Corruption breeds terrorism. The free flow of information kills corruption. As a corollary be careful what secrets you let your government keep for secrecy leads to corruption.
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Thomas Drake and Defense Department Mismanagment
Here are some articles about Thomas Drake who's getting attacked by the "justice" department for exposing corruption at the National Security Agency (NSA). Drake worked on improving information management at the NSA and when he was pushed aside he tried to expose the corruption and mismanagement and is now being prosecuted, the U.S. "justice" system is a farce. In particular Drake is accused of being the source of the articles in the Baltimore Sun about trailblazer, a project costing at least one billion led by the contractor SAIC that failed. SAIC has a revolving door policy with the defense department, several high ups in the DOD cash in as board members of SAIC, introducing substantial conflicts of interest. See also the leaked information about mismanagement of the electric power supply at the NSA. The NSA has been dealing with regular power outages as a result of severe mismanagement of its power supply. U.S. military intelligence is a joke. Keeping U.S. military intelligence stupid is a good strategy for anyone trying to manipulate the U.S. military, it is easier to manipulate a stupid thing than a smart one. Information management is very important for the intelligence of an institution. Bad information management is a good way to keep an institution stupid. Who wants to keep military intelligence stupid? Anyone who wants to manipulate the U.S. military, Israel come to mind? From personal experience working at the NSA I can corroborate the lack of capability in information management at the NSA. There is open source software (ie hadoop, basically an open source copy of some of googles infrastructure management software, it is useful for doing statistics on very large data sets) and standard information management techniques that outperforms anything at the NSA. Why is the NSA so out of date? The systemic lack of good information management in the U.S. government has been noted before, for example it was a focus of the 9-11 commission report.
According to Jesselyn Radack homeland security director of the government accountability project "The Thomas Drake case is hugely significant. I’m glad it’s finally being put under a microscope and looked at for the farce that it is. It has huge implications that the Obama administration is not only prosecuting whistleblowers, but doing so under the Espionage Act, which is meant to go after spies, not whistleblowers. And it’s even more ironic because this is coming from an administration whose mantra is to look forward, not backwards at torture and warrantless wiretapping. But apparently it’s willing to look backwards at the people who blew the whistle on precisely that kind of wrongdoing."