8 Hilarious Brain Farts (That Endangered National Security)
In a world filthy with people who want to kill us, security has never been more important. Terrorists and other bad guys are endlessly creative and highly motivated, so even one little mistake on the part of the good guys can lead to world-ending disaster.
Unfortunately, those little mistakes get made all the time. Also, some huge, laugh-out-loud ridiculous ones.
Al-Qaeda on the Train
Anyone who's ever rode the subway before will know that there's little to pass the time with while that homeless guy glares at you and whacks off under his trench coat. An unnamed English cabinet official decided that he was going to use this time effectively by catching up on government work. Good for him! It's nice to see tax dollars at work, right? Oh, did we mention that he was reading the government's Top Secret Al-Qaeda profile? And that said profile was left resting on a train seat?
Thank goodness for the lost and found.
Needless to say, while the official was presumably off leaving trade secrets and government intel in taxis and buses, a passenger on the train noticed the file with "Top Secret" printed on its cover and decided, as any good law-abiding citizen would, to hand it in to the local authorities. Wait, did we say local authorities? We meant the BBC, one of Britain's largest media outlets.
The Sun is a smaller outlet, but undeniably the better news source.
The BBC, possibly deciding that "for UK/US/Canadian and Australian eyes only" included them, read through enough of the reports to say that they would have been incredibly damaging had they fallen into the wrong hands. At that point, they most likely used the information to produce a sitcom that, in a few years, will be remade in the US to much greater (or lesser) success. That's just how foreign relations work.
Japanese Military Porn
In what was either plain embarrassing, or just plain sexy, a Japanese officer in the defense force accidentally exposed Top Secret files about Japan's Aegis Destroyers in a porn swap. If you're unsure of how this debacle played out, basically, in return for pictures of chicks in Catholic school uniforms getting railed by gingers, someone unwittingly provided top secret information detrimental to the safety of Japan (and more porn).
"Top Secret? This is gonna be hot."
Japan has since launched a probe into the incident and America is offering to maybe join in on the probe also, you know, if Japan is in to that sort of thing. Oddly enough, after copying the information once, the porn and the Top Secret files were once again copied to another officer's computer, which leads us to wonder if maybe they were actually jacking it to the ship diagrams and blueprints also.
Admittedly, after a quick image search, we too found the turrets and the torpedoes oddly stimulating, but not in a weird way. More in an "if we were chicks we'd totally make it with a cannon" kind of way.
Besides an embarrassing and/or super sexy probe, the security breach could have led to a whole series of problems. The Aegis system, an advanced computer-based weapon's system that replaced the primitive shoot-and-hope-shit-blows-up system, could have been out for everyone else to copy. That would be no good.
Also, because "Aegis Destroyer" would make for an excellent dildo name, the chances of embarrassing porn parodies spawned from what should be thought of strictly as a killing machine soared through the roof.
MI6 Sells Spy Camera on eBay
After buying a camera on eBay, a 28-year-old English postal worker found pictures of national interest mixed in with his own holiday pictures. The pics had been placed on the camera by the seller, presumably an intelligence agent who had accidentally sold his camera with pictures of terrorist leaders, missiles, rockets, fingerprints and to top it off, a detailed document relating to a Top Secret encrypted computer network used by field agents.
Our attempts to find the same were less successful.
Granted, pictures of terrorists and fingerprints and stuff isn't going to bring the world to its knees, but damn, that encrypted computer network info could have been bad times. If that info went public, for every British agent using the system to report real intelligence there would have been at least another 10 people on the system ready to call him a "newfag" within seconds of logging in.
Anyway, several interrogations later, MI6 and MI5 (kind of like the US version of CIA and CIB) were able to establish that the postal worker who bought the camera had not been snapping pictures of terrorist leaders while holidaying in the USA and, presumably, that MI6 agents hadn't been snapping pictures of tourist attractions in America. We're almost certain there is comfort to be found in both of those facts.
MI5 is like this. But with British accents.
According to the last report we read prior to deadline, MI6 were still trying to track down the agent responsible for putting the camera on the market. In other words, they're still trying to track down the owner of a fucking eBay account. We're fairly certain a handful of 4Chan users could accomplish this in about six minutes. You stay safe, Brits!
Nuclear Fuse Mistake
Buying anything through the mail can be risky. The package you receive at the end is not always the one you asked for. That Star Trek DVD you ordered on the cheap? A photo of some guy's nuts. That cook book? An eighth of coke that got you arrested by a nerdy postal inspector. The photo of some guy's nuts you ordered? Well, that one came through fine, you perv.
But regardless of how surprised you are when your package arrives, nothing can compare to the surprise Taiwan felt when they received nuclear missile fuses from America after they ordered helicopter batteries.
The fuses, which looked nothing like the batteries, are "used to trigger nuclear warheads on ballistic missiles," which is vastly different from the batteries and, as all the physics major readers would know, are not used to make helicopters fly good and stuff. While the fuses did not come with actual missiles, it must be noted that they that they had the potential to do so much more than a working helicopter could ever do.
Except fly. The fuses can't fly.
Given that it's really just a nuclear weapon spare part, the worst that could happen is that Taiwan may build its own nuclear warheads as a polite way of telling China to "Fuck off." But that, at worst, could only end in World War III. Highly unlikely though.
The other issue: What would have happened if the Taiwanese had used the nuclear fuses on their helicopters? After asking our top notch science department about this, and after reading several comics and watching many re-runs of AirWolf, we came to the conclusion that the worst that could happen would be something incredibly blow-uppy and awesome.
MI6 Wife Uses Facebook
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.
Bob Quick Reveals Secret Raids
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).
Canadian Prime Minister Almost Murdered by Random Crazy Person
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.
Bill Clinton Almost Loses the Nuclear Football
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!
Do you have something funny to say about a random topic? You could be on the front page of Cracked.com tomorrow. Go here and find out how to create a Topic Page.
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.