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  #1  
Old 23 September 2017, 11:09
MALSV MALSV is offline
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Netflix "A Good American"

Netflix "A Good American" documentary on NSA anslyst who develops a program named ThinThread that if used could have prevented 9/11. Well done but disturbing how profit was placed above national security.
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Old 23 September 2017, 11:38
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I watched it the other night. I formed an opinion but then after talking to a member here I reformed my opinion.

I still think that Haden is a complete POS and should be hung along with some others, but I am of the opinion Binney wanted to sell his product, that, unless I'm mistaken, he created on the .gov's dime, and thus the .gov owns.
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Old 23 September 2017, 15:01
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This idea that there was some sort of magic bullet in the intelligence community, whether it be ThinThread, Trailblazer or some other program which could have prevented 9/11 stretches the boundaries of credibility.

Even if one of these programs had somehow disrupted the attacks on that date, we really wouldn't have known the scope of exactly what it was that was prevented. It's only in hindsight do we realize how horrible and catastrophic the event was.

Suppose for instance that somehow the attacks hadn't come off that day, not necessarily because of some stellar intel work right out of an action movie, but due to some other factor. Perhaps several hijackers were prevented from boarding a couple of the planes, and then early on the hijackers who did make it aboard were thwarted in their efforts to commandeer the aircraft, and then alerts went out to other planes in the sky to take extra precautions, thus preventing any other attempted takeovers.

I know in talking to a retired Delta Airlines attendant with over 3 decades of experience that when the ground stop went into effect and all the planes eventually landed, flight crews and other maintenance personnel inspecting and cleaning a bunch of other aircraft were finding boxcutters hidden in various areas around the cabin, meaning there were other hijackings planned.

It's only in retrospect it seems, after all the damage was done, that all of these proponents of various programs and methods come forward and start proclaiming how if they had only done this, or that or some other thing then the 9/11 attacks would have been prevented.

Confirmation bias seems to be strong not only among the truthers but from those in the field who are convinced that the attacks were preventable, but only if something they proposed had been in use.
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Old 23 September 2017, 15:15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spinner View Post
This idea that there was some sort of magic bullet in the intelligence community, whether it be ThinThread, Trailblazer or some other program which could have prevented 9/11 stretches the boundaries of credibility.

Even if one of these programs had somehow disrupted the attacks on that date, we really wouldn't have known the scope of exactly what it was that was prevented. It's only in hindsight do we realize how horrible and catastrophic the event was.

Suppose for instance that somehow the attacks hadn't come off that day, not necessarily because of some stellar intel work right out of an action movie, but due to some other factor. Perhaps several hijackers were prevented from boarding a couple of the planes, and then early on the hijackers who did make it aboard were thwarted in their efforts to commandeer the aircraft, and then alerts went out to other planes in the sky to take extra precautions, thus preventing any other attempted takeovers.

I know in talking to a retired Delta Airlines attendant with over 3 decades of experience that when the ground stop went into effect and all the planes eventually landed, flight crews and other maintenance personnel inspecting and cleaning a bunch of other aircraft were finding boxcutters hidden in various areas around the cabin, meaning there were other hijackings planned.

It's only in retrospect it seems, after all the damage was done, that all of these proponents of various programs and methods come forward and start proclaiming how if they had only done this, or that or some other thing then the 9/11 attacks would have been prevented.

Confirmation bias seems to be strong not only among the truthers but from those in the field who are convinced that the attacks were preventable, but only if something they proposed had been in use.
So you're saying I can't predict earthquakes?
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Old 23 September 2017, 15:29
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Not yet, but after you survive that lightning strike you'll be able to predict anything!

Unfortunately, the strike will also render you speechless and unable to communicate in any way at all, so we are all shit out of luck.
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Old 23 September 2017, 15:37
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Originally Posted by Spinner View Post
Not yet, but after you survive that lightning strike you'll be able to predict anything!

Unfortunately, the strike will also render you speechless and unable to communicate in any way at all, so we are all shit out of luck.
Meh, as long as I can still earn a paycheck i have no doubts I'll be able to marry
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Old 23 September 2017, 17:58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spinner View Post
This idea that there was some sort of magic bullet in the intelligence community, whether it be ThinThread, Trailblazer or some other program which could have prevented 9/11 stretches the boundaries of credibility.

Even if one of these programs had somehow disrupted the attacks on that date, we really wouldn't have known the scope of exactly what it was that was prevented. It's only in hindsight do we realize how horrible and catastrophic the event was.

Suppose for instance that somehow the attacks hadn't come off that day, not necessarily because of some stellar intel work right out of an action movie, but due to some other factor. Perhaps several hijackers were prevented from boarding a couple of the planes, and then early on the hijackers who did make it aboard were thwarted in their efforts to commandeer the aircraft, and then alerts went out to other planes in the sky to take extra precautions, thus preventing any other attempted takeovers.

I know in talking to a retired Delta Airlines attendant with over 3 decades of experience that when the ground stop went into effect and all the planes eventually landed, flight crews and other maintenance personnel inspecting and cleaning a bunch of other aircraft were finding boxcutters hidden in various areas around the cabin, meaning there were other hijackings planned.

It's only in retrospect it seems, after all the damage was done, that all of these proponents of various programs and methods come forward and start proclaiming how if they had only done this, or that or some other thing then the 9/11 attacks would have been prevented.

Confirmation bias seems to be strong not only among the truthers but from those in the field who are convinced that the attacks were preventable, but only if something they proposed had been in use.
Excellent post.

The only thing I would add to magnify the difficulty is the transition from peer/near peer conventional Cold War era threats to irregular/unconventional/asymmetric threats.

I know the US faced earlier threats from airplane hijacking when it first came into vogue, limited domestic terrorism, as well as from highly trained credentialed and non credentialed foreign intelligence and paramilitary services.

But despite the earlier domestic WTC attack and more recent(at the time) Khobar Towers, US Embassies in Kenya/Tanzania, and USS Cole attacks signalling a changing threat environment.....I get the sense that the gigantic machine that is the United States didn't possess the necessary "war footing" sense of urgency to change course and align towards the far faster evolving and innovating non state actor threat.

After considerable involvement in military single service, tri-service, and inter-agency government innovation and transformation initiatives for a small country I simply cannot imagine the incoming Bush administration or even the outgoing Clinton administration from the time of USS Cole or possible even the US embassy attacks expending the necessary and ultimately limited political capital required to shift into a war footing against the evolving threat.

The US was in the middle of a tech boom(don't rock the boat and kill the golden goose...not just counter terrorism, but the North Korean can was also very much kicked down the road), then it was quickly trying to reflate the dot com bust.

"Don't rock the boat!" turned into "Fix the NASDAQ hole in the boat!"

And then you still have to get all those Congressional, Agency, Departmental, and fiscal stars to align towards a threat evolving faster than you can all collectively move together.

I'm reminded of the book "Who says elephants can't dance?" by former IBM CEO Lou Gerstner.

Try making a herd of rogue elephants dance like the Rockettes.
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Old 23 September 2017, 19:41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colonel Flagg View Post

But despite the earlier domestic WTC attack and more recent(at the time) Khobar Towers, US Embassies in Kenya/Tanzania, and USS Cole attacks signalling a changing threat environment.....I get the sense that the gigantic machine that is the United States didn't possess the necessary "war footing" sense of urgency to change course and align towards the far faster evolving and innovating non state actor threat.
Also, even when on a war footing and high alert, sometimes the ship of state is still a little too large and cumbersome to make the required pivots. Or the pivots and course corrections are made too quickly, without any true sense of what the objective is, and wind up either being ineffectual or causing more harm.

I'm reading an article on the shootdown of one the Iranian manufactured drones over Syria this past summer by a USAF F-15, and the amount of hoops the pilot had to jump through to engage the drone was unreal.

It was only after the drone had fired one of its missiles at US backed ground forces, and the F-15 pilot could see on his second pass after refueling (he had spotted the drone earlier, with two missiles underwing) that it was now only armed with one missile, which was evidence that it had fired the missile at the troops.

I'll have to go back to the piece, but there was about 30-45 minutes that went by while commanders dithered about whether this encounter met all the criteria under the ROE in order to take it out.

We're our own worst enemies sometimes.
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