There are some things that you just shouldn't need to be told. For example, if you're taking over one of the most sensitive secret service positions in the country, try to keep personal information about yourself from being posted on the Internet. Would-be assassins will have a lot harder time locating you that way, what with no address to plug into Google Maps and all.
Sir John Sawer, soon-to-be Chief of the British MI6 almost certainly understood this. Unfortunately, his wife didn't.
After finding out that John had been given the position of "C" (the real life equivalent of "M" from James Bond), Lady Sawer decided to post the good news on her Facebook account. Her Facebook account that, remarkably, had almost no privacy features enabled.
This meant that basically any Facebook user could log on and find Sawer's address, favorite vacation spots and, most chillingly, photos of John rocking a Speedo.
To be fair, John looks quite sophisticated in a suit.
All of this information could then be passed along to the entire spectrum of Bond villains, even the shitty ones from the Timothy Dalton movies.
He could be anywhere.
To make matters worse, the page also revealed that Sawer's brother was a researcher for David Irving, a prominent Holocaust denier, which puts the MI6's top man approximately three degrees of separation from the crazy rascal who runs Iran.
We can come up with killer robots programmed using technology that won't be available for decades; armored vehicles that repel the strongest of missiles; firewall protection that can block the nastiest of viruses; and a thousand different ways to avoid embarrassing security leaks. But it isn't often that you can say a simple manila folder would have would have sufficed.
A sombrero would have worked too. Anything opaque, really.
Bob Quick, the now resigned English Assistant Commissioner, was less than careful when he approached the Prime Minister's office with secret plans for several raids in plain sight of the press.
The plans, which could be seen clearly resting on top of two folders, detailed raids to take place against several Pakistani terror suspects, and were snapped up by photographers who apparently sit around waiting for shit like this to happen. The company that owned the rights to the photo, Getty Images, decided this shit looked serious, and probably compromised national security. Then, they promptly published the images on their website, because that's just how the Internet do.
"Come on, guys. Honor system."
It's pretty clear how this could have been a problem. Imagine you're a terrorist, and you wake up and find your picture on the front page of the newspaper under the heading "12 Terror Suspects to be Caught In Surprise Raids... Sometime Later This Month." Chances are you're not going to stick around just to act surprised like it's some kind of poorly planned surprise party. No, chances are you're going to flee the country and conduct your terrorist activities elsewhere, which is exactly why police had to conduct their raids much earlier than they had planned.
While the government issued a notice preventing any British media from publishing the images, this did not prevent foreign media outlets from publishing it. Cracked, speaking on behalf of all non-British media outlets, would like to make it clear that we are responsible. We take national security very seriously. After asking around, we've come to the conclusion that British-based terrorists don't read Cracked (commenters, please don't prove us wrong) so yes, we would have published the images and turned them into a hilarious list without a second thought.
The 9 Best Secret Hiding Spots (That are 'Bout to Get Raided).
We understand that the Canadian Prime Minister doesn't need the constant protection from suicidal bombers, gun-wielding mad men and shoe-wielding journalists that the US President has; but when a schizophrenic man bent on killing the Prime Minister manages to walk into his house after spending 20 minutes on the lawn waving and throwing rocks at security cameras, then we are inclined to believe that there may have been a slight screw-up in national security.
Historians call it the most interesting thing to ever happen in Canada.
Now, we could forgive the security for failing to see an aspiring murderer on the front lawn of the Gorffwysfa for 20 minutes, or even the fact that he spent 30 minutes in the basement of the house without anyone noticing. But when he finally got the nerve to go and kill the Prime Minister, the first officer on the scene forgot his key, leaving the most powerful man in Canada to fend off a nutbag for another seven minutes.
Perhaps if the Mounties weren't all moose, this could have been avoided.
You know who also had no key? The schizophrenic guy who broke a window to get in. Also, we take it back, there is no reason for a crazy guy to be allowed to frolic around the Gorffwysfa unabated for 20 minutes. That's golf course security type shit.
Officers from the security company in question later admitted that protecting the Prime Minister is rather boring, and so they don't always send their best people to guard the property. Meanwhile, that douche from Nickelback has nary a security incident to his name. Way to keep you priorities straight, Canada.
While it may sound like the most extreme sport ever, the Nuclear Football is, in fact, the most extreme briefcase ever made.
In it, you have all the launch codes you could possibly need to send America into nuclear war. The President doesn't actually carry the Football, a military aide accompanies him at all times with the briefcase chained to his wrist. But when you consider all of the insane security the President gets, and that little case of Mutually Assured Destructive goodness is practically untouchable. So what could possibly go wrong? Well, how about this:
After a NATO Summit in 1999, Clinton decided he was finished 45 minutes before the scheduled departure time and left in a speeding motorcade, presumably to get somewhere Hillary wasn't and horny interns were.
He had somewhere important to be.
Unbeknownst to him, his aide and the Football had been left behind at the summit shifting nervously from side to side while eying foreign delegates and mouthing the words "give me a reason."
I'll burn this motherfucker to the ground.
Deciding that the President wasn't coming back to get him, nor were they going to send a car out to pick him up, he walked back half a mile, roughly four and a half blocks, alone to the White House carrying the most explosive briefcase in the history of mankind. Entire seasons of 24 have been launched on less implausible scenarios than this.
The White House later remarked that the suitcase made it back safely and, seemingly shrugging off the incident, that "These things happen," which couldn't be more true. Aside from Clinton, nuclear bomb codes have been misplaced by Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan (to be fair, he was being shot at the time) and Jimmy Carter, who once left the doomsday codes in his dry cleaning. Comforting!
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And for colossal fuck-ups that did come to fruition, check out 5 Battlefield Screw Ups That Were Hilarious (Until People Died) and The 7 Most Bizarre Fast Food Industry Lawsuits.
And stop by our Top Picks (Updated 1.19.2010) to see Jack O'Brien's secret plans for world domination.