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What is in my head is my intellectual property. There will be no flash drive, no research notes, nothing to find that is digital. I am done with digital archives.

Correspondence with Tammy Swofford, former LCDR USN, a nurse at Baylor Hospital and in her “spare time” a columnist for the Daily Times Pakistan and Economic Affairs Pakistan.

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The top-secret world the government created in response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, has become so large, so unwieldy and so secretive that no one knows how much money it costs, how many people it employs, how many programs exist within it or exactly how many agencies do the same work.

A hidden world, growing beyond control | washingtonpost.com – Updated to September 2010.

Top Secret America | washingtonpost.com — video: first narration: “You think you know America, but you don’t know top secret America.”

Monitoring America | washingtonpost.com

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From inducing paranoia in the bloggorati to upsetting the presidents of foreign states, the world would seem to have a yet emerging issue in the proliferation of every form of intrusive information extraction (or shall we just call it “spying”).

May no signal, whether contained or transmitted by gadget, tablet, computer, or phone, go unrecorded, even if unremarked.

As suggested by Ms. Swofford, the countermeasure to all of this may be to abandon electronic repositories and minimize note keeping.

Create no trails.

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Even on the cusp of dissection, which complete dissection The Washington Post has done quite well, one notices the menage made between elements of the national defense, intelligence, and law enforcement communities.  In essence, and as regards terrorism, the ultimate behavior of interest — whether it has to do with, say, breaking into parked vehicles at a mall during the holiday shopping season or blowing up the same mall — is criminal behavior.

Even so —

Maryland State Police and federal agents used a search warrant in an unrelated criminal investigation to seize the private reporting files of an award-winning former investigative journalist for The Washington Times who had exposed problems in the Homeland Security Department’s Federal Air Marshals Service.

Armed agents seize records of reporter, Washington Times prepares legal action – Washington Times – 10/25/2013.

On the U.S. domestic frontier of this new Black Intelligence Behemoth, opportunities for mischievous, suspicious, and vindictive behavior would seem rife.  Appearing in the news earlier this year:

NSA broke privacy rules thousands of times per year, audit finds – The Washington Post – 8/15/2013.

Feinstein: NSA hasn’t ‘intentionally abused its authority’ – 8/16/2013.

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The practice isn’t frequent — one official estimated a handful of cases in the last decade — but it’s common enough to garner its own spycraft label: LOVEINT.

NSA Officers Spy on Love Interests – Washington Wire – WSJ – 8/23/2013.

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The power garnered by NSA may make one wonder about the clout of the annual $52-billion intelligence industry overall.

From The Washington Post:

Generally, the NSA reveals nothing in public about its errors and infractions. The unclassified versions of the administration’s semiannual reports to Congress feature blacked-out pages under the headline “Statistical Data Relating to Compliance Incidents.”

Members of Congress may read the unredacted documents, but only in a special secure room, and they are not allowed to take notes. Fewer than 10 percent of lawmakers employ a staff member who has the security clearance to read the reports and provide advice about their meaning and significance.

NSA broke privacy rules thousands of times per year, audit finds – The Washington Post – 8/15/2013.

It appears here that a substantial part of government of, for, and by the people has been supplanted by what will probably remain unknown persons but much like ourselves . . . but how much, we don’t know and won’t.

The leader of the secret court that is supposed to provide critical oversight of the government’s vast spying programs said that its ability to do so is limited and that it must trust the government to report when it improperly spies on Americans.

Court: Ability to police U.S. spying program limited – The Washington Post – 8/15/2013.

Related: What to say, and not to say, to ‘our overseers’ – The Washington Post – 8/15/2013.

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I know this post will look haphazard and slap-dashed, but it’s just a glance at a profound shift in boundaries enabled by reliance on electronic communications and data processing.  In turn, and goosed by 9/11, the same appears to have given birth to a black intelligence campus of monstrous scale.

Odds ‘N’ Ends In No Particular Order

Armed agents seize records of reporter, Washington Times prepares legal action – Washington Times – 10/25/2013.

Top senator: Obama didn’t know of U.S. spying on Germany’s leader – CNN.com – 10/29/2013.

White House sees need for ‘constraints’ on NSA spying | Reuters – 10/28/2013.

NSA spied on 60 million phone calls in Spain: report  – NY Daily News – 10/28/2013.

Spies for Hire: The Secret World of Intelligence Outsourcing: Tim Shorrock, Dick Hill: 9781400157723: Amazon.com: Books

NSA monitored calls of 35 world leaders after US official handed over contacts | World news | The Guardian – 10/24/2013.

Merkel spying claim: with allies like these, who needs enemies? | World news | theguardian.com – 10/23/2013.

The Intelligence National Security Alliance – Building a Stronger Intelligence Community / Homeland Security Intelligence Council / Council on Technology and Innovation / Intelligence Champions Council / Security Policy Reform Council (the goals of reform have nothing to do with reduction in research breadth, intensity, or reach) / SMART Change Task Force / Marketing and Communications Committee (“The committee’s guidance and experience helps strengthen INSA’s marketing and communications strategy, build brand awareness and tell INSA’s story while building relationships and generating membership “buzz.” — is it government, business, or Disneyland in there)?

Spy Agencies Under Heaviest Scrutiny Since Abuse Scandal of the ’70s – NYTimes.com – 7/25/2013.

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State and Major Urban Area Fusion Centers | Homeland Security

More About Fusion Centers | American Civil Liberties Union

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HSPI | Homeland Security Policy Institute (The George Washington University)

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