Maureen Dowd

Maureen Dowd

State, national columnists

The threat of Techmageddon

By From page A9 | February 10, 2013

WASHINGTON — I spent a long time looking at W.’s sprezzatura in the shower, the play of light and shadow on his muscular back, and his face winsomely reflected in the shaving mirror.

I gazed at the former president’s legs and toes in the bathtub, overcome with relief that W. was now under the influence of Lucian Freud rather than Dick Cheney.

Images of W.’s tasteful nude self-portraits went viral after being published on the Smoking Gun website on Thursday; they were stolen from his sister Doro’s email account by a hacker called Guccifer, who is now being investigated by the Secret Service for pillaging three years of Bush family email.

Congress and the news media are engaged in a febrile debate about the way America has used torture and drones, trying to figure out if the war on terror launched by W. got out of control and warped our sense of right and wrong. In the midst of this cacophony on morality, W. himself seems to have escaped to a simpler, more solipsistic landscape, making illustrations of his illustrious torso.

We are not talking Bonnard-level nude bath paintings. But, like W.’s charming oil portrait of Barney, signed “43,” which he released himself when his dog died recently, the pictures were surprisingly interesting and humanizing.

The way the artist uses light on surfaces, the sun coming through a fabric shade and hitting the water in the bathtub, is quite deft, as are his brush strokes and his use of a “Rokeby Venus”-style face in the mirror.

The man can handle a brush. And we thought he could only clear brush. The president who came across as a paint-by-numbers executive in public life can actually paint in private life.

It’s weird because W.’s presidency was not a reality-based undertaking; it did not look carefully at the world. And yet his paintings reflect meticulous optical observation.

As president (where he also showed sprezzatura), W. was led by Cheney and Rummy. But as a painter, he savors his own perspective.

The Smoking Gun reported that Guccifer infiltrated the email of Doro Bush and several family friends, collecting cellphone numbers, security codes, photos — including ones of the paintings and another of the first President Bush in the hospital — and emails, including one by Jeb Bush about how his father helped restore Bill Clinton’s “sordid reputation.”

It was a week for worrying about the dark side of our cool, fast, exciting, heedless new technologies.

We are so dizzy and intoxicated by our new toys — from iPhones to drones — that we are hopelessly addicted to them before we fully understand the downsides.

The instant gratification they offer makes us shortsighted in an unprecedented way. It’s insane how vulnerable we’ve made ourselves, like drunks failing to look around as they walk into traffic. Hackers could shut down the way we live, and if they hacked into drones or nuclear codes, determine the way we die. If you think it through, which most of us avoid, the prospect of Techmaggedon is terrifying.

On Thursday, at John Brennan’s confirmation hearing to be CIA director, some senators took a stab at thinking it through on the smart, sleek, robotic machine that dominates our political debate. (Drones, not Obama.)

Those who battled Cheney’s nefarious efforts to obliterate constitutional checks and balances and practice pre-emption can’t look the other way when a Democratic president is caught up in the narcotic allure of drones and pre-emption. You sell a little bit of the democratic soul when you start zapping people with no due process.

The Chinese, who have already broken into the White House computer network, have now pilfered, maybe spear-phished, oceans of emails from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post.

With the Chinese stockpiling our vile, vexed, vulgar, vivacious and vinous emails, they can trounce us easily. They can simply threaten to release a batch of our e-bombs about our bosses, spouses, dates, friends and crushes. We’ll all lose our jobs, but everyone else will, too, so we can just reboot and change places.

It’s already too late to stop sending embarrassing e-missives, with a decade worth of hand grenades out there rolling around.

Just as Obama knows in his heart that, while seductive, drones need limits, so we know that, while seductive, emails need limits — because sooner or later, the Chinese or some bitter hacker in his basement or some 10-year-old kid is going to make all our titillating emails public.

The rule of thumb in Washington used to be: Don’t do anything that you wouldn’t want to see printed on the front page of The New York Times. The new rule is: Don’t send an email you wouldn’t want to see printed on the front page of The New York Times. (Especially if you work here.)

Maureen Dowd is a columnist for The New York Times.

Maureen Dowd


Discussion | 4 comments

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  • StR Example of Mirror ProgrammingFebruary 10, 2013 - 9:42 am

    The Illuminati program their own children...Bush Jr, poor soul is literally trying to find himself after being shattered. They use mirror programming also.....1. ALPHA - This is considered "regular programming." This is actually what would be considered a "base Personality" control. The original purpose of Alpha was to program (train/condition the mind through torture) of the espionage agent to perform certain difficult tasks. This program also locks in photographic memory, improves physical strength up to 5 times, and visual acuity is radically improved to 40 times normal limits, along with a host of other super-human traits. Alpha programming is accomplished through deliberately subdividing the victim's personality, which in essence causes a left brain right brain division allowing for a programmed union of L and R through neuron pathway stimulations and you've got . a person who can now utilize both sides of his/her brain for any simple task.............. 2. BETA -This is a combination of Alpha ; "logic" programming and Beta primordial (primitive mind) sex programming. This programming eliminates learned moral convictions and stimulates the primitive sexual instincts devoid of inhibitions. This training Program (usually for women) is for developing the "ultimate prostitute"...a sex machine. This is the most used (by the abusers knowledgeable of the Project Monarch) program. Children of knowledgeable persons are being preconditioned through incest and "sold" into the conspiracy for additional Beta conditioning to eventually satisfy the bizarre perversions of politicians, bankers, drug lords, or anyone deemed valuable to the conspiracy............... 3. DELTA - This program was originally designed to train special agents and espionage agents' minds for becoming fearless terrorists devoid of fear and basic self preservation instincts capable of incredible feats of physical endurance and murder. The new revised edition of Delta has pulled from the Delta program information on training the new breed of man - one who kills and, if caught, self-destructs. This program is now applied to some Beta prostitutes who double as drug mules...to protect the identity of their owners if they are caught, they die -of "natural causes."............ 4. THETA -Psychic programming ...the "exotic one". But not to be confused with the paranormal phenomenon of fortune telling or future forecasting. Those are examples of a magician's craft - while Theta psychic programming was and is the exploration of an unpredictable fact of human science. The initial results of Theta programmed subjects were inconsistent that the Theta project was virtually abandoned before its research completion date. Duke University, North Carolina, among other prominent "institutions", devoted many years to this project with what equated to poor results. It seems that the region of the brain able of transmitting and/or receiving "mental messages" has not yet evolved to a level for dependable communication...with any predictable, reliable consistency. The Soviets, however, invested billions of dollars into their version of psychic research and claimed/proved remarkable successes. With the advances in directed energy research... Theta "psychic driving" is obsolete.........To Be really effective at a high level like Skull and Bones ect...you have to have the demons inplanted and be able to tolerate them without acting crazy. G. H. W. Bush and his dad Prescott for example.

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  • ContinuedFebruary 10, 2013 - 9:52 am

    But the Theta program "head" was not dead yet. Theta couldn't die because of the Soviet's reported successes...it evolved into bio-medical human telemetry and directed target energy involving lasers and/or electromagnetics...the results of which were referred to as "electronic possession". The ultimate challenge for the 21st century exorcist... providing he worked a day job-as a skilled CIA supported Neurosurgeon......... A few years ago, this programming technique involved the surgical implantation of sodium/lithium powered high frequency receiver/ transducers coupled to a multi-range discharge capacitor that when signaled by remote control would electronically stimulate designated parts of the brain to signal the victim to respond according to his/her program. These experiments were only partially successful with a high mortality and paralysis rate. However, the technical mind control equipment evolution would advance to levels well beyond the grasp of any reader. Now it seems that "implants" will eventually become as common in numbers as are the victims of trauma based psychological mind control...but non implanted ,non programmed victims will hold the largest majority...the 1990's version of mind control requires neither implant or program...just computer driven directed energy using microwave...anybody can become a target........They can do types of programming much quicker today....That is why I wonder about Law Enforcement such as Sheriff Dept people going off the the FBI academy ect....Maybe they can have control of a prson for a couple of weeks and get them programmed to say..fire on US citizens when sent out a code of some sort? Just a question I am just asking.

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  • StRFebruary 10, 2013 - 10:05 am

    Google....mirror programming mk-ultra....Really though most of the evil people at the top are generationally evil being committed followers of Satan, to organize the World Wars, Vietnam ect...those were for more than just power and money. Really at some point "THEY" have more money than they need and could purchase any kind of pleasure they want, so why expend so much effort to totally control the whole world...IT IS BIBLICAL YOU SEE THEY ARE EVIL, SETTING UP FOR THE anti-christ. But at the lower levels you still need(up till recently, now we have mechanized killing machines), actual people to do the killing so the need to influence the military and populace to so so. In the information age we should realize it is not necessary to kill each other, we are no longer the satanically influenced raiding hordes of Gengis Khan...but I ramble. But the big task is to put us into a One/New World Order, supposedly Satan must have the entire world to rule as his kingdom. But read Revelation in the Bible we know how it all ends up.

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  • RichFebruary 10, 2013 - 6:14 pm

    What does all that have to do with what Maureen Dow is saying in this editorial? Why don't you stay on topic STR?

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