James Bamford's dubious sense of irony when it comes to Israeli firms cornering the market on NSA's major "mass surveillance"
Although I am quite happy Amy Goodman is covering this stuff and that Bamford has at least put this on the table, there is definitely an odd way that Bamford has of using the word irony. He actually uses it correctly (semantically that is) when talking about the alleged hijackers living across the highway from Hayden's NSA office. That exchange is here:
AMY GOODMAN: You say that they set up their final base of operations almost next door to the NSA headquarters in Laurel, Maryland?
JAMES BAMFORD: Well, that’s the ultimate irony, was they eventually travel across country from San Diego, and they set up their final base of operations—these are the—this is the crew that was about to attack the Pentagon—about a month before, they set up their base of operations in Laurel, Maryland, of all places, that happens to be the same city that NSA is headquartered. So they set up their base of operations in this Valencia Motel, and almost across the Baltimore-Washington Parkway is NSA headquarters. The director’s office is on the eighth floor, and, except for some trees, he could almost see the motel where they’re staying. So, NSA is over there trying to find terrorists, and here is the 9/11 terrorists sitting right opposite the NSA on the other side of the parkway making their final plans.
Mohamed Atta flew there for summit meetings. And they had to take three hotels at one point to put all the people there. So, as NSA is looking for them, they’re having their final summit meetings there, and they’re walking around the Safeway, they’re exercising in Gold’s Gym, they’re eating in the restaurants there, they’re mingling with NSA employees. That’s NSA’s company town. It’s just the ultimate irony that here you have the terrorists and the eavesdroppers living side by side in the month before the final attack.
That is an ironic situation on the surface for those unwilling to take the logical leap, and just more evidence of 9/11 treason for those willing to make the clearly rational deduction. The guys that poor-old, signals-beleaguered NSA Chief Hayden was supposed to be defending us from were living right under his nose. If he just hadn't been hampered by that restrictive FISA straightjacket. Oh right, he and the NSA had effectively slipped that well before 9/11. And let me remind you of Hayden's response (or lack thereof) to my simple question about whether, even taking for granted that these hijackers slipped under his nose, it is possible that Mossad was set-up to videotape the 1st strike on the WTC, while he and the rest of the top tier of the military-intelligence command structure found out about it from CNN or other TV stations and then thought immediately of an accident or "pilot error."
On Mossad assets set-up before 1st strike see:
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,34250,00.html (very end)
"The New York Times reported Thursday that a group of five men had set up video cameras aimed at the Twin Towers prior to the attack on Tuesday, and were seen congratulating one another afterwards."
"The Liberty State Park vantage point the five Urban Moving Systems celebrants had of lower Manhattan on the morning of September 11.
On the morning of September 12, the FBI canvassed the residents of the Israelis' apartment building, The Doric, in Union City. They asked the residents if they could identify photographs of the five Israelis. The three Newark-based FBI agents on the case were Robert F. Taylor, Jr., Bill Lloyd and Dave O'Brien, the same agents who questioned the van drivers arrested in East Rutherford. All have subsequently been transferred from the Newark Field Office. A Union City off-duty policemen, saw three suspicious people at Union Park next to the Doric Temple at the corner of 9thStreet and Palisades Avenue in Union City. The three, who matched the description of other Israeli "false flag" teams, were filming New York City's skyline before the first plane hit the World Trade Center. The officer also witnessed the three high-fiving each other. The officer chased the celebrants on foot but was unable to apprehend them. The officer later reported the three headed into Jersey City by car."
And on NSA Special Warning Center learning about strike from TV see:
"(8:48 a.m.-9:03 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Special NSA Warning Center First Learns from Television that US Is Under Attack
Within the headquarters of the National Security Agency (NSA) in Fort Meade, Maryland is a little-known unit called the Defense Special Missile and Astronautics Center (DEFSMAC). According to author James Bamford, who is an expert on the NSA, the center’s purpose is “to serve as the nation’s chief warning bell for a planned attack on America. It serves as the focal point for ‘all-source’ intelligence—listening posts, early-warning satellites, human agents, and seismic detectors.” According to one former NSA official, DEFSMAC “has all the inputs from all the assets, and is a warning activity. They probably have a better feel for any worldwide threat to this country from missiles, aircraft, or overt military activities, better and more timely, at instant fingertip availability, than any group in the United States.” If they received indications that an attack was imminent, DEFSMAC officials could “immediately send out near-real-time and in-depth, all-source intelligence alerts to almost two hundred ‘customers,’ including the White House Situation Room, the National Military Command Center at the Pentagon, the [Defense Intelligence Agency] Alert Center, and listening posts around the world.” Its analysts could be “closely monitoring all intercepts flooding in; examining the latest overhead photography; and analyzing data from early-warning satellites 22,300 miles above the equator. DEFSMAC would then flash the intelligence to the US Strategic Command at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska, NORAD at Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado, and other emergency command centers.” But on this morning, as Bamford concludes, “DEFSMAC learned of the massive airborne attacks after the fact—not from America’s multibillion-dollar spy satellites or its worldwide network of advanced listening posts, or its army of human spies, but from a dusty, off-the-shelf TV set.” [BAMFORD, 2004, PP. 33-35] The NSA had in fact intercepted numerous calls between some of the hijackers in the US and an al-Qaeda communications hub in Yemen, beginning in early 2000 and ending just weeks before 9/11 (see Early 2000-Summer 2001). [MSNBC, 7/21/2004] It also intercepted two messages in Arabic on September 10, stating, “The match is about to begin,” and “Tomorrow is zero hour,” but these are supposedly not translated until September 12 (see September 10, 2001). [WASHINGTON POST, 6/20/2002] The NSA even intercepted a series of communications between 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (KSM) and lead 9/11 hijacker Mohamed Atta beginning in the summer of 2001 (see Summer 2001), continuing to a message where KSM gives Atta the final go-ahead for the attacks on September 10, 2001 (see September 10, 2001). Michael Hayden, the director of the NSA, will later claim that the “NSA had no [indications] that al-Qaeda was specifically targeting New York and Washington… or even that it was planning an attack on US soil” (see October 17, 2002). [NATIONAL JOURNAL, 6/19/2006]
Entity Tags: National Security Agency
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline"
and this: "(8:48 a.m.-9:04 a.m.) September 11, 2001: NSA Director Only Learns US Is Under Attack from TV Reports"- http://www.historycommons.org/context.jsp?item=a848nsalearns#a848nsalearns
also see: "(9:30 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Nonessential Personnel Evacuated from NSA Headquarters"- http://www.historycommons.org/context.jsp?item=a953goodnews
This is in resonance with the NRO being emptied out except for "Essential Personnel" as attacks start. "Essential Personnel" huh?
But anyways, let's get back to Bamford's dubious sense of irony when it comes to Israeli firms cornering the market on the NSA's need for outsourced "mass surveilance." Bamford uses the word "ironically" to describe the 'odd coincidence' that the two major companies, Narus and Verint, specializing in NSA's need for "mass surveillance" are Israeli firms. In this context, his phrasing is neither semantically or realistically correct. Check out the end of the interview:
AMY GOODMAN: So you have these companies, AT&T and Verizon, that are secretly working with the NSA and tapping Americans’ phone lines, and these companies actually outsource the actual tapping to some little-known foreign companies?
JAMES BAMFORD: Yeah. There’s two major—or not major, they’re small companies, but they service the two major telecom companies. This company, Narus, which was founded in Israel and has large Israel connections, does the—basically the tapping of the communications on AT&T. And Verizon chose another company, ironically also founded in Israel and largely controlled by and developed by people in Israel called Verint.
So these two companies specialize in what’s known as mass surveillance. Their literature—I read this literature from Verint, for example—is supposed to only go to intelligence agencies and so forth, and it says, “We specialize in mass surveillance,” and that’s what they do. They put these mass surveillance equipment in these facilities. So you have AT&T, for example, that, you know, considers it’s their job to get messages from one person to another, not tapping into messages, and you get the NSA that says, we want, you know, copies of all this. So that’s where these companies come in. These companies act as the intermediary basically between the telecom companies and the NSA.
AMY GOODMAN: Now, Jim Bamford, take this a step further, because you say the founder and former CEO of one of these companies is now a fugitive from the United States somewhere in Africa?
JAMES BAMFORD: Well, you know, this is a company that the US government is getting all its tapped information from. It’s a company that Verizon uses as its tapping company, its eavesdropping company. And very little is known about these companies. Congress has never looked into any of this. I don’t know—I don’t think they even know that there is—that these companies exist. But the company that Verizon uses, Verint, the founder of the company, the former head of the company, is now a fugitive in—hiding out in Africa in the country of Namibia, because he’s wanted on a number of felony warrants for fraud and other charges. And then, two other top executives of the company, the general counsel and another top official of the parent company, have also pled guilty to these charges.
So, you know, you’ve got companies—these companies have foreign connections with potential ties to foreign intelligence agencies, and you have problems of credibility, problems of honesty and all that. And these companies—through these two companies pass probably 80 percent or more of all US communications at one point or another. And it’s even—gets even worse in the fact that these companies also supply their equipment all around the world to other countries, to countries that don’t have a lot of respect for individual rights—Vietnam, China, Libya, other countries like that. And so, these countries use this equipment to filter out dissident communications and people trying to protest the government. It gives them the ability to eavesdrop on communications and monitor dissident email communications. And as a result of that, people are put in jail, and so forth. So—
AMY GOODMAN: And despite all of this—
JAMES BAMFORD: —this is a whole area—I’m sorry?
AMY GOODMAN: Despite all of this, these telecom companies still have access to the most private communications of people all over America and actually, it ends up, around the world. And at the beginning of the summer, the Democrats and Republicans joined together in granting retroactive immunity to these companies for spying on American citizens.
JAMES BAMFORD: Yes. It looked like they were going to have a fight earlier in February, when the temporary law ran out and came time to either pass a new law or keep the old Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act the way it used to be, with all the protections. And they did resist for a number of months. They resisted from February until August. But in August, the Congress, seeing the election is coming, most of them caved in and decided to just join in the administration’s bill. And as a result, you have this fairly open-ended bill that came out that gives a lot of permissions to the NSA to do a lot of this eavesdropping without much accountability. I mean, it basically neutered the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, took a lot of powers away from them, and put the powers back at NSA. So the ultimate problem is when you have NSA as both—as judge, jury and executioner on the eavesdropping.
AMY GOODMAN: Jim Bamford, we only have a few minutes, and I want to get to-–
JAMES BAMFORD: Sure.
AMY GOODMAN: —Bridgetown, Missouri, the AT&T hub there. What is the NSA’s role in spying there?
JAMES BAMFORD: Well, Bridgetown, New Jersey—I’m sorry, Bridgetown, Missouri is one of the centers for AT&T, because it’s the—it’s sort of central in the country, and they could control much of the network of AT&T from there. And it was there that AT&T actually developed a system by which they could get into fiber-optic communications. And just like they built this secret—the NSA built this secret room in San Francisco, and Mark Klein said that he had heard that they had built these secret rooms in other places around the country, there was also a secret room built in Bridgetown. And the worrisome part of that is Bridgeton controls the whole network.
So you have the problem of these secret rooms not just being in San Francisco, they’re throughout the network, and they’re in other parts of the country. And the American public really has no idea what’s going on, in terms of who has access to their communications, what’s being done with it. And is there somebody sitting there—as David Murfee Faulk talked about, in the NSA listening post in Georgia, are there people just sitting there listening to people’s private conversations and laughing about them?
AMY GOODMAN: And the building in—
JAMES BAMFORD: One final thing—
AMY GOODMAN: Yes, go ahead, Jim.
JAMES BAMFORD: Yeah, I was just going to mention that it isn’t just the picking up of these conversations and listening to them and laughing about them. These conversations are transcribed. They’re—and then they’re recorded, and they’re kept forever. There’s a big building in Texas that’s being built in San Antonio that’s going to be used to house a lot of these conversations. NSA is running out of space at Fort Meade, their headquarters, so they had to expand, and they’re building this very big building. It’s reportedly going to be about the size of the Alamodome down there, to store all these—this huge amount of data communications. And when you think how much information two gigabytes could be put on a small thumb drive, you can imagine how much of information could be stored in a data warehouse the size of—almost the size of the Alamodome.
AMY GOODMAN: We only have a minute, less than a minute, but—
JAMES BAMFORD: Oh, I’m sorry. Go ahead.
AMY GOODMAN: —the building in Miami where all communications from Latin America are stored and then a single switch for communications, much of Africa’s communications? And finally, where they can’t get cooperation of companies, a specially built submarine designed to sit on the bottom of the ocean floor to tap foreign cables?
JAMES BAMFORD: A lot of communications are consolidated. A lot of the international communications in South America all pass through one obscure building in Miami. And according to the landing rights that the company had to sign, which I read, they basically have to turn over everything that they get to the NSA if the NSA asks for it. So, you have a problem here today. I mean, the overall big problem is that there is a tremendous amount of eavesdropping going on. It’s all being stored, it’s all being analyzed, either electronically or by a human. And the public really doesn’t have much of—knowledge of all this that’s going on right now.
AMY GOODMAN: Jim Bamford, I want to thank you very much for being with us, investigative journalist, author of three books, his latest on the National Security Agency out today, The Shadow Factory: The Ultra-Secret NSA from 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America.
and then check out these related videos:
This is the 1st piece of a very good film that includes solid information (involving Verint) with powerful examples of activism by the 9/11 truth folks up in Montreal:
"Montreal, The Next Terror Target? - Part 1/10"
and this, in case you haven't seen it, is my attempt to put the LA City Council on notice about the dubious track record of 'preventing' terrorism that Israeli-intel networks have in North America, especially after LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa put an unprecedented LAX airport-consulting gig in the hands of Israeli nationals:
"WeAreChangeLA confronts LA City Council about Israeli intel, 10/10 and 9/11"