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9/11 Was Due to IT Incompetence

By Duane Thresher, Ph.D.          September 11, 2019

Today is the 18th anniversary of 9/11, which occurred in 2001. I was living in New York City (Manhattan) at the time, where both World Trade Center towers were brought down by foreign terrorists in hijacked airliners. I had been to the publicly-accessible tower top many times and it was weird trying to navigate the city without the towers. Living in NYC right after 9/11, waiting for the next attack, was scary.

The National Security Agency (NSA) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) are the U.S. Government organizations tasked with protecting us from foreign threats like 9/11. Their spectacular failure to prevent 9/11 — which all the evidence indicates should have been possible — was due to IT incompetence.

Since Information Technology (IT) is really communication-of-information technology, IT is mostly computer networking. (Cyber is a prefix meaning IT, so for example, IT security is also known as cybersecurity.) "Computer" includes supercomputers, servers, desktops, laptops, tablets, phones (landlines and cells), TV, etc. There has been a "convergence" and all of these devices now communicate — their most important function — over the same network, the Internet .

For years the NSA and the CIA were primarily human spy agencies. The NSA did do research in encryption, for which they became well-known, but did so primarily so they, and the CIA, could communicate securely with their human spies and break the communications of enemy human spies, particularly those from the Soviet Union.

The Soviet Union had dissolved about ten years before 9/11 (early 1990's) and terrorists had become the big threat. It quickly became apparent that the way to stop terrorists was to monitor them on the Internet, which had also become widely used about ten years before 9/11 (early 1990's).

The NSA's and the CIA's IT equipment was actually surprisingly bad before 9/11. More importantly — and the cause of the bad IT equipment — their people were IT incompetent, particularly their leaders.

When 9/11 occurred, the IT incompetent NSA and CIA were thus caught completely unaware, resulting in 3000 people dead and billions of dollars in damage.

After 9/11, the NSA and the CIA turned this mega national security failure into a mega funding success. They got more money from Congress for IT equipment than they knew what to do with. Literally, they did not know what to do with the money; they were IT incompetent.

Since the NSA and the CIA themselves were IT incompetent and knew it, they hired companies, like Booz Allen Hamilton and Dell, respectively, who said they were IT competent. And a flood of money from the U.S. Government, with essentially no oversight — particularly for secret agencies — brings a flood of frauds/fakes.

Booz Allen Hamilton (BAH, Booz) is a prime example of an IT incompetent company; see Booz Hacks Fed IT, Makes It Incompetent, Insecure, Bankrupt.

Dell is still, as it was when it was started, essentially just a retailer of lackluster computer equipment put together from readily available parts made in China. Dell chooses to sell mostly to the U.S. Government — at overly high prices — because individual consumers are picky about what they spend their hard-earned money on. With Dell equipment everywhere in the U.S. Government, agencies like the CIA mistakenly assume Dell must be IT competent, but that is nonsense — just because someone sells medical equipment does not mean he is a doctor.

See Principles of IT Incompetence (IT Hiring: Cascade Failure).

Since Booz and Dell themselves were IT incompetent and knew it, they hired people who said they were IT competent. And an IT incompetent company offering high-paying jobs attracts a lot of IT incompetent frauds/fakes, like Edward Snowden. An IT education is the most important IT credential and Snowden is a high school dropout.

Incompetents are more likely to be disloyal since they constantly fear for their jobs anyway; see Principles of IT Incompetence (IT Hiring: IT Incompetence Breeds Disloyalty and Corruption).

Snowden may have intentionally gone to work for Dell so that he could work for the CIA and steal documents (data) from them. In fact, while Snowden is most notorious for stealing documents from the NSA, most of the documents he stole were from the CIA. He intentionally went from working for Dell and the CIA to working for Booz so he could work for the NSA and steal some documents he couldn't get from the CIA.

Snowden was discovered stealing documents at the NSA, in 2013, only because he was done, announced it to the world, and fled to Russia to avoid capture and execution for espionage. His larger theft (data breach, hacking; see below) at the CIA in 2012 would also have never been discovered otherwise.

While not often phrased that way by an IT incompetent media and more often called espionage, Snowden indeed hacked the CIA and NSA and the incident was a data breach (hacking). Physically stealing documents (data), particularly by an inside man, is classic espionage, and is a big part of hacking too (for example, hacking conferences often include physical lock picking competitions). What Snowden did has been called the worst espionage incident in U.S. history, so it was thus also the worst data breach.

Snowden is a media darling so the IT incompetent media often does not even call what he did espionage. They call it whistle-blowing. This is particularly true since Snowden is the career-saving creation of IT incompetent expatriate writer Glenn Greenwald, who also backed traitorous spy Chelsea Manning.

But Snowden as whistle-blower is more media stupidity because as stated Snowden intentionally went to work for Booz so that he could work for the NSA and steal more secret documents (data) than he had already stolen from the CIA while working for Dell, possibly also intentionally. Legally, this intention makes Snowden a spy not a whistle-blower.

The CIA learned nothing from this data breach. They turned their IT over to extreme IT incompetent CIA Chief Information Officer (CIO) John Edwards. An IT education is the most important IT credential and Edwards only has a fake IT education from ITT Technical Institute. ITT Tech — nothing to do with ITT the telecom company, although that association was probably fraudulently intended — was a notorious for-profit college that was finally shut down by the federal government for being a student loan scam, providing worthless educations, to employers who were even a little knowledgeable, and worthless degrees, to those few who could afford to pay the exorbitant tuition long enough to get one. The federal government would not provide educational loans to those attending ITT Tech, so should not accept an education from it as a qualification for a government job, particularly one in national security. No other college so essentially Edwards didn't even go to college.

Begun by IT incompetent former CIA CIO Doug Wolfe, John Edwards is surrendering the CIA's IT to Amazon, which employs thousands of untrustworthy foreigners, particularly Indians (from India).

The NSA is probably no better, but it is hard to learn anything about these secret agencies because they are immune to FOIA (and other oversight; see above). The IT incompetent CIA CIOs were only discovered because they foolishly announced their incompetence to the world on LinkedIn.

The hacking of the NSA and CIA by Edward Snowden was another mega national security failure by the NSA and the CIA, about 10 years after 9/11. Will the next mega national security failure by the NSA and the CIA, about 10 years after the last, be the takeover of U.S. elections in late 2020 by foreign hackers?

[Update: There certainly appears to have been some kind of security failure in the U.S. elections in late 2020.]