But I am getting ahead of the story. When I first talked to Hayes, we had agreed to meet in Las Vegas at Defcon--a strange convention of computer hackers that is also sometimes well attended by computer security personnel and a few present and former intelligence operatives. In the meantime, things began to heat up.
I had started to probe the counter-intelligence investigation of Vince Foster that was underway at the time of Foster's death, as reported by Jim Norman in Fostergate. And I had come across some evidence that said that one of the things stolen through White House channels were Presidential authentication codes (generated daily by the NSA), by which the President identifies himself in the event of nuclear war. There was also a notebook giving all the global and regional nuclear options--a menu of pre-arranged military scenarios--that the President could select. This information had been sold to Israel.
Sources were reluctant to talk, on the one hand, because of national security oaths and the highly classified nature of the subject; but, on the other hand, they were even more alarmed and angered by the total trashing of national security on the part of the Clinton administration. Some of these sources went out of their way not to blame Bill Clinton directly, and I gradually came to believe this was correct. Basically, no one was in charge at the White House, and a variety of sub-figures did pretty much whatever they wanted to. Bill himself was too involved giving speeches and chasing women and, as I learned later, snorting cocaine, to actually pay much attention to what was going on around him. And what a lot of those around him wanted to do was make some money, according to the principle that "a politician who is poor, is a poor politician indeed." Substitute "government official"--whatever.
Hayes and I had not, to this point, really talked about Vince Foster. As much as we had discussed money-laundering and political corruption, Hayes became wary when I brought up Foster, and would change the subject. But then I put out "Part 7: Allegations Regarding Vince Foster, the NSA, and Banking Transactions Spying." The CIA had taken note of the long phone conversations of Hayes and myself, and John Deutch, CIA Director, called Hayes up and accused him of discussing classified matters with me, after the post appeared on the Internet. Hayes told Deutch to fuck off, then called me up and asked for a copy of the article.
"It's on the Internet," I said. "Well, I would have to ask someone," Hayes said. So I faxed him a copy, even though his statement puzzled me. I understood, later, when I visited Hayes at his place in Nancy, Kentucky. There were no computers around except for a lonely micro in his living room. This microcomputer with no modem connection seemed as out of place as the Christmas tree in the corner that remained there year- around. Moreover, I knew about the statement of a judge in a court case, who had declared that Hayes knew nothing about computers. Hayes was obviously delighted with that judicial confirmation of his ignorance. But, on another occasion, I went to another location with Hayes and saw more operational used and surplus computer equipment than I had ever seen in one location in my life. Even the bathroom was wired and crammed with equipment. One could sit on the john and easily believe one was inside mission control for NASA. As I recall, there was also a large sign--reflecting someone's weird sense of humor--that read: "Absolutely no PROMIS software allowed on the premises."
I followed Part 7 with a post (Part 8, naturally), which reported what Israeli newspapers had to say about Israel's nuclear spying in the U.S. Much of this information had emerged at the time of the "Inman Affair"--involving former NSA director and Secretary of Defense nominee Bobby Inman. (I also mentioned a Swiss account number that had Caspar Weinberger's name on it. At the time, I thought there was an Israeli connection to the account, but this turned out to be incorrect. Weinberger's Swiss account was related to illegal arms deals, not to espionage.) But Part 8 apparently created a storm in certain circles in Washington. And again, the operational assumption was that Hayes was responsible for the content of my post. But, in fact, much of the information had come from an Israeli chemist named Israel Shahak.
One consequence of Part 8 was that Bert Lance made a trip to Nancy, Kentucky. He was acting as emissary for a fellow Georgian--namely, Newt Gingrich. It was a curious sort of contact. Gingrich had sent Lance with a sealed packet of documents, because Gingrich knew Lance knew Hayes, but Gingrich and Hayes did not know each other. (Hayes knew most of the Carter people, since he had been good friends with Billy Carter. Hayes held Billy Carter's memory with a level of respect and affection equal to the contempt he voiced for Jimmy Carter.)
"Why would Lance agree to be emissary?" I asked Hayes.
"He probably thinks there is something in it for him," Hayes replied. Then laughed. "That fellow is amazing. He could fall off the top of the Empire State Building in a straight jacket, and before he hit the ground, he would have found two parachutes, a bottle of champagne, and a gourmet meal."
The top page of the sealed package was a request to Hayes to check that the seal hadn't been broken--and to make sure that Lance didn't see any of the contents of the package. Gingrich obviously didn't trust Lance. Lance, for his part, was supposed to ensure that each page, after Hayes' reading, was fed into a paper shredder. The documents mostly concerned money laundering. It was some stuff Gingrich had been saving for a rainy day. Gingrich was sending it as an overture to Hayes, and additionally wanted to arrange a meeting.
Hayes agreed, but he was suspicious of Gingrich's motives. "If you can think of any reason--other than the stated one of discussing money laundering--that Gingrich might want to talk to me, or any hidden agenda he might have, you call me and let me know," Chuck said.
But I was annoyed. I was annoyed at those who thought that Chuck Hayes was the source of anything I had written (he hadn't been, not yet). I was annoyed at the people who had been following me around the past few days in Reno. And I was annoyed at some footprints that had appeared on the hillside outside the fence behind my house. "To hell with them all," I thought to myself, and took a circuitous route to hear some live music and to hang out on the town late at night.
But the next morning, I got up and began to prepare a fifty-page background report on Newt Gingrich.
November 28, 1996 Web Page: http://www.aci.net/kalliste/