|AFIO Weekly Intelligence Notes #01-10 dated 12 January 2010|
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Section I - INTELLIGENCE HIGHLIGHTS
Cuba Says U.S. Contractor Is Spy. A senior Cuban official said that an American government contractor detained in Cuba for more than a month was "working for American intelligence."
Parliament leader Ricardo Alarcon says the man is under investigation but has not yet been charged. Neither government has identified the man who was arrested on Dec. 4 on suspicion he was handing out communications equipment to opposition groups.
Mr. Alarcon said the man's actions are "part of the privatization of war."
The State Department has said that he was working a Maryland-based economic development organization. The company's president has said he was part of a U.S. government-financed program to "strengthen civil society" in Cuba. [WallStreetJournal/5January2010]
Germany Investigating Report on CIA Hit Team. German authorities are looking into allegations raised in an American magazine that a CIA hit team targeted an al-Qaida suspect in Hamburg in a post-Sept. 11 operation that was never carried out. Clearly there is a lot of free time in Germany to follow up operations that never even happened -- particularly if it was a foreign power operating to eliminate terrorists before they strike.
According to the report in Vanity Fair's January issue, the team was sent to target Mahmoun Darkazanli, a German-Syrian businessman. Darkazanli has been accused in Spain of being an al-Qaida figure and was close to the Sept. 11 hijackers who lived and studied in Hamburg.
The article focused on Erik Prince (a common target by lip-smacking law firms anxious to access $$$ the deepest pockets in a misapplication of connecting the dots), who founded the defense contractor Blackwater USA, and alleges that Prince had a hand in training the team -- the usual wishful overreach of too many undertasked defense counsels and foreign prosecutors. It said the team notified neither the German government nor the Hamburg CIA station that it was working in the city, and followed Darkazanli for weeks before the assassination was called off. I think these were once called a true "covert" operation -- something far less common in the tell-all 24/7 Twitter, FaceBook news cycle where sharing all secrets is the goal and deniability is unfathomable and mysterious.
George Little, a spokesman for the CIA based in Virginia, declined to comment on the case.
Though the magazine hit newsstands at the start of December, Hamburg prosecutors decided to look into it after a local newspaper picked up on the allegations, said spokesman Wilhelm Moellers.
In comments on Germany's ARD television Tuesday night, Darkazanli said he was ''speechless'' at allegations there was a contract out on him, but said he often noticed surveillance. And of course, totally innocent of all allegations.
Darkazanli was questioned by German police shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States after it emerged that he moved in some of the same circles as the hijackers.
Among other things, he appeared in a 1999 wedding video with two of the three suicide pilots who lived and studied in Hamburg.
He appeared on U.S. suspect lists after Sept. 11, but denied any links to Osama bin Laden or the attacks. He was never charged in Germany.
In October 2004, he was arrested in Hamburg on a Spanish warrant accusing him of involvement with al-Qaida.
German authorities said then that Spanish authorities alleged he was ''one of the key figures of the al-Qaida terror network'' and ''the permanent contact person and assistant of Osama bin Laden in Germany,'' as well as a bin Laden financier.
His extradition was blocked by Germany's high court and he was eventually released. In 2006, German prosecutors closed their own investigation of him, saying there was insufficient evidence to show that Darkazanli supported al-Qaida.
However, he remains under observation by the Hamburg office of the German intelligence agency that tracks extremists, deputy head Manfred Murck told The AP.
Murck said there is a group of about 150 Islamic extremists in Hamburg that his office keeps tabs on. [NYTimes/6January2010/ additional commentary by AFIO]
Poland Arrests Russian "Spy." Poland's Internal Security Agency arrested an alleged Russian spy suspected of working for Russian military intelligence.
The suspect headed a small business and lived in Poland for more than a decade.
He was arrested after his actions became 'intolerable' and 'harmful' to Poland, according to an anonymous government source.
Prosecutors in Warsaw confirmed such a suspect was being detained and that charges would soon be brought against him. They declined to give further details.
The agent was arrested by the anti-terrorism department of Poland's Internal Security Agency. [Monstersandcritics/6January2010]
C.I.A. Is Sharing Data With Climate Scientists. The nation's top scientists and spies are collaborating on an effort to use the federal government's intelligence assets - including spy satellites and other classified sensors - to assess the hidden complexities of environmental change. They seek insights from natural phenomena like clouds and glaciers, deserts and tropical forests.
The collaboration restarts an effort the Bush administration shut down and has the strong backing of the director of the Central Intelligence Agency. In the last year, as part of the effort, the collaborators have scrutinized images of Arctic sea ice from reconnaissance satellites in an effort to distinguish things like summer melts from climate trends, and they have had images of the ice pack declassified to speed the scientific analysis.
The trove of images is "really useful," said Norbert Untersteiner, a professor at the University of Washington who specializes in polar ice and is a member of the team of spies and scientists behind the effort.
Scientists, Dr. Untersteiner said, "have no way to send out 500 people" across the top of the world to match the intelligence gains, adding that the new understandings might one day result in ice forecasts.
"That will be very important economically and logistically," Dr. Untersteiner said, arguing that Arctic thaws will open new fisheries and sea lanes for shipping and spur the hunt for undersea oil and gas worth hundreds of billions of dollars.
The monitoring program has little or no impact on regular intelligence gathering, federal officials said, but instead releases secret information already collected or takes advantage of opportunities to record environmental data when classified sensors are otherwise idle or passing over wilderness.
Secrecy cloaks the monitoring effort, as well as the nation's intelligence work, because the United States wants to keep foes and potential enemies in the dark about the abilities of its spy satellites and other sensors. The images that the scientific group has had declassified, for instance, have had their sharpness reduced to hide the abilities of the reconnaissance satellites.
Controversy has often dogged the use of federal intelligence gear for environmental monitoring. In October, days after the C.I.A. opened a small unit to assess the security implications of climate change, Senator John Barrasso, Republican of Wyoming, said the agency should be fighting terrorists, "not spying on sea lions."
Now, with the intelligence world under fire after the attempted airliner bombing on Christmas Day, and with the monitoring program becoming more widely known, such criticism seems likely to grow.
A senior federal official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, defended the scientific monitoring as exploiting the intelligence field quite adroitly.
Ralph J. Cicerone, president of the National Academy of Sciences and a member of the monitoring team, said the program was "basically free."
"People who don't know details are the ones who are complaining," Dr. Cicerone said.
About 60 scientists - mainly from academia but including some from industry and federal agencies - run the effort's scientific side. All have secret clearances. They obtain guidance from the National Academy of Sciences, an elite body that advises the federal government.
Dr. Cicerone said the monitoring effort offered an opportunity to gather environmental data that would otherwise be impossible to obtain, and to do so with the kind of regularity that can reveal the dynamics of environmental change.
"It's probably silly to think it will last 50 years," he said of the program in an interview. "On the other hand, there's the potential for these collections to go on for a long time."
The C.I.A. runs the program and arranges for the scientists to draw on federal surveillance equipment, including highly classified satellites of the National Reconnaissance Office.
Officials said the effort to restart the program originated on Capitol Hill in 2008 after former Vice President Al Gore argued for its importance with Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California, who was then a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee; she became its chairwoman in early 2009.
The Obama administration has said little about the effort publicly but has backed it internally, officials said. In November, the scientists met with Leon E. Panetta, the C.I.A. director.
"Director Panetta believes it is crucial to examine the potential national security implications of phenomena such as desertification, rising sea levels and population shifts," Paula Weiss, an agency spokeswoman, said.
The program resurrects a scientific group that from 1992 to 2001 advised the federal government on environmental surveillance. Known as Medea, for Measurements of Earth Data for Environmental Analysis, the group sought to discover if intelligence archives and assets could shed light on issues of environmental stewardship.
It is unclear why Medea died in the early days of the Bush administration, but President George W. Bush developed a reputation for opposing many kinds of environmental initiatives. Officials said the new body was taking on the same mandate and activities, as well as the name.
"I'm extremely pleased with what's been happening," said Michael B. McElroy, an atmospheric scientist at Harvard University and a senior member of the group. "It's really first-rate."
Among the program's first responsibilities has been to assess earlier Medea projects to see which, if any, produced valuable information and might be restarted or expanded.
Dr. Untersteiner of the University of Washington said that in June the government posted some imagery results from that assessment on the Web sites of the United States Geological Survey in an area known as the Global Fiducials Library, which advertises itself as an archive of intelligence images from scientifically important sites.
Among other things, the online library displays years of ice imagery from six sites inside the Arctic Circle, including the Fram Strait, the main route for icebergs moving from the Arctic basin into the North Atlantic.
Scientists consider the Arctic highly sensitive to global warming and are particularly interested in closely monitoring its changes as possible harbingers.
In July, the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences released a report that praised the monitoring.
"There are no other data available that show the melting and freezing processes," the report said. "Their release will have a major impact on understanding effects of climate change."
Dr. Untersteiner said the federal government had already adopted one of the report's recommendations - have reconnaissance satellites follow particular ice floes as they drift through the Arctic basin rather than just monitoring static sites.
For this summer, Dr. Untersteiner said he had asked that the intelligence agencies start the process sooner, "so we still see the snow cover, maybe in early May."
Such research, Dr. Untersteiner said, promised to promote understanding of the fundamental forces at work in global climate change, including the endless whorls and gyres of polar ice.
"We still have a problem with ice mechanics," he said. "But the dynamics are very revealing." [NYTimes/5January2010]
Military Overhauls Intelligence Gathering, Analysis in Afghanistan. U.S. military officials in Afghanistan have ordered a series of steps to overhaul intelligence gathering and analysis in the war-torn country in response to deficiencies uncovered during a lengthy White House strategy review last year.
The overhaul will broaden the scope of intelligence gathering from hunting down extremists to gathering information about local attitudes, concerns, people and leaders as part of a deeper U.S. shift aimed at winning over the Afghan population.
The changes were ordered by Maj. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, director of intelligence for the military command in Afghanistan, and were detailed by a U.S. official and in a paper published Monday by the Center for a New American Security, a military think tank.
In the paper, Flynn and two other officials argued that intelligence efforts in Afghanistan have been focused too tightly on searching for enemy insurgents and roadside bombs, often ignoring crucial information from knowledgeable Afghans, local council meetings, radio broadcasts and similar sources.
"This vast and under-appreciated body of information, almost all of which is unclassified, admittedly offers few clues about where to find insurgents, but provides information of even greater strategic importance: a map for leveraging popular support and marginalizing the insurgency itself," Flynn and his co-authors wrote.
As part of the overhaul, Flynn ordered the creation of teams to work across the traditional military hierarchy and between units, collecting local information and passing it up the chain of command. The teams will work out of new information centers, where analysts will compile reports on virtually all of Afghanistan's nearly 400 districts.
Flynn and U.S. officials compared the operation of the intelligence teams to journalists, in that they can operate somewhat outside the traditional military hierarchy and move from unit to unit across regions to uncover information.
An official who described the idea on condition of anonymity said the intent was to get critical information at the "grassroots" that senior commanders need to make decisions.
The moves by Flynn were prompted, at least in part, by deficiencies discovered during last year's White House Afghan strategy review.
During the review, administration officials pressed for information about dozens of critical Afghan districts, asking about local attitudes to the international military effort and about the strengths of local officials.
But intelligence analysts are so starved of information, they "could barely find enough information to scrape together even rudimentary assessments of pivotal Afghan districts," Flynn and his co-authors wrote.
Flynn makes clear that intelligence has a significant role in "finishing off enemy leaders." But he believes the military's priorities must be rebalanced to better understand local conditions.
In another change, Flynn wants the intelligence reports to be widely available to allied militaries and non-governmental organizations, and not kept secret. For example, the reports could include accounts of previous development efforts, so an organization contemplating future work could learn about potential risks based on past experience.
In ordering the most recent changes, Flynn acknowledged that an earlier effort, to expand intelligence "fusion centers," had failed. Fusion centers were designed to team intelligence experts with combat officers to quickly act on information.
But the fusion centers were too closely focused on purely military objectives and that "change has come more slowly than we can afford," he wrote.
Flynn's co-authors for the paper included Marine Capt. Matt Pottinger and Paul Batchelor, a senior official with the Defense Intelligence Agency. [Barnes/Stripes/5January2010]
Berlusconi Backs Spy Chief In Espionage Scandal. Italy's prime minister has intervened to defend a former spy chief accused of being part of an illegal espionage ring, in a twist to a case that drew in Italy's top telecoms firm and embarrassed the secret service.
The case first shocked Italy in 2006, when employees at former monopoly Telecom Italia and parent group Pirelli were arrested in a probe into a spy ring suspected of snooping on Italy's elite by using data from phone records.
Among others arrested was Marco Mancini, a former No. 2 official in the military intelligence agency SISMI. At his preliminary hearing in November, Mancini refused to answer questions, saying doing so would violate state secrecy laws.
Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi wrote to the judge confirming that "state secret" issues existed in the case, his office said.
Secret service units and their relations with other groups on their activities are given maximum protection under the law, Berlusconi's office said in a statement.
Berlusconi's letter will likely allow Mancini to avoid trial, while adding fresh speculation into the nature of confidential links between the secret service and Italy's top telecommunications operator, said daily Corriere della Sera, which first reported the news.
Mancini previously faced separate charges of helping the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency kidnap a Muslim cleric in Milan, but those charges were dropped in November because evidence against them violated state secrecy rules.
In the spy ring case, prosecutors say a group led by the former security chief at Telecom Italia, Giuliano Tavaroli, created thousands of files from 1997 to 2004 by illegally gathering telephone traffic data. Both centre-left and centre-right governments ruled Italy during that period.
Alleged targets of their spying included former Prime Minister Romano Prodi when he was European Commission president in 2001 and a host of well-known personalities ranging from financier Emilio Gnutti to football player Bobo Vieri.
Mancini was accused of sending several files related to the secret service's work to Telecom Italia, via an intermediary.
Telecom Italia's head at the time, Marco Tronchetti Provera, has denied any links with Mancini or any knowledge of any illegal activity conducted by the company's security division. [Babington&diGiorgio/NYTimes/5January2010]
Israeli Spy Mordechai Vanunu Suspected of Meeting Foreigners. Israel Police have arrested Israeli atom spy Mordechai Vanunu on suspicion that he met with foreign citizens, a violation of his terms. Vanunu is scheduled to be brought before a court for a hearing on the remand of his arrest.
Vanunu was released from an Israeli prison in 2004 after 18 years of incarceration, to which he was sentenced for disclosing Israeli secrets to foreign agents. [Weiss/YnetNews/29December2009]
Suicide Bomb Attack on CIA Was
"Revenge for Drone Killing." The release of the tape recorded by a supposed informant who turned out to be an al-Qaeda triple agent further underscores the dangerous alliance of anti-American Islamic militants in Afghanistan and Pakistan. It also confirms the catastrophic US intelligence failure that preceded the Dec 30 attack.
It is another massive blow to an intelligence community that was already in turmoil over the glaring mistakes that allowed a Nigerian al-Qaeda terrorist nearly to blow up a US-bound airliner on Christmas Day.
Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi called for foreign jihadists to attack US targets to avenge the death of former Pakistan Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud in an American drone strike.
And US officials have revealed to the Washington Post how Balawi was able to wreak such carnage.
The doctor - thought to be a "superstar asset" - was not required to leave the red station wagon carrying him from Pakistan for a check at the base's front gate in case Taliban spies were watching.
Instead, he was driven to a relatively empty part of the compound. There he exited the car with one hand in his pocket as a security guard approached to conduct a pat-down search. He was asked to remove his hand but instead triggered a switch, detonating a huge bomb that shredded everything and everyone near him.
And unusually, several CIA officers, including one of the agency's top experts on al-Qaeda and the base chief, were waiting there to greet him, expecting him to describe a way to kill Osama bin Laden's deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri.
It was supposed to be a celebration, an official told the newspaper.
"It's good to make them feel welcome," he said. "You get an important visitor coming. So you go out and meet him... Is it bad tradecraft? Of course."
In the new video, Balawi said he had rejected millions of dollars to spy on al-Qaeda and had instead shared American and Jordanian secrets with the militants.
"The emigrant for the sake of God will not put his religion on the bargaining table and will not sell his religion even if they put the sun in his right hand and the moon in his left," he declared in a reference to a verse in the Koran.
Wearing a traditional tribal felt hat, he sat alongside the new Pakistan Taliban commander Hakimullah Mehsud in an appearance that illustrates the ties between the movement and al-Qaeda.
The Haqqani network, a powerful Afghan Taliban grouping, would also have been involved in the planning as it controls much of the Khost region where the CIA has its outpost.
In a further indication of the intertwining of anti-US forces, Afghan intelligence officials told The Daily Beast website that the chemical fingerprint of the bomb matches explosives used by Pakistan's ISI spy agency.
The ISI played a crucial role in the formation of the Afghan Taliban during the early 1990s and top officers maintain close contacts with the extremists. Pakistan recently rejected a request from President Barack Obama to assist operations against Haqqani strongholds as it believes the group will be key allies if the US leaves the region. [Sherwell/Telegraph/10January2010]
Suicide Bombing Puts a Rare Face on C.I.A.'s Work. In the fall of 2001, as an anguished nation came to grips with the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, a slender, soft-spoken economics major named Elizabeth Hanson set out to write her senior thesis at Colby College in Maine. Her question was a timely one: How do the world's three major faith traditions apply economic principles?
Ms. Hanson's report, "Faithless Heathens: Scriptural Economics of Judaism, Christianity and Islam," carried a title far more provocative than its contents, said the professor who advised her. But it may have given a hint of her career to come, as an officer for the Central Intelligence Agency specializing in hunting down Islamic extremists.
That career was cut short last week: Ms. Hanson was one of seven Americans killed in a suicide bombing at a C.I.A. base in the remote mountains of Afghanistan.
In the days since the attack, details of the lives of the victims - five men and two women, including two C.I.A. contractors from the firm formerly known as Blackwater - have begun to trickle out, despite the secretive nature of their work. What emerges is a rare public glimpse of a closed society, a peek into one sliver of the spy agency as it operates more than eight years after the C.I.A. was pushed to the front lines of war.
Their deaths were a significant blow to the agency, crippling a team responsible for collecting information about militant networks in Afghanistan and Pakistan and plotting missions to kill the networks' top leaders. And in one sign of how the once male-dominated bastion of the C.I.A. has changed in recent years, the suicide bombing revealed that a woman had been in charge of the base that was attacked, Forward Operating Base Chapman in Khost Province.
On Wednesday, the operational leader of Al Qaeda in Afghanistan issued a statement praising the work of the suicide bomber, Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi, and said that the Khost bombing, which also killed a Jordanian intelligence operative, was revenge for the killings of a number of top militant leaders in C.I.A. drone attacks.
"He detonated his fine, astonishing and well-designed explosive device, which was unseen by the eyes of those who do not believe in the hereafter," said the statement from the Qaeda leader, Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, which was translated by the SITE Intelligence Group.
Those who died came from all corners of the United States but were thrown together in one of the most dangerous parts of the world. Several had military backgrounds. One of the fallen C.I.A. employees, a security officer named Scott Roberson, had worked undercover as a narcotics detective in the Atlanta Police Department, according to an obituary, and spent time in Kosovo for the United Nations. Postings on an online memorial site describe a hard-charging motorcyclist with a remarkable recall of episodes of "The Benny Hill Show."
Another, Harold Brown Jr., was a former Army reservist and father of three who had traveled home from Afghanistan briefly in July to help his family move into a new home in the Northern Virginia suburbs.
Mr. Brown's mother, Barbara, said in an interview that her son - she had believed he worked for the State Department - had intended to spend a year in Afghanistan, returning home in April. He did not relish the work, she said, and talked little about it.
"The people there just want to live their lives. They're normal people," she recalled him saying, adding that he had told her parts of Afghanistan were "just like back in biblical times."
The base chief, an agency veteran, had traveled to Afghanistan last year as part of the C.I.A.'s effort to augment its ranks in the war zone. After consulting with the C.I.A., The New York Times is withholding some identifying information about the woman. The agency declined to comment about the identities of any of the employees. Some of the names were disclosed by family members. Ms. Hanson's name was first reported in The Daily Beast, an online magazine.
In a telephone interview, her father, Duane Hanson Jr., said an agency official called several days ago to let him know that his daughter, who he said would have turned 31 next month, had been killed. He knew little of her work, other than that she had been in Afghanistan. "I begged her not to go," he recalled. "I said, ‘Do you know how dangerous that is? That's for soldiers.' "
The other woman killed, the chief of the Khost base, was, before the Sept. 11 attacks, part of a small cadre of counterterrorism officers focused on the growth of Al Qaeda and charged with finding Osama bin Laden.
Working from a small office near C.I.A. headquarters, the group, known inside the agency as Alec Station, became increasingly alarmed in the summer of 2001 that a major strike was coming. One former officer recalls that the woman had a seemingly encyclopedic knowledge of Al Qaeda's top leadership and was so familiar with the different permutations of the leaders' names that she could take fragments of intelligence and build them into a mosaic of Al Qaeda's operations.
"She was one of the first people in the agency to tackle Al Qaeda in a serious way," said the former officer, who, like some others interviewed for this article, spoke on the condition of anonymity because the victims' identities remain classified.
Two of the dead, Jeremy Wise, 35, a former member of the Navy Seals from Virginia Beach, Va., and Dane Clark Paresi, 46, of Dupont, Wash., were security officers for Xe Services, the firm formerly known as Blackwater.
The company did not respond to a request for comment about the deaths, but they have been widely reported in local newspapers. The Jeremy Wise Memorial on Facebook had 3,189 fans on Tuesday, filled with recollections of Mr. Wise's childhood as the son of a doctor in Arkansas; his parents currently live in Hope, Bill Clinton's hometown.
"RIP, Jeremy Wise, American hero," one wrote.
The suicide bomber has been identified as a Jordanian double agent who was taken onto the base to meet with American officials who thought he was an informant.
In a message to the C.I.A. work force after the attack, President Obama told agency employees that "your triumphs and even your names may be unknown to your fellow Americans." And indeed, some relatives and friends of the dead did not seem to know of their agency connections.
Ms. Hanson's economics professor, Michael Donihue, said he was shocked to discover her career path. At Colby, from which she graduated in 2002, she paired her economics major with a minor in Russian language and literature.
"She was a thoughtful person; she had an intellectual curiosity that I really liked," Professor Donihue said.
Officials in Afghanistan and Washington said the C.I.A. group in Khost had been particularly aggressive in recent months against the Haqqani network, a militant group that has claimed responsibility for dozens of American deaths in Afghanistan. One NATO official in Afghanistan spoke in stark terms about the attack, saying it had "effectively shut down a key station."
"These were not people who wrote things down in the computer or in notebooks. It was all in their heads," he said. The C.I.A. is "pulling in new people from all over the world, but how long will it take to rebuild the networks, to get up to speed? Lots of it is irrecoverable. Lots of it." [Stolberg&Mazzelti/NYTimes/7January2010]
German Intelligence Agency Struggles to Adapt to New Enemies. International intelligence agencies have changed almost beyond recognition over the past 20 years, primarily because of changing threats to national security. As global terrorism becomes the primary concern of most western governments, intelligence services have had to look for new ways to deal with a new enemy.
"It's not like the Cold War days, when security services faced a very predictable opponent," Eric Gujer, security expert and journalist at Switzerland's Neue Zuercher Zeitung newspaper told Deutsche Welle.
"Nowadays, intelligence agencies are dealing with an ever-changing landscape. And in that situation it's impossible to react as effectively as during the Cold War. Back then, you could gradually adapt to face your foe. Those days are over."
Gujer should know. Former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt once joked that reports published in the Zurich paper were usually more valuable to him during his tenure at Germany's helm (1974-1982) than were the briefings he received from the German intelligence agency BND.
At a recent conference attended by global security experts at the Hans-Seidel Foundation in Munich, Gujer defended the BND. He said that, due to Germany's Nazi past, the BND underwent close and constant scrutiny.
Gujer also singled out Germany's tendency toward bureaucracy as a problem, saying that understaffed departments can often get lost in a sea of paperwork, rather than focusing their energies on quality analysis of information.
"That problem is compounded by the relatively low financial and human resources available to intelligence agencies," Gujer said. "All this means they are constantly racing from one catastrophe to the next."
Even when an intelligence agency has gathered genuinely interesting and important information, it is rarely their job to act upon their findings. The interaction - or lack thereof - between politicians and their intelligence chiefs can hamper even the finest attempts to protect their country.
"The world of politics isn't adverse to advice," says former BND chief Hans-Georg Wieck. "However, one must address the politicians in a way that makes them more likely to act on your information.
"Most politicians do have their own view of the world order, but they are still interested in what we have to say, because they are keen to avoid mistakes and to promote positive developments."
Wieck suggests that improved communication on all levels is the key to better intelligence services. This means communicating internally between various security services and their offshoots. It also means sharing information at the intermediate level with undersecretaries of state and in discussions with the top politicians.
However, Wieck also says that intelligence chiefs must be as experienced as possible, so that politicians never dismiss their advice.
"There is always that danger," he says. "But if someone has international experience himself, his words will be taken seriously. Whether any action is taken as a result, however, is an entirely different matter."
"When it came to my area of expertise, I always had the access that I needed, and people would listen - even if the relationship wasn't always brilliant."
The security landscape has changed beyond recognition in recent years; however, that cannot be an excuse for shortcomings in international intelligence, Wieck says.
If someone is planning an attack, he says, there will be evidence that intelligence services can recognize, provided they know where to look. [Philipp/DW-World/7January2010]
Section II - CONTEXT & PRECEDENCE
Jordan Emerges as Key CIA Counterterrorism Ally. Hours after the deadly attack on a CIA base in Afghanistan, a revision was made in official accounts of the number of intelligence operatives killed in the suicide bombing. Instead of eight deaths, as initially reported, the CIA acknowledged only seven.
The eighth victim resurfaced over the weekend when his flag-draped coffin arrived in his native country, Jordan. The man, a captain in the Jordanian intelligence service, was given full military honors at a ceremony that referred only to his "humanitarian work" in war-torn Afghanistan.
In fact, the man's death offered a rare window into a partnership that U.S. officials describe as crucial to their counterterrorism strategy. Although its participation is rarely acknowledged publicly, Jordan is playing an increasingly vital role in the fight against al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups, sometimes in countries far beyond the Middle East, according to current and former government officials from both countries.
Traditionally close ties between the CIA and the Jordanian spy agency - known as the General Intelligence Department - strengthened after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, occasionally prompting allegations by human rights groups that Jordan was serving as a surrogate jailer and interrogator for the U.S. intelligence agency. In the past two years, in the face of new threats in Afghanistan and Yemen, the United States has again called on its ally for help, current and former officials from both countries said.
"They know the bad guy's . . . culture, his associates, and more [than anyone] about the network to which he belongs," said Jamie Smith, an individual who claims he is a former CIA officer and worked in the border region in the years immediately after the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan. Jordanians were particularly prized for their skill in both in interrogating captives and cultivating informants, owing to an unrivaled "expertise with radicalized militant groups and Shia/Sunni culture," said Smith, who now heads a private security company known as SCG International.
Yet, despite Jordan's critical role, officials from both countries have insisted that its participation remain virtually invisible, in part to avoid damaging Amman's standing among other Muslim nations in the region, former intelligence officials said.
U.S. intelligence officials declined to comment on the death of the Jordanian officer or to specify the role GID agents were playing in the region. "We have a close partnership with the Jordanians on counterterrorism matters," acknowledged a U.S. counterterrorism official, who agreed to discuss the sensitive relationship on the condition of anonymity. "Having suffered serious losses from terrorist attacks on their own soil, they are keenly aware of the significant threat posed by extremists."
The slain officer, identified in Jordanian press accounts as Sharif Ali bin Zeid, was on one of the CIA's most sensitive listening posts in eastern Afghanistan, Forward Operating Base Chapman, when a suicide attacker exploded a bomb in the middle of a group of CIA officers and contractors. The blast killed seven Americans, including the base chief.
The base, in Afghanistan's eastern province, is at the heart of the CIA's operations along the Afghan-Pakistan border. It provides critical intelligence for strikes against al-Qaeda and Taliban positions, including targeting information for CIA unmanned aircraft, which carried out more than 50 strikes in Pakistan's autonomous tribal region in the past year. The base also is frequently a setting for debriefing of informants, current and former officials said.
Jordan's official news agency, Petra, said bin Zeid was killed "on Wednesday evening as a martyr while performing the sacred duty of the Jordanian forces in Afghanistan" and provided no further details about his death. Local news reports quoted family members as saying bin Zeid had been in Afghanistan for 20 days and had been scheduled to travel home on the day of the bombing.
His coffin's arrival in Amman on Saturday was handled with unusual pomp, with Jordan's King Abdullah II and his wife, Rania, personally presiding over a funeral and burial in a military cemetery.
Current and former U.S. intelligence officials said the special relationship with Jordan dates back at least three decades and has recently progressed to the point that the CIA liaison officer in Amman enjoys full, unescorted access to the GID's fortress-like headquarters. The close ties helped disrupt several known terrorist plots, including the thwarted 2000 "millennium" conspiracy to attack tourists at hotels and other sites. Jordanians also provided U.S. officials with communications intercepts in summer 2001 that warned of terrorist plans to carry out a major attack on the United States.
After the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Jordan agreed to create a bilateral operations center with the CIA and helped in interrogations of non-Jordanian suspects captured by the CIA and transferred to Jordan in now-famous "rendition" flights. Jordan's role was criticized at the time by human rights groups, and a United Nations inquiry in 2007 concluded that security officials had committed acts of torture, an accusation denied by Jordan.
Critics of the country's pro-U.S. policy say the closeness stems in part from Jordan's receipt of about $500 million worth of economic and military aid from the United States each year and from Jordan's status as one of only two Arab states to have signed a peace agreement with Israel. But Jordanian officials say the cooperation with the CIA is motivated by a mutual understanding of the danger posed by al-Qaeda and the religious extremism and violence it espouses.
"If al-Qaeda targets America, it also targets our stability and the peace of this region," a Jordanian intelligence said in a recent interview. "Based on this stance, we have had many successes countering terrorism." [Warrick&Priest&Tate/WashingtonPost/4January2010]
Historian Claims to Have Identified Wartime "Man Who Never Was." A historian claims to have conclusively proved the identity of the "Man Who Never Was", whose body was used in a spectacular plot to deceive the Germans over the invasion of Sicily in the Second World War.
It was a turning point in the Second World War. As the Allies prepared to invade Sicily in 1943, they wanted to dupe the Germans into thinking that their attack would be aimed elsewhere.
To carry out the deception, a plan was concocted in which a body was dumped in the sea, to be discovered by Axis forces, carrying fake 'secret documents' suggesting the invasion would be staged in Greece, 500 miles away.
Incredibly, the trick worked and the diversion of German troops to Greece has been credited by historians with playing a major part in the success of the Sicily invasion. The episode was later immortalized in the 1956 film The Man Who Never Was.
Yet to this day, just whose body was used in "Operation Mincemeat" has remained a source of secrecy, confusion and conspiracy theory.
In a forthcoming book, a historian claims to have finally established beyond any reasonable doubt the identity of the person who 'played' the part of the dead man: a homeless Welshman called Glyndwr Michael.
The body, which was given the identity of a fake Royal Marine called 'Major William Martin', was dropped into the sea off Spain in 1943.
Winston Churchill had remarked that "Anyone but a bloody fool would know it was Sicily", but after the tides carried Major Martin's body into the clutches of Nazi agents, Hitler and his High Command became convinced Greece was the target. "You can forget about Sicily. We know it's in Greece," proclaimed General Alfred Jodl, head of the German supreme command operations staff.
"Mincemeat swallowed, rod, line and sinker" was the message sent to Churchill after the Allies learned the plot had worked.
In recent years, there have been repeated claims that Mincemeat's chief planner, Lieutenant Commander Ewen Montagu, was so intent on deceiving the Germans that he stole the body of a crew member from HMS Dasher, a Royal Navy aircraft carrier which exploded off the Scottish coast in March 1943, and lied to the dead man's relatives.
In 2003, a documentary based on 14 years of research by former police officer Colin Gibbon claimed that 'Major Martin' was Dasher sailor Tom Martin.
Then in 2004, official sanction appeared to be given to another candidate, Tom Martin's crewmate John Melville. At a memorial service on board the current HMS Dasher, a Royal Navy patrol vessel, off the coast of Cyprus, Lieutenant Commander Mark Hill named Mr. Melville as Major Martin, describing him as "a man who most certainly was". Mr. Melville's daughter, Isobel Mackay, later told The Scotsman newspaper: "I feel very honored if my father saved 30,000 Allied lives."
However, Professor Denis Smyth, a historian at Toronto University, whose book Operation Mincemeat: Death, Deception and the Mediterranean D-Day is due to be published later this year, believes he has now finally laid to rest such "conspiracy theories".
During his research, he came across a "most secret" memo written by Commander Montagu, the significance of which appears to have been overlooked and which Professor Smyth says proves the body of Mr. Michael, who was mentally ill and died after ingesting rat poison at the time the operation was being planned, was used. Mr. Michael was first proposed as The Man Who Never Was by an amateur historian in 1996, but the evidence to support this failed to convince supporters of the Dasher theory.
Tellingly, the memo unearthed by Professor Smyth was written after the body had been buried in Spain and addressed fears among senior officers that it would be exhumed for a second post-mortem which would confirm 'Major Martin' was a fake.
In it, Commander Montagu reports a conversation he had with coroner Dr. William Bentley Purchase: "Mincemeat [the body] took a minimal dose of a rat poison containing phosphorus. This dose was not sufficient to kill him outright and its only effect was so to impair the functioning of the liver that he died a little time afterwards.
"Apart from the smallness of the dose, the next point is that phosphorus is not one of the poisons readily traceable after long periods, such as arsenic, which invades the roots of the hair."
Professor Smyth said: "What they talk about is whether the traces of the rat poison this person had taken could show up. So the person buried in Spain died from taking rat poison, not drowning, and therefore it is Glyndwr Michael.
"People love a conspiracy and a group has emerged who argue that this body was entirely unsuitable because it would have been riddled with rat poison.
"I think I've demolished what they think is the case for the counter-argument, that this body wouldn't have passed muster in the post mortem. The post mortem verdict was precisely as the British had expected, it was deemed to be a victim of drowning."
Asked about the 2004 ceremony on HMS Dasher, Professor Smith said: "It is very embarrassing ... I think this seals it. I've also been able to establish, I think beyond any reasonable, any rational doubt, the identity of the corpse involved."
However John Steele, author of The Secrets of HMS Dasher, insisted Glyndwr Michael would not have passed muster as a Marine because he was an alcoholic - although Professor Smyth says there is no record of his illness - and said he remains convinced it was Melville.
"I've received a comprehensive report from a top dental expert regarding the teeth of Glyndwr Michael, what he would expect to find. There is no comparison whatsoever between the body of an alcoholic tramp and that of a Royal Marine," he said.
"I can tell you Montagu pinched a body. There's no way a brilliant barrister such as Montagu would take one slight risk that this operation would go haywire.
"Montagu was meticulous and would never have sent the body of a tramp.
"Bill Jewell, the commander of the submarine Seriph, said it was 'highly unlikely' the body of a tramp would have been used in this operation and he put it into the water with three of his officers."
He claims Montagu decided not only to fool the Germans but also his own commanders, whose "first reaction was this is macabre, this doesn't happen in England". "All the secrecy was imposed because the body used was from Dasher," Mr. Steele said. "And we couldn't have the British public finding out that a body was stolen."
Mr. Melville's daughter Mrs. Mackay, 70, of Galashiels, in the Scottish Borders, said she agreed with Mr. Steele. "The whole thing finished for me in Cyprus when the Dasher was honoured and the Navy asked me out there. That is it as far as it's concerned," she said. [Telegraph/4January2010]
Section III - COMMENTARY
Economist: The Troubles of American Intelligence. On January 4th, Barack Obama met officials related to counterterrorism to discuss how Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab, a Nigerian, was allowed to board a Detroit-bound plane and try to blow it up, despite the fact that America's spies had useful information on him. His father had told the American embassy in Abuja, Nigeria's capital, that his son was being radicalized. The CIA had heard about plans to develop a Nigerian suicide bomber. And it was known that Mr. Abdul Mutallab had traveled to Yemen for training. But as Mr. Obama said after the meeting, there was "a failure to integrate and understand the intelligence that we already had".
Some have blamed the office of the Director of National Intelligence. The post, created in 2004, was meant to get spies to stop thinking in terms of "need to know" and instead to think that they "need to share". A National Counterterrorism Centre (NCTC) was also created. But critics of that approach think that centralization and "all-source" analysis that is meant to produce comprehensive, authoritative reports, are inadequate. Rather, spies and decision-makers (such as consular officials who decide whether to grant visas) need more flexibility and fluidity, the ability to share information more quickly and freely without going through central channels.
In the wake of the attempted Christmas attack, further attempts to shake up intelligence methods and organization will follow. So far, they have been piecemeal: the government has decreed that travelers from 14 countries where al-Qaeda is thought to have recruits will undergo full-body screening before flying to America. But it is unclear whether other countries will implement these rules immediately. The CIA, State Department and the NCTC are all reviewing what went wrong and are likely to come up with differing conclusions. As for more substantive intelligence shake-ups in the wake of the Christmas attack, Mr. Obama is under pressure for quick action which may include sackings, even if such steps may not lead to good policy.
Less reported, but causing more devastation, was the bomb attack on the CIA's base in Khost, in Afghanistan. A Jordanian suicide bomber killed seven American employees and a Jordanian spy, the worst CIA death toll since a 1983 bombing in Beirut. It emerged on Monday that the CIA had not only been bloodied but duped. An Islamic extremist had pretended to be turned by Jordanian intelligence and apparently fed American and Jordanian handlers enough reliable information to make himself trusted. When he claimed to have urgent intelligence, he was whisked through security into the base.
This is a new kind of threat to the CIA. Few had suspected that al-Qaeda would be sophisticated enough to develop a double agent who could fool both the Jordanians and the CIA. Jordan's intelligence service is one of the most professional and trusted partners of the CIA. The agency depends strongly on other friendly spy services for cultural, linguistic and other kinds of expertise. The CIA will now have to add countering al-Qaeda's spy activities and worrying whether its allies are doing the same to its already daunting list of tasks. The government of Yemen, in particular, has become an important, if somewhat dubious, ally in the fight against al-Qaeda. Its security forces have claimed victories against al-Qaeda, but some worry that these too have been penetrated by the terrorist group.
The list of challenges goes on. The head of American military intelligence in Afghanistan complained in a report this week that American spies there are too focused on killing terrorists, and not on understanding the country's politics, economy and society. The spooks are re-thinking a 2007 National Intelligence Estimate that said Iran had given up working on a nuclear-bomb design; they now think that low-level work may indeed be going on. Spies like to say that their failures are known to the world, their successes hidden. At least half of that is true beyond a doubt. [Economist/6January2010]
So Many Dots, So Much Sharing. What Now? Before 9/11, U.S. intelligence officials had little information about terrorism, and they hoarded it.
Now, they share it. All of it. Everywhere. Information about threats - actual, perceived and bogus - is spread across multiple agencies, stored in multiple databases. It arrives in untold snippets from all over the world and is hurriedly passed around. Nobody wants to be blamed for sitting on the missing puzzle piece.
In explaining its failure to stop alleged al-Qaida operative Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab from boarding a plane while carrying a bomb, the government said Thursday that it had plenty of dots to connect. Information was passed around. No puzzle pieces went missing, but nobody put it together.
And there was nobody to blame.
"This incident was not the fault of a single individual or organization but rather a systemic failure across organizations and agencies," President Barack Obama said.
The 9/11 Commission in 2004 cited a complete failure of the nation's intelligence community to share and analyze information. Former President George W. Bush spent years overhauling U.S. spycraft, forming new agencies, building new databases, encouraging information-sharing and training spies.
Years later, and following a terrorist attack that was prevented only because Abdulmutallab's bomb failed to detonate, the nation is witnessing lingering problems that may even be getting worse.
"There's so much intelligence flowing, and it all goes into this river of information," said Patrick Rowan, who served as Bush's top Justice Department counterterrorism official. "But the ability to fish out what's important from that river is always going to be a challenge."
U.S. officials had plenty of information to keep Abdulmutallab off the plane, and circulated it widely, according to the report. But the information arrived in incomplete bits, and it was stored in multiple databases. Had intelligence officials searched all those databases, they likely would have discovered enough to put Abdulmutallab on the "no-fly" list.
Intelligence is stored in multiple databases for different reasons. Sometimes because it's maintained by different agencies in the 16-member intelligence community. Other times it's to protect privacy or civil liberties.
Also, now that everyone has access to the information, it's not always clear who's in charge of analyzing it. That revelation left reporters scratching their heads as White House adviser John Brennan explained that now, someone should take the lead.
"It just seems like that would be the basic premise of any intelligence system," one reporter said. "It seems so fundamental. I'm sure people wonder, 'Really, that's a reform we need?'"
"There are a lot of different organizations involved," Brennan explained. "I think what we're trying to do is to make sure that, as these threads develop - and there are so many of them - that it's clearly understood who has the lead on it."
The biggest problems revealed by the 9/11 Commission were dramatic and, in many ways, the solutions were obvious. The problems in Thursday's report were murkier. How do you ensure the State Department spells a name correctly or that an analyst fishes the right tidbit of intelligence from the river?
"It's a people problem and an accountability problem," said Eleanor Hill, the former staff director of the 9/11 Commission.
Michael Jacobson, an investigator for the 9/11 Commission who now works on counterterrorism issues for the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said the problems described by Obama may be even more difficult to solve. The better our spycraft, the more information we'll get. The more information, he said, the harder it is to make sense of it all.
That's why Obama's order to his intelligence community looks much different from the list of recommendations following 9/11. Obama didn't tell the government to change what it is doing. He just wants them to do it better and faster.
And he left it up to them to figure out how. [Apuzzo&Hess/AP/7January2010]
The Flynn report (III): A Spy Generation Gap? by Tom Ricks. There seems to be a generation gap in the intel community, judging by the sharply different reactions of younger and older spooks to the controversial new CNAS report on how to change intelligence in Afghanistan, written by Maj. Gen. Michael Flynn and a couple of members of his entourage. The young folks (battalion S-2s and below) seem to be saying they like the assessment and don't mind the venue. The old folks (especially back here in the DC area) dislike the assessment and are appalled at the fact that Maj. Gen. Flynn released the report through a think tank.
Here, for example, is part of John McCreary's blast from yesterday's NightWatch:
The authors also seem to confuse strategy, policy and tactics. There is no blurring of lines about the use of information. Information has always had different uses at different levels of command. It is troubling that some might think it is new, just because they had an epiphany.
Much of what is discussed is a rediscovery of what have been the basics of military intelligence for more than 60 years, albeit badly neglected in the past two decades. DIA once excelled at this work, for example. Claims about new ways of doing business that are in fact reinventions of old wheels are churlish and show a lack of historic grounding.
The report contains few new insights about the nature and needs of military intelligence in support of fighting an insurgency. Its attempt to distinguish conventional war is artificial and uninformed. This is old lore that some entities discarded and have forgotten. Nevertheless, new or old, the intelligence work has not been done, should have been done and needs to be done.
Intelligence has lost its way when it cannot support troops in combat. There is plenty of blame to go around. The key question is whether Flynn's blueprint addresses the systemic, cognitive problems. The answer, lamentably, is no, it does not. [Ricks/ForeignPolicy/8January2010]
Washington Post: What to Make of the Failed Terrorist Attack. Homeland security, intelligence and legal experts share their reactions.
Frances Fragos Twonsend: Assistant to President George W. Bush for homeland security and counterterrorism; chair of the Homeland Security Council from May 2004 to January 2008; partner at law firm Baker Botts
The president has ordered two reviews since the attack attempted against Northwest Airlines Flight 253 on Christmas Day. While such reviews are necessary to understand why a multibillion-dollar aviation security system failed to prevent Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab from boarding a U.S.-bound flight with explosives, the American people rightly expect more.
This plot appears to trace back to Yemen, a country that is not a new counterterrorism problem. Since the October 2000 attack against the USS Cole, in which 17 U.S. sailors were killed, two administrations have pushed Yemen to confront al-Qaeda without sufficient success. It was from Yemen that terrorists brought the guns used to attack our consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, in 2004; our embassy in Yemen's capital, Sanaa, has been attacked at least four times since 2000. Al-Qaeda recently launched from Yemen an unsuccessful attempt to assassinate the head of Saudi Arabia's counterterror police.
The United States and Saudi Arabia have poured money and counterterrorism resources - military, intelligence and law enforcement - into Yemen. But after nearly a decade the American people are understandably fed up. The Obama administration needs to take a clear, tough line with Yemen: Take care of the terrorism problem within your borders so you are no longer a threat to the United States and our allies in the region, or allow the international community to come in and clean it up for you. The time for polite diplomacy is long past.
Jeffrey H. Smith. Former general counsel of the CIA; partner at Arnold & Porter
More than eight years after the Sept. 11 attacks, we are still not able to connect the dots effectively. Stopping dedicated suicide bombers is a difficult task, and it is reassuring that the administration's surprisingly tepid initial reaction has been replaced with a strong call for action.
Here are a few questions that administration officials, Congress, the airlines and our allies, all of which must be involved in making the necessary fixes, needs to address:
- When Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab's father told U.S. officials that his son had been radicalized and gone to Yemen, did we alert the Yemenis, the British and other relevant countries? Why didn't we revoke or suspend his visa?
- Did anyone notice that Abdulmutallab paid cash for his plane ticket, in an out-of-the-way location, and was traveling without checked luggage? If not, why not? Did he request a seat that was near the plane's fuel tank?
- What value is the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment (TIDE) list with its 550,000 names? How is it used? Do we share all key information with like-minded governments? If Abdulmutallab were put on the TIDE list, should the facts that he paid cash for a ticket and didn't check luggage automatically move him to the no-fly list or at least a list requiring far more scrutiny (as Israel's El Al does)?
- The Markle Foundation Task Force on National Security in the Information Age, on which I serve, has been pressing for more and better information-sharing for years. Progress has been made, but the failure to identify Abdulmutallab as a threat before the flight means much more must be done. Technology can identify suspicious patterns. Policy changes are needed to support additional information-sharing. Airport security checkpoints also need better equipment to detect explosives. What can be done to make these a higher priority?
We also must adopt a more sophisticated passenger- screening process that focuses on people who are more likely to be terrorists (some may call this profiling, but given the risks it is necessary), and we must foster even closer coordination with like-minded governments. Finally, we must continue to attack the problem at the root, in Yemen and elsewhere, not only with force but also with political, economic and social programs.
Clark Kent Ervin. Inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security from 2003 to 2004; head of the Aspen Institute's Homeland Security Program
Given the 24-7 media focus since the attempted attack, security gaps regarding terror watch lists and passenger screening are likely to be closed. Less noticed, and less likely to be addressed, are vulnerabilities in our visa system.
The would-be bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, held a Nigerian passport, which meant he was subjected to the post-Sept. 11 visa process. Had his passport been from Britain, France or another of the 35 countries whose passport holders can travel freely to the United States, Abdulmutallab would not have been interviewed by a U.S. consular officer; had his name checked against various terrorist or criminal databases; or been photographed and fingerprinted so that on his arrival U.S. customs officials could determine whether he is the person to whom the visa was issued.
While not foolproof, these security measures make it harder for terrorists to evade law enforcement, which is why terrorists prize passports from visa-waiver countries ("shoe bomber" Richard Reid held a British passport; Zacarias Moussaoui held a French passport), and why the Obama administration should put a halt to the Bush administration's penchant for expanding the program to countries as a reward for support of our foreign policy. Once granted, it's nearly impossible to revoke a country's visa-waiver status. Revoking waivers would cause a diplomatic uproar just as we are working overtime to win back international support, not to mention the cost and disruption of requiring millions of additional applicants to go through the already underfinanced and overworked visa system. At the least, though, we should stop extending the waiver to additional countries. And the Department of Homeland Security should greatly expand its use of visa-security officers to ensure that the paramount focus is on security, not diplomacy. After Sept. 11, the State Department fought hard to retain the power to issue visas, but Homeland Security visa officers were supposed to be dispatched to missions around the world as an additional security measure. They remain underutilized, primarily due to diplomats' turf consciousness and the agency's underappreciation of their potential strategic value.
The visa system should be amended to revoke automatically the visa of anyone later included on a terror watch list, a serious omission in this case, and Homeland Security should add an exit feature to the automated U.S. VISIT entry system so we know whether people are leaving this country when their visas expire. If we learn that someone who has entered this country has terrorist ties, it would be helpful to have some indication of whether he or she is still here. [WashingtonPost/28December2009]
Section IV - OBITUARIES, RESEARCH REQUESTS AND COMING EVENTS
Courtney A. Evans. Courtney A. Evans, 95, a top FBI official who served as a liaison among FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover and President John F. Kennedy and Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, died Dec. 11 of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease at the Carlisle Naples retirement center in Naples, Fla.
Mr. Evans, a veteran FBI agent who became friendly with the Kennedys in the 1950s, when he was assigned as a liaison to the Senate Rackets Committee, was plucked out of the ranks in 1960 and made assistant director of the bureau. His job landed him in the middle of a power struggle between the autocratic Hoover and a new administration determined to rein in Hoover's authority, said Athan G. Theoharis, a retired professor at Marquette University, who is a historian of the FBI's Hoover years. "Evans found himself in this very difficult position," Theoharis said. "He briefed the attorney general, but it wasn't always clear that he fully informed the attorney general of FBI practices - and there was some indication that Kennedy was party to a 'hear no evil, see no evil' [attitude]. Even so, Evans became persona non grata in the bureau."
Hoover sent memos that selectively quoted from earlier directives about the FBI's authority to wiretap phones or bug suspects in criminal investigations, Theoharis and John Stuart Cox wrote in "The Boss: J. Edgar Hoover and the Great American Inquisition" (1988).
Mr. Evans briefed the attorney general about the differences between the two types of surveillance, which led Kennedy to ask for a list of wiretap requests. The list was sent to him, then returned to a secret FBI file, which allowed Kennedy in subsequent years to deny that he authorized the wiretapping of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. or others.
After President Kennedy's assassination in 1963, Mr. Evans traded observations about the FBI's investigation with then-Deputy Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach. Katzenbach knew "it was more difficult to prove that something did not occur than to prove what actually happened," Mr. Evans wrote in a memo, alluding to rumors of Cuban involvement in the assassination. "From the facts disclosed in our investigation, there is no question that we can submit in our report convincing evidence beyond any doubt showing [Lee Harvey] Oswald was the man who killed President Kennedy. [But] we must be factual and recognize that a matter of this magnitude cannot be fully investigated in a week's time."
He resigned from the FBI in 1964 and went to work as executive director of the Justice Department's Office of Law Enforcement Assistance. He later was a founding partner in the Washington law firm of Miller, Cassidy, Larrocca and Lewin, retiring in the mid-1980s.
Courtney Allen Evans was born in Kansas City, Mo., graduated from the University of Detroit and received a law degree in 1940 from the Detroit College of Law, now part of Michigan State University. He joined the FBI immediately after receiving his law degree and worked first on espionage and national security cases, including a spy case in which 33 people were convicted of sending and receiving radio messages from Germany on American arms shipments. He later interrogated German naval officers held at an Arizona prisoner of war camp. [Sullivan/WashingtonPost/5January2010] http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/05/AR2010010503663.html
John H. Leavitt. John H. Leavitt, WWII British Royal Air Force (RAF) Bomber Pilot and Senior Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Officer died on Thursday, December 31st, 2009 at the age of 91. A graduate of Brown University, he was teaching English at Robert College in Istanbul, Turkey in 1939 when Britain declared war on Germany. Keen to get into the war effort, he volunteered with the RAF through the British Consulate and trained in Rhodesia and South Africa, before returning to England as a Lancaster bomber pilot with the renowned 617 Dambuster's Squadron. His first two sorties were against the German battleship Tirpitz - the sister ship of the Bismarck. In the first, his plane took enemy fire and was forced to make an aborted landing with a flat tire from shrapnel damage to the gas tank and landing gear. In the second, his crew scored a near miss off the forward bow helping to turn the Tirpitz on her side. He flew 11 combat missions and logged 911 hours in the Lancaster. His final mission was a joint British-American operation to destroy Hitler's "last redoubt," the Eagle's Nest, in Berchtesgaden, Germany.
After the war, he joined the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) - the precursor to the CIA - as an intelligence analyst specializing in Middle Eastern issues and drafting National Intelligence Estimates, including his favorite assessment in the early 1950s - that it would be a long time before the Arabs and Israelis saw eye-to-eye on any issue. Preferring to be more engaged in the CIA's clandestine operations, he transferred to the Directorate of Operations and joined the inner cadre of the Agency's campaign to overthrow Iran's Mossadeq government and reinstate the Shah. He spent 15 of his 30 years of service at U.S. Embassies in Tehran, Athens, Ankara and Tel Aviv. Retiring in 1978, he continued working as a private consultant on Middle Eastern affairs, among other things, returning to the Agency to assist with the Iran Hostage Crisis and to investigate the bombing of the American Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon in 1983.
He was married to his first wife, Lilias, an English WAAF Signals Officer whom he met in England during the war, from 1946 until her death in 1972 and leaves behind their four children Michael Leavitt, Jane Farrell, Timothy Leavitt, and Gillian Mueller. Seven step-children, eight grandchildren and step-grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren and step-grandchildren on both sides of the Atlantic will remember him fondly as Grandpa John. He is survived by his brother Peter Leavitt and sisters Ruth Blandin and Ann Wilson.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, January 9th, at 11 am at the Hollis Congregational Church, 3 Monument Square in Hollis, NH. [NashuaTelegraph/1January2010]
Torrey Larsen. The Roadrunners and the aviation world lost one of our aviation icons on the first day of the new decade. Torrey Larsen of Montclair, CA passed away Friday night (1 Jan). Apparently Torrey had fallen off a ladder several days ago hitting his head very hard on the pavement.
Torrey served in the U.S. Army as a H-21 helicopter mechanic at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, where he was issued a Top Secret for subsequent assignment as the enlisted Army NCO to staff the retreat where President Eisenhower was evacuated. After serving 3 years, he entered college and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical Engineering at Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo, University. Graduating in 1963, he started employment with Lockheed California Co., Burbank California in the Lockheed Skunk Works flight test organization as an engineer on the Mach 3 YF-12 variant of the CIA's A-12 being flown at Area 51. Advancing to the position of Senior Test Engineer, he remained in that capacity for 158 of its first flights of the YF-12 including activities at Area 51, Edwards Air Force Base, the missile firing at the Pt Magu Naval Test Ranges in California, and Eglin Air Force Base, Florida for a live firing against the QB-47 test droned aircraft. Torrey returned to Area 51 to support the CIA's A-12 Oxcart Project as the A-12 were being deployed to Kadena, Okinawa during Operation Blackshield, over-flying North Vietnam and North Korea. Torrey remained with Lockheed until 1989, participating in various projects that included assignments to Lockheed's Rye Canyon, the Yuma, Arizona proving grounds. Advancing to the position of international facility development manager he had a number of remote assignments that included Nairobi, Kenya, Algiers, Algeria, and Lagos Nigeria before returning to the skunk Works as the flight test manager for the development of the SR-71, the U-2 and F-117 aircraft. Retiring from Lockheed in 1989, Torrey became an authority on pylon mounting aircraft for display at museums around the world. The Roadrunners are especially proud of Torrey's third pylon mounted A-12 aircraft in December of 2007 at the CIA headquarters at Langley Virginia. He was a supporting member of Roadrunners Internationale, participating in activities at CIA Headquarters during the dedication of the A-12 in 2007, the remembrance of CIA pilot Jack Weeks at the Battleship Memorial Park in Mobile, Alabama, and virtually all the reunions of the Roadrunners including the one last October in Las Vegas, Nevada. [WarBirdInformationExchange/2January2010]
Lt. Col. Joseph Shannon. A Central Intelligence Agency pilot who flew in the failed U.S.-backed 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba died of cancer on Tuesday, his family said.
Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Shannon of Birmingham, Alabama, was one of a handful of U.S. pilots whose planes supported Cuban exiles in their botched attempt to overthrow Cuban leader Fidel Castro.
"Four planes (manned by Americans) flew that day (April 15, 1961). Two did not come back," Shannon said in an interview weeks before his death.
The rout by Castro's Cuban forces of the U.S.-supported Bay of Pigs invasion proved an embarrassment to President John Kennedy who had tried to conceal evidence of U.S. involvement.
Shannon, a World War Two fighter pilot who went on to fly Alabama governor "Big" Jim Folsom, said a change of plan by Kennedy doomed the attack. Cuban exiles involved in the attack said they had been promised U.S. military backup, which failed to materialize when it was clear the assault had failed.
"Kennedy ... doomed the Cubans by changing the plan at the last minute and dumping them in a swamp. There is no question the original plan for an uprising would have worked," Shannon said of the attempted invasion, which targeted a swampy region of Cuba's southern coast. [Gates/Reuters/5January2010]
John D. Baker Jr. Retired Lt. Col. John Donald Baker Jr., 71, of Stafford County passed away Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2009, at Mary Washington Hospital in Fredericksburg.
Mr. Baker was born Jan. 20, 1938, to John Donald Baker Sr. and Helen Fallon Baker, in Brewer, Maine.
He was a veteran of the U.S. Army, serving in Vietnam where he was awarded the Bronze Star. Assigned to military intelligence, he served as a Russian area specialist. After retiring from active duty, he continued his service as a consultant with the Defense Intelligence Agency as well as the Air Force.
Survivors include his wife of 47 years, Glenda Baker, three children, John Donald Baker III and wife Laura of Nebraska, Daniella Helen Marie Serven and husband Douglass of Stafford, and Glenn Baker of Alexandria; six grandchildren, Douglass K. Serven, Victoria Serven, Derrick Serven, Dustin Serven, Devin Serven and Jacquelyn Baker; and two brothers, Edward Baker of Maine and James Baker of New Jersey.
Inurnment with full military honors will be conducted May 20, 2010, at 11 a.m. in Arlington National Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations to Aerhq.org, which helps provide emergency financial support to soldiers, active and retired, and their families.
Condolences may be sent to mullinsthompsonfuneral home.com. [Fredericksburg.com/2January2010]
Gen. Lew Allen, Who Lifted Veil on Security Agency. Gen. Lew Allen Jr., who held influential positions in United States military and scientific spheres, including chief of staff of the Air Force, but who gained the widest attention as the first National Security Agency director to discuss the agency's ultrasecret work publicly, died Monday in Potomac Falls, Va. He was 84.
The cause was complications of rheumatoid arthritis, said his daughter Marjorie Allen Dauster.
"No director of the National Security Agency has ever before been required to come before a Congressional committee in open session," General Allen, director of the agency, said to the House Select Committee on Intelligence on Aug. 8, 1975.
He proceeded to give a general history of the spy agency, which was formed in 1952 to collect information from foreign signals for intelligence purposes. Some said the initials N.S.A. stood for "No Such Agency."
When General Allen testified to the comparable Senate committee almost three months later, he was more forthcoming, giving details of widespread eavesdropping on Americans in the past. He said other agencies, like the F.B.I. and the Secret Service, had given the N.S.A. lists of Americans they regarded as suspicious, including opponents of the Vietnam War. Messages of about 1,680 people were intercepted.
General Allen said that the eavesdropping program had helped chase down narcotics traffickers and prevent an act of terrorism, but that he had ordered an end to it when he took over the agency in 1973.
Still, the general and his top aides insisted that the effort had been legal under the secret presidential directive that had established the N.S.A. And they suggested that the real illegality might have been their testifying publicly.
The episode helped influence Congress to set up a secret court to issue warrants for domestic wiretapping.
General Allen held other positions involving nuclear weapons testing, space warfare and, as the director of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the oversight of the United States' unmanned exploration of planets. He led and participated in many panels investigating and overseeing national security issues.
Lew Allen Jr. was born in Miami on Sept. 30, 1925, and grew up in Gainesville, Tex. He had intended to go to the University of Texas to study journalism but instead spent a year at a local junior college before winning an appointment to West Point.
He won his pilot wings at the Military Academy and became a bomber pilot after graduation. In 1954, he completed a Ph.D. in physics at the University of Illinois. He spent the next 19 years working on scientific projects, including testing hydrogen bombs and studying space warfare, as a rising Air Force officer.
He then became a high-level adviser to military and civilian leaders, as well as an administrator of classified space projects.
After a short appointment as deputy to the director of central intelligence, he became director of the N.S.A. in 1973. When he left in 1977 to take charge of the Air Force Systems Command, he received a fourth star. In the new job he was responsible for the research, development and acquisition of the Air Force's aircraft, space systems, armaments and research laboratories.
In 1978, he became chief of staff of the Air Force, the highest-ranking uniformed member of his service and an adviser to Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. He pushed development of the B-2 bomber and the F-117 fighter, both of which use stealth technology to avoid radar, and established a new Space Command to expand military operations in space.
To advocate for more spending for the Air Force, he brandished a study showing that Americans spend more on liquor than the Air Force's budget, and more on gambling than on jet fuel.
General Allen was director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory from 1982 to 1990, a period that included the Galileo mission to Jupiter, the Magellan to Venus and Voyager 2's Uranus and Neptune flybys.
After retiring from the lab, he was chairman of the Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, which does research in areas ranging from space to bioengineering.
In the mid-1980s, General Allen directed a study for the National Academy of Sciences that found that restrictions on exporting high-tech goods to the Soviet Union were needlessly costing the United States 190,000 jobs and $9 billion in exports.
In 1990, he led an investigation into the defective mirror on the Hubble Space Telescope, which concluded that the problem had been caused by a faulty test instrument at the Perkin-Elmer Corporation. The company agreed to pay $25 million without admitting wrongdoing, and the government agreed to drop legal action.
General Allen is survived by his wife of 60 years, the former Barbara Frink Hatch; his sons, Lew III and James; his daughters, Barbara Fenton Miller, Marjorie Allen Dauster and Christie Allen Jameson; 13 grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren. [Martin/NYTimes/8January2010]
Richard L. Callaghan, Former Longtime AFIO New Mexico Chapter President, and NM Chapter President Emeritus. Richard L. Callaghan, 75, retired federal agent, passed away Wednesday, December 23, 2009 following an extended illness. He was preceded in death by his parents and a son, James Jay Callaghan.
Callaghan was born July 19, 1934 in New London, Connecticut. He was raised and educated in Mystic, Connecticut, and graduated from Moses Brown Prep School in Providence, RI. He then attended Georgetown University in Washington, DC and Upsala College in New Jersey. He and his family lived in Emmerson, NJ where he served as a city councilman.
Dick's career with the U.S. Marshalls Service was a long and dedicated calling. He served as president emeritus of the P.B.A. Local #121 in New Jersey. His mother's family was one of the founding families of the Mystic, Connecticut Seaport Museum. His maternal grandfather helped build the Panama Canal. Richard and his wife, Lois, moved to Santa Fe in 1999 to make their home. He was a member of Masonic Lodge #431 of Santa Fe.
Dick Callaghan is survived by his loving wife of 50 years, Lois Callaghan [also an AFIO member]; His daughter, Lee Ann Callaghan of San Francisco; his son, Michael Stetz and wife Michelle of Kearny, New Jersey; his sister Jane Callaghan of Parkton, Maryland; a brother Jeremy Leon and wife Dorothy of Pennsylvania; and numerous nieces and nephews. Richard's Family has requested in lieu of flowers memorial contributions be offered in his name to the donor's favorite charity. [SantaFeNewMexican/27December2009]
AFIO will miss the dedication and immense comaraderie that Dick Callaghan brought to the Association and created through his long service to his much beloved Chapter. He also had an impact on many other chapters through unique designs for cards, letterheads, and certificates showing the many intelligence agencies that make up membership in AFIO. He showed the commonality of interests and concerns that all members have over issues involving border security, counterintelligence and counterterrorism, and those interests kept his chapter programs informative and gave them much appeal. He was evidence that one's body may age, but for many like him, their minds remain as young, fresh and innovative as ever.
Research Request by Daughter of Deceased Member Gerd
Haber. Hello, my name is Nancy Haber Nickerson.
I came across a copy of Periscope in my fathers belongings that I have.
I believe he was active with your organization until he died in May of 1994.
His name was Gerd Haber. His birthdate was December 17, 1922, in Cologne Gernany. I am writing to find out if there are any former intelligence officers that are still alive who worked with him or knew him. And if so you could have them contact me. Or, give their contact information.
You can cont act me at my e mail address firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.
EVENTS IN COMING TWO MONTHS....
13 January 2010, 11:30 a.m. - Scottsdale, AZ – The AFIO Arizona Chapter hosts Victor Oppleman who will speak on "National Security Vulnerabilities to Cyber Attacks."
Victor Oppleman is an accomplished author, speaker, and patent-holder in the field of network security and a specialized consultant to some of the world’s best known companies. His open source software is used by thousands of engineers worldwide. He is coauthor of Extreme Exploits: Advanced Defenses Against Hardcore Hacks (McGraw Hill 2005) and author of The Secrets to Carrier Class Network Security (Auerbach, 2009). This 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 email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or call and leave a message on 602.570.6016. Contact Arthur Kerns, President of the AFIO AZ Chapter, email@example.com
14 January 2010 - San Francisco, CA - The AFIO Jim Quesada Chapter hosts Farhad Mansourian, former anti-terrorist officer in the Iranian Imperial Army at the time when Islamic Fundamentalists were attempting to overthrow the 2,500 years old Monarchy in Iran. Mr. Mansourian will be discussing Iranian government intelligence and terror network. 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 chicken or fish): firstname.lastname@example.org and mail check made out to "AFIO" to: Mariko Kawaguchi, P.O. Box 117578 Burlingame, CA 94011
MANY Spy Museum Events in January and February with full details are listed on the AFIO Website at www.afio.com. The titles for some of these are as follows:
21 January 2010, 1130 hours - Denver, CO - The Rocky Mountain Chapter
of AFIO holds a meeting on "Have Helicopter, Will Travel."; Dr. (COL USA, MC, Retd) Ed Kerkorian, a senior medical officer in Viet
Nam era speaks on "Have Helicopter, Will Travel." Event occurs at the
USAFA Falcon Club. Cost: $10 RSVP to Tom Van Wormer, RMC, AFIO
or 719 481 8273
21 January 2010, 12 - 2 pm - The Los Angeles AFIO Chapter hosts business meeting.
Place: the LMU campus in room 302. The January business meeting will not host a speaker nor will lunch be provided, the focus of the meeting will be to tabulate the results of the chapter elections for the officers and focus on establishing chapter goals for the upcoming year 2010. The January meeting is open to chapter members only, no guests. Replies to Vincent Autiero email@example.com
Thursday, 21 January 2010, 1130 hours - Denver, CO - The Rocky Mountain Chapter bimonthly meeting features: "Have Helicopter, Will Travel." Dr. (COL USA, MC, Retd) Ed Kerkorian, A Senior Medical Officer in Viet Nam Era speaks on "Have Helicopter, Will Travel." Cost: $10. RSVP to Tom Van Wormer, RMC, AFIO Treasurer at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 719 481 8273
13 February 2010 - Gainesville, FL - The North Florida Chapter will meet for luncheon event. Speaker TBA. For further information about the upcoming chapter meeting, contact Vince Carnes at email@example.com For further information contact Ken Meyer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 904-777-2050
24 February 2010, 9 am - 5 pm - Ft Lauderdale, FL - The FBI/INFRAGARD has invited AFIO Members to the FEBRUARY 24, 2010 Conference on Counterterrorism measures at Nova Southeastern University.
If you plan to attend, please RSVP to AFIO Miami Chapter President, Tom Spencer, at TRSMIAMI@aol.com.
Provide your AFIO National member number, address, phone number. Your
information will be provided to the FBI for assessment. Their decision
of which members can attend is final. AFIO bears no responsibility for
costs or arrangements made in anticipation of attending this
Infragard/FBI event based on the decisions of their security personnel.
If available, bring your government issued ID. Infragard is the
public/private partnership of the FBI. You can get more information on
Infragard at www.infragard.net.
Please respond to Tom Spencer no later than February 10, 2010 via email.
Location: NOVA Southeastern University , Knight Lecture Hall, Room # 1124
3301 College Ave, Ft. Lauderdale, Fl 33314
09:00 - 09:30 AM - Registration and coffee
09:30 - 10:00 AM Welcoming Remarks - Carlos "Freddy" Kasprzykowski, InfraGard South Florida Chapter President; Eric S. Ackerman, Ph.D., NSU Assistant Dean and Director of Graduate Programs; SA Nelson J. Barbosa, InfraGard Coordinator/FBI Miami
10:00 - 11:00 AM - Stephanie M. Viegas, Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Coordinator, Miami FBI Field Division Will give an overview on how the FBI responds and coordinates WMD threats and related cases.
11:00 - 11:15 AM - Break
11:15 -11:30 AM - FBI employment needs - SA Kathleen J. Cymbaluk, Miami FBI Recruiter. This presentation will discuss current hiring needs of the FBI and
requirements on how to qualify and apply.
11:30 - 12:30 PM - Christopher L. Eddy, Supervisory Intelligence Analyst. The use of Intelligence Information in the FBI. This presentation will discuss how intelligence is collected, analyzed, and pushed to the right people at the right time and place and how vitally important it is to the security of our nation and its interests.
12:30 - 01:45 PM - LUNCH (Food court available on campus)
01:45 - 02:45 PM - Gun Running from Broward and Palm Beaches Counties
SSA Mark A. Hastbacka; This presentation will touch on IRA gun running operation in the above counties from a Counter terrorism investigation point-of-view.
02:15 - 03:15 PM - FBI Extraterritorial Responsibilities: Focus Iraq ASAC Scott A. Gilbert, FBI Miami. This presentation will focus on FBI activities in the International
Terrorism Organizations (ITO) and in the Middle East in general, with specific focus on IT and kidnapping investigations.
03:15 - 03:30 PM - BREAK
03:30 - 04:30 PM - Overview of Current Terrorism Trends: South Florida
SIA Vincent J. Rowe. This presentation will focus on terrorism trends in the South Florida
04:30 - 05:00 PM - Conclusion
26 January 2010 - Arlington, VA - The Defense Intelligence Forum meets at the Alpine Restaurant, 4770 Lee Highway, Arlington, VA 22207. This event is open to members of all IC associations. The speaker will be John Moore, who will speak on the Middle East after One Year with President Obama. He will cover the peace process, Iraq, Iran, Yemen, and the on-going battle with Islamic terrorists. Mr. Moore was the Defense Intelligence Officer for the Middle East, South Asia, and Terrorism, DIA's senior expert for the region. He was twice awarded the Director of Central Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal. He has been a witness at the International Court of Justice in the Hague. To encourage candor at this forum, there may be no media, notes, recordings, or attribution. Pay at the door with a check for $29 per person payable to DIAA, Inc. Social hour starts at 1130, lunch at 1200. Make reservations by 15 January by email to email@example.com. Give names, telephone numbers, email addresses, and choices of chicken, veal, or salmon. Pay with a check. THE FORUM DOESN'T TAKE CASH.
15 - 17 February 2010 - Heidelberg, Germany - The United States European Command Director for Intelligence is using this convention outfit to arrange an Intelligence Summit.
The website for this event managers is https://www.ncsi.com/eucom09/index.shtml
13 March 2010, 10 am to 1 pm - Coral Gables, FL - AFIO Miami Chapter hosts talk on FUTURE WARS by Dr. John Alexander.
Please save the date. Dr. John Alexander, author of Future Wars, will be leading a presentation and discussion.
Event to be held at the Hyatt Coral Gables. For further information contact chapter president Tom Spencer at firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday, 10 March 2010, 6:30 p.m. - Washington, DC - A "Weapons of Mass Disruption Program from Cold War to Cyber War" featuring Gail Harris, Naval Intelligence Officer - at the International Spy Museum
WHAT: “I decided to be unorthodox."—Gail Harris
When Gail Harris was assigned by the U.S. Navy to a combat intelligence job in 1973, she became the first woman to hold such a position. By the time of her retirement, she was the highest ranking African American female in the Navy. Her 28-year career included hands-on leadership in the intelligence community during every major conflict from the Cold War to Desert Storm to Kosovo. Captain Harris was at the forefront of one of the newest challenges: cyber warfare, developing intelligence policy for the Computer Network Defense and Computer Network Attack for the Department of Defense. Harris, author of A Woman's War: The Professional and Personal Journey of the Navy's First African American Female Intelligence Officer, will share her unique experience providing intelligence support to military operations while also battling the status quo, office bullies, and politics. She’ll also offer her perspective on the way intelligence is used and sometimes misused.
WHERE: International Spy Museum, 800 F St NW, Washington, DC, Gallery Place/Chinatown Metrorail Station. TICKETS: $12.50. Advance Registration required. Tickets are non-refundable. To register: order online; or purchase tickets in person at the International Spy Museum.
For Additional Events two+ months or greater....view our online Calendar of Events
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