AFIO Weekly Intelligence Notes #46-08 dated 8 December 2008









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Iranian Salesman Convicted of Spying Executed. Iran executed an electronics salesman convicted of relaying information on the country's nuclear program and other sensitive data to Israel's Mossad intelligence agency. Ali Ashtari was hanged Nov. 17 after being sentenced to death on June 30. It was the country's first known conviction for espionage linked to Israel in almost a decade. [Boston//23November2008] (AP)

Pakistani Intelligence Agency Closes its Political Wing. In a move which may have far reaching effects on the country's politics and democratic set-up, the premier intelligence agency, Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), has decided to disband its so-called "political wing" that for the last over three decades had been actively involved in monitoring and managing political activities inside and outside the government.

A highly authoritative source said with this decision taken at the highest level, the ISI would now be able to deal with more pressing issues like handling the crucial aspects of the war against terror.

Until recently, the so-called "political wing" used to work under ISI's Director General (C) which otherwise also deals with counter-intelligence activities.

With this decision taken at the top level, and implemented by the newly appointed ISI chief, the agency has dissociated itself from the making or breaking of political parties and alliances.

The so-called "political wing", whose existence was otherwise never officially acknowledged, was manned by a brigadier, two colonels and a number of other junior military and civil officials, who would now be absorbed in other departments of the agency.

Although the wing was associated with several controversial activities in the past, including the creation of an anti-Benazir Bhutto alliance in 1988, more recently it played a vital role in the 2002 general elections and helped the then president Pervez Musharraf in fulfilling his political objectives and formation of a coalition government with new factions of PML. [Haider/Dawn/23November2008] 

Military Rift with Pakistan Hurts War. Two senior U.S. military officials say the U.S.-led war on terror is facing challenges in part because Pakistan's young military officers don't have the same relationship with their U.S. counterparts that their predecessors had.

In a recent interview with The Washington Times, Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said a top priority for the Pentagon is healing the longtime rift between the two militaries, which he said has deprived both nations of the trust needed to combat extremism.

Army Maj. Gen. John M. Custer agreed. The commander of the U.S. Army Intelligence Center at Fort Huachuca, Ariz., he said U.S. forces are "dealing with guys who don't have any exposure to us."

Tensions with Pakistan's army go back long before the emergence of the Taliban and al Qaeda, both officers said.

"There's not a Pakistani junior officer that doesn't know who former Senator Pressler is, and there's not a junior officer in the U.S. military that knows who Senator Pressler is," Adm. Mullen said.

He was referring to 1985 legislation sponsored by former Sen. Larry Pressler, South Dakota Republican, which banned most economic and military aid to Pakistan unless the U.S. president certified, on an annual basis, that Pakistan did not possess a nuclear explosive device. The so-called "Pressler Amendment" also required U.S. aid to be significantly reduced if Pakistan tried to attain nuclear weapons.

The measure was overridden by other legislation in 1995, but still shadows U.S.-Pakistan ties.

In October 1990, then-President George H.W. Bush could not make the certification when it became apparent that Pakistan was pursuing nuclear weapons. As a result, the United States withheld $1.2 billion worth of military equipment already purchased by Pakistan. Relations plummeted as the administration considered having Pakistan designated as a state sponsor of terrorism. More sanctions were imposed when U.S. officials asserted that Pakistan was receiving missile technology from China. 

U.S. and Pakistani military exchanges virtually came to a halt during the 1990s, depriving those who are now midlevel officers in Pakistan's military of familiarity with the United States.

Many of these officers still harbor deep resentment toward the United States. Younger military personnel are influenced by their superiors and may be reluctant to cooperate with the U.S. military.

Disagreement with the U.S. invasion of Iraq and the perception that U.S. policy in South Asia tilts in favor of India have exacerbated the problems. The U.S.-led war against extremists in Afghanistan is also controversial because many younger Pakistani officers appear to sympathize with Islamic fundamentalists.

The general consensus among many Pakistani citizens is that the U.S. abandoned Pakistan when "we were no longer useful after the Cold War," said a senior Pakistani official who spoke on the condition of anonymity, owing to the sensitivity of the subject.

Despite his legislation's impact on U.S.-Pakistan relations, Mr. Pressler told The Times that the Clinton administration's decision to stop implementing the amendment was "one of the great foreign-policy mistakes in recent history."

Mr. Pressler, who retired in 1997 and has served on the boards of several U.S., British and Indian companies, said the measure delayed progress on Pakistan's nuclear program for a decade. Pakistan exploded a nuclear device in 1998 after India carried out nuclear tests.

Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, holds forth on the urgent need to mend the rift between the U.S. and Pakistani militaries, in his office at the Pentagon recently.

Adm. Mullen said that even during the most crisis-ridden years, the United States and Pakistan collaborated in international peacekeeping operations in Somalia. But he said he was stunned earlier this year when he was invited to speak to a group of about 30 Pakistani war-college students at the American Embassy in Islamabad. The majority of the questions were about the Pressler Amendment, which was passed before most of the students were born.

The legislation has affected every aspect of the "mil-to-mil relationship," he said. "We have a tendency to move on as Americans, and we can't in this regard."

According to the Pentagon, from 1980 to 1989, more than 1,300 Pakistani military men attended U.S. war-staff colleges and technical and professional schools in the United States. 

The current chief of the Pakistani army, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kiyani, attended the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., and developed close relationships with top U.S. military leaders.

While Gen. Kiyani was head of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), comparable to the U.S.'s CIA, he and Gen. Custer, who was then at the Intelligence Directorate at the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), worked closely together.

Gen. Custer said a U.S. lack of understanding of the political situation in Pakistan has led to a very "myopic view" of the region and a distancing of the two allies.

During the '90s, the number of Pakistani students in the United States plummeted to only about 300, Adm. Mullen said. The figure over the past eight years is 98. Considering the crisis in Afghanistan and growing extremism plaguing both Afghanistan and Pakistan, "we need to do more than that," he said.

Senior Pakistani officials have been reluctant to accept U.S. counterterrorism training or to participate in combined missions to fight terrorism. U.S. aid has been limited to military equipment, helicopter maintenance and financial support.

In October, however, Pakistan agreed to accept 25 American master military trainers to advise selected members of the Frontier Corps, who will then train other Pakistanis fighting extremists along the border with Afghanistan.

While the number of trainers isn't large, Adm. Mullen said, the agreement is a significant step in rebuilding relations.

The U.S. offer comes as a new democratic government in Pakistan struggles to fight its own war on terrorism and deal with growing economic fragility.

Mr. Haqqani said that rebuilding the relationship will take time. [Carter/WashingtonTimes/24November20082008 

New FBI Spy Rules Worry Arab-Americans. Arab-Americans in Detroit say they're worried new FBI counter-terrorism powers will end up being used to target innocent U.S. citizens.

In a last-minute rule change before he leaves office, President George Bush amended U.S. Department of Justice guidelines to allow the FBI to use confidential informants to gather intelligence in preliminary probes, interview people without identifying who they are and spy on suspects without first getting clear evidence of wrongdoing.

That has Arab-American leaders in Detroit, the U.S. city with the biggest concentration of ethnic Arab citizens, concerned that authorities will use racial profiling to spy on Muslims who have no connection to terrorism, infiltrating mosques and snooping into private lives.

The FBI says it needs the rule changes to overcome outdated restrictions and say the new guidelines won't target innocent people, noting the rules state they must be applied in a "reasonable manner that respects liberty and privacy." [UPI/30November2008] 

Defense Department Sustains Focus On 'War Of Ideas' In Anti-Terrorism Efforts. The Defense Department, with more money and personnel than the State Department, continues to plan for sophisticated information operations in the war on terrorism that in the past were the purview of diplomats and even the CIA.

Central to the Pentagon efforts is the U.S. Special Operations Command. As Michael G. Vickers, assistant secretary of defense for special operations, low-intensity conflict and interdependent capabilities, said last month: "On any given day that we wake up, our Special Operations forces are in some 60 countries around the world. I think through this decade and into the next one, [they] have been and will remain a decisive strategic instrument."

Discussing Special Operations forces' information role in the "war of ideas" with Islamist terrorists, Vickers said during an appearance at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy that the "themes you emphasize, how well they resonate, the distribution mechanisms, who's giving the message" are important factors.

"How do I implement that and how do I protect myself while I'm implementing?" he asked.

One possible answer is reflected in a Special Operations Command notice posted Oct. 30 for contractors. It updates a proposal to develop and operate "influence websites" that, when needed, would support combat commanders in the war on terrorism. The Web sites, in local languages, would "shape the global media landscape" using Internet technologies, including "slideshows, video content syndication (podcasts)... blog integration, streaming video/audio, and advanced search."

According to the proposal, "The government estimates a minimum of two and no more than twelve websites" will be needed in languages that may include Arabic, French, English, Portuguese, Spanish, Armenian, Azeri, Farsi, Georgian, Hindi, Punjabi, Tagalog, Urdu, Russian and Chinese. The Pentagon, under its Trans-Regional Web Initiative, has such sites in North Africa,, and in Iraq,

The proposed contingency Web sites would be "ghosted," - that is, accessible by user name and password - ready to go active and open to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week, upon approval by the Joint Military Information Support Command of the Special Operations Command.

The purpose is to present "news, sports, entertainment, economics, politics, cultural reports, business and similar items of interest to targeted readers" following "guidance provided by the appropriate combat commander," according to the proposal. "Content will provide open and unbiased analyses of major events in the targeted regions and the ramifications of those events on the target audiences," it adds.

Contractor surveys and focus groups of target audiences are to help determine "design styles, colors and web site features" and develop "a network of indigenous content stringers and staff editors and site managers."

Links to other "appropriate" national, regional and internationally oriented Web sites "that support the established objectives of each respective combat command" will be attached only after approval by the Special Operations Command. The "foot print of the government" must be low, but there must be "open attribution," as with other Pentagon sites, in the clickable "about us" link at the bottom of the home page.  [Pincus/WashingtonPost/1December2008] 

Taliban Soldier John Walker Lindh Seeks Bush Pardon in Killing of CIA Agent from Alabama. Historically stingy with granting pardons, President George W. Bush is facing a flood of requests on his way out of the White House.

Among the more than 2,000 people who have applied is American-born Taliban soldier John Walker Lindh, who is asking for a shortened sentence. 

Lindh pleaded guilty to one federal charge in a plea agreement in July 2002.The nine charges originally filed against him included a murder conspiracy role in the slaying of Americans such as of CIA agent Johnny Micheal Spann, 32, of Winfield, Ala., who was killed in a Nov. 21, 2001, uprising at an Afghan prison where Lindh and others had been sent after their capture.

Spann and another CIA agent had interrogated Lindh, who wouldn't talk, shortly before the uprising.

Lindh in the plea agreement said he would cooperate with questioning by federal agents. In return he received a maximum 20-year sentence. Lindh sought a commutation in 2007 but the request was rejected by the Justice Department.

Last week, Bush issued 14 pardons and commuted two sentences - all for small-time crimes such as minor drug offenses, tax evasion and unauthorized use of food stamps. That brought his eight-year total to 171 pardons and eight commutations granted.

That is less than half as many as President Bill Clinton or President Ronald Reagan issued. Both were two-term presidents, like Bush.

A pardon is an official act of forgiveness that removes civil liabilities stemming from a criminal conviction. A commutation reduces or eliminates a person's sentence.

One Washington lawyer whose clients are directly pursuing the White House for pardons - rather than applying to the Justice Department - said Bush is expected to issue two more rounds of pardons: one right before Christmas, as is customary, and one right before he leaves office on Jan. 20. [Spotnews/28November2008] 

Ten Year Sentence for UK Army Spy. A former British army interpreter in Afghanistan who was convicted of espionage was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Iranian-born Daniel James, who translated for NATO's commander in Afghanistan, was sentenced after the Crown Prosecution Service said it would not seek a retrial on two other charges on which a jury deadlocked.

James was stationed in Afghanistan in 2006 as an interpreter for Gen. David Richards, then-NATO commander in the country. Richards has since been appointed as the next head of the British army.

Prosecutors said James began sending coded e-mails after meeting Col. Mohammad Hossein Heydari, military attach� at the Iranian Embassy in Kabul, in late August 2006. One allegedly read, "I am at your service."

Justice Roderick Evans said James should never have been in such a sensitive position because of his nationality, his disenchantment with the army and his narcissistic personality.

"The gravest part of your offending and what made this case unique was that you engaged in this activity when you were actually serving in a war zone," Evans said.

There was no evidence that James had damaged any British or NATO operations, the judge said, but "the potential for serious harm, had this relationship between you and the Iranian authorities developed, was immense."

A jury convicted James earlier this month on the espionage charge, but the jury could not decide on a charge related to a memory stick containing secret documents that was found in his possession, and a charge of misconduct in public office.

Prosecutors said James had debts of 25,000 pounds (US$38,000) and mortgages on four properties in Britain's south coastal city of Brighton.

Born Esmail Gamasai in Tehran, James came to Britain at age 15 and became a British citizen.

After leaving college without qualifications, he worked as a casino croupier and became a dedicated bodybuilder, once competing in a Mr. Universe contest. He joined the Territorial Army, a reserve force, in 1987.

In Brighton, James was caught up in the dance scene, billing himself as "Danny James, king of salsa."

His fluency in English, Farsi, Dari and Spanish led to his appointment as Richards' translator. [AP/27November2008] 

Islamist Rise In Somalia Is Latest Worry For U.S. A resurgence of Islamists in Somalia is a setback for the U.S. fight against terrorism.

Al Shabaab, a radical Islamist group that U.S. officials say is tied to al Qaeda, has methodically seized much of southern Somalia and is poised to take the capital, Mogadishu, as the country's internationally backed government nears collapse.

The rise of al Shabaab - from the Arabic word for ''youth'' - in many ways represents the very scenario that the Bush administration sought to avoid two years ago when it quietly backed an invasion by Somalia's neighbor, Ethiopia, to drive a federation of hard-line Islamic courts out of Mogadishu.

The invasion aimed to forestall a Taliban-style regime that could have become an East African haven for jihadists. But diplomats, regional analysts and former Shabaab fighters say that it has fueled a diverse Islamist insurgency that is stronger and more sophisticated than ever, and now seems bent on retaking control of the country.

American officials ''are fearful'' of a return to hard-line Islamist rule in Somalia, according to one official who wasn't authorized to discuss the subject publicly. ''There's no question that [the insurgency] is more violent than it has been in recent history, and we are extremely concerned about that,'' the U.S. official said.

Of several insurgent factions claiming territory in southern Somalia, the most powerful is unquestionably al Shabaab, whose leaders claim allegiance to Osama bin Laden and rule based on a strict form of sharia, or Islamic law.

In recent months, their forces have been bolstered by the arrival of foreign-trained jihadists and by ready supplies of cash, weapons and mercenaries flowing easily through one of the most lawless and impoverished regions of Africa.

The group has recruited perhaps hundreds of fighters from across the permeable border in Kenya, paying young, jobless Muslim men upward of $100 a month and promising large sums to the families of martyrs, say Kenyan ex-militants.

They're also joined by a small but influential number of jihadists from Arab countries who train the mostly young and inexperienced Somali fighters in suicide bombing and other tactics, the fighters say.

Despite nearly two decades of chaos and militia rule, foreign fighters are a new phenomenon in Somalia and a sign that al Shabaab is ''becoming more dangerous,'' said Richard Barno of the Institute for Security Studies, a think tank based in South Africa. Analysts credit Shabaab's foreign wing with plotting five coordinated car bombings in northern Somalia last month that killed at least 31 people - the worst terrorist strike in the country in recent memory.

Analysts say it's unclear if Shabaab's links to al Qaeda are operational or mere bluster, but CIA director Michael Hayden last week identified Somalia as a region where al Qaeda was forming new partnerships. In March, the State Department designated al Shabaab as a terrorist organization that included ''a number of individuals affiliated with al Qaeda'' and that "many of its senior leaders... trained and fought with al Qaeda in Afghanistan.''

U.S. officials accuse the group of sheltering suspects in the 1998 attacks on U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, which killed more than 220 people. The Pentagon has launched several airstrikes inside Somalia against suspected terrorists, including Aden Hashi Ayro, a top Shabaab commander and reputed al Qaeda operative, who was killed in a U.S. strike in May.

In backing the Ethiopian invasion two years ago, Bush administration officials made similar allegations about leaders of the Islamic courts, including Hassan Dahir Aweys, a hard-liner who commands a militia from his base in neighboring Eritrea. But in a sign of a softer approach this time around, the U.S. official said that American envoys had met with allies of Aweys in recent months.

Aweys's forces have sometimes fought alongside al Shabaab against Ethiopian forces and secular, clan-based militias. In a recent interview with McClatchy, Mukhtar Robow, a Shabaab senior commander, said that he and Aweys ''have a common enemy and are pursuing a common goal in the struggle to liberate our country'' from Ethiopian forces.

While Robow accused the United Nations and the African Union peacekeeping mission of siding with the Somali government - his fighters have attacked peacekeepers and are suspected of murdering and kidnapping aid workers - he denied a global or anti-American agenda.

But he expressed allegiance to bin Laden's worldview and said that his fighters, if called upon by Islamic militant groups in other countries, would 'join them to liberate them from Americans' interference in their affairs.''

Experts believe that al Shabaab and its allies are waiting for Ethiopian forces to leave to avoid a bloody battle for Mogadishu, but Ethiopia has been vague about a timetable for withdrawal. [Bengali/MiamiHerald/23November2008] 

U.S. Intelligence Focuses on Pakistani Group. American intelligence and counterterrorism officials said there was mounting evidence that a Pakistani militant group based in Kashmir, most likely Lashkar-e-Taiba, was responsible for this week's deadly attacks in Mumbai.

The officials cautioned that they had reached no firm conclusions about who was responsible for the attacks, or how they were planned and carried out. Nevertheless, they said that evidence gathered in the past two days pointed to a role for Lashkar-e-Taiba or possibly another group based in Kashmir, Jaish-e-Muhammad, which also has a track record of attacks against India.

The officials requested anonymity in describing their current thinking and declined to discuss specifics of the intelligence that they said pointed to Kashmiri militants. In the past, the American and Indian intelligence services have used communications intercepts to tie Kashmiri militants to terrorist strikes. Indian officials may also be gleaning information from at least one captured gunman who participated in the Mumbai attacks.

According to one Indian intelligence official, during the siege the militants have been using non-Indian cellphones and receiving calls from outside the country, evidence that in part led Indian officials to speak publicly about the militants' external ties.

Lashkar-e-Taiba denied any responsibility on Thursday for the terrorist strikes. American intelligence agencies have said that the group has received some training and logistical support in the past from Pakistan's powerful spy service, the Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, or I.S.I., and that Pakistan's government has long turned a blind eye to Lashkar-e-Taiba camps in the Kashmir region, a disputed territory over which India and Pakistan have fought two wars.

Officials in Washington said Friday that there was no evidence that the Pakistani government had any role in the attacks. But if evidence were to emerge that the operation had been planned and directed from within Pakistan, that would certainly further escalate tensions between India and Pakistan, bitter, nuclear-armed rivals. It could also provoke an Indian military response, even strikes against militants' training camps.

American and Indian officials were pursuing the possibility that the attackers arrived off the coast of Mumbai in a large ship and then boarded smaller boats before initiating their attack.

An American counterterrorism official said there was strong evidence that Lashkar-e-Taiba had a "maritime capability" and would have been able to mount the sophisticated operation in Mumbai.

Senior Bush administration officials sought to keep the tensions from boiling over on Friday by maintaining steady contact with Indian officials. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice spoke by phone with Pranab Mukherjee, India's foreign minister, and one of Ms. Rice's deputies spoke with the Indian foreign secretary.

In what was seen as a sign of Pakistan's concern about a possible Indian response, Pakistani officials announced Friday that the head of the I.S.I. would go to India to help the Indian government with its investigation. On Friday evening, however, Pakistani officials indicated that a lower-level I.S.I. representative might make the trip.

American and Indian officials have for years blamed Lashkar-e-Taiba for a campaign of violence against high-profile targets throughout India, including the December 2001 attack on the Indian Parliament building in New Delhi and an August 2007 strike at an amusement park in Hyderabad. At times, Indian officials have also said Jaish-e-Muhammad was responsible for the attack on Parliament.

That attack prompted the Bush administration to try to freeze Lashkar-e-Taiba's assets and press Gen. Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan's president at the time, to crack down on the group's training operations in Pakistan.

A State Department report released this year called Lashkar-e-Taiba "one of the largest and most proficient of the Kashmiri-focused militant groups." The report said that the group drew financing in part from Pakistani expatriates in the Middle East, and that it used a front organization called Jamaat ud-Daawa to coordinate charitable activities, like relief for the victims of the October 2006 earthquake in Kashmir.

The report said the actual size of the group was unknown, but estimated it at "several thousand" members.

Recently, some of the group's operations have shifted from Kashmir to Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas and even to Afghanistan to attack American troops. American officials and terrorism experts said the group had not sent large numbers of operatives into Afghanistan, but had embedded small teams with Taliban units to gain fighting experience.

The group is believed by experts to have at least a loose affiliation with Al Qaeda. In March 2002, a Qaeda lieutenant, Abu Zubaydah, was captured in a Lashkar-e-Taiba safe house in Faisalabad, Pakistan, according to the State Department report.

Lashkar-e-Taiba is not known to have singled out Westerners in past terrorist attacks, as the gunmen in Mumbai seem to have done. But one counterterrorism official said Friday that the group "has not pursued an exclusively Kashmiri agenda" and that it might certainly go after Westerners to advance broader goals.

Even as a Kashmiri connection to the attacks began to emerge on Friday, American officials said they were puzzled by some developments. For instance, they said they knew next to nothing about a group called the Deccan Mujahedeen, which issued a claim of responsibility for the attacks.

Terrorism experts have said there is no evidence of that group's involvement in past strikes, and they speculated that another group fabricated the name to mask responsibility. [Mazzetti&Masood&Mekhennet&Rashbaum/NYTimes/29November2008] 

Italian Judge Suspends Trial of CIA Agents. An Italian judge has suspended a kidnapping trial linked to the CIA's extraordinary rendition program after the government said testimony could be a threat to Italy's national security.

The Milan trial involves 26 Americans and five Italian intelligence agents charged in the 2003 kidnapping of an Egyptian cleric. Most of the Americans are CIA agents.

The judge suspended the trial until March 18 in the expectation that Italy's Constitutional Court would have resolved the national security issue by then. A ruling from the high court is due March 10.

Both Premier Silvio Berlusconi and his predecessor Romano Prodi have warned testimony in the case could compromise operations between Italian spy services and the CIA. [AP/2December2008] 

Spied-On Lawyers May Get Second Chance in NSA Lawsuit. A seemingly-dead legal challenge to the Bush administration's secret wiretapping appears to have gained a new life. 

The suit involves two American lawyers accidentally given a Top Secret document showing they were eavesdropped on by the government when working for an Islamic charity in 2004. There suit looked all but dead in July when they were blocked from using that document to prove they were spied on.

Now they look like the most likely candidates to get a court to rule on the government's secret surveillance program.

To find another way to prove the spying, the duo's lawyers pieced together snippets from public statements from government investigations into Al-Haramain, the Islamic charity they were working for, and a speech about their case by an FBI official. That hodge-podge seems to have convinced the judge in the case that they likely were spied on.

Being able to prove they were likely spied on is enough to restart the case for attorneys Wendell Belew and Asim Ghafoor, who once looked to have the most likely case to lead to a ruling on the legality of Bush's warrantless wiretapping program. That program started after the Sept. 11 terror attacks, and involved various initiatives that peered into Americans' phone and internet usage without court approval.

The turn of events for the duo came in front of the same judge who six months earlier ruled that he could look at the document in secret to see if the surveillance was illegal, but only if they could first find independent evidence they were spied on.

Judge Walker himself said at the time that hurdle was likely "insurmountable."

That July ruling dealt a blow to the government's use of the so-called 'state secrets privilege,' which the government can use to dismiss civil lawsuits it says endangers national security. Walker found in July that the redress provisions in the nation's spying law, created by Congress, trumped state secrets - a common law privilege.

The duo's lawyers then refiled their suit, piecing together wording in charges brought by the FBI and the State Department, depositions from the attorneys about their conversations with the charity's Saudi-based director, and a speech by FBI Deputy Director John Pistole mentioning the charity had been a surveillance target.

Eisenberg said the next step was to let both parties see the secret document again and file briefs for Judge Walker, who can then rule on the legality of the surveillance.

The case is Al-Haramain v. Bush. [Wired/2December2008] 

Costa Rica Ousts Top Two Intel Officials. Costa Rica has replaced two top intelligence officials because a government password apparently was used to loot private bank accounts.

Prosecutors have accused the deputy director of the Intelligence and Security Directorate, Roberto Guillen, of helping steal from private bank accounts after accessing credit reports through a government account with a private data company.

The president's office announced that the agency's director, Roberto Solorzano, had resigned after acknowledging the agency's "negligence in the handling of the password." Jose Torres, a top adviser to President Oscar Arias, will succeed Solorzano, who has not been accused of any crime.

Prosecutors say Guillen was part a ring that used falsified checks to steal at least $360,000 from Costa Rican businessmen. Guillen allegedly used the password to access credit reports on the victims.

Guillen was arrested in November but is free pending further investigation.

Cabinet Chief Rodrigo Arias said the government will propose legal reforms to the intelligence agency to better define its jurisdiction. [AP/2December2008] 

US Panel Warns Of Espionage By China. China has stepped up computer espionage attacks on the US government, defense contractors, and American businesses, a congressional advisory panel said yesterday.

The US-China Economic and Security Review Commission also said in its annual report to lawmakers that aggressive Chinese space programs are allowing Beijing to target US military computers more effectively.

"China is stealing vast amounts of sensitive information from US computer networks," said Larry Wortzel, chairman of the commission set up by Congress in 2000 to advise, investigate and report on US-China affairs.

The commission of six Democrats and six Republicans said in the unanimously approved report that China's massive military modernization and its "impressive but disturbing" space and computer warfare capabilities "suggest China is intent on expanding its sphere of control even at the expense of its Asian neighbors and the United States."

The commission recommended that lawmakers provide money for US government programs that would monitor and protect computer networks.

Messages left with the Chinese Embassy in Washington were not immediately returned. Officials in Beijing have responded to past reports by saying China does not try to undermine other countries' interests and seeks healthy ties with the United States.

The report comes two months before President-elect Barack Obama takes office. The Democratic Obama administration will probably continue the Republican Bush administration's efforts to work with and encourage China, a veto-holding member of the UN Security Council that the United States needs in nuclear confrontations with Iran and North Korea.


Global Forecast by American Intelligence Expects Al Qaeda's Appeal to Falter. A new study of the global future by American intelligence agencies suggests that Al Qaeda could soon be on the decline, having alienated Muslim supporters with indiscriminate killing and inattention to the practical problems of poverty, unemployment and education.

While not contradicting intelligence assessments suggesting that Al Qaeda remains a major threat with a strong presence in the tribal areas of Pakistan, the report says that the group "may decay sooner" than many experts have assumed because of severe weaknesses: "unachievable strategic objectives, inability to attract broad-based support and self-destructive actions."

"The appeal of terrorism is waning," said Mathew J. Burrows, head of long-range analysis in the office of the director of national intelligence and a lead author of "Global Trends 2025: A Transformed World." Mr. Burrows said polls and anecdotal evidence strongly suggested disillusionment among Muslims with Al Qaeda and its methods and goals since the 2001 terrorist attacks.

The predicted decline of Al Qaeda is one of the few bright spots in the generally gloomy report, which describes a decline in the United States' world dominance as China, India and other powers assert themselves.

By 2025, it predicted, "the U.S. will find itself as one of a number of important actors on the world stage," playing "a prominent role in global events" but not a decisive one as in the past.

The report said the global shift from West to East in terms of wealth and economic power "is without precedent in modern history." Of a projected population increase of 1.2 billion worldwide by 2025, Western countries would account for only 3 percent, it said.

The previous report in the Global Trends series, completed in 2004, anticipated continued American dominance through 2020, though it recognized that the emergence of China and India as powers would transform the geopolitical landscape.

The new report describes a world driven by increased conflict over scarce food and water supplies and threatened by so-called rogue states and terrorists, widening gaps between rich and poor and an uneven impact of global warming. It said the chance of the use of nuclear weapons, while remaining "very low," would rise in the next two decades as nuclear technology spreads.

The report said Russia's emergence as a world power was "clouded" by persistent corruption and lagging investment in its critical energy industry. It also noted, without naming a specific country, that a government in Eastern Europe "could be effectively taken over and run by organized crime."

The Global Trends reports are produced every four years by the National Intelligence Council, which represents all 16 American intelligence agencies, in part to inform long-term thinking by new administrations. The reports project various possible sequences of events in the future; the new publication notes, between dire forecasts, that "bad outcomes are not inevitable."

Even if Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups gradually lose support, the remaining violent extremists may have access to increasingly lethal technology, including biological weapons, the report found.

The comments on Al Qaeda's future are based in part on the work of David C. Rapoport, a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, who has studied the cycles of terrorist activity in the past, including those associated with anarchism, Marxism and nationalism.

The report said the global Islamic terrorist movement was likely to outlast Al Qaeda itself, with other groups likely to emerge and supplant it. But it expects a future of frustration and attrition for Al Qaeda, which Osama bin Laden built during the 1990s.

The intelligence agencies noted that Al Qaeda had focused almost exclusively on terrorism, in contrast with groups like Hezbollah and Hamas, which have transformed themselves into political movements. [Shane/NYTimes/21November2008] 

Tennis Shoes and Stolen Toilets. In 1976, when Soviet fighter pilot Viktor Belenko defected to the West in his MiG-25, his U.S. debriefers discovered (along with a trove of Soviet secrets) a military man with a life's accumulation of grievances against the Soviet system. Even at the height of Moscow's power, Belenko told them, the political leadership could not properly provide for its soldiers, sailors, and airmen, who often lived in squalid conditions with almost no means of entertainment or diversion.

The central obsession of the higher-ranking officers at the aerodrome where he was based was inventing ways to steal the highly purified grain alcohol that was used for cooling the MiG-25's avionics and deicing the wings. This often required that several tons of jet fuel be dumped on the ground and a nonexistent flight of the MiG-25 entered into the logbook in order to make it seem as though the alcohol had been consumed in service of the aircraft rather than at some drunken late-night dinner. A senseless waste, as he saw it, to soak hundreds of gallons of fuel into the soil and then later say there was not enough funding for proper base housing or an officers' club.

But the main source of Belenko's alienation was what he described as the Communist party's penchant for "trying to repeal the laws of nature by decree." In the case of his MiG-25, this translated into the impossible task of being ready to take on the latest U.S. military aircraft in an airplane that still used vacuum-tube technology.

One wonders if there is a similar divorce from reality inside the Kremlin today with regard to the Russian armed forces. The past few months have seen a number of grandiose promises for restoring the might and modernity of Moscow's men at arms, but even the most optimistic projections for the Russian economy fall well short of what would be needed to pay for major military initiatives.

In July, a Russian admiral, Vladimir Vysotsky, announced on the Naval Fleet Day holiday that the Russian navy would add six carriers to its force - plus all of the cruisers, destroyers, supply ships, minesweepers, etc., that form a complete carrier battle group. Russia has never had even one proper carrier battle group, has only one aircraft carrier in operation, and has demonstrated that its shipyards are not up to the task even of refitting an old Soviet-era carrier for the Indian Navy. (The shipyards where the current Russian carrier was built during the Soviet period are in Nikolaev, Ukraine, and there are no comparable facilities in Russia.)

More recently, the Russian president, Dmitri Medvedev, made a speech calling for a massive military modernization program and a substantial increase in defense spending. According to his statements, by 2020 Russia will have built substantial numbers of new naval vessels, will have developed a combined air defense and missile defense system with both land and space-based elements, and will have upgraded the nation's conventional forces to a "permanent state of combat readiness."

This is all just so much chest-thumping. The immense sums required to support these lavish promises will not materialize. You can't get there from here, as the old aphorism goes. The price of oil (which Russia depends on for a great deal of its state revenues) has dropped to less than half its value from this past summer, the Russian stock market is in free fall, and foreign investment has fled Russia.

President Medvedev has announced an increase in military spending, but total outlays are still far less than the U.S. defense budget, and much of what has been allocated will have to go towards undoing the years of neglect and decay during the Boris Yeltsin presidency.

The performance of the Russian armed forces during the invasion of Georgia in August showed the dismal state of Moscow's military machine. Some Russian soldiers went into battle wearing athletic shoes because there were not enough boots to go around. Russian troops stole everything they could lay hands on - particularly from the Georgian army facilities they overran. Uniforms, beds, U.S.-supplied Humvees, and toilets were even pulled off the walls by Russian forces. "They had everything; the most amazing f--ing beds, amazing f--ing barracks with sealed windows," one Russian soldier was recorded saying in a short mobile phone video that was later broadcast - awestruck like Goldilocks when she stumbled upon Baby Bear's boudoir. Apparently living conditions for soldiers have improved little in the decades since Belenko's defection.

Russian forces were able to overcome Georgian forces because of sheer numbers, but in air operations the Russians had their proverbial head handed to them. A total of 12 Russian aircraft were lost to Georgian air defense units, including one Tupolev Tu-22M Backfire bomber. By the time hostilities ceased Russian pilots were being offered lavish bonus payments if they were willing to fly missions over Georgia, and still some of them turned the offers down, preferring to stay on the ground where it was safe.

The loss of the Tu-22M is symptomatic of the deep and pervasive ills of Russia's military machine. There were no operational pilots with enough hours to fly the mission, so instructor pilots had to be press-ganged into service - only two of whom were able to eject safely. The fact that the aircraft - a medium-range strategic bomber that was originally designed to carry nuclear weapons - was misused for a reconnaissance mission is another source of embarrassment.

A colleague of mine was impolitic enough to point all of this out at a conference in London, only to learn later that one of the attendees in the audience was the Russian air attach�, who later declared himself to be offended. More often than not, this is the standard Russian response to any honest assessment of its military. It is always easier to shoot the messenger than criticize those who should be getting a good working-over for failing to do their jobs properly.

At the top of the list of Russian failures should be the intelligence agencies. Like their counterparts at the CIA and so many other spy services around the world, Russian intelligence officers have lived by the axiom that "information is not worth anything unless it has been stolen."

Almost all the data on purchases made by the Georgian air defense forces and the radar networking modernization contracts that had been carried out by Aerotechnica in Kiev and other Ukrainian firms was available in the Russian-language press, on the Internet, and from other open sources, but no one at GRU (the Russian military intelligence service) seemed to be paying any attention. The former commander of the Russian Air Force, General Anatoly Kornukov, blasted the current military leadership, telling the Interfax news agency in Moscow that "they sent the Tu-22 crew to their deaths thinking that the Georgian air defense would mount no resistance."

More recently, Medvedev announced that the Russian Navy would conduct maneuvers off the coast of Venezuela in conjunction with the armed forces of Moscow's good ally and compa�ero Hugo Ch�vez in order to show his determination to carry out this military renaissance. But it is not an activity that is sustainable or has anything other than the symbolic value of annoying the United States. It's also an enormous expenditure at a time when the basic needs for equipment, clothing, housing, and training of the men in uniform are not being met.

Such failures led to 20 Russian sailors being killed last week. A Freon-based fire extinguishing system on a nuclear submarine accidentally activated, and there were not enough breathing apparatuses on board for all personnel - a basic piece of equipment for which there is no excuse for a shortage. A former Black Sea Fleet commander, Vladimir Komoyedov, told the Russian RIA-Novosti news service that this accident was the result of "the greatest lack of professionalism and negligence."

All signs suggest that the waste and neglect that made Belenko so disdainful of the political commissars were never dealt with. So, be on the lookout for more armed men in tennis shoes carrying stolen toilets in carjacked Humvees the next time Russia decides to make mischief beyond its borders. And don't be surprised if the average Russian serviceman continues to risk being needlessly sent to an early grave. [Johnson/WeeklyStandard/24November2008] 

10 Things You Didn't Know About Robert Gates. 1. Robert Michael Gates was born on Sept. 25, 1943, in Wichita, Kan.

2. Gates attended the College of William and Mary in Virginia. He graduated in 1965 with a bachelor's degree in history.

3. As an undergraduate, Gates was involved in a wide range of activities, from Eagle Scouts to the Young Republicans to the service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega - he even drove an elementary-school bus to help pay his expenses.

4. After receiving a master's degree in history from Indiana University in 1966, Gates joined the CIA as an intelligence analyst but did not begin work right away. First, he spent two years in the Air Force.

5. In the 1970s, Gates worked for five years for the National Security Council. Along the way, he also earned a Ph.D. in Russian and Soviet history from Georgetown University in 1974.

6. Gates served as the acting head of the CIA in 1986 and 1987 when William Casey became ill with cancer. Gates was nominated to replace Casey, but he withdrew his name from consideration when questions were raised about his role in the Iran-contra affair. He was nominated again, and confirmed, in 1991.

7. Following a stint as acting dean of the George Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University, Gates served as president of the university from 2002 to 2006.

8. President George W. Bush reportedly asked Gates to become the first director of national intelligence when that department was established in 2005, but he declined, saying at the time that he was committed to Texas A&M's five-year expansion plan.

9. Gates became defense secretary in December 2006 after Donald Rumsfeld resigned.

10. Gates and his wife, Becky, have two adult children, Eleanor and Brad. [O'Shea/USNews/1December2008] 



The Eli Cohen Files.  Shortly after midnight on May 18, 1965, a truckload of Syrian soldiers escorted a police armored car to Maza Prison in Damascus. They collected a lone man and took him to the police station near Al-Marjha Square in the center of the city. He was permitted to write a final letter to his wife and spend a few moments with a Rabbi.

Then, Israeli agent Elie Cohen was dressed in a bright white gown and taken to the square where a crowd of 10,000 happy Syrians chanted slogans in the darkness as searchlights came on and the TV cameras began their grisly broadcast. At three thirty-five A.M., Damascus time, Eli Cohen was led out and brought to the scaffold under heavy guard. The chief executioner of Damascus, Abu-Saliman, placed the noose around Cohen's neck and waited for the signal. Then, the base was removed from under Elie's feet and his body dangled at the end of the rope. At that moment, a legend was born.

Immediately, the story of "Israel's Most Famous Spy" became a subject of fascination all over the globe, and as the decades went by, Cohen became as much myth as man. For example, it's widely believed it was Cohen's intelligence reports radioed back to Israel that set the stage for the quick victory by Israel during the 1967 Six Days War. Many sources still report that Cohen was able to infiltrate himself into the highest echelons of the government in Damascus to the point he was third in line in the Syrian government's hierarchy. But do the facts support these claims? In addition, Eli Cohen, certainly one of the most important spies ever working in the Middle East, became most famous for blowing his own cover by overusing his radio transmitter. Why did such a skilled operative do himself in with such poor tradecraft?

For many in Israel, Elie Cohen was more than an executed spy - he was a brother, husband, father, and, ultimately, a national symbol of patriotic self-sacrifice. To this day, he has remained a focus of peace negotiations between Israel and Syria as efforts continue to get Syria to return Cohen's body to his family. Even as the Cohen family has continued this quest, they have searched for the truth behind the myths, and no seeker was more committed than Elie's younger brother, Maurice.

In 2006, Maurice Cohen decided it was time to tell the full story, drawing from his own family memories as well as his own experiences as a cryptographer for the Mossad. To help, he gathered a team of researchers to trace the many trails of his brother's mysterious life in Egypt, Israel, and finally Syria. But, while dictating his memoirs, Maurice died on December 6, 2006, leaving behind a collection of fragments and clues he would never complete.

In memory of both Elie and Maurice Cohen, Dr. Wesley Britton devoted a year to sorting through the documents, tapes, and all known primary and secondary sources to finish the project. Contributing to the cause, Helene Fragman-Abramson conducted interviews with another Cohen brother, Avraham, as well as Syrian refugees who spent time in the same prison as Elie and told her details about his final days never reported before. Now, offers these new revelations, analysis, and an overview of the Cohen legacy in four PDF files.

Together, these files are now the most extensive biography of the Cohen brothers on the net. We hope the results are what Maurice, in particular, would have wished.

The "Eli Cohen Files" are now available in the "Spies in History and Literature" section of, at

Democratic Security for the Americas: Intelligence Requirements Roy Godson and Jose Manuel Vergara, editors [National Strategy Information Center (NSIC), 1730 Rhode Island Ave NW Ste 500, Washington, DC 20036, 2008] ISBN: 978-0-9817776-0-3, 100 pgs, appendix. Order from or call 202-429-0129
This timely study deserves more attention than it might receive. Don’t let that happen. It has been created by senior security specialists and practitioners and highlights the interdependence of democracies in the Americas, particularly the need for regional cooperation of intelligence and security services. It bases these findings on the theory that no one country in the Western Hemisphere can collect requisite information, analyze and manage security challenges of local and transnational hybrid armed groups— criminals, militias, terrorist, and authoritarian leaders and movements, both inside and outside the region. The authors/editors point to the need to establish criteria, set boundaries, and enhance professional
education. Other key issues: a) Popular disaffection with democractic governance; b) Authoritarian and“opportunistic” leaders and networks, and the disaffected; c) Armed groups in the region–criminals, gangs, militias, and terrorists; d) Strengths and weaknesses of the police, public security and intelligence services; e) Post-Fidel Cuban struggles and spillover; and f ) Adversarial external actors in the region. The appendix contains a reprint of the OAS’s Declaration on Security in the Americas, adopted in October 28, 2003. Roy Godson is President of the NSIC and Professor Emeritus, Georgetown University. Co-editor Jose Manuel Vergara is President, Conocimiento en Red S.C. [CONRED], Mexico.


A. Grima Johnson, 89; CIA Officer, Preservationist. A. Grima Johnson, 89, a retired officer with the Central Intelligence Agency and its World War II predecessor who helped preserve an unspoiled view across the Potomac River from Mount Vernon, died Oct. 29 of pneumonia at his home near Bryans Road in Charles County.

Mr. Johnson led an international and multilingual life from childhood and volunteered with the American Field Service in 1939 and 1940. He drove ambulances for the French and British armies in Egypt and Libya.

He joined the Office of Strategic Services during World War II after his graduation from Harvard University. He parachuted behind enemy lines in Belgium and, dressed as a German officer, sought to capture Nazi soldiers concealed in rural areas.

Once, he came across two downed U.S. fliers hiding in a barn. They were about to shoot him until Mr. Johnson uttered an oath that only an American would know. He received U.S., British and French decorations during the war.

Alfred Grima Johnson was born in a taxicab traveling across New York's Brooklyn Bridge, which led to his childhood nickname of "Taxi."

His mother, who hailed from an old French family in Louisiana, insisted that her son receive a European Catholic education and sent Mr. Johnson to a Benedictine monastery in England. He studied art in Munich for a year before entering Harvard. He was fluent in French and German and also knew some Russian.

Mr. Johnson graduated from law school at Louisiana State University in 1948 and joined the CIA a year later. He had overseas assignments in Germany, Algeria, Vietnam and Madagascar.

He retired in 1970 and spent the rest of his career as a real estate investor and as president of a family-owned property management company.

During the 1940s, Mr. Johnson bought a historic estate called Branitan in Charles County, directly across the Potomac from Mount Vernon. He spent years restoring the property, where he lived until his death. He sold the estate to a trust to preserve the pristine views from Mount Vernon in perpetuity.

He also helped restore a historic ancestral home in New Orleans, the Hermann-Grima House, built in 1831.

Mr. Johnson donated to Georgetown University many antique books that once were owned by a French duke who was his grandmother's cousin.

Two of his children died, Nathalie Johnson in 1950 and Andr�-Hubert Johnson in 2002.

Survivors include his wife of 62 years, Francine B. Johnson of Bryans Road; four children, Bradish Johnson V of Kula, Hawaii, Marie Anita Coggins of Whitefish, Mont., Benedicte Grima Santry of Hatboro, Pa., and Sylvie-Anne Whiting of Park City, Utah; 12 grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren. [Schudel/WashingtonPost/27November2008] 


Teaching Position in History of Intelligence: The Institute for Modern Conflict, Diplomacy, and Reconciliation (IMCDR) at Texas Tech University seeks applications for a visiting professor, at the rank of Assistant Professor, in the field of Strategic Studies. The position is open with respect to discipline and research specialization, although the IMCDR would especially welcome applications from scholars with expertise in the history of intelligence and/or intelligence policy. This newly established Institute consists of The Center for War and Diplomacy in the Post-Vietnam Era, The Department of Aerospace Studies (AFROTC), The Department of Military Science (ROTC), and Texas Tech's renowned Vietnam Center and Archive. (For more information on the IMCDR, see The successful applicant will teach courses in Strategic Studies for the IMCDR, with the potential for additional course offerings in his/her field of study. Applicants should send hard copies of a letter of application, C. V., three letters of recommendation, and a short writing sample to Prof. Dennis Patterson; Chair, Strategic Studies Search; Texas Tech University Department of Political Science; Box 41015; Lubbock, TX 79409-1015. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled, but review of applications will begin December 1, 2008. The successful candidate should be prepared to teach in the Spring, 2009 semester, and for the 2009-2010 school year. Texas Tech is an AA/EOE institution and strongly encourages applications from women, minorities, and members of underrepresented groups.


Conference Announcement: 2009 Vietnam Center Conference: Laos, Cambodia, and Thailand and the Vietnam War. March 13th-14th, 2009. Most historical examinations of the Vietnam War tend to focus on the effects of the war on the principal participants to include the Republic of Vietnam, the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, and the United States. The events that took place in Vietnam from 1955 through 1975, however, had a tremendous impact on the entire region. The purpose of the 2009 Vietnam Center Conference will be to examine the effects of the war on the neighboring nations of Laos, Cambodia, and Thailand. The Vietnam Center invites both individual paper proposals as well as complete panels that will examine a wide range of topics to include the effects of the war within these nations either individually or collectively; specific events and activities that took place within each of these nations; the participation of US and other military, diplomatic, and civilian organizations within these countries, issues of regional and international diplomacy and diplomatic relations; the participation of these nations' military, diplomatic, and civilian organizations within Vietnam and each other, postwar issues for each nation, etc... Persons interested in participating should provide a proposal as soon as possible. Please format proposals to resemble an abstract to include the author's name, title, and affiliation, contact information, along with a 500 word abstract. Complete panel proposals should include brief biographies of each speaker, their contact information, as well as a 500 word abstract that describes the theme and purpose for the panel. This event will take place at the Holiday Inn Park Plaza in Lubbock, Texas. SPECIAL NOTE: Given the late inclusion of this to the AFIO distribution, I will accept additional proposals until December 21, 2008. Please submit proposals to



9 December 2008 - Tampa, FL - The Suncoast AFIO Chapter meets in Ballroom A at the MacDill AFB featuring bestselling author Burton Hersh. Hersh is a graduate of Harvard and has been a successful Historian and Journalist for over 35 years. He has focused on the Kennedy family and events surrounding all of the prominent family members. Bobby and J. Edgar, The Nature of the Beast, The Shadow President: Ted Kennedy in Opposition, The Old Boys: The American Elite and the Origins of the CIA, The Mellon Family: A Fortune in History, and The Education of Edward Kennedy are among the publications by Mr. Hersh. December’s topic will revolve around information about the JFK assassination not included or supported by the Warren Report. Lunch is $15.00 inclusive. For further information email

Thursday, 11 December 2008 - McLean, VA - CIA "Martial Law" Kuklinski Conference. Details are at top page, right column.

16 December 2008 - Arlington, VA - The Defense Intelligence Alumni Association and the National Intelligence Education Foundation hold their National Intelligence Forum at the
Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery in the Ballston Common Mall. Pay at the door with a CHECK for $29 payable to DIAA, Inc Social time starts at 1130, lunch at 1200, program at 1245
Dr. Cindy L. Courville will speak on Africa Dr. Courville was U.S. Ambassador to the African Union. She has been Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for African Affairs at the National Security Council, where she helped craft United States policy towards Africa. She is now on the Faculty of the National Defense Intelligence College.
The National Intelligence Forum covers topics of current interest. The Defense Intelligence Alumni Association and the National Intelligence Education Foundation sponsor it jointly. To encourage candor, the speaker must approve in advance media, notes, recordings, and attribution. The Defense Intelligence Forum is open to members of all Intelligence Community associations.
The restaurant is located on Level 1 of the Ballston Common Mall at the corner of Glebe Road and Wilson Boulevard. It's just two blocks from the Ballston-MU Metro Station on the Orange Line. Entrance to a covered walkway to the mall is at the Metro station exit. Park at Ballston Common Mall for 3 Hours for $1. RSVP by 9 December by email to .
Include your name and the names of your guests, your association, your telephone number, and your email address.

15 January 2009 – San Francisco, CA – The AFIO Jim Quesada Chapter hosts Stanislav Levchenko, former Russian KGB Major. Levchenko defected to the United States in October 1979, and was instrumental in detailing the KGB's Japanese spy network to the U.S government, including Congressional testimony in the early 1980’s. A Soviet court condemned Levchenko to death in 1981. Levchenko published his autobiography, On the Wrong Side: My Life in the KGB, in 1988. Major Levchenko's talk will focus on the new Russia and its imperial designs.
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. RSVP required. E-mail RSVP to Mariko Kawaguchi (please indicate meat or fish) no later than 5PM 1/05/09: or mail check made out to "AFIO" to: Mariko Kawaguchi, PO Box 117578 Burlingame, CA 94011. (650) 622-9840 X608.

20 -21 February 2009 - Baltimore, MD - Ethics in the Intelligence Community 2009 - The 4th Annual Conference of the International Intelligence Ethics Association
List of topics
• The Foundations of Ethics in Intelligence
• The Ethics of Intelligence Assassinations: The Israeli Experience
• The Application of Stakeholder Analysis to Covert Action
• Legitimizing Intelligence Ethics: A Comparison to Ethics in Business
• Surreptitious Physical Searches: An Ethics of Privacy
• Many Spheres of Harm: What's Wrong with Intelligence Collection
• The Ethical Implications of the Downing Street Memos
• The Role of Ethics Reform in Turkey's Bid to Join the EU
• Evolution of British Intelligence & Counter-Terrorism: Northern Ireland, 1969 - 1998.
Location: The Johns Hopkins University at Mt. Washington Conference Center Baltimore, Maryland
Register now and save $50.00. This year, on-line registration is available and encouraged by all attendees. You can reserve your space at the conference and get a hotel room at the same time!
Registration Fees: Individual - Institution - $450; Individual - $375; Student - $250
For more information about registration fees, including fees for early and late registration, go to
Registration fees include continental breakfast, lunch, and dinner on Friday, and continental breakfast and lunch on Saturday.
Lodging: The Mt. Washington Conference Center has 48 guestrooms for conference attendees. Single rooms with a queen-size bed and double rooms with two double beds are available.
The room rate is $150 per night.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contract us at

26 February 2009, Noon to 1 pm - Washington, DC - The Spy Within: Larry Chin and China’s Penetration of the CIA
In October 1982, the FBI received chilling information from the CIA—the Agency had learned China was running a spy inside US intelligence, but the spy’s identity, where he worked and for how long, and what information he was passing was unknown. Over the next three years, investigators worked frantically to identify the mole, to discover the secrets he’d betrayed and the agents he’d endangered, and to collect the evidence to prosecute him for his betrayal. The investigation ultimately revealed that for more than thirty years, Larry Chin, the CIA’s leading Chinese linguist, had been a top Chinese penetration of the Agency. In the first book to explore Chin’s betrayal, Tod Hoffman uses exclusive interviews, previously unreleased documents, and his own practical expertise as a former spy-catcher for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service to spin a captivating cat-and-mouse tale. Join Hoffman as he discusses the untold story of one of America’s biggest spy cases.
International Spy Museum, 800 F Street, NW, Washington, DC, Gallery Place/Chinatown Metrorail Station
TICKETS: No registration required. Free.

4 March 2009, 6:30 p.m. - Washington, DC - Josephine Baker: Singer, Dancer, Spy - A discussion at Spy Museum
“I am ready to give the Parisians my life.”—Josephine Baker
From Broadway to the Rue Fontaine, the extraordinary Josephine Baker was the toast of the international nightclub circuit. Born in the United States, the talented African American singer-dancer moved to France to escape racism in America and became an enormous star. She triumphed at the Folies Bergère and enjoyed the acclaim of European society. Her affection for France was so great that when World War II broke out, she volunteered to spy for her adopted country. Her café society fame enabled her to rub shoulders with those in the know, from high-ranking Japanese officials to Italian bureaucrats, and report back what she heard. She heroically stayed in France after the invasion working closely with the French Resistance to undermine the Nazi occupation. Her espionage exploits are just one chapter in Baker’s extraordinary life. Join Jonna Mendez, former CIA chief of disguise, as she reveals Baker’s intelligence work and places it in the context of her exciting and celebrated life.
International Spy Museum, 800 F Street, 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; or purchase tickets in person at the International Spy Museum.

5 - 6 March 2009 - Houston, TX - "Terrorism, Crime & Business" Symposium - Understanding the Fundamental Legal and Security Liability Issues for American Business. A conference sponsored by St. Mary's University., School of Law, Center for Terrorism Law. Four Main Symposium Themes: • An overview of the aims and objectives of the global terror threat posed by al-Qa’eda-styled terror groups, sub-State terror groups, and “lone-wolf” terrorists.
• An analysis of the specific threats to American business sectors that are deemed part of the nation’s “critical infrastructure,” i.e., energy, petrochemical, electric utilities, communication, transportation, health, banking and finance, agriculture, water and shipping. • An understanding of the varied legal issues associated with terrorism and criminal negligence claims against businesses that have suffered a terror attack or serious criminal act in cyberspace or the physical world. • A comprehensive review of how to develop appropriate physical security methods.
SPEAKERS and LOCATION: The symposium will be held at the Federal Reserve Bank, 1801 Allen Parkway, Houston, Texas. The registration fee is $300.00, which includes breakout refreshments, a hosted lunch,
and extensive printed materials, e.g., Terrorism Law: Materials, Cases, Comments (5th Ed. 2009). Participants may qualify for Continuing Legal Education Credits (CLE). For registration information and details, contact Ms. Faithe Campbell at (210) 431-2219; Additional information is also available at the Center for Terrorism Law website:


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


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