The NSA Chief’s WikiLeaks Moment

“I really don’t know who WikiLeaks are, other than this Assange person.”
– NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander

If you read through the transcript of NSA Director Keith Alexander’s appearance on ABC this morning, you’re mostly reading deliberately ambiguous nonsense and overt lies, with the uniting theme being things that, if taken at face value, would please a voting majority of Congress.

Except when Gen. Alexander was asked about whether he thought WikiLeaks was real journalism or not. This question has long fascinated the state-endorsed media in America, and there are two ways Alexander could’ve plausibly gone, either insisting WikiLeaks was, as Congressmen so often say, a villainous den of data-thieves, or he could’ve dodged the question by saying, quite correctly, that who is and isn’t a “real” journalist isn’t up to the NSA. Instead we get the above quote, which suggests Alexander has barely even heard the word “WikiLeaks,” other than it being the name of the evil gerbil on South Park or something.

He didn’t just plead ignorance, he pled shocking, implausible ignorance. The titular head of the largest planetary surveillance system in the history of mankind, the guy whose agency reads all our email, has data on every phone call, etc. has never even looked cursorily into WikiLeaks, a huge global clearinghouse of leaked classified information. That’s not the “least untruthful” kind of lie we come to expect from this administration, it’s not even a reasonable lie.

Then again, what if it’s the truth?

As unreasonable as it sounds, suppose Gen. Alexander is just shockingly bad at his job, and knows less about information gathering than your average high-schooler. Suppose the person sitting in this seat of unfathomable, uncheckable power at the dawn of the information age is just a grossly incompetent buffoon who, as is so often in government bureaucracies, failed upward until he found himself at the top.

That shred of hope is sure going to make me sleep a little better at night.

14 thoughts on “The NSA Chief’s WikiLeaks Moment”

  1. I think more citizens need to read blog posts like this.  Its so significant to know how to construct a excellent blog post to get citizens interested and you’ve done just that.  The content is great; the videos are ideal for what youre trying to say.  Awesome, man. in truth awesome!  Can’t wait to read more.

  2. The fact that Stephanopolus just moved on from his "answer" and didn't jam it right back down his throat, "Are you serious? You know nothing about Wikileaks? You're kidding, right?" shows that Stephy sure as heck ain't no journalist.

  3. He's about as much of a "journalist" as all the other numbskulls we see on television. And don't forget, he was in politics long before he was in "journalism." As for Alexander, if I wasn't a gently-bred lady of 76, I'd call him a fat-headed asshole. "Defending our nation," is he? Where in the name of Bradley Manning do these jerks get their clichés? Do they have big book or something, like a thesaurus, where they can look up the horseshit and hogwash that passes as actual speech? BTW, I LOVE and read it every day.

  4. B-b-but, he's thwarted "over 50" FBI stage-managed terrorist provocations! Doesn't that count for something???

  5. I have no doubt it is true. He is a General though. Generals never know anything. They are politicians. You do not become a General unless you are a politician. He is of no danger. It is his underlings who pull the levers and who decide who gets spied on and who doesn't.

  6. Lets be obtuse as possible because if I admit that Wikileaks and/or Julian Assange is in fact either a Journalist or a News Organisation of any kind then they have first amendment rights! This is why the general doesn't want to make any admissions! The Irony here is the General gives about as much credence to being a man of Law and order because he is one of the those directly responsible for wholesale breaches of US constitutional law! By the way Julian Assange is a life member of an Australian Journalists Union. The same Union that all of those Australian (Murdoch press) Newspaper men are in!

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