WIN #21-04 dtd 21 June 2004

Weekly Intelligence Notes (WINs) are commentaries on Intelligence and related national security matters, based on open media sources, selected, interpreted, edited and produced by AFIO for non-profit educational uses by AFIO members and WIN subscribers.



AFIO Summer Luncheon


10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Friday, 20 August 2004

Holiday Inn, Tyson's Corner, VA

Speakers. t.b.a.


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            Putin Says he Gave Bush Intel on Saddam Plans to Attack the U.S.

            Civilian CIA Contractor Charged in Prisoners Death

            CIA Bars Release of Parts of Senate Report



            Abu Ghraib MI Officer Reports Pressure from Washington

            1960s DCIs Comments have Contemporary Ring



            DHS to Develop Terror Warning System for Homes, Cars, Schools

            DoJ Sees Terror Danger in VoIP

            Conference Seeks Ways to Keep anti-Semitism Off the Web




                        Out and About with the Old Gang

                        Perhaps Not the Real Story

                        Did Iraq Then Presage Iraq Now?


                        Saddam Officer Said to be Prominent Qa'ida Member




                        Wall Street Journal Notes AFIO Women Spy Novelists

                        GCHQ Faces Soaring Cost of Moving House


                        Re. Democrat Bias?


                        AFIO Member Seeks Information about Vertilux Ltd.

                        Hmong in Viet Nam War - Calling Ravens or Others

            COMING EVENTS

                        30 June - NGA Director Clapper to Address NMIA Luncheon

                        03 July - Spies of Washington Tour


                        Donald Thomson Means





PUTIN SAYS RUSSIA GAVE BUSH INTEL ON SADDAM PLANS TO ATTACK U.S. -- Vladimir Putin said on 18 June that Russia gave intelligence reports to the Bush administration suggesting that Saddam Husayn's regime was preparing terrorist attacks in the United States or against American targets overseas. State Department officials reacted with surprise, saying they knew of no such information from Russia, the New York Times reported.

            "After the events of September 11, 2001, and before the start of the military operation in Iraq, Russian special services several times received information that the official services of the Saddam regime were preparing 'terrorist acts' on the United States and beyond its borders," Reuter's reported Putin telling reporters while on a visit to Astana, the capital of the former Soviet republic of Kazakhstan. "This information was passed on to our American colleagues," he said. He added, however, that Russian intelligence had no proof that Saddam's agents had been involved in any particular attack. Putin did not mention whether the plans were tied to the Qa'ida network. Bush personally thanked the chief of one of the services for the information, which he considered very important, Putin said. Putin also stressed the alleged intelligence did not effect his opposition to the Iraqi war. The criteria for resorting to military force were clearly defined and were not observed in the war to topple Saddam. A Kremlin spokesman, Dmitri S. Peskov, said that intelligence reports alone could not justify the use of force against another country. "If we all start wars based on intelligence," he said, "then it will be the end of the world."

            A State Department spokesman, Adam Ereli, told reporters he did not know anything about the information that Putin said Russia had passed on. No such information was communicated from Russia through the State Department, he said. "Everybody's scratching their heads," one State Department official told Reuters. Another Washington official said Putin's information did not add to what the United States already knew about Saddam's intentions. The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the Associated Press the Russian tip did not specify a time or a place where an attack might take place.

            Observers noted that Putin's remarks seemed odd, given the close relations that existed between Moscow and Saddam. Putin appeared to have dropped one shoe in Astana, the observers said, and the Intelligence Community was now waiting for the other one, the purpose his remarks served, to drop. (DKR)


CIVILIAN CIA CONTRACTOR CHARGED IN PRISONER'S DEATH -- A former CIA contract worker is the first civilian to be charged with a criminal offense arising from abuse of prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan. David A. Passaro, has been indicted in Raleigh, N.C. for beating to death an Afghan prisoner who died three days after he voluntarily surrendered to U.S. military. Passaro, according to the indictment, beat the prisoner with his hands, feet and a large flashlight during two days of interrogation about rocket attacks on a military base at Asadabad in northern Afghanistan, the Baltimore Sun reported on 18 June.

            The prisoner, identified as Abd al-Wali, a suspect in the attacks, turned himself in on 18 June 2003 and died in his prison cell on the base on 21 June 2003, according to the indictment. The CIA employed Passaro as an independent contractor, starting in December 2002, according to the Sun. According to court papers, Passaro was working on behalf of the CIA, engaging in paramilitary activities in support of United States military personnel, the Fayetteville Observer online reported.

            Passaro is a former Special Forces medic and is a civilian medical specialist assigned to the Special Operations Command's deputy chief of staff surgeon's office, according to command officials at Fort Bragg. He requested a leave without pay from May to August 2003. He took a job with a contracting firm working on behalf of the CIA. He returned to his job at Fort Bragg in July 2003. ''At the time of his alleged actions, he was employed as non-USASOC contractor in Afghanistan," said Walter Sokalski, a spokesman for the command.

            The case against Passaro, announced at a press conference in Washington by Attorney General John Ashcroft, has drawn attention to the increased use of private contractors to conduct interrogations. Ashcroft declined to describe Passaro's relationship with the CIA, but said the CIA's inspector general had referred Abd al-Wali's death to the Justice Department last fall. Ashcroft also said there had been additional referrals from the CIA, as well as one from the Defense department. He said each of the cases was referred to the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Eastern District of Virginia, which has jurisdiction over the Pentagon and CIA headquarters and has handled a number of high-profile national security cases. CIA spokesman Tom Crispell said the agency "does not support or condone unlawful activities of any sort and has an obligation to report possible violations of the law to appropriate authorities." He added that in Passaro's case, "That was done promptly."

            Passaro was arrested on 17 June and ordered held without bond after an initial appearance before a magistrate judge in U.S. District Court in Raleigh. A detention hearing was set for 22 June. He is charged with two counts of assault and two counts of assault with a deadly weapon, all occurring on U.S. military territory overseas. If convicted, Passaro faces a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison and a $1 million fine. In North Carolina, Passaro's former wife, Kerry Meehan Passaro, said in a telephone interview with the Sun on 17 June that he was a violent and abusive person and the charges were not a surprise to her. Neither Passaro nor attorneys representing him could be reached for comment.

            Six low-ranking soldiers from a Western Maryland-based Army Reserve unit are charged in military courts with mistreating detainees at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq while a seventh soldier has pleaded guilty in that case. An internal Army investigation at Abu Ghraib concluded that two civilians working for private contracting firms and two military intelligence officers were directly or indirectly responsible for abuses that included inmates being punched, stepped on and forced into sexually humiliating poses, the Sun reported.


CIA BARS RELEASE OF PARTS OF SENATE REPORT -- The CIA has ruled that large portions of a report by the Senate Intelligence Committee, that is highly critical of the agency, includes material too sensitive to be released to the public, The New York Times reported on 16 June citing Congressional and intelligence officials. Between 30 and 40 percent of the material in the 400-page report was deleted by the CIA in a version returned to the committee for public release, the officials said. An intelligence official said the CIA worked closely with the committee to declassify as much of the report as possible. But much in it was too specific for declassification, including information that identified intelligence sources and described operational methods, the official said.

            Republican and Democratic leaders of the committee had sought broad declassification of the report, which focuses on mistakes and miscalculations in prewar intelligence about Iraq and its weapons program. According to the Times, the CIA and ultimately the White House have by law the authority to decide what information is classified, giving them significant power over how much of the Senate report can be made public. U.S News and World Report noted that several senators threatened to unilaterally declassify the report but that talks with the CIA were continuing, and nothing would be released publicly until mid-July at the earliest. (DKR)





ABU GHRAIB MI OFFICER REPORTS PRESSURE FROM WASHINGTON -- A U.S. Army military intelligence officer who oversaw interrogations at Abu Ghraib last autumn has testified that he came under intense pressure from the White House, Pentagon and CIA to get better information from detainees there, USA Today reported on 18 June. In a sworn statement to Army investigators, Lt. Col. Steven Jordan said the pressure arose from growing concern with the rise in insurgency that was taking American lives daily. The pressure came prior to and during a period of abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib in the last quarter of 2003. The pressure included a visit by Fran Townsend, an aide to national security adviser Condoleezaa Rice, that dealt purely with detainee operations and reporting, Jordan said. He was reminded, he said, many, many, many times of the need to improve intelligence output.

            Townsend, interviewed by USA Today on 17 June, admitted to seeing Jordan at Abu Ghraib in November but denied discussing interrogation techniques or the need to obtain more information. Jordan said Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, also pressed for intelligence that would help combat attacks on U.S. forces. Jordan, who took up his duties at Abu Ghraib on 17 September, said his immediate superior, Col. Thomas Pappas, told him at least twice that some of the intelligence reports were being read by Secretary Rumsfeld and at Langley. When the CIA opened an internal investigation into the death under interrogation of a prisoner, Jordan said Pappas demanded a memorandum of understanding with the agency. According to Jordan, Pappas said, "Well, if I go down, I'm not going down alone. The guys from Langley are going with me."

            On 17 June, Rumsfeld told reporters at the Pentagon that he recalled imploring, "'Help, Intelligence Community and CIA. Give us more information.' Certainly that's a fairly typical thing in a conflict." He said he could not recall "any specific conversations" about improving intelligence results at Abu Ghraib. Rumsfeld also acknowledged that, at the request of DCI Tenet, he ordered an Iraqi terror suspect held for seven months without registering him on prison rolls or notifying the International Committee of the Red Cross, as is customary. The move delayed access by ICRC inspectors to the detainee, a suspected member of the Islamist terrorist group Ansar al-Islam that is linked to al-Qaida.

            USA Today described Jordan, an Army reservist from Fredericksburg, Va., as expert at exploitation, or gleaning valuable information from raw intelligence reports, such as prisoner interrogations. Some of the guards who testified said they were told to abuse prisoners by MI officers under Jordan, and that Jordan was aware of the abuse. While Jordan says he did not supervise interrogations, U.S. Army Capt. Donald Reese, commander of the 372nd Military Police Company at Abu Ghraib, told investigators that Jordan was very involved with the interrogation process and that when Reese raised concerns about keeping detainees naked, threatening them with dogs and depriving them of sleep, Jordan replied that "this was an interrogation method and it was something they used," Reese testified. Disarray at Abu Ghraib affected intelligence gathering with some units failing to share information they obtained from interrogations, Jordan said. Representatives of "other government agencies," a euphemism for the CIA, along with special operations forces seeking high-level Iraqis, behaved in a cowboyish manner, Jordan said.

            According to USA Today, Jordan does not emerge from the documents it has obtained as an entirely credible witness. Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba, who headed an investigation at Abu Ghraib, suggested Jordan be reassigned for lying to investigators when he denied witnessing prisoner abuses, since several other witnesses put him at the scene. Even so, the paper wrote, Jordans testimony is undisputed on some key points, and the statements of Jordan and others dramatize the pressures and conflicting agendas surrounding the handling of Iraqi prisoners at an understaffed, overcrowded prison that was under frequent attack by militants outside. Among the key points found in the papers, the paper listed:



Jordan said he thought the account far-fetched but soon learned that other Iraqis were providing similar information. When found, Saddam was living in a hole and wearing a long, gray beard. A taxi was found nearby. (DKR)


1960’S DCIS COMMENTS HAVE CONTEMPORARY RING -- The Director of Central Intelligence was furious. "I am just about ready to tell the Secretary of Defense and the President they can... shove it," he said. "I think the thing I should do is call up the President and tell him to get a new Director of Central Intelligence, that the bureaucrats in the Pentagon are trying to screw things so that nobody can run the intelligence business."

            That was DCI John McCone in 1964, as reported in Secrecy News of 15 June 2004, a service of the Federation of American Scientists. McCone was angered by a conflict over control of the National Reconnaissance Office, a DoD agency. Much of the material has a contemporary ring. In one document, "Discussion of Adequacy of DCI Authority to Coordinate the U.S. Intelligence Effort," an editorial note reports that, "McCone vigorously opposed the solution of detaching the DCI from CIA and locating him closer to the President; the DCI could not function, he asserted, if separated from the many CIA specialists with whom he conferred regularly."

            McCone's statements are published in Document 190 in a new volume of the State Department's series on Foreign Relations of the United States.   Among other things, the volume covers the establishment in 1964 of the President's Daily Brief; coordinating the intelligence community; approval of covert action abroad; and the Ramparts magazine expose of 1967. The new FRUS volume is accessible at (DKR)   




DHS TO DEVELOP TERRORIST WARNING SYSTEM FOR HOMES, CARS, SCHOOLS -- The Department of Homeland Security is to develop a system of warnings of terrorist attacks to be sent to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration which will broadcast the warning using technology that reaches homes, cars and schools, the Washington Times reported on 18 June. Lifesaving information will be also broadcast regionally and locally over the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Emergency Alert System as a crawl on the bottom of TV screens and over local radio stations. Michael Brown, DHS undersecretary for emergency preparedness and response, said the EAS will continue to be the backbone of the nation's alert and warning notifications, but that under an agreement between several agencies reached on 16 June, newer and faster ways to communicate will be employed. (DKR)


DoJ SEES TERROR DANGER IN VoIP -- Laura Parsky, a DoJ deputy assistant attorney general, told a Senate panel on 16 June that law enforcement bodies are deeply worried about their ability to wiretap conversations that use Voice over Internet Protocol services. Fast-growing VoIP technology could foster drug trafficking, organized crime and terrorism, ZD Net reported her as asserting. "I am here to underscore how very important it is that this type of telephone service not become a haven for criminals, terrorists and spies," Parsky told the senators. "Access to telephone service, regardless of how it is transmitted, is a highly valuable law enforcement tool."

            Some members of the Senate Commerce committee believe it is too soon to impose weighty regulations on the fledgling VoIP industry. "What you need to do is convince us first on a bipartisan basis that there's a problem here," said Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore. "I would like to hear specific examples of what you can't do now and where the law falls short. You're looking now for a remedy for a problem that has not been documented." Wednesday's hearing was the first to focus on a bill called the VoIP Regulatory Freedom Act, sponsored by Sen. John Sununu, R-N.H. It would ban state governments from regulating or taxing VoIP connections. It also says that VoIP companies that connect to the public telephone network may be required to follow rules that would make it easier for agencies to tap such phone calls. (DKR)


CONFERENCE SEEKS WAYS TO KEEP ANTI-SEMITISM OFF THE WEB -- Officials from more than 60 countries attended a conference in Paris on 16 and 17 June to seek ways to keep anti-Semitic, racist and xenophobic information off the Web without compromising free speech and freedom of expression, the Associated Press reported in a dispatch carried by USA Today. While the Internet is both global and difficult to regulate, officials in countries like France, where there has been a dramatic increase in anti-Semitic violence in recent years, are demanding tougher regulations to curb hate speech. Terror groups have also used the Web to plan attacks.

            French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier told the conference France has noted a clear relationship between racist, anti-Semitic and xenophobic propaganda and hate crime. But U.S. Assistant Attorney General Dan Bryant said, "We believe that government efforts to regulate bias-motivated speech on the Internet are fundamentally mistaken. Bryant said the United States believes the best way to reduce hate speech was to confront it by promoting tolerance, understanding and other ideas that run counter to racism. Many conference speakers said part of the problem was that Web sites with anti-Semitic or racist propaganda are often housed in the United States. Experts attending the conference noted there are signs that the problem of online hate is getting worse. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, with 55 member states, organized the conference with the backing of the French government. Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia were also represented at the meeting. OSCE officials said they did not expect agreement on what to do would be reached by the end of the conference.






OUT AND ABOUT WITH THE OLD GANG -- Charles McCarry, Old Boys (Overlook, 476 pp., $25.95) Charles McCarry was a CIA operative who worked undercover.  In Old Boys, his 10th novel, McCarry has Horace Hubbard, a retired spy, put together a team of fellow veterans with the mission of discovering what became of Hubbards cousin, Paul Christopher.  McCarry fans will remember Christopher from early works. Now Christopher appears to be dead after surviving ten years in a Chinese prison. The old gang sets off around the world, getting in and out of scrapes that include Horace neatly forcing a baddie in Moscow to break his own neck. Naturally, the young crowd running intel these days regards them as a pain. It turns out that the key to Christophers fate may lie with Horaces 94-year old mother and an ancient scroll supposed to be a Roman officials report on a covert operation in Judea that went wrong and suggests that Jesus was an unwitting Roman asset. Another recurrent McCarry character, the wicked Islamist Ibn Awad, wants the scroll so as to denounce Christianity as a false religion.  When he turned to writing spy novels with The Miernik Dossier, published in 1973, literary aficionados soon began thinking of him as a member of that select company that includes Buchan, Maughman, Greene and le Carré. Reading Old Boys will show you why. (DKR)


PERHAPS NOT THE REAL STORY -- Richard D. Mahoney, Getting Away with Murder: The Real Story Behind American Taliban John Walker Lindh (Arcade, 296pp., $25) Mahoneys book charges the USG with treasonous dealing with countries that assist terrorists and asserts that the Washington was responsible for the rise of the Taliban when it assisted Islamists in their resistance to the Russian occupation of Afghanistan. Others would put the blame for the latter more on Washingtons disengagement from Afghan affairs once the Russians were gone and on its indifference to the struggles between warlords that followed and paved the way for the Taliban takeover. Lindh, captured among a group of Taliban and al-Qaida fighters in Afghanistan, was at first threatened with being tried as a traitor. But he never went to trial and instead struck a plea bargain that sent him to prison for 20 years. The court also imposed a gag order barring him from talking about his experience. Mahoneys main thrust is that the Justice Department halted Lindhs trial out of fear for what might become known. Readers may find Mahoneys arguments less than convincing. (DKR)


DID IRAQ THEN PRESAGE IRAQ NOW? -- Christopher Catherwood, Churchill's Folly: How Winston Churchill Created Modern Iraq (Carroll & Graf, 280pp., $26)  While the first World War was still being fought, the British and the French arranged to divvy up the Ottoman Empire.  When the dust had settled, the French got Syria and Lebanon and the British got Palestine, Trans-Jordan and three Ottoman provinces to the east that in 1921 were confected into the Kingdom of Iraq.

            The British had a difficult time in Iraq with a determined Arab revolt, in which Sunni and Shi'i Muslims put aside their mutual hostility to fight a common enemy. There was trouble, too, with tribal leaders in Iraqi Kurdistan. British rule, to Whitehalls consternation, could not be maintained with a reduced garrison and the cost of Iraq was prohibitive for a British Treasury depleted by the Great War. The upshot was a system of indirect rule for which Churchill was largely responsible.

            Catherwood, a Cambridge University historian and adviser to Tony Blair, finds parallels between then and now and quotes Churchill's appraisal that Britain was spending a vast treasure for the privilege of living on an ungrateful volcano out of which we are in no circumstances to get anything worth having.  Yet the British stayed on in Iraq until forced out in 1958 by the military coup that overthrew the monarchy and began a series of dictatorships that continued down to that of Saddam Husayn. During those four decades the British did get something worth having, Iraqi oil for their fleet and industry. And the Iraqis got what for many of them now seems in retrospect and for all its many faults, a silver, if not a golden, age. (DKR)




SADDAM OFFICER SAID TO BE PROMINENT QA'IDA MEMBER -- At least one officer of Saddam's Fedayin, a lieutenant colonel, was a very prominent member of al-Qa'ida, 9/11 Commission member John Lehman told NBC's Meet the Press on 20 June. Former Navy secretary Lehman stressed that the intelligence on which the assertion rested still had to be confirmed but that the information came from captured documents shown to the panel after the Commission's staff report had been written. The staff report, released last week, said that while the Qa'ida network had ties with Iraq, it did not appear to have resulted in a collaborative relationship.  Lehman, Navy secretary in the Regan administration, told the TV program that the commission has faced difficulties arising from tremendous political pressures. "Everything we come out with, one side or the other seizes on in this election year to try to make a political point on," the Washington Times quoted him as saying. The Bush administration has never said that Saddam participated in the 9/11 attacks, Lehman said, although there had been numerous contacts between Iraqi intelligence and al-Qa'ida over a period of 10 years. Now there is new intelligence coming in steadily from the interrogations in Guantanamo and Iraq, and from captured documents, he said.

            Lehman did not name the Fedayin officer, but according to published accounts such an officer by the name of Ahmad Hikmat Shakir attended a planning meeting for the 9/11 attacks in Malaysia in January 2000 that was also attended by two of the 9/11 hijackers, Khalid Almihdhar and Nawaf Alhazmi, as well as senior al-Qa'ida leaders. Peter Bergen, an authority on al-Qa'ida and its leader Usama bin Ladin, cautioned that, "Shakir is a pretty common name and even if the two names refer to the same person, there might be a number of other explanations. Perhaps al-Qa'ida had penetrated Saddam's security apparatus." (DKR)







WALL STREET JOURNAL NOTES AFIO WOMEN SPY NOVELISTS -- The WSJ of 18 May recalled that AFIO member Gayle Lynds got a call from her literary agent in New York on 9/11asking her who could have done such a terrible thing. Usama bin Ladin, she answered. Speaking from her home in Santa Barbara, Calif., she told the agent that UBL was the only person with the necessary organization, financing and technical sophistication. The point she wanted to make to the WSJ was how well-informed authors of spy novels must be. Lynds has written seven, the latest being The Coil, just published by St Martins Press.

            Robert Ludlum opened the gates to female spy-thriller writers by building the plot of The Scorpio Illusion (1995) around a tough, brainy, lethal female villain, says Lynds, who collaborated with him on three novels. When she wrote her first novel, Masquerade, in 1995, the woman president of a New York publishing house agreed to buy it, only to change her mind the next day. The publisher told Lynds that no woman could have written the novel. Fortunately, Lynds found another publisher and Masquerade became a best seller. Times have changed and Lynds is now among a growing host of women writers of spy and thriller tales, writers who often claim real-life experience in the fictional world they portray. Lynds herself once worked at a think tank where she had Top Secret clearance.

            Another AFIO woman novelist is Dr. Raelynn Hillhouse. Her first work, Rift Zone, will be appearing in August under the Forge imprint. It is the tale of a woman operative caught up in a Stasi plot to prevent the fall of the Berlin Wall. Hillhouse brings to the telling her experiences living in Europe where she ran contraband Cuban rum from East to West Berlin, laundered money, smuggled jewels, and did other things, she says, that you only do in your twenties and dont know any better.  The Stasi and the Libyan secret police both tried, unsuccessfully, to recruit her. Now she works in the field of children's mental-health in Hawaii. Women aren't just props in Rift Zone, she says. They're fleshed-out characters, whereas in Ludlums and Tom Clancys books, they're not; they're the receptacle of the action, perhaps, but not actually the agent of it."

            The woman's viewpoint has become so popular, Lynds says, that women heroes and villains are not only common but also institutionalized. In fact, things might soon come full circle. "My next book may have a male lead, she says, but only because it's right for the story." (DKR)


GCHQ FACED WITH SOARING COST OF MOVING HOUSE -- Managers of Britain's top secret listening post, GCHQ, underestimated the cost of transferring technology to its new building by a factor of 10, the Daily Telegraph reports.  The cost has come to £450 million ($827.64 million) instead of the estimated £40 ($73.56) million, a parliamentary public accounts committee found. This was on top of the cost of the building that is already too small for all 4,500 staff. It is situated in Cheltenham, site of the old HQ.

            The total cost of providing GCHQ with its doughnut-shaped center will be more than £1.2 billion ($2.20 billion). The decision to move to one new central site was made in 1997 because GCHQ's 50 buildings at two sites in Cheltenham were becoming hard to maintain and unsuitable for modern technology. The committee said experts failed to realize that IT growth in the 1990s meant the move would require a big systems upgrade. (Cameron .A., DKR)




RE. DEMOCRAT BIAS? WIN #20 - 14 June 04 From Tom P.: “Some WIN readers may recall that I had 40 years in American intelligence. I was CIA "supergrade" for 18 years and was COS of four major stations, including Vietnam. From that perspective I see the current situation in Iraq as similar in emotions, controversies and political exploitations to those during a decade of our military engagement in Vietnam. Regardless of the merits of any specific issue, both sides will criticize and condemn those who have opinions different from their own. 

            One side will focus on problems in Iraq, its related international and domestic implications and its political consequences. These will be rejected by the other side as left-leaning or worse, even if they are retired four-star generals, admirals and senior officials of prior Republican administrations. The other side will try to accentuate the positive and claim successes while engaging in denial of at least some facts, but with good intentions to support political objectives they hold dear.

            This is not criticism, but reflections on history. The situation is immensely complicated, as it was in Vietnam. "Name calling" will not contribute toward solutions. Also, "left" is not the opposite of "conservative" and the so-called "right" in politics included some of the best, like Theodore Roosevelt, Robert Schumann and Conrad Adenauer, but also leaders in the U.S. and in Europe that AFIO members would not like to see as their associates. Our views should be based on the facts as we know them. We should not hide or deny the facts for what we believe or would like to see.


From Anthony A. L., also commenting on DEMOCRAT BIAS? “Your [Editors] response to, what in my opinion is a "just" observation, reinforces, I am afraid, the readers observation.  Perhaps WIN has not caught on to the "liberals" supporting the President, and his policies, i.e. Christopher Hitchins, Paul Berman, etc. Nor has WIN apparently caught on to the "misreporting" in those "sources" cited.




AFIO MEMBER SEEKS INFORMATION ABOUT VERTILUX LTD -- Does anyone know anything about a company in Miami known as Vertilux Ltd.? asks AFIO member Philip Ticktin. Vertilux is owned by a Spanish company known as Vertisol de Espana.  Any info would be appreciated. Please respond to   


HMONG IN VIET NAM WAR - CALLING RAVENS or OTHERS -- Smithsonian Magazine editor Ann Bolen is seeking anyone who knows of the rescue of U.S. pilots by the Hmong of Laos, during the Viet Nam war.  She can be reached at 202-275-2059 or at  The deadline for her article is fast-approaching.




30 June NGA DIRECTOR CLAPPER TO ADDRESS NMIA LUNCHEON -- The speaker at the National Military Intelligence Association luncheon will be Lt. Gen. Jim Clapper, USAF (Ret), Director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. The event, set for Wednesday, 30 June at the Army Navy Country Club in Arlington, VA., is co-sponsored by the Capitol Club Chapter of the Association of Old Crows. For more information call (703) 921-1800.


3 July - SPIES OF WASHINGTON TOUR -- From 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM, the Cold War Museum will host their original Spies of Washington Tour. The cost is $55 per person and includes a stop at the International Spy Museum. Tickets may be purchased online at  or by calling (703) 273-2381. AFIO members will receive $5 off by calling (703) 273-2381. Or, email Francis Gary Powers Jr., Founder, The Cold War Museum at




DONALD THOMSON MEANS -- A retired staff officer for the Director of NSA, he died, aged 86, of a stroke on 27 May at the Marshall Manor Nursing Home in Marshall, Va., where he lived since September. Before joining the NSA in the mid-1960s, Means, a linguist, worked for the CIA and the Army Security Agency. Born in Jersey City, he served in the U.S. Army Air Forces during World War II and flew 56 combat and operational missions as a navigator and bombardier with the 20th Air Force in the China-Burma-India theater. He won the Distinguished Flying Cross and two Air Medals. After the war, he received bachelor's and master's degrees in Russian from Middlebury College in Vermont. He worked for the Army Security Agency before being recalled to active duty during the Korean War. He also served in the Air Force Reserve, attaining the rank of lieutenant colonel at his retirement in 1978.

            Survivors include his wife of 57 years, Mary Nasmith Means of Gainesville; two children, Robert Means of Oak Hill, Va., and Wendy Means of Front Royal, Va.; a sister; and four grandchildren. Washington Post (DKR)


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