James Bamford
James Bamford
Body of Secrets/The Wizards of Langley
ISBN: 0385499086
Body of Secrets/The Wizards of Langley
Hidden behind tall earthen berms and thick forest trees halfway between Washington and Baltimore is a dark and mysterious place, virtually unknown to the outside world. Nicknamed Crypto City, it is protected from outsiders by a labyrinth of barbed wire fences, massive boulders placed close together, motion detectors, hydraulic anti-truck devices, and thick cement barriers. Should a threat be detected, commandos dressed in black paramilitary uniforms, wearing special headgear and brandishing an assortment of weapons including Colt 9mm submachine guns stand guard. They are known as the "Men-in-Black." Telephoto surveillance cameras peer down, armed police patrol the boundaries, and bright yellow signs warn against taking any photographs or making so much as a note or a simple sketch, under the penalties of the Internal Security Act. What lies beyond is a city unlike any other place on earth, one that contains what is probably the largest body of secrets ever created. It is the home of America's ultrasecret National Security Agency, responsible for eavesdropping on the world and breaking virtually impossible foreign code and cipher systems.

In Body of Secrets, James Bamford explores the NSA's secret role in the major events of the Cold War, its current struggle to eavesdrop on ever advancing forms of communications, and how it is attempting to find new ways to break the code and cipher systems of the future. Finally, he takes the reader past the steel and cement no-mans-land for an inside glimpse of Crypto City. Made up more than sixty office buildings, warehouses, factories, laboratories, and living quarters, it is a place where tens of thousands of people work in absolute secrecy. Most will live and die never having told their spouses exactly what they do. The secret community is also home to the largest collection of hyper-powerful computers, advanced mathematicians and skilled language experts on the planet. Within the city, time is measured in femtoseconds—one million billionth of a second, and scientists work in secret to develop computers capable of performing more than one septillion (1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000) operations every second.

James Bamford first explored the secrets of NSA in his bestselling book, The Puzzle Palace. Now he brings the story up to the present, filling in the many blank holes along the way.
—from the publisher's website

Note: No book description is available for The Wizards of Langley

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TRANSCRIPT
Body of Secrets/The Wizards of Langley
Program Air Date: September 16, 2001

BRIAN LAMB, HOST: James Bamford, author of "Body of Secrets," and Jeffrey Richelson, author of "The Wizards of Langley." Colin Powell said on this Sunday, September the 16th, that we have a great intelligence community. Do you agree with that?
Mr. JAMES BAMFORD, AUTHOR, "BODY OF SECRETS": Well, it is great in a lot of respects. Obviously, this shows that it's not great enough. It--it--it's great in the sense that they've put a lot of money and--and effort in a long--long period of--over a long period of history into building up an agency--various agencies that can do a lot of amazing things people can't even imagine. But when it comes down to predicting a major terrorist incident like this, I think they've got to go back to the drawing boards.
LAMB:Mr. Richelson?
Mr. JEFFREY RICHELSON, AUTHOR, "THE WIZARDS OF LANGLEY": Well, they've had successes in the past in terms of--of collecting intelligence that's allowed terrorist incident--incidents to be prevented, but this is an area where you really want to be 100 percent; that one devastating attack like this is--is more than you can really stand. So it's clear that however good they are, and they are very good in many ways, they have to look at ways to be even better.
LAMB:What's the strongest part of our intelligence community?
Mr. RICHELSON: Well, I think the ability to collect using technical systems, particularly satellites and ground stations. We can really cover vast areas of the world, produce millions of images in a year of very high resolution, intercept large volumes of communications. And that's a very impressive technical task, and it's also very important in giving analysts raw material to work with.
LAMB:What's the weakest part of our intelligence-gathering community?
Mr. BAMFORD: Well, I think, traditionally, the human element infiltrating CIA personnel into small, little cells of terrorist organizations, for example. I mean, it's very difficult taking people who've grown up in America to train them and--and infiltrate groups that are basically family-based, blood-tied based clan organizations. Plus, the CIA hasn't really done a tremendous job on--on producing a-- culture of people who are really fluent in--in some of the more exotic languages that they need. So I think that's the area that they're--they're most weak--weak in.
LAMB:If you could change something right now, what would you change?
Mr. RICHELSON: Well, I th--I think I'd be looking towards intelligence that is very much more strategic than it has been. There has been a focus over the last decade in--in--specifically in support to military operations which is very important, but it's also important to look ahead at things like possible terrorist incidents or possible nuclear testing by--by various countries and collect intelligence or--or more intelligence on that than maybe we have been in the past.
LAMB:I want to come back to all of this, but I want to spend 10 minutes at least with each one of you on your book so we can get some background on what you've been writing about.

This is Jim Bamford's book, called "Body of Secrets." Why did you write this?
Mr. BAMFORD: Well, I wrote a--I wrote an earlier book on NSA which was the first and only book ever written on NSA back in 1982. It was called "The Puzzle Palace," and it took the first look at the agency that does all this eavesdropping and--signals intelligence is the technical term for it--eavesdropping, code-breaking and so forth. So I did that book back in '82, and nothing had come out on--on NSA in the intervening years, so in 1998, I decided to work full-time on--on writing a--a new book on NSA, taking a look at the agency during the Cold War right up until present basically.
LAMB:What is the National Security Agency?
Mr. BAMFORD: The National Security Agency, NSA, is the largest intelligence agency in the world actually. It's far larger than the CIA. And it specializ--it's also far more secretive. It's always been far more secret than the CIA, but it specializes in three things basically. One is interception of communications, eavesdropping on communications worldwide, whether it's military communications, diplomatic communications or terrorist communications. The second thing it does is try to break codes. A lot of that communications, especially nowadays, is encrypted, put in scrambled communications and so forth, so the second function is breaking that code, breaking those cyphers. And the third function is creating a--a code system for the US, a very secure cyber system. So those are the three main functions of NSA.
LAMB:How many people work there?
Mr. BAMFORD: Well, it's hard to say exactly. There's around 38,000, give or take some.
LAMB:But you say in your book there's another 25,000 that has that offline responsibility around the world?
Mr. BAMFORD: Well, NSA is actually two organizations. One of them is the National Security Agency which is mostly civilian, and then there's another component known as the Central Security Service, which is basically NSA's own Army, Navy and Air Force, and that makes up maybe another 10,000, 15,000, somewhere around there. Those are the people who actually go out on the planes, on the ships and sit in the big listening posts with the earphones that--eavesdropping on the communications.
LAMB:What's the budget for a year?
Mr. BAMFORD: It's around $4 billion for NSA but that doesn't count the amount NSA spends for satellites. That actually goes to another agency called the National Reconnaissance Office, and they build satellites for NSA and other agencies and--and--so a lot of that budget has to also be put towards NSA. So if you include that, it may be around $7 billion.
LAMB:What is Crypto City?
Mr. BAMFORD: Well, Crypto City is a nickname for NSA's headquarters complex. It's a very huge operation. It takes up basically an entire city almost. It has about 37,000 parking--parking places; post office delivers about 70,000 pieces of mail a day. It has about 50 buildings scattered over a couple different areas. And it's just a very large place. They need a lot of room to have all these analysts and supercomputers and--and the nickname for it is Crypto City.
LAMB:Where's it located?
Mr. BAMFORD: It's located on Ft. Meade, which is halfway between Washington and Baltimore. It's--it's sort of--you can barely see it if you drive up the Baltimore Washington Parkway, and it's from Washington to Baltimore; it's off on the right. It's--it's hidden behind a lot of fences and--and earthen beams and so forth.
LAMB:Well, what would happen if I drove up there and tried to get in the gate?
Mr. BAMFORD: Well, you wouldn't get very far. They've got numerous fences around it. They have these huge white boulders to stop any kind of truck bombs. They have these anti-tank devices, basically, so they've got a lot of protection around the--the agency. And I've been in there numerous times and been given tours of the agency. And it's a fascinating place. They've got the world's largest collection of computers there. They have more mathematicians in there and--and language experts and cryptologists than any place in the world. So it's a--it's a very fascinating place.
LAMB:There's an ironic statement in your book on page 549. `The addition of two new operations--towers provided the agency's headquarters complex with more space than 11 New York City World Trade Centers.'
Mr. BAMFORD: Well, that's right. It's a huge place. Its--its headquarters--operations complex is a--is a gigantic building with numerous subbasements and it connects three separate headquarters. There were three headquarters built at different times and they're all interconnected in this one headquarters operations building.
LAMB:How did you get in?
Mr. BAMFORD: Well, I've been in there many times over the years. NSA has granted me access and given me tours because I've--you know, I'm the premier writer on--on NSA, so I've had different relationships with the agency, but even going back as far as 1982, I've been given tours of the agency, and most recently, not--not too long ago, just before I finished the book.
LAMB:How did you get into this business in the first place?
Mr. BAMFORD: Well, I graduated from law school and I didn't really have any great desire to practice law. I--I wanted to write. I wanted to be a writer and write on government, and having a law degree is very useful because if you write on government, you've got to deal with lawyers a lot, you've got to deal with government officials a lot. And so I--after law school, I went into writing and--and wrote the--the predecessor to this called "The--The Puzzle Palace."
LAMB:What's the picture on the back?
Mr. BAMFORD: Well, the picture on the back is what we were just speaking of, the headquarters operations building. It's actually a complex of--of three buildings there--actually, complex of four buildings, all interweaved together, and that's the main headquarters of--of NSA. And Crypto City gathers around it in--in every direction.
LAMB:Who runs it?
Mr. BAMFORD: The director of NSA is an Air Force lieutenant general, Mike Hayden, and it's always run by a three-star Army or Navy officer who--they change about every three or four years. And he reports to the secretary of Defense. It actually comes under the--the Pentagon, which most intelligence agencies do, as opposed to the Central Intelligence Agency, although he has a--a responsibility to the director of Central Intelligence also.
LAMB:What do people at NSA think about you writing these books about them?
Mr. BAMFORD: Well, the first book I wrote, "The Puzzle Palace," back in '82, they were very angry. They--it was the first book ever written on the agency and they--they did everything from trying to put me in jail to just giving me a very hard time for writing the--the first book. But over the years I think they've understood that the book--that--the--the writing is going to take place, and--and people should know about the agency. You don't have to know about everything. One problem the agency has had is that Hollywood is sort of drawn a caricature of NSA as people who have--are employee assassins, they go out and shoot people and they eavesdrop on people in their hotel rooms in--in Washington and it's sort of this--this false cartoonish image of--of NSA.

So they were--they were, to some degree, happy to see the book come out this time because it portrayed a--an accurate view of NSA. And if you have some high school student someplace in the country that's--goes out and sees a movie showing NSA filled with assassins and so forth, at least there may be some book in the library as--high school library or the bookstore where you could go out and--and read about what A--NSA really does and not the fictional version of it. So the end result was in the first book they--they tried everything from trying to get me put in jail to who knows what. This time, it was complete opposite. They--they actually had a book-signing for me out at NSA with the employees lined up way out into the parking lot and went on for four hours. So it was quite a different reaction. And the agency gave me a lot of help. They gave me interviews with the director and a number of other officials and--and tours through different parts of the agency and so forth.
LAMB:When it was at its height, how much money did it spend and how many people worked there?
Mr. BAMFORD: At its height was at the middle of the Vietnam War. There were about 90,000 people that worked for NSA at that time. I don't know what the budget was. I'm just not sure what it was back then. But it was--it--it was very sizeable--a--a very sizeable portion of the Defense budget.
LAMB:Where did you grow up?
Mr. BAMFORD: I grew up in Massachusetts outside of Boston, a little town called Natick.
LAMB:Where did you go to school?
Mr. BAMFORD: I went to school in Natick, growing up in Natick, and then I went to college in Boston, a law school in Boston.
LAMB:And how long have you been writing books about intelligence and the NSA?
Mr. BAMFORD: Well, I've only written two, the first one, "The Puzzle Palace," in '82, and "Body of Secrets" a few years ago. I've written a lot on--in--in terms of articles for magazines, New York Times and other places. But I've only written two books and I'm going to continue writing books, I think, now but I probably won't do another book on NSA for maybe 20 years. It will be the--the third of my trilogy, maybe, 20 years from now.
LAMB:Let me turn to Jeffrey Richelson, and his book is "The Wizards of Langley." Why'd you write this?
Mr. RICHELSON: Well, I'd been interested in technical c--collection of intelligence, meaning use of satellites and aircraft and so forth to collect intelligence for a long time. And in doing that research, I came across the--the key role the directorate played in building those systems, operating those systems, and as I looked more into its activities, it--it really--I saw it represented an intelligence community in itself during parts of its existence. It really became an intelligence empire, doing everything from building satellites and aircraft, to operating them, to analyzing the intelligence, and so it became a fascinating example of the application of science and technology to really all aspects of intelligence.
LAMB:What's the difference between the NSA and the CIA?
Mr. RICHELSON: Well, the CIA has, really--has had three -major functions over its--its existence. One is the analysis of intelligence, and that's in the end the most important, providing the president with a daily brief every morning, providing others with very extensive analyses of say Chinese or Soviet or Russian military forces and international terrorism. It also has an operations directorate which conducts spying operations and covert action operations. It has intelligence officers in embassies overseas who recruit foreign sources to provide intelligence, and then it--it's been involved, really almost since its beginning in one way or another, in the exploitation of science and technology for--for intelligence purposes, both the collection of intelligence and its analysis. And that became the basis for the creation of Directorate of Science and Technology.
LAMB:How big is CIA in--in personnel and budget?
Mr. RICHELSON: It's probably now somewhere--I'd--I'd say around 18,000. It used to be a little bit over 20,000, and then there were cutbacks after the end of the Cold War. And there have been some increases as far as I understand, so about 18,000 would be my best estimate. Its budget is probably around $3.1 billion to, say, $3.3 billion a year. There--there was a goof in congressional records a few years ago and--and they printed--wound up printing the exact figure, which was $3.1 billion.
LAMB:Where is it located?
Mr. RICHELSON: It's at Langley, Virginia, at least the--the main headquarters. But--particularly, the--the wizards--the wizards of Langley, the S&T people are--are also spread through northern Virginia. There are obscure buildings in Tysons Corner. There used to be a building in Roslyn, the Ames Building. That was a CIA facility. When the directorate was responsible for photo interpretation, there was a building in the Washington Navy Yard called National Photographic Interpretation Center, which had all its windows bricked up. So its main headquarters are in Langley but there's also a number of offices throughout the--particularly the Virginia area.
LAMB:Does the NSA do anything that the CIA uses?
Mr. RICHELSON: It does lots that the CIA uses. It collects signals intelligence, which is a very important aspect of all source intelligence, meaning intelligence that's produced by looking at imagery and signals intelligence and humans and open sources. There's also a degree of overlap, or has been over the years, between the NSA and CIA, because the CIA had its own signals intercept operations, particularly aimed at--at intercepting Soviet and--and then Russian missile telemetry and Chinese missile telemetry, which are the signals that missiles send back when they're in their test stage and it allows people to intercept the--the data, to get an assessment of--of the missile's capabilities. And in addition, the CIA cooperates with NSA in a--in a joint operation called the special collections service, which are eavesdroppers stationed in embassies and consulates around the world. And it originally both had separate operations but eventually they were--they were merged into this-- special collection service.
LAMB:How long ago did you start on this book?
Mr. RICHELSON: Well, I did an article that was--must have been five or six years ago, which sort of further gave me the idea to do this book. Actually working on this book full-time s--essentially began about four years ago.
LAMB:What do you do for a living full-time?
Mr. RICHELSON: Well, partially that and partially I'm--I'm a senior fellow at the National Security Archive in--in Washington.
LAMB:And what's that?
Mr. RICHELSON: That's a non-pro--a non-profit private organization that seeks to get documents declassified concerning various aspect of national security affairs and then it publishes them either on its Web site in the form of what they call electronic briefing books and I just posted one on--on the Directorate of Science and Technology, and it also produces document sets which consist of maybe 15,000 pages of declassified documents on microfiche along with a guide that contains a chronology and and an essay about the topic. And those are sold to university research libraries.
LAMB:I know that the--the--these are very serious topics, but you tell a story in here that I want to ask you about because when I read it, I couldn't believe it. The acoustic kitty.
Mr. RICHELSON: I knew you were going to say that.
LAMB:How did you know that?
Mr. RICHELSON: Because that's the first thing everybody asks me.
LAMB:Tell us about that, and I don't ask it because it's a super serious question but it was so interesting, I thought it might be interesting to bring up.
Mr. RICHELSON: Yes. This--this was a project in--in the--about the mid-1960s. And the CIA wanted to get a better system, better means of bugging a--a conversation. And the problem with the bugs at that time is if you put one in a room, it picked up not only the words but every stray noise and that pretty much drowned out the conversations that they wanted to--to listen to. So there was a case of a--a Chinese diplomat in France, for example, and they had bugged his couch, but if people just sat there and moved around, it wiped out the conversation. So they thought what we need i--is something that has a means of filtering out irrelevant noise, just like a human being's ear does, and they decided to use--try to use a cat. And they wanted to get--be able to send the cat to, say, eavesdrop on two people sitting on a park bench talking about something that they considered very serious. And so they performed surgery on this cat who--to allow its--the conversations to be transmitted back to, say, a van. They then further operated on the cat so that they made sure that it didn't walk off the job because it got hungry or bored or--or anything else. And then they sent it out to--to try to bug two people, but before the cat got there, it got ran over by a taxi. And that was the end of the project fortunately for the world's population of cats.
LAMB:Because you quote somebody by the name of Victor--Is it Marchetti (pronounced Mark-ETTI) or Marchetti (pronounced Mar-CHETTI)?...
Mr. RICHELSON: Marchetti (pronounced Mark-ETTI).
LAMB:...Marchetti who used to work at the CIA.
Mr. RICHELSON: Yes.
LAMB:They put him out of the van and a taxi comes along and runs him over. There they were, sitting in the van with all of this--those dials and the cat was dead.
Mr. RICHELSON: Yeah, exactly. And that--that, as I say, was fortunately pretty much the end of the project.
LAMB:How long has the CIA been around?
Mr. RICHELSON: Since 1947.
LAMB:How long has this--the CIA Directorate of Science and Technology been around?
Mr. RICHELSON: Since 1963.
LAMB:Why was it started in '63, and who started it?
Mr. RICHELSON: Well, since it was--from the point it was created, it--through about 1962, the CIA had gotten involved more and more in the scientific and technical area. It had developed a U-2 spy plane. It had overseen the development of the Corona spy satellite. It had --become involved in electronic intelligence operations. As a supplement to NSA, it had done scientific intelligence production, studying the nuclear weapons programs of foreign countries. And there were--there were two key -CIA advisers. One was -Dr. Edwin Land of Polaroid; the other was--was James Killian. And they pushed very strongly to put all these activities in one directorate rather than having them be in the intelligence directorate and the operations directorate and then having them not be the primary focus of those directorates. They wanted them all in one place so that the CIA could better, you know, exploit science and technology.

And so that -that eventually resulted in 1962 in the Directorate of Research which had--which was responsible for overhead reconnaissance and--and electronic intelligence. But that--there were problems in terms of both opposition within the CIA and other parts of the intelligence community. And when the head of that directorate resigned--Herbert Scovo resigned in--in '62, they pushed for a--an even more definitive statement of CIA interest in this area. And as a result, Albert Wheelon was appointed the head of a new directorate, called the Directorate of Science and Technology, which took over all the functions of the Directorate of Research but also took over some additional functions like the Office of Scientific Intelligence.
LAMB:Where are you from originally?
Mr. RICHELSON: New York City.
LAMB:Where did you go to school?
Mr. RICHELSON: New York and -undergraduate at City College of New York.
LAMB:What did you study?
Mr. RICHELSON: Political science.
LAMB:Let me ask the two of you on the-- big question of the day, how often--I don't know how many times we've heard in the last few days that the intelligence failed us in what happened in New York and here in Washington. What would you say to that?
Mr. BAMFORD: Well, any time you have a massive terrorist incident like this, I think you have to say it--it definitely did fail. The question is whether anything could have been done to--to prevent it. One issue that you have right know is that NSA and a lot of the intelligence community was geared for the Cold War. It spent almost 50 years fighting the Soviet Union and targeting that. Switching gears to this new world where we're not facing a--a lambaste giant of a country with fixed transmitters and so forth is much more difficult. If you're trying to go after people that are switching countries and--are hiding out in caves, basically, not using a lot of communications, it makes it much more difficult.

I--in terms of whether this was a failure, comparing it to--to Pearl Harbor, I think it was a--a far greater failure--failure because in Pearl Harbor we were able to break the--the--the Japanese code and--and we were able to intercept the--one of the key messages at the last moment. And it was just a--a matter of mechanics, getting the message to Hawaii late, because of the way they were sending it. They actually had to send it through Western Union because of the atmospheric conditions. But they were able to get the information decoded and--and get it there almost in time. And in this case, however, they were caught completely by surprise. And they didn't even have notice in terms of days or weeks beforehand. So it's-- in addition, there are probably at least twice as many people that were killed so I think this is far worse of a surprise.
Mr. RICHELSON: Certainly, by definition, they failed to provide warning that this was going to happen and there were rather drastic and dramatic, serious consequences. I think the question that comes up, though, is what exactly they could have done differently, if anything. And that's something that's really going to really is going to have to be investigated by Congress, by the intelligence community internally, maybe by an outside review panel because these are very, very hard targets and it--I think it's not just that we prepared and developed all these systems for the Cold War; it's that any type of technical collection may be defeated if you don't do anything outside that can be photographed. If you don't put anything--any communications in the airwave that can be intercepted, then there's nothing that those systems are going to turn up.

And I think one of the questions for investigation is wh--Did we get anything? Did they do anything that was detected that should have been read as a warning? Did somebody produce a warning notice of any sort that was not properly paid attention to? And that's something--until there's an investigation, we don't really know for sure. You know, the systems we have, as--as Jim said, and--and others have said, are--were very good for the Cold War and they're very good for--for many things now, but it may—it may be just be beyond the laws of physics to develop a terrorist detection satellite. There's --they don't give off any signatures that--that can be seen.
LAMB:But you both, when you--as you total the numbers, you total that up and you've got approximately $4 billion here and $3 billion there, that's $7 billion. And we've heard for the last several years that there's $30 billion on intelligence-gathering. Where's the rest of it come from?
Mr. BAMFORD: Well, you have other agencies--the National Reconnaissance Office has $7 billion.
LAMB:What's that?
Mr. BAMFORD: That's the agency that builds the satel--the spy satellites, puts them up into space and controls them once they're up there. Then there's another agency that actually reads the data that's--the images that's produced by the imaging satellites. That's another agency.
LAMB:What's that called?
Mr. BAMFORD: The National Imaging and Mapping Agency, NIMA...
LAMB:Did you say that's got like 9,000 people that work there? Is that the one?
Mr. BAMFORD: I--I don't mention NIMA in my book, but definitely...
LAMB:I think Mr. Richel--yeah.
Mr. RICHELSON: Start off with 9,000. It's--it's been cut back a little but it was formed from merging the Defense Mapping Agency with the Directorate of Science and Technology's National Photographic Interpretation Center plus some additional agencies throughout the community.
LAMB:How does the Defense Intelligence Agency fit into all this?
Mr. RICHELSON: Well, they--they have about 7,000 people and I think their budget is probably around $1 billion a year. Their primary function is intelligence analysis, whether it's on terrorism or proliferation or the military capabilities of China. They also operate a defense human service which are the Defense Department spies, and also are responsible for something called the Central Masses Organization, which is a organization that, sort of, is involved in funding and advancing and--and helping in the analysis of--of what's called measurement and signature intelligence, which are things like seismic signals from nuclear tests.
LAMB:How's the FBI get into this?
Mr. BAMFORD: Well, the FBI has a role in its foreign counterintelligence activity. They're basically the counterspies. They look for-- spies like Robert Hanssen or whatever. They're--they're the people going out trying to find if somebody's passing secrets to the Russians, or some other foreign agency. But in addition to that, each of the military services have their own intelligence agency. And the State Department has an intelligence agency. So I think there's more than a dozen agencies out there--intelligence agencies that will push it up to 30 billion, and a lot of that is also tactical intelligence. It's intelligence collected on the ground by--by the military and so forth. It’s a tremendous amount of money, $30 billion.
LAMB:Have either one of you added up the total number of people that might be involved in intelligence gathering?
Mr. RICHELSON: I think it comes to probably somewhere around 100,000. It used to be much more. It was--I think in the 1970s it was about 131,000.
LAMB:Who changed it?
Mr. RICHELSON: Well, there were cutbacks...
LAMB:When did it start--when did the cutbacks start?
Mr. RICHELSON: In the--in the...
Mr. BAMFORD: In the 1990s, I think. Yeah. The NSA's cut back by a third since 1990, both in terms of personnel and budget, and I--I think Jeff can tell you about the CIA.
Mr. RICHELSON: Yeah, the--there two cutbacks. One was the 1970s cutback where there was complaints there were so--this 135,000 or so people involved in intelligence, and then the post-Cold War cutback where they were cutting something between 17 percent and 22 percent of civilian personnel, so the CIA went down from about 22,000 to 16,000.
LAMB:We've been warned about terrorism in this country for years. Did anybody at any of the intelligence agencies take it seriously?
Mr. BAMFORD: Well, they all take it seriously. The point is, it's a very new thing to a lot of these people. First of all, in this incident here, nobody had--had ever seen suicide bombers like this in the United States. We'd seen them in the Middle East, but not in the United States. They've never seen really educated tourists-- who would actually go to school for up to years--several years to--to learn to be a pilot, for example, for the sole mission of killing themselves, along with maybe a dozen or two dozen other people. And so all these are fairly new.

Not all this should have been a surprise. The Osama bin Laden certainly wasn't a surprise, the fact that he's involved in terrorism. There had been other terrorist incidents where terrorists had hijacked planes with the intention of either blowing them up or using them as--as weapons. There--there was a case out in the--where there was a plot to--to hijack, I think, a dozen aircraft at one point. And there have been a number of suicide bombers. We had a suicide bomber in--in--off Yemen when--when a suicide bomber blew himself up and blew a 40-foot hole into the USS Cole. And there were bombings at the embassies in East Africa and so forth. So--so putting all that together, it shouldn't be--be a total surprise that this might have happened, but the extent of this and--and the--the boldness of it, I think, took everybody by surprise.
LAMB:You referred a couple times to -human intelligence.
Mr. RICHELSON: Right.
LAMB:Do you have any idea how many people are in that business, out of all these intelligence agencies?
Mr. RICHELSON: I'd say it's probably se--a few thousand.
LAMB:How does that work?
Mr. RICHELSON: Well, the most important human effort for this--for the US is--is the CIA's director of operations, and they have people in embassies and consulates, and some undercover as in--as what was called NOCs, non-official cover, throughout the world. And they try to recruit people--I mean, largely you're targeting people in foreign governments. That's traditionally the way it--it's been done. Some of them you may meet on the diplomatic circuit or--or--or elsewhere. And so they try to find people who either are willing to spy for the US for money or are disaffected with their government and can be recruited on that basis. And that--there--there were a number of successes, you know, particularly during the Cold War. The problem, of course, was that you had people like Aldrich Ames coming along and blowing them all out of the water.

I think the--the difficulty with humans today in dealing-- with terrorism is that you're deal--trying to recruit people who are complete fanatics, who know each other, who have blood ties in many cases, who if you want to--if somebody's going to be a part of that--that terrorist cell is gonna have to commit some heinous crimes to begin with. it's not only--it's not something that's necessarily susceptible to--to having money thrown at it. And--and I can think back to the--the Pearl Harbor question, because there were complaints, remember, on the floor of--floor of the US Congress just after Pearl Harbor about how we had--didn't have any spies in the alleys of Japan and the geisha houses and so forth. And, of course, you aren't gonna get any useful information there. You needed the spies in the Japanese military, and that also was the situation where this is the nature of this society--this is the racial differences--it would've been tremendously hard to recruit anybody. And that's really, you know, the crux of--of a lot of the problem today.
Mr. BAMFORD: Recruiting spies in the Cold War with Russia was having people who were there under diplomatic cover recruiting other people who were working for the Russian government. For example, a lot of times it was people that would volunteer to work for the US for--r money and, you know, they would spy, pass information on through dead-drops and so forth to US intelligence agencies. Intelligence agents posing as diplomats and so forth.

But--but with terrorists now--and the big complaint is that the CIA can't convert these--this-- kind of covert clandestine service from being, sort of, attending cocktail parties and--and trying to recruit foreign officials to actually get people who--who look Middle Eastern, who speak fluent languages of the Middle East and to live in--in the mountains of Afghanistan for five years. And so one of the--the alternatives then is to use intelligence services in the area--maybe the Pakistani service, for example. They'd be in a better position to infiltrate people into--into Afghanistan, or even cooperation with Russia, where Russia may infiltrate people, and then we would, through liaison offices, get the information.
LAMB:Let me say for a minute that I'm president of the United States and I'm sitting in the Oval Office, and what happened this week happened. Who does he look to--is it fair for him to look at somebody and say, `You let me down'?
Mr. BAMFORD: Well, sure. That's what I'm sure they're gonna to do. They're gonna--they're-- gonna to look for somebody who made an error in judgment and let this happen.
LAMB:Where would it be, though? Would it--what--what agency would it...
Mr. BAMFORD: Well, to some degree, I think that would be scapegoating this whole thing. I think it's been a failure of policy over a long period of time. I mean, we're--we're just talking about here the-- failure to sort of recruit people who are indigenous to that area or--or--or really work hard to get people who will fit in to get into those--those little organizations. And the other thing is that there's been too much emphasis on collecting technology and not--collecting information with high technology and not enough on actually analyzing all that--that's been collected.
LAMB:Who would he--who would the president look to immediately, though?
Mr. RICHELSON: The--the director of central intelligence. He's responsible, at the end of the day, for providing the president with strategic intelligence, with intelligence warning of an attack from a--by a foreign country on US interests on major terrorist attacks.
LAMB:Who is he?
Mr. RICHELSON: He's George Tenet.
LAMB:George Tenet comes from where?
Mr. RICHELSON: Well, he's--his previous position, he was--he was deputy director, and before that, he was a Senate staffer. And he, in fact, wrote the--wrote the presidential directive on intelligence priorities that was signed during the Clinton administration.
LAMB:Working for?
Mr. RICHELSON: For the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
LAMB:In terms of the town, he's a Democrat, was asked to stay on by this president?
Mr. RICHELSON: Well, I don't know his political affiliation, but he--he was--he was certainly a Clinton appointee and--and was asked to stay on.
LAMB:I haven't heard anybody point a finger at him or anybody else this week yet. They just say intelligence. Will that eventually happen? Will there be hearings in this kind of thing? Will he be called up and asked, `Why didn't you know this'?
Mr. RICHELSON: I think on a--there'll--there'll certainly be closed hearings and probably some open hearings as well. There might be one of these outside review groups that have been appointed fairly frequently to look into intelligence failures, like after the--the Indian tests. There have been some people on the Hill from what I--I read in the paper who have been raising the possibility that he should resign, but I don't think that's--that's going to happen, certainly anytime soon.
LAMB:How do we stack up against the other intelligence-gathering outfits in the world?
Mr. BAMFORD: Well, we're far superior to--to--to most of them in terms of technology. We've always been far superior to the Russians in terms of the quality and--and the product of the intellige the satellite intelligence that we produce. I think they've been better than the US in terms of human intelligence and they've been able to penetrate the--the US government far better than--than the US has been able to penetrate the Russian government. Perfect example is--is Aldrich Ames and the recent spy from the FBI.
LAMB:Hanssen?
Mr. BAMFORD: Bob Hanssen, yeah. You know, if--if--during the--the mid-1980s to 1981, we had at least a dozen human spies that were working for us in the Russian government, passing information and so forth. The only problem was--was that Aldrich Ames had given those names all to the Russians, so whatever information they were passing us--to us, the Russians knew who they were, and they were--they killed a few of them and put a few of them in jail, and-- the rest they could have used to pass disinformation. So they've always been better at-- penetrating US government than we've been at penetrating their government. So I think the US has led the way in terms of technical intelligence and they've lead the way in terms of human intelligence.
LAMB:Jeffrey Richelson, what motivated to write this book? What'd you want to happen as a result of publishing this book?
Mr. RICHELSON: Well, I--I was certainly hoping that that would be--you know, one effect would be to engender a better understanding of what the director did and provide an example of how much has been locked away, sort of, behind closed doors and stamped secret about the history of--of the agency, and particularly that effort, that really needs to be brought out because it's a very interesting story and it's a very important part of the history of the Cold War. Because without these type of intelligence capabilities, particularly reconnaissance satellites and--and the ability to--to monitor Soviet missile tests, there would have been a lot more uncertainty in the minds of US leaders, both in normal situations and--and in crisis situations, and that could have had a very serious effect in terms of the maintenance of the peace.
LAMB:How many satellites do we have up there right now?
Mr. RICHELSON: Well, we have about five photographic reconnaissance satellites and somewhere around, I would say, maybe about 10 eavesdropping satellites.
LAMB:NSA have responsibility for any of these?
Mr. BAMFORD: Well, it has the responsibility of the product--in other words, the information that comes out of the--the signals intelligence--the eavesdropping satellite. The National Reconnaissance Office actually controls the--their orbits and--and actually controls the satellites themselves, but NSA is in charge of--of all the intercepts--the telephone calls and the faxes and the e-mails that they pick up.
LAMB:How many telephone calls are we listening to around the world?
Mr. BAMFORD: Well, one listening post, for example, will pick up about two million pieces of communications an hour. Now, you use computers to filter a lot of that using--you're looking for particular phone numbers, particular prefixes in the phone numbers or particular names or--or--or even words to some degree. So you have computers that sift through a lot of that two million pieces of communications and narrow it down to about 16,000 pieces that the people actually there in the listening post will physically, using computers and--and other tools, go through. And then from that 16,000, there'll be about 1,000 pieces of communications every hour that will be sent back to NSA, where analysts will further refine it and--and maybe come up with one or two reports out of all that. So it's a--the problem is--is they're getting so much information fed into the system and there are so few actual Arabic or Farsi or Lingala or whatever kind of language you're looking at, there are so few actual linguists and analysts to analyze all that information, that's the problem here.

And they may have actually picked up some indications that this--this event was gonna take place--this terrorist incident was gonna take place. The problem is most of this information is not picked up in real time or as it's happening; it's picked up by remote recorders that record the information and then analysts over the next hours, days, weeks goes over that information. And that's exactly what they're doing at NSA now, is going through all the back information that's been picked up that may in any way shed some light on this incident, so they can see, you know, if there--there was something that they did miss, or if there's something that may give them a clue into what may happen next.
LAMB:You tell a story in your book about the attempt to getting rid of the Foreign Broadcast Intelligence Service. What is that?
Mr. RICHELSON: It's a open--what's called an open source agency or office which is--doesn't do any overhead reconnaissance, doesn't recruit any spies. It reads newspapers, essentially, and listens to radio broadcasts, so it has people who are trained in about 55 different languages. It--one thing it would be certainly doing today, with a very high priority, is listening to everything that's broadcast in Afghanistan of any sort of a political nature, what the Taliban is saying to its people...
LAMB:How do they do that?
Mr. RICHELSON: Well, they have--you have simple listening posts on top of embassies or consulates in various parts of the world that can receive these type of communications. Some of it's done by US facilities, a lot of it's done by the British and the British Broadcasting Corporation, which has a monitoring service and has a cooperative arrangement with the CIA, and this has been going on for 50 years now. And so the FBIS will look through--will read the newspapers from these countries, will listen to radio and television broadcasts, and it will report--prepare analyses about what's being said and it will combine that, often, with classified information to provide some sort of a further analysis of what a political party or what a government is saying it's going to do or not going to do.
LAMB:Who tried to get rid of this?
Mr. RICHELSON: Well, nobody tried to get rid of it, but when Ruth Davey was the deputy director for science and technology, she was very focused on information technology. That's--that was her background and, in fact, some of the review groups that had proposed, you know, changes in the director, it suggested that this was an area that they should concentrate on. And she set up a couple of offices that would focus on that. And--but the problem was that she wanted to take their budget essentially out of the FBIS budget, and that caused a lot of controversy within the agency and it also caused a controversy outside because a lot of academics and other scholars really relied on FBIS to provide--to work--which was something--basic intelligence to them about what was going on in these foreign countries.
LAMB:What kind of information--or intelligence leader was George Herbert Walker Bush?
Mr. BAMFORD: Well, he was here only a short period of time. He didn't really leave a mark. I think he was there either a year or a little less or a little more than a year, so I don't think he left much of a mark, although now the--the entire CIA is named after him, the George Bush Intelligence Center, I think it's called. So I--what specifically he's done, maybe Jeff knows more than I do.
Mr. RICHELSON: Well, as--as Jim said, he was there for a very short period of time. He did raise the morale of--of the agency 'cause he was coming in at a very difficult time, after the Church Committee, after the Rockefeller Commission report. CIA was--was under a lot of pressure and--and--and receiving a lot of criticism, and he did raise the morale. He did sign off, from what I understand, on a couple of satellite projects that have since--since gone into orbit, but--but he--he wasn't really there long enough to have some great, major impact in the way, say, that Allen Dulles did.
LAMB:Which CIA--DCI, or director to central intelligence, has had the biggest impact in the last 20 years?
Mr. RICHELSON: That's...
LAMB:Either--either good or bad.
Mr. RICHELSON: I don't know if I could say offhand.
LAMB:Which NSA director has had the most impact?
Mr. BAMFORD: Well, I think the current one's having the most impact certainly in--in--maybe of all time, or--or he's certainly within the--a small group of people who've had the most impact, and that's because he's--he's had to completely retool the agency from the--the old days of the Cold War to this--this new--new world of the 21st century, and it's a very difficult job.

I mean, NSA--in-- "Body of Secrets" I write where they had intercepted Osama bin Laden for a long period of time--for a year or more. And they were so proud of that, when they get a high--highly cleared visitor from another intelligence agency, they would actually play a tape of Osama bin Laden talking to his mother. And then a year or--or more ago, they totally lost his communications. They lost track of him entirely because he'd become far more sophisticated in terms of communicating. And I think a lot of--when you're--when you're dealing with cells, a lot of the information is--is transferred by courier or--or just by word of mouth, and there's not a lot of communications over international communications.
LAMB:Who would have been looking at these followers of his who are in this country and have been educated in this country in how to fly airplanes and all of that? Who would have been following that? Who's responsible?
Mr. RICHELSON: Well...
Mr. BAMFORD: Well, that's the FBI.
Mr. RICHELSON: Yeah, or--or the INS in in some cases. I mean, part of this problem that--this disaster is, you know, maybe attributable to either foreign or domestic intelligence, but part of it is also sort of just completely outside the intelligence community in terms of, there may be problems with--with INS. I mean, we know that some of these people were on a watch list, and yet they--they still participated in the hijacking.

Aviation security at the airports has nothing to do with any part of the intelligence community. So in addition to whatever problems there were, it wasn't intelligence, there clearly were problems outside of it.
LAMB:You want to add to that?
Mr. BAMFORD: Well, that's true. I think a lot of these people have been living here for--for many years, and NSA's restricted from eavesdropping within the United States except in certain cases. Terrorism is one of those exceptions. But the FBI basically has most of the responsibility for looking for terrorists within the United States, and as Jeff said, there's a lot of other agencies that--that may have picked something up, like the Immigration and Naturalization Service and so forth that--or simply airport security at--at the final end. But in terms of long-term strategic--strategic looking for events happening down the road, that's something that the intelligence community completely missed in terms of what was going on in the--in the bin Laden organization.
LAMB:If you had the--the opportunity, could you cut the -the intelligence budget by a certain amount? `Is there waste?' is what I'm getting at.
Mr. RICHELSON: Well, I'm sure you--there's always ways to do things--given a fixed amount of money, there's probably always ways to do it somewhat better at less money, but...
LAMB:But it's not a big deal for you?
Mr. RICHELSON: No, I don't think so. I think that there's very little give in the intelligence budget, because if you want to have repetitive coverage, say, of nuclear testing facilities or terrorist camps or Chinese missile deployments, then you need a certain number of satellites. And say we have five now, and that--that's $5 billion really--if you take one away, then you lose some coverage.
LAMB:Any waste?
Mr. BAMFORD: Well, I don't think so. I haven't seen a lot of real waste. I think one problem may be the--the emphasis on too much collection and not enough analysis, shifting money away from just collecting too much information, more than anybody can analyze, -to putting more linguists in there. I mean, you've got to have somebody down there at the bottom end that's--that's eventually listening to this. You can--you can collect all the information in the world, but if you only have 100 people that can actually listen to it, then it doesn't do much good. So I don't--I'm not in favor of cutting anything. I think I'm more in favor of increasing the budget in different places. But I think there also should be some looking into beefing up the--the analyst end, which is--gets a lot less attention because it's far easier to sell Congress on a fancy satellite that can do twice as much as the previous satellite rather than going in and saying we need 500 more linguists or something.
LAMB:How do you think Congress deals with intelligence? In other words, there are--how many committees up there? How's the coordination? Do they get in the way? Do they help things?
Mr. RICHELSON: Well, they certainly--there--there are two committees, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and I think in some areas, it's--it's--what they're doing is very useful because they really provide an outside review of what the agencies are doing. And in the case of NSA, which I'm sure Jim can tell you more about, they've really held that agency's feet to the fire over--over many years now--several years now, with annual reports saying that there are these problems in terms of NSA's capabilities keeping up with the technology of the--of the modern world. And that's something we as citizens probably wouldn't know if it wasn't for--for these committee reports.
LAMB:What about Congress?
Mr. BAMFORD: Well, I agree. The--Congress, especially Porter Goss, who's chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, has been really driving a lot of the intelligence committee--community. He--he's a former CIA officer himself and he's really been pushing the National Security Agency to--to move from the Cold War to the present day, and there's been a lot of people that have warned that this is gonna happen, if they don't -move fast enough and--and change quick enough. A lot of the--the discussion is changing the culture from looking one way at a fixed immobile country to--to looking at these--these organizations that are very mobile and--and going from one place to another. But I think Congress has played a large role in--in energizing and pushing NSA and--and, to some degree, the CIA into moving to the new--new world here.
LAMB:I want to ask you whether this is a problem or a benefit. On page 523, you say, in your book, Jim Bamford, `Likewise TRW hired former NSA Director William'--Is it Studeman?...
Mr. BAMFORD: Studeman, yes. Huh-huh.
LAMB:...`a retired Navy admiral, as its vice president and deputy general manager for intelligence programs. The massive consulting firm Booz-Allen & Hamilton, which frequently bids for NSA contracts, hired Studeman's successor as director, retired Vice Admiral J. Michael McDon--McConnell, and McConnell's former deputy director, William P. Crowell, left NSA to become vice president of Cylink, a major company involved in encryption products. Crowell had been through the revolving door before, going from a senior executive post at NSA to a vice presidency at the Atlantic Aerospace Electronics Corporation, an agency contractor, and then back to the US--Nat--the National Security Agency as chief of staff. Another deputy director of the agency, Charles R. Lord, left NSA in 1987 and immediately became vice president at E-Systems, one of NSA's biggest contractors.'

I could go on. There are a lot more that you mention in here. You--you--you start by talking a lot about, you know, President Eisenhower and--I know in your book, President Eisenhower and his involvement with Jim Killian and all that. He warned us about the military-industrial complex. Is this part of it? Is is a...
Mr. BAMFORD: Well, this is a crypto-industrial complex. It could be a problem. I write about it in a somewhat non-perjorative way. The--it--it--it happens. There's a--there's a small group of companies out there that specialize almost 100 percent in providing NSA with this equipment. And a lot of times, it's the sole source of--of--of material. There's benefits and--and deficits for having people use the revolving door like that.

I just made a note to make sure that, you know, people know that there--there is this issue out there, and it's positive in the sense that the outside corporations could use some of this expertise. It's negative in the sense that you have an insider at NSA going to a--a--a private corporation and maybe sharing inside information. It's hard to say. So, I--I mean there's pros and cons, but it--it's certainly something that Eisenhower worn--warned about in terms of defense. And this is, again, what I call the crypto-industrial complex.
LAMB:Again, you're president of the United States. What would you say to your DCI when he comes in for a briefing tomorrow that you want changed because of what happened this week?
Mr. RICHELSON: Well, I think I'd tell him, `There are--there are three things I want from you. I want warning if anything else like this is planned, I want support for the military operations we're gonna have to conduct and I want a report on my desk about what went wrong.' And those are the three things that they--that he really needs to be asking for and--and--and are the primary concern right now.
LAMB:Are you gonna be mad, angry, irritated?
Mr. RICHELSON: I think I'd want to know--all my assessment of--of the--of President Bush is--is he probably wouldn't be, at least until he finds out you know, what exactly went wrong. I think that's the thing you have to--you have to ask before you have anybody--you know, any--anybody sort of dragged up before Congress and subjected to a lot of abuse.
LAMB:What would you say to your DCI tomorrow morning?
Mr. BAMFORD: Well, I would certainly want to know how we could change it so it doesn't happen in the future, and I--I'd want to know what--what efforts we're--we're making to--to penetrate these organizations with human sources and what methods we're using to--to try to find out what the--why they're communicating. How come we lost bin Laden? Why did we lose all types of communications from him? And what can we do to--to pick him up, find out where he is and listen to his communications? So I'd want to know what went wrong and how we can correct it in the future.
LAMB:Our guests have been James Bamford, author of "Body of Secrets," about the National Security Agency and Jeff Richelson, author of this book, "The Wizards of Langley."
LAMB:We're going to do something we don't normally do on BOOKNOTES, and we've never done it in our 13-year history, and we're going to have a call-in show with you two gentlemen, for an hour. And actually, we've never done this program live either, so we've got a twofer tonight, and we've never had two guests on here, with two different books. The numbers are on the screen; it's--Eastern and Central time zone, it's (202) 624-1111, and for Mountain and Pacific time zones, it's (202) 624-1115. You can begin dialing now and we'll take your calls for our two guests, who are going to be here with us for another hour.

What is your biggest surprise of what you've heard this week, listening to the media, about the event of last Tuesday?
Mr. BAMFORD: Biggest surprise in--in terms...
LAMB:Are we getting--are we getting the accurate amount of information, or do you hear a lot of people saying things that you would like to correct on television, or read in the newspaper, about the intelligence part of this whole process?
Mr. BAMFORD: Well, there really hasn't been that much that's been said about the intelligence process. It's--it's been, you know, a--sort of generic complaints about how did we miss this. So I haven't really seen too much in terms of miscommunications about intelligence; there really hasn't been much i--in terms of writing on specific intelligence operations. I think overall, th--the--they've got it right, and that there's a--a problem of not being able to infiltrate people into these organizations, and--but I haven't really seen too much in terms of bad information.
LAMB:Let's take our first call from Oakton, Virginia. Go ahead, please; you're on BOOKNOTES.

Unidentified Caller #1: Hi. You mentioned before that INS might come in for some blame in this. I was a--an INS agent for quite a number of years. I--I'm no longer with the agency, but one thing I would point out is that INS' interior enforcement efforts have been greatly restricted over a number of years, and a--most of its efforts are directed at the southern border, and that's usually by national policy rather than INS' choice. The other thing I'd point out is that--excuse me--a lot of the visa problems don't originate with INS. They originate with the State Department; the State Department's very generous in issuing visas. I wouldn't be surprised if a number of these individuals were here legally, u--under INS law. Maybe they could comment on what the prospect is for increasing INS' interior enforcement, rather than restricting it, and restricting some of the State Department's sort of generous impulses in handing out visas. I think INS gets a lot of blame unfairly in these cases; they're just a convenient scapegoat.
LAMB:OK, thanks.
Mr. RICHELSON: Well, I think everything's going to be on the table, and the points you raise are very good ones, and it--you know, when--when all the facts are known about this, that's exactly what might happen.
LAMB:Let's go next to Albuquerque, New Mexico. Go ahead, please. Albuquerque, you're on the air. Go ahead, please. Unidentified Caller #2: Thank you. Brian...
LAMB:Yes.
Unidentified Caller #2: ...thank you so much for C-SPAN. It's the most wonderful coverage of this terrible incident, if you can put wonderful and terrible in the same sentence. My question is about--I have twofold. First of all, the competition among the services, and how they all are trying for the funds that are available. Secondly, President Bush has been reinvestigating "Star Wars," and my feeling is, listening to these gentlemen, that perhaps we should be investing more in this area rather than "Star Wars."
LAMB:Thanks. Competition a problem among the services?
Mr. BAMFORD: Well, it's always a--a problem, but they've got it fairly well laid out where the different agencies do very different tasks, and there the--I think the competition problem has been alleviated to a--to a large degree.

On the second aspect, I--I think the caller's 100 percent right. The administration, and also a lot of people in the Defense Department, have been focusing solely on--on weapons of mass destruction, which is missiles being fired from North Korea or some other place and--and then focusing on the "Star Wars" project--in other words, thinking too high-tech and--and long-term and--and--while the--the terrorists have been sort of sneaking under the--under the door.
LAMB:Washington, DC, go ahead, please. You're on the air.
Unidentified Caller #3: Yes, I'm curious, not so much about competition, but lack of coordination and sharing of information along the intelligence agencies and whether that had an impact on what we saw last week. Secondly, are there implications for biological warfare, given that it looks like we're going to war? Thank you.
Mr. RICHELSON: Well, I think you may always find some breakdown between, say, the CIA and F--FBI, that th--there has certainly been that--that--that's certainly been the case with regard to counterintelligence in the past. Th--there is, within the CIA, a counterintelligence center which brings together people from the CIA and the FBI a--and several other agencies, which attempts to get around this problem. It--it may be that even more--more coordination is needed. There's an organization that operates out of NSA which brings together a lot of intelligence on s--on missiles and space activities that receives SIGINT and--and everything else, and also provides warning. And maybe there's a need to expand the counterintelligence center to make sure that everything is flowing in--counterterrorism center to make sure everything is flowing into this two-in-one entity that's related to that subject.
LAMB:Who watches the biological warfare?
Mr. BAMFORD: Well, all the agencies have a role in that. That's one of the--the--these new things in the 21st century that they're trying to get a handle on. It's much more difficult when you're talking about taking in a couple flasks of--of germs or--or chemicals than watching warheads come in, or--or high explosives. So it--it's an extremely difficult problem, and that's what--I think that's one of the--the--the key things that are gonna be on the horizon now, since bin Laden has tried different approaches, sup--supposing that he's been involved in all these previous incidents. It's always been something different: blowing up a ship, blowing up an--an embassy in a foreign country, blowing up a world trade center. And, you know, everybody's worried that the next step or the--the step after that may be either biological or chemical.
LAMB:Moreno Valley, California, go ahead, please.
Unidentified Caller #4: Yes. First of all, I'd like to say, it's a great honor to be able to speak before these highly intelligent gentlemen. I'm a sovereign citizen here in--in California, representing Unity States of the America. And my question is: How are your feelings on the application of the science technology to all aspects in regards to truth in the language?
Mr. RICHELSON: I don't really understand the question.
LAMB:Let's go next to Richland, Washington. You're on the air. Go ahead, please. Hello, Richland.
Unidentified Caller #5: I have a question for--I have a question for Jeffrey Richelson. In terms of the US technical assets, the intelligence community has been undergoing a--a decline in both funding and the so-called graying of the all-source analysts. What do you propose to be the solution for increasing technical information, increasing complexity of information and decreasing numbers of analysts a--and numbers of--amount of funding for them, and the--dealing with much more information about much more complicated and--and, in a sense, multiple lines of evidence leading to something like the terrorist attacks for an organization like the CIA, which has a--a--a history of--sort of a historic approach to intelligence analysis, now will have to come up with a whole new paradigm?
Mr. RICHELSON: Well, in terms of the technical assets, actually the US has been deploying a--a really fair--fair number of them over the 1990s, starting from really about 1994 we've been launching signals intelligence satellites and photographic reconnaissance imagery satellites at a fairly impressive rate, and--and these have been updated satellites, so--which partially results in the problem Jim talked about of--of there being so much data coming down and not enough people to analyze it.

In terms of dealing with the complexity of data, that's an area where information technology comes in, where attempts to take all this complex data and look for patterns through a--a variety of--of machine-assisted, computer-assisted programs can be very important. Every--something as simple as the ability to take cables coming in form overseas and sort through them by a machine so that you can find the interesting stuff in three minutes rather than having the human analysts take three or four hours to do it, which i--which is one of the innovations in information technology that have--that have been introduced. The question will still remain, of course, whether there's information there to be found that's relevant to--to the problem.
LAMB:Bristol, Connecticut, good--good evening. Go ahead, please.
Unidentified Caller #6: Yes, good evening. I really enjoy your programming, Mr. Lamb.
LAMB:Thank you.
Unidentified Caller #6: My question was for Jeff Richelson, and it regards this author Joseph J. Trento, who's written his third book on the CIA titled "The Secret History of the CIA"--it's supposed to be published next month--and he called Tuesday's attack `a massive failure intelligence.' He points out that back in '95, that US officials have known of this possibility because they had this mastermind of the World Trade Center bombing, a Ramzi Ahmed Yousef, who was involved in that '93 incident; he was talking about hijacking commercial jetliners and crashing them into major US buildings. Apparently four suspects in some planned assassination of Pope John Paul II were arrested in the Philippines, and this Yousef lieutenant had this commercial pilot's license from a North Carolina flight school, so it's maintained that this should have given our intelligence people a little hint that maybe this type of approach would be used to do some damage to US sites.
LAMB:Reaction?
Mr. RICHELSON: Well, if--if his reporting is accurate, that--that would certainly seem to be the case, but--but even beyond what--what they might have learned from Yousef, I mean, i--it simply--if people had, you know, read or--or seen works of fiction and movies, the idea is not anything that is really out of the blue. I mean, Tom Clancy in "Debt of Honor" had a Japanese pilot crashing a--it was a 747--into the Capitol. One movie had a plane being hijacked to drop biological warfare agents on Washington. So none of this seems anything that somebody shouldn't have thought of; the question is, you know, at some point, do you have enough evidence to think that they're really doing it, rather than it simply being a possibility? And that's really one of the things that an investigation has to get at: Was there any information that--that should have really led to this, an--and again, i--it--you know, if Trento's reporting is accurate, then there would seem to be a--you know, more than we knew about.
LAMB:How many--you say the NSA cannot listen to conversations inside the United States.
Mr. BAMFORD: Well, they're--most of the conversations it listens to are overseas, but there's a small category, including terrorism and counterintelligence, that it can eavesdrop on i--in the United States, if it gets a special warrant.
LAMB:Can it listen using satellites in foreign countries?
Mr. BAMFORD: Oh, sure. Yeah. That's how it does a lot of its eavesdropping, is with the satellites, satellites picking up communications going out into space, like microwave communications and other kind of communications.
LAMB:So can it listen to most telephone conversations around the world?
Mr. BAMFORD: Well, if there's a telephone conversation they want to listen to, they could probably do it, one way or another, through one method or another, such as a satellite. That's not to say they can listen to all communications at all times at the same time, but they--they certainly have the capability to target certain communications.
LAMB:Can other countries listen to our conversations?
Mr. BAMFORD: Sure. They do. The--the Russians have a--probably one of the largest listening posts in the world, just 90 miles off of Florida, in Cuba. It's been there since the early '60s, in a place called Lourdes, Cuba, and it eavesdrops on a tremendous amount of--of satellite and microwave communications within the United States.
LAMB:Still to this day?
Mr. BAMFORD: Well, the--actually, there was a report, just in the last few weeks or last few months, saying that the--there's a possibility that the Russians may pull it out because they couldn't reach an agreement on a new contract with the--with Castro.
LAMB:Great Valley, New York, you're next. Go ahead, please.
Ms. ALICE RESNICK: Yes, this is Alice Resnick in Great Valley. I just was comment--would like to comment on all the theories that are going on. I understand that a lot of these things and what they must do, but the thing that isn't--that bothered me, and that I've thought for quite some time, that they really should close all of our borders. These people that were in here, according to this--reports that we've had, studied here, lived here, acted like they were part of the United--of--of the American society, and this is what they were here for. And you cannot--you can talk about all the things and all the ballistics and all the--the methods of trying to avoid these things, but if you don't know who's in--in your borders, and you haven't got any more control than we have of our borders, you're never going to be able to do it, and I--this is not a surprise to me, because I came from Long Island and I have thought, `If they ever blow up the bridges down there, that's all they've got to do to--to--to create a whole lot of problems.'
LAMB:Thanks. It's a little bit off the subject of intelligence, which you two gentlemen are experts on. What do you think is going on inside of all these intelligence groups that we talked about earlier in the program today?
Mr. RICHELSON: Well, I think one thing they're doing is reviewing everything they already have, to find that--that might be relevant to provide evidence of--of bin Laden's involvement, to identify anybody else involved in these activities; to possibly warn of--of any future attacks. So I--I think you just have a lot of people going through everything that they already have, plus changing a lot of the targeting, so that--whereas yo--we--we might have photographed a terrorist camp in Afghanistan once a day, now every time a satellite goes over, it's producing an image; shifting a lot of the intercept targeting to Afghanistan, to--to--to Pakistan, to other areas where that--that we're going to be very involved with.
LAMB:What can they--how close on the ground can they see something from a satellite?
Mr. RICHELSON: Well, resolution is--is somewhat under six inches, meaning that you could see two objects six inches apart, or--or to take the--the sort of example of a--of a license plate. People have always said you could read a license plate from a satellite; well, you can't read it, but if you took the sa--the license plate i--off the ground and you put it on--on the road, and say it was a white license plate, with the black-backed road, you would see that there was an object, a--a license plate-type object there. So you can see an awful lot; you can see--not only, say, that there's a tank there, but what type of tank; not only that there's an aircraft there, but what type of aircraft.
LAMB:San Jose, California, go ahead, please, you're on the air. Unidentified Caller #7: Hi. Thank you. I was wondering who would I contact? As a taxpayer, I'd like to have access to some of the information that has been gathered on the global imaging system in regards to nuclear testing or contaminated nuclear areas, nucle--excuse me, radioactive contaminated areas.
LAMB:Thanks.
Mr. BAMFORD: Well, that's a little out of my area. I--I don't know.
LAMB:How much of the--how much of what is gathered by the NSA is ever published for people--for the average person to read?
Mr. BAMFORD: A--almost nothing. They--they have their own little Web site where they have some information on there about the agency and so forth, but the only way to get information out of NSA is to submit a Freedom of Information Act and--request, and--and as Jeff and--and--and many other people who have done this know, it's very difficult to get any information out of NSA. I mean, I've had to work very hard to get the information I needed for--for my book. It's--it's--it's something that's--that's very difficult, and I'd like to see it made a little bit easier, but it--it's--to answer your question, it's extremely difficult.
LAMB:Because people tune into these things later, they--the National Security Agency is located where?
Mr. BAMFORD: It's on Ft. George G. Meade, which is an Army base halfway between Washington and Baltimore.
LAMB:So it's about--What?--30 miles from here.
Mr. BAMFORD: That's right, about 30 miles.
LAMB:Employs how many people?
Mr. BAMFORD: Oh, about 38,000, somewhere around there.
LAMB:And its yearly budget?
Mr. BAMFORD: About $4 billion, and then another $3 billion i--in satellites.
LAMB:You say i--in your book, though, that the president almost never talks to the director.
Mr. BAMFORD: That's right. When I interviewed the director, I asked him how many times in the past year he'd spoken to the president, and he said, `Ne--never.'
LAMB:Tha--that means not just this president, but the previous president that...
Mr. BAMFORD: And he said that that's not unusual. Yeah, the--the director of CI--the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, the DCI, speaks with the president every day. But the director of NSA mostly speaks through the national security adviser or through the office of the national security adviser rather than directly to the president.
LAMB:College Park, Maryland, you're on the air. Go ahead, please.
Unidentified Caller #8: Thank you, yes. I suppose now that this act has happened, I guess what I'm concerned about, and I would think most people are concerned about, is how do you prevent a future attack? It seems like this was particularly bold. I haven't--I go to the Internet and I read the papers around different parts of the world. It seems like there's no fear of the US. What--what does the intelligence community know about the pressure points of groups like this? You can't really use nuclear warheads, I suppose, in Afghanistan and Iraq, but what type of things are they afraid of that we could do that would prevent them from making future attacks like this?
Mr. RICHELSON: Well, I don't know if there's anything that--that they're afraid of. They seem to be--i--if you have people who are willing to fly airliners into buildings, they're obviously willing to die and take a lot of people with them, so it doesn't seem to be anything that they're afraid of. The only solution, in--in many cases, may be to do what the administration is apparently going to do, which is find them and kill them.
LAMB:Tequesta, Florida, go ahead, please.
Unidentified Caller #9: Yes, should I give my views now?
LAMB:Yes, sir.
Unidentified Caller #9:I--I've been a--a--a avid listener of C-SPAN through the last seven years in my retirement in Tequesta, Florida, and hardly I've missed a Sunday program, let alone some of the weekly programs--marvelous. There's 50 channels that I turn to since Tuesday and been watching the television for maybe 50 hours a day. I have never found a diverse view from any of the other channels to get a--a complete picture of actually what's going on with bin Laden and the Middle East. The only program where I get a conversation of adversaries is your wonderful C-SPAN. My question to you--Mr. bin Laden or Mr. Hussein or Timothy McVeigh--we've convicted and hung whoever the culprit was that did the dastardly ac--attack on our--New York City.

Can we come to negotiation with any of these people? In Vietnam, the same situation is--exists when we went in there many, many years ago and we did the five-day bombing on what we called collateral terrorists. I'm originally from St. Louis, and there's a little town between Kansas City and Branson, Missouri, called Knob Knoster, Missouri. Several months ago, 30 attacks were carried out from underground at Whiteman Air Force Base to Kosovo, 13 hours one-way and 13 hours back. We got Slobodan Milosevic to the World Court; Kristen--or rather, Mr. Hitchens says we should take Mr. Kissinger to the World Court, but we will not participate in the World Court if it's any of our people.
LAMB:All right, sir, going to let you go. You--do either one of you have an opinion on whether or not there's any chance to negotiate with any of these people?
Mr. BAMFORD: Well, it doesn't look like it. These are people that are willing to--to die. I think we're--we're well beyond the negotiation stage at this point.
Mr. RICHELSON: I--it may be possible to negotiate with Iran or--or--or certainly Pakistan i--in order to--to get their assistance, a--pos--possibly Iran and can't be sure about that. But as far as the--the--the bin Laden group, I don't think there's any way to negotiate. I mean, when a group wants to live in the 14th century and believes that you should, too, and is willing to kill you if you won't, there's nothing to negotiate about.
LAMB:Go back to an earlier question we had from a caller about coordination. Is there a way to improve the coordination among all these different intelligence-gathering organizations?
Mr. BAMFORD: Well, I think it always can be improved. In the past, there has been a lot of problem in terms of coordination with the--between NSA and CIA, there were--there were a number of years where the NSA director and the CIA director would actually battle because the--the CIA wanted more raw data coming from NSA, and the NSA said--would say, `We don't send data, we'--which would mean the raw intercepts and all that--`We analyze it and then give you the--the analysis that we produce.' So there--there's competition back and forth a--a--about that. But I--I think a lot of those problems existed during the '70s and '80s to some degree, and they've been worked out now. I don't think that's a--a huge problem, in terms of coordination a--and cooperation.
LAMB:Do they ever meet, all these groups, at one time?
Mr. BAMFORD: Oh, sure. They have--they have meetings all the time, over a lot of different issues. There'll be a meeting on this, and there'll be a representative from each of the agencies discussing what each agency can do; plus, each agency has people from their agencies and other agencies. So there--there's a fair amount of cooperation. Back in the days when J. Edgar Hoover ran the FBI and there was a lot of competition between FBI and CIA an--and--there wasn't a lot of--of goodwill among the agencies then, but I think now a lot of that is--is over with.
LAMB:Honolulu.
Mr. RICHELSON: There's a National Foreign Intelligence Board, which is a--th--the senior forum for the intelligence community, and you have the--the DCI and the heads of the other agencies meeting to deal with certain issues, and then there's a whole series of committees on specific topics like terrorism or--or advanced weapons systems, which also consists of--of lower-level personnel who also meet on a regular basis to try to coordinate efforts and--and to resolve disputes an--and--and disagreements.
LAMB:Honolulu, go ahead, please.
Unidentified Caller #10: Good afternoon. My question is to Mr. Bamford. And my question is that do you think American movies like "Air Force One" or "Under Siege" or other, you know, hijacking movie that is produced in the US, have some negative impact on the American people or society as a whole? And my second question is that do you think that would teach the terrorists how to pene--penetrate the system?
LAMB:Thanks.
Mr. BAMFORD: Well, I think a--a lot of the movies ar--are pretty farfetched when it comes to intelligence. The movie that dealt with NSA was "Enemy of the State," and while it was very entertaining and I enjoyed it, it didn't really have much to do with reality. They had somebody running down a street with a cell phone, saying, `Turn that satellite over and get a--get a picture inside this hotel room here.' I--I mean, y--you know, it works for a movie maybe, but in reality, i--it--it doesn't really work. I think what it does is maybe give the public a false impression that the intelligence community can do things that they really can't do. I mean, they'd love to have that ability, but they--they don't have those abilities, so--a--and as I think I mentioned earlier, the NSA, for example, has been very worried about the treatment that some movies have given it, in that they show the CIA responsible for--for spies--I mean, for--for assassins and for killing people and so forth. So you know, movies are always going to stretch the limits of reality, and I think they're entertaining, but I--I'd take them with a grain of salt.
LAMB:If you just joined us, we're talking about two books that we featured on BOOKNOTES tonight, "Body of Secrets" by James Bamford, and the other one is by Jeffrey Richelson; it's called "The Wizards of Langley." We're talking about intelligence, and we continue with Chesterton, Indiana. Hello.
Unidentified Caller #11: Hello. And--and good evening, gentlemen. And Mr. Bamford, I read "The Puzzle Palace" many years ago. My question I direct to both of you: If either--if both of you are appointed director of any of these intelligence agencies tomorrow, and I woul--I direct this to both of you--what would your first directive be for the agencies?
LAMB:Thanks.
Mr. RICHELSON: Well, if I was appointed d--director of--of the C--you know, of the CIA, under these circumstances, my first directive would be, `Tell me what went wrong; tell me what you know about what's going on; and tell me how we can know more.'
LAMB:Mr. Bamford.
Mr. BAMFORD: Well, if I was appointed director of NSA, which is about as unlikely as a possibility there is, I--I--I would start looking into--into the possibility of, as I mentioned before, increasing the analysis capability; it's very difficult these days, but increasing the number of linguists that we're bringing in, and trying to concentrate on--on more analysis and--and less collection.
LAMB:Let's go to Wakefield, Rhode Island. Hello.
Unidentified Caller #12: Brian, I want to thank you for having this forum. It's helping me to calm down a little. Let's see, once I get this straight here: Two men that are on intelligence agencies' watch lists buy tickets in their own name, board a plane, and we see the results. What is the point of having these watch lists if they're not distributed to--to airlines, to ports? D--do they have any purpose to existing at all except to--to do their own little games?
Mr. RICHELSON: Well, it's not the--it w--it was not an intelligence community watch list. It wa--it was an INS watch list. But--but the point--the larger point is valid that, again, this is one of the things that's going to have to be looked at very carefully, i--is what could have been prevented by--by--by p--maybe proper use of this information or expeditious use of this information.
LAMB:Caller.
Unidentified Caller #13: I don't want to contradict you, but the New York Times had a story that the--two of these men were on the FBI's watch list, so...
LAMB:Caller, as you've been watching this whole week, you say help you calm down a little bit, what's been your biggest frustration?
Unidentified Caller #13: Well, two things. I mean, obviously the horror of all those people dying, but the--the--the joke which is airline security. There were two things be--that--that really helped the--this--this atrocity. One is the joke that is airline security and--and the--the u--utter failure of the intelligence community in my--and that's--that--you're helping with this partially because you're--you're--you're making it clear that there's--they--they could have done--they couldn't have done quite as much as--as I'm thinking. But still, you know, these two men were on the FBI watch list, and I'd--I'd like to know how they got on air--on an airplane.
LAMB:Jim Bamford.
Mr. BAMFORD: Well, I think those are the--some of the--the--the questions that are going to answered--going to be asked very aggressively this week of the intelligence agencies if the Congress holds hearings and--and behind closed doors at the intelligence agencies. There are certain restrictions, as I mentioned before, on--on some agencies. The CIA, for example, can't work in the United States at all. And NSA is restricted in terms of who it can eavesdrop on in the United States. So the FBI is--is the agency that has the primary responsibility in terms of keeping track of people who are suspected of terrorist activities or whatever.
LAMB:Playa del Rey, California, hello.
Unidentified Caller #14: Hello. I had two questions. One, I'm completely impressed with the work of both gentlemen in this area and knowledge of our intelligence. On--on one side of it, is it possible we could be--by providing this information, we could be providing something to the other side or to the other sides about what we know and certain spy satellites can pick up certain types of phone calls? And--are we giving away anything here by--by this kind of t--television dialogue? The other question is--I do work in public health and have become--we have all become much more progressively aware about the potentials for bioterrorism. And has there been anything picked up in the--any of the intelligence communities for that--those kinds of plans? Thank you.
LAMB:Giving anything away?
Mr. RICHELSON: No. There's certain fa--facts--basic facts that stem from the laws of physics and from reporting for many years that are well--that's well-known. You can fly a satellite in a low Earth orbit and you can take a photograph if--if--if there's something there to photograph. Anybody who puts any communications in the air, whether it's by cell phone, radio, telephone, any other means, that can possibly be intercepted, if you're--if it's targeted. So talking about the fact that we have satellites and that can intercept all these communications is--or photograph large areas of the world i--is nothing new. Wha--when there can be a compromise is if somebody says we intercepted this particular conversation yesterday. Then that tells the person that--that he was being eavesdropped on. In some cases he may not care, but in other cases he may care very much and then take countermeasures.
LAMB:What about the--the question was about this forum being helpful to a foreign government. But what about the books? Do you know of foreign governments that have bought your books?
Mr. BAMFORD: Well, I don't know specifically, but I would assume so. But in my book, for example, I don't get into the technology very much. I--I talk mostly about the history; how the agency was formed, what it does and how it works. And 90 percent of the information comes from documents that the agency has released or have gotten from the archives or have gotten somewhere from the government itself. And the other percentage of information comes from interviewing the former officials who currently work there or formerly worked there. So, you know, they're--they're in a better position than--than I to decide what is releasable and what isn't.
LAMB:His second question is about bioterrorism.
Mr. RICHELSON: I don't know of anything that--that's been picked up. Certainly it's a--it's a high intelligence priority and--and--and some people have said that one of the problems is that that's been--that alone with chemical and nuclear has been such a focus in the last few years that we've ignored this type of--the thing that happened on Tuesday.
LAMB:New York City, you're next. Go ahead please.
Unidentified Caller #15: Hello. Thank you for taking the call. Either one of the gentlemen, is there any history of the--these agencies working with private industry to offset some of the human resource tasks, and do you see any collaboration in the future with--with any private industry? And I--as one example I would say perhaps some of these security companies--Kroll International comes to mind--but those kinds of companies or any other companies to help out with the human resources side, specifically on the analysis side. Thank you.
LAMB:Jim Bamford.
Mr. BAMFORD: Well, actually that's one of things that they're--the NSA in particular is--is moving greatly towards is to what's known as outsourcing. In other words, getting outside corporations to come in and do a lot of the work. It's--they--they think it's financially beneficial to do it that way and it's very controversial to bring all these outside companies in to this extremely secret agency and have them do a lot of functions. Mostly what they've been having these companies do is work on personnel issues and non-critical intelligence collection activities and leaving the intelligence collection to the full-time employees.
LAMB:When you talk about outside contractors, just one interesting statistic that you had on page 522, in just one year, 1998: And in Maryland alone, NSA ordered more than 13,000 contracts worth more than $700 million.
Mr. BAMFORD: That's right. NSA contracts out for a lot of information in terms of building their crypto systems and--and actually operating some of the--or actually building some of the eavesdropping systems, the signals intelligence systems. Most of that is done by private corporations. The actual analysis, however, has never been contracted out and that's left almost exclusively with NSA employees. However, one other area, i--in terms of listening posts, where they--they run these listening posts around the world to intercept the communications, those are, and have been for a number of years, contracted out to a variety of contractors. So i--it's--it's like--it's a--it's a mix of--of private industry and--and government agency and it's becoming more and more of a--involvement from the outside.
LAMB:If you've just joined us, it's an unusual departure for us at BOOKNOTES. This is the first live BOOKNOTES we've ever had in 13 years. First time we've ever had two guests on that have written two different books. And the subject is intelligence. And we've got about 25 minutes to go before we end our special two-hour show.

We go to San Diego next. You're on the air.
J.W. (Caller): Good evening, gentlemen. Hi, Jim. This is J.W. out in San Diego.
Mr. BAMFORD: Oh, good seeing--good hearing from you, J.W.
J.W.: H--how you doing? I--I'm really enjoying this. I appreciate the--the breadth and the width of your--your knowledge of these agencies, but I've got a question for you, and I'd like to ask Jim. What will--what will happen because of this with the relative power of the three agencies? Who will gain, who will lose, who will remain the same, and why? Thanks.
Mr. BAMFORD: Well, that's a good question.
LAMB:What three agencies is he talking about?
Mr. BAMFORD: Well, I--I assume he's talking about the NSA, the CIA and maybe the DIA or--or NRO or one of the other agencies. The--the--the--the--the NSA has been gaining in--in--in power over the years primarily because it collects a--a--a--a vast majority of the--of the intelligence out there. And because it's so--so large and--and so powerful in a lot of ways. The CIA started out with a lot of the intelligence collection capabilities such as satellite intelligence collection and so forth and th--that went to other agencies. So there has been a sort of behind the scenes--some--some power struggles between the--the NSA and--and--and CIA. I know there was a lot of conflicts between Admiral Inman and--and the--the director of the CIA, Stansfield Turner at the time. A lot of power conflicts between the two.

Also most people don't realize it's the--that it's the Department of Defense--it's actually the secretary of Defense who runs most of the intelligence in the country--almost all of it. The CIA runs a very small pa--portion of it, just the--the human agents that are sent overseas. So there's a power battle between the--the CIA and the Department of Defense that goes on all the time also.
LAMB:You told us that the National Security Agency is about halfway between Washington and Baltimore.
Mr. BAMFORD: Yes.
LAMB:And the CIA is out in Langley, Virginia, out in McLean.
Mr. RICHELSON: Right.
LAMB:Where is the Defense Intelligence Agency?
Mr. BAMFORD: Well, that's over at Bolling Air Force base across the--the--on the other side of the Anacostia River from Washington.
LAMB:None of these outfits are closed. FBI's downtown...
Mr. BAMFORD: Well, the other agencies--the r--the National Reconnaissance Office is also out near Dulles Airport. So they're--they're sort of scattered around, which is probably sensible if--if you're worried about terrorist incidents, that they're not all in one location.
LAMB:Chevy Chase, Maryland, you're on the air. Go ahead, please.
Unidentified Caller #16: Hi. I want to thank you for C-SPAN. It's a fabulous show. I do have some questions, though. Can you tell me--do you think that the conservatives are using this event to get what they always wanted, which is domestic surveillance? And did George Sr. lie before Congress when he was a CIA director regarding domestic intelligence gathering and infiltration of student groups?
LAMB:Jeffrey Richelson.
Mr. RICHELSON: As far as the second, I have no idea. As far as the first, domestic surveillance, I think what you're going to see partially in response to this is people's preconceived notions about what was wrong being--taking this event as--as proof that their preconcei--ceived notions wa--was--was ro--were right about what gaps or vulnerabilities e--existed. To the people who've been saying that we don't have enough of a human capability, that we're not penetrating these groups, they're going to take this event as--as proof that it's true. People who want to spend more money on certain things are going to take this as--as proof that--that they should spend more money and those who want a tighter domestic surveillance are going to conclude that w---previously are going to conclude that that's--that this incident is proof that--that there ne--needs to be more of that surveillance. And in some cases they may be right, and in some cases they may be wrong. In so--in a lot of cases it won't be because of the facts, it will be because of what they already believe in.
LAMB:How--how long have you been in Washington?
Mr. RICHELSON: Since 1982.
LAMB:And have you done any work for committees or for administrations?
Mr. RICHELSON: No.
LAMB:And the National Security Archive is how large?
Mr. RICHELSON: It consists of about, I guess, 30 people.
LAMB:And how long have you been with them?
Mr. RICHELSON: Since 1987.
LAMB:Who underwrites that organization?
Mr. RICHELSON: It's a combination of grants from, you know, your usual foundations over the years. I think Ford and W. Walton Jones and several others. And then it also makes money from the documents that it sells to the university libraries.
LAMB:And, James Bamford, have you ever worked for politicians or committees?
Mr. BAMFORD: No. I've testified before Congress, but I've never worked for Congress.
LAMB:You wanted to say something?
Mr. BAMFORD: Well, I was going to mention--I--I agree that I think some of these groups will use this incident as an excuse for pushing for more restrict--or--or more use domestically of law enforcement and--and intelligence agencies. I think the--there had been a fairly nice balance before in terms of the balance of--of civil liberties and the needs of the intelligence community. And I think this may push--push it in--in--away from civil liberties, more towards domestic use of intelligence agencies. For example, there's--there's now a growing effort to restrict American use of encryption, for example, and increase the use of--of eavesdropping and wiretapping across the country. So I think there will be moves in those directions in the next weeks and months.
LAMB:Colorado Springs, you're on the air.
Unidentified Caller #17: Hi. Thank you for C-SPAN. Yes, Mr. Bamford, I've read your book.
Mr. BAMFORD: Thank you.
Unidentified Caller #17: And I was wondering--one thing that kind of troubled me was some of the things that you said about Israel. In light of the reports coming out from the London Telegraph and Fox News about how the Mossad tried to warn our intelligence agencies about several of these gentlemen, do you still stick by the statement that Israel is not a very productive source of intelligence? Thank you very much. Bye.
Mr. BAMFORD: Well, that's what I've heard from other people in the intelligence community that--that they don't get an awful lot of intelligence out of I--Israel that's--that's tremendously useful.
LAMB:They don't give it to us or they don't produce it?
Mr. BAMFORD: Well, I--it could be one of--either or--either or both. I mean, we get intelligence on some of the Middle East countries, but, again, this is coming from people both at NSA and also at several of the Defense intelligence agencies.
LAMB:You mentioned earlier Christopher Cox, congressman, is a big name and--and active on the Hill in--in intelligence.
Mr. RICHELSON: Well, he was in--he was in charge of the report on the dealing with--with the People's Republic of China and--and nuclear secrets.
LAMB:The reason I bring it up is who would you--who else in--in this town is--do you think has strong views on intelligence and is active and is--and is visible and you would suspect in the next couple of months would be involved in some kind of a--a look at intelligence, a relook at them?
Mr. RICHELSON: Well...
LAMB:Elected officials.
Mr. RICHELSON: Elected officials, I think the--the chairmen of the committees are the--are the people who are going to do the--the primary looking. Senators Graham and Shelby on the Senate side. Porter Goss on--on the--on the House side. I think you have also outside people. Admiral David Jeremiah has chaired several outside reviews of--of various aspects of the intelligence community and it wouldn't surprise me if he winds up doing another one.
LAMB:What about the presence--Foreign Intelligence Board? What does that do? Does it have any power? Has had it had any influence?
Mr. BAMFORD: Well, it has a fair amount of influence. It's--i--it was set up back in the Eisenhower Administration. And i--it supposed to be--it's supposed to be a group of outside consultants, people who have been in the government previously and some people have never had any government experience. At one point they were sort of the--the and best and brightest on the outside. There are--Edmond--Evan Lann--Edwin Land who--who developed a lot of the camera lenses for spy satellites and other people who knew a lot about technology and it's changed over the years. But currently the group is used largely to take a look at--at big issues and advises the president on--on how he should deal with these issues. So the...
LAMB:How big is it?
Mr. BAMFORD: Chinese--Chinese espionage, of example, is one issue they looked at a few years ago.
LAMB:How many people?
Mr. BAMFORD: It's--it's very small. It's--it's I don't know the exact number right now. Maybe a dozen or give or take five or six.
LAMB:Has this president assigned somebody to that job as chairman?
Mr. BAMFORD: You know, I haven't found out whether he's appointed new people to the job or not. Virtually every president appoints various people. Some presidents have appointed sort of cronies in the past, others have used it to appoint very brilliant people in the scientific community. So it's very different and I'm not sure what President Bush has done.
LAMB:Do you know...
Mr. RICHELSON: No, I don't who...
LAMB:...who...
Mr. RICHELSON: ...who's--who's the chairman?
LAMB:Princeton, New Jersey. Go ahead please.
Unidentified Caller #18: Good evening. It's often been said that the military leaders of any army are always superbly prepared to fight the last war. And I wonder if it's a similar problem here with these intelligence agencies, that they're essentially reactive and not proactive. And when faced with a very intelligent and creative terrorist organization they will not be--they will be behind the curve constantly.
Mr. RICHELSON: Well, that's certainly a problem, or that they are in some ways ahead of the curve in that maybe the next attack will be--you know, hopefully there won't be one, but maybe there will be a chemical or biological or nuclear attack, when they--which they had been expecting or feared. Now and--instead of the attack that we had Tuesday. So really what we have to do is look at what all the possibilities are and not just focus on just one particular possibility or set of possibilities.
LAMB:Sonoma, California, go ahead please.
Unidentified Caller #19: My question--I have one question for each of the gentlemen. I've read Mr. Bamford's book. The most--both of them. And my question on the most recent one was--he made a very provocative comment in there, if I understood correctly, and that was--this is in regard to the Liberty incident. And that was the--first of all, that the Israelis started the '67 War, if I understood it correctly, and also that the Liberty was attacked as a consequence of the information that we had and there was some other things that he made. My--my question to Mr. Richelson is with regard to the withdrawal of the SR-71, the successor to the A-12 spy plane, by--and its impact on overhead reconnaissance and--and particularly in a timely fashion.
LAMB:Thanks, caller.
Mr. BAMFORD: Yeah. In regard those two questions, I don't think there's any question that Israel moved into Egypt before Egypt moved into Israel in the '67 War. I mean, that's part of history now. The other question had to do with USS Liberty. The Liberty was a NSA spy ship that was sailing off the Sinai Coast during the 1967 War. In broad daylight around two in the afternoon during the war, the ship was attacked for--for more than an hour by Israeli aircraft and Israeli torpedo boats. More than five torpedoes were shot at the--at the ship, and--and the--the ship was extensively damaged by rocket fire, cannon fire and napalm. Thirty-four Americans were killed, 171 were wounded.

All the evidence points out that there's no reason that the Israelis should have mistaken that ship for anything other than what it was, an American ship flying an--flying an American flag with a US--with its US name o--on the back. And in the reports that I've seen from NSA, there are a great deal of NSA people who--who thought the attack may have been deliberate, and that includes the director of NSA at the time, the deputy director, the deputy chief of--of operations, the secretary of State, the--at the time, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Tom Moorer at the time. So there's a lot of evidence. It's a very controversial topic. And my--my argument has always been that there should have been a--a more intensive investigation and there's still time to do an intensive investigation.
LAMB:He asked about SR-71. What's...
Mr. RICHELSON: Right.
LAMB:What plane is this?
Mr. RICHELSON: That's the A-12 ox cart, which is a single-seat plane, and the SR-71 was a two-seat version of that. And the ox cart only operated really from 1967 to 1968 when it lost--when the CIA lost the bureaucratic battle with the Air Force and the SR-71s replaced the A-12s, but they look very much the same. As far as the question of--of the--the replacement, there were definitely replaced prior to they're--they're having to be retired. Eventually the engines would have given out and--and they weren't really good replacements, from what I understand. But certainly they were retired prematurely because the Air Force basically didn't want to pay for a national intelligence system instead of--they'd rather pay for--pay for fighter wings.

And the result was that--that we did lose some flexibility because a plane like that can go from point A to B in a very fast amount of time and cover all the territory in between with--with its rather impressive photographic capabilities. Whereas the limitation of the satellite is that it's orbiting the Earth as the Earth is revolving around its axis. So to go from, say, one point in Syria to another point in Syria would take you several passes of the satellite, whereas the plane could do it in one--one mission.
LAMB:Omaha, Nebraska, you're next.
Unidentified Caller #20: Yeah. My question is what sort of oversight or audit function is there on these agencies, and I'm thinking about the whole gamut, financial compliance with the law and performance, and--and how can it be improved or does it need to be improved given the obvious restrictions because of the need for secrecy?
LAMB:James Bamford?
Mr. BAMFORD: Well, the primary oversight body is the House and Senate intelligence committees. You have oversight capability to some degree in this PFIAB, the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, but the--the main oversight is from the House and Senate. The problem is you have very, very large agencies doing very, very secret work and very complex work, as both Jeff write about in our books, very highly technical work, and you have a very small committee in Congress. So the--the actual congressmen and senators themselves have--have many responsibilities. Many committees they're on, not just the intelligence committee. And the staff is very small compared to the large agency. So it gets to the point where it's a legitimate question as to whether they can adequately oversea this enormous intelligence community of a hundred thousand people or more with a staff of, you know, less than 200 maybe.
LAMB:You both said earlier that there are about a hundred thousand people in this government dealing with intelligence. Are they--how well educated are those hundred thousand?
Mr. RICHELSON: Well, some of them are very well educated. Certainly if you're going to do work on designing technical collection systems, you have to have advanced degrees in engineering and physics. And if you simply look at the sort of ads for--for certain positions in the CIA or NRO and--and what it takes, you have to...
LAMB:NRO stands for?
Mr. RICHELSON: National Reconnaissance Office. You have to be an engineer or a physicist or a computer scientist. So the--these are--you have a very--many people who are very highly educated.
LAMB:People want to go to work for these organizations today?
Mr. BAMFORD: Sure. Yeah. They've got a lot of people that--that are applying for them. The problem they have, especially at NSA, is that they want the same type of people that--that a lot of companies in private industry want. They want electrical engineers, computer scientists and mathematicians to some degree, and--and--and those people are very highly desired by private industry who can offer more money. So you've got a problem of competing with private industry for these people who know how to design the--these huge satellites to listen in and--and these big machines to break codes.
LAMB:Do they have people volunteering or--are they interested in human intelligence gathering out there in the field, you know, trying to--to break through around the world? I mean, is there much interest in that?
Mr. RICHELSON: Do--do you mean are people coming to the CIA wanting to spy for them?
LAMB:Working for one of our intelligence agencies and do the--the field work out there around the world?
Mr. RICHELSON: Well, sure. There--there are people who sign up for the director of operations, and they are the people who go through training at Camp Perry i--in Virginia and learn all these sort of skills--covert skills that they need and then they're deployed out into the field either under diplomatic cover or in some cases as businessmen p--apparently businessmen who then go about the business of spying when they're not doing their cover work.
LAMB:Again, the number of people you think are in human intelligence.
Mr. RICHELSON: Out in the field, a few thousand.
LAMB:What are...
Mr. BAMFORD: One of the things that Director Tenet has done, I think, in the s--fairly recently was in the last few the new recruits that he gets into the clandestine service, which are the people that are actually going out into the field, in addition to their training down at, as Jeff said, Camp Perry, otherwise known as the farm, which is their training ground. They have to jump out of a plane five times, do parachute jumps five times. So I think they're--they're trying to get them motivated into doing clandestine work.
LAMB:Cedar Fort, Utah, you're on the air.
Unidentified Caller #21: Yes, thanks for C-SPAN, first of all. And you know the thing that is most devastating about this to me is the fact that we were so defenseless. We talk about intelligence and security. What happened to defense? We've allowed the Sarah Bradys of the world to disarm the honest citizens of the US. And you look at this damage that's been done, these buildings taken down, and thousands of people killed, and realize it was done with box knives. What is wrong with this picture, folks?
LAMB:Comment from either one of you?
Mr. RICHELSON: Well, I think the leverage that hijackers had has pretty much been lost in the future because I--I think in--in this--these incidents probably all the people originally thought that this was going to be the standard type of hijacking where they go land someplace and it's an ordeal, but the odds are that everybody's going to survive. The next time around, if anybody tries it, I mean, I--I would just expect that everybody's going to jump him because the--they--when you're--when you're s--when you essentially believe that you're going to die in 25 minutes if you don't do something, then the hijackers have no leverage.
Mr. BAMFORD: Well, it addition to the box cutters, I think they also brought out these boxes that they said were bombs and they were going to blow up the plane. I mean obviously they weren't but, that was one other device they used to try to intimidate the passengers and--and maybe the crew.
LAMB:How often in history have we had to deal with people who were willing to commit suicide to get what they want?
Mr. RICHELSON: Well, the...
LAMB:Has anything quite like this ever happened where you have 19 people that knew that they were going to die?
Mr. RICHELSON: Well, kamikaze pilots in--in World War II, but never that I can think of do we have this many people willing to commit suicide against these type of targets.
LAMB:Buckhannon, West Virginia, you're on the air.
Unidentified Caller #22: Thank you for taking my call. I would like to know don't you think that there's been a huge diminishment of our ability ever since the U-2 was shot down, and could not this all been the beginning of what's happening now?
LAMB:Thanks. What year was it the U-2 was shot down.
Mr. RICHELSON: The U-2 was shot down in 1960 and it was replaced within a month by the Corona spy satellite, which took more photos in one day than the U-2 took in--in four years of operation. And we still had U-2s flying around the world. So we certainly haven't lost anything in capability. It's grown immensely. It's just that the target is very different than the target for which the--the U-2 or the spy satellites were originally designed for.
LAMB:Twin Forks, Colorado, go ahead, please.
Unidentified Caller #23: Yes. Mr. Bamford.
Mr. BAMFORD: Yes.
Unidentified Caller #23: On--your book on page 283, Saigon '68. I used to go there to make a lot of phone calls home. Two questions. Number one, I k--struggling for the remembrance of that facility, right outside Tan San Nhut.
Mr. BAMFORD: The facility--the NSA facility?
Unidentified Caller #23: Yes.
Mr. BAMFORD: Yeah. I--y--I can't remember it right now myself either. It's on the tip of my tongue. I just can't think of it.
LAMB:Caller, what point did you want to make?
Unidentified Caller #23: No, I just used to--used to drop my troops down there sometimes on Sunday mornings and have everyone call home and it was--signals people were great and we just enjoyed the opportunity to communicate back with the States.
LAMB:Thanks, caller.

Let's go for our last call this program to Ft. Jackson, South Carolina. Hello. You're on the air.
Unidentified Caller #24: Thank you, gentlemen, for taking my call. My question quickly is, of the published intelligence reform proposals during the 1990s, not including budget setting techniques, what specific areas does the intelligence community now focus on to prepare for the 21st century?
LAMB:Thanks.
Mr. BAMFORD: Well, I--I--I think they've got to concentrate on two things. One is, as we've talked about many times in the past, increasing human capability to penetrate these--these new terrorist organizations. And the second thing is to increase the ability to analyze a tremendous amount of information they've been able to collect in order to get a warning much quicker. It doesn't make much sense to be able to--to pick up all this information and--some of which may give you a warning of an attack but not be able to read it until a week after the attack. So I think those are two of the critical areas.
LAMB:What was your reaction from the CIA when--when your book came out?
Mr. RICHELSON: I haven't really had any yet. I know that some people who I interviewed and were with the agency have read it and liked it, but I haven't heard anything officially or--or even from any people still in the CIA.
LAMB:We're out of time. And we have two books to show you. This one is called "The Wizards of Langley." Jeffrey T. Richelson is the author of that. The book has been out just about a month. And this book has been out for the last several months by James Bamford called "Body of Secrets." Gentlemen, thank you very much for joining us on BOOKNOTES, this special program.
Mr. BAMFORD: Thanks, Brian.


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