AFIO Weekly Intelligence Notes #06-09 dated 17 February 2009
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Section I - INTELLIGENCE HIGHLIGHTS
Senate Bill Revisits GAO Oversight of Intelligence. Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-HI) and several Senate colleagues reintroduced the "Intelligence Community Audit Act" that would strengthen the authority of the Government Accountability Office to oversee intelligence agency programs and activities.
"GAO has well-established expertise that should be leveraged to improve the performance of the Intelligence Community," Sen. Akaka said. "In particular, GAO could provide much needed guidance to the IC related to human capital, financial management, information sharing, strategic planning, information technology, and other areas of management and administration."
"By employing GAO's expertise to improve IC management and operations while carefully protecting sensitive information, this bill would reinforce the Intelligence Community's ability to meet its mission," he said.
Until recently, intelligence agencies have been unenthusiastic or openly hostile to GAO involvement in intelligence oversight. Last year, when the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee held a hearing on the Akaka bill, not a single representative of the intelligence community agreed to testify.
But last month, the Department of Defense cautiously acknowledged that GAO auditors may be granted access to classified foreign intelligence under some circumstances.
And at the January 22, 2009 confirmation hearing of Adm. Dennis C. Blair to be Director of National Intelligence, Adm. Blair also seemed to endorse a role for GAO in intelligence oversight.
Sen. Ron Wyden asked him: "If the GAO is conducting a study at the direction of one of the intelligence committees using properly cleared staff, will you give them the access they need to do their work?"
Adm. Blair replied: "Senator, I'm aware that the direction of GAO studies and the terms of them are generally subject to talk between the two branches of government for a variety of reasons, and subject to having those discussions, ultimately I believe the GAO has a job to do and I will help them do that job."
The congressional intelligence committees themselves have been reluctant to take advantage of the GAO for intelligence oversight, and it is not a coincidence that Sen. Akaka, the leading Senate proponent of the idea, is not a member of the Senate intelligence committee. But in another sign of shifting perspectives, Rep. Sylvestre Reyes and Rep. Anna G. Eshoo of the House Intelligence Committee last year asked the GAO to perform its first assessment of the intelligence community security clearance process. It was the first request to the GAO on any topic from either of the congressional intelligence committees in six years.
In an almost forgotten episode from 1982, a former GAO auditor alleged that Soviet spies had infiltrated the GAO. The Senate Intelligence Committee conducted an investigation and then-Committee chairman Sen. Barry Goldwater reported to the Senate that the allegation was not substantiated. There is no known instance in which classified information was leaked or compromised by GAO employees. [SecrecyNews/13February2009]
Iran to try Bahais for Spying for Israel. Iran will soon try seven members of the banned Bahai religion on charges including "espionage for Israel."
"The charges against seven defendants in the case of the illegal Bahai group were examined ... and the case will be sent to the revolutionary court next week," deputy Tehran prosecutor Hassan Haddad was quoted as saying.
Haddad said the charges included "espionage for Israel, insulting religious sanctities and propaganda against the Islamic republic."
Iran and Israel are arch-enemies, and Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad has repeatedly called for the Jewish state to be wiped off the map.
In late January, judiciary spokesman Ali Reza Jamshidi said Iran had arrested six adherents of the Bahai faith on the same charges.
Earlier last month, the Fars news agency said the ex-secretary of Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi's office was detained for links with an organisation of the Bahai faith, adding that the ex-staffer was a Bahai herself.
Haddad did not say if the seven being charged were the same as those arrested in January.
Followers of the Bahai faith, founded in Iran in 1863, are regarded as infidels and have suffered persecution both before and after the 1979 Islamic revolution.
Bahai teachings emphasize the underlying unity of major religions, with history having produced a succession of divine messengers, each of which founded a religion suitable for the times.
Bahais consider Bahaullah, born in 1817, to be the last prophet sent by God. This is in direct conflict with Islam, the religion of the vast majority of Iranians, which considers Mohammed to be the last prophet.
In late 2008, Iran reported the hanging of a Bahai man for rape and adultery.
The European Union has expressed "serious concern about the continuing systematic discrimination and harassment of the Iranian Bahais on the grounds of their religion." [AP/13February2009]
European Officials Warned of "Interns Trading Sex for Secrets." Paranoid Brussels security officials fear that Eurocrats might be susceptible to the attractive guise of the "pretty trainee with the long legs and the blonde hair."
Every year hundreds of "stagiares," or interns, work at the Commission's Berlaymont HQ in Brussels. Many of them are young, female and some, it has been claimed, are engaged in espionage.
Other covers said to be assumed by spies or agents, hired by industry or foreign powers, include people who have day to day contact with European Union officials, such as lobbyists or journalists.
"Like any large-scale organization which deals with sensitive or confidential information, there are always people who endeavor to gain access to this information," said a Commission spokeswoman.
"It could be the pretty trainee with the long legs and the blonde hair."
A confidential memorandum sent in December by Stephen Hutchins, the Commission's director of security, warned that "the threat of espionage is increasing day by day."
"A number of countries, information seekers, lobbyists, journalists, private agencies and other third parties are continuing to seek sensitive and classified information," he wrote.
Geoffrey Van Orden MEP, a former Brigadier in the Intelligence Corps and Conservative spokesman on defence and security, expressed his surprise at the alert.
"I cannot, for the life of me, think what 'secrets' the Commission would have to hide," he said.
"Even if there were any, the EU's institutional culture is such that they would not be secret for long, as the leaking of this memorandum shows."
One woman, working in an EU institution on a six month internship, suggested that the idea of glamorous female spies might be more about male fantasy than reality.
"I think men working here in boring jobs would love to believe that sexy women spies were after their bodies and their secrets. I personally think it is unlikely," said Petra, a 24-year old stagiare from a Baltic country.
The Commission makes proposals for legislation and monitors breaches of EU laws in areas such as competition policy. It does not handle any military or security secrets. [Waterfield/Telegraph/11February2009]
Special Forces' Gigapixel Flying Spy Sees All. You may think your new ten-megapixel camera is pretty hot - but not when you compare it to the 1.8 Gigapixel beast built for the Pentagon. The camera is designed as a payload for the A-160T Hummingbird robot helicopter now being quietly delivered to Special Forces. It will give them an unprecedented ability to track everything on the ground in real time. The camera is scheduled for flight testing at the start of next year.
Developed under the auspices of Darpa, the camera is the sensor part of Autonomous Real-time Ground Ubiquitous Surveillance - Imaging System or ARGUS-IS. The camera is composed of four arrays, each containing 92 five-megapixel imagers. The other parts of ARGUS are the airborne processing system, which has to deal with a phenomenal torrent of data, and the ground-based element. The airborne part fits into a 500-pound pod.
The Hummingbird is unique in its ability to hover at high altitude (over 15,000 feet) and its endurance of over 20 hours. This means it can park high in the sky and scan a wide area. Robo-chopper camera-maker BAE Systems says that its imager will be able to cover an area of over a hundred square miles. The refresh rate is fifteen frames per second and a "ground sample distance" of 15 centimeters - this means that each pixel represents six inches on the ground.
The volume of data is too great to be completely transmitted, but users will be able to define at least sixty-five independent video windows within the image and zoom in or out at will. The windows can be set to automatically track items of interest such as moving vehicles. In fact, the resolution is good enough for it to offer "dismount tracking" or following individual people on foot.
In addition to the windows, ARGUS will provide "a real-time moving target indicator for vehicles throughout the entire field of view in real-time." Basically, nothing can move in the entire area without being spotted. Unlike radar, ARGUS can zoom in and provide a high-resolution image.
The camera is pretty impressive, but it's the processing and the software behind it that will make this such a capable system. It would take a human a very long time to scan the whole area under surveillance if they were looking for something - but this is exactly the type of task which the swarming software we looked at last week excels at. Luckily enough, that just happens to be a Darpa program too. The technique of looking at small windows of interest also means that it may be possible to speed the frame rate up considerably - we previously looked at a windowing system so fast it could follow speeding bullets.
The ARGUS-IS mounted on the Hummingbird could be a significant battlefield asset for getting a real-time picture of what's on the other side of the hill. And no doubt there will be civilian agencies who think it might be quite a useful capability for them to have too. [Hambling/Wired/11February2009]
National Security Team Delivers Grim Appraisal of Afghanistan War. President Obama's national security team gave a dire assessment of the war in Afghanistan, with one official calling it a challenge "much tougher than Iraq" and others hinting that it could take years to turn around. U.S. officials said more troops were urgently needed, both from America and its NATO allies, to counter the increasing strength of the Taliban and warlords opposed to the central government in Kabul. They also said new approaches were needed to untangle an inefficient and conflicting array of civilian-aid programs that have wasted billions of dollars. "NATO's future is on the line here," Richard C. Holbrooke, the State Department's special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, told attendees at an international security conference here. "It's going to be a long, difficult struggle... In my view, it's going to be much tougher than Iraq." Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, head of the U.S. Central Command, said the war in Afghanistan "has deteriorated markedly in the past two years" and warned of a "downward spiral of security." [Whitlock/WashingtonPost/8February2009]
Financial Crisis Called Top Security Threat To U.S. Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair told Congress yesterday that instability in countries around the world caused by the current global economic crisis, rather than terrorism, is the primary near-term security threat to the United States.
Making his first appearance before the panel as President Obama's top intelligence adviser, Blair said the most immediate fallout from the worldwide economic decline for the United States will be "allies and friends not being able to fully meet their defense and humanitarian obligations." He also saw the prospect of possible refugee flows from the Caribbean to the United States and a questioning of American economic and financial leadership in the world.
But Blair also raised the specter of the "high levels of violent extremism" in the turmoil of the 1920s and 1930s along with "regime-threatening instability" if the economic crisis persists over a one-to-two-year period.
In answer to a question about whether he was shifting assets to cover the financial downturn, Blair said that by leading off with the economic situation he "was trying to act as your intelligence officer today, telling you what I thought the Senate ought to be caring about." He said he was not refocusing the intelligence community's basic collection and analytic work from traditional concerns such as terrorism, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, North Korea, Russia and China.
In fact, during the nearly two-hour hearing, Blair took lawmakers on a virtual tour of every other major and minor security threat, from terrorism and cyber-attacks to the country's evolving relations with Russia and China.
Discussing terrorism, Blair emphasized the progress being made against al-Qaeda. "We have seen notable progress in Muslim opinion turning against terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda" as more religious leaders question terrorists' use of brutal tactics against fellow Muslims. He said that "al-Qaeda today is less capable and effective than it was a year ago" based on the pressure the U.S., Pakistan and others put on Osama bin Laden and his core leadership in Pakistan's tribal areas and the decline of al-Qaeda in Iraq. He also reported that while no major country faces the risk of collapse at the hands of any terrorist groups, "Pakistan and Afghanistan have to work hard to repulse a still serious threat" to their governments.
Despite these successes, Blair said al-Qaeda and its affiliates and allies "remain dangerous and adaptive enemies," and the threat continues that they could inspire or orchestrate an attack on the United States or Europe. He told the committee there is still concern that al-Qaeda could inspire some homegrown terrorists inside the United States. He added that if al-Qaeda is forced out of the Pakistan tribal areas, it will have difficulty supporting the Taliban in Afghanistan. He said bin Laden could relocate. For example, he said, al-Qaeda elements in Yemen now pose a new threat to Saudi Arabia, whose own efforts have been successful in killing or capturing most al-Qaeda senior leaders in that country.
Blair delivered a blunt assessment of Iran and its weapons programs, saying that it is possible that Tehran could develop a nuclear weapon as early as next year, if the country's leaders choose to do so. But he also suggested that Iran could be kept off the nuclear path with the right combination of diplomacy and economic pressure.
Blair described Iraq as increasingly stable, with terrorist attacks on the wane and al-Qaeda losing followers and influence. But he warned that recent progress could be undermined by tribal disputes, corruption and foreign support for militia groups.
Echoing recent statements by U.S. military commanders, he gave a grim portrayal of security in Afghanistan, where Taliban insurgents have shown new aggressiveness while the government continues to struggle with rampant corruption and an extensive drug trade. In neighboring Pakistan, an intensified campaign against terrorists has failed to subdue multiple insurgencies or quell growing radicalism in many parts of the country. [Pincus&Warrick/WashingtonPost/13February2009]
US Spy Chief Says Economic Crisis Weakening Russia. The chief of U.S. intelligence says the global economic downturn is undermining the Russian government's political control and assertiveness.
National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair told U.S. lawmakers at a hearing on global threats that the economic crisis is probably causing Russia to do some reconsidering.
Blair said that boom times from high energy prices has allowed Russia to reassert itself and made the government popular. He said that Russia has made a contract with its citizens offering prosperity and a strong Russia in return for pretty sharp limitations on personal freedom.
He added, "That contract is fraying now."
Blair said he sees opportunities for new U.S. cooperation with Russia. [prinside/12February2009]
NSA Offering "Billions" for Skype Eavesdrop Solution. An industry source disclosed that America's supersecret National Security Agency (NSA) is offering "billions" to any firm which can offer reliable eavesdropping on Skype IM and voice traffic.
The spybiz exec, who preferred to remain anonymous, confirmed that Skype continues to be a major problem for government listening agencies, spooks and police. This was already thought to be the case, following requests from German authorities for special intercept/bugging powers to help them deal with Skype-loving malefactors. Britain's GCHQ has also stated that it has severe problems intercepting VoIP and internet communication in general.
Skype in particular is a serious problem for spooks and cops. Being P2P, the network can't be accessed by the company providing it and the authorities can't gain access by that route. The company won't disclose details of its encryption, either, and isn't required to as it is Europe based. This lack of openness prompts many security pros to rubbish Skype on "security through obscurity" grounds: but nonetheless it remains a popular choice with those who think they might find themselves under surveillance. Rumour suggests that America's NSA may be able to break Skype encryption - assuming they have access to a given call or message - but nobody else.
The NSA may be able to do that: but it seems that if so, this uses up too much of the agency's resources at present.
"They are saying to the industry, you get us into Skype and we will make you a very rich company," said the industry source, adding that the obscure encryption used by the P2Pware is believed to change frequently as part of software updates.
The spyware kingpin suggested that Skype is deliberately seeking to frustrate national listening agencies, which seems an odd thing to do - Skype has difficulties enough getting revenues out of its vast user base at any time, and a paid secure-voice system for subversives doesn't seem like a money-spinner.
But corporate parent eBay, having had to write down $1.4bn already following its $2.6bn purchase of Skype back in the bubble-2.0 days of 2005, might see an opportunity here. A billion or two from the NSA for a backdoor into Skype might make the acquisition seem like a sensible idea. [Page/TheRegister/12February2009]
Southern Threat. U.S. Joint Forces Command made headlines with a recent report on future threats that broached the possibility of a collapse of the state of Mexico.
However, special correspondent Rowan Scarborough reports that a secret Defense Intelligence Agency report in 2000 made similar predictions.
Said the Joint Forces report, "The growing assault by the drug cartels and thugs on the Mexican government over the past several years reminds one that an unstable Mexico could represent a homeland security problem of immense proportions to the United States. In terms of worst-case scenarios for the joint force and indeed the world, two large and important states bear consideration for rapid and sudden collapse: Pakistan and Mexico. Any descent by Mexico into chaos would demand an American response based on the serious implications for homeland security alone."
Said the secret DIA report in 2000, "Narcotics trafficking and its ability to intimidate and corrupt officials at all levels will pose a formidable challenge to Mexico's government and society in general. Mexican criminal groups will become even more involved in both the movement and distribution of cocaine serving the U.S. market. Mexico also will remain a heroin supplier and the main source for most of the foreign-derived methamphetamine and marijuana in the United States through 2020." [Gertz/Washingtontimes/12February2009]
Congressman's Online Twitter Posts Raise Security Concerns. The top Republican on the House intelligence committee landed in hot water after using his Twitter page to update the public on his precise whereabouts while traveling through Iraq and Afghanistan.
The disclosure prompted the Pentagon to review its policy, which regards such information as sensitive, and lit up the liberal blogosphere with accusations of hypocrisy.
Representative Pete Hoekstra, Republican of Michigan, says he did nothing wrong. He pointed to announcements by other high-ranking officials, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, which list the countries they plan to visit.
But Hoekstra, who has decried the unauthorized leaking of classified information, provided far more details than a general itinerary, including at least a 12-hour heads-up that he was headed to Iraq.
Twitter is a website that enables a person to broadcast short text updates, called "tweets," using a phone or computer. The updates are published on their online Twitter page and sent directly to anyone who signs up to receive them.
"Just landed in Baghdad," the congressman declared on Feb. 5 at 9:41 p.m.
By 11:56 p.m., the public was given this more precise update: "Moved into green zone by helicopter, Iraqi flag now over palace. Headed to new US Embassy. Appears calmer, less chaotic than previous here."
Hoekstra later told reporters that his posts might not have been accurate. When asked whether they were, he said he didn't remember.
The episode showcases how eager lawmakers are to use social-networking technology, blogs, and other popular sites to connect directly with voters. Congressional staffers say they are being told by their bosses to find new ways to get out their talking points and to no longer rely solely on traditional media outlets like newspapers, which might edit or distort their views. [Flaherty/Boston Globe/12February2009]
Sudanese Rebel Leader Meets with Israeli Spies. A powerful Sudanese rebel leader met secretly with top Israeli espionage officials in Israel earlier this month, according to Israeli defense officials.
The officials would not disclose the substance of the talks between Abdulwahid Elnur of the Sudan Liberation Movement and officials from Israel's Mossad spy agency. Israel claims weapons have reached Gaza Strip militants via Sudan and that Palestinian militants operate there.
The meeting took place on the sidelines of a security conference Elnur attended, the officials said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the meeting was confidential. The Defense Ministry had no immediate comment.
Last year, Elnur's group opened an office in Israel, which granted temporary residency status to 600 Sudanese who fled the massacres in their country's vast western Darfur region.
Elnur has said in the past that he favors establishing ties with Israel and opening an Israeli Embassy in Khartoum. Sudan considers Israel an enemy state and has no diplomatic relations with it. Elnur could not immediately be reached for comment Monday.
Elnur fled to France in 2007 and has lived in exile since.
The SLM was founded in 1992, three years after President Omar al-Bashir took power in a military coup, and took up arms in 2003, the year the war in Darfur began. Today it is the largest rebel group, though it has fractured into splinter movements.
The U.N. estimates 300,000 people have died in Darfur, directly from attacks or indirectly through starvation, and 2.5 million more have been driven from their homes.
The International Criminal Court, based in The Netherlands, is expected to decide soon whether to issue an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir in connection with atrocities in Darfur.
Sudan's government denies the war crimes and genocide accusations and has dismissed the court as a conspiracy against Sudan. It also says the U.N. death toll estimates are grossly inflated. [InternationalHeraldTribune/16February2009]
Israeli Convicted of Spying for Iran. A 55-year-old Iranian-born Israeli was convicted by the Tel Aviv District Court on charges of spying for Teheran in a plea bargain.
The man, who could not be named due to a court-imposed gag order, was arrested at Ben-Gurion Airport on May 8 by the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), and the police's Serious and International Crimes Unit.
Police said the suspect, who is said to live abroad, told his interrogators that he visited the Iranian consulate regularly in Istanbul.
The suspect was formally charged in May 2008 with agreeing to cooperate with Iranian intelligence and having divulged details about Israeli security system employees. The Tel Aviv District Court agreed to a request by the district attorney to hold a trial behind closed doors.
According to Ephraim Kam, deputy director of the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University, Iran is deeply concerned by the prospect of an Israeli military strike on its nuclear sites and is employing all possible means to glean information on Israel.
Ra'anan Gissin, a strategic analyst and previously a spokesman for prime minister Ariel Sharon, said that "Israel has turned into the No. 1 intelligence target for Iran because we are the main obstacle to Iranian dominance in the Middle East."
He added that "they follow Israel very closely. Having a man on the ground can help them keep track of the general level of alert here, and to hold evaluations of possible Israeli responses."
In 2007, the Shin Bet warned that Iran was making concerted efforts to recruit Israelis as spies during their visits to relatives in the Islamic republic. Over the past years, the Shin Bet has questioned about 10 Israelis, some of them Jews, who are suspected of agreeing to spy for Iran during visits to the country.
In its warning, the Shin Bet marked out the Iranian consulate in Istanbul, where Israelis apply for Iranian travel documents. Israelis who visit the consulate are taken to side rooms and questioned, under pressure, for several hours. Iranian officials ask about their military background, their family and their jobs.
The Shin Bet said Iranian intelligence-gathering focused on three points: Israel's decision-making echelon, Israel's military and defense establishments, and the strengths and weaknesses of its society. [Lappin/Jpost/16February2009]
Lebanese Army Denies Sader Handed Over to Intelligence. The Lebanese army denied in a communiqué Monday that kidnapped Middle East Airlines employee Joseph Sader had been handed over to the intelligence overnight.
The daily An Nahar on Monday quoted high-ranking sources as saying that a "certain influential party" handed over Sader to the Lebanese army intelligence.
The sources said the army will eventually hand Sader over to his family after having given the complete account of his abduction.
Sader, 50, an official of MEA's IT department, was kidnapped Thursday morning near Beirut Airport by three unidentified assailants who sped away in a Sports Utility Vehicle.
The Syndicate representing MEA employees on Friday pledged to adopt "escalatory steps" if Sader was not set free.
The syndicate, in a statement, described Sader's abduction as "an unjustified attack on MEA."
It pledged a "major response against whoever thinks of attacking any employee with MEA, the company that has served the nation in dark times." [Naharnet/16February2009]
Danish Intelligence Agency Wants List of Iranians. National intelligence agency PET has requested that all Iranian students at Danish universities be placed on a surveillance register to prevent any possible co-operation with Iran's development of atomic weapons, reported Berlingske Tidende newspaper.
In a letter to the universities, PET asked that administrators provide the agency with the names and personal information of all Iranian students 'that would be able to contribute to Iran's sensitive activities'. PET is especially interested in engineering and science students, who are the most likely to assist their government in its nuclear aspirations.
The 2006 terror package gives PET the authority to gather information from public institutions without having to provide concrete evidence of a possible crime.
But many experts and political parties are strongly criticising the move. Both the Social Liberals and Socialist People's Party (SF) have asked the Justice Ministry to look into the case and determine whether the request is legal.
The Social Liberals legal spokesman, Morten Østergaard, added that it was 'absurd' that just because a student is Iranian that he or she can be linked to terrorism.
Berlingske Tidende indicated the issue was receiving top priority at the Justice Ministry, which has not yet commented on the matter. [CPHPost/15February2009]
House Passes "Reducing Overclassification Act." The House of Representatives passed the Reducing Overclassification Act, a bill that would require the Department of Homeland Security to prepare unclassified versions of intelligence reports that are likely to be of use to first responders and other non-federal officials. The legislation, introduced by Rep. Jane Harman, would also mandate improved oversight and training in order to combat overclassification at DHS.
"Though hard to believe, sheriffs and police chiefs cannot readily access the information they need to prevent or disrupt a potential terrorist [incident] because those at the Federal level resist sharing information," Rep. Harman said. "Over-classification and pseudo-classification, which is stamping with any number of sensitive-but-unclassified markings, remain rampant." [SecrecyNews/13February2009]
Chinese Visitors Hit Thousands of US Facilities for Intel Collection. China is one of 10 nations involved in "unrelenting" economic espionage against the U.S. government and the private sector, according to the annual report of the National Counterintelligence Executive, which is part of the U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence and is staffed by senior counterintelligence and other specialists from across the national intelligence and security communities.
The report, released in December, said that "businessmen, scientists, engineers and academics as well as state-run security services from a large number of countries continue to target U.S. information and technology, according to information compiled during the fiscal 2007 reporting period."
"The bulk of the collection activity, however, comes from denizens of a core group of fewer than 10 countries, which includes China and Russia," the report stated. [WorldTribune/4February2009]
Section II - CONTEXT & PRECEDENCE
First Trial for Khmer Rouge War Crimes in Cambodia. When Kaing Guek Eav takes his seat in the special courthouse built for the Khmer Rouge war crimes tribunal just before 9am tomorrow, it will mark a moment many Cambodians feared they would never see.
Thirty years after the fall of Pol Pot, the maths teacher who became the chief torturer of the ultra-Maoist regime will be the first to stand trial for crimes against humanity, ending years of delay.
The historic milestone that will see the 66-year-old, better known as Duch, accused of the brutal torture and murder of at least 12,380 Cambodians is a turning point for the UN-backed tribunal that was on the brink of collapse several times.
Despite the heinous crimes that the born-again Christian has already acknowledged, Duch was low in the Khmer Rouge pecking order compared with the other four indicted leaders who will be tried next year.
Duch and the other four ageing Khmer Rouge chiefs face charges of crimes against humanity and war crimes for orchestrating the genocide of up to 1.7 million Cambodians, a quarter of the population. The victims were executed, tortured, starved or worked to death after "Year Zero" as Pol Pot sought to build an agrarian utopia.
Legal experts believe the conviction of Duch will be more straightforward than the other defendants because his handwriting was found in notes throughout records of the secretive S-21 torture centre that he ran at a Phnom Penh school between 1975 and 1979.
Now a museum, the Tuol Sleng centre bears haunting black-and-white images of the men, women and children who died there or in the Choeng Ek ("killing fields") on the capital's outskirts.
The tribunal's investigating judges took Duch back to the scenes of his alleged crimes where paintings graphically depict the torture under which most victims made false confessions of being CIA or KGB agents.
The 45-page indictment details prosecutors' claims of how the meticulous Duch ran Tuol Sleng, monitored interrogations and sometimes took part in the torture himself, although even he conceded some misgivings about the veracity of the "confessions."
More than 1,000 of those who were killed after passing through Tuol Sleng died when they were drained of blood, which was then sent for use in hospitals.
The vast majority died in the "killing fields," driven there at night in lorries having been tricked that they were being moved to a new house.
Guards who testified told how they were taught to kill with a single blow to the back of the neck with an iron bar as the victims knelt before an open pit, hands shackled behind their backs. Their throats were then slit to make sure.
One guard who testified was Him Huy, 53, Tuol Sleng's deputy head of security. He admitted killing five people, though he has given differing accounts at various times.
In his simple stilted bamboo house in Anlong San village an hour outside Phnom Penh, the quietly spoken farmer recalled killing a man at Choeng Ek as Duch looked on.
Only about 14 prisoners survived Tuol Sleng. In a unique part of tribunal proceedings they and close relatives of victims will be among 28 people represented by lawyers who will be able to question the accused and influence the outcome. [Guardian/16February2009]
Threats Warrant Western Hemisphere Intelligence Sharing. The world intelligence community as a whole is in serious disarray. Although perfunctory mandates may dominate intelligence collection tasks at the routine inquiry protocol levels, this is not necessarily true with all. A foreign intelligence/security service that relies heavily on military support, and whose services are highly politicized agents of state control, is the radical exception.
One stark example within the western hemisphere has been Cuba. Cuba's intelligence apparatus has been complicated and undergone considerable change in national security since the collapse of the Soviet Union. However, embattled Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has seen fit to adopt the previous Soviet-styled Cuban intelligence service (DGI) as his model. This service is known as the DISIP (Directorate of Intelligence and Prevention Services), and it utilizes Cuban intelligence, counterparts and advisors.
For the most part, western hemispheric nations share common ground on the inherent nature of intelligence, that is to collect, analyze, and disseminate information towards their conduct in foreign relations, as well as national security. Although there is much diversity in the kinds of intelligence sought, much of this is primarily political, military, and economic. The haunting and stark reality of world terrorism that has metamorphosed from threats to operational acts by terrorists resulting in world carnage, directs the intelligence mission and cycle to national security collection efforts to protect homelands.
What has been previously considered to be domestic security and law enforcement (criminal) intelligence related was known as non-traditional intelligence. However, the stark reality manifested in massive death and destruction clearly demonstrates the nexus and necessary merging of the intelligence machine to a more holistic approach. This direction is critical to ensure that international terrorist activities are interdicted and their murderous operational plans disrupted. Although essentially analogous, proactive and strategic intelligence collection tasks must include those rogue foreign powers and hostile intelligence services that support or give safe haven to terrorists.
Organized crime and terrorist activity by definition in Mexico represents a graphic example and demonstration of a specter that has plagued the country, manifested in violence, death, and superior weaponry at the border and even into U.S. states. Some observers have reported and forewarned of this evolvement that reached a new peak in Nuevo Laredo in 2005, and more recently in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua. Much of this just now being more fully covered in the media - to the shock and chagrin of those in the U.S. who have mainly been in a frenzy over illegal immigrants.
Mexico, due to its contiguous location with the U.S, is suspected of being a strategic haven for a myriad of ethnically diverse transnational terrorists and criminals, narcoterrorists, and other paramilitary-styled insurgents. There may be organized Russian criminal cells operating in Mexico, as well as Asian criminals involved in a myriad of criminal enterprises that include alien smuggling and human trafficking, and drug trafficking partnerships with Mexican cartels.
Russia's influence throughout Latin America is being felt also with planning and helping Venezuela build a nuclear reactor. Russia's strengthening of military ties with Venezuela and, again, Cuba is reason for concern by their Latin American neighbors, and this generates intelligence related information tasking. This in order to ascertain clear Russian intentions within the region, and to assess the combined agendas. As well, Russians have reportedly been training Nicaraguan military personnel.
Anti-gang initiatives throughout Central America have fueled fluid movement into Mexico and the U.S. Transnational gangs, so well-armed and organized, require extreme vigilance by intelligence officials. This activity must go far beyond police interdiction. This imminent threat requires counterinsurgency strategies that must include military, economic, and diplomatic remedies for technical assistance and overall success.
Assessing threat by intelligence officials in the affected areas requires coordination, information sharing, and technical expertise. Threat must be triaged to assess the variables involved, such as any form of religious or ideological focus, a geographic focus, possible state sponsorship, the organizational structure, and any political goals. Any of those variables could conceal motives and agendas that are easily disguised by leftists and rogue regimes, and thus dismissed as insignificant to terrorist or other forms of "organized" threat.
Assessing national threats and threat trends, as well as the modus operandi of such, requires a united foreign intelligence mission. The threat, as we now know it and understand it, comes from a diverse cadre of ethnicity and motivation - domestic and international. The sources of sponsorship are also far from being transparent. Spy versus spy remains a topic of motive and pursuit of mostly hidden agendas. [Brewer/MexiData/16Februaray20009]
Annual Threat Assessment of the Intelligence Community for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. In public testimony today before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair outlined the most significant global security threats facing the nation. Recognizing that global threats comprise a diverse set of issues and factors, Director Blair framed the analysis by identifying key areas of risk, concern and opportunity that could have direct effects on the quality of life and security for Americans. The hearing also marked the first occasion where the Director, the leader of the nation's Intelligence Community, was the sole witness providing comprehensive analysis from all 16 intelligence agencies.
In his opening statement, Director Blair addressed several emerging areas of concern:
1. The global economic crisis and its destabilizing impact on allies and adversaries - including the likely decreased ability of our allies to meet their defense and humanitarian obligations;
2. The domestic and international impact of global climate change;
3. Access to secure and clean global energy resources and management of food and water supplies, especially in light of a projected population increase of 1 billion by 2025; and
4. Cyber security and threats to the U.S. information infrastructure posed by both state and non-state actors.
In referring to the global economic crisis that started in the United States and quickly spread to other countries, Blair said, "Time is probably our greatest threat. The longer it takes for the recovery to begin, the greater the likelihood of serious damage to U.S. strategic interests." [ODNI/13February2009]
Section III - COMMENTARY
Foreign Spies Are Serious. Are We?
by Michelle Van Cleave. Back in 2002, I got an unexpected phone call from the White House. "Would you be interested in serving as the head of U.S. counterintelligence?" they asked.
The Obama administration may already have placed such a call and picked someone to handle my old job: identifying and stopping other nations' spies. But my successor will have his or her work cut out for them.
In 2003, when I began my three years as the first congressionally mandated national counterintelligence executive (known by the unpronounceable acronym NCIX), Washington seemed ready to transform the fight against foreign espionage into a focused, coherent enterprise. But today, this vital national security mission is on life support.
Think this isn't a big deal? Think again. Most Americans would be astonished to learn how successful foreign intelligence services have been at stealing our national security secrets and threatening our vital interests.
The Chinese stole the design secrets to all - repeat, all - U.S. nuclear weapons, enabling them to leapfrog generations of technology development and put our nuclear arsenal, the country's last line of defense, at risk. To this day, we don't know quite when or how they did it, but we do know that Chinese intelligence operatives are still at work, systematically targeting not only America's defense secrets but our industries' valuable proprietary information.
The Soviets, of course, were especially aggressive at spying - a tradition that has roared back to life in Vladimir Putin's Russia. It was bad enough that the KGB learned so much about U.S. vulnerabilities, but scores of hostile intelligence services and terrorist groups have also been schooled in the tradecraft that the Soviets perfected.
If left unanswered, these growing foreign intelligence threats could endanger U.S. operations, military and intelligence personnel and even Americans at home. But across the government, our counterintelligence capabilities are in decay. The struggle against foreign intelligence threats has a national leadership in name only. Nor is it driven by any overall strategy, which means that integrating the efforts of the 16 agencies that make up the U.S. intelligence community has taken a back seat to individual agencies' priorities. Meanwhile, we are losing talent at an alarming pace. Take it from me: This is as unnecessary as it is dangerous.
Given the stakes, it may seem strange that, until very recently, there was no such job as "head of U.S. counterintelligence" - no one person responsible for identifying foreign intelligence threats to U.S. national security or economic well-being and figuring out what to do about them. Instead, counterintelligence responsibilities were divided among the FBI, the CIA and the three military services, with no central leadership or overarching structure to unite them. That created inherent seams that adversaries could - and did - exploit.
Then came the 1994 arrest of Aldrich Ames, a CIA counterintelligence chief who turned out to have been spying for the Soviets for nine long years. Through "dead drops" in Washington and meetings with his handlers abroad, Ames handed over comprehensive blueprints of U.S. collection operations against the Russians, including the identities of the very clandestine agents he was sworn to protect. At least nine people lost their lives because of Ames.
His treachery sparked a searching reexamination: What was wrong with U.S. counterintelligence? That anguished question became even more urgent with the February 2001 arrest of Robert Hanssen, an FBI special agent who had been working for the Russians for more than two decades - to devastating effect. Hanssen handed over more than 6,000 pages of classified documents on some of our most sensitive national security programs, including details on U.S. nuclear-war defenses. He also revealed the identities of Russian agents working for the United States, two of whom were tried and executed.
How could such spies have operated unseen at the very heart of our national security enterprise for so long and with such success?
The answer was staring us in the face: We had no coherent game plan for identifying, assessing and stopping such threats. As the new head of U.S. counterintelligence, it would be my job to develop and execute the nation's first strategy for finding and neutralizing foreign spies.
This, I knew, would not be easy. I had worked on espionage issues for two presidents and the Senate Judiciary Committee. I knew that counterintelligence was little understood within the national security community, where it was largely overshadowed by the far more familiar world of intelligence gathering.
I also knew that the United States is a spy's paradise. Our free and open society is tailor-made for clandestine operations. And most of the golden eggs worth collecting are found within our borders: military plans and diplomatic strategies, weapons designs, nuclear secrets, even proprietary R&D from companies such as Bell Labs or Dupont.
And business is booming. Today, most of the world's governments (even friendly ones) and roughly 35 suspected terrorist organizations run intelligence operations against the United States. The Russians, for example, still have as many spies here as they did at the height of the Cold War. That's daunting enough. But the counterintelligence challenge isn't just one of sheer numbers. The scope of these activities is an even bigger problem.
Historically, embassies and other diplomatic establishments within the United States have served as ready-made safe houses for foreign spies masquerading as diplomats, which is why the 20,000-strong diplomatic community has traditionally commanded the lion's share of counterintelligence attention. But in America today, there are thousands of foreign-owned commercial establishments, hundreds of thousands of exchange students and visiting academicians, and countless routine trade and financial interactions. Hidden beneath these open and legitimate activities can be darker purposes. With our open, rich society as cover, intelligence officers and their agents can move about freely, develop contacts and operate in the shadows - a point no more lost on foreign spies than it was on the 19 hijackers that September morning in 2001.
As a result, foreign powers are running intelligence operations throughout the United States with unprecedented independence from the safe havens of their diplomatic establishments, leaving our counterintelligence efforts in the dust.
In the past, America's default strategy has been to wait to engage the adversary in our own backyard, rather than in his. Ninety percent of our counterintelligence resources are concentrated within the United States. We're playing goal-line defense rather than looking for opportunities to get ahead of the game.
The new national strategy approved by President Bush was a sharp departure from the past. It declared that we would no longer cede the initiative to foreign intelligence services working on U.S. soil. Following the age-old wisdom that the best defense is a good offense, the new strategy directed the intelligence community to marshal its resources and go after the most worrisome foreign intelligence services. Our goal was to methodically disrupt their ability to work against the United States, starting by focusing on targets abroad.
But when each of the counterintelligence organizations across the sprawling intelligence community was asked to map out its programs and resource allocations to see whether they squared with these new goals, something miraculous occurred: Somehow, all of those existing plans, programs and budgets just happened to perfectly match the new national priorities. No real changes were needed - no new starts, no hard choices. It was unbelievable - literally.
This is where the 2003 law that created my job fell short. As the quarterback of our counterintelligence efforts, I was responsible for providing strategic direction and evaluating how well various agencies were performing. But I had no power to move funds around or establish new programs. The law created a national executive but not the means of execution.
Things got even more confused after 2005, with the creation of the nation's first director of national intelligence (DNI), an idea that arose from the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission. When my office was placed under that of the DNI, I hoped that working for the new overall leader of the intelligence community would give us more clout, especially the ability to give marching orders and fix budgets.
No such luck. In setting up his new office, the first DNI, the veteran diplomat John Negroponte, delegated the authority for much of our work to his own newly created deputies. True, I was named the "mission manager" for counterintelligence and made Negroponte's principal adviser on the problem. But an adviser is not a leader.
With no central leadership of the fight against foreign intelligence threats, the FBI, the CIA and the military services tend to go their separate ways. And my position and staff became just another layer of the weighty bureaucracy of the office of the DNI.
Seven years after we created my old office, there is no central clearing-house to support operations against the spies who are working against us around the globe or to formulate policy options for President Obama and his top aides. And we still know surprisingly little about hostile intelligence services relative to the amount of harm they can do.
How important is all of this, really? Cynics will scoff and say, "There will always be spies." But I have read the file drawers full of damage assessments; I have catalogued the enormous losses in lives, treasure and crucial secrets that foreign intelligence work has caused. The memory of what's in those files - and the thought of the people and the operations still in harm's way - can keep me awake at night.
So we have to choose. We can handle these threats piecemeal, or we can pull together a strategic program - one team, one plan, one goal - to reduce the overall danger. We can chase individual spies case by case, or we can target the services that send them here. The next devastating spy case is just around the bend. I fear that when it comes, we will all ask ourselves why we didn't stop it. I suspect I already know the answer.
Michelle Van Cleave served as head of U.S. counterintelligence from July 2003 through March 2006. She is a senior research fellow at the National Defense University and a special adviser to the Project on National Security Reform.
CIA vs. DNI - The Clash of the Titans. In the old world, the CIA director ruled. He not only ran the spy agency, but he wore a second hat as director of Central Intelligence.
The DCI was ostensibly responsible for coordinating the activities of all 16 agencies and departments which make up the intelligence community.
Then came along the DNI (Director of National Intelligence) in 2005 - a product of intelligence reform following the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
Those intelligence failures were proof that you needed one person to focus exclusively on guiding the community.
Running the CIA in itself was a full-time job. The DNI would oversee the entire intelligence community while the CIA director concentrated on running the spy agency.
But there's a problem with this setup. Although the DNI was given more input into budgets and personnel than the DCI had, the DNI's powers are limited and somewhat vague. The intelligence chief has a say in lots of things, but there's no real muscle behind his decisions. It's not like the defense secretary, who has absolute authority over all department components.
Outgoing CIA Director Mike Hayden recently told reporters there is natural tension between the CIA and DNI, but it's "not a bad structure."
He did suggest, however, that the DNI's office was getting a bit bloated. "Americans being Americans, they're going to fill up their day trying to doing something impactful," he said, "which means between the two of us there's going to be a trench line... out there."
And how did departing DNI Mike McConnell respond to Hayden's quip?
"Anytime you have organizations that have similar interests, you're going to have disputes," he said. "And particularly if the two leaders aren't working together and having a partnership and so on, the warfare at the trench level gets to be pretty much a raging battle."
McConnell said he had a good professional relationship with Hayden, so they made it work. But he added, "we don't have a department of intelligence. If this were the Department of Defense, there wouldn't be any question, but it isn't."
CIA nominee Leon Panetta got into the middle of the dispute during his confirmation hearing.
Sen. Carl Levin, D-Michigan, wanted to know Panetta's understanding of the relationship between the CIA and the DNI. Would he be under the supervision of the DNI?
Initially, Panetta said he reported to the DNI and performed the tasks assigned to him by the DNI, but then he added: "we are an operational arm, just like the [National Security Agency], just like the [National Reconnaissance Office], and I believe the role of the DNI is to coordinate all our activities..."
Well, the NSA and the NRO are part of the Defense Department and report directly to the Defense Secretary, not the DNI. The CIA is the only intelligence agency that is not part of another department.
A bit baffled by Panetta's response, Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Oklahoma, asked him point blank, "Is the DNI your boss or not?" Panetta's answer, "The DNI is my boss."
It makes you wonder how Panetta and the other new guy - DNI Dennis Blair - will play in the sand box. [Benson/CNN/12February2009]
Section IV - OBITUARY, BOOK REVIEWS AND COMING EVENTS
Genevieve B. "Judy" Voelker - 87, AFIO member and Suncoast Chapter secretary, of Largo, formerly of St. Petersburg, FL, died February 4. Born in Taunton, MA, she came to Florida in the 1970s from Washington D.C. where she worked for the government for over 28 years. She was in the Army in WWII a Staff Sgt and was honorably discharged. She volunteered at Bay Pines VA Hospital. She is survived by a brother, William Butler (Deidre) of MA & several nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by two brothers John, and Carlton Butler and one sister, Mary Jo Homiller. She will be sadly missed by family and friends.
The intelligence community benefited from Judy's professional contributions for many years; the AFIO Suncoast chapter is honored to have shared her dedication during her retirement here in Florida. Judy was front and center as the right hand to the Chapter Secretary during registration and check-in for all functions during 1987 - 1991, and then led Chapter activities as President during 1991 - 1993. The Suncoast Chapter recognizes and honors Judy's contributions by adding, in her name, $100.00 to the 2009 chapter scholarship fund. Her past will continue to benefit the future. [Suncoast Chapter / St. Petersburg Times]
The Bay of Pigs, by Howard Jones, reviewed by Robin Friedman. On April 17, 1961, approximately 1500 Cuban exiles trained and supported by the United States launched an ill-fated invasion against Fidel Castro at the Bay of Pigs in southwest Cuba. The Bay of Pigs invasion occurred early in the presidency of John F. Kennedy and constituted one of the great foreign policy missteps of the United States during the Cold War. In his new book in the "Pivotal Moments in American History" series of Oxford University Press, Howard Jones offers a succinct and sobering account of the Bay of Pigs and its aftermath. Written with quiet restraint, Jones's book has much to teach about American interventionist tendencies in Cuba and
elsewhere. Howard Jones is University Research Professor of History at the University of Alabama. He has written extensively on American history.
Jones shows the many tangled threads in the Bay of Pigs story. Following Castro's ascension to power in Cuba and his increasing hostility to the United States, the Eisenhower Administration authorized the Central Intelligence Agency to plan and conduct what became the Bay of Pigs invasion. With the momentum the plan had gathered, the new president, Kennedy, allowed the proposed overthrow of Castro to continue. Kennedy was indeed an active participant and changed the original plan in several respects. In addition to the invasion by the Cuban exiles, the plan had several components that Jones documents well in his study. The CIA engaged in dealings with the Mafia in a plan to assassinate Castro before the invasion. The invasion also relied popular insurrection in Cuba to displace the Castro regime after the exile force had established a beachhead. In the event the initial landing did not immediately succeed, the plan was for the invading force to assume guerilla tactics by joining with local fighters in the Escambray Mountains of Cuba.
Jones details how and why the plan failed at every level. He is critical of the plan at the outset for its interference with the internal affairs of a foreign nation, including the assassination of its leader, which had not committed acts of war against the United States. He also shows well how various parts of the Executive Branch, from the President and his immediate advisors, to the CIA, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the State Department tended to work against each other and to avoid responsibility for the unfortunate events that occurred in Cuba in April, 1961. The United States badly underestimated the resolve of the Castro regime, overestimated the likelihood of a popular uprising, and did not know the strength of Castro's air force.
Beyond these concerns, Jones points to other factors which doomed the invasion from the outset. The primarily failing was the confusion between political and military goals in the invasion. Eisenhower had entrusted planning to the CIA rather than to the military in an attempt to minimize the public exposure of the United States. Through Kennedy, the policy was one of "plausible deniablity" of the United States' activities. This "plausible deniability" proved impossible to maintain for an operation of the scope of the Bay of Pigs. Furthermore, political considerations irreparably compromised the military aspects of the plan. The invasion site was moved to the Bay of Pigs from a site about 100 miles east in the interest of secrecy. With its coral reefs, swamps, and lack of access to the mountains, the Bay of Pigs proved a poor alternative site. Probably more importantly, President Kennedy called off and limited supportive United States air strikes which were designed to neutralize Castro's air force. Castro's planes performed well during the invasion. Without air support, the amphibious landing, difficult at best, was doomed. Without support from the United States, the Cuban invasion quickly failed.
Jones also describes the aftermath of the failed invasion, with further attempts by the Kennedy and Johnson administrations to assassinate Castro and to mount a direct United States military attack on Cuba. The Bay of Pigs invasion led directly to the Cuban Missile Crisis in the autumn of 1962, which came perilously close to nuclear confrontation between the United States and the USSR. In 1975, following the investigations of a Senate Committee, President Gerald Ford issued an Executive Order forbidding at last the use of assassination as a political weapon of the United States. Jones sees parallels between the Bay of Pigs invasion and subsequent attempts by the United States to intervene in the internal affairs of nations unfriendly to the United States. He writes at the conclusion of his study (p. 174):
"As history has repeatedly shown, intervention is far more complicated than it appears at the outset. The United States in April 1961 had embarked on the slippery slope toward a high-risk policy of forceful regime change that did not work in Cuba, nor in Vietnam, nor in Iraq, and remains shaky in Afghanistan."
Jones has written a thoughtful detailed study of the Bay of Pigs that will be of interest to readers who wish to reflect upon and understand the foreign policy of the United States. [Friedman/Amazon.com/12August2008]
EVENTS IN COMING TWO MONTHS....
18 February 2009, 5:30 - 8:00 p.m. - Washington, DC - OPEN HOUSE at The
Institute of World Politics in downtown Washington, DC provides an outstanding selection of M.A. graduate and Certificate
programs. The latest - Strategic Intelligence Studies. One less excuse
for not picking up the phone or mousing over to www.iwp.edu to make major steps in your career. Some of the majors are: • Strategic
Intelligence Studies • Statecraft and National Security Affairs •
Statecraft and World Politics • National Security Affairs •
Intelligence • American Foreign Policy • International Politics •
Public Diplomacy and Political Warfare • Democracy Building •
Comparative Political Culture • Counterintelligence.
Can't make up your mind? Do some reconnaissance. For information on the upcoming or future Open Houses, call 202.462.2101, ext. 319, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit: www.iwp.edu
Wednesday, 18 February 2009, 6:00 p.m. - Nellis AFB, NV - The AFIO Las Vegas Chapter Meeting features "The Real History of the Civil Air Transport / Air America"
The featured speaker for the evening will be Mr. L. Michael Kandt,
General Secretary Air America Association. Mr. Kandt will speak on the
"The Real History and Accomplishments of the Civil Air Transport/Air
America" Mr. Kandt will have on display two prints of original oil
paintings that represent events during operations in Laos.
Place: The Officers' Club at Nellis Air Force Base.
Dinner: The Officers' Club has an excellent, informal dinner venue along with a selection of snacks. You are welcome to arrive early and join us in the "Check Six" bar area. Water will be provided during the meeting, but you may also purchase beverages and food at the bar and bring them to the meeting. Once again, please feel free to bring your spouse and/or guest(s) to dinner as well as our meeting.
For further information or to register email Eppley, Christine J. [email@example.com] or call her at 702-295-0073
19 February 2009 – San Francisco, CA – The AFIO Jim Quesada Chapter hosts Dave Townsend, of Computer Forensics. Mr. Townsend is a recognized authority on computer forensics and cyber crime investigations, with more than 20 years of police & detective experience, including many high profile assignments with the Silicon Valley High Tech Crimes Task Force and the FBI REACT Task Force. His presentation will cover the growing threat of cyber-terrorism, including procedures used by persons attacking computer systems, data or infrastructure, criminal use of internet and digital communications and protection techniques used by law enforcement. RSVP required. 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. E-mail RSVP to Mariko Kawaguchi (please indicate meat or fish) no later than 5PM 2/10/09: firstname.lastname@example.org or mail check made out to "AFIO" to: Mariko Kawaguchi, P.O. Box 117578 Burlingame, CA 94011. (650) 622-9840 X608
-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 http://intelligence-ethics.org/conference/09/index.html.
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 them at email@example.com.
21 February 2009 - Kennebunk, ME - " Middle East Peace and the Mitchell Mission" the theme of the AFIO Maine Chapter Meeting.
Will the latest efforts for peace between Palestinians and Israelis succeed? Can the cease fire with Hamas be solidified? Portland attorney, and acquaintance of George Mitchell, will be guest at this meeting of the Maine Chapter of AFIO to discuss the ambitious push for peace. Schwartz recently hosted a TV talk show on the mission. The show is scheduled for several repeat broadcasts due to popular demand. The meeting, which is open to the public, will be held at 2:00 p.m. at the Kennebunk Free Library, 112 Main Street, Kennebunk. For information call 207-364-8964.
Wednesday, 25 February 2009 - Arlington, VA - The Defense Intelligence Forum meets at the Alpine Restaurant, 4770 Lee Highway, Arlington, VA 22207.
Speaker will be Ms. Sharon A. Houy on the way ahead for the Defense
Intelligence Agency’s Defense Intelligence Enterprise. Ms. Houy is the
DIA Associate Deputy Director. She leads agency and combatant command
efforts to create a more agile, professional Defense intelligence
enterprise. She chairs the DIA-Command Executive Board, which addresses
combatant command transition issues and develops enterprise goals and
objectives. She has served as DIA representative to the National
Security Agency, Chief of the Counterproliferation and Technology
Office, Vice Deputy Director for Production, and Research Director for
Military Assessments. Pay at the door with a check for $29 made payable
to DIAA, Inc Social hour starts at 1130, lunch at 1200 RSVP by 18
February by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
In your response, give your name and the names of your guests. For each, choose chicken, veal, or salmon. Include also your telephone number and email address.
Pay at the door with a check for $29 per person. Make checks payable to DIAA, Inc. WE DON’T TAKE CASH! If you don’t have a check, you’ll have to have the restaurant charge your credit or debit card $29 and present the restaurant’s copy when you check in for lunch. (Don’t let the waiter keep the restaurant’s copy.)
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 www.spymuseum.org; 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; email@example.com. Additional information is also available at the Center for Terrorism Law website: www.stmarytx.edu/ctl.
Wednesday, 11 March 2009 - Albuquerque, NM - The New Mexico Chapter of AFIO meets at the FBI Crest Academy. Inquiries and registration to JOE YARDUMIAN at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, 19 March 2009, 11:30 a.m. - Colorado Springs, CO - The Rocky Mountain Chapter of AFIO will meet in the Air Force Academy Officers Club. Our speakers will be The Honorable Ronald G. Crowder of the 4th Judicial District Court and Timothy Schutz. They will speak on on the Colorado Judicial System.
Please RSVP to Tom Van Wormer at 719-5708505 or email@example.com The buffet is $10.00
Thursday, 19 March 2009 - Phoenix, AZ - The AFIO Arizona Chapter event features CIA Officer Diana Worthern. In the 1980s, retired CIA officer Diana Worthern managed CIA's "Back Room" to protect agents from an undetected mole in US intelligence and was directly involved in the mole hunt. She joins Arizona chapter's VP John Zebatto, a former colleague, to discuss the complex story of how the KGB penetrated the inner circle of US intelligence for a decade beginning in 1985. To RSVP please contact Simone via email ~ firstname.lastname@example.org or Art ~ email@example.com
21 March 2009 - Kennebunk, ME - The Maine Chapter meeting features Dr. Terence Roehrig, Associate Professor of National Security Studies at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, RI. Dr. Roehrig will speak on "North Korea and the Outlook for Peace on the Korean Peninsula". He will examine the US-ROK alliance and recent changes, military balance on the peninsula, North Korea's nuclear weapons program and economic situation, and Kim Jong-il's health and succession among other issues. Dr. Roehrig received a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin in international relations focusing on Korea and East Asia. He has traveled to Korea many times and recently visited India and China to do research. The meeting will be held at 2:00 p.m. at the Kennebunk Free Library, 112 Main Street, Kennebunk, and is open to the public. For information call 207-364-8964.
25 - 27 March 2009 - Raleigh, NC - "Sexspionage" The 6th annual Raleigh Spy Conference salutes lady spies - and their counterparts on the other side - with
expert speakers delivering riveting tales of Sexspionage, the new term
characterizing the current emphasis on gender in the murky world of
international intrigue. Sexspionage Subject for Sixth Raleigh Spy Conference
Lady spies have played a crucial role in espionage for centuries, from ancient civilizations through the Biblical era, world wars, the Cold War and today's sophisticated environment of modern espionage. As the flood of newly declassified documents over the past 15 years attests, female operatives were responsible for many of the most daring intelligent operations of the modern era - while others played a notorious role working against the US. And the role of sex in spy adventures has taken center stage though the ages.
Brian Kelley, popular former conference speaker and retired CIA operations officer, returns to Raleigh with a special presentation highlighted by videotaped, jailhouse interviews of convicted spies and their wives (the spouses of former FBI agents Earl Pitts and Richard Miller along with the former wife of CIA officer, Jim Nicholson); wives who were complicit in their husband's espionage (Barbara Walker, Anne Henderson Pollard and Rosario Ames) along with an interview of the former Soviet citizen who seduced FBI agent Richard Miller on behalf of the KGB.
Ron Olive, retired special agent from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and author of the definitive book "Capturing Jonathan Pollard: How One of the Most Notorious Spies in American History was Brought to Justice," that uncovered the complicit role of Pollard's wife Anne. He will present a power point presentation on the role of the Pollards and the incredible damage they did to our national security.
I.C. Smith, former FBI Special Agent in charge, will return to Raleigh to present the inside story of Katrina Leung, known inside the FBI as "Parlor Maid," who managed to seduce her two FBI case agents and thus compromising them during the course of this twenty year operation. She was first used by the FBI as a double agent, then "doubled back" or "tripled" by Chinese intelligence against the FBI and later becoming the only known "quadruple" (re-doubled back against the Chinese by the FBI) agent yet exposed. The intelligence which the FBI derived from the Parlor Maid case went to four US presidents.
Terry Crowdy, British espionage writer and researcher will offer the role of female spies and tales of seduction from antiquity, the Christian era to modern lady spies at work today. Crowdy's book "The Enemy Within" is considered one of the top surveys of espionage.
Jerrold L. and Leona Schecter is a historian and journalist with extensive first-hand experience in Russia, Ukraine, Japan, China and Southeast Asia. He began his career with the Wall Street Journal and then spent 18 years with Time Magazine. He was a foreign correspondent covering Indo-China based in the Hong Kong bureau (1960-1963); a Nieman Fellow at Harvard (1963-1964); bureau chief in Tokyo (1964-1968) and Moscow (1968-1970); White House correspondent (1971-1973) and diplomatic editor (1973-1977). While based in Moscow he was instrumental in the acquisition of Nikita Khrushchev's memoirs and their preparation for publication.
Nigel West, the keynote speaker is an old friend of the Raleigh Spy Conference. The former Member of Parliament - and a leading expert on modern espionage - is the author of the forthcoming "Historical Dictionary of Sexspionage," will be released at this special conference. West is a popular and engaging speaker sure to offer telling insights and entertaining stories on this intriguing subject.
Click here to view the Raleigh schedule of events.
Event Locations and Accommodations in Raleigh, North Carolina USA
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Conference Venue: The 6th Raleigh Spy Conference will be held at the NC Museum of History. 5 East Edenton Street (between Salisbury and Wilmington Streets) in downtown Raleigh, NC 27601 ph: 919-807-7900
Costs - Full registration for all sessions and one ticket to the Spy Gala: $250
Veterans, members of the military and the intelligence community: $175
Seniors over 62, teachers and students: $145.
Special discount for ladies! Only $125 for the entire conference package.
Registration: You can register online or call 919-831-0999.
Download Raleigh Spy Conference registration form, complete, and mail, fax or email while space remains: Registration Form Spy 09.pdf.
26 March 2009, 12:30 pm - Beverly Hills, CA - The AFIO Los Angeles Chapter luncheon features Dr. Gregory Treverton speaking on "Domestic Intelligence." Treverton is current director of the RAND Corporation's Center for Global Risk and Security, who recently held the position of Vice Chair of the National Intelligence Council (NIC), overseeing the writing of America's National Intelligence Estimates (NIEs). Dr. Treverton's recent work examines terrorism, intelligence, and law enforcement, with a special interest in new forms of public-private partnership. The meeting will take place on the campus of Loyola Marymount University. Lunch will be provided for $15, for attendance reservations please email by no later than 3/20/09: AFIO_LA@yahoo.com check made out to "L.A. Area AFIO" mailed to Arthur Brooks 272 Lasky Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90212
1 April 2009, noon – 1 pm - Deceiving Hitler: The Masterman Memorandum:
A Special Briefing at the International Spy Museum
As Britain entered its second winter of World War II, nightly German Blitzes rained fire on its cities and the threat of invasion had not yet passed. Yet wartime recruit and Oxford University Professor, J.C. Masterman, had the confidence and foresight to predict a time when the tables could be turned against the Nazis. Since the outbreak of war, the British Security Service MI5 had been collecting a group of double agents. The Germans appeared to trust these spies and pressed them for more information. This presented an enormous challenge for MI5—how to preserve the credibility of the double agents without giving away vital war secrets? In a secret memorandum of 1940, Masterman presented an amazing solution. Author of Deceiving Hitler, Terry Crowdy will reveal the content of the now declassified memorandum and explore to what extent the Allies were able to realize Masterman's plan to pull off an elaborate hoax on Hitler.
Free; No registration required! International Spy Museum, 800 F Street, NW, Washington, DC, Gallery Place/Chinatown Metrorail Station
2 April 2009, noon – 1 pm - Washington, DC - The Brenner Assignment:
The Untold Story of the Most Daring Spy Mission of World War II - an
Author Presentation at the International Spy Museum
The low-lying Brenner Pass between Austria and Italy has been a strategic target for centuries. In 1944 a small team of American special operatives was charged with cutting off Nazi access to the Pass by any means possible. In The Brenner Assignment, Patrick O'Donnell reveals for the first time the facts behind this daring covert operation and the brave men and women behind it. Join him as he brings to life the courageous American Captains, Hall and Chappell, the heroic Italian partisans including Ettore Davare and the seductive Italian Countess Isabel, and the fiendish Gestapo head Major August Schiffer, in a story as dramatic as a Hollywood film but true—and with the highest of possible stakes.
Free; No registration required! International Spy Museum, 800 F Street, NW, Washington, DC, Gallery Place/Chinatown Metrorail Station.
14 April 2009, 6:30 pm - Washington, DC - "America on a Need to Know
Basis: Secrecy in a Free Society" at the International Spy Museum.
Some Americans wrestle with the concept of government secrecy, but the less vocal majority (and less litigious) quickly recognize that some loss of privacy outweighs living lives of fear of terror, rampant criminal acts, and constant public danger: safety afforded by good surveillance and secrecy. How much secrecy is too much and when does classification become control without bounds? Moderator Shelby Coffey III, senior fellow of the Freedom Forum and former editor and executive vice president of the Los Angeles Times, engages a panel of experts in an exploration of these crucial questions. Join Thomas S. Blanton, executive director of the National Security Archive; Peter Earnest, former chief of the CIA office responsible for FOIA, privacy, and litigation issues in the clandestine service; Ronald Goldfarb, author of In Confidence: When to Protect Secrecy and When to Require Disclosure: and Mike Levin, former chief of information policy at the National Security Agency; for a lively exchange of views on the inherent tension between the public’s right to knowledge and the government’s duty to safeguard vital national security information. Tickets: $15. www.spymuseum.org International Spy Museum, 800 F Street, NW, Washington, DC, Gallery Place/Chinatown Metrorail Station.
20 - 24 April 2009 - Las Vegas, NV - The International Association of Law Enforcement Intelligence Analysts Annual Conference. The International Association of Law Enforcement Intelligence Analysts and the Law Enforcement Intelligence Unit, host their Annual Conference at the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas, NV. The theme will be “Criminal Intelligence: Improving the Odds”. Internationally recognized speakers who are at the forefront of the war on crime and terrorism and those who are leaders in the intelligence community will be on hand to provide up-to-date information. Private security personnel are invited to attend non-law enforcement sensitive training at the nonmember rate. Speakers and workshops will involve training related to: criminal intelligence; international and domestic terrorism; legal issues in criminal intelligence; organized crime and gangs; and information sharing among law enforcement. See the LEIU website for updated confirmed speaker information. Seminar-related Activities: • Hosted Banquet – April 23, 2009; • Additional Activities TBA. For more information, please visit the LEIU website at http://leiu-homepage.org/events/index.php
24 - 26 April 2009 - Nashua, NH - The Naval Cryptologic Veterans Association New England Chapter (NCVA-NE) will hold its Spring Mini-Reunion at the Radisson Hotel Nashua.
The hotel is located at 11 Tara Boulevard, Nashua, New Hampshire 03062. For information, please call (518) 664-8032 or visit their website at http://ncva-ne.org. Local individuals who served with the U.S. Naval Security Group or with its counterpart in NETWARCOM are eligible and welcome to attend the mini-reunion. New members are welcome.
Point of Contact: Vic Knorowski, NCVA-NE Publicity Chair. 8 Eagle Lane, Mechanicville, New York 12118 (518) 664-8032
April 2009, 8 am–6:30 pm - Gettysburg, PA - Spy City Tours™ Special -
Intelligence in the Civil War: Gettysburg as a Case Study [International Spy Museum Special Event]
Why was Lee surprised at Gettysburg? Why did Meade stand and fight on 3 July? How did Lee describe his defeat? Explore the dawn of modern American military intelligence with distinguished former CIA officers, Frans Bax and Barry Stevenson on this thought-provoking bus and walking tour of the Gettysburg battlefield. Developed for new and senior U.S. intelligence officers to illustrate the essentials of their craft through in-depth analysis of the three-day battle, participants will explore the use of intelligence for decision-making by Union General Meade and how a lack of timely, accurate intelligence undermined Confederate General Lee’s capabilities. Key decisions and choices made by the military leaders on the battlefield will be explored in depth. The tour includes information on the development and use of intelligence in the American Civil War and will be of interest to students of the battle and lay people alike. Lunch at the historic Cashtown Inn is included.
Tickets: $180 To register: call 1-800-454-5768 and mention program #18181 or visit www.elderhostel.org/dayofdiscovery.
2 May 2009 - Washington, DC - The OSS Society William J. Donovan Award Dinner Honors General David H. Petraeus, USA, Commander, United States Central Command at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 1330 Maryland Ave SW, Washington, DC. Black Tie/Dress Mess. Cocktails, $150 pp. 6:30 p.m., Dinner 7:30 p.m. For further information or to register call 703-356-6667 or visit firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, 12 May 2009, 6:30 PM - Washington, DC - The Sum of all Fears - Spies on Screen at the International Spy Museum
WHAT: "I don't go on the, you know, missions, I just write reports for the CIA." -- Jack Ryan
When the president of Russia dies suddenly, anxious Washington is desperate for information about his little-known successor. In this 2002 action adventure film, the CIA director, Bill Cabot, recruits a young analyst, Jack Ryan, to fill in the blanks. Suddenly the stakes are raised when a nuclear bomb explodes in Baltimore. The story becomes a tense race to understand the situation and prepare the right response - and the analyst is on the hook. Join John Hedley, former CIA officer and editor of the President’s Daily Brief, for an analyst’s view of this film that features Ben Affleck as the young Ryan. Hedley will explore the accuracy of the movie’s depiction of the analyst’s role, the relevance of the movie to today’s turbulent world, and how the film’s focus on intelligence analysis sets it apart from the usual cloak-and-dagger spy thrillers.
TICKETS: $7; Advance Registration required. Tickets are non-refundable and do not include admission to the International Spy Museum.To register: order online at http://www.spymuseum.org; or purchase tickets in person at the International Spy Museum, 800 F Street, NW, Washington, DC Gallery Place/Chinatown Metrorail Station
13 June 2009 - Boston, MA - AFIO Boston Pops Committee commemorates the 40th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing.
Join AFIO Boston-based members at the Boston Pops in celebrating our
nations triumphant achievement. Historic footage of the lunar landing
provided by NASA will accompany a program of stirring patriotic music
including Holst’s The Planets. Honor one of Americas
proudest moments in space exploration with a spectacular Pops
concert. The AFIO Pops Committee has relocated the event
back to Boston for our seventh annual Pops social event. Conductor
Keith Lockhart will lead the Pops at Symphony Hall, 301
Massachusetts Avenue Boston, MA 02115. Further details will be announce
For Additional Events two+ months or greater....view our online Calendar of Events
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