Humint Events Online: General Keith Alexander-- Twisted Intel Scum

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

General Keith Alexander-- Twisted Intel Scum

This is so wrong (bold section in particular):
Alexander is also as skilled a Washington knife fighter as they come. To get the NSA job, he allied himself with the Pentagon brass, most notably Donald Rumsfeld, who distrusted Hayden and thought he had been trying to buck the Pentagon's control of the NSA. Alexander also called on all the right committee members on Capitol Hill, the overseers and appropriators who hold the NSA's future in their hands.
When he was running the Army's Intelligence and Security Command, Alexander brought many of his future allies down to Fort Belvoir for a tour of his base of operations, a facility known as the Information Dominance Center. It had been designed by a Hollywood set designer to mimic the bridge of the starship Enterprise from Star Trek, complete with chrome panels, computer stations, a huge TV monitor on the forward wall, and doors that made a "whoosh" sound when they slid open and closed. Lawmakers and other important officials took turns sitting in a leather "captain's chair" in the center of the room and watched as Alexander, a lover of science-fiction movies, showed off his data tools on the big screen.
"Everybody wanted to sit in the chair at least once to pretend he was Jean-Luc Picard," says a retired officer in charge of VIP visits.
Alexander wowed members of Congress with his eye-popping command center. And he took time to sit with them in their offices and explain the intricacies of modern technology in simple, plain-spoken language. He demonstrated a command of the subject without intimidating those who had none.
"Alexander is 10 times the political general as David Petraeus," says the former administration official, comparing the NSA director to a man who was once considered a White House contender. "He could charm the paint off a wall."
Alexander has had to muster every ounce of that political savvy since the Snowden leaks started coming in June. In closed-door briefings, members of Congress have accused him of deceiving them about how much information he has been collecting on Americans. Even when lawmakers have screamed at him from across the table, Alexander has remained "unflappable," says a congressional staffer who has sat in on numerous private briefings since the Snowden leaks. Instead of screaming back, he reminds lawmakers about all the terrorism plots that the NSA has claimed to help foil.
"He is well aware that he will be criticized if there's another attack," the staffer says. "He has said many times, 'My job is to protect the American people. And I have to be perfect.'"
There's an implied threat in that statement. If Alexander doesn't get all the information he wants, he cannot do his job. "He never says it explicitly, but the message is, 'You don't want to be the one to make me miss,'" says the former administration official. "You don't want to be the one that denied me these capabilities before the next attack."


Post a Comment

<< Home

Powered by Blogger