Friday, December 13, 2013

Cthulhu Rising

The spook establishment doesn't at all seem to be hunkering down quietly in the wake of the now weekly revelations of the depth and breadth of its domestic and international espionage and surveillance.

Au contraire, mon frère!  Instead they've given a big "fuck you" to the world with the design of their latest mission patch.  As HuffPo puts it:  "America Is Launching A Giant, World-Sucking Octopus Into Space".  Again.

This from the launch of a classified payload by the National Reconnaissance Office, the NSA partner responsible for providing satellite-based surveillance capabilities.

This wasn't exactly hidden, as the logo was tweeted by the Office of the DNI on the day of the launch:

Ready for launch? An Atlas 5 will blast off at just past 11PM, PST carrying an classified NRO payload (also cubesats)

So, is this a result of arrogant indifference to the concerns of the American public over NSA/NRO spying activities?  Is it an ironic joke?  Or could it be a threatening reminder, a kind of Psy-op employed as none-too-subtle intimidation tactic?

I suspect the latter.  But I have been wrong before.  Once.


  1. I'm not sure how to comment, as I'm ... speechless ...

    This would make a good cross stitch, if anyone out there's into that sorta thang

  2. You know, my father was involved in the intelligence milieu and as I recall, these guys tend to have a warped sense of humor. That could be the story behind this patch. But I can't help but wonder if it is in fact an intimidation tactic like I ask in the post: "we're flagrantly trampling the Constitution, in yer face liberty boy!" Seriously, kind of like "we're here we're ears get used to it!"

    What do you think Dave? Could the NRO/NSA really be mocking the outcry against their activities as a kind of "revelation of the method" or is it a more ironic gesture?

    You know my pops was with SOCCENT? the special-ops arm of command that manages military activities from Libya, down through the horn of Africa and across the Arabian peninsula, taking in Iraq of course and concluding with Afghanistan. He was also an NSA-trained cryptographer (not cryptologist) It's at times like this I wish he were still around to talk about this.

    My uncle was telling me the other day about conversations they had where my dad predicted the US would spend the better part of the next several decades embroiled in Middle Eastern wars....this was well before Gulf War I kicked off....

    Oh yeah, he also worked in psy-ops when he was in Vietnam. Molon labe!

  3. There 34 stars too, which means nothing, but Before counting I estimated it could be 32 or 33, which would have been innaresting!

  4. Well, here's what "they" claim: “NROL-39 is represented by the octopus, a versatile, adaptable, and highly intelligent creature. Emblematically, enemies of the United States can be reached no matter where they choose to hide,” Karen Furgerson, an NRO spokesperson, told Forbes' Kashmir Hill. “‘Nothing is beyond our reach’ defines this mission and the value it brings to our nation and the warfighters it supports, who serve valiantly all over the globe, protecting our nation.”

  5. Heh, you've probably linked to this before, but:

    I esp. like the "Get your kicks on 66" logo

  6. Shit, I lost my comment. Basically I said two things: the octopus reminds me of political cartoons from about 100 years ago attacking the monopolies. The NRO explanation is probably what it was intended to symbolize, with the added bonus that the octopus will on some level or other know that it's not only enemies of the state who are within reach, but everybody. Notice his body is sitting atop North America....

    The second was that the Vigilant Citizen guy rips people off shamelessly. I'd ver seen this patch article but I've seen a nearly identical one. VC is notorious for taking peoples' idea and research and presenting it as some startling and original find. That site is pretty lucrative, you can bet.

    I try to avoid that site; you can be sure that anything on there is lifted from the more groundbreaking work of someone else.

  7. Thanks for the heads up on the VC.

    Why do you reckon the earth's blue and the sea's green? B/c it's usually the other way around.

    And the octopus is orange b/c that best offsets the blue/green, right? Lemme know if you have another thought on that.

  8. I would say the orange is probable....but you know, I thik you're reading the map wrong, I think the sea is blue and the land green, what we see is Europe, North Africa and the Middle East?


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