#009: The N.S.A.

[F.U.C.K. is an e-zine that I started on January 24, 1993 and ended on January 24, 2000. One concept is that articles should be timeless if possible, so they were not released with dates. As such, the date on this blog is not exact but I will try to use a date as close as possible.]

Those damn fedz. How many times have you heard or read that? A lot I bet. But do you HONESTLY ever think about that statement? For example, if you say it what part of “fedz” do you hate? Hmm. Makes you sorta think about what branches you know about… less… CIA, FBI, and the Secret Service. Right? How ’bout the NSA?

“NSA? What’s that?” Ahh. Glad you asked. NSA is a part of our government that we should all know about. In a recent movie, Sneakers, a small side of the NSA came out and was exposed to a lot of people. Most probably said “I didn’t know they existed.” Other said “Yeah, I knew about them but didn’t know what they did.” Bet a lot people still don’t know that much about them. When I went into the movie I didn’t know about them really. Well, good ole me went and decided I want to know a little more about them. Bad move. I found the one part of the government that scares me more than any other branch.

I went out and read the book The Puzzle Palace written by James Bamford. On the cover it says “Inside the national security agency, America’s most secret intelligence organization”. Yep. Most secret. That just begins it. Anyway, the following information was taken straight from the book and I think you should read it all. Pretty interesting stuff in there actually.

Do you know how big the NSA is?

  • July 1954- Project K was begun. $19,944,451 dollars. It called for a 3 story Glass and reinforced concrete structure in the shape of an ‘A’. 1.4 million-square-foot main building. 60,000 square foot basement.
  • Fall 1957- Project K completed. But it had cost $35,000,000 instead of $19 million.
  • June 1963- New Headquarters building started. Estimated cost $12 million. 512,000 square feet.

After it was done it made it the size of the CIA building, and the capitol of the US put together. It housed 7,560,000 linear feet of telephone wire, 70,000 square feet of permanently sealed windows, a cooling tower capable of holding 11 million gallons of water a day and the nation’s longest unobstructed corridor- 980 feet.

For the record:
CIA Building – 1,228,000 sq.ft.
Capitol Bldg.- 718,740 sq.ft.
Total – 1,946,740 sq.ft.
NSA Building – 1,912,000 sq.ft.

  • This NSA complex is surrounded by a ten-foot Cyclone fence crowned with multiple rows of barbed wire. Along the fence are warnings telling you not to take pictures or making sketches of the building. Inside this fence is another, consisting of five thin strands of high-voltage electrified wire attached to wooden posts. After that is ANOTHER Cyclone fence reinforcing the others. This last fence is occasionally patrolled by armed guards with dogs.
  • Within this building are many different security measure that will make you wonder what they are hiding. Anyway, there is a kitchen with people slaving over stoves 24 hours a day.
  • There is a medical complex with emergency unit, x-ray machine, operating rooms etc.
  • 1966 – The ‘S’ Building was completed. This $5.7 million dollar building is 261,516 sq.ft. and was designed as the home for the Agency’s Communications Security Organization (COMSEC).
  • Early 70’s – There were 5 buildings housing about 35 hundred men and women. Also added was a mess hall that can seat a thousand people, an $844,000 recreation building, and a $2,000,000 Troop Support building to house the administration activities of the three service cryptologic agencies.
  • 1972 – A $2.6 million Sensitive Materials Center was started to contain the millions of miles of intercept tapes produced yearly. The 100,000 sq.ft. facility holds millions of tapes.
  • 1973 – The $3.5 million Logistics Building was begun. Once the 125,400 sq.ft. building was completed the NSA spent $53,000 moving 700 vanloads of paper and office equipment. Half a million cubic feet of the building is used to store the paper on which intercepts are printed.

What to do with all that paper after it has been read, analyzed, and burned. In a 1980 report by the Government Accounting Office, the NSA classifies somewhere between 50 and 100 million documents a year.

Late 1972 – Plans for a $1.2 million “classified waste destructor” to get rid of all the excess paper

That enough for you? I think not.

Under way or now finished.

  • $6.5 million Facility Control Center
  • $2.5 million Logistics Support Center
  • $2.5 million addition to the Troop Support Facility
  • $2 million dollars are scheduled for road improvements
  • $3.5 million is scheduled for other stuff such as underground communications to a beefed up security check point.
  • $92 million – 1,000,000 sq.ft. addition to the Headquarters-Operations building complex.

Yep. That is 92 million. Add all that up and consider the years it was spent in. You have a part of the government that dwarves the FBI, the CIA, and the Secret Service, yet most people don’t know shit about it. You wonder where all that tax money REALLY goes? Do you know what the NSA really does?

In one sentence they basically try to keep the US government’s communications secure while trying to break other countries communications codes.

That is all they do. And they need all that equipment and all those people and all that money. You want to know more about what they do? Read the book Puzzle Palace by James Bamford. Damn interesting and damn scary.

Guess that is all. Just want to make people aware of the shadow you never knew you had.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: