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article imageNSA recruitment drive got more than they bargained for

By Anne Sewell     Jul 6, 2013 in World
This week, staff from the National Security Agency decided to attempt to recruit a few students to their organization. Attending the session was Madiha R. Tahir, a journalist studying a language course, who gave them a lot more than they expected.
The NSA is not particularly popular at the moment, after the revelations of IT whistleblower Edward Snowden hit the news worldwide.
However, business is business, life must go on, and they wanted to recruit some students to their organization this week.
On Tuesday, the NSA called at the University of Wisconsin on a recruitment drive and things went horribly wrong from there onwards.
Among the students attending the recruitment session was one Madiha R. Tahir, who is actually a journalist, but happens to be studying a language course at the university.
As we can read on her blog, Tahir had intended to go to the recruiting session simply to hear how the NSA is recruiting, at a time when it is facing severe challenges. However, she was dismayed to see that a local high school teacher had brought five of his students to the session. She says they were smartly dressed, as if for a job interview. Innocent young faces in a classroom of graduate students.
It was mainly their presence that persuaded her to interact with the recruiters and goad them into answering some serious questions.
On the recording from Soundcloud above, you can hear Tahir asking some extremely uncomfortable questions about the activities of the NSA, including which countries the agency considers to be "adversaries," and also whether being a good liar is qualification enough to get a job at the NSA.
A rough transcript of the interview can be read on her blog, The Mob and the Multitude.
Just a taste is included below:
Tahir: "Do you consider Germany and the countries that the NSA has been spying upon to be adversaries, or are you, right now, not speaking the truth?"
Recruiter 1: "You can define adversary as 'enemy' and, clearly, Germany is not our enemy. But would we have foreign national interests from an intelligence perspective on what's going on across the globe? Yeah, we do."
Tahir: "So by 'adversaries,' you actually mean anybody and everybody. There is nobody, then, by your definition that is not an adversary. Is that correct?"
Recruiter 1: "That is not correct."
For an introduction to Tahir herself, her website states:
Madiha R. Tahir is an independent multimedia and print journalist reporting on conflict, culture and politics in Pakistan. Her work has appeared in Foreign Affairs, The National, The Columbia Journalism Review, The Wall Street Journal, The Herald (Pakistan), The Friday Times, Caravan, as well as on Democracy Now!, PRI and BBC’s The World, Global Post and other outlets.
Click here to read more about the "NSA coming to your campus" - the National Security Agency, "where intelligence goes to work."
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