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<nettime> With unusual self-awareness, a CIA author noted in a newlydecl
Rob van Kranenburg on Wed, 31 Dec 2003 19:36:38 +0100 (CET)


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<nettime> With unusual self-awareness, a CIA author noted in a newlydeclassified study


Hi,

A story:

With unusual self-awareness, a CIA author noted in a newly declassified
study that the Agency's secrecy system for handling highly classified
intelligence information could have unintended psychological effects.

The March 1977 study, entitled "Critique of the Codeword Compartment in
the CIA," was formally declassified (with redactions) and accessioned at
the National Archives on October 21.  The 67 page document was obtained by
Jeffrey Richelson of the National Security Archive, who kindly shared a
copy.

"We know that secrecy by its very nature may affect the personality of its
practioners," the unnamed author wrote.

"This is true of all forms of secrecy from the primitive secret society to
the codeword compartment.  The latter is a heightened form of secrecy that
resembles the former in many ways.  It has the aura of a secret society.  
It has its initiation, its oaths, its esoteric phrases, its sequestered
areas, and its secrets within secrets.  And in place of passwords and hand
signs, there are letter designations on badges.  There are in-groups and
out-groups.  No wonder, then, if the codeword compartment has unintended
psychological effects."

Among other effects identified, cleared personnel tend to assign undue
accuracy and weight to highly classified information, and to equate access
levels with professional status.

"On balance, the psychological side effects of the codeword compartmen
seem to diminish rather than enhance security," the author concludes.
(Secrecy News is written by Steven Aftergood and published by the
Federation of American Scientists. web:  www.fas.org/sgp/index.html )

Let me repeat:

Among other effects identified, cleared personnel tend to assign undue
accuracy and weight to highly classified information, and to equate access
levels with professional status.

Let us highly classify:

The ways we drink

Me? I quit drinking three years ago. I broke the loop. I kept the pattern,
now I drink Perrier.

The ways we walk

In my opinion, walking is the first exercise that people should work into
their lives. It lowers the blood pressure, ameliorates back problems,
strengthens your lower muscles and bones, is low impact, and is what we
evolved to do. It's much easier if you live in a neighbourhood where
groceries, video stores, post offices, and the other places one goes for
other purposes are easy to reach by foot.

The ways we sleep

I best sleep without a pillow. You?

The ways we chat with a neighbour at the grocery store

Those wine oranges are much more juicy.

The ways we chat with a neighbour at the butcher

We had a vegetarian burger last night and you know what? The kids loved
it!

The ways we talk to our children before they go to sleep

All is well. I'm here to stay. I will never ever go away. As you are mine.

The ways we can fly a kite on a Thursday afternoon

Call your boys, call your girls. Get in your car, drive to the beach and
show them how to fly a kite on a Thursday afternoon. Talk to them.

The ways we can fly a kite on a Monday

Call your boys, call your girls. Get in your car, drive to the beach and
show them how to fly a kite on a Monday. Talk to them.

The way we bury terrorists

According to the Moskovski Komsomol newspaper, Russian security forces
have decided to bury the terrorists from last's week's hostage siege
wrapped in pig's skin. The aim is to deter potential Islamic terrorists
from future attacks. Shahidi (Jihad martyrs) believe by their nefarious
acts that they ascend immediately to heaven. Using their beliefs against
them, wrapping their corpses in 'unclean' pigskin prevents them from
entering heaven for eternity.

The ways we watch our kids at school

"On the contrary, security experts and administrators who use the cameras
say, students and teachers seem to appreciate the increased sense of
security. And in some cases, administrators say, having cameras around has
modified students' behaviour. Dozens of inconspicuous wall and ceiling
camera's in W. E. B. DuBois and Carter G. Woodson charter schools, Fresno,
California, allow the Police Department, the school's director and the
security company in Jackson, Mississippi - half a continent away - to
remotely monitor the daily activities of the 350 students. "We have kids
coming up and admitting to things we don't even have on camera," says Dr.
Drawdy, the Biloxi superintendent of schools, who spent $1.2 million to
put a security camera in each of its nearly 500 classrooms.

The ways spiders see flies

When a fly is caught in a spider's web it is at once attacked. Yet if a
fly is put before the same spider away from its web, the fly is not
attacked, but the spider rapidly moves away from the fly. Thus the fly
appears quite different to the spider when seen on its web and away from
it; the fly is only recognized as prey when seen together with the web.
For us a fly is always a fly; not so for the spider.

The ways we start the day

I start the day with tea, preferably green tea. If I'm teaching I will not
have my coffee until after my last class. Hmm. Coffee.

The ways we celebrate yet another year!

Classify that information!

Highly classify that information.

Then put it in a map and mark it: s e c r e t

And have a ball in 2004.

As it is going to be a very good year:

Seven questions to whom it may concern.  (Images of Neoliberalism in the
Mexico of 1997) by Subcomandante Marcos:

P.S. WHICH REPEATS ITS FOOLISHNESS.-

Sancho heard their shouts, and pressing closer to his master, with his
arms around him, he asked:

"Sir, how can they say we're flying so high when their voices reach us
here? They seem to be speaking just beside us."

"Pay no attention to that, Sancho, for as these flights are out of the
ordinary course of things, you will see and hear what you please a
thousand miles away. And do not hug me so tight or you will upset me. For
the life of me I cannot make out what is so worrying and frightening you,
for I swear to you that never in all the days of my life have I ridden an
easier-paced mount. We seem not to be moving from one spot. Banish all
fear, my friend, for this business is really going as it should, and we
have the wind astern."

The wind astern, indeed.

Greetings from chilly Ghent, Rob.

-- 


web: http://simsim.rug.ac.be/staff/rob
mail: kranenbu {AT} xs4all.nl
mobile:
++32 (0) 472 40 63 72
Call home first 0032 9 2333 853


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