Therefore, it's no big surprise that, having slunk and lurked on the dark side for so many decades, they are N.S.A. (Not So Adept) at filling this tall public relations order in order to justify their own continued, useless, bloated and lucrative existence.
But they're trying, they really are. Just in time to respond to the news of another blockbuster of an impending revelation that the Not-So-Adepts are in cahoots with the C.I.A. over an assassination program, the Obama administration has again commandeered the Paper of Record for use as its propaganda mouthpiece of record. In a masterpiece of the genre, the N.Y. Times has relied solely upon unnamed "present and former" officials to actually blame one of its rivals, McClatchey Newspapers, for an alleged August bombing plot leak that supposedly led to the "terrorists" clamming up and preventing the USA from monitoring them. The Times, of course, has proclaimed itself innocent of such enterprise journalism, patriotically and idiotically bowing to White House demands that it sit on the story to prevent the danger of official embarrassment.
The Times piece, homophonically and homogeneously written by a couple of reporters named Schmitt and Schmidt, is actually quite hilarious in places. For example, it takes seriously a complaint by Obama officials that the only chatter they've been able to pick up from Al Qaeda lately is terrorist gossip about the Snowden revelations! How dare they, when it is the duty of bad guys everywhere to broadcast their actual plans for mayhem. Idle chit-chat has no place in Spookville. As we all know, the Mid-east miscreants always, always stupidly allowed the American spooks to listen in, until Snowden and journalism happened along to spoil all the fun. Come on.
But the Times dutifully forges ahead anyway:
“The switches weren’t turned off, but there has been a real decrease in quality” of communications, said one United States official, who like others quoted spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence programs.
The drop in message traffic after the communication intercepts contrasts with what analysts describe as a far more muted impact on counterterrorism efforts from the disclosures by Mr. Snowden of the broad capabilities of N.S.A. surveillance programs. Instead of terrorists moving away from electronic communications after those disclosures, analysts have detected terrorists mainly talking about the information that Mr. Snowden has disclosed.In other words, the "terrorists" are rubbing their faces in it. A lot like the American citizens who, suddenly made privy to state secrets, are now sending greetings to eavesdropping N.S.A. cubicle dwellers who might be feeling left out from the conversation, or who've run out of LoveInt targets to peep upon.
The data hoarders are also theorizing that since newspapers sometimes publish news, the terrorists have now discovered how read newspapers. The subliminal message, of course, is that information presents a clear and present danger. Ignorance is good. We must not know things, lest the Bogeyman tap into our knowledge:
“We have seen, in response to the Snowden leaks, Al Qaeda and affiliated groups seeking to change their tactics, looking to see what they can learn from what is in the press and seek to change how they communicate to avoid detection,” Matthew Olsen, the director of the National Counterterrorism Center, told a security conference in Aspen, Colo., in July.And worst of all, the terrorists might stop using the Internet and communicate in person! And just when the Surveillance State had finally built its multi-billion dollar Data Resort out there in the Utah desert:
The government’s greatest fear concerning its counterterrorism operations is that over the next several months, the level of intercepted communications will continue to fall as terrorists most likely find new ways to communicate with one another, one senior American official said. It will likely take the government some time to break into that method and monitor communications.
One way the terrorists may try to communicate, the official said, is strictly through couriers, who would carry paper notes or computer flash drives. If that happens, the official said, terrorists will find it very difficult to communicate as couriers take significant time to move messages.There's only one thing for it. Yank the cubicle-dwellers away from their computers and send them out on the trail of the paper-pushers. Commandeer the thousands of courier bikes from the streets of New York City and start an international counter-courierism campaign. The Tour du Yemen can be filmed from above by Reaper drones for our viewing pleasure. Where there's an insatiable will for the corporate suits of the Surveillance Industrial Complex to make a stash of loot, they will always find a way.