Vince Foster went to a secret briefing on signals intelligence collection and cryptology at the NSA on May 4, 1993.
When he was found dead in Fort Marcy Park two months later, he had allegedly left "to meet a man employed by a company involved in construction of signals intelligence collection facilities for the National Security Agency." The same day the secret 902nd Military Intelligence Group co-located with the NSA at Ft. Meade entered the White House. Their visit is registered on Secret Service logs, and intelligence sources have given Sources journal the identity of the MIG (of which there are many). The function of the 902nd MIG is technical surveillance and counter-intelligence investigations. When Foster's computer was later reassigned to another staffer, it wouldn't boot. A computer repair shop was called and they took the machine apart and found that the hard drive was so badly damaged it couldn't be fixed. The hard disk was thrown away. The computer technician later related the story to FBI Agent Gary Aldrich.
After Foster's death "there was a VP for Systematics who came to me soon after Foster died, and said, 'Could he have died for what we were working on?'" claims former Clinton employee Larry Nichols. "...Vince Foster and Web Hubbell came to him [and] asked him and Systematics to run a couple of foreign accounts. He said he couldn't do it - it was illegal. They said, or badges, I don't remember which," Nichols says.
When Foster's secretary testified that Foster had kept two NSA binders in a safe in the White House and that Foster had received a document related to Systematics the day before he died, the alternative and foreign press started showing an interest for the Foster/NSA/Systematics angle. Both Systematics officials and the White House vehemently denied any connections. Recently declassified NSA documents, however, have confirmed the connections, and the more documents that surface, the stronger the connection becomes.
None of these events have been covered in detail in any of the official investigations. In fact, when the Wall Street Journal attempted to get the sealed Fiske report on Foster, it ran into something that can hardly be construed as anything but a national security veil. A court not only denied the Wall Street Journal access but told it not to report a word on the ruling. It is rare that a court gets away with such unconstitutional prior restraint. In appealing to the Supreme Court to overturn this prior restraint, lawyers for the Wall Street Journal wrote: "It is inconceivable that there can be any legitimate, much less extraordinary, reason for shielding the public from knowledge that" -- and there the sentence ends. For the appeal was a public document, and therefore it could not say what was under seal.
When Insight magazine started showing interest in the death of Vince Foster, its editor Paul Rodriguez was contacted by a top military intelligence official who told him to lay off this story, saying "You don't know what you're dealing with here." Rodriguez told the story to reporter Jim Norman, and when contacted by the Washington Weekly, Rodriguez did not deny it but said that it had been taken out of context.
So what national security interests are at stake here? Several suggestions have been offered: the selling of national secrets to foreign interests, the subversion of the policies of public cryptology, the illegal copying and modification for intelligence gathering purposes of a small software program from a tiny software developer, or the laundering of drug money and illegal campaign contributions through NSA contractors in Arkansas. The widow of the murdered Jerry Parks has said that Foster had Parks transport trunk loads of cash from Mena airport to Little Rock in 1991 and 1992.
Further research is required to penetrate this national security veil and answer two simple questions: why did Vince Foster die? And why are we not allowed to know the answer to that question?
[Printed in the Dec. 16, 1996 issue of the Washington Weekly]