<<

. 71
( 118 .)



>>

antenna and you try to sneak it in," said former CIA director Stansfield
Turner. "Sometimes the signal you're intercepting is very small, narrow,
[of] limited range, and getting your antenna there is going to be very
difficult. I mean, under Mr. Gorbachev's bed is hard to get to, for
instance."
While on occasion NSA or SCS has compromised a nation's entire
communications system by bribing an engineer or telecommunications
official, often much of the necessary eavesdropping can be done from
special rooms in U.S. embassies. But in difficult countries, clandestine
SCS agents must sometimes fly in disguised as businesspeople. An agent
might bring into the target country a parabolic antenna disguised as an
umbrella. A receiver and satellite transmitter may seem to be a simple
radio and laptop computer. The SCS official will camouflage and plant
the equipment in a remote site somewhere along the microwave's narrow
beam”maybe in a tree in a wooded area, or in the attic of a rented
farmhouse. The signals captured by the equipment will be remotely
retransmitted to a geostationary Sigint satellite, which will relay them to
NSA. At other times, no other solution is possible except climbing a


402
telephone pole and hard-wiring an eavesdropping device.
The SCS will also play a key role in what is probably the most
profound change in the history of signals intelligence”the eventual
switch from focusing on information "in motion" to information "at rest."
Since the first transatlantic intercept station was erected on Gillin Farm
in Houlton, Maine, just before the close of World War I, Sigint has
concentrated on intercepting signals as they travel through the air or
space. But as technology makes that increasingly difficult and
prohibitively expensive, the tendency, say senior intelligence officials, will
be to turn instead to the vast quantity of information at rest”stored on
computer databases, disks, and hard drives. This may be done either
remotely, through cyberspace, or physically, by the SCS.
In a large sense, the changing philosophy represents the American
spy world turned full circle, back to where the best way to get secrets is
to steal them from where they are stored. Only now the storage site may
be a single hard drive containing all the world's information.


CHAPTER TWELVE HEART

WZEEFCIE OCRT ASKFAI KA RAKT LAW "IAIT AL KOT CDART"
UHVQ HKBJMMT GVKMLFQ BCFBKHFT CWKH GUJ JEEHCWJM
EHCBKTT
XIXAL, DXJMDDH ZXGDA GUU JG DXJ UXDMZ UGTI
CFWF LNJHB WFVW NH'W THWRICWJMDH BIT UJWWJIC BFJDPTHW
RXIBB DWNEDCI FCHZ CR VYHHCAD WAHCEW FNXXYACHZ NABCAW


Beneath the surface”past the razor wire, the bomb-sniffing dogs, the
hundreds of armed police, the SWAT teams, the barriers, and the signs
with their dire warnings”Crypto City functions, on one level, like any
other town.
Although it is not found on any map, Crypto City, if incorporated,
would be one of the largest municipalities in the state of Maryland. Each
working day more than 32,000 specially cleared people”civilians,
military, and contractors”travel over its thirty-two miles of roads, which
are named in honor of past NSA notables. They park in one of the 17,000
spaces that cover 325 acres and enter one of fifty buildings whose
combined floor space totals more than seven million square feet. In terms
of growth, Crypto City is one of the most vibrant metropolises in the
country. Between 1982 and 1996 it undertook more than half a billion
dollars' worth of new construction. Another nearly $500 million was
spent leasing 1.5 million square feet of office space. And $152.8 million
more was spent for new construction in the final years leading up to the


403
millennium.
Crypto City's budget, long a closely held secret, has been revealed in a
closed-door meeting in the City's Engineering and Technology Building.
Addressing a group of technology employees in September 1999, Deputy
Director for Services Terry Thompson said, "Were we a corporate
company based on our four-billion-dollar budget and the number of
employees that we have, we kind of bench ourselves against Hewlett-
Packard."
In fact, NSA's overall budget for 1995-1999 totaled $17,570,600,000.
Another $7,304,000,000 was sought for 2000-2001. As for its personnel,
NSA employs approximately 38,000 people, more than the CIA and FBI
combined. Another 25,000 are employed in the agency's Central Security
Services, which operates the scores of listening posts; these staffers do
not count as NSA employees.
More than 37,000 cars are registered in Crypto City; its post office
distributes 70,000 pieces of mail a day. Guarding and patrolling it all are
the secret city's own cops, with law enforcement authority in two states.
Ranking in size among the top 4.8 percent of the nation's 17,358 police
departments, it even has its own SWAT team. Patrolling the city, NSA
police cars average 3,850 miles each month and respond to 700
emergency calls a year.
By the 1990s Crypto City's police force had grown to over 700
uniformed officers. Their equipment is specially designed so that they
can not only react to an emergency but also do so in total secrecy. The
officers have available an Emergency Response Communications
Command Post equipped with STU-III secure cellular telephones and
encrypted closed-circuit television systems. This technology enables the
command post to communicate secretly with the city's Emergency
Management Center and its Support Services Operations Center, a
twenty-four-hour command, control, and communications center.
Should a threat be detected, Crypto City also has its Special
Operations Unit/Emergency Reaction Team. Dressed in black
paramilitary uniforms and wearing special headgear, they brandish an
assortment of weapons, including Colt 9mm submachine guns. Attached
to the team are two military medics assigned to NSA's Medical Center.
During periods of heightened alert, and at other times as a deterrent, the
team, known as the Men in Black, are posted at the perimeter gates.
Another special unit, the Executive Protection Unit, provides the drivers
and bodyguards for NSA's director and deputy director and conducts
advance security at locations where the top two officials are scheduled to
appear.
As part of NSA's increased perimeter security antiterrorism program,
new fences and barriers are being constructed around the entire


404
metropolis. When completed, every nonregistered vehicle will have to first
be inspected for bombs and other threats at a new $4 million screening
center before being allowed to enter Crypto City. There, a team of
handlers and eleven specially trained Dutch shepherd and Belgian
Malinois bomb-sniffing dogs will closely examine every car and truck.
The canines, imported from Holland, are also used for operational
support and in emergency-response situations. They are transported
throughout the city in specially designed Jeep Cherokees equipped with
a kennel, a remote door-release system, and temperature-monitoring
equipment to protect the animals in hot weather. Currently in limited
operation, the Explosive Detection Canine Unit inspects an average of
more than 750 vehicles per week.
Crypto City's yearly consumption of electricity”409,005,840 kilowatt-
hours, carried over 662 miles of wires”equals that of Maryland's capital,
Annapolis. And with over six acres of computers, twenty-five tons of air-
conditioning equipment pumping out over 6 billion cubic feet of cool air a
year, and more than half a million lightbulbs to power, the city burns up
54 million watts of electricity a day. That leaves the secret city with a
shocking monthly electric bill of nearly $2 million, which makes it the
second largest user of electricity in the entire state. In 1992 Crypto City
consumed 3.5 trillion BTUs of oil, electricity, and gas”the equivalent of
33 million gallons of fuel oil.
Despite the enormous energy available, Crypto City still suffers
blackouts, resulting occasionally in the loss of "critical mission
information," according to an NSA document. To handle such outages,
the city has its own generating plant capable of quickly producing up to
twenty-six megawatts of electricity, enough to power a community of over
3,500 homes.
In winter, 243,000 pounds of blistering steam race through thirty-
seven miles of insulated piping every hour to keep the city warm. To
satisfy its thirst, ninety-five miles of water pipes crisscross the
community, joining forty-two miles of sewage and drain lines to keep the
top secret”cleared plumbers busy. The city is equipped with its own fire
department as well as twenty-three separate alarm systems and 402
miles of sprinklers feeding 210,000 sprinkler heads. And in case they
don't work, there are approximately 5,000 fire extinguishers in the city.
In 1998, the busy fire department responded to 168 alarms, 41 medical
assists, 44 automobile accidents, 8 natural gas investigations, and 5
brush fires.
It is far easier to get blood out of NSA employees than secrets. NSA is
the largest contributor to Maryland's blood donor program, donating
approximately 6,500 pints of blood per year. As a result, NSA employees
and their families are eligible to receive blood whenever they need it. In
fact, so many gallons of donated blood flow out of Crypto City every day


405
that it is used to aid victims in terrorist incidents. Places as divergent as
Oklahoma City, following the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal
Building in 1995, and Africa, after the 1998 embassy bombings in Kenya
and Tanzania, have received blood from NSA's codebreakers.
For entertainment, Crypto City offers its own movies, although none
that would ever be found in a cineplex in the world beyond the barriers.
Recent films have included Pathfinder, in Lapp; My Village at Sunset, in
Khmer; Touki Bouki, in Wolof, one of the languages used in the West
African nation of Mauritania; and Wend Kuuni, in Moore, a language
used in Burkina Faso.
The city even has an annual film festival, sponsored by the Crypto-
Linguistic Association. Entries have ranged from This Land Is Ours, a
Nigerian picture in the Hausa language about a corrupt businessman
who tries to buy up an entire village without revealing that precious
stones are buried beneath the land, to an Iranian black comedy, The
Suitors, in Farsi, which deals with a group of Iranians who sacrifice a
sheep in their Manhattan apartment and end up facing a SWAT team.
Others have included Harvest; 3000 Years, in Ethiopia's native Amharic;
Letters from Alou, in Senegalese; Children of Nature, in Icelandic; and
Hedd Wyn, in Welsh. The 2000 festival featured A Mongolian Tale, in
Mongolian. Like a very unusual video store, the Crypto-Linguistic
Association has more than 105 films in 48 foreign languages available for
loan to city residents.
For those interested in more conventional forms of entertainment, the
city has its own ticket agency, which, during one recent year, sold over
217,000 tickets, worth nearly $1.8 million, to local sports, theater, and
other events. Short on cash for a ticket to the opera? The city has its own
private bank, the Tower Federal Credit Union, the second largest in the
state and the twentieth largest in the country, with over 75,000 members
and $412 million in assets.
In need of day care? Crypto City offers its own Children's World, for
children aged six weeks to five years, complete with its own kindergarten
approved by the State of Maryland. With room for 305 youngsters, it is
the largest facility of its kind in the state. Cotton swabs can be
purchased in the NSA's own drugstore, where the most popular items are
candy bars. "NSA has a lot of junk food addicts," said Maryellen Smith,
standing behind the cash register. "They eat a lot!" Not surprisingly, the
second most popular item is headache medicine.
Although the invisible city has no docking facilities or even any
waterfront, it has its own, very exclusive yacht club, complete with
commodore. Membership is restricted to the city's security badge”
carrying citizens. The clubhouse for the Arundel Yacht Club, founded in
1967, is in Room 2S160 of the OPS 1 Building. There, in secure spaces



406
protected from hostile eavesdroppers, the 120 members attend seminars
on such topics as "Boarding Ladders”Mounting and Storage Methods."
In May 2000 members went on a moonlight cruise and had a rendezvous
in Lovely Cove, off Maryland's Chester River.
Elsewhere in Crypto City, NSA's Bayside Big Band may be playing,
while the Parkway Chorale performs Cats or Phantom of the Opera or
even Mozart's Requiem. On the softball diamond, Hot Flash may be
pitching out Huge Batting Egos to a cheering crowd. More than 3,200
employees participate in such intramural sports programs. A bulletin
board across from the barbershop lists the next meeting of the Family
Historians Genealogy Club: "Mexican War Records: Adventures of the
Baltimore and Washington, D.C., Battalions." For those who enjoy a bit
more stimulation, members of WIN (Women in NSA”men are allowed to
join) recently aired the daring video Sex Hormones vs. GS Ratings.
For pianists, there is the Klavier Club; warriors have their
Battlegaming Club; and for hedonists there is the Sun, Snow & Surf Ski
Club, with trips to Austria and Switzerland. For hams there is the
Freestate Amateur Radio Club (call letters K3IVO) which sponsors
regular radio "foxhunts" where members, using radio direction-finding
equipment, attempt to track down other members out in the wilderness
who transmit brief messages on handheld radios. And for those wishing
to send a signal beyond the ionosphere, the city offers the Good News
Bible Club.
Finally, in what would have been unthinkable only a few years ago,
NSA's hidden city even has its own Gay, Lesbian, or Bisexual Employees
(GLOBE) club, complete with its own internal web address (GLOBE@nsa).
The chapter is named in honor of Alan Turing, the brilliant British
mathematician who played a key part in breaking the enormously
complex German Enigma cipher machine during World War II. After the
war, he was declared a security risk because of his homosexuality. After
being convicted in Manchester of being a practicing homosexual, he died
of cyanide poisoning in a suspected suicide.
Every June the city holds a weeklong "All American Festival." Open to
"all badged personnel," the gala is intended to highlight the cultural
diversity within NSA's community. "What better way to acknowledge the
vast array of similarities and differences of all Americans," said the
Festival Steering Committee. In 2000, residents of Crypto City could play
"Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" in the Friedman Auditorium, watch
some Polynesian dancers, take salsa dance lessons, try out fencing, or
listen to Scottish bagpipe music, a gospel choir, a barbershop quartet, or
the disc jockey Wite Noyze.
Bucking political correctness, the keynote speaker addressed the
issue of "White Men in America ... A Historical Perspective." "For many



407
years, much attention has been focused on the changing roles for women
and minorities in America," said the NSA Newsletter about the talk by Dr.
Anthony J. Ipsaro, a clinical psychologist specializing in the psychology
of men. "Ipsaro will present one of the first accounts of the status and
power of American white men in a diverse and democratic society”their
contributions, their failures, and their futures in the 21st Century."
With eleven cafeterias and a VIP dining room, it would be difficult to
go hungry in the invisible city. The OPS 1 Building alone has a mammoth
cafeteria”over 45,000 square feet, with 75 employees. It prepares 200
gallons of soup a day and is capable of serving lunch to over 6,000
people. Designed like a food court in a suburban mall, the Firehouse
Grill serves up dogs, fries, onion rings, and a variety of daily specials,
while at the New York Deli customers can have a sandwich made to order
or prepare their own and pay by the ounce. The city also has a Taco Bell
and a Pizza Hut.

<<

. 71
( 118 .)



>>