Body of Secrets: How America's National Security Agency Has Achieved Global Reach

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9780099427742: Body of Secrets: How America's National Security Agency Has Achieved Global Reach

The NSA is the largest, most secretive and most powerful intelligence agency in the world. With a staff of 38,000 people, it dwarfs the CIA in budget, manpower and influence. Recent headlines have linked it to economic espionage throughout Europe and to the ongoing hunt for the terrorist leader Osama bin Laden. James Bamford first penetrated the wall of silence surrounding the NSA in 1982, with the much-talked-about US bestseller THE PUZZLE PALACE. In BODY OF SECRETS he offers shocking new details about the inner workings of the agency, gathered through unique access to thousands of internal documents and interviews with current and former officials. Unveiling extremely sensitive information for the first time, Bamford exposes the role the NSA played in numerous Soviet bloc Cold War conflicts and discusses its undercover involvement in the Vietnam War. His investigation into the NSA's technological advances during the last 15 years brings to light a network of global surveillance ranging from on-line listening posts to sophisticated intelligence-gathering satellites. In a hard-hitting conclusion, he warns the NSA is a double-edged sword: while its worldwide eavesdropping activities offer the potential for tracking down terrorists and uncovering nuclear weapons deals, it also has the capacity to listen in on global personal communications.

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Everybody knows about the CIA--the cloak-and-dagger branch of the U.S. government. Many fewer are familiar with the National Security Agency, even though it has been more important to American espionage in recent years than its better-known counterpart. The NSA is responsible for much of the intelligence gathering done via technology such as satellites and the Internet. Its home office in Maryland "contains what is probably the largest body of secrets ever created."

Little was known about the agency's confidential culture until veteran journalist James Bamford blew the lid off in 1982 with his bestseller The Puzzle Palace. Still, much remained in the shadows. In Body of Secrets, Bamford throws much more light on his subject--and he reveals loads of shocking information. The story of the U-2 crisis in 1960 is well known, including President Eisenhower's decision to tell a fib to the public in order to protect a national-security secret. Bamford takes the story a disturbing step forward, showing how Eisenhower "went so far as to order his Cabinet officers to hide his involvement in the scandal even while under oath. At least one Cabinet member directly lied to the committee, a fact known to Eisenhower." Even more worrisome is another revelation, from the Kennedy years: "The Joint Chiefs of Staff drew up and approved plans for what may be the most corrupt plan ever created by the U.S. government. In the name of anticommunism, they proposed launching a secret and bloody war of terrorism against their own country in order to trick the American public into supporting an ill-conceived war they intended to launch against Cuba."

Body of Secrets is an incredible piece of journalism, and it paints a deeply troubling portrait of an agency about which the public knows next to nothing. Fans of The Sword and the Shield will want to read it, as will anybody who is intrigued by conspiracies and real-life spy stories. --John J. Miller

From the Back Cover:

“A magnificent achievement and a compelling read for anyone interested in espionage.” —The Baltimore Sun

“Extraordinary. . . . A galvanizing narrative brimming with heretofore undisclosed details.” —The New York Times Book Review

“Crisply written and prodigiously researched, Body of Secrets . . . is the most detailed picture yet of the activities of the world’s largest intelligence-gathering operation.” —The Washington Post Book World

“Part history, part expose, the book offers an ‘anatomy’ of the NSA, seeking to strip away the myth surrounding it. . . . [An] authoritative and engaging book.” –The Wall Street Journal

Body of Secrets is one fascinating book...chock-full of juicy stuff.... Interesting to read, well-written and scrupulously documented.”–Salon

“An engaging and informed history.... Bamford weaves a narrative about the NSA that includes...many heretofore undisclosed tidbits of information.”–The Nation

“James Bamford, who wrote one of the really good books about American intelligence twenty years ago...has now done it again.... Body of Secrets has something interesting and important to add to many episodes of cold war history...[and] has much to say about recent events.”–The New York Review of Books

“At times surprising, often quite troubling but always fascinating.... Writing with a flair and clarity that rivals those of the best spy novelists, Bamford has created a masterpiece of investigative reporting.”–Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Body of Secrets adds fresh material about the world’s nosiest and most secret body.... Will fascinate anyone interested in the shadow war.”–The Economist

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Book Description Cornerstone, United Kingdom, 2002. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The NSA is the largest, most secretive and most powerful intelligence agency in the world. With a staff of 38,000 people, it dwarfs the CIA in budget, manpower and influence. Recent headlines have linked it to economic espionage throughout Europe and to the ongoing hunt for the terrorist leader Osama bin Laden. James Bamford first penetrated the wall of silence surrounding the NSA in 1982, with the much-talked-about US bestseller THE PUZZLE PALACE. In BODY OF SECRETS he offers shocking new details about the inner workings of the agency, gathered through unique access to thousands of internal documents and interviews with current and former officials. Unveiling extremely sensitive information for the first time, Bamford exposes the role the NSA played in numerous Soviet bloc Cold War conflicts and discusses its undercover involvement in the Vietnam War. His investigation into the NSA s technological advances during the last 15 years brings to light a network of global surveillance ranging from on-line listening posts to sophisticated intelligence-gathering satellites.In a hard-hitting conclusion, he warns the NSA is a double-edged sword: while its worldwide eavesdropping activities offer the potential for tracking down terrorists and uncovering nuclear weapons deals, it also has the capacity to listen in on global personal communications. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780099427742

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Book Description Cornerstone, United Kingdom, 2002. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The NSA is the largest, most secretive and most powerful intelligence agency in the world. With a staff of 38,000 people, it dwarfs the CIA in budget, manpower and influence. Recent headlines have linked it to economic espionage throughout Europe and to the ongoing hunt for the terrorist leader Osama bin Laden. James Bamford first penetrated the wall of silence surrounding the NSA in 1982, with the much-talked-about US bestseller THE PUZZLE PALACE. In BODY OF SECRETS he offers shocking new details about the inner workings of the agency, gathered through unique access to thousands of internal documents and interviews with current and former officials. Unveiling extremely sensitive information for the first time, Bamford exposes the role the NSA played in numerous Soviet bloc Cold War conflicts and discusses its undercover involvement in the Vietnam War. His investigation into the NSA s technological advances during the last 15 years brings to light a network of global surveillance ranging from on-line listening posts to sophisticated intelligence-gathering satellites.In a hard-hitting conclusion, he warns the NSA is a double-edged sword: while its worldwide eavesdropping activities offer the potential for tracking down terrorists and uncovering nuclear weapons deals, it also has the capacity to listen in on global personal communications. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780099427742

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Book Description Arrow Books Ltd. Book Condition: New. 2002. New Ed. Paperback. An examination of the inner workings of the National Security Agency (NSA) of the USA. Bamford investigates the parts it has played in many undercover operations. Technological aspects of the agency are also brought to light, such as listening posts and satellites. Num Pages: 736 pages. BIC Classification: 1KBB; JPSH. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 196 x 129 x 46. Weight in Grams: 506. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780099427742

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Book Description Arrow Books Ltd, 2002. Book Condition: New. 2002. New Ed. Paperback. An examination of the inner workings of the National Security Agency (NSA) of the USA. Bamford investigates the parts it has played in many undercover operations. Technological aspects of the agency are also brought to light, such as listening posts and satellites. Num Pages: 736 pages. BIC Classification: 1KBB; JPSH. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 196 x 129 x 46. Weight in Grams: 506. . . . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780099427742

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Book Description Cornerstone. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, Body of Secrets, James Bamford, The NSA is the largest, most secretive and most powerful intelligence agency in the world. With a staff of 38,000 people, it dwarfs the CIA in budget, manpower and influence. Recent headlines have linked it to economic espionage throughout Europe and to the ongoing hunt for the terrorist leader Osama bin Laden. James Bamford first penetrated the wall of silence surrounding the NSA in 1982, with the much-talked-about US bestseller THE PUZZLE PALACE. In BODY OF SECRETS he offers shocking new details about the inner workings of the agency, gathered through unique access to thousands of internal documents and interviews with current and former officials. Unveiling extremely sensitive information for the first time, Bamford exposes the role the NSA played in numerous Soviet bloc Cold War conflicts and discusses its undercover involvement in the Vietnam War. His investigation into the NSA's technological advances during the last 15 years brings to light a network of global surveillance ranging from on-line listening posts to sophisticated intelligence-gathering satellites. In a hard-hitting conclusion, he warns the NSA is a double-edged sword: while its worldwide eavesdropping activities offer the potential for tracking down terrorists and uncovering nuclear weapons deals, it also has the capacity to listen in on global personal communications. Bookseller Inventory # B9780099427742

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