Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Huh News! The Man Who Conned the Pentagon

Al JazeeraImage via Wikipedia

Aram Roston writes in about The Man Who Conned The Pentagon. I tell you, this is like watching a really bad, bad comedy movie. It’s funny if only it were not too painful to laugh at taxpayer’s money down the drain. Quick excerpts below.

[T]there were no real intercepts, no new informants, no increase in chatter. And the suspicious package turned out to contain a stuffed snowman. This was, instead, the beginning of a bizarre scam. Behind that terror alert, and a string of contracts and intrigue that continues to this date, there is one unlikely character. The man’s name is Dennis Montgomery, a self-proclaimed scientist who said he could predict terrorist attacks. Operating with a small software development company, he apparently convinced the Bush White House, the CIA, the Air Force and other agencies that Al Jazeera—the Qatari-owned TV network—was unwittingly transmitting target data to Al Qaeda sleepers. […] Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte weighed in. What secrets—what embarrassments—could be exposed if Montgomery and Trepp were to depose intelligence and military officials? Negroponte issued a declaration that warned of “serious, and in some cases exceptionally grave, damage to the national security of the United States.” He invoked the state secrets privilege. The judge in the case issued a protective order; the secrets of eTreppid’s government business would remain untold.

Active links added above. Read the whole spectacular story here.

1 comment:

Steve said...

Ever since 9/11, America's security apparatus has had one and only one priority. Covering their rear ends. The basic question is not: "is the information credible?" Nor is it "what are the risk-management implications (consequences of not acting on it vs consequences of acting on it)" Rather the only question is: "How would it make us look if by some one-in-a-zillion bizare supernatural quirk something happened that could in any way be tied to this information?" That political paranoia leads, among other things, to a guy with a two-year medical technology certificate fooling the CIA (the CIA!!!) with hi-tech mumbo jumbo about Al Jazeera transmitting messages through variable pixillation (forcing airports to close, flights to be diverted, thousands of people inconvenienced, millions of dollars lost, for nothing), and to Diplomatic Security revoking security clearances based on a single unsubstantiated allegation (forcing experienced Foreign Service officers out of the State Department at the time of their peak productivity). The politicization of what should be objective and scientific analytical processes has contributed magnificently to ensuring that the attack of 9/11 will be hurting our country for years and years to come.