20 February 2013
National Security in the Digital Age: Review
Michael Hayden, Ex-CIA and Ex-NSA head, discusses "National Security in the
Digital Age" on C-SPAN. Hayden avidly defends use of murderous drones with
"we are at war," and repeats the phrase several times in formulaicly grave
tones and glares -- the most beloved mantra of militarists. Then
declines to affirm or deny CIA has a drone program, "remember, the CIA has
never admitted using drones."
In one of the few admissions of CIA error, Hayden says the agency has become
dominated by OSS-like military operations at the expense of its primary
intelligence mission, that the military ops were appropriate to 9/11 but
now believes CIA should return to its more important role.
He claims that in a state of war things are done that should not be prolonged,
that wartime powers given to the natsec agencies should be balanced with
other national requirements. In response to an audience question about why
only the US has a drone warfare program, he answers that the American people
and US allies seem to not understand the US is currently at war.
Hayden laughs and jokes a lot, a peculiar behavior for an avowedly grave
topic. His bizarre twisting, jerking, spastic body language indicates roiling
contempt of the naive questions being asked and evaded. Hayden exhibits
characteristic, Petraeus-like, attributes of a trypical military careerist
kiss-upper, kick-downer, a vain double-speaker masking intellectual
incapability, condescending of civilians without access to secrets,
a grandstanding surrogate hero relishing being at the top, mingling with
and succoring global prominents (who will hire ex-natsecs to advise and promote
warfare) -- job requirements to military pinnacle.
This behavior may derive from Hayden being among the horde of natsec-exes
managed by speaker bureaus and shows the silly mannerisms required to be
"appealing" overlaid long-practiced WMD-terrifying. Hayden noted WMD now
means Weapons of Mass Disruption to flog and finance terrifying cyberwar
threats -- both by and against the US. He emphasizes that the US has masterful
technology to address cyber threats but is constrained, to his regret, by
political and social clamor about using that technology against the homeland
and foreign innocents.
Noteably, when Hayden loses a train of thought or fails to dreg a glib answer,
he leans toward interlocutor Frank Sesno and blurts as if pre-metronomed
by advanced officer school and sales, "we are at war."
Observe Hayden's use of three fingers, four fingers, ticking off points as
if to a crowd of subordinates, pointed looks at friendlies in the audience,
nodding "you know what I mean." Among us secrets-knowers, he fingers coded
signals, "let's play the game of taunting with tidbits what others cannot
be allowed to know we are stealing from them," as he is quoted in the title
of Gibney's documentary "We Steal Secrets."
This signature behavior of officials who have been carefully briefed to say
little in public while implying much in secret is endemic in the world's
capitals of testimony and public speaking. Banal, numbing, open information
to tease about the classified and confidential only to be delivered in "closed
sessions" to those willing to keep the secrets. "Closed sessions" refutation
of democracy for its seemingly always at risk, at war, top security.
Excessive, vulgar joshing between Hayden and Sesno, alternating with
mock gravitas of the drone-slaughter rationale "we are at war" red-phone
cliche, exemplifying mutual caressing and pandering of spies and journalists
in sessions closed to the public but branded and hyped with "anonymous sources"
Hayden likes the CIA-propaganda film Zero Dark Thirty, with slight
demur about artistic license. Crows "I know the real CIA heroine and
bin Laden hunters," not naming Frances Bikowsky, Stephen Nicgorski and
band of assassins. With clips of and comments on Homeland Hayden and
Sesno parade consummate failure of public responsibility -- inbred NatSec
idiocy -- of knowing and over-protecting insiders too well, advanced by lurid
entertainment and vapid interviews complicity
A word about Hayden's physical flabbiness, a characteristic of military members
of spy agencies -- except for Petraeus. Not needing physical prowess for
combat, one might wonder if the physical indolence is deliberate, vaunting
mind over muscle, as a mark of superiority now newly institutionalized with
the Distinguished Warfare Medal for drone pilots and hackers. Certainly that
reward for arrogance over drone targets and clueless Internet users vaunts
flab as a war winner, sure to flatter fat-headed gastronomes of all ideologies.
The C-SPAN show is a repugnant, vacuous public relations DC faux natsec simpering
horror show, watch it, upload to YouTube, crowd source -- Hayden touts crowd
sourcing for espionage exploitation.