Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Arnold, Missouri Makes a Cameo in "Top Secret America"

Posted By on Tue, Jul 27, 2010 at 1:33 PM

click to enlarge Big Brother lives in Arnold, MO
  • Big Brother lives in Arnold, MO
The investigative report "Top Secret America" published early last week by The Washington Post offers a startling peak into the mysterious world inhabited Big Brother.

The authors describe how the NSA intercepts billions of phone calls, emails and text messages each day. They visit a hidden spy headquarters in Washington D.C. where unsuspecting trespassers are greeted by "men in black" who "jump out of nowhere, guns at the ready." And, most dishearteningly, they point out that the response to 9/11 has created a bureaucracy so enormous that it costs billions to operate and creates redundancy and information-overload that does little to make America safer from terrorists.

So what's all that got to do with a sleeply backwater twenty miles south of St. Louis?

When the Post talks about Liberty Crossing -- that place with the well-armed men in black -- they mention a few other hidden-in-plain-sight military intelligence centers. One of them happens to be smack dab in the middle of Arnold.
Liberty Crossing is at the center of the collection of U.S. government agencies and corporate contractors that mushroomed after the 2001 attacks. But it is not nearly the biggest, the most costly or even the most secretive part of the 9/11 enterprise.

In an Arlington County office building, the lobby directory doesn't include the Air Force's mysteriously named XOIWS unit, but there's a big "Welcome!" sign in the hallway greeting visitors who know to step off the elevator on the third floor. In Elkridge, Md., a clandestine program hides in a tall concrete structure fitted with false windows to look like a normal office building. In Arnold, Mo., the location is across the street from a Target and a Home Depot. In St. Petersburg, Fla., it's in a modest brick bungalow in a run-down business park.

Here's a satellite image of the building on Google Maps:

View Larger Map
Trying to track down what happens at the building or who owns it has thus far proved impossible. The Post created a searchable database of all the security/weapons/intelligence contractors but this particular facility isn't listed.

Any readers in that neck of the woods know what's up or have a good story about the building? Perhaps a sighting of James Bond picking up a load of lumber and drywall on the way home from the office?

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