AFIO Weekly Intelligence Notes #47-10 dated 21 December 2010

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FRIDAY, 21 January 2011


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The Honorable
James R. Clapper, Jr.
Director of National Intelligence

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Outstanding Quotes from Mike Rogers
Incoming Chair of
House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence

Rep. Pete Hoekstra, R-Michigan [outgoing ranking committee member] said "intelligence is at the tip of the spear in the fight against terrorists and America's foreign adversaries, and Mike is a strong leader to conduct oversight of such a critical issue to the U.S."

Rep. Mike Rogers, a former FBI agent and vocal critic of the Obama administration's dealing with terrorists, will head the House Intelligence Committee when Republicans take control of the House next year. Rogers has accused the administration of treating terrorism as "lawfare" instead of warfare. [An unwanted full employment stimulus package for the legal community.]

"We do not need Eliot Ness on the battlefield; what we need is Gen. George S. Patton."

Quotes from "Ex-FBI agent to lead House intel panel"
by Pam Benson,
CNN National Security Producer,
15 Dec 2010


Bomb Blasts Pave Way for Surveillance as Swedes React to Terror. Sweden's brush with terror after a suicide bomber on Dec. 11 detonated himself before executing a planned strike in central Stockholm has eroded lawmaker resistance to pushing through tougher surveillance laws.

The opposition Social Democrats will no longer block a government proposal to let the Swedish Security Service use information from the National Defense Radio Establishment, said Morgan Johansson, chairman of parliament's justice committee. The anti-immigration Sweden Democrats, which entered parliament for the first time in September elections, want lawmakers to address "violent Islamist extremism" in an extraordinary session, party spokesman Martin Kinnunen said.

"Routines will be sharpened and that's something we will all have to accept," said Bo Huldt, a professor in security policy at the Stockholm-based National Defense College, in a Dec. 13 interview. "It may mean restrictions for us all regarding where we can move around, how many people can attend meetings or gatherings and more police presence at meetings."

Sweden has so far had laxer security laws than neighboring Denmark and Norway. The largest Nordic country has tried to balance maintaining democratic freedoms with adequate protection of its citizens, says Anders Thornberg, director of operations at the Swedish Security Service. After the weekend's bomb blasts, police will "have to reconsider" this stance, he said.

"It is impossible in a western society to know what everyone is doing," Thornberg said in an interview. "But of course, when this is solved, later on, we have to reconsider and evaluate when we see what we have done and if we can do something better."

Johansson, a former Social Democrat health minister, said laws may be changed to allow preventive action. The police need the tools to uncover "potential perpetrators," he told broadcaster SVT.

Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt told SVT security police need "to be ahead of the game, to prevent" terror attacks.

Unlike neighboring Denmark, which became a target of Islamist anger in 2006 after its biggest newspaper published caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad, Swedish police until October had deemed the threat of any terrorist attack to be "low." Police then raised the alert level to "elevated," though they said there was no "imminent" threat of any attack.

Anders Hall, Head of Planning at the Ministry of Justice in Stockholm, said tracking religious extremists remains difficult, even after Sweden's security service raised its staff to 1,000 from about 800 in 2005.

Sweden's laws protecting freedom of speech and freedom of association mean police follow "tight regulations" when tracking demographic groups, Hall said in an interview.

"These regulations are part of the Swedish constitution and are firmly in place," Hall said.

There are almost 200 Islamist extremists in Sweden who assent to violent acts, the security service said in a report on its website today. While Islamist extremism and radicalization exist in Sweden and "shouldn't be underestimated," it's a "limited phenomenon" that should be handled through preventive measures, the report said.

Sweden has about 500 troops in Afghanistan, serving as part of the International Security Assistance Force. Swedish artist Lars Vilks drew anger from some Muslims after newspaper Nerikes Allehanda published one of his drawings that put Mohammad's head on a dog's body in 2007.

Shortly before the weekend's explosions, police and a local news agency received an e-mail with recordings in Swedish and Arabic from a man who said it was "time to strike" because a "war was being waged against Islam." Sweden says it's coordinating its investigation of the blasts with the U.K.

In the recording, the suspect expresses anger against Vilks and the Afghan deployment. He apologizes to his family for lying about his trips to the Middle East, saying he went "for Jihad."

Police on Dec. 13 said they were almost certain the suicide bomber was 28-year-old Taimour Abdulwahab. The U.K.'s Guardian newspaper said Abdulwahab was an Iraqi-born Swede who obtained a Bachelors of Science in sports therapy from the University of Bedfordshire in 2004.

"This man has been very skilful in avoiding contacts with known terrorists," Thornberg said. "He has been very skilful in handling his preparations for this case so he hasn't shown up on our radar."

Sweden will get help from the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigations, which has sent seven experts on explosives to help probe the Dec. 11 blasts, police said on Dec. 13. The group of U.S. investigators includes specialists in tracking explosive substances and in methods terrorists have used in other attacks, police said.

Since the 9/11 terror attacks in the U.S., Denmark has more than doubled the number of people working at its security service.

The Copenhagen-based parliament passed three anti-terror laws from 2002 to 2007, making it easier for security services to conduct phone surveillance and obtain information from other government entities. The laws also allow for increased prison terms for terror-related crimes.

In Norway, the government on Dec. 1 presented a plan it said would help combat "violent, extremist attitudes," comprising 30 measures including better access to information.

Swedish police said Abdulwahab was probably targeting an area where he could hurt "as many people as possible," before a failure in his equipment led to early detonation.

According to Huldt, "even though things went well this time and nobody else was hurt, it's still a failure," of police. [Pfalzer/Bloomberg/14December2010]

Russia Celebrates Foreign Intelligence's 90th Anniversary. President Dmitry Medvedev has congratulated Russian spies on their professional holiday, the 90th anniversary of the country's Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR).

During the ceremony at the SVR headquarters in southwest Moscow, Medvedev said the security service should thoroughly analyze the recently leaked U.S. diplomatic cables and take precautions over its own secret logs.

"The global information flow that the world plunged into has dramatically changed the system of making decisions, creating brand new problems. Some of them have become completely visible over the last months," Medvedev said, referring to WikiLeaks revelations' growing avalanche.

The president praised the Foreign Intelligence's work, saying Russia's security service was effective, quick and reliable.

"This year, even though it is a large anniversary, became troublesome, like perhaps many others," Medvedev said, slightly referring to the July spy row between Moscow and Washington, when 10 Russian spies were arrested in the United States and then were freed in a swap deal between the two countries.

SVR should improve and change its methods in line with growing global threats such as cyber crimes and international terrorism, Medevedev said.

He did not specify, however, on the SVR's staff reshufflings held in the wake of the July spy scandal. [RIAN/15December2010] 

Taiwan Government Denies Involvement of VP's Sister in Espionage Case. The Presidential Office rejected Wednesday a media report suggesting that a sister of Vice President Vincent Siew might be involved in an espionage scandal that broke last month.

According to office spokesman Lo Chih-chiang, the vice president's sister, Hsiao Ya-wen, is a retired elementary school teacher who leads a simple life.

However, Siew will advise his relatives to pay attention to their behavior and avoid situations that could spark controversy, Lo said.

According to the latest edition of Next magazine issued that day, Lo Chi-cheng, a military intelligence officer who was detained last month for allegedly acting as a double agent for China, told prosecutors that he knew Hsiao Ya-wen and had had work-related contact with her.

Ministry of National Defense spokesman Yu Sy-tue dismissed the report as unfactual.

Although Lo Chi-cheng and Hsiao Ya-wen do indeed know each other, they did not have any work-related contact, according to Yu.

He said his ministry is considering taking legal action against the tabloid for publishing the report.

Meanwhile, Hsiao Ya-wen issued a written statement saying that she only met Lo several times on social occasions. Hsiao said she was unclear about the details of the scandal in which Lo is implicated and that she was not involved in the case.

Hsiao also indicated that she plans to seek legal means to protect her reputation. [Li&Tzeng&Low/FocusTaiwan/15December2010] 

Intelligence Reports Offer Dim Views of Afghan War. As President Obama prepares to release a review of American strategy in Afghanistan that will claim progress in the nine-year-old war there, two new classified intelligence reports offer a more negative assessment and say there is a limited chance of success unless Pakistan hunts down insurgents operating from havens on its Afghan border.

The reports, one on Afghanistan and one on Pakistan, say that although there have been gains for the United States and NATO in the war, the unwillingness of Pakistan to shut down militant sanctuaries in its lawless tribal region remains a serious obstacle. American military commanders say insurgents freely cross from Pakistan into Afghanistan to plant bombs and fight American troops and then return to Pakistan for rest and resupply.

The findings in the reports, called National Intelligence Estimates, represent the consensus view of the United States' 16 intelligence agencies, as opposed to the military, and were provided last week to some members of the Senate and House Intelligence Committees. The findings were described by a number of American officials who read the reports' executive summaries.

American military commanders and senior Pentagon officials have already criticized the reports as out of date and say that the cut-off date for the Afghanistan report, Oct. 1, does not allow it to take into account what the military cites as tactical gains in Kandahar and Helmand Provinces in the south in the six weeks since. Pentagon and military officials also say the reports were written by desk-bound Washington analysts who have spent limited time, if any, in Afghanistan and have no feel for the war.

"They are not on the ground living it day in and day out like our forces are, so they don't have the proximity and perspective," said a senior defense official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he did not want to be identified while criticizing the intelligence agencies. The official said that the 30,000 additional troops that Mr. Obama ordered to Afghanistan in December 2009 did not all arrive until September, meaning that the intelligence agencies had little time to judge the effects of the escalation. There are now about 100,000 American forces in Afghanistan.

The dispute between the military and intelligence agencies reflects how much the debate in Washington over the war is now centered on whether the United States can succeed in Afghanistan without the cooperation of Pakistan, which despite years of American pressure has resisted routing militants on its border.

The dispute also reflects the longstanding cultural differences between intelligence analysts, whose job is to warn of potential bad news, and military commanders, who are trained to promote "can do" optimism.

But in Afghanistan, the intelligence agencies play a strong role, with the largest Central Intelligence Agency station since the Vietnam War located in Kabul. C.I.A. operatives also command an Afghan paramilitary force in the thousands. In Pakistan, the C.I.A. is running a covert war using drone aircraft.

Both sides have found some areas of agreement in the period leading up to Mr. Obama's review, which will be made public on Thursday. The intelligence reports, which rely heavily on assessments from the C.I.A. and the Defense Intelligence Agency, conclude that C.I.A. drone strikes on leaders of Al Qaeda in the tribal regions of Pakistan have had an impact and that security has improved in the parts of Helmand and Kandahar Provinces in southern Afghanistan where the United States has built up its troop presence. For their part, American commanders and Pentagon officials say they do not yet know if the war can be won without more cooperation from Pakistan. But after years and billions spent trying to win the support of the Pakistanis, they are now proceeding on the assumption that there will be limited help from them. The American commanders and officials readily describe the havens for insurgents in Pakistan as a major impediment to military operations.

"I'm not going to make any bones about it, they've got sanctuaries and they go back and forth across the border," Maj. Gen. John F. Campbell, the commander of NATO forces in eastern Afghanistan, told reporters last week in the remote Kunar Province of Afghanistan. "They're financed better, they're better trained, they're the ones who bring in the higher-end I.E.D.'s." General Campbell was referring to improvised explosive devices, the military's name for the insurgent-made bombs, the leading cause of American military deaths in Afghanistan.

American commanders say their plan in the next few years is to kill large numbers of insurgents in the border region - the military refers to it as "degrading the Taliban" - and at the same time build up the Afghan National Army to the point that the Afghans can at least contain an insurgency still supported by Pakistan. (American officials say Pakistan supports the insurgents as a proxy force in Afghanistan, preparing for the day the Americans leave.)

"That is not the optimal solution, obviously," said Bruce O. Riedel, a former C.I.A. official and now a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, who led a White House review of Afghan strategy last year that resulted in Mr. Obama sending the additional forces. "But we have to deal with the world we have, not the world we'd like. We can't make Pakistan stop being naughty."

Publicly, American officials and military commanders continue to praise Pakistan and its military chief, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, if only for acknowledging the problem.

"General Kayani and others have been clear in recognizing that they need to do more for their security and indeed to carry out operations against those who threaten other countries' security," Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top American commander in Afghanistan, said last week.

But many Afghan officials say that the United States, which sends Pakistan about $2 billion in military and civilian aid each year, is coddling Pakistan for no end. "They are capitalizing on your immediate security needs, and they are stuck in this thinking that bad behavior brings cash," said Amrullah Saleh, the former Afghan intelligence chief, in an interview on Tuesday.

The Pakistan intelligence report also reaffirms past American concerns about Pakistan's nuclear stockpile, particularly the risk that enriched uranium or plutonium could be smuggled out of a laboratory or storage site.

The White House review comes as some members of Mr. Obama's party are losing patience with the war. "You're not going to get to the point where the Taliban are gone and the border is perfectly controlled," said Representative Adam Smith, a Washington Democrat who serves on the Armed Services Committee and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, in an interview on Tuesday.

Mr. Smith said there would be increasing pressure from the political left on Mr. Obama to end the war, and he predicted that Democrats in Congress would resist continuing to spend $100 billion annually on Afghanistan.

"We're not going to be hanging out over there fighting these guys like we're fighting them now for 20 years," Mr. Smith said. [Bumiller/NYTimes/15December2010]

Italy Appeals Court Ups US Sentences in CIA Trial. An Italian appeals court on Wednesday increased the sentences against 23 Americans convicted in the kidnapping of an Egyptian terror suspect who was part of the CIA's extraordinary renditions program.

In upholding the convictions, the court added one year to the eight-year term handed down to former Milan CIA station chief Robert Seldon Lady and two years onto the five-year terms given to 22 other Americans convicted along with him, defense lawyers said.

They were never in Italian custody and were tried and convicted in absentia but risk arrest if they travel to Europe.

The Americans and two Italians were convicted last year of involvement in the kidnapping of Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr, also known as Abu Omar, from a Milan street on Feb. 17, 2003 - the first convictions anywhere in the world against people involved in the CIA's practice of abducting terror suspects and transferring them to third countries where torture was permitted.

The cleric was transferred to U.S. military bases in Italy and Germany before being moved to Egypt, where he says he was tortured. He has since been released.

The reason for the increased sentences won't be known until the judges issue their written ruling in March.

But Guido Meroni, who represents six U.S. defendants, said the court rejected the mitigating factors that had resulted in the original, lower sentences. In their original sentence, the judges noted that the Americans had just been following orders.

Prosecutors countered in the appeal that kidnapping can never be considered part of ordinary diplomatic or consular work.

Defense attorney Arianna Barbazza, who represents Lady and 12 other Americans, said she would appeal to Italy's high court.

During the original trial, three Americans were acquitted: the then-Rome CIA station chief Jeffrey Castelli and two other diplomats formerly assigned to the Rome Embassy. Prosecutors appealed the acquittal, as they can in Italy.

But their appeal will start later after the court on Wednesday agreed with a defense argument that there had been errors in how the Americans had been notified, said defense attorney Matilde Sansalone.

The court on Wednesday upheld the acquittals of five Italians, including the former head of Italian military intelligence Nicolo Pollari and four other Italian secret service agents. They had originally been acquitted because classified information about their alleged involvement was stricken by Italy's highest court on the grounds it amounted to state secrets. [Winfield/WashingtonPost/15December2010] 

Mike Rogers Tapped to Chair Intelligence Committee. Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Brighton, announced today he will be chairman of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence when the 112th Congress convenes in January.

In a statement, Rogers said the opportunity to "serve in such a critical position for America's national security is humbling."

The Intelligence Committee's members perform much of their work behind closed doors, and often aren't allowed to share information about such work even to top aides. Retiring Rep. Pete Hoekstra, R-Holland, is currently the committee's ranking member.

Recently, Rogers has positioned himself as a key player in intelligence and national security issues, speaking out for swift justice following the attempted underwear bombing incident in Detroit last Christmas. A former FBI special agent, Rogers has helped author signature intelligence legislation, including the controversial Patriot Act.

The appointment makes Rogers the third Michigan Republican to chair a U.S. House committee during the next Congress.

Dave Camp, R-Midland will chair the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee and Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, will oversee the Energy and Commerce Committee. [Hurst/DetroitNews/15December2010] 

Putin: Russian Secret Services Don't Kill Traitors. Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Thursday that the nation's special services had abandoned a Soviet-era practice of killing turncoats.

Responding to a question if he ever had ordered special services to kill traitors, Putin said during a live call-in session on state television and radio that such practice ended with the Soviet Union.

"Russia's special services don't do that (kill traitors)," he said. "As for the traitors, they will croak themselves. Whatever equivalent of 30 pieces of silver they get, it will get stuck in their throats."

Putin also said Thursday that the 10 Russian sleeper spies who were arrested in the United States this summer were betrayed by a fellow intelligence officer.

"Those people sacrificed their lives to serve the Motherland, and there happened to be an animal who betrayed them," Putin said. "How will he live with it all his life, how will he look his children in the eye? Swine!"

Putin has met and sang patriotic songs with the 10 agents who returned home in early July after a spy swap shortly after their arrest, and he again praised them Thursday.

The spies received a hero's welcome when they returned to Russia in July following a spy swap and Putin led them in a patriotic singalong. President Dmitry Medvedev bestowed them with the nation's highest awards in October.

Anna Chapman, the pinup girl for the agents, later visited the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan for the launch of a Russian spaceship, fueling her celebrity in Russia and abroad. She also became the new celebrity face of a Moscow bank.

Putin, a KGB veteran who led the Russian spy agency before ascending to presidency in 2000, insisted in a recent CNN interview that the agents had incurred no damage to the United States.

Russian officials in the past have issued similar denials that the nation's special services are engaged in killing turncoats.

Alexander Litvinenko, a former KGB officer turned Kremlin critic who died in London in 2006 after ingesting radioactive polonium, blamed Putin for the poisoning, but Russia has rejected his accusations. Moscow has dismissed the British demand to extradite the main suspect in the case, former KGB officer Andrei Lugovoi.

Russian security services also denied involvement when a former separatist president of Chechnya, Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev, was killed in a bomb explosion in Qatar in 2004, but two Russian intelligence agents were convicted in Qatar and later returned to Russia. [Isachenkov/TaiwanNews/16December2010] 

U.S. Code-Cracking Agency Works As If Compromised. The U.S. government's main code-making and code-cracking agency now works on the assumption that foes may have pierced even the most sensitive national security computer networks under its guard.

"There's no such thing as 'secure' any more," Debora Plunkett of the National Security Agency said on Thursday amid U.S. anger and embarrassment over disclosure of sensitive diplomatic cables by the website WikiLeaks.

"The most sophisticated adversaries are going to go unnoticed on our networks," she said.

Plunkett heads the NSA's Information Assurance Directorate, which is responsible for protecting national security information and networks from the foxhole to the White House.

"We have to build our systems on the assumption that adversaries will get in," she told a cyber security forum sponsored by the Atlantic and Government Executive media organizations.

The United States can't put its trust "in different components of the system that might have already been violated," Plunkett added in a rare public airing of NSA's view on the issue. "We have to, again, assume that all the components of our system are not safe, and make sure we're adjusting accordingly."

The NSA must constantly fine tune its approach, she said, adding that there was no such thing as a "static state of security."

More than 100 foreign intelligence organizations are trying to break into U.S. networks, Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn wrote in the September/October issue of the journal Foreign Affairs. Some already have the capacity to disrupt U.S. information infrastructure, he said. Plunkett declined to comment on WikiLeaks, which has started releasing a cache of 250,000 diplomatic cables, including details of overseas installations that officials regard as vital to U.S. security.

Official have focused publicly on Army Private Bradley Manning, who is being detained at a Marine Corps base in Quantico, Virginia, as the source of the leak.

NSA, a secretive Defense Department arm that also intercepts foreign communications, conceives of the problem as maintaining the availability and assuring the integrity of the systems it guards, rather than their "security," she said.

NSA - which insiders jokingly used to say referred to "No Such Agency" - also focuses on standardization and auditing to hunt for any intrusions, Plunkett said. She referred to the development of sensors for eventual deployment "in appropriate places within our infrastructure" to detect threats and take action against them.

Mike McConnell, a retired Navy vice admiral who headed the NSA from 1992 to 1996, told the forum he believed no U.S. government network was safe from penetration.

A third-party inspection of major computer systems found there was none of consequence "that is not penetrated by some adversary that allows the adversary, the outsider, to bleed all the information at will," said McConnell, director of national intelligence from 2007 to 2009 and now leader of the intelligence business for the Booz Allen Hamilton consultancy.[Wolf/Reuters/18December2010] 

Officials: CIA Station Chief Pulled From Islamabad. The CIA has pulled its top spy out of Pakistan after terrorists threatened to kill him, current and former U.S. officials said, an unusual move for the U.S. and a complication on the front lines of the fight against al-Qaida.

The CIA station chief was in transit Thursday after a Pakistani lawsuit earlier this month accused him of killing civilians in missile strikes.

The lawsuit listed a name for the station chief, but The Associated Press has learned the name is not correct. The AP is not publishing the station chief's name because he remains undercover and his name is classified.

CIA airstrikes from unmanned aircraft have killed terrorist leaders but have led to accusations in Pakistan that the strikes kill innocent people. The U.S. does not acknowledge the missile strikes, but there have been more than 100 such attacks this year - more than double the amount in 2009.

The lawsuit blew the American spy's cover, leading to threats against him and forcing the U.S. to call him home, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

"Our station chiefs routinely encounter major risk as they work to keep America safe, and they've been targeted by terrorists in the past," CIA spokesman George Little said. "They are courageous in the face of danger, and their security is obviously a top priority for the CIA, especially when there's an imminent threat."

The Pakistani lawsuit also named CIA Director Leon Panetta and Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

Demonstrators in the heart of the capital have carried placards bearing the officer's name as listed in the lawsuit and urging him to leave the country.

Shahzad Akbar, the lawyer bringing the case, said he got the name listed in the lawsuit from local journalists. He said he included the name because he wanted to sue a CIA operative living within the jurisdiction of the Islamabad court.

A Pakistani intelligence officer said the country's intelligence service, the ISI, knew the identity of the station chief, but had "no clue" how the name listed in the lawsuit was leaked.

The officer spoke on condition of anonymity because his agency, like many around the world, does not allow its operatives to be named in the media.

The CIA's work is unusually difficult in Pakistan, one of the United States' most important and at times frustrating counterterrorism allies.

The station chief in Islamabad operates as a secret general in the U.S. war against terrorism. He runs the Predator drone program targeting terrorists, handles some of the CIA's most urgent and sensitive tips and collaborates closely with Pakistan's ISI, one of the most important relationships in the spy world.

Almost a year ago seven CIA officers and contractors were killed when a suicide bomber attacked a CIA base in Khost, Afghanistan. Six other agency officers were wounded in the attack, one of the deadliest in CIA history.

It's rare for a CIA station chief to see his cover blown. In 1999, an Israeli newspaper revealed the identity of the station chief in Tel Aviv. In 2001, an Argentine newspaper printed a picture of the Buenos Aires station chief and details about him. In both instances, the station chiefs were recalled to the U.S. [AP/18December2010] 

Taliban Could Still Seize Large Parts of Afghanistan, US Spies Warn Obama. President Obama's hopes for progress in Afghanistan were undermined today by a spy agency report that paints a bleak picture of the conflict.

Large swathes of Afghanistan remain in danger of falling to the Taliban and Pakistan is still secretly supporting the insurgency, according to U.S. intelligence experts.

The grim assessment of the nine-year war is in start contrast to the upbeat view of defence chiefs.

And it has fuelled a bitter row between the CIA and the military over who has a better idea of what is really going on in the war zone.

The dispute comes on the eve of the unveiling of Mr. Obama's security review for Afghanistan in which he plans to tout the optimistic outlook of his generals.

He will now have to overcome the perception that U.S. forces are banging their heads against a brick wall.

One of the key obstacles to peace is the Pakistani government's refusal to stop its clandestine support for Taliban fighters who mount attacks on U.S. troops from tribal mountainous areas across the Afghan border, according to the national intelligence estimates assessments complied from more than a dozen spy agencies.

Last week, Defence Secretary Robert Gates suggested the administration's strategy has helped turn the corner in Afghanistan and Mr. Obama is expected to say that his troop surge was working.

Pentagon officials argued last night that the intelligence claims were out of date because they were completed nearly three months ago - before all the extra troops had arrived on the front line.

'You are missing at least 2 1/2 months of intensive operations with the full complement of surge forces,' a senior defence official told the Los Angeles Times.

He added that intelligence analysts lack the 'proximity and perspective that our forces have who are on the ground living this every single day.'

A senior intelligence official hit back, saying: 'The notion that intelligence officers aren't on the ground in Afghanistan and on the front lines in the fight against terrorism is preposterous.

'Our people are working side by side with the United States military and our foreign partners to thwart our common enemies,' he told the Times.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said the strategy will say that 'there has been some important progress in halting the momentum of the Taliban in Afghanistan.'

He conceded there were still problems with safe havens in Pakistan, but added: 'we've seen greater cooperation over the course of the past 18 months with the Pakistani government.'

Mr. Obama sent an additional 30,000 U.S. troops to Afghanistan as part of his plan to replicate the success of the surge in Iraq.

He has pledged that military withdrawals would start next July and hopes to hand over control to the Afghans by 2014. [Gardner/DailyMail/19December2010] 

Step Up Espionage, Putin to Russia's Spy Agency. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Saturday asked Russia's foreign spy agency to step up economic espionage to help in the modernisation of the Russian economy.

Putin asked the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) to help in the modernisation of Russian economy, albeit it should refrain from the violation of the laws of foreign lands.

"At a time when we are facing problems related to the modernisation of the economy, assistance from the intelligence, will not be surplus," Putin said in a recorded interview to the weekly "Vesti on Saturday" programme of the State TV channel Rossiya 1.

"It is necessary for focusing on promising sectors (of economy)," he underscored.

Putin, a former officer of the KGB's foreign intelligence wing, said that other spy agencies work promptly in intercepting modern and prospective pilot projects of interest to them.

He, however, said this work of SVR should not lead to the violation of the laws of the foreign states. [ZeeNews/19December2010] 

Egypt Uncovers Network Spying for Israel. Egypt has uncovered a spy ring that included two Israelis and an Egyptian businessman helping them recruit operatives working for telecom companies, according to a government official and state security documents.

"State security prosecutors have announced a spying network that included an Egyptian and two Israelis," said Hicham Badawi, an attorney in the Egyptian state security service.

According to a document shown to reporters by Badawi on Monday, security officials arrested the 37-year-old Egyptian, the owner of an import-export firm, in August on charges of spying for Israel in cooperation with the two Israelis, who had already left Egypt.

It alleged the Egyptian accepted $37,000 in exchange for providing them with information about Egyptians working in telecommunications companies who could be recruited by the spy ring in Egypt, Syria and Lebanon.

"The general prosecutor ordered the transfer of three accused persons, who included two Israeli fugitives and one detained Egyptian, to be sent ... before the emergency state security supreme criminal court on the charges of spying for Israel and harming the country's national interests," Egypt's state news agency MENA reported.

In Jerusalem, an Israeli official declined immediate comment on the allegations.

Egypt has maintained strong diplomatic and economic ties with Israel since they signed a peace accord three decades ago.

Resentment lingers among ordinary Egyptians over Israel's conflict with the Palestinians, but arrests of people accused of spying for Israel are uncommon. [Saleh/Reuters/20December2010


Out Of the Shadows. "What can one say when a good thing comes to an end? Just that it was good while it lasted."

Lines from a plaintive autobiography or sappy romance novel? Nope: These poignant words, culled from an official government document, are part of a loving farewell to a local spy base.

According to a once highly classified 1996 National Security Agency report, the "good thing" was the Rosman Research Station, which eavesdropped on enemy communications for nearly 15 years.

So secret are the NSA's ways that it's often dubbed "No Such Agency." But while most of what transpired at this idyllic hideaway in the Pisgah National Forest remains shrouded in a thick security blanket, declassified documents have revealed that it ranked among the agency's most prized possessions.

Western North Carolina's misty mountains have harbored many secrets, but few as closely guarded as the story of the Rosman Research Station, a remote hotbed of international espionage from 1981 to 1995 (see "Land of the Sky Spies," June 9, 2004 Xpress).

Shielded by surveillance systems and multiple layers of security, this mysterious outpost occupied a mostly forested, 355 acre tract just north of the tiny town of Rosman, near Brevard. In such a setting, it inevitably became a topic of both local and international speculation.

The Defense Department claimed to run the facility but wouldn't say much about it. "It's a vital part of the overall security of this country," a Pentagon spokesperson told The Transylvania Times in 1986, declining further comment. (Whatever was going on at the base, the newspaper speculated, its presence meant that "Transylvania County may well be a prime nuclear target for the Soviet Union.")

Things weren't always so hush-hush at the Rosman station, established by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in 1963 to help propel the nation's space program. NASA touted the millions of dollars' worth of radio telescopes, radomes and other high-tech equipment at the site, which it used to track and communicate with spacecraft circling the Earth and hurtling to the moon and back.

But by 1980, with other facilities in place that could serve it better, the space agency shut down the operation. A year later, under Defense Department cover, the NSA's high-tech spies moved in. These super snoops were (and still are) tasked with making and breaking codes as well as transmitting and capturing secret international communications.

According to investigative news reports and occasional academic studies over the years, the NSA used Rosman Research Station to train its electronic ears on Soviet satellite communications and other Cold War targets. The agency was always tight-lipped about its WNC base, but a small batch of declassified documents now provides at least a teasing glimpse of what went on there.

Ironically, it was one of the NSA's own sworn-to-secrecy employees - a man named Eugene Meador - who filed the Freedom of Information Act request that prompted the release of these papers. Previous FOIA requests about the base had been deemed too broad to fulfill, other NSA documents suggest, but Meador's was nice and tight.

In November of 2006, he asked for "2-5 official documents associating the NSA and the Rosman, N.C. site. Something official that would confirm that the agency was the actual owner/tenant of the site and that SIGINT [signals intelligence] was performed at that location."

It took the NSA nearly a year to comply with the request. (Other documents indicate an internal debate about whether the operation still "requires protection," noting that, at some unspecified point, the agency's presence at Rosman had ceased to be a secret.)

Eventually, Meador got most of what he asked for, as a few highly classified documents were released to him. And though whole paragraphs were whited out, the declassified material confirmed the gist of the NSA's role in Rosman while conveying a sense of just how tricky it was for the agency to maintain its veil of secrecy while shutting down the operation.

The release of the documents went mostly unnoticed: Despite news-database and Web searches, Xpress has found no reference to them except on GovernmentAttic, a website run by a group of volunteers who maintain an extensive online archive dedicated to promoting transparency in government operations. And there these materials have languished until now. The group says it's had no contact with Meador and that it obtained the Rosman-related records through its own subsequent FOIA request.

The documents - the first official acknowledgement that the NSA was even present in Rosman - offer tantalizing but incomplete clues concerning what the agency was up to there.

An August 1996 report by the agency's Center for Cryptologic History, for example, was titled "Rosman Tracks on to the End" and stamped TOP SECRET UMBRA.

"The site recently closed its doors," the report said, adding that "The work at Rosman, even the number of employees, was a closely guarded secret." Those employees included "contractors from [defense firms] Bendix, Raytheon and Allied Signal Inc., along with National Security Agency civilians."

In a still-cryptic passage, the NSA noted that "In spite of adversity, significant notoriety came to [Rosman Research Station]." But what kind of adversity? And why the notoriety? There's no telling: The next two paragraphs are still classified.

The NSA's "good thing" at Rosman ended shortly after the Cold War. "Budget cuts and the removal of the station's primary function forced the Agency to cease operations," the 1996 report explained.

Of course, closing a spy base required a lot more than simply turning off the lights on the way out. Rosman Research Station had grown to the "the size of a small industrial park," the NSA noted, making it a pretty big secret to sweep under the rug.

An unclassified but little-noticed environmental assessment, produced by the Defense Department in January 1995, sized up the base's secret infrastructure, hinting at the maze of both above- and below-ground gear that would have to find a home as the NSA moved out. On the surface were a battery of electronic ears and eyes, more than 30 buildings, a wastewater-treatment plant, a firing range and a helipad. Below ground, there were tunnels stretching hundreds of feet and roughly 50,000 gallons of fuel in several storage tanks.

"Before the site's last mission was shut down in November 1994, word of the closure was revealed by the local press," prompting various organizations to ask for the base's leftovers, according to an April 1995 NSA newsletter stamped FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY. "For example, one group investigated the possible use of the site, intact with all of the equipment, to use as an uplink to the information super-highway; another saw possibilities for turning it into a tech school for computer/communication skills; and Transylvania County asked for the fire truck."

"This closure was the first [post-Cold War-era shutdown] involving an 'NSA-owned' facility," the document noted. That presented some new challenges, which were met, in part, by discreetly distributing much of the base's equipment. In this, the NSA followed guidelines established by the Defense Department, which had more experience in decommissioning bases.

"Most of the other operational and administrative equipment was excessed to other SIGINT facilities," though some less strategic but still useful resources did benefit the immediate civilian community, the NSA noted. "The local school systems received some of the old personal computers and the fire truck did end up in the local fire house."

In a final gesture, the agency left behind a hearty helping of its former secrets - but only after rendering them indecipherable. The station "made a very significant effort to recycle waste paper," the report stated. "So far, over 7,500 pounds of shredded paper have been donated to Transylvania County for recycling as opposed to clogging the local landfill."

Today, the former cloak-and-dagger outpost is out in the open, having narrowly dodged destruction. As the NSA mothballed the base, it "planned for the worst case scenario where the Agency might be required to demolish the infrastructure and restore the property to pristine forest," one of the declassified documents reveals.

After a few years in limbo under U.S. Forest Service oversight, the site was acquired by Greensboro businessman and science aficionado Donald Cline in 1999; he gave it new life as the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute.

The nonprofit center has since become a jewel in the crown of North Carolina science education, hosting thousands of students from kindergarten to postgraduate level. In partnership with assorted universities and top astronomers worldwide, PARI has become home to an ever-expanding roster of decidedly public studies and experiments.

The dozen or so staffers rely on hundreds of volunteer "Friends of PARI" to keep all the programs running. Each Wednesday, the group's docents lead free walking tours.

"We've turned this into an astronomy lab that almost anyone can make use of, in one way or another," retired engineer John Boehme boasted during a recent tour.

"I'll take you anywhere you want to go," he offered - escorting us through underground tunnels and other places that would formerly have required a high-level security clearance.

And though the NSA's stint in Rosman doesn't figure in the picture much anymore, it can still prove a touchy topic.

The history page on PARI's website, for example, details NASA's groundbreaking work but makes no mention of the subsequent tenant, merely repeating the government's cover story: "In 1981, the Rosman Reseach Station was transferred to the Department of Defense and used for satellite data collection. ... In 1995, the facility was closed and DOD operations were consolidated elsewhere."

Dave Clavier, PARI's vice president of administration and development, says the institute isn't trying to hide the site's covert history - it's just that the staff aren't privy to the details.

"When the NSA was here, the site was 'dark,' so I literally don't know what they were doing," he explains. "Most of the people who were here had security clearances. I've been here six years, and I can't get anybody to tell me what was really going on. We know they were here, but that's about it."

Meanwhile, the legacy of the NSA's operations continues to skew some perceptions of PARI, Clavier notes. "There are still quite a few people who, because of what was here during that time, are confused and think that they can't come here or aren't allowed to. It's not atypical for people who come by for tours to ask if it's OK for them to take pictures here. We say, 'Of course: You can take pictures of anything you want.'

"If you were trying to create some interesting mountain folklore," he adds with a chuckle, "I don't think you could do anything better than go out in the middle of the national forest, put all this gear here, and then tell people that it doesn't exist and you can't come in." To learn more about PARI, visit [Elliston/MountainX/15December2010] 

From Russia With Love: Taking Care of Ex-Spies. When 10 members of the Russian spy ring busted in June were returned to Russia two weeks later in a spy swap, some wondered what people trained to blend into American suburban life could do back in a Russia?

Apparently there was no need for concern.

The 10 were exchanged on July 9 in Vienna for four men convicted in Russia of spying for the U.S. Shortly after the spies' arrival in Russia, Putin celebrated their return, singing a patriotic song (which he reprised at a recent charity event after his much-viewed rendition of "Blueberry Hill").

In October, the former agents were received by President Dmitry Medvedev in the Kremlin and decorated for their service at a special ceremony. Medvedev called them "talented adventurers" and has repeated - Putin has asserted the same - that their arrests were the result of a betrayal, a claim that was apparently confirmed last month.

Meanwhile, Putin began to make good on his prediction that they would have "bright and interesting futures." The first beneficiary may have been the spy the press has followed most fervently: Anna Chapman. She was tagged in the "sexy Russian spy" role, leading to a wildly popular Facebook page, magazine photo spreads and a potential film career.

And in October, she was hired by FondServisBank as an adviser to its president, Aleksandr Volovnik.

The bank's website, moreover, announced that it was determined to make her feel at home, giving her flexible working hours and permitting her to continue all her other projects.

Chapman has a master's degree in economics and worked briefly at Barclay's Bank and ran a real estate business in New York. But her modest financial background does not appear to provide an obvious logic for the hiring.

This week, a leading Russian newspaper reports that a second member of the group, Andrei Bezrukov, has been marked for a similar position at an even more important institution. Bezrukov is being appointed as an adviser to Eduard Khudainatov, the president of Russia's largest oil concern, Rosneft. He is said to be advising the company on international projects.

Bezrukov's business background appears more solid than Chapman's, but it is unclear how it would justify this position. Under the name of Donald Howard Heathfield, Bezrukov apparently received an MBA from ENPC in Paris in 1997 and then a "mid-life" MBA in public administration from Harvard's Kennedy School in 2000.

In Boston, he worked as a consultant at Global Partners and then in his own business. According to the FBI report, "Heathfield" contacted U.S. government officials and attempted to extract information from them regarding atomic weaponry programs.

A Kremlin source told Kommersant that Bezrukov was likely to be hired by Rosneft, largely because the 10 deported spies are not considered to be at fault for the failure of their espionage mission. Rosneft declined to comment on the situation.

The oil company has been organizing an international affairs department, which has not yet been assigned a chief officer. Kommersant's sources are conflicted as to whether Bezrukov's advisory post is permanent or merely preparation for promotion to that highly prominent position.

These developments may be intended to assure Russian intelligence agents worldwide that the risks they take are appreciated and that they will be supported by the Russian government in the event of a crisis like the one that struck this group in this summer.  [Narins/AOLNews/18December2010] 


An Unfriendly Act. Pakistan is in the midst of yet another controversy. Jonathan Banks, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) chief in Pakistan, had to flee the country last week after reportedly receiving serious threats to his life. An application against the CIA chief was submitted by a resident of North Waziristan, Karim Khan, to the Secretariat Police Station in Islamabad whereby Mr. Khan has alleged that his son and brother were killed in a drone strike and since Mr. Banks oversees the drone attacks, he should be held responsible for their deaths. It is now being reported that because of the police's hesitation to take action against Mr. Banks, he was able to leave the country. What remains a mystery though is who could have leaked the name of the CIA chief to the drone victims' family. According to the New York Times, "The American officials said they strongly suspected that operatives of Pakistan's powerful spy service, the Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence [ISI], had a hand in revealing the CIA officer's identity - possibly in retaliation for a civil lawsuit filed in Brooklyn last month implicating the ISI chief [Lieutenant-General Ahmad Shuja Pasha] in the Mumbai terrorist attacks of November 2008."

Blowing the cover of the CIA chief and his subsequent departure from Pakistan is not a small matter. The Americans will not take it kindly and this would be seen as an unfriendly act by the US's frontline ally in the war against terror if the ISI did out Mr. Banks' name. Even though the ISI has vehemently denied this allegation by calling it "a slur" that "can create differences between the two organizations [the ISI and CIA]", it is not unnatural that the finger of suspicion is pointing towards Pakistan's top spy agency. Mr. Banks was reportedly here on a business visa, meaning thereby that he was operating undercover. To find out his identity is no mean task and could not have been done without the help of our intelligence agencies, who are the only ones to have access to such sensitive information. If indeed the ISI exposed the CIA chief in retaliation for the lawsuit filed against the ISI chief in the US, it could have grave repercussions for our country. Complaints against the ISI have been lodged in Pakistani courts over the years yet that has never bothered the spy agency before. It is unclear what prompted the ISI to indulge in this seemingly tit-for-tat move against the Americans. The US is not very happy with Pakistan's double game vis-�-vis the Taliban in the first place; outing the CIA chief under such circumstances is akin to provocation of a serious nature. There is already immense pressure on Pakistan to launch a military offensive in North Waziristan to take out the Taliban safe havens. Drone attacks have also increased in recent months and the message from the US is loud and clear: if you are not willing to take action against the Taliban, we will.

After the CIA chief debacle, the US might be forced to take some even more drastic action. Given our military establishment's track record, the possibility of the ISI's role in this incident cannot be overlooked. If this is true, did the ISI not realise the implications of angering the Americans to an extent that could lead to a stand-off between the superpower and Pakistan? If the ISI is indeed responsible for blowing Mr. Banks' cover, we could be in for a lot of trouble in coming days. [DailyTimes/20December2010]

The Real Danger of Living in the Age of WikiLeaks. Julian Assange is free for now. A British judge Thursday granted bail to the man behind WikiLeaks. The seemingly nationless Assange is now confined to a benefactor's English mansion while he fights extradition to Sweden on sexual-assault charges.

There is more behind the headlines about Assange. Assange, who should be cast as the creepy Euro villain in the next James Bond movie, is a sideshow to a much bigger and more important story. A story that he has helped force onto the world stage, but a story in which he is a bit player, nothing more.

The debate should not be about what American diplomats are saying and doing out of the public's view, but that America and every other nation is incredibly vulnerable in the digital age.

Assange became a household name last month when his website, WikiLeaks, started releasing American diplomatic cables. The mostly unedited and lightly redacted cables made for some interesting reading. None of it was too surprising. It should not be a shock that State Department employees gather intelligence on foreign leaders. Or that the U.S. and Yemeni governments were not forthcoming on which nation bombed terrorist camps in Yemen.

Diplomacy can be messy and cutthroat. WikiLeaks showed that diplomacy can also be entertaining. The best example being the cable from the American ambassador to Kyrgyzstan about Great Britain's Prince Andrew and his boorish, condescending behavior while visiting the Central Asian nation.

Not all the cables enforced the America-as-bully caricature. I was glad to read the Obama administration ignored Blackwater as the private security company tried to leach off the government as pirate hunters off the Horn of Africa.

Lost amid the numbing dump of documents and accusations of sexual assault is the question: What does it all mean?

The impact cannot be lost on Pfc. Bradley Manning, the 22-year-old former Army intelligence operative who is accused of leaking the documents to Assange's operation. Manning was turned in by a former hacker and arrested in May. The young Marine has been in solitary confinement since.

The near-term impact has not escaped the United States government. The Justice Department is trying to build a case against Assange by claiming he helped Manning take the cables. Not any easy position for a democratic government to be in. Does it attack WikiLeaks and make it a case of free speech? Or does it make examples of Manning and, if it can, Assange, and focus on stealing state secrets?

No country wants its internal, confidential conversations in the open. The world has dramatically changed since the days that cables were sent through cables. We are in an age where a lowly technician can shake up international relations with a few keystrokes. That is worrisome. There is no question that these leaks have been damaging and even put lives in danger. I wonder if Manning thought about that?

I could understand passing along a set of cables that exposed wrongdoing, say the treatment of prisoners at Abu Ghraib or Gitmo, renditions and secret prisons in Eastern Europe. The indiscriminate nature of this leak will not accomplish much more than to make governments more paranoid.

If Assange and WikiLeaks are not disclosing state secrets then somebody else will. Maybe that is the legacy of WikiLeaks: making the public aware of how simple it is to electronically infiltrate governments.

It was only diplomatic observations and gossip this time. [Blethen/SeattleTimes/13December2010] 



Why Intelligence Fails: Lessons from the Iranian Revolution and the Iraq War. Can intelligence failure be avoided? Robert Jervis begins his study of two well-known cases, the 1979 Iranian Revolution and the 2003 Iraq War, by noting that the question is more complicated than it may first appear. The most common understanding is that "intelligence failure" occurs when, as Jervis puts it, "there is a mismatch between the estimates and what later information reveals." But intelligence has no crystal ball, and no one should be surprised that assessments of things that are hidden and projections about the future sometimes miss the mark. In this sense, intelligence failures are indeed inevitable, whatever steps might be taken to try to avoid them. A more interesting question is whether analysts succeed or fail in making the most of information available to them. In two case studies, Jervis identifies key reasons why analysis fell short while also demonstrating that the most common explanations for these failures are wrong. His conclusion in both cases is that if analysts had done their best, i.e., "succeeded," they would have reached many of the same judgments, albeit with a reduced degree of certainty.

Jervis's study of why the CIA failed to anticipate the revolution that deposed the shah of Iran was written in 1979 and only recently declassified. Despite the intervening years, its insights remain fresh and relevant to today's intelligence challenges. The fundamental reason for the failure, according to Jervis, was that judgments were based mostly on their inherent plausibility and alternative possibilities were not seriously considered. The shah had defied previous predictions of his demise and was expected to do so again. Analysts didn't understand the nature of the opposition, particularly the religious dimension - which was dismissed as an anachronism. CIA believed that the shah would crack down if his rule was threatened, apparently not taking into account that this expectation was at odds with US advice that he should continue to pursue democracy and reform. Most important, analysts did not recognize that this key belief was not "disconfirmable" - that is, it could not be shown to be false until the shah had already been deposed.

Jervis's Iraq study is less comprehensive and acknowledges some missing pieces, but he finds the basic mechanism of failure to be similar to that in the Iran case. Analysts had developed plausible inferences about what was happening in Iraq that guided their interpretation of the relatively few specific bits of information that were available. It made no sense that Saddam Hussein would continue to obstruct inspections and risk a US attack if he had nothing to hide. This general presumption, rather than the specific evidence being reported, was the basis for the judgment that Iraq had WMD. Analysts assumed that they were seeing only a small portion of Iraq's effort because of Saddam's well-developed program of denial and deception. As in the case of Iran, they did not take into account that there was no way to determine if this core belief was true or false.

Jervis does not discount or excuse the specific errors of analysis and sourcing that received most of the attention in the official postmortems of the Iraq failure. However, he notes that critics invariably leave the impression that had these mistakes been avoided, the Intelligence Community could have reached the correct judgments about Iraq's weapons. In fact, given the information available, the least damning verdict that might have been offered was that there was no solid evidence of continuing programs. Any claim that Saddam had ended his WMD programs would have been seen as highly implausible, even if there was evidence to support it. As Jervis notes, critics do not wish to acknowledge this because there is a presumption that "bad outcomes are explained by bad processes." It is more comforting to believe that if the right reforms and organizational changes are made, future failures can be avoided.

This is not to say that the IC could not do a better job. Jervis's main criticism is the failure to apply what he calls "social science methods," which might be thought of more generally as critical thinking skills. Analysts tend to look for (and find) what they expect to see. They do not think enough about the potential significance of things that are not seen ("dogs that do not bark"). Most important, they do not make an effort to consciously articulate the beliefs that guide their thinking and consider what evidence should be available if they were true, or what it would take to disprove them. Facts do not speak for themselves but inevitably are seen in a framework of understanding and belief - whether that framework is recognized or not. Analysts rarely think about that contextual framework or what it would take to make them change their views.

The perils of such thinking traps are not a new concern to intelligence analysts. Indeed, Jervis begins his book with a quotation from Sherman Kent, one of the founding fathers of the profession, who observed that intelligence officers are supposed to be distinguished from others by their "training in the techniques of guarding against their own intellectual frailties." However, as Jervis also notes, many aspects of routine practice and culture in the IC do not encourage attention to this problem. Intelligence products tend to focus on the latest events, reporting the facts with little reflection or interpretation. Conclusions are too often merely assertions without explanation or support beyond their inherent plausibility. Although it has all the necessary raw materials, the IC has never developed an effective peer review process for analytic production. "Coordination" tends to focus on superficial language changes rather than a serious examination and debate about fundamental premises.

In the aftermath of post-9/11 and Iraq war critiques, the IC has placed renewed emphasis on enhancing collaboration and improving the quality of analysis. In accordance with the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, analysts are applying new guidelines designed to improve characterization of sourcing, clarify assumptions, and encourage consideration of alternative possibilities. Jervis does not assess the merits of these initiatives specifically, but he clearly believes that the prospects for improvement are limited by the fundamentally intractable nature of the problem. He suggests that better analysis requires a robust examination of how judgments are reached and a sharp focus on underlying factors that are often overlooked. Why do specific judgments seem plausible and are there alternative possibilities? Could the information advanced in support of a particular thesis be explained by other factors? Are we misunderstanding the impact of political and historical factors unique to the issue or region? He recommends supplementing this program of self-scrutiny with substantively focused peer review and extensive study of a range of historical cases.

Even as Jervis explains the challenge of overcoming congenital intelligence limitations, he also warns that better analysis in the sense he suggests might not be particularly welcomed by consumers. By their nature, decision makers need to have conviction and are focused on selling and implementing their policies. Intelligence analysis that gives more scope to alternative interpretations of the evidence is not likely to be well received. Jervis offers a colorful quote from John Maynard Keynes to illustrate the point: "There is nothing a Government hates more than to be well-informed; for it makes the process of arriving at decisions much more complicated and difficult." Perhaps the best contribution intelligence can offer, Jervis suggests, is a nuanced evaluation of alternative possibilities and the key factors at work. Ideally, this could raise the level of understanding and debate before policymakers make decisions. At the same time, however, they are unlikely to pay attention unless they are already seized with the issue, so there is a narrow window for such inputs.

There is much more of value to the intelligence professional in this concise but densely packed volume, including a discussion of the complexities of politicization, specific insights on other historical cases of interest, and detailed endnotes that constitute a survey of relevant literature. It is essential reading that gets beyond the conventional wisdom about intelligence failure and provides nuanced insight into what Jervis describes as the "insoluble dilemmas of intelligence and policymaking." [Torrey Froscher was Deputy Director for Analysis for the Center for Weapons Intelligence, Nonproliferation, and Arms Control in the Directorate of Intelligence before his retirement in 2006. He now works for CENTRA Technology, Inc.] [Froscher/CIA.GOV/December2010] 


Irl D'Arcy Brent II, 90; Was CIA Operative, Baird Executive. When Colonel Irl D'Arcy Brent II told friends he worked for the government back in the Cold War days of the 1950s, the job description usually sufficed, his family said.

In fact, his own son said he did not know until he was an adult what his father did for a living.

Because of the secret nature of his work, Colonel Brent revealed the truth of his job only to his wife.

"I only knew that he worked for the government,'' said his son, Irl D'Arcy "Duffy'' Brent III of Sudbury. "Back then, people didn't really ask for more in-depth information than that.''

According to his family, Colonel Brent was a former Central Intelligence Agency operative who advised two White House administrations. Although a CIA spokesman said the agency has no official record of his role with the organization, his family said he played a part in many historic moments during the Cold War and felt it was his duty to protect all Americans.

"He was part of America's greatest generation,'' his son said. "He felt obligated to give back to his country.''

Colonel Brent, a vice president of Baird Corp. in Cambridge, died Dec. 7 in his Wintergreen, Va., home of Parkinson's disease. The longtime resident of Concord and Carlisle was 90.

Born in Flint, Mich., Colonel Brent graduated in 1937 from Woodrow Wilson High School in Washington, D.C., where he was an Eagle Scout. He received a bachelor's in economics in 1941 and master's in industrial relations in 1942, both from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.

During his time in school, he met Audrey Rioux, who would become his wife of 67 years.

"We met on a blind date,'' she said. "We fell in love instantly.''

Colonel Brent was also a member of the Army ROTC and received his second lieutenant's commission in 1942. He was then assigned to the armored cavalry at Fort Knox, Ky. By 1944, he was assigned to work in both London and Paris. As a general staff officer, he was charged with the introduction and distribution of improved tanks.

Mr. Brent received an honorary discharge with a rank of lieutenant colonel, and for his service was awarded the Bronze Star, the Legion of Merit, and Meritorious Service Medal. He later served in the Army Reserve for 30 years.

Upon returning to civilian life, Mr. Brent worked briefly for Detroit's Square D Co. before being recruited by the CIA in 1950, his family said.

According to his son, Colonel Brent's resume indicated his job was classified, and he worked in the Office of Scientific Intelligence, which was incorporated into the Directorate of Science and Technology in 1963.

With the CIA, he specialized in technological innovation and became an authority on nuclear weapons, guided missile systems, and atomic energy.

In 1954, he became science adviser to James Conant, Nobel Prize recipient and a former Harvard president who had been appointed high commissioner of Germany. That same year, Colonel Brent moved with his family to Frankfurt for work.

In 1959, he was appointed to attend the first disarmament conference in Geneva.

Returning to Washington, D.C., that year, Colonel Brent enrolled in the advanced management program at Harvard Business School. He later served as secretary of his class for 40 years.

Back in Washington, Colonel Brent was a frequent adviser to the White House, giving security briefings to the administration of President Truman, his family said. Following the election of John F. Kennedy in 1960, he was appointed to a panel charged by Kennedy with disseminating American values worldwide. The result was the creation of the Peace Corps.

Colonel Brent left the CIA in 1961 to accept a position as vice president of defense contracting at Baird, his family said. During his 25 years with Baird, he helped perfect infrared optical periscopes for night-driving armored vehicles, among other key initiatives. His team initiated the baggage inspection devices now used for screening at airports worldwide.

Jack Medzorian of Winchester, the chief financial officer for Baird during Colonel Brent's tenure, said Mr. Brent was well respected within the company. "He came to Baird with a very colorful background,'' Medzorian said. "He didn't come from a technical background, but he understood how things ticked.''

Colonel Brent retired in 1987 and spent more time on his hobbies.

He was a skilled bridge player, dancer, and an avid golfer who was an active member of the Concord Country Club.

"He was like James Bond, but found time to golf,'' said his wife.

In addition to his wife and son, Colonel Brent leaves three daughters, Hart of West Danville, Vt., Deborah of Faber, Va., and Sallye Brent Ryder of Marshfield.

There are no funeral plans. Burial will be at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors at 11 a.m. April 7. [Whyte/Boston/15December2010] 

Darrel W. Lownsberry. Darrel Lownsberry, 83, of Fort Collins, passed away November 26, 2010 at Poudre Valley Hospital.

Darrel was born February 1, 1927, in the Julesburg area, to Joy and Minnie Lownsberry.

He was an Army veteran and paratrooper serving in Korea. After his military service, he completed his degree and participated in the football program at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley.

Shortly after graduation, Darrel moved to Arlington, Va., where he had a career as a Special Agent for the F.B.I. and retired in 1981.

After retirement, he moved to Fort Collins. Darrel enjoyed his retirement, living in the Horsetooth area, traveling and spending time with family. He was a frequent visitor of the Fort Collins Senior Center. Darrel devoted time and resources to many social and political causes, as well as area museums, libraries and historical societies. He was a frequent participant in the senior games and received several medals in his age group.

Darrel is survived by his sisters, Velda Acott of Fort Collins and Gwendolyn Billington of Spokane Valley, Washington; 5 nieces and nephews; 10 great nieces and nephews; and numerous great-great nieces and nephews. His parents preceded him in death.

Great Old Uncle Darrel will be deeply missed. Condolences may be sent to P.O. Box 2045 Fort Collins, Co. 80522. [JulesburgAdvocate/10December2010] 

Harold P. Ford, Analyst Who Publicly Opposed Gates as CIA Director, Dies at 89. Harold P. Ford, 89, a senior CIA analyst who made an early and accurate prediction of the outcome of the Vietnam War and drew headlines in the early 1990s when he spoke out against the nomination of his old boss Robert M. Gates as director of central intelligence, died Nov. 3 in Gaithersburg. He had pneumonia.

He was a longtime Bethesda resident before moving to Asbury Methodist Village retirement community, where he died.

Dr. Ford's studies on the Vietnam War shaped his reputation as an indispensable source of wisdom and objectivity. At the time, he was a significant contributor to the National Intelligence Estimates on the war.

According to his family, Dr. Ford staunchly believed that the CIA's duty was to present intelligence analysis to the president that was free of bias and did not feed the ideological appetite of whichever political party was in power.

Dr. Ford was an early proponent of withdrawing U.S. troops from combat in Vietnam. In journalist Tim Weiner's 2007 book on the CIA, "Legacy of Ashes," Dr. Ford is quoted advising John McCone, who was director of central intelligence, in 1965 that "we are becoming progressively divorced from reality in Vietnam" and "proceeding with far more courage than wisdom."

After serving as chief of station in Taipei, Taiwan, among other assignments, Dr. Ford left the CIA in the mid-1970s to serve as a consultant to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. He later served as a legislative assistant on foreign and military affairs to Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.).

Dr. Ford returned to the CIA in 1980. He was vice chairman of the National Intelligence Council, a senior analysis advisory group, and retired in 1986 after briefly serving as the council's acting director. He continued to work for the CIA as a contractor in the agency's history department until the mid-1990s.

In 1991, Dr. Ford was among a few of the CIA's most veteran employees to speak publicly against Gates's nomination as director of central intelligence. They had worked together for years at the CIA, where Gates had been a senior manager.

In testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Dr. Ford said Gates was unfit to lead because he had purposely "skewed" intelligence analyses during his years at the CIA, particularly exaggerating threats from the Soviet Union.

"My view that Bob Gates has ignored or scorned the views of others whose assessments did not accord with his own would be okay if he were uniquely all seeing," Dr. Ford said in testimony. "The trouble is he has not been. Most importantly, he has been dead wrong on the central analytic target of the past few years - the outlook for change, or not, in the fortunes of the U.S.S.R. and the Soviet-European bloc."

Gates, who denied he had misled his superiors, won the nomination. Dr. Ford continued to speak out against Gates when he was nominated by President George W. Bush in 2006 to succeed Donald Rumsfeld as secretary of defense.

"It was tough for me because he'd been my boss and our personal relations were fine," Dr. Ford told the New York Times in 2006. "But the problem was the skewing of intelligence by him to suit what the consumer wanted to hear. I think there was no question about it."

Harold Perry Ford was born March 23, 1921, in Los Angeles. He received a bachelor's degree in history from the University of Redlands in California before joining the Navy during World War II. He served in the Pacific as a signal officer.

In 1949, he received a doctorate from the University of Chicago. He wrote his dissertation on Sino-Soviet relations.

Dr. Ford joined the CIA in 1950 - three years after its inception - and was responsible for providing support to covert operations arming anti-communist forces in China during the Korean War.

Later, he was among the first intelligence analysts to successfully predict that the relationship between China and the Soviet Union would turn increasingly frosty by the 1960s.

His wife of 65 years, Barbara Day Ford, died in 2008.

Survivors include a son, John Ford of Honolulu; and two granddaughters. [Shapiro/WashingtonPost/11December2010]

Col. David Meriwether. Col. (Ret) David Meriwether, 57, of Elizabethtown, Ken. died Thursday, Dec. 16, 2010, at Jewish Hospital in Louisville.

A native of Florida, David began active duty May 11, 1975, in the United States Army upon graduation from Stetson University, Deland, Fla. One of his first duty stations was Ft. Knox, Ken. David completed his Masters degree in Human Resources Management from Golden Gate University. His career in the Army involved many assignments in various positions within Military Intelligence. Col. Meriwether attended the Naval Command and Staff College in Newport, Rhode Island in 1988. Following graduation, he once again was assigned to Ft. Knox as Intelligence Officer for the 194th Armored Brigade. He subsequently was assigned to the Army Acquisition Corps where he served as Project Manager and ultimately Program Manager for development of various Intelligence and Electronic Warfare Systems. His work on these systems primarily was while on duty at Vint Hill Farms Station, Va., National Security Agency, Ft. Meade and R&D Center, Comm. & Electronic Command, Ft. Monmouth, New Jersey.

Col. Meriwether retired from the Army Dec. 31, 2001. He remained in Elizabethtown working as a Concept/Doctrine Writer at Ft. Knox until June, 2008, when he retired from civil service. David was a Kentucky Colonel.

Col. Meriwether was passionate about being a soldier in the U.S. Army. He loved his country, and he loved his family. He will be greatly missed by those whom he loved.

Col. Meriwether was preceded in death by his grandmother, Mrs. Lela Walker and his father-in-law, John D. Brady.

He is survived by his wife, the former Nancy Brady, Austin; his children, John (Danielle) Meriwether and Jamie (Todd) Rice both,Louisville, Ken., Spc Ryan (Shana) Meriwether, Ft. Benning, Ga. and Kristin Meriwether, Elizabethtown; grandson, Dillan Meriwether of Ft. Benning, Ga.; his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Meriwether, Black Mountain, N.C.; brother, Mark (Beth) Meriwether of Asheville, N.C.; his mother-in-law, Mrs. Lillian E. Brady, Austin, Minn.; his brothers-in-law, Col. Ret. Steve (Ann) Brady of Yorktown, Va., Bill (Teri) Brady of Creighton, NE and Dr. Ross (Colleen Brady) Seimers of Minniapolis, Minn. and numerous aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews whom were all dear to him. [AustinDailyHerald/18December2010] 

R. Richard Rubottom, Who Helped Shape Cuban Policy, Dies at 98. R. Richard Rubottom, a diplomat who influenced and helped hone United States policy toward Latin America in the late 1950s, a time of economic and political tumult that culminated in Fidel Castro's takeover in Cuba, died Dec. 6 in Austin, Tex. He was 98.

His family announced the death.

Mr. Rubottom rose from modest roots - his parents ran a boardinghouse in central Texas - to become the "official most responsible for defining United States Cuban policy" in the years immediately surrounding the 1959 Cuban revolution, the historian Thomas G. Paterson wrote in "Contesting Castro: The United States and the Triumph of the Cuban Revolution" (1994).

Mr. Rubottom began grappling with foreign policy issues in Latin America as assistant secretary of state for inter-American affairs from 1956 to 1960. In 1958 he accompanied Vice President Richard M. Nixon on a widely publicized tour of Latin America that was marred by violent demonstrations against the United States. After protesters in Caracas, Venezuela, shattered windows in the vice president's car, news reports suggested that Mr. Nixon partly blamed Mr. Rubottom for allowing his motorcade to be put in harm's way.

As a high-level strategist on American policy toward Cuba in the late 1950s, Mr. Rubottom was portrayed in books and news reports as a strong early supporter of the country's repressive leader, Fulgencio Batista as he battled the rebellion led by Fidel Castro.

But Mr. Rubottom later worried that Mr. Batista's "brutal retaliatory tactics" were eroding his support and questioned whether the United States should continue to sell tanks to Cuba after it became known that Mr. Batista was using them against his domestic opponents, a violation of American law. Mr. Batista ultimately canceled the tank order.

With the rise of Mr. Castro, Mr. Rubottom represented the State Department in meetings with military and intelligence officials on whether, how and when to try to eliminate him both before and after he seized power in January 1959.

Yet when Mr. Castro visited the United States in April 1959 as Cuba's new leader, Mr. Rubottom was on hand to greet him, and he was deputized to ask Mr. Castro what American aid he would like. Mr. Castro said none.

Some politicians and historians have criticized Mr. Rubottom for not identifying Mr. Castro as a Communist before he took control. But Adolf A. Berle, a former assistant secretary of state, wrote in The New York Times Book Review in 1962 that he knew for certain Mr. Rubottom had not known.

However, he and his deputy, William Wieland, were convinced that Mr. Castro was "a hopeless megalomaniac," Mr. Berle wrote, and that the "optimistic image created by the uninformed American press" was wrong.

In 1960, Mr. Rubottom created a controversy by telegraphing Gov. Edmund G. Brown of California with an appeal by the Uruguayan government to halt the planned execution of Caryl Chessman, a convicted robber and rapist who had become a global cause c�l�bre for opponents of capital punishment. Governor Brown granted Mr. Chessman a 60-day reprieve, although he was ultimately executed.

Mr. Rubottom said he had merely been passing on information that related to American foreign policy - Uruguay opposed the death penalty - but his action ignited a debate over federal intervention in state matters and prompted President Dwight D. Eisenhower to issue a statement saying the execution was entirely a California matter.

Roy Richard Rubottom Jr. was born on Feb. 13, 1912, in Brownwood, Tex. He won a scholarship to Southern Methodist University, where he was president of his class and editor of the college newspaper. After graduating in 1932 with a journalism degree, he stayed on at S.M.U. to earn a master's in international relations in 1935.

Afterward he traveled the country as national secretary for his college fraternity, Lambda Chi Alpha; sold kitchen appliances and oil field equipment; and served as an assistant dean at the University of Texas. During World War II he served in the Navy in Mexico and Paraguay.

After his discharge as a commander in 1946, he became vice president of a bank in Corsicana, Tex. But his interest in foreign affairs led him to join the Foreign Service after taking a special exam for war veterans. His postings included Colombia and Spain.

Years later he was removed from his post as assistant secretary and appointed ambassador to Argentina in July 1960 after "persistent reports of dissatisfaction by Vice President Nixon," according to The Times.

After leaving the State Department, Mr. Rubottom had a second career in higher education, serving as a vice president of Southern Methodist University; president of the University of the Americas in Puebla, Mexico; and as a professor of political science at S.M.U.

Mr. Rubottom's wife of 69 years, the former Billy Ruth Young, died in 2008. He is survived by his daughter, Eleanor Odden; his sons, Frank and John; four grandchildren; and one great-grandson.

When it came to improving inter-American relations, Mr. Rubottom was not above counting beans - literally. In 1958 he said in a speech that if each American used 12 more coffee beans in each cup of coffee, coffee consumption would rise by 600 million pounds, enhancing stability and prosperity in coffee-growing nations. [Martin/NYTimes/20December2010] 

Research Request

Robert C. Ames.  Kai Bird, a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, is working on a new book about Robert C. Ames, the CIA officer who was killed in the April 18, 1983 bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Beirut. The book�tentatively titled, The Good Spy�will be both a biography of Ames's life and career and an account of the Beirut embassy bombing. Anyone with memories or anecdotes about Ames or others killed in the embassy bombing can contact Mr. Bird at:

Coming Educational Events


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

Wednesday, 5 January 2011, noon - 1:00pm - Washington, DC - "Tories: Fighting for the King in America's First Civil War" - at the International Spy Museum

Not simply a struggle between independence-minded colonists and the oppressive British, the American Revolution was also a savage and often deeply personal civil war. Conflicting visions of America pitted neighbor against neighbor and Patriot against Tory on the battlefield, the village green, and even in church. Espionage played a central role, and America's people were forced to face deep questions of loyalty and betrayal. Join author Thomas B. Allen as he tells the story of the Tories, the other Americans, tracing their lives and experiences throughout the revolutionary period. He brings to life a time when the penalty for spying was death, when Philadelphia and New York City were Tory strongholds, and when Long Islanders were forced to swear an oath by the "Almighty and Tremendous God" not to "convey any intelligence" to the British.
WHERE: International Spy Museum: 800 F Street, NW, Washington, DC. Gallery Place/Chinatown Metrorail Station
Free! No registration required! Join the author for an informal chat and book signing.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011, 6:30pm - Washington, DC - "Spies of the Civil Rights Movement" - at the International Spy Museum

"The informant, paid up to $200 a month, helped track King in the days before his murder."—Memphis Commercial Appeal, 12 September 2010
One of the most shocking aspects of the civil rights era are the spies, smear campaigns, and other dirty tricks the U.S. government used to infiltrate and discredit the movement and its leaders—especially Dr. Martin Luther King. Join Rick Bowers, author of Spies of Mississippi: The True Story of the Spy Network that Tried to Destroy the Civil Rights Movement, for a fascinating, behind-the-scenes view of the operatives who infiltrated the movement in the 1950s and '60s. From the extensive, secret, anti-civil rights espionage program waged by the state of Mississippi after Brown vs. Board of Education to the clandestine FBI campaign against King, this overview of a disturbing chapter in domestic intelligence is essential for anyone interested in the rights of citizens in the face of government intrusion and oppression. Bowers draws upon once-secret investigative reports and exclusive interviews with both the spies and the spied-upon to lift the curtain on this shameful period.
WHERE: International Spy Museum: 800 F Street, NW, Washington, DC. Gallery Place/Chinatown Metrorail Station
Tickets: $12.50 per person To register visit:

20 January 2011 – San Francisco, CA – The AFIO Jim Quesada Chapter hosts Supervisory Special Agent (SSA) Steven Merrill, FBI.

SSA Merrill will be speaking about the FBI's first response to the November 2008 Mumbai attacks. 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

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.

Thursday, 20 January 2011, 11:30 am - Colorado Springs, CO - Credit Card Fraud - 'Tis the Season - the talk at the Rocky Mountain Chapter by the President of TLC Computer Repair, Jesus Damian
Damian will speak on Credit Card Fraud (CCF). Credit cards are extremely vulnerable to fraud and are used extensively by terrorists. The Internet functions as a mechanism to steal credit card information through hacking, phishing, and other means. An elaborate multi-million dollar CCF scheme by Pakistanis in 2003, was terminated in the Washington, D.C. area. Hamas, Hezbollah and al-Qaeda are extensively involved in CCF. The surprise is how much money can be made at different levels of the schemes. To be held at the new location AFA... Eisenhower Golf Course Club House. Please RSVP to Tom VanWormer at

20 January 2011 - Arlington, VA - "Mexican Drug Wars" the topic at this Defense Intelligence Forum
The Forum meets at the Pulcinella Restaurant, 6852 Old Dominion Drive, McLean, VA The speaker will be Colonel Sergio de la Pe�a (USA, Retired), who will speak on Mexican Drug Wars: A Practitioner's Perspective.
A former Foreign Area Officer, Colonel de la Pe�a has eighteen years' experience in Western Hemisphere affairs with emphasis on stopping growth and transport of drugs. He now is Director of Business Development for the Americas for Military Professional Resources, Incorporated. He most recently worked with the Mexican government on countering the drug trade's effect on Mexican security. As Northern Command International Affairs Division chief, he worked closely with Mexican counterparts to craft the theater's security engagement strategy. He served in the International Army Programs Directorate in Army Training and Doctrine Command, as Army Attach� in Venezuela, as Army Section Chief in the US Military Group-Chile, and as commander of the US Military Observer Group-Washington. Colonel de la Pe�a was born in Chihuahua, Mexico. He was commissioned in Air Defense Artillery and is both Airborne and Ranger qualified. He holds a BS from the University of Iowa and a Masters Degree in Military Arts and Science.
Make reservations by 12 January by email to Include names, telephone numbers, and email addresses. For meal selections, choose among chicken cacciatore, tilapia puttanesca, lasagna, sausage with peppers, or pasta with portabello. Pay at the door with a check for $29 per person payable to DIAA, Inc. THE FORUM DOESN'T TAKE CASH! If you don't have a check, you'll have to have the restaurant charge your credit or debit card $29 and give us the restaurant's copy of the receipt when you check in.

Friday, 21 January 2011 - McLean, VA - AFIO National Winter Luncheon with The Honorable James R. Clapper, DNI
Register now for the Winter Luncheon featuring The Honorable James R. Clapper, Jr., Director of National Intelligence, speaking Off The Record at 1 p.m. Earlier that morning - at 11 a.m. - we will have E. J. Kimball, Director, Government Relations Strategic Engagement Group, Jorge Scientific Corp., on this important, multi-author new book, Shariah: The Threat to America. 3-Course Luncheon is served at Noon. Check in for badge pickup at 10:30 a.m. Event closes at 2 p.m.
EVENT LOCATION: The Crowne Plaza, 1960 Chain Bridge Rd, McLean, Virginia 22102
Driving directions here or use this link:
Register Now To Be Certain of Space

Wednesday, 26 January 2011, 6:30pm - Washington, DC - "An Introduction to Geospatial Intelligence" - at the International Spy Museum

"GEOINT plays a critical role in virtually every Intelligence Community and Department of Defense mission ... "—Vice Admiral Robert B. Murrett, U.S. Navy
Geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) is a rapidly evolving building block of our national security. But what exactly is this high tech discipline that strives to reveal the ground truth? How is it being used to rapidly provide insights into the scope and range of human activity, explore natural features across physical terrain, accurately locate significant events and activities, and precisely measure details above, on, and underneath the Earth's surface. Keith J. Masback, president of the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF) and former member of the Defense Intelligence Senior Executive Service at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, leads this overview of GEOINT for the lay person. With the assistance of other experts in the field, he will reveal exciting current applications and explain how data collected by high resolution electronic sensors on satellites, remotely piloted aircraft, and ground vehicles is interpreted by analysts using sophisticated automated systems. Participants will learn basic techniques for extracting information from images, then using real-world problems and data, they will test their own skills as "geospatial intelligence analysts" to discover how GEOINT is transforming how we engage with our world.
WHERE: International Spy Museum: 800 F Street, NW, Washington, DC. Gallery Place/Chinatown Metrorail Station
Tickets: $15.00 per person To register visit:

Tuesday, 1 February 2011, 6:30 pm - Washington, DC - "The Next Decade: An Evening with George Friedman" at the International Spy Museum

Join Author George Friedman for his inside view on ten years that will set the course of the 21st century. In his new book The Next Decade, Friedman directs his penetrating gaze to the immediate future as a follow-up to his bestseller, The Next 100 Years.
George Friedman is the founder and chief executive officer of Stratfor, a private global intelligence firm. Friedman has access to the latest information and intelligence affecting the world today. By combining the insights from his dynamic intelligence network with his extensive background in geopolitical analysis, he is uniquely poised to forecast the events and challenges that will test America and the world in the coming decade.
WHERE: At the International Spy Museum: 800 F Street, NW Washington, DC. Gallery Place/Chinatown Metrorail Station
TICKETS: $15 per person. To register:

Wednesday, 2 February 2011, 10:15 am - Washington, DC - "China's Mole" at the International Spy Museum - Chinese-Americans Filching American Secrets

Former FBI Washington Field Office squad supervisor, Ivian C. Smith, author of Inside: A Top G-Man Exposes Spies, Lies, and Bureaucratic Bungling in the FBI, Smith will take you inside the case that revealed the CIA's leading Chinese linguist, Larry Chin, had been a spy for more than 30 years. Part of the Spy Museum's THE SPIES WITHIN: UNDERCOVER IN THE USA series. WHERE: International Spy Museum: 800 F Street, NW, Washington, DC. Gallery Place/Chinatown Metrorail Station
TICKETS: $112 for all four programs on Feb 2, 9, 16, and 23. (must be purchased through the Smithsonian). To register or for more information, visit

Wednesday, 9 February 2011, 10:15 am - Washington, DC - "Israel's Controversial Spy" at the International Spy Museum - Jewish-Americans Stealing Secrets for Israel

Ron Olive, author of Capturing Jonathan Pollard, and the assistant special agent in charge of counterintelligence in the Washington Naval Investigative Service office when Pollard was arrested, will take you behind the scenes of this case and the ongoing controversy surrounding Pollard's imprisonment. Part of the Spy Museum's THE SPIES WITHIN: UNDERCOVER IN THE USA series.
WHERE: International Spy Museum: 800 F Street, NW, Washington, DC. Gallery Place/Chinatown Metrorail Station
TICKETS: $112 for all four programs on Feb 2, 9, 16, and 23. (must be purchased through the Smithsonian) To register or for more information, visit

12 February 2011 - Orange Park / Gainesville, FL - The AFIO North Florida Chapter meets at the Country Club for speaker luncheon.

Speaker TBA. To inquire or sign up, contact Quiel at or 904-545-9549.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011, 10:15 am - Washington, DC - "The Cuban Sympathizers" at the International Spy Museum - Pro-Castro-Americans Stealing Secrets for Cuba

Discover what made Kendall and Gwendolyn Myers spurn their well-connected lives in DC to systematically betray their country until their arrest in June of 2009. Robert Booth, retired State Department diplomatic security agent and CI Centre faculty member shines light on this intriguing case. Part of the Spy Museum's THE SPIES WITHIN: UNDERCOVER IN THE USA series.
WHERE: International Spy Museum: 800 F Street, NW, Washington, DC. Gallery Place/Chinatown Metrorail Station
TICKETS: $112 for all four programs on Feb 2, 9, 16, and 23. (must be purchased through the Smithsonian). To register or for more information, visit

Wednesday, 23 February 2011, 10:15 am - Washington, DC - "The Russian Illegals" at the International Spy Museum - Russian-Americans Stealing Secrets for Russia

Get the inside story on the June 2010 roundup of ten Russian "deep-cover" spies—from sexy agent Anna Chapman to stylish young Mikhail Semenko. International Spy Museum historian and former CIA analyst, Mark Stout will reveal the latest information on the investigation, the spy swap, and the damage done. Part of the Spy Museum's THE SPIES WITHIN: UNDERCOVER IN THE USA series.
WHERE: International Spy Museum: 800 F Street, NW, Washington, DC. Gallery Place/Chinatown Metrorail Station
TICKETS: $112 for all four programs on Feb 2, 9, 16, and 23. (must be purchased through the Smithsonian). To register or for more information, visit

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


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