Monday, October 22, 2012

At one time we had secrets. Now there are Secrets and "Secrets"

First, the ground rules...
The word Secret can be used as a noun or an adjective. For my purpose, it's one of three levels of security assigned to information or material (stuff). The other two are Confidential and Top Secret.

Secret information is: documents, pictures, charts or anything else associated with a piece of equipment, project, proposal... any and everything you only want folks with "A Need to Know," to know. Clear?

Disclosure of Secret information has the potential of causing serious damage to our national security. (Sadly, sometimes it's just embarrassing if folks find out about it.) Access to Secret information in only given to folks considered trustworthy. (And we all know how that occasionally works out.)

Now (finally) a couple of my Pet Peeves...
There are politicians, and those associated with them, who use classified information for their own purpose(s). They "leak" information to someone they know who will, in turn, pass it along or publish it. These politicians were granted a security clearance because they were deemed to be worthy of trust. Evidently they are not.

Today I found an example of "Secrets" (Secrets that aren't really.) The US has an unmanned (for now), reusable craft designated X-37B. It's launched into space, does its job(s) and then re-enters the atmosphere and lands. Rinse and repeat.

The story, titled, get this now, "Mysterious X-37B Military Space Plane's Next Secret Mission Delayed" Ok, it's not mysterious, and the next planned launch in not secret. What it'll do when/if it gets in orbit is another Secret, or not. Its exact capabilities have been widely speculated, and a few revealed.

If you'd like some idea about the design, Google you this... "X-37B diagrams" or "X-37B design" or "X-37B capabilities" or just about anything else you want to know about the X-37B. Lots of dots to connect, folks.

The fact that it even exists, IMO, should not be public knowledge. Much less how it works, its capabilities and when we launch or delay launching the damned thing! But the information is all over the internet and shows up from time to time on the evening news. Lord love a duck.

During the "Cold War," (I use the "  " because it wasn't as cold as most think. Another story for another day.) the Russian Commies pulled off one of the greatest "disinformation" cons ever. The US believed their planted information about the capabilities of one of their bombers. And we acted accordingly on that (dis)information.

Is the X-37B actually a masterful piece of disinformation? Are we just giving Russia, China, Iran, N. Korea, et al, a wild goose to chase? I don't think so.

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