Congress Plays Star Trek – Replica Enterprise Bridge used to Sell Surveillance
An obviously huge fan of the science fiction movie genre, NSA ‘cowboy’ Gen. Keith Alexander built his old command room to look like the bridge of the Enterprise from Star Trek: The Next Generation. He sold members of Congress by letting them sit in the big chair and “play Picard.”
When he was running the Army’s Intelligence and Security Command, Alexander brought many of his future allies down to Fort Belvoir for a tour of his base of operations, a facility known as the Information Dominance Center. It had been designed by a Hollywood set designer to mimic the bridge of the starship Enterprise from Star Trek, complete with chrome panels, computer stations, a huge TV monitor on the forward wall, and doors that made a “whoosh” sound when they slid open and closed.
Lawmakers and other important officials took turns sitting in a leather “captain’s chair” in the center of the room and watched as Alexander, a lover of science-fiction movies, showed off his data tools on the big screen.
“Everybody wanted to sit in the chair at least once to pretend he was Jean-Luc Picard,” says a retired officer in charge of VIP visits.
Oh wow… the cost. It must have been ridiculously expensive and hidden in a secret budget somewhere.