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James Bamford on General Alexander, Head of the NSA

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

National Security Agency (NSA) (Chris Hardie/flickr)

Wired magazine’s James Bamford talks about General Keith Alexander, a four-star Army general who’s the director of the National Security Agency, chief of the Central Security Service, and commander of the U.S. Cyber Command. Bamford looks at General Alexander’s power and the secret military he runs in his article “The Secret War,” in Wired magazine.

Guests:

James Bamford

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Comments [3]

John A from N. Cyberia

Wired is a bit too fluffy to appeal to me as of late - stuff to buy buy buy. But I've purchased the last two editions with Jims articles in them. Keep it up.

Jun. 18 2013 12:29 PM
Joel Hubbard from Freedomland

Too big to fail!

Jun. 18 2013 12:17 PM
Gerald Fnord from Palos Verdes, Ca

Though one should be overwhelmingly biased against no man or woman, I'm afraid my 'civilian control' hackles are raised by an high-ranking military man's overseeing an agency with potential for influencing the rest of the government, perhaps for its own purposes. Madison opined that if men were angels, we'd need no government, and the experience of J. Edgar Hoover's repeated use of secret information to blackmail at least two of the branches of the government is apposite.

I am also concerned because the N.S.A. are devoted to reporting the world-as-it-is---as one Army colonel once said within my hearing, 'We're really good at blowing stuff up and getting things done, changing the world----that's different from seeing it well...well beyond what we need to know to do the stuff we do best.' Even if Gen. Alexander's career had been entirely within military intelligence, he would have a bias toward the understanding of that proper subset of intelligence's limits and strong points.

And given how the missions of intelligence agencies seem universally seem to creep toward their also performing military duties I think this bears watching.

Jun. 18 2013 11:12 AM

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