If you haven’t already, go check out the Washington Post‘s series “Top Secret America.” It’s provocative, incredible stuff. A huge story.
And after a year and a half investigation, even Alexandria, Louisiana popped up on their radar. The Post claims there are six “government work locations” in Central Louisiana that are a part of the so-called “Top Secret America,” but to be sure, they don’t reveal who these agencies are or how many people they employ.
(Full disclosure – I am a 20 year veteran of the U.S. intelligence community, much of it as a Louisiana National Guardsman/Army Reservist)
It is difficult to even begin with this. The only thing shocking about any of this is the timing. I would normally expect an outlet like the Washington Post to release this to assist a democratic presidential candidate.
The volume of information being collected has skyrocketed after 9/11/2001. Is that in any way surprising? We began scouring the globe for terrorists. We ramped up intelligence collection for two major operational theaters (remember Iraq? Afghanistan?). It particularly accelerated after the publication of the 9/11 commission report, largely blaming the intelligence community for our lack of detecting/interdicting the 9/11 attackers. What would be far more shocking is if the intelligence capability of the U.S. stayed the same over the last decade, or only increased slightly.
Having said that – most people with clearances deal with “Secret” documents or below. That is because “Secret” and “Confidential” are less restrictive in the measures to access, store and transmit. But, understandably, the volume of information at all classification levels has increased, thus necessitating an increase in the number of people needing access. This includes many new FBI analysts, CIA analysts, civilians in the departments of State, Defense, Army, Navy and Air Force, as well as the many civilian contractors working in the United States and SW Asia.
Ultimately, this is a non-story. If there was evidence that the Patriot Act, or other Homeland Security measures were being used to circumvent the rights of American citizens, I would be more concerned. I am a privacy advocate, and I have been paying attention. I see no threat in the information gathered for this story.
Good find man. I actually accidentally stumbled upon one of these “offices” once. They are def around the area.
Great blog, I’m goin to subscribe to your RSS. Please consider us, we provide Toronto Insurance
Awesome blog, I like what’s going on here.
Booya! Top stuff.