AFIO Weekly Intelligence Notes #42-10 dated 9 November 2010

[Editors' Note: The WIN editors attempt to include a wide range of articles and commentary in the Weekly Notes to inform and educate our readers. However, the views expressed in the articles are purely those of the authors, and in no way reflect support or endorsement from the WIN editors or the AFIO officers and staff. We welcome comments from the WIN readers on any and all articles and commentary.]

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Based on a novel by Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner, RED is an action-comedy starring Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich and Helen Mirren. Frank [Willis], Joe [Freeman], Marvin [Malkovich] and Victoria [Mirren] were once CIA officers -- but the secrets they know have now made them the Agency's top targets. Framed for assassination, they must use all their cunning, experience and teamwork to stay ahead of deadly pursuers. To stop the operation, the team embarks on a mission to break into CIA Headquarters, where they hope to uncover a major conspiracy and cover-up.

For the tin-foil hat crowd? See it and let us know.


Lebanese Military Court Convicts Three Men of Spying for Israel, Sentences Them to Death.  A Lebanese military court has convicted three men of spying for Israel and sentenced them to death.

Lebanon and Israel technically remain at war, and more than 100 people in Lebanon have been arrested since last year on suspicion of collaborating with the Jewish state.

One of those convicted Tuesday was found guilty of giving sensitive information to Israel, repeatedly entering an enemy state and training there to use telecommunications and photography equipment to spy.

The ruling said Jawdat al-Hakim collaborated with Israel for a decade, until his arrest in May 2009.

The two other men were tried in absentia and convicted on similar charges.

The rulings can be appealed. [AP/3November2010] 

Marine Honored as Defense Intel Instructor of the Year. A San Diego Marine was honored by the Defense Intelligence Agency as instructor of the year, the Naval Education and Training Command announced Tuesday.

Marine Staff Sgt. Ryan Bonham, an Expeditionary Warfare Intelligence Course instructor at the Fleet Intelligence Training Center in San Diego, was presented with the Pentagon designation for 2009 on October 25, at the General Intelligence Training Council Fall conference in Lansdowne, Va.

Bonham was credited with being an exceptional intelligence professional and motivator who had authored and coordinated new course data and instruction programs regarding worldwide intelligence operations and warfighting.

"Staff Sgt. Bonham unquestionably has made a profound and lasting positive impact on improved mission preparedness for intelligence professionals embedded with today's operating forces," said Defense Intelligence Agency Chief of Staff Sharon A. Houy, who presented Bonham with the award.

Staff Sgt. Ryan Bonham receives the Defense Intelligence Agency Instructor of the Year award from Sharon Houy, DIA Chief of Staff, at a conference Oct. 25 in Virginia.

Bonham competed against six nominees, including officers, non-commissioned officers and civilians, drawn from intelligence organizations.

"The key to my being an effective instructor is the trust from my bosses and the ability to adjust instruction in classes so that it meets the needs of the fleet," Bonham said. "Also, I'm an instructor who brings current combat experience to what I'm teaching, and that's money in the bank - it keeps my students interested."

The center's leadership hailed Bonham's dedication to the intelligence community.

"Staff Sgt. Bonham is an outstanding Marine first and foremost," said Capt. Mark Jarek, the San Diego center's commanding officer. "His positive attitude, teamwork and 'can-do' spirit is infectious to the rest of the command and his students. He brings high energy to every class he instructs and everything he does.

"Bonham is most deserving of this recognition and no one he has touched is surprised by this tremendous accomplishment." [Kovach/UnionTribune/2November2010] 

Control of Intelligence Budget Will Shift. Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. said Tuesday that he has won a "conceptual agreement" to remove the $53 billion national intelligence budget from Pentagon control and place it under his purview by 2013, as part of an effort to enhance his authority over the U.S. intelligence community.

"To me, it's a win-win," he told an audience at the U.S. Geospatial Intelligence Foundation conference here. Clapper's deal with Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates would take "$50 billion off the top line" of the Pentagon budget and give the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) "more authority and oversight" of the budget. The $27 billion military intelligence budget would remain under the Defense Department, Clapper said.

Critics of the current ODNI structure have argued that the office does not have sufficient control of spending. Officials said placing the national intelligence budget under Clapper's control would make it easier for him to ensure that funds are being spent in accordance with presidential and congressional priorities.

But one congressional aide urged caution. "This is an issue that does not involve only the executive branch," said the aide, who works for the Senate Armed Services Committee, which authorizes the money in the intelligence budget.

Clapper, in an interview after his remarks, said the move would not change anything "in the oversight" relationships with Congress but would give him administrative control over the national intelligence budget, which includes money for the CIA and the National Security Agency.

"Historically, the national intelligence budget has been buried in the defense budget for security reasons," he said, referring to the practice of keeping secret the size of the intelligence budget.

Now that the intelligence budget top lines - both military and non-military - are public this year for the first time, that is no longer necessary, he said, adding that the details will still be classified.

The move would mean "we don't have to go through the [military] services to find someplace on the DOD tree to hang money in order to give it to an intelligence agency," Clapper said. The change would bring more internal "transparency" to the budget so he can more easily see where money is, he said.

Mark M. Lowenthal, a former senior CIA official and former staff director of the House Intelligence Committee, said the move would increase Clapper's authority over the intelligence budget.

"If it's in the defense budget, he doesn't have total control over it," Lowenthal said, because defense officials can say, "Please find somewhere else to hide your money." Now that there is no need to hide the top-line number inside the defense budget, he said, the lines of authority can be clear. "The national intelligence budget belongs at the DNI, and there's no question about it."

The CIA referred questions about the budget change to Clapper's office.

Clapper told the audience he was consolidating the traditionally separate collection and analysis missions under one deputy, Robert Cardillo.

With his trademark wry humor, he also said he is bringing back "a certain unnamed intelligence officer from Afghanistan" who wrote a report critical of intelligence gathering there; this officer will help improve intelligence sharing among federal agencies and with state and local agencies. "Hey buddy," Clapper quipped, "you can help me fix it." The "buddy" is Maj. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, who wrote his report for the Center for a New American Security. He will become an assistant director at the ODNI.

Clapper said he is collapsing the roles of national intelligence officers and mission managers under "a single template" to eliminate duplication. There will be 14 or 20 intelligence managers who will be responsible for regional or subject areas, including a new national intelligence manager for cyber-security to "clarify" the intelligence community's role. "I do not believe that the intelligence community is responsible for cyber-security of all the country," Clapper said.

Lowenthal said Clapper is "trying to slim things down" at the ODNI. "There's a lot of unnecessary clutter," he said.

The moves amount to "tweaks" of his office, said Clapper, who is known for restructuring agencies. "I don't do reorganizations anymore," he said. "I do tweaks." [Nakashima/WashingtonPost/2November2010] 

Israeli Security Head: Terrorists Using More Technology. The head of Israel's internal security service said Monday that terrorists are making more sophisticated use of technology and acquiring skills on the Internet previously limited to governments, such as how to evade intelligence agencies.

Yuval Diskin, head of Israel's Shin Bet agency, told a security conference Relevant Products/Services that Web surfers can easily obtain sensitive information on sites linked to al-Qaida.

"They are then provided with information that is available that teaches them how to prepare explosives and other weapons as well as ways to evade intelligence organizations that are fighting terrorism," Diskin said.

Diskin's rare public remarks came as authorities on three continents were investigating a pair of mail bombs that originated in Yemen last week and were intercepted at airports in Britain and Dubai.

Diskin did not directly mention the mail bomb plot, but said that Yemen plays a key role in the transfer of weapons to militant groups in the Gaza Strip.

"Terror groups in Gaza like Hamas and Islamic Jihad purchase advanced weapons from Iran and North Korea and other countries," he said. "These weapons are sent by Iran via land, sea and air to Yemen and Sudan and from there through a network of international smugglers. They cross through Egypt to the Gaza Strip. "

"Terrorism can be fought successfully and even defeated," he said, adding that in order to do so countries need to cooperate closely and develop technology together to counter new threats.

Israel is known for its tight airport security, the result of a series of deadly Palestinian attacks on Israeli planes in the 1970s. Even before entering the airport, all cars are screened by heavily armed security forces. Passengers face tough questioning and further security checks before boarding flights.

The head of passenger security at Israel's Ben-Gurion Airport, Zohar Gefen, said attackers would be hard pressed to get a mail bomb through the airport, as they did in Yemen.

He said Israeli security "conduct full inspections of all cargo and all passengers" but refused to elaborate.

Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz said inspectors had been dispatched to airports around the world to check cargo and parcels destined for Israel.

Israeli rescue services held a drill at the airport on Monday simulating the crash landing of a commercial airliner. Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the exercise had been scheduled long ago and was not connected to the mail bomb plot. [Heller/SciTechToday/3November2010] 

CIA Lawyer: US Law Does Not Forbid Rendition. Daniel Pines, an assistant general counsel at the CIA, has asserted in a law journal that the abduction of terrorism suspects abroad is legal under U.S. law, even when the suspect is turned over to countries notorious for torture.

"There are virtually no legal restrictions on these types of operations," Pines asserts in the current edition of the Loyola University Chicago Law Journal.

"Indeed, U.S. law does not even preclude the United States from rendering individuals to a third country in instances where the third country may subject the rendered individual to torture. The only restrictions that do exist under U.S. law preclude U.S. officials from themselves torturing or inflicting cruel and unusual punishment on individuals during rendition operations, or rendering individuals from a place of actual armed conflict or occupation - all of which prove to be narrow limitations indeed," Pines writes.

Pines said he was expressing his own views in the article, and that "nothing in the contents should be construed as asserting or implying U.S. Government authentication of information or CIA endorsement of the author's views."

But his rank as a senior legal official at the spy agency is bound to attract widespread notice.

Asked for comment, the American Civil Liberties Union was predictably scornful of Pines's assertions.

"The article does not even address the most extreme form of rendition carried out under the Bush administration: renditions to U.S.-run 'black-site' prisons, where Americans, not foreign intelligence services, were the jailers and the torturers," Ben Wizner, litigation director of the ACLU's National Security Project, told SpyTalk.

"Mr. Pines offers no arguments whatsoever for the legality of those operations, nor could he: forced disappearance, arbitrary detention, and torture are unequivocally prohibited under both U.S. and international law."

Wizner continued, "The article does not properly distinguish between conduct that is legal and conduct that is legally redressable. To be sure, every case to date brought by a victim of the Bush administration's rendition policies has been dismissed by U.S. courts - but none of those courts addressed the legality of the challenged practices. Rather, the cases were dismissed on the basis of overbroad secrecy and immunity claims. Indeed, the CIA has invoked the state secrets privilege precisely to prevent courts from answering the very question that Mr. Pines contends remains unsettled: whether the extrajudicial transfer of prisoners to detention without charge and interrogation without legal restraint violates the law."

In the article, Pines did not address the case in which nearly two dozen CIA operatives were brought to trial in connection with an extraordinary rendition: the February 2003 abduction in Milan of an al-Qaeda suspect known as Abu Omar. In that case, U.S. law turned out to be irrelevant: All but a few of the 23 defendants, whom the court granted diplomatic immunity, were convicted in absentia on charges of kidnapping.

Omar, whose true name is Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr, was taken to Egypt, where he said he was tortured. Now free but under watch in Egypt, he has granted interviews and displayed his scars to reporters.

Michael Scheuer, former head of the CIA's Osama bin Laden unit, said three years ago that national security officials in the Clinton administration "had no qualms" about transferring al-Qaeda suspects to countries with reputations for torture.

"There were no qualms at all about sending people to Cairo," Scheuer told a House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee hearing on the treatment of terrorism suspects picked up by the CIA. There was a "kind of joking up our sleeves about what would happen to those people in Cairo in Egyptian prisons," he said.

The Obama administration has not repudiated the practice of rendition but has said that it will never transfer suspects to countries if it believes they will be tortured there.  [Stein/WashingtonPost/3November2010] 

US Involvement in Yemen Edging Toward 'Clandestine War.' President Obama is pledging stepped-up military and economic cooperation with Yemen in response to last week's foiled terrorist operation aboard cargo planes that originated in the country.

An initial response to Mr. Obama's promise to step up the fight against Yemen's Islamist militants may have come Tuesday, when an oil pipeline running through a militant stronghold in Yemen was blown up.

The pipeline attack was a reminder that the two-track approach for fighting Islamist terrorists in their strongholds - covert military and intelligence operations and "hearts and minds" development programs to reach the public and deny terrorists their havens - faces a steep climb to success in Yemen.

Some regional analysts are already calling Yemen Obama's "next Afghanistan," a weak state where anti-Western extremists have been able to take root. But a comparison to Obama's approach for the militant havens of Pakistan's northwest may be more apt.

No one expects large numbers of US troops to be deployed in Yemen. Instead, the administration is quietly discussing ramping up covert operations by the Central Intelligence Agency - adding special-operations units and strikes by unmanned drones to what some analysts already call a "clandestine war." At the same time, the president is talking publicly about increased assistance to Yemen to build up its institutions and reach a poor population.

But some Yemen specialists worry that Obama's talk of ramping up development assistance will remain just that - talk - while what they call a "militarization" of US relations with Yemen continues unabated.

"If there only were a genuine two-track approach to Yemen: That would be a good thing, but unfortunately, whatever economic aid and attempts to persuade the Yemeni public there have been have been dwarfed by the money and attention going to military options," says Gregory Johnsen, a Yemen expert and doctoral candidate at Princeton University's Department of Near Eastern Studies.

Obama laid out his two-track approach to Yemen, though without the details, in his brief White House statement Friday where he discussed the suspicious packages from Yemen.

"Going forward, we will continue to strengthen our cooperation with the Yemeni government to disrupt plotting by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and to destroy this Al Qaeda affiliate," Obama said. "We'll also continue our efforts to strengthen a more stable, secure, and prosperous Yemen so that terrorist groups do not have the time and space they need to plan attacks from within its borders."

Obama has spoken at least twice by telephone with Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh since the terror operation unraveled last Friday. Publicly, US officials paint a picture of a Yemeni government making promising strides against terrorist organizations like AQAP but lacking the means to defeat them and thus requiring US help.

"For consecutive years we [in the Obama administration] have significantly ramped up our attention to Yemen and our support from a bilateral standpoint, security standpoint, and development standpoint," said State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley on Tuesday. "Yemen is focused on the threat posed by Al Qaeda, and we will continue to work with Yemen, continue to build up its capabilities so that it can continue to take aggressive action."

But behind the scenes, the administration is hearing the opinion of a growing number of military and intelligence officials that President Saleh may be losing his grip on the country. And concern is growing that he appears unable to handle an Al Qaeda affiliate apparently growing in sophistication and bent on striking the West.

The United States already has special forces in Yemen, in part to train Yemeni forces in counterterrorism functions and in part for intelligence purposes. The White House is considering expanding US operations in Yemen by a much broader use of unmanned drones or shifting command of Special Operations units to the CIA.

Such a shift would put the Yemen counterterrorism campaign more tightly under White House control. The advantage of such a move, officials say, would be to allow for operations more like those in Pakistan. There missile strikes by CIA-operated drones - against suspected terrorist targets, based on intelligence passed to the president - have proliferated in recent months.

But an increase in covert operations such as drone strikes also risks "mistakes," some say. Exhibit A: the recent strike on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border that killed three Pakistani soldiers - and worsened already-tense US-Pakistan relations.

Such "mistakes" have already occurred in Yemen, says Mr. Johnsen of Princeton, with the effect of strengthening AQAP and boosting its recruiting efforts.

"Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has been around since 2006, but their argument that Yemen was under Western attack and that therefore it was a Muslim's duty to strike back wasn't really catching on," he says.

But then, he says, "word spread" about a number of supposedly covert missile strikes - one in late 2009 that killed a number of women and children, and another in May of this year that killed a government official. "Al Qaeda has been able to say, 'We've been telling you Yemen is under Western military attack,' " Johnsen says. "And it has been catching on."

Saleh has shown in the past that he does not take kindly to unpopular US operations in his country, on several occasions responding by suspending security and counterterrorism training programs. But he may have no choice, some say, but to accept what Obama calls a strengthened US role in his country.

Any US role in Yemen will have to have some military component, Johnsen says. But, he adds, if it is not counterbalanced by more than lip service to the development and public-outreach side of the equation, "the US may be walking into a bit of a trap." [LaFranchi/CSMonitor/3November2010] 

Intel Foiled al Qaeda Plot, DNI Chief Says. The nation's most senior intelligence official said on Monday that U.S. security agencies worked together well in halting al Qaeda's latest bomb plot, after shortfalls were found after an earlier plot by the group to conduct a suicide bombing on a Detroit-bound jetliner.

"We had an exciting weekend with the air-cargo bomb plot," Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said in a speech here. "Having watched and participated in that over the weekend, it was a remarkable amalgam of intelligence, law enforcement and homeland security, which in this instance worked very well."

On the plot of Yemeni origin to blow up two U.S. freight aircraft, Mr. Clapper said that despite the success in intercepting two bombs built in computer-printer cartridges, "this is not to say that we can expect that seemingly flawless thwarting of a very nefarious, devious attack all the time. We are not going to bat a thousand. At least I can't make an assurance like that."

The comments were the first by a senior U.S. intelligence official on the plot.

In Yemen on Tuesday, the government in Sana'a placed American-born al Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki on trial for terrorism and ties to the group Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Mr. al-Awlaki is accused by U.S. officials as being an inspiration and operational planner in the recent wave of English-speaking jihadists who have attempted attacks against the United States.

Yemeni authorities also launched a new manhunt against the perpetrators of the bomb plot.

Earlier this year, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence issued a report that identified numerous shortcomings by the intelligence community that might have led them to thwart the airliner plot sooner. The shortcomings included failures to share intelligence across federal government agencies and electronic-eavesdropping failures. [Lake/WashingtonTimes/2November2010] 

ODNI Commissions Study of Radar Imaging Options. The U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) has commissioned a panel to make recommendations for a future architecture of radar imaging capabilities that may include space and airborne assets developed by the U.S. government and other governments, and by commercial providers, an intelligence official said Nov. 3.

Winston Beauchamp, technical executive for the U.S. National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), said the exercise will be modeled after a study commissioned by the ODNI in 2008 to examine options for a next-generation electro-optical satellite imaging architecture. That study recommended that the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office develop two large, exquisite-class spy satellites and the NGA buy the imagery equivalent of two smaller satellites from U.S. commercial imagery satellite operators, a plan that ultimately was agreed upon by Pentagon and intelligence community leaders and approved by U.S. President Barack Obama in 2009.

In a similar fashion, another panel is now studying possible architectures for radar imaging systems, Beauchamp said at the Geoint 2010 conference here. Beauchamp led the electro-optical study and is leading the radar imaging study.

The recommendations resulting from the study likely will include a mix of assets developed by many providers, Beauchamp said. The panel has been encouraged recently by the availability and capabilities of international synthetic aperture radar systems, he said.

The panel expects to complete its work next year. [Brinton/SpaceNews/3November2010] 

Former CIA Spy Plans Guilty Plea for Payments for Past Service to Russia. The highest-ranking CIA officer ever convicted of espionage was expected to plead guilty to additional charges that he tried to collect money from old contacts in Russia while in prison, a newspaper reported Thursday.

Attorneys for Harold "Jim" Nicholson filed notice Wednesday that the 59-year-old will plead guilty to a federal indictment accusing him of conspiring to act as an agent of a foreign government and laundering money, The Oregonian newspaper said.

The government accused Nicholson of orchestrating a plot to use his son to sneak messages from a federal prison in Oregon to Russian intelligence officials and collect a "pension" for his illicit service to Russia in the 1990s.

If found guilty of collecting the proceeds, Jim Nicholson would become the first U.S. intelligence officer convicted twice of betraying his country.

Nicknamed "Batman" early in his 16-year career with the CIA, Nicholson has been kept in a lockdown unit known to inmates as the "hole."

A guilty plea by the former spy would spare his 26-year-old son, Nathan Nicholson, from having to testify against his father at a trial that was set to begin Monday.

Records show Jim Nicholson intends to plead guilty Monday before U.S. District Judge Anna Brown.

Nathan Nicholson pleaded guilty last year to his role in the plot. The government has said he traveled on three continents to collect payments from Russian officials still indebted to his father for his past espionage.

Federal prosecutors allege Jim Nicholson passed crumpled notes to Nathan during their visits at the medium-security prison at Sheridan instructing him to carry them to officials with the Russian Federation.

Nathan Nicholson travelled to San Francisco, Mexico City, Lima, Peru, and Nicosia, Cyprus, collecting cash from Russian officials - $47,000 in all, according to court records.

Prosecutors have suggested in court filings that Jim Nicholson sought money from the Russians to make the lives of his family easier during his imprisonment. Nicholson has kept close contact with his parents, who live in Eugene, and his three grown children, two of whom live in Oregon.

Nicholson's troubles began in 1994, when he was the CIA's deputy chief of station in Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia. He was involved in a messy divorce, hoped to get custody of his children and needed money.

Authorities said he began selling U.S. secrets to Russian intelligence officials, trotting the globe to hand off documents. In exchange, the Russians paid him $300,000.

In 1995, Nicholson failed one of the CIA's routine polygraph exams. It showed he appeared to be deceptive on questions about his contacts with foreign intelligence officers.

The FBI and CIA quietly began to investigate Nicholson, who was sent back to the United States to teach spy tradecraft at the CIA's training centre in northern Virginia. Eventually, his agency moved him to a desk job at headquarters in Langley, where investigators spied on him.

They secretly captured videotape of Nicholson shooting photos of classified documents in his office. They arrested him Nov. 16, 1996, at Dulles International Airport, where authorities said he was carrying 10 rolls of film he intended to hand over to the Russians.

Nicholson faced charges that carried the death penalty. But he cut a deal, pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit espionage in exchange for a sentence that was expected to keep him in prison until 2017. [CanadianPress/5November2010] 

Iranians Hurl Eggs, Tomatoes At British Embassy. Crowds of people hurled eggs and tomatoes at the British embassy in Tehran on Thursday after the MI6 spy chief said espionage was key to curbing Iran's nuclear drive.

IRNA said about 100 Iranians gathered outside Britain's mission and chanted "Death to America!" and "Death to Britain!" as they threw the projectiles at the building.

They were protesting against remarks made on Friday by John Sawers, the head of Britain's foreign intelligence service MI6, that espionage was responsible for Iran's admission last year of a second enrichment plant, which in turn led to tougher diplomatic pressure.

"Stopping nuclear proliferation cannot be addressed purely by conventional diplomacy. We need intelligence-led operations to make it more difficult for countries like Iran to develop nuclear weapons," Sawers said.

The UN Security Council has imposed four sets of sanctions against Iran over its nuclear activities, which the West fears mask a weapons drive, a charge the Islamic republic vehemently denies.

In September 2009, Iran notified the UN nuclear watchdog it was building a second uranium enrichment plant near the central holy city of Qom.

World powers are particularly concerned about Iran's uranium enrichment programme, as the refined material can be used to make the fissile core of an atom bomb, as well as power a nuclear reactor.

In a separate mass protest, thousands of Iranians demonstrated today outside the closed US embassy in central Tehran to mark the 31st anniversary of the capturing of the mission by radical Islamist students in 1979. [NDTV/4November2010] 

Norway Not To Accept US Espionage. Norway is not going to accept US espionage, says an expert, after a TV report accused Washington's embassy in Oslo of conducting surveillance.

Norway's TV2 channel said on Thursday that the US embassy in Oslo had employed 15 to 20 people, including police officers, to keep an eye on Norwegians since 2000.

"They [Norwegians] have a long record of objecting very very strongly to foreign countries checking on their residence and behaving with extra-territorial powers. They are not going to accept the US doing that," Ian Williams, with the Foreign Policy in Focus, New York told Press TV on Friday.

"Norway is a member of NATO, but it is an independent member of NATO, and it is a very wealthy member of NATO... By setting standards, they might send ripples throughout NATO and the rest of the world that you really don't have to do what the US says all of the time," he added.

The Norwegian TV2 channel also accused Washington of taking photographs of demonstrators and adding their names to a computer database.

The issue has strained ties between Norway and the United States.

Norwegian Foreign Ministry says it has asked the US embassy for information about the surveillance program.

The US Department of State spokesman, Philip J. Crowley, has confirmed that the operation had taken place, but has also alleged that Norwegian authorities were aware of the situation and were cooperating with the embassy. [PressTV/4November2010]

Cyber Command Fully Operational, Says DOD. The new command, co-located with the National Security Agency in Ft. Meade, Md., is tasked with defending more than 7 million networked computers operating in 15,000 networks with 21 satellite gateways and 20,000 commercial circuits, according to figures quoted earlier this year by its commander, Army Gen. Keith Alexander, who is also head of the NSA. The command brings under one roof previously separated offensive and defensive military cyber capabilities.

Even as the command achieves full operational capability - a Pentagon term for when a system is deployed to a unit and the organization has the ability to employ and maintain it - questions still remain about the extent to which it would respond to an attack on domestic critical infrastructure.

The Defense and Homeland Security departments signed an agreement in September setting an agenda of cooperation over national security, but an actual cyber attack made by a foreign power intending to cause physical damage on American soil is still a just a hypothetical, as far as is publicly known.   [Perera/FierceGovernmenIT/4November2010] 


Memoirs, Errors Converge as CIA Promises Reforms. When CIA Director Leon Panetta gathered reporters recently to discuss mistakes that allowed a suicide bomber to kill seven personnel in Afghanistan, he didn't mention a separate disclosure the agency made that day: that it had sued a retired officer who wrote an unapproved memoir.

To some CIA veterans, the developments are related in ways that do not reflect well on the agency. An internal investigation blamed the December attack by an al-Qaida double agent on "systemic failures" in CIA training, management, information sharing and vetting of sources. Former agents have publicly pointed out some of those problems for years, without response by the CIA.

But now, as it promises reforms in the wake of the bombing at an agency base in the eastern Khost province, the CIA is seeking to punish a former agent for violating his secrecy agreement, which he says he did to blow the whistle on waste and incompetence.

The author of the 2008 book "The Human Factor: Inside the CIA's Dysfunctional Intelligence Culture" writes under the pseudonym Ishmael Jones. A former Marine who served 15 years spying overseas under non-official cover before resigning in 2006, Jones describes a diminished agency that, even after Sept. 11, is stymied by a culture of careerism and lethargy. He argues that experienced spies in the field are routinely undercut and second-guessed by agency bureaucrats.

Jones' book has drawn relatively little attention. The same is true of two other books by former case officers, whose memoirs also portray the agency as inept and bureaucratic. The CIA's acknowledgement of failures in Khost lends currency to these accounts.

"Khost is not an aberration. It is a symptom of what is wrong with the CIA today," says Charles Faddis, a former Middle East station chief and author of last year's "Beyond Repair: The Decline and Fall of the CIA." Both Jones and Faddis spent time in Iraq during the war.

Faddis says the Khost tragedy was a result of the "deprofessionalization" of the National Clandestine Service, the CIA's operations arm. The spy cadre is no longer composed mostly of seasoned overseas operators as much as "new hires, former support personnel and headquarters-based desk officers," Faddis says.

Jones concurs. Ninety percent of CIA employees are stationed in the U.S., he says, embedded in a "Soviet-style bureaucracy" that relies on contracts with private firms run by former CIA officials.

The agency is "stiff, risk-averse and increasingly filled with individuals who see the CIA as simply another federal job," Faddis adds. His book mentions one support officer overseas who refused to work after 5 p.m.

The 2004 book "Blowing my Cover: My Life as a CIA Spy," by former case officer Lindsay Moran, who served for five years until 2003, draws a similar portrait.

Many current and former CIA officials object, saying field operatives don't see the big picture.

"Look at the breadth of activity post-Sept. 11 - the rapid move into Afghanistan, the toppling of the Taliban regime; the degradation of al-Qaida leadership with new techniques and novel operations not even in existence nine years ago," says Philip Mudd, who worked at the CIA for more than two decades, including as deputy director of the Office of Terrorism Analysis. "Some high-risk operations fail because they're high risk."

Because of CIA officers, agency spokesman George Little said, "scores of terrorists have been taken off the battlefield, plots have been disrupted, and the lives of many coalition soldiers in Afghanistan have been saved."

The Khost operation, however, was not the CIA's finest hour, critics say. The base was run by one of the agency's most knowledgeable al-Qaida experts, Jennifer Matthews, but she had almost no experience recruiting informants or working in hostile environments.

"She was always meant to sit behind a desk," said Robert Baer, a former agent who wrote an article on the Khost bombing for GQ magazine.

Matthews was killed in the suicide attack.

"Bob Baer's comment about our fallen colleague, Jennifer Matthews, is not only offensive but wrong," Little said.

One failure cited in the CIA's review pinpointed what critics say is endemic: No one at the base knew who was in charge. The agency also acknowledged that no one had searched the suicide bomber.

Unlike Faddis and other memoirists, Jones published his book without completing the CIA's prepublication review process.

Panetta said in a statement that the lawsuit reinforces that "CIA officers are duty-bound to observe the terms of their secrecy agreement with the agency." The suit seeks all royalties from the book and any potential film. Jones says he donates all profits to charities that help soldiers' families.

Jones says he disclosed no classified information, and the agency strung him along for a year. "My options were either to scorn the censors or to keep quiet about fraud, waste and incompetence that put the American public at risk," he said.

But Baer and Faddis say their highly critical books were approved by the CIA's prepublication review board. "I've never seen them take criticism out," Baer says.

Jones argues that his book is more damaging. 

In support of his allegations that that the CIA wasted billions appropriated after Sept. 11 that was intended to send more case officers abroad, he describes millions of dollars funneled to a network of "front companies, offices, residential apartments, corporate shell companies," with little discernable intelligence purpose. He visited one of these offices, he wrote, and found a single room with a man at a desk reading a novel.

The CIA's budget and the work of its inspector general are classified, so it's impossible to verify Jones' account. A U.S. intelligence official, responding to the misspending allegations, said the CIA "doesn't know what Jones is talking about."

A senior congressional staffer not authorized to speak by name said, "After 9/11, money was thrown at intelligence to prevent further attacks and support the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Cuts are coming." [Dilanian/BellinghamHerald/2November2010] 

In New Memoir, Bush Makes Clear He Approved Use of Waterboarding. Human rights experts have long pressed the administration of former president George W. Bush for details of who bore ultimate responsibility for approving the simulated drownings of CIA detainees, a practice that many international legal experts say was illicit torture.

In a memoir due out Tuesday, Bush makes clear that he personally approved the use of that coercive technique against alleged Sept. 11 plotter Khalid Sheik Mohammed, an admission the human rights experts say could one day have legal consequences for him.

In his book, titled "Decision Points," Bush recounts being asked by the CIA whether it could proceed with waterboarding Mohammed, who Bush said was suspected of knowing about still-pending terrorist plots against the United States. Bush writes that his reply was "Damn right" and states that he would make the same decision again to save lives, according to a someone close to Bush who has read the book.

Bush previously had acknowledged endorsing what he described as the CIA's "enhanced" interrogation techniques - a term meant to encompass irregular, coercive methods - after Justice Department officials and other top aides assured him they were legal. "I was a big supporter of waterboarding," Vice President Richard B. Cheney acknowledged in a television interview in February.

The Justice Department later repudiated some of the underlying legal analysis for the CIA effort. But Bush told an interviewer a week before leaving the White House that "I firmly reject the word 'torture,' " and he reiterates that view in the book. Reuters and the New York Times first published accounts of the book's contents Tuesday evening.

Since the 2003 waterboarding of Mohammed and similar interrogations of two other CIA detainees in 2002 and 2003, the agency has forsworn the technique, which involves pouring water onto someone's face while strapped to a board, to convince them they will shortly drown.

President Obama and Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. have both said waterboarding is an act of torture proscribed by international law, a viewpoint supported by a handful of Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill and opposed by other Republicans. But the Obama administration has not sought to punish former Bush administration officials for approving it.

The 26-year-old United Nations Convention Against Torture requires that all parties to it seek to enforce its provisions, even for acts committed elsewhere. That provision, known as universal jurisdiction, has been cited in the past by prosecutors in Spain and Belgium to justify investigations of acts by foreign officials. But no such trials have occurred in foreign courts.

Tom Malinowski, the Washington advocacy director for Human Rights Watch, said, "Waterboarding is broadly seen by legal experts around the world as torture, and it is universally prosecutable as a crime. The fact that none of us expect any serious consequences from this admission is what is most interesting."

M. Cherif Boussiani, an emeritus law professor at DePaul University who co-chaired the U.N. experts committee that drafted the torture convention, said that Bush's admission could theoretically expose him to prosecution. But he also said Bush must have presumed that he would have the government's backing in any confrontation with others' courts.

Georgetown University law professor David Cole, a long-standing critic of Bush's interrogation and detention policies, called prosecution unlikely. "The fact that he did admit it suggests he believes he is politically immune from being held accountable... But politics can change." [Smith/WashingtonPost/3November2010] 

Meet the Bomb-Maker the Behind 'Underpants,' 'Printer' Attacks. In August of 2009, a member of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula tried to kill a government official with a bomb shoved up his butt. On Christmas, the terror group sent America a present in the form of explosive underpants. And now this weekend, authorities discovered explosives hidden in printer cartridges, apparently sent by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Turns out, one man is believed to have developed the weapons in all three cases. Meet Ibrahim al-Asiri: al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula's "Q." How devious is this guy? Well, that butt bomb was carried in the crevasse of al-Airis's brother, Abdullah.

Al-Asiri is a 28 year old member of AQAP and is listed on Saudi Arabia's 85 most wanted list. His role as a bombmaker perhaps owes to his experience studying chemistry at the King Saud University's Faculty of Science, though he didn't finish his degree. The Saudi government claims al-Asiri belongs to an AQAP cell focused on assassinations and the targeting of oil infrastructure in the Kingdom. It also claims he is adept at martial arts and proficient with a variety of small arms.

Ibrahim's handiwork first gained public attention when Abdullah, blew himself up - part of an assassination attempt against Saudi Arabia's deputy Interior Minister Prince Mohammed Bin Nayef. Abdullah allegedly carried the weapon in his anal cavity (though some reports claim it was an underwear bomb). After the attack, AQAP emir Nasir al-Wuhayshi sent a letter of congratulations to al-Asiri's father. In the note, obtained by Danger Room, al-Wuhayshi writes that Ibrahim was "in good health and among his Ansar brothers" and that it was him "who prepared his brother for martyrdom, as they share the same good qualities. "The Asiri family, however, distanced themselves from their sons' actions in the wake of Abdullah's attack on Prince Mohammed Bin Nayef. Their father, Hassan, a 40 year veteran of the Saudi army, offered his "utter condemnation of the criminal act" against Prince Nayef. Their mother, Umm Mohammed, cursed her sons' associates for bringing them on "this path which brings nothing but strife and torture in this world and the next."

The Yemen-focused blog Waq al Waq writes that Abdullah's martyr biography in AQAP's journal Sada al-Malahim describes Abdullah and Ibrahim's childhood as pious and without such things as "foolish TV sitcoms" and music. Their mother, however, has painted a different picture of the two al-Qaeda members' youth to reporters. "They were not religious boys at the time," Umm Mohammed told the Saudi newspaper al-Watan, "They used to listen to music and had a wide variety of friends, friends not like the ones they had later when they became more religious."

Umm Mohammed says that it was death of their brother Ali in a car accident that marked Ibrahim and Abdullah's turn to radicalism. "It was after that that they started swapping video tapes and cassettes on the Mujahideen in Chechnya and Afghanistan, and they became at times distant. Abdullah started to go out a lot with his new friends to camps known as 'preaching camps.'"

Ibrahim later tried to participate in jihad in Iraq, but was arrested and imprisoned for nine months. In the September 2009 issue of Sada al Malahim, al-Asiri claimed his rough interrogation by Saudi authorities turned him against the Saudi government. He stayed with his family for four months following his release, at which point he and his brother Abdullah fled towards Yemen. The two brothers hid from Saudi security forces at the Yemeni border for days, making it across in August 2006. [Rawnsley/Wired/1November2010]

Anniversary of Founding of NSA. On 4 November 1952, The National Security Agency, the most secret and far-reaching component of the U.S. intelligence apparatus, officially came into being.

The agency's origins can be traced back to 1949, with the formation of the Armed Forces Security Agency. Under the aegis of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, this organization was ostensibly charged with coordinating the communications and electronic intelligence activities of the Army Security Agency, the Naval Security Group and the Air Force Security Service. But it held little real power.

In late 1951, CIA Director Walter Bedell Smith sent a memo to James Lay, executive secretary of the National Security Council. Smith noted that "control over, and coordination of, the collection and processing of communications intelligence had proved ineffective." He recommended that the government undertake a broad survey of its communications intelligence activities.

His proposal was quickly approved. The resulting document, completed in June 1952, was known as the "Brownell Report," for Herbert Brownell, the committee's chairman and a future U.S. attorney general. It saw a need for greater coordination of communications intelligence work across the entire government.

President Harry S. Truman authorized the creation of NSA in a letter he wrote in June 1952, which itself remained classified for decades. It was formally established through a revision of National Security Council Intelligence Directive 9 on Oct. 24, 1952, and officially came into existence on Nov. 4.

Congressional hearings later stripped away some of the secrecy surrounding NSA. The agency has been criticized in some quarters on Capitol Hill for allegedly failing to adjust to a post-Cold War environment. It has also been charged with running a global surveillance network that purportedly intrudes on the privacy of U.S. citizens who pose no threat to national security. [Glass/Politico/4November2010]


New York Times: Major Technical Difficulties. Behind closed doors in Washington, American officials are shaping an overhaul of the 1994 federal statute that requires phone and broadband carriers to ensure their networks can be wiretapped.

Based on a chilling recent precedent, the risk is substantial that this so-called technical updating will spread far beyond what's said to be contemplated - and greatly expand the already expansive power of the government to spy on Americans. Congress should be especially cautious about the scope of the revision.

The precedent is the 2008 amendment of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA. While it also needed updating to keep pace with technology, the Bush administration added measures that sanctioned spying without a warrant, without suspicion, and without court approval. Retroactively, it gave legal cover to more than five years of the administration's illegal spying. Congress turned those provisions into law.

The Obama administration has no similar tracks to cover, but the risks of executive overreach are still there. It's essential for Congress to be deliberate about providing a check on the executive branch and striking a balance with other American interests.

In September, The Times reported that officials were "preparing to seek sweeping new regulations for the Internet," so that all communications services - e-mail transmitters like BlackBerry, social networking Web sites like Facebook, peer-to-peer providers like Skype - will be able to comply with a wiretap order as online communications increasingly replace phone calls.

Last month, The Times reported that it's not just new technologies that officials are focusing on, it's those already covered by the 16-year-old law, like phone and broadband carriers, because they "have begun new services and made system upgrades that caused technical problems for surveillance."

The government's contention is that it seeks only to maintain its ability to conduct surveillance so that it can engage in legitimate spying via new technologies with the same proficiency that it can via old ones. If the goal were as straightforward as that, it would be difficult to challenge. Despite its abuses, wiretapping has long been accepted as a tool of law enforcement when used properly.

The problem is that the hub-and-spoke design of phone and broadband communication is very different from the decentralized design of the Internet - and even more so from peer-to-peer connections. If, as some experts say, requiring Internet providers to be able to unscramble encrypted messages or intercept any transmitted communication also calls for them to function like centralized carriers, the shift will reverse what made the Internet - and made it a fount of economic growth.

The huge scale of the potential disruption underscores how little we know about why this overhaul is needed. Officials have recounted how some carriers have been unable to carry out wiretap orders and how the F.B.I. has spent tens of millions of dollars to help fix the problems. But there is no public data about how often a communication service's technical makeup thwarts surveillance approved by a court. Congress must understand why these changes are so pressing before it considers the likely major new legal requirements needed to ensure that new technologies can be wiretapped. [NYTimes/3November2010] 

Air Force Wants Neuroweapons to Overwhelm Enemy Minds, By Noah Shachtman. It sounds like something a wild-eyed basement-dweller would come up with, after he complained about the fit of his tinfoil hat. But military bureaucrats really are asking scientists to help them "degrade enemy performance" by attacking the brain's "chemical pathway[s]." Let the conspiracy theories begin.

Late last month, the Air Force Research Laboratory's 711th Human Performance Wing revamped a call for research proposals examining "Advances in Bioscience for Airmen Performance." It's a six-year, $49 million effort to deploy extreme neuroscience and biotechnology in the service of warfare.

One suggested research thrust is to use "external stimulant technology to enable the airman to maintain focus on aerospace tasks and to receive and process greater amounts of operationally relevant information." (Something other than modafinil, I guess.) Another asks scientists to look into "fus[ing] multiple human sensing modalities" to develop the "capability for Special Operations Forces to rapidly identify human-borne threats." No, this is not a page from The Men Who Stare at Goats.

But perhaps the oddest, and most disturbing, of the program's many suggested directions is the one that notes: "Conversely, the chemical pathway area could include methods to degrade enemy performance and artificially overwhelm enemy cognitive capabilities." That's right: the Air Force wants a way to fry foes' minds - or at least make 'em a little dumber.

It's the kind of official statement that's seized on by anyone who is sure that the CIA planted a microchip in his head, or thinks that the Air Force is controlling minds with an antenna array in Alaska. The same could be said about the 711th's call to "develo[p] technologies to anticipate, find, fix, track, identify, characterize human intent and physiological status anywhere and at anytime."

The ideas may sound wild. They are wild. But the notions aren't completely out of the military-industrial mainstream. For years, armed forces and intelligence community researchers have toyed with ways of manipulating minds. During the Cold War, the CIA and the military allegedly plied the unwitting with dozens of psychoactive drugs, in a series of zany (and sometimes dangerous) mind-control experiments. More recently, the Pentagon's most revered scientific advisory board warned in 2008 that adversaries could develop enhancements to their "cognitive capabilities - and thus create a threat to national security." The National Research Council and Defense Intelligence Agency followed suit, pushing for pharma-based tactics to weaken enemy forces. In recent months, the Pentagon has funded projects to optimize troop's minds, prevent injuries, preemptively assess vulnerability to traumatic stress, and even conduct "remote control of brain activity using ultrasound."

The Air Force is warning potential researchers that this project "may require top secret clearance." They'll also need a high tolerance for seemingly loony theories - sparked by the military itself. [Shachtman/Wired/2November2010]

Section IV - CAREERS

DoD Seeks Associate Deputy General Counsel in Law of War

The Office of the General Counsel of the Department of Defense is considering candidates for an Associate Deputy General Counsel position with particular responsibilities to provide legal support and advice in the area of the Law of War (or Law of Armed Conflict). The attorney serves in the office of the Deputy General Counsel for International Affairs, which is responsible in the overall areas of national security and international law in support of the worldwide operations and activities of the Department of Defense (, supporting the senior DoD leadership in these areas, including the law of war. See DoD Directive 2311.01E, DoD Law of War Program (

Familiarity with and interest in the law or war, and/or experience providing advice on law of war issues to senior officials, are desirable. This important position is at the more senior range (e.g., GS15); as an alternative to placement as a GS15, a qualified candidate could be considered for placement in the position as a highly qualified expert or as an Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) employee. This position requires a TS/SCI clearance.

For those who receive this notice, we ask that you think about attorneys whom you know who have this particular background/interest and who may be interested in applying and that you alert such attorneys to this opportunity.

To be considered, an individual may forward his or her resume to the address below or by e-mail, by November 29 if at all possible:
Charles A. Allen Deputy General Counsel, International Affairs Office of General Counsel U.S. Department of Defense The Pentagon, Room 3B710 Washington, D.C. 20301-1600
APPLY: Phone: 703-695-2604

All resumes received will be forwarded to the DoD Office of General Counsel's Resume File under our standing request for resumes ( Note that all resumes that have been submitted to the DoD Office of General Counsel's Resume File will be reviewed in connection with the consideration of candidates for this position.

National Security Law Fellowship at Georgetown

The Georgetown Center on National Security and the Law is pleased to announce a new two-year National Security Law Fellowship designed for a highly-qualified law graduate specializing in national security law who intends to pursue a law teaching career. We seek applicants who have demonstrated an aptitude for independent scholarly research, as demonstrated by their scholarly work in law school, research related to other graduate degree programs, and/or their professional activities after law school. The Fellow's time will be spent producing significant scholarship for publication. The Fellow also will contribute to the intellectual life of the Center, by regularly contributing commentary to the Security Law Brief blog run by the Center, and will have the opportunity to take part in the Georgetown Law Fellows' Collaborative in preparation for the academic job market. This fellowship is designed for individuals intending to go onto the legal academic job market within two years.

Visit for more details, including application instructions. Georgetown Center on National Security and the Law Georgetown Law Center 600 New Jersey Ave. NW, Suite 533 Washington, DC 20001 202.662.4072.



How US, Soviets Exchanged Failed Spies. "Bridge of Spies: A True Story of the Cold War" (Broadway Books $24.99), by Giles Whittell: Two highly trained Cold War spies - one American, one Soviet - both failed in their most important missions. Neither was entirely to blame. Giles Whittell, Washington bureau chief for The Times of London, sees much greater import in the American fiasco.

"It gave us 30 years of cold war that might very well have been avoided," he writes in "Bridge of Spies." It's a factual account of events half a century ago, as convoluted and thrilling as any spy novel, as the author sets out the mysteries of spy craft in fascinating detail.

In 1960, Francis Gary Powers was flying a supposedly unattackable spy plane in a vain hunt for Soviet intercontinental missiles. He was shot down nevertheless on the eve of a promising summit conference. Before the meeting started, Nikita Khrushchev had ordered that Soviet forces be cut by a third. He saw missiles as the weapon of the future, rather than masses of infantry or tanks.

A crude but perceptive leader, he may have calculated that fear of nuclear catastrophe on both sides would prevent World War III between the two superpowers. He boasted - misleadingly - that Soviet factories were turning out missiles "like sausages." The Soviets had many military missiles of different ranges, but the rockets capable of powering intercontinental weapons were few and hard to use.

Many in the West hoped tensions would ease. Powers' overflight had the opposite effect: Khrushchev demanded an apology. President Dwight D. Eisenhower refused. Khrushchev walked out. A Soviet court sentenced Powers to 10 years confinement.

Three years before, a federal court in New York had sentenced Col. Rudolf Abel to 30 years for conspiracy to transmit defense information. It was the best-known of many aliases used by William Fisher, British-born but Soviet-loyal. He had spent nine years at large in the United States as Moscow's top undercover intelligence agent.

His unfulfilled mission was to revive the World War II network of spies that had helped the Soviets build their first atomic bomb. Sympathy in the U.S. for the Soviet Union had faded with the end of the fighting. The FBI and prominent congressmen were both running active anti-communist campaigns.

Abel spoke five languages and was a skilled radio man. He was adept at spy craft - like splitting a nickel to hide a bit of microfilm, although American counterintelligence may have wondered why the KGB wanted an occasional nickel. He was less effective at recruiting, but he might have been able to keep trying if Moscow hadn't sent him an assistant, an incompetent drunk who betrayed him to the Americans.

At Abel's trial, Whittell writes, prosecutor William F. Tompkins "failed to prove that (Abel) had actually stolen or transmitted a single secret of any kind ..."

Under a satellite Communist government, a clever lawyer in East Berlin managed to get the United States and the Soviet Union to agree on an exchange of the two imprisoned spies.

The exchange took place on Berlin's Glienicke bridge in 1962. The span, set in a picturesque north German landscape, bridged the Iron Curtain for nearly 50 years after World War II. It connects what was then West Berlin, occupied by the three major Western victors - the United States, Britain and France - with the town of Potsdam, then part of Communist-ruled East Germany, closely tied to the Soviet Union.

Besides Powers, the Soviets handed over an American who wasn't a spy at all. He was a Yale graduate student in economics, whose thesis communists found suspect: Soviet foreign trade.

Frederic Pryor drove his red Karmann Ghia back and forth between East and West Berlin in relative freedom, sometimes with copies of his thesis to give to experts who had helped him write it. Overzealous East German communist police may have reasoned: How could such a character NOT be a spy? He had an East Berlin girlfriend who had broken up with him because she feared their interrogation. They didn't like that explanation. Finally she gave in and offered a different and - according to Pryor - false one, which he also adopted.

"He tried to soil my socialist chastity," she said.

That apparently satisfied them. [Hartman/ABC/8November2010] 


William "Bill" Gordon Warnell. William "Bill" Gordon Warnell suffered a fatal stroke or heart attack late October, early November 2010. 

A longtime member of AFIO, and of the City of Fairfax Band and jazz devotee, Bill was a retiree from CIA and was a former Board member of the NWFCU. He died at his home in Washington, DC. 

He served in CIA from 1960 to 1992, in the DO and IC Staff, handling Arms control, Planning and Budgeting.

An avid musician, Bill was the leader of the "Just Jazz Septet," an ensemble of the City of Fairfax Band, playing all types of jazz, ranging from the earliest ragtime and Dixieland up through the blues and swing eras of jazz into bebop, cool jazz and contemporary fusion jazz. He was a long time member of the City of Fairfax Band where he played clarinet.

There will be a memorial service for Bill Warnell on Saturday, Nov 20th at 11 a.m. St. Columba's Episcopal Church, 4201 Albemarle St NW, Washington DC 20016-2098, (202) 363-4119.

Bill will be interred in Georgia next to his wife.

Harry Fensom. My father, Harry Fensom, who has died aged 89, made important contributions to the development of electronic computers. He was one of Tommy Flowers's "band of brothers", who built Colossus and managed its installation and operation at Bletchley Park, the wartime code-breaking establishment in Buckinghamshire.

Colossus was the world's first large-scale, electronic programmable computer and was used to break the German Lorenz code. It is widely accepted that this shortened the second world war by many months. To his family, Harry was a hero, but because of the secrecy surrounding activities at Bletchley Park, for many decades few others knew about his wartime work.

He was born in the East End of London and won a scholarship to the Royal Liberty grammar school in Gidea Park, Romford. At 16, Harry resisted the opportunity to go to university and went to work for the Post Office by day and at night worked for his City & Guilds certificates. During the early war years, he was an electronic engineer at telephone exchanges in London and in due course he received his call-up papers for the army. He never made it into uniform, as he was unexpectedly sent to the Post Office Research Station at Dollis Hill, where he began working with Flowers. They worked on several projects related to codebreaking which culminated in a move to Bletchley Park - even my mother, Marget, did not know Harry's whereabouts. At the end of the war all traces of what they did were destroyed. "Winston Churchill wanted it expunged from people's minds," said Harry in an interview. "He didn't want any of it to be released."

After the war Harry continued to work for BT. His best known project was Ernie - the Electronic Random Number Indicator Equipment, which draws the winning premium bond numbers every month - but he also helped to develop many aspects of electronic communication and computer technology that we take for granted today. The end of 30 years of secrecy surrounding the codebreaking at Bletchley Park in 1974 coincided with his retirement. At last he could break his long silence. He assisted in the Colossus rebuild project at Bletchley Park and over the past 30 years read every book on the subject, and contributed to several.

Harry died a few months after Marget, to whom he had been married for 66 years. He is survived by me, my two sisters, Mary and Sally, and four grandchildren. [Fensom/TheGuardian/8November2010]

Earl B. Havens. Earl Havens passed away peacefully on June 18, 2010. He is survived by his wife Shirley; daughters Wendy Jean Havens and Tracy Ann Katoski; grandchildren Kristy Hott, Tony Santilhano, Jason and Ben Katoski; three great-grandchildren Vincent Hott, Kalista Katoski and Devin Santilhano. Earl was stationed at Fort Clayton, Panama Canal Zone, Edwards and Eglin Air Force Bases; served in Tehran, New Delhi, London, Tokyo, Taipai and Washington, D.C. He retired in Miami after 37 years of U.S. Government service. Earl fought a valiant fight against diabetes. in lieu of flowers, please give to this cause, locally or nationally.  []

Judith Anne Holm. Judith Holm died peacefully on Monday, November 1, 2010 after a courageous 16 year battle with cancer. Beloved wife of Richard Holm; devoted mother of Suzanne Lewis (Stephen), Danika Yeager (Bruce), Alison Eaton (Thomas) and Pia Nierman (Christopher); cherished grandmother of thirteen grandchildren. She is survived by three siblings; Angeline Cook, Andrew Dougherty and Ruth Bernardi. The family will receive friends at Murphy Falls Church Funeral Home, 1102 W. Broad St. (Rt. 7), Falls Church, VA from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, November 5, 2010. A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at St. John the Beloved Catholic Church, 6420 Linway Terrace, McLean, VA, 1 p.m., on Saturday, November 6, 2010. Interment will follow at Andrew Chapel Cemetery, 1301 Trap Road, Vienna, VA.  [WashingtonPost/4November2010]

Coming Educational Events


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

Tuesday, 9 November 2010, 5:30 - 7 pm - Norfolk, VA - AFIO Hampton Roads Speaker's Forum "The Role of an Intelligence Analyst in Busting Colombian Drug Trade"

Guest Speaker: Victor Rosello Army Capabilities Integration Center, TRADOC, Fort Monroe Retired US Army Colonel 06, Military Intelligence.
Location: Tabb Library in York County, Main Meeting Room. Directions or Questions:

10 November 2010, 11:30 am - Scottsdale, AZ - "Islamic Fundamentalism and Extremism" is topic at AFIO Arizona Luncheon Meeting. Special Agent Kim Jensen of the Phoenix FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force will discuss Islamic Fundamentalism and Extremism at this special luncheon being held by the Arizona Chapter. The event runs from 11:30 a.m. and ends at 2 p.m. The event is being held at: McCormick Ranch Golf Club (7505 McCormick Parkway, Scottsdale AZ 85258 ~ Phone 480.948.0260) Our meeting fees will be as follows: $20.00 for AFIO members; $22.00 for guests. For reservations or questions, please email Simone or or call and leave a message on 602.570.6016.

Saturday, 13 November 2010, 11am - 3pm - Orange Park, FL - North Florida Chapter meets to discuss Iran and Nuclear Power in the late 1970s. Mr. Roger C. Nichols, discusses his observations of Iran during its turbulent time in the late 1970s where he served on behalf of Westinghouse Atomic Power Division. In 1978 he was in Iran as the country manager for
Power Systems to implement sales and construction of nuclear power plants for the Government of Iran. However, the program was terminated in late 1988 due to the departure of the Shah and the return of the Ayatollah Khomeini to Iran and to power.
Chapter Event takes place at the Country Club at Orange Park, Florida.
RSVP to Quiel at or call 904-545-9549. before the 1st of November

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.

16 November 2010, 2:30 pm - Washington, DC - The Institute of World Politics invites AFIO members to a lecture by Colonel Larry Wortzel, PhD, USA RET on Chinese Military Strategy Today

The Institute of World Politics, 1521 16 Street NW, Washington, DC 20036. RSVP to Or explore more about the event here.
Twice Army attaché to Beijing, Reported on Tiananmen Massacre Congressional Commissioner, Author, Annual Report on US-China Economics and Security to Congress 41 years experience Marine enlisted infantryman Army infantry officer SIGINT interceptor SE Asia Honor Graduate Army Infantry Officer Candidate School OCS and Defense attaché Halls of Fame Intelligence and Counterintelligence Officer Policy maker, Defense Under Secretary (Policy) Assistant to Director Army Staff Director, Strategic Studies Institute, Army War College VP Heritage Foundation

16 November 2010, 6:30 pm - Washington, DC - AFRICAN WARS: A Defense Intelligence Perspective - Book Signing at DACOR. DACOR and Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training invites members to a book signing reception for William G. Thom on publication of his book: African Wars: A Defense Intelligence Perspective. Event takes place at 1801 F St NW, Washington. RSVP 202-682-0500 x15 or email Parking $$ available at garages on 18th street. Very limited meter parking on street.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010, 5 pm - by voice conference - The Miami-Dade Chapter of AFIO hosts their Annual Meeting and Elections by telephone conference. These Elections will be for Officers and Directors. The Elective Officers are President, President-Elect, Secretary and Treasurer. All officers and directors must be members of the National organization and be current in dues. All officers must also be directors. There will be no less than 9 directors. We are giving this notice in advance for the 2011 year ( starting January 1, 2011), so that you can be thinking about your role in the leadership for next year. Current President Tom Spencer will not be standing for election either as an officer or a director, since it is time for a change. Please consider becoming an active member of the chapter for a few years, starting 2011. To participate, contact Tom Spencer at or at 305-790-4715 for details.

18 November 2010, 12:30-2:30pm - Los Angeles, CA - AFIO L.A. Area Chapter Meeting features Deputy Sheriff Jerry Shultz on "CIA and the Phoenix Program. "Guest speaker retired Deputy Sheriff Jerry L. Shultz, will speak to us about his nine years in Vietnam and his current responsibilities as a recruiter for the California State Military Reserve. Jerry served four combat tours in Vietnam in the Army and remained in Vietnam for five more years. He was on loan to the CIA for the Phoenix program run by MACV/CORDS and will share with us his experiences in that highly controversial and highly classified project. Meeting will take place on November 18, 12:30-2:30 PM at the LMU campus, refreshments will be served, please RSVP via email by no later than November 12, 2010.

Thursday, 18 November 2010, 11:30 am Colorado Springs, CO - The Rocky Mountain Chapter presents Vice President William D. Kappel, Applied Weather Associates, Monument, CO who will speak on Global Warming. Both science and intelligence have to work with incomplete and sometimes contradicting data. How can a valid conclusion be reached with reasonable confidence? The sample topic we will examine is global warming, specifically if it is human induced. A topic, that is controversial, has lots of scientific data and opinion, is either very important for future world stability and security if true but not perceived as true now, or for unnecessary large economic disruption if not true but perceived as true now. To be held at the new location AFA... Eisenhower Golf Course Club House. Please RSVP to Tom VanWormer at

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 frequent 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

20 November 2010, 2 pm - Kennebunk, ME - The Maine Chapter of AFIO hosts Dr. Ali Ahmida of the Political Science Department, University of New England, speaking on what it means -- to him --to be a practicing Muslim, the significance of the Quran and the practice of Shari'a law. Dr. Ahmida was born in Waddan, Libya. He received a B. A. from Cairo University in Cairo, Egypt and an M. A. and Ph. D. in political science from the University of Seattle, in Seattle, Washington. Dr. Ahmida is an internationally recognized scholar of North African history and politics with a specialty in political theory, comparative politics, and historical sociology. He has authored a number of books as well as many articles and book reviews and has lectured in various U.S., Canadian, European, Middle Eastern and African colleges and universities. Dr. Ahmida lives in Saco, Maine, with his wife and two children. The meeting is open to the public and will be held on November 20, 2010 at 2:00 p.m. at the Community Center, 9 Temple Street, Kennebunkport, ME. For information call 207-967-4298.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010, 6 pm - Las Vegas, NV - "UFOs: Myths, Conspiracies, and Realities" the topic covered by Dr. John Alexander at AFIO Las Vegas Event. The Roger E. McCarthy, Las Vegas Chapter Meeting will feature John B. Alexander, Ph.D. speaking on "UFOs: Myths, Conspiracies, and Realities." The event takes place at the Nellis Air Force Base Officers' Club. (Guest names must be submitted to Mary Bentley along with their birth date by 4:00 p.m., Tuesday, November 23rd. For over half a century the intelligence community frequently has been linked to UFOs. This presentation will provide an insider's look at the myths and realities that abound. For many years, Dr. Alexander directed an ad hoc, multiagency study of the subject. Participants, all of whom held TS/SCI clearances, included military officers, IC members, and defense aerospace industry engineers. The investigation led him to many of the most senior officials in the IC as well as the director of the Strategic Defense Initiative, Dr. Edward Teller, Skunk Works president Ben Rich and many others. What they learned was not what they expected. This presentation includes hard and compelling evidence that supports some cases while equally eviscerating many of the popular myths of the true believers and fallacious arguments of skeptics/debunkers. The presentation is based on his book of the same title with foreword by Jacques Vallee, and introduction by aerospace legend Burt Rutan scheduled for release in February, 2011. For further information or to make reservations, email or call me anytime at 702-295-1024. We look forward to seeing you!

2 December 2010 - San Francisco, CA - The AFIO Jim Quesada Chapter hosts W. Michael Susong, on Global Electronic Crime.
Michael Susong is Director of Information Security Intelligence at Pacific Gas & Electric Company and former CIA Operations officer on the State of the Art of Electronic Crime and Cyber Warfare. The presentation will give a non-technical overview of the global electronic crime players, their tools, techniques and tactics. RSVP and pre-payment required. The meeting will be held at UICC, 2700 45th Avenue, San Francisco (between Sloat/Wawona): 11:30 AM no host cocktails; noon - luncheon. $25 member rate with advance reservation and payment; $35 non-member. E-mail RSVP to Mariko Kawaguchi (please indicate pot roast or fish): and mail check made out to "AFIO" to: Mariko Kawaguchi, P.O. Box 117578 Burlingame, CA 94011

5 December 2010, 6pm - 9 pm - McLean, VA - NMIA/NMIF Fund-raising Tribute Dinner to NMIA's LTG James A. Williams, USA(Ret).

Fund-raising dinner honors Gen. James Williamswith Lifetime Achievement Award for his service to NMIA, the U.S. Army, the nation, etc. Funds raised by event will be used to hold future NMIA/NMIF fund-raising banquets, and to establish an endowment for the National Military Intelligence Foundation so association can continue in the future, and also to give some funds to universities for scholarships. Event fees: 8 guests + advertisement for $7,500; 6 guests + advertisement for $5,000; 4 guests + advertisement for $3,000; 2 guests + advertisement for $1,500; 1 guest + advertisement for $300. $125 for all others. USGov personnel for $100. Checks of any amount welcome to National Military Intelligence Foundation.
RSVP with payments by November 4 to: NMIF Dinner, PO Box 6844, Arlington, VA 22206. Inquiries and replies to

8 December 2010 - Ft Lauderdale, FL - The FBI's Infragard invites AFIO members [at no fee] to its conference at Nova Southeastern University. Topic: What makes an effective information security program for a small organization? This program promotes: . Awareness of the importance of need for IT security; . Understanding of IT security vulnerabilities and corrective measures. The interactive discussion will focus on those information security risks facing all small organizations and how those risks can be identified and managed.
Topics will include: . How your data is vulnerable; . What you can lose through an information security breach; . Practical steps to protect your operations; . How to use information security vendors and consultants; . How to evaluate tools and techniques based on your needs
FBI's INFRAGARD conference takes place at Nova Southeastern University. Morning session is about The Convergence of Physical and Information Security. The Afternoon conference is a Computer Security Workshop For Small Organizations.
To attend, contact FBI SA Nelson Barbosa to register at: or call 305-787-6130.
More information at
Location of event: Nova Southeastern University, The Carl DeSantis Building, 3301 College Avenue, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida 33314
*****AM Session: 10 AM - Noon - Speaking about The Convergence of Physical and Information Security
*****PM Session: 1 PM - 5:00 PM - Computer Security Workshop For Small Organizations: Sponsored by The Small Business Administration
(SBA), National Institute of Standards and Technology(NIST) and InfraGard

Thursday, 9 December 2010, 10:00 am – Washington, DC - Yolande Collected Intelligence on Egypt for Israel - Spy Museum Event.
Yolande Gabai (de Botton), a beautiful, sophisticated Jewish woman from Alexandria, risked her son's life and her own collecting intelligence in Egypt undercover as a reporter for the Palestine Post. Yolande was a courageous woman who loved Egypt and the Arab world, yet fought for the creation of an independent State of Israel.
Israel, 2010, video documentary 62 minutes English and Hebrew with English subtitles Director: Dan Wolman DC Premiere
Free! No Registration Required. More information at

Monday 13 December 2010, 5:30 pm - New York, NY - "Status of US Intelligence Capabilities" by former CIA Officer Aris Pappas, is theme of NY Metro Chapter Meeting
Speaker: Aris Pappas, CIA 32 years - Over this period he was an Analyst, Managed Operations, and held other Senior Positions. Now a Senior Director with Microsoft Corporation. Topic: "Status of Our Intelligence Capabilities"
Registration 5:30 PM Meeting 6:00 PM.
Cost $40. Includes three course buffet dinner, cash bar.
Location: Manhattan "3 West Club" 3 West 51st Street
Advance Reservations Required: Email or telephone Jerry Goodwin 347-334-1503.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010, 5:30 - 7:30 pm - Hampton, VA - "The Role of an Intelligence Analyst in Busting Colombian Drug Trade" at AFIO Hampton Roads Chapter Speaker's Forum. Victor Rosello speaks to the chapter on "The Role of an Intelligence Analyst in Busting Colombian Drug Trade"
Event location: Army Capabilities Integration Center, TRADOC, Fort Monroe
Retired US Army Colonel 06, Military Intelligence
Tues. 14 DEC, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Tabb Library in York County. Main Meeting Room. For more information or directions contact

Tuesday, 14 December 2010, noon - MacDill AFB, FL - SOCOM'S Mission by LTG Fridovich - at the AFIO Florida Suncoast Chapter

The featured speaker is Lt. General David Fridovich, Deputy Commander of the Special Operations Command (SOCOM), talking about the current state of world affairs, SOCOM's worldwide mission and the challenges it faces. Lt. General Fridovich has had a distinguished career, serving in critical roles around the world. He participated in Operation UPHOLD DEMOCRACY, in support of the United Nations Mission in Haiti. General Fridovich commanded the Combined/Joint Special Operations Task Force in Operation JOINT FORGE, Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, from January through July 2000. He assumed command of the 1st Special Forces Group in August 2000. He led Army Special Operations Task Force, Operation ENDURING FREEDOM-PHILIPPINES, Zamboanga, Republic of the Philippines from January through June 2002. In January of 2005, General Fridovich assumed duties as Commander, Special Operations Command, Pacific. He subsequently assumed duties as the Director, Center for Special Operations, United States Special Operations Command in 2007.

For more information or to make reservations, please contact Gary Gorsline, Chapter President, at (813) 995-2200 or by email at, or Wallace Bruschweiler, Chapter Vice President, at (727) 849-0977 or by email at

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


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