend to Obama's face that he is a respected and important world statesman.

After all, we are witnessing Obama in Wonderland. "No, no!" said the Red Queen Moochelle when discussing the latest witch hunt; "Sentence first — verdict afterwards."

The five word historical verdict on Obama - "Seeing the whole world backwards."



11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
I always thought if you want to be military, join the military. It looks like a lot of agencies think it is cool to get all the military toys and play at it. The problem that I see with that is when you have a police force acting as an occupying military force sooner or later you lose the support of the public and then you start getting militant "dissidents" who will turn the military police forces lives into a PTSD hell. The "dissidents" will know where everybody lives and they will have skills and equipment far beyond what you would find in third world countries. Seamless oil field pipe is manufactured on equipment that is quite similar to that which is used to make smooth bore tank guns for example. The oil field casing it self lends itself to off road IED use. Those MRAP's may find themselves sniped from a 100 yards. A lot of people took the improvised weapons field manuals with them when they left.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
"My guess is that something out of the ordinary is happening"

It would be much easier I think to construct a shorter list of actions taken by the regime that were not done for ulterior purposes or in accordance with some political agenda. That list may be very short, as in very very short. My supposition is that everything up to and including what is on the lunch menu is decided after an intensive political discussion using every tool of dialectic analysis and critical theory solipsism. What passes for debate in the White House may resemble a cross between a meeting of the Soviet Writers Guild in 1937 and a Occidental College undergraduate bull session in 1979.

Perhaps it is more accurate to say that everything is over analyzed and politicized and then the decision is made either by random fiat, with new theoretical justifications being produced after the fact, or the real decisions are made by some lower level functionary with more theory and justifications to follow. It is possible that Obama and his Brain Trust are being ignored internally as they are now being ignored globally.

May I propose an appropriate video for this thread?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gp5JCrSXkJY
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yep. Buffalo Springfield's a good video for this situation. But I think there's a second choice.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZPh3hpxLKs

We're on a road and wherever it takes us is in some way where we were always bound to go. And maybe we're freer than we've been for a long time. For the old times are over and the new ones, well they haven't come yet.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
Since we're opening the floor to 60's music. With the recent passing of Pete Seeger, pjmedia has offered some perspectives on the man and his music, and I have been wondering about the sources of fuel for the freedom and liberation movement, communism. As a child sitting cross-legged on the floor of 3rd grade class, Seeger's and Guthrie's folk songs were comforting, made me feel secure, as if he had grandfatherly care for us, as if that's what America was about. It is deeply disillusioning to look back on what was once felt and trusted to be care and to understand that his ultimate understanding of peace and justice in fact included the gulag. A bullet to the back of the head for those who had to be sacrificed, and a shrug of the shoulders. All of his limitless compassion ultimately corralled into this wordly compromises. You look at him 'in the act' of singing to the children and wonder what the hell is going on in his head.

I grew up in the 70's, and had all the experiences of poignancy and early "remembrance of things past" as a gradeschooler, which is just another way of saying I sensed that something was missing, lacking. something was wanting. This is the age of innocence and youth, that can envision a Golden Age, and that seeks its return. And it is where the young live, a strong persistent experience of emotions. It was captured in the movement of the 60's.

What is that emotion? It's called Peace, Love and Understanding, and it's eternal. Look at the comments on the youtube video of Buffalo Springfield.
Anyone who gave the song a thumbs down is deemed to be defective, a monster. The commenter even has the word 'peace' in her avatar name, and she's peppered the board. Because it is felt so deeply and held so highly this poignant emotion is deemed self-evidently true. This is their discovery. This is their deepest value. To give a thumbs down for any reason is to condemn yourself. All you have to do is be in touch with your emotions. And things would work out.

An attempt to say, well, I've been through all that, and it didn't work out, should be attempted. That would be a parent's job. Done not out of a lack of compassion but some larger experience. And old grandpa should shut the hell up.

As a child, Arlo Guthrie and Pete Seeger and Peter Paul and Mary held the high ground on loving compassion that went straight to a young child's heart. Dylan represented something more earthy, smelly, and unpleasant. He was compromised, worldly. We needed to have clean hands. I certainly valued straight lines over wavy. Perhaps the Kinks were my pathway to Dylan, later in adolescence. To me the Kinks had a kind of awareness and sympathy for misery I could relate to. "Dan is a fan and he lives for rock he plays records day and night. And when he feels down he puts some rock and roll on and it makes him feel alright ... Don't want to spend my life livin in a rock and roll fantasy, don't want to waste my life, living on the edge of reality." Wanting something better, not knowing how to get there. That's where we ought to situate ourselves, to start.

I recently turned on a PBS fundraiser and there was Peter, Paul and Mary, together. One of the bald ones had the same saccharine voice, the same unbounded tearfulness in his voice. They related that he was doing work with children and I thought, "Oh lord, protect the children! Let there be supervisors." Mary smiled and kept her mouth shut. Perhaps she was Wendy to Peter Pan's Lost Boys. It was disgust I felt. To be grown men but still persist in infantile posturing is the highest degree of self-indulgence.

Here's a 70's song that fits today's post. "Got some groceries, some peanut butter, to last a couple of days". That'd be poignant, too. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DblvhECdws0
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
luv buffelo springfield
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
Is anyone else bugged by the fact that we're reduced to reading the tea leaves, like a bunch of kremlinologists looking to see who's on the podium at the May Day parade?
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
Not bugged by it, but noted and used as actionable intelligence.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
Nah. Not at all.
[rolls eyes]

Also, domestic police departments are getting free MRAPs from the Feral Gov't. Are they needed because of all the IEDs on US streets?
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
This is going to be a year of Consequences, as we have noted before. Note the changes in command in the armed forces also. These have been .... interesting. The "civilian" parts of the Executive Branch have been militarized beyond reason and precedent. Why do both the National Weather Service and the Social Security Administration, among others, have multiple freaking SWAT teams? Hostage-taking virga? Suicide bombing paraplegic seniors? Why have "civilian" agencies literally purchased more ammunition than used during the entire Iraq War? [Don't say training and qualification. You do not use hollow points for training and qualification.]

If something that involves an attempt to collect all the aggies, steelies, and alleys is in motion; having a team of players totally loyal to the Princeps in the intelligence organs of the State can be considered a prerequisite, and perhaps a reason to modify DEFCON's both foreign and domestic.

Subotai Bahadur
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
"You do not use hollow points for training and qualification."

Is that true? The number of handgun rounds contracted for is consistent with a practical training schedule. If a similar number of additional hardball is contracted for, then we've got a problem.

Still and all, I'd be more concerned if there were enormous contracts for rifle ammo, grenades, tear gas, etc. That's the kind of thing you need to put down an insurrection. Not 9mm and .40 S&W.

12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
Speaking as someone who had to maintain qualification twice a year for 28 years with my career agency [two kinds of pistol, AR-15, scoped .223, and Remington 870 12 gauge; no you don't use hollow points for training. There is no training advantage, and hollow point rounds cost a metric butt-load [480 liters, 1/2 tun, nothing scatological] more than round nose ammo. Hollow points only have one use, and evince an intent other than "serve and protect". There is a lot of .223 NATO being bought, and stun grenades, and tear gas. And I have yet to see a reasonable explanation why any civilian law enforcement agency needs MRAPs.

Subotai Bahadur
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment

The trendy thought is to practice with the same ammo you carry. It's a straightforward question with a straightforward answer--were these contracts for hollow-point accompanied by similarly-sized contracts for ball ammo? I have not seen any evidence that they were.

I agree that there's no reasonable explanation for SWAT teams with MRAPs.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
The delivered supply of .40 hollow point greatly exceeds what might be needed for "training excercises" - even if that could be considered a reasonable idea. And the civilian agencies have not expanded their training activities. If anything they are cutting back. Training is too expensive.

Note also that .40 caliber hollow point is only one of the items which the civilian agencies are receiving in unusually large numbers. They have also substantially increased orders for .223 ammunition and various weapons to go with all that ammunition.

Homeland Security is buying .50 caliber machine guns and sniper rifles.(!!?##$!!)

Contracts for these purchases are now heavily redacted when they are published on the Federal Websites. I suspect that many contracts are no longer published at all.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
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