Monday, July 26, 2010

Interactive Map Of All Of The World's Intelligence Headquarters (Google Maps)

If the recent Washington Post story, Top Secret America, frustrated you and the recent Wikileak's posting of 75,000+ incident reports from Afghanistan made you downright angry, you may not be pleased but you will be hard-pressed not to feel a bit of schadenfreude at a recent Google Map created by Ana out of Portugal (NFI and via Google Maps Mania) that purports to show the location of all of the world's intelligence headquarters (plus other buildings when known).

The US is not spared here either, of course, but the details on the rest of the world (assuming they are correct) presents a pretty interesting insight into intelligence activity worldwide.  You can see the map below or click on this link to get to a full page version of the map.

Ver World Intelligence HQ's num mapa maior

(Note:  If you are trying to track all of the news related to the recent wikileaks story, I am posting interesting articles I find into the "Sam's Shared Items" box to your right.)
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Dan Callahan said...

As you suggested, I am frustrated that The Wash. Post makes such unsupported innuendo out of the fact that, as a nation, we need to keep secrets. This has a list of problems: A) as if polygraphed federal employees/contractors are not to be trusted simply because they know something that the general public doesn’t know; B) as if all things are better and safer if released to the public (how na├»ve is that!); C) a civil servant gone bad is somehow more egregious than doctors, attorneys, corporate execs … who go bad… D) that a pure democracy is somehow immune to overreaction (the Founding fathers of America knew crowds could be whipped into a frenzy, hence the creation and sustainment of the electoral college.). The list could go on and on.
To make this worse Hollywood has made a sub-industry out of spies-gone-bad movies (although I happen to really enjoy them…) Of course, no sane person is suggesting we shouldn’t bring corruption of any kind “to justice” but I get the feeling that Dana Priest and William Arkin distrust folks because they have secrets, not necessarily what the secrets may be (in and of themselves). Not that I am a fan if Lyndon Johnson, but even he admitted that if you can get your political enemy to have to deny a false accusation, some percentage of the population will believe the false accusation, simply because you forced them to have to deny it publicly. This is not professional when reports to it and unethical when politicians do it.
Am I alone in this? Does anyone else have this feeling?

jjfanning said...

I don't know if you are alone, but you're not in the same playbook that I go by.
There are too many clearances being granted today and all those clearances add up to far more use of classified designations than is necessary and far more opportunities for people to release and sell classified information.
There is more treason being committed today by American citizens than ever before in the history of this country. That's a fact. And the reasons for this are:
A. There is far more opportunity to commit treason today than every before. More classified information and more people with access to classified information equals more opportunity to trade in secrets.
B. We are at war. Which means people are at war with us. Which means people are in greater need of acquiring classified information from us.
C. We are in a religious war. It's always been about God and Country and it's always been in that order. God first.

So while the Post centers their story on how too many clearances is bad for democracy, the real danger is that it is a terrible way to keep secrets.

As for the democracy aspect, as much as we Americans like to tell ourselves how strong democracy is, the fact is democracy is a very fragile form of government. It is dependent upon full bellies, an educated populace and the free flow of information. A democracy without one of those three is faltering. A democracy without two of those three can be toppled.

As for civil servants going bad versus doctors, etc. The fact is when a doctor betrays trust, as bad as that is, it only affects a small group of people. When a civil servant betrays trust, it is a violation committed against every American. It is also an assault upon the sacrifices made by every American and Patriot who gave their life for our country. There is a reason why treason was made punishable by death in the country. And it's a damn good reason.