What, you may well ask, is my government doing for me right now? 1 Well you may ask!
In anticipation of November’s general election your typical Federal worker is biding his time. That’s right – he’s cleaning his desk, finishing up old work and projects, leaving early to go golf and in general not doing much.
Fire the bastard!, you might say. Good idea, except for one small detail – there’s really no one left to fire him. Here’s how that works.
When a new President is elected he normally puts his ‘own’ people into important roles, such as “Cabinet Level Positions.” The current cabinet (sans cabinet level administrative positions like VP, Chief of Staff, Director of National Intelligence, etc etc etc) is comprised of the following:
Secretary of State, Secretary of the Treasury, Secretary of Defense, Attorney General, Secretary of the Interior, Secretary of Agriculture, Secretary of Commerce, Secretary of Labor, Secretary of Health and Human Services, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Secretary of Transportation, Secretary of Energy, Secretary of Education, Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Secretary of Homeland Security.
Each of these posts are WH appointees. They are appointed by, and serve at the pleasure of, the President. Which means Shrub can fire them at will. Which also means that Obama can, and most certainly will, fire all of them upon his arrival in the White House. 2
Each of these individuals head Departments that contain any number of Agencies and Offices. Those Agencies and Offices in turn employ up to hundreds of thousands of Feds and contractors. Let’s use the DOJ as an example. Click here and keep it open as we talk…ready? Okay.
Notice how many organizations fall under DOJ? Each of them has an Administrator, who appoints a Deputy Administrator who usually appoints an Assistant Deputy Administrator who recommends a CIO, CSO and CFO, who pick Associate CIOs, CSOs & CFOs for each Agency or Office, whom then appoint or suggest Directors for each Division in their area, who then hire Branch Chiefs who pick their Team Leads to manage the worker bees…
Fun isn’t it? At this exact moment every Fed of the position Director upward is busily sending out resumes to private practice in order to get a jump on the upcoming exodus.
Which means that in many, if not most cases, Federal policy is being set and implemented by brave/adventuresome/crazy GS-12/13s. These employees are not usually in supervisory positions and, even if they were, would tend not to discipline their fellow workers for the nominal salary of $50-70 K P/A (special rates excluded here).
Hence, what is occurring in Government at many, many, many levels right now is what is referred to as ‘In-House Annual’. Isn’t that special? What is more fun is that it will take the new White House Administration – no matter who wins- up to a year (after next January 20th) to firmly place all of their new people and get their policies up and running.
And that’s only if the incoming Administration is very, very effective.
A very few of you will find this comforting. More than a few will be jealous. A whole lot of you will be aghast. Fear not, common citizen – some of us are still hard at work!
If you were a bad guy trying to steal nuclear material in America, where would you look? That’s right – Berkeley, California.
The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, operated by the University of California for the US Department of Energy, would be an excellent place to look!
There, surrounded by multi-story steel-mesh fencing, a chain-gun land mined ‘no-mans’ area, sci-fi electronic security gear, armed guards and overhead cables to prevent a helicopter/sky-divers landing on the roof, sits something known as the “Superblock.” Inside the Superblock 3 reposes roughly 2,000 pounds of plutonium and weapons-grade uranium.
You do the math on how many nukes that would make.
Let’s say that some employees of the DOJ recently got off their collective duffs and simulated a terror attack against those defenses. Let’s say a commando team posing as terrorists attacked and penetrated the lab, quickly overpowering its defenses to reach its “objective” – a mock payload of fissile material. Way to go, Team! Hu-aaah!!!! Yea…wait, what?
It appears there are a number of serious security ‘shortcomings’ at Livermore. 4
Congressional staff from both parties were informed of the episode, and experts familiar with Livermore said the tests were…er…”an embarrassment” and that “immediate steps” were needed to correct what some called “the most dangerous security weaknesses ever found at the lab.”
Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman 5 was informed, as well as “senior officials in the U.S. nuclear and national security apparatus.”
Someone will get right on that…
What about the Internetz, Google and your Government?
Well, aside from your US Government buying $3.5 million dollars worth of CISCO hardware…that wasn’t really CISCO hardware but Chinese knockoffs, things are really, really good!
The Air Force is proposing to build its own zombie network, so it can launch distributed denial of service attacks on foreign enemies! Yea, Go Team!
In its best idea since the gay bomb, the Air Force wants to deliberately install DDoS code on its unclassified computers, as well as civilian government machines. And suggests mounting botnet code on the Air Force’s high-speed intrusion-detection systems, allowing a quick response by directly linking our counterattack to the system that detects an incoming attack.
After that, the Air Force could add botnet code to all its desktop computers attached to the Nonsecret Internet Protocol Network (NIPRNet). Once the system reaches a level of maturity, it would add other .mil computers, then .gov machines.
Hmmmm… on its surface, this seems -at best- a Strangelovian ideas.
I mean – the Air Force seems to think that building a massively distributed computing system to, essentially, flood the Internets with more as a defensive measure is a great idea.
What about all the, you know, other networks in-between the Air Force and the ‘enemy’?
On the other hand…
In’t this already 6 in place?
Didn’t the telco duopoly install direct fiber links into all those new top secret government communications hubs? 7 If so, what’s to stop the telcos from providing a mirror of all the data streams for, you know, ‘national defense’ or warrant-less surveillance reasons?
The entire world knows -and seemly cares less- that the telcos spread their legs to The Dark Lord and Shrub; why would they not have also provided the staging point needed to covertly alter routes & dynamically modify or delete content, to include initiating brand-new traffic on-demand?
I mean: how are YOU going to know, right?
From outside a telco the end result will look just the same. Inside, The Matrix.
DCS 1000/2000, Magic Lantern, Carnivore (and their recently distributed automated progeny) have already positioned the US to impersonate the entire Internetz with the flip of a switch, so the idea of recycling old 386 boxes into botnets is probably meant to make stupid people 8 believe that nothing really sophisticated will happen for a few more decades, so knock yourselves out! Let the cyber crime spree begin! That’s a damn good, sneaky idea… Wait.
They’re going to funnel it thriugh all those bogus CISCO switches, routers and firewalls from China, aren’t they?
Crap. Maybe next time…
Well, that’s that. That’s pretty much what your government is up to right now. There may be a bake sale later this summer, or the Armed Forces could implode, or maybe the elections will be suspended because of an ‘event’. Only time will tell.
- Aside from sponsoring the long running Iraqi Games, the current Obama/Clinton Cage Match and supposedly sending you money, I mean. ↩
- Or McCain, for that matter; but why depress ourselves needlessly? ↩
- Building 332 to be exact. ↩
- For example the hydraulic system -essential to operating a Gatling gun that protects the facility- flat out failed. No backup. ↩
- Who took a break from brushing up his what? That’s right – resume! ↩
- illegally ↩
- Conveniently co-located on the other side of the drywall from major backbone switching hubs. ↩
- Who are just searching for porn. Or writing blogs. Whatever: they aren’t paying attention. ↩