When looking for a needle in a haystack, there is more hay than needles

Well, the WaPo version of this detailed article reads: Surveillance Net Yields Few Suspects, but I think my title is more accurate.

Surveillance [by the NSA] takes place in several stages, officials said, the earliest by machine. Computer-controlled systems collect and sift basic information about hundreds of thousands of faxes, e-mails and telephone calls into and out of the United States before selecting the ones for scrutiny by human eyes and ears.

Successive stages of filtering grow more intrusive as artificial intelligence systems rank voice and data traffic in order of likeliest interest to human analysts. But intelligence officers, who test the computer judgments by listening initially to brief fragments of conversation, "wash out" most of the leads within days or weeks.

You mean....when the person is ruled out as a suspect, he is no longer listened to? Sounds like, ya know, a responsible use of limited intelligence resources to me. Of course, when an attack is unexpected--and terrorists generally don't stand up in town square and announce when and where they plan to attack--there will be many false leads.

Even unwitting Americans, they [intelligence officials] said, can take part in communications -- arranging a car rental, for example, without knowing its purpose -- that supply "indications and warnings" of an attack. Contributors to the technology said it is a triumph for artificial intelligence if a fraction of 1 percent of the computer-flagged conversations guide human analysts to meaningful leads.

The data is massive, and computers do most of the listening. I had no idea the computers were this sophisticated:

An alternative approach, in which a knowledgeable source said the NSA's work parallels academic and commercial counterparts, relies on "decomposing an audio signal" to find qualities useful to pattern analysis. Among the fields involved are acoustic engineering, behavioral psychology and computational linguistics.

A published report for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency said machines can easily determine the sex, approximate age and social class of a speaker. They are also learning to look for clues to deceptive intent in the words and "paralinguistic" features of a conversation, such as pitch, tone, cadence and latency.

This kind of analysis can predict with results "a hell of a lot better than chance" the likelihood that the speakers are trying to conceal their true meaning, according to James W. Pennebaker, who chairs the psychology department at the University of Texas at Austin.

Remember folks, the needle in this haystack, if they find it, won't just poke your finger. The time has come to realize that intelligence is not as simple as getting a good lead on that red rotary phone from the vinyl suit-wearing buxom blonde and her dashing middle-aged mentor in the field.

Posted by: Feisty at 03:23 PM



Comments

1 Two worthwhile articles on this:

http://powerlineblog.com/archives/013046.php

http://strata-sphere.com/blog/index.php/archives/1290

When Mike's head expodes I hope someone has a camera.

Posted by: max at February 05, 2006 03:54 PM (+XVQL)

2 By this logic, we should not have security checks at airports either--after all the vast majority of airline passengers are not hijackers or bombers.

The left is either ignorant, duplicitous or both.

Both.

Posted by: Red Jode at February 05, 2006 04:00 PM (1I/Ml)

3 Dashing middle-aged mentor? Is that a hint, Feisty? I'm in the book.

Posted by: CraigC at February 05, 2006 04:05 PM (ASX9p)

4 The left is either ignorant, duplicitous or both.

Bot.

red jode

Actually, they're on the other side - they hate the US more than they fear anything else.

Posted by: max at February 05, 2006 04:05 PM (+XVQL)

5 Heck, why even have locks on the door of your house? The great majority of people aren't burglars or rapists. Obviously this is a big investment for little or no results while encouraging a culture of fear of our fellow citizens.

If I was Nacy Pelosi I would also at this point mention that if our neighbors are some form of miscreant then all our precautions are for naught and we should just give up.

The conclusion of the Cold War must have come as an immense shock to her. But then many things come as an immense shock to her. Garage door openers, whoopee cushions, rational thought...

Posted by: epobirs at February 05, 2006 04:14 PM (pKovl)

6 Among the fields involved are acoustic engineering, behavioral psychology and computational linguistics.

Sadly enough, I think Chomsky has advanced our knowledge in this area. I say sadly because I hate to acknowledge any positive contribution the man has had to our society. It might justify keeping him around instead of airdropping him into the ass end of the Middle East.

Posted by: Sue Dohnim at February 05, 2006 08:28 PM (tnsUn)

7 Hi, thought I'd drop in and see if there's any sign of reality around here.

Apparently not. Well, there's plenty of it out there, if you decide to leave the echo chamber.

Who can trust Powerline, on anything? Wrong about the Sheehan story, wrong about FISA, etc.

Even Newsweek is printing that the evidence shows Plame was a NOC.

Cheney and Libby knew that the yellowcake story wasn't credible, but kept lying anyway.

And so forth and so on.

Posted by: tubino at February 05, 2006 10:07 PM (jEaIC)

8 How many more hurricanes are you going to let Bush make?

Posted by: tubino at February 05, 2006 10:10 PM (DcIgd)

9 Powerline and Little Green Footballs were wrong about the fucking Texas Air National Guard story, too.

Posted by: tubino at February 05, 2006 10:15 PM (DcIgd)

10 Shit.
My dick is caught in the cat again.

Hold on-

Posted by: tubino at February 05, 2006 10:18 PM (wZLWV)

11 Who can trust Powerline, on anything? Wrong about the Sheehan story, wrong about FISA, etc.

Even Newsweek is printing that the evidence shows Plame was a NOC.

Cheney and Libby knew that the yellowcake story wasn't credible, but kept lying anyway.


Guys, please stop saying stupid shit like this under tubino's name. It's much better for everyone if you make the spoof clear, so we can tell the genuine tubino turds from the fake ones.

If we don't draw clear lines around parody, we'll never get it back from these delusional hucksters who constantly defy it.

Posted by: Sortelli at February 05, 2006 10:20 PM (Bjdtq)

12 I just thought I'd come by and see if any of you have woken up to reality yet.

Apparently not.

*takes huge huff off can of silver Krylon*

Posted by: tobinu at February 05, 2006 10:24 PM (wZLWV)

13 10:07 is legitimate. The others are counterfeit, Sortelli.

Posted by: tubino at February 05, 2006 10:34 PM (/mkKI)

14 Sortelli,

I think the last 'tubino' was probably Mike using tubino's name, and as we know, Mike is beyond parody.

However, even those beyond parody should have some links to back up their bizarro fantasies which they try to inflict on the rest of us. I don't think the real tubino or Mike-tubino has ever provided a link for any of their moon bat claims.

FWIW the Tang memos were fakes. Only a complete moron or a msm quisling would attempt to argue otherwise.

PS Who put the bat in moon bat - the real tubino, eggrollious, jersey or mike?

Posted by: max at February 05, 2006 10:34 PM (nzJ/B)

15 Sortelli, you are awesome.

Posted by: lauraw at February 05, 2006 10:35 PM (wZLWV)

16 Oh yes tubino has, max.
Tubino (rick from Ohio) is the king of linking citations.

Posted by: tubino's rectum at February 05, 2006 10:36 PM (/mkKI)

17 10:07 is legitimate. The others are counterfeit, Sortelli.

My apologies! Disingenuous bullshit all looks the same to me.

Posted by: Sortelli at February 05, 2006 10:36 PM (Bjdtq)

18 tubino,

Did you read either linked article?

Also, is the NSA reading this post?

Posted by: max at February 05, 2006 10:36 PM (nzJ/B)

19 tubino's rectum,

Are his links on point? Do they support his argument? Or are they just part of the DU/Daily Kos moldy moth-eaten echo chamber where he lives?

Posted by: max at February 05, 2006 10:39 PM (nzJ/B)

20 Whoa, max, don't challenge tubino to provide links, or every single thread is going to become a circus of unrelated, poorly formatted links about things tubino thinks we should be OUTRAGED over instead of, you know, what the threads are about. Again.

Tubino has no problem finding sources. His problem is that we're not hyperventilating ninnies like he is. We dare to discuss other things and engage in thoughtcrimes like dismissing Joe Wilson as a liar for something as simple as lying.

Posted by: Sortelli at February 05, 2006 10:41 PM (Bjdtq)

21 . . . He's probably writing one of them right now. Because he still hasn't figured out what blogs are.

Posted by: Sortelli at February 05, 2006 10:48 PM (Bjdtq)

22 If you want a capsule version of the illegalities of Bush's spy program, start here.

If you need a reminder that Bush lied about this, try this:

"Now, by the way, any time you hear the United States government talking about wiretap, it requires---a wiretap requires a court order.

Nothing has changed, by the way.

When we're talking about chasing down terrorists, we're talking about getting a court order before we do so.

It's important for our fellow citizens to understand, when you think Patriot Act, constitutional guarantees are in place when it comes to doing what is necessary to protect our homeland, because we value the Constitution."

---President George W. Bush
April 20, 2004

He lied then. How do you know he's not lying now?

Posted by: at February 05, 2006 10:51 PM (jEaIC)

23 Sortelli,

Your point is taken.

However whenever one of our moonbats peers out of his guano-filled DU cave and looks at the real world, I think he should provide some evidence for his claim that the world, and not his cave (and his brain), is full of turds. Provided of course, that his post is on topic, as opposed to the latest ChimpyMcFlightsuit talking point.

One possible way to handle their off-topic responses would be to simply post '8 More Years - Jeb in 08' in reply.

Posted by: max at February 05, 2006 10:52 PM (nzJ/B)

24 Tubino has no problem finding sources. His problem is that we're not hyperventilating ninnies like he is.

The problem is that the right wing is primarily made up of hyperventilating bedwetting fear-mongering ninnies, who want to trade liberties for a little temporary safety.

You want links? The CIA Leak: Plame Was Still Covert. Spin that, bitches.

Right on topic, firedoglake makes a good case against the spying -- which probably includes all of us who made calls routed to India, for tech support, with callbacks... and those with Blackberries with communications routed through Canada.

Interesting that this board is infested with hacks so immature they can't follow a simple request from the board owner. Liars and rulebreakers, cheered on by lauraw and the rest.

Posted by: at February 05, 2006 11:02 PM (jEaIC)

25 Heehee! Looks like those Warholian 15 minutes are expired for Jane Bond and her husband Mr. My-Hairstyle-Was-Passe-Twenty-Years-Ago. We don't hear much about those two any more, do we?

Posted by: Sue Dohnim at February 05, 2006 11:05 PM (tnsUn)

26 We don't even hear about how much trouble Scooter is in any more. The lamestream media's too busy trying to shove Dubya into Nixon's shoes to tell us that the Grinch stole Fitzmas.

Posted by: Sue Dohnim at February 05, 2006 11:09 PM (tnsUn)

27 "Interesting that this board is infested with hacks so immature they can't follow a simple request from the board owner. Liars and rulebreakers, cheered on by lauraw and the rest."

Interesting? Not surprising in the least. Heart and soul of the republican party. Same mindset of privileged lawbreaking at the heart of Plamegate, and at the heart of the NSA spy scandal. And the leadup to war.

They think it's all about imposing rules on others while breaking them yourself. CULTURE OF CORRUPTION.

To be fair, there is a handful of republicans who are fed up with the current assertion of federal power, and specifically executive power. Give up the hackery, kids, and protect your own rights. You can still be a republican and not believe in big, all-powerful government over individual liberty.

Really.

Posted by: at February 05, 2006 11:11 PM (jEaIC)

28 Now tubino is posting anonymously and having a conversation with himself.

Rick, you are pathetic.

Posted by: Bart at February 05, 2006 11:16 PM (BQeu1)

29 Tubino: What hand do you wipe your ass with?

Posted by: Madfish Willie at February 05, 2006 11:20 PM (nVA0o)

30 Find it rather ironic that he complains about rule-breaking, when he himself had to be told repeatedly about threadjacking.

You wore out your welcome all by yourself tubino. Nobody helped you.

Speen that, beeshes!

Posted by: lauraw at February 05, 2006 11:22 PM (wZLWV)

31 Sue,

If Newsweek doesn't count (linked above), try this.

PDB may link Bush to Plamegate

New stuff coming out lately, including this from Fitzgerald:

In response to our requests, we have received a very discrete amount of material relating to PDBs. We have provided to Mr. Libby and his counsel (or are in the process of providing such documents consistent with the process of a declassification review) copies of any pages in our possession reflecting discussions of Joseph Wilson, Valerie Wilson and/or Wilson's trip to Niger contained in (or written on) copies of the President's Daily Brief (PDB) in the redacted form in which we received them.

If you want to read about Scooter's troubles, read here.

Enjoy!

Posted by: tubino at February 05, 2006 11:23 PM (jEaIC)

32 "Now tubino is posting anonymously and having a conversation with himself."

Yes, he pulled his dick out of the cat and put it in his own rectum, and is having a great time.

And it's not even a full moon tonight. Scary.

Jeb in 08

Posted by: max at February 05, 2006 11:23 PM (nzJ/B)

33 Okay, I always thought it was Bart who chronically namesteals.

Bart, fess up, or claim innocence.

Ironic use of first names in a post about PRIVACY, eh? Lost on you, no doubt.

Are you adult enough to admit to your own behavior?

Posted by: tubino at February 05, 2006 11:26 PM (jEaIC)

34 10:18 and 10:24 were me.

Posted by: lauraw at February 05, 2006 11:28 PM (wZLWV)

35 Okay, I did it. I like to post under your name. I have no life and I stalk you 24/7 to fill the hole in my soul.

Secretly I admire you.

Posted by: Bart at February 05, 2006 11:29 PM (jEaIC)

36 A little bedtime reading for tubby after he finishes playing with himself:

http://corner.nationalreview.com/06_01_29_corner-archive.asp#089313

In any event, I'm glad President Bush is doing what he's doing to protect us from the only people in the world more warped than the msm and Tubby et al. And if NSA listened to my last last tech call to India, I only wish they'd stepped in and translated for me.

Posted by: max at February 05, 2006 11:30 PM (nzJ/B)

37 Ironic use of first names in a post about PRIVACY, eh? Lost on you, no doubt.

Huh? I thought this thread was about Plame and Yellowcake.

Really, tubino, dropping your name and having a conversation with yourself. Lame even by your low standards.

Posted by: Sortelli at February 05, 2006 11:34 PM (Bjdtq)

38 The ones with links to cogent arguments citing non-partisan govt documents relating to the NSA were mine.

Also the Bart spoof.

Posted by: tubino at February 05, 2006 11:35 PM (jEaIC)

39 Tubino:

Every time someone gets on an airplane, they are subjected to an unwarranted seaarch of their person and their luggage. Is that OK or not?

If I was a betting man, I would say that there will be MSM journalists being indicted and convicted of perjury before Libby will be. Either that, or they will sit their lying asses in a jail cell for refusing to reveal their sources.

And, hopefully, their sources will be indicted, prosecuted, and convicted of revealing top secret information (whatever that particular charge actually is).

I can't wait for the fireworks to start!



Posted by: Madfish Willie at February 05, 2006 11:36 PM (nVA0o)

40 Okay, I did it. I like to post under your name. I have no life and I stalk you 24/7 to fill the hole in my soul.

Secretly I admire you.

Posted by Bart at February 5, 2006 11:29 PM

This is the most painful thing I have ever read - except that it can't be true now that lauraw fessed up. Either (i) bart had a brief flash of dementia or (ii) Mike or tubby showed a brief flash of sick intelligence and did what tubby accused bart of doing.

Bart, please let us know

Posted by: max at February 05, 2006 11:39 PM (nzJ/B)

41 The ones with links to cogent arguments citing non-partisan govt documents relating to the NSA were mine.

By this logic, you never posted on this thread. Would that it were true! Here's your "cogent argument" from firedoglake.

I don't trust the Bush Administration to do the right thing. Period.

That's the bottom line for me with the illegal NSA domestic spying mess and every other problem that has come down the pike: I don't trust this Preznit to make a decision based on what is right for the American public -- but, rather, I believe this Administration will do whatever it takes, no matter how illegal or immoral, to prop themselves up and maintain power. Perhaps it's my own personal bias -- I haven't felt this way about any other Republican Administration, to be honest, so it's not a liberal versus conservative thing, but something that I find inherently wrong about this particular group of malignant cronies.

See? It's illegal because she doesn't trust the president! She doesn't trust the president because he does illegal things! Begging the question has never been so sexy. . . or retarded!

Posted by: Sortelli at February 05, 2006 11:43 PM (Bjdtq)

42 Max,

The National Review spoutings you cite have been thoroughly debunked. Misrepresentations, lies, and more.

If you have any serious arguments, please share them though.

Maybe one of you can tackle this one. Bush has said repeatedly that the mere disclosure of the secret spy program aids US's enemies (so of course now he's on the road about it).

How? How does the disclosure that the US is violating its own FISA laws aid enemies, who had reason before to think calls were wiretapped?

Makes no sense.

Posted by: tubino at February 05, 2006 11:50 PM (jEaIC)

43 Sortelli,

Cheap trick. Try reading the whole thing and refuting.

Good luck.

Madfish Willie, I'll take your bet.

Max, I already admitted the Bart spoof, which was over the top anyway. Lauraw was my second choice of suspects. Max, admitting it is what the namestealers have NOT been doing. Some will do ANYTHING to avoid having to refute an argument -- including invasions of privacy.

Secret wiretapping and surveillance is not comparable to explicit search. This is obvious to a third-grader. Check the non-partisan arguments against the spying. I gave a link to many.

This is all you guys have? No arguments, just bad analogies, namestealing, and personal attacks, and bad Corner cites?

Sheesh.

Posted by: tubino at February 05, 2006 11:57 PM (jEaIC)

44 Maybe one of you can tackle this one. Bush has said repeatedly that the mere disclosure of the secret spy program aids US's enemies (so of course now he's on the road about it).

How? How does the disclosure that the US is violating its own FISA laws aid enemies, who had reason before to think calls were wiretapped?


The program involves watching purely international calls that just happen to go through switches located here in the US. Which means now our enemies know to avoid forms of communication that go through US switches when they didn't know otherwise.

God, it's like you're a monkey working off of a script someone gave you, repeating things without making any sense of them.

Posted by: Sortelli at February 05, 2006 11:59 PM (Bjdtq)

45 Cheap trick. Try reading the whole thing and refuting.

Good luck.


Okay. *clears throat*

"The [firedoglake] spoutings you cite have been thoroughly debunked. Misrepresentations, lies, and more."

*sits down*

Posted by: Sortelli at February 06, 2006 12:01 AM (Bjdtq)

46 This thread is surreal.
I have no idea if I'm even writing this.

Rick, I won't use your fisrt name anymore. Nor will I tell everyone your last name.

Posted by: Bart at February 06, 2006 12:15 AM (MN7ae)

47 If anyone calls ME by name, well, that just proves that they are fascist bastards.

Hey, tubino, can we just cut to the chase and you walk out of here secure in the knowledge that none of us take you seriously? You can assume that's because you're so awesome, as usual.

Because, honestly, man, your level of discourse is one we do not wish to attain, and your intellegence will doubtfully ever be matched by any Ace of Spades commenter. Not even our champion spurwing.

Posted by: Sortelli at February 06, 2006 12:31 AM (Bjdtq)

48 Champion? Okay.
But I always thought of spurwing as our official mascot. You know, the "special" person who puts on the costume and does whacky things.

Posted by: Bart at February 06, 2006 12:34 AM (040Z3)

49 Just curious, maybe William Strunk can help me out.

Can the word "hay" be plural as well as singular?

Should Feisty's headline read: "When looking for a needle in a haystack, there are more hay than needles"?


Posted by: Bart at February 06, 2006 12:40 AM (040Z3)

50 Well, it might just be old prejudices talking, but I would say that spurwing is closer to tubino than any of the rest of us.

So yeah, that's like a champion.

I'm no Strunk & White, but my grammar senses tell me hay "is", not hay "are."

Posted by: Sortelli at February 06, 2006 12:50 AM (Bjdtq)

51 Secret wiretapping and surveillance is not comparable to explicit search.

Point well taken, tub. But statistical sampling of telecom traffic is not comparable to kicking down a door and searching someone's house.

Posted by: Michael at February 06, 2006 01:08 AM (pRtzm)

52 Especially because the warrantless telecom surveillance is inadmissible in court.

Posted by: Michael at February 06, 2006 01:10 AM (pRtzm)

53 And it's not like presidents have any authority to gather foreign intelligence anyway. That notion has been totally debunked by the lucid, cogent arguments of firedoglake, Glen Greenwald and the Department of Justice.

Okay, not the last one. But the first two count for more, right?

Posted by: Sortelli at February 06, 2006 01:25 AM (Bjdtq)

54 You know tubby you're even a bigger more dishonest buffoon than I thought. You state that:

The National Review spoutings you [max] cite have been thoroughly debunked. Misrepresentations, lies, and more - 11:50 pm

Clearly you called the article I link a lie without having read it because what the article does is point out the hypocrisy of some of the Democrats who are attacking the NSA program by quoting their own words written when Clinton was president.

See the following quote at the end of the (very short) article:

The Clinton OLC asserted, among other things, that even though the criminal wiretap statute (18 USC Sec 2510 et seq.) purports to limit the executive branch’s ability to disclose wiretap information, the President was free to ignore those statutory provisions where limiting “the access of the President and his aides to information critical to national security or foreign relations . . . would be unconstitutional as applied in those circumstances.”

How can you claim this quote has been 'debunked'? How can you claim the quote is a lie or a misrepresentation? It is what the White House said when Clinton was president!

You are not just a troll - you're a dishonest sack of shit.

Posted by: max at February 06, 2006 07:59 AM (g25b7)

55 max wrote:
You are not just a troll - you're a dishonest sack of shit.

DING DING DING DING We have a winner!


From the great and powerful Newsweek article:
Libby's trial has been put off until January 2007

Hoo boy, Fitzy sure is in a big hurry to bust up that "culture of corruption."

It's amazing how far a lawyer can stretch billable hours with practically nothing to substantiate it.

Posted by: Sue Dohnim at February 06, 2006 08:34 AM (rE+jU)

56 Even Newsweek

hee. hee hee. hee heehehee.

Posted by: Dave in Texas at February 06, 2006 10:05 AM (pzen5)






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