AFIO Weekly Intelligence Notes #07-09 dated 24 February 2009






Research Request

Coming Events

Current Calendar Next Two Months ONLY :

25 - 27 March 2009 - Raleigh, NC

"Lady Spies and the Ancient Art of Seduction"

The 6th annual Raleigh Spy Conference salutes lady spies - and their counterparts on the other side - with expert speakers delivering riveting tales of Lady spies who 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 personal compromise 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 are historians and journalist with extensive first-hand experience in Russia, Ukraine, Japan, China and Southeast Asia. Jerry 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. Leona is an regional expert on Russia and an author/publisher of titles in this field.
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 on this topic which 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
Information about Raleigh, North Carolina USA can be found at
For map of downtown Raleigh area: click here
For an interactive map of Raleigh area: click here .
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.

WIN CREDITS FOR THIS ISSUE: The WIN editors thank the following special contributors to this issue:  fwr, pjk and dh.  

They have contributed one or more stories used in this issue.

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

AFIO 2009 AUCTION SEEKS DONATIONS: Didn't get what you liked for Christmas, donate it to the AFIO 2009 auction and turn it into a tax-deductible something at the auction you like. A variety of intelligence-related, but also unrelated items have done well at the annual AFIO online Auction. This is a good time to clear out items you might not want that others might find of use, and to find appealing new gifts for yourself. We accept books, paintings, prints, electronic devices [working ones only], pen sets, mugs, rare collectibles, unusual items, historic documents and other ephemera, watches and jewelry, jackets, scarves, sweaters and other imprinted clothing items, and too many other possibilities to list. To explore possible donations, or to send off your items immediately, call Gary at 240 344-6556, email him at or mail items to him at: AFIO, 6723 Whittier St Ste 200, McLean, VA 22101. Always indicate that the items you are sending are to be placed up at auction on your behalf. All donations to AFIO are final and items that do not sell cannot be returned but a donation receipt will sent for those, as well. We thank you now for your generosity.



Former British Spy Chief Says, "We Risk a Police State." Dame Stella Rimington, the former head of MI5, has warned that the fear of terrorism is being exploited by the Government to erode civil liberties and risks creating a police state.

"Since I have retired I feel more at liberty to be against certain decisions of the Government, especially the attempt to pass laws which interfere with people's privacy," according to Dame Stella.

"It would be better that the Government recognized that there are risks, rather than frightening people in order to be able to pass laws which restrict civil liberties, precisely one of the objects of terrorism: that we live in fear and under a police state," she said.

Dame Stella, 73, added: "The US has gone too far with Guant�namo and the tortures. MI5 does not do that. Furthermore it has achieved the opposite effect: there are more and more suicide terrorists finding a greater justification." She said the British secret services were "no angels" but insisted they did not kill people.

Dame Stella became the first woman director general of MI5 in 1992 and was head of the security agency until 1996. Since stepping down she has been a fierce critic of some of the Government's counter-terrorism and security measures, especially those affecting civil liberties.

In 2005, she said the Government's plans for ID cards were "absolutely useless" and would not make the public any safer. Last year she criticized attempts to extend the period of detention without charge for terrorism suspects to 42 days as excessive, shortly before the plan was rejected by Parliament.

Her latest remarks were made as the Home Office prepares to publish plans for a significant expansion of state surveillance, with powers for the police and security services to monitor every email, as well as telephone and internet activity.

Despite considerable opposition to the plan, the document will say that the fast changing pace of communication technology means the security services will not be able to properly protect the public without the new powers.

Local councils have been criticized for using anti-terrorism laws to snoop on residents suspected of littering and dog fouling offences.

David Davis, the Tory MP and former shadow home secretary, said: "Like so many of those who have had involvement in the battle against terrorism, Stella Rimington cares deeply about our historic rights and rightly raises the alarm about a Government whose first interest appears to be to use the threat of terrorism to frighten people and undermine those rights rather than defend them."

In a further blow to ministers, an international study by lawyers and judges accused countries such as Britain and America of "actively undermining" the law through the measures they have introduced to counter terrorism.

The report, by the International Commission of Jurists, said: "The failure of states to comply with their legal duties is creating a dangerous situation wherein terrorism, and the fear of terrorism, are undermining basic principles of international human rights law."

The report claimed many measures introduced were illegal and counter-productive and that legal systems put in place after the Second World War were well equipped to handle current threats. Arthur Chaskelson, the chairman of the report panel, said: "In the course of this inquiry, we have been shocked by the damage done over the past seven years by excessive or abusive counter-terrorism measures in a wide range of countries around the world.

A Home Office spokesman said: "The Government has been clear that where surveillance or data collection will impact on privacy they should only be used where it is necessary and proportionate. The key is to strike the right balance between privacy, protection and sharing of personal data.

"This provides law enforcement agencies with the tools to protect the public as well as ensuring government has the ability to provide effective public services while ensuring there are effective safeguards and a solid legal framework that protects civil liberties." [Whitehead/Telegraph/16February2009] 

A Covert Challenge to Iran's Nuclear Ambitions? Israeli officials aren't talking, but Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper is quoting intelligence experts and an unnamed former CIA agent as saying that Israel is waging a covert war of sabotage inside Iran in an effort to delay its suspected attempts to build a nuclear weapon.

An intelligence source in the Middle East said the Israeli campaign includes sending letter bombs or anthrax-tainted mail to scientists involved in Iran's nuclear program and sabotaging related infrastructure. European countries and the United States are also part of the cloak-and-dagger war, the source said.

It could all be disinformation, of course, to keep pressure on Iran to halt uranium enrichment which Tehran insists is aimed only at generating electricity. But scientists working for Israel's enemies have been targeted in the past.

In the early 1960s, Wolfgang Lotz, later known as the Israeli Mossad's "champagne spy", was living the high life of a rich, German exile in Egypt. He was actually a German-born Israeli tasked, among other things, with keeping a close eye on German scientists working in Egypt. The Mossad feared they could help Cairo, then in a state of war with Israel, to build long-range missiles. The spy agency wrote letters to the scientists, making sure to mention the names of their wives and children, and urged them to halt their work if they wanted to keep their loved ones safe.

In 1990, Gerald Bull, a Canadian ballistics expert, was shot and killed in Belgium, a "hit" widely believed to have been the work of the Mossad. Bull's Brussels-based company was helping Saddam Hussein's Iraq build "superguns" - artillery designed to fire projectiles more than 1,200 km (750 miles), making Israel an easy target.

In a renewed expression of concern over Iran, Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak said on Monday that Iranian atomic weapons would pose an "existential threat" to the Jewish state and to "world order".  [Heller/Reuters/17February2009] 

Researchers Say They May Know Where Osama Bin Laden Is. Fugitive terrorist Osama bin Laden is most likely hiding out in a walled compound in a Pakistani border town, according to a satellite-aided geographic analysis released today.

A research team led by geographer Thomas Gillespie of the University of California-Los Angeles used geographic analytical tools that have been successful in locating urban criminals and endangered species.

Basing their conclusion on nighttime satellite images and other techniques, the scientists suggest bin Laden may well be in one of three compounds in Parachinar, a town 12 miles from the Pakistan border. The research incorporates public reports of bin Laden's habits and whereabouts since his flight from the Tora Bora region of Afghanistan in 2001.

The results, reported in the MIT International Review, are being greeted with polite but skeptical interest among people involved in the hunt for bin Laden, the al-Qaeda leader behind 9/11. Bin Laden's whereabouts are considered "one of the most important political questions of our time," the study notes.

Essentially, the study generates hiding-place location probabilities. It starts with "distance decay theory," which holds that the odds are greater that the person will be found close to where he or she was last seen.

Then the researchers add the "island biographic theory," which maintains that locales with more resources - palm trees for tropical birds and electricity for wealthy fugitives - are likelier to draw creatures of interest.

The study also makes assumptions that bin Laden might need:

*Medical treatment, requiring electricity in an urban setting.
*Security combining few bodyguards and isolation that requires a walled compound.
*Tree cover to shield outdoor activities from aircraft.

Says geographic-profiling expert Kim Rossmo of Texas State University in San Marcos, who has worked with the military on adapting police procedures for finding criminals to counterterrorism: "It's important to think outside the box, and this is an innovative idea worth more pursuit. However, the authors are much too certain of their conclusions.

"The idea of identifying three buildings in a city of half a million - especially one in a country the authors have likely never visited - is somewhat overconfident."

The researchers contacted the FBI with their findings, and USA TODAY asked Defense Department officials for reaction, before publication of the study.

"The combination of physical terrain, socio-cultural gravitational factors and the physical characteristic of structures are all important factors in developing an area limitation for terror suspects," say John Goolgasian of the federal National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency in Bethesda, Md. His spy satellite agency "looks forward to reviewing the article once it is published."

Gillespie is an expert on finding endangered species on remote islands, typically birds. A co-author, UCLA's John Agnew, is an expert on satellite-based population estimates. The study grew out of an undergraduate seminar on applying geographic profiling to real-world problems.  [Vergano/USAToday/17February2009] 

Guatemala Apologizes to Cuba for Bay of Pigs. Guatemalan President Alvaro Colom apologized to Cuba on Tuesday for his country's having allowed the CIA to train exiles in the Central American country for the 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion.

"Today I want to ask Cuba's forgiveness for having offered our country, our territory, to prepare an invasion of Cuba. It wasn't us, but it was our territory," Colom said during a speech at the University of Havana.

He added that he wished to apologize "as president and head of state, and as commander in chief of the Guatemalan army."

About 1,500 Cuban exiles trained under CIA guidance in Guatemala before invading the island in April 1961 in an unsuccessful bid to overthrow Fidel Castro's communist government. The Bay of Pigs invasion ended after three days with about 100 invaders killed and another 1,000 captured by Cuban forces.

During his official visit to Cuba, Colom was awarding Guatemala's highest honor to Castro. It was unclear if the ailing 82-year-old former president would receive the medal in person or if it would be delivered to him later.

Castro met in recent days with two other visiting Latin American presidents, Cristina Fernandez of Argentina and Chile's Michelle Bachelet. Photographs of him with each of the presidents were later released by their respective governments. [Rodriguez/AP/17February2009] 

Raids On Federal Computer Data Soar. Reported cyberattacks on U.S. government computer networks climbed 40% last year, federal records show, and more infiltrators are trying to plant malicious software they could use to control or steal sensitive data.

Federally tracked accounts of unauthorized access to government computers and installations of hostile programs rose from a combined 3,928 incidents in 2007 to 5,488 in 2008, based on data provided by the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT).

The government does not publicly detail the number or types of attacks that succeed. A commission of government officials and private experts reported in December that the departments of Defense, State, Homeland Security and Commerce all have suffered "major intrusions" in which sensitive data were stolen or compromised.

The new data on attacks represent a small sampling - just 1% of federal agencies have fully developed tracking systems - and some of the increase may reflect better reporting, says Mischel Kwon, who heads US-CERT at the Department of Homeland Security. Still, the reports are the best public accounting of such attacks and underscore concerns driving federal cybersecurity initiatives.

Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair told Congress last week that government networks are targeted by foreign nations seeking intelligence, such as China and Russia, as well as criminal groups and individuals who may want to disrupt power, communication or financial systems.

Some attackers may be less interested in stealing data than in undermining a system's ability to operate, such as by planting software that could slow critical networks in emergencies, Brenner adds.

Security officials are especially alarmed about phishing, in which seemingly legitimate e-mails solicit sensitive information, and "web redirects," which shunt a computer to a website where it downloads malicious software, Kwon said.

As part of a Comprehensive Cyber Security Initiative launched by President Bush, the government has cut the number of portals linking federal computer networks to the Internet from 4,500 to 2,500.

Last week, President Obama named Melissa Hathaway, who headed the cybersecurity initiative, to run a 60-day review of federal cybersecurity programs.

The review should spur more cybersecurity initiatives, Brenner says. "What's going on now is not enough, but it is the absolute necessary condition for the progress we have to make." [Eisler/USAToday/17February2009] 

Report Says CIA Runs Secret Bases in Pakistan. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was covertly using the Shamsi airfield in Pakistan's restive south-western province of Balochistan.

The base is located about 50 km (30 miles) from the Pakistan-Afghanistan border and allows the US forces to launch a drone 'within minutes' of receiving actionable intelligence.

The Predator drone has a range of more than 2,000 miles and can fly for 29 hours reaching militants in Balochistan, southern Afghanistan and in Pakistan's northwestern tribal areas, the paper says.

The chief military spokesman, Major General Athar Abbas, said that US forces were using Shamsi "only for logistics."

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the US embassy in Islamabad denied commenting on CIA operations inside Pakistan.

However, one senior Western source familiar with US operations in Pakistan and Afghanistan said that the CIA "runs Predator flights routinely" from Shamsi.

The recent delivery of unexplained 730,000 gallons of F34 aviation fuel to Shamsi base supports the claim.

Pakistan reportedly had allowed the US to use Shamsi, Jacobabad, and two other bases - Pasni and Dalbadin - for the invasion of Afghanistan to topple the Taliban regime in October 2001.

In July 2006, the then military government announced that the US was no longer using the bases, although they were at Pentagon disposal in an emergency.

Islamabad has repeatedly called on the US to halt drone attacks on Pakistani tribal areas bordering Afghanistan. The strikes have caused hundreds of civilian casualties and have fuelled anti-American sentiment.

The latest drone strike on Monday killed 32 people in the tribal agency of Kurram. The attack was the fourth since President Barack Obama took office in January.

Both Pakistan and the US have repeatedly denied that Washington or its allies are conducting covert military operations inside Pakistani territory. [PressTv/18February2009] 

Stepfather of North Korean Female Spy Cleared of Espionage. The stepfather of a woman jailed for spying for North Korea was Wednesday found not guilty of helping her espionage activities, court officials said.

Kim Dong-Sun, 64, was cleared of providing Won Jeong-Hwa with financial aid and of trying to trace the whereabouts of a top North Korean defector.

"There is no concrete evidence to back up espionage charges against the accused," the Suweon district court, just south of Seoul, said in a statement.

Prosecutors had called for 12 years in prison for Kim.

Kim faced charges of providing Won with financial aid between 2003 and 2006 in China, entering the South in the guise of a defector in late 2006 and trying to trace the whereabouts of former top Pyongyang ideologue Hwang Jang-Yop.

Prosecutors are expected to appeal the acquittal.

His stepdaughter Won was jailed for five years last October.

She came to South Korea in 2001 posing as a defector, used her female wiles to secure military secrets and information on other defectors living in the South, and passed her findings on to North Korean agents in China.

She was also found guilty of involvement in the kidnapping of a South Korean businessman from China to her hardline communist homeland in 1999, and of trying to trace Hwang's whereabouts.

Won had pleaded for leniency, saying she had been unable to turn herself in because of fears for her relatives still in the North. [ChannelNewsAsia/18February2009] 

Renowned Chinese Scholar Jin Xide Arrested for 'Spying' for South Korea. A renowned Chinese scholar was arrested for spying for a South Korean intelligence body.

Jin Xide, 55, a researcher with China's top state-owned think tank, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), "reportedly received bribes from a South Korean intelligence agent in the form of money and special favors and, in turn, provided classified information to him," it said.

The information he gave to the South Korean agent reportedly was about North Korea, without providing specifics.

Jin, a native of China's northeastern Jilin Province, is of Korean heritage. Trained as a specialist in international politics, he was a popular commentator on North Korean nuclear issues and Sino-Japanese relations.

According to Mingpao, Jin was detained around Lunar New Year and is now undergoing legal procedures. It's unclear whether he will be prosecuted for "spying" or "leaking classified information," it said.

Jin recently participated in a forum on China's relations with neighboring countries hosted by major Chinese Web portal Xinlang. [Lee/KoreaTimes/13February2009] 

Obama, Gates at Odds Over New Whistleblower Protections. During an election featuring Democratic allegations that U.S. intelligence was distorted to justify a misbegotten war, Barack Obama endorsed new protections for national security officers who blow the whistle on abusive, corrupt or illegal behavior, by offering them the right to sue for damages and challenge denials of their security clearances.

But by keeping a Republican-appointed secretary of defense strongly opposed to those changes, President Obama is finding the path to a new policy on federal whistleblowing much more complicated.

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and other top Bush appointees wrote an unusually tough letter to Congress last year asserting that the bill protecting whistleblowers would threaten national security, violate the Constitution and undermine the government's ability to safeguard legitimate secrets.

The legislation, passed this year by the House, is still being reviewed by the White House, according to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. 

The bill has evoked strong feelings on both sides because it would extend a series of rights held by most federal workers to dissident employees at the CIA, the National Security Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the FBI and other intelligence agencies. Unlike their counterparts elsewhere, they cannot now appeal adverse administrative decisions outside their agencies, either to a special civil service board or to a federal court. Along with others, they also cannot win compensatory damages for improper job decisions or sue to regain their clearances.

Advocacy groups were cheered when an Obama aide promised the National Whistleblower Center in May 2007 that the candidate supported protecting whistleblowers "under the framework" of the House bill.

The bill passed the House once in 2007 with the support of 102 Republicans and again last month on a bipartisan voice vote attaching it to the economic stimulus legislation. But its key provisions were dropped before the legislation was signed by Obama yesterday, after Sen. Susan Collins (Maine) and other Republicans objected to their inclusion and the White House did not insist on it.

A spokesman for Collins, Kevin Kelley, said she "remains committed to whistleblower protections." But another aide said that she mostly supports adding new protections for federal workers outside the intelligence community, as do other Senate Republicans; including employees at intelligence agencies needs to be "carefully explored," the aide said.

Gates's broadside against the bill last year was joined by then-Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell, then-Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey and then-Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff. Provisions allowing judicial review of clearance decisions, Gates and the others wrote, would "interfere with the President's constitutional authority" and "create protections for disgruntled employees whose jobs would not otherwise be secure."

"This is an issue that every political appointee supports in theory and none can tolerate when the dissent is directed at them," said Tom Devine, legal director of the nonprofit Government Accountability Project, which has lobbied for the bill's passage for a decade. "They don't want to have to defend the cases in court, and they don't want to lose." 

Whistleblower advocates say these views mostly reflect hostility among senior officials to creating new channels for grievances, which could open the door to a loss of control over personnel decisions and to embarrassing public disclosures. They further say that protecting whistleblowers is important at a moment when sharply increased federal spending under the economic stimulus provides opportunities for new abuses.

Veteran CIA analyst Franz Boening is among many whistleblowers from national security agencies who say they are waiting to see if Obama follows through on his promised support. Boening rattled his supervisors in the 1990s by filing memos questioning what he regarded as the agency's tolerance of human rights abuses by friendly governments in Latin America and elsewhere. But he says his career really soured in 2001, after he wrote internal letters accusing the agency of improper dealings with Vladimir Montesinos, at the time the top security adviser to Peru's president.

Peru later accused Montesinos of numerous crimes, including fraud, money laundering, and drug and arms trafficking. But after Boening, who had worked in the agency's declassification office, made his complaints - based, he says, on public information - he was denied promotions and accused of having unauthorized access to secret files.

CIA spokesman Paul Gimigliano said: "It's agency practice to look carefully at any concerns our employees may raise. That's what fairness demands." He added that he could not offer more detailed comments on matters that may be in litigation.

Worries at the top ranks of the intelligence community have centered on a provision in the House bill allowing national security employees to contact a range of lawmakers directly about actions they believe are illegal or corrupt. Supporters say this provides a much-needed check on the community's habitual desire to hide its dirty laundry, an effort that they say has sometimes been joined by the House and Senate intelligence committees, which generally hold hearings in secret.

But high-ranking agency veterans say they recall the immense political turmoil that followed then-Rep. Robert G. Torricelli's public disclosure in 1995 of CIA payments to a Guatemalan colonel accused of murdering an American citizen and the husband of an American citizen - ties that the New Jersey Democrat, who was not an intelligence committee member, learned of through unofficial channels.

Two CIA officials were fired and eight others were disciplined in ensuing government probes, and a presidential panel concluded that the agency not only broke the law but acted unacceptably on human rights matters. Then-CIA Director John M. Deutch ordered more than 100 informants accused of abuses or criminal acts dropped from the agency's payrolls - and said no more could be hired without case-by-case reviews.

Deutch's decision was wrenching and controversial, but it governed agency actions for years until his successor, George J. Tenet, quietly overturned it after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to allow more widespread recruiting of informants with checkered histories. To avert additional discussion of such sensitive relationships, President Bill Clinton - like his successor - opposed proposals allowing wider direct reporting of classified information by national security employees to lawmakers.

The House, which has held multiple hearings showcasing whistleblower complaints, sees it differently. Under its bill, whistleblowers would be protected for the first time for tattling to superiors and, under certain circumstances, to members of at least five other committees besides intelligence, including those responsible for armed services and homeland security. Gates complained that this would allow federal workers to decide on their own "to disclose classified information to a broad universe" not entitled to hear it.

Devine responds that the committee members have relevant clearances and "should not be treated as second-class citizens." Opposition to this is, he says, "just an excuse to avoid oversight."

The new bill also broadens the definition of abusive conduct that could be legally disclosed or protested, and allows whistleblower appeals to be heard in any federal circuit, instead of a single designated appellate court where, plaintiffs' attorneys say, only three such cases - from federal workers outside the national security field - have prevailed in the past 15 years.

The government would retain its right to respond by invoking a "state secrets" privilege to block a trial, but for the first time it would be forced to brief lawmakers on the complaint and allow an inspector general's classified probe of the allegations. [Smith&Warrick/WashingtonPost/13February2009] 

Syria's 'Chemical Weapons Factories' Seen From Space. Syria is rebuilding its chemical weapons capability in a move that threatens to provoke a new round of hostilities with Israel, according to satellite images.

Any suggestion that Syria is enhancing the offensive potential of its chemical munitions will be treated as an additional threat to Israel's existence by its defense establishment.

In 2007 Israel attacked a suspected Syrian nuclear research centre in the country's eastern desert. Syria has maintained stockpiles of chemical weapons, including sarin gas and blister agents, for decades. But satellite images from two operators, GeoEye and DigitalGlobe, appeared to show significant efforts to update known facilities.

The JIR report said that structures for warehousing and manufacturing complex chemical materials had been built. The buildings had sophisticated filtration systems and cooling towers. Bays for specially adapted Scud missiles had also been built.

It has long been suspected that Syria acquired chemical weapons munitions from Iraq in the run-up to the US-led assault on the country.

An analysis by JIR suggested that the work on the al-Safir facility in the north-west of the country had started in 2005, in the aftermath of the Iraq war, and was continuing last year.

It found that al-Safir was among the most significant chemical weapons production, storage and weaponisation sites in Syria.

The images show that al-Safir is protected by modern surface-to-air missiles acquired from Russia and several rings of security. [McElroy/Newstin/19February2009] 

Terrorist in 1973 NYC Bomb Plot to be Deported. A Black September terrorist who served only about half his 30-year sentence for planting three car bombs in New York City in 1973 was released Thursday into the custody of immigration officials to be deported.

Khalid Al-Jawary, 63, was released from the Supermax maximum-security prison in Florence, Colorado, said Carl Rusnok, a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman. Rusnok said a federal immigration judge had signed a deportation order for Al-Jawary.

Al-Jawary's release date was set for Thursday after he was credited with time served before his sentencing and good behavior.

Rusnok declined to say where Al-Jawary was being held as he awaits deportation. It's also not clear when Al-Jawary will be deported or where he will be sent. The mysterious terrorist had many aliases and was known to use fake passports from Jordan, Iraq and France.

Al-Jawary has denied involvement in the 1973 New York City bomb plot; he claims his real name is Khaled Mohammed El-Jassem. The FBI to this day remains unsure of his true identity; his nom de guerre was Abu Walid al-Iraqi.

Al-Jawary, under that name, was convicted in 1993 of placing two powerful bombs along Fifth Avenue and a third at John F. Kennedy International Airport 20 years before. The bombs, which failed to detonate, were timed to coincide with the arrival of then-Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir.

The case has drawn widespread attention since an Associated Press investigation last month raised questions about whether Al-Jawary had a role in a murderous letter-bombing campaign and the bombing of an TWA flight in 1974 that killed 88 people.

Al-Jawary was a member of Black September, a terrorist group responsible for many lethal attacks, including the killings of 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympics in Munich, Germany.

In 1979, Al-Jawary was arrested in Germany while trying to carry out a terrorist attack on likely Israeli and Jewish targets. The next year, he escaped an assassination attempt in Beirut that left two of his aides injured and his car smoldering.

Al-Jawary blamed the attack on Mossad, Israel's foreign intelligence service. At the time of the failed hit, he was working for Abu Iyad, a top commander in Fatah, the Palestine Liberation Organization's military wing.

Iyad was killed in Tunisia by a rival Palestinian faction in 1991. Al-Jawary was apprehended passing through Rome in January 1991 to attend Iyad's funeral. Iyad was believed to have helped plan the Munich murders.

Retired FBI agents John Syron and Jim Phelan, who worked the case in 1973, said freeing Al-Jawary was a mistake. The bombs would have killed many people if they had gone off, they said.

Authorities said Al-Jawary's family lives in the Middle East but declined to say where.

Before his transfer to ICE custody, Al-Jawary was being held at the Supermax, considered the United States' most secure federal prison. It's home to other notorious terrorists including Sept. 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui and Ramzi Yousef, who masterminded the 1993 World Trade Center attack. [IHT/19February2009] 

Israeli Spying a Major Setback for Hizbollah. The revelation last week that Israeli intelligence had penetrated the highest levels of Hizbollah left the normally secretive militant group scrambling to contain the damage.

The initial reports, detailed in the Lebanese media, revealed that Marwan Faqih, a long-time associate of the group's tight-knit leadership, has been accused by an internal Hizbollah investigation of spying for Israel since at least the mid-1990s. Hizbollah is thought to have arrested Mr. Faqih last month before recently turning him over to the Lebanese authorities for prosecution.

A well-known businessman in the southern city of Nabatiyeh, Mr. Faqih ran several automobile-related businesses, including dealerships and mechanic shops. Official leaks from Lebanese security forces accused Mr. Faqih of using access to Hizbollah vehicles to install tracking and listening devices on behalf of Israeli intelligence services to track Hizbollah members.

Attempts to reach Mr. Faqih's family or friends in Nabatiyeh were strongly discouraged by Lebanese and Hizbollah officials, most of whom refused to comment on the case except anonymously.

But multiple security sources - including Lebanese military intelligence, security officials and police - confirm the broad outlines of the media reports. They add, however, that the Israeli operation has been far more damaging to the group than initially admitted.

Hizbollah publicly denies that Mr. Faqih was an official member of the group, claiming he merely had close business contacts with certain officials, but security sources familiar with the case say he was a high-ranking member of the group's political wing and had been one of the sole suppliers of automobiles to the group for official use.

Although local press reports have put the number of vehicles potentially compromised in the low dozens, military and security officials say the actual figure is in the hundreds, and that most of the vehicles supplied to the group by Mr. Faqih have been found to contain the GPS-tracking devices. Multiple sources also said this particular operation had continued for more than four years and Mr. Faqih was a major, if not sole, supplier of vehicles to the group's military wing.

The source said it could comprise all of the officials and their vehicles right up to the Hizbollah leader, Hasan Nasrallah. "At this point Hizbollah knows that all of the movements by major officials for the past four years are probably detailed on a screen in an Israeli intelligence centre."

Hizbollah's initial reports into the conspiracy claimed that an auto mechanic repairing an electrical short in an SUV used by a Hizbollah commander accidentally discovered the devices. Media reports say the mechanic brought the device to the attention of the group, which started an internal investigation. But one security official described this claim as "disinformation".

The damage to the group is seen as a devastating intelligence blow not only because Israelis were monitoring the movements of its leadership and members, officials say, but because the monitoring had been going on for some time.

The security official seemed to agree with the assessment of another military intelligence official, who said even the paths traveled by each vehicle around Lebanon - if observed for years - would show a wealth of patterns and habits by officials that could help the Israelis. The group might be forced to rethink almost all of its procedures.

That the vehicles had been tracked for four years goes to explain many of the Israeli air strikes conducted on seemingly civilian areas during the 2006 war, the security official said.

In the case of Sheikh Nabil Kaouk, Hizbollah's military wing commander for southern Lebanon, it resulted in a series of near misses by Israeli forces in 2006 that the group had not been able to explain until the tracking devices were found. [Prothero/TheNational/20February2009] 

Vienna Remains One of the Espionage Centers of the World. Twenty years after the end of the Cold War, Vienna remains a spy haven, swarming with foreign agents who think nothing of killing in broad daylight while the Austrian authorities turn a blind eye, experts said.

Vienna formed the backdrop to Orson Welles' legendary spy thriller The Third Man in 1949, but even today it remains a hive of secret service activity.

"Austria is still a favorite place for agents. They're frequently known to the authorities, but rarely hindered. Everything is handled courteously and diplomatically. There's a long tradition in that," said Siegfried Beer, director of the Austrian Center for Intelligence, Propaganda and Security Studies at the University of Graz.

In the latest addition to a growing list of cases that look unlikely ever to be resolved, a Chechen dissident, Umar Israilov, was gunned down in broad daylight in the Austrian capital on Jan. 23.

Other cases include the 1989 killing of Abdul Rahman Ghassemlou, the head of a Kurdish opposition group in Iranian Kurdistan, and the attempted kidnapping in October of Kazakhstan's former intelligence chief Alnur Musayev. Both were living in exile in Austria.

"Austria is a textbook case for this sort of operation that always remains unresolved. As soon as there is any sort of political link, the authorities start acting very strangely," said journalist Kid Moechel, an author of a book on the subject.

For Peter Pilz, defense expert for the opposition Green party, "Some regimes such as Russia and Iran enjoy a freedom to do as they please in Vienna that they would never enjoy elsewhere."

"Quite simply, the Austrian authorities don't want to jeopardize their country's economic interests," the parliamentarian said.

He accused the Austrian Interior Ministry of trying to "cover up" the murder of Israilov, who had repeatedly asked for special police protection before he was gunned down while out grocery shopping last month.

Vienna, whose geographical position makes it a point of contact between East and West and North and South, has one of the highest densities of spies in the world, experts said.

It is home to international groups such as the International Atomic Energy Agency, OPEC and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

In all, at least 17,000 diplomats are based in Vienna, equivalent to around 1 percent of the city's population, official figures show.

"Around half of these have links to the secret services," Beer said.

Politician Pilz asserted that Vienna is also "a hub where it's very easy to buy arms or hide or launder money."

However, the advent in recent years of hundreds of thousands of refugees in Austria, including around 20,000 Chechens, is providing new impetus for secret service activity. [TaipeiTimes/11February2009] 

Ecuador Says Expelled US Official Was CIA Operative. The U.S. Embassy official Ecuador kicked out this week on charges of meddling in national affairs was the head of the CIA, President Rafael Correa said on Saturday.

But a U.S. Embassy spokeswoman declined to comment on Correa's account that the expelled official ran CIA operations in the Andean country, which is a crucial drug-smuggling route to drug gangs in neighboring Colombia and Peru.

Correa, a leftist ally of U.S. foe Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, expelled Mark Sullivan over charges he tried to handpick an officer heading a police unit partly financed by the United States.

Sullivan's expulsion came a bit over a week after Correa ordered another U.S. official to leave the country on similar charges, fueling tensions with Washington.

Correa has accused the CIA of having operatives inside his security forces, and aiding neighboring Colombian commandos raid a rebel camp inside Ecuador last year that raised the specter of war in the Andean region.

He said that as part of an unwritten agreement the U.S. embassy approved the naming of officers to head police units they financed.

The popular U.S.-educated economist had generally kept good ties with the United States even as his socialist allies in Bolivia and Venezuela clashed with Washington, including expelling U.S. ambassadors.

Still, Correa went on the offensive this month, declaring he would not bow to pressure from the United States and has now raised complications in establishing his relationship with U.S. President Barack Obama.

Local media has speculated Correa kicked out Sullivan because he was linked to the probe of a former government official arrested for dealing with drug bosses. The police unit that sparked the diplomatic row was investigating the ex-government official. Correa has denied those charges.

Analysts say Correa is trying to get attention away from mounting economic woes caused by plummeting oil revenues and immigrants' remittances that are starting to worry Ecuadoreans who had lived through a series of crippling crises. [Soto/Reuters/21February2009] 

Islamic Terrorists Forming Cells In America. Hezbollah could be one of the first security challenges faced by the new Obama administration. An official government report concludes the Iranian-backed Islamic terror group has been forming sleeper cells throughout the United States that could become operational.

The report estimates Hezbollah could become a much more potent national security threat by 2014. The group was responsible for the 1983 Beirut Marine Barracks bombing, which killed 241 U.S. Marines and 58 French servicemen.

"The Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah does not have a known history of fomenting attacks inside the U.S., but that could change if there is some kind of 'triggering' event," the report said. 

The report, obtained by the Middle East Newsline and marked "for official use only," did not define a "triggering event." Most of the threats cited in the report had been raised by the Homeland Security Department. 

The 38-page report, titled 2008 Interagency Intelligence Committee on Terrorism, said Hezbollah was being directed by the leadership in Lebanon as well as Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).

The assessment said the Hezbollah network in the United States was engaged in money laundering, drug trafficking, weapons smuggling and extortion.

The terror group has also established fundraising connections with mainstream American Muslim organizations, among the most notable being the case of Abdurahman Alamoudi, the former head of the American Muslim Council. Mr. Alamoudi, prior to his having pleaded guilty in 2004 for having tried to launder Libyan money for various terror groups, actively worked to raise money for Hezbollah among others. He also formerly helped oversee the appointment of Islamic chaplains in the U.S. military.

Hezbollah is one of several terrorist threats to the United States over the next five years, the report said. The report also cited al-Qaida as a leading threat, saying the Islamic network was focusing on striking strategic U.S. facilities.

The threat of terrorism and the threat of extremist ideologies has not abated, former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said prior to leaving office yesterday. "This threat has not evaporated, and we can't turn the page on it."

Retiring CIA Inspector General Faces Suit Over Conduct of Office. John L. Helgerson, the CIA's controversial inspector general, may be finally leaving the spy agency after three decades, but he will not be fading back into the shadows.

Helgerson, who has been at the center of some of the agency's most difficult moments related to terrorism and pre-war intelligence about Iraq, is leaving the CIA in 30 days, according a CIA announcement made quietly over the weekend.

Among other investigations, Helgerson has conducted inquiries into agency officials' destruction of interrogation videos. He also bumped heads with recently departed CIA chief Michael V. Hayden over his investigation of "erroneous renditions," or the seizures of persons who were wrongly identified as terrorists.

But Helgerson will not be free of controversy when he concludes his 37-year long CIA career, most of which was spent on the analytical side of the spy agency.

According to Washington, D.C., attorney Mark S. Zaid, who specializes in representing intelligence personnel, "a senior CIA career official" is set to sue Helgerson and the CIA over what amounts to abuse of office.

"I will be filing a lawsuit, the specific details of which I can not yet divulge, for how he and his office recently treated a senior CIA official. I intend to file the lawsuit prior to his retirement," Zaid told me.

"Helgerson has allowed personal bias to cloud the integrity of his investigations of senior officials, and has cultivated an atmosphere of questionable investigative tactics that objectively border on unprofessionalism," Zaid charged.

"Under his tenure, in my experience, the OIG [Office of the Inspector General] has done little to nothing to protect the individual CIA employee, particularly whistleblowers, who have come to him for assistance."

Zaid alleges that Helgerson disparaged his client's reputation in leaks to congressional committees and CIA contractors.

"He violated the standards of his office and acted outside the scope of his employment," Zaid further said of the inspector general.

"This case is so egregious that we will make an effort to hold him personally liable."

An agency spokesman said the CIA had not been notified of Zaid's suit and therefore would have no comment on it.

Leon E. Panetta, the CIA's new director, praised Helgerson in his brief announcement on Sunday, Jan. 18, saying the inspector general had "served CIA, the Intelligence Community, and the country with skill and great dedication."

"I appreciate John's many contributions, and wish him and his family the best for the future," Panetta added.

"He literally wrote the book on briefing presidential candidates, and our Community drew on his work during the recent transition," Panetta said.

Helgerson held a variety of other senior leadership posts, Panetta pointed out, including Chairman of the National Intelligence Council, Deputy Director of the National Imagery and Mapping Agency, and Deputy Director for Intelligence at the CIA.

"I am fortunate to have served in the US Intelligence Community for more than 37 years, under seven Presidents and 13 Agency Directors," Helgerson said in his resignation statement, circulated to CIA employees.

He also indicated he would have liked to stay longer.

"Had the opportunity come at an earlier time, I would have been most eager and proud to continue my work as IG during the administration of President Obama, under the leadership of our new director. However, after a full career, including seven years in my current position, it is time for a change."  [Stein/HuffingtonPost/24February2009]


Silent Cyberwar. Cyberwarfare is waged on a massive scale the world over. Ostensibly friendly nations zap each other's electronic nerve cells frequently, and with reckless abandon. On a single day in 2008, the Pentagon was hit by would-be intruders 6 million times in 24-hour period. Before Sept. 11, 2001, the highest annual figure for cyber attacks against the Pentagon was 250,000.

Speaking not for attribution at a think tank meeting, a Pentagon "cyber warrior," said it felt "like a perpetual hailstorm pelting an imaginary glass envelope around the Defense Department, but there is still no way of telling whether these were attempted intrusions by teenagers testing their hacking skills or the electronic warfare departments of China and Russia, that we know are constantly flexing their electronic muscles." Multiple Congressional computers have been hacked from multiple Chinese locations.

Attackers can still conceal their point of origin by looping or leap-frogging several computer systems in several countries before finally going into the system that is being attacked as well as those pursuing them. Hackers also ensure anonymity by zigzagging through other countries and/or transnational companies with operations all over the world.

The Pentagon cybernaut did not disclose how many, if any, of the 6 million attempted intrusions were successful. Another Pentagon insider, speaking privately, said "an important internal e-mail system was taken down for two days."

Speaking at the same think tank meeting, the chief security officer of a major New York-based financial house said they had been attacked 1 million times in a 24-hour period. The code of conduct for financial security officers is to remain silent about successful intrusions. But banks send federal regulators some 600,000 alerts a year about potentially suspicious withdrawals, deposits, transfers and money laundering. Cyberheists have netted billions for cybercrooks.

Estonia in 2007, Georgia in 2008 and Kyrgyzstan in 2009 were targets of massive denial-of-service attacks organized by FAPSI, the Russian Federal Agency for Government Communications and Information (the Russian national security agency) through a various proxies that gave FAPSI plausible deniability. Had Russia paralyzed communications by physical attack, it would be an act of war. Aggressors in a cyber attack are almost impossible to pin down.

The United States is keeping well ahead of potential adversaries in cyberspace. Last year, a U.S. military computer reached the astronomic processing power of more than 1 quadrillion calculations per second. That's 1,000 trillion. To count to 1 quadrillion at the rate of $1 per second would take 32 million years. And if 6 billion people used calculators 24 hours a day, seven days a week, it would take them 46 years to do what Roadrunner covers in a day.

Built by IBM for the U.S. Energy Department's Los Alamos National Laboratory, the $133 million "Roadrunner" can test the very first fraction of a second in a nuclear explosion, as well as extrapolate climate change scores of years ahead.

Cyberspace becomes immensely more complex by the day. The global clutter of MySpace, FaceBook, ThisNext, YouTube, Wikipedia, and Twitter, which fires millions of messages in bursts of 140 characters or less, while 10 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, or the equivalent of 57,000 full-length movies every week, all contribute to a planetary tower of Babel/Babble and a secure means of communication for terrorists.

Intelligence and security chiefs here and abroad feel the current global economic and financial crisis is a moment of opportunity for al Qaeda and its affiliates. The wars against terrorists in both Pakistan and Afghanistan are suffering major reverses. Pakistan's civilian government took the world by surprise by suddenly staging and announcing accommodation with its homegrown Taliban in the Swat Valley where government troops are losing ground to the insurgents. In 2006, similar gestures of appeasement were negotiated with Taliban in the tribal areas on the Afghan border. They collapsed before they could be implemented.

Islamabad conceded Shariah or Islamic law in parts of Swat, in Pakistan proper, where government troops failed to dislodge Taliban fighters. In Kabul, President Hamid Karzai was saying, for the first time, that the war, now under the overall direction of Gen. David Petraeus, would have to end with a political settlement, geopolitical shorthand for "moderate" elements of Taliban that are prepared to break with al Qaeda.

No longer the darling of Western capitals, Mr. Karzai turned to Russia, and President Dimitry Medvedev wrote back with offers of cooperation on defense. In the game of nations, said political analyst Wahid Muzhda, "Russia is giving Afghanistan the green light because it wants to show it can ensure the security of the area with no need for the U.S. and NATO." But Moscow, on the 20th anniversary of its humiliating withdrawal from Afghanistan, also shows every sign of cooperating with the United States in the region, granting transit rights for NATO supplies to replace the route through Pakistan, closed by Taliban guerrillas.

President Obama's special envoy for Pakistan and Afghanistan, Richard Holbrooke, eased away from the call for total victory against Taliban and its al Qaeda allies. Mr. Obama hinted at the need to engage Iran with a view to enlisting Iran's support in Afghanistan, support that Tehran's mullahs had extended to defeat Taliban when the United States first invaded Afghanistan Oct. 7, 2001.

The alternative to a political settlement in Afghanistan is an open-ended commitment to defeating Taliban and establishing a viable, non-corrupt government in Kabul. That could take another five to 10 years. But NATO's European members and Canada want out by the end of 2011 - or two more years.

Osama bin Laden and his followers are reinvigorated by the news from almost every part of the planet that a U.S.-induced subprime mortgage crisis has engulfed the world and thrown some 50 million out of work from North America to Europe to the Middle East to Pakistan and India, to Singapore, China, South Korea and Japan. A world jobless figure of 100 million was already being bruited in anti-U.S. editorials from Brussels to Beijing and from Mexico to Malaysia.

The magic of Mr. Obama has kept a damper on would-be anti-U.S. demonstrations. But since no quick reversal of the global crisis was on anyone's radar, the demonstrations soon will follow. [deBorchgrave/WashingtonTimes/19February2009] 

Former CIA Officer Describes Retribution for Whistle Blowing. Ilana Sara Greenstein, a highly praised CIA operations officer for six years until quitting in disgust in 2008, says she was punished for complaining about gross mismanagement in the agency's Baghdad station, the details of which CIA censors are still trying to suppress.

"What I witnessed there was nothing short of disastrous - operationally and ethically," says Greenstein, who in 2005 was cited by the U.S. military command in Baghdad for work that "directly saved lives" - the only CIA staff employee to be so honored.

Greenstein's complaints about Baghdad station not only went unanswered, she alleges, she was punished by CIA managers whom she had singled out for criticism. And now, CIA censors are trying to suppress a book she is writing about her experience, she says.

Greenstein, who also won six CIA "exceptional performance" awards and had previously worked for the Department of Defense in Bosnia and England, was in law school when terrorists attacked the World Trade Center and Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001. Motivated by a desire to serve her country again, she joined the CIA in 2002.

But she grew increasingly disenchanted with the spy agency, first during training, then a stint at headquarters, and then in Baghdad, where she alleges that discipline was lax, alcoholism common, debauchery rampant, and successful operations rare.

She declined to discuss operational details or the names of her managers and coworkers.

Stymied, she took her complaints to the top.

"When I got back to Langley, I wrote a memo to CIA Director General Michael Hayden outlining some of the problems I saw. He took no effective action in response. Around the same time, the managers about whose behavior I had raised concerns tried to block my next assignment."

"Despite my failure to effect change internally," she continues, "not once did I speak to a journalist, member of Congress, or any other unauthorized person." At the CIA, she notes, members of Congress are generally considered "unauthorized."

"I believed in Hayden's stated philosophy that employees should have available - and utilize - internal recourses before resorting to outside remedies," she adds.

"Unfortunately, all inside solutions failed. Now, several years and a resignation later, having futilely exhausted all internal avenues for reform, I am attempting to write a book about the CIA in Iraq."

Her book's working title is Shadows in the Sun, an allusion, she says, to Arthur Koestler's Darkness at Noon, a novel about thought control set in a Soviet-style political prison.

"But now I'm faced with yet another challenge," added Greenstein, who is also fluent in Farsi, the majority language of Iran. "The CIA's Publications Review Board (PRB), a panel to which all current and former employees must submit their CIA-related writing for classification review."

Greenstein, now 32, characterizes CIA censors as ridiculously heavy-handed and arbitrary, not unlike the character of John Yossarian in the World War Two novel Catch-22, who deletes nouns from soldiers' letters one day, verbs the next, and finally everything between "Dear" and "Love."

Greenstein believes CIA censors singled her out for harsh treatment because "Iraq is the country in which the CIA has most glaringly failed."

And, she alleges, because "I was a vocal dissenter at the CIA. I raised my concerns openly and unabashedly."

Greenstein, who also has a law degree from the University of Virginia, argues that authority for appointing the head of the PRB be taken away from the CIA and given to the President.

One reason is that the targets of criticism themselves get to censor books and articles about them.

Asked to respond to Greenstein's allegations, CIA spokesman Paul Gimigliano said, "Suffice it to say, the agency has its own, quite different views." [Stein/HuffingtonPost/19February2009] 


Yes, We Should Worry About Iran's Satellite, by Uzi Rubin. When Iran successfully orbited its Omid satellite earlier this month, many in the U.S. responded with indifference. David Albright, a noted analyst of nuclear proliferation, downplayed the Iranian space launcher as "not that sophisticated" and the satellite itself as "Sputnik technology, a little metal ball that goes 'beep beep beep.'" Unnamed U.S. officials concurred, stating that "There are no alarm bells ringing because of this launch," calling the event "largely symbolic."

But such equanimity is entirely unwarranted.

Let's first look at the Omid satellite. The Iranians concede its limited capabilities. Its main payload is a simple transmitter/receiver, and it has a short lifetime limited by the capacity of its small internal batteries. At 60 pounds it is minute compared to modern military and civilian satellites. Yet as a first satellite for a novice space-faring nation, it compares well with the rudimentary Sputnik and even more so with the tiny Explorer 1, America's first venture into space. Those modest machines ushered in today's giant military and commercial satellites girdling the earth. When the first Iranian spy satellite starts transmitting high resolution photographs of U.S. installations in the Middle East and elsewhere to Tehran, the true significance of the Omid will become evident.

But it is the Safir space launch vehicle that calls for even closer scrutiny. The strong synergy between ballistic missiles and space launchers has existed since the early days of the space age when the Soviet Union's first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), the R7, was used to orbit Sputnik 1. The U.S.'s first intermediate-range ballistic missile, the Redstone, was used to orbit the Explorer 1. Iran has followed the same route, as is evident from the Safir first stage, which is almost indistinguishable from the Shahab 3 ballistic missile. True, its propulsion technology hails back to the Scud missiles of the 1950s. But in the missile business old is not necessarily obsolete. Witness for example the Soviet R7 rocket that lofted Sputnik 1 half a century ago and is still going strong today as the first stage of the very reliable Soyuz launcher. Similarly, the Safir's rocket technology will continue to be used for ballistic missiles in the foreseeable future.

The real sophistication of the Safir lies in its second stage, with its elegant configuration and lightweight design. Its propulsion is based on the more modern technology of storable liquid propellants that can be kept almost indefinitely inside the missile, making it launch-ready at any moment - a significant advantage for military missiles. The U.S. used this technology in the past and so do some of Russia's contemporary ICBMs and submarine-launched ballistic missiles.

A cleverly designed clamshell nose fairing (a protective cover), evidently made of composite materials, shields the Omid satellite during the Safir's liftoff. Such fairings are key elements not only in space launchers but also in multiple-warhead ballistic missiles.

The Safir ground support system is also remarkable. The missile is transported by and fired from a Shahab ballistic missile mobile launcher, while a hinged service tower provides access for the ground crews.

Contrary to statements such as David Albright's, the Safir demonstrates a fair amount of sophistication for an initial launcher. The question remains whether this sophistication is indigenous and what features, if any, have been imported from abroad. Some of the Safir's features bear the telltale signs of previous space launching experience, implying outside help. Such help could come from any country that possesses Soviet-era missile and space technology. Yet the Safir is far more advanced than North Korea's space launcher. This fact - and the magnitude of the entire Iranian space enterprise - indicates that much of the success is homegrown.

The magnitude of the Safir launch becomes more apparent when we consider it alongside the much less advertised launch of the Sajeel two-stage solid-propellant ballistic missile that preceded it in November 2008. Within the space of four short months the Iranians demonstrated a mastery of three different rocket propulsion technologies (liquid, storable liquid, and large diameter solid), three different thrust vectoring technologies (graphite jet vanes, tungsten jet vanes, gimbaled rocket motors), two systems of stage separation, and an embryonic multiple-warhead nose fairing. All the above are proscribed technologies whose international transfers are controlled by the Missile Technology Control Regime and by the national legislations of its subscribing countries. By rights, none of those technologies should have been available to Iran. This is a significant setback to international nonproliferation efforts and an encouragement to future proliferators.

To argue that the Safir is too puny to be used as an ICBM is to miss the big picture. It is the technology and talent behind the Safir that is cause for trepidation. Taken in context, the Safir demonstrates scientific and engineering proficiency coupled with global-range missile technology in the hands of a radical regime and a nuclear wannabe. Iran's disclosed road map to space includes more capable, heavier and higher orbiting satellites. This will require heftier space launchers, the construction of which would enrich Iran's rocket-team experience and whose building blocks could easily be used for ICBMs in due time.

Trivializing Iran's first space launch as "largely symbolic" demonstrates a lack of appreciation of what it really symbolizes: That Iran is now poised to project power globally. If alarm bells aren't yet ringing for the Obama administration, they should be. 

Mr. Rubin, head of Israel's Missile Defense Organization from 1991 to 1999, won the Israel Defense Prize in 1996 and 2003.  [Rubin/WallStreetJournal/21February2009] 


Research Request

Far East Division Regional Medical Officers, 1951-1954. I am writing the history of CIA Office of Medical Services during the early Cold War period. I am looking for anyone who might have known or worked with the following regional medical officers in the Far East during the early 1950s. Pat Hildreth, Arthur "Bud" Nelson, Tom McChesney, Roland Wear, Clem Furey, Martin Marino, Joe Johnston, Paul Gustafson, Don Ferguson, or David Dempsey. The men were variably stationed at Atsugi, Chigasaki, Saipan, Taiwan (with WEI) or Yong-Do, South Korea. Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated. Jonathan D. Clemente, MD. I can be reached by email:



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
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.)

Wednesday, 25 February 2009, 7:30 p.m. - Plano, TX - Author Christopher Dickey discusses his new book: SECURING THE CITY showing how the New York Police Department (NYPD) counter-terrorism division has made itself one of the best in the business. A review of the book is here:
The talk is occurring here: Legacy Books, 7300 Dallas Parkway, Plano, TX 75024
Contact: Kyle Hall, 972-398-9888,

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.

Thursday, 26 February 2009, 3-4:30 p.m. - Austin, TX - Author Christopher Dickey discusses his new book: SECURING THE CITY showing how the New York Police Department (NYPD) counter-terrorism division has made itself one of the best in the business. A review of the book is here:
The talk is occurring here: Knight Center of Journalism/ University of Texas – Austin, 3.128 Sinclair Suite, Texas Union, The University of Texas at Austin. Contact: Jennifer Potter-Andreu, 512-471-1391

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 Berg�re 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 caf� 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:

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

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 the Colorado Judicial System.
Please RSVP to Tom Van Wormer at 719-5708505 or 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 ~ or Art ~

19 March 2009 – San Francisco, CA – The AFIO Jim Quesada Chapter hosts Major Brian Shul, USAF, ret. The topic will be spy plane SR-71.
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 trout or corn beef) no later than 5PM 3/10/09: or mail check made out to "AFIO" to:
Mariko Kawaguchi, P.O. Box 117578 Burlingame, CA 94011. (650) 622-9840 X608

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.

24-25 March 2009 - McLean, VA - NMIA hosts their 2009 National Intelligence Symposium at The MITRE Corporation Auditorium conducted at the SECRET/NOFORN security level.
The first session will include speakers from the DOD perspective and then each of the Service – level organizations who will address changes in budget, priorities, personnel, and mission. The second session focuses on Defense Intelligence Agency support to the warfighter.
Program details and online registration:
Questions: Contact the National Military Intelligence Association (NMIA) Voice: 540-338-1143 or Fax: 703-738-7487 Email:
REGISTRATION FEE: $395. Telephone requests for refund will not be accepted.
Security Information: Visit Requests need to be submitted to MITRE for all Visitors attending a Classified Meeting. Requests should be submitted at least five days prior to the meeting date.

25 - 27 March 2009 - Raleigh, NC - "Lady Spies and the Ancient Art of Seduction" is theme of The 6th annual Raleigh Spy Conference The conference salutes lady spies - and their counterparts on the other side - with expert speakers delivering riveting tales of espionage.
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.
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 P. 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. LEONA P. SCHECTER is a distinguished historian and literary agent. Over the past twenty four years, she has brought to publication more than 125 books including non-fiction, literary novels and detective fiction. She has co-authored four books with her husband Jerrold Schecter: An American Family in Moscow (Little, Brown 1975) and Back In the USSR (Scribner’s 1988),with their five children, and the landmark history of Soviet secret intelligence operations, Special Tasks with Pavel Sudoplatov and Anatoli Sudoplatov. Their book, Sacred Secrets, How Soviet Intelligence Operations Changed American History, was published in June 2002 by Brassey’s. She has sold two films to Hollywood based on books for which she was the agent and participated in the production of Back in the USSR, a documentary for Frontline on public televsion. She recently had two best selling books on former President Ronald Reagan and is the agent for Zbigniew Brzezinski’s current best seller with Brent Scowcroft, America and The World, Basic Books, 2008. She is currently at work on an espionage novel.
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 on this topic 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
Information about Raleigh, North Carolina USA can be found at
For map of downtown Raleigh area: click here
For an interactive map of Raleigh area: click here .
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: check made out to "L.A. Area AFIO" mailed to Arthur Brooks 272 Lasky Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90212

Wednesday, 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

Thursday, 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.

Tuesday, 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. 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

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 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

30 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

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

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 Symphony Hall for a special Boston Pops Concert celebrating our nation’s 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 America’s 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. Join other AFIO members and friends in the Hatch Room lounge located behind the orchestra level for a social hour before the performance begins. For tickets, call Symphony Hall Charge at 888-266-1200 or online at Tickets sell from $18.00 to $85.00 and are now on sale.  After purchasing your tickets, please contact Gary at  so I can add your name to the list to look for at the 1 hour social prior to the concert. Ticket prices for attending this concert does not include a gift to AFIO however the Association of Former Intelligence Officers relies greatly upon the generosity of members, corporations, foundations, and the general public who understand and wish to encourage sound intelligence policy and education in the United States.  These gifts allow AFIO and its chapters to carry out important activities in the areas of education, advocacy, seminars, publications, and conferences. Please help by making a financial donation to AFIO. Tax receipts will be issued for donations of $100 or more (does not include Pops ticket cost).  All gifts to AFIO are tax deductible.  AFIO is an IRS approved 501(c)(3) charity. We request this be done separately if you are able to contribute to AFIO. Gifts may be made here.

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


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