As WMR has reported in past articles, the National Security Agency (NSA) has maintained a series of "mug shots" of journalists it suspects have sources inside the NSA. Often, NSA personnel thought to have been speaking to journalists are called into NSA's "Q" security group and questioned on whether they have spoken to various journalists. Along with the names of the journalists, are photographs, described by NSA insiders, as "mug shots," likely culled from the Internet.
WMR previously reported on NSA's "rogue gallery" of journalists. From WMR, July 3, 2009: "Since the revelation of the NSA journalist monitoring database, which later added communications intercepts of journalist phone calls, emails, and faxes to its database, NSA Security has, according to information received by WMR, conducted physical surveillance of journalists it deems to be threats to the operations of the agency. The top targeted journalists, who make up a virtual 'rogues' gallery' at NSA Security, complete with photographs and other personal information, are: former Baltimore Sun and current Wall Street Journal reporter Siobhan Gorman, Washington Times reporter Bill Gertz, former Baltimore Sun and current New York Times reporter Scott Shane, Baltimore Sun reporter Phil McGowan, author James Bamford, New York Times reporters James Risen and Eric Lichtblau, and this editor, Wayne Madsen."
WMR has now learned from NSA sources that NSA and FBI counter-intelligence branches are maintaining "mug shots" of journalists. Two to three pages of journalists, along with their photographs, are known to be in the possession of FBI counter-intelligence agent Laura Pino and NSA counter-intelligence officer Ethan Andreas. Each page has two rows of photographs across with four photographs and names of journalists on each row -- a total of eight photographs and names per page. The number of journalists on the pages, therefore, could be between 16 and 24.
Three names are known to be on the pages maintained by the FBI and NSA, according to our sources: Siobhan Gorman, James Bamford, and this editor, Wayne Madsen. Gorman was believed to have been the journalist former NSA official Tom Drake was in contact with before he was criminally charged under various counts, including the Espionage Act. Drake was a witness to high-level contract fraud and corruption within the NSA. WMR submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to NSA two years ago requesting information on the editor's photograph being used as a security warning device. After being granted expedited processing by NSA as news media for purposes of the FOIA request, NSA reversed course, denying us media status and then stonewalled responding to the request....
WMR's sources at the National Security Agency (NSA) have reported more high-level fraud at the agency that now combines signals intelligence and cyber-warfare functions under one officer, Army General Keith Alexander, the NSA director and commander of the U.S. Cyber Command.
When Alexander's predecessor at NSA, Air Force General Michael Hayden, was shopping for his own replacement, Alexander was the Deputy Chief of Staff for G-2 for the U.S. Army. Alexander would only take the job, according to our sources who were embedded in the Director of NSA's office, if Dr. James Heath became the senior science adviser to Alexander at NSA.
There was only one problem. Heath had his own company, Object Sciences Corporation, a firm which was intimately involved with tracking "Al-Qaeda" operatives prior to the 9/11 attacks. Object Sciences provided deep data mining services to the Army's Land Information Warfare Agency's and Defense Intelligence Agency's ABLE DANGER and its affiliated DORHAWK GALLEY data mining programs.
At the same time, Hayden had shown favoritism to Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) in awarding the firm, as prime contractor, the over one billion dollar signals intelligence overhaul program known as TRAILBLAZER. Hayden hired William Black, a former NSA official who had retired and went to work for SAIC, as his Deputy Director at NSA. The issue with Heath was solved when SAIC purchased Object Sciences, providing a handsome profit to Heath prior to his taking the science adviser position under his friend Alexander. Black eventually returned to SAIC from his stint as NSA deputy director.
The following press release was issued on May 12, 2005:
"Science Applications International Corp. has completed its acquisition of Object Sciences Corp., the company announced today. Terms of the deal were not disclosed . . .
OSC's involvement in reshaping how intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance information is processed and analyzed has provided critical assistance to combat forces in specific theaters, such as Iraq and Korea, as well as the war on global terrorism in general, SAIC said."
Alexander took over as NSA director on August 1, 2005, a few months after the SAIC-OSC deal. Heath then became Alexander's chief science adviser.
Another former SAIC principal who, like Black, transitioned from SAIC to NSA and back again to SAIC was Sam Visner. After joining NSA from SAIC, Visner was the senior acquisition manager for NSA and was key to the award of the TRAILBLAZER contract to SAIC. A less expensive signals intelligence re-engineering solution code-named THIN THREAD, was rejected by NSA in favor of the TRAILBLAZER, which was later canceled after SAIC pocketed hundreds of millions of dollars.
Hayden went on to become the first deputy Director of National Intelligence and, ultimately, the CIA director. He now works with former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff at Chertoff Group. His pet project, TRAILBLAZER, was canceled due to cost overruns and failed deliveries and was replaced by another reported contractor boondoggle called TURBULENCE. A number of senior NSA, Justice Department, and congressional officials were harassed and one, Thomas Drake, prosecuted for revealing the corruption. Those coming under NSA and FBI scrutiny, all subjected to harassment and threat of prosecution, included, in addition to Drake, Justice Department prosecutor Thomas Tamm, House Intelligence Committee budget specialist Diane Roark, NSA officials William Binney, Kirk Wiebe, and Ed Loomis, and others, never mentioned in press accounts, who were interviewed by WMR.
One former NSA official who was terminated and then placed under NSA Security and FBI surveillance after reporting through proper channels fraud, waste, and abuse with TRAILBLAZER and associated contracts, told WMR, "we are not whistleblowers but witnesses to major crimes committed by NSA and contractors."
Among the spin-offs of TRAILBLAZER was the unconstitutional STELLAR WIND program that permitted NSA to engage in wholesale warrantless wiretapping of phone calls, emails, and faxes, particularly journalists and elected political leaders.
Hayden, who has become a national security adviser to Mitt Romney and would be assured a top-level job in a Romney administration, perhaps National Security Adviser, is also involved with a subscription web service called LIGNet, or "Langley Intelligence Group Network" as a "LIGNet adviser." WMR has been told by intelligence community insiders that LIGNet is an operational security (OPSEC) problem because a wealth of borderline classified information appears on the web site.
Some of the LIGNet information makes what was released in the WikiLeaks Department of State cable release pale in comparison. As for charges that Private First Class Bradley Manning was responsible for downloading over a quarter million classified cables from the Secret Internet Protocol Router Network (SIPRNet), a former senior NSA official told WMR: "That is impossible.... All SIPRNet drives are non-writable for CDs and as far as thumb drives are concerned, install one and security alarms are immediately set off."