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An Even Deeper Bunker

Tom Vanderbilt: Secrets and spies, 7 March 2002

Body of Secrets: How America’s NSA and Britain’s GCHQ Eavesdrop on the World 
by James Bamford.
Century, 721 pp., £20, May 2001, 0 7126 7598 1
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Total Surveillance: Investigating the Big Brother World of E-Spies, Eavesdroppers and CCTV 
by John Parker.
Piatkus, 330 pp., £10.99, September 2001, 0 7499 2226 5
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... In James Bamford’s first book on the National Security Agency, The Puzzle Palace, published soon after Reagan became President, Frank Raven, an NSA official, is asked what happens when someone on whom the NSA is spying enters the US. ‘You have intelligence which is entirely foreign and you have intelligence which is entirely domestic,’ Raven says ...

Access to Ultra

Brian Bond, 16 June 1983

Hidden Weapons: Allied Secret or Undercover Services in World War Two 
by Basil Collier.
Hamish Hamilton, 386 pp., £15, April 1982, 0 241 10788 1
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The Other Ultra: Codes, Ciphers and the Defeat of Japan 
by Ronald Lewin.
Hutchinson, 332 pp., £10.95, April 1982, 0 09 147470 1
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The Puzzle Palace 
by James Bamford.
Sidgwick, 465 pp., £9.95, April 1983, 0 283 98976 9
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... would continue in use as a means of evading surrender terms and countering the effects of defeat. James Bamford’s valiant attempt to expose the secrets of the American National Security Agency could well have been subtitled ‘Beyond Ultra’ because he traces the vast expansion that has taken place in espionage and surveillance since Britain divulged ...

House-Cleaning

David Bromwich: I met a Republican, 7 March 2019

... the scale of the thing dwarfs every preceding instance. On 20 December the secretary of defence, James Mattis, resigned after Trump tweeted his vow to withdraw from Syria. This led to a reiteration, by policy experts along with many Democrats and almost all the mainstream media, of the moral importance of staying in Syria. Solemn admonitions were combined ...

I wasn’t just a brain in a jar

Christian Lorentzen: Edward Snowden, 26 September 2019

Permanent Record 
by Edward Snowden.
Macmillan, 339 pp., £20, September 2019, 978 1 5290 3565 0
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... Snowden​ had reason to believe that those leaks might have little impact. In the summer of 2004, James Risen and Eric Lichtblau of the New York Times had been ready to publish a report on the NSA’s Bush-era surveillance programme, including an aspect of STELLARWIND, but the administration put in calls to the paper’s editor, Bill Keller, and to its ...

Opprobrious Epithets

Katrina Navickas: The Peterloo Massacre, 20 December 2018

Peterloo: The Story of the Manchester Massacre 
by Jacqueline Riding.
Head of Zeus, 386 pp., £25, October 2018, 978 1 78669 583 3
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... after the Restoration of 1660 and the Glorious Revolution of 1688. Local leaders such as Samuel Bamford of Middleton and John Knight of Manchester were supported by men of higher social status, such as Henry ‘Orator’ Hunt, a gentleman farmer originally from Wiltshire. Hunt was politically ambitious and a populist in the old sense of the word. He came to ...

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