Digital Pearl Harbor (Part Two)

Part Two is the finale to the abridged version of a June 13th article published in the New Yorker about former CIA employee Joshua Schulte. This curious case explores the question of whether in the years since WikiLeaks was established, in 2006, public attitudes toward both the intelligence community and the act of leaking itself might have shifted? Endless revelations concerning warrantless wiretapping, the use of torture, and extrajudicial killing have done little to enhance the prestige or the moral standing of America’s defense and intelligence establishment. And many people consider Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning, along with Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, to be heroes.

A particular personality profile dominates these times: the boy emperor. How could the CIA have missed the obvious combustibility of Schulte and given him a security clearance? Perhaps, as the agency took up digital spying and sought to bolster its hacking capability, it deemphasized qualities like emotional stability, and turned a blind eye to the sorts of erratic or antisocial tendencies that are widely accepted in Silicon Valley (and even embraced as the price of genius). The agency may have been blinkered about Schulte’s destructive potential because it had concluded that this was simply how coders behave. Of course, in Schulte’s case, there did not appear to be any moral imperative driving the leak. If he did it, he wasn’t blowing the whistle…but seeking payback.

Digital Pearl Harbor (Part One)

The following episode is an abridged version of a June 13th article published in the New Yorker about former CIA employee Joshua Schulte. The entire world, of course, knows about the CIA/NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who leaked highly classified information to journalist Glenn Greenwald in 2013…but few have heard of Schulte — who has been behind bars and cycling through the legal system for exposing classified information since 2018.

There is one key distinction between these two men, however, in that Edward Snowden was a contractor to the CIA, and therefore, never an actual federal employee — the reason for this, is that to be a federal employee with the CIA, one must have a college degree…which Snowden does not. While he was ostensibly good with computers, he is certainly not an engineer — as that would be an unaccredited title entirely undeserved. Edward Snowden had access to classified information, no doubt, but it was no where close to what Joshua Schulte could access…

Part One explores Joshua Schulte’s character and employment with the CIA, including commentary from his former colleagues and management. Listening to them describe Schulte, it becomes abundantly clear that he had serious psychological issues, which played a major factor in his decision to commit treason. After an extensive investigation by the FBI, it was determined that his actions were not because of ideology or morality…but out of petty revenge.

Pop The Gate

Today, 07/06/2022, marks the beginning of this year’s Fiesta de San Fermín in Pamplona, Spain, after two years stagnant due to COVID. In June of 2010, Doug attended the Festival to run with the bulls. He wrote about this experience in his memoir and narrates his story in this episode, while also sharing his personal thoughts on the affair.

Selling The Black Dahlia

In January of 2022, Doug published a podcast series on Audible titled “Solving The Black Dahlia.” It is routinely stated in the series that Doug spent eight years investigating the crime — but few know that it took four consecutive years of pitching the project to sell it. This is a behind the scenes look at what it was like to take a project from conception to publication in the all too often sordid streets of Hollywood and New York.

Who We Wish To Become

Eighteen years ago, former NFL star and Army Ranger, Pat Tillman, was killed in Afghanistan on 22 April 2004. Eleven years later, Douglas Laux, was asked at a Georgetown University event if anyone in particular had inspired him to go to Afghanistan. Laux responded with this essay to the Walsh School of Foreign Service on 22 April 2015.