13-04-21 06:13:00, Customers wait in line in an attempt to purchase limited-edition Air Jordan 1 ‘Light Smoke Grey’ outside a Nike store on July 25, 2019, in Yichang, Hubei Province of China. (Photo by VCG/VCG via Getty Images)
The British spy agency GCHQ is so aggressive, extreme and unconstrained by law or ethics that the NSA — not exactly world renowned for its restraint — often farms out spying activities too scandalous or illegal for the NSA to their eager British counterparts. There is, as the Snowden reporting demonstrated, virtually nothing too deceitful or invasive for the GCHQ. They spy on entire populations, deliberately disseminate fake news, exploit psychological research to control behavior and manipulate public perception, and destroy the reputations, including through the use of sex traps, of anyone deemed adversarial to the British government.
But they want you to know that they absolutely adore gay people. In fact, they love the cause of LGBT equality so very much that, beginning on May 17, 2015 — International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia — they started draping their creepy, UFO-style headquarters in the colors of the rainbow flag. The prior year, in 2014, they had merely raised the rainbow flag in front of their headquarters, but in 2015, they announced, “we wanted to make a bold statement to show the nation we serve how strongly we believe in this.”
Who could possibly be opposed to an institution that offers such noble gestures and works behind such a pretty facade? How bad could the GCHQ really be if they are so deeply committed to the rights of gay men, lesbians, bisexuals and trans people? Sure, maybe they go a little overboard with the spying sometimes, and maybe some of their surveillance and disinformation programs are a bit questionable, and they do not necessarily have the highest regard for law, privacy and truth. But we know that, deep down, these are fundamentally good people working within a fundamentally benign institution. Just look at their flamboyant support for this virtuous cause of social justice.
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