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something. "I told him he couldn't," said Inman. "That this had to be an
augment. That its potential, if it could ever be successful, had enormous
value, primarily for defense." Inman got his money. "Turner later gave me
hell for not having developed it through him," said Inman, arrogantly
adding, "At the time I was polite and let it just roll off."
Congress was a cakewalk. Inman briefed the chairmen of the House
and Senate Intelligence Committees and Congressman George Mahon
(D”Texas) of the House Appropriations Committee. "He did not
understand a word I said," said Inman, mockingly. "Then it was just
simply, 'Son, if that's [what] you-all think is what ought to be done, that
is just fine. We'll take care of it.' "
At the CIA, Turner was rapidly becoming worried about NSA's
obsession with secrecy and power. According to Turner, matters had
reached the point where the NSA no longer even trusted the CIA and
other members of the intelligence community with some of its most
important information. "My concern was over the stuff that didn't get out
of NSA at all," he said after leaving the CIA. "They were sitting on it,
waiting for a scoop, or saying, 'This is too sensitive to let out.' "
According to Turner, Inman was not satisfied with simply overtaking
the CIA in espionage, he also wanted to surpass it in analysis. "The NSA
is mandated to collect intelligence, not analyze it," Turner said. "It must
do enough analysis about what it has collected to decide what to collect
next. In intelligence jargon, this level of analysis is called processing.
Processing is regularly stretched by NSA into full-scale analysis."
Some of the intelligence NSA released to other American spy agencies,
according to Turner, was so sanitized”stripped of sensitive
information”that it was almost useless. This amounted, he said, "to
deliberate withholding of raw information from the true analytic agencies.



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NSA wants to get credit for the scoop." While NSA defended the practice
by arguing that it was simply protecting its supersecret "sources and
methods," Turner had a different view. He said there was no doubt in his
mind that NSA regularly and deliberately drew the curtain in order "to
make itself look good rather than to protect secrets."
In the NSA-CIA spy war, Inman began having similar complaints
about Turner's obsession with secrecy. During the planning for the
elaborate 1980 attempt to rescue the American embassy employees held
hostage by radical Iranian forces in Tehran, NSA was cut out of the loop.
"We weren't getting into the quest for support or anything else," said
Inman. "It turned out that Turner was providing all the intelligence
support for the hostage rescue planning." In fact, Inman only learned
about the planning accidentally, through NSA's own Sigint. One day
someone brought some suspicious intercepted messages up to him. "I
agreed instantly that it had all the connotations of being a U.S. operation
going on, some kind of planning," he recalled. "It was pretty early."
When the rescue attempt took place, NSA played a major role, and
then it was Turner complaining that the CIA was being cut out. "When
the time came," said Inman, "we were able to provide, in a minute-by -
minute way, what was happening to [the Joint Chiefs at the Pentagon
and] directly to [Secretary of Defense] Harold Brown, who was sitting over
in the White House. And to Turner's later allegation that he was
deliberately cut out of it to diminish his role or whatever is simply”he
had no interest!"
According to Inman, NSA unwittingly played a role in the mission's
eventual failure. Angered that his agency had been cut out of the
planning, Inman warned Air Force General David C. Jones, the chairman
of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, that NSA had discovered it because of poor
communications security procedures. Shocked, Jones ordered drastic
radio silence procedures; he even ordered that the choppers not be flown
until the last minute, so that no stray signal might be intercepted.
"Jones was so stunned by the potential of blowing the security at the
beginning," said Inman, "that he then imposed awesome communications
security constraints and it probably directly impacted on the readiness of
the forces. The fact that the helicopters were put on carriers, sent for five
weeks, never flown until they left the carrier”all of this out of concern
that [they] would be detected in the process ... He was directly driven to
it by the impression made on him [by NSA] that the cat was almost out of
the bag because he had not brought NSA into the process." The radio
silence, the lack of pre-mission helicopter training, and the choppers'
condition after they sat unused on the carrier deck for so long all
contributed to the disaster.
Years later, President Clinton nominated Inman to replace Les Aspin



323
as secretary of defense. During his speech in the White House Rose
Garden accepting the nomination, Inman stunned many people by
making an arrogant reference to a need to find a "comfort level" with the
man who had just nominated him.
But during the routine background investigation the old rumors
about Inman being gay came up. Inman had denied the rumors to Joel
Klein, the White House lawyer assigned to supervise the background
check”the same type of check performed when he went to NSA. But
Clinton aide George Stephanopoulos was worried. "If the rumors of
Inman's being gay could be proved true, there was no way he'd be
confirmed as secretary of defense," he said. "He'd get hit from both sides:
by conservatives who believed that homosexuality was a disqualifying
condition and by gay-rights advocates who would argue, justifiably, that
it was hypocritical to have a homosexual defense secretary when gays
and lesbians were prohibited from serving openly in the military."
Suddenly Inman had a confession. "When the president was first
considering my appointment," he told Klein over the telephone from his
vacation cabin in Vail, "I told you only ninety percent of the truth. Here's
the other ten." Although still denying that he was gay, he disclosed parts
of his private life that he had kept from the initial background check.
"Had we known the full story a month earlier, the president would not
have chosen Inman," said Stephanopoulos. "Once the Senate
investigators finished digging through Inman's life, everything would be
public, and Inman would not be confirmed."
Strobe Talbott, one of Inman's most ardent supporters, called the
White House to argue the admiral's case. He said that Inman had
explained away the concealed behavior as "a way to get attention." "The
rest of us rolled our eyes," said Stephanopoulos. "Then Joel told Talbott
about his most recent conversation with Inman. Even if you made the
dubious assumption that Inman's private life would remain private
during the confirmation process, we had a problem: the fact that Inman
had misled the White House."
The decision was to dump him, fast. But because Inman had
deliberately placed Clinton in an embarrassing position, the
responsibility was on him to make a graceful exit. "The only option was
for him to withdraw quietly, but the flinty and flighty admiral wasn't
ready for that," said Stephanopoulos. Instead, Inman decided to go out
blaming everyone but himself for his problems. He did it in a live
television news conference the likes of which no one had ever seen
before. Over an hour peppered with rambling accusations, Inman
charged that he was the victim of a "new McCarthyism," that Senator
Bob Dole and the columnist William Safire had conspired against him,
and that he had been the target of "hostile" press coverage. To
Stephanopoulos, Inman looked "like a man who was broadcasting


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instructions transmitted through the fillings in his teeth."
Rather than admit he had been dumped, Inman later tried to make it
sound like he never really wanted the job in the first place. "I'm
arrogant," he said. "And I've got a temper. And people are probably right
when they say I should have a thicker skin. But I was pissed off. . . .
Hell, I didn't want the job in the first place. The dumb decision was
accepting."


Named on March 10, 1981, to fill Inman's chair at NSA was his old
friend Lincoln D. Faurer, a fifty-three-year-old Air Force lieutenant
general with gray hair and a buzz cut. A native of Medford,
Massachusetts, Faurer graduated from West Point and spent most of his
career carrying out intelligence and strategic reconnaissance
assignments, commanding RB-47s in the 1950s, and taking over a
surveillance squadron on the frigid Aleutian island of Shemya during the
late 1960s. During the 1970s, Faurer served variously as the director of
intelligence for the U.S. Southern Command; Air Force deputy assistant
Chief of Staff for Intelligence; vice director for production at the Defense
Intelligence Agency; director of intelligence at the U.S. European
Command; and deputy chairman of the NATO Military Committee.
When Faurer arrived, Crypto City was undergoing the largest
construction boom in its history. The enormous building program was
adding a million square feet to his headquarters/operations complex, at
a cost of $150 million, plus another million square feet with new
buildings for the Technology and Systems Organization and other
facilities. Under President Reagan, money for the spy world would flow as
if from a faucet with the handle broken off. Fat times were coming to
NSA.
Unlike Inman, Faurer was determined to keep out of the spotlight; he
began rebuilding the agency's wall of anonymity. Speaking to a group of
NSA retirees, he gave them a not-so-subtle warning to forever keep their
mouths shut. "Leaks are not the answer," he scolded. "They are
dangerous, destructive, and inexcusable. Both the source and user of
leaked classified information should be met with public disapprobation,
and media judgment in disclosing intelligence accomplishments should
be criticized. If free speech and free press are to remain the cornerstone
of our society, given the growing strength of our adversary, 'free' must
not be synonymous with 'irresponsible.' " He then quoted George
Washington: " 'The necessity for procuring good intelligence is apparent
and need not be further urged”all that remains for me to add is that you
keep the whole matter as secret as possible.' "
Blunt, lacking Inman's tact and charisma as well as his many friends
in Congress, Faurer was allegedly pushed out the door. After four years


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in office, the general was due to retire in August 1985. But over the
previous winter he had become embroiled in a major budget fight. In
order to divert money to NSA, the Pentagon, and the rest of the
intelligence community, Reagan dammed up the flow to many social
programs. Angered at the rising federal budget deficits and worried about
their impact on the 1986 congressional elections, Democrats and many
Republicans lit a fire under the administration to cut back on defense
spending. In response, Secretary of Defense Caspar W. Weinberger began
targeting a number of programs for cuts. High on his agenda was placing
NSA's overweight frame on a diet.
But Faurer would have none of it. He believed that NSA's Crypto City
should continue its rapid growth, not slow down. At the same time,
Faurer wanted still another new building constructed in NSA's city to
house the National Cryptologic School, which was located at its annex a
few miles away. Speaking to former NSA employees in 1982, he boasted
how well NSA was doing. "The health of the Agency is great," he said.
"There's no question about that . . . and can get nothing but greater." He
then went on to complain of the need for even more space and people. He
pointed out that in 1960, only about 35 percent of NSA office space was
occupied by computers and other equipment but that now the figure had
almost doubled, to 65 percent. "You can imagine what that does for
crowding people in," he protested. "It has left us with a significant
workspace problem." Despite all the new construction going on and
planned for the future, Faurer said only that Congress had been
"somewhat" responsive.
He also blasted those in the Congress and the Pentagon who were
attempting to slow down the growth of his secret city. In particular, he
pointed to what he called the "negative impact" of "budget constraints,"
especially the cutback in analysts. "The analysts' numbers have been
excessively drawn down," he said, "the scope of their target unwisely
narrowed, their confidence eroded by uninformed criticism, and the
language of their judgments too often hedged against the inevitable cry of
'intelligence failure.' "
Faced with the ordered cuts, Faurer fought back, arguing that the
reductions could lead to erosion of future intelligence capabilities. His
continued resistance "created a big fuss in the intelligence community,"
said one official. As a result, "to put an end to the agonizing over this
issue," Cap Weinberger reportedly suggested that Faurer speed up his
retirement. Faurer then decided to "go out in a blaze of glory," said one
report, by submitting his retirement papers immediately, on March 19. A
week later he was gone. The Pentagon denied that Faurer was pressured
to leave.
Faurer's premature departure put the Pentagon on the spot to quickly
come up with a replacement. The Joint Chiefs of Staff recommended to


326
Weinberger the name of a Navy admiral, but the CIA's Casey reportedly
found him unacceptable because he had only one year's experience in
the intelligence field. Next in line was Lieutenant General William Odom,
the Army's intelligence chief. Despite objections from some within the
Reagan administration, who were unhappy that Odom had served in the
Carter White House, and others, who wanted to see Odom instead take
over the Defense Intelligence Agency, he was formally installed on May 8,
1985, six weeks after Faurer's stormy departure.
A balding, owl-faced officer with large round glasses, who once taught
Russian history at West Point, Odom had risen rapidly in rank and
position as a result of the backing of Zbigniew Brzezinski. The two met at
Columbia, where Brzezinski was a professor and Odom was attending
graduate school while in the Army. Eventually Odom, an arch-
conservative military hard-liner, became Brzezinski's military assistant,
picking up the nickname "Zbig's Super-Hawk." While in the Carter
administration, Odom worked on such issues as the Soviet invasion of
Afghanistan and the Iranian capture of the U.S. embassy in Tehran. He
quickly rose to the rank of brigadier general. Shortly after President
Reagan moved into the White House, Odom took over the top job in Army
intelligence.
Odom, stern, abrasive, and humorless, was widely disliked at NSA
and was considered by many the most ineffective director in the agency's
history. He also developed a reputation as a Captain Queeg of secrecy,
claiming that intelligence leaks to the news media had resulted in
"paralysis" and "major misjudgments" in U.S. foreign and military
policies and could lead to war. As examples he cited the diminution in
the U.S. ability to follow and deal with terrorist activities and the failure
to properly gauge Soviet strategic force growth in the 1960s and 1970s.
"Quite simply," Odom told a group of old spies, "there is no
comprehensive 'right to know' included, either explicitly or implicitly,
within the First Amendment." He added, "Perhaps if the public were
informed of the damage done, the media would be compelled to provide a
better accounting for their actions." But Odom was an extremist on
secrecy, equating journalists with spies and calling one an "unconvicted
felon" for daring to write about NSA.
Odom was also critical both of Congress and of other officials within
the Reagan administration whom he blamed for leaks. "There's leaking
from Congress," he informed the group; "there's more leaking in the
administration because it's bigger." Then he seemed to name President
Reagan as the worst leaker of all. The previous year Reagan had publicly
blamed Libya for the terrorist bombing of the La Belle discotheque in
West Berlin”a club known to attract off-duty U.S. servicemen”which
killed two American soldiers and a Turkish woman, and injured 250
other people. Reagan ordered a retaliatory strike against Tripoli and then


327
appeared on national television. In order to justify the attack by
American aircraft, Reagan summarized three Libyan messages
intercepted by NSA as "irrefutable" proof of Libya's involvement in the

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