Random Thoughts : NSA Tom Johnson & The MINERVA Files [January 2022]

“Be a free thinker and don’t accept everything you hear as truth. Be critical and evaluate what you believe in.”

Aristotle (384 BC – 322 BC)

The painting “Random Thoughts” by Sandy Welch

January 20221 — Dear Friends, Today I will launch The 2022 Intel Today ‘Random Thoughts’ page with a couple of questions regarding the Minerva files. NSA Tom Johnson made the following comment about his work: “The fourth volume includes a couple of instances during the 1980s where somebody really made a bad error here and should have been fired. I hope it will come out.” QUESTION — Do you know or can you guess what “bad error” Johnson is referring to? Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY

“The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the convinced Communist, but people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction and the distinction between true and false no longer exist.”

Hannah Arendt

Steven Pinker is Professor of Psychology at Harvard University. He wrote a book that all journalists should have read: “Rationality: What It Is, Why It Seems Scarce, Why It Matters.”

In a piece published yesterday, Pinker argues that if the point of debate is to clarify our understanding, people should treat their beliefs as hypotheses to be tested rather than slogans to be defended. [Three ways to be more rational this year]

According to Greg Miller, Tom Johnson is the author of the MINERVA Files.

A short thread on the passing of an important historian in U.S. espionage: Earlier this year, I wrote about an astonishing CIA operation that spanned half a century. It involved Crypto AG, a Swiss company that sold encryption gear to foreign governments.

Crypto dominated the market for decades. Its systems were used by Iran, Saudi Arabia, the Vatican and dozens of others desperate to safeguard their secrets. But all along the devices were rigged and the company was secretly owned by the CIA and BND.

The stories were based on a classified internal CIA history assembled by Tom Johnson, a former NSA employee who had also written a four-volume history of that agency. I tried to get Johnson to speak with me for the Crypto story, but he politely declined.

His document was never supposed to see the light of day. But The Post obtained the Crypto history as part of a reporting project with German documentary filmmaker Peter Mueller at ZDF and Swiss broadcaster SRF.

However, this story can not be true — at least not entirely — if Mr Johnson retired in 1999 as reported by the Wall Street Journal.

“Even the vice president of the BND assumed that Boris Hagelin Jr. was not the victim of an accident. It was an intelligence murder.”

Intelligence expert Erich Schmidt-Eenboom

Beside the fatal “car accident” of Boris Hagelin Jr., The Minerva Files mention — at least — four suspicious deaths and names two individuals.

“An NSA employee allegedly told a journalist about his involvement in manipulating the Crypto AG devices.

This NSA man and the journalist died the same year from non-natural cause.

An attack in Karachi, Pakistan, during which another NSA employee Gary C. Durrell was shot in March 1995  is believed to be related to Crypto AG.

In September 2002, a car bomb killed a German employee of Crypto AG, Werner Graf, in Saudi Arabia.”

Intel Today strongly believes that the two unnamed persons are NSA Alan D. Standorf and US journalist Danny Casolaro.

RELATED POST: Crypto AG — The Ghost of Danny Casolaro

Whoever wrote the Minerva Files — and whatever the reasons for leaking these files in early 2020 — this particular document was indeed written after September 29 2002, when Werner Graf was assassinated.

RELATED POST: One Year Ago — Crypto AG : The Missing Piece of the Snowden Puzzle

QUESTION — Is it not amazing that no journalist is interested in investigating these five suspicious deaths, which have been called “intelligence murders” by a German expert?

Back to Tom Johnson. In 1992, the NSA tapped Mr. Johnson to write its history. He spent more than six years writing a four-volume history of the NSA, divided into four intelligence eras. He completed the report in 1998 and retired the next year. [WSJ]

Tom Johnson made the following comment about his work:

“The fourth volume includes a couple of instances during the 1980s where somebody really made a bad error here and should have been fired. I hope it will come out.”

QUESTION — Do you know or can you guess what “bad error” Johnson is referring to?

PS — According to a Crypto AG newsletter, Werner Graf also died in a car accident. Obviously Boris Hagelin, and those in his inner circle, had a knack for understatements…

On September 29 2002, at 4:29 p.m., Werner Graf stepped into his 77 model Ford Mercury which he had parked on the Abdulhamid-al-Katib street of Riyadh. Before he had the time to turn on the engine, someone remotely detonated a large amount of explosive hidden under his car. There was very little left of the 55 years old salesman to make an identification.

Let us know. Send us your comments and suggestions!

Please do not hesitate to contact me, should you have any further queries.

Kind regards,

Intel Today — gosint2016 @ gmail.com

“The point of modern propaganda isn’t only to misinform or push an agenda. It is to exhaust your critical thinking, to annihilate truth.”

Garry Kasparov

Random Thoughts : NSA Tom Johnson & The MINERVA Files [January 2022]

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