V. James Bamford (born September 15, 1946) is an American bestselling author and journalist noted for his writing about United States intelligence agencies, especially the National Security Agency (NSA). Bamford has taught at the University of California, Berkeley, as a distinguished visiting professor and has written for The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, Harper's, and other publications. In 2006, he won the National Magazine Award for Reporting for his article, "The Man Who Sold The War," published in Rolling Stone.
V. James Bamford|
September 15, 1946
Natick, Massachusetts, United States
|Genre||writes about United States intelligence agencies|
Life and careerEdit
Bamford was born on September 15, 1946 and raised in Natick, Massachusetts. During the Vietnam War, he spent three years in the United States Navy as an intelligence analyst. He was assigned to a National Security Agency unit in Hawaii—as part of his three years of active duty in the Navy during the Vietnam War as an enlisted junior 3rd class petty officer administrative assistance (secretary), a non-operational support and administrative position similar to a file clerk. With the G.I. Bill he would earn his law degree as Juris Doctor, International Law from Suffolk University Law School in Boston, Massachusetts. Then, as a reservist in law school, he blew the whistle on the NSA when he learned about a program that involved illegally eavesdropping on US citizens. He testified about the program in a closed hearing before the Church Committee, the congressional investigation that led to sweeping reforms of US intelligence abuses in the 1970s.
In 1982, after graduation, he wrote his first book about the NSA, titled The Puzzle Palace. He entered the field of journalism, becoming an expert on the then highly secretive NSA. His book was researched through the extensive use of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). As a then super-secret agency, NSA reclassified certain documents in an effort to stop publication. Bamford's counter argument was that the documents had been given to him under review by the Carter Administration and were declassified when he received them. Under an executive order in place at the time, documents that had been declassified could not be reclassified. President Ronald Reagan later issued a new Executive Order to make it possible to reclassify documents, but that could not be applied against Bamford due to Constitutional prohibition against ex post facto law.
In 2001, Bamford released Body of Secrets, also about the NSA, and in 2004 A Pretext for War. His 2008 book, The Shadow Factory, became a New York Times best-seller and was named by The Washington Post as one of "The Best Books of 2008." It was the third book in his NSA trilogy and focused on the NSA involvement in the 9/11 investigations and intelligence failures. The NOVA's "The Spy Factory" was based on this book.
Bamford now lectures throughout the United States and was a distinguished visiting professor at the University of California, Berkeley. He also spent nearly a decade as the Washington investigative producer for ABC's World News Tonight. In 2006, he received the National Magazine Award for Reporting, the top prize in magazine writing.
In 2014, Bamford conducted the lengthiest in person interview to date with NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden in Moscow. The interview was published in Wired magazine in August of that year with the title "The Most Wanted Man In the World".
Work and publicationsEdit
- Bamford, James (1982). The Puzzle Palace: A Report on America's Most Secret Agency. Houghton Mifflin. ISBN 0-14-006748-5.
- Bamford, James (2001). The Puzzle Palace: Inside the National Security Agency, America's Most Secret Intelligence Organization. Viking Press. ISBN 0-14-023116-1.
- Bamford, James (April 30, 2002). Body of Secrets: Anatomy of the Ultra-Secret National Security Agency. Anchor. ISBN 0-385-49908-6.
- Bamford, James (May 10, 2005). A Pretext for War: 9/11, Iraq, and the Abuse of America's Intelligence Agencies. Anchor. ISBN 1-4000-3034-X.
- Bamford, James (September 16, 2008). The Shadow Factory: The Ultra-Secret NSA from 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America. Doubleday. ISBN 0-385-52132-4.
|August 9, 1946||Newsday (Viewpoints Section)||"The UN: A Gold Mine for U.S. Intelligence"|
|September 6, 1982||The Nation||"How I Got the NSA Files . . . How Reagan Tried to Get Them Back"|
|December 1982||The New York Times Book Review||"On the Trail of a Mole"|
|September 9, 1983||The Boston Globe (Op-Ed Section)||"Victim of the Long Electronic War"|
|October 1983||Boston Observer||"How We Know What We Know About KAL 007"|
|December 4, 1983||The Washington Post Magazine||"Big Brother is Listening"|
|January 8, 1984||The Washington Post Magazine||"The Last Flight of KAL 007: How the U.S. Watches The Soviets in the Far East"|
|January 13, 1985||The New York Times Magazine||"America’s Supersecret Eyes in Space"|
|April 21, 1985||Los Angeles Times Book Review||"Black Box: KAL 007 and the Superpowers; KAL Flight 007: The Hidden Story"|
|June 9, 1985||The Washington Post Book World||"Stansfield Turner and the Secrets of the CIA"|
|April 6, 1986||The Washington Post Book World||"The Spy Plane That Flew Into History"|
|May 1986||Proceedings (U.S. Naval Institute)||"Naval Review Issue, The Walker Spy Case: Navy Medicine, Maritime Terrorism"|
|May 24, 1986||The Boston Globe (Op-Ed Section)||"U.S. Satellite Photos of Plant Should Have Been Released"|
|July 6, 1986||Los Angeles Times (Op-Ed Section)||"Searching for Security, Casey Fires at the Press"|
|July 13, 1986||The New York Times Book Review||"Keeping Intelligence Smart"|
|August 3, 1986||The New York Times Book Review||"When Ideology Was Thicker Than Money"|
|September 28, 1986||Los Angeles Times Book Review||"Shootdown, The Target is Destroyed"|
|October 5, 1986||Los Angeles Times (Op-Ed Section)||"CIA Gets Billing Again in Nicaragua, as Covert Action Becomes the Norm"|
|November 9, 1986||Los Angeles Times (Op-Ed Section)||"Satellites Show a World of Secrets, to Rival Powers and Now the Press"|
|January 4, 1987||Los Angeles Times (Op-Ed Section)||"Reagan CIA: Arrogance Instead of Oversight"|
|January 18, 1987||The New York Times Magazine||"Carlucci And The N.S.C."|
|February 8, 1987||Los Angeles Times (Op-Ed Section)||"An Aspirin for the CIA, But Major Surgery Needed"|
|February 8, 1987||The Washington Post Book World||"Bankrolling International Murder and Extortion"|
|June 14, 1987||Los Angeles Times (Op-Ed Section)||"Ghosts of CIA Haunt Hearings"|
|October 11, 1987||Los Angeles Times Magazine||"They Also Serve Who Watch and Listen"|
|October 18, 1987||The Washington Post Book World||"The Nugan Hand Affair: Banking on Espionage"|
|October 29, 1987||Los Angeles Times (Op-Ed Section)||"Carlucci: Big Man About Intelligence"|
|February 21, 1988||Los Angeles Times (Op-Ed Section)||"FBI: If It’s Under Cover, It May Be Out of Control"|
|March 6, 1988||Los Angeles Times Magazine||"Taking on The Mob"|
|May 29, 1988||Los Angeles Times (Op-Ed Section)||"Fighting the Drug War, Congress Opens Door to Intelligence Misdeeds"|
|June 1988||Proceedings (U.S. Naval Institute)||"Book Review, Merchants of Treason"|
|June 26, 1988||Los Angeles Times (Op-Ed Section)||"A Pentagon of Impurity"|
|July 3, 1988||The Washington Post Book World||"Where Secret Armies Clash By Night"|
|August 7, 1988||The New York Times Book Review||"A Mole Without Portfolio"|
|September 9, 1988||The New York Times (Op-Ed Section)||"Reagan’s Done Nothing to Stop the Spies"|
|February 9, 1992||The New York Times Book Review||"Of Cabals and Coups"|
|January 29, 1995||The New York Times Book Review||"The View From the KGB"|
|March 3, 1996||Los Angeles Times (Op-Ed Section)||"Has a 30-Year Mystery Unraveled?"|
|August 20, 1998||The New York Times (Op-Ed Section)||"Our Best Spies are in Space"|
|August 26, 1999||The New York Times (Op-Ed Section)||"Spy Stories"|
|November 14, 1999||The Washington Post (Sunday Outlook Section)||"Loud and Clear: The Most Secret of Secret Agencies Operates Under Outdated Laws"|
|March 18, 2001||The New York Times Magazine||"My Friend The Spy: Robert Hanssen is Accused of Deceiving the FBI. If so, He Deceived Me Too."|
|April 5, 2001||The New York Times (Op-Ed Section)||"The Danger of Spy Planes"|
|April 12, 2001||USA Today (Op-Ed Section)||"Rethink Spy Missions"|
|August 8, 2001||The Guardian (London)||"Attack on the USS Liberty"|
|August 9, 2001||The Guardian (London)||"The Cover-Up"|
|August 28, 2001||The New York Times (Op-Ed Section)||"Guard the Secrets, Then Catch the Spies"|
|September 18, 2001||The New York Times||"Of Atomic Secrets, Loyalty and Bitter Deceit"|
|December 2001||Nieman Reports (Harvard)||"Is The Press Up to The Task of Reporting The Stories of September 11?"|
|January 20, 2002||The Washington Post Book World||"The Wrong Man"|
|February 7, 2002||The New York Times||"A Former CIA Cowboy and His Disillusioning Ride"|
|June 2, 2002||The Washington Post (Sunday Outlook Section)||"Intelligence Failures"|
|July 19, 2002||USA Today (Op-Ed Section)||"Linguist Reserve Corp Answers Terror Need"|
|August 27, 2002||The New York Times (Week in Review Section)||"Washington Bends The Rules"|
|August 29, 2002||USA Today (Op-Ed Section)||"Bush Wrong to Use Pretext as Excuse to Invade Iraq"|
|September 8, 2002||The New York Times (Week in Review Section)||"War of Secrets"|
|September 8, 2002||The Washington Post Book World||"Strategic Thinking"|
|September 14, 2002||The Guardian (London)||"What Big Ears You Have"|
|September 17, 2002||USA Today (Op-Ed Section)||"Untested Administration Hawks Clamor for War"|
|October 24, 2002||USA Today (Op-Ed Section)||"Maintain CIA’s Independence"|
|November 24, 2002||The New York Times (Week in Review Section)||"How To (De-)Centralize Intelligence"|
|December 15, 2002||The Washington Post Book World||"Shadow Warriors"|
|March 23, 2003||Los Angeles Times Book Review||"Ike as Spymaster: Secrets on High"|
|April 27, 2003||The Washington Post Book World||"A Look Over My Shoulder: Richard Helms at the CIA"|
|July 4, 2003||The New York Times||"The Labyrinthine Morass of Spying in the Cold War"|
|February 29, 2004||The Washington Post Book World||"Sowing the Whirlwind"|
|May 9, 2004||Los Angeles Times Book Review||"Secret Warriors: The Great Game"|
|June 13, 2004||The New York Times (Op-Ed Section)||"This Spy For Rent"|
|February 20, 2005||The Washington Post Book World||"We’re Watching Them"|
|March 28, 2005||The American Conservative||"Breeding Terror: The Intelligence Community Analyzes a Counterproductive War"|
|December 1, 2005||Rolling Stone||"The Man Who Sold The War"|
|December 25, 2005||The New York Times (Week in Review Section)||"The Agency That Could Be Big Brother"|
|January 9, 2006||The New York Times||"Where Spying Starts and Stops"|
|April 1, 2006||The Atlantic Monthly||"Big Brother is Listening"|
|August 10, 2006||Rolling Stone||"The Next War: Iran"|
|August 20, 2006||The New York Times Book Review||"Intelligence Test"|
|December 12, 2006||The Washington Post||"'Curveball' And A Slam Dunk"|
|January 31, 2007||The New York Times||"Bush Is Not Above the Law"|
|March 15, 2012||Wired||"The NSA Is Building the Country’s Biggest Spy Center (Watch What You Say)"|
|June 12, 2013||Wired||"The Secret War"|
|October 2, 2014||First Look Media||The NSA and Me|
- on YouTube December 28, 2014
- Scott Shane (October 10, 2008). "Decades on the Trail of a Shadowy Agency". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-03-08.
For 30 years, on a sometimes lonely hunt, James Bamford has pursued that great white whale of American intelligence, the National Security Agency. It has been a jarring ride at times.
- "James Bamford". Random House. Retrieved 2011-03-08.
James Bamford was raised in Natick, Massachusetts, and spent three years in the Navy before attending law school in Boston on the G.I Bill. After graduation, intrigued by the machinations of the Watergate scandal, he gravitated toward journalism. However, rather than pursue a newspaper career he decided instead to write a book. ...
- "Edward Snowden: The Untold Story". Wired.
- "The NSA and Me". The Intercept.
- National Security Agency: "American-Cryptology-during-the-Cold-War-1945-1989-Book-IV-Cryptologic-Rebirth-1981-1989"
- "Bamford, J. The Puzzle Palace. 1982". NameBase. Retrieved 2010-08-12.[dead link]
- "Report on a James Bamford Talk at Berkeley". Lewrockwell.com. 2002-02-11. Retrieved 2010-08-12.
- on YouTube, Democracy Now, Bamford interview with Amy Goodman and Nermeen Shaikh. 2012 Mar 12 (via youtube)
- "The Spy Factory". Nova. PBS.
- Drake pleads guilty to misdemeanor in NSA espionage case, Tricia Bishop, 6 10 2011
- Bamford, James. "The NSA Is Building the Country’s Biggest Spy Center (Watch What You Say)." (Archive) Wired. March 15, 2012.
- Appearances on C-SPAN
- The Spy Factory, PBS and WGBH-TV, Nova program series. February 3, 2009.
- James Bamford on IMDb
- James Bamford on National Public Radio in 2001
- James Bamford on National Public Radio in 2005
- James Bamford on National Public Radio in 2008
- James Bamford. The Man Who Sold the War, Rolling Stone, November 17, 2005.
- "Crypto man", Profile by Michael Scherer, Salon.com, December 2005
- James Bamford, The N.S.A.’s Chief Chronicler, profile by Alexander Nazaryan, The New Yorker, June 10, 2013
- "John Rendon, Bush's General in the Propaganda War", interview with Amy Goodman on Democracy Now!, November 21, 2005 (video, audio, and print transcript).
- Hour-long interview about The Shadow Factory and NSA spying with Amy Goodman on Democracy Now, October 14, 2008 (video, audio, and print transcript).
- Scott Horton. James Bamford's interviews, The Weekend Interview Show (December 3, 2005)
- Jenny Asarnow. James Bamford KUOW-FM Speaker's Forum (April 19, 2007)
- James Bamford interview (February 9, 2008)
- Kevin Zeese. "James Bamford: Inventing a Pretext for War", Democracy Rising (May 23, 2005)
- Steve Clemons. John Rendon and the U.S. propaganda, The Washington Note, (November 21, 2005)* William Sweet. "NSA Spying & FISA Court", IEEE Spectrum Radio interview (February 20, 2006)
- Section on James Bamford, Center for Cooperative Research.
- Report on a James Bamford talk at Berkeley, Lew Rockwell.com, (February 11, 2002)
- James Bamford. Washington Bends the Rules, The New York Times, (August 27, 2002)
- CHRISTOPHER DICKEY (January 9, 2009). "The Surveillance-Industrial Complex". The New York Times.