By James Bamford
The nationwide protection service provider is the world’s strongest, so much far-reaching espionage. Now with a brand new afterword describing the protection lapses that preceded the assaults of September eleven, 2001, Body of Secrets takes us to the internal sanctum of America’s undercover agent international. within the follow-up to his bestselling Puzzle Palace, James Banford unearths the NSA’s hidden function within the so much unstable international occasions of the prior, and its determined scramble to fulfill the scary demanding situations of this present day and tomorrow.
Here is a scrupulously documented account–much of that is in line with remarkable entry to formerly undisclosed documents–of the agency’s tireless hunt for intelligence on enemies and allies alike. physique of secrets and techniques is a riveting research of this such a lot clandestine of organisations, an enormous paintings of background and investigative journalism.
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Extra resources for Body of Secrets: Anatomy of the Ultra-Secret National Security Agency
Immediately an SA-2 missile was fired. This time the missilemen's eyes were wide open—and the Soviets were lucky. A fireball exploded behind Powers, damaging the U-2's tail and wings but leaving the cockpit unharmed. At the air defense facility below, the small dot on the radar began to blink. The plane was breaking up. " Powers gasped. He felt a dull thump and a tremendous orange flash filled the cockpit. As his plane began to dip toward the ground from 70,500 feet, on the very edge of space, Powers fought for control.
At an NSA listening post in Turkey, intercept operators began picking up some worrisome signals. For more than four hours they had been eavesdropping on Soviet radar installations as the Russians tracked Powers's U-2 flight. It had long been one of NSA's neatest tricks. Because radar signals travel in a straight line and the earth is curved, it was impossible for American radar stations outside Russia to detect air activity deep within the country. However, Soviet radar installations throughout the country communicated with each other over high-frequency circuits.
Nearly a dozen hours after it began, the massed overflight ended when the spy planes touched down at Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska. Within minutes of the landing, the recording tapes were sent by a special courier flight to NSA for analysis. They revealed no Soviet radar signals—proof that, at least for the time being, Russia was blind to an over-the-pole attack by American nuclear bombers. The vast sweep of frozen tundra making up Russia's northern frontier was virtually radar38 free. Nevertheless, no one dared speculate on how the mission might have ended if hidden Soviet radar installations had picked up the incoming bombers and believed that they were sent on an American surprise attack.