You’re Living in East Germany
NSA: No Such Agency
by Eric Margolis
June 15, 2013
In June, 1942, the United States Navy achieved one of history’s greatest naval triumphs over the Imperial Japanese Navy, thanks to a combination of brilliant leadership, plain good luck, and code-breaking.
US carrier-based dive bombers led by the intrepid Commander Wade McClusky Jr. swiftly sank three Japanese carriers. A fourth Japanese carrier was sunk soon after.
Midway turned the course of the Pacific naval war and spelled inevitable defeat for Japan in World War II.
US Navy code breakers had secretly deciphered Japan’s naval codes, so US Admiral Nimitz knew the Japanese fleet’s movements and timing. Nimitz positioned three US carriers northwest of Hawaii and ambushed the oncoming Japanese fleet heading for Hawaii.
Code breaking played a key role in the Allied WWII victory. The British and Soviets also broke many German military codes. The decisive battle of Kursk and the U-boat war were primarily won thanks to code breaking. Ever since, the US has made signals intelligence (SIGINT) a key part of military operations.
Fast forward to last week’s furor over electronic snooping under the PRISM program by the US National Security Agency (NSA) into America’s nine big internet providers. We should not have been surprised. Surveillance and spying cannot be stopped unless forcefully constrained. Intelligence, like fire, to quote Ben Franklin, is “a useful servant; but a terrible master.”