Monday, December 21, 2009

And You Thought These Guys Were Savvy

After all, their middle initial stands for "intelligence".

A self-styled Nevada codebreaker convinced the CIA he could decode secret terrorist targeting information sent through Al Jazeera broadcasts, prompting the Bush White House to raise the terror alert level to Orange (high) in December 2003.


Working out of a Reno, Nevada, software firm called eTreppid Technologies, [Dennis] Montgomery took in officials in the CIA's Directorate of Science and Technology and convinced them that technology he invented -- but could not explain -- was pulling terrorist-produced "bar codes" from Al Jazeera television broadcasts. Using his proprietary technology, those bar codes could be translated into longitudes and latitudes and flight numbers. Terrorist leaders were using that data to direct their compatriots about the next target.

But Montgomery's "technology" could not be reproduced, and the Playboy piece explains how he fell out of favor after word of what was going on spread in the CIA:

The federal government was acting on the Al Jazeera claims without even understanding how Montgomery found his coordinates. "I said, 'Give us the algorithms that allowed you to come up with this stuff.' They wouldn't even do that," says the first officer. "And I was screaming, 'You gave these people fucking money?'" ...


I can’t stop laughing.


A branch of the French intelligence services helped convince the Americans that the bar codes were fake.


They found definitively that what Montgomery claimed was there was not. Quietly, as far as the CIA was concerned, the case was closed.

Oui, oui. Zee cheese eating surrender monkies, zey have zee last laugh.


[Montgomery’s] former lawyer calls him a "habitual liar engaged in fraud."


But even after the CIA abandoned Montgomery, he [...] inked a $3 million research contract with the Air Force in January of this year.


Left Hand, may I introduce you to Right Hand?

That was a good one.

Keystone Kops.

I’ll be smiling all night.

Well, for the next couple of minutes.

1 comment:

  1. Just gives ya a warm fuzzy feeling to know these guys are protecting us don't it ?


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