AFIO Weekly Intelligence Notes #44-10 dated 23 November 2010

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In order that we may celebrate the Thanksgiving Holidays, there will be no WIN next Tuesday, the 30th of November.  It will resume the following Tuesday, on 7 December 2010.

Happy Thanksgiving to intelligence officers, our troops, and their families -- serving here and abroad -- and to
all other AFIO members!

A Few Informal Member Reviews
of Intelligence-Related Films In Theaters...

First....the films....[at bottom...the reviews]


Early reports from our members are positive... and mixed. One wrote: "No tin hat required." Other comments at bottom of column.

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.

If you see RED [above] or FAIR GAME [below] on Valerie Plame/Joe Wilson vs the White House, let us know. If members with to send us longer reviews of the film, we welcome them.

Member Reviews/Comments on RED or FAIR GAME...

We went to see R.E.D. the other day with some friends. The only thing missing was the shoe phone, well maybe a notch above that.  It was totally predictable, well acted by Bruce Willis, and absurdly funny. The only relationship to the C.I.A. is purely coincidental. 

Last week I saw "Fair Game" and "Red." I liked both.

Tin-Foil Hats Not Required For Viewing
Red (USA PG-13)
Director: Robert Schwentke
Screenplay by: Jon Hoeber and Erich Hoeber
Based on the graphic novel by: Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner
RED: Retired, Extremely Dangerous.
This film is about fictional retired CIA super assassin Frank Moses (Bruce Willis), one of four remaining agents a new level of CIA bureaucracy decides must be eliminated. Unfortunately for the Agency and the NextGen super assassin assigned to kill him, he won't go easily.
After Moses decimates the wet team assigned to kill him in a neighborhood shoot out that includes the use of heavy machine guns and an RPG (the neighbors sleep right through it, your first clue that this film was written for entertainment and not as a docudrama), Moses high tails it to Oklahoma City and Sarah Ross (Mary-Louise Parker), a payroll agent he has only ever talked to on the telephone.
After collecting her against her feisty will – she even fights him while her home is under attack - Moses goes to his friends, also all retired CIA super assassins. Joe Matheson (Morgan Freeman), Marvin Boggs (John Malkovich) and Victoria Winslow (Helen Mirren), make up the rest of this RED team; and they are an extremely dangerous bunch of retirees.
Together, the team works to stay one step ahead of the next generation super assassin (Karl Urban) assigned to kill Moses and work to expose the plot to kill all RED agents.
First and foremost, this is a fun movie. It's not to be taken seriously (Helen Mirren as a White Tights-type sniper?), and if you don't, you'll laugh all the way through. It's fast paced, full of witty dialogue and has a nice love story subplot.
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action violence and brief strong language, this was a full price movie that I heartily recommend.

Do you need a tin-foil hat to enjoy this movie? Not unless you're Marvin Boggs


Iran Confirms Spying Charges Against Two Germans. Two Germans arrested in Iran as they tried to interview the son of a woman who had been sentenced to be stoned to death are being held on espionage charges, a judiciary official said on Tuesday, according to the semi-official Fars news agency.

"The espionage charge for the two German citizens who came to Iran to stage propaganda and spying has been approved," Malekajdar Sharifi, the head of the judiciary in Eastern Azerbaijan province, was quoted as saying. [Retuers/16November2010] 

CIA Picks AF General to Run Military Ops Office. The CIA announced Monday that it has chosen an Air Force general with extensive experience in Predator drones to head its military affairs office.

Air Force Lt. Gen. Kurt A. Cichowski, currently vice commander of the Air Force Special Operations Command at Hurlburt Field, Fla., is a career combat pilot but has held a wide variety of command and management slots, including deputy chief of staff for strategy, plans and assessment at the Multi-National Force-Iraq headquarters in Baghdad during 2006-2007. During that stint he also co-chaired, with an Iraqi counterpart, the Joint Committee to Transfer Security Responsibility.

Cichowski graduated from the Air Force Academy in 1977 and earned a master's degree in business administration and management from the University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, in 1982. He was a national defense fellow at the Brookings Institution in 1998.

"Special operations is completely changing the way we are looking at warfare," Cichowski told pilots in training in a 2009 speech. "We are taking on an enemy that is no longer wanting to meet the United States Air Force force-on-force, big-on-big."

The general called the drones program a "phenomenal.... success."

Cichowski replaces Lt. Gen. Mark Walsh, who is taking command of U.S. Air Forces Europe, according to the announcement from CIA Director Leon E. Panetta. [Stein/WashingtonPost/16November2010]

Colombian Court Says Intelligence Law Unconstitutional. Colombia's Constitutional Court on Tuesday turned down the Intelligence Act proposed by former President Alvaro Uribe to strengthen the authorities' intelligence and counterintelligence operations.

The court ruled the legislative bill was unconstitutional after the bill the National Commission of Jurists challenged its constitutionality, saying that the Intelligence Act violated human rights of individuals because of the excessive use of wiretapping and spying committed by intelligence agency DAS.

According to the court, the bill was unconstitutionally approved by Congress, which must start the procedure again if it still wants the Intelligence act to take effect.

The law was presented to Congress in March 2009 by Uribe who sought to strengthen intelligence and counter intelligence activities, despite the unfolding scandal involving DAS officials illegally spying on government opponents, Supreme Court magistrates, journalists and human rights organizations.

Following the wiretap scandal, Uribe was forced to begin a procedure to dismantle the DAS. Several executives of the intelligence agency and Uribe's former chief of staff were convicted because of the illegal activities of the intelligence agency. Uribe himself denies having ordered the wiretaps. [Alsema/ColombiaReports/17November2010]

Ex-China Spy Li Fengzhi Faces Deportation, Again. Former Chinese spy Li Fengzhi probably thought he had it made last month when an immigration judge in Denver granted his six-year long quest to avoid deportation to China, where he says he faces harsh punishment, and possibly execution, for disclosing that he spent 13 years as an agent of the Ministry of State Security.

But this month Immigration and Customs Enforcement appealed the Denver judge's Oct. 4 decision, once again throwing the future of Li, his wife and their young child into doubt.

According to the Nov. 3 notice of appeal by ICE deputy chief counsel Donald C. O'Hare, Li, 42, asked for asylum on the wrong grounds.

Li, O'Hare wrote, had "failed to establish a well-founded fear of future persecution on...a protected ground...that his political opinions or religion would subject him to persecution or otherwise exacerbate any criminal prosecution or the consequences thereof."

O'Hare also contended that Li continues to be "a danger to [U.S.] national security," despite the absence of espionage charges against him and his extensive debriefing by the FBI and CIA after he applied for asylum.

Ironically, the government first argued that Li failed to qualify for asylum because he really wasn't a Chinese spy, despite persuasive evidence to the contrary.

As SpyTalk reported in September, Li became an officer in the Chinese Ministry of State Security upon graduation from college in 1990. In 2003, the spy agency sent him to the University of Denver to pursue a PhD in international politics and diplomatic philosophy, during which time he began to voice his criticism of the Chinese Communist Party.

During a trip home, Chinese security agents interrogated him about his views. When he returned to Denver, he decided to apply for political asylum, on the basis that his increasingly outspoken criticisms would subject him to retribution if he were forced to go back.

Legal analysts say it's not uncommon for the government to change its arguments when the first ones fail.

But retired FBI counterintelligence agent I.C. Smith, an expert on Chinese espionage who has who has testified on Li's behalf, said ICE's appeal "bordered on the absurd."

"During the [initial] hearings, they were attempting to show that Li wasn't really a spy, he really hadn't been in the employ of the MSS, but instead, was a scholar who has studied up on the MSS to the extent that he was able to pass himself off as a MSS employee."

Smith added, "I don't think they can have it both ways and if they argue the latter, they have to concede that their claims during the [initial] hearing[s] were bogus."

One of the mysteries of Li's case is why neither the CIA or FBI has stepped forward to help keep him from being deported.

The CIA declined to comment. The FBI did not respond to a request for comment.

Li said he was "disappointed. But I understand that some officials of the government are trying to protect this country and its people, including my kids."

"Nothing in the record shows that I will pose a danger to the security of this great country," he added, citing security investigations of him during his asylum application.

"They have found nothing, because there is nothing. I was not and will not be a danger to the security of the U.S."

ICE missed its 30-day window to file an appeal because of a clerical error, and now faces an uphill battle to persuade the court to accept its papers nonetheless. [Stein/WashingtonPost/17November2010]

IG Finds Centers Can't Search Across Terrorism Databases. Despite more than $400 million spent on technology systems, domestic counterterrorism centers across the country still face significant information sharing challenges, including the inability to search across multiple databases for terrorism-related data, according to a new report from the Homeland Security Department's inspector general.

The Homeland Security Department has spent about $430 million to date developing information-sharing systems to support so-called state and local fusion centers across the country, including the Homeland Secure Data Network, the Homeland Security Information Network-Law Enforcement system, and the Homeland Security State and Local Intelligence Community of Interest system.

But fusion center personnel make limited use of the three systems, the inspector general's office concluded in the 39-page report. Instead, officials at the centers rely primarily on e-mail, telephones, and personal relationships to gather and share information, the IG wrote.

"E-mail may meet fusion centers' need for situational awareness; however, collaboration across state, local, and federal partners to 'connect the dots' to prevent and deter threats remains a challenge without effective information-sharing IT systems," the IG report said.

Fusion center personnel said they did not regularly log into the systems because data was too hard to find or was limited in content.

Officials also lack the ability to conduct a comprehensive search across multiple information technology systems and intelligence databases, which the IG described as "a major challenge."

"Currently, users must log into each system separately when searching for information," the report stated. "Personnel at several fusion centers said that finding time to access multiple systems is a challenge. These analysts said that it would be ideal to have one system that would allow the user, based on his or her access rights, to search several systems at once."

The lack of integrated databases for terrorism-related information has been cited as a problem before. For example, the inability of federal intelligence officers to easily search across IT systems was a factor in not preventing a Nigerian man from trying to blow up an airliner over Detroit last Christmas Day.

But the IG report did praise DHS for making some progress in improving information sharing in other areas, for example, by deploying intelligence and analysis (I&A) officers to fusion centers.

"Specifically, personnel from the fusion centers we contacted said that information sharing had improved, the process was effective overall, and the information received from DHS met their needs," the IG wrote.

"Fusion center personnel attributed the improvement primarily to the deployment of I&A intelligence officers to the centers. As a result of improved information sharing, fusion centers have successfully collaborated with DHS during numerous large-scale events and maintained situational awareness after attempted terrorist attacks or other incidents," the IG added.

The IG report made 10 recommendations to improve information sharing, all of which DHS officials agreed with.

For example, the report recommended that the department improve the organization and search capability of the systems, including the ability to access multiple databases. According to DHS, a next-generation upgrade of the Homeland Security Information Network will have this search capability. That system is expected to start rolling out this fiscal year. [Strohm/NextGov/16November2010]

Britain: Security Official Is Cleared. A senior official of Britain's domestic security service was cleared by government prosecutors on Wednesday of complicity in the mistreatment of a former Guant�namo Bay detainee, Binyam Mohamed, in Pakistan in 2002. The prosecutors acted a day after the Justice Ministry announced a multimillion-dollar compensation deal under which 15 former Guant�namo detainees, including Mr. Mohamed, and one man still held there, agreed to drop lawsuits alleging complicity in torture and other abuse against MI5 and MI6, Britain's domestic and foreign intelligence agencies. The compensation payments were explained in Parliament as part of a government plan to free MI5 and MI6 from the threat of extended litigation, and to protect relations between the British intelligence agencies and their American counterparts. Jonathan Evans, MI5's director general, said in a statement that he was "delighted" with the decision not to prosecute the unnamed MI5 official. Prosecutors are still investigating the possible criminal prosecution of an MI6 officer for complicity in detainee abuse. [Burns/NYTimes/18November2010]

UK to Limit Disclosing Intelligence Information in Courts. The British Ministry of Justice intends to limit releasing secret intelligence information during court hearings, wrote the Guardian on Wednesday.

According to the Guardian, a bill is now being discussed to the effect that secret documents of the British special services, the MI5 counter-intelligence service and the MI6 intelligence service, if they are relevant to a court case, would be seen and heard in secret hearings and withheld from interested parties. The decision to compile this document was taken after a scandal with 16 former inmates of the American Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba, who accused the British special services of being complicit in torture and abuse of prisoners. In July 2010, the Supreme Court ordered the publication of about 500,000 intelligence documents applying to this case.

On Tuesday, Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke informed the Commons that the British government had agreed to settle the case of the Guantanamo tortures out of court by compensation payments. According to Kenneth Clarke, the participants in this secret deal are from now on bound by an agreement on non-disclosure of confidential information and have no right to release any information about the settlement details, including the amount of payouts granted by the authorities. Experts believe that the cost of the case, had it continued, would have reached 30-50 million pounds over three to five years. The settlement of the case out of court cost the British Treasury much less. Besides, during court hearings, the public could have become aware of facts compromising the intelligence agencies and national security.

The new document, concerning the British secret services, which is presumably to be adopted next summer, will prevent disclosure of secret information, as in the case of the former Guantanamo prisoners. The new law is expected to completely rule out the chance of a repetition of this year's case because it will make the work of MI5 and MI6 more secret and unavailable to the public. This fact has already brought about powerful protests and indignation of the British people, because taxpayers want to know how their money is spent. This also applies to the country's secret services. In this connection, the Independent writes it is inadmissible that the secret services should interfere in legal proceedings, feeling their increased power.

Some people can point out that about twenty years ago ordinary British people knew nothing at all about the MI5 and especially the MI6. But times change and today British citizens feel they have a right to know more about the work of their secret services. The more so, when the situation concerns violation of human rights, as it was with the Guantanamo prisoners. They did not directly accuse the British intelligence service of using torture against them, but they stated that MI5 and MI6 knew about the tortures in Guantanamo and did not do anything to stop them and even used the information gained as a result of torture. This accusation is indirectly corroborated by the fact that the British authorities, at the insistence of their secret services, paid the Guantanamo prisoners compensation in order to prevent a fuss around this case. [RUVR/18November2010] 

Intelligence Bodies Faulted on Disclosure. The House Intelligence Committee said Thursday that it had found 16 cases since the 1990s in which the intelligence agencies failed to provide Congress with "complete, timely and accurate information" about their activities, as the law requires.

The report found that Congress was not properly informed about a Central Intelligence Agency program that explored dispatching teams to kill terrorists overseas; the destruction of videotapes of interrogations at the C.I.A.'s secret prisons; the agency's involvement in the shooting down of a missionary flight in Peru; the National Security Agency's compliance with laws and rules governing its eavesdropping; and the F.B.I.'s surveillance of a Russian spy ring that was exposed last summer. The committee did not disclose the other cases in which the classified report found shortcomings.

The report included recommendations for the director of national intelligence, James R. Clapper Jr., and asked him to report back to Congress within 30 days on plans to put them in place. The recommendations are classified.

The inquiry began in July 2009, shortly after members of the House and Senate intelligence committees learned they had never been informed of the C.I.A. program that developed plans to send small teams overseas to hunt and kill terrorists.

That program, which involved a contract with the company then known as Blackwater, studied how such missions could be carried out but never attempted an actual killing, current and former intelligence officials said last year. The officials said Vice President Dick Cheney had advised the agency that there was no need to inform Congress about the program.

When the C.I.A. director, Leon E. Panetta, learned of the program's existence a few months after arriving at the agency, he shut it down and immediately held classified briefings for both intelligence committees. But some members were alarmed by what they considered a pattern of withholding information by a succession of administrations.

In the subsequent inquiry, the House committee's subcommittee on oversight and investigations, led by Representative Jan Schakowsky, Democrat of Illinois, interviewed more than 35 people and reviewed thousands of documents, staff members said.

The 16 cases of inadequate notification spanned the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations.

"In several specific instances, certain individuals did not adhere to the high standards set forth by the intelligence community and its agencies," said Representative Silvestre Reyes, the Texas Democrat who is chairman of the House committee, in a statement. "While there may be difference of opinion with respect to specific findings, I think all members can agree that the committee must be kept fully and currently informed of significant intelligence activities."

The report was approved in a 12-to-1 vote, with Representative Peter Hoekstra of Michigan, the committee's top Republican, casting the dissenting vote. Mr. Hoekstra has often complained about the failure of intelligence agencies to keep Congress informed, but his spokesman, Jamal Ware, said he had no comment on the report.

A spokesman for Mr. Clapper, Jamie Smith, said the director looked forward to working with the committee on its recommendations.

Mr. Clapper is "committed to a strong, transparent and positive relationship between the intelligence community and the Congress," Ms. Smith said.

A spokesman for the C.I.A., George Little, said the agency "cooperated fully with this investigation, and the agency looks forward to reviewing the recommendations."

Legislation signed by President Obama in October strengthened oversight rules, requiring the director of national intelligence to certify each year to Congress that it had been properly notified about the spy agencies' activities.

In the past, the C.I.A. could inform only the so-called Gang of Eight - the top Democrats and Republicans in the Senate and the House and the two committees - of its most closely guarded intelligence activities, known as covert actions. Under the new law, all members of the committees must be told of such activities, though detailed briefings may still be restricted to the Gang of Eight. [Shane/NYTimes/19November2010] 

DIA Chief: Room for Intelligence Community to Grow. Hinting at potentially more growth of the local intelligence community, the man who is overseeing the relocation of more than 800 Defense Intelligence Agency employees to Albemarle County said he expects the transition to be completed by March.

"The largest single group of DIA people outside of the Washington metropolitan area will soon be in Charlottesville," said Phil Roberts, chief of field support for Rivanna Station and a 29-year agency veteran.

Roberts briefed city, county and University of Virginia officials at a meeting of the Planning and Coordination Council on Thursday.

The move was set into motion by the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure report, which called for the positions to be transferred from Bolling Air Force Base to a new facility near the U.S. Army's National Ground Intelligence Center. The BRAC report requires the transition to be completed by September.

So far, 247 employees have made the transition, according to Roberts. About 45 percent have chosen to live in Albemarle, with Greene County and Charlottesville close behind.

Roberts said about two-thirds of the positions being relocated here will be filled by current DIA personnel. However, he said DIA was committed to giving back to the community by hiring locally, as well.

"The majority of the remaining positions will be filled and are available to be filled by current and future Charlottesville residents," Roberts said.

When all the jobs are filled, DIA itself will be the seventh-largest employer in the region. When jobs at the adjacent National Ground Intelligence Center are factored in, the intelligence sector will be the area's fourth-largest employer.

However, those positions won't be filled until Congress passes an appropriations bill for the Department of Defense. The federal government is currently operating under a continuing resolution that expires Dec. 3.

Roberts said the area's quality of life makes it an attractive location for future growth, but that would ultimately be up to the area's elected officials to decide.

"The potential to do more and sell this area as a center for good intelligence work on behalf of the nation exists," Roberts said. "There are communities that wake up every day and think about how to expand the intelligence sector."

Albemarle Supervisor Dennis S. Rooker said he welcomed the expansion.

"When you tour NGIC and [Rivanna Station], and you talk to the people who work there about what they do, you come away with a feeling that there's a patriotic duty of the community to enable your activities," Rooker said. [Tubbs/CVilleTomorrow/19November2010] 

Portuguese Intelligence Chief Quits on Eve of NATO Talks. The chief of Portugal's intelligence service has unexpectedly quit his job on the eve of the NATO summit in Lisbon.

Portuguese news reports suggest the resignation is linked to budget cuts in his department.

Jorge Silva Carvalho had submitted his resignation which "has been accepted and [the agency] will have a new director from December 1", said the government information office in a statement carried by the national news agency, Lusa.

The Publico daily said his resignation was a "direct consequence" of cuts in the 2011 budget, which will force the closure of seven of the agency's 11 offices abroad, a move seen as "a serious setback for the service".

According to a report in the Diario de Noticias, Silva Carvalho told senior colleagues on Wednesday he was quitting as "a matter of conscience" in a bid "to draw attention to the mistake that is being made" by the government.

The ministry of defence stressed Mr. Carvalho's resignation would not jeopardise the security of visiting leaders, such as Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, US president Barack Obama and Russian president Dmitry Medvedev.

Silva Carvalho has been in charge of the agency since April 2008. [ABC/19November2010] 

CIA and Military Interrogators Call for Less Interrogation Power. It's an extremely rare occurrence that someone in the federal government, especially in the intelligence field, asks for less power. Intra-government wrangling is almost always predicated on securing more authority for either yourself or at least for the branch, service, or office you represent. So it is not just unusual but in fact extraordinary that fourteen U.S. military and intelligence professionals, all of whom have experience with U.S. interrogations and some of whom are quite prominent within their community, have signed a letter asking Secretary of Defense Robert Gates to revoke key interrogation authorities. Specifically, they are requesting that the Pentagon revoke Appendix M of the Army Field Manual, a controversial document granting many of the "harsher" interrogation techniques.

Harper's Scott Horton, who has a copy of the letter, explains that the authors worry that "separation," a useful and humane technique in which prisoners are allowed their own cell, has become more difficult to use because of its similarity to the much harsher "isolation" techniques, which is part of Appendix M. Horton writes:

"The interrogators call these techniques 'ineffective' and 'counterproductive.' 'The use of sensory deprivation techniques, extreme isolation and stress positions is likely to lead to false information, facilitate enemy recruitment, and further erode the reputation of the United States,' they write.

Matthew Alexander, a former senior military interrogator who developed the information that led to the killing of Al Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi, said that he had not signed the letter, but said, "I'm in complete agreement with the letter."

The letter is also drawing support from human-rights advocates. [Fisher/TheAtlanticWire/19November2010] 

Former CIA Head Talks Terrorism, Tourism, and Torture. About 30 minutes into an interview on an outdoor deck aboard the "spy cruise," the issue of Osama bin Laden arises.

"What can you do with him?" asks Porter Goss, the former head of the CIA, as he settles back in a padded lounge chair.

"Are we going to sit him on a deckchair and ask him to cooperate? Or are we going to put him in a place where he can't leave?"

Goss's point is this: Now that the Obama administration has outlawed harsh interrogation techniques such as waterboarding, shut the CIA covert "black sites" around the world and frowned upon renditions, what are the options open to America's intelligence service?

He insists the CIA "enhanced" methods worked.

"There are undeniable, provable, extraordinary successes," Goss said when asked about waterboarding - an interrogation technique that U.S. President Barack Obama denounced as torture.

For the first time since his retirement from the agency in 2006, Goss has come together with the man who replaced him, Gen. Michael Hayden, to mix tourism and terrorism aboard the MS Eurodam as it cruised the Caribbean this week.

About 130 passengers paid up to $2,000 for this privilege of unprecedented access to the former spy chiefs.

In rare and blunt interviews with the Toronto Star, the two retired leaders vehemently defended their records, Bush-era practices, and condemned the present administration for delivering what they say is an ambiguous national security policy.

For some, it may seem incongruous to discuss waterboarding when seniors graze on buffets and younger, scantily clad passengers gyrate to a Cher tune nearby.

But not for the cruise participants - a mix of former intelligence officers, students, retirees and private security consultants - who relish the chance to talk national security on their vacation.

"In the intelligence service it is difficult to retire," said John Candor, who worked for the NSA for 25 years and attended the spy cruise with his wife, also a veteran of the electronic eavesdropping agency.

"This is an opportunity to touch the surface again, talk to old friends, see what the current mood is and then we can go back and play tennis for another year."

The current mood among this group seems to be frustration - with challenges by the media and civil rights advocates as to how intelligence is gathered.

"We are a clandestine intelligence service," Goss said. "Clandestine intelligence. What about that is it that the media doesn't get?"

As the cruise moved through the choppy Atlantic Ocean this week, two important national security stories broke in Washington and New York.

The U.S. Justice Department concluded that there would be no criminal charges for the CIA destruction of videotapes that showed the waterboarding of two "high value" detainees - an investigation that enraged both Goss and Hayden.

A day later in a New York courtroom, the first ex-Guantanamo detainee to be tried in a civilian court was acquitted of all but one of 286 charges in the 1998 bombing of two U.S. embassies in Africa.

Tanzanian Ahmed Ghailani still faces a minimum of 20 years in prison for conspiracy, but the lack of a conviction on the murder charges has rekindled the debate on civilian trials versus indefinite detention, or military commission prosecutions for Guantanamo detainees.

The Obama administration has still not said publicly whether Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the self-professed mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, would be tried in a civilian or military court, after a proposal to bring the case to New York created widespread outrage.

Hayden, who was the longest-serving director of the NSA and deputy director of the National Intelligence before he took the helm of the CIA from Goss in 2006, dismissed questions about whether the agency's handling of terrorism suspects hindered chances of their prosecution.

"I don't care. Why are you raising that with an intelligence officer? My job is to disrupt attacks against the homeland," said Hayden, who retired from the CIA in February 2009.

"This is a war," continued Hayden. "It's about defence. It's not about going through a judicial process."

Hayden added that it was a "mistake" to immediately charge and read Miranda rights to Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab after he failed to bomb a Detroit-bound plane in December.

"Within 50 minutes you treat him as a criminal? Not a prisoner of war and interrogate him? The first sentence is, �You have the right to remain silent,' " Hayden said of the Nigerian suspect with connections to Yemen.

"Does anyone believe the Detroit field office even had a map of Yemen with them in those first 50 minutes?"

Like Goss, Hayden supports indefinite detention - which Obama conceded may be the fate for some Guantanamo detainees despite his prior criticism of the practice.

When pressed on how the public can have confidence that they have detained guilty men, Hayden said in wartime there is the right to hold enemy combatants without trial.

"I have a moral obligation if I know this person is a combatant, if I have evidence he is a combatant, (and) if I would reveal information that deserves to be kept secret in order to prove to the Toronto Star or New York Times that he's a combatant, I'm not going to reveal it."

"I've had this question asked, 'Well this war could go on for decades.' My response is, �Yeah. Not my fault.' "

There are few participants sitting in the third-floor Hudson Room listening to the spy cruise sessions, who would disagree with the positions being presented.

This is a likeminded group. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder's name is evoked often, disdainfully. So is the American Civil Liberties Union, which has been at the forefront of many of the successful challenges to Bush-era policies.

Jameel Jaffer, Director of the ACLU's National Security Project, said he was surprised by Hayden's candor.

"Some of these Bush-era officials had a really alarmingly narrow conception of their jobs," said Jaffer in an interview following the cruise. "Actionable intelligence is valuable, of course. But so are democratic institutions, and democratic values, and international legitimacy, and the rule of law."

"(These) security officials still don't acknowledge the damage they caused to the country's interests, and to its security."

That's not an argument that will get much traction among the spy cruise crew.

Hayden said he is tired of the criticism and doesn't believe the CIA's use of waterboarding or covert interrogation sites affected the U.S.'s reputation or fuelled Al Qaeda's propaganda.

"I understand there are moral judgments to be made and honest men differ," he said, before concluding the interview.

"What I'm saying, however, is that process resulted in valuable intelligence and made American and citizens of the West safe." [Shephard/TheStar/20November2010] 

Federal Judge Orders CIA to Release Records on Secret Experiments on Soldiers. In response to a lawsuit filed by three veterans groups and six individual veterans, a federal judge, James Larson, ordered the CIA and other government agencies to turn over documents about testing programs and the substances used on soldiers from 1950 through 1975. The plaintiffs allege that the government used about 7,800 military personnel as human guinea pigs to research biological, chemical and psychological weapons at Edgewood Arsenal and Fort Detrick in Maryland.

The soldiers volunteered for the testing, but were not told at the time to what they were being exposed. They also were required to sign an oath of secrecy about their participation.

The CIA has put forth a variety of arguments to avoid revealing information about the 35-year-old experiments, including privacy protections, state-secrets privilege, the fact that the Department of Defense is conducting its own investigation, the passage of time, the fact that witnesses no longer work for the government, that the gathering of relevant information would take too much time, and the questionable claim that it never funded or conducted research on military personnel.

Judge Larson has insisted that the CIA must produce evidence relating to a 1963 CIA Inspector General report on an experiment called MKUltra; the basis for each redaction in that report; the doses and effects of certain substances administered to test subjects; any payments made to contractors or university researchers, any outside-party proposals concerning the experiments; a confidential Army memo about the use of volunteers in research; all government-led human experiments from 1975 to date involving specific drugs; and whether the government secretly administered MKUltra materials to "the patrons of prostitutes" in safe houses in New York and San Francisco, as the veterans allege. [Wallechinsky&Brinkerhoff/AllGov/20Novemer2010]

Worm Can Deal Double Blow to Nuclear Program. The German software engineer who in September was the first to report that a computer worm was apparently designed to sabotage targets in Iran said Friday that the program contained two separate "digital warheads."

The malicious program, known as Stuxnet, is designed to disable both Iranian centrifuges used to enrich uranium and steam turbines at the Bushehr nuclear power plant, which is scheduled to begin operation next year, said the engineer, Ralph Langner, an industrial control systems specialist based in Hamburg, Germany.

His analysis adds further detail to a report by researchers at the Symantec Corporation, an American computer security company, which concluded that the software code was intended to induce fluctuations in the rotational speed of motors, by taking over a power device known as a frequency converter.

"It's an awful complex code that we are looking at," said Mr. Langner, who has spent several months studying the program, which was discovered by a Russian antivirus company in June, after the company received complaints from Iranian customers. The link between the worm and an Iranian target was first made at an industrial systems cybersecurity conference in the Washington area on Sept. 20 by Mr. Langner.

In a statement Friday on his Web site, he described two different attack modules that are designed to run on different industrial controllers made by Siemens, the German industrial equipment maker. "It appears that warhead one and warhead two were deployed in combination as an all-out cyberstrike against the Iranian nuclear program," he wrote.

In testimony before the Senate on Wednesday, federal and private industry officials said that the Iranian nuclear program was a probable target, but they stopped short of saying they had confirming evidence. Mr. Langner said, however, that he had found enough evidence within the programs to pinpoint the intended targets. He described his research process as being akin to being at a crime scene and examining a weapon but lacking a body.

The second code module - aimed at the nuclear power plant - was written with remarkable sophistication, he said. The worm moves from personal computers to Siemens computers that control industrial processes. It then inserts fake data, fooling the computers into thinking that the system is running normally while the sabotage of the frequency converters is taking place. "It is obvious that several years of preparation went into the design of this attack," he wrote.

When asked about Mr. Langner's new analysis, Eric Chien of Symantec said the company's researchers had also seen evidence of a second attack module, but that the module was disabled in the version of Stuxnet they studied.

Mr. Langner is among a small group of industrial control specialists who warned that the widespread distribution of the Stuxnet code could lead to disaster. Equipment made by Siemens and its competitors is used around the globe to manage virtually all of the world's transportation, power distribution and communications systems.

Joe Weiss, managing partner at Applied Control Systems, a consulting firm based in the Silicon Valley that organized the conference in September, said he was concerned that computer security organizations were not adequately conveying the potential for serious industrial sabotage that Stuxnet foretells.

"I just want the lights to stay on and water flowing, and people not dying," he said. [Markoff/NYTimes/20November2010] 


Despite Stonewalling, Airline For CIA Can't Avoid Hazard Pay. As a government contractor, North Las Vegas-based Vision Airlines has successfully operated in the shadow world that accompanies flying CIA, State Department and Blackwater personnel from the United States to Baghdad and Kabul.

Since May 2005, Vision has contracted its services with Computer Sciences Corporation (later McNeil Technologies) to provide transportation for the government's Air Bridge Program. The company's Boeing jets average two flights a week from Dulles, Va., to Iraq and Afghanistan.

When the United States deported Russian spies to Vienna, the ousted operatives flew Vision Airlines. Vision 737s also were reportedly used in the government's once-clandestine extraordinary rendition program, in which suspected spies and terrorists were abducted by CIA operatives and flown for interrogation purposes to countries that practiced torture.

After remaining metaphorically off the radar for years, Vision now finds itself out in the open following a jury's recent verdict in U.S. District Court to award the airline's former pilots and flight attendants more than $4.5 million in back hazard pay.

What kind of hazards? Vision flights regularly arrived in Kabul and Baghdad after dark without cockpit lighting to avoid detection by insurgents. Pilots used evasive maneuvers on takeoff and were regularly faced with the threat of airport rocket attacks.

Key court documents show Vision could not operate off the record in U.S. District Judge Roger L. Hunt's courtroom. After tiring of the company's unrelenting stonewalling in the civil case filed on behalf of 175 former employees by Florida attorney David Buckner and local counsel Ross Goodman, the even-tempered Hunt finally lost his patience. Vision officials flatly refused to produce discovery documents in the case that would have shown its flight personnel were supposed to receive hazard pay for entering a war zone. Instead, Buckner and Goodman claimed, hazard pay turned into added profit for the company.

Buckner said he was gratified by the judge's decision and the jury's verdict, but made it clear the point of the lawsuit was fair compensation for his clients, not exposing possible government secrets. The attorneys didn't try to identify who used Vision's air service.

"I don't know and never asked," Buckner said. "It wasn't really relevant to our case, and we never got into that. I don't know the answer to that." 

In granting the class-action plaintiffs' motion for sanctions, Hunt wrote, "Here, Vision has intentionally delayed production of documents, misrepresented its current and past production to both the Court and the Class, and otherwise engaged in bad faith conduct."

Vision received more than sufficient time to turn over documents, and its argument that such materials were somehow classified and beyond the scope of discovery didn't wash with the judge.

A frustrated Hunt added, "It is now impossible to know whether some of these discovery items would have been available had Vision acted properly, but they are unavailable now."

For those unfamiliar with the tone and tenor of the U.S. District Court, that qualifies as spitting mad for a federal judge.

Attempts to reach Vision attorney Harold Gewerter were unsuccessful. After reading the judge's order, it's probably safe to assume Gewerter wasn't busy collecting discovery documents in the case.

Hunt concluded, "It has also become evident that Vision is willing to mislead the Court time after time in order to keep from producing relevant, possibly critical, discovery material."

In the end, Hunt solved Vision's problems by entering a default judgment against the company. He essentially took their response to the lawsuit and threw it in the trash. The only thing left to determine was whether the plaintiffs would receive every nickel in compensation they were owed. A jury quickly ruled in their favor.

Now all the pilots and flight attendants have to do is get the recalcitrant spy airlines to cough up the cash. [Smith/LVRJ/17November2010]

Turning Misfit Spies Into Heroes. Right from the start, the latest Russian spy story resembled the stuff of which Soviet spy legends are made. We have a main hero - an intelligence agent who refuses to buckle when tortured. We also have a traitor who meets face to face with the hero in his prison cell. Last week, we may have learned the name of this traitor. Depending on which media report you read, it was either Colonel Shcherbakov or Colonel Poteyev who revealed the 11 Russian "illegals" working in the United States.

Betrayal has always played a prominent role in the mythology surrounding Soviet intelligence. As Yury Kobaladze, former head of the Foreign Intelligence Service's press service, said on Channel One on Sunday, it was the traitors - not the intelligence service - who were to blame for the recent failure in the United States.

There are two main reasons why this spy flap - like every other one before it - was so blatantly misrepresented by the Kremlin and state-controlled television.

First, by dumping all the blame on the traitor, the authorities can save face. The 11 illegals were highly qualified and trained, we were told. They could have completed their assigned tasks in the United States were it not for the traitor who betrayed Russia and gave them away to U.S. authorities. The spy fiasco was flipped on its head and spun as a huge success: The agents "penetrated" U.S. society and duped the naive Americans for more than 10 years. In this way, the Kremlin and media can assure the majority of Russians that the country is still a superpower whose intelligence services are just as good, if not better than, its arch-rival, the CIA. That is why Prime Minister Vladimir Putin sang patriotic songs with the 10 agents sent back to Russia and why President Dmitry Medvedev gave them medals for outstanding service to the motherland.

Of course, the real state of affairs within the Foreign Intelligence Service, or SVR, is much different. The SVR is the only branch within the country's intelligence operations that was never revamped. When the division broke off from the main intelligence service in the early 1990s, this was the start and end of its "reforms." As a result, the traditional Soviet intelligence methods, which were first developed in the first half of the 20th century and are still largely employed today, never underwent any critical review.

Soviet intelligence enjoyed its greatest successes in the 1930s and 1940s. The largest spy heroes of this period - including the Cambridge Five and Julius and Ethel Rosenberg - contribute to the mythology surrounding the Soviet Union's intelligence capabilities. But the real reason for these successes is tied directly to the Communist International, or Comintern, an international organization uniting enthusiastic supporters of communist ideology from around the world. Soviet intelligence had a huge pool of influential leftist intellectuals from which to recruit. It was this factor more than anything else that led to their dizzying successes from the 1930s to 1950s.

But after Stalin dissolved the Comintern in 1943, Soviet intelligence had to create a special academy to prepare secret agents for work in foreign intelligence. The main goal was to replace former Cominterists with home-grown cadres - secret agents who were planted in foreign countries to assume local identities. But the return on investment from these illegals was virtually zero. In most cases, the best they could do was disguise themselves as small businessmen, and they had no access to influential Americans with valuable - much less classified - information.

Now, nearly 70 years later, the continued use of illegals is an absurd anachronism. In fact, Russia is the only country still using this practice. The latest spy flap is a case in point: The illegals spent 10 years mostly attending think tank conferences and parent-teacher meetings and were unable to produce any information of value to the SVR.

Since the 1960s, the decline of Russia's intelligence operations has been exacerbated by corruption and nepotism. The children of senior party leaders used their residency in the United States or Western Europe as an excellent springboard for their careers, or simply as a comfortable place to live. The remarkable successes of recruiting FBI agent Robert Hanssen and CIA agent Aldrich Ames are clearly exceptions to the rule. By the beginning of the 1990s, Soviet intelligence was in such deep crisis that KGB party functionaries defected in droves to the West, taking with them detailed lists of their colleagues.

The problem is that Russia doesn't learn from its mistakes. Nothing has been done in the past 20 years to re-evaluate SVR methods or question the sense of using severely outdated methods of gathering foreign intelligence.

In the 2000s, the Federal Security Service took control over internal security systems used by intelligence services - with the exception of the SVR. With the discovery of the mole who disclosed Russia's secret agents operating in the United States, this may give the FSB the foundation it was looking for to extend its control over the Foreign Intelligence Service as well.

[Andrei Soldatov is an intelligence analyst at and co-author of "The New Nobility: The Restoration of Russia's Security State" and "The Enduring Legacy of the KGB."] [Soldatov/TheMoscowTimes/17November2010] 

Kryptos Artist to Reveal Rare Clue to Baffling CIA Sculpture. Kryptos sleuths may finally get some help cracking the CIA sculpture that has confounded amateur and professional cryptographers for two decades.

Artist Jim Sanborn, who created the cypher sculpture in 1990 for CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, plans to release a new clue to help puzzle detectives solve the last 97 characters of his masterpiece. The new clue is to be revealed in a New York Times article this weekend, to mark the 20th anniversary of the sculpture, which was dedicated Nov. 3, 1990.

It will be the first clue Sanborn has revealed in four years, after he corrected a typo in his sculpture in 2006 to keep crypto detectives from being derailed in their search for solutions.

Sanborn wouldn't disclose the clue to Threat Level but said only cryptically that it will "globalize" the sculpture. Asked if this meant it would take the sculpture off the CIA grounds and out of the United States, he conceded it would.

"I personally think it's a significant clue," he said. "I'm throwing it out there. It just makes that many fewer characters people have to figure out."

Sanborn said he'd been thinking about revealing a clue for a long time but couldn't decide on the right occasion until the 20th anniversary and his birthday coincided in the same month.

"I don't have that many decades... left in me," the 65-year-old artist said.

The 12-foot-high, verdigrised copper, granite and wood sculpture is inscribed with four encrypted messages, three of which have been solved. The sculpture's theme is intelligence gathering (Kryptos is Greek for "hidden").

It features a large block of petrified wood standing upright, with a tall copper plate scrolling out of the wood like a sheet of paper. At the sculpture's base is a round pool with fountain pump that sends water in a circular motion around the pool. Carved out of the copper plate are approximately 1,800 letters, some of them forming a table based on an encryption method developed in the 16th century by a Frenchman named Blaise de Vigenere.

Sanborn sells replicas of the sculpture for $150 at the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C., and other locations.

In 1998, CIA analyst David Stein cracked three of the four messages using paper and pencil and about 400 lunch-time hours. Only his CIA colleagues knew of his success, however, because the agency didn't publicize it. A year later, California computer scientist Jim Gillogly gained public notoriety when he cracked the same three messages using a Pentium II.

The first section is a poetic phrase that Sanborn composed. The second hints at something buried: "Does Langley know about this? They should: It's buried out there somewhere." The third section comes from archaeologist Howard Carter's diary describing the opening of a door in King Tut's tomb on Nov. 26, 1922.

But for 20 years, the fourth section of the puzzle, consisting of 97 characters, has remained unsolved. The clue Sanborn spills this week may help untangle the message, but won't necessarily solve the puzzle.

"It doesn't mean you're going to understand it or it will be completely laid out before you," he said. "It will not be plain as day, ever."

This is because the text hides a riddle, which Sanborn has said requires sleuths to be on the CIA grounds to solve it.

"In part of the code that's been deciphered, I refer to an act that took place when I was at the agency and a location that's on the ground of the agency," Sanborn said during a 2005 interview with "So in order to find that place, you have to decipher the piece and then go to the agency and find that place."

The riddle may refer to something Sanborn buried on the CIA grounds at the time he installed the sculpture. Decrypted parts of the sculpture give latitude and longitude coordinates (38 57 6.5 N, 77 8 44 W), which Sanborn has said refer to "locations of the agency."

Only two other people were said to know the solution to Kryptos. CIA cryptographer Ed Scheidt helped Sanborn choose and alter the coding techniques for the sculpture. And former CIA director William Webster received a sealed envelope containing the solution at the sculpture's dedication. In 2005, Sanborn revealed to that a decrypted line in the sculpture referred to Webster: "Who knows the exact location? Only WW." But Sanborn also said at the time that Scheidt, now a retired chairman of the CIA's Cryptographic Center, and Webster only thought they knew the solution.

"Well, you know, I wasn't completely truthful with [Webster]," Sanborn said. "And I'm sure he realizes that. I mean that's part of trade craft, isn't it? Deception is everywhere... I definitely didn't give him the last section, which has never been deciphered."

The encrypted sections include intentional spelling errors and misaligned characters set higher on a line of text than characters around them. But in 2006, Sanborn realized the sculpture contained an inadvertent error, a missing 'x' that he mistakenly deleted from the end of a line in section two, a section that was already solved. He discovered the omission while doing a letter-by-letter comparison of the plain text and coded text in preparation for a book about the life of the sculpture.

The 'x' was supposed to signify a period or section-break at the end of a phrase. Sanborn removed it for aesthetic reasons, thinking it wouldn't affect the way the puzzle was deciphered. In fact it did. What sleuths had until then deciphered to say "ID by rows" was actually supposed to say "layer two." The correction hasn't helped anyone solve the rest of the puzzle, however, in the subsequent four years.

In conjunction with the new clue release, Sanborn is launching a website for the sculpture to provide an automated way for people to contact him with their proposed solutions to the puzzle. Over the years, numerous people who were convinced that they'd solved the final puzzle section have contacted him. One woman even showed up at his secluded home on an island.

Most of the solutions people have offered have been wildly off-base. Sanborn says that with the launch of his new site, anyone who thinks they've solved the last section will have to submit what they believe are the first 10 characters of the final 97 before he will respond.

Sanborn has produced a number of other cypher sculptures, in addition to Kryptos. But his most recent work has focused on recreating the 1939 experiment at the Carnegie Institution of Washington that resulted in the first fission of uranium using a particle accelerator. His working accelerator can be seen at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver, Colorado. [Wired/18November2010] 

Under Panetta, Morale Up at CIA. CIA Director Leon E. Panetta, after nearly two years in office, has emerged as a fierce protector of the agency's people and its role in capturing or killing terrorists under an administration that shuns the words "war" and "Islamic terrorist."

Mr. Panetta, 72, a bookish Northern California liberal known for crunching budget numbers as a congressman, arrived at CIA headquarters in Langley, Va., as a Democratic Party man loyal to President Obama and with a bit of a mystery on the subject of waging war.

He has remained true to the president, but he has not shied away from publicly butting heads with prominent Democrats to side instead with his 25,000 officers and analysts. On the counterterrorism front, he has pushed for more CIA involvement in al Qaeda-infested Pakistan and Yemen, while not avoiding the phrase "We are a nation at war."

All of this has made him popular at CIA stations around the world, observers say.

"He's got the support of the organization in the field," said Rep. Peter Hoekstra, Michigan Republican and ranking member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, who visited a dozen stations this fall. "I think he's done a very good job in building rapport and relationships in Congress. I think the CIA is really doing a good job in the war zones. When I'm out in the stations, you are seeing what they are doing to get the intel that we need to have to keep America safe. They are being very, very aggressive. They're taking risks."

The confidence level was not so high in the Obama administration's first year. One of Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.'s first actions was to launch a second criminal investigation of CIA officers who conducted enhanced interrogations of al Qaeda captives. Mr. Panetta opposed the decision and took his complaints directly to the White House. Career prosecutors in the George W. Bush administration determined that the CIA's interrogation techniques were authorized.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, made the serious charge that the CIA was lying when it said she was briefed privately on the interrogation methods.

That prompted Mr. Panetta, a fellow Northern Californian and former colleague, to take the unusual step of issuing a public statement rebutting the speaker.

"Let me be clear: It is not our policy or practice to mislead Congress," he said. "That is against our laws and our values. As the agency indicated previously in response to congressional inquiries, our contemporaneous records from September 2002 indicate that CIA officers briefed truthfully on the interrogation of [al Qaeda terrorist] Abu Zubaydah, describing the enhanced techniques that had been employed."

"This is the guy who has stood up to the president, has stood up to Eric Holder," Mr. Hoekstra said of the CIA director. "He hasn't gotten the job done yet. He's got to get Eric Holder and the president to come out and say, 'Hey, we're not going to prosecute these guys in the CIA. But at least he's stopped them dead in their tracks so far."

A scorecard since Mr. Panetta arrived at Langley: It is said that more than 1,000 al Qaeda members and other terrorists have been killed or captured in Pakistan, where Osama bin Laden is said to be hiding. The CIA is waging a secret war in the tribal areas, using officers on the ground and missile strikes from remotely operated Predator aircraft.

The director stays in touch by sending internal messages to headquarters and the stations at the rate of one per week, keeping the staff up to date about what he is doing. He has flown more than 150,000 miles to visit 40 CIA stations and bases in 30 countries.

"Its no secret that the CIA has become the favorite punching bag for the extreme left," said Sen. Christopher S. Bond, Missouri Republican and vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. "Throughout all of this, Mr. Panetta has been a strong and credible leader for the CIA and the dedicated professionals working there, and not ceding ground on baseless allegations."

Mr. Bond said that, at Mr. Panetta's confirmation hearing, he announced support "because he assured me that he will lean forward in the fight against terrorism."

"I think he's kept that commitment," he said.

Added Mr. Hoekstra: "This president is allowing the intel community to do its job in ways I think many people thought he would never let them do. And I think it's because of Panetta."

The attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and subsequent war on terrorism has propelled the CIA into an unprecedented number of secret missions - and with it constant political scrutiny.

Public inquiries showed the agency missed chances to identify the Sept. 11 terrorists before they attacked. They also highlighted the CIA's sharp decline during the Clinton administration, so much so that CIA Director George J. Tenet declared the agency in "Chapter 11" bankruptcy. The CIA said Iraq continued to harbor weapons of mass destruction in 2003, but only traces were found after the U.S. invasion.

Then came allegations that the CIA tortured some captives. In addition, Mr. Hoekstra wrote a letter to Mr. Bush accusing Langley bureaucrats of waging a war against Mr. Bush in the press by leaking secrets and anonymously deriding White House officials. The headquarters revolted against former Rep. Porter J. Goss, Mr. Bush's second CIA director after Mr. Tenet. With Mr. Goss gone, the next chief, retired Air Force Gen. Michael Hayden, moved to stop the leaking and focus officers on the mission.

Republicans say Mr. Bush, who more than doubled annual intelligence spending to more than $50 billion, made a mistake by keeping the Democrat-appointed Mr. Tenet as director. Mr. Bush had no loyalist at CIA to stop the leaks. Mr. Obama turned to a Democratic politician in Mr. Panetta, and there have been few anti-Obama leaks.

"Considering the administration he has to work with, he's doing a pretty good job," said Bart Bechtel, a former CIA operations officer. "He's trying to protect his folks, and he's standing up to people like Pelosi. I think by and large his heart is in the right place. I think he understands the importance of the agency where the rest of the administration doesn't."

Mr. Bechtel said Mr. Panetta's willingness to put out statements rebutting powerful critics "is important to all the employees, the stations and everybody because they need to know they've got a director who is looking out for them."

"They feel like they may not have anybody else looking out for them," he said.

The biggest blunder under Mr. Panetta was one of the worst in CIA history. It occurred in December, when officers allowed a poorly screened Jordanian informant to enter a forward operating base in Khost, Afghanistan. He was not searched, and the al Qaeda double agent detonated a concealed bomb, killing seven agency employees. It was the most lethal agency fatality since Beirut in 1983.

Khost is strategically important to the CIA. On the border with Pakistan, the base is a gateway to the lawless tribal lands where al Qaeda operates. One of the base's jobs is to find locals willing to spy on the terrorists and provide locations so a Predator can strike.

In September, Mr. Panetta visited the outpost and dedicated a plaque to the seven. The plaque includes a verse from Isaiah:

"And I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me."

A month later, the director issued a statement on a task force review that found the officers at Khost were terribly lax in security.

"The task force determined that the Khost assailant was not fully vetted and that sufficient security precautions were not taken," Mr. Panetta said. "These missteps occurred because of shortcomings across several agency components in areas including communications, documentation and management oversight."

To some in the agency, it was again Mr. Panetta defending the agency by declining to single out and punish anyone. But to others, the director failed to enforce accountability.

"Panetta's commission report on Khost seems to have stated it was a disaster, but no one was at fault," said a longtime CIA employee who requested anonymity. "I think that's wrong and hurts morale. Panetta would say he did so in order to keep morale up."

George Little, Mr. Panetta's chief spokesman, told The Washington Times: "The agency conducted an exhaustive review of the Khost attack and found that responsibility could not be assigned to any one group or individual. This was a case of shortcomings across multiple CIA components. There seems to be a natural tendency in Washington to look for ways to place blame, but that's not always the right thing to do."

Amid travels here and abroad, Mr. Panetta took time last spring to host a cook-off at Langley for contestants in the Bravo cable-TV network's "Top Chef" show. Mr. Panetta and selected staff were tasting and commenting on dishes in the executive dining room, when an aide handed him a slip of paper. The director read it, then abruptly excused himself and left, never to return.

Why Mr. Panetta was called away remains a top secret. [Scarborough/WashingtonTimes/17November2010] 

Pakistan's Double Agents. Pakistan's intelligence service, the ISI, works with both the U.S. and the Taliban. Whose side is it really on?

What are the ISI's official duties? 

The ISI - the Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence - is Pakistan's pre-eminent intelligence agency. Its duties are vast, comparable to those of the CIA and the Pentagon's Defense Intelligence Agency combined, with a bit of the FBI's role thrown in for good measure. After 1948, when Pakistan was founded, the agency worked for decades to maintain military rule there, spying on domestic political opponents and foreign diplomats alike, and sponsoring covert operations at home and abroad. There are few areas of Pakistani politics in which the ISI is not active.

Who controls it?

That's not always clear. Ostensibly, the ISI answers to Pakistan's civilian government, but for decades it operated as an adjunct of the military. When Gen. Pervez Musharraf was Pakistan's authoritarian president, he controlled the military and the ISI. But in 2007, Musharraf was forced to step down after a wave of protests against his abuses of power. The civilian government, headed by President Asif Ali Zardari, that succeeded Musharraf has little influence over the military and appears routinely outmaneuvered by the ISI. In 2008, for example, the government announced that, henceforth, the ISI would answer to the Interior Ministry, which is responsible for police and domestic security. Within hours the order was rescinded, presumably because the ISI refused to follow it. Some Pakistani lawmakers, including slain former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto (see below), have called the agency "a state within a state."

What's the ISI's agenda?

Like other elements of the military, the ISI is preoccupied with Pakistan's chief rival, India. It battles India by proxy in the disputed province of Kashmir, where ISI-trained militants fight Indian troops. The ISI has funded, armed, and trained an array of militant groups, not all of which it controls. Some have been implicated in attacks in India, notably Lashkar-e-Taiba, which has been linked to the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai; the attacks killed 173 and wounded more than 300. But in recent years, some of those militants have forged ties to the Taliban and al Qaida, and have turned their violence on Pakistan itself. Militants had long sought the ISI's help in promoting fundamentalist sharia law in Pakistan. But Musharraf purged fundamentalists from the ISI leadership - including the then-head of the agency - after 9/11. Many analysts believe the ISI has now come to view the most extreme Islamist groups as a threat to Pakistani security.

Does the ISI support the Taliban and al Qaida?

It certainly has supported the Taliban in the past. After the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the ISI and the CIA worked together to fund, arm, and train the Afghan mujahedin. When the Soviets withdrew, the ISI continued to support the militants, some of whom evolved into the Taliban. After the Taliban gained power, Pakistan was one of just three countries - along with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates - to officially recognize their government. There is also evidence that the ISI has supported al Qaida. In 1998, President Clinton ordered airstrikes against terrorist camps in Afghanistan in an attempt to assassinate Osama bin Laden. While bin Laden escaped, casualties included militants from a Kashmiri group supported by the ISI. Many U.S. intelligence analysts believe the ISI secretly supports the Taliban still.

Why would the ISI support the Taliban?

Money, for starters: As long as the U.S. remains terrified of Taliban gains in Afghanistan, dollars flow freely to Pakistan. (The U.S. announced another $2 billion in aid to the Pakistani military just last month.) But the ISI also seeks to increase Pakistan's influence in Afghanistan while freezing out India. The U.S. won't be in Afghanistan forever, and the ISI is not alone in believing that the Taliban may well return to power. The ISI could even play a stabilizing role in Afghanistan. Analysts believe the ISI may be able to use its influence with the Taliban to broker a deal between Taliban factions and the Afghan government of President Hamid Karzai. "This could be a turning point," said Pakistani analyst Ahmed Rashid. An ISI-sponsored settlement could provide "a breakthrough" to end the conflict.

Is that why the U.S. tolerates the double cross?

Yes - but also because it has little choice. With the Afghan war in its 10th year, U.S. reliance on Pakistan is undiminished, and the ISI's duplicity is simply an accepted fact. Both Taliban and al Qaida leaders appear to move freely throughout western Pakistan, which analysts consider proof of ISI complicity. But the agency's Taliban relations may extend far beyond protection. A London School of Economics report this summer, based on interviews with Taliban commanders, found that the ISI continued to fund and train Taliban militants and even sent agents to Taliban supreme council meetings. By some accounts, half the members of the Quetta Shura, the Taliban's chief council, report directly to the ISI. "Pakistan," said the report's author, Harvard analyst Matt Waldman, "appears to be playing a double game of astonishing magnitude."

Did the ISI kill Bhutto?

Former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was killed on Dec. 27, 2007. She had just returned from exile to run for prime minister, a post she was expected to win, and was standing in her armored car, waving at supporters through the sunroof, when a gunman opened fire and a suicide bomber struck simultaneously. Bhutto died of a head wound one hour later. No autopsy was performed, and the crime scene and her car were both hosed down before investigators could gather evidence. Members of her Pakistan Peoples Party said the facts pointed to a coverup. "The ISI is No. 1 accused for the murder," said party leader Amanullah Khan. Aides said Bhutto had been about to reveal evidence that the ISI was planning to rig the upcoming elections in favor of Pervez Musharraf. A U.N. report released this year said the ISI had "severely hampered" the investigation of the killing, but it stopped short of blaming the agency for her death. [TheWeek/19November20010] 


West's Spies May Raise Focus on Rising Powers, by Peter Apps. Signs of expanded state-on-state spying by rising powers like China and India may prompt a more vigorous response from the West, provided its espionage agencies can juggle resources already strained by counter-terrorism work.

In the decade since the September 11, 2001, attacks, Western governments have devoted much energy to scouring remote tribal areas of Afghanistan, Yemen and Somalia as well as increasing surveillance of their own populations.

While that will continue, experts say Western espionage agencies may look closer at the decision-making and military and cyber might of rival powers such as Russia and China, with the latter in particular seen as more assertive than ever before.

Proving what is happening in such a secret world is difficult, but some ex-spies see clear shifts ahead.

"In a way, the requirement has always been there, but I think it will become more important as the new emerging powers have greater influence," Nigel Inkster, a former assistant chief of Britain's Secret Intelligence Service (MI6), told Reuters.

"Some of these areas have been relatively under-populated because of the need to focus so much on transnational terrorism."

While direct conflict between emerging powers and Western states is likely to be rare, competition - and occasional confrontation - is bound to heat up in areas ranging from currency policy to industrial espionage and cyber warfare.

Emerging powers are believed to be increasing spying on the West in a way not seen since the Cold War, targeting commercial as well as state secrets. But not without setbacks.

President Dmitry Medvedev told Russia's once mighty spy agency on Friday to put its house in order after a spymaster betrayed a network of agents to the United States in one of Russia's most serious intelligence failures in decades.

Fred Burton, a former U.S. counter-terrorism agent who is now vice president of political risk consultancy Stratfor, says the United States has already begun redeploying FBI resources back toward counter-espionage from anti-terrorism.

"It's a huge challenge for Western intelligence services," he said earlier this year. "For the last 10 years they've been focused on counter-terrorism, Iraq and Afghanistan. Will that focus move back? I think it will. The question is how much."

Among signs of a shift in priorities cited by experts is a November 3 Pentagon announcement that the U.S. military's Cyber Command, responsible for shielding 15,000 military computer networks from intruders, had become fully operational.

Another is an announcement in an October 19 British military spending review of a 650-million-pound national cyber security program - a notable increase in spending in a priority-setting exercise that slashed spending overall.

"What the Americans and British are too polite to say is that an awful lot of the drivers for these cyber ventures come from China, whether the specific threat be China's government or its people," said UK intelligence analyst Richard Aldrich. Ian Lobban, head of Britain's communications spy agency, the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), said states were already using cyber warfare techniques to attack each other and needed to be constantly vigilant to protect computer systems.

The internet lowered "the bar for entry to the espionage game," he said in an October 13 speech.

Aldrich sees India's June 2009 deployment of a military spy satellite as a sign that New Delhi fully intends to exploit the intelligence and defense potential of space.

In the first public speech by a serving head of MI6 last month, John Sawers said that while terrorists might hit the West again "at huge human cost," nuclear proliferation by states was a more far-reaching danger and the risks of failure in tackling challenges in the area by countries like Iran were "grim."

Former MI6 officer Inkster - now head of transnational threats and political risk at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London - said Sawers was probably also dealing with pressing matters daily involving the activities of Russia, China and other powers, and this would likely increase.

"It's the difference between importance and urgency," he said. "Obviously if you've got a terrorist plot you've got to do something about it now. Maybe there are other issues that are more important but less urgent."

Keeping an eye on emerging powers was not simply a matter of monitoring a direct threat from them to Britain, he said, it was also about gathering enough information to advise policymakers on what steps Moscow, Beijing or New Delhi might take next.

Analyzing the spending of Britain's MI6 is difficult, as the annual Intelligence and Security Committee report is censored. In 2008-9, it said about 37 percent of Secret Intelligence Service effort was devoted to international counter-terrorism.

But Russia is mentioned, as well as a country whose name is censored. Iran is also cited in the report, which says Tehran's nuclear program is targeted by an effort that had attracted increasing funding over the last two or three years.

Some caution that any shift in priorities will be modest.

Western spies' top priority will remain preventing lethal militant attacks, they say. The political cost of letting attacks succeed remains high, both to Western governments and to the heads of intelligence agencies themselves, they argue.

"That's not to say the rise of emerging Asia is not important, but I would be surprised to see much in the way of resources pulled away from existing national security threats," said Alastair Newton, a former British Cabinet Office official and now political risk analyst for Japanese bank Nomura.

Former UK intelligence coordinator David Omand, now a professor at King's College London, said he would be cautious about overstating the degree to which the world was changing.

"States with sharp elbows have always been there and intelligence agencies have responded accordingly," he said. [Apps/Reuters/16November2010] 

At Terror Trial, Big Questions Were Avoided, by Benjamin Weiser and Charlie Savage. One of the striking aspects of the case of Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, the first former Guant�namo detainee tried in a civilian court, was how little the federal jury in New York City heard about the issues that had made his case so fiercely debated.

The jurors heard nothing about the prison at Guant�namo Bay, Cuba, where Mr. Ghailani had been held, nor about the secret overseas "black site" run by the Central Intelligence Agency, where, his lawyers say, he had been tortured.

The jury also was not told about statements Mr. Ghailani had made to interrogators before he was brought into the civilian court system, statements that prosecutors say "amount to a confession" of his role in the 1998 bombings of two American Embassies in East Africa, killing 224 people.

Indeed, the four-week trial of Mr. Ghailani realized none of the fears of critics who had claimed that the civilian system would allow terrorism suspects to turn such cases into soapboxes, or that such cases might even be dismissed by judges who were presented with evidence of harsh government interrogation techniques.

That said, the trial also failed to fulfill one of the hopes of some advocates of civilian courts, who saw them as a potential forum for a detailed examination of the Bush administration's post-9/11 policies on detention and interrogation.

The trial's outcome - Mr. Ghailani was convicted Wednesday of only one of more than 280 counts including conspiracy and murder - has unquestionably recharged the debate over the wisdom of trying detainees like Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the professed planner of the 9/11 plot, in federal court.

But the surprising outcome - which pleased defense lawyers and disappointed family members of those killed in Al Qaeda's attacks on the embassies - was not terribly affected by the issues that have made up that debate.

"At times," said Ben Wizner, litigation director of the American Civil Liberties Union's National Security Project, "it seemed like the only forum in which we might have an airing of the legal consequences of torture was in criminal cases against the detainees, but obviously that didn't happen here."

What did happen, in the end, was something of a straightforward murder trial, stripped of the larger, inflammatory political aspects, leaving it up to 12 jurors to sort through a familiar assortment of evidence: witness testimony and forensic findings.

The question of how to prosecute detainees who had been subjected to the Bush administration's counterterrorism policies - including being held for years without charges, and the tainting of important evidence by allegations of torture - was a major issue in Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.'s initial decision to send the cases of Mr. Mohammed and four men accused as 9/11 conspirators to the civilian system.

Before making that decision last fall, Mr. Holder requested memorandums from a team of civilian prosecutors based in Manhattan and in Alexandria, Va., the Justice Department's two premier offices for terrorism cases, and from a team of military prosecutors assigned to the Office of Military Commissions, according to officials familiar with the deliberations.

The military team's proposed prosecution plan centered on using statements Mr. Mohammed and other detainees had made under interrogation while in custody.

By contrast, the civilian team came up with a way to prosecute the case without using any such statements. The advantage of that approach would be to eliminate the possibility that a statement, if allowed into a trial by a judge, could be the basis of an appeal on grounds that it was tainted and should never have been admitted.

Mr. Holder told colleagues that the contrast between the two memorandums helped convince him that the civilian prosecutors' approach was more deft. He cited that impression as one of several factors supporting his conclusion that the government was more likely to win a conviction - and have it survive appeal - in the civilian system.

Mr. Ghailani's case was largely a test of that strategy.

Peter E. Quijano, one of Mr. Ghailani's lawyers, said on Thursday that when he was appointed to the case in June 2009, "One of the first things that I thought was that I'd have the opportunity to expose exactly what was done to detainees by this country at black sites.

"However, that was quickly removed from consideration," he said, "once the government made the determination that it would not use" the statements Mr. Ghailani had made during his nearly five years of detention by the C.I.A. and the military.

With those statements out of the case, Mr. Quijano said, how they were obtained - through torture, he said - would no longer be relevant.

A separate government decision also helped to remove the issue of the so-called black sites, or C.I.A. prisons, from the case. The defense had asked the judge, Lewis A. Kaplan of Federal District Court in Manhattan, to order the government to preserve the prison where Mr. Ghailani had been held. The lawyers made clear that if the government sought the death penalty against Mr. Ghailani, they planned to argue that the sites should be a mitigating factor against capital punishment, "because of what they had done to him" there, Mr. Quijano said.

The lawyers were concerned that the C.I.A., which had said it was halting the use of the secret prisons, would demolish them.

But Mr. Holder decided against seeking capital punishment, thus removing the sites as a potential issue in a death-penalty proceeding.

A ruling by Judge Kaplan also ensured that the issue of torture would not derail the case, when he rejected a defense request that he dismiss the indictment because of the harsh tactics used on Mr. Ghailani. The judge also ruled that the long delay in bringing Mr. Ghailani into court had not violated his right to a speedy trial.

Both of those decisions were clear and important triumphs for the government, and would seem to have settled concerns about whether the protections afforded defendants in the civilian courts would lead to outright dismissals of the cases coming from Guant�namo.

Interestingly, Mr. Ghailani's lawyers, who argued that their client was an unwitting dupe of Al Qaeda, benefited from the streamlined case - much of which came down to circumstantial evidence suggesting his involvement in the bombings plot.

In the end, he was convicted of a single count of conspiring to destroy government property. He could face 20 years to life in prison, but there was no mistaking that the conviction was far more limited than the broad set of charges the government had brought.

A former federal prosecutor, James J. Benjamin Jr., said he would have been surprised had the government sought to inject the highly politicized issues into the trial.

"It would have been counterproductive," he said, "from the prosecution's point of view, and the same is true for the defense. I think both sides probably made a wise strategic choice." [Weiser&Savage/NYTimes/19November2010] 

Why Obama Should Commute This Life Sentence, by Morris Pollard and David Kirshenbaum. Twenty-five years ago this month, Jonathan Pollard, a civilian naval intelligence analyst, was arrested for passing to Israel classified U.S. data concerning Iraq, Syria and other Arab states, including evidence of Saddam Hussein's development of chemical weapons. Pollard was later sentenced to life in prison - the only person to receive such a punishment for spying for an American ally or neutral country. Lawrence Korb, an assistant secretary of defense at the time of Pollard's arrest, cited this dubious distinction in a recent letter to President Obama urging the president to commute Pollard's sentence to the 25 years served. Korb attributed Pollard's aberrational sentence to the "almost visceral dislike of Israel" on the part of Caspar Weinberger, who was then defense secretary.

In December 1993, The Post editorialized on a campaign seeking presidential commutation of Pollard's sentence. Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was urging President Bill Clinton to commute Pollard's sentence to the eight years then served. That call was supported by members of Congress and a range of prominent religious and political figures. Longtime NAACP director Benjamin Hooks, who had himself served as a judge, wrote to Clinton: "I have rarely encountered a case in which government arbitrariness was so clear cut and inexcusable." While opposing Pollard's release at the end of 1993, The Post opined that "certainly a case can be made that a prison term ending when [Pollard] becomes eligible for parole in 1997 would be plenty long enough." Pollard has served more than double the 12 years The Post cited as sufficient punishment.

A little background on the case itself: The type of information Pollard transmitted was part of an intelligence flow the United States had previously shared with Israel but that was cut off after Israel destroyed Iraq's nuclear reactor in 1981. Former deputy CIA director Bobby Inman has acknowledged that he was so disconcerted that American-supplied satellite photography had been used to carry out that operation that he ordered withheld all intelligence data covering areas more than 250 miles from Israel's borders. Thus it was a criminal action to transmit to Israel photographs of the eastern sections of Syria and Iraq, including chemical weapons plants in eastern Iraq. This became the basis of Pollard's life sentence.

This information is presented not in an effort to exonerate Pollard but to question the severity of his punishment. It is uncontestable that Pollard has been singled out among all Americans who spied for non-adversaries. Of the more than 20 Americans caught spying for friendly or neutral countries, before and after Pollard's arrest, none received a sentence remotely close to life. Of the more than 60 people caught spying for U.S. adversaries over the past quarter-century, many of whom caused massive and demonstrable harm to the United States, only a handful received life terms.

CIA agent David Barnett, who sold the Soviets the names of 30 American agents, was sentenced to 18 years and paroled after 10. Michael Walker, a key figure in the Walker family Soviet spy ring, was sentenced to 25 years and released after serving 15. William Kampiles, a CIA officer who sold the Soviets the operating manual to the KH-11 satellite, America's "eye in the sky," received a 40-year sentence and was released after 18 years.

Abdul Kedar Helmy, an Egyptian-born American, transmitted classified materials to Egypt used in a joint weapons program with Iraq to vastly increase the range of ballistic missiles, including Scud missiles, which were later fired on U.S. troops during the Persian Gulf War. Helmy received a prison term of less than four years. John Walker Lindh, an American who joined the Taliban terrorists fighting the United States, received a 21-year sentence.

In more than two decades, no evidence has been put forth of damage caused to the United States as a result of Pollard's actions. Nothing that could begin to justify a life sentence. Even Weinberger, the former defense secretary, acknowledged in a 2002 interview that, "The Pollard matter was comparatively minor. It was made far bigger than its actual importance."

The message of those still opposed to Pollard's release is that, apparently, we can wink at espionage on behalf of Egypt, Saudi Arabia and China; we can limit the punishments of those who expose American agents, compromise sophisticated U.S. electronic intelligence capabilities, advance the development of enemy weapons systems and even fight alongside enemy combatants - but that unauthorized transmittal of classified data about Arab states to warn Israel of existential threats is unforgivable. For that crime even 25 years in prison is not enough.

A petition for executive clemency for Jonathan Pollard sits on President Obama's desk. Will he bring the injustice in this affair to a long overdue end or be a partner in its perpetuation? [Morris Pollard, a professor emeritus of biological sciences at Notre Dame University and director of its Lobund Institute, is Jonathan Pollard's father. David Kirshenbaum is an attorney in Israel and New York.] [Pollard&Kirchenbaum/WashingtonPost/19November2010] 



John Francis Hostie, Foreign Affairs Analyst. John Francis Hostie, 83, who spent 35 years as a State Department intelligence analyst, died Nov. 11 at the Goodwin House assisted living community in Alexandria. He had complications from a stroke.

Mr. Hostie was a 70-year Washington area resident, living in the District and Alexandria.

At the State Department, where Mr. Hostie began working in 1957, he became a specialist in matters relating to France, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.

Jan Frans Hostie was born in Strasbourg, France. In 1940, he moved to Washington and later anglicized his name. He graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in 1944.

After two years in the Army, he graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and later received a master's degree from Ohio State University.

His marriages to Emilienne Bulger and Fanny Le Jemtel ended in divorce.

Survivors include two daughters from his first marriage, Deborah Sparks of Chandler, Ariz., and Valerie Darcy of Los Gatos, Calif.; a daughter from his second marriage, Margot O'Leary of Missoula, Mont.; and four grandchildren.  [Smith/WashingtonPost/22November2010]

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.

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 Williams with 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

Tuesday, 7 December 2010, 1000-1130 - Annapolis Junction, MD - Cryptologic Museum Pearl Harbor Day Program Features Robert Hanyok, NSA, on Japanese perspective to run-up to P.H. attack. Robert Hanyok, a retired NSA historian with the Center for Cryptologic History, and co-author of a documentary on Windes Message Controversy, gives a presentation on the Japanese perspective on events that led to the attack on Pearl Harbor. Japan's motivation - breaking the economic stranglehold of the U.S. blockade - and the critical role of Japanese Radio Intelligence Organization in support of the attack force. Lecture will cover coordinated monitoring mission against American naval, air, and civil communications in and out of the Hawaiian Territory; Tokyo's radio direction finding stations which tracked American patrol aircraft, tracking of arrival and departure of American Pacific fleet ships, much more.
Join them at this interesting behind-the-scenes program. Fee is $25. Make check payable to NCMF and send to PO Box 1682, Ft George G. Meade, MD 20755. Location: L-3 Communications, 2720 Technology Dr, Annapolis Junction, MD. Easily found with any modern GPS device. Questions 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

15 December 2010, 1 pm - Washington, DC - LexisNexis will host its next Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) Round Table on "OSINT 2020: The Future of Open Source Intelligence."

LexisNexis will host its next Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) Round Table at the National Press Club on December 15, 2010. Doors open at noon, program to begin at 1:00pm. The focus will continue our theme of “OSINT 2020: The Future of Open Source Intelligence” and will explore the evolving role of traditional media and technology in the future.

The program will include keynote remarks by Mr. Douglas J. Naquin, Director of the DNI Open Source Center followed by a "perspectives" discussion with leading experts among our group of distinguished attendees. The discussion will be based on the future of OSINT as a recognized discipline in strategic and tactical national security decision-making.

Panelists will include:

The OSINT Round Table was created to make a public space for discussion about the government’s needs for Open Source Intelligence in order to facilitate relationships between government officials and private sector leaders. We seek to foster an increasingly responsive open source intelligence infrastructure that meets the needs of national security decision makers.

Register to attend at

20 January 2010, 12:30 - 2:30 pm - Los Angeles, CA - AFIO Los Angeles hosts their annual meeting

The AFIO LA-Area Chapters holds their annual chapter meeting at the LMU campus. Pizza lunch will be served, this meeting is open only to L.A. Area chapter members in good standing, no guests. The meeting will cover our objectives and chapter officer elections for 2011. Please RSVP via email if you plan to attend the annual meeting.

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


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