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intelligence

This tag is associated with 43 posts

Geeks And Guns

My friend Borepatch posted this recently:

Things I did not know

Eric S. Raymond (computer guru and gun nut) has a Gun Nut web page.  There’s an interesting collection of links there for gunnies.

There’s quite a strong correlation between people who work in tech (and especially in computer/network security) and people who shoot.  I haven’t seen data on this but it is quite striking.  My guess is that people in these fields are focused on assessing and managing risk, and are used to using tools to help manage those risks.

Now, I am at best a proto geek (or sometimes geek-adjacent) but I definitely concur with BP!  A substantial number of shooters known to me are either educated in the technologies, or at-the-very-least well-read.

Very few are lesser-educated.

Windows 10

Yep, I bit the bullet and installed it.

I also followed Borepatch‘s advice, with regard to change the security settings.

Thus far (Day Three) it seems to work alright.  I previously was using Windows 7 Home, which I LOVED!  Of course, not unlike my ancient (three-year-old) Android cellular telephone, I was advised it would no longer be supported (as of some date).

So, I updated that, as well.  (I paid it off.  WTH!)

And, regardless my changing the security settings, I’m certain Microsoft will continue to follow my perusal of the Internet, and diligently pass along what it finds to governmental and corporate entities.

It’s already disconcerting that my new Samsung Galaxy Note 5 seems not only to know where I am in space, but remembers where I have been previously, and makes recommendations regarding where to go next!

(Note to self – Windows 10 resembles Android!  Who knew?)

The Singularity isn’t far off, and I expect Cortana to ask me, “What are you doing, Guffaw?” any day now.

The times – they are a changin’.

hal 9000

 

How The NSA Is Working To Threaten Your Second Amendment

Food for thought.

 

h/t Survival Frog

They’re Our Friends, Now, Right?

State Department Will Not Deny That U.S. Sold Hellfire Missile to Cuba

Via avordvet

Okay – arms to Libya, yellow cake to Russia, and now this?
We ARE trying to keep the peace, right?

Much Corruption? Naw…

Government corruption has become rampant:

  • Senior SEC employees spent up to 8 hours a day surfing porn sites instead of cracking down on financial crimes
  • NSA spies pass around homemade sexual videos and pictures they’ve collected from spying on the American people

More @ Zero Hedge

There was a time many of us (well I) trusted ‘the authorities’ to generally do that which was ‘right’.  Sure, mistakes were made, but people took oaths and policies were in place, yatta…yatta…yatta.

Not so much, anymore.

“Absolute power corrupts absolutely”  –  Lord Acton

 

Person-Of-Interest, Part Deux

Those of you who know me, or who have read this blog at any length, know I love TV, movies, etc.  In spite of this, I’ve come late to the table on many popular shows (original Star Trek, Firefly/Serenity to name a couple) and am now dogged by the idea that anything I truly enjoy is doomed to be canceled.

Person-Of-Interest, for example.

Here is a show with interesting characters, good acting and an engaging theme with caught my interest a few years ago.

The government (and others) are spying on us ALL through public surveillance cameras, traffic cameras, ATMs, personal computers, security systems, cellular telephones ad infinitum, and crunching the data to use for their ‘purposes’ (propaganda, ‘nudging’, marketing, politics).

The lead actor (Jim Caviezel) who plays a spec-ops former CIA guy in the show, even took it upon himself to train with Navy Seals near his home to learn realistic weapon handling and unarmed combat techniques.

Sounds fantastic, right? (from the root word fantasy)

Now, approaching the delayed beginning of Season Five, we’ve been told this will be a truncated season (13 episodes) starting later this year, and probably the last.

Damn.

I’ve never written a letter to a production company (as an adult – I remember writing Sky King when I was age 7 for an autograph!  :-)) but I am considering writing one now.

But, a comment by another fan of the show on an entertainment website may have said it all:

Well, maybe it is not the rating but the subject matter this show speaks about – not so much science fiction at all anymore. Better shut up.

Sigh.

poi

Eyes In The Sky

The Illinois State Police recently received approval from the Federal Aviation Administration to add “unmanned aircraft” to its list of tools for the next two years. In a statement released to the Sun-Times Media Wire, the police department said that it was intentionally avoiding the word “drone” because “it carries the perception of pre-programmed or automatic flight patterns and random, indiscriminate collection of images and information.”

Because an unmanned aircraft is not a drone.

RIGHT?

Guess it all depends on what the meaning of IS is…

h/t Ars Technica, Freedom Writer’s Publishing

But…But…Bush LIED!

Times Reporting on More Non-Existent Iraqi WMDS

, ,

BorakSarin
At least 400 non-existent Borak rockets loaded with Sarin nerve gas were secretly purchased and destroyed by the CIA in 2005 and 2006, despite Saddam Hussein’s regime, as we all know, having been merely pretending to possess undeclared WMDs as a bluff.

New York Times:

The Central Intelligence Agency, working with American troops during the occupation of Iraq, repeatedly purchased nerve-agent rockets from a secretive Iraqi seller, part of a previously undisclosed effort to ensure that old chemical weapons remaining in Iraq did not fall into the hands of terrorists or militant groups, according to current and former American officials.

The extraordinary arms purchase plan, known as Operation Avarice, began in 2005 and continued into 2006, and the American military deemed it a nonproliferation success. It led to the United States’ acquiring and destroying at least 400 Borak rockets, one of the internationally condemned chemical weapons that Saddam Hussein’s Baathist government manufactured in the 1980s but that were not accounted for by United Nations inspections mandated after the 1991 Persian Gulf war.

The effort was run out of the C.I.A. station in Baghdad in collaboration with the Army’s 203rd Military Intelligence Battalion and teams of chemical-defense and explosive ordnance disposal troops, officials and veterans of the units said. Many rockets were in poor condition and some were empty or held a nonlethal liquid, the officials said. But others contained the nerve agent sarin, which analysis showed to be purer than the intelligence community had expected given the age of the stock.

The buying of nerve-agent rockets from an Iraqi seller in 2006 was the most significant recovery of chemical weapons until that point in the Iraq War.

A New York Times investigation published in October found that the military had recovered thousands of old chemical warheads and shells in Iraq and that Americans and Iraqis had been wounded by them, but the government kept much of this information secret, from the public and troops alike.

So, President Bush LIED about those WsMD* to get us into a war in the Middle East to (pick a conspiratorial answer involving oil profits and V.P. Chaney).  And there was no evidence of them (except those they already found in Syria, moved across the border from Iraq) and these.

Yeah, right.

And Saddam Hussein would never have used them, especially against his own people.

Yeah, right.

*I simply refuse to write WMDs, as it’s grammatically poor.  Just as as I refuse to say Favre as FAHR’VE.

 

h/t JDZ

On The Marquess Of Queensberry

(And other rules.)

We, as civilized human beings, have always had rules with regard to combat.  War.  Interpersonal violence.

Sometimes the rules were indeed civilized, as The Marquess of Queensberry describes.  Sometimes, they are less so.

Modern warfare pretends to rely on The Geneva Conventions, and other treaties.  A nation cannot use certain kinds of ammunition, or poison gasses, or treat their prisoners-of-war in a less than humane manner.

Including torture.

Now, it has come to pass that the Senate of the United States has investigated our use of enhanced interrogation techniques against enemies of The United States.  And found that we engaged in tortuous behaviors.

Certainly, not the institutionalized tortures to death of the German Nazis, or the Feudal Japanese Empire, but torture nonetheless.

As Fox News populist Bill O’Reilly reminds us, it’s inappropriate to support bad behavior with other’s previous bad behavior.  Of course, he supports the torture of our enemies.  Hypocrite.

And the report concluded that for all the measures used, money expended and treaties/laws violated, very little of import was obtained through these methods.  And many in the CIA were distressed and ashamed at engaging in these actions.

When it comes to one-on-one, I support doing all that is necessary to survive.  If I am attacked, I’m not adverse to using groin and neck strikes and eye gouges to stop the attack.  Or a firearm, if appropriate.  Because I believe prima facie, as I am not initiating the attack, I am more moral than my attacker.  And my survival is therefore paramount.

However, when it comes to Nation-States…it might be more complicated.  Or not.

We, The United States, ascribe to The Rule of Law.  This includes treaties into which we have entered.  Treat our prisoners of war with humanity.  And stand proudly with our Principles.

This doesn’t mean we are limited to 19th Century Rules, “Gentlemen do not read each other’s mail.” (Henry L Stimson, U.S. Secretary of State).  Intelligence gathering is a valid tool of warfare.

It does mean if we don’t keep to our standards, we lose our National Soul.  And they have already won.

Security vs Surveillance (or Guns)

From The View From North Central Idaho

We have one infrastructure. We can’t choose a world where the US gets to spy and the Chinese don’t. We get to choose a world where everyone can spy, or a world where no one can spy. We can be secure from everyone, or vulnerable to anyone. And I’m tired of us choosing surveillance over security.

Bruce Schneier
September 19, 2014
Fake Cell Phone Towers Across the US

[A similar statement can be made about gun ownership.

We don’t get to choose between the everyone has guns and only the good guys have guns. The bad guys will always have guns or at least lethal weapons of some sort. And since they get to choose the time, location, and victim they will frequently succeed in their attacks when the innocent are stripped or discouraged from owning guns.

It’s only when the potential victims have the capability of causing near immediate serious consequences that perpetrators give serious consideration to their life choices. If there are not serious consequences then the case can be made they would be stupid to not to take advantage of those who are vulnerable. If the consequences are significantly delayed, as in a possible jail term a year or two in the future, the perpetrators may not be able to integrate those consequences into the decisions being made in the present.

I’m tired of politicians giving us the false choice of tolerating infringements on our right to keep and bear arms in exchange for imagined security.—Joe]

That Ben Franklin quote I keep repeating on this blog seems to apply here – Guffaw

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…