AFIO Weekly Intelligence Notes #43-08 dated 10 November 2008
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Section I - INTELLIGENCE HIGHLIGHTS
Obama to Begin Intelligence Briefings. Barack Obama will begin receiving highly classified briefings from top intelligence officials, as the rush of his campaign gives way to intensive preparations to take over as commander in chief and build a Democratic administration.
The briefings typically last 45 minutes to an hour, but Obama's initial one is expected to be longer. A U.S. intelligence official speaking on condition of anonymity said Joe Biden, the vice president-elect, also will begin receiving briefings this week.
Briefing documents are mostly written by the Central Intelligence Agency and include the most critical overnight intelligence for the president. They sometimes dig deeply into a specific topic to give the president an in-depth understanding.
National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell will launch the intelligence briefings. CIA Intelligence Director Mike Morell will be Obama's prime contact with the intelligence community throughout the transition, according to a message CIA Director Mike Hayden sent to agency employees. Obama's two principal daily briefers also will be from the CIA.
Obama will have access to vastly more intelligence, including ongoing covert operations, than he was privy to as a senator, said Hayden's message.
Hayden also encouraged employees to ignore the chatter in political circles in Washington about who will take over the agency under the new administration. [Pickler&Hess/WashingtonTimes/5November2008]
Judge to CIA: Your Misbehavior in FOIA Case is "Extraordinary." A federal judge sided with the National Security Archive, finding that the CIA must treat the Archive as a member of the news media under the Freedom of Information Act.
The CIA had long classified the non-profit research group as a member of the news media, which entitled it to fee-waivers in FOIA requests. But in 2005 the agency abruptly revoked that status.
The Archive responded with a lawsuit. The CIA claimed in court it had erred in changing the Archive's FOIA status and said it would correct the issue; but in practice, the agency continued to deny the Archive the favored treatment.
U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler wrote in her opinion: "Despite admissions that it had not complied with FOIA, and despite assurances that it would in the future comply with the law...the CIA has continued the very conduct which it admitted was illegal."
"It has twice made highly misleading representations to the Archive, as well as to this Court. Such extraordinary misbehavior can no longer insulate it from accountability."
Kessler then ordered the CIA to treat the Archive as a member of the news media for all pending and future FOIA requests.
"The CIA's requests that the Court not enter a formal order to this effect - after twice making misrepresentations about its intentions," Kessler said, "is truly hard to take seriously." [RCFP/5November2008]
American Lawyer Zeltser Transferred to Detention Center on Valadarskaha Street. An American lawyer and his secretary have been transferred from the detention center of the KGB (Committee for State Security) to the detention center on Valadarskaha Street in Minsk, according to the defense counsel for the pair.
The two will soon be driven to a correctional institution, but it is not yet clear to which. Defense counsel also stated that the health condition of the lawyer, Emanuel Zeltser, remained very grave.
On August 11, Mr. Zeltser was sentenced to three years in prison on charges of "attempted industrial espionage" and the use of fake documents. His secretary, Russian national Vladlena Funk, was sentenced to one year in prison on the same charges. The Minsk City Court held the trial behind closed doors and few details of the case were disclosed to the public.
The pair were arrested upon their arrival in Minsk in March and put into the detention center of KGB. [Naviny/4November2008]
U.S. Takes Battle Against Iraq Violence To Border. For thousands of Iranians, traveling to Iraq through this bustling, dusty gateway now requires stopping at small white trailers where U.S. officials take their photos and record scans of their irises and fingerprints.
U.S. officials collect the biometric information of virtually all "military-aged men" in an effort to stop the entry of weapons and fighters. Since officials began gathering biometric data at border posts this spring, more than 150,000 individuals have been scanned and photographed.
Their records have been added to a burgeoning database that also includes biometric information about Iraqis and foreigners employed on American bases, as well as Iraqis who are detained or interrogated by U.S. forces. American officials use the data to identify people on wanted lists, search for suspicious travel patterns, and look for matches in a separate database that includes fingerprints collected after bombings and other attacks.
Twenty-eight teams of U.S. military officials, customs experts and former U.S. Border Patrol agents working as private contractors have been sent to small outposts along Iraq's 2,270-mile border, where U.S. officials also employ ground sensors linked to satellite cameras and unmanned aerial drones.
U.S. officials say the dragnet has led to the detention of hundreds of "adversaries" and yielded a clearer understanding of smuggling networks. Officials plan to double the number of border teams by the end of the year.
A U.S. Government Accountability Office report issued this month faulted U.S. military officials for not having a standard criteria for the type of data collected by troops in combat zones and not having better mechanisms to share the data with other federal agencies. U.S. military officials in Iraq and Afghanistan have collected biometric information from more than 1.5 million people.
The U.S. program is largely separate from Iraq's halting efforts to control its borders. The government has allocated hundreds of millions of dollars to build up border and customs agencies, but Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki recently took direct control over the customs bureaucracy because of corruption concerns.
U.S. officials began crafting a border security strategy in late 2005 to stem the flow of weapons and would-be suicide bombers into Iraq from Syria.
But since last year, Iraq's 900-mile border with Iran has become the top priority: U.S. officials have accused Iran of arming, training and financing militias in Iraq, a charge Iranian officials have consistently denied.
Though the borders remain porous, U.S. officials say the new measures have contributed to the sharp reduction of violence in Iraq this year by forcing fighters and smugglers to use more remote and dangerous routes.
The outposts along the border are among the most isolated and perilous in Iraq for U.S. officials.
In March, a man wearing an explosives vest targeted the biometrics intake center at the Rabiyah post on the border with Syria. He killed one interpreter and wounded two U.S. soldiers, two customs officials and two civilians employed by the U.S. military.
After passing the American screening centers, travelers present their passports to Iraqi immigration officials who scan the entrant's passport and fingerprints.
Iraqi officials do not have access to the U.S. database, triggering complaints. American officials say they recognize the need to share more information, but cite classification rules and other concerns over potential misuse of the data for not doing so.
Ground sensors outside ports of entry, similar to ones installed along the southwest border in the United States, are linked to cameras that alert intelligence officers in the United States to suspicious movements. The officers then report the activity to U.S. soldiers near the border.
Some militia leaders who fled Iraq to avoid being killed or captured during operations last year and early this year have begun to return to form smaller, more proficient cells of fighters, U.S. officials say. Officials suspect these cells are carrying out attacks against politicians amid intense campaigning among rival Shiite parties for provincial elections expected to take place next year.
U.S. military officials say they hope to implement some of the screening mechanisms at Iraq's commercial airports. This month, an Iranian airline launched three weekly flights between Tehran and Baghdad.
The U.S. officials at the border outposts also train Iraqi border officials. Iraq recently earmarked more than $400 million for its three-year plan to enhance border security, which includes building 712 forts along the border.
The beefed-up border posts and training of Iraqi officials have reduced corruption at the ports of entry. In Zurbatiyah, for example, the government last year collected $6.9 million in tariffs and taxes, up from $1.8 million in 2006 and $800,000 in 2005.
The Directorate of Border Enforcement, which has roughly 38,000 employees, is crippled by staffing problems and chronic fuel shortages that ground border patrol agents for weeks at a time and leave stations in the dark, unable to power generators. U.S. officials say the Interior Ministry's authorization process for shipping fuel to border posts is tedious and unreliable, and that some of the fuel is sold on the black market. [Londono/WashingtoPost/30October2008]
Intelligence Head Says Next President Faces Volatile Era. The next U.S. president will govern in an era of increasing international instability, including a heightened risk of terrorist attacks in the near future, long-term prospects of regional conflicts and diminished U.S. dominance across the globe, the nation's top intelligence officer said Thursday.
Competition for energy, water and food will drive conflicts between nations to a degree not seen in decades, and climate change and global economic upheaval will amplify the effects, Mike McConnell, the director of national intelligence, said in a speech here.
McConnell, who has given security briefings to both major-party presidential candidates, said the list of worries will soon drown out the euphoria as the next occupant of the White House settles into the job.
He added that, besides the predictable conflicts and threats, "there is always surprise." McConnell said that the first months of a new presidency are a "period of most vulnerability," noting that major terrorist attacks occurred during the first year of the administrations of George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.
The sobering assessment was in part a reflection of a months-long analysis McConnell's agency is preparing for the next administration, highlighting security challenges the country will face in the next two decades. Elements of that forecast have been described by intelligence officials in recent weeks, and some highlights have been shared with the presidential candidates in briefings that have occurred since the August conventions.
In the near term, the focus remains largely on al-Qaeda and its global network, which remains "very lethal" despite dramatic setbacks in Iraq and elsewhere, McConnell said. But in spite of progress against Osama bin Laden and his followers, the terrorist threat is not likely to disappear in the next 20 years. Instead, absent major economic and political improvements in the Middle East, "conditions will be right for growing radicalism and recruitment of youths into terrorist groups," many of which will be descendants of established movements such as al-Qaeda, he said.
These groups will probably be more dangerous than their predecessors, because new technology will place dangerous weapons within their grasp, he warned. "One of our greatest concerns continues to be that a terrorist group or some other dangerous group might acquire and employ biological agents or, less likely, a radiological device, to create casualties greater than September 11," McConnell said.
Meanwhile, population growth will create instability by increasing the strain on natural resources - not only energy but also fresh water and food supplies, he said. At the same time, large swaths of the planet will struggle to find reliable supplies of fresh water, because of urbanization and climate change. By 2025, 1.4 billion people in 36 countries will face water shortages, McConnell said. The scarcity of basic necessities will "create significant tensions on the globe," he said.
Other intelligence officials in recent weeks have forecast declining U.S. dominance in the near future, but McConnell described the coming change in starker terms. Intelligence analysts see China, India and perhaps Russia ascending to new positions of power, a shift being driven by a massive transfer of wealth and manufacturing capability from the West to Eastern countries, particularly China. [Warrick/WashingtonPost/31October2008]
Intelligence Community Gets New Reciprocity Directive. A new directive from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) establishes policies for how the intelligence community should handle reciprocity between its agencies related to security clearances and access to sensitive compartmented information.
The new directive explains the intelligence community's personnel security standards and procedures for accessing sensitive compartmented information and other controlled access program information. The document, Intelligence Community Directive (ICD) 704, also explains ODNI's responsibility for overseeing the program through which eligibility determinations are made.
The ICD and several associated guidance documents signed in October rescind a directive, published in 1998, and subsequent policy memorandums associated with the legacy directive.
The new directive requires intelligence agencies to use - with limited exceptions - the same database to track the level of sensitive compartmented information that employees are allowed to access. A 2006 policy memorandum from ODNI also listed the database, named Scattered Castles, as the authoritative repository for all clearance and sensitive compartmented information eligibility information.
Scattered Castles has been used by agencies since 2001 and is hosted on the Joint Worldwide Intelligence Communications System. Agencies can exclude from the repository records for some personnel and programs because of security or mission concerns.
The directive and the associated guidance comes as the intelligence community continues to implement and codify provisions of a 2004 law that reorganized the intelligence community, called for the establishment of the ODNI and mandated security clearance and access determination reciprocity between agencies.
Steven Aftergood, who directs the Federation of American Scientists' Project on Government Secrecy, said the underlying theme of most of ODNI's policy issuances is to get the intelligence agencies to behave more like a unified community. [Bain/FT/4November2008]
South Korea to Expand Anti-Spy Law. South Korea is seeking a new law to counter spying by countries other than North Korea. The current law, which dates back to the Cold War era, covers 'spying for enemy states' - which in effect means only the North.
The justice ministry said it was pushing to modify the criminal code to cover the gathering of national secrets for allies and other countries.
The proposed change will be included in a comprehensive revision to the criminal code by early 2011, justice ministry officials said.
The National Security Act, which stipulates a maximum penalty of death, is now mainly used to try spies acting on behalf of the communist North.
The two Koreas have remained technically at war since their 1950-1953 conflict ended only in an armistice. [Straitstimes/3November2008]
Ecuador Says CIA Infiltrated Its Military. Ecuador charged on Thursday the CIA infiltrated its military and knew of a Colombian military raid against rebels in Ecuadorean territory, accusations that could fray ties with Washington.
A U.S. embassy spokeswoman in Quito declined to comment on the charges.
Defense Minister Javier Ponce said the CIA knew of the Colombian attack before the Ecuadorean government from agents inside its military.
"The CIA had full knowledge of what was happening in Angostura," Ponce told reporters, referring to the border hamlet where Colombia troops killed a top leftist rebel leader in March.
The raid, which also killed other 24 people, briefly raised the threat of war after Ecuador and Venezuela sent soldiers and tanks to their borders with Colombia. Nerves calmed quickly in a regional meeting a week later but Ecuador and Colombia still have not mended diplomatic ties since the attack.
Ecuador's latest accusation makes it more difficult for Quito to restore diplomatic ties with U.S.-ally Colombia.
President Rafael Correa, a popular leftist and ally of U.S. foe Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez, has said the CIA controls some of his country's spy units and launched a military probe that raised tensions with the country's powerful army.
The U.S.-trained economist has mainly kept good ties with the United States, but is often critical of President George W. Bush, once saying he was dumber than the devil.
Correa has vowed not to renew a lease on an air base used by U.S. troops for anti-drug operations which expires in 2009.
In a recent visit to Quito, a Russian security official said the Kremlin was open to helping Ecuador's intelligence as part of a broader plan to improve ties with Latin America. [Llangari&Valencia/Reuters/31October2008]
More Troops Are Nice, but More Intelligence Needed to Save Afghan War. We can pour thousands more troops into Afghanistan, but they are probably not going to make much of a difference if we don't get the intelligence right, says Gary Berntsen, one of the CIA officers who organized the rout of the Taliban and the hunt for Osama bin Laden seven years ago this month.
Mr. Berntsen is a three-time chief of station for the CIA, and worked for the Agency for 23 years.
His first book, "Jawbreaker: The attack on bin Laden and al-Qaeda," recounted the ups and downs of the 2001-2002 Afghan mission, from his struggles with timid headquarters bureaucrats, through the exhilaration of organizing a tribal army, to the fiasco at Tora Bora, where bin Laden slipped away through a combination of U.S. ineptitude and Pakistani skullduggery.
Berntsen retired in 2005, but he "just couldn't stand around and watch the war on TV." So last year he signed up as an adviser to a unit of the much heralded 173rd Airborne Brigade and shipped out.
Now he's out with another book, "Human Intelligence, Counterterrorism & National Leadership: A Practical Guide," a wise tutorial for anyone seriously interested in how it actually works - or doesn't.
Berntsen repeats the familiar litany of complaints about the CIA,
"Since the mid-1990s," he writes, "the most ambitious officers in the Clandestine Service have sought minimal time in the field and burrowed themselves in CIA headquarters bureaucracy to attain advancement."
Berntsen excoriates President Bush for taking little interest in CIA capabilities despite all his rhetoric - no longer heard - about the "war on terror."
It was not until his second term that "Bush... learned of how small certain CIA stations were and was surprised to hear the actual (small) number of operations officers."
The president's order to double their ranks was welcomed, Berntsen writes, but "it betrayed the fact that he had not sought an accurate understanding of the size and needs of the Clandestine Service during his first term in the White House."
Far from a rehash of the woes that are continuing to chase experienced and talented CIA counterterrorism officers out of the building as soon as they're eligible for retirement, Berntsen offers a wide array of thoughtful Rx's for sharpening the point of the spear.
The most important, echoed by a half-dozen recently retired, but still young CIA officers, is retooling the spyocracy to reward men and women who like being in the field battling terrorists and want to make their careers there, rather than the headquarters horse-holders whose weapon of choice is a briefing paper.
Berntsen also recognizes the practical damage done to U.S. intelligence by revelations about waterboarding and the indefinite detention of prisoners at Guantanamo. It makes people less willing to spy for us.
We need less hysteria about terrorism and more cool thinking about how to counter current threats, he suggests.
Al Qaeda "is not the only group in recent history that has planned to employ weapons of mass destruction," he reminds us, singling out the Japanese Aum Shinrikyo cult that was hell bent on acquiring a nuclear weapon and triggering Armageddon.
Today, it seems, we're farther away from cornering Osama bin Laden than we were seven years ago. And the Taliban is growing more powerful by the day, fielding company-size combat units and launching big suicide attacks in the capital, Kabul.
And we're still figuring out the intelligence game there, Berntsen says.
Military intelligence dominates HUMINT - human intelligence - operations there, and they're just not very good at it, he says.
And the Pentagon wants even more control over paramilitary activities, shunting the CIA further aside.
The Army's HUMINT Collection Teams, composed of four MI enlisted men, "are the least trained people on the point of the spear," Berntsen said. "The most trained are back in Kabul," lounging at headquarters.
U.S. military commanders actually don't much like HUMINT, the arduous, time-consuming and tricky business of recruiting spies among the Afghans, Berntsen says.
On the other hand, he said, U.S. Special Operations troops - Green Berets, SEALs, and the like, often times working in tandem with the CIA - are "superb," he said.
"They do a better job on intel than the intel guys do."
The reason? Unlike their straight-leg counterparts, they put their most experienced, older guys in the field.
And "they have money for sources," he said.
And a bulky chain of command effectively prevents getting timely intelligence from informants.
"The population really does support the Afghan government and the Americans more than most people think," says Berntsen, whose unit patrolled the dangerous Afghan-Pakistan border area.
"Women, especially, don't want the Taliban back."
But we had better get our intel game together, he said, before it's too late. [Stein/CongressionalQuarterly/31October2008]
Violations of Law May be Classified, Court Rules. Information that would reveal a violation of the law may be properly classified as long as it is not deliberately classified for the purpose of concealing the violation, according to a federal judge.
That view, in a ruling against the ACLU by DC District Judge Royce C. Lamberth, all but nullifies one of the principal limitations on national security secrecy contained in the executive order on classification policy.
In section 1.7 of executive order 12958, as amended, on "classification limitations and prohibitions," the President directed that "In no case shall information be classified in order to... conceal violations of law...."
The ACLU cited this provision in a recent FOIA lawsuit to argue that transcripts of detainee tribunal hearings could not be properly classified under the executive order if they revealed evidence of prisoner abuse or other illegal conduct. The court rejected that argument.
According to Judge Lambert, classifiers actually may conceal violations of the law as long as such concealment is not the specific purpose of the classification.
This narrow understanding of the executive order converts an important guarantee of the integrity of the classification process into an empty rhetorical gesture.
Under Judge Lamberth's interpretation, the executive order provision limiting classification of violations of the law is not a limitation on the types of information that may be classified at all, but rather an unverifiable limitation on the classifier's intention. The provision is not concerned with the consequences of classification (i.e., the fact that criminal activity will be concealed from public knowledge) but instead focuses on the mental state of the classifier. Did he or she specifically intend to conceal violations of the law? If not, the classification may proceed, even if concealment is the inevitable result. And since the classifier's mental state is unknowable by others or may itself be concealed, the executive order's limitation is deprived is of significant meaning.
In the past, the limitation on classification of violations of the law was construed more broadly as a public assurance that classification would not be used to conceal criminal activity by the government. (It was never understood to require publication of information about third-party crimes collected through classified intelligence or law enforcement methods.) [SecrecyNews/1November2008]
Accused Syrian Arms Dealer Charged As Spy for Spain. A Syrian arms dealer on trial for agreeing to sell weapons to Colombian rebels was in fact providing information to Spanish intelligence officers who were targeting the group, according to defense lawyers.
Monzer al-Kassar, 62, a longtime Spanish resident known as the "prince of Marbella" for his rich lifestyle in the glitzy seaside town, is accused of conspiring to sell millions of dollars worth of weapons to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia also known as the FARC.
In opening arguments at Manhattan federal court, Assistant U.S. Attorney Brendan McGuire said the U.S. government hired undercover operatives to pose as FARC arms buyers and to videotape their negotiations with Kassar and a second defendant, Luis Felipe Moreno Godoy, 59. They met at Kassar's home in Marbella and discussed the sale of weapons, including assault and sniper rifles and rocket propelled grenade launchers, to the FARC, McGuire said.
Kassar told the men he understood the arms would be used against U.S. helicopters and also offered to send 1,000 men to fight with the FARC against the U.S. military, McGuire said.
The U.S. government has designated the FARC as a foreign terrorist organization. The rebels have been fighting for socialist revolution since 1964 and have at times controlled large swathes of Colombia.
But defense lawyers called Kassar a legitimate arms merchant who provided information to Spanish intelligence.
The defense lawyers said Kassar was feeding information about the deal to two high level intelligence officers, both of whom will be called as defense witnesses.
Kassar, who prosecutors call one of the most prolific arms dealers in the world, is charged with conspiring to kill U.S. nationals and officers, conspiring to acquire anti-aircraft missiles and providing support to a terrorist organization.
The U.S. Embassy in Madrid said Kassar has been selling weapons since the 1970s to the Palestinian Liberation Front and clients in Nicaragua, Bosnia, Croatia, Iran, Iraq and Somalia.
Kassar was arrested at the Madrid airport in June 2007 and was extradited after Madrid received U.S. assurances he would face neither the death penalty nor a life sentence without chance of parole.
The trial of a third man charged in the same case, Tareq Mousa al Ghazi, 61, of Lebanon, was moved to a later date due to medical reasons. [KhaleejTimes/6November2008]
Google Earth Helps and Worries Government. The secretive National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency is rushing to get the latest, high-definition satellite photos of Afghanistan into the hands of U.S. ground troops as they ramp up operations in the country's tangled terrain.
The NGA analysts aren't tapping the government's huge network of highly classified spy satellites; they're getting the pictures from commercial vendors. That's the same stuff pretty much anyone can get, either through free, online programs, such as Google Earth, or by buying it from the same companies supplying Uncle Sam.
It's a remarkable turn, given the warnings that security experts in the USA and worldwide raised a few years ago about giving the entire planet - terrorists and rogue states included - access to high-resolution satellite photos once available only to superpowers.
Last month, the most powerful commercial satellite in history sent its first pictures back to Earth, and another with similar capabilities is set for launch in mid-2009. The imagery provided by those and other commercial satellites has transformed global security in fundamental ways, forcing even the most powerful nations to hide facilities and activities that are visible not only to rival nations, but even to their own citizens.
Although no one disputes that commercial imagery poses threats, it has been embraced in ways few predicted.
Pictures from government satellites are better than commercial photos, but how much better is a secret. Only people with security clearances generally are allowed to see them. Using commercial products, intelligence agencies can provide imagery for combat troops, which wasn't possible before because of the risk of it reaching enemy hands and even international coalition partners.
Federal agencies use commercial imagery to guide emergency response and inform the public during natural disasters, such as this year's Hurricane Ike. It's also used by government scientists to monitor glacial melting and drought effects in the Farm Belt. When commercial satellite photos first hit the market, "the gut reaction was, 'We can't allow this imagery to be out there because someone might do us harm with it,' " Hild says. "Are there still bad things that people can do with commercial imagery? Absolutely - but we think the benefits far outweigh the risks."
Other nations share the sentiment. U.S. and foreign government contracts provide critical income for commercial imagery companies, such as Digital Globe and GeoEye - both of which supply photos for Google Earth.
In August 2006, the Islamic Army in Iraq circulated an instructional video on how to aim rockets at U.S. military sites using Google Earth.
Posted on a jihadist website, the video showed a computer using the program to zoom in for close-up views of buildings at Iraq's Rasheed Airport. The segment ended with the caption, "Islamic Army in Iraq/The Military Engineering Unit - Preparations for Rocket Attack."
The video appeared to fulfill the dire predictions raised by security experts in the USA and across the globe when Google began offering free Internet access to worldwide satellite imagery in 2005. Officials in countries as diverse as Australia, India, Israel and the Netherlands complained publicly that it would be a boon to terrorists and hostile states, especially since the pictures often provide a site's map coordinates.
Indeed, some terrorist attacks have been planned with the help of Google Earth, including an event in 2006 in which terrorists used car bombs in an unsuccessful effort to destroy oil facilities in Yemen, according to Yemeni press reports. Images from Google Earth and other commercial sources have been found in safe houses used by al-Qaeda and other terror groups, according to the Pentagon.
Many security experts say commercial imagery does little to enhance the capabilities of such organizations. "You can get the same (scouting) information just by walking around" with a map and a GPS device, says John Pike, director of GlobalSecurity.org, a research organization specializing in defense and intelligence policy. The imagery "may give someone precise coordinates (for a target), but they need precise weapons - and their ability to target discrete parts of a particular site is pretty limited. People who think this gives you magical powers watch too many Tom Clancy movies."
The number of sources for satellite imagery continues to grow, fueled not only by government customers in the USA and worldwide, but by an explosion in public usage.
This month, GeoEye launched the most advanced commercial satellite yet - able to distinguish home plate on a baseball field - and the NGA paid half the $475 million cost. Digital Globe will launch a satellite with similar resolution and other new capabilities next year on its own dime.
The use of commercial imagery relieves some of the burden on the U.S. government's classified satellite network, says Rick Oborn, spokesman at the National Reconnaissance Office, which runs the system.
The appetite for commercial imagery from the general public continues to grow as more people realize the technology has uses far beyond picking out your home on Google Earth.
Non-governmental organizations have used commercial imagery to show devastating attacks on villages in Darfur by the Janjaweed militia. Security experts have used it to show development of new missile bases in North Korea. Environmentalists have used it to document effects of global warming. [Eisler/USAToday/4November2008]
Bolivia's Morales Bars "Spying" U.S. DEA Agents. Bolivia's leftist President Evo Morales accused U.S. anti-drug agents of spying on Saturday, and barred them from fighting cocaine traffickers in the Andean country until further notice.
"There were DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) agents that were doing political espionage.... financing criminal groups so that they could act against authorities, even the president," Morales said.
Morales accused the DEA of maintaining ties with anti-government groups that staged violent protests in eastern and central regions governed by the opposition in September. He said the organization's actions amounted to "conspiracy."
"This is a personal decision... From now on, the DEA is not allowed to act in the country until further notice," said Morales, who stopped short of expelling DEA agents.
Morales had already banned DEA flights over the country.
Relations between the two nations were upset in September when Morales expelled the U.S. ambassador, after accusing him of meddling.
The U.S. State Department then ejected the Bolivian envoy, calling Morales' action a grave error, and said it was the first time in three decades a U.S. envoy was declared "persona non grata" anywhere in the world.
Since taking office in 2006, Morales has pursued a policy of "zero cocaine but not zero coca," which gives tens of thousands of farmers permission to grow coca on small plots for legal uses.
Morales built his political career as a leader of Bolivia's coca growers and wants to develop legal markets for coca leaves while fighting the cocaine trade.
The coca leaf is the main ingredient for cocaine but it is also widely used by Bolivian Indians, who chew it for its medicinal and nutritional properties. [Quiroga/Reuters/1November2008]
Section II - CONTEXT & PRECEDENCE
Spygames, by Jack Devine. In this globalized and rapidly changing world, the future of intelligence will be marked by significant strategic, tactical, and technological change over the next quarter century. Near- unimaginable advances in technology will alter the intelligence landscape, with innovation driving faster access to more accurate information by friends and foes. Partly in response to this more complex, interconnected environment, the American intelligence community will enter a period of consolidation as various agencies are further centralized under the leadership of a future secretary of intelligence. A consolidated intelligence entity with diverse capabilities, under the leadership of a Cabinet-level authority, and hopefully, somewhat more free from the bureaucracy, turf battles, and politics of today's intelligence community, will enhance America's ability to protect its interests.
Despite the unavoidable, uncontrollable, and at times unpredictable tides of change, several key components of the intelligence business will remain constant - as they have throughout the history of organized society. Intelligence agencies will continue to rely on high-quality agents to gain insight into the plans and intentions of enemies; sources will still have to be spotted, developed, recruited and run by operators in the field. Economic intelligence will increase in importance as a top concern of businesses and nations. Objective analysis will remain paramount. Finally, intelligence sharing among allies will continue to be a vital aspect of the process.
Since the earliest days of the American nation, spying has been used to gain unique insights. While the ethical challenges of deception and betrayal often make people uncomfortable, these are critical facets of human intelligence collection endeavors. Even our country's leaders have at times expressed discomfort. Former Secretary of State Henry L. Stimson once remarked: "Gentleman don't read other peoples' mail." A noble thought, but not very relevant today since the reins of power are rarely in the hands of gentlemen, and since our adversaries have no compunction about clandestine activities, including using technology to gain access to telephone and Internet communications.
In fact, globalization and technological advances have produced a major upswing in intelligence activities by virtually all nations. Never before have so many intelligence agencies - as well as individuals - had the technical capability and skill to monitor and manipulate information. Advancing technology will only deepen the pool of information available to people who might use it to do harm or gain advantage. The Internet already has revolutionized intelligence collection in ways that are not fully understood or appreciated. Virtually unlimited access to open-source intelligence has leveled the playing field between traditionally strong and weak services, and has brought into the intelligence industry an army of analysts that share information on a real-time basis. The extraordinary accessibility of public information has placed a significant premium on non-public information - or "intelligence" - that fills in the vitally important data missing from the analytical mosaic. This is the task of spying.
As we look over the horizon to 2033, spying will remain a very robust business both in terms of human and signals intelligence, or in terms more familiar, in recruiting spies and secretly intercepting the communication of adversaries. So, too, will the practice of imagery collection, using satellites to photographically capture and record our enemies' activities and movements. Furthermore, we will continue to see striking juxtapositions between modern technology and the age old tactics of intelligence collection. Many of us who participated in the Afghan War in the 1980s are convinced that the introduction of the then "ultra-sophisticated" Stinger missile broke the will of the Russians and led to their retreat from Afghanistan. Some even argue that the use of this technology was the straw that broke the camel's back, leading to the later fall of the Soviet Union entirely. It is interesting to note however that these high-tech weapons were transported across the rugged territory by mules herded from China. Remember, too, that though the Afghan mujaheddin were tough and determined fighters, very few of them had formal military training.
[Please see the full text at http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/abs/10.1162/wopj.2008.25.3.141. Jack Devine a career clandestine services officer of the Central Intelligence Agency, headed the agency's Afghan Task Force from 1985-1987, and served as the CIA 's acting deputy director of operations.] [Devine/MITPressJournals/3November2008]
Remarks by the Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence, Dr. Donald M. Kerr, to The Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) Annual Intelligence Symposium.
It's a pleasure to be with you all tonight, to celebrate the 34th Anniversary of the AFIO. I'd like to take a moment to reflect on the importance of this organization and the work that it has accomplished since its founding in 1975. Many of us in this room recall the turmoil that wracked the Intelligence Community in the 1970s, culminating in the Church and Pike investigations. At a time when public support for a strong Intelligence Community was arguably at an all-time low, it was this organization's founder, David Atlee Phillips, who recognized the value of public outreach and education, and the importance of building an informed and engaged constituency for intelligence as a profession. Phillips traveled extensively, publicly talking about the need for a strong intelligence community. Through this organization, he sought to reach out to academia, the media, and the general public to explain the function of intelligence, and outline what we as intelligence officers can and cannot do.
It seems that today, we often find ourselves in the same position. As we work to build a more integrated and collaborative intelligence enterprise, we must continue our outreach efforts to explain not only the nature of what we do - and the vital importance of this work to the policy community, academia, the media, and the American people - but the changing nature of our work in response to the global changes around us. To that end, the AFIO has a critical role to play; in many ways, this group is the public face of the Intelligence Community.
As we consider the theme of this conference - "Threats to U.S. Security" - it is easy for us simply to jump ahead to the actual threats, such as terrorism, proliferation, and organized crime, without thoughtfully taking a look at the larger context within which these threats have emerged, as well as questioning our own mindsets against the backdrop of globalization. What is the impact of globalization to our models and methodologies - our short-term and long-term strategies?
I don't think I am overstating the situation by saying that the United States is facing arguably the most serious economic and national security challenges in our history. These challenges are compounded by our inability to protect intellectual property and government secrets against the very real threat of adversarial individuals, hacker groups, terrorist networks, organized criminal groups, rogue states, and advanced nation states. And there is no time like the present to ask ourselves whether we have truly moved beyond our Cold War approaches in the intelligence arena. For example:
* Have we crafted appropriate strategies and responses to such threats in this new and ever-changing, technology-driven environment?
* What are the most dangerous threats we will face in the next three-to-five years and how do those threats fit into our current intelligence construct?
* Are we truly operating within a strategic vision in our approach to threats, or are we simply in reactive mode, relying on some of the same time-worn strategies of the past?
In addition to rethinking whether we are operating within a new strategic framework designed to address 21st century threats, we also need to recognize an inherent bias within the Intelligence Community, which has the potential to undermine our short and long-term strategies. We are a very insular crowd - it's truly a special club that we're in - and while I do not intend to demean the dedication, innovation and talent of our Community, I do believe that many of the answers and opportunities we need to seek lie outside of our traditional intelligence universe. Most importantly, we need to recognize the limitations of an insular bias in a global context. I read a recent editorial in which Norm Augustine noted that more than half of the increase in the U.S. Gross Domestic Product has been attributed to advancements in science, technology, and innovation. The solution to many of our and the world's greatest challenges depends on advancements in science and technology. I have a deep concern, however, that the Intelligence Community has still not properly aligned its response to what I would call this period of amazing innovation - the "technological wild west" - by grasping the full range of opportunities and threats that technology provides to us. There were times in the history of the intelligence discipline - when we were much smaller - when we eagerly sought out external expertise to challenge and fuel our own thinking.
In thinking about threats and the strategic vision necessary to retain - or perhaps regain - competitive advantage, I want to focus on the discipline of Counterintelligence, which typifies how we as a Community are grappling with threats and strategic vulnerabilities in the changing environment, and demonstrates where we need to significantly focus our efforts.
Counterintelligence serves as an interesting example of how we are attempting to update our thinking about an intelligence discipline in a very different and ever-changing environment. For the past year, I have been asking what CI looks like in the 21st Century. I believe that our approach to strategic CI issues will directly impact our ability to respond to key transnational threats, such as the growing threat to cyberspace or the prospect of supply chain attacks that could disrupt or even cripple critical infrastructure, defense and information systems.
The scope of counterintelligence is not widely understood, even across the IC. There is a tendency to equate counterintelligence (CI) with counterespionage (CE) or even security. Counterespionage - also known as "catching spies" - is part of CI, but CI extends to all efforts to detect, neutralize, defeat or exploit foreign intelligence threats. CI is not security either; while they are closely related and coordinated among their practitioners, they should remain distinct from one another. CI is a broader, more forward-leaning enterprise to protect and defend our national interests. While CI collects, analyzes, operates, and investigates, it must be visionary in identifying future threats and vulnerabilities in order to be of significant value to our key customers.
The Office of the National Counterintelligence Executive (ONCIX) was created specifically to further develop counterintelligence as a strategic capability. The NCIX has a specific challenge, mandated in legislation, to build a strategic, coordinated and integrated capability from the individual actions of CI programs and better align CI activities to national security objectives. And I cannot emphasize enough that a robust strategic CI effort is imperative to protecting our critical infrastructure and information systems, upon which our national security is directly reliant.
So let me touch on the strategic vulnerabilities we are facing right now. First, in the cyber security arena, our national welfare involves our ability to exploit and protect the timely flow of vital information. Malicious activity in cyberspace is a threat to everyone. The current landscape is this: adversary capabilities are improving. Virtual reality offers ever-expanding possibilities - both good and bad. Attacks on U.S. systems are increasing. Remotely acquiring and exploiting information or disrupting critical infrastructure is increasingly an effective way for a growing number of hackers - including criminal entities and foreign governments - to disadvantage U.S. interests around the world, including and especially our economic interests. In a globalized IT arena, our adversaries are exploiting our broad exposure and can steal sensitive and proprietary information from a target; corrupt the integrity of the information; deny the owner the use of a system; and/or destroy or deliberately insert erroneous data to render a system unreliable or inoperable. In many cases, as we look at the range of threats, we are playing catch-up and defense. We need to do more - we can no longer afford to assume this reactive posture. We need to aggressively work the offense - looking for the new centers of technology, identifying future threats, and determining how our practices and processes might need to change in order for us to move beyond playing catch-up. The National Cybersecurity Initiative is a critical vehicle to engage all instruments of national power, including CI, in protecting our interests in cyberspace. Much more needs to be done, however. We need to work to shore up international alliances and work hand-in-hand with the private sector to come together on this issue. In fact, I would argue that we need a fundamental rethinking of our government's traditional relationship with the private sector - a high percentage of our critical information infrastructure is privately owned, and both government and industry must recognize that an individual vulnerability is a common weakness.
Acquisition risk is another area of significant concern. Government - including intelligence agencies - and businesses buy communications and other equipment in the open international market. Government and industry need to partner with each other, to deal with supply chain attacks - attacks that are difficult to counter given the international nature of our markets and acquisition practices. Supply chain attacks, using intelligence tradecraft, can plant vulnerabilities that can be used later to bring down systems or cripple our infrastructure.
If we consider our competitive advantage as a nation, it all comes down to the dedication, innovation, and talent of our people. But we cannot take that for granted. We need to challenge and guide our officers, by establishing a comprehensive and cohesive vision for how intelligence itself needs to change in the global environment. For example, as we deploy our officers, are we sending them to the same old locations or are we sending them to the centers of new technologies? Are we directing our analytic horsepower toward identifying emerging and future threats, deeply understanding the impact of those threats on our national security, and effectively articulating that impact to the policymaker to determine a course of action? For example, what might a covert action directed against our country a decade from now look like? Are we integrating the various intelligence disciplines in order to fully inform policy decisions? Finally, how do we create an intelligence enterprise that can shed its bureaucratic reaction time to anticipate - and not just respond - to an incredibly fast and ever-changing global environment. The future is here; threats that once seemed only a remote possibility are increasingly a reality. I welcome AFIO's role in helping us think through how the intelligence profession might and should change against this new backdrop in order to be relevant and effective. Thank you for this opportunity tonight, and I welcome any questions or comments you might have. [DNI.gov/October 24, 2008]
Section III - ANALYSIS
by Dr. Brian Latell. The devastation in Cuba caused by hurricanes Gustav and Ike has stoked concerns among some American observers that another chaotic, mass migration of desperate Cubans could be imminent. The three seaborne exoduses in the past caused inestimable human suffering and loss of life, enormous disruptions in the United States, especially in South Florida, and social and economic problems that endured in some communities for years. After the 1980 Mariel crisis a number of American cities experienced surges in violent crime, a direct result of Fidel Castro's order to have prisons and mental institutions emptied and their inmates forced onto boats headed to Florida. A fourth migration could prove to be larger and more costly than any of the previous ones.
They all occurred for similar reasons. Cubans took to the seas in large numbers in 1965, 1980, and 1994 when:
* Living conditions had substantially deteriorated, marginalizing many.
* Expectations for a better future were waning and despair spreading.
* Prosecutions for petty economic crimes became harsher and law enforcement more aggressive and stringent.
* The chances of success using alternative emigration routes were constricting, and,
* Cuban leaders permitted and even facilitated the departures.
The first four of these factors appear to be present again in the aftermath of last summer's Caribbean storms. As many as a half million homes have reportedly been destroyed or left uninhabitable. The numbers of homeless and destitute could therefore be well above a million, in a population of eleven million. Cuban government efforts to provide assistance to the afflicted have been slow and limited because of the scarcity of resources, inefficiency, and corruption. Meanwhile, the prospects are poor that materials needed for large scale reconstruction and building of new homes will be available.
Entire communities have been uprooted. Migration to Havana and a few other urban areas, where so much of the existing housing stock is decrepit and already overcrowded, will likely contribute to greater social tension. Public health conditions are deteriorating.
The hurricane damage to critical infrastructure, including roads and bridges, will take years to repair. Food shortages are occurring after hundreds of thousands of hectares of crops were despoiled. Export earning from agricultural produce will also be affected. Nickel production in badly damaged areas of Holguin province is said by the regime to be recovering, but remains well below previous capacity. Overall estimates of the damage from the two storms, ranging from $5 to $10 billion, increasingly appear to be on the low side.
Crime has increased as large numbers of desperate Cubans steal critically needed resources from their work places and government establishments. To combat it, the regime recently announced a tough crackdown on profiteering and theft. Granma revealed that courts will act with greater severity and prosecutions, especially of speculators and hoarders of food, will increase. The courts will more aggressively apply Article 53 of the Penal Code, which governs crimes "taking advantage of the circumstances of a public calamity."
And the odds of legally or illegally emigrating to the United States are getting tougher. Coast Guard intercept operations in the Florida Straits have been more successful. Human smugglers are being prosecuted more aggressively. And rough seas in the Florida Straits during the winter months will deter all but the most hardy and desperate from boarding small craft that would not be seaworthy.
Perhaps more important, Cuba's foreign minister recently signed an agreement with Mexico that, when it goes into effect next month, could hobble the escape route that had become the primary one for reaching the United States. More than 11,000 Cubans reportedly entered the United States last year after reaching Mexican shores from western Cuba, or crossing southern Mexican borders after first arriving in a Central American country. If the Calderon government in Mexico effectively enforces the agreement with Cuba, that route will become far more difficult. The net result would be that the numbers of Cubans desperate to escape but unable to do so will multiply.
If the history of past migrations provides a reliable guide, all of these factors now combine to augment the odds of another mass exodus occurring. But the most critical variable in all the previous exoduses is not likely to come into play.
It was Fidel Castro who impelled and legitimized all the previous migrations from Cuba's north coast. In October 1965 he announced that the small port of Camarioca would be opened and refugees free to leave. In 1980 he did the same when he opened the port of Mariel, after the humiliating crisis at the Peruvian embassy in Havana when more than ten thousand Cubans sought asylum on its grounds. And in the summer of 1994 he permitted, in fact, he facilitated the exodus of about 40,000 Cubans on flimsy rafts and other small boats.
It seems highly unlikely that his successors would adopt such a strategy. Raul Castro was reliably reported to have reflected the thinking of most Cuban generals in 1980 when he was appalled with the chaos that Mariel provoked. As 127,000 Cubans took to boats, and as many as another million prepared to do so, conditions on the island were rapidly deteriorating before Fidel Castro called an end to the boatlift in September. Given the many political and other uncertainties now affecting the transfer of power from Fidel to Raul Castro it is most unlikely that the current leadership would condone, much less facilitate a mass exodus.
However, if for whatever reasons Cuba's uniformed services were to begin losing control, if law and order were to begin breaking down, and multitudes of Cubans saw an opportunity to escape toward Florida, the odds of another exodus of unprecedented size and velocity would be high. [Latell/CTP/October2008]
Section V - BOOKS AND COMING EVENTS
Spy vs. Spy: New Book Reveals Larry Chin's Thrilling Infiltration of the CIA. The closing lines of Tod Hoffman's prologue to The Spy Within: Larry Chin and China's Penetration of the CIA tell the reader that his latest book "is a ghost story." While labeling the book as such might seem odd, in reality it's quite appropriate - Hoffman demonstrates that in the world of espionage, answers are never completely clear, people are never who they seem to be, and it's difficult to discover anything that doesn't disguise itself or disappear altogether. Hoffman, a McGill graduate and an eight-year counter-intelligence veteran at the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), provides remarkable insight into the world of espionage, intelligence, counter-intelligence, - including double and even triple agents - who apparently do actually exist outside the realm of James Bond.
The Spy Within chronicles the story of Larry Chin, a top Chinese linguist working for the CIA who was responsible for the longest running penetration of an intelligence organization ever uncovered. Chin spent 33 years selling information to the People's Republic of China, a period of time that spanned the Korean War, Mao Zedong's Cultural Revolution in 1966, the Vietnam War, and President Richard Nixon's visit to Beijing in 1972. Thirty-three years of undetected espionage is unheard of in itself - but the fact that it was conducted during such a critical juncture in U.S.-China relations and Chinese history is almost unbelievable. These were the formative years of an important but troubled relationship between two great powers, and Larry Chin had a hand in it all: some of his information actually passed directly to Chairman Mao. Hoffman excels in painting an insightful picture of Chinese culture and history, the roots of which shaped their spies and their methods of gathering intelligence.
The book begins with the launch of an FBI investigation into a suspected spy within the American intelligence community. This spy had been identified by a high-ranking source in China's Ministry of Public Security called the PLANESMAN. The PLANESMAN was for the United States what Larry Chin was for China (lesson #1 of being a spy: trust no one).
Passages describing the investigation sometimes flash back more than 50 years to discuss how a young Larry Chin was recruited specifically to infiltrate the United States. As a university student during the Cultural Revolution, Chin was desperately looking to find a place in Mao's "new" China. So, when he was encouraged by a Communist security officer to apply for an entry-level position at the American consulate in Shanghai, he jumped at the opportunity. He was hired, and at that moment his career in espionage began. He moved up the ranks, eventually securing a position with the CIA and becoming an American citizen.
Investing, as the Chinese government did, in a process that could potentially take decades to yield valuable results is very different from the American approach to espionage. According to Paul Redmond, the onetime head of counter-intelligence for the CIA who was interviewed by Hoffman, "the Chinese do not think in terms of hours, days, or weeks, but in terms of decades. They are an ancient civilization. They are able to deal with the intricacies of long-term planning."
Hoffman is a skilled writer and definitely succeeds in producing a page-turner. It is written much like a screenplay, with a lot of attention paid to describing characters, their thoughts, and their surroundings. He lets you live inside the mind of a Chinese spy, an American traitor, or a stressed and sleep-deprived FBI agent. Hoffman allows you to experience the isolation, the fear, the adrenaline, the disappointment, and the huge responsibility weighing on the shoulders of all of his characters. This book was born to be made into a great spy thriller movie - and with a killer last line, Hoffman even leaves room for a sequel. [McGovern/McGillDaily/5November2008]
'The Search for al Qaeda: Its Leadership, Ideology, and Future,' by Bruce Riedel. Seven years and two wars after the attacks of 9/11, Osama bin Laden remains at large and al Qaeda is still a global threat. Yet most Westerners remain mostly in the dark about what al Qaeda is, and what it wants. In The Search for al Qaeda, longtime CIA analyst and Brookings Senior Fellow Bruce Riedel offers a comprehensive analysis of the terrorist network - its origins, leadership, ideology and strategy. Tackling misperceptions and half truths, he sets the record straight on the dangerous terrorist movement and provides a strategy for defeating this menace.
Riedel draws on his 30 years of intelligence and policy-making experience in profiling the four most important figures in the al Qaeda movement: bin Laden, its creator and charismatic leader; ideologue Ayman al-Zawahiri, its Egyptian co-leader and principal spokesman; Abu Musaib al-Zarqawi, leader of al Qaeda in Iraq until his death in 2006; and Mullah Omar, its Taliban host. These profiles provide the base from which Riedel delivers a much clearer understanding of al Qaeda and what must be done to counter it.
The Search for al Qaeda reviews how al Qaeda was created and presents chilling background on "The Manhattan Raid." Riedel then focuses on what has happened to the group since that awful day. He outlines the terrorist organization's ultimate goals, which are to drive America out of the Muslim world, to destroy Israel, and to create a jihadist caliphate even larger than the Ottoman Empire. The biographies and subsequent analysis reveal the terrorists' multipronged strategy for accomplishing those goals, including their desire to build a safe haven in nuclear-armed Pakistan and to develop other "franchises" in the Islamic world that can overthrow pro-American regimes.
Bruce Riedel is a senior fellow in Foreign Policy and the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution. A frequent media contributor on terrorism and national security, he served in the CIA for nearly 30 years, advising three U.S. presidents on Middle East and South Asian issues. He was in the White House Situation Room during the 9/11 attacks, serving as special assistant to the president and National Security Council senior director for Near East Affairs. From 2003 to 2006, Riedel was an adviser to NATO in Brussels. [MarketWatch/31October2008]
EVENTS IN COMING TWO MONTHS....
12 -13 November
2008 - Fair Lakes, VA - The NMIA hosts a Symposium on "Preparing the
Intelligence Professional of the Future: Meeting the Challenge." The
event is being held at Northrup Grumman Center, Fair Lakes, VA. The
conference, sponsored jointly by the Office of Under Secretary of
Defense for Intelligence (OUSDI) and NMIA [National Military
Intelligence Association], will feature presentations from a variety of
organizations and speakers on intelligence education and training.
Under Secretary of Defense (USDI) James R. Clapper, Jr., will be
providing the keynote address. Ellen McCarthy, Director Human Capital
and Security Office, USDI, panel to discuss future military training
and professional development. DoD Training Transformation. Reese
Marsden, OUSDI, military service training program with service training
academy representatives. Dave Kogar and Mieke Eoyang, SSCI and HPSCI,
perspective. Steve Fowler, Director Training and Education, CINTT Corp,
panel on distance learning. DIA and Sherman Kent School, virtual
intelligence simulation. Dr. Mark Lowenthal, representing the
Intelligence and Security Association, will be speaking on what is
needed to meet future needs of the IC. HUMINT and CI training, industry
approaches, and the new ODNI-sponsored A-Space and RASER are other
topics. The symposium will conclude with a discussion by DIA-designate
LTG Ronald L. Burgess, Jr.
Further information at http://www.nmia.org/upcomingevents/2008nmiafallsymposium.html
Thursday, 13 November 2008, 7 pm - 10 pm - Washington, DC - DINNER WITH A SPY: An Evening with Milt Bearden - at Spy Museum.
When Milt Bearden started at the CIA in 1964, he had
little notion that his service around the world in Europe, Asia,
Africa, and South Asia would lead him to become the most highly
decorated operations officers in its senior service, a respected
author, and a Hollywood advisor. His 30 years of service spanned the
height of the Cold War to the demise of the Soviet Union and included
leading the CIA covert war supporting the Afghan resistance in their
fight against the Soviet army. This conflict, recently portrayed in
Charlie Wilson’s War, is just one of the films for which Bearden has
served as an advisor. His long time friendship with Robert DeNiro
influenced 2006’s The Good Shepherd—an intense account of the early
days of the Agency. Be one of only 20 guests at Zola for a three-course
meal where you’ll talk with Bearden about his extraordinary career and
cinematic connections and enjoy the dialogue between this insider and
CIA veteran International Spy Museum executive director Peter Earnest.
Please call 202.654.0932 or write email@example.com to register or with special dietary needs.
WHERE: International Spy Museum, 800 F St NW, Washington, DC, Gallery Place/Chinatown Metrorail Station.
TICKETS: $250 includes three-course dinner with wines. Space is extremely limited – 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 www.spymuseum.org; or purchase tickets in person at the International Spy Museum.
17 November 2008, 0900 - 1500 - Laurel, MD - The National Cryptologic
Museum Foundation invites all to their annual General Membership Meeting. If not a member, this is a perfect time to join and discover this and
many other superb programs the host throughout the year. The meeting
will be held at the Kossiakoff Center of the Johns Hopkins University
Applied Physics Laboratory, 0900-1500. Registration and breakfast begin
at 0815 and lunch will be served 1230-1330. This year’s theme: "Outlook for NSA in the 21st Century." U.S. Senator Benjamin Cardin speaks at 10:15 to 11:00. Lt Gen Michael Hayden, Director of the CIA, will be our keynote speaker. Joining General Hayden on the agenda will be GEN Al Gray, former Commandant of the Marine Corps and SIGINT pioneer, and Mr. Charles Allen,
Assistant Secretary for Intelligence Analysis, Department of Homeland
Security. An impressive program! Current Museum Members are requested
to mail the $15 registration fee to NCMF, POB 1682, Fort Meade, MD
20755 by 12 November. The non-member fee is $25. Please call the
Foundation office at 301-688-5436 to pay by credit card. Directions to
the Kossiakoff Center, located at 11100 Johns Hopkins Road, Laurel, MD
20723-6099, (240-228-5000), are on the reverse side. We look forward to
seeing you there. Visit the NCMF website at http://www.nationalcryptologicmuseumfoundation.com/ for more information on their activities.
Monday, 17 November 2008, 6:30 p.m. - Washington, DC - Rose Mary Sheldon [co-author with Thijs Voskuilen] on "The Secret History of History" at the International Spy Museum - OPERATION MESSIAH: APOSTLE PAUL, AGENT PROVOCATEUR?
WHAT: “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked.”—Galatians
Was the self-proclaimed successor to Jesus actually working for the Roman administration in Palestine and other parts of the Empire? Col. Rose Mary Sheldon, co-author [with Thijs Voskuilen] of Operation Messiah: St. Paul, Roman Intelligence and the Birth of Christianity, challenges the idea that Apostle Paul was a true follower of Jesus much less a saint. Drawing from Paul's biography and his own letters, Sheldon finds numerous clues to suggest that the former persecutor never left the ranks of the Roman government but instead went undercover by feigning conversion en route to Damascus. Voskuilen and Sheldon's shocking theories about Paul's real purpose in promoting Jesus as the Messiah will give you a startling new perspective on the dramatic and turbulent early days of Christianity. Thijs Voskuilen is unable to join Dr. Sheldon to make this a joint presentation.
WHERE: International Spy Museum, 800 F St NW, Washington, DC, Gallery Place/Chinatown Metrorail Station. 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 www.spymuseum.org; or purchase tickets in person at the International Spy Museum.
20 November 2008 - Colorado Springs, CO - AFIO Rocky Mountain Chapter meets to hear Sheriff Terry Maketa on "Law Enforcement and Intelligence." Sheriff Maketa is Sheriff of El Paso County, Colorado. The program starts at 11 a.m. with the program starting at noon. Event takes place at the Falcon Club (Old Officers' Club) Inquiries and reservations to Riverwear53@aol.com
Thursday 20 November 2008, 6:30 PM - Los Angeles, CA - The AFIO Los Angeles Chapter November meeting features Ambassador David Aaron former Deputy National Security Advisor to President Carter and currently Director of the RAND Corporation's Center for Middle East Public Policy. Please join us for this event, RSVP by November 17, 2008 via email firstname.lastname@example.org. Refreshments will be served. Please note that this meeting will take place in the evening. Location: Loyola Marymount University (Hilton Business Building) Room 302 LMU Campus Map http://www.lmu.edu/AssetFactory.aspx?did=7234
November 2008, 7:00 PM - Arlington, VA - The Defense Intelligence
Alumni Association has the right idea! Not a meeting, not a lecture, no
PowerPoint presentations.....but a special Evening Tasting of Five
Single Malt Scotch Whiskies. They invite Members to this special Tasting of Whiskies Produced by The Balvenie Distillery.
Event to be held at the Lyon Park Community Center 414 North Fillmore
St in Arlington, VA. Light fare will be served. The price, only $30 per
person. The Balvenie distillery is located in the town of Dufftown in
the region of Speyside, which has the greatest concentration of malt
distilleries in Scotland. Family owned for five generations, The
Balvenie is unique in growing, malting, and kilning its own barley,
having a full cooperage on site, a full-time coppersmith, and a Malt
Master in David Stewart who has spent 45 years with the distillery. The
Balvenie is Scotland’s most hand crafted whisky. We will taste five
whiskies in The Balvenie range. The tasting will be conducted by "Dr.
Whisky," Samuel Simmons, The Balvenie Brand Ambassador USA. Dr. Simmons
has hosted tasting events and whisky tours, written and taught Scotch
whisky history, and sat on prestigious whisky judging panels.
At Edinburgh University in Scotland, he earned a Ph.D. in English Literature and became both Poet Laureate and President of the Edinburgh University Water of Life Society. He was a tasting and selection panelist and the first ambassador for the international Scotch Malt Whisky Society. He has been featured in Scotland on Sunday and The Malt Whisky Yearbook 2008 and 2009. Dr. Whisky (www.drwhisky.com), his online blog of tasting notes and whisky history, is widely respected within the industry and received a people’s choice award in the 2007 Drammies.
RSVP by 10 November to DIAA, Attn: Whisky, P.O. Box 489, Hamilton, Virginia 20159 Enclose checks for $30 per person payable to DIAA, Inc. No refunds after 13 November. Inquiries to Marty Hurwitz at email@example.com.
1 December 2008 - Miami, FL - The Board of Directors and Members for The Ted Shackley Miami Chapter of AFIO cordially invites you to a membership cocktail party honoring Gen. John K. Singlaub.
Hosted by our chapter, we will gather to honor this Great American and
hope you will save the first week of December date. All paid members
and those wishing to renew membership or join are welcomed. We will
also welcome invited guests to enjoy cocktails plus dinner. Location: TBA Your printed invitation will be forth coming
Hosts: Tom Spencer, Esq., Robert Heber and special guest
Time: 6:00 to 8:30pm Food and Beverage will begin promptly at 6:00
Contact: Tom Spencer: TRSMiami@aol.com Robert Heber: 786-473-7000
2 December 2008, 5:30 - 8 p.m. - New York, NY - " The Coming Collapse
of China" is the theme of the AFIO NY METRO Chapter Dinner featuring
author/lawyer Gordon Chang. "Beneath the surface, there is
a weak China, in long-term decline and even on the verge of collapse.”
A fascinating topic/speaker! Chang previously wrote "Nuclear Showdown."
5:30 PM – 6:00 PM: Registration; 6:00 PM: Meeting Start, BUFFET DINNER AND OPEN BAR – Until 8:00 PM. Location: STEELCASE BUILDING, 4 Columbus Circle, Manhattan Between 57th & 58th Streets on 8th Ave.
COST: $40. Per Person; $20. Per Student. RESERVATIONS: Strongly Suggested, Not Required.
Inquiries to Jerry Goodwin, President, AFIO - New York Metropolitan Chapter, at 646-696-1828 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
03 December 2008 - Ft Meade, MD - The National Cryptologic Museum Foundation conducts special Pearl Harbor Remembrance Program. Program will review the attack from the Japanese perspective and a Japanese historian will be part of this fascinating reexamination of history. Further information to appear here in coming weeks. Visit the NCMF website at http://www.nationalcryptologicmuseumfoundation.com/
Saturday, 6 December 2008 - Florida - The AFIO North Florida Chapter meets at the Orange Park Country Club. Meet
and greet (and partake of Quiel's delectable hors d'oeuvres!) starts at
11:00 am, with lunch at noon, followed by program and Chapter business,
then adjourn by 3:00 pm.
This is a very important meeting, as we will be attending to two key issues: First, we will hold election of officers -- a proposed slate will likely be announced in either the next newsletter or via later e-mail, but of course nominations will also be accepted from the floor. In addition, we are working on updating our Chapter Bylaws as required to bring them more in line with the 2008 Chapter Bylaws Policy & Bylaws Boilerplate published by National HQs -- We will have a list of proposed changes for review at the meeting or, with luck, published in the newsletter for review beforehand. Information on a program will hopefully also be included in the newsletter. One agenda item for the meeting will definitely be a report on the recent AFIO National Conference attended by Dane Baird.
Please RSVP to Quiel at email@example.com as soon as possible -- now is not too early! -- and as usual family and guests are cordially invited. See you there!
Preparing for Martial Law:
Through the Eyes of Col. Ryszard Kuklinski
Thursday, 11 December 2008, 3 pm - 7 pm
AFIO members are invited to a special Symposium at CIA HQ which examines the Cold War tensions, risks, and heroism 'running Kuklinski,' and a few of the continuing mysteries surrounding this case. Kuklinski conducted nine years of nerve-wracking espionage; first, for Poland’s independence and, second, for victory of the West over the USSR. A world where the daily routine of espionage demanded flawless counter-surveillance, dead drops, surreptitious hand-offs, L-pills, invisible ink and miniature transmitters, and still resulted in moments of panic and constant subterfuge, knowing that detection meant death.
Program features: Michael Hayden, Director of CIA; Zbigniew Brzezinski, former National Security Advisor 1977-81; many others. Includes several Agency case experts, Polish dignitaries, and academic subject specialists. Includes new Documentary on the Kuklinski case. Each attendee will receive a DVD containing all of the released material, along with a booklet that will feature samples of key documents from the DVD, background material on Kuklinski, photographs, and a detailed index. Event includes interviews of Agency, Polish and Soviet personnel on the Warsaw Pact, Martial Law and Colonel Ryszard Kuklinski case.
Agenda and Registration. Only $50.
RSVP needed by 1 December 2008. Please do so here.
For Additional Events two+ months or greater....view our online Calendar of Events
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