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Mon Dec 2, 2013, 06:51 PM

NSA Sent Home Talking Points for Employees to Use in Conversations with Family & Friends During Holi

Last edited Mon Dec 2, 2013, 11:23 PM - Edit history (2)

Source: Furedoglake

A sheet of talking points for employees of the National Security Agency and Central Security Services, was sent out ahead of Thanksgiving to help guide conversations with family and friends during the holiday season.

Firedoglake obtained a copy of a two-page document that was sent out on November 22. It was clearly put together for rebutting statements about the NSA from news stories on documents disclosed by former NSA contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden, and it encouraged employees to “share the following points with family members and close friends.”

The “talking points” sheet suggests that employees make five key points: (1) NSA’s mission is of great value to the Nation”; (2) NSA performs its mission the right way—lawful, compliant and in a way that protects civil liberties and privacy; (3) NSA performs its mission exceptionally well. We strive to be the best that we can be, because that’s what America requires as part of its defense in a dangerous world; (4) The people who work for NSA are loyal Americans with expert skills who make sacrifices to help protect the freedoms we all cherish; (5) NSA is committed to increased transparency, public dialog and faithful implementation of any changes required by our overseers. (No emphasis added. Underlines appear in the document.) Each key point includes sub-points that presumably an employee could additionally cite if a family member disputed their main point.


A Misleading Statistic on Disrupting Terrorism the NSA Won’t Stop Promoting

“NSA programs protect Americans and our Allies,” the document reads. “As an example, they have helped to understand and disrupt 54 terrorist events since 9/11: 25 in Europe, 11 in Asia and 5 in Africa. Thirteen of those had a homeland nexus.”...




Read more: http://dissenter.firedoglake.com/2013/12/02/nsa-sent-home-talking-points-for-employees-to-use-in-conversations-with-family-friends-during-holidays/



The document:



The pdf:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/files/2013/12/nsas-talking-points-for-holiday-gatherings.pdf

42 replies, 3147 views

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Arrow 42 replies Author Time Post
Reply NSA Sent Home Talking Points for Employees to Use in Conversations with Family & Friends During Holi (Original post)
Indi Guy Dec 2013 OP
marmar Dec 2013 #1
Jesus Malverde Dec 2013 #2
Demeter Dec 2013 #10
SoapBox Dec 2013 #3
Indi Guy Dec 2013 #14
Xithras Dec 2013 #16
Indi Guy Dec 2013 #24
Xithras Dec 2013 #25
Indi Guy Dec 2013 #27
bucolic_frolic Dec 2013 #4
Jesus Malverde Dec 2013 #5
Indi Guy Dec 2013 #13
Savannahmann Dec 2013 #6
Indi Guy Dec 2013 #15
tblue37 Dec 2013 #21
Indi Guy Dec 2013 #22
tblue37 Dec 2013 #30
DeSwiss Dec 2013 #19
MyNameGoesHere Dec 2013 #7
jmowreader Dec 2013 #37
MyNameGoesHere Dec 2013 #39
jmowreader Dec 2013 #8
Liberal_in_LA Dec 2013 #31
Jack Rabbit Dec 2013 #9
marble falls Dec 2013 #11
cheapdate Dec 2013 #12
DeSwiss Dec 2013 #18
DeSwiss Dec 2013 #17
Hubert Flottz Dec 2013 #20
JoePhilly Dec 2013 #23
Octafish Dec 2013 #26
Indi Guy Dec 2013 #28
Octafish Dec 2013 #40
villager Dec 2013 #29
Psephos Dec 2013 #32
Indi Guy Dec 2013 #36
KurtNYC Dec 2013 #33
mitty14u2 Dec 2013 #34
jmowreader Dec 2013 #38
Blue_Tires Dec 2013 #35
Indi Guy Dec 2013 #42
oioioi Dec 2013 #41

Response to Indi Guy (Original post)

Mon Dec 2, 2013, 07:11 PM

1. War is peace.

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Response to Indi Guy (Original post)

Mon Dec 2, 2013, 07:21 PM

2. I would have assumed they would have advised them to say.

My work is top secret I am not allowed to talk about it. We're at war.

These guys are getting soft and desperate.

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Response to Jesus Malverde (Reply #2)

Mon Dec 2, 2013, 09:51 PM

10. They've lost, and they know it

Now, there's just the cleaning up and head whacking.

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Response to Indi Guy (Original post)

Mon Dec 2, 2013, 07:28 PM

3. Really? Seriously??

...I just don't know about this.

First...it would be really stoopid to do. Second...firedoglake? How did they get this paper?

This just sounds weird.

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Response to SoapBox (Reply #3)

Mon Dec 2, 2013, 11:09 PM

14. Well it is very real...

...and I guess you have to admit that the agency did this "stoopid" thing, weird as it is.

These guys aren't known for their societal awareness, so does it come as a surprise that they passed out self serving propaganda to be distributed to the families of their hirelings?

Also, even after Snowden, the spooks aren't prepared to be outed. Doesn't this say something about their competence, or maybe arrogance that they would take this tack?



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Response to SoapBox (Reply #3)

Tue Dec 3, 2013, 12:08 AM

16. It's somewhat understandable when you look at it this way...

NSA employees are prohibited from discussing the NSA or their work with others. Ever. They are forbidden from even discussing whether they LIKE their work, or the color of the carpets in their offices, or pretty much anything else (upon penalty of anything from immediate termination to imprisonment, depending on what is discussed...and it is STRICTLY enforced). They can't even discuss the politics surrounding their work. NSA employees have been summarily fired for talking about their jobs with their own spouses!

When an NSA employee takes a holiday off, and someone asks them about their job...even regarding public topics that are widely covered in the press...the only response they are allowed to give is "I can't discuss that".

In that context, these talking points actually represent a loosening of the rules a bit. They've gone from "You can't discuss anything" to "You can discuss a few positive aspects of your job". And, of course, if they discuss anything not on that list, they're still fired.

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Response to Xithras (Reply #16)

Tue Dec 3, 2013, 03:09 PM

24. So they have the freedom to say anything about the NSA, as long as...

...what they say is approved by the NSA. That sounds about right.

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Response to Indi Guy (Reply #24)

Tue Dec 3, 2013, 04:11 PM

25. Yep, that's pretty much it.

They've gone from: "You're not allowed to even acknowledge that you work for us" to "We'll let you say these nice things...but no more".

Among its employees, NSA stands for "Never Say Anything". And they're quite serious about that.

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Response to Xithras (Reply #25)

Tue Dec 3, 2013, 04:18 PM

27. Given that culture of internal secrecy and despotism...

...it's no wonder that the NSA is tone deaf to the concerns of the American people at large -- as exemplified in their holiday memo.

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Response to Indi Guy (Original post)

Mon Dec 2, 2013, 07:38 PM

4. Some DoubleSpeak there

#2 and #5 have a little stretch in them

Let's hope they can do better.

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Response to Jesus Malverde (Reply #5)

Mon Dec 2, 2013, 10:50 PM

13. Yeah, the Post picked it up from Firedoglake.

"Distributed internally by the NSA the week before Thanksgiving and reported earlier today by Firedoglake..."

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Response to Indi Guy (Original post)

Mon Dec 2, 2013, 07:41 PM

6. Talking Points?

"Bob, unless you want Carol to find out about your online affair with Diane, you better shut the hell up about the NSA."

"Be nice, or I'll go in and destroy your credit rating."

"How would you like garbage delivered to your business instead of picked up? One change in the computer and you're through."

"I've got two hundred hours of you jacking it to midget bondage porn, and unless you want that on youtube, you're going to shut up."

"We know what is on the encrypted part of your drive, if you want to keep it private, shut up."

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Response to Savannahmann (Reply #6)

Mon Dec 2, 2013, 11:19 PM

15. And if they can black-male the the American people (which they've shown themselves capable of)...

...imagine the leverage to be brought against any political leaders who don't dance to their tune?

I dare say that there may already be leaders who are counting on "we the people" to do what they cannot visa vi unlawful spying.

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Response to Indi Guy (Reply #15)

Tue Dec 3, 2013, 10:26 AM

21. "Blackmail," unless you are referring to a boy or man with a certain racial make-up.

I mention this only because some people might jump on you, thinking that you meant something hostile.

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Response to tblue37 (Reply #21)

Tue Dec 3, 2013, 02:45 PM

22. Thanks for the correction.

I was a little bleary eyed last night.

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Response to Indi Guy (Reply #22)

Tue Dec 3, 2013, 08:50 PM

30. I know THAT feeling--usually after hours of grading papers! nt

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Response to Savannahmann (Reply #6)

Tue Dec 3, 2013, 12:42 AM

19. ''Midget bondage porn''?

- Definitely a Republican. They love screwing the little people......

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Response to Indi Guy (Original post)

Mon Dec 2, 2013, 07:46 PM

7. I didn't think the NSA celebrated Holi.

News to me.

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Response to MyNameGoesHere (Reply #7)

Wed Dec 4, 2013, 05:15 PM

37. NSA sends a traditional holiday message on December 15 every year

"Secure messaging circuits will not be used to transmit unofficial traffic such as holiday greetings."

And then half the stations in the world do it anyway.

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Response to jmowreader (Reply #37)

Wed Dec 4, 2013, 05:56 PM

39. The headline id cut off and says Holi

which is not a major US holiday. I believe it said Holiday.

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Response to Indi Guy (Original post)

Mon Dec 2, 2013, 08:19 PM

8. I think one can understand WHY they wrote these

Muttering "I'm sorry, that's classified" over and over again is not the way to get invited back for Christmas dinner.

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Response to jmowreader (Reply #8)

Tue Dec 3, 2013, 09:14 PM

31. +1000

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Response to Indi Guy (Original post)

Mon Dec 2, 2013, 09:09 PM

9. "NSA programs . . . have helped to . . . disrupt 54 terrorist events since 9/11"

I'm skeptical. Prove it.

Oh, that information is classified? How convenient.

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Response to Indi Guy (Original post)

Mon Dec 2, 2013, 10:27 PM

11. We had our own serious discussion, one of my daughters wants to marry...

an academy graduate drone pilot. He admitted he has some qualms about it and it was discussed in an adult non rancorous way.

If he were NSA and tried to put forward a positve spin - well it would have stayed adult and not rancorous, but it also would have short work, "Stow it."

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Response to Indi Guy (Original post)

Mon Dec 2, 2013, 10:49 PM

12. I would imagine that the NSA has disrupted terrorist attacks.

Maybe not as many as they claim, but I'd guess that they have disrupted some.

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Response to cheapdate (Reply #12)

Tue Dec 3, 2013, 12:38 AM

18. ''Every government is run by liars and nothing they say should be believed.'' I.F. Stone n/t

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Response to Indi Guy (Original post)

Tue Dec 3, 2013, 12:33 AM

17. K&R



- Now shut up and pass the candied yams.

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Response to Indi Guy (Original post)

Tue Dec 3, 2013, 01:41 AM

20. I wondered where Baghdad Bob was working these days?

Looks like he quit FOX and landed a government memo writing gig.

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Response to Indi Guy (Original post)

Tue Dec 3, 2013, 02:58 PM

23. I bet the families of NSA employees already know that they are evil.

I mean, we figured it out here on DU, so I'm sure their families have already figured it out and just don't even invite them anymore anyway.

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Response to Indi Guy (Original post)

Tue Dec 3, 2013, 04:17 PM

26. ''This only looks like a police state.''

"In the traditional sense of the word, you are not slaves. You are debt peons."

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Response to Octafish (Reply #26)

Tue Dec 3, 2013, 04:21 PM

28. ...A distinction without a difference (as you know). n/t

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Response to Indi Guy (Reply #28)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 10:42 AM

40. It's beginning to look a lot like STASI.



The state thought, if you enjoy cinema:

The Lives of Others (Das Leben der Anderen)

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Response to Indi Guy (Original post)

Tue Dec 3, 2013, 04:29 PM

29. Why, they could've just come to D"U," to see how many here already dutifully internalized...

...all totalitarian talking points, only to obligingly spew them back out in posts.

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Response to villager (Reply #29)

Tue Dec 3, 2013, 09:57 PM

32. sad but true

the direct opposite of liberalism is institutionalized authority



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Response to villager (Reply #29)

Wed Dec 4, 2013, 02:32 PM

36. Curious, ain't it...

...that some of the same people who were ready to crucify W for this crap are now apologists for the spy practices made possible by the Patriot Act?

Sometimes it feels like I woke up on the wrong side of the universe.

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Response to Indi Guy (Original post)

Wed Dec 4, 2013, 11:49 AM

33. Points 1 thru 4 are all the same thing, point 5 is therefore actually point 2

In a nutshell 1-4) "what we do is good" and 5) "we will have a PR campaign now."

It reminds me of the old Russian joke: In Russia there are only 2 TV channels. Channel one is KGB propaganda. Channel two is KGB officer telling you to turn back to Channel One.

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Response to Indi Guy (Original post)

Wed Dec 4, 2013, 11:57 AM

34. CATO: Congress Has No Idea What the NSA Is Doing

Congress Has No Idea What the NSA Is Doing

Posted by Jim Harper

Didja think that the legislative branch oversees the executive branch? Think again! Congress has no idea what the National Security Agency (NSA) is doing.

Spencer Ackerman at Wired‘s Danger Room blog reports on a letter the inspector general of the intelligence community sent earlier this month to Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Mark Udall (D-CO). They had asked how many people in the United States have had their communications collected or reviewed by the NSA.

The letter repeated the NSA IG’s conclusion that estimating this number was “beyond the capacity of his office and dedicating sufficient additional resources would likely impede the NSA’s mission.” Not only that, figuring out the number of people in the United States that the NSA has snooped on “would itself violate the privacy of U.S. persons.”

-- Full Article --
- See more at: http://www.libertycoalition.net/media/blog/2012/06/22/cato-congress-has-no-idea-what-nsa-doing-jim-harper#sthash.S1ROzHCM.dpuf

You can Bet Tricky Dick Cheney/Darth Vader Knows!

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Response to mitty14u2 (Reply #34)

Wed Dec 4, 2013, 05:27 PM

38. I can verify this

Everyone here knows who Gary Hart was. At the end of his time in office he needed to take a fact-finding mission of European Command military bases so he could pass on to his successor the current state of the armed forces. Maybe he was just taking a trip to Europe on the taxpayer's money, but he seemed to be on the level.

Gary Hart didn't want a bunch of dog and pony shows, he wanted to see the real state of things, so he just showed up unannounced. He came to my unit on a Saturday and got briefings from those of us on duty. I told him about the analytical process, and he had one question: you can do that? Not mean or threatening or anything, he was just amazed you could learn all these things without actually sending spies to watch the enemy. "Oh we do that too sir, and sometimes they get caught and shot like Major Nicholson."

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Response to Indi Guy (Original post)

Wed Dec 4, 2013, 11:59 AM

35. If they contracted a PR firm for those talking points

they sure as hell didn't get their money's worth....

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Response to Blue_Tires (Reply #35)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 04:40 PM

42. No doubt, the memo was done in house.

The NSA is probably a little gun-shy about contracting out work these days

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Response to Indi Guy (Original post)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 11:28 AM

41. The System

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