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  • How The Pentagon Creates A ‘Patriotic’ Snitch Culture

    A poster up on the wall at a U.S. military facility in Hawaii is telling people to report on their co-workers, since keeping an eye out for the “Enemy within your Organization” apparently constitutes the “greatest form of patriotism.”

    “Is he playing solitaire, watching porn, checking his fantasy baseball team…or is he committing treason?” the poster read.

    Users on Reddit, where the poster was originally posted, were divided on whether the poster was a gag or not.

    According to user claychastain, the poster was placed in a very visible area of an active military facility in Hawaii right next to other posters that clearly were not jokes. Moreover, the facility is home to all branches of the military, as well as civilian employees. Interestingly, Edward Snowden, infamously known for leaking troves of classified data regarding global surveillance programs run by the National Security Agency, was also stationed in Hawaii, while he worked for Booz Allen Hamilton.

    “Ha, this is disturbing, thought police to the max,” one user said in response to the poster.

    “Something you’d expect to see in Soviet Union,” another added.

    Another noted that the poster could definitely be legitimate, given his experience in the Air Force.

    “After working with AF junior enlisted, I actually believe this poster is legit :/ Not that there’s anything wrong with the younger AF folk, but the ones I saw were definitely all about the office politics.”

    The poster aside, what definitely isn’t a gag is a policy from the Obama administration dating back to 2012, which employs the same “Insider Threat” phrase. In November 2012, Obama issued a presidential memorandum to “promote the development of effective insider threat programs within departments and agencies to deter, detect, and mitigate actions by employees who may represent a threat to national security.” In effect, the memo directed agencies to create programs designed to prevent the disclosure of classified information. Part of the threat program includes “inside threat awareness training” for the workforce and the ability to “monitor employee use of classified networks.”

    Some saw the memo as a response to Army private Chelsea Manning’s decision to leak hundreds of thousands of government cables — all listed as classified information — to Wikileaks in 2010.

    According to The New York Times, the Obama administration has prosecuted more former or current government officials for leaking information to the press than all other previous administrations combined.

     

     


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