'Nothing Is beyond Our Reach': Evil Octopus Strangling the World Becomes Latest US Intelligence seal
'Nothing Is beyond Our Reach': Evil Octopus Strangling the World Becomes Latest US Intelligence seal
By Russia Today / on.rt.com

Billions of dollars annually are being used to fund operations conducted by the United States intelligence community, the likes of which allow the government to eavesdrop on emails, listen to world leaders’ phone calls and about everything in-between.

One thing that budget hasn’t bought, however, is subtlety. The US National Reconnaissance Office launched a top-secret surveillance satellite into space Thursday evening, and the official emblem for the spy agency’s latest mission is, well, certainly accurate, to say the least.

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence live-tweeted Thursday’s launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, and throughout the course of the ordeal made no effort to ignore the logo for the NROL-39 mission.

The latest spy satellite to be sent into orbit by the NRO can be recognized by its seal: a malevolent octopus with furrowed brows that also happens to be wrapping its tentacles around all corners of the Earth.

Nothing is beyond our reach,” the NRO boasts on the bottom half of the emblem just below the most sinister-looking cephalopod likely ever to be sent into space.

Along with the National Security Agency and more than a dozen others, the NRO is one of 16 federal offices under the directive of DNI James Clapper and is responsible for building and operating the spy satellites used to collect intelligence around the world. NRO-gathered intelligence was reportedly instrumental in the mission that brought US Navy SEAL’s to the home of former al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in 2011, and decades earlier the agency launched a school-bus sized satellite into orbit to spy on Soviets at the height of the Cold War.

 

In preparation for launch, the NROL-39 payload, encapsulated within a 5-meter diameter payload faring, is transported and mated to its United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V booster at Vandenberg's Space Launch Complex-3. (Photo from www.ulalaunch.com)

In preparation for launch, the NROL-39 payload, encapsulated within a 5-meter diameter payload faring, is transported and mated to its United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V booster at Vandenberg's Space Launch Complex-3. (Photo from www.ulalaunch.com)

 

This time around the ODNI says the satellite’s payload is mostly classified, but did admit over Twitter that around a dozen mini satellites funded by both the NRO and NASA will be brought along to orbit as well. Another thing they didn’t bother to acknowledge, of course, is how the lack-of-subtlety apparent in the Earth-strangling octopus emblem could quickly be used by critics of the US intelligence community as fodder to further condemn the government for admitting to their sheer and unmatched ability to control the world’s information.

Thursday’s launch of the latest NRO satellite occurred almost exactly six-month-to-the-day after The Guardian and Washington Post newspapers published the first of what has since been revealed to be a trove of leaked national security document showing proof of the NSA’s widespread and extensive ability to monitor people around the world. On June 6 those papers first disclosed evidence in which the NSA was documented to demand telephony metadata from millions of people daily, and a steady stream of leaked files attributed to former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden have since captivated the world while also raising a number of questions.

 

A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket carrying a payload for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) lifted off from Space Launch Complex-3 on Dec. 5 at 11:14 p.m. (Photo from www.ulalaunch.com)

A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket carrying a payload for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) lifted off from Space Launch Complex-3 on Dec. 5 at 11:14 p.m. (Photo from www.ulalaunch.com)

 

For half a year now, leaked NSA documents have let the world learn that the US monitors the phone habits of not just Americans, but also foreigners sitting atop the governments of allied nations.

Reporters with access to the cache of pilfered papers have reportedly released only a sliver of what’s been reported to be 50,000 documents during those six months, but the response has already been widespread. The leaders of countries such as Brazil and Germany have lashed out at the NSA’s behavior, and DNI Clapper and his deputy manning the NSA, Gen. Keith Alexander, have easily become two of the most embattled public figures in Washington.

That being said, you’d think ODNI would reconsider launching a new spy satellite. Or maybe even not put an octopus strangling the Earth on the outside.

"You may want to downplay the massive dragnet spying thing right now,” Chris Soghoian, the chief technologist at the American Civil Liberties Union, tweeted Thursday. “This logo isn't helping."

According to a top-secret budget document released by Snowden and first reported on in August, the NRO is in the midst of modernizing their signals intelligence, geospatial and communications system to replace current capabilities.

Looking at the NROL-39 logo, people could be forgiven for mistaking it for a version of the Lovecraftian elder god Cthulhu, who wants to swallow the Earth whole. But that is not the only National Reconnaissance Office emblem with an interesting spin on the space-spying theme: others include Masonic motifs, superhero ones and a few more that, frankly, defy easy classification.

0.0 ·
0
What's Next
Trending Today
93 Documentaries to Expand Your Consciousness
Films For Action · 8,250 views today · There are over 800 documentaries now cataloged in our library of social change films. That's probably way too many for any mortal to ever watch in a lifetime, let alone a few...
This Short Film Plays Out Like an Epic Movie That Will Shake Your Soul - But the Movie Is Real, and We are The Actors
6 min · 4,461 views today · For next year, we need a resolution capable of confronting the crisis we face, and making a future worth fighting for. This short film looks back on the crisis and confusion...
Social Media Echo Chambers: Here's How Most of Us are Living in One
2 min · 3,421 views today · Americans are blocking out the friends and news sites that won't confirm their views.
The Daily Show's Trevor Noah Talks With Conservative Host Tomi Lahren
14 min · 3,357 views today · "Tomi" host Tomi Lahren gives her take on the Black Lives Matter movement and explains why she lashed out against Colin Kaepernick for his national anthem protest.
What Makes Call-Out Culture So Toxic
Asam Ahmad · 3,156 views today · Call-out culture refers to the tendency among progressives, radicals, activists, and community organizers to publicly name instances or patterns of oppressive behaviour and...
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 3,080 views today · "The world is missing what I am ready to give: My Wisdom, My Sweetness, My Love and My hunger for Peace." "Where are you? Where are you, little girl with broken wings but full...
Why We Need Big Picture Activism
Helena Norberg-Hodge · 2,218 views today · Despite the countless grassroots projects already under way, the global economic juggernaut can seem too powerful to stop. But because more and more of us are becoming aware of...
Escape! From the Cult of Materialism (2016)
50 min · 1,793 views today · Does the philosophy of materialism work to destroy our identities, experience, and environment? Join narrator Daphne Ellis on a radical romp through the evidence and decide for...
How Mindfulness Empowers Us
2 min · 1,664 views today · Many traditions speak of the opposing forces within us, vying for our attention. Native American stories speak of two wolves, the angry wolf and the loving wolf, who both live...
Who's Really to Blame for Fake News? Look in the Mirror, America.
Neal Gabler · 1,154 views today · Consider for a moment the oxymoronic concept of “fake news,” which we have been hearing so much about lately. This isn’t your typical disinformation or misinformation —...
How a Land High in the Western Himalayas Can Help Us Understand The Crisis of The Modern World
9 min · 1,149 views today · This is a clip from The Economics of Happiness. Watch it here. It's a brilliant film that was easy to put at the top of our list of the top 100 documentaries we can use to...
Bernie Sanders: Carrier Just Showed Corporations How to Beat Donald Trump
Bernie Sanders · 1,103 views today · We need a president who can stand up to big corporations, not fold to their demands.
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 936 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
Law Professor's Epic Response to Black Lives Matter Shirt Complaint
Social Design Notes · 888 views today · A first year law school student wrote a complaint about her professor having worn a Black Lives Matter T-shirt during class. The professor’s response is priceless. Scans of...
South Koreans Are Really Good at Protesting
2 min · 851 views today · South Koreans organize some of the largest and most peaceful protests in the world. Here's what makes them so good at protesting.
The Most Mind-Altering Photograph of All Time
4 min · 772 views today · Carl Sagan narrates the story of the Pale Blue Dot, the one place we all call home. 
Corporate Giants' "Sustainable" Palm Oil Revealed as Sham
Nika Knight · 631 views today · Nestlé, Kellogg's, Procter & Gamble, Unilever and others are linked to child labor and forced labor in Indonesia
The 6 Grand Illusions That Keep Us Enslaved
Sigmund Fraud · 604 views today · For a magician to fool his audience his deceit must go unseen, and to this end he crafts an illusion to avert attention from reality. While the audience is entranced, the...
What Humans Are Really Doing to Our Planet, in 19 Jaw-Dropping Images
Michael McCutcheon · 580 views today · Last week, Pope Francis and church officials encouraged everyone to consume less and think more about our impact on the environment. It's a timely warning because the next six...
Schooling the World (2010)
66 min · 410 views today · If you wanted to change an ancient culture in a generation, how would you do it? You would change the way it educates its children. The U.S. Government knew this in the 19th...
Load More
Like us on Facebook?
'Nothing Is beyond Our Reach': Evil Octopus Strangling the World Becomes Latest US Intelligence seal