Friday, March 06, 2009

The mini-city the CIA built, "Spy City."

The mini-city the CIA built

We have obtained a copy of a CIA memo dated April 8, 1971, which indicates the agency had a vested interest in the development of the Rosslyn, Virginia office complex from its earliest days. The memo to the CIA's Director of Logistics, subject: Status of Design, Construction, and Zoning Activities - Rosslyn Area, states: On 2 April [name redacted] met with Mr. John Baldwin of the Arlington County Planning Staff, Department of Environmental Affairs, to inquire of on-going, pending, and future actions which are expected to occur in the Rosslyn area."

The memo also states that "approximately 75 percent of anticipated Rosslyn construction has been completed. Ten buildings remain to be built of the original 40 buildings contemplated."

We previously reported on the use of one of these buildings -- 1911 North Fort Myer Drive -- for a number of CIA front companies operated by CIA officers Edwin Wilson, Ted Shackley, Thomas Clines, and Rafael Quintero to smuggle weapons abroad covertly, in addition to other operations.

The CIA used 1820 North Fort Myer Drive as its Recruitment Office. Also known as the "Robert Ames Building," 1820 has since been torn down for a new building. An recruitment advertisement for the CIA's Office of SIGINT Operations (OSO), a separate entity from the National Security Agency (NSA), listed the 1820 address as the CIA Recruitment Office.

The CIA's OSO was convenient to the RCA Building at 1901 North Moore Street, where RCA was engaged in contract negotiations with the CIA's OSO to build a number of signals intelligence "outstations," including facilities in Iran during the Shah's reign, Pakistan, and the People's Republic of China.

Across from the old Ames building is 1300 Wilson Boulevard, an office building in the garage of which Washington Post reporter allegedly met "Deep Throat," who may or may not have been the FBI's Mark Felt. The story of the garage encounter has never been independently confirmed.

The Ames Building was also used for meetings of the United States Intelligence Board (USIB). A formerly SECRET NO FOREIGN DISSEM CONTROLLED DISSEM copy of minutes from the USIB's Countermeasures Research and Development Committee, Threat Assessment Task Force, dated August 28, 1974, states the nxt meeting of the group would be held on September 11, 1974 in Room 607 of the Ames Center Building (1820 North Fort Myer Drive, Rosslyn, Virginia).

A planning brochure for Rosslyn maintained in CIA files, stats that Rosslyn was "an ideal site for a heliport between North Lynn Street and North Fort Myer Drive."

In addition to the CIA, Rosslyn also housed offices of the State Department's Foreign Building Operations directorate, which worked with the CIA to obtain secure foreign diplomatic facilities, including those used for "safe houses" and CIA covert operations.

The Rosslyn planning brochure also included a photograph of Rosslyn in 1908. The people who lived in the small suburb of Washington at the time could have never dreamed that their sleepy little hamlet would one day become "Spy City."