Sodom and Gomorrah 1962 Where’s the Sodomy?

Today I watched the 1962 Movie Sodom & Gomorrah staring Stewart Granger, Pier Angeli and Stanley Baker and noticed something that was rather amazing to me.

The movie is pretty good, a great battle scene a few excellent subplots and as you might guess a big finish. As as you might guess there are some liberties taken, the famous exchange between Abraham and God becomes an exchange between the imprisoned Lot and the two angels. Instead of only Lot and his daughters hundreds of Hebrews escape with him. This type of thing is not much of a surprise but there is one big thing missing.

There is plenty of licentiousness, torture, fornication and even a hint of lesbianism, but not a hint of the one thing that Sodom is known for: Sodomy.

Now in fairness this movie was made in 1962 and I would not expect a biblical epic of the time to do a whole lot with the subject, but just as the lesbianism was implied in the form of the queen and her “favorites” you might have thought at a movie about the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah would at least give the slightest him of what was going on in there.

And of course the movie ended with Lot’s wife (a 2nd wife who was once of Sodom) turned to salt for looking back and no hint that the next event in the bible was his two daughters getting him dead drunk and sleeping with him because there was in their mind no prospect of any other men around. Of course with hundreds of men escaping that whole rationale is out the window.

Now in an age when the Bible was itself still well known perhaps it wasn’t considered necessary to bother with this stuff, it was only a movie and people understood that liberties might be taken.

But if it was me, if I was going to make a movie like there would be at least some hint as to the sin that destroyed Sodom

Given the history of the next 60 years I think such a warning might have been worthwhile.

Breaking the SCIF phones

What all phones should look like after a SCIF visit.

If you’ve never heard of a SCIF before this past week, you probably don’t work in government. SCIFs are Sensitive Compartmented Information Facilities. If you want to read or work on a document that is classified Top Secret, you work in a SCIF. As you can see from a released set of specifications, SCIFs are fairly intensively constructed. Floors and ceilings are solid, wires are in buried conduits checked by the NSA’s TEMPEST program, and access is tightly controlled.

It’s not surprising that when Republican lawmakers go into the SCIF with cell phones, it causes alarm. And it should. Photography equipment isn’t allowed, nor is anything that can conduct two-way communication. Already you have people calling for removal of clearances. But is that appropriate?

In short, no. Congressional Representatives and Senators get access to classified information based on their position. While they are required to take an oath of secrecy, they don’t have to go through the SF86 process. By electing them to their office, the people of the United States (whether they realize it or not) have declared their comfort with that individual having access to classified access.

While some very sensitive information is only released to certain individuals, its pretty small. A Congressman visited a site I worked at before and had access to everything. Now, his staff members did not, and I had to keep them out of certain briefings, but the Congressman himself was good.

In short though, you can’t take away access, unless you kick them out of office.

However, there should be consequences for violating rules. All the Armed Services have harsh and effective ways of dealing with this. Cell phones brought into a SCIF are normally sent to NCIS to be scanned. With people having most of their lives on a phone, losing it for a week while NCIS painstakingly goes through every image and file tends to be good persuasion. The Marines in Iraq, in response to people plugging their personal devices into classified computers, simply confiscated the devices and nailed them to a wooden board outside the SCIF. After walking by a board with iPhones and tablets nailed and screwed to the wall, you get the message quickly.

Confiscate and scan some phones, and put a policy in place that repeat offenders lose their devices. After a few of those, you won’t have idiots bringing phones into a SCIF.

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency. The author kindly reminds you to keep your damn phone out of the SCIF!