AFIO Weekly Intelligence Notes #11-09 dated 24 March 2009
Air America: Upholding the Airmen’s Bond
April 18, 2009
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Section I - INTELLIGENCE HIGHLIGHTS
Netanyahu Aide Says US Barring Him Over Spy Probe. Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu's choice for national security adviser said he has been denied an entry visa to the United States for the past two years because U.S. authorities linked him to a Pentagon spy case.
Israeli officials refused to publicly discuss the case of Uzi Arad, a former Mossad intelligence officer and close Netanyahu aide. A U.S. State Department official said visa records are confidential under American law and cannot be discussed.
Arad said American officials erroneously tied him to Lawrence A. Franklin, a former Defense Department official who pleaded guilty to providing classified defense information to two pro-Israel lobbyists. Franklin was sentenced to more than 12 years in prison.
The two former lobbyists for American Israel Public Affairs Committee - Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman - have been charged with illegally disclosing sensitive national defense information to people who are not entitled to receive it.
The 2005 indictment against Franklin refers to a meeting he held at the Pentagon cafeteria with "a person previously associated with an intelligence agency of Foreign Nation A and discussed a Middle Eastern country's nuclear program."
Arad confirmed he was indeed that person and had discussed Iran with Franklin, but insisted the 2004 meeting was "superficial" and had nothing to do with the charges against the Pentagon spy.
"We had coffee and we talked about the agenda of the day - nothing classified, nothing secret, nothing related to espionage," Arad told The Associated Press Wednesday. "If I was not a Mossad employee in the past, they would not have noticed me. My sin was that I was in the past in the Mossad. It's not a big deal, and I believe that this issue will be resolved."
Arad confirmed that two years ago, he applied for a visa and but was denied, under section 212-3 (A) of the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act, which bars entry for those suspected of intent to engage in espionage or sabotage. Arad said he has not applied for a visa since.
He said Israeli Foreign Ministry officials have provided American authorities with assurances that he was unrelated to the affair. He also said he had offered to take a polygraph test to prove it.
It is unclear whether the United States shares Arad's version of the events because no one has spoken openly about the matter.
"With regard to visa records, they are confidential under U.S. law, so I am not able to discuss any particular case," State Department spokesman Robert Wood said Wednesday.
Israeli officials also would not discuss the case.
During Netanyahu's first term as prime minister a decade ago, Arad served as his foreign policy adviser while on leave from the Mossad. He officially retired from the Mossad in 1999, and has since headed a think tank at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, north of Tel Aviv.
Arad has recently accompanied Netanyahu in some of his highest profile meetings. He sat in on Netanyahu's meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton during her visit to Israel this month.
Arad said the Franklin affair did not come up in his meetings with top American officials during the visit, and that his relations with administration officials were excellent. [AP/18March2009]
Israeli Army Uses PIs to Spy on Suspect Dodgers. Israeli, female, and looking to dodge the draft? Don't get caught kissing.
With more 18-year-old females claiming religious modesty as grounds for exemption from male-dominated military life, Israel's army is hiring investigators to spy on suspected draft evaders, catching them doing decidedly unreligious things.
The army says the surveillance program began last year and has caught 520 young women, many who admitted they did not deserve the religious exemption and signed up for military service.
Claiming religious devotion has long been an easy route out of conscription, but now the army sees two trends thinning its ranks: draft-dodging in general among both sexes, and an upsurge among women, nearly 40 percent of whom now take the quick and easy religious option.
The army's fightback became public this month when grainy footage was leaked to Israeli media showing a young woman in a tight shirt appearing to kiss a young man - something no religious, unmarried female would do in public.
Ben Shaoul said the couple later entered an elevator - all of this on a Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath, when devout Jews are supposed to avoid using machinery and electricity.
Filmed from behind, the woman could not be identified from the footage. But investigators said the woman had claimed a religious exemption, and undertook army duty after she was presented with evidence of her misdeeds.
Catching the draft-dodgers is fairly straightforward: "It takes one weekend," said Ben Shaoul. The young women are usually caught driving on Saturday, drinking or smoking.
Maya Buskila, a pop star known for her skin-baring outfits and provocative dancing, claimed she was religious when called to service 12 years ago. After the draft-dodging spotlight was belatedly focused on her last year, she undertook a symbolic spell of army duty, reportedly to educate women on the importance of serving. Now sequestered in a luxury villa as a participant in Israel's version of the "Big Brother" TV show, she could not be reached for comment.
Ben Shaoul said the military contracted seven private surveillance firms after officers reported warning signs - too many women claiming to be religious yet vague on Jewish prayers and holidays.
Although some Israeli media described the use of private investigators as having "big-brother" overtones, it has raised few eyebrows in Israel. Here the army is seen as the country's one unifying force, all males are expected to serve three years and women two, and secular resentment over exemptions on religious grounds runs high.
Yet draft evasion is spreading as the middle class expands and the military is increasingly seen as a career-disrupter.
In 1991, 21 percent of women avoided service on religious grounds, according to army figures; last year the figure was 36 percent, even though overall only around 20 percent of Israelis classify themselves as religious.
Numbers for men are running high too - from around one-fifth in 1995 to almost one-third in 2007, largely because the Orthodox are Israel's fastest-growing Jewish population group.
The army has worked hard to make the military more attractive to women. Women now fly helicopters, instruct artillery squads and serve as paramilitary police.
Still, most do clerical jobs that many say are pointless.
Other women say they had a fulfilling experience. Yael Shahar served as a sniper and as a reservist in a hostage rescue unit.
CIA Group Formed to Review Detainee Policies. The CIA's new director announced the creation Monday of an internal group to assemble information about the intelligence agency's controversial rendition, detention and interrogation practices.
CIA director Leon Panetta said "large volumes of old information - much of it overlapping" needed to be gathered for reviews being undertaken both within the administration and the Senate Intelligence Committee.
The group "will assemble data and formulate coordinated positions on the complex, often controversial, questions that define rendition, detention, and interrogation," Panetta said.
The announcement came the day after the disclosure of an International Committee of the Red Cross report that detailed torture of Al-Qaeda detainees in secret CIA prisons.
On being confirmed to lead the intelligence agency, Panetta vowed to end those practices but has opposed investigation of actions by CIA officers that were authorized by the Justice Department during the previous administration.
Panetta said he had been assured by the leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee that the goal of their investigation was "to draw lessons for future policy decisions, not to punish those who followed guidance from the Department of Justice."
Panetta said the CIA review would be led by Peter Clement, a senior leader of the CIA's intelligence directorate, and would involve officers from across the agency, including its operations branch, the National Clandestine Service.
He said he had asked former senator Warren Rudman, a Republican, to serve as his special advisor on the senate inquiry. [AP/17March2009]
CIA Releases Newly Declassified Assessments of Vietnam War-Era Intelligence. The On March 13, the CIA Center for the Study of Intelligence released six volumes of previously classified books detailing various aspects of the CIA's operations in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos in the '60s and '70s.
The works were distributed and discussed at a conference hosted by Texas Tech University's Vietnam Center and Archive.
The documents, penned by CIA historian Thomas L. Ahern Jr., draw on operations files as well as interviews with key participants to review American foreign policy and provide what CIA chief historian Gerald K. Haines calls a sharp analytical look at CIA programs and reporting from the field.
Ahern covers topics including the CIA's rural pacification efforts in South Vietnam, efforts to stabilize and democratize South Vietnam following the fall of President Ngo Dinh Diem, intelligence officers' failure to identify and monitor munitions supply lines to lower South Vietnam, and failed black entry insertion efforts into North Vietnam.
The books, scanned and stored on DVDs, were distributed to participants at the annual Vietnam Center Conference where this years' topic was Laos, Cambodia, and Thailand and the Vietnam War.
Steve Maxner, director of the Vietnam Center, said the documents were released at the conference to ensure that the international slate of historians and other scholars and veterans who attended the event had access to the materials.
"One of the rights that Americans take pride in is their freedom to access information," Maxner said. "The government engages in activities that must remain out of the public eye, and that means that while failures often get a lot of press, many successes don't. These books present a very honest look at both the successes and failures of the intelligence community during that time period."
Plus, it makes good reading.
"These materials are the kind of thing you see in spy books and movies, but this is the real thing," Maxner said.
The Center for the Study of Intelligence was founded in 1974 and comprises both professional historians and experienced practitioners who work to document lessons learned from past operations, explore the needs and expectations of intelligence consumers and stimulate serious debate on current and future intelligence challenges.
Ahern was a covert operations officer in the CIA for 35 years and retired from the CIA in 1989 after five tours of duty in Asia, including three in Indochina. He was chief of base or stations in Africa, the Middle East and Europe. After retirement he joined the CIA history staff. [KCBD/17March2009]
Obama’s Cyber Czar. The Obama administration is moving ahead with plans to name a cybersecurity czar, and National Security Agency (NSA) Director Lt. Gen. Keith B. Alexander is the leading candidate for the post.
According to U.S. government officials, President Obama plans to promote Gen. Alexander to four-star rank and give him wide-ranging authority to implement the new Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative.
Word of Gen. Alexander's likely appointment comes as the Department of Homeland Security's senior official in charge of cybersecurity, Rod A. Beckstrom, resigned this week to protest what he said was excessive NSA and military influence over cybersecurity policies.
The electronic intelligence-gathering NSA is one of the least public but most effective of the 16 U.S. intelligence agencies. Mostly in secret, NSA has been leading U.S. government efforts to secure computer and other information networks and to block foreign electronic attacks on U.S. systems, which for the Pentagon number tens of thousands of electronic attempts every day. The agency during the past several months has begun receiving tens of millions of dollars in Pentagon funds under the Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative (CNCI), said defense officials familiar with the program.
Dennis C. Blair, the retired admiral who is director of national intelligence, told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday that the Obama administration is reviewing the security initiative "to ensure it is consistent with its own cybersecurity policy."
Mr. Blair said a number of nations, including Russia and China, have technical cyberwarfare capabilities that can disrupt elements of the U.S. information infrastructure as well as gather intelligence. Terrorist and criminal groups also conduct cyberattacks.
White House National Security Council spokesman Mike Hammer declined to comment on Gen. Alexander's candidacy for the cyber-czar post. [Gertz/WashingtonTimes/12March2009]
Information Warfare Is Crucial in Combating Terrorism. The fight against international terrorism is not just one that is to be carried on the battlefield, according to a new study conducted by Israeli researchers. Rather, information warfare is at the forefront of the struggle, and the support of the population of any country can be won or lost very easily through TV shows, newspapers, or the Internet. Security experts warn that the Western world, as well as Israel, are currently on the defensive with this section of the war, and that they must even out the odds, or move to the offensive, if the counter-attacks are to be successful.
The new paper, published in the National Security College's journal Bitachon Leumi, is authored by University of Haifa Ezri Center for the Study of Iran and the Gulf researcher Dr. Yaniv Levyatan. Dr. Levyatan argues that information is oftentimes even more important when dealing with terrorist groups than conventional weapons and open confrontations.
"The terrorist organizations invest efforts in information warfare tools, which enables them to bridge the physical gap between them and their conventional fighting forces. Today, these organizations frequently hold an advantageous stance in this field," the expert says.
"There is a major difference between gathering intelligence for military fighting and gathering intelligence for information warfare. Intelligence for information warfare must relate to components such as who the enemy's elitists are, what their social structure is, and what their political and tribal affiliations are. It is important to know what symbols are significant to the opponents, what the population's primary information channels are, and which messages would be engaged or discarded," the study also reads.
"Information is a weapon, and just like an army invests in tanks and planes, the army must also invest in information weapons. The army must develop abilities and skills that are not always considered as an intrinsic part of its activities - such as computer games, culture products, video clips, and television programs. When the army succeeds in presenting a product of information that incriminates the guerrilla organization, it might be able to meet its required target more efficiently than if it had acted with physical force," Levyatan concludes. [Vieru/Softpedia/19March2009]
Supreme Court Briefs Claim Cuban Spies Received Unfair Trial in Miami. Nobel laureates, scholars and international organizations have flooded the U.S. Supreme Court with legal briefs in support of five convicted Cuban spies, arguing the defendants were sandbagged from the start because the Miami trial took place in a city defined by decades of anti-Castro fervor.
A dozen amicus briefs focus mainly on U.S. District Judge Joan Lenard's denial of a defense motion to move the trial 25 miles north to Fort Lauderdale.
Her refusal "guaranteed that jurors would be drawn from a cross-section of a community inflamed by passion, warped by prejudice, awed by violence and menaced by the virulence of public opinion," according to a petitions filed by the Civil Rights Clinic at Howard University School of Law in Washington, D.C.
The Howard brief has particularly offended the Cuban-American community, said Roland Sanchez-Medina, president of the Cuban American Bar Association. If the Supreme Court decides to hear the case, he said his organization would respond with an amicus brief of its own.
Ed Guedes, a CABA member and Greenberg Traurig partner in Miami, said the Howard brief is profoundly distressing, deeply demoralizing and surprising since it was written by Anderson Bellegarde Francois, associate professor at the Civil Rights Clinic, and Kurt L. Schmoke, the dean and professor of the law school.
The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the trial court's venue decision, but it took an en banc panel to reverse a panel decision ordering a new trial for all defendants.
Tom Goldstein of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld in Washington, who is handling the Supreme Court appeal for the convicted spies, noted support for the defendants has come "from people from all over the world."
Judge Lenard ruled anti-Castro hostility related "to events other than the espionage activities in which defendants were allegedly involved," and any partiality could be vetted during jury selection.
The Howard brief said it does not claim Miami "is the contemporary reiteration or moral equivalent of Jim Crow society" but repeatedly compares Jim Crow laws mandating segregation to the situation in Miami during the spy trial.
"Agents of the [Fidel] Castro government summoned in the minds of Miami jurors the same emblem of fear and loathing that black defendants conjured in the imagination of white Jim Crow jurors," the brief concludes.
Sanchez-Medina asserted, "To make these allegations of an ethic group, if it was anyone else but Cuban-Americans, they would be vilified by every media outlet and every organization against racial bias."
The convicted secret agents - Gerardo Hernandez, Fernando Gonzalez, Rene Gonzalez, Antonio Guerrero and Ramon Labanino - are spread out across the country in federal prisons. They were convicted in 2001 as part of the so-called "Wasp Network," which targeted U.S. military bases from Key West to Tampa, Fla.
The men said they monitored activist exile groups to thwart terrorism in Havana, which experienced a number of bombings in the late 1990s, and focused only on publicly available information on the U.S. military.
Gerardo Hernandez also was convicted of murder conspiracy for feeding information about the anti-Castro group Brothers to the Rescue before two of its planes were shot down in international skies by a Cuban MiG, killing the four men aboard in 1996.
The trial took place during another surge in anti-Castro fervor. The U.S. government took 6-year-old Elian Gonzalez by force from his Miami relatives to return him to his father in his native Cuba.
No Cuban-Americans ended up on the jury, but defense attorneys say the community made its presence known.
Besides the venue issue, Goldstein's petition asked the court to review Judge Lenard's decision on the impact of prosecution peremptory strikes on the jury's racial makeup and the basis for the murder conspiracy count against Hernandez. Goldstein also said the government should have been required to prove the planes shot down by the Cuban regime's air force did not enter the island's airspace.
The amicus brief submitted on behalf of the 10 Nobel laureates, including German author Günter Grass and East Timor president Jose Ramos-Horta, tells the court that the convictions set a negative example for countries where the rule of law is not firmly established.
Federal prosecutors exploited this fervor by telling jurors the Cuban government had a stake in the outcome of the case and jurors would be abandoning their community unless they convicted the defendants, according to the Nobel winners' brief.
To drive the point home, the Nobel laureates quote testimony by jury candidate David Cuevas, who said, "I would feel a little bit intimidated and maybe a little fearful for my own safety if I didn't come back with a verdict that was in agreement with what the Cuban community feels." [Pacenti/DailyBusinessReview/20March2009]
Two Arrested in Germany on Charges of Espionage in Kosovo. Two men have been charged with espionage for allegedly feeding classified German government information to organized crime and foreign intelligence contacts in Macedonia and Kosovo.
Anton Robert K., a 42-year-old German, allegedly passed along information while working at the German diplomatic mission in the Kosovo capital Pristina to Murat A., a 28-year-old Macedonian with ties to organized crime and "foreign intelligence," prosecutors said in a statement.
Both men, whose full names were not given, were arrested earlier this month in the Stuttgart area and indicted on the charges Tuesday before a federal judge, prosecutors said. Anton Robert K. faces a possible 10 years in prison if convicted on charges of betrayal of state secrets, while Murat A. faces a possible 5 years if convicted of receiving state secrets.
Anton Robert K. worked in the German mission in 2007 and 2008 and Murat A. was employed as his translator, prosecutors said. In the course of his work, the German man had access to "sensitive information" that he passed along to Murat A. despite knowing that he had contacts with organized crime in both Kosovo and Macedonia, prosecutors said.
Murat A. is alleged to have then fed the information to "people linked with organized crime, or foreign intelligence agencies," prosecutors said.
It was not clear from the prosecutors' office statement whether money changed hands, nor what countries' intelligence agencies may have been involved, and spokesman Frank Wallenta refused to comment beyond the release.
German federal police are still investigating the case. [SeattleTimes/20March2009]
U.S. Arrests Man For Shipment to Iran of Helicopter Engines, Aerial Cameras. A multi-agency task force today announced an arrest and indictment of a suspected arms trafficker who sought to ship helicopter engines and advanced aerial cameras to Iran. The mastermind of the sale allegedly intended to use companies in Malaysia, Ireland and the Netherlands to funnel the arms to Iranian entities, including the Iran Aircraft Manufacturing Industrial Company. That company was designated on September 17, 2008 by the Treasury Department with other Iranian firms for activities in support of WMD proliferation and for providing support to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.
Iranian citizen Hossein Ali Khoshnevisrad was arrested on Saturday when he arrived at San Francisco International Airport. According to an affidavit filed in the case, in 2007 Khoshnevisrad and his company, Ariasa, purchased 17 turbo-shaft helicopter engines from Rolls-Royce Corp. in Indiana. The helicopter engines were then exported from the U.S. to a "book publisher" in Malaysia, and later shipped to Iran. Additionally, in 2006 Khoshnevisrad instructed a Dutch aviation parts company to order several aerial panorama cameras designed for use on bombers, fighters and surveillance aircraft, from a Pennsylvania company and then ship them to Iran.
The case shows that the Iranian regime continues to acquire advanced Western technology, by any means necessary, for military use. [Cochran/CounterTerrorismBlog/19March2009]
CIA Reveals it Has E-Mails, Transcripts Related to Videotaped Torture of Prisoners. The Justice Department disclosed that the CIA has about 3,000 documents, including e-mails, transcripts and cables to officials in Washington, related to the videotaped interrogations of alleged "high-value" prisoners that the agency destroyed.
The disclosure was made as part of an ongoing lawsuit between the CIA and the American Civil Liberties Union. The Justice Department faced a Friday deadline in turning over an inventory of documents in its possession related to the videotaped interrogations. In a previous court filing, the Justice Department said "the CIA is not aware of any transcripts of the destroyed videotapes." But that assumption was undercut by the Friday's court filing which said otherwise.
The civil liberties organization had filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the CIA to gain access to documents and other materials regarding the interrogation and treatment of detainees. In December 2007, shortly after news broke that the CIA destroyed its library of videotaped interrogations of two detainees, the ACLU filed a contempt motion against the spy agency.
Last August, the judge presiding over the case ordered the CIA to produce "a list of any summaries, transcripts, or memoranda regarding the [destroyed tapes] and of any reconstruction of the records' contents" as well as a list of witnesses who may have viewed the videotapes or retained custody of the videotapes before their destruction.
The ACLU's lawsuit against the CIA has thus far revealed that a dozen of the 92 videotapes the CIA had destroyed showed interrogators torturing two "high-value" prisoners. CIA officials had said the videotapes were destroyed to prevent disclosure of evidence revealing how the agency's interrogators subjected "war on terror" detainees to waterboarding and other brutal methods.
In a one-page letter sent Friday to U.S. District Court Judge Alvin Hellerstein, Led Dassin, acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said the 3,000 documents includes "cables, memoranda, notes and emails." However, Dassin refused to disclose the documents publicly and told Judge Hellerstein that unredacted versions of the materials would only be available for "in-camera" review on March 26.
Additionally, a list of individuals who viewed the videotapes prior to its destruction "is either classified or otherwise protected by statute."
The Justice Department's position on the documents comes one day after Attorney General Eric Holder issued sweeping new Freedom of Information guidelines for all executive branch agencies to "apply a presumption of openness when administering the FOIA."
"The American people have the right to information about their government's activities, and these new guidelines will ensure they are able to obtain that information under principles of openness and transparency," Holder said Thursday.
However, Holder added that FOIA requests would be denied and records withheld "only if the agency reasonably foresees that disclosure would harm an interest protected by one of the statutory exemptions, or disclosure is prohibited by law." But even then, all federal agencies were directed to at least "release records in part whenever they cannot be released in full."
The ACLU criticized the Justice Department Thursday for continuing to withhold documents related to the destruction of the torture tapes.
Two weeks ago, the Justice Department turned over to the ACLU a heavily censored page of what appears to be a CIA internal report about the torture of "war on terror" detainees, which read: "Interrogators administered [redacted] waterboard to Al-Nashiri."
The same page indicated that a dozen of 92 destroyed videotapes of the CIA's interrogations were of detainees undergoing brutal treatment. "There are 92 videotapes, 12 of which include EIT [enhanced interrogation techniques] applications," the page says. [Leopold/OpEdNews/21March2009]
Growth In Al Qaeda's Presence Seen. Al Qaeda has expanded its presence in Afghanistan, taking advantage of the sinking security situation to resurface in the country it was forced to flee seven years ago, according to the top U.S. military intelligence official.
Army Lt. Gen. Michael D. Maples, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, described Al Qaeda's efforts as one of the reasons for the Obama administration's decision last month to order additional troops to Afghanistan.
Afghanistan is no longer the haven for Al Qaeda that it was before the Sept. 11 attacks in the United States. But in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Maples said, "I believe Al Qaeda's presence in Afghanistan is more significant, although still at a relatively minor scale, than we have seen in the past."
Maples also cited intelligence indicating that Iran is playing a more active role in supporting a militant group based in Pakistan that is launching attacks against U.S. and Afghan forces.
Maples testified alongside Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair in a hearing that covered an array of national security threats.
Blair sought to clarify the intelligence community's views about Iran's nuclear ambitions, after recent comments from senior military officials created confusion about whether Tehran has already acquired enough nuclear material to make a bomb.
"We assess now that Iran does not have any highly enriched uranium," Blair said.
Iran has stockpiled low- enriched uranium that could fuel a nuclear power plant or be refined for a bomb. Asked whether Tehran intends to take that step, Blair said, "We assess that Iran has not yet made that decision."
Iran's ambitions in Afghanistan are also uncertain. The Islamic Republic's Shiite Muslim leaders "don't want to see a Taliban-dominated Afghanistan," Maples said, referring to the Sunni regime that protected Al Qaeda.
But U.S. intelligence officials believe that Iran has provided weapons and other support to elements of the Taliban insurgency as part of an effort to destabilize Afghanistan and threaten U.S. forces. [Miller/LATimes/11March2009]
Yemeni Court Issues Death Sentence in Israel Spying Case. Yemen's state security court has issued a death sentence in the case of a Yemeni man accused of spying for Israel. Two other men received jail sentences of three and five years in the same case. Presiding judge Mouhssien Alwan said the court convicted the trio after it checked the evidence and found out that it was "clear enough to let the court have the degree of certainty to convict them."
The prosecution has charged the three young men with establishing contacts with Israel's former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, offering to work as agents for the Mossad intelligence agency.
The group's leader, Bassam Abdullah al-Haidari, 26, received the death sentence. Ali Abdullah al-Mahfal, 24, received a five-year jail sentence, while Emad Ali al-Raimi, 23, got a three-year jail term.
Prosecutors have said the group had sent letters by email to the Israeli premier, offering to work for Mossad.
They said the defendants had received a positive reply from Israeli officials, who allegedly welcomed the offer.
The three men were part of a group of six suspects arrested last October over alleged links to Mossad. The three others were released before the trial, due to a lack of evidence.
The arrests followed the bombing of the US embassy in Sana'a last September, the responsibility for which was later claimed by al- Qaeda.
Officials have said the group sentenced Monday operated under a fake name, the "Islamic Jihad of Yemen," and issued false statements claiming responsibility for the US embassy attack, in which 18 people were killed, including six attackers. [EarthTimes/22March2009]
US Predator Strikes Hurt Al-Qaeda. A six-month campaign of Predator strikes in Pakistan has seriously damaged the Al-Qaeda structure there, forcing militants to turn on one another as they search for culprits.
Unnamed US intelligence and counter-terrorism officials say the pace of the attacks has increased dramatically after the administration of former president George W. Bush abandoned the practice of obtaining permission from the Pakistani government before launching strikes from the unmanned aircraft.
Since the end of August, the CIA reportedly has carried out at least 38 Predator strikes in northwest Pakistan, compared to 10 reported attacks in 2006 and 2007 combined. And the Obama administration is set to continue the strikes.
"This last year has been a very hard year for them," the Los Angeles Times quotes a senior US counter-terrorism official as saying of Al-Qaeda militants. "They're losing a bunch of their better leaders. But more importantly, at this point they're wondering who's next."
The official also said that Al-Qaeda leaders in Pakistan "have started hunting down people who they think are responsible" for security breaches.
"People are showing up dead or disappearing," the official added.
According to The Times, the stepped-up Predator campaign has killed at least nine senior Al-Qaeda leaders and dozens of lower-ranking operatives.
Among those killed since August are Rashid Rauf, the suspected mastermind of an alleged 2006 transatlantic airliner plot; Abu Khabab Masri, who was described as the leader of Al-Qaeda's chemical and biological weapons efforts; Khalid Habib, an operations chief allegedly involved in plots against the West; and Usama al-Kini, who allegedly helped orchestrate the September bombing of the Marriott Hotel in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, the paper said.
Many of the dead are longtime Osama bin Laden loyalists who had worked with him since the 2001 US-led invasion of Afghanistan, the report said.
They are being replaced by less experienced recruits, according to The Times. [AP/22March2009]
New Bill Could Shift Federal Cybersecurity Work From DHS To White House. CNet reports on legislation currently being drafted that would transfer federal cybersecurity responsibilities away from the Department of Homeland Security. Instead, they would fall under the authority of the Executive Office of the President, creating an Office of the National Cybersecurity Advisor.
A tech commission recommended relieving the DHS of cybersecurity responsibilities late last year, saying it simply wasn't prepared to deal with organized online threats. More recently, the director of the DHS's National Cybersecurity Center resigned, citing interference from the NSA.
The new legislation would "put the White House National Cybersecurity Advisor in charge of coordinating cyber efforts within the intelligence community and within civilian agencies, as well as coordinating the public sector's cooperation with the private sector. The advisor would have the authority to disconnect from the Internet any federal infrastructure networks - or other networks deemed to be 'critical' - if found to be at risk of a cyberattack. [LinuxPlus/22March2009]
Feds Say Husband and Wife Sold Tech to China. A Walter Reed Army Medical Center worker and his wife were charged in mid-March with conspiring to sell sensitive technology to China.
A Washington grand jury indicted Harold Hanson, a former Army lieutenant colonel, and his wife, Yaming Nina Qi Hanson, for conspiracy and violating export laws.
The wife was charged last month in a criminal complaint. Her husband was working at Walter Reed as a civilian handling patient safety issues.
Authorities allege that the Silver Spring, Md., couple exported miniature controls for unmanned aircraft. The controls involve technology that cannot be shared with China because of national security concerns.
The devices are used to fly small military reconnaissance planes.
Qi Hanson is accused of taking the controls to China last August without an export license.
Prosecutors say her husband arranged over e-mail to buy the controls from a Canadian company, MicroPilot of Manitoba. Company officials told the couple they could ship the controls to the United States but the couple would have to get an export permit to send the controls to another country.
Harold Hanson claimed the controls were going to be used by a model airplane club in Xi'an, China. But Canadian officials objected, questioning why automated controls would be used for model airplanes that are typically flown manually. Hanson replied that "typical of Asian men, these modelers want the very best product on the market." [WashingtonPost/13March2009]
Section II - CONTEXT & PRECEDENCE
What Plane? Back in the 1950s, there was a top-secret program code-named SUNTAN being conducted at a top-secret facility called Skunk Works. Its objective? To develop a liquid-hydrogen-powered spy plane. Because liquid hydrogen is incredibly volatile, early experiments were conducted inside a bomb shelter with eight-foot-thick walls.
The engineer in charge built what he called his "own hydrogen-liquefaction plant." At first, tests began in Dixie cups, but before long the place was producing more liquid hydrogen than anywhere in America. "We wore grounded shoes and couldn't carry keys or any metallic objects that might spark," he recalls. "We installed a nonexplosive electrical system and used only nonsparking tools."
Still, storing liquid hydrogen presents a very clear danger. And in the spring of 1959, a stove only 700 feet away from the tank caught fire. Extinguishers were ineffective. When local firefighters showed up, they didn't have top-secret security clearances, so according to the engineer, the facility's guards wouldn't let them on site. Fortunately, the hydrogen tank did not explode, but with the project capable of blowing up the surrounding area, it was deemed too dangerous to proceed. The public was never the wiser, Project SUNTAN met its end, and Skunk Works returned millions in "black operation" money to the Air Force. The thing is, that covert spy-plane project was but one in a long line of secret projects being worked on at the same hide-in-plain-sight location - Burbank.
The facility was Lockheed Aircraft Corporation - now Lockheed Martin - and the engineer, later the director of Lockheed's supersecret division, was Ben Rich. And all of this really did happen in beautiful downtown Burbank. Colonized by a dentist in 1867, it's the sleepy L.A. suburb that, a century later, Johnny Carson would immortalize as the picture of normal and nondescript.
Who would have thought that in the 1950s, Burbank was a hotbed of international espionage? "It would have been hard for people to imagine the kinds of things we were doing there," says Edward Lovick, the 90-year-old California physicist who worked at Lockheed in the Skunk Works facility (also called Advanced Development Projects) and would become known among colleagues as the grandfather of stealth.
After work on the liquid-hydrogen plane was halted, the goal for Skunk Works became developing an invisible aircraft - invisible to radar, that is. With stealth technology, the U.S. could spy on its Cold War adversaries without running the risk of getting caught. These days, the idea of stealth bombers is business as usual - heck, they even do flyovers at football games. But back then, inventing the technology was a strictly clandestine activity.
So it was in Burbank that, beginning in 1958, Lovick and a team of scientists and engineers indeed created the invisible airplane - something all kids dream of but hardly imagine could be happening next door. Even though the 2,000 mph aircraft, code-named OXCART, was developed back when Eisenhower was president, it was not declassified by the CIA until 2007. Like its predecessor the U-2 spy plane, OXCART was a collaborative effort between the CIA, the U.S. Air Force and Lockheed. Eisenhower had expressly put the CIA in charge because the Air Force was under tight congressional scrutiny, while the CIA could run OXCART as a black operation - meaning covert and deniable.
Lovick, sporting a colorful Hawaiian shirt and khaki pants and observing the world through large, wire-rimmed glasses, now offers us his perspective on Burbank through the long lens of recollection. He is seated in his home in the San Fernando Valley, surrounded by books, maps and small-scale models of the spy planes he worked on during his 40-year career at Lockheed. Quick-witted and endlessly full of ideas, Lovick and his wife, Sherre, also a former member of Skunk Works (and the person who, on another project, made the window on the catamaran-like ship called Sea Shadow invisible to radar), have recently returned from a grand European tour.
"In the 1940s, Lockheed produced airplanes like the P-38 Lightning, which helped us win the war," Lovick says. "In the 1950s, Lockheed designed and built the famous U-2." In May, 1960, Francis Gary Powers was shot down in a U-2 over Russia, and the CIA knew it needed a better spy plane. "Actually, the Russians had been tracking the U-2 long before Powers was shot down. It was only a matter of time before that happened, and the CIA knew it, which is why they had us working on a successor aircraft at the Skunk Works." The idea for the new spy plane, originally called the U-3, "was to add stealth as an element from paper to plane."
As Louis Pasteur once remarked, "Fortune favors the prepared mind," and this was certainly true in Lovick's case. He was Lockheed's radar and antennae expert at the time and had been working on microwave theory, which is an integral part of stealth, since it advanced as a new science after the war. "Back then, few people cared much about this relatively new technology. Most engineers were learning about wiring - how power was generated and distributed. I began lab experiments with microwave theory at Caltech, and it was there I learned how to guide wave energy through hollow pipes to a specific location. My becoming an expert was simply a case of being the first one to know anything about it at Skunk Works."
As Lockheed's radar man, Lovick grasped how an intimate theoretical knowledge of radar could help in designing a plane that could fool it. So crucial was Lovick's work that he accompanied his Lockheed boss, legendary airplane designer Clarence L. "Kelly" Johnson, on trips to Washington, D.C., for high-level meetings with the CIA. "Right before Lockheed got the new [spy-plane] contract, we went to a hotel room for a meeting. It was Kelly Johnson, a few science advisers to the president, someone from the CIA and myself. Pillows were put over the heating vents, and the room was checked for bugs before any of us spoke," Lovick says. "The CIA, who we called ‘the customer,' was like that. It seemed a little silly to me at the time."
Before you snicker at the cloak and dagger, it's important to remember that it was a tenuous time - the height of the Cold War. Both America and the Soviet Union were preoccupied with spying on each other. The CIA required Lockheed employees to report if anyone "foreign born" tried to befriend them. Word was that pay phones just outside the Burbank headquarters were routinely used by Russian spies hoping to eavesdrop on workers' private calls.
At the same time, each superpower was busy testing nuclear bombs. When considering various forms of espionage available to the CIA - humans, spy planes and satellites (which were then brand new) - aircraft provided a versatile means to secure the most accurate information in determining another country's weapons capability. Eisenhower's goal with the Lockheed spy-plane programs was to get more information on the Soviet Union than it had on us, all to prevent nuclear war. The OXCART was able to take photographs showing clear lines in parking lots - from 90,000 feet.
Lovick says he never felt pressure from Johnson, even though making the aircraft undetectable fell squarely on his desk. "Kelly gave me access to all areas. I was a little bit like a professor. I would roam the Skunk Works buildings and talk to various people. Everyone had knowledge. Most of our advances on the low observables [as in, stealth] came from putting together these different ideas."
If it is hard to imagine the birth of aerial espionage taking place in Burbank, it's even harder to conceive the materials that helped deliver stealth technology to the world. "There were no computers at our disposal," Lovick says. "This meant we made all of our calculations on slide rules. We mixed chemicals in vats. We stomped on things like grape stompers." The results of those hand calculations and old-school chemical trials were astonishing. Not only did Skunk Works create the magic formula that is now known as stealth, but the OXCART flew three times faster than the speed of sound (Mach 3.2), at an altitude 16 miles above the earth. Its state-of-the-art camera could capture 100,000 square miles of terrain per hour. The design was so sophisticated that one of the companies involved remains classified to this day.
It was also Lovick who designed the first anechoic chamber, a shielded, echoless room that allows scientists to test how airplanes will react to radar in the atmosphere. Now standard at all aircraft manufacturers, the one built by Lovick in Burbank was the first of its kind. "It was so quiet in that chamber," he says, "I could hear my blood flowing through my body."
As "Cold War-era" as these spy-plane projects may now seem, it's another key element of aerial espionage born in Burbank that has since become the single most valuable means of surveillance - the pilotless aircraft, or drone, code-named TAGBOARD. Lockheed's D-21 drone project, classified "above top secret," was officially kept quiet until 2007. Lovick designed the plane's antenna, which when it received the necessary signal, would cue the craft to launch off the back of the OXCART.
Because it flew without a pilot, the D-21 was designed to fly over territory where the U.S. was denied access and to take photographs of weapons facilities from altitudes as low as 1,500 feet. But the project was canceled on July 30, 1966, after a fatal accident at sea during the drone's first official launch. CIA test pilot Bill Park and flight engineer Ray Torick were flying the OXCART 150 miles off the Malibu coast. A follow airplane and rescue boat were nearby. The drone was designed to launch up and off the spy plane at Mach 3, but on this night something went terribly wrong. During separation, the drone pitched down and split the aircraft in half. Park and Torick were trapped inside as it fell more than 20,000 feet. Both managed to eject and fall though the air tethered to their parachutes - remarkably escaping the falling debris - and both made successful water landings. The rescue boat located Park, who was fine, but Torick apparently opened his visor upon landing, which caused his suit to fill with water, and he drowned.
Scientists and engineers at Skunk Works were devastated. Lockheed canceled the program, and the CIA/Air Force continued to hone the technology in other programs. But where would Lockheed flight-test its covert aircraft? Designing and building spy planes and drones in beautiful downtown Burbank may have been one of the century's best-kept secrets, but there was no way to fly an oddly shaped, Mach-3 aircraft over the San Fernando Valley without causing public alarm.
For that reason, the CIA had arranged for flight testing to begin at a secret military facility in the Nevada desert - the place the world has come to know as Area 51. Find out more about that in next month's issue of LA. [Jacobson/LATimes/20March2009]
As Spy Meeting Looms, Suspect Still on Agenda. Felix Bloch, the suspected spy never charged with espionage, used to draw a trail of federal agents and meddling media each time he stepped outside his posh apartment in Washington.
These days, the tall, bald, athletically built former diplomat lives in relative anonymity, driving a Chapel Hill bus in a town full of college students who were still in diapers when he was a prime suspect in one of the Cold War's last spy sagas.
"No one knows who he is," said his wife of eight years.
But this week, espionage aficionados will gather in Raleigh for the Sixth Annual Raleigh Spy Conference to ponder "Sexspionage: Famous Women Spies and the Ancient Art of Seduction."
Those who like a good thriller, laced with sultry mystery, won't have to look far in the Triangle for their real-life protagonist. Bloch, once again, will be under their magnifying glass.
Bloch, 73, who lives in a Franklin Street condominium, could not be reached for comment. He drives a Chapel Hill Transit bus, as he has since July 6, 1992, and earns $37,019.
Spy buffs have been fascinated with Bloch for years. In the late 1980s, he was the highest-ranking government official ever to be so publicly branded as a suspected spy for what was then the Soviet Union.
At the time, federal agents alleged that Bloch had passed a briefcase full of government secrets to a Soviet agent. Although agents went to a grand jury with their case, Bloch has never been formally charged.
Nevertheless, he lost his State Department job and quickly fell from envoy to bag boy at a Chapel Hill grocery store.
Bloch came to Chapel Hill nearly a decade ago and set up house with his first wife, Lucille, in the Governor's Club, a golf-course community in northern Chatham County.
He did a brief stint as a bagger in a Chapel Hill Harris Teeter, wearing a Felix B. name tag and asking customers "paper or plastic?"
In 1993, though, he was back in the media spotlight after being arrested and charged with shoplifting gourmet food items -- first from a Chapel Hill Harris Teeter, where he worked, and then in December 1994 from a Carrboro Sav-A-Center.
Bloch was ordered to do community service with the Red Cross for his first charge under a plea arrangement in which his criminal record would be wiped clean. The second charge brought a suspended sentence and his first criminal conviction.
Bloch, whose first marriage unraveled after his tumble from power, was back in the news in February 2001 when former FBI agent Robert Philip Hanssen was arrested on charges of spying for Moscow.
In a court document filed in support of its case against Hanssen, the government said Hanssen tipped off the KGB that Bloch was under scrutiny. The affidavit quoted from a letter the government said Hanssen wrote to the Russians outlining his decision to do so.
Still, years have passed since Hanssen's plea, and government officials never came forward with a charge against Bloch.
For his own part, The New York Times reported, Bloch repeatedly refused to deny guilt, saying instead that he was innocent until proven guilty. He asserted that it was stamps, not intelligence secrets, passed to the KGB agent known as Pierre Bart. Bloch said he did not know Bart was with the KGB and insisted the meeting was an informal dinner between two stamp collectors. [Blythe/NewsObserver/20March2009]
Section III - POLICY
Spy Masters: It's the Economy, Intelligence, by Tim Starks. On the list of U.S. intelligence failures, missing the threat of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and overhyping Iraq's weapons of mass destruction capabilities are the freshest. But these days, intelligence professionals have increasing cause to ponder a cautionary tale from 18 years ago: the unanticipated collapse of the Soviet system because of its economy.
In 1992, then-CIA director and now-Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates conceded that the agency had thought the Soviet Union's economy was far stronger than it actually was. "I would contend also that our quantitative analysis always considerably underestimated the real burden economically of the Soviet military," he said in a speech at the time.
That rueful admission resonates today, with a reeling world economy again forcing economic matters to the forefront of intelligence concerns. In an annual global threat briefing to Congress, Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair said in prepared remarks that "the primary near-term security concern of the United States is the global economic crisis."
After seven years of intelligence community reports that placed a heavy emphasis on terrorism, Blair's declaration was a "sea change," said John Parachini, director of the Intelligence Policy Center at the Rand Corp. But a senior intelligence official, speaking on condition of anonymity to speak more freely, said that Blair's remarks were more shift in emphasis than direction - a "new prism" for examining world events.
Either way, Blair's announcement has serious ramifications for how the intelligence community goes about its own business. Many observers question whether the spy bureaucracy has the personnel and expertise to shift its focus in order to advance a comprehensive reckoning of worldwide economic threats.
"We do not have the best economists in the world working in the intelligence world," said Peter Hoekstra of Michigan, ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee. "There may be some, and no offense to the ones that are there, but I don't think that's where the strongest people who understand banking will be."
More bullish observers note that, aside from major oversights like missing the Soviet collapse, the economic analytic efforts of the intelligence agencies have a solid track record, such as the deft handling of the Mexican peso crisis, brought about by the country's abrupt devaluation of its currency in 1994.
Few dispute, though, the greater security dangers in today's economic crisis. "There is no doubt that the economic challenge that we are facing is a global challenge and is creating a lot of uncertainty around the globe," Hoekstra said. "It's a threat, it's just a different kind of threat than what we're used to dealing with."
Assessing the Threat Intelligence agencies already pursue a wide range of economic investigations, from terror financing to the national security issues arising from foreign-owned companies wanting to purchase U.S. businesses. The annual CIA World Fact Book, a vital source of open-source intelligence, compiles a great deal of economic data.
But the present crisis presents special problems, Blair told Congress. U.S. economic and political leadership faces greater global scrutiny because the meltdown began in the United States. And regions that aren't as well-equipped to ride out extended downturns - such as Latin America, former Soviet republics and sub-Saharan Africa - face instability that could lead to threats to U.S. security. Among the threats, Blair said, could be protectionist trade policies and waves of economic refugees.
In recognition of these overlapping threats, the CIA recently began producing a separate Economic Intelligence Brief for President Obama and key policy officials to review alongside the President's Daily Brief on worldwide threats.
Gary Clyde Hufbauer, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics who has worked with the intelligence community, said Blair's call is correct. "This financial crisis, bordering on a second Great Depression, is much more important than our ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in regard to the U.S. posture in the world today," he said.
Some conservative lawmakers who think the fight against terrorism and hostile states should remain the central focus of intelligence aren't as keen on the proposed policy shift. "I'm as concerned about protectionist trade policies and Caribbean refugees as the next guy," said Republican Christopher S. Bond of Missouri, the vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence panel, in a written statement. "But how can the intelligence community possibly assess that these potential challenges are a greater 'near-term security concern' than the threat from terrorism, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the threat posed by Iran's pursuit of a nuclear capability, and the Middle East crisis?"
However, the Democratic majority in Congress is already showing a marked interest in following up on the implications of Blair's announcement. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a little-noticed roundtable on the policy implications of the economic meltdown shortly before Blair's threat briefing. And the House Armed Services Committee will hold a hearing Wednesday on "security challenges arising from the global financial crisis."
A spokesman for Senate Intelligence Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat, declined to comment. Her House counterpart, Texas Democrat Silvestre Reyes, will be watching the question closely, including the development of the Economic Intelligence Brief, an aide said. Courtney Littig, a spokeswoman for Democrats on Reyes' committee, said that it will review the briefing's implementation and weigh "whether it's really adding value to the process."
In Search of Staff A more immediate concern than the briefing proper is the question of assembling the staff to produce it - whether the U.S. spy complex can marshal the expertise to carry off comprehensive economic assessments and combine them effectively with more conventional geopolitical threat assessments. Some say the spy world is far from ready - and even those who think it is expect that at least some recruiting will be necessary to expand the economic analyst corps.
CIA Director Leon E. Panetta acknowledged the agency would probably need more analysts. "The Directorate [of] Intelligence has an awful lot of capable analysts who already focus on economic issues," Panetta said. "It may require some additional strengths as we deal with different issues, but I think right now, we've got a pretty good crew that can develop that briefing." The CIA is advertising on its Web site for economic analysts.
Although Panetta and others downplay the need to make major changes, many expect a difficult transition. "Rightly or wrongly, the structure of the community is very rigid," said Carl Ford Jr., a former CIA analyst. "Part of our problem," he added, "is we've been a one-trick pony. And when that ride is over, we go to the next threat and ride it."
Hiring top-notch economists could also prove troublesome, considering that many of the top financial minds work on Wall Street. "You offer them government salaries and most of them wouldn't stop laughing for six months. There are magnitudes of difference," Ford said.
Then there is the question of what added value the CIA brings to economic information that is already being obsessively combed over by the private sector and other government agencies, like the Treasury and Commerce Departments.
One former intelligence analyst who requested anonymity in order to speak more freely said the intelligence community appeared merely to be jumping on the "crisis du jour" and was unlikely to have information that couldn't be found elsewhere.
However, Loch K. Johnson, a University of Georgia political scientist specializing in intelligence, noted that during the Mexican peso crisis, the spy community had intelligence sources in Mexico collecting vital economic information. Additionally, intelligence operatives can more easily penetrate governments, like China's, that closely guard economic information than can "open source" economic outlets like The Wall Street Journal, he said.
The active senior intelligence official noted that the intelligence community has become increasingly adept at gathering and using that open-source information as well. Parachini, with the Rand Corp., noted that other segments of the government are less likely to focus on Pakistan, for example, because it is not a major trade partner.
And, that same active official said, the intelligence community vs. Wall Street isn't necessarily as much of a mismatch as it might seem at first blush. For one thing, the official added, the intelligence community may be poised to snag out-of-work Wall Street analysts, since research shops are often the first to go in an economic crunch. For another, the official notes, financiers may not be exactly in a position now to look down on the forecasting ability of government agencies. "I'm not sure Wall Street did such a great job of predicting the predicament we're in now." [CQPolitics/22March2009]
Section III - BOOKS, OBITUARIES, RESEARCH REQUESTS AND COMING EVENTS
Secret Wars. One Hundred Years of British Intelligence Inside MI5 and MI6, by Gordon Thomas. When Sir Winston Churchill resigned from the office of the Prime Minister of Great Britain, in 1955, he was quoted as saying "I will not preside over the dismembering" of what was previously The British Empire. But as the Empire shrank quickly to the size of the United Kingdom, the "Spy-Empire" of MI5 and Mi6, founded in 1909, never receded but expanded world-wide and turned high-tech.
On the eve of its 100th Anniversary, one of the best and most popular British writers, specializing in intelligence, pays a tribute to many generations of British spies and their spy-masters, who have influenced the history of Great Britain and of the world.
His book, "Secret Wars. One Hundred Years of British Intelligence Inside MI5 and MI6" (St.Martin's Press, March 2009), is a fascinating read for everybody, and for intelligence operatives and young secret service recruits, in particular it should be a must. This book is not a history text or a mere chronicle of events, and it's not a panegyric either. "The great advantage of being a writer" - Graham Greene once said - "is that you can spy on people. You're there, listening to every word, but part of you is observing. Everything is useful to a writer, you see - every scrap, even the longest and most boring of luncheon parties." For a greater part of his 75-year-long life, Gordon Thomas was doing just that: meeting spies and spy-masters, not only British but also American, Israeli, Russian, Chinese, Polish, German and many others and listening to their insider's stories. The best and undisputable value of his book is the author's encounters with real flesh and blood intelligence people, including some of them that turned the tide of history.
The research for this book took the author almost 50 years, since the Suez Crisis in 1956, which he had witnessed as a foreign correspondent based in Egypt. From his contacts there he learned about President Naser's plan to nationalize the Canal and he warned the Foreign Office about that - only to be told that if he missed the truth he better forget about his journalist career. He was right. But it was the British Government to fail in their insane plans to assassinate Naser (described in the book) and then to abort a British-French-Israeli invasion of Egypt, secretly conceived not to inform the Americans. Later on Gordon Thomas covered many other events, which had been planned, provoked or carried out with the participation of secret intelligence services. He was introduced to the world of spying by his late father-in-law and life-time friend, a former British covert agent, Joachim Kraner, to whom he later paid a tribute in his writings.
"Secret Wars" is a story of the British Intelligence over the span of a hundred years, since 1909, when MI5 and MI6 (code-names for the military counter-intelligence and intelligence) were founded to prevent an expected German attack on Great Britain. The over-400 page book is not a systematic, chronologically arranged tale. Each of its 20 chapters is a purposeful mixture of past and present events, sometimes with projections into future. For a reader, this book is a fascinating, perfectly composed thriller, which The New York Times described as "Literally impossible to put down."
Mark Twain was quoted as saying: "Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please." He had writing fiction on his mind but his words could just as well be attributed to the distortion of intelligence by politicians. James Angleton, a famous CIA spy-master and spy-catcher, whom Gordon Thomas had interviewed, summarized this unhealthy relationship between intelligence and politics by these words, quoted in the book: "Secrecy from public scrutiny leads to often uncheckable and different accounts of the same events, which are often contradictory and distorted." Thomas' book gives innumerable examples of such misuse of the honest fact-finding by intelligence services, of which a recent one could be a "sexed-up" report about alleged Saddam's WMDs (weapons of mass destruction) that Prime Minister Blair and President Bush used to justify the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
The Great Game often recalled in "Secret Wars" as the never-ending deception war waged by national intelligence agencies was played over the last hundred years by MI5 and MI6 continues. "The color of truth is gray" (Andre Gide), because truth is evasive and often hidden from the public by purposeful cover-up. Generations of British spies, as well as their controllers and masters, contributed to the security of their country, at times preventing national disasters and saving many thousand of lives during wars. But the British (and also American) intelligence services have been, for decades, deeply penetrated and harmed by Soviet "moles," recruited at the best universities, such as Cambridge and Oxford. Gordon Thomas writes about treason within the British services and about a complete failure of the counter-intelligence to detect it. The cases of Kim Philby (a high-ranking British counter-intelligence officer and a long-time Soviet spy) and of nuclear scientists, Klaus Fuchs, Alan Nunn May and Bruno Pontecorvo, who passed top atomic weapons secrets of the West to the Soviets, are perhaps the most significant. The author describes these treason cases with passion and talent and warns that "splendid isolation" of some British heads of The Services and their failure to put together and check simple facts, led to a disaster inside MI5 and MI6 and to a long-term lack of confidence between the British and American intelligence.
As the motivation of the Communist spies inside MI5 and MI6 was mainly ideological, the CIA and FBI suffered even bigger losses due to simple "commercial" motivations of their own traitors, like Ames and Hansen. Greed for money was their only reason to betray the services and the country. Aldrich "Rick" Ames destroyed the American spy network in the Soviet Union in the 1980s and caused the deaths of many Russian CIA agents for a reward of some $ 2.7 million from the KGB. Caught, he admitted with sarcastic grin that "The human spy, in terms of the American espionage effort, had never been terribly pertinent."
Yet the British SIS (MI6) could also score big success with their top spy in the Soviet Russia, Oleg Gordievski, who's brave exfiltration from USSR by a diplomatic car to Finland in 1985 had proven the efficiency of the British intelligence. A former MI6 covert agent, Richard Tomlinson, told the author, referring to SIS chief Collin McColl who worked in Russia and Poland: "Being in SovBlock meant you lived on the tightrope every moment of every day. Someone who could do that had to be very special."
With the collapse of the Soviet Block in the early 1990s, the very nature of the Great Game has changed. The exceptionally high value of Gordon Thomas' book is his factual description and professional assessment of the substantial changes in the intelligence community, caused by new political and military situation of the world at large.
The times of the absolute domination of the two super-powers, the United States and the Soviet Union, have passed forever. For some years, in the 1990s, the U.S. leadership naively believed America could become the only world's super-power to dictate its policy and to promote the democratic values of the West to the rest of the globe. But soon new threats appeared and the United States (and also Britain as their main ally) realized that the world was too complicated to rule and that the peaceful victory in the Cold War was but a temporary success.
"Secret Wars" is a perfect book to prove that. Once again, Gordon Thomas demonstrated his unique talent in grasping of new trends in the Great Game and in the intelligence community. For no one knows how long a time, the world will be a very dangerous place, with many global and regional centers of power, and with growing problems. Terrorism, which was seen by MI5 and MI6 as mainly a local (IRA) problem or as an offspring of the Communist diversion, had developed into a global monster (al-Qaeda) and its main ideological motivation had become radical Islam, or Islamism.
The negligence of this phenomenon by American and British intelligence agencies led to their ineptitude to prevent 9/11 in America in 2001, and the London bombings of 2005. In spite of many efforts to disrupt al-Qaeda, to defeat the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan, to capture or kill Osama bin Laden, the Islamist radical network is still developing and posing a deadly threat to the West and to Asia and Africa. Two extremely dangerous developments added to the threat of international terrorism: bio-terrorism and nuclear-terrorism. Both have been described in "Secret Wars" with utmost accuracy and a powerful vision. The arsenals of bio-weapons, deadly viruses and bacteria, originally developed in the Soviet Union and also in the West, penetrated to rogue countries, from where they might be distributed to non-state terrorist organizations. On the other hand, nuclear materials and even weapons could be bought up on black markets by envoys of al-Qaeda to be used against the "Infidels" and were also offered by a Pakistani Dr. A.Q.Khan "commercial" network. Dr. Khan described himself as "world's nuclear bomb peacemaker." Nuclear scare embraced America and Britain following the 9/11 terrorist attacks on U.S. soil (2001) and the suicide bombings in London (2005). The author pays much attention to these tragic events and to the inability of the powerful secret services to predict and prevent them.
"There's a new world out there. Adjust or die," Gordon Thomas quotes former chief of the CIA, Bob Gates. But fortunately for the Western intelligence, people from the "other side" decide to "walk-in" and offer their help. One of these people was (the late) Vladimir Pasechnik from Russia, who contacted the British service to report about his KGB enterprise Biopreparat developing mass-killing toxins, viruses and bacteria. Asked why he did that, he replied: "I want the West to know. There must be a way to stop this madness." Dr. David Kelly (also late by now), a top British microbiology and bio-weapons expert, told the author after his interrogation of Pasechnik: "The really terrifying thing was that I knew Vladimir was telling the truth."
Thomas dedicated more than one chapter of his book to the tragic plight of Dr. Kelly, whose more than 30 trips to Iraq in search of bio-weapons ended by a conclusion that there weren't any. In spite of that, a "sexed-up" intelligence report to the British PM had been used as an excuse for the 2003 invasion of Iraq. In the same year, Dr. Kelly, disgraced and left alone by MI6 and MI5, died, or rather was murdered in strange circumstances. Before his death, a number of bacteriologists from several countries, including Britain, Russia and the U.S.A., were killed by unknown perpetrators, allegedly for refusing to share their knowledge with North Korean, Iranian and probably Chinese intelligence.
New threats and at the same challenges to the intelligence services of Britain and the West, described in detail by Gordon Thomas in "Secret Wars," could be summed up as: international terrorism, rogue regimes (North Korea, Iran in particular) and a technological diversion, including professional cyber-attacks, led and developed by some states (Russia and China) and even by members of the Western alliance (Israel). It started in early 1980s with the theft of a powerful tracking software system, PROMIS, invented by a former NSA expert William L. Hamilton and produced by his small Washington D.C.-based company Inslaw Inc. Of PROMIS a former Mossad operative, Ari Ben Menashe, quoted by the author, said: "PROMIS changed the thinking of the entire intelligence world." And Charles Foster Bass added: "Like any good spy novel, the Cox Report alleges that Chinese spies penetrated four U.S. weapons research labs and stole important information on seven nuclear warhead designs." Only an American citizen and Israel's spy, Jonathan Pollard (still in American top security prison) could do more. Pollard transmitted over 360 cubic feet of U.S. secret documents to Tel Aviv and some were also sold to Russia. A former CIA chief, the late William Casey complained about that to the author: "It was a double blow. It had cost us every worthwhile secret we had. And it had been stolen by a country supposed to be our ally."
But God perhaps rewarded the West and MI6 with a voluntary service of a high-ranking Iranian intelligence general, Ali Reza Asgari from VEVAK, code-named "Falcon," who informed the British intelligence about the nuclear program of Iran and was successfully exfiltrated via Turkey and Bulgaria to the U.K. His motivations were personal and perhaps also monetary, but his services were of top importance to the West.
The spying Great Game goes on undisturbed by moments of failure and agony. The British services, closely cooperating with the American ones, own a big share of the most sophisticated spying technology, including satellite surveillance systems, ECHELON eavesdropping network and the fastest computers in the world. A former CIA chief, William Colby, quoted by the author on the NSA computers, said: "makes lightening look slow. One time there was a program that could translate seven languages at five hundred words per minute. Next time I checked, a month later, it had doubled its capacity and halved its translation time." The various spying technologies like ELINT, SIGINT, IMINT and missile trajectory tracking systems are well described in the book. But all these marvelous inventions are still short of tracking Osama bin Laden in the mountains of Pakistan or Afghanistan and to follow, like PROMIS, the passage of money to terrorists by an ancient Muslim "hawala" human contact network, based on full confidence of the sender, the receiver and the "hawaladar", the money handler.
Gordon Thomas is well placed on this "couch" to observe what the services do and how Britain and the world benefit or lose from their work. The Great Game will never end and "Secret Wars" is a great book to read and learn of the 100 years of MI5 and MI6 and much more. [Dastych/CanadaFreePress/20March2009]
Spycraft: The Secret History of the CIA's Spytechs from Communism to Al-Qaeda by Robert Wallace and H. Keith Melton, with Henry Robert Schlesinger; Review By Lou
Novacheck. Spycraft is a fairly detailed history of CIA's Office of Technical Service, the outfit that makes all the neat James Bond toys used - or not used - in espionage since the creation of the first OTS during World War Two. The first OTS was called R&D, Research and Development, when it was first created in 1942. (I use the phrase "fairly detailed history" since much of what OTS did or does is still highly classified.)
Past credits include observation planes, the most famous of which was the U-2. Heirs to the U-2 include Oxcart, A-12, SR-71, and AURORA, although you won't find much information about AURORA, since it's still being used. Satellites have, of course been around since the late 1950s, and it wasn't long after the first one that many more were launched. When the program became too big, a separate agency was spun off and created. Again, not much is made public, except for instances such as the Jonathan Pollard case, when the agency was known as the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), now called the National Geo-Spatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA).
The most enjoyable parts of the book are the first five sections, which are described as stories of "ingenuity, skill and courage." Section VI of the book is a treatise on clandestine tradecraft, including the revolutionary changes digital technology has brought. It also gives the five essential elements of clandestine operations used by every intelligence service in the world. I find it interesting that this section can be read first, to give yourself a primer or refresher on the business of spying, or after the first 15 chapters.
Some of the more ingenious and effective toys include an audio transmitter that can fit into the spine of a book and remain unnoticed; an electrical plug that doubles as a transmitter; "dead drops" disguised as everyday items such as ordinary bricks used in construction, and in such things as dead rats, pinecones, and much more; dental prosthetics to alter the shape and dental structure of a person's face; a high speed launch disguised with a breakaway shell of an Oriental junk, used in Vietnam; a rubber airplane that could be deflated, compacted and airdropped into a hostile area, and used for exfiltration. Other more common items include camera pens, camera lighters, eavesdropping pens, cigarette pack cameras, and a "rollover" pen which copied documents as the tip of the pen is rolled over the document. All of these items were, of course, perfectly usable as the items they represented.
In addition to the meat of Spycraft, the appendices give organizational genealogy, a chronology, a list of OTS directors, "Trailblazers from OTS," pseudonyms of CIA officers, and a glossary. Additionally, instructions for use of a simple encryption/decryption scheme are given, along with a demonstration.
It's a shame that history is considered by many students to be a "dead" or "loser" subject to study. It isn't considered "sexy" or even necessary by many. However, history is the brain, and the very soul, of an organization such as CIA. Realistically, there isn't much in the line of the tradecraft of spying that is truly new. Sure, the gadgets and technology are often new, but the procedures, processes, and practices are all simply repetitions for the most part, sometimes with small variations or adjustments.
Another slant on the importance of history is in cases where a "dangle" is used by one side or the other. A dangle is an intelligence operative who is "offered" to a rival country's clandestine service, bait "dangled" to the other country. "Is s/he real, or is s/he a dangle?" Knowing the history and genealogy of a certain spy agency or a particular operation is the very bedrock of debriefing all dangles. For that matter, this knowledge is vital to debriefing all prospective agents, whether dangles or turncoats.
History is also critical to planning new intelligence operations. "This worked before, so it should work again, as long as the opposition doesn't pick up that it's a repetition." Or, "this worked before, but it was only a few years ago, so the collective memory of the organization will most likely recognize it."
Cicero said over two thousand years ago, "To be ignorant of what occurred before you is to remain always a child. For what is the worth of life unless it is woven into the lives of our ancestors by the records of history."
More recently, G.K. Chesterton said, "In not knowing the past we do not know the present."
In today's work world, you certainly won't last very long if you're repeating the past mistakes of your predecessors. That not only goes for spies, but it's equally critical for just about any hard science, including mathematics.
[Robert Wallace is a former director of CIA's OTS. H. Keith Melton is an internationally recognized author, historian and expert on clandestine devices and technology, and has the world's largest collection of espionage devices. He is a frequent lecturer throughout the US intelligence community and abroad, as well.] [Novacheck/BlogCritics/22March2009]
Virginia Anne Faurer. Ms. Virginia [Ginny] Anne Faurer of McLean, VA, -died of a stroke on Sunday, March 15, 2009. She is the wife of former National Security Agency Director, LtGen. Lincoln Faurer, USAF (Ret.) who also served as a Chairman of AFIO's Board; mother of Bruce and Douglas Faurer and Patricia Boten; grandmother of Patrick, Michelle, Justin and Sara Faurer, Lauren and Jessica Boten. There will be a private family graveside service at Arlington National Cemetery. [WashingtonPost/3/19/2009]
Oliver Kirby. Oliver Rae Kirby of Greenville died March 17, 2009, at his home.
Oliver was born Feb. 21, 1921, in Leroy, Ill., son of Emmett Robert and Margaret Rae Kirby. He married Kathryn Jeanne Kerr on Jan. 31, 1943, in Bloomington, Ill.
Upon graduation from college, he enlisted in the U.S. Army where his fluency in German led him to be assigned to Bletchley Park to work on the Allied effort to exploit the German ENIGMA system. While in the military, he was awarded a Bronze Star.
Following the war he worked with the National Security Agency for many years and received many promotions and honors, including the Department of Defense Distinguished Civilian Award and being inducted into the NSA Hall of Honor.
In 1968 he accepted an offer from LTV Electrosystems (later E-Systems) and worked there until his retirement. He was a member of and very active with Grace Presbyterian Church. He also worked closely with FISH.
Oliver was very family-oriented and was always available when they needed him. He is survived by his wife; his brother, Robert and wife Laura of Aiken, S.C.; sister Eleanor Beyer and husband of Bloomington, Ill.; sons Jim and wife Dee Ann of Greenville and David of Greenville; a daughter, Karen Adair and husband Mike of Allen; nine grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren. His parents, infant daughter Nancy and two infant grandchildren preceded him in death. Memorial donations may be made to Hunt County Shared Ministries (FISH) or to Women In Need. [HeraldBanner/3/20/2009]
William Colby Project. Carl Colby, filmmaker and son of former OSS veteran William E. Colby, is producing a feature documentary biography on his father's life and on the evolution of the CIA from his days in OSS in WWII to the present.
We are attempting to locate archival home movie footage and period photos and snapshots of the following:
Anything of William Colby and or his family at work or socializing in the following locales:
- Early 1950s downtown Washington street scenes near or at the former CIA building located near C Street and 23rd Street, NW Washington, DC
- Any home movies or snapshots of William Colby working or socializing with colleagues and friends at home, cook-outs, parties, receptions, etc.
- William Colby and his family lived from 1950 to 1951 near 25th Street and Shipley Terrace, S.E. in Anacostia Washington, D.C.
- William Colby and his family in 1953-1959 Rome, Italy, when he worked for Amb. Claire Boothe Luce; daily life of Americans around ROME, diplomatic receptions or social events at work or at home or street scenes;
- 1957-1965 Saigon, Vietnam city street scenes, Les Oiseaux French Catholic School, The American School, Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church, Le Cercle Sportif, US Embassy receptions, normal social life, e.g. birthday parties, family get-togethers, and Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, photos or movies of President Diem, his brother Ngo Dinh Nhu and Madame Nhu; in the Dalat Mountains.
- 1960's - 1970's: Any home movies and photos and snapshots of William Colby when he served as Head of the CORDS/Pacification and Phoenix Programs in Vietnam.
- 1960's - 1970's: any home movies and snapshots of William Colby in Washington while he was serving as DCI from 1973-1976, and before and after.
N.B. We are also interested in obtaining home movies and snapshots of generic American family activities in these foreign posts (Rome, Saigon) during these years of the 1950's and 1960's as well as generic family-style home movies and snapshots of CIA families entertaining, socializing etc.
We will also pay reasonable fees to get any of these photos scanned or home movies copied professionally etc.
Any suggestions are welcomed. Contact via phone: The Colby Project at 202.337.6900 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
US News & World Report Query for Weekly Intelligence Notes. Hello AFIO members: I'm working on a story about the community's recent efforts to forward-deploy analysts, especially those early in their careers. I'm interested in speaking with folks who've had both positive and negative experiences with the program and could offer some anecdotal evidence of the programs' relative successes and shortcomings over the past five years.
REPLIES to Alex Kingsbury, Associate Editor, National Security, U.S. News & World Report, 1050 Thomas Jefferson St NW, Washington, DC 20007-3837
Phone: (202) 955-2725 Cell: (202) 271-8612 E-mail : email@example.com
EVENTS IN COMING TWO MONTHS....
- 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.
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 www.visitRaleigh.com.
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, 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm - Miami, FL - The Ted Shackley AFIO
Miami Chapter invites all members to a social event at the
REPUBLIC FEDERAL BANK, N.A., 1001 Brickell Bay Dr 19th Fl, Miami, FL.
PARKING: Compliments of Republic Federal Bank, N.A.
EVENT: Appetizers will be served – beer, wine and soft drinks. This is a networking Social event for members and their invited guests.
COST: Complimentary, courtesy of AFIO and our sponsor, Republic Federal Bank, N.A.
HOSTS: The Board of Directors of the Miami Chapter.
Robert Heber, Tom Spencer, and Carlos Melendez.
26 March 2009, 12:30 pm - Beverly Hills, CA - The AFIO Los Angeles Chapter luncheon features Dr. Gregory Treverton speaking on "Domestic Intelligence." Treverton is current director of the RAND Corporation's Center for Global Risk and Security, who recently held the position of Vice Chair of the National Intelligence Council (NIC), overseeing the writing of America's National Intelligence Estimates (NIEs). Dr. Treverton's recent work examines terrorism, intelligence, and law enforcement, with a special interest in new forms of public-private partnership. The meeting will take place on the campus of Loyola Marymount University. Lunch will be provided for $15, for attendance reservations please email by no later than 3/20/09: AFIO_LA@yahoo.com check made out to "L.A. Area AFIO" mailed to Arthur Brooks 272 Lasky Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90212
1 April 2009, noon – 1 pm - Deceiving Hitler: The Masterman Memorandum:
A Special Briefing at the International Spy Museum
As Britain entered its second winter of World War II, nightly German Blitzes rained fire on its cities and the threat of invasion had not yet passed. Yet wartime recruit and Oxford University Professor, J.C. Masterman, had the confidence and foresight to predict a time when the tables could be turned against the Nazis. Since the outbreak of war, the British Security Service MI5 had been collecting a group of double agents. The Germans appeared to trust these spies and pressed them for more information. This presented an enormous challenge for MI5—how to preserve the credibility of the double agents without giving away vital war secrets? In a secret memorandum of 1940, Masterman presented an amazing solution. Author of Deceiving Hitler, Terry Crowdy will reveal the content of the now declassified memorandum and explore to what extent the Allies were able to realize Masterman's plan to pull off an elaborate hoax on Hitler.
Free; No registration required! International Spy Museum, 800 F Street, NW, Washington, DC, Gallery Place/Chinatown Metrorail Station
2 April 2009, 8:00 p.m. - Coral Gables, FL - AFIO Miami Chapter will be
having dinner and speaker: Neal Bascomb's, Hunting Eichmann, with his
presentation at Books and Books in Coral Gables, 265 Aragon Avenue
Coral Gables 305.442.4408 www.booksandbooks.com
The first complete narrative of the pursuit and capture of Adolf Eichmann, based on groundbreaking new information and interviews and featuring rare, never published Mossad surveillance photographs When the Allies stormed Berlin in the last days of the Third Reich, the operational manager of the mass murder of Europe's Jews shed his SS uniform and vanished.
Bringing Adolf Eichmann to justice would require a harrowing fifteen-year chase stretching from war-ravaged Europe to the shores of Argentina.
Alternating from a criminal on the run to his pursuers closing in on his trail, Neal Bascomb's, Hunting Eichmann (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $26.00) follows the Nazi as he escapes two American POW camps, hides in the mountains, slips out of Europe on the ratlines, and builds an anonymous life in Buenos Aires. Meanwhile, a persistent search for Eichmann gradually evolves into an international manhunt that includes a bulldog West German prosecutor, a blind Argentinean Jew and his beautiful daughter, and a budding, ragtag spy agency called the Mossad, whose operatives have their own scores to settle. Presented in a pulse-pounding, hour-by-hour account, the capture of Eichmann and the efforts by Israeli agents to secret him out of Argentina and fly him to Israel to stand trial bring the narrative to a stunning conclusion.
Hunting Eichmann is a fully documented, finely nuanced history that offers the intrigue of a detective story and the thrill of great spy fiction.
DINNER: A dutch treat dinner in the Gables at 6:00 pm is available for interested chapter members and visitors. All will then go to the Bascomb presentation--- coffee afterwards. If you wish to join us, please email TRSMiami@aol.com
Thursday, 2 April 2009, 6:00 p.m. - Las Vegas, NV - AFIO Las Vegas Chapter meets at Nellis Air Force Base Officers' Club.
(Guest names must be submitted to me by 4:00 p.m., Wednesday, March
25th) Please join us at 5 p.m. in the "Check Six" bar area for Liaison,
beverages and snacks/dinner
Our featured speaker for the evening will be: Rod Swanson, Supervisory Special Agent, Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Department of Justice
Topic: "Las Vegas Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) Overview"
Supervisory Special Agent Swanson will discuss the JTTF organization, legal guidelines, and interagency coordination.
If you plan to bring a guest(s), please RSVP to me with name(s) by 4:00 p.m., Wednesday, March 25th. Entrance to the Base for your guest(s) cannot be guaranteed if I don't have their names.
Dinner: The Officers' Club has an excellent, informal dinner venue along with a selection of snacks. You are welcome to arrive early and join us in the "Check Six" bar area. Water will be provided during the meeting, but you may also purchase beverages and food at the bar and bring them to the meeting. Once again, please feel free to bring your spouse and/or guest(s) to dinner as well as our meeting.
You may email or call me anytime at 702-295-0073 if you have any questions. We look forward to seeing you!
Christine J. Eppley, Chapter Corresponding Secretary
Thursday, 2 April 2009, 1130 - 1300hrs - Washington, DC - The Foreign Area Officers Association (FAOA) Policy-Luncheon
The speaker will be LTG Patrick Hughes, USA, Ret., former Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. The luncheon is open to all FAOs so please spread the word. Dress will be uniform of the day.
The cost is $24. Deadline for sign-up is 28 March, so hurry and make your reservations. Please RSVP either online or by sending a check to:
FAOA, Attn: April 2009 Lunch, PO Box 295, Mt Vernon, VA 22121
5 April 2009, 11:30 – 1:30 - Highland Heights, OH - AFIO Northern Ohio
Chapter features Frank Figliuzzi, Special Agent in Charge, FBI
Cleveland Field Office, on "The Cyber Threat" Location:
Wellington’s Restaurant, 777 Alpha Dr, Highland Heights at I -271 at
Wilson Mills Rd. 440.461.9211 or 440.442.0055 Fax 440.442.8135
DRIVING DIRECTIONS: West on Wilson Mills to Alpha Drive (about ¼ mile); right onto alpha Drive (if you see Kohl’s, you’ve made the correct turn); immediate right into parking lot at strip mall; Wellington’s is in front of you. We’re in the alcove in the restaurant. Cost: $20 per person; Mail check with written RSVP, or pay at the door
RSVP: By mail (with check), email, or phone: to Michael S. Goldstein, Esq., 31300 Solon Rd Ste 6, Solon, OH 44139 (440) 424-4071 firstname.lastname@example.org
14 April 2009, 6:30 pm - Washington, DC - "America on a Need to Know
Basis: Secrecy in a Free Society" at the International Spy Museum.
Some Americans wrestle with the concept of government secrecy, but the less vocal majority (and less litigious) quickly recognize that some loss of privacy outweighs living lives of fear of terror, rampant criminal acts, and constant public danger: safety afforded by good surveillance and secrecy. How much secrecy is too much and when does classification become control without bounds? Moderator Shelby Coffey III, senior fellow of the Freedom Forum and former editor and executive vice president of the Los Angeles Times, engages a panel of experts in an exploration of these crucial questions. Join Thomas S. Blanton, executive director of the National Security Archive; Peter Earnest, former chief of the CIA office responsible for FOIA, privacy, and litigation issues in the clandestine service; Ronald Goldfarb, author of In Confidence: When to Protect Secrecy and When to Require Disclosure: and Mike Levin, former chief of information policy at the National Security Agency; for a lively exchange of views on the inherent tension between the public’s right to knowledge and the government’s duty to safeguard vital national security information. Tickets: $15. www.spymuseum.org International Spy Museum, 800 F Street, NW, Washington, DC, Gallery Place/Chinatown Metrorail Station.
Saturday, 18 April 2009 - Richardson, Texas - CIA - University of Texas at Dallas hosts special conference on "Air America." Full details here.
20 - 24 April 2009 - Las Vegas, NV - The International Association of Law Enforcement Intelligence Analysts Annual Conference. The International Association of Law Enforcement Intelligence Analysts and the Law Enforcement Intelligence Unit, host their Annual Conference at the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas, NV. The theme will be “Criminal Intelligence: Improving the Odds”. Internationally recognized speakers who are at the forefront of the war on crime and terrorism and those who are leaders in the intelligence community will be on hand to provide up-to-date information. Private security personnel are invited to attend non-law enforcement sensitive training at the nonmember rate. Speakers and workshops will involve training related to: criminal intelligence; international and domestic terrorism; legal issues in criminal intelligence; organized crime and gangs; and information sharing among law enforcement. See the LEIU website for updated confirmed speaker information. Seminar-related Activities: • Hosted Banquet – April 23, 2009; • Additional Activities TBA. For more information, please visit the LEIU website at http://leiu-homepage.org/events/index.php
21 - 24 April 2009 - Chicago, IL - the Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals host their annual conference in Chicago.
The SCIP Annual Conference and Exhibition provides unique opportunities for education and networking, as well as showcasing the newest in products and services. See everything that SCIP09 has to offer and join us in Chicago!
Visit http://www.scip.org/content.cfm?itemnumber=5782 for more information and easy registration. $100 discount on main conference on registrations received by March 31, 2009. Special room rates and travel discounts are offered. http://www.scip.org/content.cfm?itemnumber=5782
Learn - SCIP09 has more than 60 CI sessions in five key tracks of critical and pertinent education topics, and provides access to pre-conference workshops with themes crucial to your professional development, delivered by thought leaders in the field.
Network - SCIP09 is the premiere venue for expanding your professional and personal network of CI peers from around the globe.
Shop Around - Gather information about CI vendors and consultants. SCIP09 provides the world’s most comprehensive gathering of experienced CI vendors and consultants.
Keynote speaker Michael Treacy is a world-renowned author and expert in the field, on tap to excite the audience with his CI-focused address.
Stock Up - Access to the largest collection of CI publications available, at greatly reduced prices - including the “Topics of CI” series published by the CI Foundation.
For information on the event and/or to register visit: http://www.scip.org/content.cfm?itemnumber=5782
Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals, 1700 Diagonal Rd Ste 600, Alexandria, VA 22314 www.scip.org
Wednesday, 22 April 2009 - Arlington, VA - The Defense Intelligence Forum Meets on "Cuba Wars: Castro, the U.S., and the Next Revolution." The group will meet at the Alpine Restaurant, 4770 Lee Highway, Arlington, VA 22207. The speaker will be Daniel P Erikson, who will speak on his recent book, The Cuba Wars: Fidel Castro, the United States, and the Next Revolution. Mr. Erikson is a senior associate for U.S. Policy and director of Caribbean programs at the Inter-American Dialogue, where his work focuses on U.S. foreign policy in the region. His articles have appeared in Current History, the Miami Herald, SAIS Review, the Washington Post, and World Policy Journal. He frequently speaks on radio and television and is often cited by the U.S. and international press. His past positions include research associate at Harvard Business School and Fulbright scholar in U.S.-Mexican business relations. Pay at the door with a check for $29 made payable to DIAA, Inc. Copies of his latest book will be for sale at this event. Social hour starts at 1130, lunch at 1200. Make reservations for you and your guests by 13 April by email to email@example.com. Give names, telephone numbers, email addresses, and choices of chicken, veal, or salmon. Pay at with a check. WE DON’T TAKE CASH!
23-26 April 2009 - Great Lakes, IL - The Midwest Chapter of AFIO will host its annual conference at the Great Lakes Naval Station. Registration is $10 per person. Hotel reservations ($65 per night) can be made through April 10th by calling the Navy Lodge at 1-847-689-1485. Mention that you are with the Midwest AFIO Chapter. For more information and to confirm your attendance, please contact Angelo Di Liberti ASAP at 847-931-4184.
24 - 26 April 2009 - Nashua, NH - The Naval Cryptologic Veterans Association New England Chapter (NCVA-NE) will hold its Spring Mini-Reunion at the Radisson Hotel Nashua.
The hotel is located at 11 Tara Boulevard, Nashua, New Hampshire 03062. For information, please call (518) 664-8032 or visit their website at http://ncva-ne.org. Local individuals who served with the U.S. Naval Security Group or with its counterpart in NETWARCOM are eligible and welcome to attend the mini-reunion. New members are welcome.
Point of Contact: Vic Knorowski, NCVA-NE Publicity Chair. 8 Eagle Lane, Mechanicville, New York 12118 (518) 664-8032
25 April 2009, 1100 - 1430 - North Andover, MA - AFIO New England
Chapter meets to hear: Problems and Prospects on U.S. Intelligence.
Guest speaker: Joseph Wippl, a retired CIA Senior Officer who served as
Chief of the European Division in the National Clandestine Service and
as Chief of Station in key posts throughout Europe. He is now teaching
at Boston University. Mr. Wippl will address the Problems and Prospects
for US Espionage. Where: In the Murry Lounge located in the Sakowich
Campus Center on the campus of Merrimac College, 315 Turnpike St, North
Andover, MA 01845. A map of the campus can be found here
http://kahuna.merrimack.edu/map/map_new.html and on a separate page,
http://www.merrimack.edu/maps_directions/Pages/default.aspx or on the
Local hotels can be found here http://www.merrimack.edu/about/visiting/Pages/Hotels.aspx
Schedule: Registration & gathering, 11:00 - 1200, Luncheon at 1200 followed by our speaker, with adjournment at 2:30PM.
Note, as this meeting is a one day event we have not made any hotel arrangements.
For additional information contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Advance reservations are $20.00, $25.00 at the door - per person.
Luncheon reservations must be made by 15 April 2009.
Mail your check and the reservation form to:
Mr. Arthur Hulnick 216 Summit Avenue # E102 Brookline, MA 02446 617-739-7074 or email@example.com
April 2009, 8 am–6:30 pm - Gettysburg, PA - Spy City Tours™ Special -
Intelligence in the Civil War: Gettysburg as a Case Study [International Spy Museum Special Event]
Why was Lee surprised at Gettysburg? Why did Meade stand and fight on 3 July? How did Lee describe his defeat? Explore the dawn of modern American military intelligence with distinguished former CIA officers, Frans Bax and Barry Stevenson on this thought-provoking bus and walking tour of the Gettysburg battlefield. Developed for new and senior U.S. intelligence officers to illustrate the essentials of their craft through in-depth analysis of the three-day battle, participants will explore the use of intelligence for decision-making by Union General Meade and how a lack of timely, accurate intelligence undermined Confederate General Lee’s capabilities. Key decisions and choices made by the military leaders on the battlefield will be explored in depth. The tour includes information on the development and use of intelligence in the American Civil War and will be of interest to students of the battle and lay people alike. Lunch at the historic Cashtown Inn is included.
Tickets: $180 To register: call 1-800-454-5768 and mention program #18181 or visit www.elderhostel.org/dayofdiscovery.
2 May 2009 - Washington, DC - The OSS Society William J. Donovan Award Dinner Honors General David H. Petraeus, USA, Commander, United States Central Command at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 1330 Maryland Ave SW, Washington, DC. Black Tie/Dress Mess. Cocktails, $150 pp. 6:30 p.m., Dinner 7:30 p.m. For further information or to register call 703-356-6667 or visit firstname.lastname@example.org
26 - 28 May 2009 - Adelphi, MD - International Association for Intelligence Education hosts annual meeting and Conference at University of Maryland. Conference features series of concurrent workshops on "Teaching Intelligence” from teaching intelligence culture, law enforcement analysis, to competitive intelligence. An impressive program of proposed speakers and topics.
Confirmed speakers to be announced. The conference features presentations by the winners of the Outstanding Teacher of the Year and winning intelligence essays by a variety of students.
LOCATION: University of Maryland University College Inn and Conference Center
FEES: $20,000 for conference sponsorship to serve as conference co-host. $10,000 for dinner sponsorship for a May 27 dinner; $5,000 Sponsor for Luncheon either Wednesday, May 27 —or— Thursday, May 28 OR Tuesday, May 26 Opening Reception; $1,000 for For-Profit members of IAFIE: $1,000 EXHIBIT Booth/Display fees. Other prices available. For individuals: $400 for both days of conference; $200 for one day only. To register, call (814) 824-2131 or email email@example.com
Wednesday, 27 May 2009, 6:30 pm - International Spy Museum presents Hot Topic: INTEL IN CYBERSPACE. WHAT: "Now, counterintelligence is a problem for everyone who has
secrets to keep and … lives on a network…And that's all of us."— Joel
Brenner, national counterintelligence executive for the Director of
National Intelligence, 2008
In the past, spycraft depended on trained operatives, cutting-edge technologies, expensive systems, and highly specialized devices to conduct operations and collect intelligence. The “enemy” in today’s society is able to carry out their intelligence gathering and attacks from any cyber-café in the world. The Internet contains a vast pool of information about every government agency, private company, major corporation – and many individuals. The average user with no advanced skills can purchase just about anything online, communicate in a dozen ways – from anywhere, and for the most part, remain anonymous. Terry Gudaitis, as cyber intelligence director at Cyveillance, a firm responsible for the protection of a majority of Fortune 500 companies and 30 million global consumers, knows firsthand the enormous threat of this explosive growth in internet accessibility. Drawing on her background as a former operations officer and behavioral profiler at the CIA’s Counter Terrorist Center, Guidaitis will explore how the “enemy” is collecting information from the internet – and how they are using it to communicate, target people, case government facilities, and exploit assets. You may never log on as blithely again!
WHERE: International Spy Museum, 800 F St NW, Washington, DC, Gallery Place/Chinatown Metrorail Station
TICKETS: $12.50; Advance Registration required. Tickets are non-refundable and do not include admission to the International Spy Museum. To register: order online at www.spymuseum.org; or purchase tickets in person at the International Spy Museum.
Wednesday, 3 June 2009, 6:30 p.m. - Washington, DC - Pakistan Today: The ISI, India, and What The Future Holds.
“We know full well that terror is our enemy, not India.”—Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha, Pakistan’s intelligence chief, December 2008
With the November 2008 attacks in Mumbai, India, the ever-tense relationship between Pakistan and its eastern neighbor was again headline news. The Pakistani government officials condemned the attack, but the incident raised questions again about links between the Pakistani Directorate of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Islamic terror networks. How does the history of the ISI—and its partnership with the CIA during the 1980s—affect its actions and worldview? How do the United States and Pakistan look on their partnership in today’s circumstances? These pressing questions will be considered by: Shuja Nawaz, director, South Asia Center at the Atlantic Council of the United States, author of Crossed Swords: Pakistan, Its Army, and the Wars Within; Bruce Riedel, senior fellow, foreign policy, Saban Center for Middle East Policy, Brookings Institution, former CIA officer and senior advisor to three U.S. presidents on Middle East and South Asian issues; and Ambassador Teresita Schaffer, the director of the South Asia Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies, who has written extensively and testified before Congress on Pakistani issues.
WHERE: International Spy Museum, 800 F St NW, 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: order online at www.spymuseum.org; or purchase tickets in person at the International Spy Museum.
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 www.bso.org. Tickets sell from $18.00 to $85.00 and are now on sale. After purchasing your tickets, please contact Gary at firstname.lastname@example.org 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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