Lady Gaga’s Telephone Behind the Largest Intelligence Leak in History

Wha-wha-what did you say huh?
You’re breakin’ up on me
Sorry I cannot hear you
I’m kinda busy
K-kinda busy
K-kinda busy
Sorry I cannot hear you I’m kinda busy

   ——Lady Gaga

We knew it was coming. We saw it before with the Afghanistan War Logs

How 250,000 US embassy cables were leaked

From a fake Lady Gaga CD to a thumb drive that is a pocket-sized bombshell – the biggest intelligence leak in history


An innocuous-looking memory stick, no longer than a couple of fingernails, came into the hands of a Guardian reporter earlier this year. The device is so small it will hang easily on a keyring. But its contents will send shockwaves through the world’s chancelleries and deliver what one official described as “an epic blow” to US diplomacy.

The 1.6 gigabytes of text files on the memory stick ran to millions of words: the contents of more than 250,000 leaked state department cables, sent from, or to, US embassies around the world.

. . .


The US military believes it knows where the leak originated. A soldier, Bradley Manning, 22, has been held in solitary confinement for the last seven months and is facing a court martial in the new year. The former intelligence analyst is charged with unauthorised downloads of classified material while serving on an army base outside Baghdad. He is suspected of taking copies not only of the state department archive, but also of video of an Apache helicopter crew gunning down civilians in Baghdad, and hundreds of thousands of daily war logs from military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.

It was childishly easy, according to the published chatlog of a conversation Manning had with a fellow-hacker. “I would come in with music on a CD-RW labelled with something like ‘Lady Gaga’ … erase the music … then write a compressed split file. No one suspected a thing … [I] listened and lip-synched to Lady Gaga’s Telephone while exfiltrating possibly the largest data spillage in American history.” He said that he “had unprecedented access to classified networks 14 hours a day 7 days a week for 8+ months”.

The Advantages of Public Failure

As scientists, we construct a narrative of success that renders our setbacks invisible both to ourselves and to others. Often, other scientists’ careers seem to be a constant, streamlined series of triumphs. Therefore, whenever we experience an individual failure, we feel alone and dejected.

Melanie Stefan

from:  A CV of failures. Nature 468: 467.

A Different View of the TSA Scandal

Does anyone else sense something strange is going on with the apparently spontaneous revolt against the TSA? This past week, the media turned an “ordinary guy,” 31-year-old Californian John Tyner, who blogs under the pseudonym “Johnny Edge,” into a national hero after he posted a cell phone video of himself defending his liberty against the evil government oppressors in charge of airport security.

While this issue is certainly important—and offensive—to Americans, we are nonetheless skeptical about how and why this story turned into a national movement.

The Nation – TSAstroturf: The Washington Lobbyists and Koch-Funded Libertarians Behind the TSA Scandal


Meg McLain almost became a national celebrity as the first victim of the body scanner/TSA molesters. On November 8, McLain was preparing to fly out of the Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, airport, when she claimed to have been the victim of invasive TSA molestation. According to McLain, when she refused to have her body scanned, the TSA agents supposedly started screaming “Opt out! Opt out!” and pulled her aside and “molested” her—specifically, they “squeezed and twisted” her breasts so hard that “it hurt.” …  As she described it, “It’s getting to the point where I feel more physically molested [by the TSA agents] than if some random guy actually came up and molested me. It’s more intrusive than that.” McLain also claimed that she was made to stand in an open area next to the metal detector, where every passenger could look at her while a TSA agent “screamed” at her, until, finally, she was handcuffed to a chair by a “dozen cops.” McLain immediately called into the Keene libertarian radio show to tell her awful story, which was posted on YouTube, and spread virally after it was promoted on Drudge Report.

There was only one problem with McLain’s story: she made it up. The TSA released video evidence showing that McLain wasn’t molested, wasn’t screamed at and wasn’t attacked by a dozen cops and half a dozen TSA agents. In fact, other passengers don’t seem to notice her, although a TSA agent does seem to be trying to comfort McLain, offering her tissues as the libertarian rebel breaks out crying.

Next Media Animation on the TSA

I like how the private inspection includes a sultry saxophone…


Full body scanners and enhanced pat downs in private rooms are fueling anger among air travelers in the US. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is coming in for severe criticism while passengers are planning a boycott of the scans on Nov. 24 – traditionally the busiest travel day of the year.


Neural Signatures of Inspirational Mentoring

Boyatzis and Anthony Jack, assistant professor of cognitive science, philosophy and psychology, have used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to show neural reactions based on different coaching styles. Their research builds on previous knowledge of Intentional Change Theory, which holds that positive and negative emotional attractors create psycho-physiological states that drive a person to think about change.

JFK Conspiracy Theories and Breaches of Medical Ethics

A narcissistic psychiatrist googles himself (salerian) and discovers that someone doesn’t find his JFK neurotoxin conspiracy theory to be very convincing. The offensive post is the second hit, above the link to his own blog.

So Dr. Alen J. Salerian [or perhaps one of his devout fans] submits an indignant comment and doesn’t expect it to be published. WRONG!

The Neurocritic took this as an opportunity to do a quick Google search, and discovered a link to an official court document (on the first page of results). Dr. Salerian was placed on probation for two years in the state of Maryland because of a sensational and self-serving breach of confidentiality, as outlined in detail below.

Action Taken:

The Board has issued the Physician a Reprimand, a Fine of $3500.00 and placed his license on Probation for two years to include completion of an Ethics course.


The court opinion finding Dr. Alen J. Salerian guilty of a professional ethics violation is informative:


To spare you the 35 page legal document, here’s a news article:

Md. Court of Special Appeals upholds spy consultant setback

The Maryland State Board of Physicians rightly disciplined a psychiatrist who evaluated accused spy Robert P. Hanssen, then revealed Hanssen’s disclosures to the media and Hanssen’s wife, the Court of Special Appeals held.

The board found Alen J. Salerian guilty of “immoral or unprofessional conduct in the practice of medicine” and punished him with probation and a $5,000 fine. Salerian challenged the decision on multiple grounds, all of which the appellate court rejected on Wednesday.

In 2001, Salerian contacted Hanssen’s attorney, Plato Cacheris, with an offer to perform a psychiatric evaluation of his client. Salerian was eventually hired on a limited basis, with the obvious stipulation that he should not approach the media or otherwise disclose confidential information.

During the interviews, Hanssen disclosed personal information about his unsavory sexual activities (including secret videotaping and other gross stuff) kept hidden from his wife:

On May 11, 2001, appellant disclosed to Cacheris what Evaluee had told him about his “sexual exploitation” of his wife. Cacheris instructed appellant not to reveal this information to anyone, including Evaluee’s wife. Yet, one day later, appellant disclosed Evaluee’s sexual activities to Evaluee’s wife. He did so, appellant explained in a letter to Cacheris, to “engender enhanced understanding and reconcilment [sic] between [Evaluee] and his wife . . . .”

But the prohibited disclosure went beyond the perhaps understandable desire to inform the wife of grave offenses committed against her. Salerian then contacted the media, thereby invalidating any noble intentions one might have attributed to him:

On June 12, 2001, Cacheris wrote to appellant, informing him that a producer for “Sixty Minutes” told Cacheris that appellant “had discussions with him concerning confidential matters involving [Evaluee].” Cacheris again warned appellant that appellant was “not permitted to disclose to anybody communications [he] may have had with [Evaluee] and members of his family” and that “any such disclosures will be violative of the attorney/client privilege and [appellant’s] own canons of medical ethics prohibiting disclosures,” and, furthermore, he reminded appellant that appellant signed the United States government’s “Special Administrative Measures,” which “prohibit public disclosures.”

[Two quotations above taken from the court document. Here’s the transcript from a CBS interview: Reveals Impressions Of Accused Spy Hanssen]

Let’s conclude with a link to a Dr. Drew-like ethical violation: offering vacuous “expert” psychiatric opinion on a celebrity:

‘Is Kobe Bryant Guilty?’ — Commentary by Psychiatrist Alen J. Salerian

The comments are quite amusing…