Joe McSpedon, another washed-up intelligence agent.

Caught with their hand in the technology cookie-jar again!

Joe McSpedon, employee of  USAID and probably some other American government agency, has just been ‘outed’ for trying to destabilize Cuba with a Twitter-like service called ‘ZunZuneo‘.  The goal was to spread discontent– a technique Russian spies call ‘provokatzya’  (провокация)– via a social network. According to TheTimesUnion.com, the US government was also collecting personal data “in the hope that the information might be used someday for political purposes“.

‘ZunZuneo’ is Cuban slang that means roughly the same as ‘Twitter’; the boys in the back room were getting creative.

Laugh you may, but stop and consider what this fiasco says about Twitter and it’s founders Jack Dorsey, Evan Williams, Biz Stone and Noah Glass. Twitter is a San Fransisco-based company.

This botched operation is every shade of stupid, because not only has it drawn attention to a ‘tool’ used by US intelligence, it’s implicated USAID also. USAID, a ‘charitable’ outfit that Washington uses to send money to people it likes, has had plenty of mud stick to it in the past: read this post about how USAID and Pierre Omidyar are involved in destabilizing the Ukraine. However, now USAID is bound up in the world of  techspionage; ‘frenemy’ network services which serve their masters at Langley.

For some reason, I find all of his hilarious. The Emperor is stark naked, and he’s got the body of a pudgy, middle-aged, chocolate milk drinker.

Don’t think the developed world is safe from these stupid schemes. Follow some of the more rabid pro-Washington commentators on Twitter and the command chain of a handful of operations will become evident quickly. The unrest in the Ukraine provided some funny examples, my favorite of which is this tweet, which was released the day before Western media outlets announced Yanukovych had fled Kiev:

The tweeter, Mark M Mullen, is an activist on behalf of the country of Georgia, and who was in San Fransisco when he sent this tweet. (Or so he told me via PM.)

US Intelligence community: tweets like that happen when you put arrogant kids in charge of things they don’t understand. But don’t beat yourself up– take a deep breath and get some Nesquik.


“The project, dubbed “ZunZuneo,” slang for a Cuban hummingbird’s tweet, was publicly launched shortly after the 2009 arrest in Cuba of American contractor Alan Gross.”

a.nolen is now taking bets on where Mr. Alan Gross will turn up next. Your choices are 1) in academia or 2)  at an investment bank.

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