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NSA Declassifies Memo About Failed TRAILBLAZER Project 15

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the what-a-wonderful-job-you've-done-embezzling-funds dept.
decora writes "Ellen Nakashima of the Washington Post reports that the NSA has just declassified one of the 5 documents NSA whistleblower Thomas Andrews Drake was charged under the Espionage Act for retaining in his basement. The document, which Drake previously faced years in prison for possessing, is essentially a cheerleading memo, complimenting the Trailblazer project team for a great presentation and demo. It stands in stark contrast to numerous other reports that described the NSA IT project as an overbudget, ineffective, billion dollar seven year boondoggle."
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NSA Declassifies Memo About Failed TRAILBLAZER Project

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  • false dichotomy? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Kozz (7764) on Tuesday July 24, 2012 @08:30AM (#40747735)

    From TFS:

    The document, which Drake previously faced years in prison for possessing, is essentially a cheerleading memo, complimenting the Trailblazer project team for a great presentation and demo. It stands in stark contrast to numerous other reports that described the NSA IT project as an overbudget, ineffective, billion dollar seven year boondoggle.

    (emphasis mine)

    I don't see why it can't be both. I think maybe it's a combination of poor management and cognitive dissonance that leads some to cheer the loudest for projects even if they're failing hard. I think we've probably all seen this phenomenon.

    • by CrazyDuke (529195)

      It can be anything from just trying to be positive (too scared to criticize, feels it will do more harm that good) to flat-out Narcissistic manipulation and posturing. There is too little to go on to narrow the field. But, considering organizational politics, it's probably some of both and quite a bit more. There's all kinds in the zoo.

      • In that time-frame, "criticizing" was tantamount to being an "America-hating terrorist." The Emperor's clothes weren't just pretty, they were fucking gorgeous!
  • Normal? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mseeger (40923) on Tuesday July 24, 2012 @08:42AM (#40747831)

    I think 90+% of all failed projects started with a great presentation. Bad presentations don't start projects ;-).

  • Colorful pictures, good coffee and cookies will get you started, but in the end you need something more substantial for a project to succeed.
  • Bad Summary (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    The linked memo is very clearly about TURBULENCE, not TRAILBLAZER. Do Slashdot's editors even read what they post anymore?

    • considering that i wrote most of the wikipedia articles about these projects, that i am one of the people who filed FOIA requests about them, and that ive spent hundreds of hours reading about it, youd think id know this.

      however, 60+ hour weeks and staying up too late trying to write slashdot summaries can fell the basic reading comprehension of anyone.

      and no they dont have editors. they have curators who expect their authors to do a good job which i have clearly been failing at lately.

  • After careful examination of the meaningless documents, I'd say it looks a lot like the NSA needs a new inkjet printer. Or, at least they should use the automatic cleaning function (but in that case they'll also need a new ink cartridge).

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The NSA must be desperate to remain relevant now because they seem to want to pit themselves up against WikiLeaks.

    "we both believe information increases in value by sharing;"

    Well if that isn't the organisational goal of WikiLeaks, I don't know what is.

    "we both respect protection of privacy and civil liberties;"

    WikiLeaks lets for you discover your civil liberties are being violated, at an unselective, but arguably necessary cost of some privacy loss.

    "we both believe in the need for oversight that fosters inn

  • Wrong program (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 24, 2012 @12:39PM (#40751513)

    That memo is about Turbulence not Trailblazer. Do some research and you'll find that they're very different (in fact, pretty much opposite).

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