Monday, March 09, 2009

Up to their old tricks

A Chinese news Web site reported yesterday that U.S. navy vessels have been busy conducting what they call "illegal surveying activities." Surveying might indeed be "surveilling" spelled phonetically.

But, who gives a flying fajita about phonetics. All the Defense Department would ask is that we think about what might have prompted the surveillance in the first place. Acording to Reuters, our venerable Pentagon alleges that Chinese ships "harassed the vessel in international waters." Imagine being harassed by a vessel? That might be enough to cause anyone to conduct a survey!

And in a related story, the guy who coordinates government cybersecurity programs, Rod Beckstrom, just quit over the role played by the National Security Agency. The former Silicon Valley entrepreneur wants separation of powers, go figure, and expressed concern about which part of government will be calling the shots on keeping our computers out of the hands of enemy combatants. Will it be the same folks who have been electronically eavesdropping, or "surveying," us for the past eight years?

You may recall, too, that about a month ago, a U.S. Navy officer toured the detention camp at Guantanamo Bay, and said that is now meets "humane" standards. Some folks are taking time out from perpetual war to drink the Kool-Aid.

In these challenging times, some might be heartened to know that the Navy and the Pentagon are still up to their old tricks.