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Section I - INTELLIGENCE HIGHLIGHTS
Senate Confirms Alexander to Head DOD Cyber Command. The Senate confirmed Army Gen. Keith Alexander to be the head of the new U.S. Cyber Command and to receive his fourth star.
It approved Alexander's nomination by unanimous consent Friday.
President Barack Obama nominated Alexander in October and he testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee April 15.
During his testimony, Alexander says his main goal will be to build capacity, capabilities and critical partnerships to secure the Defense Department's operational networks. He says Cyber Command will not militarize cyberspace, but rather safeguard and defend the military networks.
Alexander also is the head of the National Security Agency. The U.S. Cyber Command will be housed at Ft. Meade in Maryland along with NSA and the Defense Information Systems Agency is moving there later this year as well. [FederalNewsRadio/10May2010]
Australian Budget Has Cash for Intelligence Review. The Australian government has quietly announced an independent review of the secretive intelligence community.
It will spend $3 million to look at espionage agencies including ASIO, the international-focused Australian Secret Intelligence Service and four other groups that make up the community.
"The review will enable an in-depth examination of the work of the intelligence community to ensure its effectiveness in supporting the policy and operational needs of the government," the budget paper says.
It is due to be completed by the end of 2011.
The $3 million will be taken from the broader ASIO budget which has been cut by $15 million.
The decision follows the 2004 Flood inquiry which called for regular inquiries of the secretive community.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's department will oversee the review. [Vaness/SMH/12May2010]
CSIS Director Says 200 Canadians Under Watch for Terrorism. Canada's spy agency is investigating more than 200 Canadians for possible terrorist links, CSIS director Richard Fadden said.
"They are usually second- or third-generation Canadians who are in some ways relatively well-integrated into Canada, economically and socially," he said.
Fadden said some Canadians are playing senior roles in global terrorist organizations overseas.
"I'm not suggesting they are the equivalent of Osama bin Laden, but they have acquired positions of influence and leadership," he said.
He spoke to the House of Commons public safety committee, defending how the agency has interrogated Afghan detainees to gather information.
Fadden said interrogating people who are determined to harm Canadians has saved lives.
Gary Filmon, chairman of the Security Intelligence Review Committee, says he will look into how CSIS gathers information from Afghan prisoners.
CSIS - the Canadian Security Intelligence Service - has been working with Canadian troops in Afghanistan since 2002. Its role has recently come under greater scrutiny, as MPs raise concerns over how detainees are transferred to local Afghan authorities.
Fadden told the committee on Tuesday that CSIS agents routinely question Taliban insurgents.
"We try and talk to people in Afghanistan who would have some intelligence, some information about threats to both Canada and to our allies," he said. "By definition those people are either terrorists themselves - they're Taliban insurgents - or they're people who know something about them."
Fadden also said that CSIS agents "frequently" questioned detainees before they were transferred, in the early years of the war.
"In most cases, these interviews lasted less than 15 or 20 minutes. They were then transferred at the call of the Canadian Forces, or not, to the Afghan authorities," he said. [Toronto/11May2010]
Spy Suspect Omar Said to Remain in Custody Four More Days. The Petah Tikva Magistrate's Court has extended by four days the remand of Dr. Omar Said, who was arrested about two weeks ago on suspicion of espionage and contacting a foreign agent.
The court denied a request by Said's lawyers to meet with him. "From what we have learned, we have no doubt that this will end in complete silence," said one of the defense attorneys, Hussein Abu Hussein. [Roffe-Ofir/YnetNews/12May2010]
Colombians Face Spy, Sabotage Trial in Venezuela. Five Colombians were transferred to a military court to face espionage and sabotage charges after Venezuelan officials accused them of spying on and tampering with the nation's power grid.
The proceedings will take place at a military tribunal in the northeastern city of Maracay. There were no additional details such as when it would begin, and it was not immediately clear whether three other Colombians also arrested in March would be tried.
Military prosecutors have not spoken about the case, but President Hugo Chavez announced last month that the Colombians were arrested as suspected spies. He said several carried documents identifying them as members of the Colombian military.
Officials claim they were photographing power plants, and Chavez said he believed they were involved in an effort to sabotage Venezuela's electrical grid to worsen the country's energy crisis.
Investigators say they confiscated a camera containing images of power plants and installations connected to the grid, though no photos have been made public.
Colombian President Alvaro Uribe has expressed concern about the treatment of his country's citizens and urged human rights groups to monitor the case, and the Foreign Ministry has asked Venezuela to explain the arrests.
Colombia has denied involvement in any attempt to spy on or sabotage Venezuela's power grid.
The arrests have escalated long-standing tensions between Chavez's socialist administration and Colombia's U.S.-allied government.
Chavez is angry over a Colombian deal to give the U.S. increased access to its military bases. Colombia, meanwhile, accuses Venezuela of supporting Colombia's Marxist rebels - an allegation that Chavez denies. [AP/13May2010]
Russian Spy Jailed for Sending Secret Army Map to US. A Moscow court has sentenced a Russian national to four years in prison for handing over state secrets to the US.
Gennady Sipachev was found guilty of sending classified Russian military maps to the Pentagon via the internet.
The maps can be used to make the targeting of US cruise missiles against Russian targets more accurate, Russia's security service officials said.
The court said that Sipachev had made a guilty plea bargain with prosecutors in exchange for a lighter sentence.
"Sipachev co-operated actively in the detection and investigation and also pointed to criminal activity by other individuals which helped prevent further damage to the security of Russia," said the court's ruling.
Sipachev was found guilty under Article 275 of Russia's criminal code - "state treason in the form of espionage". The charge normally carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison.
The court said that Sipachev - whose age and occupation have not been disclosed - would be serving his sentence in a high-security prison.
Russia's security services (FSB) said Sipachev had first raised their suspicions in 2008.
The FSB said it later found that he had been sending top secret Russian military maps to a Pentagon's in-house intelligence service, which acted under the cover of a different organisation.
There has been no comment from the US on the issue. [BBC/13May2010]
Spanish Prosecutors Want 13 CIA Agents Arrested. Spanish prosecutors are asking a judge to issue arrest warrants for 13 CIA agents who they believe were involved in the spy agency's 2004 "extraordinary rendition" of a German citizen, according to Spain's El Pais newspaper.
Prosecutors claim jurisdiction in the case because CIA personnel who handled the rendition of Khaled El-Masri had a stopover in Majorca en route to Macedonia. El-Masri has said he was taken to Afghanistan, where he was tortured for several months and then released when the CIA realized it had been a case of mistaken identity.
The Madrid-based El Pais listed the names of the alleged CIA employees, saying prosecutors suspected them of involvement in the abduction of El-Masri from Macedonia, where he was vacationing, to a secret CIA prison known as the "Salt Pit."
"El-Masri was placed on a CIA-chartered jet that arrived in Macedonia from Palma de Majorca in January 2004, en route ultimately to Afghanistan," wrote Harpers online blogger and international law specialist Scott Horton, who reported earlier on the Spanish developments Wednesday. "It appears that Majorca was used regularly as a refueling and temporary sheltering point for the CIA, with the knowledge of the prior conservative government."
But much remains uncertain about the case, including the accuracy of the names on the prosecutors' list, which they said were provided by the Guardia Civil, or national police.
El Pais indicated that police obtained guest records from a luxury hotel in Majorca that showed CIA personnel stayed there under false names on the night before they flew to Skopje to pick up Masri.
Prosecutors believe that the London-based human rights organization "Reprieve" has the real names of the CIA operatives, according to El Pais, and have asked the National Court to subpoena the authors of the list "for the purposes of ratifying the report about the identification of the true identity of the crew."
The CIA refuses to confirm or deny the accuracy of the names, as it did in a similar case in Milan. Last year nearly two dozen CIA operatives were convicted in absentia in Milan on charges of kidnapping a suspected al Qaeda operative known as Abu Omar, in 2003.
The Spanish prosecutors are also not certain whether Majorca was used in the Masri extradition, El Pais reported.
"The prosecutor's office also indicates in its filing that it has not been established that the US authorities 'used the bases [in Spain] to transport detainees in the course of Operation Enduring Freedom,' the military unit organized by Washington to fight against terrorism in Afghanistan," the paper said.
It's not the first time the names on the Spanish list have surfaced. A few years ago German prosecutors requested that the federal government in Berlin ask Washington to extradite CIA personnel allegedly involved in the Masri case.
"In a compromise," The Washington Post's Craig Whitlock reported in September 2007, "German officials sent an informal inquiry to Washington last month. When U.S. officials responded that they would not cooperate, German authorities agreed to drop the matter."
Whitlock added, "Some German security officials had opposed the extradition request, arguing that it could undermine U.S.-German cooperation against terrorism."
In Italy, likewise, the Italian Ministry of Justice refused to honor the Milan prosecutor's request to ask Washington for the extradition of agents.
The same outcome could await Spanish prosecutors, regardless of whether the National Court honors their request. [Stein/WashingtonPost/13May2010]
Security Agents Kill Three Behind Moscow Metro Blasts. Security services killed three people involved in the suicide attacks on the Moscow metro in March after they refused to surrender, Russia's security chief said.
Two female suicide bombers, who officials say were natives of Russia's North Caucasus region of Dagestan, blew themselves up at two central underground stations, killing 40 people.
Alexander Bortnikov, head of the FSB domestic security service, said secret agents had tracked down three gang members, including one who escorted the suicide bombers to Moscow and another one who led the women to the scene.
Bortnikov said investigators had established the identity of all members of the gang, including the masterminds.
The suicide bombings in Moscow and in Dagestan two days later, which killed more than 50 people and wounded at least 100 others, followed a surge of violence over the past year in the patchwork of North Caucasus republics.
Russia has fought two wars in the region against Chechen separatists since the 1991 fall of the Soviet Union. [Solovyov/Reuters/14May2010]
Marine Reservist Draws Light Sentence in Espionage Case. A Marine reservist who originally faced almost 40 years in the brig on espionage charges because of an intelligence breach at Camp Pendleton was given a much lighter sentence Thursday: a letter of reprimand and forfeiture of $6,000 in pay.
Maj. Mark Lowe, 46, of Carlsbad, will not serve any time in jail despite a 90-day sentence to the brig if he abides by a plea agreement with the convening general, Lowe's military lawyer, Capt. Joseph Grimm, said after sentencing.
Lowe had pleaded guilty in March to charges of dereliction of duty and conduct unbecoming an officer for allowing another reservist, Col. Larry Richards, access to a Defense Department computer network containing sensitive data, among other violations.
"It was a good outcome for Major Lowe and the government because it was going to be a long trial," Grimm said. "He got a fair hearing and we couldn't ask for anything else."
Lowe, who worked in information operations at the base when classified information was leaked in 2004 and 2006 to a Los Angeles County anti-terrorism task force, is the first officer among five Marines charged in the case to be court-martialed. Three high-ranking enlisted Marines have been convicted for the breach.
Col. Richards, who led the unit before returning to his civilian job as a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy, allegedly wanted the information to help the sheriff's anti-terrorism squad.
Richards is awaiting the equivalent of a grand jury hearing this month, which has not been scheduled.
Prosecutors had argued that Lowe permitted the "open and notorious" smuggling of classified information and later sought classified information from an intelligence analyst for the colonel.
At the sentencing hearing Thursday at Camp Pendleton, Lowe accepted full responsibility for his actions and told the judge "I love the Marine Corps and I want to continue to serve."
The judge, Lt. Col. Pete Rubin, was presented evidence that Lowe's long-term struggle with post traumatic stress disorder and emotional apathy following a helicopter crash may have influenced his decision not to report the colonel for the breach.
Based on the remaining charges, Lowe, a former pilot who served several combat tours during his 23 years in the Marine Corps, had faced up to 3.5 years in the brig, dismissal and loss of all retirement and healthcare benefits.
Lowe's civilian attorney, Joseph Oteri, had described Lowe as a wounded Marine who needed help, telling the judge "Marines don't leave Marines behind."
Lowe will be released from active duty in coming weeks, Grimm said. As part of his plea agreement he must assist the government in its prosecution of Richards. [Kovach/SignOnSandiego/14May2010]
Germany Arrests Two Suspected Libyan Spies. German authorities said they had taken into custody two Libyans on charges of espionage.
Federal prosecutors said the two men, identified only as 42-year-old Adel Ab. and 46-year-old Adel Al., were suspected of obtaining information on exiled Libyan opposition groups since 2007 in Germany and in other European nations.
The purpose of their activities was apparently "to weaken exiled opposition movements to the point of obliteration," prosecutors said in a statement.
The two were arrested in Berlin. [Expatica/14May2010]
Iran's Murky Link to al Qaeda Confounds CIA. It's one of the enduring mysteries of the war on terrorism: What will become of the al Qaeda leaders and operatives who fled into Iran after 9/11 and have been detained there for years?
Their fate has long been a blind spot for U.S. intelligence. Recently, however, some al Qaeda figures have quietly made their way out of Iran, raising the prospect that the country is loosening its grip on the terror group so it can replenish its ranks, former and current U.S. intelligence officials say.
This movement could indicate that Iran is re-examining its murky relationship with al Qaeda at a time when the United States is stepping up drone attacks in Pakistan and weakening the group's leadership. Any influx of manpower could hand al Qaeda a boost in morale and expertise and threaten to disrupt stability in the region.
Details about al Qaeda's movements and U.S. efforts to monitor them were outlined in more than a dozen interviews with current and former intelligence and counterterrorism officials, most of whom spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter.
Iran's Shiite regime is generally hostile to the Sunni terrorist group, but they have an occasional relationship of convenience based on their shared enemy, the United States. It's a relationship that intelligence officials don't fully understand.
U.S. intelligence officials have tried wiretapping and satellite imagery to watch the men. The CIA even established a highly classified program - code-named RIGOR - to study whether it could track and kill terrorists such as al Qaeda in Iran. Results have been mixed. Monitoring and understanding al Qaeda in Iran remains one of the most difficult jobs in U.S. intelligence.
"This has been a dark, a black zone for us," former CIA officer Bruce Riedel said. "What exactly is the level of al Qaeda activity in Iran has always been a mystery."
That activity has waxed and waned, officials said. Sometimes the men could travel or communicate with other operatives. Other times, they were under tight constraints and the United States considered them to be out of commission. There was no obvious pattern to the movement.
The departures began in late 2008 as the United States stepped up international efforts to sanction Iran for its nuclear program. Saad bin Laden, one of Osama bin Laden's sons, was allowed to leave the country around that time with about four other al Qaeda figures.
Since then, U.S. intelligence officials say, others have followed.
Most recently, the concern focused on Saif al-Adel, an Egyptian-born confidant of Osama bin Laden who is on the FBI's most wanted list in connection with the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. In the past year or so, intelligence officials circulated a bulletin saying al-Adel, one of al Qaeda's founding fathers, was traveling to Damascus, Syria. The United States is offering a $5 million reward for his capture. [Goldman&Apuzzo/AP/14May2010]
Section II - CONTEXT & PRECEDENCE
Irony Isn't Lost on Retired CIA General Counsel John Rizzo. Who other than the acerbic John A. Rizzo, who served a long tenure as the CIA's acting general counsel, would use his first talk after retiring from government to lay out a series of ironies that illustrate the frustration felt by older agency professionals, given the treatment of their activities during the past decade?
Take the waterboarding of senior al-Qaeda operatives in 2002 and 2003, as Rizzo discussed it last week in his maiden public appearance before the American Bar Association's committee on law and national security.
He pointed out that while Zayn al-Abidin Muhammed Hussein, better known as Abu Zubaida, and Khalid Sheik Mohammed were undergoing waterboarding in CIA detention, the United States was conducting lethal operations against terrorists. "There was never, ever, as far as I could discern, any debate, discussion, questioning on moral or legal grounds about the efficacy of the United States targeting and killing terrorists," he said.
"A lot of attention, a lot of criticism was given about the number of waterboarding sessions they [Abu Zubaida and Mohammed] had," Rizzo said, "but I don't believe there would have been nearly as much similar discussion about the number of bullets that would have been pumped into them if they had been killed rather than captured."
Rizzo, the CIA's acting general counsel from 2003 to 2009, was denied Senate confirmation because of his role in getting Bush administration officials to provide legal justification for harsh interrogation policies. "Mercifully, CIA is now out of that [interrogation and detention] business - but they didn't get out soon enough to help me, unfortunately," he told the ABA audience.
He also saw an irony in the public's general acceptance of stepped-up Predator raids against terrorist targets in Pakistan, compared with the uproar last year over the disclosure that the CIA had studied the use of "hit squads" to go after terrorist leaders.
Given questions about casualties among women, children and civilians in the Predator attacks, Rizzo said, "it would seem to me that a cleaner and more effective and, in a perverse way perhaps a more humane way, was to train, for lack of a better term, hit squads... to find a high-value detainee and put a bullet in his head."
He then referred to the "shock and controversy" that accompanied the disclosure that such a unit was at least conceived of by the CIA soon after Sept. 11, 2001. "I don't understand the logic," Rizzo said. "If one is going to be conducting these lethal operations, and certainly by air or by Predator, it would seem to me that once you go down this road the more efficacious way to conduct these lethal operations is, in fact, via these unilateral operations on the ground."
In one of his colorful asides, Rizzo referred to "press accounts" in talking about the CIA's officially classified Predator operation, noting, to the amusement of his lawyer audience, that "I'm trying to say that now, 'according to press accounts' - in that way I shield myself [from violating classification rules]. Very clever, I thought."
Contrary to general belief, he said, the agency did not see renditions as a means of turning terrorists over to third countries so that, "with a wink and a nod," they could be tortured, although there was concern that this might be the case. "There is no particular reason for you to believe me," Rizzo said, "but we have never done that... [and] it has never been our policy." The biggest risk in renditions has not been torture, he said, but that "a truly bad guy" is handed over "and the third country lets him go - and we have seen that."
Rizzo warned that there could be repercussions from investigations of the CIA's interrogation activities, saying, "We have to consider what tools will be considered legally and morally permissible in the future."
If there were another successful terrorist attack, he said, "I can't imagine that the criticisms in the postmortems... were that the existing interrogation policies were too tough."
Foreseeing pressure to strengthen the rules, Rizzo predicted: "Given what had happened the past few years, I think the agency leadership and certainly the agency workforce would be highly reluctant about being asked again to engage in similar or come up with similar aggressive tactics in the future."
He quickly added, however, that the CIA is "fairly resilient" and will do whatever the president directs it to do, "consistent with the law."
"But," Rizzo concluded, "given the experiences and the investigations that have been pursued for the last few years, I don't think the agency as a whole would be eager to start down that particular road again." [Pincus/WashingtonPost/10May2010]
New Intelligence Center Dedicated to Woman Who Rose Through Ranks as Civil Service Pioneer. She was a soldier's widow, receiving a small stipend of $48 a month, and she had to find a job, grandson retired Army Col. Henry "Joe" Hughes said.
So Dorothe Kerans Matlack found a job as a GS-2, one of the lowest civil-service pay grades, and started working for the Army as a clerk, a usual job for many women working for the federal government in the late 1940s.
But Matlack, who started as a data entry clerk, could remember things and recall names, and soon her ability was recognized and she began to work her way up to more and more important jobs, climbing closer to the glass ceiling which limited women, the grandson said.
Tuesday, his grandmother was honored by having the new, 60,000- square-foot, $12.5 million Human Intelligence Joint Center of Excellence building dedicated to her.
Besides Joe, another grandson, also a retired Army colonel, John Hughes, unveiled the plaque affixed outside the main entrance of the building on the post as a way to honor their grandmother.
The building will see Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and civilian students from a number of agencies receive special human intelligence training, which Maj. Gen. John Custer said is particularly critical in today's world.
The need to adapt to ever-changing intelligence requirements in today's global environment is critical, said Custer, the commander of the Intelligence Center of Excellence and Fort Huachuca.
The discipline of human intelligence training had to be revitalized after years of being ignored, he said.
And with the dedication of the new building, the training at the Intelligence Center and the special joint center of excellence human intelligence training is once again in the forefront of operations, the general said.
James Rose, a retired military intelligence colonel and now a senior executive service appointee with an equivalent of a general officer, is the director of what is abbreviated as HT-JCOE.
Only a few years ago, the special center existed as an idea, Rose said.
Now it is a reality, he added. HT-JCOE is commanded by Col. John R. Szypko.
It was many people who ensured the success of the intelligence discipline, Rose said, noting one of those individuals top on the list has to be Matlack.
Through her dedication and professionalism, human intelligence developed from a little understood way of gathering information to one which never again will not be used, he said.
Speaking for the family - her daughter Barbara could not attend the ceremony - Joe Hughes said his grandmother was a "pioneer, warrior and patriot."
As a young child she moved to Lawton, Okla., 1908 where she eventually met and married her husband, who died on active service as a colonel - Jesse Matlack. She was born in 1906 and died in 1991.
"She was a grande dame, a lady," her grandson said.
But as she went up the civilian ranks in the Army intelligence community she earned a reputation as a person who got things done, Hughes said.
And, she was a person no one wanted to mess with, he said, adding her nickname was "the dragon lady."
He drew a laugh from the audience when he said his grandmother was "hard as woodpecker lips."
Butt after the ribbon cutting, at which the two grandsons, Custer, Rose and Szypko participated, Joe and John talked abut Matlack, the grandmother.
"She was a very gentle woman, 6 feet tall" with her grandchildren, said John, the younger grandson of the two colonels.
It was not unusual for when she visited for her to bring gifts and many times it was a piece of family history, Joe added.
One of her gifts was patriotism, he added.
In thanking the audience for dedicating the building in his grandmother's honor, the grandson said her views as a patriot were simple: "Never give up on the country and the country will never fail," he said.
And, when it came to her work many people never knew "she had some of the nation's biggest secrets in her heart," Joe said.
Looking up at her name over the entrance in large letters, he said, "It looks good."
The 60,000-square-foot, $12.5 million Human Training Joint Center of Excellence building on Fort Huachuca is dedicated to a woman who served nearly three decades of civilian service to the Army intelligence community.
The dedication plaque reads: "Dorothe Kerans Matlack entered government service in 1948 and had a distinguished 27-year career in military intelligence which culminated in her assignment as special assistant to the assistant chief of staff intelligence (ACSI), Department of the Army.
"As a pioneer and champion of the Army's human intelligence (HUMINT) efforts, Mrs. Matlack was personally responsible for many years of the Army's HUMINT programs operating through the 1980s.
"Early in her career she played an instrumental role in establishing Department of Defense procedures for debriefing defectors, escapees, and refugees of intelligence interests and organizing and directing the debriefing of 37,000 Hungarian refugees entering the United States in 1956.
"In 1962, she initiated joint agency efforts, which resulted in the refugees debriefings that first located Soviet missiles in Cuba.
"She also helped establish significant overt and sensitive HUMINT programs in the Republic of Vietnam.
"Following her retirement from federal service in 1975, Mrs. Matlack was inducted into the Military Intelligence Hall of Fame in 1987 and was selected as one of the first ten distinguished members of the Military Intelligence Corps.
"She served proudly as an MI Corps ambassador until death in 1991." [Hess/SVHerald/12May2010]
Backchannel Chatter: Secrets of the Leaks Trade. Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin (D-Md.) wants to see how the 1917 Espionage Act can be updated to reflect the cottage industry of official Washington: leaking.
One of the witnesses at a hearing Cardin held Wednesday, former CIA general counsel Jeffrey H. Smith, offered a particularly revealing example of how the insiders' game of planting stories works, and why one man's illegal leak is another's background briefing.
"I've known members of Congress of both parties to complain that the administration will come up and brief the Congress on some particular project or a program and say this is top secret. You can't talk about it. And then it leaks that very afternoon," Smith told Cardin and Sen. Jon Kyle of Arizona, the ranking Republican on the Judiciary subcommittee on terrorism and homeland security.
"And it leaks in a way that the members of Congress disagree with, because the administration has decided to put out their version of things, and Congress feels constrained from talking to the press and saying, well, we disagree with that, we think it's bad policy," Smith said.
"And they're inhibited because of the classification that the administration has put on it."
"It's done by both parties and both administrations. And it's not right. And it's certainly not right, then, to sort of threaten prosecution to somebody, particularly a member of Congress who chooses to say something to the press that is counter to what the administration has put out."
After two hours of testimony like that, Carlin and Kyl agreed that updating the espionage statute, which criminalizes national security leaks, will probably require tinkering with a Rubik's Cube of laws governing secrets, from First Amendment and whistleblower protection statutes to court procedures for handling classified information.
"It clearly will require us to look beyond just the espionage statute itself..." Cardin said.
"But what we were looking at is to try to set up the right formula for the types of activities that compromise our national security. I think, as Mr. Smith said, changing the definition is one that I think we all would agree needs to be done."
Kyl called the session "a good example of a hearing that could actually produce something useful, as opposed to much of what we do..." [Stein/WashingtonPost/13May2010]
U.S. Is Still Using Private Spy Ring, Despite Doubts. Top military officials have continued to rely on a secret network of private spies who have produced hundreds of reports from deep inside Afghanistan and Pakistan, according to American officials and businessmen, despite concerns among some in the military about the legality of the operation.
Earlier this year, government officials admitted that the military had sent a group of former Central Intelligence Agency officers and retired Special Operations troops into the region to collect information - some of which was used to track and kill people suspected of being militants. Many portrayed it as a rogue operation that had been hastily shut down once an investigation began.
But interviews with more than a dozen current and former government officials and businessmen, and an examination of government documents, tell a different a story. Not only are the networks still operating, their detailed reports on subjects like the workings of the Taliban leadership in Pakistan and the movements of enemy fighters in southern Afghanistan are also submitted almost daily to top commanders and have become an important source of intelligence.
The American military is largely prohibited from operating inside Pakistan. And under Pentagon rules, the army is not allowed to hire contractors for spying.
Military officials said that when Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top commander in the region, signed off on the operation in January 2009, there were prohibitions against intelligence gathering, including hiring agents to provide information about enemy positions in Pakistan. The contractors were supposed to provide only broad information about the political and tribal dynamics in the region, and information that could be used for "force protection," they said.
Some Pentagon officials said that over time the operation appeared to morph into traditional spying activities. And they pointed out that the supervisor who set up the contractor network, Michael D. Furlong, was now under investigation.
But a review of the program by The New York Times found that Mr. Furlong's operatives were still providing information using the same intelligence gathering methods as before. The contractors were still being paid under a $22 million contract, the review shows, managed by Lockheed Martin and supervised by the Pentagon office in charge of special operations policy.
Geoff Morrell, the Pentagon press secretary, said that the program "remains under investigation by multiple offices within the Defense Department," so it would be inappropriate to answer specific questions about who approved the operation or why it continues.
"I assure you we are committed to determining if any laws were broken or policies violated," he said. Spokesmen for General Petraeus and Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the top American commander in Afghanistan, declined to comment. Mr. Furlong remains at his job, working as a senior civilian Air Force official.
A senior defense official said that the Pentagon decided just recently not to renew the contract, which expires at the end of May. While the Pentagon declined to discuss the program, it appears that commanders in the field are in no rush to shut it down because some of the information has been highly valuable, particularly in protecting troops against enemy attacks.
With the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the expanded role of contractors on the battlefield - from interrogating prisoners to hunting terrorism suspects - has raised questions about whether the United States has outsourced some of its most secretive and important operations to a private army many fear is largely unaccountable. The C.I.A. has relied extensively on contractors in recent years to carry out missions in war zones.
The exposure of the spying network also reveals tensions between the Pentagon and the C.I.A., which itself is running a covert war across the border in Pakistan. In December, a cable from the C.I.A.'s station chief in Kabul, Afghanistan, to the Pentagon argued that the military's hiring of its own spies could have disastrous consequences, with various networks possibly colliding with one another.
The memo also said that Mr. Furlong had a history of delving into outlandish intelligence schemes, including an episode in 2008, when American officials expelled him from Prague for trying to clandestinely set up computer servers for propaganda operations. Some officials say they believe that the C.I.A. is trying to scuttle the operation to protect its own turf, and that the spy agency has been embarrassed because the contractors are outperforming C.I.A. operatives. The private contractor network was born in part out of frustration with the C.I.A. and the military intelligence apparatus. There was a belief by some officers that the C.I.A. was too risk averse, too reliant on Pakistan's spy service and seldom able to provide the military with timely information to protect American troops. In addition, the military has complained that it is not technically allowed to operate in Pakistan, whose government is willing to look the other way and allow C.I.A. spying but not the presence of foreign troops.
Paul Gimigliano, a C.I.A. spokesman, dismissed reports of a turf war.
"There's no daylight at all on this between C.I.A. and DoD," he said. "It's an issue for Defense to look into - it involves their people, after all - and that's exactly what they're doing."
Since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the Pentagon has used broad interpretations of its authorities to expand military intelligence operations, including sending Special Operations troops on clandestine missions far from declared war zones. These missions have raised concerns in Washington that the Pentagon is running de facto covert actions without proper White House authority and with little oversight from the elaborate system of Congressional committees and internal controls intended to prevent abuses in intelligence gathering.
The officials say the contractors' reports are delivered via an encrypted e-mail service to an "information operations fusion cell," located at the military base at Kabul International Airport. There, they are fed into classified military computer networks, then used for future military operations or intelligence reports.
To skirt military restrictions on intelligence gathering, information the contractors gather in eastern Afghanistan and Pakistan's tribal areas is specifically labeled "atmospheric collection": information about the workings of militant groups in Afghanistan and Pakistan or about Afghan tribal structures. The boundaries separating "atmospherics" from what spies gather is murky. It is generally considered illegal for the military to run organized operations aimed at penetrating enemy organizations with covert agents.
But defense officials with knowledge of the program said that contractors themselves regarded the contract as permission to spy. Several weeks ago, one of the contractors reported on Taliban militants massing near American military bases east of Kandahar. Not long afterward, Apache gunships arrived at the scene to disperse and kill the militants.
The web of private businesses working under the Lockheed contract include Strategic Influence Alternatives, American International Security Corporation and International Media Ventures, a communications company based in St. Petersburg, Fla., with Czech ownership.
One of the companies employs a network of Americans, Afghans and Pakistanis run by Duane Clarridge, a C.I.A. veteran who became famous for his role in the Iran-Contra scandal. Mr. Clarridge declined to be interviewed.
The Times is withholding some information about the contractor network, including some of the names of agents working in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
A spokesman for Lockheed said that no Pentagon officials had raised any concerns about the work.
"We believe our subcontractors are effectively performing the work required of them under the terms of this task order," said Tom Casey, the spokesman. "We've not received any information indicating otherwise." Lockheed is not involved in the information gathering, but rather administers the contract.
The specifics of the investigation into Mr. Furlong are unclear. Pentagon officials have said that the Defense Department's inspector general is examining possible contract fraud and financial mismanagement dating from last year.
In his only media interview since details of the operation were revealed, with The San Antonio Express-News, Mr. Furlong said that all of his work had been blessed by senior commanders. In that interview, he declined to provide further details. Officials said that the tussle over the intelligence operations dated from at least 2008, when some generals in Afghanistan grew angry at what they saw as a paucity of intelligence about the militant groups in Pakistan and Afghanistan who were regularly attacking American troops.
In October of that year, Mr. Furlong traveled to C.I.A. headquarters with top Pentagon officials, including Brig. Gen. Robert H. Holmes, then the deputy operations officer at United States Central Command. General Holmes has since retired and is now an executive at one of the subcontractors, International Media Ventures. The meeting at the C.I.A.'s counterterrorism center was set up to inform the spy agency about the military's plans to collect "atmospheric information" about Afghanistan and Pakistan, including information about the structure of militant networks in Pakistan's tribal areas.
Mr. Furlong was testing the sometimes muddy laws governing traditional military activities. A former Army officer who sometimes referred to himself as "the king of the gray areas," Mr. Furlong played a role in many of America's recent adventures abroad. He ran psychological operations missions in the Balkans, worked at a television network in Iraq, now defunct, that was sponsored by the American government and made frequent trips to Kabul, Eastern Europe and the Middle East in recent years to help run a number of clandestine military propaganda operations.
At the C.I.A. meeting in 2008, the atmosphere quickly deteriorated, according to some in attendance, because C.I.A. officials were immediately suspicious that the plans amounted to a back-door spying operation.
In general, according to one American official, intelligence operatives are nervous about the notion of "private citizens running around a war zone, trying to collect intelligence that wasn't properly vetted for operations that weren't properly coordinated."
Shortly afterward, in a legal opinion stamped "Secret," lawyers at the military's Centcom headquarters in Tampa, Fla., signed off on a version of Mr. Furlong's proposed operations, adding specific language that the program should not carry out "inherent intelligence activities." In January 2009, General Petraeus wrote a letter endorsing the proposed operations, which had been requested by Gen. David D. McKiernan, the top commander in Afghanistan at the time.
What happened after that money began flowing to Afghanistan remains a matter of dispute. General McKiernan said in an interview with The Times that he never endorsed hiring private contractors specifically for intelligence gathering.
Instead, he said, he was interested in gaining "atmospherics" from the contractors to help him and his commanders understand the complex cultural and political makeup of the region.
"It could give us a better understanding of the rural areas, of what people there saying, what they were expressing as their needs, and their concerns," he said.
"It was not intelligence for manhunts," he said. "That was clearly not it, and we agreed that's not what this was about."
To his mind, he said, intelligence is specific information that could be used for attacks on militants in Afghanistan.
General McKiernan said he had endorsed a reporting and research network in Afghanistan and Pakistan pitched to him a year earlier by Robert Young Pelton, a writer and chronicler of the world's danger spots, and Eason Jordan, a former CNN executive. The project, called AfPax Insider, would have been used a subscription-based Web site, but also a secure information database that only the military could access.
In an interview, Mr. Pelton said that he did not gather intelligence and never worked at the direction of Mr. Furlong and that he did not have a government contract for the work.
But Mr. Pelton said that AfPax did receive reimbursement from International Media Ventures, one of the companies hired for Mr. Furlong's operation. He said that he was never told that I.M.V. was doing clandestine work for the government.
It was several months later, during the summer of 2009, when officials said that the private contractor network using Mr. Clarridge and other former C.I.A. and Special Operations troops was established. Mr. Furlong, according to several former colleagues, believed that Mr. Pelton and Mr. Jordan had failed to deliver on their promises, and that the new team could finally carry out the program first envisioned by General McKiernan. The contractor network assumed a cloak-and-dagger air, with the information reports stripped of anything that might reveal sources' identities, and the collectors were assigned code names and numbers. [ Mazzetti/NYTimes/16May2010]
MI5 Lifts Lid on Secret PM Briefings. The last few days have been some of the most extraordinary in modern British politics.
Yet away from the cameras, precious few glimpses have been offered behind the big black door of Number 10, where a well-oiled machine has whirred in motion.
The civil service on one side, and a crack team of planners inside the political parties on the other, have started to implement carefully laid plans.
The new prime minister has been meeting the people he will rely on to deliver on the promises he has made.
Among them will be some of the state's most secret servants, briefing him on highly sensitive security, intelligence and nuclear matters.
In the first few hours of his new young premiership, MI5 briefs the new PM on anyone he might be thinking of appointing to his government who might be cause for concern.
We have known for a long time that this happens.
What we have not known - until now - is exactly how that works, or how many people are involved.
But now MI5's director general, Sir Stephen Lander, has described what happened during the 1997 transition. "In 1997 therefore the way the then cabinet secretary and I agreed we would deal with it... was that I would produce the summaries, one sheet for each of the individuals that we thought we should make a comment on."
Asked by Professor Peter Hennessy, who presents the program, whether this had numbered in single figures, he confirmed that it had, then added that in 1997 it had been agreed that "the cabinet secretary and the prime minister's principal private secretary would have copies of these, and if the prime minister said I'm thinking of making X secretary of state for defense, they would say 'well prime minister, you might like to read this from the security service'."
Sir Stephen confirmed that none of the summaries were required at the time, but added that Tony Blair later asked to see something they had written about one of the individuals.
Intriguingly for the new government, the director general of MI5 and the cabinet secretary also went to see the then Conservative Leader William Hague.
They had a talk with him, too, about the "very small number of people in the Conservative Party, and he knew about the circumstances of one of them and not really about the others, and we had a sensible conversation and he said he'd take it into account when he was thinking about his shadow cabinet, and that was it".
Both Sir Stephen Lander and predecessor Sir Patrick Walker emphasized that the issues they had raised with the prime minister were not about personal behavior - financial or sexual - but solely about national security.
"No, the peccadilloes of politicians is for the whips office," said Sir Patrick Walker, adding "and my experience is they know an awful lot about the peccadilloes of members of their own party."
Despite a great deal of speculation over the years, both men seemed sure that no foreign agent ever managed to get into the British cabinet.
Sir Patrick Walker explained that during the Cold War "the amount of intelligence coming out from defectors and agents on the Soviet activities... made it pretty clear that we got just about anybody. You know you can't be 100% sure, but I don't think there were any hangovers.
"So therefore, I mean certainly in my experience and I suspect in Stephen's, there would be no suggestion that any of them were anybody who'd reached cabinet rank was in any way connected with the Soviet services."
The program also reveals the thoughts of other highly discreet Crown servants at times of great political change.
Mary Francis, a private secretary to the Queen in 1997, reveals how the excitement of a transition percolated even through to them; and John Holroyd, appointments secretary in Number 10 in 1997, reveals what happens after the big black door closes.
"The house is always serene and calm," he says.
"It's partly the effect of the long corridor that leads away from the front door, which is carpeted and long and serene in itself and seems able to absorb any amount of hubbub and so on, and once the prime minister is in there that's his home, that's his office, and I think it encompasses people."
It remains to be seen whether the new prime minister and his entourage will be "encompassed" in a similar way. [Edwards/BBC/17May2010] http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/8685646.stm
Section III - COMMENTARY
Former CIA Attaché Rick Francona On Syrian Reactor. Jeff Stein, who writes on intelligence matters in a column titled Spy Talk for the Washington Post, made some comments about the Syrian covert nuclear reactor that was destroyed by the Israelis in September 2007. His article describes the CIA's desire for ground photography of the facility after the Israeli raid, and the role of the French military attaché in Damascus in obtaining that photography. Read The French spy, the CIA, and the Syrian reactor.
I have some minor issues with the article, and want to address them. First, by way of disclosure, Jeff Stein and I are friends and colleagues. Jeff wrote a book in 2000 about Iraq's nuclear weapons program called Saddam's Bombmaker. In that book, Jeff basically "outed" my operations in northern Iraq in the mid-1990s while assigned to the CIA's Iraq Operations Group. The book details my role in the covert extraction of Khidhir Hamza's family from Baghdad to northern Iraq and on to the United States.
Here are excerpts of that section. Some of it is factually incorrect, at CIA request. For example, there was no helicopter, we were on the ground, and we weren't late. Doctor Hamza was not aware of all the other things that were going on in the area when we brought the family out. That was not our real mission - we happened to be in northern Iraq and were given the extractions as an additional mission.
"Dr. Hamza: The helicopter landed on a hilltop in Salahiddin, one of a regular shuttle in and out of the Kurdish north. Out popped Rick Francona, a dark-haired, boyish-looking air force intelligence officer assigned to the CIA. Francona, fluent in Arabic, had spent many years in the Middle East, including an assignment as interpreter for General Norman Schwarzkopf at the cease-fire talks with the Iraqis at the end of Desert Storm. Now, he and other CIA agents were assigned to bring my family in.
"And they were late.
"Souham and the boys had been stranded in the swamp on the border for more than an hour, hiding on the floors of the Land Cruiser as best as they could. The sun was rising over the hills and they were easy pickings for an Iraqi patrol. Another hour passed. Finally, a squad of armed Kurdish rebels showed up on the distant shore, riding a tractor.
"In what seemed like endless slow motion, they waded across the muck toward them, coming to the Toyota's rescue. Eventually a thick rope was hitched to the Land Cruiser and the rebels pulled it forward.
"Welcome to America!" the Kurds laughed when they had them on shore.
"But the Americans weren't there. After some animated discussion among the Kurds, the family was piled back into the Toyota and driven an hour north to a safe house operated by one of the rebel groups. They were put inside. The door was locked. Another night of cold, hungry, anxious waiting began.
"In recent months the CIA had been struggling to unite the fractious Kurds and plotting with Saddam's top military officers to topple the regime from the inside. Neither effort was showing much promise. The Kurds had too long shown a proclivity to plot against each other in secret league with Saddam. Now the Kurds began arguing over what to do with Souham and the boys, who were not, after all, their responsibility. Night fell.
"Finally, the door swung open. In walked Francona and his sidekick, a tall blond CIA man, as if they were dropping in for a beer. Firas jumped up in glee.
"Who are you guys?" he asked.
"The CIA man smiled. "We're not from around here," he cracked.
"Their troubles were over, we thought. We were wrong. The road trip through Turkey and the flight to Germany were happy, even joyous. Francona and his CIA team couldn't have made it smoother. My family couldn't have felt more secure or welcome.
Back to the recent article. According to what Jeff has been told, the CIA wanted ground level photography of the bombed out reactor at al-Kibar - the article calls it al-Tibnah, which is the closest village - it is truly in the middle of nowhere, as any of the attachés in Damascus can tell you.
As Jeff relates, the story is that the French attaché "jumped in his car" and drove to the site. First of all, al-Kibar/al-Tibnah is about 225 miles northeast of Damascus, not 30 miles south. The facility to the south is the declared research reactor at Dayr al-Hajr is out by the airport. The drive to the covert facility takes about seven hours over mediocre roads - I've driven it.
Second, as an attaché in Syria, you are restricted to travel within 30 kilometers (18 miles) of Damascus, unless you file a travel request. If you file a travel request, you are guaranteed to be followed by a white Peugeot with two Syrian military intelligence goons "for your security." Since the French attaché says he was followed and being that far from Damascus, I assume he filed a travel request. If you are going to visit a sensitive location, the last thing you do is file a travel request. You do what you have to do....
Then there is the "dissing" of attachés by supposed other intelligence "professionals" - claiming that the "French photos were nothing more than an unexpected extra...the overhead [satellite] was far better. Much ado about nothing. Military attachés everywhere love to do ground-level photography, pretending like they're James Bonds or something."
I served for year as an attaché in several countries, most of them not friendly. If what we do is not significant - at personal risk; we have lost fine officers in this line of duty - then we would not have them assigned to virtually every American embassy around the world.
[Lt Col Rick Francona (U.S. Air Force--Retired) enlisted in the Air Force in 1970, and served as a Vietnamese linguist until 1973, conducting aerial reconnaissance missions over Vietnam and Laos. After Arabic language training, he served at a variety of locations in the Middle East from 1975 to 1977, and supported the evacuation of the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon in 1976. In 1978, he became an Arabic language instructor at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California. Today Francona is a retired Air Force intelligence officer and Middle East specialist. In addition to his role as the lead U.S. military interpreter during the Gulf War and a principal author of the report to Congress on the conflict, he served throughout the Middle East with the Defense Department and national intelligence agencies. Francona is also the author of Ally to Adversary: An Eyewitness Account of Iraq's Fall from Grace. From 2003 to 2008, he was a media analyst on Middle East political-military events for NBC News, and appeared regularly on NBC Nightly News, The Today Show, MSNBC, CNBC, Hardball, Countdown, and others. His decorations include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Bronze Star, and nine Air Medals, as well as campaign awards for service in Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, and the Balkans. The colonel was awarded the Central Intelligence Agency Seal Medallion for his service with that agency. In 2006, Lt Col Francona was inducted into the Defense Language Institute Hall of Fame.] [Francona/BasilandSpice/11May2010]
US May Be Passing Up Chances to Stop Terrorist Plots, by Marc A.
Thiessen. Did a captured Taliban leader know about the Times Square plot and withhold this information from his interrogators?
On Sunday, Obama administration officials, including counterterrorism chief John Brennan, declared that the Taliban was behind the attack and that Faisal Shahzad, the Times Square bomber, had "extensive interactions" with Taliban leaders in Pakistan. Yet just a few months before Shahzad attempted to blow up a car bomb in the heart of Manhattan, U.S. and Pakistani officials captured the highest-ranking Taliban leader ever detained in the war on terror - Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar. This raises a critical question: Could Baradar have warned us about the Times Square attack?
Baradar was detained in Karachi, Pakistan, in late January - the same city where several of Shahzad's associates were just detained. Shahzad left Pakistan on Feb. 3, just days after Baradar's capture, which means he was meeting with Taliban officials while Baradar was still at large. Why did Shahzad flee right after Baradar was taken into custody?
Baradar is second only to Mullah Omar in the Taliban hierarchy. Newsweek described him as "arguably the most important terrorist suspect captured since the detention of Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed in spring of 2003." But unlike KSM, Baradar has not been taken into American custody for interrogation by the CIA. Instead, he has been held and questioned by Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency.
Allowing the ISI to control his questioning is far from ideal. Indeed, the Los Angeles Times has reported that the CIA became extremely frustrated with the ISI's handling of Baradar's interrogation: "The CIA was denied direct access to Baradar for about two weeks after his arrest, and has since worked alongside Pakistani interrogators who continue to control the questioning. But officials said they have learned nothing from Baradar that could be used to track down other Taliban leaders, or inform the planning of U.S. military operations." The failure to properly exploit Baradar prompted the CIA to push for his transfer to a U.S.-run prison in Afghanistan - a request that was apparently denied.
Another report in this week's New York Times indicates that Baradar is running the show in his interrogation. Only in the past several weeks have American officials finally been given regular, direct contact with Baradar. He has now reportedly begun providing information on the "the inner workings of the Taliban" but still "is not revealing details of Taliban combat operations, yielding little that American commanders would like to know as they prepare for a military operation around Kandahar." Translation: Baradar is the one deciding what information he will share and what he will withhold.
It would be a different story in a CIA black site. But President Obama shut down the CIA's black sites and dismantled the agency's interrogation program. In its place, he created something called the High-Value Interrogation Group (HIG) - a less controversial alternative for questioning senior terrorist leaders like Baradar and KSM. Yet according to multiple media accounts, the HIG has not been deployed to participate in Baradar's interrogation. Why not? While the HIG is not authorized to use even the most mild enhanced interrogation techniques that could compel Baradar's cooperation, it was purportedly created for just such a circumstance. If the HIG is not going to being used to question the highest-ranking Taliban leader ever taken into custody, who exactly is it going to interrogate?
Baradar is a leader of the Afghan Taliban, but U.S. intelligence officials report there is increasing overlap and coordination among the Afghan Taliban, the Pakistani Taliban and al-Qaeda. Brennan says the groups are now "almost indistinguishable." The leader of the Pakistani Taliban, Hakimullah Mehsud , recently warned: "Our fighters are already in the United States" and pledged to "attack... the American cities." Baradar may know a great deal about the Taliban's plans for such attacks.
Is the United States doing everything in its power to obtain all the information Baradar possesses - as it did in the case of Khalid Sheik Mohammed? The answer apparently is no - and Obama officials may come to regret that. In an interview for my book, "Courting Disaster," former national security adviser Steve Hadley recalled sitting before the Sept. 11 commission: "It is a very searing experience when people look at you and effectively ask, 'How is it that you could have failed your country, and why didn't you do everything you could to defend this nation?' " He continued, "If there had been some other attack, and KSM came forward, as he would have, and said, 'Yeah, I planned that attack,' how comfortable would you be explaining to the Sept. 11 commission why you hadn't waterboarded?"
In the past four months we have had two terrorist attacks that failed only because the bomb malfunctioned. If the next bomb does go off, how comfortable will President Obama and his national security team be sitting before the next Sept. 11 commission and answering the question: "How is it that you failed your country, and why didn't you do everything you could to defend this nation?" [Marc A. Thiessen, a visiting fellow with the American Enterprise Institute, is the author of the book "Courting Disaster." He writes a weekly column for The Post.] [Thiessen/WashingtonPost/10May2010]
Section IV - BOOKS AND COMING EVENTS
Bloomsbury Reveals Inside History of MI6. Bloomsbury is aiming squarely for the Christmas non-fiction slot opened up by Christopher Andrew's successful MI5 history for Penguin last autumn, with a comparable history of MI6.
MI6: The History of the Secret Intelligence Service 1909-1949 by Belfast historian Professor Keith Jeffery is the first and only history of the service, written with what is described as "full and unrestricted" access to MI6's closed archives. Nevertheless, the text has had to go through security clearance, as did Andrew's Defense of the Realm.
While Andrew was able to cover the full span of MI5's history including the recent past, MI6 will only cover the years from 1909 to 1949, to preserve the anonymity of surviving former spies. The book will be published in September, in the same hardback format and size as Defense of the Realm, and with a similar style of jacket, so that the two books will sit comfortably side by side. However, the new book will be burgundy where Defense of the Realm was black.
MI6 will also be priced at £35, and launched with a press conference fanfare after strict embargoes and a serial.
Bloomsbury non-fiction publisher Michael Fishwick said Jeffery had had "unique access" to the archives which will not be repeated, promising the book will be full of "lots of lovely, interesting stuff". "The people who do these jobs are all out around the world doing fantastically dangerous jobs," he said. "Now there is a lot of technology stuff going on, but in this period there were a lot of people out in the field, it was very intrepid and exciting. It's the kind of occupation that generates great stories and Jeffery has a beautifully light touch as well as being very authoritative. The book is written with a great deal of dash."
Bloomsbury is describing the book as "essential reading for anyone interested in the history of espionage, the two world wars, modern British government and the conduct of international relations in the first half of the 20th century" and "a uniquely important examination of the role and significance of intelligence in the modern world". [TheBookSeller/13May2010]
Operation Mincemeat: How a Dead Man and a Bizarre Plan Fooled the Nazis and Assured an Allied Victory, By Ben Macintyre, reviewed by Jennet Conant. In February of 1943, a cast of colorful oddballs developed and carried out one of the most elaborate deceptions of World War II, a plan to disguise the impending Allied invasion of Sicily, framed around the body of a dead man. The deceased, who would wash up on the Spanish coast, was a complete fraud, but the lies he would carry from Room 13 of the British Admiralty all the way to Hitler's desk would help win the war. "The defining feature of this spy would be his falsity," Ben Macintyre writes in "Operation Mincemeat." "He was a pure figment of imagination, a weapon in a war far removed from the traditional battle of bombs and bullets."
A corpse dressed as a military officer was used to convey spurious documents to the Nazis.
To flesh out the corpse's fictional identity, a truly eclectic group of talents was assembled, including a brilliant barrister, an eccentric 25-year-old Royal Air Force officer, a future thriller writer, a pretty secretary and a coroner with the implausible name of Bentley Purchase. And that's just the beginning.
Together, they conspired to invent a "credible courier," conjuring a person with a name, a personality and a past. While still working out the precise mechanics of the deception - whether to drop the body from a plane or over the side of a boat, for example - they labored, in the manner of novelists, to create a mythic and somewhat flawed hero they called Maj. William Martin, choosing everything from his clothes to his likes and dislikes, habits and hobbies, strengths and weaknesses. Beginning with little things like "wallet litter," the usual items everyone accumulates over time, "individually unimportant but vital corroborative detail," they constructed a troubled financial history, a slightly dippy girlfriend and a pedantic Edwardian father, all sketched in a series of carefully fabricated letters. No detail was too small, be it an artful ink splotch on a note or the exact tone of the forged letter between British admirals discussing the planned assault that was the cornerstone of the deception.
The overall scheme was actually a brilliant "double bluff," Macintyre writes, designed to "not only divert the Germans from the real target but portray the real target as a 'cover target,' a mere decoy." Stay with me here. The invasion of Sicily (then, as Macintyre tells us, "the largest amphibious landing ever attempted") was months in the planning, and its success depended on surprise. The question was how to catch the enemy off guard. The British were working on the assumption that the suspicious Germans would invariably hear rumors about the preparations of any major assault being mounted in North Africa, and would assume Sicily to be a possible target. So the idea was to feed the Germans a false plan (targeting Greece) dressed as the real one, together with the real plan (targeting Sicily) disguised as the diversionary cover. It was a fantastic gamble. Yet the operation succeeded beyond wildest expectations, fooling the German high command into changing its Mediterranean defense strategy and allowing Allied forces to conquer Sicily with limited casualties. It was one of the most remarkable hoaxes in the history of espionage.
Macintyre, whose previous book chronicled the incredible exploits of Eddie Chapman, the crook turned spy known as Zigzag, excels at this sort of twisted narrative. He traces the origins of the operation to the top-secret "Trout Fisher" memo signed by Adm. John Godfrey, the director of Britain's naval intelligence, in September 1939, barely three weeks into the war. "The Trout Fisher," said the memo, in that peculiarly sporting style that only the English can pull off, "casts patiently all day. He frequently changes his venue and his lures." Although issued under Godfrey's name, it was most likely the work of Ian Fleming, whose gift for intelligence planning and elaborate plots, most of which were too far-fetched to ever implement, later served him so well in his James Bond series. The memo was "a masterpiece of corkscrew thinking," Macintyre writes, laying out 51 schemes for deceiving the Germans at sea, including one to drop soccer balls coated with phosphorus to attract submarines, and another to set adrift tins of booby-trapped treats. Far down on the list of suggestions, No. 28 - "not a very nice one," the author(s) conceded - proposed using a corpse, dressed as an airman, carrying spurious secret documents.
That this suggestion was in turn based on an idea used in a detective novel by Basil Thomson, an ex-policeman and former tutor to the King of Siam who made his name as a spy catcher in World War I, only adds to the fantastic quality of Macintyre's entertaining tale. First Fleming, an ardent bibliophile, dusted off this quaint literary ploy; then the trout-fishing admiral, who always appreciated a good yarn, had the cunning to know that "the best stories are also true," and dispatched his team to turn fiction into reality. In many ways it was a very old story at that, as indicated by the operation's first code name, "Trojan Horse." A bit of gallows humor led to the plan's name being changed to the rather tasteless Operation Mincemeat. The unlikely hero of this wartime tale was Ewen Montagu, a shrewd criminal lawyer and workaholic with a prematurely receding hairline and a penchant for stinky cheese - proving once again that not all spies are dashing romantic figures. At 38, too old for active service, Montagu was recruited by Godfrey and joined what Godfrey called his "brilliant band of dedicated war winners." Just as he had relished the cut-and-thrust of the courtroom, Montagu delighted in matching wits with his new opponents: "the German saboteurs, spies, agents and spy masters whose daily wireless exchanges.... intercepted, decoded and translated... poured into Section 17M." Macintyre's thumbnail sketches of Montagu and company are adroit, if at times dangerously close to being over the top. He ignores Godfrey's warning about the danger of "overcooking" an espionage ruse, but for the most part all the rich trimmings and flourishes make for great fun.
No novelist could create a better character than Montagu, and Macintyre bases his book on Montagu's wartime memoir, "The Man Who Never Was," as well as on an unpublished autobiography and personal correspondence. (A 1956 movie, "The Man Who Never Was," starring Clifton Webb, was also based on the memoir.) A case could easily be made that Montagu's younger brother, Ivor, was even more worthy of a book. (The oldest, Stuart, was a pompous bore.) Born into a Jewish banking dynasty of "dazzling wealth," the boys spent an idyllic childhood in a redbrick palace in the heart of Kensington and attended the posh Westminster School before going on to Cambridge. While at university, the two brothers managed to invent the rules for table tennis (Ivor went on to found the International Table Tennis Federation and served as its president for 41 years) and, of slightly less historical import, the Cheese Eaters League.
While Ewen pursued a career in law, Ivor rebelled and became a committed Communist and a Soviet operative. Throughout the war, the two brothers were in effect working for different sides, both immersed in the spying game. Amazingly, Ewen was "entirely in the dark" about this fraternal disloyalty, though it certainly concerned his colleagues in MI5, who closely monitored Ivor's activities. For all the traitors working inside British intelligence, the greatest threat to Ewen Montagu's espionage operations may have been his own brother. [Contant/NYTimes/16May2010]
U.S. Strategic Early Warning: A Case Study in Poland (1980-1981) The US Army Europe Intelligence Estimate.
by Mr. Gail H. Nelson, Ph.D., Unpublished PDF located at at this link on AFIO's website; April 2010. 142p Bibliography, Glossary, appendices, photos, charts, tables.
The U.S. Army Intelligence Center Europe warned US/NATO manders of Polish Martial Law contingency planning in 1980 and the imminence of Martial Law in the fall 1981 allowing leaders to act from a factual basis.. 1. Cold War History. 2. Intelligence. 3. Strategic Early Warning. 4. Poland (1980-1981). 5. Warsaw Pact. 6. Brezhnev Doctrine. 7. Eastern Europe. 8. Soviet Union
EVENTS IN COMING TWO MONTHS....
MANY Spy Museum Events in August with full details are listed on the AFIO Website at www.afio.com. The titles for some of these are as follows:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
20 May 2010 - San Francisco, CA - The AFIO Jim Quesada Chapter hosts André Le Gallo, former CIA Chief of Station and Senior National Intelligence Officer for Counterterrorism. Le Gallo will be speaking about Intelligence: Past and Present, comparing the Cold War CIA with today’s. RSVP and pre-payment required. The meeting will be held at United Irish Cultural Center, 2700 45th Avenue, San Francisco (between Sloat and Wawona). 11:30 AM no host cocktails; noon - luncheon. $25 member rate with advance reservation and payment; $35 non-member. E-mail RSVP to Mariko Kawaguchi (please indicate chicken or fish): email@example.com and mail check made out to "AFIO" to: Mariko Kawaguchi, P.O. Box 117578 Burlingame, CA 94011
Thursday 20 May 2010, 12:30 p.m. - Los Angeles, CA - AFIO L.A. holds chapter meeting featuring Secret Service Special Agents Greg Ligouri and Adam Kamann. These two members of the Los Angeles Counterfeit Squad will conduct a presentation on understanding counterfeit currency and the counterfeit trends surrounding the Los Angeles area. The presentation will begin at 1:00 PM. 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 May 14, 2010 if you would like to attend the meeting with or without lunch. If directions are needed please forward an email request. Inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday, 24 May
2010 at 1:30 p.m. at Fort Meade, Maryland - NSA's Center for Cryptologic
History hosts the 2010 Henry F. Schorreck Lecture featuring scholar
Stephen Budiansky on "What's the Use of Cryptologic History?"
This year's Schorreck Memorial Lecturer will be Stephen Budiansky, who will deliver a talk entitled "What's the Use of Cryptologic History: Incorporating an Intelligence Perspective into Military and Diplomatic Studies." Budiansky is a leading scholar in this field who has also served as a Congressional fellow, was a national security correspondent for The Atlantic, and as a freelance journalist his articles have appeared in The New York Times and The Economist. As a cryptologic historian, he has written one of the most definitive accounts of cryptology in World War II, Battle of Wits: the Complete Story of Codebreaking in World War II which includes insightful explanations of cryptologic concepts along with well-researched historical analysis. He is the author of numerous other books on military and intelligence history.
The Center for Cryptologic History's Henry F. Schorreck Memorial Lecture series is an annual historical presentation named in honor of the former NSA Historian. It brings in noted individuals in history or the social sciences to address cryptologic issues with an historical perspective.
This lecture is open to the public and will be delivered on 24 May 2010 beginning at 1330 at the National Cryptologic Museum at Fort Meade, Maryland. Those wishing to attend should send an email confirming their intent to email@example.com (with firstname.lastname@example.org in the 'cc' line). Directions to the Museum can be found here.
25 May 2010 - Arlington, VA - The Defense Intelligence Forum event to hear Allen Keiswetter on "Political Islam" HAS BEEN CANCELLED AND RESCHEDULED The location of the event -- the Alpine Restaurant -- was sold suddenly last week and is now closed for an indefinite time for renovation. Allen Keiswetter's talk on Political Islam has been rescheduled for 22 June at the Rockbottom Brewery in the Ballston Commons Mall. See new entry under 22 June, below.
25-26 May 2010 - Hartford, CT - SCIP [Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals] workshop on "Fundamentals of Competitive Intelligence"
Two full-day workshops (CI 101® and CI 202™) provide the beginner and intermediate competitive intelligence (CI) professional a comprehensive development program to sharpen his or her skills in CI research and analysis techniques.
The introductory course will offer a comprehensive introduction to professionals new to CI. Presenters will develop a working definition of the field and discuss its ethics. Attendees will learn about available primary and secondary resources, and the techniques necessary to access them. Attendees will learn to analyze and manage data effectively once it has been collected.
The intermediate workshop is a follow-up to the introductory course. The topics presented are considered crucial to the continuing success of an internal CI program, whether it's being started from scratch or developing into a greater presence within the organization.
About the Presenter
Mike Sandman is senior vice president of Fuld & Company Inc., a pioneering competitive intelligence consulting firm in Cambridge, Mass. Prior to joining Fuld, he was an operations manager in the composites industry. Sandman has an extensive background in international business, is on the faculty of the Academy of Competitive Intelligence (ACI) and leads war games for Fuld's clients.
Member Rates $995 Discount Price $895.50
Non-Member Rates $1295 Discount Price $1165.50
Register Now at http://www.scip.org/training/
Questions? Contact Sandra Skipper at +1.703.739.0696 x110, email@example.com or Robyn Reals at +1.703.739.0696 x107, firstname.lastname@example.org.
25 - 27 May 2010 - Ottawa, CAN - The IAFIE hosts 6th conference on Intelligence Education. The International Association for Intelligence Education (IAFIE) hosts 6th Annual Conference at the Ottawa Marriott Hotel. Theme: Intelligence Education: A Global Phenomenon. For more information or to register.
27 May 2010, 11:30 a.m. - San Diego, CA - AFIO San
Diego Chapter hosts Charles Wurster, USCG (Ret). Charles
Wurster - President/CEO, The San Diego Port Authority,
Retired U.S. Coast Guard Vice Admiral Charles D. Wurster was
as the Port's President/CEO by the Board on January 5, 2009. Wurster
a three-star Admiral who served 37 years in the Coast Guard. Before
serving as Coast Guard's Commander of the Pacific Area from 2006-2008,
he served as Commander of the Fourteenth District in Honolulu. He also
served as the Chief of Acquisition in Washington, DC; Chief of Staff
the Pacific Area in Alameda, CA; Commanding Officer of the Coast Guard
base in Kodiak, Alaska; and Commanding Officer of the Facilities
and Construction Center in Seattle, Washington. Wurster holds a
degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois and
graduated with honors from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London,
Location: The Trellises Garden Grill, Town and Country Resort and Convention Center, 500 Hotel Circle North, San Diego, CA 92108
$20.00 per person including gratuity. RSVP for you and your guest required by Friday, May 21, 2010.
Calling Marjon at 619-297-9959 or by sending an Email to Darryl at email@example.com
Wednesday, 2 June 2010, 6:00 p.m. -- Las
Vegas, NV - the AFIO Las Vegas Chapter meets to hear Fred Barber on "The
Roman Empire & The New Rome"
Fred Eugene Barber's presentation takes the audience through 2700 years of history in about an hour, so hang on to your chairs. He starts with the founding of Rome, through its conquest of the Mediterranean world, its holding of power, its conversion to Christianity and its collapse into countries most often under new owners. As the vacuum is filled by former Roman colonies as Roman lands are leaving the empire, Mr. Barber gives a brief explanation of how and who filled the vacuum spots, concentrating a bit on the Byzantium and the world of the Arabs and Turks, and how this has affected us here in the New World. Spain, a former Roman province, becomes part of this story because the Arabic peoples controlled and lived in Spain for over 500 years.
Barber is not a professional speaker, but has a passion for history, especially as to how it has affected his America of today. He is a firm believer in the old adage: History repeats itself....and as Rome fell, so might....
Event location will be at The Officers' Club at Nellis Air Force Base. All guests must use the MAIN GATE located at the intersection on Craig Road and Las Vegas Blvd. Address: 5871 Fitzgerald Blvd., Nellis AFB, NV 89191 Phone: 702-644-2582. (Guest names must be submitted to BentleyM@nv.doe.gov or at firstname.lastname@example.org by 4:00 p.m., Monday, May 24th. Join us at 5 p.m. in the "Check Six" bar area for liaison and beverages.
If you plan to bring a guest(s), please RSVP with names by 4:00 p.m., Monday, May 24th. Entrance to the Base self and guests cannot be guaranteed if I don't have their names (unless they already have military ID to enter the base).
Dinner: You are welcome to arrive early and join us in the "Check Six" bar area, inside the Officer's Club. The Check Six has an excellent, informal dinner venue along with a selection of snacks. Water will be provided during the meeting, but you may also purchase beverages and food at the bar and bring them to the meeting. Once again, please feel free to 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.
Questions? Email email@example.com or call 702-295-1024. We look forward to seeing you!
19 June 2010 - Kennebunk, ME - The AFIO Maine Chapter features lawyer Suzanne Spaulding speaking on "Solving Current National Security Issues." Suzanne Spaulding, who is currently Principal, Bingham Consulting Group, Bingham McCutchen LLP, is an authority on national security . She served as director of two congressionally mandated commissions, the National Commission on Terrorism, chaired by Amb. Paul Bremer, III, and the Commission to Assess the Organization of the Federal Government to Combat the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction chaired by former CIA Director, John Deutch. She has been quoted regularly in media outlets around the country. She was minority staff director for the House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Previous legislative experience includes legislative director and senior counsel for Sen. Arlen Specter. She also worked for Rep. Jane Harman. She was assistant counsel at CIA and is immediate past chair, American Bar Association's Standing Committee on Law and National Security. Ms. Spaulding is currently a member of AFIO's National Board. The meeting will be held at the Kennebunk Free Library, 112 Main St., Kennebunk at 2:00 p.m. The public is invited. For information call 967-4298.
Monday, 21 June 2010, 6 p.m. - New York, NY - The AFIO NY Chapter meets to hear Jack Devine discuss "The True Story of Charlie Wilson's War"
Speaker: Jack Devine, 32 year veteran of the CIA. Was Acting Director of the Agency's operations outside the US with authority over thousands of employees in very sensitive missions among many other worldwide assignments. Recipient of the CIA Meritorious Officer Award, the Distinguished Intelligence Medal and several other meritorious awards.
Topic: (1) Afghanistan: Where we are, (2) Charlie Wilson's War: The inside story of what actually happened
Where: University Club 9th Floor, Registration 5:30 PM Start 6:00 PM
$40./person; only $20./person, students & military. No reservations required.
Questions to Jerry Goodwin, Chapter President, 347-334-1503 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
22 June 2010 (Rescheduled from 25 May) - Arlington, VA - The Defense Intelligence Forum meets to hear Keiswetter on Political Islam.
The DIF meets at the Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery, Ballston Common Mall, Arlington, VA. The speaker will be Allen L. Keiswetter, who will speak on Political Islam. Mr. Keiswetter, a retired Senior Foreign Service Officer, is a Scholar at the Middle East Institute and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Maryland. He has also taught courses on Islam and the Middle East at the National Defense Intelligence College and the National War College. In the Department of State, he served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, Director of Arabian Peninsula Affairs in the Near East Bureau, and Director of the Office of Intelligence Liaison in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research. His postings abroad include Riyadh, Sanaa, Khartoum, Baghdad, Tunis, Beirut, Brussels and Vietnam. The Defense Intelligence Forum covers topics of current interest. It is open to members of all Intelligence Community associations and their guests.
Pay at the door with a check for $29 per person payable to DIAA, Inc. Social hour starts at 1130, lunch at 1200. Make reservations for you and your guests by 15 June by email to email@example.com. Give names, telephone numbers, email addresses, and choices of Pasta, Grilled Salmon, Grilled Sirloin, or Lemon Chicken. Pay with a check. THE FORUM DOESN'T TAKE CASH!
25-26 June 2010 - Great Lakes, IL - The Midwest Chapter of AFIO will host its annual conference at the Great Lakes Naval Station. The conference will include a full days worth of speakers on Friday the 25th. Saturday the 26th will include a day trip to Waukesha, WI to tour the Cold War Museum and former Nike Missile Site, and then lunch at the Safe House, a spy themed museum in Milwaukee, WI. Saturday's return trip will include dinner and a speaker. On Sunday 27 June there will be a trip to the Cantigny First Division Museum (Wheaton, IL) for a museum tour and bring your own meal picnic.
Registration is $10 per person. Hotel reservations can be made by by calling the Navy Lodge at 1-847-689-1485 for 24-27 June. Room rate is $65 per night total (no tax). Hotel reservations should be made no later than 7 June 2010. Please remember to mention that you are with the Midwest AFIO Chapter. For more information and to confirm your attendance, please contact Angelo Di Liberti ASAP at 847-931-4184. Also state whether you plan to attend the trip to Cantigny as we will need to contact the Museum curator with a final head count.
HOLD THE DATE - 17 - 20 August 2010 - Cleveland, OH - AFIO National Symposium on the Great Lakes - "Intelligence and National Security on the Great Lakes"
Co-Hosted with the AFIO Northern Ohio Chapter at the Crowne Plaza
Hotel, Cleveland, OH. Includes presentations by U.S. Coast Guard on
Great Lakes security; Canadian counterparts to explain double-border
National Air/Space Intelligence Center; Air Force Technical
Applications Center; Ohio Aerospace Institute, Tours of NASA
Lewis-Brookpark and Plumbrook Stations.
Cruise on Lake Erie
Spies-in-Black-Ties Dinner and Cruise on Lake Erie. Online Reservations to be taken here, shortly.
6 - 7 October 2011 - Laurel, MD - The NSA's Center for Cryptologic History hosts their Biennial Cryptologic History Symposium with theme: Cryptology in War and Peace: Crisis Points in History.
Historians from the Center, the Intelligence Community, the defense
establishment, and the military services, as well as distinguished
scholars from American and foreign academic institutions, veterans of
the profession, and the interested public all will gather for two days
of reflection and debate on topics from the cryptologic past. The
for the upcoming conference will be: “Cryptology in War and Peace:
Crisis Points in History.” This topical approach is especially
as the year 2011 is an important anniversary marking the start of many
seminal events in our nation’s military history. The events that can
commemorated are many.
Such historical episodes include the 1861 outbreak of the fratricidal Civil War between North and South. Nineteen forty-one saw a surprise attack wrench America into the Second World War. The year 1951 began with the fall of Seoul to Chinese Communist forces with United Nations troops retreating in the Korean War. In 1961, the United States began a commitment of advisory troops in Southeast Asia that would eventually escalate into the Vietnam War; that year also marked the height of the Cold War as epitomized by the physical division of Berlin. Twenty years later, a nascent democratic movement was suppressed by a declaration of martial law in Poland; bipolar confrontation would markedly resurge for much of the 1980s. In 1991, the United States intervened in the Persian Gulf to reverse Saddam Hussein’s aggression, all while the Soviet Union suffered through the throes of its final collapse. And in 2001, the nation came under siege by radical terrorism.
Participants will delve into the roles of signals intelligence and information assurance, and not just as these capabilities supported military operations. More cogently, observers will examine how these factors affected and shaped military tactics, operations, strategy, planning, and command and control throughout history. The role of cryptology in preventing conflict and supporting peaceful pursuits will also be examined. The panels will include presentations in a range of technological, operational, organizational, counterintelligence, policy, and international themes.
Past symposia have featured scholarship that set out new ways to consider out cryptologic heritage, and this one will be no exception. The mix of practitioners, scholars, and the public precipitates a lively debate that promotes an enhanced appreciation for the context of past events. Researchers on traditional and technological cryptologic topics, those whose work in any aspect touches upon the historical aspects of cryptology as defined in its broadest sense, as well as foreign scholars working in this field, are especially encouraged to participate.
The Symposium will be held at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory’s Kossiakoff Center, in Laurel, Maryland, a location central to the Baltimore and Washington, D.C., areas. As has been the case with previous symposia, the conference will provide unparalleled opportunities for interaction with leading historians and distinguished experts. So please make plans to join us for either one or both days of this intellectually stimulating conference.
Interested persons are invited to submit proposals for a potential presentation or even for a full panel. While the topics can relate to this year’s theme, all serious work on any aspect of cryptologic history will be considered. Proposals should include an abstract for each paper and/or a statement of session purpose for each panel, as well as biographical sketches for each presenter. To submit proposals or form more information on this conference, contact Dr. Kent Sieg, the Center’s Symposium Executive Director, at 301-688-2336 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For Additional Events two+ months or greater....view our online Calendar of Events
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