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"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

"Body of Secrets is one fascinating book. . . . Chock-full of juicy stuff. . . .
Interesting to read, well-written and scrupulously documented."

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

"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. . . . This revised edition will fascinate anyone interested in
the shadow war."
”The Economist



James Bamford is the author of The Puzzle Palace, an award-winning
national bestseller when it was first published and now regarded as a
classic. He has taught at the University of California's Goldman School of
Public Policy, spent nearly a decade as the Washington Investigative
Producer for ABC's World News Tonight with Peter Jennings, and has
written extensively on national security issues, including investigative
cover stories for The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post
Magazine, and the Los Angeles Times Magazine. He lives in Washington,

Also by James Bamford

The Puzzle Palace

Copyright © 2001, 2002 by James Bamford
All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions.
Published in the United States by Anchor Books, a division of Random House, Inc.,
New York, and simultaneously in Canada by Random House of Canada Limited, Toronto.
Originally published in hardcover in slightly different form in the United States by
Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc., New York, in 2001.
Anchor Rooks and colophon are registered trademarks of Random House, Inc.
The Library of Congress has cataloged the Doubleday edition as follows:
Bamford, James.
Body of secrets: anatomy of the ultra-secret National Security Agency: from the Cold War through
the dawn of a new century / James Bamford.”1st ed.
p. cm.
ISBN 0-385-49907-8
Includes bibliographical references and index.
1. United States. National Security Agency”History. 2. Electronic intelligence”United
States”History. 3. Cryptography”United States”History. I. Title.
UB256.U6 B36 2001
Anchor ISBN: 0-385-49908-6
Book design by Maria Carella www.anchorbooks.com
Printed in the United States of America
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

To Mary Ann
And to my father, Vincent
And in memory of my mother, Katherine


My most sincere thanks to the many people who helped bring Body of
Secrets to life. Lieutenant General Michael V. Hayden, NSA's director,
had the courage to open the agency's door a crack. Major General John
E. Morrison (Retired), the dean of the U.S. intelligence community, was
always gracious and accommodating in pointing me in the right
directions. Deborah Price suffered through my endless Freedom of
Information Act requests with professionalism and good humor. Judith
Emmel and Colleen Garrett helped guide me through the labyrinths of
Crypto City. Jack Ingram, Dr. David Hatch, Jennifer Wilcox, and Rowena
Clough of NSA's National Cryptologic Museum provided endless help in
researching the agency's past.
Critical was the help of those who fought on the front lines of the
cryptologic wars, including George A. Cassidy, Richard G. Schmucker,
Marvin Nowicki, John Arnold, Harry O. Rakfeldt, David Parks, John
Mastro, Wayne Madsen, Aubrey Brown, John R. DeChene, Bryce Lock-
wood, Richard McCarthy, Don McClarren, Stuart Russell, Richard E.

Kerr, Jr., James Miller, and many others. My grateful appreciation to all
those named and unnamed.
Thanks also to David J. Haight and Dwight E. Strandberg of the
Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library and to Thomas E. Samoluk of
the U.S. Assassinations Records Review Board.
Finally I would like to thank those who helped give birth to Body of
Secrets, including Kris Dahl, my agent at International Creative
Management; Shawn Coyne, my editor at Doubleday; and Bill Thomas,
Bette Alexander, Jolanta Benal, Lauren Field, Chris Min, Timothy Hsu,
and Sean Desmond.


Acknowledgments ix

1 Memory 1
2 Sweat 7
3 Nerves 32
4 Fists 64
5 Eyes 92
6 Ears 139
7 Blood 185
8 Spine 240
9 Adrenaline 283
10 Fat 354
11 Muscle 406
12 Heart 481
13 Soul 528
14 Brain 578

Afterword 614
Appendixes 652
Notes 660
Index 746

"In God we trust, all others we monitor."
”Intercept operator's motto
NSA study, Deadly Transmissions, December 1970

"The public has a duty to watch its Government closely and keep it on
the right track."
Lieutenant General Kenneth A.. Minihan, USAF

Director, National Security Agency
NSA Newsletter, June 1997

"The American people have to trust us and in order to trust us they have
to know about us."
Lieutenant General Michael V. Hayden, USAF
Director, National Security Agency
Address on October 19, 2000

"Behind closed doors, there is no guarantee that the most basic of
individual freedoms will be preserved. And as we enter the 21st Century,
the great fear we have for our democracy is the enveloping culture of
government secrecy and the corresponding distrust of government that
Senators Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Rob Wyden
U.S. Senate Report, Secrecy in International and
Domestic Policy Making: The Case for More Sunshine,
October 2000



His step had an unusual urgency to it. Not fast, but anxious, like a child
heading out to recess who had been warned not to run. It was late
morning and the warm, still air had turned heavy with moisture, causing
others on the long hallway to walk with a slow shuffle, a sort of somber
march. In June 1930, the boxy, sprawling Munitions Building, near the
Washington Monument, was a study in monotony. Endless corridors
connecting to endless corridors. Walls a shade of green common to bad
cheese and fruit. Forests of oak desks separated down the middle by
rows of tall columns, like concrete redwoods, each with a number
designating a particular workspace.
Oddly, he made a sudden left turn into a nearly deserted wing. It was
lined with closed doors containing dim, opaque windows and empty
name holders. Where was he going, they wondered, attempting to keep
up with him as beads of perspiration wetted their brows. At thirty-eight
years old, the Russian-born William Frederick Friedman had spent most

of his adult life studying, practicing, defining the black art of code
breaking. The year before, he had been appointed the chief and sole
employee of a secret new Army organization responsible for analyzing
and cracking foreign codes and ciphers. Now, at last, his one-man Signal
Intelligence Service actually had employees, three of them, who were
attempting to keep pace close behind.
Halfway down the hall Friedman turned right into Room 3416, ; small
office containing a massive black vault, the kind found in large banks.
Reaching into his inside coat pocket, he removed a small card. Then,
standing in front of the thick round combination dial to block the view,
he began twisting the dial back and forth. Seconds later he yanked up
the silver bolt and slowly pulled open the heavy door, only to reveal
another wall of steel behind it. This time he removed a key from his
trouser pocket and turned it in the lock, swinging aside the second door
to reveal an interior as dark as a midnight lunar eclipse.
Disappearing into the void, he drew out a small box of matches and lit
one. The gentle flame seemed to soften the hard lines of his face: the
bony cheeks; the pursed, pencil-thin lips; the narrow mustache, as
straight as a ruler; and the wisps of receding hair combed back tight
against his scalp. Standing outside the vault were his three young hires.
Now it was time to tell them the secret. Friedman yanked on the dangling
cord attached to an overhead lightbulb, switched on a nearby fan to
circulate the hot, stale air, and invited them in. "Welcome, gentlemen,"
he said solemnly, "to the secret archives of the American Black
Until a few weeks before, none of the new recruits had had even the
slightest idea what codebreaking was. Frank B. Rowlett stood next to a
filing cabinet in full plumage: blue serge jacket, white pinstriped
trousers, and a virgin pair of white suede shoes. Beefy and round-faced,
with rimless glasses, he felt proud that he had luckily decided to wear
his new wardrobe on this day. A high school teacher from rural southern
Virginia, he received a degree in math the year earlier from Emory and
Henry College, a small Virginia school.
The two men standing near Rowlett were a vision of contrasts. Short,
bespectacled Abraham Sinkov; Brooklynite Solomon Kullback, tall and
husky. Both were high school teachers from New York, both were
graduates of City College in New York, and both had received master's
degrees from Columbia.
Like a sorcerer instructing his disciples on the mystic path to eternal
life, Friedman began his introduction into the shadowy history of
American cryptology. In hushed tones he told his young employees about
the Black Chamber, America's first civilian codebreaking organization.
How for a decade it operated in utmost secrecy from a brown-stone in

New York City. How it skillfully decoded more than 10,000 messages
from nearly two dozen nations, including those in difficult Japanese
diplomatic code. How it played the key role in deciphering messages to
and from the delegates to the post-World War I disarmament talks, thus
giving the American delegation the inside track. He told of Herbert
Osborne Yardley, the Black Chamber's hard-drinking, poker-playing
chief, who had directed the Army's cryptanalytic activities during the
Then he related the story of the Chamber's demise eight months
earlier. How the newly appointed secretary of state, Henry Stimson, had
become outraged and ordered its immediate closing when he discovered
that America was eavesdropping on friends as well as foes. Friedman told
of the firing of Yardley and the rest of the Chamber's employees and of
how the government had naively taken itself out of the code-breaking
It was a troubling prospect. If a new war were to break out, the United
States would once again have to start from scratch. The advances
achieved against Japan's codes would be lost forever. Foreign nations
would gain great advantage while the United States clung to diplomatic
niceties. Standing in the vault containing the salvaged records of the old
Black Chamber, Friedman told his three assistants, fresh out of college,
that they were now the new Black Chamber. The Army, he said, had

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