Big Brother’s High Chair

Like a big baby, or maybe a would-be tyrant on a throne, the top spy has a spaceship bridge and captain’s chair straight out of Star Trek in the top-secret command center where they look at all your Facebook photos (and vidoes your iphone camera took when when you thought it was off) on a huge screen. So insecure seems the NSA chief, that he needs to know everything about everybody, and have it spoon-Fed in a juvenile fantasy environment.

Glenn Greenwald notes PBS’ News Hour’s post entitled: “NSA director modeled war room after Star Trek’s Enterprise”. The room was christened as part of the “Information Dominance Center”:

“When he was running the Army’s Intelligence and Security Command, Alexander brought many of his future allies down to Fort Belvoir for a tour of his base of operations, a facility known as the Information Dominance Center. It had been designed by a Hollywood set designer to mimic the bridge of the starship Enterprise from Star Trek, complete with chrome panels, computer stations, a huge TV monitor on the forward wall, and doors that made a ‘whoosh’ sound when they slid open and closed. Lawmakers and other important officials took turns sitting in a leather ‘captain’s chair’ in the center of the room and watched as Alexander, a lover of science-fiction movies, showed off his data tools on the big screen.

“‘Everybody wanted to sit in the chair at least once to pretend he was Jean-Luc Picard,’ says a retired officer in charge of VIP visits.”

According to the company that designed this outrageous exercise in hubris 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.”

Greenwald also mentions a new Foreign Policy article that calls out Gen. Keith Alexander on his motto “Collect it All” and his “all-out, barely-legal drive to build the ultimate spy machine” get-everything approach he pioneered. First aimed at an enemy population in the middle of a war zone in Iraq, it has now been imported onto US soil, aimed at the domestic population and everyone else.

Big Baby's High Chair
Big Baby’s High Chair
Juvenile fantasy meets public tax coffers: The Spies Have It!
Juvenile fantasy meets public tax coffers: The Spies Have It!