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Coast to Coast AM - Jul 31 2004 - The NSA and war in Iraq

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The NSA and pretext for war in Iraq

Host: Art Bell

Aired Date: July 31, 2004

Special Guest:
James Bamford

Investigative journalist and author, James Bamford, shared his research into the National Security Agency (NSA) and our reasons for going to war with Iraq.

To outsiders, its initials once stood for No Such Agency. To its employees, they stood for Never Say Anything. Today the NSA, which is responsible for eavesdropping on the rest of the world and breaking foreign crypto systems, is the nation's largest, most hidden, and most secretive intelligence agency.

Bamford said he had been threatened with prosecution by the NSA for not relinquishing a previously declassified document released to him under the Freedom of Information Act. The purported document is a summary of the Justice Department's criminal investigation of illegal spying/eavesdropping performed by the NSA during the 1960s and early 1970s. According to Bamford, the Justice Department did not prosecute the NSA because it would have revealed too many national security secrets.

Regarding the War in Iraq, Bamford alleges the "Bush administration came into office with a predetermined attitude to attack Iraq." He said President George W. Bush had personal reasons (threats against his family) for wanting to take down Saddam Hussien, but instead used the 911 terrorist attacks and weapons of mass destruction as a "pretext for war."

Bamford said "our foreign policy is driving the terrorists" to act out against us (in Iraq and around the world), and then suggested that terrorism poses no real danger to America. According to his statistics, the average number of Americans killed each year by terrorists prior to 911 was only nine; globally, around 600 casualties are credited to terrorist activity.