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Section I - INTELLIGENCE HIGHLIGHTS
Iran Nuclear Scientist Defects to U.S. In CIA 'Intelligence Coup'. An award-winning Iranian nuclear scientist, who disappeared last year under mysterious circumstances, has defected to the CIA and been resettled in the United States, according to people briefed on the operation by intelligence officials..
The officials were said to have termed the defection of the scientist, Shahram Amiri, "an intelligence coup" in the continuing CIA operation to spy on and undermine Iran's nuclear program.
A spokesperson for the CIA declined to comment. In its declassified annual report to Congress, the CIA said, "Iran is keeping open the option to develop nuclear weapons though we do not know whether Tehran eventually will decide to produce nuclear weapons."
Amiri, a nuclear physicist in his early 30s, went missing last June three days after arriving in Saudi Arabia on a pilgrimage, according to the Iranian government. He worked at Tehran's Malek Ashtar University, which is closely connected to Iran's Revolutionary Guard, according to the Associated Press.
"The significance of the coup will depend on how much the scientist knew in the compartmentalized Iranian nuclear program," said former White House counter-terrorism official Richard Clarke, an ABC News consultant. "Just taking one scientist out of the program will not really disrupt it."
Iran's Foreign Minister, Manouchehr Mottaki, and other Iranian officials last year blamed the U.S. for "kidnapping" Amiri, but his whereabouts had remained a mystery until now.
According to the people briefed on the intelligence operation, Amiri's disappearance was part of a long-planned CIA operation to get him to defect. The CIA reportedly approached the scientist in Iran through an intermediary who made an offer of resettlement on behalf of the United States.
Since the late 1990s, the CIA has attempted to recruit Iranian scientists and officials through contacts made with relatives living in the United States, according to former U.S. intelligence officials. Case officers have been assigned to conduct hundreds of interviews with Iranian-Americans in the Los Angeles area in particular, the former officials said.
Amiri has been extensively debriefed since his defection by the CIA, according to the people briefed on the situation. They say Amiri helped to confirm U.S. intelligence assessments about the Iranian nuclear program.
In September, President Barack Obama announced the U.S., the United Kingdom and France had evidence that Iran "has been building a covert uranium enrichment facility near Qom for several years."
One Iranian web site reported that Amiri had worked at the Qom facility prior to his defection.
The New York Times reported Saturday that international inspectors and Western intelligence agencies suspect "Tehran is preparing to build more sites in defiance of United Nations demands."
Officials at Iran's mission to the United Nations did not immediately return calls seeking comment.
"The Americans are definitely letting the Iranians know that they are active in going after Iran's nuclear program," said Hooman Majd, an Iranian-American journalist.
A colleague of Amiri's at Tehran University called the disappearance "a disturbing sign" and blamed the Saudis for helping the U.S., according government-approved English-language web site Press TV.
"The Saudi regime has effectively discredited itself and will be seen by those who know what has gone on in the region as being confined to American demands and effectively abiding by American wishes," said Mohammad Marandi, a Tehran University professor, according to the Iranian web site. [Cole/ABCNews/30March2010]
Ex-Spy Says Swedish Diplomat Was Russian Source. A former Russian spy commander, Sergei Tretyakov, has accused a Swedish diplomat of having handed classified documents over to the Russian secret service following his recruitment at the end of the 1990s.
Tretyakov, who was deputy head of intelligence at the Russian mission at the United Nations for five years, has made a series of revelations since defecting to the USA in October 2000 after a period as a double-agent.
The former senior spy head who now lives incognito in the USA has claimed that a Swedish diplomat was among the Russian security services' sources recruited at the United Nations in New York.
"He was a brilliant guy. He was very valuable," Tretyakov told the Expressen daily.
The newspaper has gained access to classified Swedish Security Service documents which confirm that an investigation was opened against the Swedish diplomat in question but that the case was closed after three months due to a lack of evidence.
"For it to be classified as spying I have to prove that information was revealed that was detrimental to national security," said prosecutor Tomas Lindstrand to the newspaper.
The diplomat was summoned back to Sweden in 2002 when the suspicions over his actions came to light. He remains employed within the foreign ministry.
According to Tretyakov, the documents provided by the Swedish diplomat, who was given the codename Sylvester, include internal EU communications that diplomats were prohibited from passing on, "especially to the Russians."
"He gave us confidential EU documents... He was telling us what we were asking him," the former spy chief told Expressen.
According to Tomas Lindstrand, it is not clear that the Swedish diplomat had access to any documents that could have harmed Sweden's national security. He confirmed to the newspaper that handing over confidential documents is not in itself an offence according to current legislation.
But Tretyakov argued to the newspaper that the diplomat clearly knew that he had "crossed the line" of what is acceptable by handing over the documents and also, he alleges, for accepting gifts.
The Swedish former UN diplomat at the centre of the revelations confirmed in an email to Expressen that he had "some contact with Russian representatives" during his time in New York, but claimed that the former spy chief's information was misleading.
In January 2008 Sergei Tretyakov gave a series of interviews to publicise a book about his experiences. In the exposé he made several claims about links with US, Canadian and British politicians and argued that the Russian intelligence service were just as active now as in the Cold War era.
The SVR is the name of Russia's foreign intelligence agency and is the successor of the FCD arm of the KGB, which ceased operation in December 1991. The organization works with the Russian military intelligence organization GRU. [Simpson/TheLocal/31March2010]
Samba Spy Case: 35 Years and Counting. Over 30 years since the infamous Samba spy case, the man who implicated around 60 Army men, says he falsely blamed them. The Armed Forces Tribunal is supposed to take up hearing in the case on Wednesday.
"Jhoot poora jhoot hai. Iski koi buniyaad nahi hai. Sach yahi hai. It's all lies. The only truth is these are baseless, says the accused Sarwan Dass.
Thirty five years ago, these words would have changed the course of India's military history. Dass knows that precious time and lives have been lost. A former gunner with the Artillery unit, Dass was a self confessed Pakistani spy who was arrested in 1975. Subsequently, his testimonies led to the arrest of over 50 army men, including senior officers, on charges of spying.
But Dass now says the charges were all concocted and extracted under torture by military intelligence.
"They tortured me so much. Every two months they will get one officer or other, named by me. It continued for so long. Gradually, it became a process."
Dass, who himself was let off easily on charges of desertion, says he falsely implicated even those who he had never seen or met. Many of them later served 10-14 years of rigorous imprisonment.
"I felt sad for this. But I was helpless. I thought let the intelligence people suffer at the hands of intelligence people only."
In 2001, the Delhi High Court had described the Samba case as a gross miscarriage of justice. All cases were then shifted to the Armed Forces Tribunal where they will be heard once again.
For 35 years, this case has been haunting the Institution of the Indian Army. And, every time it resurfaces, it brings to the fore a barrage of uncomfortable and unanswered questions. [IBNLive/31March2010]
Former CIA Operative Sees Terrorism Vulnerabilities. Charles Faddis spent years thinking like a terrorist when he worked for the CIA, looking for vulnerabilities in other nations' infrastructure and learning how to exploit them. Now a private consultant, he writes in his most recent book, Willful Neglect: The Dangerous Illusion of Homeland Security, that the country is surprisingly vulnerable to a catastrophic terrorist attack. Just days before the attacks against the Moscow subway, he talked with U.S. News about potential gaps in homeland defenses, particularly public transportation.
Q: You mention military bases as being at risk for an attack. What other facilities are at risk?
A: There are many types of installations that could be attacked to produce catastrophic results: liquid natural gas facilities, dams, rail and metro systems, hotels, bio research facilities, and the like. I went target set by target set and did research on them. I went out on the ground and started looking at examples of these facilities and having a look at the security. I went out and cased these facilities for at least a year, doing multiple casings a week of different targets. I was only turned away once.
Q: Should you have been questioned?
A: Yes, undisputably. I didn't use operational techniques, go in disguise, for instance. I deliberately didn't use any secret tactics, sneaking around or the like. And I didn't break any laws in reporting this book. I wasn't playing games or anything. Most of it was just walking around the perimeter of these places.
Q: What did you find?
A: We're not nearly as well protected as we need to be. It's not like there have been significant changes since 9/11 and I am debating if those measures are allocated in the right ways. In the vast majority of cases, absolutely nothing has changed since 9/11. Many security people are now billing themselves as counterterrorism specialists, whatever that means. But they have no idea how terrorists think or operate. What has happened is that we have lots of measures designed to prevent traditional security threats like vandalism, crimes where people are afraid to get caught. Those measures have very little to do with stopping a suicide attack, but we're putting them in place anyway. We're spending lots of money on things that are, in essence, corporate welfare. And we're leaving lots of simple, practical solutions untouched.
Q: What are some of the useless measures?
Cameras are a great example. Sure, securing a chemical plant, for instance, involves [protecting against] many threats, vandalism, theft, and all sorts of other things. But if you are guarding against a car bomb or a truck bomb, a camera is a totally irrelevant piece of equipment. If a truck filled with explosives is driving towards your chlorine tank at 50 miles per hour, a camera is useless. The guy driving the truck doesn't care if his face is recorded, because he isn't planning to survive the attack. It might even help the bomber by recording the attack for publication.
Q: That's exactly right. So, we need to think more about the threat we face rather than the threats we'd like to be facing.
A: Even the military gets it wrong. There are many military bases here in the U.S. where you just drive right up to a wooden swinging gate and show a photo ID to the guard. That is not even going to slow down the driver of a car filled with explosives with his foot on the gas pedal and planning to detonate himself inside the compound.
Q: Are low- or high-tech attacks more likely?
A: Both are dangerous, and both are likely. We have people who are self-radicalizing. The Fort Hood shooter, JihadJane, the guys in New Jersey, the subway bomb plotter in New York, the list goes on. We are still facing threats that are bent on conducting attacks, be they foreigners or domestic threats.
Q: Why do they choose the targets they do?
A: The first element is the psychology of what they are trying to accomplish. They are trying to terrify and scare you. The more attention it gets, the better. The Mumbai attacks were great, from their point of view, because it was dragged out for days and days by the media, even as it was going on. It's also based on fortuitous circumstances. Terrorists are not going to go after very, very well-secured areas. They aren't planning to attack a building like the Navy SEALs. They start with places where they already have a certain amount of access.
Q: The Department of Homeland Security would say that we can't protect everything.
A: Of course that's true, but it's also used as a way to dismiss all criticism. We need to do a better job securing the places that have a potential to produce mass casualties. That should be a priority. Is that going to stop terrorists from driving a truck bomb into a McDonald's? No. But it should stop them from driving that truck bomb into a chemical plant and killing thousands.
Q: What's your worst fear?
A: Passenger rail. Something like Madrid or London. Some version of those types of attack would shut down the New York metro, cripple the city, paralyze the Northeast, kill hundreds, wound many more. Such an attack wouldn't even require someone to commit suicide. There's currently nothing in place to stop that. Every day that goes by without that happening is a free pass in my mind. [Kingsford/USNews/30March2010]
Federal Judge Approves $3 Million Settlement in CIA Suit. Ending a contentious and long-running civil suit that was plagued in recent years with allegations of government attorney misconduct, a federal judge in Washington, D.C., approved a $3 million settlement and vacated two opinions that the Justice Department said threatened national security.
The suit, filed in 1994 by a Drug Enforcement Administration agent, has dragged on amid disputes about the state secrets privilege. The plaintiff, Richard Horn, alleged then-CIA officer Arthur Brown and Franklin Huddle Jr. of the State Department unlawfully eavesdropped on telephone communication while Horn was stationed in Burma in the 1990s. The suit remained under seal until last year.
In dismissing the case with prejudice, Chief Judge Royce Lamberth of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Tuesday ordered the Justice Department to notify him whether it will refer allegations of government misconduct to the Office of the Inspector General and to appropriate oversight committees in Congress.
If the government makes the referrals, Lamberth said, his role in overseeing sanctions proceedings will end. The judge said there is "disturbing" evidence in a sealed motion that "demonstrates the benefit" of notifying the oversight committees of Congress.
"Here, the allegations of wrongdoing by the government attorneys in this case are not only credible, they are admitted," Lamberth wrote in his a six-page opinion. Lamberth also said: "[T]his Court is called upon to approve a $3,000,000 payment to an individual plaintiff by the United States, and again it does not appear that any government officials have been held accountable for this loss to the taxpayer. This is troubling to the Court."
The attorney misconduct stems from statements CIA lawyers made to Lamberth regarding the covert status of Brown. Brown's status was central to whether he could remain a defendant in the case. Lamberth said CIA attorneys continued to represent that Brown held covert status even after his cover had been lifted and rolled back several years ago.
Lamberth referred one CIA attorney, Jeffrey Yeates, to the district court's Committee on Grievances for further review of alleged misconduct. A lawyer for Yeates, Troutman Sanders partner Elizabeth Gere in Washington, did not return a call seeking comment before press time.
Brown's lawyer, Morrison & Foerster partner Robert Salerno, declined to comment on Lamberth's opinion. A lawyer for Huddle, Latham & Watkins associate David Maria, also declined to comment. Brown and Huddle both had private counsel paid for by the government. In the settlement agreement, Justice Department attorneys did not admit wrongdoing.
Horn's lawyer, Brian Leighton, a solo practitioner in Clovis, Calif., made allegations against several other CIA attorneys in the agency's general counsel's office. Leighton withdrew his push for sanctions after reaching a settlement. The terms of the agreement required Lamberth to dismiss the suit. The agreement requires the government to pay the $3 million within five days.
Lamberth's opinion clearly isn't sitting well with at least one lawyer in the case.
Drinker Biddle & Reath partner Charles Leeper, who represents CIA attorney Robert Eatinger, said in court papers filed Tuesday that Lamberth is mistaken when he declared that allegations of government misconduct are "credible" and "admitted." None of the allegations against Eatinger have been tested, Leeper said, so there is no basis that the allegations are true. Leeper called Lamberth's statement "demonstrably wrong" and is asking the court to delete it.
On Tuesday, Lamberth vacated two opinions at the request of the Justice Department. Horn's lawyer did not oppose the government's request.
Last August, Lamberth directed the Justice Department to grant security clearances to the private lawyers for the plaintiff and defendants, saying that the attorneys have a need to know classified information that their clients possess. DOJ attorneys criticized the ruling, arguing that it could impact national security.
On appeal, Justice lawyers said only the executive branch has the authority to determine whether a lawyer has a need to know classified information. DOJ attorneys said Lamberth's ruling, heralded by some attorneys who litigate state secrets issues against the government, violated separation of powers. When the opposing sides reached a settlement agreement, the action in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit was put on hold.
Lamberth said in his ruling Tuesday that he was acting in the public interest in vacating the two opinions. But it's not as if Lamberth has changed his mind about what he wrote. "The reasoning is unaltered, to the extent it is deemed persuasive by anyone," the judge wrote. [Scarcella/NationalLawJournal/31March2010]
Beyond Moscow Subway Bombings, Russia-US Intelligence Bond Limited. The FBI office in Moscow has a "great relationship" with its Russian counterpart and is likely querying U.S. intelligence databases for information that could help solve the massive train bombing there, according to a knowledgeable source.
But as time has passed after the Sept. 11 attacks on New York and the Pentagon, the CIA in particular has learned that the Russians aren't interested in talking about problems closer to American interests, to wit, terrorists operating from former Soviet republics bordering on Afghanistan.
The relationship is "not fabulous, but it's decent, all things considered," said a former U.S. intelligence official who has been responsible for international cooperation on counterterrorism and crime. The official spoke on terms of anonymity in order to discuss the issue freely.
The FBI referred a question on the issue to the White House, which did not return a query.
U.S.-Russian cooperation on counterterrorism has been limited in recent years to Moscow's preoccupation with Islamic and nationalist insurgents in Chechnya, this and two other intelligence sources said.
It's all Chechnya, all the time for Russia, a former CIA officer who served in Moscow said in an interview.
"Counterterrorism cooperation with the Russians has always been an iffy proposition," he said. "As long as there is something to be gained in the worldwide struggle against Chechen terrorism - yes, that's the way they see it - then the Russians, particularly the FSB, are all for it."
The FSB, or Federal Security Service, is Moscow's equivalent of the FBI.
"However, if we go to them with a request for assistance," the former CIA officer continued, "it's a flip of the coin if we'll even receive a response, much less any help. It's most definitely a one-way street, and has caused no end of frustration within the building" - CIA headquarters.
"Immediately post-9/11, it was pretty good in Uzbekistan," he continued. "They helped us and the Uzbeks neutralize the IMU [the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan], but other than that, it's been hit and miss."
The U.S. counterterrorism take from the Russians became so paltry five years after the Sept. 11 attacks that the CIA's chief of clandestine operations at the time, Stephen R. Kappes (now deputy CIA director), turned down the FSB's invitation to its annual international conference.
All the European services sent senior officials (except for the former Soviet Baltic states, who weren't invited) to the gathering that year in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.
The CIA dreaded the thing, a multi-day drunk.
"These things were always like a big Chekist theater," the former CIA officer recalled, referring to the first of the Soviet Union's many internal security services, "a very elaborate show with absolutely no substance."
"There were lavish lunches and lavish dinners, a big drunk, with speaker after speaker," the officer recalled.
The Russians liked having the Americans and other Western services there, if only to brandish their attendance as endorsement of sorts for their brutal suppression of Islamic militants and nationalists in Chechnya.
So for all these reasons Kappes decided to stay away from Sochi and send a lesser official to represent the CIA, the agency's Moscow station chief, a well-informed source said.
Things haven't improved much since.
"I am not aware of any meaningful cooperation," said a recently retired top U.S. counterterrorism operative, who also spoke only on condition of anonymity because of the issue's sensitivity. "They had their own strategy that focused on dealing with the Chechen problem. International cooperation against al-Qaeda was not high on their list."
With one exception, the sources agreed: Iran. The Russian and American counterintelligence services keep a mutual eye on Iran's substantial embassy in Moscow and personnel elsewhere.
Despite the FBI's offer of help with the Moscow bombings, "The Russians really don't need any help with this kind of investigation," said a current U.S. counterterrorism official.
"They've been through it before, unfortunately, and they know the dangerous players from the Caucasus all too well.
"There is US-Russian cooperation on counterterrorism," he added. "But you have to remember that an awful lot of what the Russians face in terms of terrorist threats comes from within their own borders. For them, a great deal of this is domestic." [Stein/WashingtonPost/31March2010]
Sweden Seeks Law Change to Nab Spies. Justice Minster Beatrice Ask has said she wants to make it easier to prosecute espionage suspects following allegations that a Swedish diplomat had fed sensitive EU documents to Russia.
In an interview on public radio, Beatrice Ask lamented the difficulty of prosecuting people who traffic information that is not of a military nature.
"It's difficult for us to prosecute people for activities that seem fairly serious," she said, adding that a committee would be appointed to look into whether the law in this area needed to be changed.
Ask's comments came a day after the Expressen tabloid revealed in a six-page spread that a New York-based Swedish diplomat had at the beginning of the decade given Russia "large amounts of information and documents, especially about how former Soviet states were trying to approach the EU and NATO."
The story, based on an extensive interview with a defected Russian foreign intelligence officer, also quoted prosecutor Tomas Lindstrand who had launched a probe into the espionage charges in 2002.
The investigation was halted after just three months because the information the diplomat had access to was primarily political.
"For it to be considered espionage, I need to prove that the leaked information harmed national security, and that is difficult to prove in this case which involves political information," Lindstrand said.
Ask said that Swedish law might need to take into account "grey areas that are perhaps not strictly speaking military, but that involve industry or other things, and that can also ... pose a threat to Sweden."
When it came to "some systematic information-gathering activities ... it is hard to find a legal framework that can be used," she said, adding that "it should thus be considered whether this is something that should not be criminalized by law." [TheLocal/1April2010]
Eight Colombians Arrested in Venezuela On Espionage Charges. Eight Colombians who own and run a business in Venezuela were arrested by Venezuelan authorities and charged with espionage. Luis Carlos Cossio, 52, and Santiago Giraldo, 21, were arrested on Tuesday because found a picture of a communications radar in the camera belonging to one of them authorities.
Authorities raided their ice cream business in the west-central state of Barinas and captured six other members of the family. "What's happening is that Luis Carlos is an avid photographer. He was taking photos, but he didn't know that they were of the Venezuelan intelligence service facility," Helida Giraldo, the sister of one of the arrested people said.
Venezuelan authorities found that Cruz Elva Giraldo, another one of the arrested people was an employee of the Colombian army's 4th Brigade, headquartered in Medellin.
The relatives complained that two of their family members were transferred to Caracas and the other six remain in Barinas city, while Venezuelan military justice authorities investigate them.
Tensions between Colombia and Venezuela have grown since Bogota and Washington signed a pact last year giving the US Armed Forces access to seven bases in the Andean nation.
The leftist Chavez, who survived an abortive 2002 coup, sees an expanded US military presence in Colombia as a threat to his country.
While Bogota periodically accuses Chavez of supporting leftist rebels in Colombia, the Venezuelan leader has claimed that some Colombian military and intelligence elements backed alleged plots against him and his government. [Vheadline/3April2010]
Alarm Over Shortage of Nuclear Experts. The United States is facing a critical shortage of nuclear scientists and engineers, even as demand rises for their expertise in managing an aging US arsenal, monitoring dangerous weapons stockpiles around the world, and operating new nuclear power plants, according to the latest government figures and independent studies.
The decades-long loss of nuclear know-how, the result of the attraction of other disciplines perceived as more relevant or challenging, is most acute at the Department of Energy agency that maintains America's nuclear warheads and combats nuclear proliferation, according to internal agency documents.
The average age of the more than 3,000 employees at the National Nuclear Security Administration is 47, and a full quarter will reach retirement by the end of 2012, the documents show. The agency expects to lose more than 8 percent of its workforce each year for the foreseeable future, outpacing the recruitment of university graduates with advanced degrees, with the steepest drop projected in nuclear engineers.
"We have lost a generation of nuclear expertise because we gave up on it after the Cold War,'' said Paul Hughes, executive director of the Congressional Commission on the Strategic Posture of the United States, which recently reviewed the US nuclear weapons complex. "It's all about human capital. We didn't invest in it and now we are going to pay the price.''
To narrow the gap, the Obama administration is proposing to boost a series of programs - including cash bonuses and tuition reimbursement - to persuade a new generation of students to earn degrees in nuclear physics, engineering, and other related disciplines and choose a career in weapons work, according to budget documents. The nuclear security agency has also established guidelines requiring contractors that run its weapons laboratories - currently on the order of 30,000 - to recruit and train more workers.
Underscoring President Obama's commitment to the work, his budget request for the agency, unveiled last month, calls for a 13.4 percent increase in fiscal year 2011 to $11.2 billion, the largest increase of any agency. Los Alamos National Laboratory, one of the primary facilities that designs and certifies nuclear weapons, would see a 22 percent increase, the largest since the Manhattan Project built the first atomic bomb in 1944.
"Senior people at Los Alamos tell us that the quality of science has dropped like a stone,'' said Greg Mello, who runs the Los Alamos Study Group, a think tank in Albuquerque that specializes in nuclear weapons policy. "People with options don't want to stay.''
The phenomenon is part of what specialists say is a wider trend: Universities have scaled back some of their degree programs and are not turning out enough graduates in the nuclear sciences to meet national demand in the military and civilian sectors.
The National Energy Institute, a policy group supported by the nuclear industry, estimates that 35 percent of the workforce at the nation's more than 100 nuclear power plants will reach retirement by the end of 2012. And a recent study conducted with the help of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology concluded that even if the United States does not construct any reactors, the nation will need to graduate hundreds of additional nuclear scientists and engineers each year to fill the gap.
The Obama administration last month announced plans for at least two new reactors - the first in three decades - and has expressed support for building more as part of a renaissance in nuclear energy to help reduce reliance on fossil fuels that are damaging the environment.
For that to succeed, universities would need to beef up their programs. After the nuclear energy industry stagnated for decades, many universities dropped degree programs in nuclear science and engineering, according to a study by the American Physical Society.
According to Sekazi Mtingwa, a professor of nuclear physics at MIT, the study found that the number of graduates with doctorate degrees in nuclear chemistry - a critical skill needed in military and civilian programs - had "dwindled down very close to zero.''
"It was so bad that the National Science Foundation dropped it as a category'' in its annual tracking of scientific disciplines, Mtingwa said.
Still, it is the erosion of expertise in US nuclear weapons complex - which requires workers to be American citizens and eligible to hold some of the highest security clearances - that is most alarming, officials say.
It comes as the Obama administration is preparing to make deep cuts in the American arsenal, which many specialists say will place a higher premium on technical know-how. The average age of US weapons is 26 years and with no plans to design new ones, the weapons will need key modifications to ensure they will work, if they are ever deployed.
"There is a paradox,'' said Thomas P. D'Agostino, undersecretary of energy for nuclear security. "As the number of weapons come down, what becomes even more important is having the people who understand how they work.''
Senior military officials responsible for operating the weapons agree. "Having reduced numbers means that every system is more important to keep up and operate,'' said Air Force Colonel Michael Fortney, commander of the 341st Missile Wing at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana, which maintains 150 land-based nuclear missiles.
Even the staunchest supporters of arms control, who believe the size of the US arsenal far exceeds security needs and will even after Obama's proposed cuts, agree the need for more trained nuclear specialists is critical.
"We need more of this expertise so we know how the bombs work,'' said Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association.
The lack of expertise could have global consequences. The same scientists and engineers who work on the US nuclear weapons are also responsible for tracking the progress of other nations developing nuclear weapons and for helping countries secure their bomb-making material from theft by terrorists.
One growing mission of the nuclear security agency is called "nuclear archeology,'' using measurements and samples of fissile material and waste products to identify how much uranium or plutonium a particular facility in producing. This is expected to be critical in ensuring that nations such as Iran or North Korea live up to their commitments in arms control agreements.
"Many of these skills and facilities cannot be found in universities, other government laboratories, or in the US industry today,'' the American Physical Society concluded last month.
A key element in recruiting a new generation of weapons scientists, officials said, will be debunking the perception that the career field is primarily about building bigger and better weapons of mass destruction.
"We spend most of our time making sure things don't explode,'' D'Agostino said. [Bender/BostonGlobe/3April2010]
Intelligence Suggests Iran May Smuggle Arms to Afghanistan. New U.S. military intelligence suggests Iran plans to smuggle new shipments of weapons into Afghanistan in the coming weeks as part of an increased effort to interfere with coalition operations, a senior U.S. Defense Department official said Friday.
The information came from an "Iranian source" whose tips on past shipments have been verified by the United States, the official said.
The official declined to be identified because of the sensitive nature of the information. He also declined to offer more details on the identity of the Iranian source. Intelligence gained by talking to people, sometimes referred to as "human intelligence," is always considered sensitive for fear of compromising sources.
"There are indications the Iranians have stepped it up," the official said.
But another U.S. official said Iran is only providing "limited supplies of weapons to the Taliban ... not enough to cause major problems for coalition forces."
The official also noted that Iran - a majority Shiite country - and the Sunni Taliban almost went to war with one another in the late 90s, so it's not really in their interest to be a major source of top-shelf arms to the Taliban. [CNN/2April2010]
China Falls Short. The CIA's annual report to Congress on weapons proliferation continues to highlight the nearly decade-long record of China failing to police controls over exports of missiles and weapons technology to rogue states and unstable regions of the world.
The latest annual report to Congress, called the 721 Report after the provision of the 1997 law requiring it, continues the language of past reports in calling China and its state-run and semi-private companies as a major arms proliferator, along with Russia and North Korea.
And like previous years, the report covering 2009 stated that Chinese companies and people "continue to engage in [weapons of mass destruction]-related proliferation activities."
Then, repeating language from previous years, the CIA said that in the "past several years" China's government implemented "new export control legislation" designed to limit missile exports but concluded that "enforcement continues to fall short."
A review of earlier CIA reports going back to 2001 reveals that China has, according to agency analysts, continued to improve its export controls while at the same time continuing sales of missiles and weaponry to North Korea, Iran, Pakistan and Libya, despite the "new" controls.
Last year's CIA report covering 2008 highlighted the new controls but said, in wording identical to this year's document, that "enforcement continues to fall short." In 2007, the agency said "Beijing continued to fall short in its enforcement of its export controls" because of missile and weapons sales. The 2006 CIA report said Chinese "enforcement of the [export control] legislation needs significant improvement."
The 2005 CIA report also noted Beijing's "steps to improve its export control record" but said "despite these efforts, in 2005, Chinese entities continued to support ballistic missiles programs in Pakistan, Iran and North Korea."
And the 2004 report noted Chinese government efforts to "improve" weapons export controls, but said that "despite these efforts" Chinese entities worked with Pakistan, Iran North Korea and Libya on missiles. In 2003, two biannual reports said the same: "Beijing improved its nonproliferation posture" but "the proliferation behavior of Chinese companies remains of great concern." The 2002 report is identical.
"China is pretending to be a good citizen by passing laws, but in reality it is still committed to spreading missile technology around the world, and will probably keep doing it as long as there is money and influence to be gained," said Gary Milhollin, executive director of the Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control. [Gertz/WashingtonTimes/1April2010]
Section II - CONTEXT & PRECEDENCE
Forgotten Spy and Escape Artist Extraordinaire Comes in From The Cold. His exploits as a secret agent put fictional heroes to shame. His bravery and sheer physical resilience were remarkable.
He escaped from a Russian prison by strangling a guard, and was captured behind enemy lines during the Second World War and repeatedly tortured by the Gestapo. He escaped again. Even when compared with other, more celebrated members of the Special Operations Executive, who showed extraordinary courage, he stood out.
Now little known, Forest Frederic Edward Yeo-Thomas - the White Rabbit, Seahorse and Shelley were among his codenames - became the first secret agent to be commemorated by an English Heritage blue plaque. It was unveiled by his niece, Carol Green, at Queen Court, Guilford Street, Bloomsbury, London, where he lived with his wife Barbara. Present at the ceremony were Mark Seaman, historian and writer of Yeo-Thomas's biography, The Bravest of the Brave, and Squadron Leader Lee Roberts on behalf of the RAF.
Lying about his age, 16-year-old Yeo-Thomas joined the US army in the First World War, then served with the Polish army in their struggle against the Soviet Union. Captured in 1920 and facing the prospect of execution, he strangled his prison guard and escaped to France.
He joined the RAF at the outbreak of the Second World War but was turned down for an active role as being too old. French-speaking Yeo-Thomas then joined the SOE and was dropped into occupied France to contact resistance groups and report back to London, where he persuaded Churchill that they were playing a valuable role and needed British support. While in France he managed to avoid Klaus Barbie, who was traveling on the same train, and evade capture by hiding in a hearse.
But in 1944, during his third mission in France, his luck ran out - he had narrowly escaped arrest on six separate occasions - and he was betrayed. He was arrested at Passy metro station in Paris. At the Gestapo's Paris headquarters in Avenue Foch, Yeo-Thomas was repeatedly submerged in ice-cold water with his legs and arms chained. Electric shocks were applied to his genitals. He lost consciousness and was woken forcefully. Despite four days of continuous interrogation, he never disclosed information about the resistance or his underground work, insisting he was just an RAF pilot who had been shot down.
Over the next four months, in between frequent but hopeless attempts at escape, he was sent to a number of jails, then deported to Buchenwald concentration camp. After a group of his fellow prisoners were executed by hanging, he seized an opportunity to swap his identity with a dead French prisoner - making sure other prisoners could, too.
He was transferred to another camp and after yet another attempt to escape was picked up by a German patrol, who took him for a French prisoner, and he was taken to a camp near Marienburg.
On April 1945 the camp's prisoners were evacuated towards Czechoslovakia by train. During a stop to bury dead prisoners, Yeo-Thomas and a small group took their chance to escape into the woods. Ten were killed by gunfire from the guards. He became separated from his companions and spent three days without food. A week later he was recaptured when only 800 yards from the American lines. After a few days, he led a party of 10 French prisoners of war through German patrols to the American lines.
In recognition of his exceptional courage, Yeo-Thomas was awarded the George Cross, the Military Cross and bar, the Croix de Guerre and the Polish Cross of Merit. He was made a commander of the Légion d'honneur in 1963, a year before he died, aged 62. [Guardian/31March2010]
Forget Bond, MI5 Wanted its Spies Short and Static. Wanted: nondescript individual, 5ft7in to 5ft8in in height, with good hearing and the ability to stand still for long periods in extreme heat and cold. The ideal candidate must also have a fondness for hiding behind trees in parks and a strong aversion to false beards and moustaches.
It might sound like the job description for an eccentric ornithologist but these are the attributes that MI5 was looking for when it sought to recruit a "watcher" or surveillance officer to its ranks with the purpose of tracking foreign spies and suspected traitors around Britain's towns and cities.
A secret file detailing the activities of Section B6, the outpost of MI5 used to tail threats to national security, details how senior spooks struggled to find sufficiently unobtrusive operatives to carry out the vital work of pursuing Nazi agents, communist agitators and high-level ne'er-do-wells during the Second World War.
The document, released at the National Archives in Kew, west London, reveals that the Security Service despaired when it received a flood of applications to join its ranks from wannabe spies who had spent too long watching detective films and expected a glamourous clandestine existence. One moustachioed applicant accompanied his CV with a picture of himself dressed in a trilby while peering around a street corner.
Instead, MI5 felt obliged to underline the drudgery of the task of spending long hours in shadowy doorways watching a single window. The report, which includes a history of B6 written by an anonymous veteran surveillance officer, said: "This is an onerous and exacting profession. Screen sleuths of the secret service thriller or detective novel appeal to the uninitiated, but in actual practice there is little glamour and much monotony in such a calling as 'observation'.
"A successful watcher is a rarety. After many years of watching and following, the writer is forced to the conclusion that the ideal watcher is born and not made, and unless he has a natural flair for the work he will never rise above mediocre. Observation cannot be mastered from textbooks or lectures. Hard practical training in the street is the only way to bring out a man's aptitude for the job."
The file sets out the profile for the perfect "shadower", specifying the ideal height (5ft7-8), with acute senses and "hardy enough to withstand cold, heat, and wet during the long hours of immobility in the street". Also important was an appearance "as unlike a policeman as possible" and the ability to dress in "old clothes, cap, muffler" when in the "slum quarters".
The one thing that a B6 operative was never to wear was a false moustache. The report said: "The writer is against the use of facial disguises. It may be considered essential in Secret Service films but in practice it is to be deplored. A false moustache or beard is easily detected, especially under the high lights of a restaurant, pub, or in a Tube train."
After its formation shortly before the First World War, the unit of trench-coated observers grew to 40 members by the beginning of the Second World War and was dealing with 140 cases a year by 1942, trailing a colourful range of foreign spies and British agents, including a Nazi operative working as bakery delivery driver in Mayfair and a taxi driver who was eventually arrested by being asked to drive Wormwood Scrubs and detained once he arrived in the prison yard.
The clandestine observers were part of a formidable MI5 operation against attempts by Nazi Germany and its allies to flood Britain with spies. Through a mixture of enemy ineptitude (many Nazi agents simply surrendered to the British authorities) and the breaking of German codes, MI5 was able to operate its Double Cross system.
John Masterman, the MI5 officer who ran the network feeding false information to the Nazis, boasted that by 1941: "We [MI5] actively ran and controlled the German espionage system in this country." The disinformation supplied to the German high command was so successful that it helped change the course of the war, in particular by convincing Hitler that the D-Day invasion would happen at Calais.
The Section B6 file highlights a particular triumph when a surveillance team followed the naval attache at the Japanese embassy to Ham Common in west London, where he met his source, a former RAF fighter ace, in the middle of a clump of bushes. The report states that the MI5 tail, "the best little watcher in the game", was able to creep into the bushes unnoticed and report word-for-word the men's conversation. [Milmo/Independent/4April2010]
Section III - COMMENTARY
Neary on where the Office of the Director of National Intelligence Went Wrong, by Walter
Pincus. Five years after the formation of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, a senior insider who's been there from the start has described as "flawed" the idea that "the DNI and his new office... could drive intelligence reform."
"While the community has improved in response to the call for intelligence reform, it remains fundamentally unreformed," Patrick C. Neary writes in the new issue of the quarterly Studies in Intelligence. A West Point graduate with 30-plus years as an intelligence officer, primarily with the Army staff and the Defense Intelligence Agency, Neary has been principal deputy director and chief strategist for the ODNI since 2005. He soon will transfer to the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Intelligence and Analysis.
No one with Neary's background and experience has laid out so clearly the failures of the DNI experiment. Yet he points out the paradox that "we are safer today than we were before reform was attempted." His reasoning: Intelligence spending has roughly doubled in the past eight years.
In his essay, Neary goes directly to the core issue: In 2004, there was no great desire for major change in the intelligence community inside the Bush White House, the GOP-led Congress, the CIA, the Defense Department or the rest of the intelligence community. The pressure for change came from the 9/11 Commission and the families of the victims of the 2001 attacks, Neary writes. The panel, he says, "clearly favored structural changes toward greater centralization."
Bush "remained concerned that the community must not be broken in an attempt to improve it," Neary notes, while many intelligence professionals "looked at the reform brouhaha with detached bemusement, believing reform would result in no meaningful change."
Neary notes that the executive branch may have appeared ambivalent about reform but that the legislative branch had two viewpoints.
The Senate, which bypassed its Select Committee on Intelligence, gave reform legislation to its Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, which pushed for a strong, independent leader, distinct from the CIA director. In the House, lawmakers led by Armed Services Committee Chairman Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) fought for a measure that would not interfere with the defense secretary's concern for the war fighter.
As a result, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld won an important section in the legislation that preserved the authority of Cabinet secretaries. This "seemingly innocuous" provision created the potential for agencies to stall ODNI initiatives, and they did, Neary writes. CIA lawyers picked up on the legislative language and continued to argue that the CIA was independent, as established by the original 1947 National Security Act. The new law states only that "There is a Central Intelligence Agency," and the DNI is "the head of the intelligence community." The CIA director "shall report to the DNI regarding the activities of the CIA," but the law does not clearly say the DNI is the CIA's boss.
Neary writes of initial false steps that hurt the organization, using an example that only bureaucrats understand. Under the legislation, the ODNI was not to share location with headquarters of any other community element, an effort to make sure it was not at Langley. So the ODNI went to Bolling Air Force Base, to the new building of the Defense Intelligence Agency. The first DNI, John D. Negroponte, wanted CIA people as staff members. But, writes Neary, since CIA types tended to live near Langley, the ODNI lost at least 10 percent of its staff. They didn't want to make the long commute.
At Bolling, many DIA employees living near the air base took jobs originally meant for those CIA staffers. Then, two years later, the ODNI was permanently located in the Virginia suburbs, beyond Langley, and the DIA workers found that they faced a commute longer than the CIA staffers who didn't want to travel to Bolling. "The merry-go-round ensured the staff never found its feet," Neary said.
He also presents a good example of "jointness" failure. Tom Fingar, then deputy DNI for analysis, created "Analysis 101," a month-long course for all new analysts across the community. When Fingar tried to make the course mandatory, "some agencies responded by trying to eliminate it," Neary says. The compromise was to shorten it to two weeks and make it optional. When the DIA was made executive agent of the program, "CIA stopped participating in it."
The change in leadership has been another problem. In its fourth year, the National Intelligence University is on its fourth chancellor and, according to Neary, has been "everything from a 'virtual university,' to a 'state university system,' to a 'bricks-and-mortar facility,' to now a 'force for professionalism.' "
In five years, of course, there also have been three DNIs, each with a slightly different approach. Each has had some positive results. Neary says they go from the mundane - the single-IC (intelligence community) badge - to the profound - the modernization of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
"Given competing motivations, a hostile environment, and initial missteps, it is unsurprising that intelligence reform appears moribund," Neary writes. But he also says, "If the nation is safer, what difference does it make whether intelligence is reformed?" [Pincus/WashingtonPost/5April2010]
End of the Castro Regime in Cuba, Maybe This Time It's Different? by Brian
Latell. Predictions that the Castro regime will soon collapse are popular again. Such speculation is fueled by many developments over the last year, including missteps by Raul Castro, stasis and confusion in the ruling gerontocracy, the rehabilitation of Ramiro Valdes, severe economic contractions, and rising international condemnations of Cuba's appalling human rights record. And of course, actuarially, the odds favoring sudden changes at the top are steadily increasing. All of that adds up to greater uncertainty than before.
But predicting the demise of the Castro brothers' regime has been a losing proposition for all of the 51 years they have exercised power. There have been a number of occasions when observers on and off the island let themselves be convinced that the final chapter was being written. I believed that once myself, as I have explained in After Fidel.
It was following the disappearance of the Soviet Union when Cuba's economy plunged into what seemed then like terminal seizure. The largest riots the regime ever experienced broke out on the Malecon in Havana and in a few other places. Ox carts were substituting for transport vehicles; factories were shutting down for lack of inputs; and extended energy blackouts were provoking popular discontent. The leadership was in a state of geopolitical shock.
By any rational analysis, the economic survival strategy Fidel Castro decreed would never be able to compensate for the loss of the approximately $6 billion of annual Soviet bloc subsidies. But the regime did survive its worst economic crisis, the Special Period in Peacetime. There were few defections from the leadership, no known challenge to Castro from within the nomenclatura, and no outward signs of political tremors.
At other junctures, political and economic convulsions also appeared to some to be more than the Castros could handle. There was, for example, the chaos of the first few years of the revolution as rapid confiscations of property and brutal repression of dissent fueled the exodus of skilled and professional Cubans and their families. The Matos-Cienfuegos crisis in the fall of 1959 could easily have ended differently, that is, in violent conflict within the embryonic armed forces and the diverse July 26th Movement.
In the 1960's there were numerous real or apparent challenges to the Castros' hegemony. The 1962 "sectarian" purge, the 1964 Marcos Rodriguez affair, the "microfaction" purge later in the decade, and the defections of many prominent officials and scapegoating of others by Fidel Castro suggested at times that the regime was faltering. But of course, the hopes of those predicting its downfall came to naught.
In retrospect, the gravest of all the crises the regime has weathered probably occurred during the summer of 1989. Highlighted by dramatic show trials, executions, dangerous purges, suspicious deaths (suicide and heart attack?), and preposterously contrived charges of drug trafficking, the Ochoa-de la Guardia-Abrahantes affair may some day be known to have been the closest the Castro brothers have ever come to a genuinely regime-threatening crisis. They were playing with fire when they ordered convulsive purges in the Ministry of Interior (MININT). And their frantic behavior during those tense weeks are evidence enough of how grave a backlash they thought might materialize.
Juan Antonio Rodriguez Menier, a late 1980's defector from Cuban intelligence who has written about the DGI and the Ministry of Interior, has commented on the fateful summer of 1989. "Internal opposition has been serious in the past," he has said, "proven by the execution of (General Arnaldo) Ochoa & the imprisonment of nearly 200 MININT officials who were opposed to Castro and were almost to the point of conspiring to overthrow him."
Rodriguez Menier explains that "the old generation of MININT leaders long contemplated a conspiracy against Fidel, but in the end, they saw no viable alternative. While the armed forces are largely 'yes sir types,' the MININT consists of the most intelligent Cubans who are also the best informed."
It has been more than twenty years now since the MININT purges and executions, plenty of time for Fidel and Raul Castro and their subalterns to have repaired the damage done. But Rodriguez Menier's judgments may nonetheless have relevance to Cuban conditions today. An elite-led rebellion or challenge to the doddering regime will be more likely than one that spontaneously arises in the streets. But predicting it will continue to be a reckless undertaking. [Dr. Brian Latell, distinguished Cuba analyst and recent author of the book, After Fidel: The Inside Story of Castro's Regime and Cuba's Next Leader, is a Senior Research Associate at ICCAS. He has informed American and foreign presidents, cabinet members, and legislators about Cuba and Fidel Castro in a number of capacities. He served in the early 1990s as National Intelligence Officer for Latin America at the Central Intelligence Agency and taught at Georgetown University for a quarter century. Dr. Latell has written, lectured, and consulted extensively.] [Latell/HavanaJournal/31March2010]
A Dagger to the CIA, by Bob Baer. He was a catch, a gold mine. The first and only mole ever to infiltrate Al Qaeda at such a high level. And the CIA was eager to meet him. On the afternoon of December 30, 2009, practically everyone who worked at the agency's base in Khost, Afghanistan, plus a few visitors - fourteen people in all - gathered outside in front of a makeshift interrogation center. The mole was due any minute. The point of the welcoming committee was apparently to show respect for the man, a Jordanian doctor named Humam Khalil Abu-Malal al-Balawi - to make him understand how important he was to the CIA's war on Osama bin Laden.
A red station wagon had been dispatched to pick up Balawi at the Pakistan border ten miles away, the base's Afghan driver at the wheel. At about 4:30 p.m., the car pulled up in front of the interrogation center. When Balawi stepped out, he kept one hand in his pocket. According to press accounts, this caught the attention of a security contractor from Xe Services (formerly Blackwater), who moved to search Balawi. But a former CIA officer with knowledge of the agency's internal investigation of the incident told me it was the mole's handler in the Jordanian intelligence service - the man who'd recruited Balawi in the first place - who first suspected something was wrong. What tipped him off? Balawi started to pray: There is no god but God.....
Two weeks earlier, on December 17, the chief of the Khost base turned on her Panasonic Toughbook laptop and quickly scrolled through the cables that had come in overnight from around the world. There were hundreds, but only one that interested her: a message from Amman, Jordan.
Balawi, the mole deep inside Al Qaeda, had sent an e-mail through Jordanian intelligence describing the damage from recent Predator drone attacks in the tribal areas of Pakistan. There had been at least ten missiles fired from five Predators, killing fifteen people, including seven foreigners, possibly Al Qaeda members. Of the villages Balawi had been able to visit, he reported the tally - the dead, the wounded, the buildings destroyed. He was even able to describe Al Qaeda's reaction, the helpless fury of Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden's number two.
The base chief needed only to compare Balawi's report with the photos taken by the Predator drones - photos that matched his description perfectly. Oh yeah, she must have thought. This guy is good. Very good.
The base chief is a covert employee of the CIA; her identity is protected by law. I'll call her Kathy. She was 45 years old and a divorced mother of three. She'd spent the vast majority of her career at a desk in Northern Virginia, where she studied Al Qaeda for more than a decade. Michael Scheuer, her first boss in Alec Station, the CIA unit that tracked bin Laden, told me she had attended the operative's basic training course at the Farm, the agency's training facility, and that he considered her a good, smart officer. Another officer who knew her told me that despite her training at the Farm, she was always slotted to be a reports officer, someone who edits reports coming in from the field. She was never intended to meet and debrief informants.
Kathy knew that there was a time when only seasoned field operatives were put in charge of places like Khost. Not only would an operative need to have distinguished himself at the Farm; he would've run informants in the field for five years or more before earning such a post. He probably would have done at least one previous tour in a war zone, too. And he would have known the local language, in this case Pashto. Kathy skipped all of this. Imagine a Marine going straight from Parris Island to taking command of a combat battalion in the middle of a war.
In the late '90s, when Kathy was first put on the bin Laden account, it was the Siberia of the CIA, located in a bleak office building in Tysons Corner, Virginia. If you needed someone important to pay attention to you, you had to drive down Route 123 to the main building in Langley. And even then you'd be lucky to get fifteen minutes of anyone's time.
Truth is that until September 11, not everyone in the agency was all that worried about bin Laden. The spoiled son of a Saudi construction magnate, he hadn't done any real fighting in the Afghan war. Yes, he'd been behind a truck bombing in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam in 1998. But neither truck got inside the building, and American casualties were relatively light. Was this the best bin Laden could do? To the old guard at the CIA, he looked like a wannabe, not in the same league as Hezbollah.
That all changed on September 11, of course, when every CIA station and base in the world turned their attention to "penetrating" Al Qaeda - recruiting a mole next to Osama bin Laden. In the span of a few years, the CIA's counterterrorism center went from a couple of hundred officers to 4,000. If you wanted to rise in the CIA, you needed to prove you were doing your part to get bin Laden.
As an Al Qaeda expert, Kathy did more than her part. But Khost was her first field command, her first real chance to run informants. She lived in a trailer, ate in a common mess, experienced the isolation of life behind blast walls and razor wire, surrounded by the dun countryside of eastern Afghanistan. Like every other American serving in this part of the world, trapped on base for fear of the Taliban, she must have felt like a prisoner. But from what I've be able to glean about her, this hardship would've made her all the more determined to show her bosses that she could do the job.
To understand the CIA, you need to know that from its beginning in 1947, it was divided by a class system, as rigid and acrimonious as any. Everyone in the agency, wherever he or she stood, knew about it and either benefited or suffered from it.
On top were the field operatives, the officers who served overseas, ran informants, conducted covert action. In the early years, most operatives came out of Ivy League schools. Many lived off trust funds, not their modest government pay. They played tennis, lived in Georgetown, and could tell the difference between a spinnaker and a jib. But by the mid-'60s, the establishment's romance with the CIA and espionage had cooled (the Bay of Pigs had a lot to do with this), and the CIA had to turn to Main Street to fill its ranks. Ohio State took over from Yale, and the bowlers from the tennis players.
But that shift did not end the operatives' belief that they were members of a professional elite. Operatives were obsessed with the craft of espionage. They knew how to steal secrets, break into banks, and overthrow governments. They prided themselves on learning languages: Russian, of course, but also Arabic, Persian, Chinese, even obscure tongues like Afrikaans and Pashto. A four-month paramilitary course was mandatory until the early '70s. Operatives learned to fieldstrip a Kalashnikov blindfolded, prime explosives, and jump out of an airplane. After training an operative, the CIA sent him overseas for four or five years to work under a seasoned agent, a mentor. The mentor looked over the rookie's shoulder to see how he intended to meet his informant, to check the questions he was going to ask, and even to go over the route he intended to take to avoid a tail. It took years to acquire these skills and decades to perfect them.
The CIA's other breed of agent - a much lesser animal in the eyes of the operatives - was the analyst. Analysts spend their careers at headquarters writing reports. Many have Ph.D.'s, and they're smart in a bookish way. You'd find their desks stacked with The Economist, Pravda, Le Monde. They always seemed to be shabbily dressed. When they did get out of Washington, it was to attend an academic conference.
The one thing all analysts shared was a disdain for the operatives and their cloak-and-dagger pretensions. As far as they were concerned, the operatives' "tradecraft" was a lot of hocus-pocus. Operatives were cowboys - and of questionable utility.
Analysts were convinced that most good information was right out in the open. All you needed was a good brain to make sense of it. And what you didn't know from open sources, you could learn from intercepts and satellites.
It's impossible to pinpoint exactly when the operatives' sun started to set, but many CIA insiders would point to John Deutch, the former MIT provost and Bill Clinton's second CIA director. From the moment Deutch set foot in Langley, he made it plain that he hated the operatives, their swagger and arrogance. Deutch held them responsible for some of America's worst foreign policy fiascoes, from the Bay of Pigs to the overthrow of Allende in Chile. In December 1995, he told The New York Times: "Compared to uniformed officers, [CIA operatives] are certainly not as competent, or as understanding of what their relative role is and what their responsibilities are."
Deutch's first shot at the operatives was his appointment of Dave Cohen as deputy director of operations, the CIA's most senior operative. Cohen was an analyst who had never served overseas or run a foreign informant. Deutch's message couldn't be any clearer: Anyone can do an operative's work.
The first thing Cohen did was order a "scrub" of every informant with dirty hands. Drug dealers, dictators' minions, arms dealers, terrorists - Cohen ordered the operatives to sever ties with all of them. The only problem was, these were the people who mix well with our enemies - rogue regimes like Iran and North Korea and terrorist groups like Hezbollah and Al Qaeda. Deutch and Cohen didn't care; they had a mandate to clean up the CIA, and that's what they were going to do.
Headquarters officers started taking more and more of the important jobs in the field. For the first time in the CIA's history, analysts, reports officers, and logistics officers were given stations and bases to run. (As a reports officer, Kathy technically belonged to the directorate of operations, but in spirit she was much closer to an analyst.) Field experience no longer mattered, either for assignments or promotions.
As the CIA purged informants, it leaned on allies to do our dirty work in the field. Friendly Muslim intelligence services, not CIA operatives, were asked to comb jihadi circles. All this only got worse after September 11. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan sucked the CIA dry. In 2006 there were nearly 750 officers assigned to Baghdad station, mostly staff officers on their first overseas assignment. That number may not sound like a lot, but throughout the '90s there were at most 1,200 to 1,500 CIA employees assigned overseas at any one time.
As the wars dragged on, the CIA's problems cascaded, leaving an agency with almost no officers with real field experience. Personnel were shifted in and out of assignments for three-month stints, too brief a period to really know a place or do any meaningful work. Over time, these patterns completely undid the old standard that you needed experience to lead. After a year's tour in a post like Baghdad, an officer could pretty much count on landing a managerial position. Never mind that he'd spent his time locked down in the Green Zone, never getting out or meeting an informant.
What John Deutch set in motion was the deprofessionalization of the directorate of operations, handing it over to bureaucrats who only went overseas to get a quick taste of life in the field before returning to the safety of the Beltway. The idea that an officer would spend his entire career abroad learning the fundamentals of espionage is incomprehensible to the new CIA.
Since Balawi's family has talked to the press, we know a lot more about him than we do about Kathy. Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi was a Jordanian of Palestinian descent. He went to medical school in Turkey and married a Turkish woman. He blogged on a jihadist site and let it be known that he'd been radicalized by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It was his blog, in fact, that attracted the attention of Jordanian intelligence in 2008.
Jordanian intelligence had seen its share of homegrown Islamic militants and believed they knew exactly what to do with Balawi. Deep under its headquarters in Amman is a block of interrogation cells where no one comes out the same as he went in. As Balawi was led into that block to face his interrogator, he surely shuddered when he read the black banner over the door: justice has come.
It's unknown how long it took Jordanian intelligence to break Balawi, force him to renounce his radical beliefs, and agree to become a mole. Nor is it clear why the Jordanians thought Balawi would have been so easily accepted into Al Qaeda's ranks. Were his blog posts really enough to win their trust? The salient point is that the Jordanians had been under intense American pressure to infiltrate Al Qaeda, and Balawi was the best they could do.
Throughout the fall, Balawi filed regular reports through Jordanian intelligence. With each e-mail, Kathy grew more convinced he was the real thing, the man who would help us decapitate Al Qaeda. Balawi wasn't shy about intimating in his e-mails what kind of information he could deliver. According to one former CIA officer I talked to, he all but said he could call in a Hellfire missile right on top of Dr. Zawahiri's head. He sent pictures of himself posing with Al Qaeda fighters to prove his bona fides.
Headquarters was convinced, but they felt they needed to meet Balawi. They wanted to run him themselves, taking over from the Jordanians. The problem was where to meet him. The CIA couldn't send an officer into the Taliban-controlled regions of Pakistan, where Balawi was holed up with Al Qaeda. Nor could it call him back to Amman, because the risk was too high that Al Qaeda would become suspicious. The CIA office in the Pakistani capital of Islamabad refused to meet Balawi, arguing that there was no way he could safely come out of the tribal areas without being picked up by Pakistani intelligence. As for the Pakistanis, no one trusted them enough to tell them about Balawi. That left Afghanistan - Balawi walking across the border to a rendezvous with a car from Khost base.
The normal protocol for meeting an informant is either a car pickup, in which the operative debriefs the informant while driving around, or a meeting in a secret CIA safe house. Neither was an option in this case. The area around Khost is shot through with armed Taliban. A lone CIA officer driving around with Balawi risked being either ambushed or kidnapped. The same went for a meeting in a safe house.
A decision was made to bring Balawi into Khost base, behind three lines of security. And even that wasn't as secure as it sounds. The CIA knew the Taliban was onto the base. Two months before, in late October, a CIA car was stolen. It was found a couple of days later on the side of the road. When it was inspected, explosives were discovered in the door panel and behind the radio; the car had been rigged to explode when the radio was turned on.
In the days leading up to the meeting with Balawi, the White House was briefed. That's a rare thing in clandestine operations, and it raised expectations as well as pressure. In order to make sure nothing went wrong, someone - it's not clear who - decided that the more people who attended the meeting with Balawi, the better. Not only to show respect to Balawi but also to make sure nothing fell between the cracks.
Kathy's direct boss at Kabul station (he is still undercover) was told to come down to oversee the meeting. Two contractors from Xe Services - Jeremy Wise, a former Navy Seal from Virginia Beach, Virginia, and Dane Clark Paresi, a former Special Forces soldier from Dupont, Washington - would provide security, as would two CIA security officers, Harold Brown Jr., a former army officer from Fairfax, Virginia, and Scott Michael Roberson, a former Atlanta undercover narcotics officer. A beacons technician and a satellite-photography analyst would also be there, to debrief and train Balawi. Elizabeth Hanson, a 31-year-old analyst, would assist in the debriefing. Balawi's Jordanian handler, Sharif Ali bin Zeid, would come from Amman to hand Balawi over to the CIA. He would be accompanied by a young operative from the CIA's office in Amman, whose identity remains secret.
Right up until the CIA's driver picked up Balawi at the border, the big question was whether he would show. What if he was grabbed by the Taliban, if only by mistake? What if he was shot while crossing the border by our own soldiers? What if he just changed his mind and disappeared? That would be difficult to explain to the White House. So there must have been a collective sigh of relief when the group of fourteen spotted the red station wagon approaching with a man in the passenger seat.
Why wasn't Balawi searched at any one of the three hard-line security perimeters before he was brought inside the wire? Or at least run through a metal detector? No one could tell me. But as a result, the Jordanian double agent found himself standing exactly where he wanted to be in the final moment of his life - on an American base in an Islamic land, a suicide vest strapped to his body, surrounded by infidels.
A great white light, then silence.
Kathy was killed instantly, as was Sharif Ali bin Zeid, the operative from Amman, staffer Elizabeth Hanson, the two CIA security officers, and the two Xe contractors. The other six were gravely wounded, as was the CIA itself. It was the agency's bloodiest day since the bombing of the U.S. embassy in Beirut in 1983, more than twenty-five years ago.
On January 10, 2010, CIA director Leon Panetta wrote a Washington Post op-ed in which he disputed that poor tradecraft was a factor in the Khost tragedy. Panetta is wrong.
An old operative I used to work with in Beirut said he would have picked up Balawi himself and debriefed him in his car, arguing that any agent worth his salt would never expose the identity of a valued asset to a foreigner like the Afghan driver. I pointed out that if he'd been there and done it that way, he'd probably be dead now. "It's better than what happened," he said.
One thing that should have raised doubts about Balawi was that he had yet to deliver any truly damaging intelligence on Al Qaeda, such as the location of Zawahiri or the plans for the Northwest bomb plot. Balawi provided just enough information to keep us on the hook, but never enough to really hurt his true comrades. And how was it that Balawi got Al Qaeda members to pose for pictures? This should have been another sign. These guys don't like their pictures taken. So there were a few clear reasons not to trust Balawi, or at least to deal with him with extreme caution.
But the most inexplicable error was to have met Balawi by committee. Informants should always be met one-on-one. Always.
The fact is that Kathy, no matter how courageous and determined, was in over her head. This does not mean she was responsible for what happened. She was set up to fail. The battlefield was tilted in Al Qaeda's favor long ago - by John Deutch and his reforms, by the directors who followed him, by the decision to drop the paramilitary course from the mandatory curriculum (which would have made Kathy a lot more wary of explosives), and by two endless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that have worn the CIA down to a nub. Had Kathy spent more time in the field, more time running informants, maybe even been stung by one or two bad doubles, the meeting in Khost probably would have been handled differently - and at the very least there would have been one dead rather than eight.
If we take Khost as a metaphor for what has happened to the CIA, the deprofessionalization of spying, it's tempting to consider that the agency's time has passed. "Khost was an indictment of an utterly failed system," a former senior CIA officer told me. "It's time to close Langley."
I'm not prepared to go quite that far. The United States still needs a civilian intelligence agency. (The military cannot be trusted to oversee all intelligence-gathering on its own.) But the CIA - and especially the directorate of operations - must be stripped down to its studs and rebuilt with a renewed sense of mission and purpose. It should start by getting the amateurs out of the field. And then it should impose professional standards of training and experience - the kind it upheld with great success in the past. If it doesn't, we're going to see a lot more Khosts. [Robert Baer was a CIA operative for twenty-one years. He is the author of See No Evil, a memoir of his time in the agency.] [Baer/GQ/4April2010]
Section IV - BOOKS, OBITUARIES AND COMING EVENTS
Turf War May Have Ruined Gardner Heist Lead . The FBI was on the trail of recovering the principal masterpieces stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum from a criminal gang in Corsica two years ago only to have its efforts dashed, in part because of bureaucratic infighting among federal agents and supervisors.
That is the conclusion of a nonfiction book written by a now-retired FBI special agent who posed undercover in 2006 and 2007 as a wealthy art collector interested in purchasing several of the paintings through two Frenchmen who had alleged ties to the Corsican mobsters. The French intermediaries said they could deliver the stolen Vermeer, valued at more than $100 million, and at least one of the two large Rembrandts that were taken. They were among the 13 pieces, now valued at $500 million, stolen in what is considered the largest art theft in history.
As detailed in his soon-to-be released book, "Priceless: How I Went Undercover to Rescue the World's Stolen Treasures,'' Robert K. Wittman says he believed from French wiretaps and his covert dealings with the two French intermediaries that the Corsican mob did have control of the stolen artwork. A special agent for 20 years, Wittman established the FBI's Art Theft unit and is credited with recoveries of hundreds of millions of dollars of art and antiquities during his career, many of which he recounts in his book, along with his experiences on the Gardner case.
If true, the disclosures provide the first real clues as to what happened to the 11 paintings and drawings, plus an ancient Chinese vase and a finial, stolen out of the Gardner Museum on March 18, 1990.
Wittman, who retired from the FBI and now works as a private security consultant, could not be reached for comment. A spokeswoman for his publisher, Crown Publishers in New York, said he would not be giving interviews until the book goes on sale in June. As recently as a month ago, FBI agents who have spent the last 20 years investigating the thefts were quoted as saying that they have never received "proof of life'' evidence from any of the tipsters that they had possession or access to the stolen goods.
The FBI, according to officials, is reviewing Wittman's manuscript for possible disclosure of secrets that could be damaging to ongoing investigations or national security. Special Agent Gail A. Marcinkiewicz, spokeswoman for the Boston office of the FBI, declined to respond to questions on the substance of the Corsican investigation - tagged Operation Masterpiece by the FBI - or Wittman's criticisms of the FBI's overall handling of the inquiry. Instead, in a statement Friday, she said: "Per DOJ [ Department of Justice] policy, the FBI does not comment on any ongoing, pending investigations. The FBI remains dedicated and committed to this investigation with the ultimate goal being the recovery and return of the stolen artwork to the Gardner Museum.''
Until now, the FBI has attributed that failure to the perpetrators' continued fear of prosecution, despite repeated pledges by federal authorities that they would not be charged if they returned the stolen items in good condition. They would also be eligible to collect the $5 million reward being offered by the museum for the return of the paintings and other art pieces.
However, Wittman contends that the lead he worked on beginning in late 2006 - which he describes as the first credible tip received by the FBI - was sabotaged by the reluctance of FBI officials to overrule the FBI supervisory agent on the Gardner investigation who refused to allow Wittman to make his own decisions on the Corsican case.
Instead, the supervisor, who is only identified in the book as "Fred,'' micromanaged Wittman's interactions with the two French intermediaries even though he was unfamiliar with overseeing an undercover operation. At one point, Wittman writes, Fred tried to get Wittman thrown off the case by sending an official memorandum to FBI chiefs in Washington questioning whether Wittman was trying to delay completing the investigation until retiring so he could win the $5 million reward as a private citizen.
In addition, Wittman writes, Fred - who had never before traveled to a foreign country on official business - was quick to offend his counterparts in French law enforcement on the investigation, seeking to assert the FBI's control of the case even though many of the dealings were to take place inside France.
Despite his pleas, Wittman writes, FBI officials refused to wrest control of the investigation from Fred because of the historic reluctance of those at FBI headquarters to overrule the decisions of the agency's local supervisors. French authorities also weakened the thrust of the investigation by mandating that a French intelligence officer work undercover with Wittman and by refusing at one key point to allow one of the two intermediaries to enter France for a meeting because he was a fugitive wanted in France on another crime.
"Bureaucracies and turf fighting on both sides of the Atlantic had destroyed the best chance in a decade to rescue the Gardner paintings,'' Wittman writes. "We'd blown an opportunity to infiltrate a major art crime ring in France, a loose network of mobsters holding as many as 70 stolen masterpieces.''
Despite his criticisms of the investigation, the key question that emerges from Wittman's book is whether the lead was a legitimate one. Did the French intermediaries - a fugitive accountant named Laurenz Cogniat and his associate, identified only as Sunny - have real ties with Corsican mobsters and did those mobsters have control of the paintings? Or was the pair just trying to pull a scam on Wittman, who had told them that he was able to put up millions to buy the Gardner paintings?
Wittman says he believed he was on track to recover the Gardner paintings after French police told him that they had spotted Sunny meeting with Corsican mobsters in Marseilles and Sunny had been heard on wiretaps speaking of "frames for Bob.'' Wittman's undercover name was Bob Clay.
But while the three met repeatedly over a two-year period in France, Spain, and in the United States, Wittman had trouble focusing the intermediaries' attention on closing the deal for the Gardner paintings. Wittman dropped out of the case in early 2008 when Sunny approached him to see whether he was interested in buying four paintings that had just been stolen from a museum in Nice. Wittman turned the lead over to another FBI undercover agent. Sunny was subsequently arrested in the deal, ending Wittman's hopes of using him as a conduit for recovering the Gardner paintings.
Wittman ends his book recounting a wistful conversation he had with Pierre Tabel, then the chief of France's National Art Crime Squad, about their efforts over the previous two years to recover the Gardner paintings.
"Pierre,'' Wittman asks him, "do you think we had a chance? For the paintings?''
"Absolutement,'' Tabel responded. "We have a good idea who has them. We know to whom Sunny was speaking. But now that we arrest Sunny . . . the case is gone. We will not have this chance again for many years.'' [Kurkjian/BostonGlobe/4April2010]
Former Spy Richard Cutler Knows About Risk, Details it in New Book. Working in espionage was good training for Richard W. Cutler, who later in life became involved in the law, politics and civic affairs in Milwaukee.
Cutler was a young lawyer in 1943 when he was drafted into the U.S. Army. A chance connection got him the assignment he wanted - serving in a new Army Air Corps specialty group called "statistical control." That was the jargon for war analysis of planes, personnel and operations.
That, in turn, led to other assignments, including the spy business.
Cutler, now 93, tells stories of those days and much more in a new book, "I Came, I Saw, I Wrote." The subtitle of the self-published book calls it, "A Risk-Taker's Life in Law, Espionage, Community Service, Start-Ups and Writing."
"Five friends urged me to explain how I got into so many seemingly unrelated things," he said. "It's like Cicero said, a man never really understands a situation until he writes on it."
Consider some of those seemingly unrelated things in Cutler's life.
In the 1950s, he was deeply involved in the municipal border wars in and near Milwaukee County. He helped establish the City of Brookfield and then became its first city attorney. While Cutler didn't win every boundary battle, he became enough of an expert that he was asked to help draft state legislation on incorporation standards.
In other life chapters, Cutler was involved in bringing baseball back to Milwaukee. Bud Selig drafted Cutler, who brought in law partner Elwin J. Zarwell.
"The contract for sale for $10.8 million was drafted on my typewriter and signed at my home on a Sunday... 30 days before opening day," Cutler wrote. Years of bad blood between Major League Baseball and Milwaukee County - plus lots of maneuvering and other politics - finally ended only hours before the first game in 1970.
Cutler led the legal team that successfully fought an environmental lawsuit brought by Illinois, taking it to the U.S. Supreme Court. That, he said, ended "gloriously."
"After nine years of litigation, we won a complete victory in the U.S. Supreme Court," Cutler said. "We saved the Milwaukee area taxpayers $1 billion in extra costs."
He earlier served with the old Metropolitan Study Committee, which successfully recommended the creation of the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission. Cutler served on the commission for 33 years.
Cutler went on to other roles, including as a member of the Greater Milwaukee Committee. He learned to take his own chances as an investor and developer, later involved with the Milwaukee Innovation Center.
"One thing kept leading to another," Cutler said. "This is the story of my life."
Some of it, Cutler said, was being in the right place at the right time. Sometimes there was an element of luck.
"Hard work is a big thing, but you have to be imaginative," he said. "You take risks, but you have to be smart enough to know when to take risks."
One thing that happened quite by chance was his life in Milwaukee. A native of Westport, Conn., he met the former Elizabeth Fitzgerald while she was working for American prosecutors involved at the Nuremberg trials. They married in 1947. A couple of years later, her father, Edmund Fitzgerald, later chairman of Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance, persuaded Cutler to practice law in Milwaukee.
Nothing, though, beat the spy business for sheer excitement.
In July 1944, Cutler was abruptly assigned to the Office of Strategic Services, the forerunner for the Central Intelligence Agency.
When the British were concerned about possible spies in American intelligence forces, Cutler was ordered to vet all 750 American spies in Europe and the Middle East.
With the official end of the war, it was on to Berlin and serving as a spy handler.
"We discovered that the Russians were forcing German intelligence officers to spy on the Americans and the British," he said. "They started doing this before the war was over. Our job was to find out which German officers were working for the Russians and to persuade them to become double-agents."
"I really learned a lot about risk-taking - healthy risk-taking - from all that," Cutler said. [Rabideau/JSOnline/4April2010]
Jeanne L. Pearson, NSA Employee. Jeanne L. Pearson, 84, a retired linguistic analyst with the National Security Agency, died of heart disease March 26 at the Riderwood Village retirement community in Silver Spring.
Mrs. Pearson worked for the NSA from 1958 to 1961 and again from 1977 to 1994.
Jeanne Lutz was born in Philadelphia and grew up in nearby Lansdowne, Pa. She graduated from Bryn Mawr College with a political science degree in 1948 and received a master's degree in history from the University of Arizona in 1955.
She was a member of the National Presbyterian Church in Washington and a past member of Kenwood Golf and Country Club in Bethesda.
Her marriage to John E. Pearson ended in divorce. Survivors include two children, Lavinia Bowen of Elkridge and Jeffrey Pearson of Ijamsville; two sisters; and three granddaughters. [Bernstein/WashingtonPost/3April2010]
John Shaffer, 92, Garden Designer and Ex-CIA Employee. John G. Shaffer, 92, a former CIA station chief in Karachi, Pakistan, who retired in 1973 to pursue a longtime interest in garden design, died April 3 at Buckingham's Choice, a retirement community in Adamstown, Md. He had congestive heart failure.
As a young CIA employee working in Washington, Mr. Shaffer took pleasure in designing and planting three acres surrounding his home in Fairfax County. He left that garden to serve in Bonn, then the capital of West Germany, and in Cairo before going to Karachi in the early 1960s.
He and his family returned to Washington in 1965 and settled in Cleveland Park. They kept a weekend home in Rappahannock, where Mr. Shaffer enjoyed planting 30 mostly wooded acres.
In retirement, he studied landscape architecture at the University of Maryland and took summer courses at Oxford University in England and Harvard University's school of design.
He designed home gardens in the Chevy Chase-Bethesda-Rockville area for the landscape company Gustin Gardens before going into business as a freelancer. About 1980, he and his wife moved to Potomac, where he created a one-acre English-style garden that won an award from Garden Design magazine and was featured in an episode on House and Garden TV.
The garden featured rarities such as a dozen tree peonies, varying in shade from lavender to a red so deep it was almost black. Mr. Shaffer also welcomed less-exotic volunteer plants whose seeds drifted from neighbors' yards, including the winter-blooming hellebore and the wood peony, which is "almost a weed," he told The Washington Post in 1996, "but I do like it."
Mr. Shaffer was involved with a number of Washington area horticultural organizations. He served as a member of the garden committee at Tudor Place in Georgetown and was a former director of the Friends of the National Arboretum. He founded the auction of rare plants at the National Arboretum and was the founding editor of the Azalean, a publication of the Azalea Society of America.
In 2000, the Garden Club of America recognized Mr. Shaffer for his contributions.
John Griffith Shaffer was born in Altoona, Pa., and grew up riding horses and hunting foxes. After entering Pennsylvania State University at age 16, he dropped out after a semester and went to New York to teach horseback riding at a school founded by White Russian cavalry officers.
He graduated in the late 1930s from Antioch College in Ohio. Under the school's work-study program, he had stints as a reporter for the Cleveland Plain Dealer and as a teacher at Rahway State Prison in New Jersey before joining the Army in 1941.
During World War II, he served in the China-India-Burma theater. While in New Delhi, he met Frances Weld, a State Department employee who became his wife. His military decorations included the Bronze Star Medal.
After the war, Mr. Shaffer joined the clandestine agency that became the CIA.
His daughter, Sally Shaffer, died in infancy in 1948.
Survivors include his wife of 64 years, of Adamstown; two children, Susan W. Shaffer of the District and John G. Shaffer III of Silver Spring; a sister; a brother; and four grandchildren. [Brown/WashingtonPost/6April2010]
Donald J. Twillman, NSA Finance Official. Donald J. Twillman, 81, who retired in 1983 from the National Security Agency as director of finance and accounting, died March 27 at the Brooke Grove nursing and rehabilitation center in Sandy Spring. He had complications from appendix surgery.
Mr. Twillman, a resident of Leisure World retirement community in Silver Spring, joined the NSA in the early 1950s. He was a charter member of the NSA Senior Cryptologic Executive Service and a past treasurer and general manager of the NSA's credit union.
After his NSA retirement, he was an independent management consultant to electronic and accounting businesses. He also worked for the Private Sector Council, a nonprofit organization that works to improve government efficiency, and he received several awards for his service.
Donald Joseph Twillman was a New York native and worked as a copy boy at the New York Times while in high school. He served in a Navy intelligence unit from 1946 to 1948 and again during the Korean War. He was a graduate of Ben Franklin University in the District and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.
According to his family, he traveled hundreds of thousands of miles on railways worldwide. He belonged to railroad and model railroad organizations.
His wife of 54 years, Elaine Johnson Twillman, died in 2004.
Survivors include four sons, Kevin Twillman of Washington, Brian Twillman of Olney, Keith Twillman of Charleston, S.C., and Andrew Twillman of New Market; and eight grandchildren. [Bernstein/WashingtonPost/1April2010]
EVENTS IN COMING TWO MONTHS....
MANY Spy Museum Events in April and May with full details are listed on the AFIO Website at www.afio.com. The titles for some of these are as follows:
7 April 2010, 6 p.m. - Las Vegas, NV - AFIO Las Vegas Chapter Meeting
features Matthew Zucker, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.
Topic: “Mexican Drug Cartels.” Employed with the Las
Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) for 12 years, Officer Matthew
Zucker is currently serving as a TAC Officer assigned to the Detention
Services Training Division. While assigned to the LVMPD Detention
Services Division Intelligence Section, Officer Zucker worked issues
involving Hispanic Gangs, Black Gangs, White Gangs, Prison Gangs, and
Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs. He compiled a certified training class
entitled “Introduction to Surenos” which has been taught to
approximately 10,000 police and corrections officers nationwide. He
been a featured speaker at three consecutive LMPD Gang Conferences,
Virginia Gang Conference, American Jails Conference, Southern Nevada
Gang Symposium, the National Latino Peace Officers Conference, Bureau
Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATF) Hispanic Agent
Association Conference, Federal Law Enforcement Analysis Training, and
the LVMPD Sheriff’s Recruitment Council.
Location: Nellis Air Force Base Officers' Club. Guest names must be submitted to me by 4:00 p.m., Monday, March 29th. Join us at 5 p.m. in the "Check Six" bar area for liaison and beverages.
If you plan to attend, RSVP with names by 4 pm, Monday, March 29th. Entrance to the Base for your guest(s) cannot be guaranteed if I don't have their names
(unless they already have military ID to enter the base). (The deadline to submit names of guests is by 4:00 p.m March 29, 2010)
All guests must use the MAIN GATE located at the intersection on Craig Road and Las Vegas Blvd. 5871 Fitzgerald Blvd.
Bring your spouse and/or guest(s) to dinner as well as our meeting, but remember to submit your guest(s) names to me be the stated deadline above.
You may email at BentleyM@nv.doe.gov or call me anytime at 702-295-1024 if you have any questions. We look forward to seeing you!
Tuesday, 13 April 2010, 5 p.m. - Hampton
Roads, VA - The AFIO Norm Forde Hampton Roads Chapter - to hear Carl
Finstrom on Stella Polaris. AFIO member Carl
present, "Stella Polaris: The Exfiltration of Finnish COMINT
The evacuation of the Finnish Intelligence Service from Finland to
Sweden in Sep 1944.
Finstrom is an AFIO Member and Past President, Christopher Wren Association. Stella Polaris was the code name for a secret plan developed by the Finnish Intelligence Service for their evacuation to Sweden in the final phase of World War Two. The plan was coordinated with the Swedish counterpart intelligence organizations in June 1944 after the Soviets resumed a massive offensive. By the end of June there was a real danger of a Soviet breakthrough and Soviet occupation of Finland. The Finns sought to relocate their intelligence assets to neutral Sweden so that they could continue the fight working with a significant Finnish stay-behind force. Finns stored weapons and ammunition at hundreds of locations to support a stay-behind force of at least 50,000 resistance personnel. The Stella Polaris story is of great interest to cryptologic historians. The story of the evacuation of the Finnish Military Intelligence Branch from Finland to Sweden after the signing of the ceasefire with the USSR in Sept 1944 is perhaps the most extraordinary event in the history of communications intelligence
Free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served. RSVP: Melissa Saunders at firstname.lastname@example.org
Location: Main meeting room at Tabb Library, York County. Directions: From Norfolk take I-64 West. Merge onto US-17 North via Exit 258B toward Yorktown. Follow US-17 North approximately 2.2 miles to Victory Blvd/VA-171 East. Turn right onto Victory Blvd/VA-171 East. Turn right at the next traffic light onto Hampton Hwy/VA-134 South. Turn right at the next traffic light onto Long Green Blvd. Tabb Library is on the immediate right. It is across the street from the Victory YMCA.
From Williamsburg take I-64 East. Merge onto Victory Blvd/VA-171 East via Exit 256B. Follow Victory Blvd/VA-171 East approximately 2 miles. Turn right onto Hampton Hwy/VA-134 South. Turn right at the next traffic light onto Long Green Blvd. Tabb Library is on the immediate right. It is across the street from the Victory YMCA.
13 April 2010, 1130 hrs - Tampa, FL - The AFIO Suncoast Chapter will
hold its Spring meeting and luncheon on "Current Challenges to
Historical Strengths in the Intelligence Community" featuring Walter
Andrusyszyn. Check-in registration will commence at 1130
hours, opening ceremonies and lunch& Business Meeting at noon,
followed by our speaker, Walter Andrusyszyn who will be discussing the
consequences of global/U.S. debt; Middle East; Russia and Eastern
Europe; NATO/EU; China and the proliferation of nuclear weapons with a
favor of the White House and State Department. A full Luncheon with
normal salad, rolls, dressing of choice, coffee and tea, and desert,
will be served for the usual $15, all inclusive. We will have the wine
and soda bar open at 1100 for those that wish to come early for our
social time. We recommend you not miss this luncheon and presentation.
Reply ASAP, with your name and any guests accompanying you, to: Bill Brown at email@example.com
Your check payable to 'Suncoast Chapter, AFIO' (or cash) should be presented at time of check-in for the luncheon. Should you not have 'bumper stickers' or ID card for access to MacDill AFB, please so state in your response. Be sure to include your license number, name on drivers license and state of issue for yourself and for any guests you are bringing on base. And don't forget, all of you needing special roster gate access should proceed to the Bayshore Gate entrance to MacDill AFB (need directions, let us know). The main gate will send you to the visitor‘s center and they will not be able to help you get past security, unless you are just asking for directions to the Bayshore Gate.
We look forward to your response -- hopefully also seeing you at the O'Club at the April 13th luncheon.
Walter Andrusyszyn has been an Adjunct Professor of International Business at the College of Business Administration of the University of South Florida, where he began teaching in spring 2007. From January to May 2009 he was temporarily assigned as Deputy Permanent Representative to the U.S. Mission to NATO. He joined the Plastipak Packaging Company in January 2004 following a career in the U.S. Government. He retired from public service at the end of 2003, after serving at the White House as the Director for Northern and Eastern European Affairs in the National Security Council (he became Director in November 2001). Having entered the Foreign Service in 1980, he served in Stockholm (1980-82) and in East Berlin (1982-84) before returning to Washington to be the Desk Officer for Grenada and the Windward and Leeward Islands of the Caribbean (1985-1987). In 1987-1988 he was Special Assistant to Assistant Secretary Rozanne Ridgway in the Bureau of European and Canadian Affairs. He then served in Bonn as the Bonn Group Representative, responsible for Berlin and Four Power rights during Germany's reunification. In 1990, he headed the Political-Military unit at the American Embassy in Bonn.
Andrusyszyn became the Desk Officer for Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia in 1992. In 1994, he returned to Bonn to head the unit reporting on domestic political events in Germany. In October 1995, he was assigned to the American Embassy in Sarajevo where he served during the Dayton Peace Talks and for the first months of IFOR deployment. For his efforts to gain the release of an imprisoned American journalist held by Bosnian Serb authorities, Mr. Andrusyszyn received the Secretary's Award for Heroism. In April 1996, he was assigned to Stockholm as Political Counselor. In August 1997 he was appointed Charge d’Affaires at the American Embassy in Tallinn, Estonia and in July 1999, be became director of the Office of European Security and Political Affairs, responsible for NATO and the OSCE. In September 2001 he was named the Director of the Task Force on Terrorism in response to the September 11 attacks.
Born in Blackburn, England in 1951, Mr. Andrusyszyn emigrated to the U.S. in 1957 and was raised in New York City. A graduate of New York University (1973), he attended the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy (1973-1975). He continued his studies in Germany and also worked as a local employee for the Sri Lanka Embassy in Bonn (1977-78).
April 2010, 11:30 a.m. - Scottsdale, AZ - AFIO Arizona Luncheon on
"Current Perspective on Pakistan-Afghanistan-India Issues." Where: McCORMICK RANCH GOLF COURSE,7505 McCormick Parkway, Scottsdale
AZ 85258 ~ Phone 480.948.0260
Speaker: Prof Phil Jones, Director, Global Security/Intelligence Studies, Embrey-Riddle Aeronautical, Prescott, Arizona Campus, on “Current Perspective on Pakistan-Afghanistan, Pakistan-India Issues.” Phil Jones is a former national intelligence analyst and an international security expert with extensive field experience in political and security risk studies. He has also served as security manager for an international corporation and management services for corporate clients. He has done extensive field work for World Bank clients in international development projects and is an expert on South Asia. Professor Jones will focus on timely Pakistan-Afghanistan, Pakistan-India issues.
RESERVATIONS: WE WILL NEED FOR EVERY MEETING an RSVP no later than 72 hours ahead of time; in the past, not reserving or cancelling without prior notice (72 hours prior to the meeting) created much grief for those of us organizing the meeting and dealing with the personnel! WE ARE charged for the no-shows and please remember, we are a small organization with a humble coffer! We would therefore APPRECIATE that you all respond to this email to confirm your presence (or not). Our meeting fees will be as follows: $20.00 for members, $22 for non-member guests.
Email Simone firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or call and leave a message on 602.570.6016
15 April 2010, 12:30 p.m. -
Los Angeles, CA - The AFIO L.A. luncheon hosts Marthe Cohn - "Behind
Enemy Lines: A French Spy Inside Nazi Germany."
Marthe Cohn was a member of the French First Army intelligence service during World War II and made many covert trips inside Nazi Germany. During her presentation, she will recount her missions as a French Jewish spy and how she disguised herself as a young nurse to find information about German troop movements and alert Allied commanders. Her book, Behind Enemy Lines, an outstanding memoir, is the story of an ordinary human being who, under extraordinary circumstances, became the hero her country needed her to be. Nine years ago she was awarded the Medaille Militaire, a relatively rare medal awarded for outstanding military service and given, in the past, to the likes of Winston Churchill.
She has appeared at the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C. and on CSPAN2.
Lunch will be served at 12:30 PM at the LMU campus for a cost of $20. Please RSVP via email AFIO_LA@Yahoo.com by no later than April 9, 2010 if you would like to attend the meeting. If directions are needed please forward an email request.
Friday, 16 April 2010 - Austin, TX - CIA Invites AFIO Members to the CIA - LBJ Library Conference on STRATEGIC WARNING and The ROLE OF INTELLIGENCE - Lessons Learned from the 1968 Soviet Invasion of Czechoslovakia. Full details at top right column of this issue of the Weekly Notes.
20 April 2010 - Arlington, VA - The Defense Intelligence Forum meets at the Alpine Restaurant, 4770 Lee Highway, Arlington, VA 22207. The speaker will be Colonel Mark S. Wilkins, US Army, who will speak on Latin American security issues.
Col Mark Wilkins, a Foreign Area Officer, is Chief
of the America Division, J5 JCS. He has been Defense and Army
Attaché in Columbia, and Ecuador. He has served as Chief of the
Office of the Defense Representative in Costa Rica
and commanded US Military Groups in Nicaragua and Guatemala. He has been
Operations Officer for the Advanced Foreign Counterintelligence
Training Center, senior military analyst in DIA's Latin American
Division, and Director of Intelligence for Special Operations Command
South. In Honduras, he supported U.S. military operations in Central
America. He is a graduate of the Venezuelan Battalion Command and
Staff School and has a Masters Degree in Latin American studies from
the University of Florida.
This forum will follow a modified Chatham House rule. You may use the information, but with the exception of speaker's name and subject, you may make no attribution.
Pay at the door with a check for $29 per person payable to DIAA, Inc. Check-in starts at 1130, lunch at 1200. Make reservations by 14 April by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Give names, telephone numbers, email addresses, and choices of chicken al limone, veal marsala, salmon, or pasta primavera. Pay with a check. THE FORUM DOESN'T TAKE CASH!
23 - 25 April 2010 - S. Portland, ME - The New England Chapter of the Naval Cryptologic Veterans Association (NCVA-NE) holds a spring Mini-Reunion at the Marriott at Sable Oaks. For additional event information, call (518) 664-8032 or visit website.
April 2010 - Washington, DC - Open Source Intelligence (OSINT)
Roundtable Hosted by LexisNexis. LexisNexis will host its first Open
Source Intelligence (OSINT) Roundtable at the National Press Club
The program will include introductory remarks by Doug Naquin, Director of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence's Open Source Center, followed by a "perspectives panel" discussion with leading OSINT and analytical experts from academia and the private sector. In addition to Director Naquin, the panel will include former Assistant Director of Central Intelligence for Analysis and Production, Dr. Mark Lowenthal, and Ron Marks who is a Senior Vice President with Oxford Analytica. The "perspectives" discussion will be based on the future of OSINT as a recognized discipline in strategic and tactical national security decision-making.
The LexisNexis OSINT Roundtable was created to make a public space for discussion about the government's needs for Open Source Intelligence and to facilitate relationships between government officials and private sector leaders; in order to foster an increasingly responsive open source intelligence infrastructure that meets the needs of national security decision makers.
Further information will be posted at www.lexisnexis.com/osint
Tuesday, 27 April 2010, 6 - 8 p.m. - Coral Gables,
FL - The AFIO Miami Chapter hosts dinner with CIA Clandestine Services
Officer. A special dinner meeting with a
member of the Clandestine Service, CIA. We will be discussing the
mission and how we can help. This will be an opportunity to invite
trusted members of the business community. PLEASE JOIN US FOR A LIGHT DINNER AND CHAT WITH AN OFFICER OF CIA. • What are the challenges? What is the strategy?• What will be our resources? • How can we help? Please recruit and bring with you as your guest an experienced and trusted member of the business community to join us for this discussion. Cost: $25 for AFIO Members/ $35 for Guests
RSVP: by note below with checks received no later than April 20, 2010 email@example.com
28 April 2010, 6:00 p.m. - Washington, DC - The Goethe Institute will host a presentation and discussion of the film "The Lives of Others" about the surveillance society of East Germany during the Cold War.
If interested in attending this free cinema presentation and discussion, send your RSVP to: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone to: 202/289-1200 extension 170. Please note that the film discussion is scheduled to begin AFTER the film. The entire film will be shown, followed by discussion. To accept: email@example.com
April 2010, 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. - Washington, DC - "The Stasi and its
Foreign Intelligence Service" - Free Workshop by CWIHP and
The German Historical Institute and The Cold War International History Project of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars hosts one day workshop on the STASI. This CWIHP-GHI workshop will be held at the Woodrow Wilson Center, One Wilson Plaza/1300 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W. in Washington. There will be four panels with leading American, German, British and Canadian historians working on the Stasi and HVA: Panel 1: The Stasi and East German Society; Panel 2: The Stasi and the East German State and the SED (communist party); Panel 3: The HVA and KGB; and Panel 4: The HVA and the West, which will deal mainly with East German espionage in West Germany.
PROGRAM: Friday, April 30 (Woodrow Wilson Center) The Stasi and East German Society, with Uwe Spiekermann, GHI; Jens Gieseke, Zentrum für Zeithistorische Forschung, Potsdam, and Gary Bruce, Waterloo University, Canada. David Bathrick gives commentary.
The Stasi, the SED, and the GDR State - a panel with Christian Ostermann, Woodrow Wilson Ctr, Walter Süß, Birthler Agency, Berlin, and Jefferson Adams, Sarah Lawrence College.
Keynote Address: “The Stasi Legacy in Germany’s History” by Professor Konrad Jarausch, University of North Carolina
The HVA and KGB panel with Mircea Munteanu, Woodrow Wilson Ctr, Benjamin Fischer, formerly CIA History Staff, Washington, DC and Paul Maddrell, Aberystwyth University. Comment by Oleg Kalugin, KGB (ret)
The HVA and the West panel with R. Gerald Livingston, GHI, Georg Herbstritt, Birthler Agency, Berlin and Kristie Macrakis, Georgia Institute of Technology
Dirk Doerrenberg, formerly Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz.
A luncheon keynote address on the Legacy of the Stasi in German History will be delivered by Professor Konrad Jarausch of the University of North Carolina's History Department.
AFIO members are invited to participate in the discussion following panelists' presentation. but asked to register with the Wilson Center in advance, identifying themselves as AFIO members. No fee for participation is required. REGISTER by e-mail at the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact persons at the Wilson Center: Mircea. Munteanu, CWIHP Deputy Director (Mircea.Munteanu@wilsoncenter.org) or Tel: 202/69-4267, or Timothy McDonnell (Timothy.McDonnell@wilsoncenter.org). A full program outline can be provided by the Wilson Center contact persons.
Saturday, 1 May 2010, 1000 - 1430 - Salem, MA -
The AFIO New England Chapter hear Ed Barr on "The State of HUMINT in
CENTROM Area of Operations." Edward J. Barr, Esq. is a
colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve and has served as an advisor
the United Nations and as a liaison to foreign governments. As a
intelligence officer, Ed has worked with all major intelligence
agencies, including the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Defense
Intelligence Agency (DIA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI),
and the National Security Agency (NSA). He helped create an
executive-level masters degree program at the Department of Defense's
Joint Military Intelligence College (JMIC) and served as the program's
first Marine Corps faculty member. He has served in countries
Southeast Asia and the Middle East to include Afghanistan, Iraq, and
Djibouti. Ed has just ended an active duty period where he served as
Central Command’s senior counterintelligence and HUMINT officer,
responsible for intelligence operations in 27 countries.
The May 1st chapter meeting will be held at the Salem Waterfront Hotel located in Salem MA. The hotel web site is here: http://www.salemwaterfronthotel.com/. For directions to the hotel look here: http://www.salemwaterfronthotel.com/location.html Information about Salem MA and local hotels can be found here: http://salem.org/
Our schedule is as follows: Registration & gathering, 1000 - 1130, membership meeting 1130 – 1200. Luncheon at 1200 followed by our speaker, with adjournment at 2:30PM.
Note, as this meeting is a one-day event we have not made any hotel arrangements. For additional information contact us at email@example.com
Advance reservations are $25.00, $30.00 at the door - per person. Luncheon reservations must be made by 23 April 2010.
Mail your check and the reservation form to: Mr. Arthur Hulnick, 216 Summit Avenue # E102, Brookline, MA 02446, 617-739-7074 or firstname.lastname@example.org
20 May 2010, 11:30 am - Colorado Springs, CO - AFIO Rocky Mountain Chapter at the Air Force Academy, Falcon Club features Mark Pfoff of the El Paso Sheriff Office, "Computer Forensics and all things Digital." RSVP to Tom Van Wormer at email@example.com
JULY EVENT in IRELAND, REQUIRING PLANNING NOW....
11-13 July 2010 - Dungarvan, Ireland - 2010
Analytic Best Practices Conference by Mercyhurst College Institute of
Intelligence Education. Event to be at
Dungarvan Town Hall Theatre. Mercyhurst College's Institute for
Intelligence Education hosts this special event which focuses on
intelligence issues from a global perspective.
The conference will converse and discuss analytic best practices using panels of leading practitioners in the fields of medicine, law, finance, technology, journalism and the sub-disciplines of national security, law enforcement, and business.
This year the event will explore the nature of analysis and its application in various disciplines, building bridges between analytic practitioners and scholars within those disciplines, and exploring best practices in teaching analytic methodologies.
Intended takeaways for attendees include a deeper and broader appreciation of the value of different analytic methods borrowed as “best practices” from other disciplines, as well as instruction.
Speakers will include The Hon. Tom Ridge, Dennis Dirkmaat, Liam Fahey, Catherine Lotrionte, William McGill, Justine Marut Schober, Mark Williams, Anthony Campbell, Justyna Krajewski, Don McDowell, Chris Pallaris, Randy Pherson, Jim Poole, Barry Zulauf.
For additional information or questions, please contact:
Mr. Robert Heibel, Executive Director, Institute of Intelligence Education at Mercyhurst College at 1 (814) 824-2117 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Mrs. Michelle Henderson, Mercyhurst College, 1 (814) 824-2131 at email@example.com
Mrs. Heather Tate, Instructional Systems Designer, Mercyhurst College, 1 (814) 824-3121 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
REGISTRATION: Opens March 1, 2010. FEE: $195 attendee; $75 spouse/guest.
FULL DETAILS and REGISTRATION:
PLAN NOW FOR THIS UPCOMING SPYCRUISE®....
13 - 20 November 2010 - Ft. Lauderdale, FL - SPYCRUISE to Grand Turks, Turks & Caicos; San Juan, PR; St. Thomas, USVI; and Half Moon Cay, Bahamas - with National Security Speakers Discussing "Current & Future Threats: Policies, Problems and Prescriptions."
This National Security Educational
Lecture/Seminar co-sponsored by the Centre for Counterintelligence and
Security Studies (CICENTRE) and Henley-Putnam University, being held
aboard Holland America's M.S. Eurodam features some top
intelligence experts, as follows:
Porter Goss, Former Director, CIA
Gen. Michael Hayden, Former Director of CIA and NSA
Peter Brookes, Heritage Foundation Fellow, Former CIA Operations Officer
Michael Braun, DEA Operations Chief, Retired, Managing Partner, Spectre Group Intl
Dr. Michael Corcoran, President, Henley-Putnam University
Major General Paul E. Vallely, U.S. Army Retired
Clare Lopez, Retired CIA Operations Officer, Ci Centre Professor; VP, Intelligence Summit
SPACE IS LIMITED - Reserve your stateroom now for this EIGHT DAY cruise/conference.
RESERVATIONS: www.DFunTravel.com or call 1-888-670-0008.
Fees are remarkably reasonable for an eight day cruise: $1,199 inside cabin; $1269 Ocean View Cabin; $1449 Verandahs; $1979 Suites. Price includes program, taxes, port charges and gratuities.
Colorful brochure here.
For Additional Events two+ months or greater....view our online Calendar of Events
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