There must be something in the air. Or is it the water? Over the past couple of weeks there have been some pretty sensational stories about the Intelligence Community. First, we had the Russian spies, then the Washington Post’s expose on the IC (well timed, right before Clapper’s confirmation hearing – but we digress), and stories about the lack of GAO oversight for the community. And, CBS News recently ran a story about how top secret spy work is done in neighborhoods around the Washington DC area. One of the areas highlighted, in addition to Fort Meade, is the Dulles-Chantilly region.
Here’s an interesting section of the article:
Other locations include Dulles-Chantilly, Denver-Aurora and Tampa. All of them are under-the-radar versions of traditional military towns: economically dependent on the federal budget and culturally defined by their unique work.
The difference, of course, is that the military is not a secret culture. In the clusters of Top Secret America, a company lanyard attached to a digital smart card is often the only clue to a job location. Work is not discussed. Neither are deployments. Debate about the role of intelligence in protecting the country occurs only when something goes wrong and the government investigates, or when an unauthorized disclosure of classified information turns into news.
The existence of these clusters is so little known that most people don’t realize when they’re nearing the epicenter of Fort Meade’s, even when the GPS on their car dashboard suddenly begins giving incorrect directions, trapping the driver in a series of U-turns, because the government is jamming all nearby signals.
Read more at got geoint? here.