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NSA Director Announces Purchase Of All Four Major Cell Phone Companies

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This week Duffel Blog sat down with Gen. Keith Alexander, Director of the National Security Agency, for an exclusive interview about Edward Snowden’s defection and the Agency’s relationship with Congress. The following are some of the highlights of that interview.

DB: Gen. Alexander thanks for taking time for this interview today. I know you’re very busy so let me get started. I can imagine it’s been a very difficult few months. What are you feeling right now? Angry? Vengeful?

Gen. Alexander: You know not really. A lot of people are surprised when I say I’m more frustrated and confused rather than angry.

DB: Confused? Over what?

DIRNSA: The first thing I want you to know is that everyone who works at NSA, be they military, civilians or contractors, are all US citizens just like you and I. Well, except for the Brits, the Canadians, the Aussies and the New Zealanders, but don’t mind them. We wouldn’t want NSA gathering intelligence on us any more than you would.

I know people are angry when they hear we’re “collecting metadata” on people but I look around at our society and I just say, “Jesus Christ! Come on people!” We live in a country where it has become the norm to share the shape, consistency and odor associated with you last bowel movement on multiple social networks. You really shouldn’t bitch that I’m invading your privacy by checking to see if you calling terrorist on your cell phone. Should you?

DB: Well, that is a good point if maybe a little overly graphically made.

DIRNSA: Here’s another one. I have this friend on Facebook who just about every freakin’ day posts an article to my wall about how NSA is invading America’s privacy and using our advanced technology to track US citizens using their cell phones. I don’t have to use advanced technology to track Dave because this asshat updates his GPS coordinates from his iPhone every 15 minutes. Sometimes I log on and all I have is, “Dave is at the Burger Barn.” “Dave is at the dry cleaners.” “Dave is at the drug store.” You know what? Screw you Dave.

DB: Wait, you have a Facebook account? You have friends on Facebook?

DIRNSA: Yeah, Dave sent me a friend request a few years back and I remember him as a pretty cool guy in high school. Now he’s just a dick.

DB: Sir, we seem to have gotten a little off track. Let’s get back to Snowden. How is NSA responding to this monumental intelligence leak?

DIRNSA: That’s a good question and one the American people should be asking. When we first learned Edward Snowden had disappeared and was likely in the People’s Republic of China we began an intensive review of his background, his work assignments and professional behaviors and his lifestyle to determine what we missed that would have indicated this was going to happen and to identify key indicators to help us prevent this type of thing from happening in the future.

DB: Can you tell us what you discovered?

DIRNSA: Absolutely, after a great deal of research we’ve determined the primary issue is that he’s a ginger.

DB: Excuse me? A ginger?

DIRNSA: Absolutely, my grandmother always told me that people with red hair are the children of the devil and they get a freckle for every soul they steal. It looks like Memaw Jenkins was right.

DB: So what actions are you taking in response?

DIRNSA: I have asked the Deputy Director to begin a review of all security files of every Agency affiliate who meets similar criteria. Let me stress, we’re not just talking gingers. We’re going to be investigating everyone from the strawberry blonds all the way to the fiery red heads. I’ve also directed that anyone with more than 15 visible freckles should be polygraphed immediately in case they have dyed their hair or tried some other subterfuges.

DB: Have you had any complaints about your new program?

DIRNSA: I got a late night call claiming to be from the Hibernian Society of Baltimore saying I was discriminating against Irish-Americans. They sounded drunk so they probably were Irish but I want to stress this is not racial profiling. NSA is not prejudiced based on race or ethnic background. If a person of Asian or African ancestry comes in here with red hair, they’re going to get treated the same as the Paddies.

DB: But sir, I’ve seen pictures of you as a young officer where your hair was brown but it had definite red tinges in it.

DIRNSA: I don’t know what the hell you’re talking about but if you bring it back up I’ll make damn sure you don’t complete another cell phone call until you’re 60! Any questions?

DB: Umm, no sir. Let’s move on to the fallout from the Snowden defection. You’ve been hauled before Congress on several occasions. You have spoken to the media more than once. The American people have expressed deep concerns about a court-sanctioned relationship between NSA and several cell phone providers. How is this going to effect NSA intelligence collection mission long-term?

DIRNSA: First let me say this. I have nothing but respect for our Congressional leadership. It is a basic principle of our nation, enshrined in the Constitution, upheld in the Courts and proven by history to be the greatest and most robust bulwark against tyranny in the long narrative of mankind. Sure they will bang any cocktail waitress in the District of Columbia and some of them like to send snapshots of their man parts to unsuspecting women. God only knows they haven’t passed a serious law in around eight years, and if they could pass a budget I wouldn’t have to furlough a big chunk of my workforce but they are there for a reason and we have to respect that.[pullquote position=”right”]That is not what I said. I said we’re buying four cell phone companies: Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile.[/pullquote]

And in the Executive Branch it could be very easily said that these people are nothing but political hacks that got their jobs through campaign contributions, favors and cronyism but these are our leaders. I have to respect their authority and their responsibilities. And let me makes this perfectly clear, when I say, “I have to respect their authority,” I’m saying I am legally obligated to. It’s the law. It’s not like I have any choice in the matter.

DB: So what are you telling Congress about the future of NSA?

DIRNSA: Great question. As you know we’ve been taking a lot of flak in the press for our court approved relationships with several cell phone service providers. As I have said on many occasions we have court orders approving the data mining. We briefed Congress on the program many times and we brief the President on our findings regularly. We’ve also briefed Congress regularly on what we’ve discovered from the data we’ve retrieved and the terrorist plots we’ve uncovered. So we’ve done our best to do our due diligence in order to ensure the American people we’re staying within the limits of the law but still, that hasn’t made people happy. So we’ve decided if they’re going to hate us anyway, we might as well do something big. So I can announce today that we have Congressional authorization to buy the four biggest U.S. cell phone companies.

DB: Excuse me; did you say NSA was going to buy a cell phone company?

DIRNSA: That is not what I said. I said we’re buying four cell phone companies: Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile.

DB: Isn’t that kind of a bold move?

DIRNSA: Not really. We had this idea a few years ago when through a front company we bought MySpace. That was a dead end. Who knew there wasn’t any information of any sort on MySpace anymore? Then we thought about Facebook. It was going public, we could suck up most of the stock and make sure nobody knew it but like I said earlier, any jackass with a computer can log on there any find out anything he wants about anyone with an account. We looked at Google but it turns out they’ve already been picked up by the Chinese or Satan, assuming there’s a difference.

Then this whole Snowden thing happened and we were out of the closet so to speak. We don’t have to skulk around any more. So we’re picking up the four largest cell phone providers overtly. It will cost a little more up front but those guys make huge bank, I’m telling ya’ and it will save us a ton of money on lawyer’s fees.

DB: So let me clarify my earlier question. When I said this was a “bold move” what I should have said was, “Isn’t this patently illegal.” Will the American people stand for this?

DIRNSA: Illegal, as in against the law? Since Congress writes the law, they decided to write this into it. And will the American people stand for it? No they won’t. I’m sure everyone will turn off their cell phones and do without… NOT! We’re a country welded to our phones. Listen, people are so stupid about their phones we have to spend millions of dollars to tell them not to text and drive. Do we tell them they shouldn’t read a novel and drive? No, or wear a blindfold and drive? No we don’t because people know that would be stupid but we have to tell them not to text and drive. Why? Because cell phones are like electronic crystal meth. Once someone gets a phone they have to have one all the time. And what are they going to do if the decide to leave Sprint or AT&T? Go to Cricket or Tracfone? No, I don’t think so.

And yes, I know what you’ll say next. We’re the government and the government screws up everything it touches but the amount you’re paying for that smartphone in your pocket makes a $300 ashtray on a submarine seem like good fiscal planning.

DB: And it’s not like you would make customer service any worse.

DIRNSA: Exactly.

DB: Gen. Alexander, thank you for your time. It has been very informative.

DIRNSA: It’s not a problem. My Public Affairs Office will be available if you have any follow-ups. Oh, call your mother. You blew off those two voicemails last night. I didn’t want to say anything but your dad’s drinking again and she needs someone to talk to. Have a good afternoon.

Army

Badge hunter to become latest Army badge

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JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. — The U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command announced the most recent attempt at Army retention today — another badge.

The Army says the badge-hunter badge will distinguish the service, citing the successes of historic organizations like the Boy Scouts of America, the restaurant Chotchkie’s from the movie Office Space, and Mattel’s line of never-ending Barbie accessories.

Public Affairs Officer Maj. John Wagner called it “the mother of all badges,” in a press briefing.

“We aim to have the most on our uniforms,” Wagner said. “We see it as an opportunity considering the new pinks and greens uniform is coming out. Look at Marine uniforms. Almost nothing. It’s terrible. How are they able to measure their self-worth if they can’t have forty pieces of fabric and shiny metal to wear to every banquet?”

The badge aims to recognize Soldiers who endlessly pursue awards and schools, often going months without being seen in their units.

“We aren’t ready to unveil what it looks like.” Wagner said. “But what we are allowed to say is it’s epic. The size of a baby’s head. Maybe the size of a tea plate.”

The badge hunter is only available to individuals with over 50 percent school time to service ratios. Positive evaluations are not a prerequisite, and a minimum of four badges must already adorn a Soldier’s uniform prior to applying for the badge.

No other requirements are known. Only badge hunters themselves know the true path to attaining the shiny piece of metal.

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Marine Corps

NCIS sting: Marines bribe officials for acceptance into University of Phoenix, Strayer University

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The Naval Criminal Investigation Service announced today the indictment of several Marines accused of bribing college officials for admission to some of the nation’s top online diploma mills.

“These bribes deprived veterans, other service members and average American dupes the chance to get ahead,” NCIS Agent Tom Malloy told reporters. “They prevented the opportunity for hard working people to advance careers through an esteemed and rigorous education.”

NCIS opened its investigation after a Camp Lejeune unit education officer dropped an envelope stuffed with one and five dollar bills and an application to Strayer University written in crayon. A civilian contractor turned the envelope over to NCIS, igniting a scandal that involved multiple Marine Corps bases, according to Malloy.

“In most instances, an education officer took half of the money and sent the rest to the university official,” Malloy said.

The University of Phoenix, Capella University, and Grand Canyon University were also implicated in the scandal. Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert Neller expressed shock at the alleged scheme.

“Marines are taught to use black pens on official documents,” Neller said. “Crayons are strictly for consumption.”

NCIS agents believe junior enlisted Marines hatched the plan when looking to enroll in classes that coincided with field day formations. Education officers insisted the Marines would need extra help in enrolling in these for-profit colleges. The education officers earned between $5 and $6 per application for a total of over $500,000 in bribes, according to NCIS.

“I was a little confused when I was approached with a bribe for admission the first time,” an admissions officer for Phoenix University said. “I mean, we’ll enroll anyone with a line of credit or access to tuition assistance money. I took the bribe of course. It only had a few dollars covered in grease and glitter that probably came from a local strip club.”

It is still unclear if the universities will expel the students involved. Most will remain enrolled until their payment checks clear.

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Army

Veteran didn’t risk his life at Bagram Pizza Hut just to see U.S. and Taliban sign peace deal

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A local Army veteran expressed outrage this morning over talks of a U.S.-Taliban peace deal, saying he didn’t risk his life during a two-month deployment to Bagram Airbase “just to see the war end like this.”

Cody Bennett started his protest on social media after U.S. special representative for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad began negotiations with the Taliban to end the war. As one of the “elite one percent” who join the military, Bennett says most Americans won’t understand his point of view, but somebody needs to speak truth to power.

“Me and my boys put too much on the line out there just to see these spineless politicians settle for peace,” said the former administrative clerk who was sent home early due to bone spurs suffered on the base gym’s elliptical machine. “Are my blood, sweat and tears worth nothing?”

Bennett claims that he and other veterans often had to combat issues like minimal selection at the base Pizza Hut as well as long lines and limited hours at the dining facility.

“A large pizza for sixteen dollars? I put my life on the line day in and day out, and they’re going to try to swill me for sixteen dollars? On top of that, they never use enough sauce,” said Bennett, who never came within 200 meters of the base’s perimeter and was administratively separated from the Army for being overweight.

“Those guys, the ones like me that held the line for their country despite slightly below average dining standards compared to middle-class American expectations, those are the true heroes,” he added. Don’t talk to me about peace or freedom until you’ve had to live through that hell.”

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Army

Major forced to go to morning PT spontaneously combusts

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Fort Bragg, N.C. — An Army major met a disastrous end when he was forced to attend morning PT formation for the first time in seven years, sources confirmed today.

Maj. Eric Hindenburg burst into a ball of fire the moment the battalion commander called the unit to attention.

“We couldn’t tell if it was the sun coming up or one of the joes lighting more fireworks or what. I’ve seen some strange things before, but I’ve never actually seen a major at PT formation,” Sgt. Mark Tunguska told reporters.

Famous for delegating nearly all responsibility, sitting in eight hours worth of meetings a day, and a near universal acceptance of the dad bod, majors have long been an acceptable and simultaneously disdained reality the Army has sustained to keep the wheels of the machine coasting forward.

“Major Hindenburg was … well, come to think of it, he was sort of like all the other majors I’ve ever met. Uh, he was a guy. I guess that’s the only thing I remember about him,” continued Tunguska.

Fellow majors reacted with shock and remorse. Maj. John Morrison, the battalion operations officer, buckled and wept at the news of Hindenberg’s demise.

“Oh, the humanity!” he cried.

The battalion’s majors scheduled a vigil to take place tonight at the local Waffle House.

Hindenburg is survived by ten cats, air stream, and fridge full of micro brews in his garage.

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Marine Corps

134 percent of Marines arrested in nationwide ASVAB cheating scam

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Federal officials charged thousands of active duty Marines, including several prominent recruiters, today in what the Justice Department says was a costly $5 scheme to cheat ASVAB testing standards.

Nine gazillion Marines allegedly paid a strange man in a trench coat who said he would fabricate test scores and organize bribes to help men and women gain acceptance into the highly regarded service.

“We’re talking about pure dishonesty and rampant fraud — completely fake test scores, fake MEPS physical exams, and bribed officials with meet and greets with Jim Mattis,” Blake Strathman, a U.S. Marine Corp Recruitment Oversight official said at a news conference.

Strathman said Marines “paid from up to $5 to a whole box of crayons” to try to ensure that their scores went above the required 32 to enter the service. The accused allegedly sent bribes to associates controlled by a Virginia man named Dan Shaw in return for securing passing scores on the ASVAB as well as for spreading rumors that they are very strong and mean.

Shaw also presented his clients as elite killers, Strathman said.

“In some cases, Shaw helped Marine applicants take staged photographs of them engaged in Spartan races and intense paintball competitions,” he said. “Other times, Shaw and his connections used stock photos of famous wartime battles and photoshopped the face of the applicant onto the picture and submitted them to recruiters.”

Strathman was asked if he has 250 fake photoshopped pictures and 175 bribes, how many pictures and bribes does he have in all

“SEVEN! No wait. If you carry the two and subtract the 5, you end up with $35 dollars and a 2 strippers with dragon tattoos! Did I win?” he responded.

A total of one thousand million have been charged in the recruitment scheme, according to Marine Corps officials. More than twenty zillion people in multiple states were taken into custody Wednesday as part of “Operation No Impact, No Idea,” said Jake Pugh, special agent in charge of the Marine’s Investigation division.

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Air Force

Parents bribe service academies to not accept their children’s applications

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WEST POINT — As a string of high-profile college bribery scandals come to light, the FBI has also uncovered that affluent parents are covertly paying service academy admissions to reject applications coming from their children, sources confirmed today.

“I wouldn’t want my child to suffer through a service academy either,” says chief investigator Gary Burkmire. “But there’s a right way and a wrong way for your kids to get ahead in life, and helping them avoid a subpar education through lies and crime is not the way to do it.”

Parents with children in service academies are outraged.

“So I, a poor single mother, have to watch my son go to West Point while rich parents have the privilege of seeing their kids amount to something in life?” asks Sheila Jones. “The wealthy elite really are evil.”

Burkmire has emphasized that the bribes were done without the knowledge of the children.

“Let’s make sure not to blame the kids here,” he told reporters. “Many of them were bright enough to be able to avoid a military education all on their own, but their parents didn’t have enough faith and made things worse.”

In some instances, the fraud even included paying up to $500,000 for an impostor to show up to the child’s Candidate Fitness Test and fail for them.

The legal repercussions of the scandal fall somewhat on the youth, despite the crimes originating with their parents.

“Unfortunately, regardless of qualifications, all applicants involved in the bribery scandal have been admitted to the service academy of their choice, and must report on the first day of school,” says Burkmire. “I hate to see this kind of thing, but it’s what happens when you mess with the system.”

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Navy

Carrier forced into early retirement after being exposed as maritime supremacist

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WASHINGTON  Pentagon officials confirmed today that their announcement calling for the unexpected retirement of USS Harry S. Truman stemmed from shocking revelations of the aircraft carrier’s dark history as a maritime supremacist.

“I think it’s safe to say with a namesake like that [Truman], it was only a matter of time before another N-bomb was dropped,” said acting Pentagon press secretary Charles Summers, Jr. “The Department of Defense has zero-tolerance for supremacist ideologies.”

The Nitmitz-class supercarrier, who planned on maintaining freedom of the seas for at least twenty more years, was forced into early retirement after allegations of its unchallenged power projection made national headlines. It remains undetermined whether said power was black or white, but defense officials fear it could be haze grey power, boding poorly for future surface combatants seeking to establish a forward presence across the globe.

“Proactively addressing these intolerable issues — like sea control — by reducing our carrier fleet from 11 to 10 was the right move and in complete alignment with our national interests,” stated acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan.

“The advent of hypersonic, anti-ship ballistic exposés have all but eliminated the viability and utility of the American aircraft carrier,” he continued. “Air power from the sea is a relic of an undignified chapter of our nation’s history.”

The Truman could not be reached for comment, but sources close to it said that it was thinking about settling down in the warmer climes of southern Texas.

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News

Trump to host “Who Wants To Be A Cabinet Secretary?” to find next secretary of defense

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – The White House is negotiating a reality television show with producer Mark Burnett to identify the next secretary of defense nominee with President Donald Trump set to host, sources confirmed today.

The show, titled “Who Wants To Be A Defense Secretary?” will pit contestant against each other as they vie for the job of leading the U.S. military. Patrick Shanahan has been acting secretary of defense since January 1, 2019, and the White House must nominate a permanent appointee for Senate approval.

“As President Trump says, a lot of people want to be part of this cabinet,” said a senior Defense Department official involved in the show’s development. “And he proved on ‘The Apprentice’ that nobody is better at picking winners from the pack in a way that’s both thorough and entertaining.”

The Department of Defense is America’s largest employer, with over three million uniformed and civilian members. Presidential administrations often nominate appointees who are government or private sector leaders experienced with managing substantial programs or national security issues.

“Selecting a nominee the traditional way would be the opposite of draining the swamp,” said a senior White House official. “We want to give the best leaders a chance to compete. They could come from any circle – government, industry, or even television commentators. They have a unique perspective on national defense issues because they talk about them so much and many are retired majors or colonels.”

Although the show is in the early development, it will include Burnett’s familiar reality show “challenges” where contestants compete to prove their skills. One challenge will require contenders to reallocate funds to another government project while transforming the Defense Department to face peer and near-peer adversaries while simultaneously managing a housing crisis. Another will require withdrawing forces from previous conflict commitments without any discussion with senior commanders, strategic analysis, or military decision-making processes that normally support such planning.

In a challenge tentatively titled “Allies, (Huh, Good God Ya’ll) What Are They Good For?,” contestants will have to find innovative ways to pursue military cooperation with countries that traditional allies call “pariahs.”

“Mil-to-mil cooperation with allies is easy. An innovative leader finds ways to cooperate with so-called despots,” said a Defense Department official.

Republican Sen. Tom Cotton, a past front-runner for defense secretary and an expert on military affairs after a tour in Afghanistan and Iraq, is a contender, according to sources. A second possible challenger is Russia expert and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

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