Originally posted by Pimander
I think Schuyler has some views on all this. I will PM him and ask him for a few comments. I promised him I would stick my neck out on this topic
ages ago so he really ought to join in.
(Note: this will be too long for some of you.) Umm, oh, pooh. What do I do now? Let's see if I can stay focused and not be repetitive because a lot of
what I suspect has already been said here. I think the BIGGEST problem we face here is separating cold, hard fact from fancy. What are our standards
of proof? To some of us it is a cold, hard fact that chemtrails exist and a cold, hard fact that 9/11 was an inside job. To others of us those two
cold, hard facts are absolute speculative nonsense with no real proof whatsoever. So right away we have a problem with what constitutes proof. I don't
see us as coming to a consensus on this--ever. In other words, proof is overrated.
So all we can really do is pool our collective personal experiences and see if we can come up with something. But even that is suspect. In every one
of these discussions we have people posting here who allude to the "fact" that they are somehow "connected" and therefore in a position to know for
certain what is really going on. We have one on this thread who claims to be connected with a TLA we've never heard of. I'm guilty of that myself. For
example, I have held a SECRET security clearance. To anyone who actually knows how these things work, that’s not saying much, if anything at all, so
for me to use it to bolster my position on ATS is really kind of cheating.
I know a little bit about the NSA. (There I go again!) You may recall a few years ago when the NSA was caught spying on American citizens' domestic
telephone calls. We had discussions on it here and it got as far as Congress. This consensus was that this dastardly deed was proof that TPTB were
using sinister methods to spy on ordinary citizens, that this proved a police state, etc. Lots of anger and hand-wringing over that one.
What really happened? A couple of kids, E-4's in the service with access to some pretty sophisticated equipment, listened in to some phone calls as a
joke. They were bored on night shift at an NSA facility on an Army base. I did the exact same thing when I worked for the phone company. We could put
conversations on the speaker. Once one guy found a conversation of a guy talking to his girlfriend. He said, "Boy, you were really hot last night!" I
was 19 years old. You bet I listened in! In fact, it was hysterical. The boss wasn’t there.
Was it illegal? Absolutely! It was totally against the rules in both cases. We had been briefed. We had signed statements, but we did it anyway. It's
a firing offense. I didn't get caught. Those boys did and it became a national news story about the evil Bush administration. But was it an organized,
authorized attempt to spy on American citizens? No, not at all. A couple of fairly immature guys screwed up. That's what happened.
I bring this up for two reasons. One is that the stories we get are usually incomplete and "spun" before we get them. I think the Washington Post did
that one, an enterprising ‘investigative’ reporter. In many cases we do the spinning. Two, I think we have to be careful accepting "insider"
stories like the one I just gave you. Is it real inside information, or is it the poster attempting to elevate himself on the thread as a voice of
authority? We get so little real information, yet we still must discriminate about it because that which is presented as real may not be at all.
Now let me try to bring this home. The NSA listens. That's its mandate. In places like Iraq and Afghanistan it listens to EVERYTHING: all cell phone
calls, all land line calls, all frequencies, literally everything. These calls are monitored by people fluent in the local dialects. They have
specialized training in military terms, for example, which are different in Egyptian Arabic versus Syrian Arabic. If they get something interesting
they pass it up the chain of command. Maybe something actionable will come from it, maybe not. Most of it is utterly and completely boring. "Where can
I buy some saffron?" Even, "You were really hot last night!" gets boring after awhile. And, once in a great while, you find Osama bin Laden.
Now we come to the Internet and the vast amount of data that flows across it. The NSA is having a lot of difficulty keeping up with the vast
exponential increases in terabytes of data. It is not an all-knowing agency that has super powers. So how would they handle a place like ATS? First if
all, let the computer do it. I do not know for sure, but I suspect these forums are monitored by computer. The computer looks for key phrases that may
be of interest. When it finds a key phrase the computer spits it out for review. It may go to a secondary computer review, or it may go to a human, an
E-4, 20 years old, who takes a brief look and decides whether it is important enough to pass on. If there is real, actionable, important intelligence
found in this review process, it can be VERY fast. Seconds can count. 99.9% of it, maybe another few decimals, is utterly trivial, boring,
nonsensical, and irrelevant. That’s true of ATS.
Now all of you on this thread must evaluate whether what I am saying is reasonable or not. You will decide based on how I write, what my reputation is
in numbers (Posts, stars, etc.), what you have read that I wrote previously, and whether it passes your BS detector. The first story I told you is the
truth as I know and believe it, but it's still second hand and I must withhold a couple of points which would make it a more believable story simply
because I don't want to compromise anyone. The second story I told you is what I would call informed speculation, but the fact is I do not know
whether it is true or not. It's just that given what I know about NSA capabilities, issues, and constraints, this would seem a prudent way to approach
The question actually on the floor is, are there disinfo agents engaged in COINTELPRO on this site? From my point of view there is very little, if
any, data to back up this claim. It's completely speculative. I agree with several people here who have said it is unnecessary because we do it so
well ourselves. It also would be very expensive, so from a cost-benefit point of view it seems unlikely. “Assets" are very expensive and as an
operative, if you ask for assets, you’d darn well better have a good reason. To put it in another perspective, the stars have to be in alignment and
you have to have a lot of rank before you can get a satellite moved.
There are some things that make my personal BS detector to off immediately, though.
“I can tell this person is a disinfo agent just by what they say.”
“ATS IS a honey pot and/or owned by the CIA.”
“It’s obvious disinfo agents are trolling this site.”
SURE you can, buddy. That statement and those like it tell me you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. If I could put a dunce cap on
your avatar I would simply to remind me never to take you seriously ever again. But putting those kind of statements aside, what really is the
To me the basic issue is that we often confuse speculation, even informed speculation, with proven fact. If we are clear and preface our statements
with the disclaimer that it IS speculation, however informed, I don’t have a problem with that. That seems a proper amount of humility and a license
to engage in as much speculation as you desire. But I do have a problem with presenting speculation as fact.
Schuyler’s Law: The less people know about how the universe works, the more they think they know how the universe works.
edit on 6/29/2011 by schuyler because: (no reason given)