“..the best ones smoke weed, so we can’t use ’em…”
The director of the FBI, James Comey, has reportedly told the Wall Street Journal that he may have to review the prohibition on drug-taking among his workforce because he cannot employ the best of the best when it comes to hackers.
At first glance, this comment may seem almost comical. Indeed, Comey is now back-pedalling furiously and saying it was meant as a joke. But it may still be a truth spoken in jest.
The FBI does not employ people who have used drugs in the last three years. The FBI wants to recruit hackers. So, they recruited a load of hackers who haven’t used drugs in the last three years. You can guess from Comey’s words how well it all worked out. Now, the FBI wants the ones who are trousered, minced, absolutely off their face on skunk – because the hackers the FBI currently have are not as good.
Can you imagine how the FBI hackers who are about to be fired feel? There you are in your navy blue skirt or your Walmart charcoal pants. You parked your car perfectly in the car park, neither too far to the left nor right. Suddenly, a security guard pulls your chair away and marches you up to the human resources department.
A woman you have never met then hands you an envelope with a letter of reference and tells you that they have done all they can to find an alternative position for you within the FBI but to no avail. Then, she nods to the security guard who walks you out to the car park.
As you pass your old desk, you see that it is now occupied by an eighteen year old who has his slammed Vans resting on your immaculate Apple and is taking a selfie on his iPhone.
You are toast.
This hacker does more in four hours than you did in three months.
You find the Hudson River and you jump into it.
The Fantastic Dilemma…?
It would seem reasonable that our offices of high authority and power do not employ habitual drug takers. Drug taking is both illegal and begs questions about the competence of a worker to do their job properly. But what happens if you are trying to arrest criminals who hide behind the tightest web security? The best help may come from those deep inside the business we call ‘code writing’ (if it is legal) or ‘hacking’ (if it is illegal). These people often smoke joints and eat pizza.
The top hackers often take drugs. I mean, would you really leave a message on the FBI’s server at Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington saying: “Love the suits you guys wear!” if you were sober and law-abiding? Besides, hacking is a long game that stretches your concentration and intelligence over many straight hours. The USAAF pump Speed into their fighter pilots so why can’t a hacker stock up on some weed and Ben & Jerry’s?
Perhaps James Comey just got sick and tired of having his weekly email to his staff persistently replaced by a picture of a lol-cat and that print of Bob Marley smoking a joint. He’s out for revenge. Book the kid. Think laterally.
Which brings us neatly to…
If you are a right-leaning law-abiding citizen, then you probably believe that the FBI go around all the top universities and pick out the brightest code writers and sit them down in the back of the black Suburban and say:
‘Forget Pfizer. Come and work for us.’
If you are a left-leaning law abiding citizen, then you know damn well that the FBI stake out a sixteen year old as he or she hacks into their headmaster’s bank account – the one that pays for the dwarf to whip him – and they sit him or her down in the front room with their parents and say:
‘Forget McDonald’s. Come and work for us.’
‘I can’t. I take drugs.’
Can you spot the massive…er…half-truth in all this?
Just because the FBI cannot themselves employ drug-taking hackers doesn’t mean that they don’t use their services.
The FBI contract out this kind of work to a bunch of private firms that do employ drug-taking hackers. Those firms then invoice the FBI for ‘code writing services and program viability analysis’. Everybody is happy.
Then, in May 2014, the FBI notice that, whereas the FBI all drive around in four year old Chevrolets, these firms that go by the name of Yellow Penguin Computing, Zed Labz, Drelb Inc. – all drive three month old Ferraris.
When your in-laws are outlaws…
James Comey, Director of the FBI cannot have that. It sticks in his craw. Yet he cannot employ drug takers. He needs a solution. He dips his toe into the waters of popular opinion. He says he might have to look a the situation.
If he is successful, then any government department or agency may soon be allowed to employ drug-takers as well.
There will soon be no difference whatsoever between the moral values of society, outlaws and the elite who rule them both. Just like the end of alcohol Prohibition, the questions over morality will melt away. We all know that the current prohibition of marijuana serves no public good. It merely boosts the wealth of dealers – the bootleggers of old.
But the FBI cannot employ the top hackers unless marijuana is legalised across the whole of the US. It is a nationwide agency. Worse still – until that day, the barrier between what is legal and what is illegal becomes arbitrary and selective. Existing laws already flatly ignore criminality within crime-fighting agencies.
You were stopped for speeding by a cop who you believe was off his face on Nepalese black at the time? Good luck with the appeal. You believe that your local police are paid off by drug dealers? Bring us the evidence and we’ll pay for your headstone.
That is not a good forest for society to venture into. Either marijuana is legal or it is not.
However, could it just be that James B Comey, director of the FBI, is in fact merely lending his weight to the campaign to legalise marijuana?