A no-holds-barred examination of America's National Security Agency - packed with startling secrets about its past, news-breaking revelations about its present-day activities, and chilling predictions about its future powers and reach.
The NSA is the largest, most secretive and most powerfull intelligence agency in the world. With a staff of 38,000 people, it dwarfs the CIA in budget, manpower and influence. Recent headlines have linked it to economic espionage throughout Europe and to the ongoing hunt for the terrorist leader Osama bin Laden.
James Bamford first penetrated the wall of silence surrounding the NSA in 1982, with the much-talked-about US bestseller THE PUZZLE PALACE. In BODY OF SECRETS he offers shocking new details about the inner workings of the agency, gathered through unique access to thousands of internal documents and interviews with current and former officials. Unveiling extremely sensitive information for the first time, Bamford exposes the role the NSA played in numerous Soviet bloc Cold War conflicts and discusses its undercover involvement in the Vietnam War. His investigation into the NSA's technological advances during the last 15 years brings to light a network of global surveillance ranging from on-line listening posts to sophisticated intelligence-gathering satellites. In a hard-hitting conclusion, he warns the NSA is a double-edged sword: while its worldwide eavesdropping activities offer the potential for tracking down terrorists and uncovering nuclear weapons deals, it also has the capacity to listen in on global personal communications.