Saturday, March 9, 2013

Drone Data, Border laptops, and Swearing

So I saw this and had some thoughts on it:

Drone Data Not Published Anymore

My first thought was why was the data published at all. Sure it didn't list specifics like what scum got whacked or when, but it did give a sense of the the overall capabilities for anyone that really wanted to cull through the data. That in itself is not a big deal I think. Knowing how military bureaucracies work, this data's presence probably was some intelligence weenie's way of showing:
  • how great he/she was at collating reports
  • how much stuff was reportedly getting done
  • justification for a contractor's enormous budget for but-sitting
Then the Rand Paul filibuster thing happened and suddenly people who should not be looking at the report suddenly were to find out answers like 'how many people did we kill and how efficient were we at it?'

I can imagine immediate word flowed down from the general staff to cull all unnecessary data from all public reports on drones. Chop, chop, out went the stats. In true (and typical) Air Force 'shooting yourself in the foot' manner, now the cover-up is stupider looking than the missing data. Their saving grace is that with larger cover-ups like Benghazi in place and taking ineffectual fire, this one will by and large be ignored.

Then there's this tidbit:

Court Says Only Causal Groping of Laptops at Border

I will admit that it's been years since i've subjected myself to the tender mercies of the TSA or crossed a border, so this is all pretty academic for me (currently). I am heartened that the court recognized there are limits. Unfortunately, I am thinking that only bureaucratic policy changes will change any TSA behavior. With the current leadership in the Attorney General's office and Homeland Security, I would expect more of a thumbed nose reaction to this ruling than any real adherence to the courts ruling by way of a policy change.

It is a sad commentary that the men & women responsible for securing the border are looking for child porn and thought crimes, while being forced to not profile obvious terrorist who should be occupying their time. The real worry is when the TSA extends their mandate to anywhere within 200 miles of say an airport serving international flights (a port of entry). Then they would have the ability to 'casually examine' any laptop in DC, even in Senator Paul's office, ala a legal Watergate style break in.

A strange new world indeed...

Finally this:

I believe this was a deliberate slap back at Rand Paul and others who were asking 'hey, what happened to our rights?'. The obvious answer is, 'We'll pick and choose your rights, here's a document without them that will do nicely for the swearing in of the head of the one agency whose mandate is to operate at the very edge of the laws that protect those rights. Oh, and Republicans that allowed him to be confirmed? Thanks for all the fish'.

Unfortunately I am beyond being offended by such blatant disregard of rights. I recall loosing my cherry on that one when I went to a town hall meeting that Senator Mark Warner and his buddy Howard Dean did during the Obamacare debate. A nice little old lady got up and asked 'Where in the constitution do you get the right to do this to us', and Senator laughed at her and the union thugs in the crowd booed. 

Rights? Rights? You don't need no stinking rights!

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