May 15, 2005 NSA INTERCEPTS FOR BOLTON MASKED AS "TRAINING EXERCISE"

publication date: Apr 3, 2007
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author/source: Wayne Madsen


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NSA INTERCEPTS FOR BOLTON MASKED AS "TRAINING EXERCISE"

Wayne Madsen

May 15, 2005 -- According to National Security Agency insiders, outgoing NSA Director General Michael Hayden approved special communications intercepts of phone conversations made by past and present U.S. government officials. The intercepts are at the height of the current controversy surrounding the nomination of Undersecretary of State John R. Bolton as ambassador to the United Nations. It was revealed by Connecticut Senator Christopher Dodd during Bolton’s Senate Foreign Relations Committee nomination hearing that Bolton requested transcripts of 10 NSA intercepts of conversations between named U.S. government officials and foreign persons. Later, it was revealed that U.S. companies [also treated as "U.S. persons" by NSA] were also identified in an additional nine intercepts requested by Bolton. However, NSA insiders report that Hayden approved special intercept operations on behalf of Bolton and had them masked as "training missions" in order to get around internal NSA regulations that normally prohibit such eavesdropping on U.S. citizens.

It is noteworthy that in the fictional movie “Enemy of the State,” it was under the authority of a “training mission” that renegade NSA officials targeted U.S. civilians for eavesdropping. United States Signals Intelligence Directive (USSID) 18, the NSA’s “Bible” for the conducting of surveillance against U.S. persons, allows “U.S. material,” i.e., listening to U.S. persons, to be used for training missions. However, USSID 18 also requires that all intercepts conducted for such training missions are to be completely destroyed after completion of the training operation. In the case of Bolton and other Bush administration hard liners, the material in question was not deleted and was transmitted in raw intercept form to external agencies for clearly political purposes – a violation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and USSID 18, which only allows such raw training mission intercepts to be transmitted when evidence of criminal activity is uncovered during the training mission. Unlike signals intelligence (SIGINT) data stored in the “Anchory” (formerly known as the SIGINT On-line Intelligence System or “SOLIS”) database, training intercepts are completely off-the-books and, in the case of raw intercepts provided to Bolton and others, the NSA and its Signals Intelligence Directorate (SID) can claim “plausible deniability” in stating that only “official” intercept transcripts were provided to users outside the agency. Because they are to be destroyed after completion of training missions, the training intercepts do not appear in any agency logs and cannot be obtained by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee unless they are subpoenaed directly from Bolton and his colleagues.

Hayden breezed through Senate conformation hearings as the new Deputy Director of National Intelligence, where he will serve as John Negroponte’s chief assistant and have authority over the entire U.S. Intelligence Community.

Intelligence community insiders claim that a number of State Department and other government officials may have been subject to NSA “training” surveillance and that transcripts between them and foreign officials likely ended up in the possession of Bolton and his neo-conservative political allies, including such members of Vice President Dick Cheney’s staff as David Wurmser (a former assistant to Bolton at State), John Hannah, and Lewis “Scooter” Libby.

Possible affected individuals include: Secretary of State Colin Powell and Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage and their conversations with their counterparts and officials around the world; Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs William Burns and his telephone conversations with International Atomic Energy Agency director general Mohammed el Baradei and Britain’s top non-proliferation official William Ehrman (Bolton was frozen out of negotiations between Burns, Britain, and Libya over the stand down of the Libyan weapons of mass destruction program) (also Burns’s conversations with Syrian Foreign Minister Farouq al Shara over charges by Bolton that Syria possessed WMDs and conversations between Burns and former chief UN Iraq weapons inspector Hans Blix); various phone calls made by Chairman of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board Brent Scowcroft; U.S. Special Envoy on North Korea Charles “Jack” Pritchard and his telephone conversations with U.S. ambassador to South Korea Thomas Hubbard, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian Affairs James Kelly, and Richard Armitage; New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson and his telephone conversations with Secretary of State Powell and North Korea’s deputy UN ambassador Han Song Ryol; phone conversations between Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Joseph Biden and his Iranian counterpart, Majlis foreign affairs chair Mohsen Mirdamad and between Biden, his staff, and William Burns and Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Marc Grossman; and President Jimmy Carter’s phone conversations with Cuban officials before and during his May 2002 trip to Cuba (Carter said he found no evidence to support Bolton’s claims of Cuban biological weapons development).


Fox Censorship? We report, you decide.....
On April 26 at Noon EDT, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson was being interviewed on Fox News Channel about the nomination of John Bolton. As he was about to comment on this article, the satellite signal to Santa Fe suddenly went dead and the Fox News host quickly blamed the dark screen on a lost satellite signal.-----------------------------NSA LEADERSHIP MAKES THIS EDITOR A HIGH PRIORITY -- June 15, 2005From NSA sources:

While the bush administration claims it is fighting a "global war on terrorism" -- one of NSA's priorities is to check up on what this editor is doing and who he is talking to.
deputy dirnsa bill black receives a briefing on me a couple times a week -- and the word is out that the boys in charge of fort meade "want me bad."

Hey guys -- I thought Osama bin Laden was your target, how about Zawahiri? Zarqawi anyone?

Face it -- the upper echelons (pun intended) at NSA have a rebellion on their hands -- changing the targeting to me will not make that revolt go away -- may even make it worse.

Meanwhile, some guys at FBI global counter - intelligence are interested in those cryptologic fire sales you folks have been running at Fort Meade. just hope the customers aren't paying in new Israeli shekels [NIS] (not worth very much on the currency exchanges).

HAYDEN INTERNAL NSA MEMO

From an internal FOUO NSA document from 2003 written by Hayden. Hayden indicates that SIGINT was responsible for Bush administration pre-Iraq war demarches at the UN. This is clear proof that Hayden was working hand-in-hand with Negroponte, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Bolton and other war hawks and that the order to bug the UN Security Council by NSA came from the highest levels in the Bush administration. The reference to "UN speeches" also indicate that NSA cherry picked the intercepts of Iraqi field commanders that were played during Colin Powell's speech to the UN Security Council:

(U//FOUO) Let’s face it. We’re good at what we do. We’ve become a best seller—from real time targeting of air strikes and terrorist roll-ups based on SIGINT alone to demarches and UN speeches that create (rather than just reflect) new diplomatic realities. We have become an increasingly valued source of intelligence for national decision-makers and military commanders alike. We did well in Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, but we truly shone in Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. We were able to create a highly fluid cryptologic process through improved access and increased collaboration.
Hayden also indicates that Bush himself ordered the Director of Central Intelligence to "hunt" for SIGINT even in stored data systems to justify the attack on Iraq:(U//FOUO) That’s the world in which we organized the old American intelligence enterprise. It was an easy division of labor between SIGINT and HUMINT—between NSA and CIA—between electronic data in motion and physical data at rest. But that is a world that no longer exists; once we entered the computer age, we saw a new reality--electronic data at rest. In a short note to the DCI, the President in February 2002 swept away all the theological fine points about "data at rest". He empowered NSA to be hunters of electronic information in all of its forms and states. This wasn’t just a tactical convenience. It was recognition of the power of SIGINT—and of the need to protect American data from the SIGINT of our adversaries.
On Bolton's ordering of intercepts from NSA on his colleagues and other U.S. persons, Hayden's following dictate that the information be minimized and that it must have some inherent intelligence value, at the very least, was violated by Bolton's request:(U) US law and policy present more serious issues. EO 12333 recognizes that electronic surveillance is so intrusive that we have established very specific rules to prevent unreasonable intrusion into privacy. EO 12333 tells us that information derived from electronic surveillance is not to be shared unless two criteria are met: US person information has been minimized so as to uphold 4th Amendment protections from unreasonable search and the information provided is of inherent intelligence value.

In the following excerpt seems to be a reference by Hayden to mono-linguistic people like Bolton who wanted to have the keys to the English-intercept SIGINT candy store and non-NSA Arabic linguists (possibly a reference to Israelis and dual loyalist US-Israeli citizens active in Iraq and other countries) wanting access to raw Arabic intercepts:

(U//FOUO) Much of the above would delight many of those who have been clamoring for more extensive access to our databases and other SIGINT derived information. These folks usually couch such views in the form of a request for "raw SIGINT"—a formulation that usually connotes little knowledge about our discipline and even less likelihood that any kind of sharing with them would lead to something useful!

(U//FOUO) When I press for an explanation of what these folks mean by "raw SIGINT" (usually accompanied by an explanation on my part of our production processes: access, collection, processing, translating, analyzing, reporting), I’m finally told that what they really want are English language transcripts of intercepted communications. They often seem surprised when I report that that usually that doesn’t help us much in terms of dealing with the volume of modern communications and in fact would probably add to our workload. And to those who might have linguists in appropriate languages, I also point out that no one would be served by "amateur night" with inexperienced analysts second-guessing our linguists about the meaning of guarded conversations in obscure dialects laced heavily with allegorical Koranic references and spoken by interlocutors who seem to easily confuse the "is" with the "ought to be".***
(U//FOUO) We will have to insist that those whom we wish to more closely embrace in our production activities be fully qualified to participate. This cannot be about just throwing open the front door and making our information the equivalent of a cryptologic fire sale. "Wedding" is sometimes a barely veiled reference to an upcoming terrorist attack but it is also true that even very bad people occasionally get married. We must be open to those who can truly act on or have the expertise to add value to what we can provide. But we also must take care that only those who have something to add get to swim up the SIGINT production stream.
June 15, 2005 (UPDATE)

Did the "throwing open the front door and making our information the equivalent of a cryptologic fire sale," to which Hayden was referring, have anything to do with indicted US Air Force Reserve Colonel Larry A. Franklin providing COMINT or "communications intelligence" to an Israeli embassy official? From the US Justice Department Count Five against Franklin:

COUNT FIVE
Communication of Classified Communications Intelligence Information

On or about June 26, 2003, in Arlington, Virginia, within the Eastern District of Virginia, defendant LAWRENCE ANTHONY FRANKLIN did unlawfully, knowingly, and wilfully communicate, furnish, and otherwise make available to an unauthorized person, classified information obtained by the processes of communications intelligence from the communication of a foreign government, knowing the same to have been obtained by such processes.

(In violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 798 (a) (4))
[Filed in U.S. District Court, Alexandria, VA on May 26, 2005]
***

Bolton and his neo-conservative allies misused NSA intercepts for their own purposes. Did this also involve making NSA intercepts of Iranian communications available to Mossad, AIPAC, and Iraqi con man Ahmad Chalabi via Franklin and other Israeli moles inside the Pentagon? The evidence indicates that the Bolton NSA intercept caper, the AIPAC espionage scandal, and the leak of Valerie Plame and Brewster Jennings & Associates CIA covers are all part of the same investigation -- one that points to Israel and its American allies indeed holding a "fire sale" on America's national security secrets. [Ed.]



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