Analysis: Rare film on National Security Agency aired
February 5, 2009 1 Comment
By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
The Nova documentary series on PBS has aired a rare look at the National Security Agency (NSA), America’s signals intelligence and cryptological organization that rarely releases information to outsiders. The ultra-secret Agency is said to be the world’s largest intelligence institution, employing tens of thousands of technicians, analysts and mathematicians. The PBS film, titled The Spy Factory, features veteran author James Bamford, who has authored books on NSA for nearly 30 years. The primary focus of the documentary is on NSA’s share of the intelligence failure in detecting and preventing the 9/11 attacks. The film also examines NSA’s STELLAR WIND program, a warrantless eavesdropping scheme targeting communications of American citizens, which the Bush Administration authorized shortly after 9/11. Among those interviewed on The Spy Factory are former NSA, CIA, and FBI insiders, many of them speaking publicly for the first time. Among these is Mark Rossini, the senior FBI representative in the Osama bin Laden tracking unit, a surveillance group at the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center (CTC). The PBS film can be viewed online here. An excerpt from The Shadow Factory, James Bamford’s latest book on NSA, can be read here.