We’re now at a point in American history where the dastardly deeds of our government are constantly popping up in the the national spotlight, and whistleblowing entities like Anonymous, WikiLeaks, and the like are severely blurring the lines between informational heroism and villainy. Behind many of these controversies is the National Security Agency, currently under the regime of Director Keith Alexander. Due to the NSA’s backdoor surveillance through multiple technological avenues, we as private citizens have lost large chunks of our privacy and our trust in the powers that be. That said, if you’re going to be the head of the current negatively perceived governmental body, you might as well run things in the most stylish way possible, and Alexander has boldly gone where no common man has gone before: into the Star Trek Enterprise. Or at least, an elaborate, Virginia-based surveillance headquarters that was inspired by the Enterprise. I guess God’s throne was taken.
The website Foreign Policy ran a recent piece that revealed just how proud Alexander is of this massive and awesome-looking hub, dubbed the Information Dominance Center. (How one can “dominate” information, I have no idea.) And though there are conflicting reports as to its origin, which we’ll go over below, the Center definitely exists, and it’s definitely been beaming down information for over a decade. As the article explains:
When he was running the Army’s Intelligence and Security Command, Alexander brought many of his future allies down to Fort Belvoir for a tour of his base of operations, a facility known as the Information Dominance Center. It had been designed by a Hollywood set designer to mimic the bridge of the starship Enterprise from Star Trek, complete with chrome panels, computer stations, a huge TV monitor on the forward wall, and doors that made a ‘whoosh’ sound when they slid open and closed.
This sounds pretty amazing, admittedly, and certainly no mere mortal could resist the chance to revel in their imagination, right?
“Lawmakers and other important officials took turns sitting in a leather ‘captain’s chair’ in the center of the room and watched as Alexander, a lover of science-fiction movies, showed off his data tools on the big screen. ‘Everybody wanted to sit in the chair at least once to pretend he was Jean-Luc Picard,’ says a retired officer in charge of VIP visits.”
While some have said Alexander is the one responsible for the Center’s creation, it was completed in 1999, years before he took over as Director of the NSA in 2005. In any case, he apparently treats it like his own baby, so it’s his for now. Check out pics of the Center below, and you can wonder like I do how many times they actually do screen Trek episodes and films, instead of monitoring other people watching Trek episodes and films. I wonder what they’ll do with the room once all the <mind control kicks in. Gotta go put on my tinfoil hat now.