60 Minutes Betters Their Benghazi Debacle: Pirates Ahoy! and Chinese Global Suicide Bombers

I will have more to say about tonight’s 60 Minutes debacle.

But for now, let me make three points.

First, John Miller should never work in journalism again (he’s reportedly prepping to run NYPD’s intelligence shop, so he may not need to). There were numerous examples in tonight’s 60 Minutes piece where even a mildly curious journalist would have asked follow-up questions. But given that Miller, who has an ODNI and FBI background, knows this stuff, his failure to ask obvious follow-up questions is proof this was not at all about journalism.

Of particular note that everyone is getting snookered on: Lying Keith Alexander said that NSA only listens to the phone calls of 60 US persons. When Miller sort of asked a follow-up, Alexander seemed to reiterate that this is NSA.

Of course, FBI formally owns the wiretapping of US persons in the US. So that 60 number may only be Americans we wiretap overseas. One of those follow-up questions that might have been useful.

Then there was the NSA’s effort to show us what contact chaining looks like. As a threshold matter, they had subbed out all the real phone numbers with “555-1212″ type numbers. Which means the computer was altered for TV.

Then, CBS showed an NSA analyst contact chaining off pirates.

Yes, pirates!

Aside from opening up NSA to the claim that we’re now all 3 degrees of Captain Hook, the pirate operation of course means the claims of the analyst only apply to EO 12333 collection (cause pirates are almost never US persons).

That is, we should assume it is completely meaningless as a demonstration of what the US phone dragnet is about.

Then there’s the scary BIOS plot.

I’ll need to go back and review this, but the jist of the scary claim at the heart of the report is that the NSA caught China planning a BIOS plot to shut down the global economy.

To.

Shut.

Down.

The.

Global.

Economy.

Of course, if that happened, it’d mean a goodly percentage of China’s 1.3 billion people would go hungry, which would lead to unbelievable chaos in China, which would mean the collapse of the state in China, the one thing the Chinese elite want to prevent more than anything.

But the NSA wants us to believe that this was actually going to happen.

That China was effectively going to set off a global suicide bomb. Strap on the economy in a cyber-suicide vest and … KABOOOOOOOM!

And the NSA heroically thwarted that attack.

That’s what they want us to believe and some people who call themselves reporters are reporting as fact.

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Emptywheel Twitterverse
JimWhiteGNV .@AdamWeinstein That Rauf fellow sure gets around, doesn't he? https://t.co/UjM9fHPlyk
30mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @timstarks In any case, a really helpful list, if it serves as catalog of yet more non-answer answers. Thanks. @LarryAkey
30mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @timstarks No. But I think others did. Obviously Lynch's closest involvement w/215 directly would be FBI non-phone dragnet use @LarryAkey
32mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @timstarks Ah thanks. Wasn't complaining, but that (I think) is one folks missed non-phone dragnet app for. @LarryAkey
35mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Can just imagine 3rd time Balogna gets busted, only this time w/machine gun rather than pepper spray. "3rd time's a charm!" he might say.
37mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Q: Did Tony Balogna (serial protest abuser) ever get fired? Or will he, too, soon be wielding a machine gun? http://t.co/v2V4aXUpKV
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JimWhiteGNV @laRosalind They should sue any anti-vaxxers who exposed them!
40mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @flexlibris Awesome! Great news!
41mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @timstarks Wasn't there one more discussion of 215? Was interesting bc it sounded like she was talking non-phone dragnet uses @LarryAkey
43mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel RT @LarryAkey: .@timstarks on where AG nominee #LorettaLynch stands on several natl security issues - http://t.co/BWb1uEyX18
44mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV Where IS Abdul Rauf Khadim and Whose Side IS He On? https://t.co/UjM9fHPlyk
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emptywheel RT @LarryAkey: Military admits #GTMO forcefeeding against international law & violates medical ethics, @JasonLeopold reports - http://t.co/
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