AFIO Weekly Intelligence Notes #38-09 dated 20 October 2009









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Report to Members on the
AFIO National 2009 Fall Symposium

Co-Sponsored by the
U.S. Department of Energy, the National Nuclear Security Administration, and the U.S. Air Force Warfare Center

Las Vegas, Nevada
Co-hosted with the impressive
AFIO Las Vegas Chapter

What do the Predator, the Reaper, Groom Lake, the Sedan crater and Yucca Flats have in common?   These were just the highlights of AFIO’s stupendous annual symposium put together by AFIO National and the Las Vegas Chapter, co-sponsored by the DOE, the NNSA, and the USAF Warfare Center. The event ran 13-16 October.  Drawing upon excellent relations with both the U.S. Air Force and the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Administration, the agenda included visits and briefings at Nellis AFB, Creech AFB and the Nevada Test Site, capped by a final day of presentations, looking back to the U-2 project and forward to the future of conflict. The three-day program included Spy Museum Executive Director Peter Earnest's keynote luncheon talk about the latest International Spy Museum programs and publications including the just released "The Real Spy’s Guide to Becoming a Spy,” preceded by John Alexander's original and procative talk on geo-political challenges that will impact future global conflicts; and followed by T.D. Barnes of the Roadrunners on Area 51. The Symposium ended with a black-tie dinner hosted by Harrah’s of Las Vegas, at which Dr. Stephen Younger, President of National Nuclear Technologies , LLC gave a talk on The Bomb: A New History.

Officers from the USAF Air Warfare Center at Nellis explained the evolution and current operation of the unmanned aerial vehicle projects, showing how the two different UAVs, the lightweight Predator and the slightly larger Reaper, are piloted from remote sites.  Video footage from both reconnaissance and operations support missions demonstrated the extraordinary capabilities of these aircraft. Arriving at neighboring Creech AFB, AFIO members saw three Predators land and then walked around and closely examined both types of aircraft, including the famous "God Light."  As advertised, it was possible to lift the Predator’s nose off the ground with one hand.

One of the chief attributes of these UAVs is that they fly at very slow speeds (ca. 60 mph), enabling them to circle a target and transmit high-resolution photography in real time.  This is in stark contrast to the Cold War projects developed at Groom Lake (Area 51) that included the manned U-2 and the SR-71 reconnaissance aircraft, the latter capable of flying at Mach 3.

Groom Lake is in the Nevada desert just north of the Nevada test site, which was used for atmospheric and then underground nuclear testing from 1951 to 1992.  Almost a thousand tests were conducted there, and AFIO members saw the myriad subsidence craters and detritus of various tests at Yucca Flats, the largest of which (underground) produced the Sedan crater, deep enough that all four of our buses could easily dissappear down into it. The Nuclear Test Ban Treaty halted most testing in 1992, but sub-critical tests continue, as well as tests for this new age of Global Terrorism:  how to react to and contain the release of hazardous chemicals and other materials.

The symposium gave AFIO members a window into some extraordinarily successful programs run by the USAF and the DOE and the National Laboratories at Lawrence Livermore, Los Alamos and Scandia from the Cold War to the current War on Terrorism.  It was a rare opportunity that few will forget.

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

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

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German Intelligence Agency Warns of Iranian Spies. Germany's domestic intelligence service warned those critical of Iran's regime to be aware of threats and intimidation from the country's secret police.

"We know that the Iranian service has people marching along with demonstrations," said Manfred Murck, spokesperson for the Hamburg Verfassungsschutz office.

"We have documents that show they are taking videos, that he wants to specifically seek out people," he continued, referring to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The Iranian secret service has also been trying to cultivate contacts within Germany, intelligence officials believe.

Meanwhile 25-year-old filmmaker Narges Kalhor made a last-minute decision to seek asylum in Germany on Monday after she was warned she might be arrested upon her return for showing a film critical of the regime's human rights abuses.

The daughter of a top advisor to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad premiered "Darkhish" or "The Rake," at the Nuremberg Human Rights Film Festival.

Based on Franz Kafka's short story, "In the Penal Colony," the 10-minute film features a machine that brutally punishes alleged criminals by etching their transgressions into their flesh. Film festival organizers described the machine as a "symbol for a totalitarian barbarism" condemning Iran's brutal penal system. [TheLocal/15October2009]

Afghan Advisor Says Pakistan Spies Stoke Violence. A Pakistani spy agency is helping anti-Western militants mount attacks including suicide bombings in Afghanistan, a reality the West lacks the resolve to confront, an advisor to the Afghan government said.

Davood Moradian, senior policy advisor to Foreign Minister Rangeen Dadfar Spanta, said the motive of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency was to arouse Western concern for stability in neighboring nuclear-armed Pakistan and use it to obtain financial support for Islamabad.

Asked in an interview to provide concrete evidence of ISI involvement, he replied that the agency had been involved in a suicide bombing of the Indian embassy in Kabul in July 2008 that killed dozens of people including two Indian diplomats.

Pakistan strongly condemned the Kabul bombings at the time and said it had nothing to do with it.

"We produced such proof in respect of the Indian embassy bombing in Kabul last year. There were telephone records of the ISI officers directing, and we shared that information with the intelligence community," Moradian said.

"The intelligence community in Washington and London agree (with the allegations) but they are not in a position to make policy," said Moradian, speaking on the sidelines of a seminar at Britain's International Institute for Strategic Studies.

"They have passed that (information) to their political masters to make decisions, but their political masters do not have that courage. When it comes to the ISI we do not see that bravery on the part of the international community."

Pakistan used Islamist fighters to oppose Soviet occupiers in Afghanistan in the 1980s and later backed the Taliban government in Kabul. India has long accused Pakistan of nurturing jihadi groups to fight in the disputed Kashmir region.

But Pakistan, which has the most anti-Indian, anti-Western and best-organized militant groups in South Asia, denies it backs militant violence anywhere.

Indeed, Islamabad faces a direct challenge from the related Pakistani Taliban.

More than 100 people have been killed there in a week of attacks by Pakistani Taliban. The army is expected to launch an offensive soon against the militants in the South Waziristan area, near the Afghan border.

Moradian said the ISI's involvement had gone far beyond providing hospitality to the Afghan Taliban. "They (Taliban) are functioning, working and organising their activity in Pakistan in the full knowledge and engagement of the ISI," he said.

Asked if the ISI simply turned a blind eye to attacks, he said: "No. It is a strategic direction in choosing the targets, and in briefing the Taliban leadership about public opinion."

Suggesting it was hard for outsiders to deal with different power centres in Pakistan, Moradian said the Pakistani interior and foreign ministries were not involved in Afghan violence because the ISI had a monopoly on national security policy.

Asked what other evidence there was of ISI involvement, Moradian said an assessment written in August this year by top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan General Stanley McChrystal had "publicly and openly stated the ISI role".

An unclassified passage in the report states that senior leaders of the major Afghan insurgent groups "are reportedly aided by some elements in Pakistan's ISI".

In an address to the institute, Moradian said the ISI's involvement in Afghanistan violence was part of a "triangle of terror" that also included the Taliban and al Qaeda.

He said part of the reason reconciliation was failing in Afghanistan was Pakistani support of the Taliban. He urged "engagement with Pakistan to convince its military leadership to sever its ties with the leadership of the Taliban." [Maclean/Reuters/15October2009] 

Cleric in CIA Kidnap Trial Seeks Millions. An Egyptian cleric allegedly kidnapped from a Milan street in 2003 as part of the CIA's extraordinary rendition program on Wednesday asked for euro10 million (nearly $15 million) in damages from the American and Italian defendants charged in his abduction.

Carmelo Scambia, lawyer for Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr, said his client has been left deaf in one ear and suffering problems with balance and walking. Emotionally, Scambia said, Nasr's behavior is childlike, anxious and terrorized.

Scambia appealed to Judge Oscar Magi to award the damages to send a signal to Nasr and his wife "that reality exists, that principles exist." Magi is hearing the case against 26 Americans and seven Italians accused of Nasr's abduction.

Prosecutors say Nasr was taken in broad daylight from a Milan street on Feb. 17, 2003, transferred in the back of a van to the Avian Air Base in northern Italy, then flown to the Ramstein Air Base in southern Germany before being flown onward to Egypt.

During the nearly four years Nasr was in Egyptian custody, Scambia said his client suffered "unimaginable torture" including rape, electric shock and repeated beatings.

Before his abduction, Nasr was under surveillance as a terror suspect by Italian authorities, but Scambia emphasized that no arrest warrant had been issued at the time of his disappearance.

Scambia asked the judge to find the defendants guilty and award euro5 million immediately upon sentencing. The balance would be awarded pending final appeals, which can last for years.

A lawyer for Nasr's wife, Ghali Nabila, also is seeking euro5 million for her suffering during years of not knowing her husband's whereabouts and for the deterioration of her husband's physical and mental health. Nabila did not know her husband's fate for more than a year after his abduction. He contacted her in April 2004 during a brief release from Egyptian custody, before being put back in prison until his eventual release in February 2007.

Twenty-six Americans, all but one believed to be CIA agents, are on trial in absentia, accused of kidnapping Nasr as part of the CIA program. All are considered fugitives, and have international arrest warrants issued against them. Seven Italians also are charged.

Human rights advocates say renditions were the CIA's way of outsourcing the torture of suspected terrorists to countries where it was practiced. The CIA hasn't commented on the case, the first in any country to scrutinize extraordinary renditions.

Prosecutors have demanded prison sentences ranging from 10 to 13 years for the American defendants. The trial continues with closing arguments by the defense, and a verdict is expected next month. [AP/12October2009] 

Cybersecurity On Exhibit: Defending The U.S. Online. We're in the dark. That's the fear - and just part of the grim reality - if the nation's power grid were disabled by a cyber terrorist.

It was one of the messages communicated by a panel of officials - past and present - from the CIA, the National Security Agency, and the Department of Homeland Security among others, at the opening of a new exhibit on cybersecurity called "Weapons of Mass Disruption" at the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C.

"Taking down the grid for months comes as close to a nuclear attack with many weapons on the United States as anything could," says R. James Woolsey, former director of the CIA. "You'd have mass starvation and death from thirst and all the rest."

So why is the U.S. at risk? Because so much of our infrastructure - including the electrical grid, water and sewage treatment, as well as our transportation system - is computerized.

This week, reports surfaced online about a phishing scheme by hackers that resulted in the posting of thousands of user names and passwords for Web-based e-mail accounts, including Windows Live Hotmail, Gmail and Yahoo Mail accounts. The disclosure underscored how individuals - not just governments - can be affected by hacking. Google and Microsoft said the incident did not involve a security breach of their systems.

Though he has called for a cybersecurity initiative, President Obama has yet to name a national cybersecurity coordinator. In a May speech, he said: "From now on, our digital infrastructure - the networks and computers we depend on every day - will be treated as they should be: as a strategic national asset. Protecting this infrastructure will be a national security priority."

James Lewis, director of the technology and public policy program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, says the U.S. is "really far behind." The first major hacking incident by a foreign power against the Department of Defense and other networks aimed at stealing high-tech secrets occurred in 1984, he says. "So, it's been 25 years and we're still waking up."

Lewis says the No. 1 problem revolves around espionage. The U.S. stands out as the biggest target and as a result, it's the victim of more cyber attacks than any other nation, he says.

There have been hundreds of "clandestine incursions" into computer systems where hackers, criminals or spies have disabled Web sites - including those of government agencies - and succeeded in stealing defense and intelligence data, according to the guide to the exhibit.

The museum's historian, Thomas Boghardt, says one of the most recent attacks, with the codename "Independence" occurred July 4. Suspected North Korean attacks targeted numerous Web sites, including those of the Department of Defense, National Security Agency and the Nasdaq Stock Market.

"The cyber threat is the soft underbelly of the United States today in terms of strategic vulnerability," says former Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell.

McConnell says he's concerned about terrorist groups with the capability to attack the U.S. money supply: "Because if someone is capable of destroying data - not stealing data, not hacking to deface the Web site, but successful in contaminating the accounting system, the reconciliation system - it could have impact of global proportions."

At the spy museum exhibit, the ceiling is designed to look like an electrical grid. Every few minutes the entire room goes dark. Then some words pop up on a flat-screen TV: "No Power. No Communication. No Transportation." The list goes on.

It's easy to see that there are serious consequences of not having adequate protections in place. But the government faces a balancing act between safeguarding privacy and implementing cybersecurity protections.

"We have not found a way to square cyber security and civil liberties yet," says Lewis of the CSIS. "So, there are technologies that could make us safer, but we can't use them."

Philip Reitinger, a deputy undersecretary at the Department of Homeland Security, says cybersecurity is a "shared responsibility" among governments, the private sector, the intelligence community and end-users. He says the government must move beyond its "whack-a-mole" approach - putting out one fire and then another and another - in favor of a strategy that "protects privacy by design." [Brockman/] 

Obama Praises Intelligence Community's Success, Diligence. President Barack Obama praised members of the U.S. intelligence community, saying the terrorist attacks they've foiled have saved countless American lives.

Speaking at the National Counterterrorism Center in McLean, Virginia, Obama referred to several recent high-profile arrests of alleged terrorist plotters in Denver, New York, Illinois and Texas, saying the arrests have made the United States safer.

"The record of your service is written in the attacks that never occur because you thwarted them, and in the countless Americans who are alive today because you saved them," he said. "For that, America is in your debt."

During his speech, Obama credited counterterrorism operators' vigilance, attention to warning signs and cooperation across organizations with leading to the arrests of terror suspects in recent weeks, noting that such efforts often occur away from the spotlight.

"Few Americans know about the work that you do, and this is how it should be," Obama said. "Your assignments require it, and obviously, you didn't go into this line of work for the fame and glory or the glare of the spotlight. You're in it to serve and protect.

"So I say to every American, 'You see the headlines, but here are some of the people who help write them, who keep you safe,'" he added. "And I say to all of you, 'You are setting the standard. You're showing us what focused and integrated counterterrorism really looks like.'"

The U.S. intelligence community comprises 16 organizations, numerous federal, state, local and international partners. These collective efforts are coordinated at the National Counterterrorism Center, where Obama delivered his message of thanks to those who contribute to ensuring Americans' safety.

Obama acknowledged that eight years after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, there is still no guarantee there won't be another attack inside the United States.

"We're facing determined adversaries who are resourceful, who are resilient, and who are still plotting," he said. "And no one can ever promise that there won't be another attack on American soil.

"But I can promise you this: I pledge to do everything in my power as president to keep America safe," he continued. "And I pledge to give all of you the tools and support you need to get the job done around the world and here at home. And I pledge to stay focused on that mission, just as you stay focused on your mission."

Underscoring the global nature of terrorist threats, Obama cited threats emanating not only from the Middle East, but also from East Africa, Southeast Asia and Europe. He said the international reach of the intelligence network is making strides in the country's primary objective.

Obama's critics point out that the President gave a similar speech before members of the CIA in Langley, Virginia earlier this year and a few weeks later news reports revealed his AG's plans to investigate and prosecute some of the same people who sat in the room during the Obama speech. [Examiner/7October2009] 

CIA Knew About Iran's Secret Nuclear Plant Long Before Disclosure. This summer, as the Obama Administration prepared to confront Iran with proof of its undisclosed uranium-enrichment plant in Qum, CIA Director Leon Panetta ordered his staff to work with European intelligence agencies to compile a comprehensive presentation about the facility. Although the Iranians had taken great pains to keep the facility a secret, building it into a mountain 100 miles southwest from Tehran, the CIA had known about it for three years.

Panetta was told about Qum during the White House transition period in January. "This was presented at that time as something nobody knew about, a secret facility. It was built into a mountain; obviously that raised question marks." Panetta said that after he was confirmed as the agency's director, "we spent the next months trying to get better intel about what was going on there ... and conducting covert operations into that area."

As part of that effort, the CIA worked with British and French intelligence, which had also been on the lookout for the secret plant. They knew there had to be one; once Iran's primary enrichment plan in Natanz was revealed, in 2002, it was assumed that the Iranians would build a second one somewhere.

The Qum site first attracted the attention of Western intelligence agencies in 2006, when the CIA noted unusual activity at the mountain: the Iranians moved an anti-aircraft battery to the site, a clear sign that something important was being built there.

Exactly what, however, was hard to know. "We didn't jump to any conclusions and considered a number of alternatives," says a U.S. counterterrorism official. Iran is suspected of having a number of secret research labs and manufacturing facilities linked to its nuclear program. Roland Jacquard, an independent security and terrorism consultant in Paris, says there was some debate among analysts about the Qum site. While some said it had to be a nuclear facility, "others warned it could also easily be a decoy the Iranians wanted to fix Western attention to as [it] continued clandestine work on another facility elsewhere," he says. Jacquard says doubts gradually vanished as European and U.S. intelligence agencies shared information, "and the Americans could use that alongside what was being learned through the infiltration of Iranian computers."

Panetta won't say what kind of covert operations were carried out or how the agency was able to conclude that the Qum facility was nuclear. The counterterrorism officials say only that "our body of knowledge, based on multiple sources, grew to the point that allowed us earlier this year to reach the high-confidence conclusion that this was a covert nuclear facility."

By the spring, there was little doubt left about what exactly was being constructed in the mountain (Iran has declared that the plant is not yet operational, and U.S. officials have agreed with that assessment). That, a senior Administration official told reporters this week, was when the White House decided that knowledge of the Qum facility would be a useful card to put on the table when Iran finally agreed to talk to the six major powers (the U.S., China, Russia, U.K., France and Germany). If the Iranians failed to come to the talks, Obama would reveal the secret facility in his speech to the U.N. General Assembly in September.

In an interesting reversal of roles from the Bush era, the Europeans were pushing for the plant to be outed at once, while the U.S. was more cautious. "The Americans seem to have become more patient as their dossier on Iran has gotten fuller, while the Europeans are getting more anxious about taking care of this matter as they've learned more," says Jacquard.

From then on, the challenge was to keep the information secret. Panetta said he ordered the presentation to be readied "in the event that that information leaked out or that [the Obama Administration] wanted to present it to the International Atomic Energy Agency." British, French and Israeli intelligence agencies were involved in creating the presentation, he added.

U.S. officials believe that it was only when Iran found out that its cover had been blown that it chose to own up to the plant's existence - although how it might have learned of Washington's discovery remains unclear. On the eve of the U.N. General Assembly last month, the Iranians sent the IAEA a terse note, acknowledging the presence of the Qum facility. The next day, Panetta dispatched a team to the IAEA's headquarters in Vienna to make the presentation. [Crumley&Calabresi/Time/7October2009] 

Chinese Spymaster Complains to US. China's most senior military intelligence official, a veteran of spy operations in Europe and cyberspace, recently made a secret visit to the United States and complained to the Pentagon about the press leak on the Chinese submarine that secretly shadowed the USS Kitty Hawk aircraft carrier in 2006.

Maj. Gen. Yang Hui said senior Chinese leaders suspected the Pentagon deliberately disclosed the encounter as part of a U.S. effort to send a political message of displeasure to China's military. The Song-class submarine surfaced undetected near the carrier, and Gen. Yang said the Chinese believed the leak was timed to coincide with the visit of a senior U.S. admiral.

Gen. Yang made the remarks during a military exchange visit in early September, according to two defense officials. The officials discussed the talks on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the contents of the private meetings.

Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman confirmed that Gen. Yang was hosted by Defense Intelligence Agency Director Lt. Gen. Ronald L. Burgess Jr. but declined to provide details of the discussions. The visit included meetings at the DIA, Pentagon and State Department and within the intelligence community, he said, noting that Gen. Yang invited Gen. Burgess to visit China.

The U.S. visit by the senior spymaster was unusual. The Chinese service has been linked to two spy rings that operated against the United States, including the case of California defense contractor Chi Mak, who was sentenced to 24 years in prison last year for supplying China with military technology.

Chinese military intelligence also was behind the cases of two Pentagon officials recently convicted of spying. James W. Fondren Jr., a Pacific Command official, was convicted of espionage Sept. 25 for his role in supplying secrets as part of a spy ring directed by Tai Shen Kuo, a Taiwanese-born naturalized U.S. citizen who court papers said was an agent for Beijing. The second Pentagon official linked to the ring was Gregg Bergersen of the Pentagon's Defense Security Cooperation Agency, who was convicted along with Kuo last year for supplying defense technology for China's military.

Both that spy ring and the Chi Mak case were linked through a Chinese official in Guangzhou, identified in court papers as Pu Pei-liang, who worked as a researcher at the Chinese-military-funded Center for Asia Pacific Studies and received the defense secrets from the spies.

According to defense officials, Gen. Yang is an experienced clandestine operative who speaks English fluently and worked undercover in Europe.

Gen. Yang told U.S. officials during meetings that Chinese leaders were so angered by the disclosure of the Chinese submarine maneuver that they considered canceling the visit at the time by Adm. Gary Roughead, then-Pacific Fleet commander who has since been promoted to chief of naval operations.

The disclosure first appeared in The Washington Times and embarrassed Navy officials, who had to explain how defenses were breached against one of the military's most important power projection capabilities.

Gen. Yang brought up the incident during talks in Washington and said his intelligence service, known in U.S. intelligence circles as 2PLA, carried out an investigation. He said the service informed senior Chinese communist leaders that they had determined that the press disclosure was not an officially sanctioned leak.

The Chinese Song-class diesel submarine surfaced near the Kitty Hawk on Oct. 26, 2006, and was spotted by one of the ship's aircraft.

Current and former U.S. officials said Chinese intelligence cooperation, the reason for Gen. Yang's visit, has been mixed, focusing mainly on large numbers of Chinese reports on Muslim Uighurs in western Xinjiang province. Some of them are linked to Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda, but many are dissident Chinese Muslims seeking independence from communist rule.

Former State Department China affairs specialist John J. Tkacik Jr. said Gen. Yang is an expert in cyberwarfare and once headed the PLA's electronic intelligence section.

Mr. Tkacik said it is not clear why the Pentagon is seeking to increase transparency with Gen. Yang and his intelligence collectors. "They certainly aren't going to reciprocate," he said.

Wang Baodong, a Chinese Embassy spokesman, had no direct comment on Gen. Yang's visit but said enhanced military exchanges between the United States and China are mutually beneficial and promote peace and stability.

On the Chinese military spying cases, Mr. Wang said "allegations of China conducting espionage in the U.S. are false and unhelpful for increasing mutual trust between the two countries." [Gertz/WashingtonTimes/8October2009] 

Russian Officer Convicted of Spying for Georgia. Sergeant Major Dzhemal Nakaidze serving at one of the army units of the North Caucasian Military District was sentenced by the North Caucasian district court martial to nine years of imprisonment in a maximum-security penal colony for espionage in favor of Georgia. The court found him guilty of the crime, mentioned in Article 275 of the Criminal Code of Russia - "high treason in the form of espionage." Nakaidze was also stripped of his military rank.

The defendant had served in the Russian Armed Forces under contract since 2006. In February 2008, when he was on leave in Georgia, he was recruited to work for the Georgian security services. He was promised a certain sum of money and a flat in the city of Batumi in exchange for supplying the Georgian security services with state and military secrets. 

The trial was held behind closed doors, and no details of what was going on in the courtroom were made public because the case was connected with military and state secrets. [TASS/16October2009] 

UK Spy Chief Defends Work with Foreign Agencies. The head of the domestic spy service, which is accused of colluding with torture, has defended working with foreign agencies that have different values, saying the collaboration has saved lives.

MI5 director-general Jonathan Evans admitted his service faced a "real dilemma" about working with foreign security forces whose standards "were very far removed from our own", but said such cooperation helped keep the country safe.

Police are currently investigating allegations that MI5 colluded in the torture of Binyam Mohamed, a former inmate of the US detention centre at Guantanamo Bay, following his arrest in Pakistan in 2002.

In a speech to the University of Bristol late Thursday, Evans said he could not comment directly on the allegations, but insisted "the security service does not torture people, nor do we collude in torture".

He said that after the threat of Al Qaeda emerged following the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, Britain's intelligence services were ill-equipped to deal with the threat and had to look for help elsewhere.

"Our intelligence resources were not adequate to the situation we faced and the root of the terrorist problem was in parts of the world where the standards and practices of the local security apparatus were very far removed from our own," Evans said.

"This posed a real dilemma. Given the pressing need to understand and uncover Al Qaeda's plans, were we to deal (however circumspectly) with those security services who had experience of working against At Qaida on their own territory, or were we to refuse to deal with them."

Such a refusal "would be cutting off a potentially vital source of information that would prevent attacks in the West", he said, and in doing so the agency "would have been derelict in our duty" to protect national security.

Evans said he had "every confidence in the behavior of my officers" and stressed that many lives had been saved.

"Many attacks have been stopped as a result of effective international intelligence co-operation since 9/11," he said. [AP/16October2009] 

Jury Out for 23 Days, Terrorists Face Life in Prison. One of Australia's longest and most expensive trials ended with five men convicted on terrorist charges facing life in prison.

All five, who were arrested in raids on their homes in 2005, pleaded guilty to the charges at the start of their trial in Sydney in November. The terrorist quintet, aged between 25 and 44, "were convicted of conspiracy to do acts in preparation for a terrorist act or acts," according to a report in The Australian newspaper.

Their aim, Crown prosecution said, was to take revenge on Australia for its military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The cost of the New South Wales Police investigation and the taxpayer-funded legal aid defense of the five was around $27.5 million. The jury sat through 10 months of evidence, testimony from 300 witnesses and examined more than 3,000 exhibits.

The men had stockpiled 30,000 rounds of ammunition as well as bomb-making equipment and explosive chemicals. Police also found in the homes of the now-convicted terrorists extremist literature and so-called instructional DVDs for building homemade bombs as well as suicide bomb-belts, a report in the West Australian newspaper said.

The notorious Melbourne cleric Sheikh Bakr was secretly recorded telling some of the men they had to prepare to "die or be jailed," the West Australian noted.

Police were reportedly tipped off initially by hardware stores that noticed the men buying increasingly large amounts of chemicals and numbers of guns.

The Australian newspaper report said that one of the men had links to the Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba. The men were said to have attended a bush training paramilitary camp in isolated rural parts of the New South Wales state in preparation for violent jihad, police claimed.

A prosecution counsel said they had compiled a "tsunami" of evidence, according to The Australian.

But outside the courthouse relatives of the convicted were defiant.

One convicted man's brother told media that the trial means Australia will face more Jihad attacks. "If you really go through the case and the words in the brief, you'll know it's bullshit," he said. "If they think this will stop terrorism, imprisoning these people, I don't think it will stop terrorism. I think it will increase the threat on Australia."

The sister of another terrorist said her brother was not an extremist but a devote Muslim.

Sentencing of the five men begins in December.

The trial result comes after a massive counter-terrorism operation by police in early August that netted four Australian nationals who were quickly arrested for allegedly planning a suicide attack on an army base.

The men, some of Somali and Lebanese descent, allegedly have links to groups affiliated with the al-Shabaab terrorist organization in Somalia.

But the police predawn operation may claim another victim depending on the findings of a major investigation by the city of Victoria's Office of Police Integrity, according to a report by The Age newspaper. That victim could be the police themselves.

The investigation is focusing into possible misconduct by law enforcement officers regarding an alleged leak of sensitive information over the terror raids, The Age newspaper reported at the time.

The Australian Federal Police said their efforts foiled the most serious planned terrorist attack ever on Australian soil. More than 400 officers from the AFP, Victoria Police, New South Wales Police and NSW Crime Commission and the Australian Security Intelligence Organization took part in the raid.

But Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Simon Overland said he was ''extremely disappointed'' that details of the operation were leaked to a newspaper before the raids were done.

He said copies of The Australian newspaper, which reported about the raids, were available on Melbourne streets at 1:30 a.m., well before warrants were executed. "This, in my view, represents an unacceptable risk to the operation, an unacceptable risk to my staff.'' [UPI/16October2009] 

U.S. Intelligence Pulls Plug On Cross-Agency E-Mail System. Federal intelligence officials have decided to shut down a Web-based, unclassified e-mail system, sparking debate within the intelligence community about whether the move will hamper collaboration.

While U.S. intelligence agencies generally operate their own e-mail systems, thousands of intelligence analysts and other government employees also use uGov, a Zimbra-based e-mail system. When it was launched, uGov was seen as an important step in the intelligence community's drive for better information sharing after 9/11, and was mentioned in the same breath as efforts such as the CIA's Intellipedia wiki.

With its a single directory, uGov made it easier for its users to find like-minded professionals and coordinate activity.

A spokeswoman for the Directorate of National Intelligence cited security among the reasons for phasing out the uGov system, but it's unclear exactly what security issues were considered troublesome.

One former intelligence IT official blamed bureaucratic thinking, rather than security, as the cause of uGov's demise. "Security had nothing to do with this," he said. "You have people saying, 'We really don't need this. Everybody has e-mail. Why not just kill it?' "

The decision underscores the challenges federal CIO Vivek Kundra faces in the push to encourage shared IT services in government. A few other collaboration efforts in government have met a similar fate, including an information-sharing platform called Bridge and a Defense-led thin client network for secure data access.

Users have set up a petition on an internal intelligence agency wiki, urging that uGov not be scrapped. The DNI spokeswoman said intelligence CIOs are considering options for replacing uGov with another system or systems, adding that old e-mails and data won't be lost during the switch. However, it's unclear what will replace uGov or how far it will go toward cross-agency collaboration. [Hoover/InformationWeek/8October2009] 

France Arrests Engineer at Nuclear Lab Over 'Qaeda Links.' French agents have arrested an engineer working at the CERN nuclear research lab on suspicion of being in contact with the Al-Qaeda militant network and planning attacks.

"Perhaps we have avoided the worst," Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux told journalists, adding that investigators were trying to establish which targets in "France or elsewhere" the suspect was hoping to strike.

Security sources in Paris said the suspected Islamist, one of a pair of brothers detained on Thursday, worked at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research on the Franco-Swiss border just outside Geneva.

The pair were arrested in Vienne, a town on the Rhone river some 100 kilometres (65 miles) southwest of the Alpine lab, by officers from France's security service acting on a warrant from an anti-terrorist magistrate.

According to officials, the engineer had made contact over the Internet with Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, a North African offshoot of Osama bin Laden's loosely organized global Islamist militant movement.

He had expressed a desire to carry out attacks, but had "not got to the stage of carrying out material acts of preparation", one said.

CERN confirmed a physicist working at the site had been arrested "under suspicion of links to terrorist organisations", and said it was helping the French police with their investigation.

"He was not a CERN employee and performed his research under a contract with an outside institute. His work did not bring him into contact with anything that could be used for terrorism," it added in a statement.

According to a report on the newspaper Le Figaro's website, the suspects are a 32-year-old Frenchman of Algerian origin who has been the subject of a police inquiry for a year-and-a-half and his 25-year-old brother.

The report, citing sources close to the inquiry, said the elder brother had had several Internet exchanges with figures considered close to Al-Qaeda and had provided a list of suggested French targets for attack.

Judicial sources told AFP that investigators had come upon the pair while monitoring the Internet as part of a separate inquiry into the recruitment of would-be jihadists to send to Afghanistan as guerrillas.

Intelligence agents recorded several incriminating exchanges between the brothers and suspected Al-Qaeda contacts. Two laptops, three hard drives and several USD memory sticks were seized from their home, they said.

"We are in a situation of permanent alert. We follow statements made by the leaders of certain organisations day by day. We never let our guard down. The danger is permanent," Hortefeux said.

Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb was born in 2007 when a largely-Algerian militant group, the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat, swore allegiance to Bin Laden and rebranded itself as his organization's local franchise.

Intelligence officials consider it one of the most serious threats to France, which has a large North African diaspora population.

CERN is Europe's leading laboratory for the study of the fundamentals of sub-atomic physics. It operates particle accelerators to study the behavior of atoms at high speed and learn about the basic laws of nature.

It is a civilian organization, backed by 20 member states, and is not connected to nuclear weapons technology.

The lab said the suspect had been working on the "LHCb experiment" which its website says "will help us to understand why we live in a universe that appears to be composed almost entirely of matter, but no antimatter." [Sicurani/AP/9October2009] 

Cuba's Spy Walk-Ins Target US, Experts Say. In the six months after the 9/11 attacks, up to 20 Cubans walked into U.S. embassies around the world and offered information on terrorism threats. Eventually, all were deemed to be Cuban intelligence agents and collaborators, purveying fabricated information.

A White House official complained bitterly and publicly in 2002 that Fidel Castro's agents had tried to send U.S. intelligence on "wild goose'' chases that could cost lives at a time when Washington was reeling from the worst terrorism attacks in history.

But now two former U.S. government experts on Cuba say the post-9/11 "walk-ins'' were part of a permanent Havana intelligence program - both before and long after 9/11 - that sends Cuban agents to U.S. embassies to mislead, misinform and identify U.S. spies, perhaps even to penetrate U.S. intelligence.

"Many walk-ins were eventually identified as known/suspected [Cuban agents]. The problem was that U.S. intelligence was so starved for information on Cuba - and we had so few Cuba experts - that walk-ins were low risk, high payoff for the Cubans,'' said one former U.S. intelligence community official.

"The Cubans periodically used walk-ins to continue to test U.S. capabilities and reactions, but . . . later approaches were not as frequent as we saw in the immediate wake of the Sept. 11 attacks,'' added a former top Bush administration official.

Both asked that their names not be published because they were not authorized to speak on the topic.

In an average year, they said, Cuba sends about a dozen agents to walk into U.S. embassies around the world, claim to be defectors with important information and ask to speak with U.S. officials who can understand the value of their revelations. But the number can spike up to 20 to 25 at times of special importance, they added.

The year 2001 was certainly important. On Sept. 11, al Qaeda attacked the United States. Ten days later, U.S. authorities arrested the Pentagon's top Cuba analyst, Ana Belen Montes, on charges of spying for Havana.

Over the next six months alone, 15 to 20 Cubans walked into U.S. diplomatic missions and offered information heavily laced with references to terrorism threats, one of the Cuba experts said. "All walk-ins in this group were eventually discredited,'' he added.

Most of the walk-ins took place in U.S. embassies in Latin America, Europe and Asia, the former Bush administration official said.

The CIA and the FBI's counterintelligence sections suspected many of the walk-ins were sent to penetrate U.S. intelligence in hopes of learning exactly how Montes was uncovered - to this day one of the closest-held secrets in the case, one of the experts said.

But most of the walk-ins over the years appear to have been part of a broader campaign: to make contact with U.S. intelligence agents, identify them, keep them busy and pass on misinformation, the two experts said. Any Cuban who walks into a U.S. embassy offering information is usually first interviewed by a low-ranking State Department official, the experts said. But if the information seems promising the visitor is later debriefed by a CIA or Defense Department official.

Most of the Cuban agents offer a broad range of information on topics that Havana knows will interest U.S. intelligence - Cuba's electronic eavesdropping capabilities, chemical/biological warfare research, perhaps discontent within the Cuban military or money laundering.

But their information is usually "a mile wide and one inch deep'' - with no significant details in any of the categories, one of the experts said. CIA and military officials are nevertheless reluctant to "throw them back on the street'' because the information at first might seem legitimate and "out there [at the embassies] they don't have the expertise to wave the BS flag.''

"Another part of a successful walk-in is that they are a major resource drain, also known as a 'time suck' because it takes time and effort by the U.S. intelligence community to spot them as fakes and cut them loose,'' the expert said.

And all at a pretty low cost, he added. A Cuban with just 20 hours of training can present a compelling enough offer of information to require U.S. officials to spend 100 hours figuring out that the visitor is a fraud.

Cuba's use of walk-ins went on for years both before and after the al Qaeda terror attacks, both experts said. But those in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 specially angered Bush administration officials.

"The Castro regime has... attempted at least one 'walk-in' a month since Sept. 11 purporting to offer information about pending terrorist attacks against the United States or other Western interests,'' Dan Fisk, deputy assistant secretary of state for the Western Hemisphere, said in a Sept. 17, 2002, speech in Washington.

"This is not harmless game-playing,'' Fisk added. "It is a dangerous and unjustifiable action that damages our ability to assess real threats.... It could one day cost innocent people their lives.'' [Tamayo/MiamiHerald/18October2009] 

Ex-British Spy Takes Book Battle to Supreme Court. A former British spy is asking Britain's Supreme Court to overturn a decision by domestic intelligence agency MI5 to block him from publishing a book about his career.

Lawyers for the former MI5 officer, who is not named in court documents, told a hearing Monday that he is seeking a judicial review of the decision.

Britain's government says publishing the book could threaten national security.

In a famous case in 1998, Britain's government lost a three-year campaign to ban publication of "Spycatcher," a memoir by ex-MI5 officer Peter Wright.

Former MI5 chief Stella Rimmington published an autobiography in 2001, after the government censored some sections and said it regretted and disapproved of her decision to write the book. [AP/18October2009] 

US Faces Pressure to Rewrite NIE on Iran. Policymakers in Israel and the West are pressuring the US into rewriting the 2007 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran, which concedes that the country does not seek nuclear weapons.

Quoting American intelligence agents, The Wall Street Journal revealed that the US intelligence community is under a considerable amount of pressure to repudiate the 2007 NIE assessment, and instead pen a new report that is more consistent with the policies of Israel and Western powers.

One intelligence official, who was speaking on condition of anonymity, claimed that the spy community now has more information on Iran's uranium enrichment than two years ago.

"At some point in the near future, our analytic community is going to want to press the reset button on our judgments on intent and weaponization in light of Qom and other information we're receiving," he said.

Some of it "tracks precisely with what we've seen before," while other information "causes us to reassess what we've seen before," the official added.

Another US intelligence official noted that although officials were not "ready to declare the findings invalid," the fact that the previous report only covered the 2003-2007 timeframe, begs the need for a new assessment.

Citing the findings of more than 16 US spy agencies, the 2007 National Intelligence Estimate overturned earlier conclusions on Tehran's nuclear activities of two years ago, asserting with "high confidence" the non-diversion of Iran's nuclear program.

Israeli leaders reacted in shock and anger to the publication of the report, which disputed their long-standing claims of "an Iranian nuclear threat".

Tel Aviv, which reportedly houses an arsenal of some 200 nuclear warheads, views Tehran's nuclear program as a mortal threat.

Israeli leaders have repeatedly threatened to bomb Iranian nuclear facilities out of existence, but the release of the report significantly weakened their drive for war.

This is while the Islamic Republic, since its establishment in 1979, has gone to war only once, to defend itself against an Iraqi offensive in 1980, whereas Israel has invaded Lebanon twice, bombed Syria and Iraq, and regularly bombed and attacked Gaza and other Palestinian areas at will.

The Israeli regime has also masterminded a wave of undercover operations and terror plots in numerous countries, including Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Iran, Switzerland, and the US. [PressTV/17October2009] 


President Warren Harding's Lover Carrie Phillips Spied for Kaiser. Despite being prone to verbal gaffes and political scandal, Warren Harding routinely tops polls of America's dullest presidents. Now a new biography has added unexpected spice.

An Ohio lawyer has unearthed documents suggesting that Harding's mistress while he was a senator during the first world war was a German spy whose network helped sink British ships.

Carrie Phillips was a famous beauty with whom Harding conducted a 15-year affair while both were married. Their romance ended shortly before he became president in 1921.

Phillips refused to go quietly and Republican party officials were forced to pay her off with a trip to Japan and an annual pension.

The damage may already have been done, according to James David Robenalt, whose book, The Harding Affair, is based on hitherto-suppressed love letters and reports from the precursor to the FBI.

Harding died in 1923 and Phillips in 1960. Neither made the affair public and official documents are not due to be published by the Library of Congress before 2014. But Robenalt had a stroke of luck. "An archivist at Harding's local Ohio Historical Society, fearing these documents might disappear, made a 900-page bootleg copy and I found the microfiche," he said last week. "It reveals a far more articulate politician than many remember, but also the dark depths of his passion with Carrie Phillips."

The letters date back to 1905, when Harding's wife, Florence, introduced him to the Ohio beauty. To keep the besotted couple apart, Phillips's husband took her to Europe where she became avidly pro-German.

When they returned to Ohio she resumed the affair and threatened to go public about their relationship unless Harding voted against war with Germany in 1917. He called her bluff and voted for war. She remained silent.

In 1917 she holidayed at a hotel outside Camp Liberty on Long Island, a mustering point for troops bound for the Western Front, and passed military information to German spymasters based in New York.

The British believed her spy ring was responsible for several naval losses. Yet she and Harding maintained a steamy correspondence. He wrote: "Honestly I hurt with insatiate longing until I feel there will never be relief until I take a long deep wild draught on your lips and then bury my face on your pillowy breasts." [Harlow/TimesOnline/11October2009] 

Lessons from Spies. The International Spy Museum has just celebrated its 7th year and its 5 millionth visitor, says Executive Director Peter Earnest, a former CIA officer who's run the museum since its inception. In an exclusive interview, Earnest discusses:

- the museum's goals and growth plans;

- who visits the museum and what they get from the experience;

- lessons to be learned by today's information security professionals.

Earnest is a 35-year veteran of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). He served 25 years as a case officer in its Clandestine Service, primarily in Europe and the Middle East. He ran intelligence collection and covert action operations against a range of targets including Soviet Bloc representatives and Communist front organizations.

As Museum director, he has played a leading role in its extraordinary success as a Washington attraction. He edits the Museum's book ventures and has frequently been interviewed by the major media in radio, TV, and the press on current intelligence issues.

TOM FIELD: Hi, this is Tom Field, Editorial Director with Information Security Media Group. We are talking today about the International Spy Museum, and we are talking with Peter Earnest, the Founding Executive Director of the Museum. Peter, thank you so much for joining me today.

PETER EARNEST: I am delighted to be with you, Tom.

FIELD: Just to give our audience some context, why don't you tell us a little bit about yourself and about the origins of the International Spy Museum.

EARNEST: Sure. Tom, my background is CIA, the Central Intelligence Agency. I was there for some 35 years and retired in 1994 and then went into the private sector. At that time - and, by the way, in the CIA I was in what is called the Clandestine Service; that is the side of the Agency that is involved in covert activity, whether it is recruiting and running agents, covert actions and so forth. And then I did some public jobs. I was with our Inspector General and also with our staff covering the Hill, the Senate in my case, and when I left I was Director of Media Relations and spokesman for three Directors.

I left in 1994, and the Museum began in mid-2002. I joined in January of that year, before we opened. And it was founded by a gentleman by the name of Milton Moltz, who had a company called Malrite Communications, which was radio and television stations around the country and when that was eventually purchased from him he then began the Malrite Company, which it is today, and he has been involved in a number of ventures and this was one.

As a young enlisted man in the Navy, during the Korean War, he was employed briefly at the National Security Agency, and I think that is when the spy bug bit him. And so he was behind this museum and its idea, and we opened in 2002, in July, and just this past week or two weeks ago we had our five millionth visitor go through the museum, so it has been an extraordinary successful, in fact, one of the most popular museums in Washington right now.

FIELD: Well, that is what I have heard. You have been open for seven years, and five million visitors in seven years is quite impressive. What would you say is most misunderstood in the public's eye about the International Spy Museum?

EARNEST: Well, that is an interesting question. What is most misunderstood ... you know, you are not quite sure sometimes what the public thinks it is going to see. About five percent of our holdings here, the displays, the graphics and so forth, are from popular culture. Like for example, the car that was in Goldfinger with James Bond, other things, photographs, and remnants of television shows. We do that for a purpose; it is sort of a subliminal reminder if you will, not necessarily so subliminal, but a reminder that most of the public, it's knowledge of espionage, spying, covert action and all those sort of things, comes from popular culture, radio, television, movies, novels and so forth. So this is sort of where for the public most of the knowledge comes from, except those who really take on the literature in a serious way.

So I think perhaps that on the minds of some of the public, particularly some of the younger members, they are going to see aspects of that. Aspects of what they have seen in the movies or read in novels, and to a small extent I think we satisfy that because in part we do have some of the gadgetry if you will from the Cold War. Hidden recorders, hidden cameras, dead drop devices - that is, devices to put documents in and hide them in the ground, weapons that might be used for assassination or in self defense purposes; those are all items, if you will, or artifacts that people associate with spying.

So I think to an extent they are not misunderstood, but perhaps I think they see other information that they never thought was associated with espionage. In their framework, they didn't factor in that George Washington was involved so heavily in espionage or the extent to which we had penetrated the German Code during World War II, and that was by breaking the Enigma Machine. So I think there are things that they learn, that they did not expect.

FIELD: Well, that's good because you can use these pop culture references to educate in ways that you might not have the opportunity otherwise.

EARNEST: Exactly.

FIELD: Give us a sense of what the museum's goals are, then; you get people in the door by sort of luring them in with the sexy images that they associate with this, but you have got an opportunity then.

EARNEST: Well, as we say in our own statement in the front door, our mission is to facilitate people's understanding of what spying, espionage, intelligence if you will, what it is. And we do that to a great extent by story telling, there are a lot of stories in the museum about real spies, and that is all a part of our function, we think, of giving people a taste, a sampling, a peak into that world.

There are a number of interactive devices around the museum that enable them to take a look at, for example a light table; what is a light table? A light table is what analysts' use that are studying overhead photography that is from the reconnaissance satellites. So they see what the analysts see and have a taste of how difficult it might be to try and analyze such a photograph. So those are the sorts of things we do. And for example, you can only put so much in a permanent exhibit so we have a very robust series of programs both for adults and children. They take place in the evening, they take place on weekends, we have an hour-long immersive experience called Operation Spy where you become the spy and for an hour you deal with a number of spy devices and spy-thinking, and that is very popular, Operation Spy. We launched not long ago Spy in the City in which people go out into the streets of Washington with a GPS-like device, although it is greatly enhanced, to if you will, participate in a counter-intelligence operation based, by the way, on real cases, FBI and CIA cases. So we supplement what we do in the museum with these other programs.

FIELD: Well, that sounds fascinating. What would you say are your most noteworthy artifacts, both in terms of the things that the public would easily recognize and those that they might not but play a key role in the history of espionage?

EARNEST: Well, I mentioned the Enigma, I didn't mention it as a device, but during World War II, we the Allies, and principally the British in this case, actually broke the German Code. That is the code that the Germans were using both to communicate between elements in the field to other elements as well as elements in the field to the sea, to ships. This was a device called the Enigma Device, and it is a very complex device. It enables you to set up a number of combinations of letters, and the Germans considered it impossible to break and, in fact, a group of British experts and others teamed up out at a place called Bletchley Park outside of London and managed to break it. And that enabled, because they shared that with the Americans, enabled us to read the German codes in the last couple of years of the war and it was an extraordinary breakthrough. We show here an Enigma Machine, and next to it we have a console showing how it works.

The other item I would mention is we have a letter signed by George Washington, and it is the original, to a gentleman by the name of Nathaniel Sackett, directing him to set up a spy ring in New York City. New York of course was under the occupation of the British, and he gave Nathaniel Sackett $50 dollars to set up this spy ring and also indicated to him there would be a retainer fee that would continue month after month as he recruited new members of the ring, and it was successful. Washington, because he was so deeply involved in spying and deception operations, is rightly regarded as the Father of American Intelligence.

FIELD: So really when people go through here they can come out with a greater context of some of the history that they already know bits and pieces of it at least.

EARNEST: Well I think so, and of course you don't know; you aren't testing them. We often will ask questions or we will do surveys, but my hope is that there are a lot of families that come through and I think that the parents, the adults if you will, not always parents but the adults, are interested themselves to know a little bit about this world which plays such a critical role in the current dealings with terrorism. So I think there is an interest there on the part of adults, and of course the kids, as you just mentioned, are drawn or lured by the romance, the excitement and the esoteric nature of the spy world.

Now when they go through there, they are going to take away different things, but I hope one of things that particularly the young people take away, the adults too, is that they will see a sliver of history or something that happened in the Civil War or they will read something about the Soviet Union, and it will pique their interest and they will be motivated to read more and to find out what really happened. And so my hope is that they will take away both some insights into the spy world, as well as glimpses of history that might trigger their interest.

FIELD: Well, that is interesting and it leads into a question I had. You mentioned you had your five millionth visitor. Who typically are the visitors to the museum, and, if you could, summarize what they typically get from the experience, what impressions do you get as they walk out that door?

EARNEST: Well, the impressions I get are - a number of the impressions are 'Why didn't you tell me it would take this long?' because we do have a lot of stories there and you know, the typical visit might go through - and I am talking about the museum and not the special experience. You know, people go through museums at a different rate, and obviously a family going through the museum might decide 'Okay we are going to spend an hour in here,' and usually the mother sets that rule, or whatever.

But often, it takes longer than they think it would, unless they are rushing through, and usually they rate the experience very highly. We have done surveys, and a very high percentage of our visitors are college grads. We get visitors in all shapes and sizes and ages and sexes. So it is almost an equal number of men and women, a lot of young people. We say about 10 and up for the museum. Obviously some kids are younger than that and bright would get more out of it, and that's fine; we say 12 and up for the Operation Spy. But I think there is a lot of diversity in what I see in the people going through, and so I think what they get, as I say, a high level of satisfaction and they feel they have learned something, and that indeed it did meet their expectations, even though it is not clear what their expectations might have been.

FIELD: Now you celebrated seven years; what do you see as the museum's growth plans going forward?

EARNEST: Well, we have had interest by others in trying to replicate this elsewhere, both in the United States and abroad. So far we haven't responded to that,, and this is still a unique museum in the world. I think we see the possibility of our Spy in the City experience, as well as the Operation Spy experience, that that might be done elsewhere and then we would create a new one here. So say you did create one elsewhere, London or Berlin or Orlando or wherever, then people could go through the International Spy Museum experience there but they still wouldn't have done the one at the museum. So we would create yet another experience, and again, these are based of great part on actual spy cases.

FIELD: Peter, our website serves an information security audience primarily, and I think that the people that we have practicing encryption, information security, protecting businesses and government agencies from external threats, they owe a great debt to some of the people whose artifacts are a part of the spy museum. So if I could ask you in that context, if you could sum up briefly for people who are in information security careers, what are the types of the things that the International Spy Museum teach us?

EARNEST: Well, I think two things. First of all your question could not be more apt. We are opening an exhibit at the end of this week, 2 October to be precise, called Weapons of Mass Disruption, and it is about cyber attacks, so this is very timely.

By going through the Museum, the people in information security will get a sense of what intelligence agencies and individuals have had to go through in the past to gain information, to secretly gain information, to steal information. They will get a sense of that, but it will culminate, their visit, they will see a film showing what we are now up against in the 21st Century, where because of our technology and because we are so much more connected, we are also so much more vulnerable. Whether it is acts of terrorism such as flying planes into a building, that is modern technology, or asymmetrical warfare, and that is with these smaller groups of people like terrorists or even individuals, like the Oklahoma City bombing, can carry out things against a major, if not the major power in the world, the United States.

This room, the Weapons of Mass Disruption room, will show what conceivably could happen in a cyber attack on our infrastructure, specifically on the electrical grid. So I would say there is a real inducement for folks to come here if they are in the field of information security. There is also a video there, it is not as long, but it has some of the individuals like the Director of National Intelligence and Former Director of the CIA, speaking to this issue. So I think there is a real incentive to sort of not only see what has been done in the past, but where we are today.

FIELD: Peter, it sounds exciting, and I do appreciate your time and your insight today.

EARNEST: Okay, well I have enjoyed talking to you, and it couldn't have been more timely since we are opening this new exhibit.

FIELD: We have been talking with Peter Earnest, the Executive Director of the International Spy Museum. For Information Security Media Group, I'm Tom Field. Thank you very much. [GovInfoSecurity/28September2009] 


Latin Americans Need Professionalized Spy Agencies, by Jerry Brewer. Espionage operations throughout Latin America, although overwhelmingly massive in nature, are inundated with clear and present dilemmas. Coherent and fluid intelligence agency structures for achieving the mainstay of intelligence, which is organizing evidence for sound hypotheses, eludes many governments. These failures, among others, do not ensure territorial integrity.

The vast world of intelligence communities and their domains is reminiscent of the universe in perspective, an always changing and all encompassing, yet disconnected, apparatus of self-interest - the elusive nature and subjugation of which is mired by politics, public opinion and, sometimes, corruption.

Colombia is one of many within the intelligence black hole that is contemplating elimination versus restructuring; in this case it is the DAS (Colombian Administrative Department of Intelligence Services). The importance of the DAS originally vested with the awesome responsibility of external and internal intelligence within the framework of the state, handling issues of security, intelligence, and constitutional enforcement. This decision could have disastrous implications for the hemisphere, insofar as the DAS has worked valiantly beside the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) against narcotraffickers and the influences of other transnational criminals.

Microscopic looks at the DAS recently revealed what are believed to be scandals of illegal spying on the political opposition, critics and journalists, as well as "interacting with left-wing guerillas, right-wing paramilitary, and smugglers." President Alvaro Uribe has said that he is in favor of eliminating the organization and having a police institution handle intelligence tasks and responsibilities.

The potential of almost certain failure of such a transition, from a covert intelligence organization into a tactical enforcement arm of police procedure, is anticlimactic, archaic and lacks sound reasoning, absent mere frustration with the whole process.

What is needed with the DAS, as is the case with other democratic nations' intelligence apparatus, is an intelligence model of sound oversight, quality control, and basic protocols of coherent and sound intelligence analysis. Too, an intense focus on sophisticated technology beyond satellite, signals, and imagery, dealing with human intelligence collection to facilitate verification protocols, source reliability, and content validity. This disciplined process would show reductions in serious duplication of effort, as well as enhance the oversight process.

Intelligence organizations throughout Latin America are facing a number of other rogue leftist regime intelligence services that are clearly intent on disrupting and infiltrating democratic governments. The counterintelligence tasks required to interdict this onslaught by these sinister spies is monumental, but critically necessary. Responding to the sophistication, mobility, and superior weaponry of transnational criminals, organized narcotraffickers, and related insurgents is another major intelligence challenge that not only necessitates sound intelligence analysis, but tactical resistance.

Force protection (whether military or police) responsibilities have risen to new heights due to the bold and relentless attacks on enforcement-oriented personnel and related logistics. Again, the intelligence need throughout the hemisphere has been graphically demonstrated in the massive death and violence that has also been directed at police, governments, and the military.

Cuba's DGI intelligence apparatus is estimated to be at over 20,000 officials. A communist nation with sympathizers decrying normalization of relations and a relaxing of sanctions from their human rights abuses and iron-fisted rule continues to foster major intelligence operational acts and collection efforts against their Caribbean, Central, South and North American neighbors. The DGI currently has a very substantial presence in Venezuela.

The cold war presented an environment essentially devoid of technology such as ground-based surveillance radar, "relocatable over the horizon radar (ROTHR)," and other non-manned aerial reconnaissance and imagery related devices. The human intelligence (HUMINT) operational acts became training curriculum models given to Cuban and other rogue intelligence regimes by the Soviet KGB. President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela has adopted the DGI's model and it is believed that there are around 50,000 Cuban nationals in Venezuela serving in "various official missions" in government, intelligence, security services and the armed forces.

Throughout Colombia, as leftist presidential regimes in Latin America protest the U.S. presence and potential use of military bases for drug and insurgent interdiction, many private U.S. organizations (contractors) have stepped up to assist Colombia with technology dealing with aerospace, radar systems, imagery, and communications. Much of the focus correlates with intelligence information collected by multi-sources of allegations of Venezuelan government collusion with the FARC revolutionary forces, and the allowance of safe ground for these terrorists on Venezuelan soil.

Venezuelan organized crime groups are known to include members and associates of the DGI, paramilitary, National Guard, and other Colombian criminals. Chavez's expenditures of $4 billion of Venezuela's wealth for Russian weapons are a current task for the intelligence process cycle, as is Ecuador's purchasing of Brazilian warplanes and Israeli drones. Even Bolivia has jumped into the fray with a $10 million line of Russian credit for weapon expenditures. Intelligence must properly assess all of this potential. [Brewer/Mexidata/11October2009]

NY Times Editorial - Patriot Act Excesses. Three high-profile provisions of the USA Patriot Act are about to expire. That should be a chance for Congress to give serious consideration to curtailing some of the excessive powers it granted to the executive branch during the Bush years - without enough consideration in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 and later.

Instead, Congress is headed toward renewing the provisions - including expanded authority to search financial records, conduct roving wiretaps and track "lone wolf" terrorist suspects - without adequate oversight or safeguards or touching other problematic areas of the new surveillance and intelligence framework.

Consider last week's gyrations in the Senate Judiciary Committee, which was to consider a bill prepared by the chairman, Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont. Although not as comprehensive or protective of civil liberties as it could have been, the measure contained some strong fixes to the overly expansive snooping regime.

But there was a last-minute switch. In the committee session, Mr. Leahy's base bill was tossed in favor of a significantly weaker substitute that he hammered out with Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, the chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Most disheartening, that substitute dropped language that would have allowed the government to secretly obtain Americans' business records or "tangible things" only where there is some connection to terrorism or espionage. Senator Richard Durbin, a Democrat of Illinois, proposed an amendment to require a terrorism connection, but it failed.

The substituted bill contains some improvements over current law. It augments audit and reporting requirements for warrantless searches using often-abused "national security letters." And an amendment successfully offered by Senator Russ Feingold, a Democrat of Wisconsin, shortens the period that law enforcement agencies may delay in giving notice to subjects of so-called sneak-and-peek searches. Although enacted as part of the USA Patriot Act, the sneak-and-peek authority, which gives government agents extraordinary power to break into people's homes without telling them, is most often used in drug cases and only rarely in terrorism cases, according to a recent report.

Still, over all, the measure taking shape in the Senate committee is far too weak to restore essential constitutional checks and balances. Mrs. Feinstein has suggested, without offering any real evidence, that it was necessary to water down the Leahy bill to avoid interfering with the government's investigation of the case of Najibullah Zazi.

The issue has never been whether the government should vigorously pursue terrorists; no responsible person is suggesting that. The question is what powers the government really needs and how best to balance them with the rights and liberties on which this nation was founded. It is hard to see how the Zazi case, or any other terrorism probe, could be hurt by requiring that use of augmented surveillance powers be related in at least a tenuous way to terrorism.

To a troubling extent, the debate is happening in the dark. Several senators have asked the Obama administration to release classified information that would inform the discussion without harming national security. It has largely been ignored. Mr. Feingold says that if some of the needlessly classified information were made public, it would "have significant impact on the debate."

Chances are fading for an expansive and searching review of the USA Patriot Act, which was the whole point of having some of its central provisions expire. The Judiciary Committee's deliberations are scheduled to resume on Thursday. It is one more critical chance to add missing civil liberties and privacy protections, address known abuses and trim excesses that contribute nothing to making America safer. [NewYorkTimes/8October2009] 



"A Fiery Peace in a Cold War: Bernard Schriever and the Ultimate Weapon" by Neil Sheehan, reviewed by Bruce Ramsey. Mutually Assured Destruction, the theory of peace through nuclear standoff, is abbreviated as MAD and is often thought of as insanity. In his new book, "A Fiery Peace in a Cold War," author Neil Sheehan tells much of the story of how the MAD world came about.

President Eisenhower, who led U.S. forces in Europe in World War II, feared a nuclear Pearl Harbor if the Soviet Union developed long-range missiles and America did not. Ike's answer was to have the missiles first - an effort that took years. Only in the Kennedy administration, Sheehan writes, did "the advent of the Minuteman put an end to the fear of a nuclear Pearl Harbor that had haunted Eisenhower."

Sheehan's book is a history of the strategic, political and personnel decisions that led to the Thor, Jupiter, Atlas, Titan and Minuteman missiles. It is not a war book. Its battles are bureaucratic - between the missile advocates and the airplane advocates, the aircraft contractors and the aerospace contractors, the Air Force officers and the secretary of defense.

Sheehan has spent many years of research on his new book, and it shows. He won a Pulitzer Prize for his history of the Vietnam War, "A Bright Shining Lie" (1988), and has aimed this effort just as high. As in the earlier book, he has attempted to hang a big history around one character, and here he makes a strategic mistake. His choice, Gen. Bernard Schriever, is not a colorful man. Sheehan takes up the first 49 pages trying to interest the reader in him, and it is a fruitless mission.

Luckily for the reader, this 500-page book is a story of many characters, and some of the major ones, such as mathematician John von Neumann and Gen. Curtis LeMay, are very colorful. Sheehan has a knack, too, of introducing a new character in a bureaucratic fight by telling a story of what he did in the war. For example, he introduces Thomas Lanphier Jr., a key man on the Atlas program, as one of two P-38 pilots who in "one Sunday morning in April 1943" jumped two Mitsubishi bombers, one of which carried Gen. Isoroku Yamamoto.

"Which P-38 pilot got which bomber was impossible to tell," writes Sheehan, "but Lanphier claimed to be the man who sent the legendary Japanese naval warrior, the inspirer of the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on another Sunday morning two years earlier, plummeting to his end."

Sheehan's book helps make sense of things we know. Those of an age to remember John Glenn on top of an Atlas rocket might not remember that the Atlas was designed to send nuclear bombs to Russia. The missile was that fat because at the time, the bombs were that fat. The reader will have heard of Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Sheehan tells why its geography - directly north of ocean, all the way to Antarctica - makes it the finest spot in the United States for launching spy satellites.

Sheehan tells the story behind the launching of Sputnik I in 1957 and calculus of destruction during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. He portrays a skeptical Dwight Eisenhower, who "was the last American president to believe that military spending that was not absolutely necessary was money wasted."

There is much to like in this book. Start it on page 50. [Ramsey/SeattleTimes/11October2009]


Former Romanian Spy Chief Radu Timofte Dies. Former Romania spy chief Radu Timofte, who resigned in a case involving the kidnapping of three Romanian journalists in Iraq, has died. He was 60.

Timofte died early October 19 in hospital, said former spy chief Costin Georgescu. Daily Adevarul reported that Timofte had been suffering from leukemia.

Timofte was appointed to head the domestic Romanian Intelligence Service in 2001 by ex President Ion Iliescu, a position he held until to 2006.

He was forced to resign when Omar Hayssam, a Syrian-born suspect in the 2005 kidnapping of the journalists disappeared. Hayssam had managed to secure release from a Bucharest prison arguing that he had cancer that could not be treated in prison. He was banned from leaving Romania. Newspapers later reported that Hayssam staged a sensational escape hiding in a ship carrying sheep that sailed to Syria from a Black Sea port.

The three journalists were kidnapped in Iraq in 2005 and held by a group that demanded Romania withdraw its 700 troops from the country. The three were freed after nearly two months in captivity following negotiations between Romanian authorities and the kidnappers. A Romanian court sentenced Hayssam to 20 years in prison in his absence.

Timofte was being investigated at the time of his death by anti-corruption prosecutors of abusing his position as spy chief to buy an apartment in Bucharest at a fraction of its market value. Critics said that the charges were politically motivated.

Timofte was one of the key members of the National Salvation Front that took power in Romania as communism collapsed in a bloody revolt in Dec. 1989. [NewsOK/19October2009] 

Milan C. Miskovsky, 83; Lawyer had Worked for CIA. Milan C. "Mike" Miskovsky, 83, a onetime CIA lawyer who quietly worked behind the scenes in high-profile hostage negotiations and also investigated the causes of racial turmoil in the 1960s, died Thursday of lung cancer at his home in Washington.

Mr. Miskovsky's varied career began when he was a forester in the Western United States and took him to flash points of the Cold War and civil rights movement.

He negotiated a prisoner exchange that freed U-2 spy-plane pilot Francis Gary Powers in 1962 - in exchange for a Soviet spy - and helped arrange the release of nearly 1,200 Cuban Americans captured during the 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion, in exchange for $50 million in baby food, pharmaceuticals and humanitarian aid.

He later directed an inquiry into the underlying causes of racial unrest for the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders, better known as the Kerner Commission.

As a CIA officer, Mr. Miskovsky was careful not to deal directly with Soviet representatives on gaining Powers' freedom, so he hired New York lawyer James Donovan to handle face-to-face talks.

In exchange, a British-born Soviet spy known as Rudolf Abel, convicted of espionage in New York in 1957, walked across Berlin's Glienicke Bridge from the other direction, passing Powers in the middle.

Mr. Miskovsky, whose role in the Cuba negotiations has been documented in several histories of the Cold War, worked closely with U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy and, once again, with Donovan, to arrange the Bay of Pigs prisoners' release.

In 1967, after riots devastated several U.S. cities, President Lyndon B. Johnson convened a commission led by the Democratic governor of Illinois, Otto Kerner Jr., to examine the unrest's causes.

Mr. Miskovsky, then working at the Treasury Department, directed the commission's investigation.

When the Kerner Commission's report was released in 1968, its findings were unambiguous: "This is our basic conclusion: Our nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white - separate and unequal."

Milan Carl Miskovsky was born May 11, 1926, in Chicago and graduated from the University of Michigan, where he also received a master's degree in forestry in 1949. He spent two years with the U.S. Forest Service in Idaho, Montana and Washington state before being transferred to the District of Columbia in 1951.

He was quickly hired by the CIA as an analyst of forestry resources in the Eastern Bloc. After graduating from George Washington University law school in 1956, he joined the CIA's legal office. [Schudel/WashingtonPost/19October2009] 


AZORIAN: The Raising of the K-129. The Naval Institute Press is pleased to announce that it has signed Norman Polmar for AZORIAN: The Raising of the K-129. Long known to the public as Project Jennifer, AZORIAN was the code-name for the ambitious effort by the CIA to secretly salvage the Soviet strategic missile submarine K-129, which had sunk in the North Pacific Ocean in 1968, using the Hughes Glomar Explorer, a massive salvage ship constructed and uniquely equipped to lift the submarine from a depth of three miles. Polmar, an award-winning author who has written or coauthored more than 40 books in the naval, aviation, and intelligence areas, is working in collaboration with award-winning filmmaker Michael White, whose documentary by the same name is being considered for airing this fall in the United States. The documentary, which will form the basis for portions of the book, includes extensive interviews with senior CIA officials, the engineers who designed and built the Hughes Glomar Explorer, and the men who sailed the ship and recovered a part of the sunken submarine. Additional material for the book is being compiled from previously close-held, secret files now made available to White, who resides in Vienna, Austria, and Polmar, who lives in the Washington, DC, suburbs. The book is scheduled for publication in Fall 2010. [Heise/NavalInstitutePress]



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:

22 October 2009 - San Francisco, CA - The AFIO Jim Quesada Chapter hosts Dr. Kalev Sepp, Senior Lecturer in Defense Analysis at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations Capabilities. Dr. Sepp will be discussing global counterterrorism strategy and policy oversight regarding special operations world-wide. He will include his observations concerning his recent trip to North Korea. RSVP required. The meeting will be held at United Irish Cultural Center, 2700 45th Avenue, San Francisco (between Sloat and Wawona). 11:30 AM no host cocktails; noon - luncheon. $25 member rate with advance reservation and payment; $35 non-member. E-mail RSVP to Mariko Kawaguchi (please indicate meat or fish): or mail check made out to "AFIO" to: Mariko Kawaguchi, P.O. Box 117578 Burlingame, CA 94011.

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
Christopher Newport University's (CNU) Center for American Studies and The Norman Forde Hampton Roads Chapter of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) will co-host the 1st Annual Workshop on Intelligence and National Security. "Cyber Security: Vulnerabilities at Home and Abroad" will take place on October 28, 2009 in CNU's David Student Union Ballroom, Newport News. The event is free and open to the public.

The core session (11 a.m. til 1 p.m.) features a keynote address, "Cyber Security: Threats and Responses," by Dr. Andy Purdy, former U.S. Cyber Security Czar and Co-Director of the International Cyber Center at George Mason University. A panel discussion on Cyber Security Vulnerabilities will follow the keynote.

Morning and afternoon sessions include Cyber Security and the Business Community, Cyber Security and Civil Rights, China and Cyber Warfare, and U.S. Military Planning and Cyber Warfare. The schedule is attached.

CNU's David Student Union is located near the campus roundabout entrance, which is approached from the Avenue of the Arts. Visitors should park in the Ferguson Center parking deck, which is on the right side of Avenue of the Arts, just before the campus roundabout entrance. Directions:

The Norman Forde Hampton Roads Chapter of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers promotes the profession of intelligence through education and enhancement of public awareness/ comprehension in the role of U.S. Intelligence in today's global environment.

RSVP is helpful, though not required. Kindly email Melissa Saunders if you are considering attending or have questions about the event or AFIO.

For more info: or call her at 757-897-6268

28 October, 2009, 11:30 am - Rockland, Maine - 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

Wednesday, 28 October 2009; 6:30 pm - Washington, DC - Emerging Cyber Threats: Myths and Realities - at the International Spy Museum. As we witness the rise of cyber warfare, just how vulnerable are we? Separate the myths from the realities with a distinguished panel of experts, including: Melissa Hathaway - Former acting senior director for cyberspace for the National Security and Homeland Security Councils; James Lewis - Director and senior fellow, Technology and Public Policy Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies; and Keith Epstein - Award-winning writer and investigative journalist at BusinessWeek. The panel will explore the wide range of current threats, the steps the government and businesses are taking to combat areas of vulnerability, and the challenges that lie ahead in the rapidly evolving cyber realm. In concert with the Department of Homeland Security’s Cyber Security Awareness Month, the International Spy Museum is unveiling the first gallery dedicated exclusively to cyber security, Weapons of Mass Disruption. SPY invites attendees of the Emerging Cyber Threats: Myths and Realities to an exclusive after-hours viewing of this new gallery immediately following the program. Tickets: $15 per person. For more information or to register visit

5 - 6 November 2009 - London, UK - "A Centenary Conference on The British Security and Intelligence Services"
This impressive event will be a review of the formation, growth, maturity and future of the British Security and Intelligence Services on the occasion of their Centenary The precise location in central London will be supplied registrants, only. A formal Gala Dinner occurs on November 5.
The group hosting the event has offered a special rate for AFIO members who register for the "Full Conference" before October 10 for a rate of �175; after that date the event price is �245.00
AFIO member fee for dinner reception only [Nov 5] is �90. ALL PRICES EXCLUDE VAT @ 15%
For further information, view PDF of the event.
To register, click here to download Word document and follow the instructions.
Questions? Email
The list of confirmed speakers, and the topics, make this a "do not miss" event.
: • Northern Ireland, Parliament, Politics and the ISC; • Spooks, D-Notices, Media; • The Falklands Conflict – a keynote panel; • View from the Commonwealth; • A view from the United States; • The modern era, and the future of intelligence; o JTAC; o interagency cooperation; o Personnel; o A wider community for intelligence; o The future practice of intelligence; • Keynote Speakers;
• The Foundations and The Early Years; • Operation Kronstadt, Sir Paul Dukes and Sidney Reilly; • The inter-war period; • The WWII Era; • The Cold War – keynote panel introduction; • SIS in the Cold War; • Cambridge Spies and the Molehunts; • The impact of Gordievsky; • The history of tradecraft and its development; • Personnel, recruitment and development; • A review of the historical and fictional literature on the Security Services;
Key Speakers and Chairman already confirmed:
Professor Christopher Andrew, Official Historian of the British Security Service (MI5) “Defend the Realm: The Authorised History of MI5”
Rear Admiral Nick Wilkinson, CB, former D-Notice Secretary and author of the recently published “Secrecy and the Media, The Official History of the D Notice System”
Professor Sir Lawrence Freedman, KCMG, Official Historian of the Falklands War
Major General Julian Thompson, CB, OBE, Commander of 3 Commando Brigade, Falklands War
Hugh Bicheno, author of “The Unofficial History of the Falklands War”
Gill Bennett, former Chief Historian of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Nigel West, intelligence historian and author of “TRIPLEX”
H. Keith Melton, noted historian of tradecraft and the clandestine devices, advisor to U.S. government agencies.
Hayden Peake, Curator of the CIA’s Historical Intelligence Collection
Victor Suvarov, GRU defector to the British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6), author of “The Chief Culprit!
Tom King (Lord King of Bridgewater) former Defence Secretary, former Northern Ireland Secretary, founder Chairman of the Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee.
Dan Mulvenna, ex-RCMP Security Service counterintelligence officer, Professor lecturing on counterintelligence and counter terrorism to the U.S. Intelligence community at the Counterintelligence Centre in Washington, D.C.
Harry Ferguson, former MI6 and NIS officer, novelist and historian, author of “Spy”, and “Operation Kronstadt”
Gordon Corera, Security Correspondent, BBC, Presenter of Radio 4 Series “MI6: A Century in the Shadows”

Saturday, 7 November 2009, 1100 - 1430 - Salem, MA - The AFIO New England Chapter holds meeting on Counterterrorism Preparedness.

The chapter meeting will be held at the Salem Waterfront Hotel located in Salem MA. The hotel web site is here: For directions to the hotel look here:
Information about Salem MA and local hotels can be found here:
Our schedule is as follows: Registration & gathering, 11:00 - 1200, Luncheon at 1200 followed by our speaker, with adjournment at 2:30PM.
Our guest speaker will be Ilana Freedman. Ilana is Gerard Group International’s Chief Executive Officer. Ilana is also its founder and is an internationally respected expert in counter-terrorism preparedness. She is a highly regarded analyst and a prolific writer. She has framed the mission at the Gerard Group to provide leading edge programs to prepare and protect American interests and those of its friends and allies from the impact of terrorist attacks. She has put together a team of leaders in the field from around the globe to provide the blue-ribbon service that defines the Gerard Group.
Note, as this meeting is a one day event we have not made any hotel arrangements.
For additional information contact us at
Advance reservations are $25.00, $30.00 at the door - per person.
Luncheon reservations must be made by 21 October 2009.
Mail your check and the reservation form to:
Mr. Arthur Hulnick, 216 Summit Avenue # E102, Brookline, MA 02446, 617-739-7074 or

Tuesday, 10 November 2009, 5 to 8:30 pm - Washington, DC - Minute by Minute: The Role of Intelligence in the Cuban Missile Crisis - at the International Spy Museum. Can students change the course of history? Enliven your teaching of the Cold War with a newly published case-based simulation in which students play the role of intelligence analysts at the CIA in 1962. By examining declassified intelligence documents and U-2 photographs at various stages of the crisis, students “live” the crisis rather than only read about it. In this social studies standards-based lesson, students are challenged to make decisions and recommendations based on primary documents and photos. The outcome of the crisis is in their hands: will their analysis provide President Kennedy with the information he needs to avoid nuclear catastrophe? The workshop includes: A Spy’s Eye View: Peter Earnest, Executive Director and former CIA spy discusses the role of intelligence during the Cold War period. Minute by Minute: The Role of Intelligence in the Cuban Missile Crisis: Participate in a simulation of the lesson.  The Secret History of History: A behind-the- scenes exploration of cold-war related exhibits at the Spy Museum with Museum Historian, Dr. Thomas Boghardt. Your classroom copy of Minute by Minute: The Role of Intelligence in the Cuban Missile Crisis: a 125-page lesson with accompanying CD and DVD containing exclusive CIA footage (a $30 value). A picnic-style dinner (sandwich, chips, fruit, cookie & drink). Complimentary admission to the Museum on Tuesday, November 10th (for early arrivals). Tickets: $35 per teacher To register for this workshop call 202.654.0932 (limited space available—register early)

Thursday, 12 November 2009; 12 noon to 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 - EVENT HAS SOLD OUT
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 by current registered attendees only to: Tom Spencer at or call 305 648 0940 Event has Sold Out.

19 November 2009, 11:30 a.m. - Scottsdale, AZ - The AFIO Arizona Chapter hosts Dr. Jim Shamadan who will speak on "Resolution of the Starflash Explosives Factory Fiasco."

Dr. Jim Schamadan did his undergraduate work in chemical engineering and received his M.D., cum laude from Ohio State University. A military medical officer in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam conflict, he served as a physician in Kuwait and Iraq during Desert Storm. From September 2001 until January 2003, Dr. Schamadan served as Special Assistant to the Governor of Arizona for Homeland Security. Dr. Shamadan’s talk will cover the events in September 1997, when over a decade ago Federal officers executed a search warrant and associated arrest documents for the owner of a munitions manufacturing facility known as Starflash Ranch in New River Arizona. In addition to the main ranch house, they discovered several booby-trapped underground bunkers, training videos, and a manufacturing facility called “The Shed." Federal authorities had planned to destroy the bunkers using novel technical means but citizens of New RIver opposed this action and the matter reverted to State authorities. The speaker will discuss how the episode ended using information about this incident that has not previously been released.
Event is being held at: McCormick Ranch Golf Club (7505 McCormick Parkway, Scottsdale AZ 85258 ~ Phone 480.948.0260) Our meeting fees will be as follows: • $20.00 for AFIO members• $22.00 for guests. For reservations or questions, please email Simone or or phone and leave a message on 602.570.6016. Art Kerns, President of the AZ Chapter,

8 December 2009 – San Francisco, CA – The AFIO Jim Quesada Chapter hosts Thomas C. Reed, former Secretary of the Air Force and Special Assistant to the President for National Security Policy. Reed will be discussing the political history of nuclear weapons: where they came from, the surprising ways in which the technology spread and the lessons learned from that proliferation.
RSVP required. The meeting will be held at United Irish Cultural Center, 2700 45th Avenue, San Francisco (between Sloat and Wawona). 11:30 AM no host cocktails; noon - luncheon. $25 member rate with advance reservation and payment; $35 non-member. E-mail RSVP to Mariko Kawaguchi (please indicate meat or fish): and mail check made out to "AFIO" to: Mariko Kawaguchi, P.O. Box 117578 Burlingame, CA 94011

11 December 2009 - Tysons Corner, VA - AFIO National Winter Luncheon at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. Details to follow.

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


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