AFIO Weekly Intelligence Notes #34-10 dated 14 September 2010

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Some seats remain for AFIO's large

FRIDAY, 24 September 2010

1 p.m. speaker

Michael J. Morell, Deputy Director CIA

who follows....

11 a.m. speaker

Stewart A. Baker

former General Counsel, NSA,
1st Undersecretary DHS, and author of important new book,
Skating on Stilts by Stewart Baker

Skating on Stilts: Why We Aren't Stopping Tomorrow's Terrorism

Check in for badge pickup at 10:30 a.m.
Stewart Baker gives address at 11 a.m.
Lunch served at noon
Michael J. Morell, DDCIA - gives address at 1 p.m.
Event closes at 2 p.m.


EVENT LOCATION: The Crowne Plaza
1960 Chain Bridge Road • McLean, Virginia 22102
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German Journalist's Fight for Secret Government Files on Nazi Adolf Eichmann Heads Back to Court. Germany's intelligence service has turned over thousands of files on top Nazi Adolf Eichmann's whereabouts after World War II to a journalist who sued for them. But with so many passages blacked out and pages missing, she's taking the matter back to court.

An attorney for freelance reporter Gabriele Weber said Tuesday he was confident that she would win greater access eventually, even though Chancellor Angela Merkel's office has argued that some Eichmann files should stay secret.

Last week, Weber went to see the government files on the man known as the "architect of the Holocaust" for coordinating the Nazi's genocide policy. She was surprised to find some 1,000 pages missing, despite a federal court's order in April that the intelligence agency, the BND, could not keep all of the documents secret.

Merkel's office, which oversees the BND, argued in a filing last month with the Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig that the 3,400 files had been examined and that it had been determined that some should remain withheld for a variety of reasons. It expressed concern that because the information had been received in confidence from other intelligence agencies, to make it public would discredit the BND.

Merkel's office did not return calls seeking comment on the decision to keep some files secret, and the BND refused to elaborate while the matter is still pending in court.

The arguments, however, were similar to those the court rejected when it made its initial ruling.

"I am certain that we will get all of the files, but it will take some time," Weber's Berlin attorney Reiner Geulen said.

He has filed a new request with the Leipzig court arguing that the government is violating the court's original order by withholding so much.

Even though the basics of Eichmann's story after the war are well known - he fled Germany, was captured in Argentina by Israel's Mossad in 1960, then hanged after trial in Jerusalem in 1962 - Weber hopes the files will shed more light on missing pieces of the puzzle. Who helped him escape? How much did Germany know about where he was? Is there more to the story of his capture?

While she received some 2,400 pages, another 1,000 - crucially about the years before Eichmann was captured by Israel - were held back, she said. Of the pages she did receive, much of the information was blacked out, she told The Associated Press.

"Of the 2,400 pages, maybe 100 are interesting," she said.

It was not clear when the case would be heard by the Leipzig court. [Risling/CanadianPress/5September2010] 

NSA Chief: Internet is Fragile. The United States' increasing reliance on the Internet makes securing our networks from online threats more crucial than ever, according to National Security Agency director and U.S. Cyber Command commander Keith Alexander.

Speaking at the Gov 2.0 Summit on Tuesday in Washington, Alexander warned against the growing threat from hackers and enemy states seeking to penetrate American networks, which are more vital to the nation's security and economy than ever before.

"The Internet is fragile. Our economic and national security, privacy and civil liberties are fully dependent on the Internet," Alexander said. "It is critical we improve our security posture. The threats are real. Malicious actors a continent away can exploit our networks. They're becoming better organized and sophisticated at exploiting weaknesses in our technologies."

As the military's top cybersecurity official, Alexander is tasked with standing up the unit in charge of protecting America's networks from cyber attacks while expanding the country's offensive cyber capabilities. Some critics have argued his appointment has given the intelligence community too much influence over cybersecurity, but the administration has said Alexander's role at NSA will elevate the importance of cyber issues within the government.

Alexander, who seldom speaks in public, has in the past consistently emphasized the constant threats to America's networks sponsored by countries such as China. On Tuesday, he argued the U.S. should take a leadership role in securing the Internet but didn't provide details on how he plans to do so.

"We made the Internet, and it seems to me that we ought to be the first folks to get out there and protect it," Alexander said. "The challenge before us is large and daunting. But we have an obligation to meet it head-on."

The new Cyber Command is co-located with NSA at Ft. Meade, Md., in order to make use of the cryptographic agency's resources and expertise. Alexander said NSA is careful not to infringe on citizens' rights while attempting to secure the nation's networks.

"Our citizens take a lot of interest in the government's activities in this area, and I have an obligation to the law and the American people to ensure everything we do preserves and protects their rights while protecting our interests," he said. "That's an obligation that's never compromised." [Nagish/TheHill/7September2010]

Etchberger to Receive Medal of Honor. CMSgt. Richard L. Etchberger will posthumously receive the nation's highest military tribute, the Medal of Honor, from President Obama on Sept. 21, the White House announced last week.

After more than four decades, Etchberger is finally being recognized for the conspicuous gallantry that he displayed in combat on March 11, 1968, when North Vietnamese soldiers overran Lima Site 85, a secret Air Force radar facility in the Laotian mountains.

During the desperate battle, Etchberger, a ground radar superintendent, kept the enemy troops at bay with an M-16. His courageous action allowed seven of the 19 Americans there to be rescued, but Etchberger was mortally wounded as he boarded the rescue helicopter.

"I wouldn't be alive without him," said retired TSgt. John Daniel of La Junta, Colo., who was rescued from Lima Site 85 that fateful day. Although Etchberger was posthumously awarded the Air Force Cross, the White House at the time declined to award him the Medal of Honor, as it did not want to attract attention to the presence of the clandestine US site in a supposedly neutral country. [AirForceMagazine/7September2010] 

Two Libyans Charged with Espionage for Allegedly Spying on Opposition in Germany. German prosecutors say they have charged two Libyans with espionage for allegedly spying on exiled supporters of the North African country's opposition.

Federal prosecutors on Thursday identified the men only as 42-year-old Adel Ab. and 46-year-old Adel Al.

They suspect that the younger man led a network of people gathering information on the Libyan opposition in Germany and Western Europe. The older man allegedly was a member of that network.

Prosecutors charge that the two men spied in Germany from August 2007 until their arrest on May 13 this year.

The charges were filed Sept. 1 at a Berlin court. It wasn't clear when a trial might open. [CanadianPress/8September2010] 

Koran Burning Spurs Ex-CIA Official to Lead Protest. Suzanne Spaulding, a figure with long experience in U.S. intelligence circles, including a stint as assistant general counsel at the CIA, is urging former national security officials to speak out against a Florida preacher's plans for a public burning of the Koran on Sept. 11.

Spaulding's petition drive dovetails with an appeal Tuesday by Gen. David Petraeus, commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, to pastor Terry Jones of Gainesville, Fla., to drop his plans for a ritual burning of Islam's holiest book.

"It saddens me personally and worries me from a national security perspective because it fuels the terrorists' propaganda," Spaulding wrote in a letter to friends and former associates.

"Moreover, I don't believe it is a true reflection of America. While I think we need a long-term effort aimed at education and tied in some respects to broader counter-rad(ical) efforts, I am launching a short-term effort that I'm hoping maybe you will join."

Spaulding's petition calls for religious tolerance and includes the statement: "We condemn the act of burning the Koran, a sacred text for millions of Americans and others around the world, as we would condemn the burning of all sacred texts."

Spaulding, who has held top staff jobs on both the House and Senate intelligence committees and served on numerous intelligence-review commissions, is not approaching only former national security officials. She has also netted spiritual guru Deepak Chopra, who is promoting the cause on his Web site.

About 1,600 people from all walks of life had added their names to the petition, launched over the Labor Day holiday, by late Wednesday night. The major names on Spaulding's petition included former Virginia Democratic Sen. Chuck Robb; former FBI Director William S. Sessions; John Gannon, a former deputy director of national intelligence, and Mickey Edwards, a prominent former Republican congressman from Oklahoma.

The list was sprinkled, however, with the names of lesser known but senior former intelligence officials, such as former FBI counsel Marion "Spike" Bowman, former CIA officials Paul Pillar and Ronald Marks, Nicholas Rostow, who served on the Reagan White House national security council, and Elizabeth Rindskopf Parker, the first female general counsel at both the National Security Agency and CIA.

"We cannot allow this kind of blatant bigotry to stand unanswered," said Marks, who also served as intelligence counsel to former Republican senators Bob Dole and Trent Lott. "The Muslim Community in the United States should not be judged by the smallest of small minorities any more than any other group should be." [Stein/WashingtonPost/8September2010]

Court Dismisses a Case Asserting Torture by C.I.A. A federal appeals court on Wednesday ruled that former prisoners of the C.I.A. could not sue over their alleged torture in overseas prisons because such a lawsuit might expose secret government information.

The sharply divided ruling was a major victory for the Obama administration's efforts to advance a sweeping view of executive secrecy powers. It strengthens the White House's hand as it has pushed an array of assertive counterterrorism policies, while raising an opportunity for the Supreme Court to rule for the first time in decades on the scope of the president's power to restrict litigation that could reveal state secrets.

By a 6-to-5 vote, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit dismissed a lawsuit against Jeppesen Dataplan Inc., a Boeing subsidiary accused of arranging flights for the Central Intelligence Agency to transfer prisoners to other countries for imprisonment and interrogation. The American Civil Liberties Union filed the case on behalf of five former prisoners who say they were tortured in captivity - and that Jeppesen was complicit in that alleged abuse.

Judge Raymond C. Fisher described the case, which reversed an earlier decision, as presenting "a painful conflict between human rights and national security." But, he said, the majority had "reluctantly" concluded that the lawsuit represented "a rare case" in which the government's need to protect state secrets trumped the plaintiffs' need to have a day in court.

While the alleged abuses occurred during the Bush administration, the ruling added a chapter to the Obama administration's aggressive national security policies.

Its counterterrorism programs have in some ways departed from the expectations of change fostered by President Obama's campaign rhetoric, which was often sharply critical of former President George W. Bush's approach.

Among other policies, the Obama national security team has also authorized the C.I.A. to try to kill a United States citizen suspected of terrorism ties, blocked efforts by detainees in Afghanistan to bring habeas corpus lawsuits challenging the basis for their imprisonment without trial, and continued the C.I.A.'s so-called extraordinary rendition program of prisoner transfers - though the administration has forbidden torture and says it seeks assurances from other countries that detainees will not be mistreated.

The A.C.L.U. vowed to appeal the Jeppesen Dataplan case to the Supreme Court, which would present the Roberts court with a fresh opportunity to weigh in on a high-profile test of the scope and limits of presidential power in counterterrorism matters.

It has been more than 50 years since the Supreme Court issued a major ruling on the state-secrets privilege, a judicially created doctrine that the government has increasingly used to win dismissals of lawsuits related to national security, shielding its actions from judicial review. In 2007, the Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of a similar rendition and torture ruling by the federal appeals court in Richmond, Va.

The current case turns on whether the executive can invoke the state-secrets privilege to shut down entire lawsuits, or whether that power should be limited to withholding particular pieces of secret information. In April 2009, a three-judge panel on the Ninth Circuit adopted the narrower view, ruling that the lawsuit as a whole should proceed.

But the Obama administration appealed to the full San Francisco-based appeals court. A group of 11 of its judges reheard the case, and a narrow majority endorsed the broader view of executive secrecy powers. They concluded that the lawsuit must be dismissed without a trial - even one that would seek to rely only on public information.

"This case requires us to address the difficult balance the state secrets doctrine strikes between fundamental principles of our liberty, including justice, transparency, accountability and national security," Judge Fisher wrote. "Although as judges we strive to honor all of these principles, there are times when exceptional circumstances create an irreconcilable conflict between them."

Ben Wizner, a senior A.C.L.U. lawyer who argued the case before the appeals court, said the group was disappointed in the ruling.

"To this date, not a single victim of the Bush administration's torture program has had his day in court," Mr. Wizner said. "That makes this a sad day not only for the torture survivors who are seeking justice in this case, but for all Americans who care about the rule of law and our nation's reputation in the world. If this decision stands, the United States will have closed its courts to torture victims while providing complete immunity to their torturers."

Some plaintiffs in the case said they were tortured by C.I.A. interrogators at an agency "black site" prison in Afghanistan, while others said they were tortured by Egypt and Morocco after the C.I.A. handed them off to foreign security services.

The lead plaintiff is Binyam Mohamed, an Ethiopian citizen and legal resident of Britain who was arrested in Pakistan in 2002. He claimed he was turned over to the C.I.A., which flew him to Morocco and handed him off to its security service.

Moroccan interrogators, he said, held him for 18 months and subjected him to an array of tortures, including cutting his penis with a scalpel and then pouring a hot, stinging liquid on the open wounds.

Mr. Mohamed was later transferred back to the C.I.A., which he said flew him to its secret prison in Afghanistan. There, he said, he was held in continuous darkness, fed sparsely and subjected to loud noise - like the recorded screams of women and children - 24 hours a day.

He was later transferred again to the military prison at Guant�namo Bay, Cuba, where he was held for an additional five years. He was released and returned to Britain in early 2009 and is now free. There were signs in the court's ruling that the majority felt conflicted. In a highly unusual move, the court ordered the government to pay the plaintiffs' legal costs, even though they lost the case and had not requested such payment.

Judge Fisher, who was a senior Justice Department official before President Bill Clinton appointed him to the bench in 1999, also urged the executive branch and Congress to grant reparations to victims of C.I.A. "misjudgments or mistakes" that violated their human rights if government records confirmed their accusations, even though the courthouse was closed to them.

He cited as precedent payments made to Latin Americans of Japanese descent who were forcibly sent to United States internment camps during World War II. But the five dissenting judges criticized the realism of that idea, noting that those reparations took five decades.

"Permitting the executive to police its own errors and determine the remedy dispensed would not only deprive the judiciary of its role, but also deprive plaintiffs of a fair assessment of their claims by a neutral arbiter," Judge Michael Daly Hawkins wrote.

After the A.C.L.U. filed the case in 2007, the Bush administration asked a district judge to dismiss it, submitting public and classified declarations by the C.I.A. director at the time, Michael Hayden, arguing that litigating the matter would jeopardize national security.

The trial judge dismissed the case. As an appeal was pending, Mr. Obama won the 2008 presidential election. Although he had criticized the Bush administration's frequent use of the state-secrets privilege, in February 2009 his weeks-old administration told the appeals court that it agreed with the Bush view in that case.

In September 2009, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. issued a new state-secrets privilege policy requiring high-level approval, instructing officials to try to avoid shutting down lawsuits if possible, and forbidding its use with a motive of covering up lawbreaking or preventing embarrassment.

The administration told the court that using the privilege in the Jeppesen Dataplan case complied with that policy.

Judge Fisher agreed that "the government is not invoking the privilege to avoid embarrassment or to escape scrutiny of its recent controversial transfer and interrogation policies, rather than to protect legitimate national security concerns."

Jeppesen Dataplan and the C.I.A. referred questions to the Justice Department, where a spokesman, Matthew Miller, praised its new standards.

"The attorney general adopted a new policy last year to ensure the state-secrets privilege is only used in cases where it is essential to protect national security, and we are pleased that the court recognized that the policy was used appropriately in this case," Mr. Miller said. [Savage/NYTimes/9September2010] 

CIA Guy Says Random House Blew his Cover. A covert CIA agent says his cover was blown by Gary Schroen's book on terrorism, which reveals his identity in several "clear" pictures.

John Peppe claims that Schroen and Random House damaged his career in CIA "clandestine activities" and exposed him to becoming "subject to a fatwa."

Peppe says Schroen and Random House used a false name for him in the text of "First In, An Insider's Account of How the CIA Spearheaded the War on Terror in Afghanistan." But he says the book contains several clear photographs of him "not modified to protect identity."

Peppe says the book, published in 2007, describes incidents that are "true and involved activities of the plaintiff within his employment with the CIA." He demands $1 million for invasion of privacy.

The signatures, but not the names, of the plaintiff, his attorney, and the court clerk are all blacked out in the complaint in City Court. [Abbott/CourthouseNews/9September2010] 

Top US Intel Officer in Afghanistan to Leave Post. The top U.S. military intelligence officer in Afghanistan, who has led an aggressive and controversial push to change what kinds of intelligence the military collects, will be returning to Washington, a defense official said.

Army Maj. Gen. Michael Flynn is expected to be promoted to lieutenant general and take a job with James Clapper, the new director of national intelligence, who had pushed hard for Flynn to work for him, the official said.

Flynn arrived in Afghanistan in June 2009 with Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, who had been appointed the previous top commander in Afghanistan. The two officers had worked together on several previous occasions and had a close relationship.

McChrystal resigned under pressure in June following the publication of a Rolling Stone article in which some of his staff made derogatory remarks about senior Obama administration officials. Several senior officers from his staff have left their positions in recent months.

Still, McChrystal's successor, Gen. David H. Petraeus, has retained many of his key advisers. Petraeus has also recruited many senior officers who played prominent roles for him in Iraq in 2007.

In Afghanistan, Flynn produced a controversial report entitled "Fixing Intel," which criticized the military intelligence apparatus for being too focused on gathering information about the Taliban and failing to understand the cultural, economic and tribal dynamics that influence security and governance throughout Afghanistan.

Flynn controversially published his article through the Center for a New American Security, a nonpartisan think tank in Washington, instead of releasing it through official channels. The move drew a mild disapproval from Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, who said he largely agreed with Flynn's assessment. [Jaffe/WashingtonPost/9September2010]

Secrets Case Launched Against Ukraine Museum Head. Ukraine's state security service on Thursday opened a criminal probe against a museum director on suspicion of preparing to divulge secrets in what appeared to be a toughening of policy on declassifying historical documents.

Under former President Viktor Yushchenko, old KGB archives in the ex-Soviet republic were opened up in 2009 and thousands of documents spanning the Soviet period were declassified.

But a new state security (SBU) chief, appointed when President Viktor Yanukovich came to power in February, has come out against free public access to KGB-era files and said the job of Ukraine's SBU service is to guard secrets, not leak them.

On Thursday, the SBU said it had opened an investigation against Ruslan Zabily, director of a museum in Ukraine's western city of Lviv, for preparing to divulge state secrets.

Zabily - whose museum is dedicated to the tens of thousands who died in western Ukraine under Soviet and Nazi rule - had illegally gathered material containing state secrets, and intended to pass this on to other people, an SBU statement said.

He denied any state secrets were being compromised and said the historical documents on his laptop, which was seized by SBU agents on Wednesday, were publicly available.

Zabily, speaking at a Kiev news conference on Thursday, said the move was part of a drive by the Yanukovich leadership to play down the role of the Ukrainian nationalist movement in the nation's history and cover up Soviet-era abuses.

"I demand my computer back quickly. There were only copies on it of historical documents, my own research and personal information," he said in a statement.

Public access to KGB-era files was relaxed under Yushchenko, allowing many Ukrainians to find out what had happened to relatives who disappeared during the dark years under Soviet dictator Josef Stalin.

Yanukovich's power base is in the Russian-speaking east where many Ukrainians view history through a Soviet prism and share Russia's unease at overt criticism of the Soviet past.

Critics say restricting access to old KGB files reflects the strong pro-Moscow slant in Yanukovich's policies.

"Playing games with the memory of whole generations is fairly dangerous," Zabily later told Reuters. "Politicians should not get involved in these questions. That is the prerogative of historians."

New SBU chief Valery Khoroshkovsky reversed Yushchenko's policy on the KGB archives after taking over earlier this year and said:

"The job of the secret service is primarily to guard its secrets, guard the laws that created these secrets."

Volodymyr Vyatrovych, a former SBU archives chief who played an energetic role in opening up historical files until he was sacked when Yanukovich took over, said the action against Zabily seemed like a "witchhunt against historians".

"SBU agents not only are trying to cover up the crimes of the Stalin regime, but use his methods today as if it is not 2010 but 1937," Vyatrovych said in a statement. The SBU said compromising material had been found on Zabily when he arrived in Kiev from Lviv on Wednesday.

Its statement said action was under way "to identify the circle of people to whom the secret information had been intended." [KyuvPost/9September2010] 

Pentagon Plan: Buying Books to Keep Secrets. Defense Department officials are negotiating to buy and destroy all 10,000 copies of the first printing of an Afghan war memoir they say contains intelligence secrets, according to two people familiar with the dispute.

The publication of "Operation Dark Heart," by Anthony A. Shaffer, a former Defense Intelligence Agency officer and a lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserve, has divided military security reviewers and highlighted the uncertainty about what information poses a genuine threat to security.

Disputes between the government and former intelligence officials over whether their books reveal too much have become commonplace. But veterans of the publishing industry and intelligence agencies could not recall another case in which an agency sought to dispose of a book that had already been printed.

Army reviewers suggested various changes and redactions and signed off on the edited book in January, saying they had "no objection on legal or operational security grounds," and the publisher, St. Martin's Press, planned for an Aug. 31 release.

But when the Defense Intelligence Agency saw the manuscript in July and showed it to other spy agencies, reviewers identified more than 200 passages suspected of containing classified information, setting off a scramble by Pentagon officials to stop the book's distribution.

Release of the book "could reasonably be expected to cause serious damage to national security," Lt. Gen. Ronald L. Burgess Jr., the D.I.A. director, wrote in an Aug. 6 memorandum. He said reviewers at the Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency and United States Special Operations Command had all found classified information in the manuscript.

The disputed material includes the names of American intelligence officers who served with Colonel Shaffer and his accounts of clandestine operations, including N.S.A. eavesdropping operations, according to two people briefed on the Pentagon's objections. They asked not to be named because the negotiations are supposed to be confidential.

By the time the D.I.A. objected, however, several dozen copies of the unexpurgated 299-page book had already been sent out to potential reviewers, and some copies found their way to online booksellers. The New York Times was able to buy a copy online late last week.

The dispute arises as the Obama administration is cracking down on disclosures of classified information to the news media, pursuing three such prosecutions to date, the first since 1985. Separately, the military has charged an Army private with giving tens of thousands of classified documents to the organization WikiLeaks.

Steven Aftergood, who directs the Project on Government Secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists, said the case showed that judgments on what is classified "are often arbitrary and highly subjective." But in this case, he said, it is possible that D.I.A. reviewers were more knowledgeable than their Army counterparts about damage that disclosures might do.

Mr. Aftergood, who generally advocates open government but has been sharply critical of WikiLeaks, said the government's move to stop distribution of the book would draw greater attention to the copies already in circulation.

"It's an awkward set of circumstances," he said. "The government is going to make this book famous."

Colonel Shaffer, his lawyer, Mark S. Zaid, and lawyers for the publisher are near an agreement with the Pentagon over what will be taken out of a new edition to be published Sept. 24, with the allegedly classified passages blacked out. But the two sides are still discussing whether the Pentagon will buy the first printing, currently in the publisher's Virginia warehouse, and at what price.

A Pentagon spokesman, Cmdr. Bob Mehal, said the book had not received a proper "information security review" initially and that officials were working "closely and cooperatively" with the publisher and author to resolve the problem.

In a brief telephone interview this week before Army superiors asked him not to comment further, Colonel Shaffer said he did not think it contained damaging disclosures. "I worked very closely with the Army to make sure there was nothing that would harm national security," he said.

"Operation Dark Heart" is a breezily written, first-person account of Colonel Shaffer's five months in Afghanistan in 2003, when he was a civilian D.I.A. officer based at Bagram Air Base near Kabul.

He worked undercover, using the pseudonym "Christopher Stryker," and was awarded a Bronze Star for his work. Col. Jose R. Olivero of the Army, who recommended Colonel Shaffer for the honor, wrote that he had shown "skill, leadership, tireless efforts and unfailing dedication."

But after 2003, Colonel Shaffer was involved in a dispute over his claim that an intelligence program he worked for, code named Able Danger, had identified Mohammed Atta as a terrorist threat before he became the lead hijacker in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. An investigation by the Defense Department's inspector general later concluded that the claim was inaccurate.

In 2004, after Colonel Shaffer returned from another brief assignment in Afghanistan, D.I.A. officials charged him with violating several agency rules, including claiming excessive expenses for a trip to Fort Dix, N.J. Despite the D.I.A. accusations, which resulted in the revocation of his security clearance, the Army promoted him to lieutenant colonel from major in 2005. He was effectively fired in 2006 by D.I.A., which said he could not stay on without a clearance, and now works at a Washington research group, the Center for Advanced Defense Studies.

Even before the Able Danger imbroglio, Colonel Shaffer admits in his book, he was seen by some at D.I.A. as a risk-taking troublemaker. He describes participating in a midday raid on a telephone facility in Kabul to download the names and numbers of all the cellphone users in the country and proposing an intelligence operation to cross into Pakistan and spy on a Taliban headquarters.

In much of the book, he portrays himself as a brash officer who sometimes ran into resistance from timid superiors.

"A lot of folks at D.I.A. felt that Tony Shaffer thought he could do whatever the hell he wanted," Mr. Shaffer writes about himself. "They never understood that I was doing things that were so secret that only a few knew about them."

The book includes some details that typically might be excised during a required security review, including the names of C.I.A. and N.S.A. officers in Afghanistan, casual references to "N.S.A.'s voice surveillance system," and American spying forays into Pakistan.

David Wise, author of many books on intelligence, said the episode recalled the C.I.A.'s response to the planned publication of his 1964 book on the agency, "The Invisible Government." John A. McCone, then the agency's director, met with him and his co-author, Thomas B. Ross, to ask for changes, but they were not government employees and refused the request.

The agency studied the possibility of buying the first printing, Mr. Wise said, but the publisher of Random House, Bennett Cerf, told the agency he would be glad to sell all the copies to the agency - and then print more.

"Their clumsy efforts to suppress the book only made it a bestseller," Mr. Wise said. [Shane/NYTimes/10September2010] 

Terror Threat More Diverse, Study Says. The terrorist threat faced by the U.S. nine years after the 2001 attacks on New York and Washington is far more difficult to detect but less likely to produce mass-casualty attacks, according to the former leaders of the 9/11 Commission.

A report from a group led by the former commissioners, to be released Friday, finds terrorism is increasingly taking on an American cast, reflected in the growth of homegrown threats and the movement of terrorists recruited from the U.S. to areas like the horn of Africa and Yemen.

The report concludes some of the most-feared types of attacks are now unlikely, such as those using nuclear or biological weapons, or attacks on malls and shopping centers in less-populated cities. Despite al Qaeda's long-running interest in mass-casualty weapons, it hasn't shown the capacity to mount attacks with them, the report says.

The U.S. government is ill-equipped to counter the newest version of the terrorist threat, the report concludes, adding that "American overreactions," particularly on Capitol Hill and in the media, even to unsuccessful attacks, have arguably played into terrorists' hands and fuel anti-American sentiment.

"It's a much more complex and a much more diverse threat than it was" in 2001, said former 9/11 Commission Vice Chairman Lee Hamilton in an interview. "We lag behind still in developing responses to this threat."

No agency in the U.S. government, for example, is charged with monitoring and stopping the radicalization and recruitment of Americans to terrorist ranks, he said.

"The White House is addressing this challenge through a process that attempts to leverage all the tools the government has to offer," said spokesman Tommy Vietor.

The report was written by terrorism analysts Peter Bergen and Bruce Hoffman for the national security group of the Bipartisan Policy Center, a Washington think tank. The security group is led by former 9/11 Commission Chairman Tom Kean and Mr. Hamilton.

The study tracks with recent assessments from the director of national intelligence and the Central Intelligence Agency highlighting the increasing reliance of al Qaeda and affiliates on people who can easily and legally enter and travel in the U.S. to plot and mount attacks.

Officials at intelligence agencies and the Department of Homeland Security zeroed in on the homegrown threat following a series of attacks and botched plots, including the Fort Hood, Texas, shootings and the attempted Times Square bombing.

Last year, there were 10 U.S.-linked jihadi attacks, plots or incidents involving individuals traveling outside the country to receive terrorist training, the report found. Meanwhile, at least 43 American citizens or legal residents aligned with militant groups were charged or convicted in terrorism cases in the U.S. and elsewhere in 2009.

The Ground Zero 'Tribute in Light' beams are visible from Brooklyn during a test Wednesday ahead of the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in New York City.

Al Qaeda and its allies have established "an embryonic terrorist recruitment, radicalization and operational infrastructure" in the U.S., the report concludes.

The report also identifies more and less likely targets and means of attack. More likely targets include commercial aviation, Western brand names like American hotel chains, Jewish targets and U.S. soldiers fighting in Muslim countries. Potential tactics include suicide operations, attacks by gunmen in the model of the 2008 assault on Mumbai, India, and assassinations of key leaders.

The group hopes its findings will encourage the U.S. government to focus more of its limited resources on the most likely attack scenarios. "It's very hard to get the government to establish priorities," Mr. Hamilton said.

As public attention in recent years has turned to the global economic crisis, the report says, attempted terror attacks have climbed. "The polls say Americans are turning their attention away from the terrorist threat," Mr. Hamilton said. "This report says they better not." [Gorman/WallStreetJournal/10September2010] 

MI5 Agent Launches Legal Action Against the Government. The spy, codenamed "Amir" is claiming that the security service committed a breach of trust and failed in its duty of care after he was summoned to give evidence at a trial in Northern Ireland earlier this year.

Amir was recruited by MI5 in 2004 to infiltrate the Real IRA amid fears that the republican dissidents were planning to launch a series of gun and bomb attacks in a bid to destroy the Northern Ireland peace process.

The group was understood to be attempting to buy large amounts of explosives and to replenish weapon caches following the IRA decommissioning process.

The dissident republican group, which was led by Paul McCaugherty, from Lurgan Co. Armagh, were also plotting to kill General Sir Michael Rose, a former commander of the SAS and the UN Force in Bosnia.

Members of the Police Service of Northern Ireland were also to be assassinated in a series of grenades attacks.

The disaffected spy has now has hired the London lawyers, Bindmans, which has a reputation as one of the country's leading human rights firms, to fight his case, thought to be the first of its kind.

At the centre of Amir's claim is that following his appearance in a Belfast Court he will no longer be able to work as an under cover agent, a role in which he has specialized for a large part of his professional career.

The Sunday Telegraph understands that Amir, who was effectively a freelance agent, paid on a daily basis, agreed to work for MI5 on the understanding that he would never have to appear as a prosecution witness.

As part of the sting operation, Amir was instructed to target Desmond Paul Kearns, 44, from Lurgan, Co. Armagh, a suspected dissident republican, in what is known as a "bump operation".

The "bump" with Kearns took place outside a store in Luxembourg where he was buying cut price cigarettes.

Amir struck up a conversation with Kearns, telling him that he could supply cigarettes at even better prices than those on sale.

After a series of meeting in bars in Brussels and Amsterdam, Amir sold Kearns, and a woman, believed to be Kearn's wife, that he could also get cheap cigarettes, laptops, clothes and jewelry before mentioning that he could get guns from Pakistan.

The following year in July 2005, Amir was contacted by MI5 and was told to introduce Kearns to a weapons expert known as Ejaz, also believed to be an MI5 agent.

In another meeting an arms dealer known as Ali , who was also an MI5 agent, offered the Real IRA suspects 1,000kg of explosives, detonators and cords, 20 AK-47s, 20 RPG-22s, 10 sniper rifles and 20 pistols with silencers for �104,000 (�87,000).

Amir claims he was given an assurance that any intelligence gathered would not be used in evidence at a trial and he would not be called as a prosecution witness.

Virtually of all of Amir's meetings with the alleged terrorists, which amounted to dozens of hours, were bugged and filmed.

The agent initially refused to give evidence but was told by a judge that he would be in contempt of court and could potentially be imprisoned.

Amir eventually appeared at Belfast crown court in May 2010 and in the following month the case against Kearns was dropped after the judge ruled that he had been entrapped by Amir but the case against McCaugherty was allowed to continue.

McCaugherty was convicted of attempting to import weapons and explosives and is due to be sentenced later this month.

One source told The Sunday Telegraph that Amir had risked his life to bring suspected terrorists to trial but had been treated in a "very shoddy" manner by MI5.

He said: "People are alive today because of the risk Amir has taken. The nation owes him a debt of gratitude. Agents like Amir are never meant to end up in court giving evidence.

"His cover is now blown and he will never be able to work again as an undercover agent." [Rayman/Telegraph/12September2010]

Ex-British Spy Noor Inayat Khan To Be Honored With A Memorial In London. Britain will honor Noor Inayat Khan, a British secret agent during the Second World War, by making a memorial near her former home at Gordon Square in London. Khan was also the descendant of 18th century South Indian ruler Tipu Sultan.

Khan, who had also received Britain's top honor - the George Cross - after her death in 1949 - lived in the aforementioned house until her last mission to France. The Nazis executed her in the German city of Dachau. She was 30 at the time of her death.

Ex-British Premier Winston Churchill had opened a secret organization called Special Operations Executive in which she was one of only three women employed by the group.

The French government also awarded her the Croix de Guerre for her bravery as she was instrumental in the French Resistance.

The news of her bust creation has also delighted Labor MP Valerie Vaz, who tabled an Early Day Motion in the House Commons in July and the Noor Inayat Khan Memorial Trust, which campaigned for her memorial for many months.

"Noor deserves this recognition," a delighted Vaz said. "It is the most wonderful news."

Shrabani Basu, author of 'Spy Princess: The Life of Noor Inayat Khan' and founder of the Noor Inayat Khan Memorial Trust, said, "It means her memory will be preserved for future generations. It will not only be a memorial to an inspirational Indian woman but also a memorial for peace, as Noor was a Sufi and believed in non-violence. Noor's sacrifice will not have been in vain," Basu said. [AllHeadlineNews/12September2010] 


Listening In Tongues. After nearly a decade of fighting in Afghanistan and the Middle East, the U.S. Army still can't find enough linguists (interpreters to help troops dealing with locals and translators to handle documents and recordings). Even before September 11, 2001, the army was having problems finding enough linguists. During the 1990s, there was a big need for Albanian and Slavic language linguists to support American peacekeeping operations there. Currently, the army is spending over $250 million a year for contract linguists. The big demand now is for those who can speak Pashto and Dari, the two major languages in Afghanistan.

The U.S. military has had some success in finding American troops who speak foreign languages well enough to operate as battlefield translators. This was a major boost for intelligence gathering, since a lot of what you want to know can be found in what the locals are saying. But after five years of effort, there are still problems in identifying troops who can speak specific dialects. The problem is agreeing on how to test for these kinds of skills. It's complicated, mainly because there are so many dialects in the Arab world, and places like Afghanistan.

The Department of Defense is also trying to find troops who have sufficient cultural knowledge of a foreign area to be certified as expert enough to be militarily useful. Again, the problem has been one of deciding on criteria, and then applying it effectively. This is all a work in progress, although a solution is promised soon. It always is.

Meanwhile, the Department of Defense has created several programs to get more translators. The Foreign Language Proficiency Bonus Program pays troops a monthly bonus if they speak certain languages. But the monthly bonus is paid only when the language is used. For example, the U.S. Navy will pay French speaking sailors an extra $500 a month if they are involved in a part of the world (like Africa) where French is a common second language. Thus it is a contingent (on having to actually use the skill) bonus. In the past, the bonuses were only paid for those who had passed a proficiency exam, and spoke a language the military had few translators for. In particular, Arabic, Pashto and Farsi (the last two are common in Afghanistan) are still in great demand. But the old system paid the troops that $500 a month whether they were using their language skill or not. Now the top bonus is $1000 a month.

Then there is the LES (Language Enabled Soldier) program, which offers ten months of language training for volunteers. If the student is successful, they qualify for the bonus. Troops also realize that more interpreters make their job a lot easier in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. Now, brigades are going to Iraq and Afghanistan with a hundred or more troops qualified as translators, to one degree or another.

The military has also been actively recruiting recent immigrants who could go through training to improve their skills and teach them how to use those skills for translation in a military situation. This is the EHLS (English for Heritage Language Speakers), which takes native speakers of these languages, living in the U.S., but lack the English language skills to be effective translators. The program involves a government paid, six month (720 hour) intensive course that improves the students English language skills. Those who successfully finish EHLS will be offered translating jobs with the U.S. government, but the students are under no legal obligation to take any of those jobs. However, those who speak one of the needed foreign languages as their native language, and express interest in a government translator job, will be given priority in getting into the EHLS program. The Department of Defense currently has a shortage of translators able to handle Arabic, Persian, Russian, Mandarin Chinese, Pashto, Urdu and Korean. This program has been successful, although the government continues to employ thousands of contract translators.

The U.S. Department of Defense believes it needs 140,000 translators, for over 60 languages. A survey of the entire Department of Defense found that 217,000 people (about eight percent of all active duty reserve and civilian personnel) could speak a foreign language. But it's taken a lot of effort, and new programs, to get the translators for the right languages, to the places where they are needed most. In the meantime, the Department of Defense has found that private firms are more efficient (and expensive) in finding suitable linguists. These contract linguists can earn up to $200,000 a year, compared to $15,000 a year for local hires. The contract linguists often have security clearances (essential for secret documents and situations), and there are never enough of those. While the local hires are cheaper and more abundant, they are not as reliable. There's always the potential for incorrect translation (often because the interpreter simply doesn't like the tribe you are dealing with). [StrategyPage/4September2010]

War Story: US Vet Who Caught Japan's Tojo Speaks. John J. Wilpers Jr. went decades without publicly revealing details about his international headline-making exploits at the end of World War II, a string of silence befitting a former Army intelligence officer-turned-career CIA employee.

It took the belated awarding of a Bronze Star to the upstate New York native to finally loosen the lips of the man credited with preventing former Japanese prime minister Hideki Tojo from committing suicide on Sept. 11, 1945, nine days after Japan officially surrendered. Tojo was eventually put on trial for war crimes and executed in 1948.

"I never wanted it in the first place," Wilpers, 90, said of the attention he received after capturing Tojo and again earlier this year when he finally received the medal.

Until being awarded with one of the military's highest honors in a late February ceremony held at the Pentagon, Wilpers had never spoken at length with the media about his role in capturing Tojo, who at the time was vilified in America and elsewhere for Japan's surprise attack on Pearl Harbor and wartime atrocities against Allied prisoners in the Pacific Theater.

For years after the war, Wilpers told neither his wife nor their five children about his wartime experiences, including Tojo's capture. It wasn't until his son Michael, then in college in the mid-1970s, read an account of the capture that Wilpers' children learned what their father did during the war.

"He was reading something in the library: 'John Wilpers, blah, blah, blah, Tojo,'" the elder Wilpers told The Associated Press this week in a telephone interview from his home in Garrett Park, Md. "He asked me, 'What's this about?' I said, 'Forget you ever saw it.'"

Even Wilpers' oldest son, a journalist for 30 years, never got a scoop from his old man.

"He didn't talk about it at all. He didn't talk about his work, didn't talk about the war," John J. Wilpers III, a media consultant from Marshfield, Mass., said Friday.

Born in Albany on Nov. 11, 1919 - the first anniversary of the end of World War I - "Jack" Wilpers was a boy when his family moved 30 miles north to Saratoga Springs. His father worked as a bookmaker in the famous horse racing town and his mother ran a tea room at a nearby golf course.

He entered the Army Air Corps in 1942 and transferred to a counterintelligence unit. He shipped out to New Guinea in August 1944, served in the Philippines and Okinawa, then was among some of the first American troops to enter Japan.

On Sept. 11, 1945, nine days after Japanese officials surrendered, Gen. Douglas MacArthur ordered Tojo's arrest. He had gone into seclusion, but proved easy to find for then-25-year-old Lt. Wilpers and the rest of the small Army counterintelligence detail sent to arrest him: American newsmen had picked up Tojo's trail and were already camped outside his house in suburban Tokyo.

"The best way of finding Tojo was to find our own U.S. newspaper people, because they were there well ahead of us," Wilpers recalled.

Through an interpreter, Tojo was told he was being taken into custody by the Americans. After appearing at a window, Tojo ducked back inside. Soon after, a gunshot was heard. Wilpers kicked open the door to Tojo's room and found him lying on a small couch, blood splattered on his white shirt and a pistol still clutched in his right hand.

"I was trying to keep one eye on him and one on the pistol," Wilpers said.

He had tried to shoot himself in the heart, but only managed a severe wound. Reporters piled into the small room behind Wilpers and photographers began snapping pictures. One of the best-known photos, taken by a correspondent for Yank magazine, shows a uniformed Wilpers aiming his sidearm at the wounded Tojo as he picks up the man's gun with his other hand.

News accounts reported that Tojo's house staff and a Japanese doctor summoned to the home apparently were inclined to let him die from the self-inflicted gunshot. According to the reporters and photographers on the scene, that didn't sit well with Wilpers.

"We managed, at gunpoint practically, to get a next-door neighbor to get a doctor, and he was forced to come down and treat him," Wilpers told the AP on Friday.

An American Army doctor and medical staff eventually showed up and kept Tojo from dying.

Tojo's capture made headlines worldwide, and Wilpers' name and photograph appeared in publications across the U.S. For many in America, the ex-premier was the last holdout of the Axis triumvirate that included Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini. By the time the war ended in Europe in May 1945, Hitler had committed suicide in his Berlin bunker and Mussolini had been executed by Italian partisans.

Tojo stood trial for war crimes, was found guilty by a military tribunal and hanged on Dec. 23, 1948, a week before his 64th birthday.

Wilpers said he doesn't recall any nervousness prior to confronting Tojo, and he claims not to have given the man's downfall much thought in the following decades. Of the handful of American servicemen who participated in the capture, Wilpers said he's the last one alive.

"We didn't know any better, how good or bad it could have been," he said. "It was a job we were told to do and we did it. After, it was 'Let's move on. Let's get back to the U.S.'"

Wilpers said after the war he spent 33 years in the CIA, but declined to discuss specifics of his work. Over the past two decades, Wilpers rebuffed various requests, including several from the AP, to tell his story in detail. That began to change last February, when he spoke to the Washington Post and the Army News Service after receiving the Bronze Star he was first recommended for in 1947.

According to the medal's citation: "Had Captain Wilpers not acted with courage and initiative, Hideki Tojo would have succeeded in avoiding trial and possible execution for his acts."

For his part, the self-deprecating Wilpers downplays his place in history.

"I just happened to be the one who busted open the door," he told the AP. [FederalNewsRadio/10September2010] 

Daylighting Camp Hale's Shadowy Past: From CIA Training of Tibetal Guerrillas to Modern-Day Psyops. Camp Hale on U.S. 24 between Vail and Leadville has two fascinating histories: the very public tale of the 10th Mountain Division, which trained alpine ski troopers there who fought the Nazis in Italy in World War II, and a more secretive past that includes the training of Tibetan freedom fighters to battle the Chinese in the late 50s and early 60s.

That less-publicized mission, conducted by the Central Intelligence Agency, was for years a national secret, revealed only in bits and pieces beginning in the early 1970s. It was a raw source of controversy that stirred debate about nation building and clandestine meddling in the affairs of other countries, and it had ugly overtones that harkened back to the CIA debacle at the Bay of Pigs in Cuba in 1961.

But on Friday, in a ceremony at Camp Hale, the equally unsuccessful attempt to resist the Chinese takeover of Tibet by training a couple hundred "Khampas" was revealed in full daylight and commemorated with a plaque at the behest of U.S. Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo.

Vail Daily reporter Scott Miller attended and provided this account, which alludes to Udall's interest in mountain climbing (Tibet is the northern gateway to Mount Everest) and the service of his mother in the Peace Corps in Nepal (the southern gateway to Everest).

My wife, Kristin Kenney Williams, who in her past life before public affairs was a reporter at the Vail Daily and other publications, first wrote about the Camp Hale-CIA-Tibet connection in the late 1990s. She did a cover story for me as editor of the Vail Trail - which unfortunately is not online - that stemmed from her previous life as a researcher for a renowned non-fiction espionage writer.

Kristin and I first met as reporters at the Vail Daily in the early 1990s, but when we got married in 1995, we moved back to Washington, DC, where she resumed a college job she'd held doing research for David Wise, who in 1964 wrote "The Invisible Government" - which one critic called the "first full account of America's intelligence and espionage apparatus."

That book was bitterly opposed by the CIA, which considered buying all available copies to keep it from public consumption. Now you can read the whole thing online courtesy of Oregon's nonprofit American Buddha. Another interesting read is the CIA book review of "The Invisible Government," declassified in 1995.

"If this book is widely accepted at its face value within the United States, it can only reduce public confidence in the intelligence services and make it more difficult for them to recruit the able men and women we shall need in the difficult days that lie ahead," wrote the CIA of Wise's expose co-authored with Thomas Ross.

"The KGB technicians must find it hard to believe their good luck in being donated so much useful ammunition by a reputable American publisher [Random House] and two certifiably non-Communist journalists."

Wise, born in 1930, is a great journalist and a fascinating man I had the good fortune to get to know during our year in DC in 1996. After serving as Kennedy administration White House correspondent and Washington bureau chief for the New York Herald Tribune, Wise went on to author numerous books on virtually every major spy scandal of the past four decades.

It was in his 1973 book "The Politics of Lying: Government Deception, Secrecy and Power" that Wise first revealed the Camp Hale training of Tibetan freedom fighters between 1958 and 1964. In 1961, a year before Vail even opened, the whole program was nearly exposed when a bus carrying some Tibetans to a Colorado Springs airport broke down.

The New York Times found out about the incident when airport workers spotted the Tibetans, but the feds talked the paper out of writing about the incident and it was successfully covered up until Wise wrote about the mission 12 years later.

When unexploded ordinance began cropping up around Camp Hale a few years ago, it was originally believed to be shells and ammunition left over from ski trooper training in the 1940s. But a 10th Mountain Division veteran told me it was far more likely the remnants of the CIA training of Tibetans, which operated under the cover of explosives being developed on the remote site. World War II era ordinance simply wouldn't have lasted more than 60 years, said Earl Clark of Littleton, 83 at the time.

"[The Tibetan mission] ultimately was stopped because as far as the guerillas were concerned the Chinese forces were so great in number that the operations of the guerillas against them were meaningless, and most of them were either captured or annihilated," Clark told me 2003.

I had called him for comment on a contemporary story I was working on after I encountered a group of U.S. Army reservists that year heading into Camp Hale on snowshoes with M-16s and full packs. Their sergeant told me they belonged to a psychological operations (psyops) unit getting in some winter warfare training before heading to an undisclosed location overseas - most likely Afghanistan.

"We provide information, that's basically what we are," then Sgt. Bruce Davis told me at the time. "In a layman's sense, we do marketing. We try to sell democracy and the concept of how it works."

I was shocked to see modern-day soldiers still using Camp Hale, which is mostly just wide-open wilderness at the headwaters of the Eagle River, with just a few old foundations left over from the camp's glory days. I've since found out that special operations forces out of Fort Carson in Colorado Springs also still sometimes use Camp Hale for its original purpose.

Even more intriguing to me was the 324th Psyop Unit out of Denver using the camp for "hearts and minds" training.

"It's all bullshit," warfare expert Donald Goldstein, professor of public and international affairs at the University of Pittsburgh, told me for that 2003 story. "Warfare has changed to the point that instead of just killing people, you have to understand them first."

A couple of months later I interviewed Udall, then the U.S. Rep. for the 2nd Congressional District that includes Vail. He was doing a flyover out of the U.S. Army National Guard's High Altitude Aviation Training site at the Eagle County Regional Airport. The facility trains military helicopter pilots from all over the world to fly in heat and high altitude similar to places like Afghanistan, as I detailed in a 2006 article.

Udall at the time had just voted against a congressional resolution giving then President George W. Bush the authority to attack Iraq, instead preferring more diplomacy and United Nations weapons inspections. Combat troops just recently pulled out of Iraq, and no weapons of mass destruction have ever been found.

"My prayers and hopes go out to the families of the men and women killed," Udall said at the time, sitting in a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter, "and we all just hope and pray that [the war] ends soon." [Williams/RealVail/13September2010] 

The Spy Who Saved the Soviets. Richard Sorge had just returned to Tokyo on June 22, 1941, when he heard the report, being shouted by newsboys in the street, that Germany had invaded the Soviet Union. Sorge, a prominent German journalist, notorious womanizer, and heavy drinker, had earlier been driving through the countryside with his latest paramour, a beautiful German pianist. Now, sitting at the bar at the Imperial Hotel, he sank into a black mood and became belligerently drunk.

"Hitler's a f - -ing criminal," he shouted in English. "A murderer. But Stalin will teach the bastard a lesson. You just wait and see!" Neither the Japanese barman nor Sorge's drinking companion could calm him. From a public telephone in the lobby he dialed the German embassy. "This war is lost!" he shouted to the startled ambassador Eugen Ott, a longtime friend.

Sorge's rage was fueled in part by hatred of war (he had served in the German army in the First World War and was grievously wounded) and by his belief that Hitler's attack would lead to disaster. But there was another, more potent, reason for his anger. For Richard Sorge - the German journalist, Nazi Party member, and part-time press officer in the German embassy - was in fact an officer in the Soviet foreign military intelligence service, the GRU, and the most important Soviet spy in Asia. And just weeks earlier, his warnings to Moscow of the imminent German attack had been ignored.

On a dispatch he sent the GRU on June 1, which read, "Expected start of German-Soviet war around June 15 is based on information Lt. Colonel Scholl brought with him from Berlin...for Ambassador Ott," Sorge's superiors in Moscow had written, "Suspicious. To be listed with telegrams intended as provocations." An earlier warning from Sorge was contemptuously dismissed by Stalin as coming from "a shit who has set himself up with some little factories and brothels in Japan."

Sorge nonetheless continued his espionage work - and after the shock of the German attack proved him right, Moscow began heeding his reports. Within a few months, the activities of this man, who many regard as the most important spy of World War II, would provide information that enabled the Soviets to halt the Nazi blitzkrieg at the gates of Moscow, and altered the course of the war.

He seemed custom-made for the role. Richard Sorge was born in 1895 in southern Russia. His mother was Russian, his father a German engineer. The family moved to Germany a few years later, where the boy was raised in an upper-middle-class home. But his Russian origins exerted a lifelong influence. In 1914, Sorge enlisted in the German army. While recuperating from shrapnel wounds that shattered his legs and left him with a lifelong limp, he seduced - and was seduced by - a nurse. She and her father, a physician and a Marxist, introduced Sorge to radical ideas. He spent the next few years studying economics and political science, and Marxist ideology.

At the end of the war, radicalism of all stripes was rampant in Germany, and Sorge veered leftward. He earned a PhD in 1919 and in the same year joined the German Communist Party. Sorge plunged into leftist propaganda work among some German coal miners with whom he had taken a job. He also plunged into an affair with the wife of one of his former professors.

Sorge was both handsome and charismatic, irresistible to women and admired by men. Such was the case with the Gerlach household. Years later Christiane Gerlach described her first sight of Sorge: "It was as if a stroke of lightning ran through me. In this one second something awoke in me that had slumbered until now, something dangerous, dark, inescapable...." Sorge also charmed the professor, Christiane's husband, who agreed to an amicable divorce, and Sorge and Christiane married in 1922. It lasted only a few years. 

Sorge's leftist agitation got him in trouble with the police, and in 1924 he fled Germany for the new Promised Land - Soviet Russia. There he joined the Soviets' new international arm, the Comintern (short for Communist International), working as a liaison with foreign communist parties. In 1929, he began work as a military intelligence officer, and the GRU assigned him to work in China. He was instructed in the political and military aspects of his new position as well as the fundamentals of clandestine trade craft. Ever a magnet for women, he took as a lover an attractive drama student, Katya Maximova. After three productive years of espionage work in China, Sorge returned to Moscow in 1933, where he married Maximova, a decision that would bring her grief.

After Japan's conquest of Manchuria in 1931-32, Moscow feared that Japanese aggression might turn toward the Soviet Far East. Sorge's assignment was to set up a network in Japan and reveal Japan's intent toward the Soviet Union. To establish his cover as a journalist, he traveled there via Germany, where a newspaper editor who agreed to accept his articles gave him a letter of introduction to a German army officer, Col. Eugen Ott, the new military attach� in Tokyo.

Sorge arrived in Tokyo in September 1933. His newspaper articles helped establish his credentials as an expert on Japan. He also joined the Nazi Party. In this way, he gained access to the German embassy, where diplomats - including the ambassador to Japan at the time, Herbert von Dirksen - came to value his opinions and analysis. 

Sorge did not pretend to be an ardent Nazi. He often voiced scorn for Nazi excesses and the stupidity of some party leaders. Curiously, this enhanced, rather than undermined, his credibility. Surely someone who dared speak his mind so freely could be only what he appeared to be - a serious scholar and patriot whose blunt words and war wounds attested to his authenticity. Another aspect of Sorge's "cover" was equally genuine: his penchant for heavy drinking and chasing women. An American journalist and bar-hopping companion wrote later that Sorge "created the impression of being a playboy, almost a wastrel, the very antithesis of a keen and dangerous spy."

In October 1934, Colonel Ott invited Sorge to accompany him on a tour of Manchuria. Sorge wrote a trip report, which Ott forwarded to the high command in Berlin, where it won praise. Sorge became Ott's most trusted adviser on Japanese politics and was welcomed in Ott's home - and before long, into the bed of Helma Ott, the colonel's wife. That Sorge would choose to jeopardize his relationship with the military attach� was surpassed in improbability only by the fact that when Ott learned of the affair, he chose to overlook it, believing, correctly, that it would soon blow over. Ott valued Sorge's insights into Japan too highly to allow this indiscretion to ruin their relationship. One of Ott's favorite epithets for Sorge was "der Unwiderstehliche" - the Irresistible. The colonel, too, had fallen under Sorge's spell.

Sorge's Tokyo network included two other agents sent by Moscow. Branko Vukelic, a Yugoslav communist, worked as a journalist for a French news agency and handled microfilm work for Sorge. Max Clausen, a German communist, was the ring's radio operator. Clausen sent dispatches in a numerical code using a one-time pad, a cumbersome but virtually unbreakable code system that relied on a secret, random key. Japanese authorities discovered the unauthorized radio transmissions, but were unable to pinpoint the source or decipher the code.

The ring's most important member, after Sorge himself, was Hotsumi Ozaki, a left-leaning Japanese journalist. Ozaki was a highly respected expert on China, with influential political contacts. One of his friends was the chief cabinet secretary to the prime minister, Prince Fumimaro Konoye; Konoye later hired Ozaki as a cabinet consultant. Ozaki moved into an office in the prime minister's official residence, where he had access to classified documents and worked on foreign policy reports and recommendations for the government. Ozaki's information and assessments became key elements of Sorge's reports to Moscow. In Sorge's discussions with German embassy officials, he presented Ozaki's opinions as his own, which further enhanced his stature as a trusted expert.

Sorge lived in a small rented house in a quiet residential neighborhood, within sight of the local police station. This may have been part of Sorge's unorthodox method, to "hide in plain sight." He certainly did not give the appearance of hiding. He raced through Tokyo's crowded streets on a motorcycle at breakneck speed, sober or drunk. In the summer of 1936, he wooed a pretty 26-year-old named Hanako Iishi, a waitress at one of his regular haunts. Before long, Iishi moved into Sorge's house. It would be the most enduring relationship of his life.

In the spring of 1936, Sorge's three years of groundwork in Tokyo began to pay off. Eugen Ott learned from Japanese army contacts of secret negotiations between Germany and Japan for what would be known as the Anti-Comintern Pact, a de facto anti-Soviet treaty. The negotiations were conducted in Berlin, and the German embassy in Tokyo was kept in the dark. Ott shared this intelligence only with Ambassador Dirksen, and with Sorge. As a result, Sorge - and the GRU - were kept abreast of the negotiations, which heightened Moscow's concern that the alliance could threaten the Soviet Union with a two-front war.

In 1938, Ott, who had been promoted to major general, became Germany's ambassador to Japan. This further enhanced Sorge's standing in the German embassy. Ott showed him drafts of his cables and reports and asked his opinion before transmitting them to Berlin. The embassy staff took their cue from Ott. As Sorge himself wrote, "They would come to me and say, 'we have found out such and such a thing, have you heard about it and what do you think?'" The embassy's police attach�, Gestapo Col. Joseph Meisinger, confirmed that the relationship between Ott and Sorge "was now so close that all normal reports from attach�s to Berlin became mere appendages to the overall report written by Sorge and signed by the Ambassador." 

That June, Gen. Genrikh Lyushkov, head of the NKVD (predecessor of the KGB) in the Soviet Far East, crossed the border into Manchuria and sought political asylum in Japan to avoid Stalin's bloody purge of the Red Army's leadership. Moscow was desperate to know what he was telling the Japanese. Berlin had sent an intelligence officer to Tokyo to help debrief Lyushkov; Sorge got the embassy's copy of the top-secret report. It said that according to Lyushkov, there was strong dissatisfaction and opposition to Stalin in the Soviet Union, and that if Japan struck, the Red Army "may collapse in a day." Lyushkov had also apparently disclosed Soviet military deployments and codes. Naturally, Moscow changed the codes.

Six weeks later, a Soviet-Japanese border clash erupted at the site of Lyushkov's defection, sparked by over-aggressive Soviet efforts to seal the border there. Intelligence from the Sorge ring shaped the Soviets' tough response. Hotsumi Ozaki had learned that Japan's leaders, preoccupied with their war in China, were determined to prevent this from becoming a large-scale conflict. So Moscow threw thousands of men, with armor and air support, into the battle. After two weeks of fighting, the Battle of Lake Khasan ended with Japan accepting Moscow's terms.

The same dynamic played out one year later during an undeclared war on the Mongolia-Manchuria frontier. The stakes and the scope of the fighting were far greater this time, but the result was similar. Again, Sorge was able to report authoritatively that the Japanese government was determined that the conflict not grow into a general war. That emboldened Stalin to deal a crushing blow to the Japanese in August 1939 at the Battle of Khalkhin Gol.

At the same time, Sorge kept Moscow informed about Japan's attempts to draw Germany into an anti-Soviet military alliance. That information contributed to Stalin's decision to counter the threat by himself aligning late that August with Hitler in the German-Soviet Nonaggression Pact - triggering the outbreak of the Second World War one week later. In one stroke, Stalin helped instigate war between Germany, Britain, and France, leaving the Soviet Union safely on the sidelines, and cut Japan off from its Anti-Comintern ally, Germany, allowing him to deal with the Japanese military threat in isolation. Sorge's reports to Moscow helped shape this strategy. But his greatest service to the USSR was yet to come.

By late 1940, Sorge began to pick up indications of a large-scale German military buildup near the Soviet borders. On December 28, he sent his first serious warning to Moscow about a possible German attack. More would follow.

By early May 1941, Sorge became convinced that war was imminent. He summed up his concerns in a dispatch transmitted on May 6: "Possibility of outbreak of war at any moment is very high... German generals estimate the Red Army's fighting capacity is so low...[it] will be destroyed in the course of a few weeks."

A May 30 dispatch to the GRU began: "Berlin informed Ott that German attack will commence in the latter part of June. Ott 95 percent certain war will commence."

Then, on May 31, Lt. Col. Edwin Scholl confided to Sorge that 170 to 190 German divisions were massed on the Soviet border and the invasion would begin June 15. On June 1, Sorge sent this momentous news to Moscow. It should have been the most important dispatch of his career. It was this message that was marked "suspicious" and a "provocation" by his bosses.

Aware that his warnings were being disregarded, Sorge tried once more to rouse Stalin from his complacency. On June 20, he drafted this warning: "Ott told me that war between Germany and the USSR is inevitable... Invest [the code name for Ozaki] told me that the Japanese General Staff is already discussing what position to take in the event of war." Max Clausen transmitted the dispatch on June 21; the German invasion began the next day, and took the Red Army totally by surprise. The next five months were catastrophic for Russia.

Immediately after the attack, Moscow called on Sorge for urgent help. A curt radio message ordered him to report on the Japanese government's policy regarding the German-Soviet war. The point was this: if Japan decided to attack the Soviet Far East, a grave situation would become vastly - perhaps fatally - worse. At that moment, Berlin was directing Ambassador Ott to use all possible means to persuade Japan to attack the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union might not survive a two-front war.

Meanwhile, a policy debate arose in Tokyo. Japan was deeply engaged in war in China; but China had vast strategic depth and there was no end in sight. Now, the situation in Europe presented new possibilities. Germany's victories in Western Europe opened the door for Japan to advance into the resource-rich French, Dutch, and British colonies in Southeast Asia. On the other hand, Hitler's invasion of Russia invited Japan to strike north into Siberia and the Soviet Far East. Each course entailed risk. Japan, bogged down in China, could not strike south and north. It would have to choose.

Less than a week after the German attack, Sorge accurately summed up the situation for Moscow. He reported that Japan had decided to send troops into French Indochina; that Ozaki believed Japan would wait to see how the German-Soviet war developed; that it would attack north if the Red Army were quickly defeated; but that Ott believed Japan would not attack north for the time being. Stalin's signature at the bottom of this document indicates that the supreme leader read Sorge's dispatch, not just a summary of it.

The relationship between Ott and Sorge "was now so close that all normal reports from attach�s to Berlin became mere appendages to the overall report written by Sorge and signed by the Ambassador."

On July 2, an Imperial Conference - a meeting of Japan's top military and political leaders in the Emperor's presence - set Japan's policy. As Sorge informed Moscow, Japan would send its troops into French Indochina, but would also build up its strength in northern Japan and Manchuria to prepare to strike north if the Red Army were defeated.

At the bottom of this document, the Deputy Head of Soviet Army General Staff Intelligence wrote, "In consideration of the high reliability and accuracy of previous information and the competence of the information sources, this information can be trusted." After Sorge's warnings of the German attack had proved correct, Moscow, belatedly, believed him.

Later that July, Tokyo's situation became more complicated when the United States and Britain imposed an oil embargo on Japan. Almost all the oil Japan imported was controlled by the Anglo-American powers and their allies. The oil-rich Dutch East Indies (modern Indonesia), however, lay within Japan's reach. That strengthened the arguments of those in Tokyo advocating southward expansion. But the astounding magnitude of Germany's early victories against the Red Army encouraged those who favored the northward course.

In July, Japanese troops occupied French Indochina. At the same time, Japan sent hundreds of thousands of additional troops into Manchuria, near the Soviet borders. Sorge was unsure in which direction Japan would move, but in the next few weeks he and Ozaki solved the puzzle. On August 25-26, Sorge drafted this message to Moscow: "Invest [Ozaki] was able to learn from circles closest to [Japanese Prime Minister] Konoye�that the High Command...discussed whether they should go to war with the USSR. They decided not to launch the war within this year, repeat, not to launch the war this year."

On September 6, another Imperial Conference confirmed the decision to expand southward - and prepare for war with the United States and Britain. Ozaki got word of this, and Ott confided to Sorge the total failure of his efforts to persuade the Japanese to attack Russia. On September 14, Sorge reported even more emphatically to Moscow that, "In the careful judgment of all of us here...the possibility of [Japan] launching an attack, which existed until recently, has disappeared...."

Now Stalin finally felt free to make the critical decision to move a large part of his Far Eastern reserves westward. In the next two months, 15 infantry divisions, 3 cavalry divisions, 1,700 tanks, and 1,500 aircraft moved from the Soviet Far East to the European front. It was these powerful reinforcements that turned the tide in the Battle of Moscow in the first week of December 1941, at the same time Japan attacked Pearl Harbor.

The Sorge ring alone, of course, was not solely responsible for this turn of events. But Sorge played an important part. He had scant opportunity to savor his success, however. His spy network had begun to unravel.

In October, Japanese police brought in for questioning a dressmaker who had been recruited by a sub-agent of Ozaki's named Yotoku Miyagi. The dressmaker gave up Miyagi's name. When they hauled in Miyagi, he tried to save his colleagues by leaping to his death through an unguarded window. But the fall was not fatal. Dragged back to the interrogation room with broken bones, he named Ozaki and Sorge as communist agents. On October 18, Sorge was arrested.

After resisting for a week, Sorge agreed to give a full account of his activities in Japan, provided that the authorities took no action against his Japanese lover, Hanako Iishi, and the wives of several of his colleagues, whom he insisted were innocent.

Sorge spent the next three years in Tokyo's Sugamo Prison. Following months of interrogation, he was tried and convicted of being a communist agent whose espionage activities were aimed at overthrowing the emperor system and private property. In September 1943, he was sentenced to death. Sorge was confident, however, that he would not face the gallows; Tokyo would trade him to Moscow in exchange for a Japanese prisoner. His captors had the same idea. The Japanese tried on three separate occasions to arrange a prisoner exchange. Each time, Moscow's reply was the same: "The man called Richard Sorge is unknown to us."

Many countries do not acknowledge their spies. But Sorge was probably doomed for a different reason: he was an embarrassing reminder that Stalin had ignored warnings of the impending German attack. Such a reminder, and witness, would be most unwelcome to Stalin and his regime.

Moscow's apparent indifference to Sorge's fate persuaded the Japanese that there was no point in further attempts to trade, or for mercy. On November 7, 1944, Richard Sorge was hanged in Sugamo Prison. He had no way of knowing that his wife, Katya Maximova, had died more than a year earlier. After waiting forlornly for him for years in Russia, she was arrested by the NKVD in September 1942 on charges, surely false, of spying for Germany. She died in a Siberian labor camp a year later. Her real crime probably was being the wife of Richard Sorge.

Sorge's beloved Iishi fared better. Japanese authorities honored their pledge not to prosecute her, and she was allowed to spend the rest of her life quietly in Tokyo. At her expense, Sorge's remains were moved in 1949 from the prison graveyard to a grassy cemetery in the Tokyo suburbs.

In 1961, a French movie entitled Who Are You, Mr. Sorge? became popular in the Soviet Union. Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev saw the film and reportedly asked the KGB whether the story was true. When it was confirmed, Khrushchev awarded Sorge the title Hero of the Soviet Union, its highest honor; Iishi, who died in 2000 at age 89, received a Soviet pension. Today the title is carved into Sorge's large black marble tombstone, a street in Moscow bears his name, and commemorative stamps were issued in his honor.

In the movie, as in real life, Sorge was no James Bond. Still, he was the person whom Ian Fleming, Bond's creator and himself a World War II British intelligence officer, judged "the most formidable spy in history." The intelligence that Sorge provided of Japan's decision to strike south may literally have saved the Soviet Union from defeat. But ironically, Stalin's refusal to believe Sorge's earlier warnings, a decision that so endangered the Soviet Union, doomed its savior to a lonely death. [Goldman/HistoryNet/13September2010]

Recluse Found to be UK War Heroine After Her Death. Eileen Nearne died alone, uncelebrated, facing a pauper's funeral despite her extraordinary record of wartime heroism for Britain.

It wasn't that no one cared about her clandestine service, it was simply that no one knew what she had done during the harrowing days of World War II when Britain's very future hung in the balance.

All that changed when officials searching her apartment found the medals and the records linking her to special undercover operations behind enemy lines. Now plans are being made for a funeral that will, officials say, give Nearne the recognition that her heroism merits.

"We will make sure she gets the dignity and respect and homage that befits a lady of her experience," said John Pentreath, county manager for the Royal British Legion, a charity which honors veterans.

He said it was not until after her death that reports surfaced about Nearne's work with the Special Operations Executive, a clandestine operation set up by wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill for acts of sabotage and espionage against the Nazis, who were occupying Western Europe.

Pentreath said reports indicate that Nearne was captured behind enemy lines with a radio transmitter and was sent to a concentration camp, but later escaped and was ultimately liberated by American forces.

"It's a staggering story for a young girl," he said. "We hold her in awe and huge respect. All Brits do. We are very disappointed we didn't know about her when she was alive, we would have dearly loved to have made contact with her."

The saga of her lonely death and her wartime service seems to have touched a nerve in Britain - The Times newspaper said in an editorial Tuesday that Nearne seemed to resemble Eleanor Rigby, the spinster who died alone in a celebrated Beatles song written primarily by Paul McCartney.

The newspaper said it is not too late to honor Nearne for her sacrifices.

"Her life deserves to be sung about every bit as much as Eleanor Rigby's," the editorial said.

Nearne apparently did not discuss her wartime service with any of her neighbors in the seaside town of Torquay 190 miles (300 kilometers) west of London. She died earlier this month of a heart attack at age 89.

Officials at the Torbay Council who are organizing Nearne's funeral said the wartime artifacts in her apartment have been turned over to the Treasury and to intelligence officials. [Katz/KansasCity/14September2010]


Case of Cuban Five Brings Up Nuanced Meaning of Terrorism, by Yana Kunichoff. With the 12th anniversary of the imprisonment of the Cuban Five this past Sunday, renewed calls for their release throw into light difficult questions about the nuances of terrorism and international espionage.

The Cuban Five are Cuban intelligence officers currently serving jail sentences ranging from 15 years to double life in US maximum security prisons on charges of espionage and conspiracy to commit murder.

The convictions that have strained relations between the United States and Cuba for more than a decade are suspect, with advocates arguing that Gerardo Hern�ndez, Antonio Guerrero, Ram�n Laba�ino, Fernando Gonz�lez and Ren� Gonz�lez were only in Cuba to defend the country from anti-Castro exile terrorism and did not receive a fair trial in the exile hotbed of Miami.

The case "has very profound implications for any person seeking a fair trial," said Bruce Nestor of the National Lawyers Guild, "particularly a fair trial in the current political climate in this country."

In the late 1990s, the Five infiltrated Cuban-American exile organizations that opposed the Castro government, many of which had a violent history of attacks against Cuba as part of "La Red Avispa" - the Wasp Network.

They were arrested in 1998 and sentenced in 2001 on 26 counts of spying on the Cuban exile community in Miami and US military bases, acting as unregistered foreign agents and conspiring to commit crimes against the United States.

In addition, one of the Five was sentenced to life in prison on a murder conspiracy charge for tipping two Cubans off not to fly with Brothers to the Rescue, an anti-Castro group that regularly flew planes over Cuba and dropped leaflets, the day the Cuban military shot down two of the group's planes in 1996 and killed four of its members.

However, the defense has argued that during the Five's time in the US they collected no classified data and did not enter into off-limits military bases. One of the five, Guerrero, worked in the metal shop of a US naval base in Florida and, according to his attorney, "Guerrero had never applied for a security clearance, had no access to restricted areas and had never tried to enter any."

In Cuba, the five are considered political prisoners and the Cuban government has lobbied for their release, arguing that they were not spying on the US but were working to ferret out right-wing, anti-Castro terrorists determined to hurt Cuba. Following the results of their trial, the state-run daily in Havana, Granma, responded with a front-page editorial headlined: "A Heroic Behavior in the Entrails of the Monster."

Since 1962, the US has imposed a trade embargo with the aim of toppling the Caribbean island's communist government, and after the fall of the Soviet bloc the economy went into a tailspin. The gross domestic product fell by 30 percent and most Cuban adults lost between 20 and 25 pounds.

It turned to tourism to keep its economy afloat, and when the terrorist attacks began in the mid-1990s, Castro's government pointed the finger at Cuban exile groups attempting to undermine the nation's economy.

According to reports, the Cuban government shared information with the FBI in 1998, shortly before the arrest of the Cuban Five, revealing evidence that 31 terrorist attacks were planned and took place between 1990 and 1998 in Cuba, and highlighted the money trail funding these acts. Possibly as a result and not long after this meeting, the arrests of the Five were made.

The trial of the Five came at a time of high tension with Cuba - three months after the initial arrests, three Cuban diplomats at the United Nations, a senior analyst at the Defense Intelligence Agency convicted of being a Cuban spy and a longtime professor at Florida International University were arrested, charged or expelled for alleged involvement with the Miami spy network.

But none of the cases has generated the fervor of that of the Cuban Five.

Their story has sparked an international human rights campaign, with eight Nobel laureates coming out with support and former American government officials vocally campaigning for the men's release. Some American groups and celebrities, including Alice Walker, actor Danny Glover and Noam Chomsky have publicly declared their support and the Detroit City Council even passed a resolution calling for their release.

In May 2005, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions ruled that the trial fell below international standards for due process and that the United States should either retry or release them.

In Cuba, the five men languishing in jail in America are often called "The Five Heroes" or "The Five Prisoners of the Empire" and have more government billboard space on the island than any other national figure, including Che Guevara, Raul Castro, Fidel Castro and Jose Marti.

A central issue in the case for the release of the Cuban Five has been the circumstances of their trial

Robert A. Pastor, a professor of international relations at American University, who was President Jimmy Carter's national security adviser for Latin America, said, "holding a trial for five Cuban intelligence agents in Miami is about as fair as a trial for an Israeli intelligence agent in Tehran. You'd need a lot more than a good lawyer to be taken seriously."

While the Cuban Five were waiting trial, Miami's exile community was also in an uproar about Elian Gonzalez, a six-year-old boy found off the coast of Florida after a boat capsized, killing his mother and ten other refugees. The defense attorneys attempted to have the trial moved to Fort Lauderdale, but to no avail. Jury selection began in Miami for the trial seven months after Gonzalez was returned to his father, despite the objections of defense attorneys.

The spies' convictions were overturned by a three-judge panel of the 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta in 2005, citing the "prejudices" of Miami's anti-Castro Cubans, but the full court later nixed the bid for a new trial and reinstated the original convictions.

"It was odd," said Leonard Weinglass, Guerrero's attorney. "You have a man who was on a military base but who didn't take a single classified document and no one testified that he injured US national security, but the judge still rejects the prosecutors' request to lighten the sentence."

Weinglass persuaded the appeals court that the accused spies were not offered a fair trial in Miami, and now plans to concede a technical violation but argue that his client's actions were necessary to protect lives.

"If they are under attack, does a country have the right to send agents to another country to get the information?" Weinglass asked. "That is a major intelligence question."

Ricardo Alarcon, president of Cuba's National Assembly and the third-most-powerful political figure on the island, said the work of secret agents was part of the right of a sovereign nation to defend itself and cited banners saying "Iraq Now, Cuba Later" at demonstrations in Miami before the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

As Stephen Englerberg notes in ProPublica, the discovery of a Russian sleeper cell in New Jersey this year came with many rumblings about cold-war-era intrigues, but the spies themselves were charged with relatively little.

When Alarcon was asked whether Cuba would continue to send agents to the United States, his answer was: "Yes, with a capital Y."

Guerrero also gave a passionate plea for his reasons for coming to the United States as a Cuban intelligence agent: "Allow me to explain my reasons, your Honor, in the clearest and most concise way: Cuba, my little country, has been attacked, assaulted and slandered, decade after decade by a cruel, inhuman and absurd policy. A real terrorist war.... Where have such unceasing ruthless acts been hatched and financed? For the most part, in the United States of America."

Cuba's president, Raul Castro, offered a prisoner exchange in April 2009, and Alan Gross, a US Agency for International Development subcontractor who has been held without charge since his arrest in Havana on December 3, has been touted for a possible prisoner swap.

Castro has gone as far as to say the release of the Cuban five "is very close ... very much before the end of the year."

However, the State Department has denied reports that the Obama administration is considering a prisoner swap.

"The United States is NOT considering the release of any member of the Cuban Five in exchange for Alan Gross,'' Mark Toner, director of the State Department's press office, wrote in a statement emailed to El Nuevo Herald on Thursday. "We are committed to using every possible diplomatic channel to press for Mr. Gross's release, but we will not consider a 'prisoner swap,''' Toner added. "We continue to urge the Cuban Government to release Alan Gross immediately.''

Any steps the government may take are heavily circumscribed by the five Cuban-American in Congress, who wrote that they were "seriously concerned about increasing reports that the Administration is conducting negotiations with the Castro regime'' for a swap.

"The US must be careful not to telegraph to rogue regimes that they may be able to successfully extort our government by abducting innocent Americans,'' said South Florida Republican Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Lincoln and Mario Diaz Balart and New Jersey Democrats Sen. Bob Menendez and Rep. Albio Sires."We would hope that these reports are unfounded. However, if they are accurate, we respectfully ask ... that you immediately cease such efforts."

Wayne Smith, head of the US Interests Section in Havana under President Carter, said in a phone press conference that he had expected more progress from the Obama administration.

He had "hoped that once Bush was out of office and Obama was in, that the Obama administration would allow, in fact would encourage the Supreme Court to hear the case and I think with that the whole thing would have been thrown out. But to our great disappointment, Elena Kagan ... insisted that the Supreme Court not hear the case and so it stands as it is, with the Five still in prison, unjustly imprisoned," Smith said. "Cuba has the same effects on American administrations as the full moon once had on werewolves - we cannot deal rationally with it." [Kunichoff/Truth-Out/12September2010]

Editorial: The State of the World After 9/11. Saturday marks nine years since the deadly al-Qaida attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. In the time since that gut-wrenching morning, we have been reminded, constantly, that ours is a post-9/11 world. What does that mean?

For starters, the United States and the West are at war with a hateful ideology. The struggle plays out in battlefields in Kandahar and Fallujah, and in covert military and police operations at home and around the world. Heroes known and unknown fight and die for the nation every day, even as most of us go about our busy lives. Those battles are easily forgotten, just as the wrenching realities of that late-summer Tuesday morning - and the deaths of innocents in New York, Washington, D.C., and a field in Pennsylvania - too quickly faded from the national mind.

Every so often, something happens to remind us that the threat is real and urgent: an attempted airplane bombing in Detroit, a failed terrorist plot in New York, or a militant attack in some more distant city. The events serve as wake-up calls that radicals are waiting to exploit weaknesses in American security.

The war in Afghanistan continues, with new force and emphasis, and a commitment from President Barack Obama not to leave in shambles the country we invaded less than a month after 9/11. It will be tough going. But Mr. Obama's commitment is the right one. Stable self-governance and freedom are the best antidotes to terrorist thuggery.

Sometimes the battles play out in this country's national debates, as happened with the irresponsible plans by a Florida pastor - now abandoned - to rally his tiny church to burn Islam's holy book, the Quran. Never mind that his brand of hate-mongering tracks perfectly with terrorist talking points about the West, and never mind that it would have put American troops in greater peril.

It was just wrong, as wrong as burning a Bible, a Torah or any other sacred book as an act of intentional provocation. That people on the left and right, people from the spheres of the military and religion, condemned this inanity is a wonderful affirmation of American values, and a testament that the pastor and his congregation represent a fringe minority in a country that largely recognizes religious freedom and diversity as core values and sources of strength.

Those values draw a bright line between the United States and some Muslim countries, where the right to worship God as a matter of personal conscience isn't protected or practiced. Our treasured freedoms ultimately will prevail in this struggle because they correspond with universal human longings, but only if we guard them as sacred trusts.

Everyone post-9/11 has had to endure a loss of privacy and convenience for the sake of security. Full-body scanners have just gone into use at Gerald R. Ford International Airport and are being installed around the country. New wire-tapping and surveillance powers were granted to police. A top-to-bottom revamping of intelligence capabilities and organization has occurred.

That puts an extraordinary responsibility on government not to abuse these powers. And it puts a burden on everyone to be patient where intrusive measures intersect their lives, such as standing shoe-less in airport screening lines.

Personal responsibility extends, too, to watchfulness. Terrorist plots have been thwarted by ordinary citizens who saw something not exactly right and then did something about it. In that sense, every person in the country is on the front lines of this war.

Too quickly lost after 9/11 was a sense of national unity and purpose. It's hard to imagine, at this particular point, members of both parties in Congress gathering on the Capitol steps to sing "God Bless America," as they did on Sept. 11, 2001, or ordinary citizens of all faiths joining together spontaneously to give blood or pray. In the fight for national survival, there are no Republicans or Democrats, Muslims or Christians or Jews - only Americans.

That used to be part of what it means to live in a post-9/11 world, and it should be still. [MLive/10September2010] 

The FISA Court Sends a Message to the Executive Branch, by Marc Ambinder. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which oversees the National Security Agency's domestic wiretapping programs and approves all Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants, has subtly challenged the idea that the executive branch, and only the executive branch, can control the release of classified information.

Greg McNeal summarizes:

Previously, Rule 5 required that the FISC send all opinions to the Executive branch for redaction of classified information, specifically Rule 5(c) stated:

"On request by a Judge, the Presiding Judge, after consulting with other Judges of the Court, may direct that an Opinion be published. Before publication, the Opinion must be reviewed by the Executive Branch and redacted, as necessary, to ensure that properly classified information is appropriately protected pursuant to Executive Order 12958 as amended by Executive Order 13292 (or its successor)."

Under proposed Rule 62, the Executive Branch review requirement is now optional:

"The Judge who authored an order, opinion, or other decision may sua sponte or on motion by a party request that it be published. Upon such request, the Presiding Judge, after consulting with other Judges of the Court, may direct that an order, opinion or other decision be published. Before publication, the Court may, as appropriate, direct the Executive Branch to review the order, opinion, or other decision and redact it as necessary to ensure that classified information is appropriately protected pursuant to Executive Order 13526 (or its successor)." 

Just yesterday, the 9th circuit court of appeals preserved the executive branch's ability to assert the State Secrets Privilege in cases where national security could be jeopardized by even the discovery phase of a trial. The only consideration that mattered to the court is whether the information's release could actually damage national security. The court gave lip service to the idea that the executive and judicial branches were jointly and independently capable of making that decision, but it acknowledged that, for all intents and purposes, the executive branch would be very rarely second guessed. That makes the SSP absolute.

But the FISC, which regularly deals with highly classified information involving sources and methods, now wants to positively assert that it has the authority, in determining when and whether to release information about cases, to order the executive branch to figure out the appropriate redactions. Before, the executive branch could redact whatever it wanted. Now, the court wants to decide whether the executive branch can redact whatever it wants.

It is not clear to me whether the court will get its way. I expect the intelligence community, the Justice Department and even Congress to weigh in. FISC judges don't talk to the press, so it's not clear why they've decided to change their rules in this way.  [TheAtlantic/10September2010] 

Nine Years After 9/11, Is Al-Qaeda's Threat Overrated? by Tony Karon. Nine years after the 9/11 attacks, al-Qaeda's shadow still looms large in America's national conversation. President Barack Obama on Thursday warned that a grotesque Koran-burning prank planned by the pastor of a tiny Florida church would be a "recruitment bonanza for al-Qaeda." The putative threat of Osama bin Laden's little band of terrorists, believed to number no more than a couple of hundred, is also the prime reason offered in Washington for keeping close to 100,000 troops in Afghanistan at a huge cost in blood and treasure. "No challenge is more essential to our security than our fight against al-Qaeda," Obama said last week. "And because of our drawdown in Iraq, we are now able to apply the resources necessary to go on offense."

GOP heavyweight Newt Gingrich disagrees, warning that the Administration lacks a "serious strategy in fighting terrorism" and is blind to its danger - echoing Senator John McCain's effort, in the final weeks of his doomed 2008 presidential campaign, to rally support by asking whether Barack Obama "is a man who has what it takes to protect America from Osama bin Laden." 

In U.S. politics, you downplay the "al-Qaeda threat" at your peril, as Senator John Kerry discovered in 2004, when he suggested during his ill-fated presidential campaign that terrorism could not be eliminated, but could be reduced to a "nuisance" level where it wasn't dominating Americans' lives. Al-Qaeda, he said, was essentially a diabolical criminal enterprise that should not be given the status of a geopolitical challenger on the order of Hitler or Stalin.

Kerry's view did not convince voters, but it may well have been vindicated by events. Systematic police work and intelligence-driven military strikes have reduced the operational core of bin Laden's movement to a handful of desperate men hiding from U.S. drones in the wilds of Pashtunistan. They've failed to launch another attack on the U.S. mainland, and even the handful of devastating strikes in far off places - Bali, Madrid, London, Istanbul - that followed 9/11 have given way to the occasional, amateurish attempt by one or two people recruited via the Internet. More important, al-Qaeda's attacks failed miserably to achieve their main objective: to inspire a global bin Laden-led rebellion against U.S.-aligned regimes throughout the Muslim world. 

Bin Laden's problem from the very beginning was that while (polls show) a majority of Muslims around the world might have agreed with his charge of U.S. malfeasance in its dealings in the Middle East, only a tiny minority identified with terrorism as a response. Despite the virulently anti-American attitudes revealed in opinion surveys in parts of the Muslim world after 9/11, very few people were prepared to condone attacks on innocent civilians. That's why so many people in Egypt and Pakistan bought into conspiracy theories about the CIA or Israel's Mossad being behind the attacks.

The ubiquity of bin Laden's image in the wake of the attacks suggested that he might become a kind of jihadist Che Guevara, destined to live on long after his death on an endless stream of T-shirts and tchotchkes. (Of course, he'd first have to be killed to test that theory.) But there's another connection: Like the Saudi jihadist, the Argentinian revolutionary had mistakenly assumed that simply demonstrating through violence that a hated enemy was not invulnerable would automatically rouse the masses to rebellion.

While the 9/11 attacks made bin Laden the focus of American fear and rage, his "global jihad" failed to either eclipse or enlist its more localized Islamist rivals. Hamas confined itself to striking Israeli targets, and to competing with Fatah for local political power at the ballot box and on the streets; Hizballah continued to lock horns with Israel on its northern border and to engage in the complexities of Lebanese politics; Iran actually helped the initial U.S. military campaign in Afghanistan, although it soon resumed its struggle with Washington and its allies for influence throughout the Middle East. Al-Qaeda may still figure in U.S. debate, but it no longer garners any attention in the Arab political conversation - prompting it to issue increasingly hysterical denunciations of Hamas, Hizballah and Iran. 

The only al-Qaeda "chapter" to gain any traction was the one that came into existence in Iraq in response to the U.S. invasion, and thrived while its presence was tolerated as a force multiplier by mainstream Sunni insurgents. But the group's ideology and propensity for vicious sectarian murder of Shi'ites turned the insurgents against them, and eventually the bulk of the insurgency turned on al-Qaeda, with many Sunni insurgents going onto the U.S. payroll under the rubric of the "Awakening" movement. (The uptick of al-Qaeda attacks in Iraq in recent months has coincided with the growing alienation of Sunnis, particularly in the "Awakening" movement, from the Shi'ite-led government. And a political solution to Iraq's political conflict will no doubt once again shut it out.)

A similar fate almost certainly awaits the movement in Afghanistan, where its erstwhile Taliban ally is fighting a nationalist campaign against foreign armies, which will inevitably end in a power-sharing political settlement. And even Taliban leaders have indicated they won't allow their territory to be used as a base to export terrorism.

If anything, hostility towards the U.S. in the Muslim world has actually escalated over the past nine years, because of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and Israel's conflicts with its neighbors. But al-Qaeda, ironically, remains on the margins. It's not inconceivable that bin Laden's men will get lucky again at some point in the future, but not even another major terror strike would change the basic calculus of al-Qaeda's demise. [Karon/Time/12September2010]

Member Commentary - Agency Drops the Ball on Air America - Again!, by Gary B. Bisson. Section 1057, of Public Law 111-84 required the DNI, in coordination with the Agency, to summit a report to the Congress by April 28, 2010. The purpose of the report was to help Congress determine whether to pass legislation granting civil service retirement credit and benefits to Air America employees or their surviving spouses for services performed during periods when Air America or its associated or predecessor companies were owned and controlled by the Agency. The periods involved have previously been identified by the Agency as July 10, 1950 through May 11, 1975. Rather than comply with this mandated deadline, DNI's Director of Legislation has instead issued two interim reports. The reports were issued 180 and 90 days respectively following passage of Section 1057 and provided no substantive information. The second interim report dated July 28, 2010 states in part: "Compiling a comprehensive history of Air America and associated companies, reaching out to information sources within and outside these companies, gathering or reconstructing information (oral or written) on previous investigations and administrative and legal actions, and making a determination of the equities involved in this matter, including possible legislative recommendations, and conducting necessary coordinations, represents a significant investment of time and resources." The second report then concluded: "Given the scope and complexity of the tasking, we estimate the work will take up to nine to twelve months and may require additional funds."

It is truly astounding that it took 270 days for DNI/CIA to provide such scant information to the Congress. It is even more astounding when one parses the interim report paragraph quoted above: 1. Compiling a comprehensive history of Air America and associated companies: This work has been already been accomplished by the Agency. As stated in Appendix B of the late Professor William Leary's publication "Perilous Missions" (University of Alabama Press (1984): "(There is) an "official" (classified) history of the Air America complex in the Far East. Several individuals with agency connections who have read the document assured me that it was the definitive treatment of the topic." Finally, most if not all, of the Air America historical data needed to satisfy the requirements of Section 1057 is available in the unclassified 2009 joint CIA/University of Texas at Dallas publication (and accompanying DVD) "Air America: Upholding the Airmen's Bond: A Symposium Acknowledging and Commemorating Air America Rescue Efforts During the Vietnam War." For the DNI/CIA to suggest that significant manpower and financial resources may be necessary to satisfy this report requirement is not only misleading but patently outrageous. 2. Reaching out to information sources within and outside these companies. This relates to the personnel information requested by Section 1057. All of the personnel information requested is available from official Air America personnel records in the possession of former Air America Counsel William J. Merrigan. On multiple occasions, the information has been offered to both DNI and CIA, but the proffer has been ignored consistently. The latest interim report states that 318 boxes of personnel records must be reviewed. Reaching out to Mr. Merrigan to obtain the required data from his more complete duplicate original records would save the American taxpayer a great deal of contracted effort and money.

3. Gathering or reconstructing information (oral and written) on previous investigations and administrative and legal actions. This relates to past administrative claims by former Air America employees for retirement credit before OPM, the Merit System Protection Board, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Since such claims were finally denied by the Federal Circuit in Watts vs. OPM, the legislative remedy currently personified in Section 1057 emerged. Nowhere does Section 1057 require reconstruction of prior investigations and administrative actions. To expend time and effort gathering data which is not requested is simply a waste of taxpayer money and should be construed as an obvious delaying tactic. 4. Making a determination of the equity involved in this matter, including possible legislative recommendations, and conducting necessary coordinations. The equities of this unsatisfactory situation are quite clear to anyone with even a modest knowledge of Air America. DNI/CIA's continuing failure to give Congress what it needs creates a discouraging and undeserved hardship for the remaining Air America employees, and more importantly, the surviving widows of these employees. This is truly a serious neglect of the heroic and largely unheralded actions of this group of de facto U.S. Government employees whose mission was wholly designed, directed and deployed by the Central Intelligence Agency. CIA has belatedly heaped praise and accolades on Air America and the contributions of its employees. The time has come for it to support Congressional action to accord these employees the same benefits Congress has made available to other proprietary organizations. The time has come for CIA to act with honor and fairness with respect to its most illustrious proprietary. Finally, as noted by the late Professor Leary: "The nebulous status of Air America was devised for covert purposes, not to release the government from obligations to its employees." (Emphasis added.) [Gary B. Bisson is an AFIO Member and Former Air America Assistant Legal Counsel, Taipei and Bangkok.]



Major Ralph Shelton. Major Ralph "Pappy" Shelton, who has died aged 80, was the American officer who trained the Bolivian troops that captured Che Guevara in 1967. Together with 16 Spanish-speaking US officers, Shelton set up a training camp in eastern Bolivia in April 1967 to teach a battalion of 400 Bolivian conscripts the techniques of counter-guerrilla warfare. When their training ended in mid-September, they were transferred to the guerrilla zone, and two weeks later, on 8 October, surrounded Guevara's guerrilla band. Guevara himself was wounded and captured, and executed on 9 October. Shelton slipped out of the country on the following day and returned to his headquarters in the Panama Canal Zone.

"We had a job to do and we did it," Shelton said last year. "The people of Bolivia wanted Guevara gone and asked for help, and we were glad to give it. That man is famous now, but he killed lots of innocent people and we were glad to help put him out of business."

Shelton was the son of a poor farmer who moved from Mississippi to Tennessee. He contributed to the family income by working as a logger and sawmill operator before leaving for Detroit aged 17 to find work in an automobile plant. He joined the army in 1948 and was sent initially to Japan before serving as a sergeant in the Korean war. He was wounded and returned to his father's farm but, unimpressed by the farming life, returned to the army. He served in Germany and then went to an officers' training school, graduating first in his class as a second lieutenant. As the oldest trainee, he acquired the nickname "Pappy".

In 1962, aged 32, he joined the elite "special forces", or Green Berets, established by the Kennedy government in 1961 to combat guerrilla insurgencies in different parts of the world. Shelton was sent out to Laos where the Green Berets operated behind enemy lines in the fight against the Pathet Lao guerrillas. After Spanish-language training in the Panama Canal Zone, Shelton was dispatched to the Dominican Republic in the wake of the US invasion in 1965 as part of the mobile training teams (MTTs) that the US military was setting up to assist local armies. In March 1967, when news of a guerrilla uprising in Bolivia first surfaced, Shelton was the obvious candidate to lead the MTT for deployment there.

Shelton flew to Bolivia in April and, in collaboration with Colonel Joaqu�n Zenteno Anaya, the Bolivian commander in the guerrilla zone, searched for a training base. They found an abandoned sugar mill outside the small settlement of La Esperanza, some 40 miles north of Santa Cruz, and training began. Shelton was in his element: he commandeered the bulldozers being used by an American aid mission, he embarked on civic projects to endear his troops to the locals, and he took little notice of the US ambassador in La Paz or his military superior, Colonel JP Rice, based in Cochabamba. Shelton reported directly to US southern command in Panama, with whom he was in daily radio contact. He was also kept well informed of the guerrilla fighting 100 miles to the south, through two Cuban exiles operating as CIA agents in the field.

When I interviewed Shelton at La Esperanza in October 1967, he was preparing for a training session with a second battalion of conscripts, but he seemed confident that the guerrilla war was ending. The next day, a sergeant from the US camp, sitting at his favourite cafe in the main square, jumped up to tell me that Guevara had been captured. When I bumped into Shelton at the airport two days later, he gave a smile but said nothing, except: "Mission accomplished."

Shelton retired from the army after his Bolivian excursion and took a master's degree at the University of Memphis. An active public servant, a mason and a board member of his Methodist church, he also served as a commissioner in the mayor's office in Sweetwater, Tennessee. He is survived by his wife, Susan, and four daughters. [Guardian/6September/2010] 

Coming Events


MANY Spy Museum Events in August with full details are listed on the AFIO Website at The titles for some of these are in detail below and online.

canceled - 14 September 2010 - Washington, DC - AFIO Hampton Roads Chapter hosts Membership Meeting

Location: Tabb Library in York County, Main Meeting Room. Members will discuss chapter plans for the year and other business matters.

15 September 2010, 8 am - Washington, DC - The ABA Standing Committee on Law and National Security hosts breakfast at University Club

The speaker at the breakfast is Congresswoman Jane Harman on "The Authorization for Use of Military Force" To register contact Holly McMahon, Staff Director, at 202-662-1035 or at More information at

canceled - 16 September 2010 – San Francisco, CA – The AFIO Jim Quesada Chapter hosts Lt. Col. Roger Dong on the People's Liberation Army and Chinese military strategy.

Lt Col Roger Dong is Chairman, American Legion War Memorial Commission and Immediate Past President, AFIO SF chapter. The presentation will be on the People's Liberation Army and will cover historical recap of the PLA and discuss Chinese military strategic concepts, vis-a-vis the US military. The advances of the PLA Navy will be a special focus during the presentation.

Thursday, 16 September 2010, 11:30 am - Colorado Springs, CO – The Rocky Mountain Chapter features speaker on terrorism.

The Rocky Mountain Chapter presents Sheriff Terry Maketa who will speak on legal issues involving El Paso County, crime statistics and give an update on terrorism. To be held at a new location the AFA... Eisenhower Golf Course Club House. Please RSVP to Tom VanWormer at

21 September 2010, 7 pm – Center Valley, PA – DeSales University National Security Program hosts AFIO member Dr. John Behling on “The Evolution of Standard Overt Jihad into Covert Stealth Jihad.”

Dr. John Behling served in the Office of Strategic Services and Military Intelligence during and after WWII.  He was a member of the Office of Intelligence and Research with the State Department, a Foreign Service officer, a free lance contract agent for the CIA, and a university professor.  He has numerous publications dealing with language studies, the USSR, and terrorism.  AFIO members are invited to join us as Dr. Behling shares a chapter from his forthcoming book The DNA of Terrorism.  The event takes place in the Commonwealth Room in the DeSales University Center on the DeSales University campus (2755 Station Avenue, Center Valley, PA 18034).  For questions please email Dr. Andrew Essig at  or call 610-282-1100 x1632.  No RSVP is required.   This event is open to the public and free of charge.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010, 1130 - McLean, VA - The Defense Intelligence Forum luncheon discusses "China's Intelligence Operations Against the U.S."

The speaker is on the National Defense Intelligence College faculty. He has over ten years' experience as a China analyst. He was a supervisor in the FBI's China counterintelligence analysis unit and an all-source intelligence analyst in DIA's Korea and China divisions. He is a retired US Army Reserve Military Intelligence officer who has served as Deputy Chief of CENTCOM J2's Iraq current intelligence team and as liaison officer to the CIA Iraq Operations Group.
The speaker's remarks about Chinese intelligence will be off the record and not for attribution.
Events takes place at Pulcinella Restaurant, 6852 Old Dominion Drive, McLean, VA. Pay at the door with a check for $29 payable to DIAA, Inc
Social hour starts at 1130, lunch at 1200. The Defense Intelligence forum is open to members of all Intelligence Community associations.
RSVP by Friday, 17 September, by email to
-- In your response, give your name and the names of your guests. For each, choose chicken al limone, salmon, lasagna, sausage, or pasta with portabello.
-- Include also telephone numbers and email addresses.
Pay at the door with a check for $29 per person.
-- Make checks payable to DIAA, Inc.
-- The DIAA does not take cash. If you do not have a check, the restaurant will have you prepay the $29 using your credit. The copy of the restaurant's receipt allows you to check-in for lunch.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010, 7:30 pm - Fairfax, VA - Stalling For Time: My Life As An FBI Hostage Negotiator by Gary Noesner

Gary Noesner, the founding chief of the FBI Crisis Negotiation Unit shares a firsthand account of many dramatic cases -- the D.C. Sniper, Waco and Montana Freemen -- highlighting successes, failures and lessons for resolving all types of crises. Event being held in Research I, Room 163 on Fairfax campus of George Mason University. For more information visit

Thursday, 23 September 2010, 6:30 pm - Washington, DC - The A-12 Oxcart - an event at the International Spy Museum

"Forty-five years ago…a group of young Air Force pilots volunteered to be 'sheepdipped' from the Air Force to the CIA to fly an unidentified aircraft at an undisclosed venue to replace the U-2." --Frank Murray, A-12 pilot The Air Force's high-flying SR-71 reconnaissance aircraft, which literally flew faster than a speeding bullet, is legendary. Much less well known is the CIA's version, the A-12, which first flew two years before the SR-71 under the OXCART program. Built by Lockheed's famous "Skunk Works," the plane was an engineering marvel. It made repeated flights over Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War, providing photographs to commanders in less than 24 hours from the end of a mission. In 1968, in a ten minute mission that photographed all of North Korea without being detected, an A-12 located the captured American spy ship, Pueblo. Only recently has the veil of secrecy been lifted from this amazing aircraft, allowing the full story to be told, including its enduring legacy. Now the program's pioneers gather to share its history: from sky-high successes to fiery crashes. CIA chief historian David Robarge will be joined by program veterans Robert B. Abernethy, inventor of the J-58 engines used in the A-12, Thornton D. Barnes, hypersonic flight specialist, and AFIO's President S. Eugene Poteat, the CIA officer who assessed threats to the A-12, and others. Kenneth Collins, an A-12 pilot who flew six missions over Vietnam, will also tell his story, along with other test pilots. Tickets: $12.50 per person Register at

Thursday, 23 September 2010, 12:30 - 2:30pm - Los Angeles, CA - The AFIO L.A. chapter hosts CIA recruiter.

The career talk and recruitment visit will be held at the LMU campus-Hilton Building in Room 304. The guest speaker will be Multi-Disciplinary Recruiter Sharon Cordero from the Central Intelligence Agency's Recruitment Center, she will conduct a presentation on Recruitment for the 21st Century. Please RSVP via email to if you will attend, complimentary refreshments will be served

23 September 2010 - Reston, VA - "Intelligence and the Law" - Instructor: W. George Jameson, former CIA lawyer, 33 years.

W. George Jameson gives this one-day course examining the legal and policy framework that governs the U.S. Intelligence Community. It presents the core legal authorities and restrictions - derived from the Constitution, statutes, and Executive orders - and explores how and why they are applied to the conduct of U.S. intelligence today. Designed for a wide audience, the course reviews the history and evolution of intelligence law and policy and provides an in-depth look at selected laws that affect intelligence activities. Topics include: the National Security Act and establishment of the CIA and other intelligence elements; electronic surveillance and FISA; the role of the DNI; privacy, civil liberties, and restrictions on the conduct of intelligence; covert action; congressional oversight; protection of sources and methods, classification, and leaks; and the laws and relationships that govern the fight against terrorism. Finally, the course provides an introduction to how the laws are applied to emerging national security concerns such as cyber threats.
Fee: $750.
Location: The Intelligence & Security Academy, 1890 Preston White Dr Suite 250, Reston, VA 20191
To Register:

Thursday-Friday 23-24 September 2010 - Harrisburg, PA - First Annual Intelligence Community Center for Academic Excellence (IC CAE) Symposium "Intelligence and Homeland Security: Policy and Strategy Implications" - The symposium is by Penn State Harrisburg.

SAVE THE DATE! Potential topics: • Careers in the intelligence community; • Cyber security and information; assurance; • Border security; • Critical infrastructure protection (CIP);
• Intelligence and information sharing – domestic and international; • Fusion centers; • Ethical issues in intelligence; • Operations security (OPSEC); • Terrorism; • Drug cartels; • Private sector and NGOs; • Public health; • Geospatial information; • Counter-proliferation. Registration information and call for presentations/papers to follow.
Event location: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Hilton Hotel
Contact: Tom Arminio,, Mobile: 717-448-5377
or Kate Corbin Tompkins,; Office: 717-948-6058; Mobile: 717-405-2022; Fax: 717-948-6484

24 September 2010 - Tysons Corner, VA - AFIO National Fall Luncheon features CIA Deputy Director, Michael J. Morell and Author/Lawyer Stewart Baker.

11 a.m. speaker - Stewart A. Baker, former General Counsel, NSA, 1st Undersecretary DHS, and author of the important new book: Skating on Stilts: Why We Aren't Stopping Tomorrow's Terrorism .... and .... 1 p.m. speaker Deputy Director Michael J. Morell, CIA
Check in for badge pickup at 10:30 a.m., Stewart Baker gives address at 11 a.m., Lunch served at noon; Michael J. Morell gives address at 1 p.m., Event closes at 2 p.m. REGISTRATION Here. EVENT LOCATION: The Crowne Plaza, 1960 Chain Bridge Road • McLean, Virginia 22102
EVENT LOCATION: The Crowne Plaza, 1960 Chain Bridge Road • McLean, Virginia 22102. Driving directions here or use this link: Registration limited HERE

Saturday, 25 September 2010, 10:00 am - Coral Gables, FL - "Management of Kidnap and Extortion Incidents" the topic at the AFIO Miami Chapter event.This program is a seminar conducted by Bruce Kaplan and Elman Myers of Special Contingency Risks. Being held at the Courtyard Marriott, 2051 S LaJuene Rd, Coral Gables, FL. $10 for AFIO members, $25 for nonmember guests. RSVP to Tom Spencer at or send payment to him at 999 Ponce de Leon Blvd, Suite 510, Coral Gables, FL 33134.

29-30 September 2010 - Washington, DC - Conference on the American Experience in Southeast Asia, 1946-1975 by the U.S. Department of State.

The U.S. Department of State's Office of the Historian is pleased to invite AFIO members to a conference on the American Experience in Southeast Asia, 1946-1975, which will be held in the George C. Marshall Conference Center at the State Dept. The conference will feature a number of key Department of State personnel, both past and present. Those speaking will include:
* Former Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger
* Former Deputy Secretary of State John D. Negroponte
* Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard A. Holbrooke
The conference will include a panel composed of key print and television media personnel from the Vietnam period discussing the impact of the press on public opinion and United States policy. A number of scholarly panels featuring thought-provoking works by leading scholars will also take place. Registration information will be available at the State Dept website,, after August 1.

Thursday, 30 September 2010; 12 noon - 1 pm - Washington, DC - Stalin's Romeo Spy: The Remarkable Rise and Fall of the KGB's Most Daring Operative - Event at the International Spy Museum.

Dmitri Bystrolyotov was a man out of the movies: dashingly handsome and fluent in many languages, he was a sailor, artist, doctor, lawyer, and artist. He was also a spy for Stalin's Soviet Union. By seducing women, including a French diplomat, the wife of a British official, and a Gestapo officer, he was able to deliver many secrets back to his masters in Moscow. His espionage career came to an end in 1938, however, when he was caught up in Stalin's purges. Sent to the Gulag for twenty years, he suffered tremendous physical hardship but he also came to see the reality of the regime for which he had spied. Join us for a fascinating talk about Bystrolyotov's rise to greatness and fall from Stalin's graces with author Emil Draitser, once a journalist in the Soviet Union and now a professor at Hunter College in New York. Free! No registration required! Join the author for an informal chat and book signing. More information at

2 October 2010, 1000 - 1430 - Salem, MA - The AFIO New England Chapter Meets to hear three outstanding intelligence speakers.

The event features three outstanding speakers. The first speaker will begin his presentation at 1030. We'll work in the next 2 speakers and lunch at 1200. We'll adjourn at ~1430.
Our speakers will be: Major Bryan K. Pillai, Chapter Member Edward M. Jankovic, Author John Weisman.
Bios of the three speakers are available from:
Location: the Salem Waterfront Hotel located in Salem MA. The hotel web site is here: For directions to the hotel look here:
Information about Salem MA and local hotels can be found here:
Note, as this meeting is a one day event we have not made any hotel arrangements. For additional information contact us at
Advance reservations are $25.00, $30.00 at the door - per person. Luncheon reservations must be made by 15 September 2010.
Mail your check and the reservation form to: Arthur Hulnick, 216 Summit Avenue # E102, Brookline, MA 02446; 617-739-7074 or

Saturday, 2 October 2010, 6:30 pm - Washington, DC - William J. Donovan Award Dinner Honoring Ross Perot by The OSS Society

The OSS Society celebrates the historical accomplishments of the OSS during WWII through a William J. Donovan Award Dinner. This year the annual dinner honors Ross Perot. Event includes special performance by humorist Mark Russell. Black Tie/Dress Mess. Location: Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 1330 Maryland Ave SW, Washington, DC. By invitation. Tables of ten: $25,000; Table of ten: $15,000; Table of eight: $10,000; Table of Six: $5000; Seating of four: $3,000; One guest: $1,000. Some tickets available for $175 pp. Donations welcomed. Inquiries to The OSS Society at

Tuesday, 5 October 2010; 6:30 pm - Washington, DC - Russian Illegals: The Spies Next Door - an Event at the International Spy Museum

"It's pretty shocking. I didn't think stuff like this still went on." --Scott Inouye, neighbor to two Russian spies On 29 June, 2010 Americans were stunned and then bemused to learn of the arrest of ten Russian "deep-cover" spies who had lived among us for decades as neighbors and Facebook friends-while at the same time operating with secret mission: to meet influential Americans and exploit them for their knowledge of government policy. "Illegals," like these spies, have been a Moscow specialty for years, but traditionally are used sparingly-for only the most sensitive of operations. Seldom has the U.S. government been able to find and arrest "illegals," so Americans are generally not aware of this threat. Join H. Keith Melton, renowned intelligence historian, technical advisor to American intelligence agencies, author of Spycraft: The Secret History of the CIA's Spytechs, from Communism to Al-Qaeda, and International Spy Museum board member, and Brian Kelley, counterintelligence specialist with over forty years experience as a USAF and CIA case officer specializing in double agent and deception operations, a recipient of the Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal, and currently adjunct professor at several graduate schools on counterintelligence and national security issues, as they shine a spotlight on the murky world of illegals: what they are, how they operate, and the threat they pose. With access to never-before-seen images, Melton will demonstrate both the classis and up-to-date spycraft used by these "spies next door." Retired KGB Major General Oleg Kalugin will also provide commentary based on his years running agents in the U.S. Tickets: $12.50 per person. Register at

Tuesday, 12 October 2010 - Columbia, MD - The NCMF [National Cryptologic Museum Foundation] Annual Meeting

There will be a panel discussion in the morning on "The Future of the Intelligence Community -- Too Big, Too Small, Just Right?" The panel will be moderated by Patrick Weadon and the panel will consist of Mr. Rich Haver, Lt. Gen (Ret) Ken Minihan and Ms. Rachel Martin. There will be a discussion on various aspects of the Cyber Command in the afternoon session. Details are available on the NCMF Web site at Invitations will be mailed to all active members shortly (About the Foundation, Coming Events)

13 October 2010 - Scottsdale, AZ - "The FBI's Evolving Domestic Intelligence Mission" is theme of AFIO Arizona Chapter Meeting by two FBI Professionals.

Mr. Steve Hooper and Mr. Mark Gygi will discuss the "FBI's Evolving Domestic Intelligence Mission." Hooper and Mr. Mark Gygi, who co-manage the Phoenix FBI's overall Intelligence Program, will be speaking on the FBI's Evolving Domestic Intelligence Mission, with an emphasis on how this intelligence mission impacts locally on things like the South-West border. Hooper has been an FBI Special Agent for more than 25 years. He has served in Portland, Baltimore, Annapolis, and FBI Hqs. He was detailed to CIA's Counterterrorism Center for a period after 9/11. He has been in the Phoenix office for 3 years, where he serves as Assistant Special Agent-in-Charge (ASAC) of the intelligence program. Gygi has been involved in the U.S. intelligence community for more than 25 years, having lived and served abroad for 13 plus years. His overseas assignments took him to Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and East Asia. As a senior officer he is currently detailed to the Phoenix FBI to co-manage the intelligence program for that Bureau office. He has been in Phoenix for 2 and 1/2 years. Event is being held at: McCormick RANCH GOLF COURSE (7505 McCormick Parkway, Scottsdale AZ 85258 ~ Phone 480.948.0260). Our meeting fees are as follows: o $20.00 for AFIO memberso $22.00 for guests. For reservations or questions, please email Simone or or call and leave a message on 602.570.6016. Art Kerns,

12-13 October 2010 - McLean, VA - NMIA Fall Counterintelligence Symposium - event will be held at the SECRET/NOFORN level

There have been significant changes to U.S. Counterintelligence in 2010, as well as challenges and opportunities.  Hear the latest information on CI from the premier DIA Defense Counterintelligence and HUMINT Center Senior intelligence leaders from DIA who will discuss the entire CI Enterprise and CI training.  Army, Navy, and Air Force leadership will address the latest changes to their organizations from their services perspective. The various Combatant Command CI representatives will provide the current CI picture from their particular geographic areas.  A special Army and NATO CI unit will address CI issues in a wartime environment. The FBI will weigh in by discussing the latest issues concerning domestic CI threats and responses to them. The critical areas of CI analysis and the CI interface with cyber will round out the symposium. To register or for more information visit:

Wednesday, 20 October 2010, noon – 1 pm – Stealing Atomic Secrets: The Invisible Harry Gold - a program at the International Spy Museum.

Harry Gold was literally the man who handed the Soviets the plans for America's nuclear bomb. A Russian-Jewish immigrant from Switzerland, he became a spy for the Soviets while studying chemistry in the United States during the depths of the Great Depression. His KGB code names, such as "Goose" and "Mad," belied his importance as a liaison to important spies within the scientific and engineering communities. During World War II, he was entrusted to be the KGB's handler for physicist Klaus Fuchs, who had burrowed deep into the Manhattan Project, America's super-secret program to build an atom bomb. After Gold's arrest in 1950, his testimony helped send Julius and Ethel Rosenberg to the electric chair. Journalist and historian Allen Hornblum will help us understand how a decent and well-intentioned man helped commit the greatest scientific theft of the twentieth century.
Free! No registration required! Join the author for an informal chat and book signing. More information at

22 October 2010, Noon luncheon - - Washington, DC - The ABA Standing Committee on Law and National Security luncheon at University Club
The luncheon features Richard Clarke on "Cyber Security." To register contact Holly McMahon, Staff Director, at 202-662-1035 or at More information at

Saturday, 23 October 2010, 10 am - Coral Gables, FL - "How We Know That You Are Lying: Explorations in the Science of Polygraphy" with John Palmatier, PhD -- at the AFIO Miami Chapter

Dr. John J. Palmatier of Slattery Associates/Dawn Associates [] speaks at this Saturday morning event hosted by the AFIO Ted Shackley Miami Chapter. The fee is $10 for AFIO member; $25 for guests. No charge for U.S. Government employees, military, students, faculty or law enforcement.
RSVP with check to Tom Spencer, 999 Ponce de Leon Blvd Ste 520, Coral Gables, FL 33134. Questions to 305 648-0940 or email

28 October 2010, 0930- 1715 - Newport News, VA - AFIO Hampton Roads Chapter hosts 2nd Annual Workshop on National Security and Intelligence

Location: Christopher Newport University, Newport News. Theme: Maritime and Port Security
We seek sponsorship at all levels to help cover costs. Please advise if you know of a company or organization that might like to sponsor the event.
Sponsorships start at $250.
RSVP: Melissa Saunders

29 October 2010, 11 a.m. - Tysons Corner, VA - Naval Intelligence Professionals (NIP) Fall Luncheon. To be held at Crowne Plaza Hotel in Tyson's Corner, VA Event ends at 2 p.m. Keynote speaker TBD.

29-31 October 2010 - Middletown, RI - The New England Chapter of the Naval Cryptologic Veterans Association (NCVA-NE) will hold a Fall Mini-Reunion. Event takes place at the Newport Beach Hotel and Suites. The registration cut-off date is September 29, 2010. For additional information, call (518) 664-8032 or visit

Tuesday, 2 November 2010, 6:30 pm - Washington, DC - Attack on Mumbai: A New Paradigm for Terrorism? - a program at the International Spy Museum.

"One of the gunmen seemed to be talking on a mobile phone even as he used his other hand to fire off rounds." — Nisar Suttar, eyewitness, November 2008
On 26 November 2008, ten highly trained and disciplined men used covert intelligence and off-the-shelf technology to terrorize and immobilize the city of Mumbai, killing 166 people and wounding over 300. The attackers were able to effectively overwhelm the Mumbai police and Indian security forces utilizing integrated tactics, superior weaponry, and sophisticated covert communications that provided their Pakistani handlers with "real time" command and control as events unfolded. This change in tactics has presented a challenge for the West: how can we find ways to defend against similar attacks in the future? H. Keith Melton, renowned intelligence historian, technical advisor to American intelligence agencies, author of Spycraft: The Secret History of the CIA's Spytechs, from Communism to Al-Qaeda, and International Spy Museum board member, has thoroughly researched the planning and technology behind the attack. Using videotape of the surviving attacker's confession and intercepts of terrorist voice communications during the assault, he will offer a strategic overview of the attacks and explore the tactical phases, and the use by the terrorists of "commercial off-the-shelf" (COTS) technologies and the Internet. Tickets: $12.50 per person. Seating is limited. Register at

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."

SPYCRUISE�: A National Security Educational Lecture/Seminar Series. The CI Centre and Henley-Putnam University are sponsoring a new SpyCruise�, November 13-20, 2010. Join them on the Holland American MS Eurodam as they set sail from Ft. Lauderdale, FL to the Grand Turks, San Juan, St. Thomas and Half Moon Cay in the Caribbean. Speakers include former DCI’s Porter Goss and Gen. Michael Hayden plus many others. AFIO member and retired CIA operations officer Bart Bechtel continues his role as the “SpySkipper.” For more information about this year’s SpyCruise�, go to: RESERVATIONS: or call 1-888-670-0008.
Fees 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.

Thursday, 18 November 2010, 6:30 pm - "Uneasy Alliance: The CIA and ISI in Pakistan" at the International Spy Museum

"CIA and ISI operatives depend on each other for their lives…" - so says an anonymous senior ISI official, December 2009
As the U.S. hunts down Al Qaeda leaders in Pakistan, the CIA appears to be working closely with the Pakistan Intelligence Service (ISI). But the two services have a long and rocky history with frequest betrayal by ISI members saying one thing, and aiding the Taliban behind-the-scenes. While the ISI has helped with the capture of Afghan Taliban leaders, some they have released Taliban figures they caught on their own. What is the future of this relationship? Are the CIA and ISI endgames compatible? Join this panel of experts as they explore what's opinions of what's happening on the ground in Pakistan and a few predictions for the future: Farhana Ali, senior lecturer, AFPAK Team, Booz, Allen & Hamilton; Seth Jones, RAND analyst and author of Counterinsurgency in Pakistan; and Shuja Nawaz, director, South Asia Center at the Atlantic Council of the United States.
Fee: Tickets: $12.50 To register, visit

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