As more and more details come out about the NSA surveillance programs, the federal government is looking more and more ridiculous. The latest comes from a column by John Fund at the National Review Online — a publication which has been a pretty strong supporter of the surveillance state. The column highlights that even the NSA's staunchest defenders are beginning to get fed up with the NSA as more leaks come out (especially last week's revelation of thousands of abuses). But the really interesting tidbit is buried a bit:
A veteran intelligence official with decades of experience at various agencies identified to me what he sees as the real problem with the current NSA: “It’s increasingly become a culture of arrogance. They tell Congress what they want to tell them. Mike Rogers and Dianne Feinstein at the Intelligence Committees don’t know what they don’t know about the programs.” He himself was asked to skew the data an intelligence agency submitted to Congress, in an effort to get a bigger piece of the intelligence budget. He refused and was promptly replaced in his job, presumably by someone who would do as told.
It appears that PL/I (and its dialects) is, or will be, the most widely used higher level language for systems programming. -- J. Sammet