James Bamford


James Bamford, author of The Shadow Factory: The Ultra-Secret NSA from 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America, discusses the National Security Agency’s surveillance infrastructure, how the 2008 FISA Amendments Act eliminated any meaningful oversight or accountability for wiretapping, Obama’s broken promise to oppose retroactive telecom lawsuit immunity, the Catch-22 of surveillance legal challenges where a litigant can’t sue without evidence of illegal wiretapping but all such records are classified and unobtainable, the Israeli companies that provide software (alleged to contain backdoor access) and hardware to the NSA, the 9/11 Commission’s failure to mention or investigate the NSA and how turf war jealousies (and not legal prohibitions) prevented intelligence agencies from sharing information that would have prevented the 9/11 attacks.

MP3 here. (34:33)

James Bamford is the author of three books about the NSA and a former Investigative Producer for ABC’s World News Tonight. The Emmy nominated PBS Nova program “The Spy Factory” can be watched here.

6 thoughts on “James Bamford”

  1. This is absolute madness! Insanity combined with stupidity and cowardice that has resulted in treason against the U.S.
    Does an Israeli company actually create the software for NSA? All senior officials who were involved in this treason and all those who complied with resigning should be immediately arrested on suspicion of treason and a full investigation started immediately.

    But wait. I am the one who is insane if I think that anyone in the U.S. govt will utter even the mildest rebuke to the Israelis.

    1. Damn straight. Israel commits whatever crimes, whatever outrages it wants against the U.S.–at no detriment to itself. The Israeli tail wags the American dog.

      The U.S. is effectively a surveillance state. The government spies on its citizens, reads their e-mails, listens to their phone calls without constraint. . . .

  2. Mr Bamford publishes some interesting things but he also has what I would suggest are blind spots. For example, he persists in arguing that various agencies, including the FBI, the CIA and the NSA knew all about the 9/11 "hijackers" but they just didn't talk to each other! We now know that is nonsense. Col Schaffer for one tried to talk about it but was suppressed by his superiors, as was Colleen Rowley and many others. A much more plausible hypothesis is that the "hijackers" were permitted to go on doing their thing because it was essential to lay the groundwork of their legend. When 9/11 occurred they had the ready made patsies the FBI named within 24 hours when the official story was (a la Condoleeza Rice) that they couldn't imagine that scenario.
    The likely truth of the matter is that would-be whistleblowers were suppressed because they would have spoiled the plot, thereby depriving the military-intelligence-industrial complex from its plans for never ending war, with Muslims replacing as the enemy du jour.

  3. Why doesn't Scheuer's successor ever give interviews? After all he was in charge in the lead up to 9/11. According to mainstream accounts Scheuer was relegated to the sidelines in mid '99 after upsetting too many people. Yet for some reason there is no media interest at all in Richard Blee who ran Alec Station in the crucial period leading up to 9/11. Blee was in charge during the Millennium plot. The Malaysia meeting. The USS Cole Attack.

    A couple of key points. In late August of '01 the CIA finally told the FBI that al-Hazmi and al-Mihdhar were in the US. For reasons we still don't know the FBI agents who received this information obstructed the criminal side agents from being involved in the search. Two, Blee was promoted to head the reopened Kabul station in 12/01. If he truly dropped the ball then why on earth was he given a promotion to the field?

  4. Surely Congress is in the thrall of AIPAC, courtesy of who knows what compromising dirt has been obtained via Israeli eavesdropping.
    Australia is also blindly pro Israel, and we must assume AIJAC (see their web) has the same dirt on their politicians as James Bamford has explained.

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