Tag Archives: NSA

A Quick Note on The Deep State

Yesterday General Michael Flynn was forced to resign from his post due to leaked information showing that he lied about the nature of his contacts with the Russian government before the election. This evidence of treason seems to point back to Trump being compromised by the Russians and most speculation on the subject so far has centered around the presumption Trump or someone higher up in Trump’s inner circle was instructing Flynn to make the call. While this is still speculation, it’s not that far fetched.

We don’t know who actually leaked the Flynn phone call or what specific agency they’re attached to, if any. In his final days in office, Barack Obama put rules in place allowing raw data intercepted by the NSA, presumably including the Flynn phone calls and any number of other juicy tidbits, to be shared across the 16 federal intelligence agencies before classification safeguards were put on it. This means that the source of the leak could have been involved in any of these agencies. Leaking signals intelligence is extremely uncommon and technically a felony. The reasons for that are pretty obvious.

I’m going to state the rest of my argument in bullet points.

1) The Trump administration has thus far been a giant dumpster fire and he’s pissed off a lot of the intelligence community.

2) The NSA, per the leaked Snowden documents, has the capacity to and likely does log/record all electronic communications inside the US and between individuals in the US and foreign individuals/agencies.

3) Trump is about as “old man” as it gets with tech and is reportedly still using his unsecured android phone. If Flynn was the go-between for Trump and Russia and the intelligence agencies were able to record his entire phone call, we can presume the security for whatever illegal/treasonous activities weren’t well hidden either. Trump is so unconcerned with security that people at Mar-A-Lago were posting Twitter selfies with the guy holding the nuclear football.

4) The intelligence agencies have more than enough to sink the entire Trump inner circle and are allowing them to stick around only for as long as they’re useful to the intelligence agencies.

5) The intelligence agencies now hold the actual power. This doesn’t really go away with elections. This is a potentially shittier status quo than “President” Trump.

Thoughts on this?

On the NSA

(This is a short story from my recently released spoken word album More Apocalypses That Probably Won’t Happen.)

They had found a way to democratize God. Video and audio and 3D drone scanners recorded everything and stored it in giant digital monoliths. You could have your life flash before your eyes without having to die. They sold tickets and built modest little rooms for stragglers and people needing to sleep.

The eternal recurrence was no longer an abstraction and actually became a popular activity among drunken college students and in fraternity hazing rituals. Some came out traumatized but no more than had with psychedelic drugs. Most found it very calming and looked at everything from a wider distance in the future.

Theological figures of all sorts flocked in droves to the machine despite their jealousy of it. Some mockingly compared the experience to absurd contraptions like the orgone box or 8 track tape deck but no one took these criticisms seriously. It was a new era, the thing to come and replace the internet entirely the way the internet had phased out physical media. It was a form of all consuming narcissism penitent enough to be acceptable and soon it would take over everything. People would walk into the machine multiple times consecutively to feel as though falling through an endlessly recursive series of paintings. Dope was legal by then and indulgences were frequently combined. Medic tents run by religious cults like the ones outside Grateful Dead concerts in years past now sat outside the machine with tea and cookies and orange juice. An amphitheater was built and over several summers they came to have a respectable free concert series. Reality seemed more and more to resemble Jones Beach; innumerable perfectly spaced garbage cans in the sand, the tide receding…

Alas we were the way we were and we are the way we are and the window was short and you can’t do that anymore. And now we all wonder what the next thing will be.

Guest post by Daniel Levine. Check out his first book here. He also just released a comedy album which you can hear selections from for free here.