James Bamford: The Shadow Factory: The Ultra-Secret NSA from 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America

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Following is an extremely interesting interview broadcast this morning on Democracy Now! with James Bamford, author of three books about the National Security Agency, as well as a comment from GeorgeWashington’s Blogspot.

First, a comment from GeorgeWashington’s Blogspot:

I’ve previously pointed out that the U.S. government heard the 9/11 plans from the hijackers’ own mouths. Most of what I wrote about involved the NSA and other intelligence services tapping top Al Qaeda operatives’ phone calls outside the U.S.

However, it turns out that the NSA was also tapping the hijackers’ phone calls inside the U.S.

Specifically, hijackers Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi lived in San Diego, California, for 2 years before 9/11. Numerous phone calls between al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi in San Diego and a high-level Al Qaeda operations base in Yemen were made in those 2 years.

The NSA had been tapping and eavesdropping on all calls made from that Yemen phone for years. So NSA recorded all of these phone calls. Indeed, the CIA knew as far back as 1999 that al-Mihdhar was coming to the U.S. Specifically, in 1999, CIA operatives tailing al-Mihdhar in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, obtained a copy of his passport. It contained visas for both Malaysia and the U.S., so they knew it was likely he would go from Kuala Lumpur to America.

The above information comes from James Bamford, the Washington Investigative Producer for ABC’s World News Tonight with Peter Jennings for almost a decade – where he won a number of journalism awards for his coverage national security issues – whose articles have appeared in dozens of publications, including cover stories for the New York Times Magazine, Washington Post Magazine, and the Los Angeles Times Magazine, and is the only author to write any books (he wrote three) on the NSA.

Source: http://georgewashington2.blogspot.com/2008/10/nsa-tapped-911-hijackers-phone-calls.html

Cover image of the book from James Bamford, The Shadow FactoryOctober14, 2008

The Bush administration’s wiretapping program has come under new scrutiny this week. Two influential congressional committees have opened probes into allegations US intelligence spied on the phone calls of American military personnel, journalists and aid workers in Iraq. We speak to James Bamford about the NSA’s spying on Americans, the agency’s failings pre-9/11 and the ties between NSA and the nation’s telecommunications companies.

James Bamford, investigative reporter who has been covering the National Security Agency for the last three decades. He came close to standing trial after revealing the NSA’s operations in his explosive 1982 book The Puzzle Palace. His latest book, which comes out today, is the third in his trilogy on the NSA. It’s called The Shadow Factory: The Ultra-Secret NSA from 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America.

… AMY GOODMAN: We’re talking to James Bamford, investigative journalist, author of three books now on the National Security Agency, his last out today, The Shadow Factory: The Ultra-Secret NSA from 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America. We’re spending the hour with him. When we come back from break, just what is the NSA? And then we’ll talk about what happened in the lead-up to 9/11 and beyond. Stay with us. …

Listen and/or watch at DemocracyNow.org

Source URL: http://www.democracynow.org/2008/10/14/james_bamford_the_shadow_factory_the