Is James Bamford Real?
by DCDave

Carol Valentine's deduction that James Bamford is a false secret-government critic, I'm afraid, rings all too true. See

Let me relate my brief experience with the man. A few years ago the Fund for Constitutional Government organized a panel discussion in a large room of the Capitol Building of a book whose late author they had partially funded. The book was "Secrets, the CIA's War at Home," by the deceased Angus MacKenzie and David Weir, who finished it up for him. On the panel were Bob Woodward of Watergate fame; Scott Armstrong, his co-author of "The Brethren" and founder of The National Security Archive; Tim Weiner, who writes on spook matters for The New York Times, and Bill Clinton's first National Security Adviser, Anthony Lake. I would estimate that 100 or so people were in attendance, virtually all of whom were spooks and/or "journalists." I had been given a heads-up about the program by its organizer and my friend at the Fund, Ernest Fitzgerald. (The days when regular citizens like me can just show up at a gathering in the Capitol Building, alas, appear to be long gone.) I was told later that when they opened the floor for questions, the first person recognized was the stooge standing next to me in the back of the room. I conveniently thought they were recognizing me and beat the stooge to the punch with my question. I asked Woodward why his Washington Post had never written anything about the unsolved murder of the young female security guard at the super secret National Reconnaissance Office complex shortly before the purpose of the new buildings was revealed. I'm sure the panel was made uncomfortable by the question, and Woodward looked more pained than usual. He pleaded ignorance and asked me to fill him in after the meeting. I did so, giving him by mail later the clipping that is excerpted as the "Tina Ricca Murder.

I asked Woodward to alert me when The Post did its own story, but I'm still waiting. Interestingly, of the large number of writers and journalists present, the only one to approach me afterward and ask for more details was James Bamford. To my knowledge, he never wrote anything about the murder and apparent cover-up either. Now that I see what kind of person Bamford likely is, I think it's a very good thing for me that the only information I had about the Ricca case was already out in the public arena. It's pretty clear to me now that the role of these "investigative reporters" is not that of a watchdog on government corruption but that of a bird dog on the citizenry, pointing out to the corrupt authorities the ones they might have a problem with. After all, suppose I had some private information that pointed to, say, the CIA as the culprits. Who would I go to, the FBI, the local cops? Valentine speculates that convicted FBI agent Robert Hanssen might have gone to rotten FBI higher-ups with advance warning of 9-11. Maybe it was Bamford he went to, and that was his big mistake. The odd cozy relationship they had reminds me of the cozy relationship between the Washington Post's CIA-beat reporter, Walter Pincus, and the late Vincent Foster. Pincus' revelations about Foster, as I point out in part 1 of my "America's Dreyfus Affair, the Case of the Death of Vincent Foster," represented "the first instance of anyone publicly saying that he noticed any behavior in Foster that one might describe as, at most, agitated." As such, it played a very large role in planting in the public mind the notion that Foster had been "depressed" enough to commit suicide. These are the kinds of friends our journalists make these days.

David Martin
May 20, 2002

Addendum, March 22, 2006

 In his March 20, 2006, article about the Israel lobby in the United States, columnist, Justin Raimondo, apparently lets the cat completely out of the bag when, in the second paragraph, he includes Bamford among members of the "intelligence community" who have begun to criticize Israel for its pernicious influence over U.S. foreign policy.   The two men with whom he is grouped are both former CIA counter-terrorism experts.  Bamford has no known affiliation, either currently or formerly, with any intelligence agency.

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