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The Secret Sentry: The Untold History of the National Security Agency
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“NSA analysis now comprises as much as 60 percent of the president’s daily intelligence briefing, and Aid provides a critical history of the agency that has the ear of the leader of the free world. A sprawling but revealing look at a powerful, shadowy agency of the American government.”—Kirkus
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Top Customer Reviews
=== The Good Stuff ===
* The book is well-researched and has plenty of supporting material included. It may actually go too far, roughly a quarter of the book is notes and references.
* There are some indications of the NSA's successes. There is brief mention of Operation Ivy Bells, where an undersea cable carrying Soviet intelligence was tapped and monitored. There were also some information on the NSA's successes in cracking the encoded transmissions of other countries.
=== The Not-So-Good Stuff ===
* The author seems to have a bias against the NSA. As an example, in one case the author describes how a certain operation only "served to 'tick' off the North Vietnamese off". Well maybe so, but wasn't that the idea?
* The book doesn't discuss the lower level details of the NSA operations. There is no mention of how any of the code-breaking was done, how satellites captured radio transmissions, or any other technical details. Neither was there any high-level details of the political, strategic or tactical consequences of any NSA operations.
In fact there was nothing in the book other than a series of brief overview of NSA activities. Msjor events in the world, such as the bombing of the Marine Barracks in Lebanon receive nothing more than a few paragraphs describing that the NSA received some inkling of the attack, but were unable to convince anyone of the seriousness of the threat.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I used to work in the intelligence community in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War. The author did know everything that was going on in our NSA/ASA support and thus wrote a... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Howard A. Daniel III
The book was way too detail oriented and focused primarily on failures. Not impressed.Published 3 months ago by Bill Polk
Although the CIA- "The Company" to its officers and employees- not unnaturally gets all the media attention, the NSA(National Security Agency- or "Never Say... Read morePublished 9 months ago by T. Washington
What an awesome history of our behind the scenes war to defend the interests of the United States of American. The author shows the good, the bad, and the ugly. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Mervyn
a decent run-down of NSA's origins and evolution but not especially analytic and if you already know a little about the history of the place, this probably isn't your bookPublished 11 months ago by madmicah
Well research factual account of the NSA's history. Tendency to drill down too much and present facts that did not add to the story, but basically a good read. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Amazon Customer
This book wasn't exactly what I was expecting. I thought it would be more of a political treatise on the activities of the NSA, but it was almost more of an "agency... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Matt
I enjoyed learning about NSA but it became a bit too technical as far as naming who did what & why. I know there is a need to be accurate but I felt that there could have been more... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Synzeeza