The First Baffling Article from Greenwald’s ‘The Intercept’ Website

Glenn Greenwald’s new website, The Intercept, launched today and I’ll have a more thorough review of its first day Tuesday morning at the usual time. In the meantime, the first news article at the Pierre Omidyar-funded site, titled “New Photos of the NSA and Other Top Intelligence Agencies Revealed for First Time,” was utterly bizarre.

It was literally nothing more than three aerial photographs of the National Security Agency’s headquarters in Fort Meade, Maryland; the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) in Chantilly, Virginia; and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) in Springfield, Virginia.

That’s all. It’s treated like a major scoop and appeared as the first big revelation on the site, prior to a separate article by Greenwald and Jeremy Scahill.

The lede? “What does a surveillance state look like?” These aerial photos of buildings are “a surveillance state?” Generally speaking, a surveillance state is a much broader concept describing an entire society — not three photos of buildings. (Some of the commenters analyzed the photos like the Zapruder footage.)

Besides, if we wanted to know what the buildings looked like, all we have to do is to search Google Images.

Here’s the NSA headquarters in Fort Meade.

Here’s the NRO headquarters in Chantilly.

Here’s the NGA headquarters in Springfield.

By the way, the NGA headquarters has a visitor center on its campus.

It’s unclear what the purpose of this first article is supposed to be, but it reminds me of when Rocky Balboa pasted a photo of Ivan Drago on his mirror. Here’s the enemy we’re gunning for — these buildings. Tomorrow, maybe they’ll post a training montage capped by Greenwald running to the top of Sugarloaf Mountain in Rio and screaming, “OBAMAAAA! OBAMAAAA!”