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"Top Secret America"

Gabriel

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"Top Secret America" is a project nearly two years in the making that describes the huge national security buildup in the United States after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
Top Secret America | washingtonpost.com

This is one hell of a scary beast that Bush created. I am looking forward to seeing the documentary. The private companies with "top secret" access is creepy as hell. This would be the first place you chop.. right along with huge military spending cuts.

Good video interview with one of the reporters that has worked on this for 2 years. Very interesting stuff.

http://www.democracynow.org/2010/7/19/top_secret_america__washington_post
 
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rivrrat

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Why is it creepy that private companies have employees with top secret access? There are a ****load of companies that contract with the govt. In order to do most govt work, secret clearances are required, top secret preferred. I'm not sure why that's creepy...?
 

Aunt Spiker

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What *is* creepy is that things *are* top secret for a reason.
And we have reporters nosing around in business that *isn't* their real business . . . and causing problems. . . to divulge info to *the public*
That's just what spies do - except they divulge info to another government, not the public. The comparisons are striking. . . and I find *that* creepy.

Things are top-secret for a reason: the public is prone to paranoia, panic and mass amounts of stupidity. . . and other governments are *real* enemies - it's not just a tv show out there.
 

Gray_Fox_86

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Every nation on this planet has its secrets or blood in its hands. There is nothing creepy about this. I am pretty sure there was a lot of secret agents, etc before Bush. There is nothing wrong with that.
 

Gabriel

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Every nation on this planet has its secrets or blood in its hands. There is nothing creepy about this. I am pretty sure there was a lot of secret agents, etc before Bush. There is nothing wrong with that.
Nah, it is creepy. This organization doesn't even know what it does and it is in complete disarray. Who knows what the hell these public employed private companies are doing? They don’t even know what they are doing and expanding rapidly.. This doesn’t bother you? What would if that didn’t?

It is creepy business. End of story and that documentary will be very telling I’m sure.
 

Aunt Spiker

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I'm a good citizen - I don't stick my nose in anything that's labeled 'top secret' because when the **** hits the fat - I don't want to be standing in front of it.
 

tacomancer

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I'm a good citizen - I don't stick my nose in anything that's labeled 'top secret' because when the **** hits the fat - I don't want to be standing in front of it.
:hitsfan:
^
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Not Aunt Spiker
 

The Dane

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Yeah uhh this is bull****. You fail washington times.
 

rivrrat

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Nah, it is creepy. This organization doesn't even know what it does and it is in complete disarray. Who knows what the hell these public employed private companies are doing?
They do. As do their employers. The general public does not need to know.

They don’t even know what they are doing and expanding rapidly..
I defy you to show me evidence that govt contractors "don't know what they're doing". Having been one for awhile, I can assure you that we most certainy did.

This doesn’t bother you? What would if that didn’t?
What is bothersome, exactly?

The only real issue is communication between govt organizations.
 

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Just to be assigned to a US submarine, you need a TS security clearance. Many of the people who do maintenance on submarines, especially SSBNs need TS security clearances. Plus, all the military intelligence and computer specialists must have a TS security clearance, even if they are just reservists. 854K people with TS security clearances actually sounds pretty small to me, considering how many people the US government employs, civilian and military.

And I have been hearing about the "secret government" since as long as I can remember, and I'll be 30 in Sept. This really isn't weird or strange, except for the part where people are actually surprised to hear that our government is keeping secrets from us.

Also, private companies keep secrets from their employees too. Heck, the makers of Friends filmed 3 different complete series finales so that no one would know how the series would really end until they aired the finale.

Redundancy is not exactly a big deal either. It could help to avoid "group mentality" and have completely different points of view to work on things if you have several different agencies working on the same thing without helping each other.

Now, having said all this, the governments communication between agencies and entities could certainly be a heck of a lot better.
 

Aunt Spiker

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yeah - my husband had to get clearance, too, and his job wasn't anything ooooh ahhhh - he organized relief efforts (to respond to natural disasters) - but because of where they went and how they got there and who they had to deal with to do it - it was a TSC job.
 

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They do. As do their employers. The general public does not need to know.


I defy you to show me evidence that govt contractors "don't know what they're doing". Having been one for awhile, I can assure you that we most certainy did.


What is bothersome, exactly?

The only real issue is communication between govt organizations.
0.o

Ben Kenobi’s voice "These are not the droids your looking for" .. lol

No I don't think integration of private enterprise and government leads to less government. It leads to crony capitalism and it is deeply fascist what your saying actually. I did link an interview with the reporter who explains all they found after the 2 year investigation.

I dislike private companies with their own prerogatives making use of top secret information derived from governmental private information of individuals. Which would be a clear violation of privacy rights to anyone with a conscience.
 
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rivrrat

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0.o

Ben Kenobi’s voice "These are not the droids your looking for" .. lol

No I don't think integration of private enterprise and government leads to less government. It leads to crony capitalism and it is deeply fascist what your saying actually. I did link an interview with the reporter who explains all they found after the 2 year investigation.

I dislike private companies with their own prerogatives making use of top secret information derived from governmental private information of individuals. Which would be a clear violation of privacy rights to anyone with a conscience.
Can you explain to me the difference between a citizen under contract with the government having a top secret clearance and a citizen in the employ of the government having top secret clearance?
 

Gabriel

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Can you explain to me the difference between a citizen under contract with the government having a top secret clearance and a citizen in the employ of the government having top secret clearance?
I think your referring to corporations having top secret clearance .. unlike the law I do not look at corporations with private for profit motives outside interests the same as an individual. They are not ethically the same.
 

rivrrat

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I think your referring to corporations having top secret clearance .. unlike the law I do not look at corporations with private for profit motives outside interests the same as an individual. They are not ethically the same.
Corporations do not have top secret clearances. They employ people that do so that they can do top secret work.
 

rivrrat

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??? How does this dispute what I said? Individuals get top secret clearances. Private businesses employ people with top secret clearances to do top secret work. They must adhere to certain federal guidelines in order to get top secret contracts, but that does not mean that a "top secret clearance" is issued to a corporation. WTF would that mean, anyway? It's the individuals that do the work, the individuals who require the clearances.
 

roguenuke

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A clearance is a statement of trust given to a person. It involves an investigation to ensure that there is nothing the person is involved in or could have in their past that would make them untrustworthy. The government still operates by the principle of "need to know". Just because you have a Top Secret security clearance doesn't mean that you are allowed to view or know any and all information that is deemed Top Secret. A corporation/company cannot have a Top Secret security clearance because a clearance is given to an individual, because the individual's own merit must be measured before they are allowed to view information. And, a TS security clearance has a 5 year expiration time.
 

Gabriel

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??? How does this dispute what I said? Individuals get top secret clearances. Private businesses employ people with top secret clearances to do top secret work. They must adhere to certain federal guidelines in order to get top secret contracts, but that does not mean that a "top secret clearance" is issued to a corporation. WTF would that mean, anyway? It's the individuals that do the work, the individuals who require the clearances.
Look clearly the corporations are involved with particular employees with two allegiance. It is intellectually dishonest to make claim they could not use the information whatever it is for the profit of the corporation. Of course they are not answerable to the public so we don't know what is going on specifically. Its like the military depending on "blackwater" to do the same job.. only Blackwater is a private organisation and doesn't answer to the public. It truly is mind boggling how you just mindlessly accept this as appropriate. I don’t imagine any amount of evidence would convince you of otherwise. To a normal person this should be quite an outrage.
 

rivrrat

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Look clearly the corporations are involved with particular employees with two allegiance. It is intellectually dishonest to make claim they could not use the information whatever it is for the profit of the corporation.
At the risk of the clearance and going to prison, sure. They certainly *could*. ANY individual could do that with any information they obtain through their job. But that is the whole point of getting a clearance, to mitigate that risk.

Of course they are not answerable to the public so we don't know what is going on specifically.
No, you don't know what's going on specifically because you do not have top secret clearance. That's kind of the point. If you did know specifically what was going on, then that would mean all that "private information" you're so concerned about would be public knowledge. The businesses under govt contracts are answerable to the government. Who is then answerable to US.

Its like the military depending on "blackwater" to do the same job.. only Blackwater is a private organisation and doesn't answer to the public.
No, Blackwater doesn't answer to the public. They answer to their employers who then answer to the public.

It truly is mind boggling how you just mindlessly accept this as appropriate. I don’t imagine any amount of evidence would convince you of otherwise. To a normal person this should be quite an outrage.
What should be an outrage? You've yet to reallly clarify what it is exactly that we should all be so concerned about. That the government issues top secret clearances?
 

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There is another part coming out tomorrow.. and another the next day. I am interested with what they have to say about the whole situation before I speculate more on the subject. But from what I've read about this it sounds like a real mess and the first thing I notice is a move towards privatised intelligence gathering.
 

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Outsourcing of Intelligence Worries U.S. Brass - CBS News

Defense Secretary Robert Gates and CIA Director Leon Panetta are concerned about the role private contractors play in intelligence operations, The Washington Post reported Tuesday.

In the second installment of a series about the sprawling U.S. intelligence apparatus, the Post estimated that nearly one-third of the 854,000 Americans with top-secret security clearances are private contractors.

Panetta told the Post he agrees that is a problem.

"For too long, we've depended on contractors to do the operational work that ought to be done" by CIA employees, Panetta said.

Panetta also said he was concerned that corporations owe more responsibility to their shareholders than to their country, "and that does present an inherent conflict."

Gates agreed, telling the Post, "You want somebody who's really in it for a career because they're passionate about it and because they care about the country and not just because of the money."

Gates and Panetta were interviewed during the Post's two-year investigation into the mushrooming growth of U.S. intelligence and counterterror operations since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001
This is pretty much my sentiment on the situation with regards to the privatization of the US intelligence agencies.
 

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rivrrat

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I'm still not getting why it's so concerning. Does it really matter if the people are actual govt employees or private contractors if they're doing the same things? What is the difference? If the contractors mess up, they lose the contract. It's in their best interest to do what the govt wants them to do in the manner in which the govt wants them to do it.
 

BmanMcfly

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I'm still not getting why it's so concerning. Does it really matter if the people are actual govt employees or private contractors if they're doing the same things?
Well, yes... because government employees have a direct chain to the people giving the orders within government... if it's employees of a private company... let's say they both have an illegal job to do. In theory, the government employee, must follow orders from a person a step closer between himself and the person giving the orders, and there's a set paper trail of this all. That is, in theory, publicly accessible.

On the other hand, a private contract acts as a legal barrier against finding out anything more then like what happened with... It may have been blackwater, can't think of the name, but they call themselves XZ now, anyway, they were running a child slavery ring and the punishment was that the government stopped giving them contracts for 6 months.

What is the difference? If the contractors mess up, they lose the contract. It's in their best interest to do what the govt wants them to do in the manner in which the govt wants them to do it.
Honestly, it's the difference between a republic and a fascist state.
 
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