'Mr. Secretary, What'd You Have Torched At Ft. Meade's 902nd Military Intel Group?'

Learnin' 'bout torturin' - WonketteWe were hoping somebody would ask this question at Rumsfeld's press conference today, but no such luck, as usual. (Wonkette doesn't even have the Pentagon clearance for Craigslist booty calls.)

Here's what little we know: Late Friday, a crazy six-alarm fire gutted the three-story Building 54, where the 902nd Military Intelligence Group did its special work. That work included infiltrating a group of Quaker pacifists, running allegedly-banned Total Information Awareness and TALON surveillance monstrosities that DARPA was forced to hide somewhere else, and conducting "counterintelligence activities in support of Army commanders and to protect Army forces, secrets and technologies by detecting, identifying, neutralizing and exploiting foreign intelligence services and international terrorist threats."

We'll see if this has anything to do with that Pentagon vs. CIA vs. NSA secret war we keep hearing about, after the jump. ECNATSNEPPAH SI ECNO ...

Ft. Meade officials won't say anything about it, other than that there was a fire and now it's out. The Pentagon won't say anything about it.

A reporter and photographer from the Annapolis Capital initially managed to get close to the fire -- newspaper people tend to show up when 70 firemen are working a huge blaze in a big building and the smoke can be seen for miles around -- but The Man got to them.

Army CID [Criminal Investigation Division] representatives forced a reporter and photographer from The Capital to leave the base about 30 minutes after they were allowed in. Officials told the photographer to erase all photos from his digital camera, and started ordering dozens of onlookers to clear the scene by about 5 p.m.
If they were anything like the AP pictures in the Baltimore Sun -- which carry this strange use limitation: "NO MAGS, NO SALES, NO INTERNET, NO TV" -- then the pictures just showed an old building on fire. What'd the Capital photog catch, the Hell Demons escaping the Interdimensional Cell of Despair or something?

Ft. Meade's emergency services guy gave a "don't say anything" press conference to the local reporters that night, and that was it. The base commander, Ft. Meade fire chief, Criminal Investigation Division and base spokeswoman didn't give up any info. Finally, the reporter was told to file a Freedom of Information Act request if he wanted any answers.

The intel group's entire website has since vanished from the Internets, but our secret sharers over at Cryptome got a copy.

Did a loyal patriot inside the military burn up the Secret Filtering Machine that blocks Wonkette in Iraq? We want Answers, Wonkette operatives!

Okay, okay, there's a tiny little Kitty Harris angle: Her not-Christian-enough astronaut enemy Bill Nelson tried to get info out of Rumsfeld about this shadowy group and its shadowy activities performed in the shadowy shadows. Rumsfeld complied by ignoring Nelson completely.

Blaze Guts Homeland Spy Building [Cryptome]

Blaze guts spy unit's building at Ft. Meade [Annapolis Capital]

Fire burns Fort Meade office complex [Baltimore Sun]


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