Re: By any other name

Message posted by RoadKill on August 26, 2010 at 22:55:36 PST:

FOIA's for most black world programs/sites is an exercise in frustration and futility. There's no need for the site/program to be surrounded by onion-like layers of subterfuge and slight-of-hand. The mere classification of the site/work/products, sometimes even the code-name, have enough LEGAL tools to use to protect the thing.

I would expect the CIA to use more of those tactics than the DOD, and maybe some contractors who's managers are frustrated CIA wannbes.

However, with ownership of a plot of land, a base for example, come responsibilites. Utilities, maintenance, trash removal, the support staff for all the necessary functions. Being a tennent, i.e. someone else is responsible for the operation of the facility, makes it a bit easier in some respects, but hareder in some others. For instance, you have no control over the workngs of the support sturctre. So, say your fuel truck is late. You have to work the system to get resolution. If you owned it, you could send someone (or many someones) to fix the reason the truck isn't there, or get one to wahtever excessive number you desire at a snap of your fingers.

Likewise, though, you do have that layer of insulation for whatever reason you might need. Think of it in a consignment shop that also leases studio space. And, this shop is located in a space leased in a big mall. So, you have the Mall responsible for the infrastructiure and security, the consighment management for the day-to-day of the shop, and the individual workspace users/owners for handlling their goods. Nobody above the workspace usres can answer to the question of what goes on in that workspace. Even if someone in the heierarchy does know something of the work bein done at the lowest level, they can really only speculate about what's going on in that studio. And, if they have a confidentiality agreement, their livelyhood is tied to their ability to "keep mum" as it were.

Amd beware. DOD organizations, activies and programs come and go in the blink of an eye...funding dries up, you realize you have an illconceived concept, some whim of the White house Administration, Congress, DOD leadership, Service leadership, contractor commmitment, etc. change the structure or merge programs or terminate programs or relocate programs, and on and on and on.

The basic heirarchy is good to know so you can track the money, or track programs that entity is currently working on. It also helps by seeing, if you can, who runs what in the orgranization. But, it's just a piece of the puzzle, and it's value is infinitely variable from no value to "it's everything".

So, if Groom Lake belongs to the AF or NTS, or whoever isn't really important.

The AF, at last glimpse, runs the place there. However, with every single one of the five services, plus other new customers like CIA, Border Patrol, Secret Service, US Marshalls, FBI, etc. wanting to get into the "stealth" world, the demad on the facility is greater than it has ever been. Ever. We don't know how many programs are out there, but we've seen new construction, increased flow of construcion materials, etc. as testamets to increased activity.

The thurst of that whole 1. more activity, and 2. increasingly diverse clientelle point toward a possible need to reorganize under something like NSA, NRO, or maybe some new agency that only does RCS/stealth technology evals of all kinds. You need to take the parochial culture away...or more likely the perception that "their guys get better service".

And as for the compartmentalization, i have two first-hand examples. First, in some facilities when someone(a visitor from either within or outside the program) comes in and they are not cleared for the PROGRAM (don't confuse that with having a security clearance) there are red strobe lights (kinda like police car lights) that are someitmes accompanied by audio (maybe a beep or something up to a siren) to warn folks to cover sensitive documents, materials, models, computer screens, etc. and to not discuss any program business. One instance of this had folks also announce 'uncleared" when they entered a new area. Of course, the person is escorted by a trusted agent. That agent may not have access to all parts of the program, but they have a level of access that allows for that task.

The second exmple is of a remote operating location. When work had to be done that required access to the remote location (installation of unique equipemnt that the remote location did not have the expertise or personnel to perform, the same light/buzzer system was used with an escort, but they added the use of blurring goggles for transit to/from the point of debarkcation and the work space. The technician was allowed to take off the glasses to do his work.

One of the examples is first-hand, the other is second-hand from a man who setup the security for the B-2 at Edwards - from bottom to top. He had a plethora of clearances to many different special access programs, F-117 being one of them that I know of. He, too, had to don the cloudy goggles when he visited a site. this man, who is now deceased, was ahead of his time. He was looking for things like building telescopes out of the tubes surveyors use to trasport some of their equipment on roof racks. Big PVC things. he was a strange and brilliant man. But, more on him another time.

I just wanted to name my sources. Apologies for the longish post.

In Reply to: Re: By any other name posted by wheresjanet on August 26, 2010 at 21:57:49 PST:


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