Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Was Oxford's Gudrun Loftus Killed Because She Threatened To Become Another Gareth Williams?

by Trowbridge H. Ford

In the so-called war against terror, the role of eavesdropping upon its participants has become increasingly important despite the opposition of humint agents on the ground, whether it be catching terrorists before they do something, or apprehending them after they have. While the hardware involved in doing so, whether it be tapping land or fiber optic cables or wireless communications, has been extensively discussed, too little has been said about the technicians who collect the messages, whether it be encrypted or not, and the analysts who determine what it all means. Of course, the biggest reasons that their role is not mentioned is because it would tip off potential terrorists about the risks involved, and would put the lives of those agents involved in greater danger.

Still, the increasing role of cryptologists and linguists in the process must be evident to all. If the open messages by the 9/11 suicide bombers had been focused on, and their import had been determined, there is little doubt that the bombings would have been prevented. As James Bamford has stated in The Shadow Factory: The Ultra-Secret NSA from 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America regarding Osama bin-Ladin's calls to action: "But inexplicably, the fact that the calls from Mihdhar had a U. S. country code and a San Diego area code - something that should have been instantly obvious to the NSA's signals intellligence exerts - was never passed on to the FBI, CIA or anyone else." (1) To comfound counterterrorist experts about what they were up to, "...the group had worked out a series of code words, and using those terms..." (2) - 'architecture' meant the WTC, 'arts' the Pentagon, 'law' the Capitol, and 'politics' the White House - kept themselves informed about what was being planned, and what was required.

Of couse, when the bombings proved so successful, the National Security Agency (NSA), Britain's Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), and others amounted a great effort to capture such messages, and determine what they meant so that there would be no recurrence of the tragedy. Unfortunately, they were repeated in Madrid in March 2004 (3), and in London in July 2005 (4) where messages were not received, were ignored, or were misunderstood. The basic problem, though James Bamford has nothing to say about its cause, was that GCHQ, MI6, and MI5 were convinced that Al-Qaeda was going to pull off a terrorist attack around London, thanks to the electronic chatter that it was picking up in Britain and Spain from jihadist mullahs, and when this proved terribly wrong, they dismissed as a danger the Leeds group, led by Mohammad Sidique Khan - which they had already tried unsuccessfully to set up as terrorists during Operation Crevice - only for it to be totally ignored in surveillance operations, allowing it to pull off the 7/7 bombings with no interference.

"In an effort to attract new Web-savvy recruits," Bamford explained after the tragedies had occurred, "GCHQ has turned to ad campaigns within online computer games such as Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Double Agent and Rainbow Six Vegas. And to find talented cipher-brains, the agency joined the British Computer Society to sponsor a code-breaking competition called the National Cipher Challenge." (5) The challenge was carried out on the Internet, lasted three months, and obliged competitors to decipher coded messages exchanged between Lord Nelson and British naval intelligence as they tried to keep on top of a Napoleonic plot to buy a mysterious Chinese weapon - what could only be fully understood by decrypting writings that Elizabethan spy Christopher Marlowe had written two centuries before. It was a good test for future cryptographers to meet the demands of qualitative literacy in this field for today's covert world.

The problems, though, are more complicated than the test and what Bamford indicated. Today, the messages are in all kinds of languages, and what they mean is more difficult than understanding anything Christopher Marlowe may have written. Cryptographers have not only to break down messages in all kinds of esoteric codes but also linguists must be able to make sense of them, especially since the controlling language is often not English, and the real meaning of ones in another language will require a colloquial understanding of their use. Little wonder that Bamford immediately added GCHQ's, like NSA's, need for linguists in all kinds of languages without explaining why, particularly the need for linguists in all kinds of European languages like Polish, Albanian, Bulgarian, Chechen, Georgian, Basque, Greek, etc.(6) It is interesting to note, though, that Bamford made no mention of the most likely European languages - German, French, Spanish, Russian, and Italian - an oversight which does not seem accidental.

Of course, the Treasury allocated all kinds of money to GCHQ to recruit such experts, but the money failed to meet the demand, as they, especially the linguists, were reluctant to join the spy agency in sufficient numbers. "At $1.6 billion," Bamford explained. "GCHQ was the most expensive part of the budget, yet it was still overstretched." (7) The lack of proper staff was dramatically indicated in not only Operation Crevis but also in Operation Overt, a massive surveillance and intelligence collecting investigation where securocrats hoped to prove that two cells of wantabe militants were seriously involved in plots to blow up transatlantic airliners, thanks to MI5 prodding, when they seemed to be more interested in making films, showing the plight of Muslams in Islamic countries. The problem was really caused by the eavesdroppers not being able to understand what the suspects were really up to, given their most crude messages.

To remedy the problem, Sir David Pepper, GCHQ's Director, started recruiting mathematicians and linquists through the backdoor from his base at St. John's College, Oxford, where he had received his Ph.D. from in theoretical physics thirty years before. During Pepper's thirty years at ' the Q', he was able to establish a most solid base at the college for training the proper analysts. He and Scholar became the closest of friends through their interests in music, walking and gardening. The Modern Language Department and its Associate Schools deeply trained graduates in just the languages Bamford made no mention of - German, Russian, Italian, French and Spanish.(8) The teaching and translations of its German experts - Taylor Professor Ritchie Robertson, now of the Univeristy of Oxford, and Lecturer in German Gudrun Loftus up until her mysterious death - have made its graduates the cream of the crop as many surveys have shown, so little wonder that some in German, and others in other European languages, have gone on to do secret work at Cheltenham, esepcially since continued professional work at unviersity or in the private sector would give them excellent cover for what they are doing. It's always easier to have a most acceptable peg to hang one's covert work when asked by the public.

Pepper has been the biggest opponent of disclosing anything about GCHQ, even himself, epecially in court cases, claiming that it will only benefit terrorists who the agency is having trouble keeping up with. "...as the GCHQ packed more and more eavesdroppers and analysts into the doughnut," Bamford explained, "the quality of the intelligence went down." (9) Of course, allowing the introduction of intercepts into court cases would not only divert needed resources from more assignments in preparing them but more important disclose intelligence collection techniques. While Sir David, the perfect technospy according to Bamford, went on about keeping up with coded messages on the Internet, he made no mention of the role of GCHQ linguists. Given the failure of Bamford to mention their role in deciphering German, Russian, Spanish, Italian and French messages, it seems that Cheltenham's linguists are the hub of such activity in Europe - what London is desperate to keep secret since it would show that the Scope system - a secure one to connect GCHQ with other intelligence agenices and their overseas offices - is superfluous. The Intelligence and Security Committee has increased GCHQ's ability to assess, process, and store Internet data and telephone calls by twnetyfold.

Scholar obtained all the proper academic credentials at Oxbridge's other St. John's College in Cambridge, and the administrative ones by serving at the Treasury, and becoming ultimately the Premanent Secretary of the Welsh Office, and then the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). His being a political insider was best illustrated when he became Prime Minister Thatcher's Private Secretary (1981-3), just when she was cutting the unions, especially at GCHQ, down to size, and when reconnecting London to the Reagan administration in Washington became so important. NSA knew all about Thatcher's problems because it "...always has a sizable number of its own personnel working at GCHQ..." (10) Scholar had his hands full while dealing with GCHQ Director Brian Tovey in getting rid of the unions there, and while getting essential intelligence from NSA during the risky war with Argentina over the Falklands Islands. Scholar is quite beholden to the Americans.

While at the Welsh Office, Scholar became so helpful in integrating its universities into meeting GCHQ's needs that he was unprecedentedly honored by them. The University of Wales, Aberystwyth, and the University of Cardiff made him an Honorary Fellow. He was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Glamorgan in 1999. While at DTI, Scholar became responsible for handling the affairs of the Carroll Foundation Charitable Trust - what became the largest one in the world during the 1990's, controlling 85 large corporations. (11) In addition, in August 2007, Scholar became the shadow director of the UK Statistical Agency. It seems that he used this post to help recruit qualitatively relevant experts covertlly for GCHQ by acting as a front for it for those who were nervously interested in joining it - what was apparently in violation of its steering clear of engaging in politics, and what he seemed most certainly inclined to dispell by speaking out against anyone who used Britain's statistics improperly, even Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Home Secretaries Jaci Smith and Alan Johnson, once the agency was officially established.

At the center of this whole network was St John's College Senior Language Lecturer in German Gudrun Loftus. She was a refugee from East Germany who made her way West, and up the academic scale in an unprecedented way despite her only having an undergraduate degreee from Tubingen University because of her ability to plumb the depths of the language, and teach it most effectively to those just starting out but not in a misleadingly simplistic way or taking out of context the subtleties of modern German. At the same time, she was so proficient in English that she soon became an actress for Buckingham's threatrical group, The Old Gaolers.

She co-authored three books, one with her husband Gerry, about learning German basic grammar, practicing its use, and providing a learning resource for more advanced students about the colloquial use of the language - what she and Ms.I. Scheiblauer expanded upon by running the Oxford Language Centre. The Centre provides classes in the five key European languages, plus Japanese, Chinese, and Arabic, and its library has sources for 135 other languages for students to study independently. And being only 37 miles away from Cheltenham, it is ideally placed for any students who may want to go there, or any spooks who have any questions about the subtleties of any language they are dealing with.

The basic counterterrorist aim that NSA/GCHQ has is to make sure that another 9/11 or worse terror act doesn't occur. While the activities of its leader Khalid al-Mihdhar is most often discussed, what went on at its operational center, Hamburg, was most important in knowing if a recurrence was not to happen - where the terrorists live, where they went, what kind of mosque they attended, what kinds of communications did they carry on with one another, what kinds of covert words did they use, and what did they mean, etc. Here the center of attention should have been on Mohamed Atta, the organizer of the 9/11 attacks. If the three German intelligence agencies had had an inkling of what Atta and his associates were planning, they might well have stopped it, but because of their lack of technical and analytical expertise, they didn't have a clue. They didn't know just how mad Atta and his friends had become after Israel's April 1996 Grapes of Wrath massacres in South Lebanon - what resulted in his signing his last will and testament against Israel and its allies in Hamburg's al-Quds mosque (12) - the code words they developed for their targets in Washington (13), and that the plot was completed on July 16, 2001.(14)

The expertise that Loftus's network provided European securocrats is well documented, though, understandably, without any acknowledgement. Germany, while having twice as many Muslims as either Britain or Spain, has not experienced a counterterrorist cockup like either Madrid's 3/11 or London's 7/7. Its best example of stopping a 9/11 attack was its dogged pursuit of Eric Breininger, a German national who hoped to become a home-grown Mohamed Atta. In September 2007, the Federal Crime Office and the Foreign Intelligence Service caught three members of his notorious Sauerland group - two native-born Germans who had converted to Islam, and a Turkish resident planning attacks on German cities and American bases worse than anything Europe had ever experienced (15), thanks to technical equipment they had used to break into their communications, and analysis of its take by Loftus-trained analysts that GCHQ had supplied them. By the time Breininger was finally killed last April, Willaims was playing a role in the ongoing process not only in Washington but also in Afghanistan. (16)

When Williams was found dead on August 23rd, apparently muirdered, Loftus apparently began to have second thoughts about what she had been involved in, and when I wrote my article about the background to his murder, somone, apparently she, wrote an most approving endorsement of it which a poster, using the site nane of Shader Writing, passed along: "This is obviously a great post. Thanks for the valuable information and insights you have so provided here. Keep it up!" Of couse, I was most pleased, especially since it showed much more clearly where I was headed than I imagine the vast majority of viewers possessed. The person had apparently been most taken by my mentioning the murder of former DCI William Colby, and the priority that NSA put on recruiting foreign experts, especially in Britain, for cryptological and linguistic posts in Appendix C of Bamford's Body of Secrets. The quoted source had digested all I had said about the illegal, covert, and, if necessary, the murderous ways of the NSA/GCHQ organisation, and where I was headed when it came to what happened to Williams.

When I supplied the follow-up about Willaims' murder on October 4th, I was most distressed to learn that Loftus had been killed early the next morning when she visited the Senior Common Room around 6 AM, apparently to meet someone about a most unexpected development. It seems that she had decided to go public - what GCHQ could have easily learned by eavesdropping on her conversations - and the agency had sent a person to check out just how serious she was about her plans to blow the whistle on it too. When the person she met learned of her determination, she was pushed down the steep, spiral staircase from the landing outside the Senior Common Room, falling backwards all the way down to the bottom, fatally injuring herself in the process. There were, it seems, no witnesses to the killing, and the person who discovered her body, possibly even her killer, has not been identified. And my plea to Shader Writing afterwards to confirm that her comments about my article regarding the background to the Williams one had nothing to do with Loftus has gone unanswered.

It was right after Williams' body had been found, apparently a murder NSA arranged just before he left the States on August 10th, that President Obama joined law-enforcement officials on both sides of the Atlantic in getting the new Attorney General Dominic Grieve to stop stonewalling the prosecution of the Carroll Trust Case (17) - one which apparently is most threatening to Scholar while he was Permanent Secretary of the DTI. The idea that Grieve is protecting the head of the UK Statistical Agency is best illustrated when he went out of his way to agree with Scholar's criticism of Labour Ministers using statistics about knife crime in Britain incorrectly. One can only wonder that Loftus's killing is to deflect further pressure in the States against him by his seeing that a favor for all the eavesdroppers is achieved.

The former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher helped deflect any embarrassing moments or comments by deciding not to attend her 85th birthday party at No. 10 last Thursday evening. Her former Private Secretary and wife had been invited, and there would have been uncomfortable conversation about the killing of Mrs. Loftus at St. John's, and the unprecedented scandal at the Carroll Trust, so the 'Iron Lady' turned yet again - what she had done before when it came to getting of the Soviets and the Provisionals by force - not 'returning' to Downing Street, claiming conveniently yet again her sickly condition.

One can be sure that when she does return, Sir Michael and Mrs. Scholar won't be there.

Where the Loftus killing ends up is anyone's guess, like the Williams one.


1. p. 27.
2. p. 70.
3. For more, see my article: http://codshit.blogspot.com/2004/04/why-spain-suffered-its-911-attacks.html
4. For more, see my article: http://codshit.blogspot.com/2005/07/perfect-conspiracy-london-bombings.html
5. Op. cit., p. 219.
6. Ibid.
7. Ibid., p.230.
8. For more, see: http://www.sjc.ox.ac.uk//368-748/Modern-Languages-and-joint-schools.html
9. Op. cit., pp. 220-1.
10. James Bamford, Body of Secrets: How America's NSA and Britain's GCHQ Eavesdrop on the World, p. 398.
11. For more, see this link: http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=fb6_1277386170
12. Bamford, The..., p. 42.
13. Ibid., p. 71.
14. Ibid., p. 62.
15. See this link: http://www.rusi.org/analysis/commentary/ref:C48EOFBFBOEC6C/
16. http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/aug/29/mi6-officer-bondage-claims-untrue
17. http://current.com/news-and-politics/92628912_president-obama-national-security-issue-carroll-foundation-trust-case.htm

Monday, 4 October 2010

Why America's NSA and Britain's GCHQ Had Gareth Williams Assassinated (II)

by Trowbridge H. Ford

Part II - The Killing

The National Security Agency's new Director in 1999, Air Force General Michael Hayden, had a long career in its surveillance operations but his primary qualification for office was his adherence to the Catholic Charismatic Renewal movement - one which sought direct religious experience with Christ through pentacostal and evangelical experience. It was a millinarian type of religious group, reminiscent of the crusading orders of the Middle Ages, and best exemplified in the modern world by the Knights of Malta, the great recruiting agency of many of today's New World Order people. Its capacity to find essential professionals, and fit them into key government positions goes far beyond what Yale University's Skull and Bones Society can accomplish. While Hayden was attending Pittsburgh's Duquesne University, he studied American history - getting an M.A. on the impact of the Marshal Plan upon Europe, the first step in the West's renewal after the catastrophic collapse in WWII. "Like many of his religious and conservative classmates," James Bamford wrote, "Hayden rejected the antiwar movement and the social revolution and instead would embrace the military." (1)

CIA Director George Tenet became interested in Hayden's potential to ignite NSA in an fightback against the continuing stalemate over Palestine, and growing Muslim hostility toward America. "The CIA chief liked what he heard and Hayden flew back to Korea virtually assured that he had the job as director of the NSA." (2) It recalled Henry Kissinger's hiring of lowly Major Alexander Haig as his military aide as the Nixon administration was gearing up to pull off a surprising victory in the Vietnam War despite the apparent hopelessness of the struggle, and all the campaign rhetoric about negotiating peace with the North Vietnamese and the Vietcong. Despite appearances, both military men were well versed in the operation of America's covert government, whatever was required at a given moment. It looked like new Tonkin Gulf incidents were required if any new initiative was to be established.

While Tenet certainly mentored Hayden, it is worth remembering that Tenet was mentored by former DCI Richard Helms, so much so that he had Helms' official portrait at the Langley headquarters moved into his office so that every DCI would see him as a model. It is also worth remembering that Helms had such a bitter hatred of his rival William Colby that he ultimately volunteered in his unexpected memoirs, A Look Over My Shoulder - even an allusion to such treachery - that Colby hurt Western intelligence more than the notorious KGB spy, Kim Philby.(3) It seems most likely that Tenet, while Deputy Director when Colby was assassinated, was given the nod by Helms to arrange the killing - what resulted in DCI John Deutch to suddenly resign when he learned about it, clearing the way for Tenet to take over officially. After Deutch's departure, an inquiry was started to see if he should be prosecuted for having classified materials on his laptops, what seems like a belated effort to explain it away, but Attorney General Janet Reno refused to prosecute him, and President Bill Clinton pardoned him for the alleged offense on his last day in office.

Hardly had Hayden taken over at Fort Meade than he showed Tenet that he was the right person to run NSA. The bombing campaign of Serbia was in full swing but NATO's planes were not hitting anything of value in Slobodan Milosevic's military arsenal, thanks to a Turkish informer within its ranks informing Belgrade of intended targets through the Chinese Embassy. NSA learned of this through its capture of microwave commuications to the Chinese through its eavesdropping satellites and ground-based stations, most likely in Bad Aibling in Germany and Menwith Hill in Yorkshire - what seemed like a resumption of Shamrock under modern conditions.
Then CIA played dumb with its maps, acting as if the Embassy was a Yugoslav military facility. On May 7, 1999, NATO bombers hit the facility with five bombs, killing 3 Chinese residents, and knocking out its communication system.(4)

For good measure, NSA's Keyhole laser satellites were used the following August to trigger an earthquake in the qanat system of Izmit, Turkey to punish its Nationalist leadership for betraying NATO secrets to Yugoslav President Milosevic. The mission was a good example of what current SoD Robert Gates said about former Los Alamos intelligence chief Danny "(Stillman's) ability to adapt the latest advance in science to solve unmanageable problems and to analyze foreign technologies made him an invaluable asset to the Intelligence Community."(5) The earthquake was intended to so embarrass Turkey's government during the relief effort that it would be overthrown, either at the polls or by its military - what occurred during the 2002 elections when Bulent Ecevit's government was soundly trounced. It was a brilliant use of new technology to take advantage of ancient technology to fulfill Washington's goals.

Given such achievements, Washington wasn't too concerned about what Al-Qaeda was up to, helping explain why both Tenet and Hayden were kept at their posts after George W. Bush defeated Al Gore in the 2000 presidential poll. It was more concerned about the exposure of satellite abilities to gain vital informaion, and to deliver devastating reprisals than deliberately stopping any of its small scale operations. "In the few years between 1991 and 1994," Bamford wrote, "the number of spy satellites dropped by nearly half."(6) He failed to add that the remaining ones were far more versatile and powerful than the ones they replaced. As a result, the Al-Qaeda calls emanating from and received by its headquarters in Yemen were ignored, resulting in the 1998 devastating bombings of US embassies in East Africa, and the attack on the USS Cole the following year when it docked in Aden to refuel.(7) NSA was still almost paranoid about its operations being leaked somehow, and did not want to take any unnecesary risks by going to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court for a warrant.

Director Hayden based his decision upon three factors - fears that NSA would be seen "as America's secret and powerful 'boogeyman' ", that NSA officials would again be threatened with prosecutions for eavesdropping on Americans, and fears that its activities would be leaked to the press and America's foes. The best way to avoid the first two concerns, Bamford wrote tellingly, "...was to keep his agency's operations as far away from U.S. territory as possible. If a terrorist in the U.S. was communicating with his masters in a foreign country, Hayden reasoned, that was the FBI's responsibility, not his."(8) The ability of the Bureau to meet its responsibility was seriously impaired, though Hayden didn't mention it, by the continued spying for the Russians by its agent Robert Hanssen - what was finally disclosed in February 2001, and he pleaded guilty to 19 counts of espionage in July after colleagues, like in the Ronald Pelton case, recognized his voice in a conversation with his KGB
handler in Washington on a NSA tape recording.

The wheels for a payback now for Al-Qaeda's operations far away from America's shores had started turning soon after Hayden started working at Fort Meade. Rich Taylor, NSA's Deputy Director for Operations, wanted to fix the agency's aimless, eavesdropping operations by adopting project Thinthread."The first and most important issue for NSA/CSS (Central Security Service)," Bamford quoted, "is to reform our management and leadership system...we have good people in a flawed system."(9) Thinthread called for the encryption of all messages and phone calls entering and leaving the States - so as not to need a warrant from the Foreign Intelligence Security Court (FISC), except the headers of such messages would show their origin or destination. It would solve the problem of getting an FISA warrant without engaging in undue search and seizure while obtaining probable cause to continue eavesdropping without committing anything illegal. Tests of the proposal in 1998 had proven quite successful Also, NSA needed to strengthen its ties with strategic partners, especially the other members of the Five Eyes group, Australia, Britain, Canada and New Zealand.

Hayden wanted nothing to do with the proposal, preferring instead a program called Trailblazer. Instead of running the risks of trying to catch terrorists, concerns that the Bureau should be involved in, Hayden wanted to catch foreigners before they even got involved in the process. It essentially collected everything it could get its hands on, hoping that super computers could make sense of the mass of information collected - "...the origins and destinations of phone calls and e-mails." (10) While Taylor and Hayden continued to argue about which system to adopt, it peaked in the fall of 2000, with the Director going for Trailblazer, and Taylor heading for the exit. While Hayden then asked for bids from defense contractors for working on Trailblazer, there was no big time response by NSA's contractors - Boeing, IBM, SAIC, Computer Science Corporation, and Litton - persuading Hayden and Tenet that some big time event was necessary to shake up the country for more direct action.

The last operational hurdle to such action was the continued presence of the Bureau's counterterrorist expert in New York, John O'Neill. He was responsible for getting to the bottom of the first terrorist attack on the WTC in 1993, and was certain that Muslim terrorists would try it again. He was committed to stopping them, the last thing that Tenet and Hayden wanted, so he was sidelined from the planning of the covert operation for fear, it seems, that leaks from it would jeopardize what CIA and NSA had in mind.(11)

The plan that Tenet and Hayden had in mind was to catch the now well-identified 19 highjackers in the act of hijacking the four planes on September 11.To prevent the highjackers from getting wind of the plan, leader Khalid al-Mihdhar - whose calls from the States, especially the San Diego area, were never passed on by NSA to other security agencies (12) - and four of his associates, were allowed to board the first plane leaving from Boston without any accompanying CIA agents. The 15 agents were on the other three flights, under the direction of Barbara Olson, wife of Solicitor General Ted Olson, and they were to overpower the highjackers as the planes neared LA. The link between the Agency and NSA was the close association that Tenet had with Hayden.(13) To give more propitious effect to the ploy, NSA's associate agency, the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), conducted a training exercise of a plane crashing into one of its buildings 50 minutes after American Airline's Flight 77, carrying Olson and three of the agents, had already taken from Washington's Dulles Airport.

The covert operation, of course, ended up as a complete tragedy after the highjackers turned out to be suicide bombers. The best evidence that it had gone wrong was when the President stayed put in the Florida kindergarden while the operation was still going on, and Secretary of Defene Donald Rumsfeld had Air Force fighters shoot down the last highjacked plane in western Pennsylvania before it could crash into the Capitol or the White House. The most important act in damage-control was preventing the full disclosure of the planes' passenger lists - what left out the name of the 19 suicide bombers, and the unarmed 15 agents who had futilely tried to stop them - what permitted conspiracy theorists to go wild about who was really on the planes, who or what piloted them, why the buildings around the WTC really collapsed, etc. The most damaging evidence that Washington, especially NSA, could not suppress was all the telephone calls, especially those of Barbara Olson, that passengers on the plane made and received before they died.

At least her husband finally admitted to Bamford: "I, by this time, had made the calculation that these were suicide persons, bent on destroying as much of America as they could."(14)

Hayden acted as if the tragedy was another Pearl Harbor, and it was, though President Roosevelt was dealing with a desperate imperial Japan while NSA only had been confronted by 19 suicide bombers - what Japan lost hundreds of from Okinawa during the final days of WWII. NSA's incredibly cautious approach to eavesdropping on them had directly led to the attacks, and now Hayden would go for broke in making sure that it was not repeated.

While much has been written about what ensued, the only aspect to be considered in this article is what NSA, the Bureau and GCHQ could legally do in the process, though it should be noted that Tenet and Hayden combined when it cam time to make sure that Iran did not take advantage of the West's showdown with Saddam by either helping him in his difficulties, or, more likely, try to take part of Iraq's Shia-dominated area during the struggle - what was prevented by NSA seeing that the NRO caused the earthquake in the qanat areas surrounding Bam with the chemical laser aboard its Misty radar satellite, leaving Iran with more than enough troubles of its own.

For NSA and the FBI, anything went when it came to warrantless eavesdropping as Hayden, an American historian of sorts, thought that the post 9/11 emergency justified the overriding of all of the protections that the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution provided against undue searches of one's home, person and possessions as the tapping of phone lines and cellphones didn't amount to this, especially since NSA's lawyers agreed. And the Bureau was willing to go along with such sentiments after presiding FISA court judge Royce C. Lamberth approvided all the surveillance it wanted to get the culprits of the attacks, and Attorney General John Ashcroft's subordinate John C.Yoo agreed independently with Hayden's lawyers about what the emergency permitted.(15) While others disapproved of what they knew or suspected was happening, there was nothing they could do to really challenge it, much less stop it.

In Britain, there have never been any serious restrictions on what its intelligence community, particularly GCHQ, can do. Actually, given its policy of ever eavesdropping if it serves the national interest, the legal provisions of the Official Secrets Acts are all against employees and members of the public leaking secrets. And any employee who wants to or is required to work for American agencies can do so without risking any legal penalty, as Bamford explained: "Hayden suggested that such activity was not prohibited by federal law. Instead it was prohibited only by presidential executive order, and executuive orders can be canceled or changed at the whims of a president. 'By executive order,' Hayden said, 'it is illegal for us to ask others to do what we cannot do ourselves, and we don't do it'."(16)

The crisis over what became known as NSA's Terrorist Surveillance Program (TSP) occurred when it came time for its renewal, March 11, 2004. Underlings of Ashcroft and Yoo at the Justice Department, James Comey and Jack Goldsmith, decided that it was an abomination to the Constitution, and recommended that it not be renewal. This led to a political firefight between the White House and the headless Department of Justice because Ashcroft was then in the hospital, suffering from gallstone pancreatitis. "Without Comey's signature," Bamford wrote, "the NSA would have to immediately pull the plug on the operation or possibly face criminal charges." (17) With the public totally oblivious of what was going on, the White House and Ashcroft's subordinates fought it out in a manner reminiscent of 'Tricky Dick' Nixon's 'Saturday Night Massacre'. While Bush reauthorized the program without Justice Department approval, he seemed to agree to changes in it which would bring it back within the law. In the end, the changes only amounted to getting rid of the most egregious violations of FISA, and their continued justifcation.

Hayden's protection of his secret, illegal operations started to fray a few months when New York Times reporter James Risen, who helped break the spying for the Soviets by the Bureau's Robert Hanssen, called, asking Hayden about his warrantless eavesdropping on Americans.(18) Of course, Hayden panicked over the call, denying that anything untoward was going on at NSA, but he believed TSP's days were numbered. While Bamford seemed completely uninterested in who was Risen's source, it was Russell Tice, but the newspaper was unwilling to pursue it because it could not find anyone else to back up his claims, and word got out that Tice was a bit paranoid, leading to his being fired by NSA in May 2005. Perhaps,Tice was deliberately chosen to kill the story, once his lack of credibility was determined.

In any case, more than a year later Thomas A. Drake - a NSA software purchaser executive who supported what Taylor had tried to get Hayden to do, especially the adoption of ThinThread rather than the most expensive wild goose chase that Trailblazer promised - apparently started whistleblowing too on NSA. With ThinThread, Drake thought that NSA could have prevented the 9/11 attacks, and by 2002 he was telling anyone who would listen just that. Supported by NSA's math specialist William Binney and communication analyst J. Kirk Wiebe, Drake soon got Diane Roark, a Republican aide to the House Intelligence Committee, taking his complaints seriously. Drake testified before congressional committees about his complaints, and worked with the DoD's Inspector General for two and a half years to obtain official action regarding them but without any evidence of success in his December 2004 report. On his supporters' advice, he not only contacted reporter Siobhan Gorman of The Baltimore Sun but apparently also the NYT.(19)

The Times article ultimately appeared on December 16, 2005, and a little over a year later, Attorney General Gonzales announced that the warranltess eavesdropping program had ended, Once again, all eavesdropping would be subject to FISC warrants, as the President, this time, had refused to reauthorize TSP when it was needed for it to continue. NSA would not need to apply for a warrant, though, in foreign-to-foreign communications except when one end of it reached a U.S. phone, and then NSA had three days to apply to the court with an emergency application for the tap to be legal.

Shortly thereafter, Hayden left NSA, replaced as Director by General Keith Alexander while joining former NSA Director Mike McConnell, National Intelligence Director, as his deputy. Because of the blowback from the murder of Abeer Qasim Hamza al-Janabi, who was repeatedly raped, and her family in Iraq, National Intelligence made a meal of the kidnapping of two of the soldiers involved by gettting the Justice Department to sign a emergency FISA request, certifying that it had probable cause for the Bureau to put the suspected kidnappers names on the watch list, and targeting their activities. Then McConnell, thanks to input from Hayden, panicked Congress into passing the FISA Amendment Act which replaced the expiring Protect America Act - giving legal immunity to telecoms which engage in eavesdropping, weakened the authority of its court, and gave NSA a freer hand in targeting suspected terrorists abroad.(20) It and the Bureau would still have to get an FISA order to target Americans and green card residents living in the States.

Despite Senator Obama's campaign pledge that he would straighten out the whole warrantless eavesdropping mess if elected Preisdent, he has nothing of the sort. If anything, he has made it worse, claiming it is necessary in the war on terror while protecting 'state secrets' .(21) One can only speculate what secrets he had in mind. The murder of former KGB spy Alexander Litvinenko in London comes readily to mind back in November 2006. The CIA was going through another terrible period in its history with the forced resignation of Director Porter Goss in May 2006, and Hayden taking over at the end of the month, starting a period during which the National Security Archive released the Agency's Family Jewels, many of which concerned Helms' violation of its Charter - MH-CHAOS, Shamrock, MK-Ultra and the Hungarian Uprising. On the day Litvinenko was apparently poisoned, the George Washington University institution released the worst files, highlighted by a bit of the NYT front page where a Seymour Hersh article described Watergate's fallout at Helms' expence.(22) The Agency's staff needed something to stem the flow of damaging revelations, and Hayden's presence there deflected attention away from its cause.

NSA certainly had an interest in shutting up Litvinenko, who has threatening everyone he knew anything about, starting with Italy's Romano Prodi with blackmail - what could go all the way back to the non-nuclear showdown with the Soviets after triggering it by assassinating Sweden's Prime Minister Olof Palme. Not only would the leaderships of Washington and London risk being implicated in this claims but also the spying for Moscow which neither of them wanted aired again. Little wonder that he was killed in a most confusing way, particularly where he was poisoned, by what, by whom, and for what reason.(23) The poison was most notable for its delayed, devastating effect. Edward Epstein, famous for helping cover up previous CIA-NSA plots, conveniently claimed that Litvinenko must have poisoned himself with the polonium-210 for some unknown reason.

The plot was intended to implicate Russian President Vladimir Putin in the assassination, but he stood his ground without flinching, protecting the alleged assassin Andrei Lugovoy, and making the plotters even more eager to punish the now Russian Prime Minister. They, headed by CIA's director of operations Stephen Kappes, started a new assault on Moscow by building up a 'false flag' operation, dealing with illegal agents called New Rodina, based upon what the KGB had done with their original operation to genuinely do the same with real illegals back in the 1970s under Yuri Andropov. The covert operation was the leading one in President Obama's secret agenda, explaining why he did nothing about warrantless eavesdropping, and why he was so supportive of Leon Panetta to be DCI.

Panetta, as head of OMB and as Chief of Staff during the Clinton administration, knew about the convenient assassinations, particularly that of Colby, and now wanted to move on in a more coherent, structured way. Of course, liberal Democrats like California's Dianne Feinstein just cleared the way for his getting started by claiming she would only support his confirmation if he kept Kappes on, and when DNI Admiral Dennis Blair tried to interfere with what Panetta was doing with his resident agents in places like London, he was given the door after Leon blew his customary cool over the matter.

The sleeper cell contained 10 Russians, and their Canadian handler Robert Christopher Metsos. For several years, the ten tried to integrate as well as they could into American society, reminiscent of how illegal KGB agent Vilyam Fisher ran the most effective VOLUNTEER group in NYC during the late 1940s. "Under his later alias 'Rufolp Abel,' Fisher was to become one of the best-known of all Soviet illegals, whose career was publicized by the KGB as a prime example of the success and sophistication of its operations in the West during the Cold War."(24) While Andrew characteristically debunked Abel's achievements, the so called Manhattan 11 group never really got started, just sleeping away along America's east coast, and collecting their pay while awaiting instructions about doing something significant. It seems that all but Metsos thought that they were there to infiltrate really sleeper groups for Moscow.

When it came time to entrap them, just before President Dmitri Medvedev came to Washington for a fence-mending meeting with President Obama, the Bureau set up Anna Chapman, the only one connected to Britain, by having her send messages to another of the sleepers, at the suggestion of an FBI agent feigning to be a Russian Embassy official, about getting a false passport. The messages were sent on sophisticated laptops which had software to encrypt and decrypt them - what the Bureau collected to prove that they were working for Moscow. While Chapman ultimately refused to go ahead with the exchange, thanks to advice from her father, a former KGB agent, Chapman and the others were arrested as foreign agents, and the media went wild over the story.(25)

The Bureau soon learned that it would be in trouble if it went ahead with these most serious prosecutions, charging them instead with only failing to register with the Attorney General as agents of a foreign power, and for money laundering with the secret payments they received. Then Prime Minister Putin surprisingly agreed to exchange them for four real spies being held by the Russians.

The Bureau's concerns were that spy prosecutions would be seen as the result of an institutionalized fishing expedition for months - what violated the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution about unreasonable searches, and that the "wall" between intelligence and criminal squads had been broken through during the process."The FBI then decided to allow only agents and analysts assigned to intelligence duties access to FISA materials, not the criminal investigators." (26) For good measure, anyone who reviewed transcripts of domestic electronic surveillance must sign a certification that court approval was required before they were handed over to criminal prosecutors. None of this was done, and the Bureau's leaderhip would be in serious trouble if it were exposed by someone with inside credibility.

And that person was Gareth Williams, GCHQ's whiz kid software man who could encrypt messages to remain secret during any transmission or decode any such message, and who was on secondment to MI6 to help out its spies to get what they wanted. While it seems a bit of a stretch that he was actually involved in helping entrap the Manhattan 11, it seems quite clear that he knew that he was in no trouble whatever the Bureau done.(27) When that became important was when a couple visited his safe flat in Mayfair right after the case broke, and apparently started filling him in about what had been conducted from it before he ever arrived, especially the recruitment of Anna Chapman. The couple, quite likely her former husband Alex Chapman, and her former roommate Lena Savitskaya, knew only about the MI6 flat, not who occupied it, explaining why they knocked on other doors first to find out where it was in the building, once they had gained entrance. The meeting resulted in their adopting a plan, it seems, to embarrass NSA/GCHQ as much as possible, with Gareth apparently supplying the funds up front to get it started.

Williams went back to the States in July, and started asking questions about what NSA had really been doing when it came of warrantless eavesdropping, especially after it became clear of Thomas Drake's plight for whistleblowing about the problems at NSA.(28) He faced 35 years in prison for continuing to air his complaints through reporter Gorman who had now moved on to The Wall Street Journal - what he had even tried to get Seymour Hersh to go along with, but without success. Drake's problems just made Williams want to get to the bottom of the covert operations more, so much so that he apparently disclosed his aims to a GCHQ colleague and her husband who were at Fort Meade in his stead, forcing MI6 to transfer them to Denver on another alleged covert mission so that they could not be involved in any further developments.

The assassination of Williams and its cover up were the main problems. He was apparently poisoned by death cap mushrooms, amanita phalloides, just before he left to go back to Britain on 10th August, either by their being placed in the food at his apartment there or while he was eating out somewhere. Shortly after he returned, he suffered the vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps, etc. which are characteristic of this kind of poisoning, but he seems not to have taken it seriously. Almost everyone has had such experiences, and almost never have suspected that they were the results of deliberate, deadly poisoning, especially when they soon stopped - what also happened in this case. The only problem was that this was the second stage of the poisoning, and not just getting over some cook's alleged revenge. It apparently ended on the 14th after Williams bought some medication at Harrods Dispensing Pharmacy to deal with the resumption of the problems(29), but by now it was too little too late. Taking pills like rifampicin, antamanide, paclitaxed and the like orally are no substitute for them taken intervenously, especially if one has not at first cleaned out one's gut some way.

The plight of Williams is seen in the video taps of him, both apparently taken on the 14th though the police say that one, the one outside Harrods, was on the 15th. Both show a very jaundiced, feverish soul, dragging himself around as best he can. His palour at the Holland Parik Station is that of a person going into the final stage of phallotoxin poisoning where the cells of the liver are dropping dead.(30) The police want, it seems, to explain away Williams having bought £90-worth of medication on the 14th, and make it look like it was for women's toiletries - the cause of his alleged cross dressing - because they found a bill from the pharmacy at the flat but no signs of the medications. They want to maintain the myth that he was a perfectly healthy person until he surprisingly died for some unknown reason.

When Williams realized he was dying, perhaps on the night of the 14th, there was nothing he could do about it which would make it any better physically or mentally. Calls to family and friends would have only alarmed them, and alerted them that he was being murdered for some alleged betrayal. Going to a hospital or a doctor would end with results even worse. So he just allowed himself to die, slowly in his flat. The death could have occurred any time after the 15th, as the process usually takes between six and sixteen days after ingesting the poison. Williams hoped that the murder scene would be seen as such by the police when they finally discovered it.

It seems that Williams dead or dying was discovered by British covert agents, helping out NSA in the process. They were the ones who let themselves into the flat, found Williams' body, moved it into the carryall, zipped it up and padlocked it, recovered all his medicines, and then let themselves out, locking the door behind them. They hoped that investigators would see it as the result of some sex game, gone wrong. The only thing they overlooked was leaving the receipt for Williams' medical assistance.

It was most interesting that NSA immedidately and unprecedentally denied that his death had anything to do with its operations.(31) An alleged former CIA officer in London was sure that it had nothing to do with his work. Now the investigation of the murder is in a state of suspended animation, letting the Bureau agents see if they can connect the Mediterranean-looking couple to the killing - apparently a lead to Alex Chapman and his femal associate - and if they can't, Williams will be written off as an accidental self-killing, like that of former GMP Chief Constable Mike Todd.


1. James Bamford, The Shadow Factory: The Ultra-Secret from 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America, p. 29. For more on the Catholic movement, see this link:
2. Ibid., p. 30.
3. For more belated discussion about the deadly controversy in Helm's memoirs, see Thomas Troy's review of it in Studies in Intelligence, and the cover-up response to it:
4. For more, see: http://mirror.robert-marquardt.com/cryptome/001/usa-disasters.htm
5. Quoted the back of the dustcover of Thomas C. Reed and Danny B. Stillman, The Nuclear Express.
6. James Bamford, Body of Secrets: How America's NSA and Britain's GCHQ Eavesdrop on the World, p. 549.
7. Bamford, op. cit., p. 8.
8. Ibid., pp. 31-2.
9. Quoted in ibid.,p. 41.
10 Bamford, The..., p. 329.
11. For more, see Trowbridge H. Ford, "O'Neill: A Voice in the Wilderness?," Eye Spy!, Issue Thirteen, pp. 22-23.
12. Bamford, The..., p. 27.
13. For more, see Trowbridge H, Ford, "The Prelude: US Intelligence - 11 September 2001," Eye Spy!, Issue Eight, pp. 26-33.
14. Quoted from Bamford, The..., pp. 90-1.
15. Ibid., pp. 115-6.
16. Ibid., p. 38.
17. Ibid., p. 281.
18. Ibid., p. 287.
19. For more, see James O'Rourke's article: http://politicsorpoppycock.com/2010/07/14/act-of-honor-or-betrayal/
20. Bamford, The..., p. 307.
21. For more, see this link: http://www.eff.org/press/archives/2009/04/05
22. http://www.gwu.edu/~asarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB222(index.htm And remember that Hayden was DCI when Studies in Intelligence printed the exchange which attempted to rehabilitate Helms
23. For more, see these links:
24. Christopher Andrew and Vasili Mitrokhin, The Sword and the Shield, p.148
25. See, e. g., this link: http://www.cbsnews/com/stories/2010/06/28/world/main6627393.shtml
26. Bamford, The..., p. 67.
27. Ibid., p. 38.
28. See O'Rourke, op. cit.
29. For its existence - what some investigators deny - see this link: http://www.londontoolkit.com/whattodo/harrods.htm
30. http://www.thisislondom.co.uk/standard-23874697-last-images-of-spy-in-bag-gareth-williams.do
31. http://blog.wshingtonpost.com/spy-talk/2010/09/gareth_williams_death_not_spy-.html