For today's post, we will be performing research on a book in my personal collection entitled "The Secret Sentry: The Untold History of the National Security Agency" which was published in 2009 by Matthew Aid.

The Secret Sentry: The Untold History of the National Security Agency - 2009 - Matthew Aid

Matthew Aid

Matthew Morris Aid (1958 – August 20, 2018) was an American military historian and author. He was working on signal intelligence and the history of the National Security Agency.

Discovery of National Archives records removal

In 2006, Aid, a former member of the Air Force (now a historian) was performing research about the National Archives and learned that 25,515 records had been removed from the National Archives by five agencies, namely the CIA, the Air Force, the Energy Department, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Archives itself. The story was first published by The New York Times.

Court-martial and imprisonment

Shortly after interviewing Aid in 2006, Washington Post reporter Christopher Lee learned through a Freedom of Information Act request that Aid had been punished 21 years earlier for unauthorized possession of classified information and impersonating an officer while serving as a staff sergeant in the United States Air Force in the United Kingdom. He was court-martialed for unauthorized possession of classified documents and impersonating an officer, received a bad conduct discharge, and was imprisoned for a year in 1986. Aid responded that the release of his military records to the press was done in retaliation for his discovery of the National Archives records removal, which led to an official investigation and press-attention.


  • Roger Z. George, Robert D. Kline, Matthew M. Aid, Christopher M. Andrew: Intelligence and the National Security Strategist: Enduring Issues and Challenges: 2005
  • The Secret Sentry. The Untold History of the National Security Agency. Bloomsbury Press, 2010, ISBN 978-1608190966
  • Intel Wars: The Secret History of the Fight Against Terror. January 2012, ISBN 1608194817
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