Over a decade, the tenure of National Security Agency director Michael Hayden, followed by Keith Alexander, was rife with contract fraud and corruption, according to a new group of NSA insiders who contacted WMR.
The allegations of inside deals involving NSA contractors and NSA officials enabled both the contractors and senior NSA leadership to enrich themselves while sub-standard signals intelligence systems fielded by the contractors resulted in the needless deaths of U.S. military personnel and civilians around the world. One such massive loss of life was the 9/11 attacks on civilian airliners and ground targets, the NSA insiders reported.
Hayden, along with NSA director Bill Black, who was brought back into NSA as deputy director after having retired and gone to work for Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), banked on an SAIC-developed system called TRAILBLAZER. However, TRAILBLAZER turned out to be a $280 million failure.
The TRAILBLAZER contractor team also included a small company called Object Sciences, Inc., a firm having a cozy relationship with SAIC, the prime contractor, as well as Hayden and his chief scientist, Jim Heath. In 2005, SAIC acquired Object Sciences, which was owned by Heath, for an undisclosed amount of money. As WMR previously reported: “Object Sciences Corporation, a firm which was intimately involved with tracking ‘Al Qaeda’ operatives prior to the 9/11 attacks. Object Sciences provided deep data mining services to the Army’s Land Information Warfare Agency’s and Defense Intelligence Agency’s ABLE DANGER and its affiliated DORHAWK GALLEY data mining programs.”
Competing with TRAILBLAZER were two programs developed from scratch by NSA: THINTHREAD, details of which were revealed by NSA whistleblowers, including Tom Drake and Bill Binney, and another heretofore unknown program codenamed MYTOPIA. Both of these systems, had they been implemented, would have immediately caught the communications “chatter” that would have warned of the impending 9/11 attack and would have prevented the communications of innocent Americans from being intercepted by NSA in violation of the constitution and NSA’s internal U.S. Signals Intelligence Directive regulations.
Another former SAIC principal who, like Black, transitioned from SAIC to NSA and back again to SAIC was Sam Visner. After joining NSA from SAIC, Visner was the senior acquisition manager for NSA and was key to the award of the TRAILBLAZER contract to SAIC.
WMR was told that if it was implemented instead of TRAILBLAZER, MYTOPIA would have intercepted 9/11-related communications well before the September 11, 2001 attack date. MYTOPIA was the brainchild of a former British Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) engineer who became a U.S. citizen and worked for NSA.
The relationship between NSA and SAIC/Object Sciences did not end after Hayden left NSA in 2005 to become the first deputy director for National Intelligence under director John Negroponte. Hayden’s successor, General Keith Alexander, whose dubious relationship with contractors reputedly began while he was the commander of the Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM), a position he held on 9/11. While at INSCOM, Hayden spent taxpayers’ money to develop a Star Trek “Enterprise” set at his “Information Dominance Center” at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. The set was complete with a captain’s chair in which Alexander would sit to direct his information warfare assets and use it to entertain dignitaries, including members of Congress who held the purse strings for his operations. One of the contractors for Alexander was Object Sciences.
Alexander’s daughter happened to work for Object Sciences. After taking over as NSA director in 2005, Alexander had NSA and Object Sciences dummy up some tasking requirements for his daughter so that she could accompany him on an official trip to South Korea.
Since retiring from NSA earlier this year, Alexander’s IronNet Cybersecurity Inc. received a sweetheart contract for Alexander to sell his insider NSA knowledge to the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) for a whopping $600,000 a month.
One NSA insider told WMR, “Hayden and Alexander both belong in prison for what they did at the agency.”