Covert agency + construction = secrecy fail

There are efficient, responsive organizations within government, of course;  they just don’t get much press:

This part happens all the time: A construction crew putting up an office building in the heart of Tysons Corner a few years ago hit a fiber optic cable no one knew was there.

This part doesn’t: Within moments, three black sport-utility vehicles drove up, a half-dozen men in suits jumped out and one said, “You just hit our line.”

Whose line, you may ask? The guys in suits didn’t say, recalled Aaron Georgelas, whose company, the Georgelas Group, was developing the Greensboro Corporate Center on Spring Hill Road. But Georgelas assumed that he was dealing with the federal government and that the cable in question was “black” wire — a secure communications line used for some of the nation’s most secretive intelligence-gathering operations.

“The construction manager was shocked,” Georgelas recalled. “He had never seen a line get cut and people show up within seconds. Usually you’ve got to figure out whose line it is. To garner that kind of response that quickly was amazing.”

Utilities and covert agencies are the stuff of conspiracy theories, but sometimes this stuff actually exists.  One would assume the SUVs came from Langley, but there are satellite offices all over the place for all manner of things in the DC area, so no telling who they were.  Just a reminder that sometimes all the orgporn in the world won’t necessarily tell you anything you couldn’t figure out with a shovel and an SUV.

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One response to “Covert agency + construction = secrecy fail

  1. Pingback: Week in Public Organizations, 7Jun2009 « PublicOrgTheory

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