Thirty years ago, no one even knew this agency existed. But in 1982, James Bamford published The Puzzle Palace, the first time a journalist mentioned an agency that had grown larger than all other intelligence agencies combined. The growth and influence of the NSA over the decades has been astonishing. This concentration of secret power is not a good thing for democracy and neither is the NSA’s new $2 billion data center in Utah (above), scheduled to go online in September.
Right before 9/11, Bamford released an update on the NSA and exposed a 1960’s Pentagon plan to kill innocent Americans so the deaths could be blamed on Cuba (Operation Northwoods). The idea was to use this incident to justify a full-scale invasion of Cuba. The plan was never implemented and JFK refused to go along, but there were plenty of Chiefs ready to implement. Freedom of Information Act requests had revealed the plot.
Back in 1986, when I first learned about the NSA, I was in Salk City, Wisconsin, on assignment for High Times. A police officer named Robert Mueller had been charged with executing a man after handcuffing and throwing him to the ground in his driveway. The man was a suspected marijuana user. During the trial, some interesting facts emerged: Mueller had worked for the NSA in England where he’d had a nervous breakdown. He believed he was a secret agent working directly for President Ronald Reagan, who was sending coded messages through newspaper headlines. Mueller believed Reagan had instructed him to start killing drug users in a recent nationally-televised speech, one that delivered the famous message: “Just say no.”
I was traveling alone in Wisconsin, interviewing anyone who would talk to me about Mueller’s case, and I got pretty paranoid since I felt super exposed in that small town and worried some local cops, friends of Mueller’s, might take an interest in me. I had no idea how far the rabbit hole went, but it seemed possible Mueller was subject to mind control beyond the usual boot camp, which is pretty advanced mind control on its own as it spits out teenagers ready to kill strangers on command, an act that runs against the grain of humanity. I was deep into Iran/Contra at the time, and watching Ollie North testify on TV with great interest. I did not yet realize John Kerry was a member of Skull & Bones though. It would take years for me to come up to speed on deep politics.
There was only one freelance reporter trying to unravel the secrets of the NSA back then and his name was Danny Casolaro. Danny had developed sources inside the NSA that were helping him, which just goes to show the corruption is not institutional, but the work of a cabal at the top of the pyramid. After Danny began documenting the hidden history of trading in guns, drugs and pirated software, he was “suicided” after several warnings failed to scare him off the trail.
I was stunned when a former High Times writer, Ron Rosenbaum, wrote an article in Vanity Fair claiming Danny was paranoid and chasing ghosts and actually did commit suicide, even though Danny was receiving constant death threats and had recently told his family not to believe he would ever kill himself. Ron could have exposed the NSA at the time but instead slagged off Danny? In fact, all claims Danny was making have either turned out true or gained more traction over time.
Even if an investigation of NSA abuses could happen, it would likely become quickly compromised, just as the previous Congressional investigations into political assassinations were sandbagged from the inside. These cases are not that hard to crack if honest efforts are made. The NSA is guarding a treasure trove of government misconduct and the unlocking of its files would provide a clear view of corruption at the highest levels of government, as well as answer vital questions concerning every major conspiracy story of our time.
If we ever want to return to a real democracy, we’ll have to shed the concept governments need secrets. Freedom and transparency go hand in hand. Every single piece of government business should be available to view on the internet the second it is concluded. This is the only way to disarm the secret societies operating on the inside. Of course, the old money establishment will never give up their secret police and many professional spooks are already operating outside government control, but their power would shrink immensely if they could no longer hatch plots from inside the Federal security apparatus.
When the Franklin Credit Union got busted out by CIA black ops, the local state senator, John DeCamp, wanted an Omaha police chief investigated by the FBI. Only when he visited the FBI office, he quickly learned that police chief was a prominent official in the Mormon religion and untouchable. (In case you didn’t know, the Mormons have taken over much of the FBI, and they watch each other’s backs.)
It just makes me wonder why this new data center had to be built in the heart of Mormon country. The Church of Latter Day Saints was born at the same time a wave of fear concerning Freemasonry swept across America and the secret rituals and rites of those two organizations are similar in many respects. In fact, the first alternative third party in America was the Anti-Masonic Party, which blew through the country like a breath of fresh air. It would be great if someone would launch an Anti-NSA party, but any operation like that would not exist long without getting completely co-opted.