Published on OpEdNews OEN, by Glenn Greenwald, Sept 15, 2013;
It has been previously reported that the mentality of NSA chief Gen. Keith Alexander is captured by his motto “Collect it All.” It’s a get-everything approach he pioneered first when aimed at an enemy population in the middle of a war zone in Iraq, one he has now imported onto US soil, aimed at the domestic population and everyone else.
But a perhaps even more disturbing and revealing vignette into the spy chief’s mind comes from a new Foreign Policy article describing what the journal calls his “all-out, barely-legal drive to build the ultimate spy machine.” The article describes how even his NSA peers see him as a “cowboy” willing to play fast and loose with legal limits in order to construct a system of ubiquitous surveillance … //
… But now, on the website of DBI Architects, Inc. of Washington and Reston, Virginia, there are what purports to be photographs of the actual Star-Trek-like headquarters commissioned by Gen. Alexander that so impressed his Congressional overseers. It’s a 10,740 square foot labyrinth in Fort Belvoir, Virginia. The brochure touts how “the prominently positioned chair provides the commanding officer an uninterrupted field of vision to a 22′-0″ wide projection screen”:
The glossy display further describes how “this project involved the renovation of standard office space into a highly classified, ultramodern operations center.” Its “primary function is to enable 24-hour worldwide visualization, planning, and execution of coordinated information operations for the US Army and other federal agencies.” It gushes: “The
futuristic, yet distinctly military, setting is further reinforced by the Commander’s console, which gives the illusion that one has boarded a star ship…”
Other photographs of Gen. Alexander’s personal Star Trek Captain fantasy come-to-life (courtesy of public funds) are here. Any casual review of human history proves how deeply irrational it is to believe that powerful factions can be trusted to exercise vast surveillance power with little accountability or transparency. But the more they proudly flaunt their warped imperial hubris, the more irrational it becomes.
(full text incl. hyper links).
Rising child poverty: what role does philanthropy play? on openDemocracy, by Edge Fund, Sept 13, 2013: As child poverty in the UK rises, it’s time to ask about a century of charitable giving: does philanthropy just exist to protect a system which makes some people very rich?