The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Why Is the CIA Hiring Perverts?

Posted on | August 1, 2018 | 3 Comments


Joshua Adam Schulte studied computer science at the University of Texas, did an internship at the National Security Agency and then got hired as a software engineer by the Central Intelligence Agency. In March 2017, according to federal prosecutors, Schulte was responsible for leaking classified CIA information (“Vault 7) to Wikileaks.

In the course of the investigation, authorities say they discovered that Schulte was hosting more than 10,000 child pornography files on a private web server, and that he also had images on his cellphone showing him sexually molesting a female roommate who was passed out drunk. Schulte is a very bad person:

In court in January, a prosecutor, the assistant United States attorney Matthew J. Laroche, said that “the government immediately had enough evidence” to make Mr. Schulte a target of the investigation. He said that the investigation was continuing, and that it involved in part how Tor, software that allows anonymous communication on the internet, “was used in transmitting classified information.” . . .
When WikiLeaks began to post the stolen documents last year, the C.I.A. said in a statement, “The American public should be deeply troubled by any WikiLeaks disclosure designed to damage the Intelligence Community’s ability to protect America against terrorists and other adversaries.”
Family members, who have spent much of their savings on legal fees, say they believe that Mr. Schulte is a scapegoat for the C.I.A.’s inability to secure its most sensitive files. They say the child pornography charges, based on his actions nine years ago when he was 20, are a thin pretext for keeping him incarcerated.
“I am just scared to death,” said Roger Schulte, Mr. Schulte’s father, who lives in Lubbock, Tex. “I think he’s innocent of all these crimes, as far as everything I’ve seen.” The elder Mr. Schulte said that his son was in college when he built the server later found to contain child pornography, and that he “had so many people accessing it he didn’t care what people put on it.”

Sorry, sir, your son’s hindsight excuses won’t save him. Whatever plea bargain the prosecutors offer, he should take it. Your son is not only a very bad person, but also phenomenally stupid:

A former CIA intelligence officer who is suspected by the government of leaking classified information to WikiLeaks appears to have uploaded at least some CIA-related source code to a personal website linked to his real name, files reviewed by Motherboard show. For years, the site was available to anyone on the internet and the server that hosted it was seized by the government in an ongoing child pornography case against him.
Quite simply, Schulte has some of the worst opsec and messiest online presence of anyone I’ve ever reported on. The amount of sensitive personal information he uploaded to a publicly available website while employed by the CIA is mind-boggling. . . .
The government’s complaint also notes that it seized a server that hosted a website called “The Crypt.” The Crypt was a series of open directories that an IRC group Schulte was a part of used to store files. . . .
Schulte used the Crypt like one might use their own personal hard drive or Google Drive, except it was available—and remains available in various archived forms—to literally anyone on the internet.
Schulte’s website allows us to easily connect many of his online personas and accounts to his real identity, discern his politics, his places of residence, and identify his friends and family members. This all came from someone who should, in theory, know better as someone who had access to highly sensitive information. . . .
Schulte also uploaded screenshots of his Gmail inbox, which have his name as well as emails that show information about his bank, his OKCupid account, his cell phone provider, his friends’ and families’ names, and more.
There’s a selfie he took of himself holding a “F–K OBAMA” pint glass, and a shirtless mirror selfie he took in a hotel bathroom. . . .
There are narrated video tours of the inside of his house, screenshots of emails he sent to activists advocating for concealed handgun carry permits in Texas, saved IRC chats of “Josh” saying the n-word over and over, and yet more screenshots of his Gmail inbox, which — in the same screenshot — prove that we are looking at “Joshua Schulte’s” inbox and also reveal the pseudonym he used on several different websites. Other files he uploaded tie this pseudonym to a Blogger where he wrote extensively about his libertarian politics.

In case you don’t know, “opsec” is “operational security,” and the article by Jason Koebler demonstrates numerous other ways in which Schulte’s online behavior was far below what you might expect from someone doing highly sensitive work for the CIA. There were red flags all over this guy, including his blogging about his “libertarian ideology”:

The basis for my views and beliefs come from the utilitarian school of thought. I consider myself an ethical relativist, since there are no universal moral truths.

Hey, maybe our national security community shouldn’t be hiring people who declare they don’t believe in “universal moral truths.” Elsewhere in the same blog post, Schulte says this:

Is pornography harmful to society? I believe that pornography is fundamentally protected by the first amendment of the United States constitution, that pornography promotes freedom of speech and liberty, that pornography is not degrading to women, and that it does not incite violence.
I’ll begin with the attorney general’s conclusions of pornography. The attorney general found that “… substantial exposure to sexually violent materials as described here bears a casual relationship to antisocial acts of sexual violence and, for some subgroups, possibly to unlawful acts of sexual violence.” The attorney general viewed sexually violent material and ‘degrading’ material as ultimately harmful to society. They concluded that the more individuals exposed to such material, the higher probability of violent, sexual crimes against women. Now, I do not necessarily refute these claims. However, it should be noted that not all pornography is categorized as such, and so porn that is in neither category should therefore be legal. Also, as Wendy McElroy pointed out, there may not be such a distinct relation between violent porn and acts of violence. Simply because event B almost always follows even A, this does not mean B is a cause of A. As Hume explains, priority, proximity, and a necessary connection must exist for causation to exist. It is not particularly clear in their findings whether or not there is a necessary connection between violent porn and acts of violence.
As for Catharine MacKinnon’s argument, I find it belittling and inane. She seems to believe all porn is necessarily harmful. Not all pornography actually depicts rape, battery, sexual harassment, etc. The fact that she bases her argument on violent pornography is what inevitably weakens her argument. As discussed previously, all pornography that is non-violent would then pass right through MacKinnon’s argument. I side with McElroy when she says “… censorship on grounds of sex discrimination treats women as children whose interests must be protected by law because they are incapable of taking responsibility for their own actions.” Contrary to whatever MacKinnon may believe, women enjoy sex too. If women want to be in sex videos, if women want to have sex outside of marriage, if women want to have sex without love, if women want to contribute to pornography, then they have every right to do so. Porn stars obviously enjoy what they do, and they make quite a bit of money off it. Who are you to tell someone what they can or cannot do with their own body? I believe in the equality of men and women, and women do not need any special protections under the law. Women are competent, and should be free to choose what they do with their own body, and free to make any binding legal contracts. Thus, pornography falls under the jurisdiction of the first amendment, and should not be made illegal.

Schulte wrote that when he was 20 years old, and it’s as badly argued as just about any argument from a 20-year-old usually is. To assert, for example, that porn stars “obviously enjoy what they do” is to mistake a paid performance for personal sentiment. Only a fool would assume that a stripper is an exhibitionist who enjoys getting naked in front of a crowd of rowdy drunks. No, she’s working for tips, and she needs the money.

It is one thing to argue that pornography is protected by the First Amendment and should be legal. It is another thing to assert, as Josh Schulte did, that pornography is harmless and “not degrading.” If porn is not degrading, then the word “degradation” has no meaning. If you sell your sexuality as a commodity, making yourself a public spectacle for cash — like a carnival sideshow freak — you have degraded yourself, and the audience for your performance is likewise degraded.

While our devotion to liberty may require us to say that people should be free to engage in disgusting behaviors, we ought not allow ourselves to be blinded to the harmful consequences of such behavior, nor should we hesitate to condemn it. Schulte’s description of himself as an “ethical relativist” shows how our secularized education system fails to inculcate a capacity for moral judgment in students. Schulte’s blasé certainty that there are “no universal moral truths” is typical of his generation.

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,” and if any young fool doubts this, let him consider the sad fate of Joshua Schulte.

The CIA should not be hiring such perverts.



3 Responses to “Why Is the CIA Hiring Perverts?”

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