Wired profiles NSA's Keith Alexander, the general leading America into cyberwar

Illustration for WIRED by Mark Weaver

"Infiltration. Sabotage. Mayhem. For years four-star general Keith Alexander has been building a secret Army capable of launching devastating cyberattacks. Now it's ready to unleash hell."

In this month's Wired Magazine, James Bamford profiles Keith Alexander, the man who runs cyberwar efforts for the United States, "an empire he has built over the past eight years by insisting that the US’s inherent vulnerability to digital attacks requires him to amass more and more authority over the data zipping around the globe."

The claims in Edward Snowden's leaks are the tip of one big, secret iceberg.

Read: NSA Snooping Was Only the Beginning. Meet the Spy Chief Leading Us Into Cyberwar (Wired.com)


  1. Why does the USA always have to be in some kind of war?  Cyber or otherwise?  I, myself, am so bloody sick of it.  I guess this is what human beings do.  Starting to feel glad that I’m old and will die soon. I don’t want to deal with this shit any more.

    1. Because it is easier to control a population that is perpetually at war. Its not a human thing per say, just a craven political authoritarian power hungry human thing.

    2.  Do you really want to know, or are you being facetious?

      I think the USA has forgotten how to be a nation at peace.

  2. Tip of the iceberg indeed.  The events so far have been akin to walking in on an adolescent spanking his monkey over some smutty magazine.  We’ve all thought it’s probable, just never seen it revealed.

    In that cringing moment, the adolescent has retained the presence of mind not to glance over at the hordes of other smut, much of it much more shocking.  But the sweaty anxiety exuded clues us up to the “more is coming” idea.

    If you’re into total control and total surveillance, no tool or method will be beyond your conscience.  We’ll never unravel it all, but I predict much, much worse will come out.

    Some will be diluted into the vortex of conspiracy theories, ably assisted by agency PR, but some will stand out, and disgust us.

    In retrospect, we won’t be surprised.  All the tools are right there, they just need assembly and exploitation in the furtherance of some evangelical goal.

  3. ROBERT STEELE:  Alexander is America’s most dangerous clerk.  Most of what he administers (he is not a “manager”) is very expensive crap — most of his “cyber-warriors” are a mix of corporate vaporware butts in seats and reservists with no clue.  The raw fact is that NSA does very little of value for the public, and is imply the most secretive pork pie in the US inventory, lacking in any semblance of accountability.  We have the problems we do today in private sector vulnerability because Al Gore and Marty Harris and Alexander’s predecessors at NSA refused to take seriously the warnings of Winn Schwartau, Jim Anderson (himself NSA’s most senior cyber-security expert at the time) and others between 1990 and 1994.  In our view Alexander should be professionally investigated going back to his willful collaboration with Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld and George Tenet in the shutting down of ABLE DANGER; he should be retired at a substantially reduced grade once his persistent dereliction of duty has been documented and made public.  Intelligence with integrity is not his forte — malicious complacency comes closer.  Keith Alexander is the poster child for a generation of flag officers with zero ethics who pretend to be educated and strategic while lacking the most elementary appreciation for whole systems analytics and devotion to the Constitution, the Republic, and the public interest.

  4.  See the 1994 warning letter that I sent to the White House, search for 1994 sounding the alarm source phibetaiota.  The fact is that NSA REFUSED the assignment to help the private sector secure its communications because they preferred the ease of dealing with unprotected systems and have always been able to “cover” domestic communications of presidential interest.

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