[eDebate] lenin on terrorism
Mon Mar 10 04:17:07 CST 2003
(http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig2/bamfordreport.html) inarresting Bamford
Q: What about the Internet?
A: That's another technology they missed. OBL used email. OBL did not use
encryption of any sort on any communication. The best breakthrough in the
whole intelligence gathering surrounding Sept 11 was by the New York Times,
who spent $1100 for a computer owned by one of the El Qaeda guys. The disk
was encrypted, but by a cheap encryption that the NYT broke easily, to find
lots of info about Al Qaeda plans. Another major failure of the CIA and NSA.
Q: Will NSA try to limit encryption?
A: Yes, they'll try to place new limits on encryption. And Clipper and key
escrow will make a comeback. And lots of other nonsense.
Q: Can we stop surprise attacks?
A: No. We cannot avoid these kind of attacks. We have to somehow explain to
people that this is just one of the hazards of life, like 50,000 Americans
dying of colon cancer, or 50,000 Americans dying in car accidents every
year. The government cannot bring itself to say the truth, that terrorism is
just one of the risks of life.
Q: What's your relationship with NSA?
A: On the day the second book was published, NSA held a book signing at NSA
HQ. I teach a class at NSA. The Defense Intelligence Agency used my first
book as a textbook.
Q: What about the NSC.
A: The National Security Council mostly has nothing to do with NSA.
Technically the NSA reports to the head of the NSC, but besides some basic
rules of engagement, there's no link. The difference between them is
remarkable: we've all heard of Condaleeza Rice, but who's heard of the head
of NSA, Gen. Mike Hayden?
Q: What about misinformation?
A: It's a big problem. The FBI spy Robert Hanssen worked closely with the
NSA. Everything he knew about NSA's progress or lack thereof was probably
provided to the Russians. Also, the Russians were provided with the names of
all the CIA sources in Russia. NET: the Russians knew everything we knew.
Thus, we have to assume that everything we got from the Russians or our
spies was actually misinformation. Or not. A "wilderness of mirrors."
Q: How does NSA work?
A: Heavy use of polygraphs. Mandatory exams every five years, plus random
use of polygraphs, for every employee. NSA has more PhDs in mathematics than
any other organization in the western world. NSA has a mental health unit
for those who can't deal with the secrecy and complexities of codes.
Q: Aren't most rules on government secrecy just ways to protect those in
power from looking like fools?
A: Yes, pretty much. Best solution to this is a diligent journalistic force
(a free press) but today's press is actually getting worse. Before Sept. 11
all the coverage was on Gary Condit and on shark attacks, in spite of the
fact that there are fewer shark attacks every year. Sells papers.
Q: What should we do?
A: Put national privacy at the same level as national security. Support
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