The NSA and GCHQ revelations from the cache of files that Edward Snowden brought out on his way out of the NSA has been nothing short of impressive.
For the last nine months, the media lead by Glenn Greenwald (of The Guardian then, The Intercept now) and Barton Gellman of the Washington Post have broke stories of how the NSA have, in the past, engaged in multiple acts against domestic and international individuals (often chosen indiscriminately) with a total disregard for their privacy. And for the most part, the NSA did not know how to react to the revelations.
As far as we know, the NSA has set up a task force whose sole purpose is to spend hundreds of thousands of man hours and tax dollars to asses the “damage” that Snowden had done to them on his way out to becoming a whistleblower. So far, they’ve came up with… nothing (other than really befuddled and vague estimates of how much money was wasted because he did what he did).
The NSA, in short, is clueless in the aftermath of the revelations. They couldn’t have possibly prepared themselves for the backlash they would face from both the press and citizens. And for the most part, after doing what they could do with regards to reputation management, all NSA could do was pray that no more revelations would show up in the next morning’s copy of The New York Times.
But the tides have changed.
Earlier this week, The Michael Report has learned exclusively that the higher-ups in the NSA are now counting on the reporters to undo their own reporting.
Here’s the logic they’re following along the lines of: after the first two months or so of one bombshell revelation after another, they’re expecting the readers of the press who read these reports to be desensitized (this was the exact word they used in a meeting).
Readers aren’t going to care anymore once they’ve experienced a psychological condition known as learned helplessness, whereby readers would think that if there’s nothing they can do to change the course of events and how the NSA/GCHQ are collecting their data, why bother anymore?
Since the revelations, thousands of people have signed petitions online on how they don’t want their privacies to be violated. What has changed?
Obama created a panel of advisors to reform the NSA. And what have they come up with? Well, something so negligible that the Electronic Frontier Foundation only gave them a 3.5 out of the possible 12 points they could score for addressing the abuses of the NSA.
Once the people originally concerned with the NSA and the GCHQ’s blatant violation of individual privacies have now accepted their fate: this is how it is going to be, no matter how hard they try. And if so, why bother trying to try to change things from how it is?
The NSA’s upper-ups have reasoned that soon enough (if not already), readers and citizens alike will feel powerless against a huge government agency like the NSA. And slowly but surely, they’ll stop.
The people will stop reading the reports. The people will stop trying to petition for change. The people will give up. And forget.
This is exactly what the NSA higher-ups are currently betting on. There have been reports of how unaffected people within the NSA are to the recent reports as opposed to their reaction when the first revelations were released to the masses.
To them, it’s better to have the reports released as soon as possible so the learned helplessness effect can kick in sooner rather than later. “They’ll never understand what we’re doing anyway. They’re not us,” is the line of reasoning the NSA’s bosses are using to rationalize the backlash they’re facing.
Editor’s note: To ensure that this post is as accurate as possible, we’ve vetted the two sources who stepped forward earlier this week and have since corroborated their accounts with another two sources independently (in other words, the first two who stepped forward did not know that we have asked another two within NSA if their story is real – and it is). Because of the sensitivity surrounding the issue of privacy, we’ve held our sources and the information they provide to a higher level of editorial standard than we would with most posts. Feel free to contact us should you have any questions about this post.