(Greek: κρυπτεία / krupteía, from κρυπτός / kruptós, “hidden, secret things”)

Archive for December 2009

Clowns to the left of me… Clowns to the right…

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TSA Special Agent John Enright, left, speaks to Steven Frischling outside the blogger’s home in Niantic, Connecticut, after returning Frischling’s laptop Wednesday.
Photo: Thomas Cain/

Two bloggers received home visits from Transportation Security Administration agents Tuesday after they published a new TSA directive that revises screening procedures and puts new restrictions on passengers in the wake of a recent bombing attempt by the so-called underwear bomber.

Special agents from the TSA’s Office of Inspection interrogated two U.S. bloggers, one of them an established travel columnist, and served them each with a civil subpoena demanding information on the anonymous source that provided the TSA document.

The document, which the two bloggers published within minutes of each other Dec. 27, was sent by TSA to airlines and airports around the world and described temporary new requirements for screening passengers through Dec. 30, including conducting “pat-downs” of legs and torsos. The document, which was not classified, was posted by numerous bloggers. Information from it was also published on some airline websites.

“They’re saying it’s a security document but it was sent to every airport and airline,” says Steven Frischling, one of the bloggers. “It was sent to Islamabad, to Riyadh and to Nigeria. So they’re looking for information about a security document sent to 10,000-plus people internationally. You can’t have a right to expect privacy after that.”

Transportation Security Administration spokeswoman Suzanne Trevino said in a statement that security directives “are not for public disclosure.”

The Rest HERE:

Well, clowns to the left of me, clowns to the right… It seems to me that the TSA is feeling a bit of a sting lately, deservedly so in fact! However, this whole incident only makes it quite clear these guys are just below keystone cops.

First off, the document in question was PUBLISHED on air carrier web sites and is NOT marked SSI, which, if you have been paying attention to my posts, is not exactly protected as it should be according to its marking. You can Google all kinds of their documents that they are not protecting properly, so who needs an inside source at TSA huh?

Then there is the whole story about the “imaging” of his hard drive;

The agents then said they wanted to take an image of his hard drive. Frischling said they had to go to WalMart to buy a hard drive, but when they returned were unable to get it to work. Frischling said the keyboard on his laptop was no longer working after they tried to copy his files. The agents left around 11 p.m. but came back Wednesday morning and, with Frischling’s consent, seized his laptop, which they promised to return after copying the hard drive.

THIS scares me. These guys could not get an external hard drive to work? AND I assume they were using COFEE and not EnCase etc. In fact, I am pretty sure that these guys were NOT at all certified to carry out any kind of forensics examination whatsoever. As such, any “evidence” they collected on site with any tools they had on hand (and they were NOT prepared with a jump kit) would be compromised at best and completely useless or inadmissable in court at worst.

Yep yep yep.. Pro’s.. Absolute pro’s.

This story is the epitome of how the DHS and TSA function and we all should be afraid.. Very afraid… They fuck up and then they try to strong arm anyone who has proof of their fuck ups.

Our government at work my friends.

Meanwhile, if you just Google the TSA/DHS domains for the new sooper sekret code words of “Directive SD-” you get all kinds of interesting hits.. Some even say SSI on them…

Feel the burn TSA.


Written by Krypt3ia

2009/12/31 at 02:28

Dec 22nd 2001 – Dec 25th 2009: Both days of TSA infamy.

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Another would be Richard Reid

On Dec 26th I got an email that contained the skinny on the PETN/TATP syringe bomb that Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab tried to use on the Christmas day flight. Inside sources confirned that the bomb was much like that which Richard Reid tried to detonate on his flight back in 2001 on Dec 22nd. Eight years later, the same bomb maker (a likelihood) has made another bomb that was either defective, or, the end user was equally as defective as Mr. Reid at its use.

What has eight years taught us?

Not much.

Did we indeed stop Umar from boarding the plane whatsoever?


Did we in fact have any more stringent security measures in detection of such a bomb and materials to actually catch it?


Did we in fact put out a BOLO on Umar and stop him from boarding a plane?

Sorta, but no. We did have him on a watch list.. That was not consulted and he was allowed to fly as well as have a valid visa for traveling in and out of this country.

… So, what did we really learn from Mr. Reid’s ersatz attempt? Oh yeah, that we need to take off our shoes at the airport screening center to make sure we don’t have any PETN bombs in them. We did not learn to think a bit more agilely and perhaps assume that these bombs might be placed in other areas such as orifices or, as in the case of Umar, sewn into their underwear.


What has this all taught us then since this anniversary attempt was made? Let me list some things:

1) More young men from outside the nominal countries in the Middle East are being wooed into Jihad and radicalized online and in person. The “usual suspects” approach is a fallacy and must be thrown out the window.

2) Al Qaeda and like minded groups are bound and determined to use any and all weak spots to their advantage. In the case of air transport now, its all about “privacy” issues and not being patted down or sniffed in the crotch by your local bomb sniffing dog. AQ and others will continue to use these weak points as long as we ALLOW them to exist.

3) TSA/DHS and our government security bodies FAILED yet again in allowing this guy to board a plane. HOW is it that he was on watch lists and no fly lists and allowed on board? I mean we can send a man to the moon and we can talk over the internet on Skype, but we can’t circulate a BOLO to all parties who need it to stop someone from getting on a plane? WTF? The issue of stove piped groups and technologies STILL applies and it will be our undoing.

4) MUCH of the efforts that you as the air traveler go through to get on a plane are in fact “Security Theater” and as such, are there only to give a false sense of security to the masses. We as passengers should realize that every time we get on a plane we take our chances regardless of the nice TSA man’s taking away our shampoo at the gate… Because it could be TATP.. Of course they don’t test that do they? Nope.

In short, we are being led to believe that our “security measures” worked even in this case as Janet Napolitano would like you to believe.. That is before she recanted that statement today. Lady, don’t squat on me and pee then tell me it’s just a different kind of facial ok?

You LIE madam and no amount of re-assurance is going to fool me into believing that you guys have any real clue what you are doing. After all, you guys just lost the super secret manual for screeners ONLINE and then told the senate that it was “old” and out of date, thus no good to anyone. However, when pressed, you could not provide the “new” version of the document.

I will grant the security services this, terrorism is a moving target. However, I have seen your methodologies and I have to say, as a security professional, they are lacking. As is your oversight. So, really, please just give up the pretense and admit that you guys need some real help and some real guidance. My advice would be to call El-Al and say “please help us” But, that’s just me.

In the interim, you want these types of attacks to be thwarted? First get your act together on the “no fly” lists. DON’T let these guys get to the gate at all! Second, BUY AND USE the full body xray scanners and be damned with the concerns over people being upset because you can see a “version” of them naked. It’s really easy in fact to just make that image into a stick figure of sorts and have no attribution. In other words, we have to get over body image and privacy issues like this perceived one. If we don’t get past this then I can guarantee there will be another Umar/Reid and perhaps they might indeed be able to detonate one of these bombs.

Until then, I suggest every time you step into the airport you should be ready to accept that you may not come back because we are not doing the “due diligence” to secure our planes..

And if you really want someone to blame you can blame all of us. It’s exactly the complaints like:

“it’s so invasive!”

“It takes too long to get through the checkpoints!”

“I feel my privacy being stripped away!”

These complaints and more like them are driving initiatives to do too little in the way of really being secure. There’s privacy, then there’s real privacy. Being patted down is not exactly being strip searched out back is it? I would rather get a pat down than a free trip to the after life because the next guy didn’t want to get patted down or body x-rayed.


Written by Krypt3ia

2009/12/28 at 21:08

Posted in .gov, EPIC FAIL, Qaeda, Terrorism

Should the U.S. Destroy Jihadist Websites?

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At the recent House subcommittee hearing, Boucek lauded a Saudi program where government-funded religious scholars go online to assorted jihadi websites and debate what is and isn’t permitted by Islam. “They try to show people that there’s a different way than what they might be thinking,” he told the panel. “This is basically saying, ‘If you go online to look for answers about religion and you listen to these guys, you’ll go off on the wrong track’.” The Saudis, in their so-called Sakina campaign, then take these written chats and post them elsewhere. “There’s a multiplying effect when they put this on their website for other people to read,” Boucek said. “Also on their website are different documents and studies, recantation videos, things like that that explain extremism and radicalization.”

Full article HERE

Oh Christ on a bicycle, you REALLY think this is going to work? Look, I understand the Muslims doing this but any US backed efforts on this would only serve to be seen as propaganda! I smell epic fail here if they do this.

Also, why is this all coming up now? Why is this news? Why would this be new to anyone in the gov or the mil? These sites should be used as SIGINT as well as DISINFORMATION already and there should be no debate in the senate on this whatsoever.

GOD I fear for the future.

These types of activities should already be happening (SIGINT etc) and if they aren’t then shame on us. Look, we don’t need to be having open debates with these people. They are going to believe their particular brand of crazy no matter how much we try and reason with them.

So, dear senate.. DROP IT.

As well as the idea of destroying these sites is equally as stupid. It’s a game of digital whack a mole and WE will never win. Stealthly intelligence games would be far smarter to carry out. So please also DROP that idea too.


Written by Krypt3ia

2009/12/28 at 00:44

Posted in .gov, .mil, jihad, Qaeda, SIGINT

Maltegoing Our New Tsar

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So I decided after the article this morning I found about Howies defunct site to do some searches with Maltego. By using this I came up with all kinds of fun information..


In the end I have located his email addresses, correspondences that have been encrypted with PGP, and a couple of his phone numbers. I also used Google to locate some of his presentations on INFOSEC that he gave via ISC. Amazingly there are no notes with that particular Powerpoint.

Anyway, I am still digging on all of this but let me just make my mind known about this choice for Tsar….

1) He worked for two companies that have not been known for stellar security

a) Microsoft

b) Ebay

2) He comes from a military/governmental background also. So he knows the DC Two step and is likely to play by those rules. Meaning he is just another insider who will not get anywhere nor be able to think outside the box

3) The Tsar position has been neutered as far as I have read and thus is just another “captain dunsel” in Star Trek parlance.

In the end, I have little hope that anything will change for the better with regard to our information security posture as a nation both governmentally and privately. In other words, get the rations stored, the water tanked, and the ammo stockpiled.


Written by Krypt3ia

2009/12/27 at 00:52

Sherlock Holmes Reboot

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Sherlock Holmes, a name that has connotations of Basil Rathbone and a castle in Connecticut. The reboot of the franchise started last night and I was happily in the audience to see it. Now, I am not a rabid “Holmesian” or any kind of “Baker Street Irregular” whatsoever, but, I have read some of the works and seen some of the old films. In essence, I like the character, the period, and the idea of a deductive reasoning egomaniac. I guess it’s why I like “House” so much..

In any case, this movie could have been a real disappointment.. Happily, it was not. While it was not epic, neither was it uninteresting or grating on the nerves as much of what has been coming out of Hollywood lately has been. Guy Ritchie did take some liberties with Sherlock’s character though, adding the martial arts, a late night underground boxing penchant, and a more pronounced addictive personality in Sherlock. All of these things lend an edgy quality to match the slick stylings of the film ala the rest of his “Snatch” like repertoire. All of which I liked.

Whats more, this films depiction of Victorian London, Masonic “like” ritual scenes, and overall darkness had me thinking about the LXG graphic novels. Especially so of the “Black Dossier”, the last LXG novel to be put out. I liked the way that Miller and others had mashed together all of the period characters from fiction into one cohesive story, including a Mr. M.. Moriarty….

But, I digress.

The film is a bit weak in plot line however. The machinations of Blackwood are a little too clear and not hard to discern. However, the second player’s goals were a bit of a nice surprise, albeit a rather transparent shot at a sequel… Which I hate. Why not be a bit more like the Indiana Jones series and leave us with a whole story without an ad for “next time” mmkay?

Overall, the movie was good and I would see it again just for some of the visuals and comedic banter with Holmes and Watson. I would also like to see Ritchie make this “franchise” a bit darker and allow Downey to do some real work. After all, he knows addiction and darkness very well. I think a “Seven Percent Solution” would make great fodder for Downey.

Thumbs up.. See it.


Written by Krypt3ia

2009/12/26 at 22:06

Posted in Movie Reviews

Our Cyber Tsar’s Security Companies Web Presence. Mmmm feel the warm glow of security.

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The above is.. err “was” as of oh, a day ago, the online presence of Howard Schmidt our newly appointed “Cyber Tsar” The site has been yanked since the report came out. Obviously for reasons likely to be “Shit, it’s gonna get hacked and defaced within minutes” So, the only way to see it now would be the Google cache or maybe the Wayback machine.
Yes, this is who has been chosen to lead our cyber security for the nation. Did I mention that he was CSO at Microfaccid for many years? Yeah, M$, that paragon of computer security…
More to come as I dig it out of the intertubes…
Howard A. Schmidt
President and CEO
R & H Security Consulting LLC
PO Box 2447
Issaquah, WA 98027
Tel: 425-557-9334
Fax: 425-642-8079,

Written by Krypt3ia

2009/12/26 at 13:05

The Alaska Experiment: Seeing just how domesticated we as a society have become

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Recently I got a copy of the first season of “The Alaska Experiment” and decided to have a sit down with the whole series. It took a couple mornings of watching but I powered through the whole season, spending much of that time yelling at the TV because there were more than a couple morons participating in the “experiment”

First off though, let me cover some territory for you here about past posts concerning Alaska, Chris McCandless, and the whole “Cult” that has grown around his story of erzats survival in the Alaskan bush. So here’s my thing:

1) McCandless was not the sharpest knife in the drawer where it came to survival in the wilds of AK. Thus, he died.

2) I am loathe of all those twenty-somethings out there who want to emulate him and wish to trek off to the “magic bus” that he died in. They pose more of a threat to their own lives and perhaps rescuers than anything else. They are just as likely to be as misguided and lacking in true survival skills as McCandless was, if not more so.

3) I believe as a whole, that we as a society have become too domesticated to survive a day without a latte, never mind being plunked down in the bush and expected to survive past a week nevermind three months. This goes not only for the Alaska bush, but just about anywhere woodsy.

4) Lastly, this show is just that.. “a show” so, it is likely that there is some jiggering of plot lines etc here. It is noted in big disclaimers that there were wilderness experts off camera to assure that these people don’t just get themselves offed right quick. In essence, they were in danger there from their own brand of stupid, distance from hospitals, and encounters with wildlife that could end them. Aside from that, they were relatively safe with camera crews etc…

Ok, that said, lets get on to the object lessons..

The show placed four groups into differing areas of the AK coast. One couple had a canvas tent, another had a exceedingly small shack on a glacier, and the other group of three people had a hunting cabin. All of the groups had little to no real backwoods experience and all were not accustomed to the rigours that they were about to undertake.

The groups were sent out at the end of the summer when the salmon were running. Each area had differing amounts of natural game available and ALL only had dried stores of food that really lacked protein rich stuffs. In essence, it’s kinda like that bag of rice that Supertramp had and that’s about it. NONE of them started off with guns whatsoever either.

** Note here.. Uhh WTF no guns? IT’S ALAKSA!! Bears, moose, etc could whack em as well as uh, how do you get protein other than fish? IF you catch fish? Eventually they get guns but mostly I only saw a .22 rifle.. That ain’t gonna do shit!**

So, they are plunked down with some stores and some shelter… Go forth and forage! It wasn’t long before these people began to eat too much of their stores, realize that fishing is hard, and that it’s fucking cold in Alaska. Oh, and did I mention that it’s riddled with wildlife that will eat you or stomp you if it wants to? Yeah… AND it’s salmon run and the bears are hungry… But I have no gun… I will just poke em with a stick… Yeah that will work.

*ok I know there are guides there with guns.. but.. C’mon don’t give people ideas here!*

Ok, we have a mix for disaster don’t we. Yep…

I will not go into much more detail, I will let you all locate the series and watch it yourselves. Perhaps you too will be yelling at the screen because some of these people would have been dead dead dead were it not for camera crews and guides. I saw some powerful epic stupid and really, it’s kinda glossed over by the show and that is troublesome.

The one thing that was nailed home in this series was the BMI needs and the measurements carried out by the volunteers. It quite clearly shows how much BMI is in importance for survival especially in the wild. You are expending a lot of energy to hunt and gather. Unless you do a good job at that and plan, then you will lose body mass and eventually, like McCandless, could die from lack of protein. I am glad that the show at the very least, covered this issue repeatedly. I guess someone learned from the Supertramp experience.

In the end, everyone makes it out alive. Perhaps having learned a few things, like NEVER going into the bush EVER again! Overall though, it really makes you see rather clearly how ill equipped we are as urban dwellers to really make a stab at survival in the wild..

Unless you work at it.

The second season will be broadcast this year with new “volunteers” heh… Donner, party of four now seating!

Really, if you want to learn anything about bush survival, I suggest you look up the name “Ray Mears”


Written by Krypt3ia

2009/12/23 at 15:14


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Let’s not fool ourselves. Whatever threat the real Afghanistan poses to U.S. national security, the “Virtual Afghanistan” now poses just as big a threat. The Virtual Afghanistan is the network of hundreds of jihadist Web sites that inspire, train, educate and recruit young Muslims to engage in jihad against America and the West. Whatever surge we do in the real Afghanistan has no chance of being a self-sustaining success, unless there is a parallel surge — by Arab and Muslim political and religious leaders — against those who promote violent jihadism on the ground in Muslim lands and online in the Virtual Afghanistan.

Full Text Here:

Paul, where ya been all this time? Since 9/11 these sites have existed. Much more so post our going into Iraq to squash Saddam and thus giving the dispossessed and disgruntled more of a reason to Jihad.

Pre 9/11 the internet was used in planning and implementing. Now it has become a tool for not only that, but also recruitment and propaganda. As Sahab has been slower lately in putting out videos (74+- as opposed to last years 99+-) but they are recruiting hard and the videos are even propagating out to Youtube.

So what’s new here really?

I have been monitoring these sites since 2002 or thereabouts and let me tell you the Jihadis have taken to the Internet rather well. They are using it to the maximum that they can AND they are not unsophisticated as one might believe. In fact, if you surf on over to the “Danger Room” you can see just how poorly the US military has been lacking in forward thinking in this arena. Basically, the UAV flights have been compromised by a 26 dollar COTS product and a little know how by the insurgents. What’s worse? We have known about the lack of crypto on those UAV transmissions since Bosnia.


I shit you not.

Back to the thing though. I know from experience and what I have seen in the trending lately online that we are just seeing the beginning of the “home grown” jihadi. Since the web is so prevalent now with free wifi everywhere etc, we are seeing more and more traffic, new jihadi phbb sites, and a slew of comm’s traffic that should be being monitored. The sheer volume though, with a signal to noise ratio alone makes it incredibly hard to do properly.

So what do we need? We need more digital boots on the ground so to speak. We need more agent provocateurs going to these sites. Signing up for their boards and being the de facto “CI’s” to get inside these groups. The bulk of the incidents lately with the boys going to Pakistan etc, have all been young men being invited, inculcated, and trained to Jihad. All or most of this happening online.

So where are these CI’s?

I have no idea. What I do know is this. All too often the Feds are too interested in petty turf wars as to where a collar will happen as opposed to taking the bigger picture into account. If a Jihadist is not within their borders and they can’t make a collar because then it would have to be transferred to another field office, then they don’t seem to care as much.

Just an opinion…

I have yet to see if this applies to the JTTF LEO’s out there…

In the end, Krugman is right albeit behind the times. As well I think are the feds on this. Krugman I understand, he is an economics guy not a JTTF LEO. The other guys? I just don’t get. However, given the nature of our cyber security stance in this country perhaps I shouldn’t even ponder the question huh?


Written by Krypt3ia

2009/12/17 at 17:05

CAIR Under Investigation

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Sayed Qutb: Mentor to Osama Bin Laden

A young man named Chris Gaubatz, posing as a new convert to Islam named David “Dawud” Marshall, secured an internship with CAIR in 2008 – and began to carry out of CAIR headquarters 12,000 pages of documents and even audiotapes of CAIR officials.
This material became the basis for the explosive book Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld That’s Conspiring to Islamize America, by Chris’s father David Gaubatz and Paul Sperry, which contains numerous revelations about the group’s shady internal dealings. Muslim Mafia confirms what veteran CAIR-watchers have long suspected: that CAIR is an integral part of the Muslim Brotherhood’s apparatus in the U.S.

The Brotherhood is an international Islamic organization, the parent group of both Hamas and Al-Qaeda, that is in its own words dedicated in America to “a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying Western civilization from within and sabotaging its miserable house.” Muslim Mafia contains details of how CAIR has tried to block anti-terror investigations — and has meanwhile insinuated itself into the highest levels of power in Washington.

CAIR Finally Under Investigation

Given the revelations and deafening quiet surrounding the revelations by Sibel Edmonds I am so NOT surprised that this CAIR revelation could be in fact quite true.

Since the 90’s I have been clued in on the fact that the FBI and CIA both were trapped in amber surrounding “PC” attitudes and group think. In this case, there is a much more raw nerve to be touched upon because the Middle East holds much of the oil keys that “we” want to have easy access to. So, we soft peddle things in order to smooth the surface and have a “good day” with our “special friends”

Now, I am not a Muslim basher, in fact, think that ALL religion is a bag of crazy that leads all men and women to a special kind of dementia. However, the Wahabists do have a special bent for violent reactions to anything that they don’t like. This in tandem with the fact that they actually “do something” about it and use their particular version of the Koran as the guide book and raison detre makes them all the more dangerous.

These people, much like the ultra right conservative Christians, think that they are in a holy war against Shaitan, and Shaitan being anyone who does not believe and act as they do accordingly.

*waves hi, my name is Shaitan!*

So, back to CAIR being an arm of Jihad… Yeah, I can buy this. How better to get funding and intel than to be inserted into the government and populace? All plugged in and able to pull strings that need pulling. Just like the Turkish intelligence operatives that were *are* working within the PAC groups and even within the FBI (see Sibel Edmonds link above) I am sure that there could be elements of Jihad working within the CAIR. Could CAIR itself just be a complete front? Maybe… But I doubt it.

I guess though, that this article and the recent activities of the 5 guys from DC who were caught in Pakistan should have people thinking about the state of Jihad in America. The five boys at the very least should be a wake up call for the US that a new wave of jihad is starting to bud here. These kids were seemingly adjusted and not in contact with anyone that anyone knew of… But then they were online talking on jihadi web boards. The cyber jihad has come home to roost.

My question is this:

“Just how long will it be until one of these kids straps up with some home made manure bombs and takes himself out at a mall?”

Current thought within some circles believes that US Muslims are too well adjusted and integrated to do such things. I say that that concept is wrong and that the jihadi masters are doing the very same thing they do in the Med. Since they don’t have them in close proximity to brain wash though, they instead find them online, and lead them to the right mosque or individuals. They then inculcate them into the fold and set them off.

This has been a trend and soon enough they will not just have them come to Pakistan to train but instead send tutorials online…

How long until we have our very own shaheed suicide bomber?

Time will tell…

So yes… I say investigate CAIR and for all those self interest oriented senators playing interference I say bugger off.


Written by Krypt3ia

2009/12/13 at 01:09

Oh How Times Are A Changin…

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                                  THE MAN
                         I can't help that. All I know is I 
                         got my orders. They told me to tell 
                         you you got to get off, and that's 
                         what I'm telling you.

               Muley stands in anger. The two younger men pattern after 

                         You mean get off my own land?

                                     THE MAN
                         Now don't go blaming me. It ain't 
                         *my* fault.

                         Whose fault is it?

                                     THE MAN
                         You know who owns the land--the 
                         Shawnee Land and Cattle Company.

                         Who's the Shawnee Land and Cattle 

                                     THE MAN
                         It ain't nobody. It's a company.

                         They got a pres'dent, ain't they? 
                         They got somebody that knows what a 
                         shotgun's for, ain't they?

                                     THE MAN
                         But it ain't *his* fault, because 
                         the *bank* tells him what to do.

                         All right. Where's the bank?

                                     THE MAN
                         Tulsa. But what's the use of picking 
                         on him? He ain't anything but the 
                         manager, and half crazy hisself, 
                         trying to keep up with his orders 
                         from the east!

                         Then who *do* we shoot?

How is it that people have forgotten the cause and effects that bring us to these times?

Written by Krypt3ia

2009/12/11 at 18:50