James Bamford

The Shadow Factory


James Bamford, author of The Puzzle Palace, Body of Secrets, A Pretext for War and now, The Shadow Factory: The Ultra-Secret NSA from 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America, discusses what the NSA knew about the 9/11 hijackers before the attack, the infighting between the CIA, NSA and FBI, the 9/11 hijackers proximity to NSA headquarters in Maryland prior to the attacks, the abandonment of law and limits on their domestic spying after 9/11, the complicity of major telecoms in helping the state tap the entire internet, the enormous new date storage and mining facility in San Antonio, Texas and the Israeli companies who make the software that runs the Big Brother database.

MP3 here. (49:51)

Update: The MP3 became broken somehow, but should now work fine.

James Bamford is the author of The Puzzle Palace: A Report on NSA, America’s Most Secret Agency. Published in 1982, it was the first book ever written about the National Security Agency and it became an immediate bestseller. He spent nearly a decade as the Washington Investigative Producer for ABC’s World News Tonight with Peter Jennings where he won a number of journalism awards for his coverage national security issues. In 1997, as the media profession began turning away from international news coverage and focusing almost exclusively on Monica Lewinsky and other domestic political scandals, Bamford left ABC to work on Body of Secrets: Anatomy of the Ultra-Secret National Security Agency. Initially published in April 2001 to rave reviews, it also became a national bestseller. His book A Pretext for War: 9/11, Iraq and the Abuse of America’s Intelligence Agencies remains one of the best resources on how the Cheney/Neocon cabal lied this country to war in Iraq. Bamford’s articles have appeared in dozens of publications, including cover stories for the New York Times Magazine, the Washington Post Magazine, and the Los Angeles Times Magazine. His newest book is The Shadow Factory: The Ultra-Secret NSA from 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America.

8 thoughts on “James Bamford”

  1. 9/11 is heading in the direction of the JFK issue; so many conspiracy theories makes it impossible to definitively believe anything.

  2. At least Israel gets a mention, I guess that’s something. And what was that about Paul O’Neill? He was killed in the attack that he caused? Was he Irish-American al-Qaeda?

  3. CIA officials cannot have it both ways, either they wanted to prevent an attack or they didn’t. Withholding intel from the FBI doesn’t sound like the conduct of an agency acting in good faith. We are told Tenet and Rich B. (chief of Alec Station at the time) gave Rice an urgent briefing on July 10. OTOH, at the very same time CIA was sitting on crucial intel. That contradiction is not acceptable. Even after the CIA finally shared the intel in late August there were still bizarre issues at the FBI ITOS. Alec Station deputy chief Tom Wilshire had been transferred to the FBI at this point. He was evidently working with FBI ITOS chief Michael Rolince. During this time, FBI UBLU agent Dina Corsi obstructed the Cole investigators from heading the search for al-Hazmi and al-Mihdhar. She knew these two al Qaeda operatives were linked to a key Cole plotter (Khaled Bin Attash) but withheld this information. This is why the search was given to a rookie intel side agent who had little success.

    I don’t understand why people are branded “conspiracy nuts” for not going along with garbage excuses. If the intelligence community is above the law then we should call the US a police state.

  4. Why anyone would trust anything the NSA, CIA, or FBI said is beyond me. How long did it take to find out about the Maine, Pearl Harbor, Viet Nam or any other national tragedy?

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