The National Security Agency and the So-Called War On Terror

January 10, 2002


Noam Chomsky

activist, author, and professor of Linguistics at MIT.

Since the Bush administration began its so-called war on terror, we have reported extensively on the scores of peoplein detention. The identity of many of these people remains unknown. Largely they are held in communicado withoutcharges. Today we are going to look at some of the methods the government used in determining what people they wouldarrest and hold in the aftermath of September 11th. In the days following the attacks, Congress passed laws andbudgets that expanded the surveillance powers of the world’s largest spy organization the National Security Agency.

The NSA is the top-secret arm of the U.S. Department of Defense whose job is to monitor billions of electroniccommunications around the world — phone calls, telexes, faxes, and e-mails

Today, we are going to look at some of these tactics as well as taking a look at some next generation spy technology.


  • James Bamford, is an investigative journalist and author of ??The Puzzle Palace, which documents thehistory of the National Security Agency. The sequel to the book, ??Body of Secrets, was released last year.
  • Christopher Simpson, is a Professor of Communications at American University in Washington, DC. He is alsoauthor of ??Blowback among other books.