March 10 2020 — The Minerva Files mention at least five suspicious deaths: Boris Hagelin Jr., CIA/NSA employee Gary C. Durrell, and a German employee of Crypto AG, Werner Graf. But the files do not name an NSA whistleblower and a journalist. Who are they? And why is their identity kept secret to this day? Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY
RELATED POST: Crypto AG — The Missing Piece of the Snowden Puzzle
RELATED POST: Crypto AG — What is Wrong with WP Reporter Greg Miller?
UPDATE (March 10 2022) — It has been two years already? I have no progress to report, but it is rather obvious that the simple story told by the Washington Post can not be true…
According to Washington Post 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.
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.”
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.
QUESTION — 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.”
Do you know or can you guess what “bad error” Johnson is referring to?
END of UPDATE
UPDATE (March 10 2021) — In the new Lockerbie indictment (Dec. 2020), FBI agent Rachel F. Otto writes:
“This same witness [MEBO owner Edwin Bollier] also claimed that MST-13 timers may have been part of a forgery produced by a company in Florida affiliated with the Central Intelligence Agency.”
I have already pointed several factual mistakes in the affidavit of FBI agent Otto. Here is another one and a very suspicious one, I must add.
Please read carefully the end of this post. As I wrote, it was NOT Lockerbie witness Edwin Bollier who made the allegation that PT/35(b) — the key evidence on the Lockerbie Case — had been fabricated by the CIA.
Richard Sherrow — who documented the MST-13 timers allegedly found in Togo while he was working for the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) — claimed that the timers found in Togo had been made by a company in Florida for the CIA.
When Sherrow brought this information to the attention of senior personnel at the ATF he was reprimanded and immediately removed from active duty and taken off the Lockerbie investigation.
Why would FBI agent Rachel F. Otto lie about this fact?
In a recent post, I told you that Crown Office’s David Harvie had told the Lockerbie defence teams to look carefully at the evidence regarding the MST-13 timers.
RELATED POST: Lockerbie — The Mysterious Case of David Harvie
In this memo dated November 17 1999, Harvie names CIA Jack Orkin* (assumed name), FBI Thomas Thurman, Richard Sherrow and James Casey.
All of them were known at the time to have lied about the MST-13 timers. Thurman even admitted that he had lied about the MST-13 timer under oath during a Grand Jury at the request of the FBI hierarchy in order to cover for the CIA.
During their testimony, neither Sherrow, nor Casey ever revealed that a CIA officer was part of their team during their visit to TOGO in 1986 where the MST-13 timers mysteriously appeared for the first time.
Eventually, Thurman was removed from the FBI laboratory and Casey was dismissed from the FBI.
The mystery is why, having all the information available to destroy the Lockerbie indictment, Megrahi’s lawyers decided to ignore this trove completely.
END of UPDATE
According to the information released from the “Minerva Files“,
“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.”
Ask yourself a very simple question. Why have the journalists from SRF, ZDF and the Washington Post refrained from naming the journalist and his source?
Intel Today believes that the two unnamed persons are NSA Alan D. Standorf and US journalist Danny Casolaro.
On August 10, 1991, US journalist Danny Casolaro was found dead in a bathtub in room 517 of the Sheraton Hotel in Martinsburg, West Virginia, his wrists slashed 10–12 times. The medical examiner ruled the death a suicide.
The suicide theory was so preposterous that even New York Times reporters and FBI agents had troubles swallowing it.
Emma Best has argued recently that there are over a dozen reasons to doubt the official conclusions. [MUCKROCK : The Danny Casolaro Primer: 13 reasons to doubt the official narrative surrounding his death]
“In short, the investigation was incomplete, with evidence being both withheld and fabricated. The FBI was under pressure to conclude that it was a suicide, but still questioned that. Both the police and the DOJ were uncooperative. Multiple lies were told. The chief suspect lied about his alibi, and ultimately doesn’t have one that holds up. What, exactly, happened to Casolaro is still something of a mystery – but there are over a dozen reasons why the official investigation and the resulting explanation don’t – and can’t – answer the questions around his suicide.”
On January 3 1991, Alan Standorf — a civilian employee of NSA at its Vint Hill, Virginia intercept facility — was found beaten to death in the backseat of his car in the parking lot at Reagan National Airport.
Alan Standorf was allegedly the person who provided Danny Casolaro copies of computer printouts from the PROMIS spying database system. The murder was never solved and the investigators assumed it was a street robbery that went bad. Seriously?
A few days before his death, Danny Casolaro contacted American journalist Don Devereux, who agreed to share with him some information about his own investigation.
By now, you are probably asking yourself: Did Devereux committed suicide? No, but…
On May 14 1990, Doug Johnston (35) was found dead in his car in a parking lot. Suicide was immediately suspected.
And yet, Johnston had been shot behind his left ear from a distance of at least twelve inches. There was no powder residue on his hands, and there was no gun found at the scene.
Devereux believes that the killer had mistaken Johnston for himself. Devereux lived across the street from the parking lot where Doug was killed and drove a similar car.
PS — I have written about Don Devereux before when I told you that I believe that the key piece of evidence in the Lockerbie Case was fabricated.
Here is what I wrote:
“Devereux says that [Richard] Sherrow told him that while working for the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) when asked to identify the timer in the photograph he was certain that he knew the origin.
Rather than implicating the MST-13’s original manufacturer MEBO, Sherrow said a company in Florida made the timer, and made it exclusively for the CIA.
Sherrow allegedly told Devereux, that he brought this information to the attention of senior personnel at the ATF he was reprimanded and immediately removed from active duty and taken off the Lockerbie investigation.”
Tomorrow (March 11 2020), at 14:00 local time, the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission will announce its decision in the current application in the case of Abdelbaset Ali Mohamed Al Megrahi.
Intel Today understands that the SCCRC has decided to refer the Lockerbie case back to the appeal court.
Unsolved Mysteries — Danny Casolaro
FYI — I had intended to use an episode of Unsolved Mysteries (Season 3 Episode 17) telling the story of Danny Casolaro. I had already uploaded the video (A few minutes — only the relevant part of the episode) on my youtube channel.
But a day later, this video was blocked because an obscure company claims the copyright. First time EVER this happens to me! I argued “fair use” for educational purpose and “public interest”. Denied!
Someone somewhere really does not want the unnamed journalist of the MINERVA Files to be identified…
 The NSA claims that Alan Standorf never worked for their institution!
“This responds to your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request which was received by this office on 15 August 2018, for any and all materials relating to Alan David Standorf, a civilian employee at Vint Hill Farm who was found dead in his car of an apparent blunt force blow to the back of the head around January 4, 1991. (…)
Security management files are maintained on NSA affiliates. Therefore, a search of our security filing systems was conducted. Our records do not reflect that Alan David Standorf has ever been affiliated with this Agency; thus, no records were located.”
I guess the NSA is not lying… Just like the CIA does not lie when they tell you that Gary Durrell was not working for them either… Please, read:
Danny Casolaro — Wikipedia
Doug Johnson — Unsolved Mysteries
Crypto AG — The Ghost of Danny Casolaro
One Year Ago — Crypto AG & The Ghost of Danny Casolaro
Two Years Ago — Crypto AG & The Ghost of Danny Casolaro