I was just thinking, if I wanted to create enough fear that our my enemies would be looking over their shoulders everytime they used the internet, nothing would work better than creating the belief that I was omnipresent on the web. One the one side, people are certain that the government in incapable of managing the simplest of programs or managing it's own affairs, but when given the notion that that same government could orchestrate a massive campaign of internet monitoring and targeted strikes again individuals, most seem to have no doubt of it's validity. Every other week there is a new revelation of the widening scope of the NSA powers to peer into every aspect of our lives and yet when asked, people still believe that same government is buying $400 toilet seats. Perhaps the biggest conspiracy is that the NSA isn't omnipresent, but wants you to think they are.
The Government is not one thing, and can therefore be incompetent and quite competent at the same time. I don't think anyone doubts that our elite special forces soldiers are quite good at what they are trained to do. And I don't think anyone doubts that the ACA website was a disaster at roll out. Same government; effective in one area, ineffective in another.
And the $400 toilet seats were money laundering in action, but people still seem to think some bureaucrat was dumb enough to pay $400 for a toilet seat. Whether that was money laundering or simple corruption, it was certainly not incompetence.