NSA Hawaii

Recently I’ve heard Edward Snowden talk about his working at the NSA in Hawaii as being “under a pineapple field.” CBS News recently ran a segment on that NSA listening post on Oahu.

Not a whole lot of actual information. “We’re in office building, in a pineapple field, on Oahu….” And part of it is underground—we see a tunnel. We didn’t get to see any pineapples, though.

Posted on May 24, 2019 at 2:14 PM16 Comments


P/K May 24, 2019 3:02 PM

Snowden first worked at the NSA facility in the Kunia tunnel, which is in an underground bunker complex from WWII, apparently located under a pineapple field.

In 2013, the NSA cryptologic center moved to a brand new building above ground, which is the one seen in the CBS report. It seems that Snowden only worked in this new building for the two months of his last job at NSA.

Tatütata May 24, 2019 3:05 PM

And part of it is underground — we see a tunnel.

Burying yourself in a hole is manifestly an Hawai’an tradition.

Secret Allies in the Pacific: Covert Intelligence and Code Breaking, Roland H. Worth, Jr., 2001:

[Captain Joseph Rochefort‘s] Station Hypo moved into its underground headquarters building facility in the summer of 1941. ” ‘The Dungeon’ as it was known,” Lt. Cmdr. Edwin T. Layton recalled after the war, “did not have windows, and the air conditioning system was notoriously temperamental.” It had only one entrance and this was constantly monitored by an armed guard. It was a place where work, seemingly, could never get done — yet was routinely grinding out vast amounts of information.

Back in that day, copies of overseas telegrams were delivered by Mackay Radio and RCA to intelligence units pursuant a verbal agreement with FDR, and the HF circuits to Japan were monitored by army units… 60+ years before Snowden.

Petre Peter May 24, 2019 6:41 PM

I thought they would’ve been under the ocean, right next to the cables to minimize lag.

Geoffrey Nicoletti May 25, 2019 6:30 AM

A great big…”So what?” Pineapples? Tunnels?Instead of pineapples, let us talk of files. Pretty sure he took one of mine delivered three days before to Booz Allen. Let’s look at Snowden (like I use to look at Martin Luther). What’s good and what’s bad? Whistleblowing? Thank you Edward. Taking files? Traitor. Visiting China…going to Russia and giving us all a laugh that he doesn’t want a tyrannical system! Should have done it like Binney and Drake.

Rombobjörn May 25, 2019 7:55 AM

The pineapple plant belongs to the genus Ananas, and “ananas” is the word for “pineapple” in many languages. The word is composed entirely of the letters N, S and A.

Patriot May 25, 2019 11:21 AM

Snowden waltzed out with 7 terabytes of their data under his Hawaiian shirt.

After downloading it. Unnoticed. From them.

Maybe they can’t protect information, but they have pineapple upside-down cake galore.

Maybe a bit of pineapple wine is going around too.

What a sorry spectacle.

Clive Robinson May 25, 2019 11:44 AM

@ Rombobjörn,

The word [“ananas”] is composed entirely of the letters N, S and A.

It reminds me of a sweet little story from years back.

A six year old girl in primary school was asked to spell out the word “Bananas” as part of a verbal spelling test. She stood up and confidently said “B” folowed by “A” then “N”, then paused another “A” where she paused again and looked down. The teacher said to her “Go on” and the girl looked up shyly and said “Miss I don’t know how many A’s”.

John Carter May 26, 2019 3:28 PM

Actually the more I think about it the funnier it gets….

The whole darn Spongebob show is a beautiful allegory for the NSA…

…geeky nerds trying to protect the secret of the krabby patty from the evil plankton and his AI wife.

John Smith May 26, 2019 8:05 PM

from patriot:

“Snowden waltzed out with 7 terabytes of their data under his Hawaiian shirt…”

And Assange dropped everything to help get Snowden out of Hong Kong, arranging travel papers and sending close advisor Sarah Harrison to his aid. Despite the MSM rarely mentioning it, I believe this is the main reason that the US and five eyes hate Assange: he helped Snowden get away.

Me May 29, 2019 3:11 PM

@ Rombobjörn

“The pineapple plant belongs to the genus Ananas, and “ananas” is the word for “pineapple” in many languages. The word is composed entirely of the letters N, S and A.”

You forgot “Illuminati confirmed!”

dittybopper May 31, 2019 10:15 AM

I used to work in the Kunia tunnel. Or, as it was known back then, United States Army Field Station Kunia.

The “tunnel” that Snowden walked down in the film doesn’t bear any resemblance to the one I walked up and down. The tunnel in the film has curved walls and is smaller than the real one, which is essentially a quarter-mile long square tube that curves gently to the right.

Leave a comment


Allowed HTML <a href="URL"> • <em> <cite> <i> • <strong> <b> • <sub> <sup> • <ul> <ol> <li> • <blockquote> <pre> Markdown Extra syntax via https://michelf.ca/projects/php-markdown/extra/

Sidebar photo of Bruce Schneier by Joe MacInnis.