January 10, 2014 / by emptywheel


Let’s Prosecute Treasury, State, and Drone Misses for Illegal Leaking

Some crisis communications moron apparently advised John Inglis to repeat “unauthorized disclosure” over and over in his interview with Steve Inskeep (he does so 7 times).

Because Inglis implicitly accuses Treasury, the State Department, and failed drone operators for illegal leaks.

In response to Inskeep’s question whether the NSA conducts 44 million queries a year (which actually means the NSA is passively querying targets an order of magnitude more often, as Inglis’ response makes clear), Inglis tries to suggest that the only way a target would learn we were tracking him would be if someone leaked that information.

INGLIS: That’s what that math would lead you to but actually, it’s not that simple. So let’s say I’m interested in a particular terrorist, that individual might have dozens, might have across a given year hundreds of selectors. I’d kind of pick up and drop telephones on, you know, like it’s fast food. They might form, discard email addresses at a rapid rate. Why? Because we told them that they’re of interest to us. We’ve been telling them that for years through these unauthorized disclosures. So one individual might have attributable to them hundreds of these things. At the same time, we don’t query one time a year. We might try to find out every few hours. We might try to find out every once in a while, you know, where this thing is. It might be that geo-location is of interest to us. And so all of that then constitutes a broad number of inquiries.

Of course, the other way targets learn we are tracking them is if Treasury and State designate their organization a terror affiliate (or they themselves a designated target), or if they escape a near miss, perhaps by drone.

Seriously, Inglis would have to be a moron if he really believes many — if not most — of our top targets don’t know we’re tracking them. But he’s not a moron. Which presents the more logical conclusion that he has cynically started chanting leak leak leak when describing something that is a normal aspect of spying, all to suggest what Snowden has done devastated their work.

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Originally Posted @ https://www.emptywheel.net/2014/01/10/lets-prosecute-treasury-state-and-drone-misses-for-illegal-leaking/