Monday, 4 May 2009

Shhh - Can't Tell You!

I suppose you've heard of Kryptos, the ineffable sculpture/artwork that was commissioned for the CIA about two decades ago and still not decoded.  Aside from the irony, which I must admit causes me endless amusement whenever the subject of Kryptos comes up, there's also a really insane angle to so much secrecy.

On New Of The Weird a few weeks ago, these two reports offer testimony to there being such a thing as too much secrecy...
The U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration recently postponed its crucial program to rejuvenate quarter-century-old Trident missile warheads because no one can remember how to make a key component of the weapons (codenamed "Fogbank"), according to a March 2 report of the Government Accountability Office. The GAO found that, despite concern over the bombs' safety and reliability, NNSA could not replicate the manufacturing process because all knowledgeable personnel have left the agency and no written records were kept. Said one commentator, "This is like James Bond destroying his instructions as soon as he's read them." [Sunday Herald (Glasgow), 3-7-09]
The GAO report came two months after the German Interior Ministry reported to Parliament that over a 10-year period, it had lost 332 secret files that were in fact so secret that no one in the Ministry could recall what was in them. [The Local (Berlin), 12-13-08]

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