AFIO Weekly Intelligence Notes #31-08 dated 11 August 2008






Book Reviews


Career Opportunities


Research Request

  • Author seeks help with Review of Three Intelligence Agencies

Coming Events  

Current Calendar Next Two Months ONLY:


Two Upcoming
AFIO National Events

CIA-OSI Conference
AFIO members are invited to attend a conference at CIA Headquarters on
Friday, 3 October 2008
from 1:30 - 5:15 p.m.
on the
History of the Office of Scientific Intelligence

Attendees will receive a special program with declassified documents, and a DVD filled with thousands of pages of additional documents, photographs and videos as part of this new declassification.

The conference is unclassified. Includes reception and tour of the CIA Museum.

Further details.....

Also in October.....

AFIO 2008 Fall Intelligence Symposium
Threats to U.S. Security
Technology Theft, Insider Threats, Economic Espionage
and International Organized Crime

State Department SealDept of Justice Seal

Three Days: Day 1 [10/23] at MITRE Corporation; Day 2 [10/24] at Department of State:
Day 3 [10/25] at Sheraton-Premiere Hotel

Draft agenda [available mid-August]; Early reservations are

HOTEL RESERVATIONS available now at special AFIO Event Rate:
Make your Sheraton-Premiere Hotel reservations
here while low-rate window remains open.

Tentative Program
Wednesday, October 22: heavy hors d'oeuvres and evening registration for hotel-based attendees,
Thursday morning, October 23: Chapter workshop/breakfast; Main Reservations
Thursday, October 23: MITRE Corporation;
Friday, October 24: U.S. Department of State Intelligence Division;
Friday evening, October 24: Awards Banquet, Saturday morning, October 25: General membership meeting.
The program ends 11 a.m. Saturday October 25 leaving time for exploring local area Museums [International Spy Museum, the newly reopened Newseum, the new National Museum of Crime and Punishment, National Cryptologic Museum, Air & Space] and to make plans to return home


WIN CREDITS FOR THIS ISSUE: The WIN editors thank the following special contributors to this issue: pjk, fwr and dh.  They have contributed one or more stories used in this issue.

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CIA Vet May Face Repercussions for Revealing Agency Secrets. A 25-year CIA veteran has written a unauthorized, 384-page book that sharply criticizes the mismanagement and misdoings of the agency, creating an unprecedented test of the rights of former employees to reveal potentially harmful information.

"The Human Factor: Inside the CIA's Dysfunctional Intelligence Culture" was written under the pseudonym "Ishmael Jones" to protect people the author has met who didn't know he was working undercover.

Jones denies that the work contains any classified information and said he wrote the book to "improve the system and help it defend ourselves and our allies."

"I realized the CIA's clandestine service was broken," the author said in an interview with FrontPage Magazine. "My mission has always been to defend America, and for many years I sought to do this by producing intelligence as an active CIA officer. Today, using this book as a tool, I seek to defend America by working to fix our broken clandestine service."

Jones is donating the book's earnings to the family of a soldier killed in Iraq and said he is ready for the consequences of publishing his book.

In a previous case, former CIA operative Frank Snepp faced heavy repercussions after he skipped agency censors and published an account of his Vietnam tour titled "Decent Interval: An Insider's Account of Saigon's Indecent End, Told by the CIA's Chief Strategy Analyst in Vietnam."

The CIA sued him and won in landmark Supreme Court case that ended with the confiscation of Snepp's earnings by the agency.

The court justified the decision on the basis that Snepp violated his employment contract by not submitting the book to the agency's censors.

Snepp said Jones is "inviting big trouble" because he actually submitted the book to the CIA for review, which approved only about one percent of it, according to Jones. Undeterred, Jones published the whole thing anyway.

CIA spokesman Paul Gimigliano told CQ Politics that Jones' book was fiction and declined to say what, if any, legal action the agency might take in response.  [McLemore/RawStory/2August2008]   

Pakistan Concedes Some ISI Spies Sympathetic to Taliban. Stung by U.S. allegations that elements in its premier spy agency colluded with Islamic militants in last month's bombing of the Indian Embassy in Afghanistan, Pakistan acknowledged that there "probably" were Taliban sympathizers within the ranks of its powerful intelligence establishment.

The Pakistani government, which immediately and indignantly denied the reports of its spies' involvement in the bombing, reiterated that there was no evidence that members of its Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence had aided Taliban militants in the July 7 attack on the embassy in the Afghan capital, Kabul, which left about 60 people dead.

But a few days later, senior Pakistani officials were offering a more nuanced response to U.S. intelligence officials' allegations of ISI complicity.

"There is no proof of ISI involvement" in the attack in Kabul, said Pakistani Information Minister Sherry Rehman, who is close to Prime Minister Yusaf Raza Gillani and accompanied him on an official visit to Washington this week.

But she added: "There are probably still individuals within the ISI who are ideologically sympathetic to the Taliban, and act on their own in ways that are not in convergence with the policies and interests of the government of Pakistan... We need to identify these people and weed them out."

U.S. officials allege that the ISI has financed, supported and possibly trained members of the Taliban-linked extremist network headed by Afghan tribal warlord Jalaluddin Haqqani, and that his network was responsible for the Indian Embassy blast and other attacks. [King/LATimes/2August2008] 

Spy Hackers "Pose Major Threat to UK." Attempts by foreign spies, including Chinese, to hack into British computers pose a major threat to national security, the Government has warned. Electronic raids on communication and IT systems have been identified as the biggest threat to Britain after a 7 July-style attack.

Whitehall computer systems storing secret data, as well as commercially-sensitive information held by British companies, are under constant attack from hackers. The Government's first national risk register also warned of the danger from a flu pandemic, coastal flooding or a major industrial accident.

Whitehall sources have warned that the Government faces constant cyber-attack from the Chinese. The Russians are also suspects.

The Government stated that the most likely threat to Britain came from a terrorist attack on travelers. Trains are judged to be "more vulnerable" than airplanes because of the security measures in airports.

A flu pandemic was rated the threat that would have the biggest impact on the UK and the fifth most likely to happen. An outbreak could claim up to 750,000 lives, with 30 million infected. [Morris/Independent/9August2008] 

US-China Spy Jailed for 15 Years. A Taiwan-born US national who admitted passing US military secrets to China has been sentenced to more than 15 years in a US prison.

Tai Shen Kuo, a furniture salesman from New Orleans, used gifts and job promises to convince a former Pentagon analyst to hand over secret documents.

He then passed the files, which mainly concerned US sales to Taiwan and military communications, to Beijing.

Kuo's Pentagon contact and an intermediary had earlier been jailed.

Court reports said that Kuo, a naturalized US citizen, received $50,000 from an unnamed Chinese agent for passing the documents to Beijing.

The US Justice Department said that he had "cultivated a friendship" with policy analyst Gregg Bergersen, showering him with gifts and dinners and leading him to believe that on his retirement he would be given a job in a company selling American defense technology to Taiwan. [BBC/8August2008] 

US Intelligence Alerts Travelers to Cyber Spies. A US intelligence office Friday warned Americans traveling to the Beijing Olympics or elsewhere to expect cyber spies to surreptitiously compromise their laptops, cell phones, and other electronic devices.

The unusual advisory issued by the National Counterintelligence Executive (NCIX) did not single out China by name, but the head of the office did in a press release and a television interview.

Brenner said the Chinese public security services can activate a person's cell phone or Blackberry when he or she thinks it is off, and use it as a microphone.

His suggestion is to remove the battery. Or better yet leave it at home.

The advisory said travelers should have no expectation of privacy in Internet cafes, hotels, offices or public places, adding that phone networks and hotel business centers are regularly monitored in many countries.

All information sent electronically - by fax, personal digital assistant, computer, or telephone - can be intercepted, the advisory said.

Malware can also be transferred through USB sticks and computer disks. [AFP/8August2008] 

British Spy Plane Intelligence "Lacking." The effectiveness of unmanned aerial vehicles used by UK military in Iraq and Afghanistan is being undermined by skills shortages, MPs have warned.

The said the reconnaissance drones have "battle-winning" properties, but how the intelligence they gather is processed needs to be improved.

UK forces currently use three types of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) - the American-made Reaper, the Hermes 450 and the Desert Hawk.

The Reaper - of which the UK owns two after a third crashed in Afghanistan - is operated remotely via a satellite link by an operator based in Nevada in the US. It is used to detect snipers or insurgents and roadside bombs, which have become one of the biggest threats to forces on operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is also one of the UK's main tools in hunting down Taleban or al-Qaeda operatives.

The less powerful Hermes 450 and Desert Hawk are both operated in the field.

According to the report, the Army had a 48% shortfall in UAV operators at the start of 2008, while the RAF was 18% shy of the number needed to assess the intelligence value of images. [BBC/8August2008] 

Controversial US Spy Office Closed. The defense department said it had "disestablished" the Counterintelligence Field Activity office (Cifa), which managed defense work against intelligence threats from other nations and groups such as al-Qaeda.

Cifa caused concern after a database known as Talon, developed to monitor threats against US military installations, was found to have kept information about US anti-war protesters even after they were found to have posed no security risk, officials said.

The work will now be carried out by a new department called the Defense Counterintelligence and Human Intelligence Center, overseen by the Pentagon's Defense Intelligence Agency. [MWCnews/7August2008] 

Official Says Pentagon Steps Up Spy vs. Spy Operations. The Pentagon is stepping up the use of offensive spy versus spy operations to thwart espionage by foreign intelligence agencies or terrorist groups, according to senior defense officials.

They said the Defense Intelligence Agency is being given a larger mandate to pursue the "strategic offensive counter-intelligence operations" as part of a reorganization approved late last month.

"These are very tightly controlled, compartmented activities run by a small group of specially selected people within DoD (Department of Defense)," said Toby Sullivan, a senior Pentagon counter-intelligence official.

The objectives for the operations are set at high levels of the government and directed against "individuals known or suspected to be foreign intelligence officers, or connected to foreign intelligence or terrorist activities," he said.

Conducted clandestinely, the operations are not intended to catch spies but to turn their operations to US ends, according to the officials, who briefed reporters at the Pentagon.

"There have been some spies caught because of someone else making a mistake and us picking up on it," Sullivan said. "But by and large these are not run to identify spies. These are run to thwart what the opposition is trying to do to us, and to learn more about what they are trying to get from us," he said.

The DIA was given authority to conduct the operations for the first time two years ago on a trial basis.

Sullivan said the agency's capacity to run them have been built up over that time. "They performed admirably," he said, refusing to provide further details.

The agency now has formally been given authority for them under a reorganization that has combined counter-intelligence and human intelligence in a single center in the DIA.

The DIA joins three other Pentagon agencies that are authorized to run them - US Army counter-intelligence, the Naval Criminal Investigative Services and the Air Force Office of Special Investigations. [AFP/6August2008] 

Arab Israeli Indicted as Alleged Hezbollah Spy. A court near Tel Aviv on indicted an Arab Israeli man on charges of spying for the Lebanese Shiite Muslim militia Hezbollah.

The indictment alleges that Khaled Kashkush, 29, had made contact with the militia while he was studying medicine in Germany. He was arrested on July 16 at Ben Gurion International airport on his return from Germany.

In twice-monthly meetings, he would give Hezbollah information about Arab Israeli students abroad who might be recruited by the militia, the charge sheet said.

He allegedly received funds from Hezbollah, which asked him to infiltrate the management of two hospitals in Israel. [AFP/6August2008] 

British Agencies Fear One-Way Flow of Information. Britain's intelligence and security services are preparing to oppose European Union plans to force them to share the information they gather. The proposals would force MI5 and MI6 to hand over intelligence to be managed by a European intelligence assessment centre.

The EU Joint Situation Centre, known as SitCen, is based in Brussels from where it assesses terrorism, arms proliferation and crisis regions as well as providing crisis management for EU operations.

But the idea of handing over intelligence to Brussels with the prospect of little in return and the risk of compromising sources has sent shivers through the security services.

"Information is the business we are in and we have very well-developed practices for sharing it around the world," a senior security source said yesterday. "This may sound good on paper but if we share information we want to know it is shared for a purpose and that everyone is contributing.

"It has to be used with a sense of responsibility and we want to know where we are sending it and who is protecting it. If our sources are compromised it makes gathering intelligence so much harder and we have a duty to protect information that is passed to us."

Paul Cornish, an expert in international security at the Chatham House think-tank, said: "The difficulty with the EU is that it is a complex organization and there are risks in sharing information with countries like Bulgaria or Hungary that it will end up in other hands."

Efforts to share intelligence within the EU have always fallen at the first hurdle. It has only been in recent years that Nato members have begun to establish a level of trust. Even then, the loss of information about Nato bombing targets during the Kosovo campaign of the 1990s, blamed on middle-ranking French officers, emphasised the dangers.

Some European nations envy the level of information exchange and mutual respect that Britain enjoys with the United States. After the Glasgow bombings last year, Ronald K. Noble, the secretary general of Interpol, criticized the lack of information sharing.

A Scotland Yard counter-terrorism source said: "We share information across the world but we have particularly strong ties with the US."

It is unlikely that the security services would want to jeopardize that close working relationship. [Novinite/9August2008] 


How Does the CIA Keep its IT Staff Honest? Be prepared to go through a lot of scrutiny if you want to work in the Central Intelligence Agency's IT department, says CIO Al Tarasiuk. And it doesn't stop after you get your top secret clearance. "Once you're in, there are frequent reinvestigations, but it's just part of process here," says Tarasiuk, who also gets polygraphed regularly, though he won't be more specific.

For those senior IT managers who are the "privileged users," meaning system administrators, "there is certainly more scrutiny on you," Tarasiuk says. "It's interesting: there's so much scrutiny that a normal person might not want to put up with that. But it's part of the mission."

There's so much top secret information contained within the CIA's systems that IT plays a key infosecurity role in making sure that CIA employees are not doing anything nefarious. There's also the persistent threat of foreign government intelligence agencies trying to break into the CIA's networks and databases. "We have a counterintelligence center that helps us with that," Tarasiuk says. "They are very concerned about foreign intelligence services that are interested in penetrating the CIA. Because of that we pay particular attention to the kinds of things we put on our network."

The CIA's networks aren't directly connected to the Internet. "We have a very closed network that's connected to an intelligence community enterprise," Tarasiuk says, "so I don't necessarily have the worries about the hackers from the Internet trying to break through."

What he does have to be concerned with is those who are allowed on the CIA's networks: whether it's a simple computing oversight by a CIA analyst or a disgruntled spy intent on selling top secret intel to Chinese government officials. "Anyone who logs into any one of our systems knows they are being audited, and we look for anomalies," he says. "We always have some worries about a rogue person on a network doing this. But we can catch them."

So you have caught people? "We catch people getting into places they shouldn't go, from time to time," Tarasiuk responds.

When asked about the fact that human beings are typically the weakest link in any IT system, Tarasiuk concurs. "Nothing's perfect. The system's not perfect," he says. "Some of [the infosec alerts] might be legitimate results of why they are doing it; some might be false positives. But for the most part we feel very strongly that we can detect when someone is doing something of a malicious nature." [Wailgum/Networkworld/7August2008] 


Al-Qaida Said to Lose Key WMD Operative. The killing of an al-Qaida chemical weapons expert in a missile strike two weeks ago on a Pakistani border village has dealt a heavy blow to the terrorist group's ambitions to build weapons of mass destruction, a former CIA case officer says.

Abu Khabab al-Masri was dubbed by terrorism analysts as al-Qaida's "mad scientist." His most notorious work, recorded on videotape, showed dogs being killed in poison gas experiments in Afghanistan when the Taliban ruled.

"If he is out of the picture, al-Qaida's weapons of mass destruction capability has been set back, which would make this one of the more effective strikes in recent years," Arthur Keller, an ex-CIA case officer in Pakistan, told The Associated Press. Keller led the hunt for al-Masri in 2006.

The US offered a $5 million bounty for the 55-year old Egyptian, and the CIA had been hunting him for years. Al-Qaida confirmed his death days after the July 28 attack by unmanned drones on a tribesman's compound in the village of Azam Warsak in South Waziristan.

Al-Masri, whose real name is Midhat Mursi al-Sayid Umar, got his chemical weapons training in the Egyptian army before defecting to the militant Islamic Jihad group, founded by al-Qaida's no. 2 leader, Ayman al-Zawahri.

The U.S. government says that since 1999, al-Masri had been distributing manuals for making chemical and biological weapons.

U.S. intelligence agencies tracking al-Masri viewed him as "frightening," said Brian Glyn Williams, an associate professor of Islamic history at the University of Massachusetts, who has just completed research for the U.S. government on weapons of mass destruction.

"From the U.S. government perspective, he was seen as a major threat. His potential to develop primitive weapons of mass destruction was not taken lightly by U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies," said Williams.

Al-Masri was also suspected of helping to train the suicide bombers who attacked the destroyer USS Cole in Yemen in 2000, killing 17 American sailors. More recently, he trained militants fighting Western troops in Afghanistan.

His death had already been wrongly reported in a 2006 strike. This time it was confirmed in an al-Qaida statement that said he and three other senior al-Qaida figures were killed, along with some of their children.

Al-Masri is the second senior al-Qaida leader to die in missile strikes in Pakistan this year. In January, Abu Laith al-Libi, a top strategist for the group in Afghanistan, was killed in North Waziristan. [Gannon/AP/6August2008]

Accused Al Qaeda Sleeper Agent in Custody. One of the more elusive and mysterious figures linked to Al Qaeda - a Pakistani mother of three who studied biology at MIT and who authorities say spent years in the United States as a sleeper agent - was flown to New York on Monday night to face charges of attempting to kill U.S. military and FBI personnel in Afghanistan.

The Justice Department, FBI and U.S. military in Afghanistan said that Aafia Siddiqui, 36, was arrested in Ghazni province three weeks ago. She is accused of firing an automatic rifle at FBI agents and soldiers and is scheduled to appear before a federal judge in Manhattan today.

But questions swirled around her Monday evening, including whether she has been in Pakistani custody for at least part of the last five years and whether there is hard evidence that she was a trained, committed and hardened Al Qaeda operative, as former Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft and other U.S. officials have contended.

"This doesn't pass the sniff test," Elaine W. Sharp, a Massachusetts defense lawyer representing Siddiqui, said of the circumstances surrounding her client's arrest. She said her client was not an Al Qaeda terrorist, but an innocent woman who had been held at Bagram air base in Afghanistan or elsewhere for the last several years and tortured by some combination of U.S., Pakistani and Afghan officials.

Sharp said that Siddiqui had obtained an undergraduate biology degree from MIT and a doctorate in behavioral neuroscience from Brandeis University, both near Boston, and that she had lived a quiet life in the Boston area, and in Houston before that, before returning to her native Pakistan in late 2002.

One senior U.S. federal law enforcement official refused to comment on the case, except to say that Siddiqui was an extremely significant catch and that authorities had pledged not to discuss any details of the operation because of its sensitivity and relationship to ongoing counter-terrorism operations.

For years, the FBI and the CIA have been desperately trying to find Siddiqui, who they say spent several years in Boston as a "fixer" for admitted Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, providing haven and logistical support for terrorist operatives that he sent to the United States to launch attacks.

Siddiqui also bought diamonds in Liberia as part of Al Qaeda financing efforts and married Mohammed's nephew, Ali Abdul Aziz Ali, according to several U.S. counter-terrorism officials and government documents.

One former CIA weapons of mass destruction analyst who tracked Siddiqui said that she became extremely frustrated years ago, however, when she was told by senior Al Qaeda leaders to help their cause by getting pregnant.

Siddiqui never gave up her desire to launch attacks against the United States and its allies, according to FBI and Justice Department records made public Monday night.

According to court papers, Afghan national police officers in Ghazni province, south of Kabul, the capital, observed Siddiqui acting suspiciously near the provincial governor's compound July 17.

When they searched her handbag, they found documents relating to explosives, chemical weapons and weapons involving biological materials and radiological agents, along with descriptions of landmarks in New York City and elsewhere in the United States, and liquid and gel substances sealed in bottles and jars.

The next day, according to the court papers, she was being questioned by two FBI agents, an Army captain and an Army warrant officer, along with their interpreters.

A spokeswoman for U.S. forces at Bagram air base, Lt. Col. Rumi Nielson-Green, said Siddiqui, who was being interrogated at an Afghan police station, grabbed a gun that a U.S. military officer had laid down while speaking to Afghan police. He did not realize Siddiqui was in the room at the time, unsecured, because she was hidden behind a curtain.

"She seized a weapon and began to shoot," Nielson-Green said. "Our officer returned fire. She was shot in the stomach, but continued to struggle."

She was subsequently hospitalized at Bagram and "was not in the detention facility at any time," Nielson-Green said. Siddiqui was flown to the United States after being found well enough to travel, the spokeswoman said.

Siddiqui is charged in a criminal complaint filed in the Southern District of New York with one count of attempting to kill United States officers and employees and one count of assaulting U.S. officers and employees. If convicted, she faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison on each charge. [Meyers/LATimes/5August2008] 


Book Reviews

'Putin's Labyrinth' Exposes 'Dark Heart' of the New Russia, by Steve LeVine, reviewed by David M. Kinchen. As I sit at my computer writing a review of Steve LeVine's "Putin's Labyrinth: Spires, Murder, and the Dark Heart of the New Russia" (Random House, 224 pages, $26), I'm also listening to news accounts on TV of a widening conflict between Russia and its former Soviet Republic of Georgia, now an independent nation.

LeVine writes about a Russia embolded by escalating oil wealth and hell-bent on restoring the superpower status the nation enjoyed as the former Soviet Union. To no one's surprise, Vladimir Putin, former president of Russia and now its prime minister, is the man LeVine targets for the suspicious deaths of journalists such as American Paul Klebinov and Russian Anna Politkovskaya, shot to death in the elevator of her apartment building - on Putin's birthday, Oct. 7, 2006. Putin reinstated - although some could claim that it never had lifted, even in the Gorbachev era - a climate of fear that has been a hallmark of Russia since its creation.

Politkovskaya, a fearless investigative journalist - I can imagine Vanessa Redgrave, Helen Mirren, Meryl Streep or Judi Dench playing her in a movie - was a thorn in the side of Putin, former head of the FSB, the successor to the KGB, for her coverage of Chechnya and the conflicts in the 1990s that continue today.

Klebinov, an American who was proud of his aristocratic Russian forebears, was the editor of Forbes Russia. He may have been killed - shot on the evening of July 9, 2004 near his office - for doing what's routine in the States - compiling a Russian version of the Forbes 400 list of the richest people in Russia. He had also written a scathing 2000 book about the "oligarch" Boris Berezovsky, titled "Godfather of the Kremlin," that may have incurred the wrath of the billionaire, who had successfully sued Klebinov for libel in the 1990s.

LeVine, who lived and reported from the former Soviet Union for more than a decade in his 18 years as a foreign correspondent, provides the historical background for the "culture of death" that has been a Russian tradition since the beginning of the nation and continues under the all-powerful Putin. The "culture of death" includes targeted assassinations of the Russia's perceived enemies to the Kremlin's indifference when innocent hostages are slaughtered at the "Nord-Ost" performance in a Moscow theatre or in a school in Beslan or civilians are killed in cities and villages in Chechnya.

Further, LeVine says, Putin's autocratic regime - no one doubts that this clever lawyer and veteran spymaster controls the strings of the current president, Dmitri Medvedev - even blames the victims of poisonings and shootings, not to mention a journalist on the verge of publishing a major story of state corruption who conveniently "committed suicide" by jumping off his apartment balcony. LeVine reminds us that many suspicious - and convenient - "accidents" occurred in the Stalin era to those targeted by the brutal dictator.

One of the centerpieces of "Putin's Labyrinth" is LeVine's investigation of the 2006 death of defector Alexander Litvinenko in London. LeVine traces the steps of this KGB-spy-turned-dissident on his way to being poisoned with polonium-210, a radioactive isotope. The author, in a series of interviews in San Bernardino, CA with a KGB defector who was nearly killed in strangely similar circumstances fifty years earlier, shows the "Groundhog Day" similarity of recent events with those of a half century before.

LeVine's book reads like a spy thriller, but I wish the publishers had gone the extra mile and provided an index. Sources - LeVine is an outstanding reporter who has worked on the Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, and now is chief foreign affairs writer for BusinessWeek - are documented and a bibliography is included, but - as I've said in the past - every nonfiction book needs a good index.

"Putin's Labyrinth" is an extremely readable account that as timely as today's news stories. I recommend it without reservation. [Huntingtonreview/8August2008] 


Roger Hall, 89, Former Intelligence Agent Wrote Bestselling WWI Spycraft Memoir. Roger Hall, who wrote "You're Stepping on My Cloak and Dagger," a wry memoir about World War II spycraft that became a cult classic in intelligence circles and appealed to a wide audience for its irreverence, died July 20 of congestive heart failure at his home in Wilmington, Del. He was 89.

Hall's 1957 bestseller was based on his time in the Office of Strategic Services, the wartime precursor to the CIA. The appeal was in Hall's narrative as a man of nerve battling the enemy and his pompous superiors.

Hayden Peake, a former Army intelligence and CIA agent and an authority on the literature of intelligence, called the book "one of the best OSS memoirs," saying it was written by "someone who could perform [dangerous work] but was a kind of a free spirit."

Critic Charles Poore, writing in the New York Times in 1957, called the memoir "the funniest (unofficial, that is) record of rugged adventure in the OSS."

Hall described himself as an ideal match for the OSS, which was interested less in formal military expertise than in recruiting agents who could use their wits and innovation in sticky situations to win the war.

"There were no parameters, and you did what the hell you wanted, up to legal and military limits," he told the Washington Post in 2002. "The more creative you were, the more they liked it."

Hall learned guerrilla warfare at Maryland's Congressional Country Club, which the OSS had taken over for training, and infiltrated a Philadelphia circuit-breaker plant on a test run.

He not only got a job at the plant, but the handsome trainee also wangled a date with a woman in the personnel office who happened to be the daughter of the company's vice president. His made-up identity included a falsehood about being wounded while parachuting into Sicily, and the vice president was so taken with his bravery that he invited Hall to speak at a company war bond rally.

He did the job so well that news of his rousing speech was published in a local paper.

Hall spent much of the war in Britain, training and working alongside a motley gang of paratroopers: new recruits, war-hardened Poles and the occasional rising star, such as future CIA director William E. Colby. Ultimately, Hall arrived in a war zone, the little-known but strategic Norwegian theater of operations - "Operation Better-Late-Than-Never," he called it.

The son of a Navy captain, Roger Wolcott Hall was born May 20, 1919, in Baltimore. He graduated from Annapolis High School in 1936 and a year later from the private Severn School before entering the University of Virginia. He became captain of the lacrosse team and a member of the Punch and Julep dramatic society before graduating in 1941.

Hall joined the Army and finished the war at the rank of captain. After his discharge, he became a football press box announcer for the Baltimore Colts. 

Hall spent most of his life in New York as a freelance writer and editor. In the early 1970s he had a stint - which he said was his favorite job - as the cartoon editor for the old True magazine in New York.

He also was the host of radio shows, including "You Can't Fight Roger Hall," and wrote two novels, "All My Pretty Ones" (1959), a humorous book based on his relationship with a fashion model, and "19" (1970), a spy story.

He moved to Delaware in the 1980s with his wife, Linda Texter Hall, a poet and yoga instructor whom he married in 1973. She is his only immediate survivor. [Bernstein/WashingtonPost/4August2008] 

Robert Maheu, Ex-Howard Hughes Spokesman, CIA Operative Dies. Robert A. Maheu, a former Howard Hughes confidant and CIA operative once involved in a failed plot to poison Fidel Castro, has died in a Las Vegas hospital. He was 90.

Maheu died Monday evening of congestive heart failure at Desert Springs Hospital, according to his son, Peter Maheu.

Maheu was the public face of Hughes' massive corporate empire in the 1960s, a period in which the troubled aviator and one-time Hollywood playboy was increasingly reclusive and dogged by phobias. Hughes spent the later part of the decade holed up in his Las Vegas hotel suite, directing Maheu and his casino and development interests via memo.

Maheu worked for the FBI in the early 1950s and later as a private investigator who counted the CIA among his clients.

In 1960, Maheu was enlisted by the CIA to recruit a mobster for a "sensitive mission requiring gangster-type action," according to a recently released CIA dossier known as "the family jewels."

"Fidel Castro is the mission target," the document said.

Maheu approached reputed gangster Johnny Roselli and represented himself as an agent for international corporations wanting the Cuban leader dead, according to the document.

Roselli introduced Maheu to two wanted mobsters, Momo Giancana, Al Capone's successor in Chicago, and Santos Trafficante. The CIA gave them six poison pills, and they tried unsuccessfully for several months to have several people put them in the Castro's food.

The plot was dropped after the failed CIA-sponsored Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba, the document said. [USAToday/6August2008] 

John W. Coffey, 91; CIA Communications Expert. John William Coffey, a communications expert who was deputy director of support for the CIA in the 1970s, died of multiple myeloma July 23 at his home in Arlington County. He was 91.

In 1947, after serving as a captain in the Army Signal Corps, Mr. Coffey joined the newly formed Central Intelligence Agency as the deputy chief of the communications division. He was stationed for several years in London and Frankfurt, West Germany.

While working at the State Department from 1963 to 1965, Mr. Coffey played a key role in reorganizing the communications department and establishing the Diplomatic Telecommunications Service. He also helped to set up a hotline between Washington and Moscow.

He received the State Department Superior Honor Award in 1965 and the CIA's Distinguished Intelligence Medal in 1975, the year he retired. The citation with the CIA medal noted "his personal integrity, unstinting humanity and unlimited commitment to his responsibilities."

Mr. Coffey was born in Denver and graduated from Princeton University, where he was on the varsity crew team.

During World War II, he served in the Mediterranean and received the Bronze Star. He was a 1948 graduate of Georgetown University law school.

After retiring from the CIA, Mr. Coffey worked as office manager and did research for the law firm of Adams, Porter & Radigan from 1978 to 1996.

He was a daily communicant at St. Agnes Catholic Church in Arlington and was involved with the parish council. He participated in weekly night vigils, was a lector and was responsible for the Brother Dennis and Associates social outreach program for 10 years.

He devoted many hours to supporting local high school rowing in the 1970s and 1980s and was head of a boosters organization for the Washington-Lee High School crew team. He also was a past president of the Northern Virginia Rowing Association.

He was a reader of talking books for many years for the Arlington County Library and a driver for Meals on Wheels in Arlington. He was delivering meals weekly even into his 80s, when he could barely walk up the front stairs of people's houses, a son said.

Survivors include his wife of 53 years, Grahame Crichton Coffey of Arlington; four children, Susan C. Coffey of San Francisco, Elizabeth G. Coffey of Hudson, N.Y., John Walsh Coffey of Vienna and Peter F. Coffey of Richmond; a sister; and nine grandchildren. [Lamb/WashingtonPost/6August2008] 

Career Opportunities

Counterintelligence Briefer/Debriefer. Target start date is August 25, 2008. The contractor shall support DoD counterintelligence activities and reporting of international treaty activities and occasionally travel with the inspection teams to states that border California. 

Essential Duties: The contractor shall evaluate and assess treaty programs and identify factors which have contributed to the successes and shortcomings and perform the following tasks: 

- Prepare and conduct briefings for DoD personnel before foreign travel to provide force protection, antiterrorism, security and counterintelligence related information. 
- Conduct thorough debriefings after DoD Escort, inspection and monitoring missions to obtain observations and pertinent data. 
- Prepare appropriate intelligence and counterintelligence reports based on information from debriefings. 
- Be responsible for analysis and production of data and information of concern to the intelligence and arms control communities. 
- Apply knowledge of force protection, foreign intelligence and security service operations, relevant regional knowledge, and knowledge of weapons of mass destruction, to formulate reports and recommendations relating to comprehensive force protection and security coverage of DoD personnel. 
- Develop and maintain liaison with other DoD offices in order to facilitate a continued flow of information about when and where teams and individuals from those offices will be traveling. 
- Conduct research on specific counterintelligence and weapons of mass destruction (WMD)-related issues. 
- Provide analysis of reports being prepared by the Directorate or by other elements of the Counterintelligence and Intelligence Community. 
- Initiate studies or reports of irregularities observed during the performance of duties. 
- Identify potential trends based on knowledge of foreign intelligence services' methods of operation. 
Job Requirements: 

- Must have Counterintelligence background and experience in the counterintelligence arena. 
- Must have TOP SECRET clearance. 
- Must have excellent verbal and written communication skills. 
- Must have computer use skills and be skilled with Microsoft office products, classified network systems, and databases. 
- Must be able to travel occasionally. 
Location: Travis Air Force Base, CA
Advantage SCI 2321 Rosecrans Ave, Suite 2225, El Segundo, CA 90245 (310) 536-9876
If you identify a position that you feel your qualified for and meet the requirements email your resume to: Please put in the subject line the position you are interested in. 

Intelligence Community Division Director/VP.  Selman Associates is seeking an Intelligence Community Division Director/VP for a client. Selectee will manage division P&L; establish and execute BD Strategy; provide leadership for Program Directors.
Must have extensive experience working with the intel community; experience across project/program management, capture and BD;
Experienced managing revenue of $25M to $50M; staff responsibility between 125 and 250 people; Minimum 15 years related professional experience plus 8 years of management background preferred; BS or significant technical and management experience in the IC; Master's degree a plus.  Must have current TS/SCI with CI poly. Full-scope polygraph preferred.
Base salary to $180K+; package to mid $200's.
Client is a $1.5B provider of IT solutions for national security across the Federal government.
POC is Mike Selman at 301-519-7227,


SCIP Chapter Events: The Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals (SCIP) has a number of upcoming chapter events. Please visit their website at for more information.

Research Request

CAVEAT:  Members are reminded, under no circumstances, should they reveal classified means and methods in their replies to any requests, nor should they necessarily trust the sincerity of research projects.  As long as they exercise professional caution, they should feel free to respond to appropriate requests for assistance within those boundaries.

Needs Assistance with Comparative Review of Three Intelligence Agencies: My name is Dean Klovens and I communicated with AFIO members earlier this year. Am inquiring again on whether you can provide expert leads for a book I'm putting together tentatively titled: Intelligence Matters: A Historical and Comparative Look at Three Intelligence Agencies Within Democratic Societies, Understanding their Missions, Knowing their Spies, and Why Espionage is Vital to the World’s Well Being. It's a historical look at the CIA, MOSSAD and MI6. If any members have suggestions as to who might be open to assisting on this, please let me know. I have a propsal I can send for insight and review. Email me at The phone is 708-383-4575.



Thursday, 14 August 2008, 6:30 pm - Washington, DC - "Spies on Screen: Rendezvous" - David Kahn at the Spy Museum. The 1935 film, Rendezvous, stars William Powell, a Washington, DC newspaperman turned code breaker during World War I. In his attempts to find a stolen code book, he must handle a ring of German spies, an assassination, and an attractive military mistress with sinister intentions. After the film, David Kahn, a leading expert in the history of cryptology and author of The Codebreakers, will discuss the historical basis for this romanticized account of high states WW I code-breaking. Tickets: $15; Advance Registration required. Tickets are non-refundable and do not include admission to the International Spy Museum. To register, call 202.393.7798; order online at

14 August 2008 - 23 August 2008 - UK to Russia - A Cold War Summit: From Cambridge To Moscow - Special Excursion explores history of Cold War, follows Cambridge Spy Ring in UK/Moscow, and an up-close look at Putin's latest movements of his intelligence services. Once-in-a-lifetime Trip with unusual, first-hand onsite presentations. This important one-time trip is organized and hosted by AFIO Members Dan Mulvenna and Nigel West. Purpose: To explore the history of the Cold War and its manifestations; to examine British and American-Russian relationships from 1945 to 1991; to delve into recent events that suggest the Cold War has new dimensions in Vladimir Putin’s Russia, and to follow the path of the infamous Cambridge Five in England and Russia.
The price of oil had dropped, starving the Kremlin of the funds it desperately needed to keep pace in the arms race against the United States. Then all it took was the nudge of Gorbachev’s perestroika and the dominoes began to fall: Afghanistan, Poland, Czechoslovakia and, finally, the Berlin Wall itself. Twenty years later and the price of oil is at an all-time high, and Russia has reemerged as a global superpower, albeit with a new ideology - capitalism. Flush with the confidence of petrodollars, the Kremlin is rattling its saber in Europe once again. And a former Russian spy, Alexander Litvinenko, dies in a London hospital, mysteriously poisoned by a fatal dose of radiation.
- Study Leaders, Nigel West - author of VENONA and other respected books on security, intelligence and espionage - and counterintelligence expert Dan Mulvenna, take you behind the curtain of Cold War intelligence and espionage.
- Discover hidden spy sites in Moscow with a former KGB colonel and Dan Mulvenna, security expert and professor at the Centre for Counterintelligence and Security Studies in Washington.
- Hear about the death of Alexander Litvinenko from a Russian consultant to the BBC’s Panorama program.
- With staff at the Churchill Archives Centre, explore Cold War materials from its collection.
- Enjoy a reception with retired KGB officers in Moscow.
- Go behind the scenes at Bletchley Park, where codebreakers decrypted and interpreted Axis messages and broke the German Enigma Code during World War II.

Pix of Cambridge8 nights; 17 meals; 8 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 6 Dinners
$4,950.00 pp Group size limited to 48 or fewer participants

Itinerary: From Cambridge, England, to Moscow, Russia, from the “Cambridge Five” to Gary Powers to the recently murdered Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko, trace the trail of diplomacy and intrigue from the height of the Cold War to the global chess match with Russia today. With privileged access to unrivaled authorities in the fields of espionage and in 1950s Cold War politics, gain an understanding of the foreign policy conducted in public and the intelligence machinations that continue in the shadows. In this one-time program, join important writers and thinkers, including Andrew Lownie, Piers Brendon, Mike Sewell and Richard Aldrich to discuss the ramifications and intricacies of the “war,” as well as commentators Glenmore Trenear-Harvey and Boris Volodarsz, to consider whether the Cold War has recently reemerged in Putin’s Russia. Leading the way is Nigel West. Former member of the House of Commons and author of more than a dozen books on espionage, Nigel is considered the “expert’s expert” on intelligence.

Based at the elegant M´┐Żller Center at Churchill College, Cambridge University, track the “Cambridge Five” - the ring of Soviet spies who passed information to the KGB and who infiltrated the British establishment. Follow in the footsteps of the notorious spies on a walking exploration through Trinity, St John’s and King’s Colleges. Explore Cold War materials in the Churchill Archives Centre, which houses Sir Winston Churchill’s papers, as well as those of Margaret Thatcher and other prominent figures of the 20th century. At Bletchley Park - also known as “Station X” - see one of the Enigma Machines, including the rare “Abwehr G312,” and check out the tales of World War II code-breaking, spies and strategic deception.

Continue the exploration of the Cold War from the other side, in Moscow. A retired senior KGB officer and Dan Mulvenna — professor at Washington’s Centre for Counterintelligence and Security Studies — lead you on an exploration of spy sites throughout the Russian capital. See the graves of Kim Philby, the great British spy, and those of the famous “illegals” Rudolph Abel (Willie Fisher), Konon Molody, known to the West as Gordon Lonsdale, and Ramon Mercader — Trotsky’s assassin. Go behind the scenes to areas not open to the public and learn about the Russian intelligence services and counter-terrorism at the FSB (formerly KGB) Intelligence Museum, located just off Lubyanka Square. Receive “briefings” on the KGB’s view of the Cold War and on several famous Cold War spy cases by former KGB officers who have intimate knowledge of the affairs. Hear from Colonel Oleg Nechiporenko — Lee Harvey Oswald’s first case officer at the Mexico City KGB station. Then meet and mingle with distinguished senior retired KGB officers at an elegant farewell reception.

Please Note: This program will operate only once and has a maximum capacity of 48. Each of two groups of 24 will have its own Group Leader and motorcoach but all participants will attend program events together. To explore or register for this once-in-a-lifetime excursion, visit:

Sunday, 17 August 2008, 8:30 am - 5:00 pm - Summit Point, WV - "Drive To Survive: Anti Terrorist Driver Training" at BSR, 2026 Summit Point Rd., Summit Point, WV 25446.
For over thirty years BSR has trained the people whose lives depend on top-notch evasive driving - from hostage rescue personnel to counterterrorist units. As the recognized leader in vehicle anti-terrorist training for military and governmental application worldwide, BSR has developed a state-of-the-art program. Now they have custom-designed an exclusive one-day opportunity for SPY highlighting the best of their longer courses. The BSR Shenandoah Valley training center has acres of paved and dirt road circuits, skid pads, an off-road training arena, and instructors who have firsthand experience driving for their lives. Tickets: $1,200 (includes 6% WV sales tax); Advance Registration required. Phone registration only for this program, call 202.654.0932.

Tuesday, 19 August 2008 – Vienna, VA - THE SIXTH ANNUAL AFIO SOCIAL EVENT - The Boston Pops at the Wolf Trap Park in Vienna, Virginia.  This year we have moved the annual social from Boston's Symphony Hall to the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts on Tuesday, August 19 at 8:00 PM. The concert choice will once again be the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra.
Contact Mr. Wass and use AFIO Social in the subject line at if you would like to attend the pre-concert AFIO social at Wolf Trap.  Reservations are now being taken however since we have limited amount of seats available for the social, we recommend contacting us before purchasing your concert tickets.
For those who plan on attending the concert and social at Wolf Trap [located at 1645 Trap Road, Vienna, Virginia 22182], you must purchase concert tickets directly through Wolf Trap for seating choices. RSVP requested before July 19.  Wolf Trap Box Office - (703) 255-1868 to purchase tickets. No portion of your purchase constitutes a donation to AFIO; therefore this is strictly a social event.

11 September 2008 – San Francisco, CA – The AFIO Jim Quesada Chapter hosts Tim Shorrock, investigative reporter. Since 9/11 and the invasion of Iraq, newspaper headlines and the blogosphere have been afire with revelations about the U.S. government’s enormous use of private sector contractors to carry out the tasks of war. Intelligence contracting has grown into a multi-billion dollar industry, with privatization often blurring the lines between public and private sectors. Former high-ranking national security officials can be found in various consulting roles throughout the private sector intelligence industry; yet, the size, scope, and influence of this intelligence outsourcing has been largely unexamined, and sometimes at odds with congressional oversight and public accountability. Mr. Shorrock will be discussing his new book, Spies for Hire: The Secret World of Intelligence Outsourcing.
The meeting will be held at United Irish Cultural Center, 2700 45th Avenue, San Francisco (between Sloat and Wawona). 11:30 AM no host cocktails; noon - luncheon. $25 member rate with advance reservation and payment; $35 non-member rate or at door. E-mail RSVP to Mariko Kawaguchi (please indicate meat or fish) no later than 5PM 9/1/08: or mail check made out to "AFIO" to: Mariko Kawaguchi, PO Box 117578 Burlingame, CA 94011. (650) 622-9840 X608.

Monday, 15 September 2008 - New York, NY - AFIO New York Metro Chapter evening meeting on "How Baghdad Thieves Stole Iraq's Antiquities and CTTF Recovered the Stolen Loot." Colonel Matthew Bogdanos, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve -- the Author of "Thieves of Baghdad" explains how the Baghdad thieves stole Iraq's antiquities and how our counter-terrorism Task Force caught them and recovered their loot. Bogdanos led the investigation. He was awarded the Bronze Star for counter-terrorism operations in Afghanistan. He is currently an Assistant District Attorney in Manhattan. Buffet dinner and open bar - $40. per person. 5:30 PM - 6:00 PM Registration.  Meeting starts 6:00 PM. New Location: 4 Columbus Circle (58th Street and 8th Avenue) The showroom space of STEELCASE, the global leader in the office furniture industry. Further information available from

18 September 2008 - Colorado Springs, CO - The AFIO Rocky Mountain Chapter meeting will feature Tim Matson, USAF(r) a AF Academy graduate who flew Air Force 2. He will present a PowerPoint presentation. For further information or to make reservations contact:

Saturday, 20 September 2008, 1100 - 1430 - West Haven, CT - AFIO New England Chapter meets to hear Dr. Richard H. Ward, Dean of the Henry C. Lee Criminal Justice & Forensic Sciences, University of New Haven. Dr. Ward, a veteran of the USMC will speak on his experiences training for the CIA’s Operation Zapata, the April 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion.
in the Faculty Dining Room in Bartels Hall on the campus of the University of New Haven in West Haven, CT. A map of the campus can be found here or at the bottom of this form, directions here or at the bottom of this form. Our schedule is as follows: Registration & gathering, 11:00 - 1200, Luncheon at 1200 followed by our speaker, with adjournment at 2:30PM. The University of New Haven is at 300 Boston Post Rd, West Haven, CT 06516-1916.
Note, as a one-day meeting, no hotel arrangements have been made; however, those coming from some distance may wish to select one of the many excellent hotels in this town. An area map is here The university’s hotel list is here For additional information contact
Luncheon reservations must be made by 12 September 2008 with Mr. Arthur Hulnick, 216 Summit Avenue # E102, Brookline, MA 02446, 617-739-7074 or
Advance reservations are $25.00, $30.00 at the door - per person. The meeting adjourns at 2:30 pm

Thursday, 25 September 2008, 12:30-2:30 pm - Los Angeles, CA - AFIO L.A. Area Chapter hosts Jake Katz, Assistant Director Emergency Operations Bureau for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department will discuss "Open Source Intelligence - The Sheriff's Approach." Event being held at the Hilton business building located at the LMU campus (Playa del Rey). Complimentary buffet lunch will be served, guests are welcome. Please RSVP by Monday September 15, 2008 via email to Vincent Autiero: 

Friday, 3 October 2008 - Langley, VA -CIA-OSI Conference - AFIO BulletAFIO members are invited to attend a conference at CIA Headquarters from 1:30 - 5:15 p.m. on the History of the Office of Scientific Intelligence. Attendees will receive a special program with declassified documents, and a DVD filled with thousands of pages of additional documents, photographs and videos as part of this new declassification. The conference is unclassified. Includes reception and tour of CIA Museum.Further details and Application Forms.....

14 Oct 2008 - Tampa, FL - The Suncoast AFIO Chapter meets in the MacDill Room at the MacDill AFB. Speaker TBA. Lunch is $15.00 inclusive. For further information email

Tuesday, 2 December 2008 - New York, NY - AFIO NY Metro Chapter meeting features speaker Gordon Chang, author of NUCLEAR SHOWDOWN and THE COMING COLLAPSE OF CHINA.
Meeting location - 4 Columbus Circle in the NYC showroom of the office furniture manufacturer - Steelcase. Attractive, spacious, modern space overlooking Central Park.
58th Street and 8th Avenue. Buffet dinner and open bar: $40.00 per person 5:30 PM - 6:00 PM Registration. Meeting starts 6:00 PM. For inquiries or to register email

For Additional Events two+ months or greater....view our online Calendar of Events


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