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In this groundbreaking, award-winning book, James Bamford traces the NSA’s origins, details its inner workings, and explores its far-flung operations. He describes the city of fifty thousand people and nearly twenty buildings that is the Fort Meade headquarters of the NSA—where there are close to a dozen underground acres of computers, where a significant part of the world’s communications are monitored, and where reports from a number of super-sophisticated satellite eavesdropping systems are analyzed. He also gives a detailed account of NSA’s complex network of listening posts—both in the United States and throughout much of the rest of the world. When a Soviet general picks up his car telephone to call headquarters, when a New York businessman wires his branch in London, when a Chinese trade official makes an overseas call, when the British Admiralty urgently wants to know the plans and movements of Argentina’s fleet in the South Atlantic—all of these messages become NSA targets. James Bamford’s illuminating book reveals how NSA’s mission of Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) has made the human espionage agent almost a romantic figure of the past.
Winner Best Investigative Book of the Year Award from Investigative Reporters & Editors
“The Puzzle Palace has the feel of an artifact, the darkly revealing kind. Though published during the Reagan years, the book is coolly subversive and powerfully prescient.”—The New Yorker
“Mr. Bamford has emerged with everything except the combination to the director’s safe.”—The New York Times Book Review
A Washington Post Best Book of the Year
James Bamford has been the preeminent expert on the National Security Agency since his reporting revealed the agency's existence in the 1980s. Now, Bamford describes the transformation of the NSA since 9/11, as the agency increasingly turns its high-tech gaze within America's borders.
The Shadow Factory reconstructs how the NSA missed a chance to thwart two of the 9/11 hijackers and details how this mistake has led to a heightening of surveillance to insure that it never happens again. In disturbing detail, Bamford describes exactly how every American's data is being mined and by whom, and what is being done with it. Any reader who thinks America's liberties are being protected by Congress will be shocked and appalled at what is revealed here.
Here is a scrupulously documented account—much of which is based on unprecedented access to previously undisclosed documents—of the agency’s tireless hunt for intelligence on enemies and allies alike. Body of secrets is a riveting analysis of this most clandestine of agencies, a major work of history and investigative journalism.
A New York Times Notable Book
A Pretext for War reveals the systematic weaknesses behind the failure to detect or prevent the 9/11 attacks, and details the Bush administration’s subsequent misuse of intelligence to sell preemptive war to the American people. Filled with unprecedented revelations, from the sites of “undisclosed locations” to the actual sources of America’s Middle East policy, A Pretext for War is essential reading for anyone concerned about the security of the United States.
Acclaimed author James Bamford–whose classic book The Puzzle Palace first revealed the existence of the National Security Agency–draws on his unparalleled access to top intelligence sources to produce a devastating expose of the intelligence community and the Bush administration.