Cracker Jack Boxes and Crypto Rings


By Michael J. Flaherty

Presidential politics brings to the forefront a combination of technology, people, ideology and just outright skullduggery.

During my tenure in the Navy and the intelligence community, I worked in crypto encryption, message de-ciphering and taught others how to set up code platforms and retrieve codes. The current Wikileaks releases have shown the world and those who are engaged in the run for the office of the Presidency the amount of dishonesty involved in order to accomplish that goal.

The recent revelations of the dishonesty by Democratic Party members not only to the opposition party, but to other Democrats within the party who are not “anointed” by leadership, tells the true tale of its character and makes me shudder.

Cracker Jacks boxes and Crypto rings started in the United States in 1921,  just eight short years before I was born and any young child worth their “salt” during those early years wore one of those rings encoding and decoding messages which was the backbone to the secret world of modern intelligence.

I, like many of my peers learned Morse Code, listened to signals from around the world and built radios with instructions found in our Boy Scout manuals. Marconi became our saint from space and helped us dream what came from beyond the local horizon.

I joined the navy, went to radioman school, then radioman “B” school then into the submarine service. I was fortunate enough to serve on a German U-boat to study how they were so successful during World War II to communicate in such a skilled manner. Later we incorporated their methods into our communications packages and enhanced them to where the submarine service had the best communications teams in the world. It was a constant battle with only one objective in mind; to win.

When I was 19 in New London, Connecticut, I was “pitched” by an unknown person about communications on submarines. It was suspicious. I went back to the ship and reported it to the chief. He in turn took it up the chain of command who took it to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. I learned that the Russians where attempting to recruit members in the ever growing submarine force.

The Clinton team has been exposed time and time again during this race, as having no scruples and operating with the mantra of winning at any cost and destroying anyone to achieve their goals. To the Clinton team, it is inconsequential if someone is destroyed financially or has their reputation tarnished. Winning is the name of the game.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation team, under the sordid guidance of Director James Comey, has removed any thought of honest and fair play. Trump must win, in order that a new Director of the FBI and a new Attorney General can launch a fresh investigation of the Clinton team’s violation of national security protocol and laws.

I have studied cases involving John A. Walker RMC (SS) my counterpart on Stonewall Jackson Gold, who turned spying into a family business, and the amount of damaged he inflicted on the US Navy around the world. I studied the life of Aldrich Ames, Robert Hansen, Jerry Whitworth and Jonathan Pollard who spied for Israel and was released from prison in 2015. Finally, there is Snowden who is presently living in Russia.

Oh, how I wish I could find my box of Cracker Jacks Box and my Crypto rings! I had two of them, if I remember! But, that was years ago.

Michael J. Flaherty retired from the US Navy as a Chief Radioman. He served for over two decades with the CIA.

2 comments on “Cracker Jack Boxes and Crypto Rings
  1. Michael, thank you for your great commentary. I also was in a similar position as you, but in the Air Force Security Service Command. Having served for 32 years in multiple classified positions, I can attest to the fact that Mr. Comeys statement of findings on Hillary Clinton’s conduct should have demanded indictment. His conclusion not to indict in this case is so bizarre that one can only conclude he was bought and paid for. Mr. Comey should rightfully be offered the opportunity to immediately resign and face charges himself for obstruction of justice at the least. I also remember Cracker Jacks and what a thrill it was to find those cheap plastic toys stuffed inside. I never did have a decoder ring but I did have a Sgt Preston Mounty whistle and compass. Law and order was respected in those days compared to now. I feel sad for our country and the fine agents in the FBI that have all suffered from such shameful leadership.

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