Beta

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Death By Metadata: The NSA's Secret Role In the US Drone Strike Program

samzenpus posted about 6 months ago | from the dial-d-for-drone dept.

The Military 202

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Glenn Greenwald reports at his new independent news site 'The Intercept' that according to a former drone operator for the military's Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), the NSA often identifies targets based on controversial metadata analysis and cell-phone tracking technologies. In one tactic, the NSA 'geolocates' the SIM card or handset of a suspected terrorist's mobile phone, enabling the CIA and U.S. military to conduct night raids and drone strikes to kill or capture the individual in possession of the device. The technology has been responsible for taking out terrorists and networks of people facilitating improvised explosive device attacks against US forces in Afghanistan. But he also states that innocent people have 'absolutely' been killed as a result of the NSA's increasing reliance on the surveillance tactic. One problem is that targets are increasingly aware of the NSA's reliance on geolocating, and have moved to thwart the tactic. Some have as many as 16 different SIM cards associated with their identity within the High Value Target system while other top Taliban leaders, knowing of the NSA's targeting method, have purposely and randomly distributed SIM cards among their units in order to elude their trackers. As a result, even when the agency correctly identifies and targets a SIM card belonging to a terror suspect, the phone may actually be carried by someone else, who is then killed in a strike. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, which uses a conservative methodology to track drone strikes, estimates that at least 2,400 people in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia have been killed by unmanned aerial assaults under the Obama administration. Greenwald's source says he has come to believe that the drone program amounts to little more than death by unreliable metadata. 'People get hung up that there's a targeted list of people. It's really like we're targeting a cell phone. We're not going after people – we're going after their phones, in the hopes that the person on the other end of that missile is the bad guy.' Whether or not Obama is fully aware of the errors built into the program of targeted assassination, he and his top advisers have repeatedly made clear that the president himself directly oversees the drone operation and takes full responsibility for it."

cancel ×

202 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

TAG (2)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 6 months ago | (#46213617)

You're it.

Re: TAGged with beta (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46213641)

Ew! You got disgusting beta all over me! Fuck Beta!

(Throws beta on someone else)

Re: TAGged with gross beta (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46213721)

Gross! I don't want nasty beta. Fuck that nasty beta right in its bunghole! Get it off me!!!

(Throws beta on someone else)

Re: TAGged with gross beta (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46213983)

Ack! Why did you throw that horror on me? What kind of hypocrite are you? If you hate it so much then why in the world would you throw it on someone else?

(Throws beta on someone else)

Missed it by that much (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46213621)

As a result, even when the agency correctly identifies and targets a SIM card belonging to a terror suspect, the phone may actually be carried by someone else, who is then killed in a strike.

Wrong bad guy, but innocent victim?

Re:Missed it by that much (4, Insightful)

Stormy Dragon (800799) | about 6 months ago | (#46213653)

Do you really know if you're the first person to have used the particular SIM in your phone? Sure the vendor said it was new, but do you really know? Particularly if you live in a third world country where there's no big-name corporate retailers?

Re:Missed it by that much (1)

tomhath (637240) | about 6 months ago | (#46213893)

Yes, that could happen. But look at the number of bystanders killed by these guys [reuters.com] . You reduce the number of innocent people killed if you go after the bad guys when you can.

Does not sound like a good idea to me. (1)

khasim (1285) | about 6 months ago | (#46213627)

Some have as many as 16 different SIM cards associated with their identity within the High Value Target system while other top Taliban leaders, knowing of the NSA's targeting method, have purposely and randomly distributed SIM cards among their units in order to elude their trackers.

So instead of killing X you kill X's friends A, B and C.

That doesn't sound like a good plan on their part.

I'd look for ways to communicate without SIM cards. Or to trash used SIM cards. They're cheap. Really cheap.

Re:Does not sound like a good idea to me. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46213639)

Sounds like a great way to lose friends.

As far as the outrage here, I'm rating this a big fat meh:

1) this is the NSA targeting foreign enemies of the state, which is a far cry from them listening to MY cell phone.
2) even if they don't get mister superdeath, if they get mister superdeath's henchmen we're still coming out ahead as long as...
3) the government recognizes that identifying remains by the cellphone they were carrying is not accurate. It sounds like the government does but sends the drones anyway because see #2.

Re:Does not sound like a good idea to me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46213811)

you forgot one;

1) SIM-cards, GSM, and less-than-half-a-megabyte-per-second on any mobile device within 60km of a city are obsolete. (think cdma2000/w/WIMAX)

But the NSA has a hard time tracking all those packets sent on different bandwidths...... CUZ ITS PRIVATE AND ITS MODERN, unlike gsm.

Re:Does not sound like a good idea to me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46214139)

GSM and SIM cards are not "obsolete". 2G GSM may or may not be (it's still the only rock solid network type out there), but the 3G and 4G versions of GSM, UMTS and LTE, are alive and kicking. Qualcomm's even given up - they've thrown their lot in with LTE after the 4G version of cdmaOne/cdma2000, UMB, attracted zero interest.

And yes, UMTS and LTE use SIM cards.

Re:Does not sound like a good idea to me. (2)

Stormy Dragon (800799) | about 6 months ago | (#46213665)

What makes you think A is really X's friend and not some random guy that bought what they thought was a new SIM and which turns out to be used one last owned by X?

Re:Does not sound like a good idea to me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46213697)

Exactly. Give the phone out to some poor civilians and let the US catch hellfire for fucking up once again.

Re:Does not sound like a good idea to me. (4, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | about 6 months ago | (#46213753)

What makes you think A is really X's friend and not some random guy that bought what they thought was a new SIM and which turns out to be used one last owned by X?

PR-wise, it doesn't matter because we (USofA!) will still claim that we killed their #2 or #3 sub-commander.

But you do raise an interesting point. Could those SIM cards be sold/donated to the enemies of X? So we (USofA!) end up killing X's enemies for him?

Cut the speaker and display wires (no sound and no lights) and you now have a "homing beacon" for a drone attack that can be hidden just about anywhere.

Re:Does not sound like a good idea to me. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46213775)

Yeah, especially when the real terrorists name is something like Binyamin Silverstien, based in a shooping mall in Nairobi.
CIA/NSA epic FAIL! these guys (and im not doubting their good intentions) are blind to their lawless israeli masters. DoD aint much better.... something about "appropriations"....

Meanwhile, in the ILLEGAL ISRAELI SETTLEMENTS, built on land STOLEN from Palestinian Territory (as per international armistace and UN definitions),

Instead of allowing the government to use the settlement compounds as a bargaining chip in terms of developed accommodation for Palestinians living in refugee camps, THE ISRAELIS HAVE INSTALLED ARTILLERY BATTERIES CONCEALED IN THEIR ILLEGAL SETTLEMENTS.

now what this about using ZIM-cards for terrorist-contraband.... oh wait, they terminated their lease before it all came down......

SIM-card, ZIM-card, gsm has been obsolete for over a decade, and now the mil-tech-spook-pundits are hyping it again?!?
Seriously though, i always thought the americans were above the INTELLECTUAL AND TECHNOLOGICAL RECIDIVISM propounded by the israelis and their bullet-tip monetisation, with a surveillance twist!

Re:Does not sound like a good idea to me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46213671)

Or hide the burner phones on vehicles carrying innocent women and children.

Now, it not only doesn't hit anyone of tactical value, but makes the strike an embarrassment in what is a PR war.

Re:Does not sound like a good idea to me. (2)

Khashishi (775369) | about 6 months ago | (#46213791)

Ok, this women and children thing needs to stop. Not all women and children are innocent, and not all men are militants.

Re:Does not sound like a good idea to me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46214229)

It's an amazing plan if your goal is to keep the 'terror' going. Be a nebulous representative of an organization that steals everything from a person, and you've just created a new terrorist. Rather handy if your friends are in the "terrorism security" business.

Missing the point (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46213659)

The much more significant point would seem to be that the use of military assets to bomb civilian criminals is not the sort of thing the U.S. government is supposed to have the authority to do.

These "terrorists" sound like they're criminals not soldiers, and as such they should be a matter for the Afghani police. They should be apprehended, brought to trial and if found guilty sentenced according to Afghani law.

Whether it a drone that fires the missile, or a cell phone meta-data-mining program that provides the target is rather less important than the fact that blowing up a building to kill a target is an act of war and really not an appropriate solution.

Re:Missing the point (2)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about 6 months ago | (#46213835)

or a cell phone meta-data-mining program that provides the target is rather less important than the fact that blowing up a building to kill a target is an act of war and really not an appropriate solution.

Every drone strike is authorized by the government of the country involved. That doesn't make it right, but it prevents it from being an act of war.

Interestingly, the only foreign operation that wasn't cleared was the raid into Pakistan to kill Bin Laden. That was an armed invasion into an allied country. If that operation had gone poorly, it would have been Obama's ass.

Re:Missing the point (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 6 months ago | (#46214029)

From what I recall reading, the US and Pakistan had long had an understanding that if the US found Bin Laden it would come after him.

If the raid to kill Bin Laden had gone badly it would have been an international incident, but that's about it... more than likely. Jimmy Carter survived his debacle at Desert One [washingtonpost.com] .

Re: Missing the point (1)

Nygmus (3525773) | about 6 months ago | (#46214209)

Jimmy Carter didn't have the Koch Brothers/Faux News/GodJesusGuns media machine baying for his blood, either.

Re: Missing the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46214365)

Posting AC to spend some well deserved mod points.

With that out of the way, you are 2 out of 3 with the last being your own bias. There is no "GodJesusGuns" media machine, sorry. There is pro scum media that pushes Miley and Lady Gah who are anything but Religious. They push culture and message with Crowley's message, (do what though wilt, 'yolo'). There is always news about abolishing or dismantling the 2nd amendment on every national station, no pro-gun anywhere mainstream.

Your fine with the first two things you mentioned, but if you can't see your own bias nothing will ever improve.

s.petry

Re:Missing the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46213851)

The much more significant point would seem to be that the use of military assets to bomb civilian criminals is not the sort of thing the U.S. government is supposed to have the authority to do.

The intended targets aren't civilian criminals. They're conducting military attacks.

Re:Missing the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46214037)

Then you would have to treat them as military prisoners, which is exactly what your government dosn't want.

World War One anyone? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46213723)

Isn't this how wars are started? Discuss..

Anoter redirect (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46213725)

For fuck sake stop redirecting your shitty, ugly BETA SITE, just stop already.

Ah...the poetry of it all (1)

djupedal (584558) | about 6 months ago | (#46213727)

'Death by Cop'
'Death by Intimidation'
'Death by Dieing'
'Death by Failure'
'Death by Circumstance'
'Death by Stereo'
'Death by Drowning'
'Death by Crossfit'


...the press doesn't care, as long as someone dies. 'Death by Drone' is just today's flavor, nothing more.

**If you have a domain to sell, speak up as clients are waiting** Sorry, they just left the room - never mind.

Re:Ah...the poetry of it all (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46213913)

Death by BETA

DICE doesn't care, as long as someone there makes money.

More than just metadata (2)

elbonia (2452474) | about 6 months ago | (#46213731)

If the government has the SIM's ID to gather metadata then they have full access to tap the phone to listen to all conversations. So it's not just that A talks to B. It's that A talks to B discussing an attack.

Re:More than just metadata (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46213793)

eyYou really believe these kill happy clowns go to that far and don't just shoot first? With all of their wedding party attacks.

Captcha: openly

Re:More than just metadata (1)

elbonia (2452474) | about 6 months ago | (#46214003)

Drone strikes have been in use for more than a decade. In that time, according to the article, 2400 people have been killed including 273 civilians. So exactly how is it that they are kill happy?

In fact reported civilian casualties in Pakistan have fallen sharply since 2010, with no confirmed reports of civilian casualties in 2013. [thebureaui...igates.com]

Re:More than just metadata (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46214317)

over 10% "collateral damage" is acceptable?

Re:More than just metadata (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46213849)

Or A talks to B about a surprise birthday party, their voting preferences, or, perhaps a multi-million-euro trade in *gasp* Iranian Oil Futures!
go get `em!

"it`s all Greek to me, Sir." - unlettered fool

Re:More than just metadata (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46213993)

"Sir, we are getting some chatter in Hindi, it sounds a bit garbled"- Snowden JUnior
"uh, ok, water they sayin?" -NSA Boss-type
"Something about a multi-million euro Indian Oil Deal, Sri." S. JUnior
"Go GIT `EM!"

The above was copied from a log-file dating back to 9/2011

change you can believe in! (1)

lophophore (4087) | about 6 months ago | (#46213741)

anybody think Obama is still not Bush 2.0?

Re:change you can believe in! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46213771)

I do. Bush didn't put my health insurance, for me being a cancer patient, in limbo with double digit costs every year. I got to actually keep my health insurance and doctor under Bush.

So, no he is not Bush 2.0, Bush 2.0 would have been much better.

Re:change you can believe in! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46213783)

anybody think Obama is still not Bush 2.0?

Nah.

Bush didn't unilaterally change statutory deadlines by executive order.

Bush didn't lie through his fucking teeth about his intentions regarding "terrorists". Gitmo closed yet?

Re:change you can believe in! (2)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about 6 months ago | (#46213869)

Gitmo closed yet?

Obama ordered Gitmo closed on literally his first day on office. Congress overruled him. Sorry that constitutional checks and balances are inconvenient.

Re:change you can believe in! (4, Informative)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 6 months ago | (#46214065)

Well...

His Executive Order for closing same pretty much had all the loopholes it needed, since it required that prisoners be returned to their countries of origin if possible (and most of the countries of origin didn't want those guys back).

Plus there was the part about "The Department of Defense has determined that a number of the individuals currently detained at GuantÃnamo are eligible for such transfer or release.", which implies strongly that there are also a number NOT so eligible.

Then there's the "This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations." part, which provides plenty of cover for the DoJ to determine that any particular inmate is NOT eligible for release.

In other words, the Executive Order was written so as to cover Obama's ass first and foremost, with the actual closing of Gitmo a bonus, if it happened.

Wow (2)

mozumder (178398) | about 6 months ago | (#46213939)

There are people that think the two parties are equivalent.

They do not know that actual policy differences occur between parties. A good example of policy differences between parties is health care.

We call these people "idiots", because they do not understand the full system. They make equivalence based on one or two data points. They are incapable of analyzing large data sets, and mistakenly form conclusions based on limited data.

Now, are there anybody that still thinks Obama and Bush are the same, given their enormous differences in health-care and environmental and labor policy?

What OTHER data points would you like to point out that show the differences between the two parties?

Greenwald (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46213743)

Greenwald wrote some decent stories, but now he is just coming across as a tabloid journalist desperately clinging to to his 15 minutes of fame. Now he is pushing stories with sketchy anonymous sources, conspiratorial articles, and tabloid journalism... Seriously, one of the front page headlines is "UNSEEN PHOTOS OF GOVERNMENT AGENCY BUILDINGS" with a bunch of photos of the headquarters buildings of a few government agencies. He clearly has some sort of vendetta against the government and is no longer promoting thoughtful, intelligent discourse on these subjects.

Re:Greenwald (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46213829)

Greenwald wrote some decent stories when BOOOOSH!!! was in office...

Awww, now that he's exposing Obama's utter hypocrisy and not attacking teh eeevil BOOOOSH!!!, your panties are in a wad.

B-b-b-but BOOOOSH!!!! (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46213755)

Cue the Obama apologists who railed against mere torture.

I call BS (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46213759)

This is BS because it's not the NSA who runs the drones, but the CIA. So, this story represents an attempt to smear the NSA instead of the CIA who is ultimately responsible for the application of the intelligence to their own drone program.

P.S. I'm not a fan of either TLA, but I can at least recognize misattribution and FUD.

Re:I call BS (1)

Sique (173459) | about 6 months ago | (#46214023)

Ok, so because John Doe was just standing guard while Ben Burglar was breaking in, it's all Ben Burglars fault and just a smear campaign against John Doe?

Slashdot will hate me for saying this. (2, Interesting)

bstarrfield (761726) | about 6 months ago | (#46213763)

The world is much more terrifying than you realize. The men and women at NSA, CIA, and DOD are protecting you against monsters. You sleep at night, content and happy, because good people are protecting you. This isn't a fascist plot - I've stood literally a meter a way from a man who would have no compunction murdering your entire family. And we actually did shoot him. This is life, this is the world. And please don't delude yourselves.

You Americans - you sit in safety without understanding what's happening around you. The world is full of horror, and there are people who are trying to protect you, and they do care about the Constitution. The darkness is around you, and you're oblivious to it. This is history. You have no fucking idea what the world is actually like. This is not a game. So please try to understand what the NSA is doing for you.

Re:Slashdot will hate me for saying this. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46213815)

LOL

Re:Slashdot will hate me for saying this. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46214071)

LOL in this case being a tag for: "I'm too stupid to know what the hell is going on in the world, and how it works."

Re:Slashdot will hate me for saying this. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46213817)

YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH!

Re:Slashdot will hate me for saying this. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46213821)

1. They are killing people in your name to keep YOU safe
2. They will not stop killing people in your name no matter what YOU say/do
3. ???
4. Profit!!!

Re:Slashdot will hate me for saying this. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46213823)

Actually most folks on this planet are pretty nice. Unless -of course- you start randomly bombing them, or steal their resources, or invade their country. Then they stop being quite as nice. Look at New Zealand. They don't go around pissing people off in the first place, so they never get attacked :-P

Re:Slashdot will hate me for saying this. (3, Insightful)

cold fjord (826450) | about 6 months ago | (#46214123)

You don't understand the problem, it isn't about being nice, or anything wrong you might have done to them. They are ultimately going to come after New Zealand because New Zealand doesn't conform to the rules they demand you live under. Do you know anything about the age of Islamic conquest, such as when they invaded Europe or took Constantinople? That is what they are about, their goal is a Muslim world even if it takes force of arms. You don't want them to get stronger.

Al Qaeda-Trained Terrorists in New Zealand, Prime Minister Says [foreignpolicy.com]

Re:Slashdot will hate me for saying this. (3, Interesting)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about 6 months ago | (#46214381)

Do you know anything about the age of Islamic conquest, such as when they invaded Europe or took Constantinople?

Do you understand that the people who took Constantinople and invaded Europe further (to be stopped at Vienna) were different from the people who carried out the initial building of the Islamic Caliphate and invaded Europe several centuries prior? Different ethnicity, different nation, different language, different customs - that they had the same religion (though even that was practiced differently in many ways) is a relatively minor detail.

I mean, by your own logic, every single war of conquest by a Christian state against a non-Christian one would be "Christian conquest".

In reality, Islam didn't play any significant role as a driver of expansion other than in the very first campaigns (under Muhammad himself, and his first few successors). Ottomans took Constantinople and invaded Europe because they could, just as Europeans have invaded the Americas and subjugated the natives because they could, and in that day and age, "right of conquest" was the supreme law. In both cases religion was used as an excuse for propaganda purposes, but it was not the primary motivator.

Re:Slashdot will hate me for saying this. (4, Insightful)

Stormy Dragon (800799) | about 6 months ago | (#46213825)

It sounds like you ARE a man who would have no compunction murdering an entire family.

Re:Slashdot will hate me for saying this. (2, Insightful)

cold fjord (826450) | about 6 months ago | (#46214251)

Do you see this news story?

17 Beheaded in Taliban-Controlled Afghanistan for Attending Wedding Party with Dancing [joemiller.us]

They would gladly do it to you, just like they did it to those 17, and to Daniel Pearl [telegraph.co.uk] . Their goal is to impose that sort of rule on the entire world even if it takes 1,000 years. As of today there are people willing to put their body between you and them, putting their life and limb and risk, to prevent them from endangering you. Frankly, I'm not sure that the sacrifice of any of them is worth you. But they still do it. So it would be great if you would either grow up, or stop providing evidence you may be a moral idiot and a fool. (I realize that asking you to show some gratitude for the defense of your life is wasted breath. Some people only learn the hard way. [nypost.com] )

Re:Slashdot will hate me for saying this. (5, Insightful)

linuxrocks123 (905424) | about 6 months ago | (#46213833)

If you think terrorists are scary, you should never drive or get in a car ever again, because doing that is much more likely to get you killed than the big bad oh-so-scary terrorists you're going on about.

Is the world "scary"? Well, everyone dies eventually, and I guess death is scary, so sure. What's scariest about it? Cancer and heart disease. Yup. If you're going to worry about stuff that could kill you, worry about cancer and heart disease. Because it's about 80% likely that that is what will kill you. Terrorists well let's see they're like #2000 on the list of stuff that is likely to get you killed, if that. So, no, it is not we who are not understanding what's happening around us. It is you who needs a crash course in statistics. Badly.

---linuxrocks123

Re:Slashdot will hate me for saying this. (0)

linuxrocks123 (905424) | about 6 months ago | (#46213867)

Oh, yeah, I almost forgot:

FUCK BETA!

---linuxrocks123

Re:Slashdot will hate me for saying this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46213911)

hey man, talking about scary stuff like cars and cancer and the terror of syphilis is likely to "cause fear or offense", as per the Public Order Act of the UK, a citable offense. Now THAT`S scary!

As a Proud All-American, I can say for sure that the NATIONAL DEBT, whether gross or broken-down-per-household (think kids, grandkids) is $oooooooooooooooooooooooo MUCH SCARIER than whatever the mass-media (/. neo-stooges included) can muster to DEFLECT the debt-issue.

Re:Slashdot will hate me for saying this. (1)

Jiro (131519) | about 6 months ago | (#46213963)

If you seriously think that we shouldn't worry about things that kill fewer people than cancer and heart disease, bear in mind that not only are fewer people killed by terrorists than by cancer and heart disease, but fewer people are killed by ordinary criminals and by a whole host of other things that even you think it's the proper role of government to protect us against. Unless you're an extreme libertarian who would reduce the government's rule down to almost nothing, you really have no business saying the government should stay out of it just because it kills fewer people than cancer and heart disease.

In fact, I'd consider this to be one of the least objectionable things the NSA does. It's what they're *supposed* to be doing, after all..

(The single least objectionable thing the NSA does is spy on foreign governments. Since foreign governments have lots of funds and easy access to the press, they can get lots of favorable media coverage by hypocritically complaining about the USA doing things they're perfectly willing to do themselves.)

Re:Slashdot will hate me for saying this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46213837)

Say, did you work for the Bush white house back in the day? You could have. You'd have been an excellent "message force multiplier."

You can find people right here in the US who would murder your whole family. Yet it doesn't happen very often. The world might be scary, but I'll take my chances, thank you. The NSA can go suck rocks.

-- green led

Re:Slashdot will hate me for saying this. (2, Interesting)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about 6 months ago | (#46213863)

The world is much more terrifying than you realize.

Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Lieutenant Weinberg? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago and you curse the Marines. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know, that Santiago's death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives! You don't want the truth, because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that wall. You need me on that wall. We use words like "honor", "code", "loyalty". We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it! I would rather you just said "thank you", and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon, and stand a post. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you are entitled to!

Asshole.

Re:Slashdot will hate me for saying this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46213979)

Your ideal is based upon the fact that you have to have those mens with guns... you don't, and right now you don't even try. Yes we have evil people in this world but so far the main group of people killing unarmed, innocent civilians is the US get off your damn high horse and start taking responsibility for the fact that the terrorists are you.

You are not the world police, you have done little for world stability in fact the main cause of the most of the wars is the USA, do you realise the hate alost of the world has for the USA and its justified. You have killed, raped and stolen from countries whose only crime is standing up to you stealing their resources.

I have fought for my country and have seen first hand the atrocities caused by your "patriots" you are war criminals and should be incarcerated.

Terrorist.

Re:Slashdot will hate me for saying this. (1)

PPH (736903) | about 6 months ago | (#46214377)

In case you didn't recognize the source of the parent post, here it is [youtube.com] .

Re:Slashdot will hate me for saying this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46214257)

Sounds like a guy that wants to keep his job. Please keep telling us about how we'll all be murdered in the night.

Re:Slashdot will hate me for saying this. (5, Insightful)

NoImNotNineVolt (832851) | about 6 months ago | (#46213883)

Yes, the world is a dangerous place. It was a dangerous place 200 years ago too. More dangerous, by any metric. Yet we still banded together in the name of freedom and not only shrugged off our cloak of protection (England) but actually engaged it in war, in the name of freedom. Yes, indeed, there was a day when we consciously gave up safety for freedom. How far we have come...

There was a time when people understood that safety wasn't the holy grail we should be chasing after. That no matter how much you give up, you can never be truly, totally safe. That some things are more important than safety. Cattle are safe. Their protectors guarantee this to a great extent. Not only are they protected from predators, they're also protected from disease and have all their routine needs for food and shelter met. Is that the type of existence we should be striving for?

I don't believe your claims, but let's forget about that. Let's say that your claims are all indisputably true. Why should I be any more scared of these monsters that threaten to take my life than I am of my own government, which is actually succeeding in taking my freedom?

Are you one of those people that believes that life in bondage is more valuable than death in the name of freedom? How do you reconcile your stance with the attitude that prevailed at the founding of this country, which Patrick Henry summarized in 1775 with the words: "Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!"

Re:Slashdot will hate me for saying this. (1)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about 6 months ago | (#46213953)

Thank you for posting this. It's certainly the most enlightening thing I've read on /. today.

Re:Slashdot will hate me for saying this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46214103)

you have all ways been cattle , happily believing your own mythology about your own racial / national superiority making heroes out of killers.

The only difference was the the vast distance and lack of technology allowed this belief without cognitive dissonance.

Re:Slashdot will hate me for saying this. (1)

BoRegardless (721219) | about 6 months ago | (#46213909)

An old CIA hand said the only way to get REAL intelligence is to buy counterspies on the ground!

It's satire, you're writing, right? (2)

ffkom (3519199) | about 6 months ago | (#46213915)

If you honestly think that the "world out there" is "full of horror" and "monsters", you've got serious mental issues. Maybe you can help yourself by travelling the world - not in an army uniform, and not just to places where you are sent to shoot people your employer dislikes.

Maybe you would realize then that people all around the world have much better things to do then to conspire against people living in some remote country. Unless of course, they are being approached by you dropping bombs on their houses.

If you want to be scared about dangers to you life, why not calculate the probabilities of dying early from car accidents, lack of health insurance, being shot randomly by some disgruntled gunman on a rampage at home - all in relation to the risk of becoming the victim of some sinister terror plan?

And BTW: You might have noticed that there are many developed countries in the world that run nothing remotely similar to the NSA, CIA and DOD that have not seen any significant amount of attacks from foreign "monsters".

Re:Slashdot will hate me for saying this. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46213947)

Please, spare me the paranoid paternalistic byeline. Of how you are all doing this to protect us. Yes, protecting democracy by installing many dictatorships across four fucking in contients. Remember "we have to destroy the village in order to save it". I guess we have to save the constituion as well then. Don't worry about all of the travesties, loss of liberties, and piling up debts to pay for the military-intelligence industrial complex revolving door. I'd rather have /actual/ freedom and /actual/ control over our government than leaving "daddy" with impunity so he can go kill the bogeymen in the dark.

Re:Slashdot will hate me for saying this. (4, Insightful)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 6 months ago | (#46213965)

yawn.

I fear what my own government can do to me FAR more than I fear any 'terrorist'. and the chances of a US authority figure fucking us over (cops, judges, politicians, etc) is likely in our lifetimes while being hit by a terrorist is extremely unlikely.

we are tired of this 'rule by fear'. we understand you like to control us that way, but we are hip to your bullshit and one day, the tides will turn and your 'culture of fear' won't be so popular anymore.

Re:Slashdot will hate me for saying this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46214027)

You Americans - you can't understand that a MASSIVE TURNKEY TOTALITARIAN MACHINE FOR MURDERING UNDESIRABLE PEOPLE IS COMPLETELY NECESSARY in today's world. Our government IS evil. Necessary Evil = EVIL. When do evil people stop being evil? When they are dead and gone. Our nation is already turning on itself with politicians from both sides calling for the death of certain groups of people.

I wonder if America will use ovens again in 2020, or if we have a better way to dispose of all the dead from the eradication of the untermensch in the 21st century. And by we, I mean the government because my participation in the oven game is gonna be from the inside no doubt.

Game of ovens? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46214329)

Game of ovens?

Re:Slashdot will hate me for saying this. (1)

retroworks (652802) | about 6 months ago | (#46214035)

On the one hand, I would mod up your comment. I think that too many people who criticize NSA and CIA would turn to jelly in the world without them. On the other hand: Alexis de Tocqueville

“What good does it do me, after all, if an ever-watchful authority keeps an eye out to ensure that my pleasures will be tranquil and races ahead of me to ward off all danger, sparing me the need even to think about such things, if that authority, even as it removes the smallest thorns from my path, is also absolute master of my liberty and my life; if it monopolizes vitality and existence to such a degree that when it languishes, everything around it must also languish; when it sleeps, everything must also sleep; and when it dies, everything must also perish?

...

When a nation has reached this point, it must either change its laws and mores or perish, for the well of public virtue has run dry: in such a place one no longer finds citizens but only subjects.”

Re:Slashdot will hate me for saying this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46214079)

Who would hate you for saying that? However, I - and I'd hope others - expect more of you and our government than tales of boogeymen. We, Americans, have little empathy for anyone that doesn't share our nationality. We have murdered entire families of our enemies for decades. We don't even care enough that news bothers reporting on it, because we care more about random starlet did blah than the world around us.

Those of us paying attention are disgusted with leaders choices, and publics apathy toward foreign policy and largely believe that we are creating the people that want to hurt us. Generally by hurting them first. Our concern is that we want to stop creating that you describe as monsters, that we should be leading the world on moral authoring and not blowing it up. This destructive behavior is made worse by frequency in which we do it with so little account for false information and collateral damage

A strategy that results in more people wanting to blow us up is not a very wise one for our safety.

Re:Slashdot will hate me for saying this. (1)

m00sh (2538182) | about 6 months ago | (#46214107)

The world is much more terrifying than you realize. The men and women at NSA, CIA, and DOD are protecting you against monsters. You sleep at night, content and happy, because good people are protecting you. This isn't a fascist plot - I've stood literally a meter a way from a man who would have no compunction murdering your entire family. And we actually did shoot him. This is life, this is the world. And please don't delude yourselves.

You Americans - you sit in safety without understanding what's happening around you. The world is full of horror, and there are people who are trying to protect you, and they do care about the Constitution. The darkness is around you, and you're oblivious to it. This is history. You have no fucking idea what the world is actually like. This is not a game. So please try to understand what the NSA is doing for you.

No, the world is not terrifying. It is a beautiful place. It is people like you who make it terrifying by trying to gain from it being more terrifying.

Re:Slashdot will hate me for saying this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46214223)

Don't be such a chicken shit and obediently repeat the words, drilled into your head for the past 12 years. Think for yourself.

Re:Slashdot will hate me for saying this. (5, Insightful)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | about 6 months ago | (#46214275)

The men and women at NSA, CIA, and DOD are protecting you against monsters.

The U.S.'s brutal and stupid foreign policy, carried out by the NSA, CIA, DOD, et al., does at least as much -- possibly more -- to create monsters than protect us from them. It's a wonderful cycle for the military/industrial/security complex: the complex fscks over nation A, nation A gets angry and makes aggressive noise, the complex points at nation A and says, "See? See? Danger! Feed the complex so we can protect you!"

Of course kicking the hornet's nest and then telling people, "Hey, we need to go kick hornet's nests because look at how dangerous these hornets are!" is hardly an American invention. But we are the current masters of it for sure.

Re:Slashdot will hate me for saying this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46214351)

I'd have to be really unlucky for that bad guy to pick me out of over 300 million Americans...nowhere near a major US city. I really don't think good people are the reason for my continued existence....maybe those manning nuclear warheads as a deterrent....

Re:Slashdot will hate me for saying this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46214353)

This is not about "monsters". It's about fairness.

When FBI tries to catch a murderer, they go after the murderer. They do not try to trace his phone, and then drop a bomb on its "current location". You know, nothing breeds extremists more than "collateral damage".

Who do you think joins extremists? Psychopaths?? Hell no! The people that get recruited, join because of overwhelming sense of unfairness. No one gives a shit if some terrorist dies, but some do care when their family is decimated because someone's "friend" happened to drive by.

You see, to the impacted people, the "monsters" you talk about are the ones sitting, pushing the buttons that drop the bombs on "cellphone location". The people that drop the bombs are no better to them then the people that throw acid in the faces of their daughters because they went to school.

So don't speak about "monsters". Monsters you speak about are not born. They are indoctrinated and nothing indoctrinates more than "collateral damage".

Re:Slashdot will hate me for saying this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46214355)

'You can have safety or you can have freedom, never count on having both at once."...with all due respect we do know of the 'horrors of the world' that you say exist, these 'monsters' as you would term them. Bad people with an ideology entirely foreign or different than our own that continue to create war and chaos have existed for EVER. We should not give up our own beliefs in an effort to protect ourselves from them, when we do we become no different than they are & we justify their existence when 'our side' kills 'innocent people'...

No one is suggested that police agencies stop trying to do their job, but if your 'job' includes killing innocent people than something went missing in that 'job description'...you are now a murderer no different than any other murderer taking an innocent life.

Re:Slashdot will hate me for saying this. (3, Insightful)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about 6 months ago | (#46214387)

For the night is dark, and full of terrors.

So, who are we going to hoist onto the sacrificial pyre today?

Innocence (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46213789)

"he also states that innocent people have 'absolutely' been killed as a result of the NSA's increasing reliance on the surveillance tactic."

Piss Poor Pathos.

So what.

Terrorists kill large numbers of innocent people all the time. And now we have the NSA / CIA killing a very small number of innocent people and thereby preventing the deaths of a very large number of innocent people.

At what level do we agree that sometimes the brutality justifies the prevention.

Re:Innocence (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46214127)

and that is what people in the those countries say about 9/11

Simple statistics (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46213809)

I s'pose if we kill enough of them, we'll get at least a few bad guys, too. /snark

-- green led

Hmm (2)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about 6 months ago | (#46213813)

and targets a SIM card belonging to a terror suspect,

So someone could take a box with a dozen or so of the SIM cards and place it in a mosque, wedding, or other gathering of completely innocent people. Suddenly it's a meeting place with many "high value" targets and a bunch of innocents die, known SIM cards get destroyed and the bad guys need to get new phones. Or SIM card anyhow. So this harmless metadata, or so the NSA says, is enough information to fire missiles at people. But it's not something that I should be concerned with being tracked if it's from my phone?

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, which uses a conservative methodology to track drone strikes, estimates that at least 2,400 people in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia have been killed by unmanned aerial assaults under the Obama administration.

That's considerably more than I would have thought the total of all drone strikes ever. As scary as the cold war was, this "war on terror", or what ever it's called these days, is far creepier to me.

takes full responsibility for it.

That phrase doesn't seem to mean what it used to.

Re:Hmm (2)

uffe_nordholm (1187961) | about 6 months ago | (#46213941)

One thing I wonder about the "takes full responsibility" bit is this: if it is proven in the future (and I'm sure it will) that some drone strike has killed only innocent people and no 'legitimate target', would the friends and families of the killed people be allowed to kill Obama? If yes, then he is indeed taking full responsibility. If not, then he is not taking full responsibility. Settling the matter with money does not count.

Personally I could settle for having Obama (or the president of the day) put on trial for premeditated murder if/when it is proven that a drone strike only killed innocent people, but it's a more interesting discussion taken to the limit.

Re:Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46213989)

I wonder if they'd be incompetent enough to bomb themselves if you put a sim card above their operators. There is nothing more karmic than killing yourself while attempting to murder by the very method you intend to use.

Faking your death (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46214373)

You forgot that disposing of the burner phone by dropping it on an un knowing person also leaves the morons doing the drone strike to think that they killed their target and are no longer a threat. There isn't really a good way to confirm who you actually killed after a strike it's basically a shot in the dark and and you hope you get the right person.

American Teenager Droned (4, Informative)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about 6 months ago | (#46213899)

The story of al-Awalaki's 16 year old son doesn't get enough coverage. Presumably, he's one of the 4 americans that have been (officially) killed by drone strikes.

Obama's campaign staff said that the boy should've "had a more responsible father."

http://www.theatlantic.com/pol... [theatlantic.com]

Re:American Teenager Droned (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46214039)

He should have. Were his father not who he was, his kid wouldn't have gone off to follow in his footsteps and been in Yemen around targeted people and ended up getting hit with them.

Pretty simple.

Re:American Teenager Droned (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46214367)

He should have. Were his father not who he was, his kid wouldn't have gone off to follow in his footsteps and been in Yemen around targeted people and ended up getting hit with them.

Pretty simple.

Guilt by proximity.

Yep, you are right. That is a pretty simple world view.

It does make diplomacy by high explosives more practical, as high explosives have this thing about proximity.

Re:American Teenager Droned (1)

ffkom (3519199) | about 6 months ago | (#46214041)

Let's just assume that was successful practicing for the day when computer evaluated meta data will determine whether citizens are allowed to live on in the USofA. Such data will one day be used to predict whether your upcoming life will be profitable to those in command of the drones. If it's not, better run for cover.

It's just a glitch (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46213933)

The tracking system is actually in its beta phase. They'll get it sorted in a few decades, I'm sure.

rule of thumb (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46213957)

if it's enough information to kill you, then it's surveillance.

I can't recommend commenting on this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46213967)

Chances are soon that Slashdot use in an unapproved manner will earn you a drone st ----carrier lost----

Flank Operation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46214001)

A targeted SIM gets into one of Obama's daughters android phone.

Obama issues kill order on the SIM card.

Predator overflights DC, launches attack on WH, SIM and phone and significant portion of WH are destroyed, daughter dead.

This would be a great Catch-22 to nail Obama with his own toy.

So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46214073)

So...what...?

Geolocating is more reliable than you think. (1)

strstr (539330) | about 6 months ago | (#46214389)

They really don't use your cellphone to track you. They use your unique brain signature, and as you move around (even in buildings/under cover), they can watch you and see where you go. This allows them to track you 24/7 wherever you are, without use of cellphone or other tracking device.

The only problem with this method, is, it's covert, and therefore cannot be used in a court of law. But it can be used everywhere else. If a target happens to get killed when the person wasn't the true target, it's all a lie; they intended for that person to die.

Look up their massive radar and satellite system. This is 90% of what Signals Intelligence is, and it has been equipped with brain reading technology since 1976 (according to Dr. Robert Duncan, DOD/CIA/US DOJ whistleblower): http://www.oregonstatehospital... [oregonstatehospital.net]

Other things they do with their satellite technology: track heart rate, breathe, vitals, and license plates.

Yeah your body is like a lightbulb from space in the 0-100Hz realm, and it travels through walls pretty easily (billions upon billions of neurons lights you and the inside of buildings up pretty good). ;)

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?
or Connect with...

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>