NSA Boss Pretends He Doesn't Know Anything About Wikileaks

from the yeah,-right dept

Here's a tip to the NSA: if you're going to lie, at least make those lies sound somewhat believable. The latest is that General Keith Alexander, the director of the NSA, was asked a question about Wikileaks while on TV, leading to the following exchange:
STEPHANOPOULOS: The final point that Pierre made, the question about some government officials are asking whether WikiLeaks is a legitimate journalistic organization or an enemy of the state, where do you come down on that?

ALEXANDER: I have no opinion on WikiLeaks. I really don’t track them. I don’t know — I really don’t know who WikiLeaks are, other than this Assange person.
Of course, this comes out at about the same time as the federal government confirmed that several government agencies are still investigating Wikileaks. To think that the NSA would not be a part of that is somewhat unbelievable, especially given their mandate for foreign surveillance and anything that might lead to terrorism. While I think it's ridiculous that people think Wikileaks helped terrorists in any way, that has been the position stated by many in the government, so it's almost certain that the NSA is involved in any such investigation.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Jun 25th, 2013 @ 1:42pm

    Of course

    I really donít track them.

    I'm sure he has underlings for that.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 25th, 2013 @ 2:38pm

      Re: Of course

      Actually it is probably sad but true. NSA is so disorganized and has such a horrible screening process that they are an easy target for industrial spionage, careless illegal procedures below the upper echelons keeping up appearences and a general lack of communication that will lead to the upper people not knowing about the lower echelons blatant crimes.

      I don't know. The Snowden case is pointing towards a horrible structure of the agency and even worse communication...

      Could also be straight up liers in the top, but then the thing will become pretty absurd very fast since it is clear that the committee politicians want more documentation and fabricating that evidence can will be hard if they are double bookkeeping.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 25th, 2013 @ 1:43pm

    NSA Rule #1: Deny everything.
    NSA Rule #2: When in doubt, see Rule #1.

     

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    fogbugzd (profile), Jun 25th, 2013 @ 1:45pm

    As I see it there are two options.

    1) He was lying.
    2) He is incompetent.

    A person in his position should have been following Wikileaks closely. If he was, then he is lying. If he wasn't, he should have been.

     

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      CaitlinP (profile), Jun 25th, 2013 @ 2:17pm

      Re:

      Huh. I just thought he was an incompetent liar.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jun 25th, 2013 @ 3:57pm

        Re: Re:

        You can't become a four star general while being incompetent (unlike commander in chief... * cough*Bush*cough*) so that just leaves being a liar.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jun 25th, 2013 @ 5:03pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Not true, you can become a 4 stars General and be incompetent, it happens a lot in peace times where military personnel don't need to prove that they are able to coordinate anything, it also happens also when focuses is on politics and not merit which often happens in a lot.

          Okay he had no respect for American wartime veterans, but what about his tactical skills as a military leader? In one word, terrible! How could anyone consider General Douglas MacArthur to be a brilliant tactician when he is known for leading the single greatest military defeat in U.S. history, the loss of the Philippines. It is remarkable how MacArthur escaped any reprimand, kept his command and got his fourth star on December 17th and a Congressional Medal of Honor for "gallantry and intrepidity" at Bataan where he spent part of only one day for an inspection. He was awarded the medal after he had already fled and deserted his troops. His ultimate reward was orders to leave the Philippines with his family while his soldiers were subjected to the deadly brutality of the Bataan Death March. The losses were horrific with over 31,000 Americans 80,000 Filipino troops, and 26,000 refugees on Bataan. And letís not forget about the battle ďretaking of the PhilippinesĒ in which 600,000 civilians were killed.

          http://www.military-quotes.com/forum/worst-american-general-battlefield-tactician-t2928.htm l


          http://www.toptenz.net/top-10-worst-american-civil-war-generals.php

          http://content.usatoda y.com/communities/ondeadline/post/2010/06/who-was-the-worst-general-in-american-history/1

          In recent history you got Gen. Tommy Franks who led American forces in the Afghan and Iraq wars.

          We like to believe that incompetent people will fail to climb the ladder but that is not true always, specially in a system where who you knows beats what you can do.

           

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    Baldaur Regis (profile), Jun 25th, 2013 @ 1:52pm

    Almost every human venture needs a person whose job description is "I don't know anything, and I'm willing to talk about it all day long."

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 25th, 2013 @ 2:05pm

    Perhaps...

    He was just drunk from having too many beers with the Director of the FBI.

     

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    CaitlinP (profile), Jun 25th, 2013 @ 2:07pm

    Maybe he's not keeping track of the site because of that ban that keeps Federal Officials from using WikiLeaks...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 25th, 2013 @ 2:13pm

    Doesn't everyone know Alexander's a liar?

    The only thing that would be surprising would be if he slipped and accidentally told the truth.

     

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    sorrykb (profile), Jun 25th, 2013 @ 2:13pm

    In his defense...

    He had to be really busy trying to keep track of hundreds of millions of phone calls. Maybe he just hasn't had time to go online. Or read a newspaper.

     

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    Chris-Mouse (profile), Jun 25th, 2013 @ 2:28pm

    Of course he doesn't follow wikiLeaks.

    If he did, he'd have to admit to unauthorized access to classified documents.

     

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    Guardian, Jun 25th, 2013 @ 2:31pm

    yea ok sure right haha

    i don't either....
    so um hes in a embassy hiding in england cause he can come and go anytime right

    i bet he dont know aobut that other spy program none of you know of yet snowden is holding onto....
    that will break the rage into .....oh my its gonan happen mister president ....the question is whose fraking side are you on the people or that lovely shadow gov't.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 25th, 2013 @ 2:36pm

    Given that the government is busy telling it's workers to ignore what is already public knowledge on the internet, what can you expect from the boss of NSA?

    Again this demonstrates that in order to get to the bottom of this all, it will take public hearings over this as you can't believe the officials that will willingly lie and then be caught in those lies.

    The GOP now has a prime target to reduce the budget over. Given that the NSA has and is building multimillion dollar facilities. None of which can appear to actually tell the truth about earning that money with results. Spying on their own people do not result in terrorists plots. But then again if you are considering blackmail to keep politicians in line...

     

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    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Jun 25th, 2013 @ 2:44pm

    Easy to Ignore

    Wikileaks is easy to ignore, just like the Constitution.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 25th, 2013 @ 3:33pm

    His body language said he was telling the truth. The US Secret Service and the FBI are the agencies involved with Wikileaks...the NSA handles monitoring of communications spying and is the only organization assigned to do so.

     

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      John Fenderson (profile), Jun 25th, 2013 @ 3:53pm

      Re:

      His body language said he was telling the truth


      That might mean something if it were possible to reliably detect truth or deception by watching body language. Unfortunately, it is not.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jun 25th, 2013 @ 4:07pm

        Re: Re:

        He's the head of the DAMNED NSA! Of course he's a liar. It's part of the job description. The problem is that THAT apparently was the best lie he could with? I mean, you run the agency. You are the prime example for all of your lesser operatives to follow. You are supposed to be better at it than any of the rest of them. Ok maybe our national security really is in trouble.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jun 25th, 2013 @ 5:08pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          If that is the best lie an agency that depends on lies to survive can come up with, I fear the US is screwed.

          More important than lying is knowing when not to.

           

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    Zem, Jun 25th, 2013 @ 4:16pm

    He speaks the truth

    He speaks the truth.

    What better may to let the people who do the real work to do so unsupervised than to put a moron in charge.

     

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    jlaprise (profile), Jun 25th, 2013 @ 4:27pm

    Completely missing the point people. Wikileaks contains still classified material. Yes I know that sounds silly but its true. People with security clearances such as General Alexander can and do lose their security clearances (it's a prosecutable crime) for reading classified material above their clearance. General Alexander probably has nothing to worry about...then again...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 25th, 2013 @ 7:24pm

    "I have no opinion on WikiLeaks. I really donít track them. I donít know ó I really donít know who WikiLeaks are, other than this Assange person."

    This is possibly completely true. In a job like his it would be important to maintain plausible denyability.
    That said:
    "I have no opinion on WikiLeaks" - really... if you've heard of them you probably have an opinion.
    "I really donít track them" - probably true, he has staff for that
    "I really donít know who WikiLeaks are, other than this Assange person" - possibly true, Assange is the main player so he is aware of him, but no one else would be on HIS radar, again he has staff for that.

     

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    anonymouse, Jun 26th, 2013 @ 4:39am

    Liar

    Just proves that you don't believe a word they say

     

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    Michael, Jun 26th, 2013 @ 4:51am

    They are WAY too busy pouring over the HUGE number of phone calls and emails between law abiding American citizens to be able to keep track of something on foreign soil thousands of miles away.

    Come on, priorities.

     

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    Lurker Keith, Jun 26th, 2013 @ 8:42am

    backwards... or?

    Ok, so the NSA, in charge of Foreign Surveillance, is spying on its Citizens, but isn't Spying on foreigners w/ supposedly illegally obtained Classified Documents.

    Anyone else think that's completely backwards?

    Or, is this an admission that the NSA isn't interested in Wikileaks, because they recognize it's a Journalism organization?

     

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      Lurker Keith, Jun 26th, 2013 @ 8:53am

      Rocky & Bullwinkle title

      That sounds like the set up for a Rocky & Bullwinkle title:

      Join us next time for "Not Their Spies, OUR spies" OR "We Don't Care 'Cause They're Legal"

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 26th, 2013 @ 12:17pm

    This.

    "I really donít know who WikiLeaks are, other than this Assange person."

    This is why you suck.

     

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