NSA’s an office too
A new batch of documents from the Snowden archive has hit the internet. The Intercept is planning to ramp up the number of releases; the most recent are copies of SIDtoday, an NSA newsletter circulated by Signal Intelligence Division. Publication of SIDtoday began soon after the invasion of Iraq. They read like lore from a video game; those books and notes in your Skyrim house or Fallout vault you just need to find time to get to.
Behind the curtain
After 9/11 George Bush told Americans (and the world) the response would be “far more than instant retaliation and isolated strikes” and to expect a “lengthy campaign unlike any other, we have ever seen. It may include dramatic strikes visible on TV and covert operations secret even in success.” The newsletters give back story to the events in the media, not just the explosions either. US Ambassador to the UN John Negroponte was a big fan of the intel on members of the Security Council. The Intercept has their own “things in the leaks” article. It is well worth the read.
The End of History didn’t really pan out as Fukuyama thought. Russia did not smoothly transition into those news jeans and Big Macs. During the 1990s Russian ‘businessman’ Vladimir Barsukov (formerly Kumarin) ran a criminal empire and St. Petersberg. He survived an assassination attempt thought to be the actions of his own gang, once he got out of his month-long coma he “established control.” Although now serving 14 years, he was the target of an NSA investigation on behalf of the State Department who wanted to see if he was close to Putin.
NSA are at the epicenter of the Global War on Terror. The released documents date to 2003 and show discussions on strategy in the Horn of Africa and sub-Saharan regions as well as talks on terrorism from academics/furniture makers.
We’re not the bad guys, are we?
Mitchell and Webb, British comedy duo, have a sketch where two men in evil looking uniforms debate whether they’re actually the baddies. The NSA employs a lot of geeky guys, there are loads of references to popular culture thrown into the newsletter. The writers joke about the Matrix coming, a more mundane level of evil and even call themselves the David Brent-Bill Lumburgh of the intelligence world.