AFIO Weekly Intelligence Notes #35-09 dated 22 September 2009






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

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North Ossetian Court Sentences Georgian On Spy Charges. The Supreme Court in the Russian republic of North Ossetia has sentenced a man for being a Georgian spy.

The court found Aleksandr Khachirov guilty of espionage and sentenced him to seven years in jail.

Prosecutors charged Khachirov with disclosing information about the location of Russian military forces within North Ossetia and the breakaway Georgian region of South Ossetia.

The trial was held behind closed doors.

Khachirov is the second man convicted in Russia in recent months of being a Georgian spy.

South Ossetia and Georgia's other breakaway republic of Abkhazia proclaimed their independence in August of last year after Russian troops entered their territories and forced the Georgian army to leave. [Khachirov/RadioFreeEurope/14September2009] 

Obama Backs Extending Patriot Act Spy Provisions. The Obama administration has told Congress it supports renewing three provisions of the Patriot Act due to expire at year's end, measures making it easier for the government to spy within the United States.

In a letter to Sen. Patrick Leahy, the Vermont Democrat and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Justice Department said the administration might consider "modifications" to the act in order to protect civil liberties.

"The administration is willing to consider such ideas, provided that they do not undermine the effectiveness of these important authorities," Ronald Weich, assistant attorney general, wrote to Leahy, whose committee is expected to consider renewing the three expiring Patriot Act provisions next week.

It should come as no surprise that President Barack Obama supports renewing the provisions, which were part of the Patriot Act approved six weeks after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

These are the three provisions due to expire:

*A secret court, known as the FISA court, may grant "roving wiretaps" without the government identifying the target. Generally, the authorities must assert that the target is an agent of a foreign power and/or a suspected terrorist. The government said Tuesday that 22 such warrants - which allow the monitoring of any communication device - have been granted annually.

*The FISA court may grant warrants for "business records," from banking to library to medical records. Generally, the government must assert that the records are relevant to foreign intelligence gathering and/or a terrorism investigation. The government said Tuesday that 220 of these warrants had been granted between 2004 and 2007. It said 2004 was the first year those powers were used.

*A so-called "lone wolf" provision, enacted in 2004, allows FISA court warrants for the electronic monitoring of an individual even without showing that the person is an agent of a foreign power or a suspected terrorist. The government said Tuesday it has never invoked that provision, but said it wants to keep the authority to do so.

"The basic idea behind the authority was to cover situations in which information linking the target of an investigation to an international group was absent or insufficient, although the target's engagement in 'international terrorism' was sufficiently established," Weich wrote.

The American Civil Liberties opposes renewing all three provisions, especially the lone wolf measure.

Michelle Richardson, the ACLU's legislative counsel, said in a telephone interview, "The justification for FISA and these lower standards and letting it operate in secret was all about terrorist groups and foreign governments, that they posed a unique threat other than the normal criminal element. This lone wolf provision undercuts that justification." [Wired/18September2009] 

Secretive Spending On U.S. Intelligence Disclosed. Intelligence activities across the U.S. government and military cost a total of $75 billion a year, the nation's top intelligence official disclosed, revealing publicly for the first time an overall number long shrouded in secrecy.

The disclosure by Dennis Blair, President Barack Obama's director of national intelligence, put a spotlight on the sharp growth in intelligence spending as well as on the huge and long obscured role of military intelligence programs, which, based on previous disclosures, would account for roughly $25 billion to $30 billion of the $75 billion total.

In comparison, when total intelligence spending was accidentally published in a congressional document in 1994, it totaled about $26 billion, including $10 billion for military intelligence programs, according to Steven Aftergood, an expert on intelligence spending with the Federation of American Scientists' Project on Government Secrecy.

Blair cited the $75 billion figure in releasing a four-year strategic blueprint for the sprawling, 200,000-person intelligence community.

In a conference call with reporters, Blair brushed aside as "no longer relevant" what he called the "traditional fault line" separating military programs from overall intelligence spending.

Blair's national intelligence post came into being in 2005 to oversee spy agencies after they failed to prevent the September 11, 2001 attacks and wrongly concluded that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.

In an unclassified version of Blair's blueprint, intelligence agencies singled out as threats Iran's nuclear program, North Korea's "erratic behavior," and insurgencies fueled by militant groups including al Qaeda.

Blair said the "accumulation of knowledge" about al Qaeda has made the U.S. intelligence community more effective at preventing attacks.

The intelligence assessment also pointed to growing challenges from China's military modernization and natural resource-driven diplomacy.

Blair cited Beijing's "aggressive" push into areas that could threaten U.S. cyber-security.

The $75 billion figure incorporated spending by the nation's 16 intelligence agencies, referred to collectively as the national intelligence program (NIP), as well as amounts spent by the Pentagon on so-called military intelligence program (MIP) activities in support of troops in the field in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, officials said.

Under pressure from Congress and advocacy groups, the U.S. government has taken some steps in recent years to open its books on some intelligence spending.

The Bush administration, for example, disclosed the amount spent by the 16 intelligence agencies under the NIP - $47.5 billion in 2008 alone - but those figures did not incorporate the military intelligence program, officials said.

Aftergood said there was "no good reason" to keep information about those military programs secret. "Its disclosure does not reveal any sensitive sources, methods or operations," he said, adding that Blair's disclosure "suggests that a more rational approach to intelligence secrecy may be around the corner. And it's about time." [Entous/Reuters/15September2009] 

Spy Chief Says U.S. Hunting al Qaeda More Effectively. U.S. spy agencies are hunting al Qaeda and related groups more effectively because their understanding of Islamic extremists has improved significantly in recent years, the top U.S. spy chief said as he released his first blueprint for U.S. intelligence.

Dennis Blair, director of national intelligence, sought to move past the vitriolic debates over the value of harsh interrogation methods, saying that "what has really made all the nations safer has been the accumulation of knowledge about al Qaeda and its affiliate groups, which enables us to be more aggressive in expanding that knowledge and stopping things before they happen."

Mr. Blair's blueprint outlined plans to sync the work of the 16 intelligence agencies behind common goals. He said, however, that he hasn't yet resolved his dispute with Central Intelligence Agency Director Leon Panetta over whether Mr. Blair should have the authority to deputize non-CIA officials as his representatives overseas.

The new spy strategy differed from the previous one developed in 2005 under President George W. Bush. The latest one de-emphasizes the commitment to "bolster the growth of democracy" and repeatedly says that spy activities "exemplify American values by operating under the rule of law at all times."

Detailing his new strategy in a conference call with reporters Tuesday, Mr. Blair said he wanted to break down longstanding rivalries between military intelligence agencies and so-called national intelligence agencies like the CIA. Tension between the CIA and the Pentagon grew during the Bush administration, which greatly expanded military intelligence capabilities and required the CIA to devote extensive resources to war fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Mr. Blair's blueprint also elevated the importance of spy hunting and cybersecurity, putting those issues on par with combating violent extremism and the proliferation of nuclear weapons. The strategy noted that extremist groups, cyber intruders, and criminal organizations "are intent on penetrating our critical infrastructure, information systems and leading industries."

To combat that threat, it said, the U.S. must employ its spy-chasing activities in cyberspace, particularly when it comes to protecting critical infrastructure. The Wall Street Journal reported in April that intelligence officials were increasingly alarmed by evidence that Russian and Chinese cyberspies had tapped into the U.S. electric grid and other infrastructure.

Among the other objectives, Mr. Blair called for the spy agencies to work together in a common direction, and said he would measure progress in performance reports for senior intelligence officials, including the heads of all 16 agencies.

But the dispute between Mr. Blair and CIA Director Panetta remains unresolved. Mr. Panetta told CIA employees to disregard a Blair policy that stated the director of national intelligence would designate the top intelligence officer overseas, and that the officer didn't have to be with the CIA, as historically had been the case.

"That whole process is still going on," Mr. Blair said of the effort to resolve the dispute, adding that spies from different agencies stationed overseas work well together. Asked why officials in Washington remain gridlocked over an issue that apparently isn't a major one for spies in the field, Mr. Blair said, "The closer you are to the fire, the more you focus on the mission." [Gorman/WallStreetJournal/16September2009] 

Study Faults Bush's Emphasis On Daily Intelligence Brief. Under President George W. Bush, the President's Daily Brief - the highly classified intelligence paper delivered each morning to the White House - rose to "an unprecedented level of importance," with negative consequences for the intelligence community, according to a new study by the Brookings Institution.

These included "skewing intelligence production away from deeper research and arms-length analysis" and driving analysts to choose "the latest, attention-grabbing clandestine reports from the field," says the study, released Tuesday, called "The U.S. Intelligence Community and Foreign Policy: Getting Analysis Right."

At times, Bush had analysts who had been working on high-concern issues he read about in the daily brief, or PDB, conduct hour-long "deep dives" on those topics, with top policymakers present. "Not infrequently the briefings and surrounding discussions by key players would produce immediate policy decisions," the study says.

The importance that Bush placed on the PDB caused problems among analysts "who came to see much of their raison d' etre as centered on the PDB product each day," according to the study's primary author, Kenneth Lieberthal, a senior fellow at Brookings and a National Security Council staff member in the Clinton White House.

For the study, Lieberthal interviewed current and former officials in the CIA, the NSC, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and the State and Defense departments. All, he said, "were promised anonymity."

The practice of providing a PDB to accompany the traditional morning intelligence briefing began in 1964 when Lyndon Johnson was in the White House, and presidents have had varying levels of engagement with it.

President Obama, according to the study, "prefers written material and want[s] to read [the PDB] without interruption."

After the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Bush "focused very seriously on the PDB briefings every morning, spending as much as an hour on it," the study says. With Vice President Richard B. Cheney, then-national security adviser Condoleezza Rice and his chief of staff, Andrew Card, present, he often used the briefing "to review and explore policy options."

There were almost 100 "deep dives" into PDB subjects in the Bush years, involving 200 analysts. Not surprisingly, "getting an item in the PDB became a major goal of analysts," and those in the CIA whose items attracted presidential interest "were rewarded," according to the study.

That was a problem, the study said, because focusing on producing PDB items that would draw favorable comment from Bush could have skewed "topic selection and treatment in the analytic community."

Since under Bush there was an emphasis on shorter lengths on PDBs, (the August 2001 item called "Bin Ladin Determined to Strike in US" was 1 1/2 pages long), the writing required sharper definition, the study said, sometimes more than justified. It also encouraged the use of "hyperbolic language in order to make the item 'sexy' enough for inclusion in the PDB," according to the study.

Analysts often used information carrying high classifications because it appeared to be of greater value, leaving aside that the facts were "occasionally of dubious reliability" and often incomplete and out of context.

In other cases, the study notes, analysts in fast-moving situations "sometimes 'save[d]' useful information for PDB use." While recognizing that some intelligence should be exclusively for the president, the study says that "withholding less sensitive information for hours or days so it appears first in the PDB is dangerous."

Knowing Bush's preferences, intelligence analysts sometimes gave "short shrift" to important issues when it came to the PDB. The study cites "the paucity of coverage of climate change issues" during the Bush period.

As the study points out, some of these problems existed "to a greater or lesser degree" under other presidents. But the Bush experience emphasizes that attention must be paid to the production of the PDB "to avoid producing pernicious spillover effects within the intelligence community itself." [Pincus/WashingtonPost/14September209] 

JRR Tolkien Trained as British Spy. Tolkien, one of his generation's most respected linguists, was ''earmarked'' to crack Nazi codes in the event that Germany declared war.

Intelligence chiefs singled him and a 'cadre' of other intellectuals to work at Bletchley Park, the codebreaking centre in Buckinghamshire.

Its staff - which included Alan Turing, the gay codebreaker - would later decipher the 'impenetrable' Enigma machines.

This saved Britain from German conquest by allowing the Navy to intercept and destroy Hitler's U-Boats.

According to previously unseen records, Tolkien trained with the top-secret Government Code and Cypher School (GCCS).

He spent three days at their London HQ in March 1939 - six months before the outbreak of the Second World War and just 18 months after the publication of his first book, The Hobbit.

But although he was ''keen'', Tolkien - a professor of English literature at Oxford University - declined a �500-a-year offer to become a full-time recruit.

The reasons behind his decision are not known.

But he went on to write the Lord of the Rings trilogy, one of the most popular and influential works in 20th-Century literature.

Tolkien's involvement with the war effort was revealed for the first time this week in a new exhibition at GCHQ, the new name for GCCS, the Government's spy base in Cheltenham, Glos.

The display includes a number of previously unseen exhibits relating to Bletchley Park's war preparations.

A GCHQ historian, who would not give his name for security reasons, said: ''JRR Tolkien is known the world over for his novels, but his involvement with the war effort may take a few people by surprise.

''While he didn't sign up as was probably intended, he did complete three days' training and was 'keen' to do more.

''Why he failed to join remains a mystery. There is no paperwork suggesting a motive, so we can only assume that he wanted to concentrate on his writing career.''

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, or 'JRR' Tolkien as he became known, was among a string of intellectuals singled out for service by the Foreign Office.

The GCCS began preparing for a second World War in the late 1930s, and knew the importance of establishing a codebreaking centre to defeat the German forces.

The director of GCCS, known only as 'Alastair G Denniston', drew up a list of 50 possible candidates ''earmarked for service'' in the event of war.

Denniston was given the names by dons at Britain's two leading universities, Oxford and Cambridge, whom had worked with the Government in the First World War.

Tolkien, a professor of Anglo Saxon at Oxford from 1925 to 1945, and professor of English Language and Literature from 1945 to 1959, was put forward.

In a letter to the Foreign Office dated 25 November 1938, Denniston says: ''I have been in touch with both universities and have established direct contact through dons who worked with us during the war, so that now we have a list of about 50 men earmarked for service under the Foreign Office in the event of war.

''I enclose a copy of this list so that you may know the type of men we intend to get.''

Tolkien and 12 others agreed to a ''tester'' day at GCCS HQ in London, where he was given training in Scandinavian languages and Spanish.

He visited the base for three consecutive days between March 27th and March 29th 1939 - six months before the war broke out.

A record of his training carries the word ''keen'' beside his name.

The GCHQ historian said: ''War was coming and the Government could see the complexity of the electronic encryption that would be used.

''The GCCS moved to Bletchley Park in August 1939 from London to avoid the expected bombing.

''They had been inviting people from universities to come for courses so that when they were needed there would a be a cadre of trained people.

''Alan Turing was one person and the list shows that he had three courses just on Enigma in January 1939, so they knew what sort of skills they needed.''

Those who passed the course, and agreed to sign-up, were offered an annual wage of �500 - the equivalent of around �50,000 today.

But Tolkien - who is assumed to have passed the course with flying colors - rejected the offer.

The historian joked: ''We simply don't know why he didn't join. Perhaps it was because we declared war on Germany and not Mordor.''

The exhibition opened in a museum at GCHQ HQ - dubbed the 'doughnut' because of its shape - this week and will remain on show for the next few months.

It also includes documents from the First World War, and a range of captured Enigma machines.

The exhibition is not open to everyone - the museum is strictly only open for GCHQ's 10,000 staff.

Chris Marshall, a GCHQ spokesman, said: ''The museum is important to give people a sense of the past and where they come from.

''It's about our past but also about where we go in the future.''

Tolkien died on 2 September 1973, aged 81. [Telegraph/18September2009] 

CIA Director Panetta to Arab Americans: 'I Need You'.  CIA Director Leon Panetta addressed Arab American and Muslim leaders in Dearborn, Mich. Panetta told the audience that they can play a big role in helping the CIA protect the country. The city of Dearborn has a large Arab and Muslim population and Panetta's speech coincided with the Ramadan "night of power," for Sunni Muslims.

Panetta said the CIA can't be "a cookie cutter kind of operation." Instead, he said, the organization must reflect the face of the nation and the face of the world.

"As CIA director I can tell you there's probably no other organization that stands to benefit more from our nation's diversity than the CIA," he said. "That's why I'm here. That's why I'm committed to making this agency look like the world that we have to operate in."

Panetta talked about his background as the son of Italian immigrants, and told the audience that his goal is to build a more diverse workforce at the CIA. Panetta said he hopes that one day the minority makeup of the agency will grow to 30 percent of the workforce.

Director Panetta touched on the Justice Department's investigation of allegations that the CIA, under the Bush administration, broke the law in carrying out certain intense interrogation techniques.

"I don't question the sincerity or the patriotism of those who were trying to respond to the 9/11 attacks. Whether their judgments were right or wrong, the time now has come to move on," he said. "For the agency now, our challenge is not the battles of yesterday, it is the battles of today and tomorrow."

Speaking with reporters before the event, Panetta said he never considered resigning over his battle with Attorney General Eric Holder's decision to investigate some agency officials.

Panetta used a big chunk of the time in his remarks to describe what the CIA does. He explained that the CIA exists to protect America.

"And that job, frankly, is the work of all Americans," Panetta said. "That's why I look to welcoming more Arab Americans, Chaldeans Americans, and Muslim Americans to the CIA's mission. I need you. The nation needs you." [ABC/18September2009] 

CIA to Add Bases in Afghanistan as Taliban Gains. The Central Intelligence Agency is setting up more bases in Afghanistan to help the U.S. military counter the Taliban's expanding control over the country, the agency's director said.

The extra CIA operatives will support the 17,000 additional troops President Barack Obama authorized soon after taking office this year and the civilian government employees helping to rebuild the country after years of war, CIA Director Leon Panetta said.

"We are increasing our presence" because the Taliban's "capabilities have improved a great deal" in Afghanistan, he said. "The result is that I think everyone, our military and civilian operations, demand better intelligence."

Admiral Michael Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, has said the security situation in Afghanistan is "serious" and "deteriorating." He told lawmakers on Sept. 15 that it's likely more troops will be needed to defeat the Taliban. The CIA buildup that Panetta said is "going on as we speak" reflects how fast the insurgency is gaining ground.

In the interview at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, Panetta touched upon a range of security issues facing the agency.

He said he has asked senior CIA officials to develop a plan in case countries with weak or non-existent governments such as Yemen and Somalia descend into anarchy and become havens for al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups.

Panetta also said the U.S. may get the opportunity to negotiate with North Korea to scale back its nuclear and missile programs.

The U.S. is ready to engage directly with North Korea in an effort to bring the nuclear-armed regime back to multinational talks on disarmament, Philip J. Crowley, the top State Department spokesman, said in an interview Sept. 11.

The U.S. and North Korea "are discussing the ability to try to talk with one another," Panetta said. "We're in a honeymoon situation right now." He credited former President Bill Clinton's visit to the Stalinist state last month with opening up dialogue.

North Korea in May detonated a nuclear device, prompting United Nations sanctions and escalating military tension on the peninsula. Relations began to thaw after Clinton traveled to Pyongyang and returned with two detained U.S. journalists on Aug. 5.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Il's release of the Americans was followed by his regime freeing a detained Hyundai Group worker and four South Korean fishermen. A delegation from the North traveled to the South to pay respects after the death of former South Korean president Kim Dae Jung, and the two Koreas this month settled a wage dispute at a jointly run industrial complex.

On Afghanistan, Panetta said he thought the U.S. can be successful by relying on the experience of U.S. and NATO troops in the region and the counterinsurgency tactics championed by Army General Stanley McChrystal, the commander of U.S. and NATO forces in the country.

While the Taliban "are clearly increasing their threat, we at the same time are learning a lot more about how we deal with them," he said. "That gives me at least some hope that we can direct this in the right way."

McChrystal has submitted his assessment of the security situation in Afghanistan and will also offer an analysis of how many additional U.S. forces may be needed. As American public opinion becomes more wary of the war, administration officials are under pressure to limit requests for more troops.

Al-Qaeda, which was based in Afghanistan before the U.S. invasion to topple the Taliban following the Sept. 11 attacks on the U.S., is seeking other havens. They and the Taliban set up bases in neighboring Pakistan's northwestern tribal region, drawing missile attacks from CIA-directed Predator drones.

If Yemen or other vulnerable nations become failed states, the CIA must be ready to "interdict" al-Qaeda agents before they can set up cells there, Panetta said.

Yemen, at the southern tip of the oil-rich Arabian Peninsula, is fighting Shiite Muslim insurgents in the north on the Saudi border, a separatist movement in the south and a resurgent al-Qaeda. A militant tried to assassinate the top anti-terrorist official in Saudi Arabia in an attack on Aug. 27 for which al-Qaeda's Yemeni-based organization took credit.

Somalia is in its 18th year of civil war and hasn't had a functioning central administration since the ouster of Mohamed Siad Barre, the former dictator, in 1991.

Islamist groups including al-Shabaab and the Hisb-ul-Islam movement have gained control of most of southern and central Somalia in their bid to oust President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said last month during a visit to Kenya that Sharif's government represents the "best hope" for a return to stability in the country. [Bliss/Bloomberg/18September2009] 

Intelligence Analyst Says Hacking Charge Doesn't Compute. A Defense Department intelligence analyst hit with a federal computer hacking charge last week says he's being made a scapegoat for a security slip-up that sent a password in a nationwide terrorism investigation to "tens of thousands" of analysts without the need-to-know.

"I think on one of the blogs, somebody said, how about this: I give you my username and password, you log into my account, and then I file criminal charges against you," said Brian Keith Montgomery, in a telephone interview with Threat Level on Thursday. "That person hit it right on the head."

Montgomery held a top secret clearance while working on a covert program at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency - the spy agency in charge of satellite and aerial image collection. On April 9, he was carrying out his duties when he saw a message that "provided significant detail about a classified operation" that was unrelated to his job, according to a court affidavit filed by a Pentagon investigator.

According to the government, Montgomery ignored a security warning in the message he saw, and twice logged in to a system used in the terrorism investigation: first on April 9, when he stayed on for two hours, and then on April 14. He'd gotten the password from another classified message to which he also had legitimate access.

Federal prosecutors in the Eastern District of Virginia charged Montgomery on September 11 with a single felony count of gaining unauthorized access to a protected computer or exceeding authorized access, and obtaining classified information.

"It was an unclassified account," Montgomery says.

Montgomery told investigators that he hadn't noticed a security advisory saying that only officials participating in the operation were allowed to use the password. After he explained the incident to officials, he thought the matter was resolved. "I was told my supervisors had cleared me, and had chalked it up as an innocent mistake," he says. "That's where it stood back in April, and then it started to snowball because everybody wanted a piece of the pie."

Montgomery didn't discuss the system at issue, but court records indicate it was used from all around the United States as part of the terrorism investigation, and was being monitored by the FBI and other law enforcement agencies at the time of Montgomery's access.

Curiously, just by accessing the system, Montgomery endangered the terrorism investigation, and "caused harm to the U.S. Army and the FBI," according to the affidavit by Dexter Wells, an agent with the Defense Criminal Investigative Service.

Montgomery says he is not a whistleblower, and that there was nothing untoward about the terrorism probe he blundered into. But he argues that he shouldn't be prosecuted as a criminal for using a password that was widely distributed.

"In my opinion, go after the person who provided me with that information," he says. "I was just a consumer. I wasn't the person who put that username and password out there for tens out thousands of analysts to see." [Wired/18September2009] 

Former C.I.A. Chiefs Protest Justice Inquiry of Interrogation Methods. Seven former directors of the Central Intelligence Agency asked President Obama on Friday to shut down the new Justice Department inquiry into past abuses during interrogations of terror suspects, arguing that it "will seriously damage" the nation's ability to protect itself.

In a letter to Mr. Obama, the former C.I.A. chiefs said the cases now under study have already been examined by career prosecutors who determined no charges were warranted. To reopen cases based on a change in political party controlling the government, they wrote, will make it harder for intelligence officers to take risks without worrying that some future attorney general will investigate them.

"Those men and women who undertake difficult intelligence assignments in the aftermath of an attack such as September 11 must believe there is permanence in the legal rules that govern their actions," the directors said in their letter.

The directors argued that the new inquiry will result in the disclosure of information about past operations that "can only help Al Qaeda elude" capture and will convince foreign intelligence agencies that they cannot trust America to protect secrets. Moreover, they said the inquiry could expand beyond the handful of cases now under review.

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. assigned a career prosecutor, John Durham, to look into the cases last month after concluding that intelligence agents may have gone beyond the legal guidance they were given during the Bush administration. Although Mr. Obama has expressed a desire to move on and not dwell on the past, he left the decision to Mr. Holder.

The protest from the former C.I.A. directors mirrors the internal argument made by the current chief, Leon E. Panetta, who tried but failed to head off the new inquiry. The White House said Friday that it had no comment on the letter from the former C.I.A. directors and referred questions to the Justice Department.

"The attorney general's decision to order a preliminary review into this matter was made in line with his duty to examine the facts and to follow the law," said Matthew Miller, a department spokesman. "As he has made clear, the Department of Justice will not prosecute anyone who acted in good faith and within the scope of the legal guidance given by the Office of Legal Counsel regarding the interrogation of detainees."

The letter to Mr. Obama was signed by Michael V. Hayden and Porter J. Goss, who served under President George W. Bush; George J. Tenet, who was appointed by President Bill Clinton and kept on by Mr. Bush; John M. Deutch and R. James Woolsey, who served under Mr. Clinton; William H. Webster, who served under President Ronald Reagan and the first President George Bush; and James R. Schlesinger, who served under President Richard M. Nixon. [Baker/NewYorkTimes/18September2009] 

Colombia to Create New Intelligence Agency, Close DAS. Colombia's President Alvaro Uribe plans to replace the nation's domestic intelligence agency with a slimmed-down version after accusations it has been involved in illegal spying during the past several years.

The government will next week ask congress to give Uribe extraordinary powers to liquidate and create a replacement for the service, known as DAS, Felipe Munoz, head of the agency said in a televised statement. The DAS has about 6,500 employees.

The new organization will be responsible for just two of its current seven units, intelligence and counterintelligence, Munoz said. International policing and most other DAS functions will move to the national police under General Oscar Naranjo, Munoz said. [Murphy/Bloomberg/17September2009] 

Denver Man at Heart of New York Terror Probe Wants to Cut Deal with FBI. The Afghan national at the center of a reputed Al Qaeda terror cell probe was trying to cut a deal Friday after two days of FBI grilling, sources told the Daily News.

Lawyers for Najibullah Zazi, 25, were negotiating with federal officials for an agreement where he could admit receiving military training - but deny plans to injure any Americans, sources familiar with the case said.

While the interrogators focused on Zazi, authorities expanded their attention to include more potential suspects in a plot that raised concerns about the city's subway system.

When the probe began this week, five Colorado men cited as members of the cell were under a round-the-clock watch. By Thursday, police sources said, that number had risen to as many as 12. A half-dozen were reportedly in New York, where Zazi arrived

for a visit last week. Sources said he returned to Colorado after slipping an FBI tail.

There were still no arrests three days after the NYPD raided a series of Queens apartments, taking the investigation public. [Meek/NYDailyNews/18September2009] 

Gates Says China Could Undermine US Military Power in Pacific. China's increasingly advanced weaponry could undermine US military power in the Pacific, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said.

Echoing newly released US intelligence guidelines that warned of Beijing's military modernization, Gates said US naval carriers and air bases in the Pacific faced new threats from China.

The new threats meant long-range military aircraft would take on greater importance as the latest weaponry would "degrade the effectiveness of short-range fighters and put more of a premium on being able to strike from over the horizon - whatever form that capability might take," he said.

Defense analysts have warned that the US military will soon lose its dominance on the high seas, in space and in cyberspace as China and other emerging powers obtain sophisticated weaponry and missiles.

The United States released its 2009 National Intelligence Strategy document Tuesday, in which China's "natural resource-focused diplomacy and military modernization" were cited as factors making it a "global challenge."

The intelligence guidelines for the next four years also elevated the importance of the cyber domain, singling out China as "very aggressive in the cyberworld."  [AP/18September2009] 

DNI Unveils 2009 National Intelligence Strategy. The Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair unveiled the 2009 National Intelligence Strategy - the blueprint that will drive the priorities for the nation's 16 intelligence agencies over the next 4 years. The National Intelligence Strategy (NIS) is one of the most important documents for the Intelligence Community (IC) as it lays out the strategic environment, sets priorities and objectives, and guides current and future decisions on budgets, acquisitions, and operations.

The National Intelligence Strategy lays out the strategic environment - challenges the U.S. faces not only from other nations and non-state actors, but also from global trends related to forces like economics, the environment, emerging technology, and pandemic disease. It identifies four IC-wide goals to: enable wise national security policies, support national security actions, deliver top-notch capabilities, and operate as a team. Finally, it explains the IC's objectives - what the IC intends to accomplish (6 mission objectives) and how the IC will accomplish them (enterprise objectives).

The 6 "mission objectives" are: 1) Combat Violent Extremism; 2) Counter WMD Proliferation; 3) Provide Strategic Intelligence and Warning; 4) Integrate Counterintelligence capabilities; 5) Enhance Cybersecurity; and 6) Support Current Operations (ongoing U.S. diplomatic, military, and law enforcement operations).

The 7 "enterprise objectives" are: 1) Enhance Community Mission Management; 2) Strengthen Partnerships; 3) Streamline Business Processes; 4) Improve Information Integration & Sharing; 5) Advance S&T/R&D; 6) Develop the Workforce; and 7) Improve Acquisition.

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence, now in its fourth year, oversees the coordination and integration of the16 federal organizations that make up the Intelligence Community. The DNI sets the priorities for and manages the implementation of the National Intelligence Program. Additionally, the DNI serves as the principal adviser to the president and the National Security Council on all intelligence issues related to national security. [OpenSourceInfo/19September2009] 

Iranian Missile Support. A researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology reports that he has acquired internal Iranian documents showing China and North Korea's close involvement in Iran's missile program.

Geoffrey Forden, a research associate at MIT's Science, Technology and Global Security Working Group, stated in a Sept. 14 post on the Web site that he obtained "internal secret Iranian documents" showing how several countries are helping Tehran develop missiles or are providing technology for them.

"If my understanding is correct, they indicate that representatives from North Korea and China have been present at all phases of production and flight testing," Mr. Forden stated. "Iran has also gotten important help from Russia, though Russians do not appear to have been as ubiquitous as the Chinese and the North Koreans."

The backing, outlined with code names, originated from "governmental level" entities, and not individuals operating outside the governments, he stated.

Russian assistance to Iran's missile program - denied by Moscow in the past - includes "images of engines and turbopumps that are obviously of Russian origin - either their actual production or at the very least their designs - and these internal Iranian memos, make the case overwhelmingly," Mr. Forden said.

"Iran is clearly mustering its industrial and intellectual infrastructure to produce long range missiles and, more importantly, to assimilate the knowhow to design and produce more advanced missiles in the future," Mr. Forden stated.

In an e-mail, he declined to elaborate on the documents and has not published the Farsi-language memos in order to protect the sources. He said the documents bear Iranian state-run industry logos.

"I hope I have not provided the Iranian security organs with enough information to track people down," he told Inside the Ring. "There are, of course, any number of organizations that are involved in missile production or related fields, and they all have different logos, etc."

Chinese backing for Iran's missile program has been known to U.S. intelligence agencies since the 1990s. Intelligence documents obtained by The Washington Times in the 1990s outlined extensive covert Chinese support to Iran's missile programs. The documents showed that China was supplying specialty metals, guidance systems and telemetry equipment used in missile development, and also had trained Iranian missile technicians.

Chinese Embassy spokesman Wang Baodong had no immediate comment on China's role in assisting Iran's missile program. China's government in the past has denied any illicit support for Iran's missile program. [Gertz/WashingtonTimes/17September2009] 


An Artist Delves Into the Lives of Spies. On the afternoon of Aug. 25, 2008, a black sedan from the Dutch embassy in New York drove up to a brownstone in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. A man got out and rang the doorbell of local artist, Jill Magid. He handed her a brown envelope.

The unexpected delivery - containing a heavily redacted manuscript written by Ms. Magid about the three years she spent meeting with agents at the General Intelligence and Security Service of the Netherlands - is part of a new exhibit at the Tate Modern museum in London, titled "Authority to Remove."

Behind the manuscript is a tale of the unlikely pairing: an exhibitionist artist and a cloistered agency, and the art and fighting it produced.

Ms. Magid, age 36, whose sculptures have sold for as much as $25,000 each, is well known in art circles for her work burrowing into Big Brother-like institutions. She once made a film, for example, using surveillance camera footage taken by Liverpool's police department recording her wanderings around the city.

Four years ago, she was hired to create art for the new headquarters of the Dutch intelligence agency in The Hague. Dutch law requires publicly funded buildings to allocate a small percentage of their construction budgets to new art. Other institutions like the Dutch Ministry of Justice had set edgy precedent by commissioning art stars like Sam Durant and Marlene Dumas. Curators at the Government Buildings Agency, which oversees state construction projects, offered Ms. Magid �100,000, or roughly $130,000 at the time, to create one or more artworks that reflect the agency's mission: investigating threats to "democratic order," according to the project description.

One gray February morning in 2005, Ms. Magid pitched the selection committee on her idea in a meeting at the agency's old building, ringed with a moat, about a 30 minute bus ride from the city center in The Hague. Her proposal hinged on a clause, Article 12, in the "Kingdom of the Netherlands Bulletin of Acts, Orders and Degrees." It forbids the government from monitoring its employees' religious convictions, health or sex lives. She proposed interviewing agents about personal matters and compiling the information in a report and other artworks that would mask their true identities but collectively reflect the agency's softer side. The agency could display the report and some of the other pieces on site.

Ms. Magid was granted security clearance. She started meeting agents at cafes and hotel lobbies, eventually spending time with more than a dozen. At first, she struggled to keep up with their slang, Ms. Magid says. The "spider in the web" is shorthand for a team analyst who collects information from field agents, one agent told her. Another showed her historical gadgets like "dead-letter boxes," containers for secret messages. Over time, the talk strayed from their personal lives to conflicts they felt about their undercover lives and other aspects of their jobs, Ms. Magid says.

When the agency saw her resulting work on April 18, 2008, it says it was surprised. Before turning over her work, Ms. Magid held a show, called "Article 12," at a public gallery in The Hague, Stroom den Haag. Four members of the intelligence agency came to inspect. They saw a small bronze sculpture of a man in a business suit amid a flock of sheep. Its inspiration: an agent had described the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency as "cowboys" and his colleagues as "shepherds," Ms. Magid told them.

Another part of the gallery floor was covered with cursive-lettered neon signs that offered short descriptions of individual agents. One pile described an agent who spoke "Slavonic languages," had a "dark puffy bob," and had a "loud, squeaky voice." The transparent glass tubes were filled with neon gas and glowed red and sizzled with heat. Ms. Magid said the pieces were inspired by a phrase agents used to describe other agents who know their identities when they work undercover, or someone who can "burn their faces."

The agency expressed its concern that some of the descriptions in her pieces came too close to identifying agents but left the show as it was. The buildings agency curator, Huib Haye van der Werf, recalls he wondered if the artist had penetrated the intelligence agency farther than anyone had anticipated. "I got sweaty hands," he says.

Two months later, a bigger problem emerged. Ms. Magid told the agency that in addition to the show she planned to take her original report and turn it into a novel to shop to publishers. Theo Bot, the agency's deputy director general at the time and now the country's deputy national coordinator for counterterrorism, called an emergency meeting with Mr. van der Werf and others at the buildings agency which had commissioned Ms. Magid's works. Mr. Bot said he wanted the artist to agree to never publish her manuscript. Mr. Bot also wanted every copy of her "18 spies" print series returned to the agency, the agency spokeswoman Ms. Havinga confirms. Mr. Bot declined to comment and referred questions to Ms. Havinga. Ms. Havinga said the aim was to protect the agents' identities from accidental exposure, not artistic censorship.

Ms. Magid balked. On July 17, the building agency's director, Peter J�gers, sent her a letter with pages of the Dutch penal code of punishment for spilling state secrets. "You are not at liberty to publish a book on your own behalf," he wrote, according to copies of the letters reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

After several rounds of letters, Ms. Magid and the agency reached a detente: Ms. Magid turned over to the agency seven of the 18 prints, including one describing an agent as "Chewbacca." The intelligence agency stripped her manuscript of what it deemed sensitive references and had the Dutch embassy in New York deliver the redacted manuscript to her. About 40% was whited out.

This past spring, the Tate Modern's assistant curator, Amy Dickson, contacted Ms. Magid. Ms. Magid told of her encounters with the Dutch secret service. They came up with a show based on her experience.

In one gallery, a prologue describes her entry into the intelligence agency. Another gallery is dedicated to her original manuscript, under glass and deliberately positioned out of reach.

During installation at the Tate recently for the show that runs through Jan. 3, Ms. Dickson said the artist instructed her to hand over the manuscript should the Dutch intelligence agency ask. Ms. Magid said the Tate show was a creative second home for her findings, or, using the Dutch intelligence term, "the museum is my dead-letter box." [Crow/WallStreetJournal/18September2009] 

A Look Back - Robert Carey Broughton: From Walt Disney to War Movies. What do Walt Disney Studios and the Office of Strategic Services - the predecessor of today's CIA - have in common? Accomplished camera effects artist Robert Carey Broughton created award-winning films for both organizations.

Broughton was born on September 17, 1917, in Berkeley, California. He spent most of his childhood in Glendale, California, where he attended Glendale High School and Glendale Junior College. Broughton also attended the University of California, Los Angeles, where he studied chemistry, physics, math and optics.

In 1937, Broughton got a job at Walt Disney Studios delivering mail. It wasn't long before he was pulled to work in the camera department. He started out as an assistant in the test camera department, where he worked on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Broughton's job was to shoot the test camera to check for continuous action of the animation before finalizing the film.

Next, Broughton worked with the animation camera, which led to operating Disney's famous multi-plane camera. It was used to create depth in animated featured films, including Pinocchio, Fantasia, Bambi, and many more.

Broughton was very involved with the production of Fantasia. His work on this film and his eye for detail earned him a promotion to camera department supervisor.

With the start of World War II, Broughton answered the call to service by joining the U.S. Army. He was assigned to the Field Photographic Branch of the OSS.

Film had not been used extensively during a war before, but with the beginning of World War II, it became apparent that it could serve a number of purposes:

* Boost propaganda and morale,

* Train the troops,

* Provide intelligence, and

* Record historical events.

During his time with the OSS, Broughton worked with Hollywood director John Ford to create documentary films about the war. Together, the two men produced The Battle of Midway, which won an Academy Award for best documentary in 1942. Broughton photographed most of the footage and Ford directed the film.

The OSS institutionalized using film in intelligence with the OSS Intelligence Photographic Documentation Project. Its purpose was to establish a worldwide photographic intelligence file of areas of strategic importance.

After the War, Broughton returned to Disney as an assistant to legend Ub Iwerks - co-creator of Mickey Mouse. Under Iwerks, Broughton began to work on live-action motion pictures, such as Mary Poppins. He helped create the illusion that Dick Van Dyke was dancing with penguins by using Color Traveling Matte Composite Cinematography. This award-winning technology combined live action and animation on film.

In 1982 - with 45 years of work at Disney under his belt - Broughton retired. He was known for his passion. Even after retiring, his enthusiasm lived on in his coordination of the retiree club, The Golden Ears.

Broughton was honored as a Disney Legend in 2001. This annual award honors an individual whose creativity and talent have contributed to producing magical films for children of all ages. Each Disney Legend receives an award cast in bronze and a plaque bearing their name, hand prints and signature at the Studios in California. [CIA.Gov/4September2009] 

How the Cold War Was Won - By the French. James Bond and George Smiley can eat their hearts out. Who really won the Cold War for the democratic world? The French, naturellement. This rather startling claim is made by the publicity for a brooding, brilliant, French spy movie which reaches cinemas next week. Although somewhat far-fetched, the boast that French intelligence "changed the world" does have some basis in fact.

The story of L'Affaire Farewell, how a French mole in the KGB leaked information so devastating that it hastened the implosion of the Soviet Union, is comparatively little known in Britain or even in France.

Due credit is given to the French, the once-reviled "surrender monkeys", by, of all sources, the Central Intelligence Agency. The CIA's official website still carries a compelling essay, written soon after the affair was declassified in 1996, by Gus Weiss, the American official who ran the Washington end of the case. He concludes: "[The] Farewell dossier... led to the collapse of a crucial [KGB spying] program at just the time the Soviet military needed it... Along with the US defense build-up and an already floundering Soviet economy, the USSR could no longer compete."

The official version of events shows that the French taupe, or mole, was Colonel Vladimir Vetrov of Directorate T, the industrial spying arm of the KGB. In 1981-82, he gave French intelligence more than 3,000 pages of documents and the names of more than 400 Soviet agents posted abroad. The information, shared by Paris with its Nato allies, was deeply alarming but also hugely encouraging.

Colonel Vetrov, codenamed Farewell by the French, laid bare the successful Soviet strategies for acquiring, legally and illegally, advanced technology from the West. He also exposed the abject failure of the Communist system to match rapid Western advances in electronic micro-technology.

The case directly influenced President Ronald Reagan's decision to launch the "Star Wars" program in 1983: a hi-tech bluff which would drag the USSR into an unaffordable, and calamitous, attempt to keep up with the democratic world.

Raymond Nart, the French intelligence officer who handled the case from Paris, reported that Colonel Vetrov approached the French because he had once been stationed in Paris and loved the French language. His original contact was a French businessman in Moscow and then a French military attach� and his wife. He passed on secrets by exchanging shopping baskets with the wife in a Moscow market.

The Russian never asked for money or for a new life in the West. He was an "uncontrollable man, who oscillated between euphoria and over-excitement", said Mr. Nart. He appears to have been motivated by frustration with the Soviet system and, maybe, a personal grudge. He was eventually caught, and executed, after stabbing his mistress and killing a policeman in a Moscow park in February 1982. The case remains deeply sensitive, and mysterious, in Russia and France. The democratic Russia of Vladimir Putin (ex-KGB) and Dimitry Medvedev brought pressure on a celebrated Russian actor, Sergei Makovetsky, to withdraw from the French film, L'Affaire Farewell, which premieres at the Toronto film festival this week. A request to film in Russia was refused.

Former French intelligence officers came forward to try to sidetrack the film's director, Christian Carion (who made the Oscar-nominated Joyeux Noel about the fraternization in the trenches in December 1914). The ex-agents told him that the Farewell case was not what it seemed. The whole affair, they said, had been concocted by the CIA to test the loyalty to the West of the Socialist president, Fran�ois Mitterrand, after he was elected in May 1981.

Even Mitterrand came to believe this version of events, and fired a senior French intelligence chief in 1985. These allegations, officially denied in Washington and Paris, are almost certainly driven by jealousy among competing French spy services. Farewell was "run" - at the mole's own insistence - by a relatively small, French counter-espionage agency, the Direction de la Surveillance du Territoire (DST), which was not supposed to operate abroad.

The former French foreign minister, Hubert V�drine, a diplomatic adviser to President Mitterrand at the time, is in no doubt that Farewell existed. "It was one of the most important spy cases of the 20th century," he said. "At no other time since 1945 was the Soviet system exposed to the light of day so completely."

Mr. V�drine rejects the implication - in the publicity surrounding the film rather than the film itself - that the Farewell case caused the collapse of the Soviet Union. But he, like the senior US official, Mr. Weiss, argues that the information provided by the KGB mole was one of the catalysts for the demise of the USSR, nine years later. By making it even harder for the Soviets to compete with the West, the affair magnified doubts and tensions within the Communist hierarchy and assisted the rise - but also undermined the work - of the would-be reformer, Mikhail Gorbachev.

The film, L'Affaire Farewell, made in Russian, French and English, stars the Bosnian actor, Emir Kusturica, as the KGB mole and Willem Dafoe as the head of the CIA. To allow the researcher-scriptwriter, Eric Raynaud, cinematic licence with the story, Colonel Vetrov has been renamed, Serguei Grigoriev. The French agents are telescoped into one man, a reluctant businessman-turned-spy called Pierre Froment, played by Guillaume Canet.

The film, which has received glowing advance reviews, is far from being a James Bond car-chase thriller. It is more like a Gallic John Le Carr�: part historical essay, part psycho-drama about the relationship between professional Russian spy and amateur French agent. The director, Carion, admits that he has guillotined parts of the story. He left out the professional French agent and his wife and he left out Farewell's attempt to stab his mistress as "too confusing". The effect is to downplay Colonel Vetrov's murky side and make the story one of anguished heroism, on both sides.

Russia's refusal to co-operate in the making of the movie is easily explained, Carion says. In 1983, 47 Soviet diplomats and journalists, identified as spies by Farewell, were expelled from Paris. Among them was a young diplomat called Alexander Avdeev. When the film was being planned, Mr. Avdeev was back in Paris as the Russian ambassador. He has since returned to Moscow as Minister of Culture.

How significant was the Farewell affair? In the essay on the CIA web-site, Mr. Weiss, a member of Ronald Reagan's National Security Council in 1981, gives a lengthy account of its importance to the US. Mr. Weiss, who was put in charge of the US response to the Farewell leaks, was an intelligence officer for almost half a century. His words need to be treated with caution but he suggests that Farewell played a pivotal role in the winning of the Cold War.

"Reading the material caused my worst nightmares to come true," he said. The Soviet Union, under the cover of detente had extracted so many technical secrets from the West, openly and illegally, that in the 1970s "our science was supporting their national defense".

At the same time, the Farewell File revealed that the USSR was much further behind the West in computer technology than the CIA had believed possible. The US used the information to turn the tables, Mr. Weiss said, "and conduct economic warfare of our own".

Sabotaged pieces of technology were leaked to Moscow "designed so that... they would appear genuine but would later fail"; "contrived [unreliable] computer chips found their way into Soviet military equipment, flawed turbines were installed on a gas pipeline (which later exploded) and defective plans disrupted the output of chemical plants and a tractor factory".

The former French foreign minister, Mr. Vedrine, believes that the Soviet empire was already close to collapse in the early 1980s. Its economic model was no longer working. The Afghan war and military expenditure had crippled state finances. The value of oil exports had plummeted. Farewell, he says, did not cause the end of the USSR but it did "hasten the system towards its end".

Gus Weiss reaches the same conclusion. Unlike Mr. V�drine, he will never see the cinematic version of events. He died in November 2003 in mysterious circumstances, officially classified as suicide. Mr. Weiss, who had split with the Bush administration over Iraq, fell from the windows of his apartment in Washington. The apartment was in the Watergate building. [Lichfield/Independent/17September2009] 


Government Should Help Widen Cyber Knowledge, by Max Stier. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano last month warned that our government must move quickly from a cyber 1.0 world to cyber 3.0 and beyond if we are to protect federal computer networks from attacks.

This means building a highly skilled workforce, Napolitano acknowledged. "How do we grow our own cyber experts who will work within a government framework, and how do we make sure we will recruit and retain top talent?" she asked.

It's a positive development that Napolitano is asking these questions, but other government leaders also must start paying close attention to the cyber workforce.

A recent study by the Partnership for Public Service found broad agreement among federal officials and outside experts that the government has a cybersecurity workforce problem - a serious shortage of technically sophisticated professionals capable of combating the growing cyber threat from hackers, criminals, foreign governments and terrorist organizations.

There has been a lack of high-level leadership, with no one in charge of assessing and planning governmentwide workforce needs. Our government is operating with an outdated job classification system, a broken hiring process, little training for workers to upgrade their skills, and no career path or uniform technical certification system for cybersecurity specialists. Meanwhile, the Homeland Security Department reports that cyber attacks on government civilian computer networks tripled between 2006 and 2008, and the Government Accountability Office reports that 23 of 24 major agency computer systems are at high risk of fraud, misuse and disruption.

Computer spies, possibly from China, broke into the Pentagon's $300 billion Joint Strike Fighter project, while it is widely speculated that North Korea was responsible for the disruption in July of Web sites at the Treasury and Transportation departments, and Secret Service.

Federal information technology leaders report difficulty finding, hiring and retaining qualified cybersecurity experts in many specialties including those skilled in computer network engineering, forensics, software development, defense, vulnerability and protocol analysis, intrusion detection, and, in the case of the military and intelligence communities, digital exploitation and attack.

Most agencies, with the exception of the intelligence and Defense communities, wait for talent to show up by posting openings on Almost every agency relies on outside contractors for help.

President Barack Obama has acknowledged the importance of protecting government computer networks and in May pledged to name a White House coordinator to oversee cybersecurity policy issues. But the president made no public mention of the workforce and has been slow in moving forward with his broader plans.

A comprehensive, integrated strategy is needed to overcome the talent deficit.

First, the administration must assess its short- and long-term workforce needs, develop a governmentwide blueprint to recruit, hire and retain top cybersecurity talent, and then aggressively implement it. This plan should provide guidance on the appropriate roles for civil servants and private contractors.

Next, the White House should lead a campaign to encourage universities to offer, and students to pursue, cybersecurity educational programs. Congressional funding should be increased to expand scholarships in computer science and cybersecurity in return for a commitment to government service.

The administration must create up-to-date cybersecurity job classifications, establish first-class technical certification requirements for each cyber discipline and map a cybersecurity career path starting at the entry level. There must be a big investment in training, the development of managers with the skills to lead a multisector workforce, and hiring flexibilities to expedite recruitment of top talent.

The time is overdue for the government to commit the resources and exert the leadership to build and nurture a highly skilled cyber workforce. [Max Stier is president and CEO of the nonprofit Partnership for Public Service.] [Stier/FederalTimes/14September2009]

Intelligence Work, Past and Future, by David Ignatius. The gauzy romance and the gritty political reality of the spy business came into focus in two encounters in Europe this week. If the two can be linked, maybe there's a chance of easing the destructive battles between Congress and the CIA.

What's required is a new approach to intelligence based on the need for political sustainability. This, in turn, will require a degree of transparency with Congress and the public that may make the intelligence community uncomfortable. But frankly, after the torture debate, there's no other way.

First, the romance: I attended a ceremony at the Elysee Palace honoring one of the great spies of World War II, a Frenchwoman named Jeannie de Clarens. She's 90 now and frail after a broken leg. But her eyes still sparkle with the mischievous intelligence that led her, as a girl of 23, to infiltrate a group of German officers and charm them into revealing the secret of the V-1 and V-2 rocket bombs being built at Peenemunde.

I recounted Jeannie's exploits in a Dec. 28, 1998, piece in The Washington Post. She had never talked to a journalist before, but I made a nuisance of myself, traveling to her summer home near La Rochelle and cajoling her until she told the tale - how she elicited information about the secret weapons, how she was captured by the Gestapo, how she spent a year in concentration camps without betraying a hint of her espionage activities.

It was a story of raw courage - and a reminder of what spies can do by daring the impossible. Jeannie still minimizes it. "I wasn't but a music box, I just repeated what I heard," she told me this week. But President Nicolas Sarkozy praised her Tuesday as "the woman who saved London" by giving early warning about the secret weapons.

But make no mistake, this is the real thing. Here's what Jeannie wrote in an introduction to a book by Reginald V. Jones, the British spymaster who was receiving her reports: "Those who worked underground in constant fear - fear of the unspeakable - were prompted by the inner obligation to participate in the struggle; almost powerless, they sensed they could listen and observe."

Now, the modern-day political reality: When we read about waterboarding and other techniques that shock the conscience, it's easy to lose sight of what intelligence agents like my friend Jeannie actually do most of the time - and their importance in protecting the country. The interrogation policies may have been directed by the George W. Bush administration, but it's the CIA and its people who have paid the price.

The question is how to put the pieces back together - how to restore public trust in intelligence. I heard powerful presentations on that subject last Saturday in Geneva by Gen. Michael Hayden, former CIA director, and Sir David Omand, former coordinator of British intelligence.

They were speaking at a meeting of the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies. (Full disclosure: I am a member of that group's advisory council.)

Hayden drew a Venn diagram to explain where the CIA needs to operate.

First, he drew three circles that represent the traditional parameters: An activity must be technically feasible, operationally relevant and lawful.

Then he added a fourth requirement. The activity must also be "politically sustainable," through more transparency with Congress and the public. This requires a new level of transparency with Congress and the public. "We need a program that does not have an on-off switch every two years," he said.

Omand argued that the intelligence community must accept a "paradigm shift." The old "secret state," where intelligence agencies could do pretty much as they liked, is gone. In its place is a "protecting state," where the public gives the intelligence agencies certain powers needed to keep the country safe. It's a "citizen-centric approach," Omand explained, based on the reality of mutual dependence. The spies need information from the community (especially the large Muslim population in Britain), and the public needs protection.

In this new "grand bargain," Omand stressed, the public must understand that if it decides - for moral and political reasons - to limit certain activities (as in interrogation, or surveillance techniques), it also accepts the risk that there will be "normal accidents."

The Obama administration should try to strike the kind of "grand bargain" that Omand described. The CIA should become more transparent and "citizen-centric." The president and Congress will set rules for interrogation and the rest, and the public should understand the inherent trade-offs and risks.

Few of us can be heroes like Jeannie de Clarens, but Americans can figure out better rules to help today's intelligence officers do their work. [Ignatius/Cincinnati/18September2009] 


Book Review

An Artist in Treason: The Extraordinary Double Life of General James Wilkinson, Reviewed by James Srodes. The central core of any sociopath's dark inner soul - be it an Adolf Hitler, a John DeLorean or a Bernard Madoff - is the desire to risk disaster, disgrace and punishment in the hopes of finding some final forgiveness. This is what makes them so dangerous, for in their wild thrashing about between the rush of taking the gamble and the frenzy of evasion, any bystander can become collateral damage. This tale of how the most powerful American general of his day almost destroyed the infant Republic is a real psychological thriller.

What makes this tautly written narrative so timely is that it reminds us that the myth of American Manifest Destiny and the virtuous inevitability of our sway over a continent is just so much hogwash. Indeed, there were perfectly intelligent figures in the early post-Revolutionary War days who saw the best use of the vast land beyond the Appalachians as properly (and more profitably) lying outside the restraining reach of the merchant nabobs, the dodgy financiers and grasping tax agents of the East Coast establishment.

What a piece of work was James Wilkinson. Author Andro Linklater makes a telling judgment about how this most powerful military figure of his day engaged for almost a quarter-century in spying for Spain while at the same time plotting with an almost unending cast of questionable characters in a series of plots to sever much of what later was known as the Louisiana Purchase from the United States, or alternatively to seize Mexico, or perhaps become president of the United States himself.

Like most narcissists, Wilkinson shuttled between intense devotion to patrons who hoisted him from genteel poverty to ever higher power, and abrupt, cold, and often brutal betrayal of those who had helped him. What's fascinating about Wilkinson's story is how aware so many of his mentors were of his duplicitous nature - from George Washington to his Spanish spymasters - but how they fooled themselves that they could control him.

The standard issue history taught us that Wilkinson was a peripheral character in the ill-conceived, certainly doomed 1804-05 plot led by President Thomas Jefferson's ex-Vice President Aaron Burr to seize New Orleans, unhinge the Kentucky, Tennessee and Gulf Coast lands sold earlier by France, and either form a separate nation there or use it as a staging area for an invasion of Mexico.

Central to Wilkinson's climb from genteel obscurity to notorious celebrity was his possession of the charm that convinces each potential victim that they alone have his complete trust and loyalty.

Wilkinson was born into a down-at-the-heels yet aristocratic Maryland tobacco planter family. With the help of better-off relatives, he scrabbled together the rudiments of a medical education. He was just 18, and within weeks of the battles at Lexington and Concord, he took his scant training with a local militia company and set off for Boston, where Washington was cobbling together the Continental Army; his blithe self-assurance and questionable credentials swept him into a captaincy of a new regiment of former New England militia men.

With no formal military training, Wilkinson proved very quickly to be a gifted staff officer for a rapidly passing parade of generals, starting with Nathaniel Greene, then on to Benedict Arnold during his campaign against Montreal in 1776, thence to Horatio Gates at Saratoga in 1777, with an interlude serving with Washington in the epic victory at Trenton earlier that year. In the process he had climbed to the rank of lieutenant colonel before he was 20 and was about to marry into one of Philadelphia's wealthier Quaker family, the Biddles, and thus acquire money, station and connections.

Yet betrayal marked every upward step Wilkinson took. He was one of the sources through which Washington learned of the so-called Conway Cabal to replace him as commander with Gates. By 1781, even though he had reached the rank of brigadier general by age 25, Wilkinson resigned from the army and despite the backing of the ever-patient Biddle clan, found himself chafed by debts and frustrations. By 1783, with peace at hand, the promise of Kentucky beckoned. In an elegantly accurate description, Mr. Linklater observes, "Kentucky was destined to be bought."

Before it could be sold off, Kentucky's earliest settlers had to pry it away from the dead and corrupt grasp of the state of Virginia, which had sold off questionable leases and land titles in its bid to pay its own war debts. Wilkinson early on joined with a growing community of early arrivals to, first of all, sever ties with Virginia and then to prevent the interference of the national government in Washington. The entire region looked both west and south to the Mississippi River and the port of New Orleans for its economic markets.

But Spain, in those days, controlled the Gulf Coast from Florida to Mexico and had forts that interdicted shipping as far north as the Ohio Valley. Wilkinson adroitly offered his services to Spanish officials in New Orleans, and, just as quickly, he won their confidence and exchanged his sworn allegiance to Madrid in exchange for regular flows of money that were never enough.

He became Agent 13. Such was the Spanish confidence in him that the bribes continued even after he returned to army service, even after his elevation through breathtaking political seductions of Washington, John Adams and ultimately Jefferson, to the point that he was - at the same time - the top military commander of the U.S. Army, the military governor of the new Louisiana region, an active plotter in the Burr Conspiracy against both the U.S. and Spain, and ultimately, its betrayer. He was often unmasked but never convicted.

One comes away from this meticulously researched, well-written book with an unintended reconsideration of Benedict Arnold as America's worst traitor. [Srodes/WashingtonTimes/18September2009] 



22 - 24 September 2009 - Alexandria, VA - The CI Centre hosts three-day course: The Global Jihadist Threat Doctrine. The Global Jihadist Threat Doctrine, starts next week, Tuesday 22 September at the CI Centre's training facility in Alexandria, VA. If you are a current US Government employee, in the military or a state or local law enforcement officer, you won't want to miss this important training to better understand the Jihadist threat and how to deal with it.
The training features a unique opportunity to hear from truly first-class speakers who are the nation's leading experts on the Jihadist threat, including:

After attending this training, you will hold the keys to understanding the threats we face better than anyone around you and enable you to more effectively defend against the threat. You owe it to not only yourself and your job but also to our nation to be among those whose blinders are off and are able to deal with the facts as they are, however "inconvenient."
As the limited seats in this course are being filled, contact Adam Hahn right away at 703-642-7454 or 1-800-779-4007 or to reserve your place. Or, fill out and fax in the Registration Form. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - The Global Jihadist Threat Doctrine, September 22-24, 2009, CI Centre training facilityin Alexandria, VA
Open to current US Government employees, military, state/local law enforcement Cost is $975 per person

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:

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

Wednesday, 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:

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 infamous mobsters.
For more information please contact or visit

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
U.S. Dept of Energy
NNSA Logo  USAF Warfare Center
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:
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

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

18 - 21 October 2009 - San Antonio, TX - the US Geospatial Intelligence Foundation presents 6th Annual GEOINT Symposium. Intelligence, Defense, and Homeland Security Community professionals are invited to hear from the DNI, USD(I), CDR, NORTHCOM, D/NGA, D/NRO, D/DARPA, USAF A2, CDR, US Army Intelligence Center, the IC CIO's, and many others. In addition, almost 200 exhibitors will show their products and services in an exhibit hall of over 100,000 sq. ft. Details on the event are at:
AFIO members are urged to view and, if possible, consider attending this always impressive event.

Tuesday, 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:

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:

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:

28 October, 2009 - Rockland, Maine, 11:30am. - The CIA Retirees Assn (CIRA) New England chapter Fall meeting will be held at Samoset Resort ( Guest speaker Will DeLong, security analyst for FEMA/MEMA, on current DHS security programs. For further info contact Richard Gay, CIRA/NE program chair: 207-374-2169

Thursday, 12 November 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.

17 November 2009, 6:30 p.m. - Miami, FL - The Ted Shackley AFIO Miami Chapter at FBI Field Office
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has invited AFIO Members and their selected , cleared guests to attend a special briefing and Class at the Miami Field Office at 6:30 PM on November 17, 2009 . There is no charge for this event.
This very special briefing and Class will be from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. A light snack, courtesy of AFIO, will be served.
We will be addressed by the top officials of the Miami Field Office on very important topics.
In order to be cleared to attend, we must submit the following information to the FBI:
1. Your birth name.
2. Your address.
3. Your date of birth.
4. Your social security number.
Please provide this information to me within the next 10 days. If you intend to invite a special, trusted guest , we need the same information. Once you respond, I will provide you with the information you need, including address and the Gate clearance protocol.
Replies to: Tom Spencer at or call 305 648 0940

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


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