AFIO Weekly Intelligence Notes #32-09 dated 1 September 2009
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Section I - INTELLIGENCE HIGHLIGHTS
Ex-CIA Spy's Son Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy. The son of an ex-CIA spy has pleaded guilty to conspiracy after admitting he met with his father's former Russian handlers and accepted money from them.
Nathaniel Nicholson entered guilty pleas to conspiracy to act as an agent of a foreign government and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
Federal prosecutors said the younger Nicholson traveled around the world taking cash from agents of the Russian Federation, who were trying to find out how much ex-CIA agent Harold "Jim" Nicholson had told U.S. investigators.
Jim Nicholson, an Oregon native, was the CIA's chief instructor in spy "tradecraft" when he sold information on the agents he was training to the Russians. He was convicted in 1997 and sentenced to 23 years in prison. [McCall/AP/28August2009]
Russian Officer Sentenced for Spying. A Russian military officer has been sentenced to six years in prison after being convicted of spying for Georgia in the conflict involving South Ossetia.
Lt. Colonel Mikhail Khachidze, a deputy unit commander in the North Caucasus Military District, was accused of passing military secrets to Georgia after being recruited in October 2007.
Prosecutor Lt. Gen. Vladimir Milovanov said Khachidze was motivated to spy because he needed money.
In addition to a prison sentence, the military court stripped Khachidze of his rank. [UPI/27August2009]
CIA Will Cover Legal Fees. CIA Director Leon Panetta decided that the agency will ensure legal representation for case officers who become caught up in investigations of alleged interrogation abuses of detainees at overseas locations, a senior intelligence official said.
Panetta's decision follows Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.'s appointment of a special prosecutor to conduct a preliminary review of whether federal laws were violated during the interrogations. When working on controversial assignments, many CIA officers take out personal liability insurance, which sometimes reimburses legal fees if they face lawsuits or criminal charges, but others do not.
"Panetta will do everything he can to ensure that anyone who needs legal representation has it, whether they have liability insurance or not," said the senior intelligence official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak before the decision is publicly announced. "It's a question of fairness. People who did tough jobs for the country won't be left by the side of the road."
The new federal inquiry will be conducted by Assistant U.S. Attorney John H. Durham, who since 2008 has been investigating the destruction of CIA videotapes of detainees undergoing waterboarding.
In that investigation, Durham has asked agency contractors to give testimony before a grand jury in Alexandria next month, according to three sources familiar with the matter. It is not clear that the witnesses will testify.
Officials said the number of CIA employees seeking legal representation could grow larger than the relatively small number of people directly engaged in contact with detainees as Durham gathers information, interviews agency employees and takes testimony in his expanded inquiry.
Several CIA officials already have private lawyers being paid by insurance companies, and others are having fees covered directly by the agency. At least one officer has a lawyer working without charge, according to individuals familiar with the situation.
One insurance firm specializing in federal employee professional liability insurance, Wright & Co., charges $292 annually for coverage and pays up to $200,000 "in defense costs for federal government initiated administrative proceedings and investigations," according to its Web site. But experts said legal fees could run far higher than that for lengthy cases.
"Most CIA officers don't have much money and could go into debt to hire a good lawyer," said a lawyer who has represented an agency official in the past and who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he may be involved in future investigations.
President Obama in April told senior CIA officials that the administration would not prosecute or investigate agency personnel in the wake of disclosure of Justice Department memos that first outlined harsh interrogation techniques.
In announcing Durham's inquiry on Monday, Holder said CIA officers "need to be protected from legal jeopardy when they act in good faith and within the scope of legal guidance." [Pincus&Johnson/WashingtonPost/27August2009]
US Urged To Back Off After Spate Of Incursions. China has called on the US to reduce, and eventually end, military surveillance by both aircraft and ships close to its shores after a series of territorial disputes earlier this year.
The request was made during a session about maritime safety involving the countries on Wednesday and Thursday.
The session came about after the US and China agreed to resume military relations during the two-day Strategic and Economic Dialogue (SAED) held in Washington in July.
So far this year, Chinese vessels have confronted US surveillance ships in Asian waters on five occasions, the US Defense Department said in May. China said the confrontations followed US intrusions into its territory.
Susan Stevenson, spokeswoman at the US Embassy in Beijing, confirmed the request had been received.
The US says waters 12 miles from China's shoreline are open to shipping. China says the US should not venture without permission inside its 200-mile exclusive economic zone. In March, five Chinese vessels approached the USNS Impeccable in the South China Sea, about 75 miles from Hainan Island. They had earlier encountered the ocean surveillance ship Victorious in the Yellow Sea.
In May, Chinese fishing vessels confronted the Victorious again. In June, a Chinese submarine collided with an underwater sonar array being towed by the USS John McCain. [ChinaDailyNews/28August2009]
SVR Declassifies Documents Unveiling Poland's Policy in 1935-45. The Russian Foreign Intelligence Service has declassified part of its archives on Poland's secret plans on the eve of World War II.
"The declassified documents will help historians, politicians and the public in general to find answers to the questions: Could the problem of collective security find its solution before the Wehrmacht invaded Poland? Why did that not happen? And what prevented political leaders from taking the necessary measures to form the anti-Hitler coalition?" Sergei Ivanov the head of the press bureau of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), stated.
Answers to these questions "are extremely important now that many politicians and state leaders are making attempts to revise the history of World War II and its outcome, and to force a biased interpretation of that war on the 21st-century generations," Ivanov said.
September 1 marks 70 years since the start of World War II. Ahead of this date the SVR will release declassified documents from a book, titled "Secrets of Polish Policy. 1935-45."
The collection of documents from the SVR's archives includes analytical overviews of Poland's foreign and domestic policies, political letters and recordings of conversations between ambassadors, as well as reports by military attaches, collections of telegrams, dispatched by Polish diplomatic missions, and other materials unveiling Poland's covert plans on the eve of World War II.
Perhaps not all the secrets of Poland's pre-war politics will be disclosed, "but a glance at the world through the eyes of high-placed Polish diplomats, military officials and special services will be useful for a responsible analysis of the events, connected with the beginning of World War II," Ivanov said.
Earlier, the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service had declassified documents indicating that the former Soviet Union had no other choice but sign the non-aggression pact with Germany in August 1939.
"By signing the Munich Agreement in 1938, the British and French governments staked on a deal with Hitler. Their delegations thwarted the Moscow negotiations on the anti-Hitler coalition in August 1939," says a report of the Foreign Intelligence Service's public relations and media bureau received by Interfax on Monday. The report was dedicated to the release of declassified documents under the title "The Baltic Region and Geo-Policy."
Confidential notes of the foreign ministries of the leading nations, which were included in the brochure, gave the Soviet political administration a clear idea of the opinion of European and U.S. leaders about military and strategic changes in pre-war Europe, the service said.
"Thus, the only possible way of self-defense of the former Soviet Union was the signing of the non-aggression pact with Germany on August 23, 1939. That document prevented the Nazi occupation of the Baltic area and its transformation into a bridgehead for the attack on the Soviet Union," the service said. [KyivPost/24August2009]
President Creates New Agency to Handle Terrorist Interrogations. President Barack Obama has approved the creation of a new multi-agency interrogation unit for suspected terrorists that will be based at the FBI but overseen by policy makers at the White House and its National Security Council.
The new unit, called the HIG, or High-value detainee Interrogation Group, was seen as one of the administration's most forceful efforts to date to distance itself from the George W. Bush administration and the coercive interrogation methods used by the CIA with approval by political appointees at the Bush Justice Department.
The CIA still will play a role in the interrogation and transfer of future high-value terrorist suspects, including al-Qaida leaders and their financiers and facilitators, according to the administration officials, who briefed reporters on the new plan but refused to discuss its details by name.
But the new unit, in addition to being housed at FBI headquarters in Washington, will be led by an as-yet-unnamed FBI official and comprise interrogators, analysts and linguists from numerous civilian and military agencies, the officials said. Its deputy director will come from a U.S. intelligence agency, and the unit overall will report to the White House.
In the Bush administration, the CIA had the lead - and usually exclusive - role in interrogations of suspected al-Qaida operatives, with the U.S. military conducting the questioning of many militants caught in Iraq and Afghanistan.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and the two senior administration officials said the recommendations were made after extensively consulting with military, intelligence and law-enforcement agencies, including some of the most experienced and skilled interrogators that they employ.
"The task force concluded that the Army Field Manual provides appropriate guidance on interrogation for military interrogators and that no additional or different guidance was necessary for other agencies," Holder said. [AZCentral/25August2009]
New Tools Wrestle Mountains of Data Into Usable Intelligence. In 2008, U.S. military forces collected 400,000 hours of airborne surveillance video, up from several thousand hours 10 years ago. So the Pentagon is turning to computers to help save, sort and search it all.
"The proliferation of unmanned systems across the battlefield is not going to lessen in the future. We saw it happen in the first Gulf War. Once commanders have it, there is an insatiable appetite for FMV," or full-motion video, said Maj. Gen. John Custer III, who commands the U.S. Army Intelligence Center, Fort Huachuca, Ariz.
"You not only need the tools to exploit that, you need storage because commanders don't only want to see a building now but what it looked like yesterday, six weeks ago and six months ago," Custer said. "When you have 18 systems up for 18 hours a day, you get into terabytes in a week. We are going to be in large data-storage warehousing for the rest of time."
As a result, the Pentagon, the U.S. government, academia and industry are collaborating to create industrywide standards for the many emerging technologies aimed at addressing this problem.
"We are collecting million of minutes of FMV on the battlefield. Our ability to disseminate that information to commanders and decision-makers is directly proportional to the implementation of industry standards," said U.S. Navy Cmdr. Joseph Smith, military deputy in the sensor assimilation division at the National Geospatial - Intelligence Agency.
"Motion imagery comes not only from standard assets such as the Predator and Reaper but from handheld video from soldiers on the ground, traffic cameras, etc," Smith said.
One system that tries to make sense of all that video is a Harris-Lockheed Martin product called Full-Motion Video Asset Management Engine (FAME), which attaches related data to it: imagery, audio, sensor feeds and more. The demand for FAME and systems like it is skyrocketing across the military services, said Susan Meisner, spokeswoman for the National Geospatial - Intelligence Agency.
"One of the challenges we have seen is they [the Pentagon] have really stovepiped things. There is one thing that handles video, one that handles imagery, sigint, etc., and they are siloed. We will bring in chat information and align it with the video so everything is synched in space and time. Imagine watching a football game with just video?" said Lucius Stone, director of government solutions for Harris' broadcast communications division.
The first FAME systems were developed five years ago at Fort Polk, La., and Fort Irwin, Calif. The system provides access to archival video feeds along with geospatial maps and additional intelligence information, such as nearby audio.
FAME can synchronize dozens of video formats and resolutions, including UAVs, night vision cameras and other kinds of sensors. FAME can send e-mail alerts when something of combat relevance occurs in a sensor's field of view, such as insurgent movement or the planting of IEDs.
Smith said these kinds of technologies can access relevant images from previous ISR efforts.
Modus Operandi's Wave Exploitation Framework (Wave-EP) can look for words in context to reduce false positive cues, said George Eanes, the firm's vice president of business development. The program can access multiple databases and data streams, Eanes said.
"It looks for cross-reference data from multiple sources, combining data with imagery. It converts data to an XML format so that it is normalized and accessible for the computer application," Eanes said. "We say we are looking for needles in a needle stack. We have this massive amount of data. How do you make sense of it all and figure out what patterns are important?"
For instance, Wave-EP can combine cues from surveillance aircraft with audio from intercepted radio or cell phone conversations. It can access databases that contain information such as stolen cars in a particular area as a way to look for potential vehicle-borne IEDs.
Modus Operandi has Wave-EP contracts with the Air Force Research Lab, Army, Defense Advanced Research Project Agency and Missile Defense Agency.
One of the key challenges with these kinds of technologies is ensuring there is enough bandwidth to move increasingly large amounts of information in real time. The U.S. military is also working to boost bandwidth.
Dense Wavelength Division Multi-Plexing (DWDM) shoots different wavelengths of laser light through fiber-optic cables, Custer said. DWDM is currently fielded at Fort Huachuca.
"DWDM takes the fiber-optic cable that gave us 1 gigabyte and shoots different colors of light to get 40 gigs to the desktop," said Custer.
The hybrid-type asymmetrical wars in Iraq and Afghanistan greatly increase the need for these kind of technologies, Pentagon and industry officials said.
"We are not fighting against troops organized with tanks and airplanes. We are fighting against terrorists who are always trying to find a new way to inflict damage on us. To have technology that is trying to make sense of information and predict what the terrorists are doing is really important. Our troops can't beat anything if they don't know who to go after," said Eanes. [Osborne/DefenseNews/24August2009]
Petraeus To Open Intel Training Center. Gen. David H. Petraeus plans to open an in-house intelligence organization at U.S. Central Command this week that will train military officers, covert agents and analysts who agree to focus on Afghanistan and Pakistan for up to a decade.
The organization, to be called the Center for Afghanistan Pakistan Excellence, will be led by Derek Harvey, a retired colonel in the Defense Intelligence Agency who became one of the Gen. Petraeus' most trusted analysts during the 2007-08 counterinsurgency campaign in Iraq.
Mr. Harvey distinguished himself in Iraq by predicting that the Iraqi insurgency would spiral out of control, at a time when it was widely underestimated by the Bush administration, in 2003 and 2004.
He later dissented from the emerging consensus in Congress and the CIA, when he said, as early as March 2007, that al Qaeda had been strategically defeated. This was during the early days of the surge, at a time when most of the intelligence community thought the Sunni insurgency was intact.
Mr. Harvey said the center will build on some of the lessons that he and the military learned in Iraq, not just for counterinsurgency but also in terms of intelligence analysis.
In this sense, Mr. Harvey is a believer in two reforms in developing reliable intelligence. The first involves altering the methods of interpreting raw data. He said the intelligence community tends to rely too much on information from human sources such as spies and from signal intercepts such as wiretaps, to the exclusion of reports from people on the ground such as military officers and aid workers.
Mr. Harvey said the new center would focus on integrating all sources of information to develop strategic products for both war fighters and decision makers in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Mr. Harvey calls this approach "widening the aperture."
The second reform Mr. Harvey advocates involves training. He said many analysts at the CIA, the State Department and other intelligence-collecting bureaus are moved from one country or region to the next after two years, right at the moment the analysts are gaining fluency and expertise in their areas.
The training academy will submerse future analysts, officers and covert operators in Pashtu and Dari language and culture courses. Recruits also will be asked to sign a form that commits them to work on Afghanistan and Pakistan for at least five years.
Asked whether the new training commitments suggest a long-term military presence in Afghanistan, Mr. Harvey said those decisions are above his pay grade. But he said, "Even if we downsize, we are still going to have investments in South Asia."
The center will be coordinating with the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the (NATO) International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, and Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe. Missing from the list, however, is the CIA.
Mr. Harvey said the CIA had detailed many analysts to support his new center, and he dismissed claims that the CIA was deliberately cut out of the loop.
CIA spokesman George Little said the agency has "an excellent relationship with Centcom. There's a robust and routine exchange of intelligence and analytic views between the two organizations."
Mr. Harvey at times clashed with CIA analysts on the direction of Iraq when he was advising Gen. Petraeus. Behind the scenes, he pressed for changes to a January 2007 national intelligence estimate that concluded at the time that al Qaeda did not command the Sunni insurgency and did not acknowledge the prospect that tribal chieftains in western Iraq would turn on the insurgents and join the military.
By August, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence revised the estimates on Iran to reflect Mr. Harvey's perspective.
It was not the first time. In 2005, Mr. Harvey wrote a paper on how to reform the intelligence community based on his experience in Iraq.
But when he presented the report to Gen. Petraeus, the general told Mr. Harvey not to go public with his critique. "His counsel was let me help you, there is a better way to bring change. Sometimes you don't go public."
Mr. Harvey's perspective was developed by an almost forensic approach to intelligence analysis. Mr. Harvey in 2003 and 2004 would pore through the interrogation reports and analyses of battalion-level intelligence officers, becoming a master of detail about the Iraqi insurgency. He was also known for traveling, sometimes at great risk, to one-on-one meetings with insurgent and tribal leaders at safe houses. He said he even would bring, on occasion, a bottle of scotch to those meetings with Muslims who did not always observe Islam's ban on alcohol.
A retired four-star general who helped develop the Iraq counterinsurgency strategy, Jack Keane, compared Mr. Harvey's work to that of a homicide detective: "deliberate, methodical, thankless work, putting all the evidence together to form a story."
"As it turns out, Harvey in my view is the only intelligence analyst who was right from the beginning to the end in Iraq. So it's no wonder that General Petraeus, who has tremendous confidence in him, wants him to focus on Pakistan and Afghanistan, which is the next-thorniest problem our troops are facing," Mr. Keane said.
Other former colleagues echo this sentiment.
John Nagl, a former Army lieutenant colonel who worked with Mr. Harvey in Iraq, said, "Derek Harvey understands insurgent networks to a finer degree of detail than anyone I ever met. He can think through motivations, project future actions, and evaluate courses of action to counter them completely in his head. He has also become absolutely obsessed with this process at the expense of his health." [Lake/WashingtonTimes/24August2009]
Czech Expels Two Russian Diplomats, Russia Expels Two in Return. The Czech government expelled two Russian diplomats on Monday, Aug. 17, reportedly because of claims they were engaged in espionage and influencing public opinion about a U.S. radar base planned in the country. Russia expelled two Czech diplomats in response.
The Czech prime minister withheld comments at the press conference about the reasons for the step to expel the Russian diplomats. But the Czech newspaper Today Daily wrote that according to its sources from intelligence quarters, the expelled Russian diplomats influenced public opinion against the erection of the U.S. radar base.
The U.S. plans to build a radar base in the Czech town Brdy, as part of its missile defense shield.
Last year the Czech Security intelligence said that Russian agents wanted to influence public opinion against the building of the radar base. The Czech secret service said at that time Russian espionage activity had reached "extremely high intensity."
Russia sees the U.S. missile defense shield as an expansion of U.S. military activities close to its border.
One of the Russian expelled diplomats was the assistant of a military attaché. The second diplomat was on vacation, and the Czech government asked him to not return to their country.
Russian minister of foreign affairs Sergej Lavronov called the expulsion of the diplomats an 'unkind act' and 'another provocation.' [Kajinek/EpochTimes/23August2009]
Man Arrested for Contacting N. Korean Spy. The prosecution has arrested a man who contacted a North Korean spy for violating the national security law.
According to prosecutors, the man, identified only as Kim, 45, contacted a North Korean agent in Indonesia and handed over a friend's South Korean passport and other secret information over the past three years.
The man, who once served as a marine, moved to Jakarta in 1993 and worked for an inter-Korean joint-venture company and got to know the spy in 1997.
He also offered access information for a number of veterans' Web sites and e-mailed news articles on the inter-Korean summit.
It is illegal for South Koreans to contact North Koreans without government approval under the anti-communist National Security Law and those who benefit the North are subject to punishment. [Koreatimes/17August2009]
Section II - CONTEXT & PRECEDENCE
Not So Secret Spying. The Soviet Committee for State Security, or the KGB, was once the most feared security agency of the former Soviet Union. Its widespread use of domestic informers to denounce dissidents in order to suppress criticism of the corrupt regime and the Communist Party was the stuff of legend.
The KGB, however, also was responsible for foreign espionage, spying on countries deemed hostile to the interests of the USSR - such as the United States, West Germany, the United Kingdom and France - and on its allies in the Warsaw Pact, among them Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary and East Germany.
In the Warsaw Pact countries of Central Europe, the KGB was highly efficient. It managed to recruit agents from local security agencies such as the Czechoslovak StB, the Polish UB and others with the full cooperation of the governments in power in these countries.
But how efficient was the First Directorate of the KGB, the unit responsible for foreign espionage? In the early days of the Cold War, it chalked up what were remarkable victories. The recruitment of such British intelligence officers as Kim Philby and his espionage ring was indeed remarkable. However, by the mid-1980s, the tide turned on Moscow, and the public nature of this latest incident with the Czech Republic show still-apparent weaknesses.
Having been personally involved in some of these operations, it became clear to me that the once-loyal cadre working for Yuriy Andropov, then chief of the KGB, were losing their faith in the system. They had become cynical operatives looking to earn a side income by revealing to Western counterintelligence organizations their mission along with revealing their Western contacts in return for protection from Soviet retaliation in the West.
When the Soviet Empire collapsed in 1989, the KGB found itself without a mission. It was no longer charged with suppressing domestic dissent and could not identify a foreign target to spy on.
This chaotic state of affairs was to hinder the Russian foreign espionage effort for years until Vladimir Putin, an unknown intelligence officer who once worked in the KGB station in Dresden, took control of the Russian espionage collection mission in Europe.
Putin appeared determined to restore the former KGB intelligence gathering effort to its former status and apparently instructed its operatives to institute new, more concerted, intelligence gathering operations in Europe, the United States and the CIS countries.
The shopping list of these new post-Soviet Russian espionage targets foremost consisted of soft intelligence and covert operations concerning energy policies in new EU member states.
The head of Germany's BfV counterintelligence organization, Burkhard Even, told the newspaper Die Welt am Sonntag June 21 that the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service, the SVR, has been actively conducting espionage operations against the German energy sector.
"The Russian intelligence services, keeping up with their government's changing information needs, have intensified efforts in recent years to investigate German firms illegally," Even said. The SVR effort is targeting the acquisition of information on alternative and renewable energy and efforts to increase efficiency. European energy interests, diversification plans and Germany's economic situation are also on the SVR's shopping list.
The BfV assertions that the Russian SVR, under the command of former Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov, is engaged in gathering confidential information about energy diversification plans in Europe should disturb not only the German counterintelligence community, but the EU Commission as well as policymakers in European capitals.
The Polish newspaper Fakt reported in October 2004:
"[Russian intelligence services] are implementing the strategy adopted after the collapse of the Soviet Union aimed at making Poland and other countries dependent on Russian energy resources. Their activity has intensified since Putin became Russian president," according to former Interior Minister Marek Biernacki. He goes on to point out another threat: "Polish companies employ former secret service officers as experts. There are no guarantees that these experts are loyal to Poland. Gas, oil, and - most recently - electric energy are the No. 1 target of Russian agents. Russia is seeking to make Poland dependent on its supplies. This would enable it to blackmail any Polish government. The meeting between Vladimir Alganov (accused by Polish authorities of spying for Russia) and [the wealthiest Polish businessman] Jan Kulczyk clearly shows this: The two men discussed not only oil, but also mysterious electricity deals. The Russians earlier did everything they could to control a fiber optic cable that was to connect Russia with the West via Poland."
In its annual report released in 2008, the Czech Security Information Service (BIS) continued to bring attention to the increasing activity of Russian spies in the Czech Republic. According to the BIS, Russian secret services have been trying to influence public opinion and build resistance against construction of the U.S. radar base at Brdy. Russian spies were said to have interest in obtaining sensitive information on the Czech economy and contacts with politicians and state officials. "BIS concludes that Russian espionage activity in the Czech Republic has currently reached an extremely high level and intensity," the report says.
The BIS, for the first time, clearly stated that the Russian secret services in the Czech Republic have been carrying out active measures and not only monitoring the situation in the Czech Republic. According to experts, the reality is even more serious, the Czech newspaper Mladá fronta Dnes reported. The findings of the BIS have been confirmed by a similar report issued by military counterintelligence, according to the Czech News Agency.
However, the former Eastern bloc states are not the only targets of the SVR offensive. The Russian newspaper Novye Izvestia noted that a press release from the Austrian Interior Ministry said the SVR maintained one of its largest stations in Vienna. Austria is not only a major outpost for Russian intelligence gathering operations in Europe; it is also a country with lenient banking laws, making it easier to launder money.
In the past few years, a number of Russian and Ukrainian companies have registered subsidiaries in Vienna, which are suspected by Austrian and Russian authorities of laundering millions of dollars and funneling them to accounts in Cyprus and other tax havens. Some of this money is suspected of belonging to high-level Russian officials. According to a report in the Russian newspaper New Times, information provided by a source in the Russian Interior Ministry uncovered a scheme used by Russian officials close to companies controlled by the Kremlin to launder money via Austrian banks.
An investigation by the Austrian police in 2007 noted that Russian anti-money-laundering authorities, then under the control of the new prime minister, Viktor Zubkov, had failed to provide Austrian investigators with information about suspect money transfers from a Russian bank to a major Austrian bank.
On July 21, the eve of U.S. Vice President Joe Biden's July 22-23 visit to the Georgian capital of Tbilisi, the Georgian television station Imedi aired a news report in which the secretary of Georgia's National Security Council, Eka Tkeshelashvili, announced Georgia had refused the entry of two unnamed Russian diplomats who were supposed to assume responsibilities at the Russian Federation's interest section in the Swiss Embassy in Georgia as part of the regular rotation. According to Tkeshelashvili, the Georgian government's refusal was based on suspicions the two were engaged in espionage and were affiliated with the Russian intelligence services. In her comments to Imedi regarding the diplomatic scandal, Tkeshelashvili said, "It is a sovereign right of any state to identify those people who work at the diplomatic representations. Each country has the right to allow or to refuse the entry to diplomats, against whom there may be serious suspicions that they work for other services."
In response, the Russian side ordered two Georgian diplomats, including the consul of Georgia in the Russian Federation, Zurab Pataradze, who was declared persona non grata, to leave Moscow. According to the Imedi news report, the row had taken place two weeks earlier. However, an unnamed Georgian government source told The Moscow Times that the reciprocal expulsions had occurred in May.
Successful espionage needs to occur unnoticed. These recurring incidents of Russian spies being expelled from countries and their public nature - including recently in the Czech Republic - only serve to confirm the belief held by Western counter-intelligence services that the SVR is not only incompetent in its intelligence gathering activities, but, in its clumsy operations, it also exposes the covert plans of the Russian government.
When Russian spies are caught and deported, it is not a sign of Russian strength but rather of desperation and ineptitude. [Roman Kupchinsky was born in Vienna and emigrated to the United States in 1949. He formerly ran a Ukrainian-language publishing house, worked for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and published two collections of samizdat articles. He works for the Washington D.C.-based think tank The Jamestown Foundation.] [Kupchinsky/PraguePost/16August2009]
Statement to Employees by Director of the Central Intelligence Agency Leon E. Panetta on Release of Material on Past Detention Practices. Today, as part of a number of Freedom of Information Act cases, the government is responding to court orders to release more documents related to the Agency's past detention and interrogation of foreign terrorists. The CIA materials include the 2004 report from our Office of Inspector General and two papersone from 2004 and the other from 2005that discuss the value of intelligence acquired from high-level detainees. The complete package is hundreds of pages long. The declassification process, a mandatory part of the proceedings, was conducted in accord with established FOIA guidelines.
This is in many ways an old story. The outlines of prior interrogation practices, and many of the details, are public already. The use of enhanced interrogation techniques, begun when our country was responding to the horrors of September 11th, ended in January. For the CIA now, the challenge is not the battles of yesterday, but those of today and tomorrow. It is there that we must work to enhance the safety of our country. That is the job the American people want us to do, and that is my responsibility as the current Director of the CIA.
My emphasis on the future comes with a clear recognition that our Agency takes seriously proper accountability for the past. As the intelligence service of a democracy, that's an important part of who we are. When it comes to past detention and interrogation practices, here are some facts to bear in mind on that point:
* The CIA itself commissioned the Inspector General's review. The report, prepared five years ago, noted both the effectiveness of the interrogation program and concerns about how it had been run early on. Several Agency components, including the Office of General Counsel and the Directorate of Operations, disagreed with some of the findings and conclusions.
* The CIA referred allegations of abuse to the Department of Justice for potential prosecution. This Agency made no excuses for behavior, however rare, that went beyond the formal guidelines on counterterrorism. The Department of Justice has had the complete IG report since 2004. Its career prosecutors have examined that document and other incidents from Iraq and Afghanistan for legal accountability. They worked carefully and thoroughly, sometimes taking years to decide if prosecution was warranted or not. In one case, the Department obtained a criminal conviction of a CIA contractor. In other instances, after Justice chose not to pursue action in court, the Agency took disciplinary steps of its own.
* The CIA provided the complete, unredacted IG report to the Congress. It was made available to the leadership of the Congressional intelligence committees in 2004 and to the full committees in 2006. All of the material in the document has been subject to Congressional oversight and reviewed for legal accountability.
As Director in 2009, my primary interest when it comes to a program that no longer exists is to stand up for those officers who did what their country asked and who followed the legal guidance they were given. That is the President's position, too. The CIA was aggressive over the years in seeking new opinions from the Department of Justice as the legal landscape changed. The Agency sought and received multiple written assurances that its methods were lawful. The CIA has a strong record in terms of following legal guidance and informing the Department of Justice of potentially illegal conduct.
I make no judgments on the accuracy of the 2004 IG report or the various views expressed about it. Nor am I eager to enter the debate, already politicized, over the ultimate utility of the Agency's past detention and interrogation effort. But this much is clear: The CIA obtained intelligence from high-value detainees when inside information on al-Qa'ida was in short supply. Whether this was the only way to obtain that information will remain a legitimate area of dispute, with Americans holding a range of views on the methods used. The CIA requested and received legal guidance and referred allegations of abuse to the Department of Justice. President Obama has established new policies for interrogation.
The CIA must also keep its focus on the primary responsibility of protecting the country. America is a nation at war. This Agency plays a decisive role in helping the United States meet the full range of security threats and opportunities overseas. That starts with the continuing fight against al-Qa'ida and its sympathizers. There, alongside all its other contributions, the CIA is helping our government chart a new way forward on interrogation, one in keeping with the President's Executive Order of January 22nd. You, the men and women of this great institution, do the hard work and take the tough risks that intelligence and espionage demand.
I am very proud of what you do, here and abroad, to protect the United States. Your skill, courage, commitment, and focus on mission make the CIA indispensable to the nation. It is a privilege to serve with you. [Panetta/CIA.Gov/24August2009]
French Spy Marc Aubrière Escapes Gun City Barefoot. They had taken away his shoes to ensure he could not get far were he to break out. So Marc Aubrière, one of two French intelligence operatives captured in Somalia by Islamic extremists, trained barefoot for weeks in his cell, walking back and forth across the concrete to toughen his feet in readiness for his escape.
French officials listened in amazement last week to Aubrière's account of his dash to freedom through one of the most perilous cities in the world. After his debriefing in Paris, Aubrière, whose espionage colleague is still being held in captivity and faces execution, is expected to undergo medical tests and spend some time with his family.
In what seemed like a calculated affront to French national pride, the two secret agents, on a mission to train soldiers protecting Somalia's transitional government, were snatched from their hotel in Mogadishu on Bastille Day - July 14 - by gunmen impersonating police.
"They knocked on the door," said Aubrière, 40. "They had Kalashnikovs. That was that."
The Frenchmen were taken away in a truck but it broke down after only a few hundred yards. It might have seemed farcical were it not for the swift arrival of fighters from Hizbul Islam, one of the most ruthless of the militia groups, who routinely kidnap and kill as part of the battle for control of Mogadishu.
They surrounded the truck and tense negotiations ensued. The Hizbul Islam fighters agreed to let the other gunmen go in exchange for the foreign prisoners.
When Al-Shabab, another Al-Qaeda-inspired militant group, got to hear about the valuable foreign hostages, it demanded a share of the booty, as Al-Shabab and Hizbul Islam have joined forces in a bid to overthrow the government. It was decided that Al-Shabab could have Aubrière's colleague, identified only as Denis A, as their prisoner.
Aubrière, for his part, found himself alone in a windowless cell in a place he referred to as "the stronghold". He insists that his captors treated him well and that they always ensured he had enough water. "They were young guys, but good guys," he said. He was given "spaghetti, rice, meat from sheep, you know, the normal Somali stuff".
He spent his time exercising and reading Deception Point by Dan Brown, the only book available. "I read it eight times," he said. "I hate that book now."
After a while he noticed that his captors had failed to lock both sides of the double doors to his room. "The other side was only locked from the inside," he said. "They made a mistake."
On Tuesday night he silently slipped back a bolt and opened the door. "You have a choice," he said of his decision to run. "Either you wait and be killed. Or you try and be free."
He tiptoed past sleeping guards, out onto the street, where he suddenly felt that he had leapt out of the frying pan and into the fire. The Somali capital is a notorious killing ground, a bullet-riddled ruin of a city that has been strafed and bombed through almost two decades of civil war.
Aubrière, a bearded white man, was bound to attract attention as a potential hostage worth millions in ransom. "Mogadishu is a kind of jail," he said. "Everybody will try to catch you. You have no friend. Even the youngest people will try to sell you."
His hope - justified, as it turned out - was that most people, fearful of being caught up in the nightly gun battles, would be locked away in their homes and that he would be able to walk undetected through the maze of streets before dawn.
Orienting himself by the stars, he set off in the direction of the government compound. He decided to walk, rather than run, to avoid attracting attention. Occasionally the quiet was shattered by gunshots. "You just never stop walking," he said, showing scratches on his arm from passing through cactus-filled vacant lots. "I was just telling myself: never stop, never stop walking, never stop. It's just simple. It's strength, that's all."
It took him five hours to reach the government compound, but his troubles were not over. He put his hands up in surrender but guards mistook the wild-eyed stranger for a foreign mercenary and held him at gunpoint at the edge of the compound for nearly an hour before finally realising he was an escaped hostage.
Like piracy at sea, the kidnapping of foreigners is a big source of income for gangs in Somalia. Four foreign aid workers and two Kenyan pilots kidnapped last year were released earlier this month, but two journalists - a Canadian and an Australian - have been missing for a year.
After Aubrière's escape, a member of the Al-Shabab group holding the other French agent declared that he would be tried under hard-line Islamic law.
In France this was immediately interpreted as a threat of execution.
The French denied paying any ransom for Aubrière. But according to Somali military officials, negotiations had been under way in which Hizbul Islam was demanding £2.75m for each man. The French were apparently offering only £700,000.
Aubrière, who works for the DGSE, as France's overseas intelligence agency is known, did not think that his escape would endanger his colleague. "If I had killed, maybe," he said. "But if I had used a weapon I would have been caught immediately."
His escape, he said, was "fair game". Of his captors he added: "They played. They lost." [TimesOnline/23August2009]
Section III - COMMENTARY
A Sigh Of Relief At the CIA, by David Ignatius. CIA officers aren't idiots. They knew they were heading into deep water - legally and morally - when they signed up for the interrogation program. That's part of the agency's ethos - doing the hard jobs that other departments prudently avoid. They hoped their government would protect them from future reprisals, but the graybeards were always dubious about the politicians' promises of support.
As so often happens in our country, the cynics were proved right: Despite President Obama's fine talk about looking forward, not backward, Attorney General Eric Holder decided this week that the CIA interrogators will face yet another criminal review of conduct that they were assured by the Bush administration was legal. No matter that the same evidence was provided five years ago to career prosecutors, who decided against bringing cases.
But at least this miserable period in the CIA's history is coming to an end. Talking to CIA veterans this week, I sensed a genuine relief that the agency - however dazed and demoralized by the post-mortems on interrogation - can finally get back to the business of spying.
"The agency is glad to be out of it," admitted one senior CIA official. The FBI will now run interrogations, with CIA officers in the field advising whether a captive should be played back as a double agent, "rendered" to a third country or questioned in the United States. Stephen Kappes, the career officer who serves as the CIA's deputy director, "doesn't want to have anything to do with interrogation," said one White House official. "He wants to let this go."
Reading the 2004 CIA inspector general's report, you sense that agency officials were wary from the start. "One officer expressed concern that, one day, agency officers will wind up on some 'wanted list' to appear before the World Court for war crimes," says the IG report. Another said, "Ten years from now we're going to be sorry we're doing this . . . [but] it has to be done."
Looking back, it's easy to say the CIA officers should have refused the assignments they suspected would come back to haunt them. But questioning presidential orders isn't really their job, especially when those orders are backed by Justice Department legal opinions.
What will happen the next time the White House wants the CIA to do something that's potentially controversial? Well, you know the answer. The CIA officers will want to talk to their lawyers, and maybe then to lawyers from the party out of power. That's not the ideal mind-set for a modern intelligence service. But the republic will survive.
The CIA stumbled unprepared into the interrogation program partly because agency officers had been burned in torture scandals involving "friendly" services in Latin America and the Middle East. Indeed, "because of political sensitivities," notes the report, a top CIA official for a time "forbade agency officers from using the word 'interrogation.' "
Because interrogation was a political no-go zone, the agency had zero internal expertise on Sept. 11, 2001. So when senior al-Qaeda operatives were detained, there was confusion about how to interrogate them. No other government agency wanted the headaches. The CIA did what bureaucrats so often do in crisis - it turned to outside contractors who claimed to have special expertise, in this case administering "waterboarding" for an Air Force training program.
CIA guidance was "inadequate at first" but "improved considerably," notes the report. Some of the internal controls bring to mind Hannah Arendt's famous comment about the "banality of evil." A sample admonition on waterboarding: "A cloth is placed over the forehead and eyes. Water is then applied to the cloth in a controlled manner. As this is done, the cloth is lowered until it covers both the nose and mouth. . . ."
One of the most chilling documents released this week was one that Vice President Cheney had requested to show how well the interrogation program worked. It calculated that in 2004, 3,800 of the total 6,600 human intelligence reports on al-Qaeda came from "detainee reporting."
That kind of metric sends a message: It's a numbers game, fellas. No wonder the CIA is glad to be out of the interrogation business. [Ignatius/WashingtonPost/25August2009]
The Fall Guy: CIA Director Leon Panetta Getting Sacked by his Own Team, by Kimberly A.
Strassel. In the game of political football that is today national security, spare a thought for CIA Director Leon Panetta. Quarterbacking is hard enough without getting sacked by your own team.
President Barack Obama fought hard for the former California congressman during his uncertain February confirmation fight. That's about the last thing the president has done for his spy chief. Quite the opposite: If the latest flap over CIA interrogations shows anything, it's that Mr. Panetta has officially become the president's designated fall guy.
The title has been months in the making. Mr. Obama is contending with an angry left that's riled by his decisions to retain some Bush-era counterterrorism policies. He's facing Congressional liberals still baying for Bush blood. He's hired Attorney General Eric Holder, who is giving the term "ideological purity" new meaning. Mr. Obama's way to appease these bodies? Hang the CIA and Mr. Panetta out to dry.
That strategy first showed its face in April, when the president released Justice Department memos with details of the enhanced interrogation program. Arguing against the full release of these memos was Mr. Panetta and four prior CIA directors. Disclosure, they said, would damage national security. Arguing for their release was Mr. Holder, and White House General Counsel Greg Craig, who articulated the views of Moveon.org. The president threw the left some red meat, refusing even Mr. Panetta's pleas to redact certain sensitive details.
True, the president showed up at the CIA a few days later to reassure Mr. Panetta's demoralized troops. Don't "be discouraged" that you've "made mistakes," the president said, smiling, as Mr. Panetta stood grimly by. "That's how we learn." Mr. Obama vowed to be "vigorous in protecting" the organization. Later, at the White House, he announced plans to release photos showing detainee abuse - at the demand of the ACLU.
Then came House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's full-frontal assault, claiming the agency had lied to her about waterboarding. This would have been an excellent time for some "vigorous" protection of the CIA, since agency documents flatly contradict the speaker. But with his domestic agenda in the hands of Congress, the White House was mum. It showed equal interest in defending Mr. Panetta against the threat of congressional investigations.
This week the White House visited on the CIA director what ranking Senate Intelligence Committee member Kit Bond declared a "hat trick" of unpleasant moves. With his prior attempts to mollify his base on national security having failed - and those troops even more bitter about the flagging fortunes of the "public option" in ObamaCare - the president wheeled out Mr. Panetta for one more round.
Reversing prior promises not to prosecute CIA officials who "acted in good faith," Mr. Holder appointed a special counsel with the ability to prosecute officials who acted in good faith. This was paired with release of a 2004 CIA report that the administration spun as more proof of agency incompetence. As a finishing touch, the White House yanked the interrogation program out of Mr. Panetta's hands, relocating it with the FBI. With friends like these . . .
If Mr. Panetta has learned one lesson on the job, it's that he's alone. In the wake of the Pelosi blow-up, he took a stab at reconciliation with Democrats, trekking to Capitol Hill to tell the intelligence committees about a previously undisclosed (though hardly shocking) CIA idea for killing al Qaeda brass. His repayment was a letter, leaked to the press, from House Intelligence Chair Silvestre Reyes, claiming the new briefing simply proved the CIA had indeed previously lied to Congress.
Mr. Panetta is doubling down in defense of his agency. He issued a list of the 40 briefings Congress received. He's fought in court against more disclosure. He's warned publicly the country will "pay a price" if Congress plays politics with intelligence. He's sent countless feisty memos to his people, correcting mistakes in the public record and praising their work.
Yet Mr. Panetta can only do so much to reassure his troops. Faced with legal jeopardy, CIA staff will avoid intelligence-gathering risks, making it that much harder for the CIA director to succeed in his day job - protecting the country from harm. It will matter little that the president retained successful Bush-era counterterrorism programs if there is no intelligence-community will to implement them.
Sen. Bond notes that the Obama moves are "reopening old wounds" after years of effort to tear down walls within the intelligence community. Arguably the high point of cooperation was the work Justice and CIA did together in devising the interrogation program, which has yielded invaluable information. Now, the Missouri Republican tells me, "instead of the CIA viewing the Department of Justice as their lawyer, they view them as their prosecutor."
This week ABC News reported Mr. Panetta had engaged a month ago in a "profanity-laced screaming match" at the White House and had threatened to quit. The CIA says it is "absolutely untrue" that he has plans to leave. But who could blame him? [Strassel/WSJ/27August2009]
Interrogating the CIA, by Reuel Marc Gerecht. A clever, streetwise classmate of mine at the Central Intelligence Agency's junior officer training program - a former Delta Force officer - quickly and rudely discovered that counterterrorism in the much-vaunted Reagan years wasn't a serious endeavor at Langley. He had original and provocative ideas on using physical force to scare the bejesus out of terrorist suspects who had American blood on their hands. Although the CIA was then filling up with operatives pretending to be engaged against a growing terrorist menace, Langley's counterterrorist data bank and real operational planning were near zero. My friend's ideas were too unsettling. He resigned. By the time I resigned in 1994, CIA counterterrorism had become an inflexible, lumbering creature, incapable of countering the wicked anti-American forces gaining strength in the Middle East.
Fast forward to eight years after 9/11: Has Attorney General Eric Holder damaged the CIA's improved counterterrorist capacity by his decision to employ a special prosecutor to investigate whether crimes were committed by the agency's interrogators? From the moment Barack Obama won the presidency, Langley's use of "enhanced interrogation" was obviously over. The appointment of a prosecutor guarantees that unless the United States is again devastated by a terrorist attack - on a scale greater than 9/11 - CIA operatives will certainly decline any future order by a Republican president to interrogate roughly a jihadist. Langley's junior officers may still receive survival and escape training, which is the baptismal font for the agency's enhanced interrogation techniques. But members of al Qaeda will not similarly get to enjoy the experience.
Constrained by new rules and hostile lawyers, can the CIA in the future successfully interrogate uncooperative jihadists, like self-described 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who remained as close-mouthed as a clam when questioned without physical coercion? The Obama White House has been enamored of the possibilities of soft power; jihadists, too, are now supposed to yield to the psychological prowess of interrogators who play by the rules of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Will Langley be able to develop and retain interrogators culturally and linguistically qualified under the administration's new plans, which will have the White House and the FBI overseeing all counterterrorist interrogations? Such outside control is, among other things, meant to ensure that the CIA, which originally generated the idea of enhanced interrogation, will never again be a font of such unpleasant creativity.
Regardless of whether one believes CIA-inflicted waterboarding, sleep deprivation or severe psychological coercion (suggesting that harm could come to a family member of a taciturn al Qaeda detainee) constitute torture, such actions may have produced an intelligence bonanza and saved thousands of lives. The released and heavily redacted 2004 CIA Inspector General's report on interrogations doesn't make a crystal clear case in favor of enhanced interrogation, but it certainly does suggest - and one has the distinct impression that the Inspector General was personally inclined against the rough treatment - that senior officers in the Directorate of Operations consistently found the interrogations to be valuable in collecting critical information against some members of al Qaeda, especially Mr. Mohammed.
We will never know whether being nicer - building rapport - with Mr. Mohammed would have eventually worked and produced the same or better results than CIA methods did. It's possible. But what those who argue this position are really saying is that the variables of human nature - that even the hardest holy warriors, men who live to die and slaughter infidels as an expression of divine love and vengeance - will always yield to physically noncoercive methods that don't have that much psychological punch either. This is a very Christian way of looking at interrogation: FBI agents are supposed to reach into the souls of jihadists and as father-confessors get them to voluntarily cooperate. It's morally redemptive for all concerned. It's neat and clean. No deadly plots go unbroken.
Even if the 3,000 intelligence reports produced between Sept. 11, 2001 and April 2003 from the CIA's "high value detainees," that is, the folks who likely received rough treatment, were released, we might not resolve the debate between those who believe exclusively in the utility of rapport-building interrogations and those more skeptical about FBI methods applied to those who fly airplanes into skyscrapers. But the publication of these documents would probably help. Former Vice President Dick Cheney, a busy man, undoubtedly just read the summaries given him by the CIA and believed them; Mr. Obama, a busier man, has certainly by now perused the same operational assessments and dismissed them. (Mr. Obama could hardly do otherwise since he'd so emphatically declared during the campaign, before having classified access to Langley's work, that enhanced interrogation had both disgraced us and made us less safe.)
Until these reports are made public, or at a minimum the detailed and regular agency assessments of the reports' value are released, we on the outside cannot better assess whether enhanced interrogation techniques worked. Mr. Obama has certainly set the stage for an enormous row that could well consume much of the energy of his administration if the special prosecutor brings charges against any CIA official for the way he interrogated an al Qaeda terrorist with 9/11 blood on his hands. And it's an excellent bet that if the Justice Department starts prosecuting CIA officers, some hard-left European magistrates, who are still furious that their governments abetted the Bush administration's counterterrorism in clandestine ways, won't be far behind in bringing lawsuits against U.S. officials. Euro-American security ties are strong (self-interest is a strong glue) and have been mostly immune to the storms that regularly strike the trans-Atlantic community (the invasion of Iraq actually deepened the intelligence exchanges between us and the antiwar French and Germans).
But the prosecution of high-profile CIA and Bush administration officials for "torture" could well spotlight U.S.-European clandestine dealings sufficiently to make them subject to political litmus tests - something that has rarely happened even with ardently leftist European governments.
As difficult as these problems could prove for the Obama administration, the CIA and the Justice Department, there's a more immediate operational issue for the clandestine service: Langley, once again, probably cannot field a competent group of counterterrorist interrogators.
It's a very good guess that the organization right now has no volunteers coming forward for this work, and those who are currently indentured will free themselves from this profession as soon as possible. This may not be a pressing problem if the CIA doesn't have anyone to interrogate, which was the case throughout most of the 1990s. That changed after 9/11, but even then it's very unlikely that the best and the brightest at the agency involved themselves with the nuts and bolts and unpleasantness of interrogating "high-value" al Qaeda detainees. Complex debriefings - let alone more aggressive interrogations - in foreign languages have rarely been an agency forte. Such things are very hard work and don't guarantee promotions.
Inexperienced officers have usually been on the agency's frontline. And as the 2004 Inspector General report makes clear, CIA officials were early on nervous about the interrogations. Rest assured that this meant that most case officers - especially those with field experience, Middle Eastern language skills and good opportunities for traditional, perk-filled assignments abroad - kept far away from anything touching upon the interrogation of al Qaeda terrorists.
Standard job rotations in the CIA have always been enough to debilitate professionalism developing inside the clandestine service against most targets - operatives work two or three years on a subject or country and then move on. From discussions with active-duty CIA officers since 9/11, I have the strong impression that counterterrorism hasn't been exempted from Langley's constantly revolving doors. When real competence develops among an operational cadre it is inevitably because individual officers have a special drive to do so, usually because of an insufficiently requited love of a subject.
A good case officer with Middle Eastern languages and a penchant for understanding Islamic radicalism would now have to be insane to accept an assignment that detailed him to interrogate Islamic terrorist suspects. No self-respecting case officer wants to be constantly surveilled by his boss. That's not the way the intelligence business works, which is, when it works, an idiosyncratic, intimate affair. We should be horrified by the idea that holy warriors will now be questioned by operatives who tolerate all the cover-your-tush paperwork, who don't mind being videoed when they go to work, who want to be second-guessed by their CIA bosses, let alone by FBI agents, and intelligence-committee Congressional staffers, and now White House officials.
The war on terrorism obviously isn't what it used to be (invading countries initially produces a lot of intelligence work). If the White House is unwilling to detain terrorist suspects in facilities like Guantanamo, it is doubtful that it will want to capture many individuals for interrogations. Since the Obama administration has retained rendition, it has an escape valve that it can use to discard suspected or confirmed terrorists whom the administration wouldn't want to prosecute in the U.S. criminal justice system (a position not at all unlikely given the difficulties of using intelligence information in U.S. courts).
Rendition isn't risk-free, as President George W. Bush learned all too well. The Obama administration will surely use rendition when it must (quietly transporting suspects out of the country just to empty the jails of Guantanamo would be tricky and politically precarious). But it will likely not use rendition often enough to allow case officers in the field a means to examine would-be terrorists without stultifying concerns about what to do with them after the heart-to-heart chats.
Case officers only get good at hunting their prey - at prying into the minds of their targets - by constant work and by pushing the envelope. With enhanced interrogation off-limits, CIA operatives could easily find themselves face-to-face with a jihadist who tells them to bugger off. What are they then to do? Will their superiors be professionally sensitive to their inability to make further progress? Could they get promoted after they pass suspected jihadists to the FBI? Would the FBI even take them, knowing that they might have to be rendered to an unsavory foreign power and thereby quite possibly compromise the bureau's more pristine image? (It will be a near-miracle if the Obama administration can long hide its renditions from the press given the number of Democrats within the administration in sensitive positions who may strongly oppose rendition to any country willing to take in suspected jihadists.)
American counterterrorism has now enthusiastically shifted from the "gloves coming off" to a post-post-9/11 determination to return American virtue to what it supposedly once was. Unless Langley now piles on cash bonuses - and CIA bonuses usually aren't compelling - the incentives for agency officers to join the White House's new plans for a multiagency "professional" cadre of interrogators will go nowhere. Langley will be lucky if it can get the third-rate among its own to sign on. And one has to wonder about the better agents at the FBI, which still hasn't happily made the transition into a counterterrorist organization. Who would want to join an interrogation outfit that sounds so politically correct and sensitive?
Throughout the 1990s, FBI offices grew rapidly overseas. In some places, the bureau's men actually took over the offices of CIA station chiefs, pushing the bureaucratic equivalent of four-star generals into much smaller digs. Returning rapidly to a pre-9/11 world, the Obama administration seems poised to give the FBI overwhelming responsibility for counterterrorism at home and abroad. The CIA is no longer the pre-eminent agency in the fight against Islamic militancy. It hardly did a superlative job. But many will not be rejoicing at the rise once again of the FBI in counterterrorism. Being "virtuous" may not look so good looking back. [Mr. Gerecht, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, is a former operative in the CIA's clandestine service.] [Gerecht/WallStreetJournal/27August2009]
The C.I.A. in Double Jeopardy, by Joseph Finder. Early in 2002, Eric Holder, then a former deputy attorney general, said on CNN that the detainees being held at Guantánamo Bay were "not, in fact, people entitled to the protection of the Geneva Convention," particularly "given the way in which they have conducted themselves."
Six years later, declaring that "Guantánamo Bay is an international embarrassment," Mr. Holder said, "I never thought I would see the day when ... the Supreme Court would have to order the president of the United States to treat detainees in accordance with the Geneva Convention."
So what changed?
A lot of things, of course, but most of all, our national political climate. Reeling from the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, many on the front lines of the war against terrorism felt a sense of fear and urgency that, years later, it's hard for some to recall. Now, the attacks receding into the past, a lot of us see things in a different light.
Certainly Mr. Holder, now the attorney general, does. Last week he announced the appointment of a career prosecutor, John Durham, to review a dozen or so cases of abuses inflicted upon detainees by Central Intelligence Agency employees and contractors in the course of carrying out "enhanced interrogation" (which they had been ordered to do, and which had been authorized by the Justice Department) and to determine whether to initiate a criminal investigation.
Mr. Holder doesn't seem concerned that each of these cases was exhaustively reviewed, beginning in 2005, by career prosecutors under the supervision of the United States attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. Those men had access to the complete, unredacted report of the agency's inspector general, an expurgated version of which was released on Monday. Yet these prosecutors recommended against criminal charges in all but one case. (That exception involved a contractor named David Passaro, who had assaulted a prisoner with a flashlight and kicked him in the groin, shortly after which the prisoner died. Mr. Passaro was convicted of assault and sentenced to eight years in prison.)
Mr. Holder's decision, then, implies that justice wasn't done five years ago probably because high-level officials in the George W. Bush administration put their thumbs on the scale of justice. This seems unlikely. The prosecutors in Virginia were well experienced in dealing with classified intelligence matters, as most of the federal intelligence agencies are in their district. They have a reputation for being hardheaded and unforgiving of C.I.A. transgressions.
Lacking reliable witnesses or forensic evidence, they made the only call they could have made: not to prosecute. In our nation of laws, that's exactly the way you want government prosecutors to behave. And there is no indication that any of them has complained about being pressured to decide against criminal charges. If any new information has come out about these cases, any complaints about undue influence or any new witnesses, Mr. Holder hasn't mentioned it. The prosecutors in this case had to abide by the Justice Department's ruling, in August 2002, that no agency interrogator would face prosecution for exceeding the guidelines as long as he acted in "good faith" and didn't have "the specific intent to inflict severe pain or suffering." Not an easy distinction to make, surely, when the work you're told to do seems to be designed precisely to inflict pain and suffering.
Now imagine that you're a C.I.A. interrogator in some dank "black site" prison, facing a terrorist you honestly believe had something to do with the attack that killed 3,000 of your fellow Americans and might very well know about the next one. You're under extreme pressure to extract information from the guy.
And the guidance you've been given from Washington is maddeningly illogical. "Walling" (slamming a prisoner into a wall) is legal, but not revving a power drill near his head. "Cramped confinement" - locking someone in a dark box for 18 hours a day - or depriving him of sleep for 180 hours is O.K., but firing a gun in the next room is not. Waterboarding a prisoner is legal, but blowing cigar smoke in his face may be a crime. This was the murky world in which these interrogators operated. No jury in America would have convicted them at the time they were being investigated. Not even close. Mr. Holder's decision, then, raises fundamental questions of fairness. Once the Justice Department declined to prosecute five years ago, the misconduct cases were sent back to the Central Intelligence Agency to handle. The agency decided to take internal disciplinary action. The employees and contractors in question - having been assured by their employer that they would no longer be facing prosecution - presumably accepted the administrative sanctions, relying on the Justice Department decision to end the criminal inquiry.
For the government now to turn around and prosecute them without any significant new facts coming to light would be, legal experts tell me, a violation of the principle of estoppel. To a nonlawyer, it sure seems wrong. And you can be sure that any decent defense lawyer is going to raise this issue if there is a trial - particularly if the government decides to use admissions that might have been made during the agency's administrative hearings.
Mr. Holder said in April that it "would be unfair to prosecute dedicated men and women working to protect America for conduct that was sanctioned in advance by the Justice Department." He has also made it clear that he won't be going after any high-level officials who approved the waterboarding of "high-value detainees," including Dick Cheney, George Tenet, John Ashcroft and Colin Powell. He won't be prosecuting anyone who issued the "enhanced interrogation" instructions.
Certainly nobody in the Justice Department has to worry. While Attorney General Holder pushed hard for the release of the C.I.A. inspector general's report, which contained a lot of highly classified information (along with gruesome details) - he still hasn't published the findings of his own Office of Professional Responsibility on the "torture memos" that were written by the Bush Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel. If that newer report is critical of the legal competence of top lawyers at Justice who authorized the torture program in the first place, wouldn't it have some bearing on Mr. Durham's investigation?
Yet it seems that Mr. Holder has instructed Mr. Durham to focus only on whether any agency employees or contractors exceeded the authorized guidelines - to go after the "bad apples": those at the bottom of the food chain who carried out these orders in wartime and may have violated an incoherent set of rules that made as little sense to them in the field six or seven years ago as it does to us now. This doesn't look much like justice; it looks like politics. This is scarcely different from what the Bush administration did after the Abu Ghraib prisoner-abuse scandal, scapegoating only low-level military police officers.
Nothing will change for the better: President Obama has, fortunately, already renounced torture. We'll learn nothing from this.
The process that Mr. Holder has unleashed threatens to undermine one of the basic principles of our government. For a new administration to repudiate a consequential legal decision in an individual case made by the previous administration serves to delegitimize our government itself, which is, after, all premised upon institutional continuity.
Whatever Mr. Holder's motive for reopening these cases - whether a well-intentioned desire to provide the American people with the "reckoning" for the "abusive and unlawful practices in the 'war on terror' - that he demanded last year, or a more cynical political calculation - the consequences will be grievous. [Joseph Finder, who writes frequently on intelligence issues, is the author, most recently, of the novel "Vanished."] [Finder/NYTimes/30August2009]
Section IV - OBITUARIES, BOOKS AND COMING EVENTS
Barbara Lauwers Podoski: Operative's Missives Weakened Enemy Soldiers' Morale. Barbara Lauwers Podoski, 95, who launched one of the most successful psychological operations campaigns of World War II, which resulted in the surrender of more than 600 Czechoslovakian soldiers fighting for the Germans, died of cardiovascular disease Aug. 16 at the Veterans Affairs hospital in Washington.
One of the few female operatives in the Office of Strategic Services, the wartime predecessor to the CIA, she found creative ways to undermine German morale. Much of her work remained secret until last year, when her OSS personnel records were declassified.
A multilingual native of Czechoslovakia, Barbara Lauwers, as she was then known, primarily interrogated prisoners of war from her base in Rome. An antagonistic Nazi sergeant under her questioning in 1944 mentioned that Czechs and Slovaks were used to do the Germans' "dirty work" along the Italian front.
Mrs. Lauwers, a private, realized there was an opportunity to flip the loyalties of her former countrymen. She quickly borrowed the Vatican's Czech and Slovak typewriters and prepared leaflets in both Czech and Slovak languages that urged the conscripts to change sides, telling them that they were being used. "Shed this German yoke of shame, cross over to the partisans," she implored them.
Within a week, many Czech and Slovak soldiers who had been working for the Germans crossed the Allied lines and surrendered. At least 600 had her leaflet in their pockets.
The German who tipped her off apparently didn't realize that she was no one to trifle with. He repeatedly vilified President Franklin Roosevelt until Mrs. Lauwers, who enlisted in the Army on the day she became an American citizen, had enough.
"I told him to stop, and he didn't, so I took my little fist and hit him in the nose. I gave him a knuckle sandwich," she told reporters in 2008, after her personnel records were released at the National Archives. "I was very ashamed of myself, because I had a pistol under my jacket and he was unarmed."
The pamphlets she wrote were distributed by other German POWs being held in and near Italy whom she helped select and train during Operation Sauerkraut, which sent them behind German lines to litter the countryside with propaganda claiming that the attempt on Adolf Hitler's life in July 1944 sparked a rebellion in the army.
One of the circulars they distributed, which Mrs. Lauwers wrote, purported to come from the "League of Lonely War Women." It said, in perfect German, that lonely soldiers on leave only had to pin a button with two entwined hearts on their lapel and loyal German hausfraus would find them and "give themselves over to the fulfillment of the soldiers' dreams."
"It is you we want, not your money," the circular said. "There are members everywhere, since we German women understand our duties toward the defenders of our country. Naturally we aren't unselfish. Naturally we long to have a real German boy to press him to our bosom. Don't be shy. Your wife, sister and sweetheart is one of us."
Born Bozena Hauserova in Brno, Bulgaria, which became part of Czechoslovakia in 1918, she studied at the University of Paris and received a law degree from Masaryk University in her home town. She married an American, Charles Lauwers, when the Germans annexed her country in 1938 and moved to the Belgian Congo with him to work for the Bata shoe company.
Two years later, she immigrated to New York. After her husband was drafted in late 1941, she moved to Washington and went to work at the Czechoslovak legation in the press section, where she ghost-wrote two books for Czech colonels stationed there.
She joined the Women's Army Corps on June 1, 1943. As a fluent speaker of English, German, Czech, Slovak and French, she was selected after basic training for the new OSS and sent to Washington. By the start of 1944, she was sent to North Africa, and from there to Rome. Her decorations included the Bronze Star.
She and her first husband had divorced during the war. After Mrs. Lauwers returned to the United States, she was involved in broadcasting for the Voice of America and worked as a "girl Friday" at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington.
She eventually joined the Library of Congress as a research analyst, where she worked for 20 years before retiring in 1968. She returned to Austria for a visit in retirement and stayed there nine years, assisting in the Vienna office of an international refugee organization.
She moved back to Washington in 1977. Her second husband, Joseph Junosza Podoski, to whom she was married for 30 years, died in 1984. A companion, J.R. Coolidge, died in 1999.
Survivors include a daughter from another relationship, Marina Lee Bragg of Chevy Chase, and a granddaughter. [Sullivan/WashingtonPost/22August2009]
Books on the Horizon
The Real Spy's Guide to Becoming a Spy, by Peter Earnest and Suzanne
Harper, in association with the International Spy Museum. Created by the founding executive director of the International Spy Museum, who is also a former operative in the CIA's Clandestine Service, this is the official handbook for kids who dream of one day becoming a spy or working in the intelligence field.
Have you ever wondered what spies really do? What kind of training is involved? Do you have to go to a special school or take a polygraph test? How do you live your "cover"? How does your work life affect your relationships with your friends and family? Is there danger involved?
This fascinating, fact-filled book answers these questions and more while providing a historical timeline, definitions of key terms, suggestions for further reading, an index, quizzes, and exercises to see if you have the right spy stuff. [AbramsBooks/October2009]
EVENTS IN COMING TWO MONTHS....
2 September 2009, 6:00 p.m. - Las Vegas, NV - The AFIO Las Vegas
Chapter meets to hear John B. Alexander, Ph.D. on "Africa: Irregular
Warfare on the Dark Continent"
The event takes place at the Nellis Air Force Base Officers' Club. Join them at 5 p.m. in the "Check Six" bar area for Liaison, beverages and snacks/dinner.
Dr. Alexander's presentation is based on a Joint Special Operations University (JSOU) monograph of that title and on a Harvard-JSOU symposium conducted last fall in Washington. He will discuss critical issues prevalent in Africa today: tribes and tribalism, poverty, the impact of population growth, disease, public tolerance (both globally and continentally) for extraordinary levels of casualties, epidemic corruption (and kleptocracies) as well as the unique, widely-diverse geography of the continent. Alexander has been a leading advocate for the development of non-lethal weapons.
To register or for further information call Christine Eppley at 702-295-0073 or email her at email@example.com
Tuesday, 8 September 2009, 11:45 a.m. - Yorktown, VA - AFIO Norman Forde Hampton Roads Chapter hosts Luncheon Meeting at Port of York Restaurant, U.S. Coast Guard Training Center, Yorktown. RSVP required: firstname.lastname@example.org
9 September 2009, 11:30 am - Albuquerque, NM - The AFIO Tom Smith New Mexico Chapter luncheon. It will be at the the Calico Cantina/Vernon’s Steakhouse. You will find it at 6855 4th Street, on the west side of the road, about ½ mile north of Osuna. It is adjacent to the El Camino Motel (the El Camino dates back to the 1920’s when 4th Street was part of the northern extension of Old Route 66. We’ll again meet in the back room of the Café behind the package store. Questions to Pete Bostwick at email@example.com
Thursday, September 10, 2009, 12:30 - 2 pm - Washington, DC - The Heritage Foundation and The Institute of World Politics join to host conference upon publication of new anthology: "Cultural Intelligence for Winning the Peace." The book and conference asks: Are we engaged in a clash of civilizations? The answer is not simple: cultures interact daily, often to everyone's benefit, free of deadly conflagration, and American culture was once in the ascendancy. But if the end of the Cold War led many to believe that "globalization" would be accompanied by greater toleration and harmony, 9/11 abruptly ended that delusion. We must understand the effect of tradition, history, and ideas, especially in areas where Islamist radicals find fertile breeding ground. Superior military power may temporarily prevail against them, but we have learned, at considerable cost, that other militants all too soon take their place, skillfully taking advantage of vulnerable populations. To win the war against these enemies, we must take into account the cultural "human terrain" where they operate. The essays in the new anthology, "Cultural Intelligence for Winning the Peace," edited by Dr. Pilon, address this challenge. They include: the military utility of understanding non-U.S.culture; factoring in culture as we tackle the challenges of asymmetric conflict; the importance of avoiding a 'cookie cutter' approach to disparate societies; the need to address the constantly changing nature of culture; the phenomenon of female suicide bombers; as well as on-the-job learning for intelligence and information officers finding themselves ill-trained and under-prepared in Iraq and Afghanistan. And, finally, the need to incorporate cultural considerations in strategic communication, the critically important ingredient of the next - some have called it the fifth - generation of warfare, whose ultimate success is measured by an enduring rather than illusory peace.
Location of event: The Heritage Foundation's Allison Auditorium at 214 Massachusetts Ave NE, Washington, DC 20002; ph 202 546 4400
To register for the event: http://www.heritage.org/press/events/ev091009b.cfm
17 September 2009 – San Francisco, CA – The AFIO Jim Quesada Chapter hosts R. James Woolsey, former Director of Central Intelligence and member of AFIO's Honorary Board. R. James Woolsey speaks on: Spies, Energy and the New World of the 21st Century: The relatively comfortable world of having a stolid bureaucratic energy and a secure national infrastructure has been replaced by something far more difficult to deal with. As we make decisions about what direction our society should take regarding energy, keeping in mind that we need for it to be increasingly clean, secure, and affordable, what threats and problems should be at the center of our concerns, and what are some of the approaches that can help us deal with all three needs? United Irish Cultural Center 2700 45th Avenue, SF. 11:30 AM no host cocktails; noon - luncheon. $25 member rate with advance reservation and payment; $35 non-member rate. RSVP/pre-payment is required. E-m ail RSVP to Mariko Kawaguchi (please indicate meat or fish) firstname.lastname@example.org and mail check made out to "AFIO" to: Mariko Kawaguchi, P.O. Box 117578 Burlingame, CA 94011.
17 September 2009, 11:30 am - Colorado Springs, CO - AFIO Rocky Mountain Chapter hears Bryan Cunningham on "National At Risk." Talk to occur at the Air Force Academy, Falcon Club. Markle Foundation's Bryan Cunningham speaks on "Nation at Risk." Cunningham is with the Markle Foundation Task Force on National Security in the Information Age. RSVP to Tom Van Wormer at email@example.com
17 September 2009, 2 - 3:30 p.m. - Washington, DC - " Afghan Police
Reform and the Future of Afghanistan" the subject of presentation at
the Reserve Officers Assn. Event is cosponsored by Royal
US Institute (London), the Reserve Officers Association in Washington,
and the Foreign Policy Research Institute of Philadelphia. It features
MICHAEL CLARKE of the RUSI and ANDREW GARFIELD, senior fellow, FPRI,
and U.S. Director, RUSI.
The authors will present a new study on how best to reform the Afghan National Police and will present their findings in a report to be released at this briefing and on both organizations' websites.
Michael Clarke is the Director of the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies. Andrew Garfield is a Senior Fellow at FPRI and US Director of the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies.
Event is being held at One Constitution Ave., NE, Washington, DC. It is free and open to the public, but reservations required.
For additional information and to RSVP contact: Alan Luxenberg, Tel: (215) 732-3774 x105 or by Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Updates for this briefing will be posted at:http://www.fpri.org/research/nationalsecurity/afghanpolice
This event will be webcast To register for the free webcast visit:http://register.webcastgroup.com/l3/?wid=0650917094812
For a preliminary report by Andrew Legon on the project findings, visit:http://www.fpri.org/enotes/200906.legon.afghannationalpolice.html
Thursday, 17 September 2009 - Washington, DC - Counterintelligence Open Source Symposium on "Supply Chain Vulnerabilities - Understanding the Risk" by the ONCIX. The Office of the National Counterintelligence Executive (ONCIX) and the Open Source Center (OSC)/Open Source Academy (OSA) are sponsoring a one-day unclassified symposium to initiate dialogue on these and other extremely topical issues as we begin to address vulnerabilities in our acquisition community and the risks inherent to the supply chain in a global marketplace.
One of the great threats to the marketplace, and the acquisition community, is the threat to products in supply chain acquisitions. Supply chain attacks can occur at any stage of the technology lifecycle - from sourcing of raw material through delivery of end items to the final customer. The acquisition community needs to be proficient at recognizing and addressing these vulnerabilities. In order to accomplish this we must strive to put in place effective procurement related strategies, establish effective means for communicating supply chain threat information, and push to highlight "best business" practices that demonstrate effective supply chain risk management programs.
Event occurs at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC.
For registration and information on the program and speakers: https://www.scvs2009.net/
19 September 2009 - Kennebunk, ME - The Maine Chapter of the AFIO hosts Speaker on U.S. Policy Towards China. The Chapter will host Harold Clukey, U.S. Air Force officer during the Korean War. Shot down while on a mission, Clukey was a prisoner of war of the Chinese Communists for 6 months before his release was arranged through the International Red Cross. Based on his experience Clukey will present a unique view of United States policy toward China from the Korean War to the present time. The meeting will be held at 2:00 p.m. at the Kennebunk Free Library, 112 Main Street, Kennebunk and is open to the public. For information call: 207-364-8964
Tuesday, 22 September 2009; 6:30 pm – Washington, DC - Terror Media: Free Speech or Dangerous Weapon? at the Spy Museum
With the communications explosion, terrorist groups like Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas, the PKK, and others have used their own media outlets to glorify suicide bombings, incite violence, recruit terrorists, and fund-raise online. Should governments shut down these media outlets to protect their citizens from harm? Should terror media be shielded as “protected free speech”? To what extent does one keep defending free speech....up to the point it kills you or your loved ones? Or ignore it if it kills others who you care little about? Where does one draw the line, if any? And how can new media be used against violent extremists? The panel exploring these issues includes: Juan Zarate, former deputy national security advisor for combating terrorism and former assistant secretary of the Treasury for terrorist financing and financial crimes; Mark Dubowitz, executive director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, who has helped shut down Hezbollah and other terrorist owned-media around the world; Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, who has spoken out in support of free speech regardless of viewpoint or consequences including deaths; and Todd Stein, legislative director for Senator Lieberman, and formerly a lawyer on the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, who wrote the seminal document for the U.S. Congress exposing how terrorist organizations use online media to disseminate their message. Tickets: $15 per person. Where: International Spy Museum, 800 F St NW, Washington, DC, Gallery Place/Chinatown Metrorail Station To register: https://web.spymuseum.org/e-commerce/ItemList.aspx
Thursday, 24 September 2009; 12 noon – 1 pm – Washington, DC - Author talk by Jennet Conant on: The Irregulars: Roald Dahl and the British Spy Ring in Wartime Washington - at Spy Museum. In 1940, with the threat of German invasion, the British government mounted a massive, secret campaign of propaganda and political subversion to weaken isolationist sentiment in America and manipulate Washington into entering the war against Germany. For this purpose, Winston Churchill created the British Security Coordination (BSC) under William Stephenson, “Intrepid,” whose agents called themselves the “Baker Street Irregulars.” Jennet Conant, author of The Irregulars, will discuss the exploits of one of Stephenson’s key agents: Roald Dahl. Beloved now for his books Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach, in WWII Dahl used his dazzling imagination for espionage purposes. His dashing good looks and easy charm won him access to the ballrooms and bedrooms of America’s rich and powerful, and to the most important prize of all—intelligence. Free! No registration required! Join the author for an informal chat and book signing. Where: International Spy Museum, 800 F St NW, Washington, DC, Gallery Place/Chinatown Metrorail Station
30 September 2009; 6:30 pm – Washington, DC - Rediscovering U.S.
Counterintelligence: The Inside View - at the Spy Museum.
“Significant strategic victories often turn on intelligence coups, and
with almost every intelligence success, counterintelligence rides
shotgun.”—Jennifer E. Sims, former deputy assistant secretary of state for intelligence coordination
Research, analysis, agile collection, and the timely use of guile and theft are the handmaidens of intelligence. The practice of defeating these tactics —counterintelligence—is an art unto itself. Burton Gerber, a veteran CIA case officer who served 39 years as an operations officer, was chief of station in three Communist countries, and now teaches at Georgetown University, and Jennifer E. Sims, professor in residence, director of intelligence studies, Georgetown University, and former deputy assistant secretary of state for intelligence coordination, have recently co-edited Vaults, Mirrors, & Masks: Rediscovering U.S. Counterintelligence. In this fresh look at counterintelligence, the co-editors will explain its importance and explore the causes of—and practical solutions for—U.S. counterintelligence weaknesses. Audience participation in this probing conversation—from the protection of civil liberties to challenges posted by technological change—will be strongly encouraged. Tickets: $15 per person Where: International Spy Museum, 800 F St NW, Washington, DC, Gallery Place/Chinatown Metrorail Station To register: https://web.spymuseum.org/e-commerce/ItemList.aspx
Wednesday, 7 October 2009 - Saturday, 10 October 2009 – Washington, DC - ThrillSpy International Film Festival.
ThrillSpy International Film Festival, sponsored by the National Museum
of Crime and Punishment and the International Spy Museum, provides a
showcase and celebration of the exciting thriller and spy genre of
films and novels, will hold its inaugural event in Washington this
October. ThrillSpy brings together new independent filmmakers with fans
and content distributors who appreciate their creativity. The festival
is a four-day event which includes film screenings in Washington’s Penn
Quarter, educational lectures, socials, book signings, a tour of the
International Spy Museum, and concludes with a ThrillSpy Awards
Masquerade Gala. Films this year include special selections from the
Cannes and Sundance film festivals. The opening night film is the D.C.
premier of The Champagne Spy by Nadav Schirman, an international
award-winning documentary about a true “Bond-like” Cold War spy. The
festival will also showcase Maryland director Brian Davis’ Academy
Award–winning documentary If A Body Meet A Body, which highlights the
lives of three employees at the world’s busiest coroner’s office.
Street Boss will also make its U.S. debut at ThrillSpy. This crime
thriller explores how the FBI brought down one of Detroit’s most
For more information please contact email@example.com or visit www.thrillspy.org.
13-16 October 2009 - Las Vegas, NV - AFIO National Symposium - Co-Sponsored with the U.S. Department of Energy, Nellis AFB, Creech AFB.
Register Here while space remains
AFIO 2009 Fall Symposium/Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada
13 October to 16 October, 2009
Co-Sponsored with the
Co-hosted with the AFIO Las Vegas Chapter
Cold Warriors in the Desert: From Atomic Blasts to Sonic Booms
Symposium will feature presentations on the testing of atomic weapons, airborne reconnaissance platforms, and more. Onsite visits to Nellis Air Force Base - Home of the Fighter Pilot, the U.S. Department of Energy's Nevada Test Site - the former on-continent nuclear weapons proving ground, and Creech Air Force Base - the home of the Predator unmanned aerial vehicles (currently deployed for combat missions in the Middle East, yet piloted from Creech).
Secure Online Registration is here while space remains
To download 1-page PDF registration form, complete, and mail or fax to us,
it is HERE
Updated agenda for planning your hotel and travel arrangements
Please note: buses will be departing very early on Wednesday morning from hotel, so attendees are encouraged to reserve sleeping rooms at hotel starting Tuesday evening, 13 October.
Harrah's Hotel Registration is available now at:
Telephone reservations may be made at 800-901-5188. Refer to Group Code
SHAIO9 to get the special AFIO rate. To make hotel reservations online,
go to: http://tinyurl.com/hotel4afio
Special AFIO October Symposium Las Vegas rates are available up to Wednesday, September 30, 2009
14 October 2009 - Laurel, Maryland - The National Cryptologic Museum Foundation Hosts General Membership Meeting on "Cyber Challenges Facing the U.S. in the 21st Century." The NCMF hosts their general membership meeting and have invited SecDef Robert Gates and CIA Dir Leon Panetta to be the speakers. The theme is "Cyber Challenges Facing the U.S. in the 21st Century." Sen. Barbara Mikulski will give a few words to the membership. A continental breakfast and buffet lunch will be provided. On October 15-16 NSA's Center for Cryptologic History sponsors their Symposium on Cryptologic History. The them: "Global Perspectives on Cryptologic History." For further program information and fees visit www.cryptfoundation.org
15 - 16 October 2009 - Laurel, Maryland - NSA’s Center for Cryptologic History sponsors the Symposium on Cryptologic History on "Global Perspectives on Cryptologic History." This special symposium is held every two years. Historians from the Center, other parts of the Intelligence Community, and the Department of Defense will join distinguished scholars from American and foreign academic institutions, along with veterans of the profession and others interested in cryptology, for two days of reflection and debate on the cryptologic past. Under this year’s theme, "Global Perspectives on Cryptologic History," participants will consider the impact of cryptology within the context of transnational history. The panels include a range of technological, operational, foreign relations, organizational, counterintelligence, policy, and even literary themes. Past symposia have featured scholarship setting out new ways of considering cryptologic history. The mix of practitioners and scholars on occasion can be volatile, but the result is a significantly enhanced appreciation for the context of past events. This year’s symposium promises to tackle controversial subjects head-on. Breaks and luncheons, presenting rare opportunities for lively discussion and interaction with leading scholars and distinguished experts, will be included in the registration fees. The symposium will be held at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory’s Kossiakoff Center in Laurel, Maryland. Make plans to join us for either one or both days of this intellectually stimulating conference. For more information, contact Dr. Kent Sieg, Symposium coordinator, at 301-688-2336 or firstname.lastname@example.org
20 October 2009; 6:30 pm – Washington, DC - CIA Magic: The Official CIA
Manual of Trickery and Deception at the Spy Museum. In the
early days of the Cold War, the CIA initiated a top-secret program,
code-named MKULTRA, to counter Soviet mind-control and interrogation
techniques. Realizing that its officers and agents might need to
clandestinely deploy newly developed pills, potions, and powders
against the adversary, the CIA hired America’s most famous magician, John Mulholland,
to write two secret manuals on sleight-of-hand and covert communication
techniques. Twenty years later, virtually all documents related to
MKULTRA—including Mulholland’s manuals—were thought destroyed. Only
recently, a surviving copy of each manual, complete with photographs
and illustrations, was discovered. In their new book, The Official CIA
Manual of Trickery and Deception, H. Keith Melton, internationally renowned espionage historian, and Bob Wallace,
former director of the CIA’s Office of Technical Services (OTS), reveal
for the first time Mulholland’s complete illustrated instructions for
CIA officers on the magician’s approach to manipulation and
communication. This eye-opening evening will explore the rich overlap
between stage magic and espionage and reveal the “never before seen”
secrets of how the magicians’ art also enhanced the spy’s craft.
Tickets: $20 per person Where: International Spy Museum, 800 F St NW, Washington, DC, Gallery Place/Chinatown Metrorail Station To register: https://web.spymuseum.org/e-commerce/ItemList.aspx
Thursday, 22 October 2009; 12 noon – 1 pm – Washington, DC - Defend the Realm: The Authorized History of MI5 at the Spy Museum. As MI5, Britain’s legendary security service, marks its 100th anniversary, the agency has given an independent scholar unrestricted access to its records for the very first time. Join Cambridge University professor and International Spy Museum emeritus advisory board member Christopher Andrew, the author of Defend the Realm, as he reveals the precise role of MI5 in twentieth-century British history: from its foundation in 1909, through two world wars, and its present roles in counterespionage and counterterrorism. Andrew describes how MI5 has been managed, what its relationship has been with government, where it has triumphed, and where it has failed. Defend the Realm also reveals the identities of previously unknown enemies of the United Kingdom whose activities have been uncovered by MI5. It adds significantly to our knowledge of many celebrated events and notorious individuals, and definitively lays to rest a number of persistent myths. Free! No registration required! Join the author for an informal chat and book signing. Where: International Spy Museum, 800 F St NW, Washington, DC, Gallery Place/Chinatown Metrorail Station
23-24 October 2009 - Bethel, CT - The Naval Cryptologic Veterans Association - New England Chapter (NCVA-NE) will hold a fall MINI-REUNION Event to occur at the Stony Hill Inn, US Rt 6, Bethel, Ct. For additional information, you may call (518) 664-8032 Questions: Victor Knorowski, 8 Eagle Lane, Mechanicville, NY 12118, E-mail: email@example.com
Wednesday, 28 October 2009, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. - Newport News, VA - AFIO Norman Forde Hampton Roads Chapter hosts Cyber Security Workshop
Where: Christopher Newport University, Newport News. Co-hosted by AFIO Norman Forde Hampton Roads and with CNU's Center for American Studies (CAS).
The Workshop entails a mid-day session (11 a.m. - 1 p.m.) featuring a keynote speaker, followed by a panel of four cyber security experts from government and business sectors. A light reception will follow the panel discussion. For more info: firstname.lastname@example.org
For Additional Events two+ months or greater....view our online Calendar of Events
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