Think of Intelligence as "weaponized information." It is not a passive cerebral business. It can and does kill. Witness drones in current history. In war, it is an active part of targeting so people die as a result of it. People die protecting it, sometimes unwittingly. Read on for links, postings, rationale, & comments. This Diary will be updated periodically.
The story goes beyond the very sick culture of an organization who has a primary operational directive for absolute secrecy beyond these very distinguishable attributes within the NSA and related black organizations.
To recap: The dominant pathological organizational disorders rampant within the NSA are obvious:
2. Obsessive compulsive
5. Narcissistic (self-rationalizing)
6. Uber-patriotic (self-justifying)
Just look at the things official sources say. You will always be able to identify at least one of these characteristics permeating the text or lurking behind the lines.
Although powerful individuals, corporations, and political groups may also share these traits, the NSA hosts some unique attributes that set it apart from other manifestations of a pathologically ill organization:
1. One takes the security oath BEFORE one knows first hand what the commitment means. Too bad if one KNOWS it is patently illegal. You don't stay in if you disagree. You can't stay, period. So "99.99%" of the career spooks are 100% bought in are totally committed and believe they are in the right or that ends justify means. The organization is for "believers" only.
2. If you openly disagree, you are treated like you are mentally ill AND a security threat. Expect bad reviews and pretences that will muster you OUT.
3. If you go "outside" to complain, the penalties are severe: 30 years in prison, in war-time unauthorized disclosure can qualify as high treason punishable by death. Post 9/11, who knows what can go down when there is no such thing as "out of bounds."
But here's the real deal, Intelligence is "weaponized information." People do die, and too often completely innocent people, and this business of death has been going on for a very long time. The scope and impact of a characterologically disordered operational unit of the government whose mission is death to threats can not be overstated.It is in this last aspect where the risk has the potential to most virulent and dangerous because as an agent of death NSA actions still remain quite hidden. Nothing Snowden has revealed to date, for example, speaks of what has been, is current, will be acted upon in the future or who the target could be or the degree of sanction.
Just look here for a brief "mega view" primer of activities that have intelligence worms permeating the events:
35 Countries Where the U.S. Has Supported Fascists, Drug Lords and Terrorists
The Korean Airline Flight 007 (aka KAL 007) shootdown near Kamchatka.
There are backup resources referenced in this article.
I will personally confirm "Ferret" activity as a routine activity for US military involved with NSA. I was on an RC130 during the Vietnam war sent to provoke suspected Chinese AAA batteries into firing at my aircraft over the Plains des Jarres in Laos. They fired.
The USAF Security Service (at the time called USAFSS) had regularly scheduled RC135 on the Soviet northern borders. I flew on similar operations down the eastern Chinese coast into the Gulf of Tonkin in the early 1970s. The Soviet routes existed then.
One minor adjustment to item  in this article. The "10 minutes" alert time to the president, Regan, is generous. Every single operational RC135 has had an equivalent of a "red phone" with a capability to communicate directly with the POTUS in real time.
This article closes with "What the President had called "the Soviet massacre', was in fact the first American sacrifice of the Reagan presidency." Essentially true. Even if the decision not to warn KAL007 was made on the RC135 or Pueblo style Navy vessels and not in Washington, those officers would be following rule #1 in the NSA world: protect sources, protect monitoring capabilities, protect disclosing operations above all else, whatever the cost.
There can't be a better classic example, highly documented in history, of the assertion made here: Intelligence does and can kill anyone. Friend or Foe.