A leaked document from an internal NSA newsletter published Wednesday offers a look at how the US spy agency is able to tell the president what a foreign government is going to do ahead of time.
The document — which was leaked by Edward Snowden and published by The Intercept — details numerous examples in which signals intelligence has been used to notify the White House of significant events. Though the newsletter was dated February 2004, it’s likely that the NSA has done similar work under President Barack Obama.
According to the newsletter, these were some of the NSA’s most “profound contributions” to the Bush administration:
- The NSA offered intel to the White House a few days before the president was to give a speech to a foreign audience. The speech was changed as a result.
- The NSA alerted a national security council official that a foreign representative was planning to call him later that afternoon, and also knew the subject matter of the call. The official used that intel to prepare.
- The president’s national security adviser used intel gleaned from the NSA to prepare for a visiting head of state.
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