Saturday NSA Reading


The tone of the answering machine message was routine, like a reminder for a dental appointment. But there was also an undercurrent of urgency. “Please call me back,” the voice said. “It’s important.”

What worried me was who was calling: a senior attorney with the Justice Department’s secretive Office of Intelligence Policy and Review. By the time I hung up the payphone at a little coffee shop in Cambridge, Mass., and wandered back to my table, strewn with yellow legal pads and dog-eared documents, I had guessed what he was after: my copy of the Justice Department’s top-secret criminal file on the National Security Agency. Only two copies of the original were ever made. Now I had to find a way to get it out of the country—fast.

It was July 8, 1981, a broiling Wednesday in Harvard Square, and I was in a quiet corner of the Algiers Coffee House on Brattle Street. A cool, souk-like basement room, with the piney aroma of frankincense, it made for a perfect hideout to sort through documents, jot down notes, and pore over stacks of newspapers while sipping bottomless cups of Arabic coffee and espresso the color of dark chocolate.



About Den

Always in search of interesting things to post. Armed with knowledge and dangerous with the ladies.
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21 Responses to Saturday NSA Reading

  1. Den says:

    Ah smell a ‘made for tv’ movie here! What a creepy bunch of Americans, forget prosperity, ain’t got time for that, there’s busybodying to do here, them commies, er, terrists are lurking and if we watch everyone we might even turn up one or two.

    The gal in the picture above is sitting at the 70’s equivalent of todays desktop,
    equipment changes but stoopid never goes away.

    In case you missed it I posted a Frank Zappa video last night late, his review of the TeeVee Nooz mocking as only Frank can.

    I always say, “mock whenever possible, praise if needed”, so there.


  2. David B. Benson says:

    Read the whole thing, including comments. Pass Gerald’s bucket, please.


  3. º¿carol says:

    Egads! It happened again, I forgot to come here yesterday. I always find that so weird when I do that, I’m so anal about routines, etc.

    It’s damn chilly here today, only 47°. Horrible. I might have to put my winter coat on for my dusk walk. 😦 I’m not ready for winter coats.

    I made a shrimp soup today, with cabbage, onions, celery, garlic, onions and pasta. Fairly healthy. I’m hungry already. Sure didn’t stick to my ribs. When I make up Bob’s dinner plate of pork roast, sweet potato oven fries and mixed vegetables, I’ll end up popping a piece or two of cold pork into my mouth. I won’t eat my salad until I shut down the computer tonight. My beer walk will keep me from being hungry, tee hee.


  4. º¿carol says:

    Den, are you the one who asked if I had seen the documentary, “Horatio’s Drive?” If so, I watched it yesterday afternoon and loved it. What a guy that Horatio Nelson Jackson was to drive a car from San Francisco to New York City in 1903. After such a feat he went on to be a publisher, a banker then joined the service to fight in WWI and was awarded medals for bravery. What a man!


  5. David B. Benson says:

    Den’s heat is leaking up this way.


  6. David B. Benson says:

    Up from the horizon: dark grey, a streak of yellow, pale sea green, angry red, dark grey, pale blue becoming darker towards the peak of the sky.


  7. David B. Benson says:

    Another home game. This time Internet not slowed so badly.


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