AFIO Weekly Intelligence Notes #02-11 dated 18 January 2011

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Iran's Intelligence Ministry Says it has Arrested Spies Linked to Israel. Iran's Intelligence Ministry has arrested a "network of spies and terrorists" allegedly connected to Israel and responsible for killing a prominent scientist in 2009, the ministry said in a statement Monday.

The statement said that months of widespread operations had led to the "deep infiltration" by Iranian intelligence agents of Israel's spy agency, the Mossad. This resulted in the discovery of "extremely important information on Mossad spy teams, which led to the arrest of some of these agents inside Iran," said the statement, which was carried by the semiofficial Mehr News Agency and other local media.

"They have confessed to being trained by the Mossad and receiving all of their equipment from that agency," Ismael Kowsari, a member of the National Security Commission of parliament, told the Fars News Agency.

Iran regularly says it has arrested spy rings or terrorists working for foreign intelligence agencies, but it rarely provides evidence to support such claims. The public statement, issued on the first anniversary of the scientist's death, promised that more details would be given at "an appropriate time."

The arrests of alleged spies are related to the death of Massoud Ali-Mohammadi, a physics professor who was killed by a bomb attached to a parked motorcycle.

State television aired statements Monday by a man introduced as "the arrested person." He was shown sitting on a chair in a dark room. He said that he traveled with Israeli officers to Jerusalem, where he received training on a military base.

In Israel, officials in Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's office had no immediate comment on the announcement, the Associated Press reported.

Iran's claim came one day after it sentenced a prominent human rights lawyer to 11 years in prison, highlighting an intensifying crackdown on lawyers that appears focused on people connected to 2003 Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi.

The court also ruled that the lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh, 47, is not allowed to practice law or leave the country for the next 20 years, said her husband, Reza Khandan. Khandan said he was summoned to court this week for reasons he didn't know.

The parliament news Web site, an outlet of members of parliament who are critical of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's administration, confirmed Sotoudeh's sentence on Monday.

Sotoudeh's case has been closely followed by Iranian activists inside and outside the Islamic Republic, where she made a name for herself by defending children and women's rights activists, anti-government dissidents and journalists. Sotoudeh had defended Ebadi in court. [WashingtonPost/10January2011] 

New Generation of Unmanned Spy Planes is Being Tested. An experimental spy plane with a wingspan almost the size of a Boeing 747's took to the skies over the Mojave Desert last week in a secret test flight that may herald a new era in modern warfare with robotic planes flying higher, faster and with more firepower.

The massive Global Observer built by AeroVironment Inc. of Monrovia is capable of flying for days at a stratosphere-skimming 65,000 feet, out of range of most antiaircraft missiles. The plane is built to survey 280,000 square miles - an area larger than Afghanistan - at a single glance. That would give the Pentagon an "unblinking eye" over the war zone and offer a cheaper and more effective alternative to spy satellites watching from outer space.

The estimated $30-million robotic aircraft is one of three revolutionary drones being tested in coming weeks at Edwards Air Force Base.

Another is the bat-winged X-47B drone built by Northrop Grumman Corp., which could carry laser-guided bombs and be launched from an aircraft carrier. The third is Boeing Co.'s Phantom Ray drone that could slip behind enemy lines to knock out radar installations, clearing the way for fighters and bombers.

These aircraft would represent a major technological advance over the Predator and Reaper drones that the Obama administration has deployed as a central element of the U.S. military campaign in Afghanistan. Unlike most of the current fleet of more than 7,000 drones, the new remotely piloted planes will have jet engines and the ability to evade enemy radar.

"We are looking at the next generation of unmanned systems," said Phil Finnegan, an aerospace expert with Teal Group, a research firm. "As the U.S. looks at potential future conflicts, there needs to be more capable systems."

Finnegan pointed out that propeller-driven Predator and Reaper drones are not fast or stealthy enough to thread through antiaircraft missile batteries. Boeing's Phantom Ray and Northrop's X-47B, by comparison, "can enter contested air space, attack the enemy, and leave without detection on a radar screen," he said.

The Global Observer that was tested last week is designed for reconnaissance and would not carry weapons. But it would greatly extend the surveillance capabilities of drones.

Current spy planes can stay airborne for only about 30 hours. The Global Observer is designed to beat that mark several times over, flying up to a week at a time, and company officials say it may be ready to go into service by year's end.

The drone is designed to do the work that so far has been done by satellites, including relaying communications between military units and spotting missiles as they are launched.

On Thursday, the Global Observer performed its first test demonstrating its ability to use liquid hydrogen as fuel. The drone circled above Edwards at about 3,000 feet above ground level in a four-hour test, according to AeroVironment executives, who plan to announce the achievement Tuesday.

"This is a paradigm shift from capabilities that have come before," said AeroVironment Chairman and Chief Executive Timothy E. Conver. "It's so radically different that it's hard for people to wrap their minds around it."

AeroVironment was founded in 1971 and has built several lightweight aircraft over the years. It is now the largest provider to the U.S. military of small, hand-launched drones that soldiers use to see over hills or around other obstructions.

The Global Observer was built under a Pentagon demonstration program by 150 engineers and technicians at a company production facility in Simi Valley.

If AeroVironment lands a big production contract, it would be a major boost for Southern California's drone industry. That industry employs an estimated 10,000 people, fueled by at least $20 billion in Pentagon spending since 2001, with additional billions from the CIA and Congress.

The Pentagon has increasingly focused on drones because they reduce the risk of American casualties and because they can be operated for a fraction of the cost of piloted aircraft.

That has been a benefit to Southern California's aerospace industry, which has a hand in most of the drones being developed.

Century City-based Northrop is building the X-47B drone at Plant 42 in Palmdale under a $635.8-million contract awarded by the Navy in 2007.

Currently, combat drones are controlled remotely by a human pilot. With the X-47B, which resembles a miniature version of the B-2 stealth bomber, a human pilot designs a flight path and sends it on its way; a computer program would guide it from a ship to target and back.

"The X-47B represents game-changing technology that will allow American forces to project combat power from longer distances without putting humans in harm's way," said Paul Meyer, general manager of Northrop's Advanced Programs & Technology division.

Boeing's Phantom Ray is being built in St. Louis with engineering support from its Phantom Works facilities in Huntington Beach. The company does not have a contract; it is developing the drone at its own expense.

These aircraft may be several years away from service, but defense industry analysts say there is little doubt that they represent the wave of the future.

"We're entering an era that's similar to the jet age for aviation," said defense expert Peter W. Singer, author of "Wired for War," a book about robotic warfare. "These are capabilities that have never been fielded. The tests will point us in the direction of where we head next." [Hennigan/LATimes/10January2011] 

Cambodia Charges Two Detained Thais with Espionage. Cambodia has charged two Thai nationals with espionage, in a move that could reignite a diplomatic row.

They were among seven Thai politicians and activists charged with illegal entry after crossing into a disputed border area in December.

Cambodian officials cited "new evidence" for bringing the additional spy charges against two of the men.

Ties between Cambodia and Thailand, fractured by a border dispute, have only recently been repaired.

"According to new evidence the authorities have gathered, we also charged two of them with attempting to gather information which affects national defence," Cambodian prosecutor Sok Roeun said.

Espionage carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in Cambodia.

Thailand's Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has insisted the men "meant no harm", and the foreign ministry is seeking their release on bail.

The Thai group were arrested on 29 December and charged with illegal entry and trespassing on a restricted military zone in Cambodia.

Analysts are watching the current case closely, as several of those detained are members of the "yellow-shirt" People's Alliance for Democracy.

This group has made nationalism, and in particular border disputes with Cambodia, a key part of its political platform.

Yellow-shirt activist Veera Somkwamkid has been charged with espionage, as well as his secretary Ratree Pipatanapaiboon, the Bangkok Post reported.

Another of those detained for trespassing is a member of parliament from Thailand's governing Democrat Party, Panich Vikitsreth.

The border issue is a flashpoint for the two neighbours. In recent years there have been sporadic exchanges of fire in areas around a disputed hill-top temple that both sides claim.

Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen had also angered the Thai government by giving an advisory role to ousted Thai leader Thaksin Shinawatra.

But three Thais held for trespassing were recently returned to Thailand without fuss. [BBC/10January2011] 

Intel Science Board on "The New S&T Landscape." The diminishing U.S. lead in various scientific disciplines related to national security has posed a particular challenge for U.S. intelligence agencies, according to a newly released 2006 report of the Intelligence Science Board.

"While the overall effect of a declining S&T [science and technology] position on the United States remains the subject of debate, there can be no debate concerning its enormous impact on the Intelligence Community," the report said. "Today's collection and analysis needs... require an entirely new approach to increasing the contribution of S&T to the intelligence enterprise. Neither the Intelligence Community nor the S&T

establishment has put forth viable strategies for accomplishing this change."

The authors endorse the creation of the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), which was in fact established. Otherwise, the report is largely derivative of previous studies on similar topics, and is mostly devoid of original analysis 

The Intelligence Science Board, which was disestablished last year, provided independent science advice to the Director of National Intelligence. Its most important and influential product was a 2006 report entitled "Educing Information: Interrogation: Science and Art," on the weak scientific basis for prisoner interrogation practices. [SecrecyNews/10January2011] 

Texas Board Probing Psychologist's Work for CIA. The Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists is moving forward with an inquiry based on a complaint against licensee Jim Mitchell, one of two psychologists who oversaw the use of harsh interrogation techniques on terrorists in overseas CIA prisons. Former U.S. intelligence officials say Mitchell repeatedly subjected terror suspects to waterboarding.

The investigation is based on a complaint that was lodged against Mitchell in June. Board executive director Sherry Lee said Tuesday she couldn't comment. However, a document obtained by The Associated Press shows an informal settlement conference has been scheduled for Feb. 8. 

A woman who answered the phone listed for Mitchell refused to comment.  [Robins&Goldman/Forbes/12January2011] 

Gates Says US, China Spies Offer Model for Military Ties. US Defense Secretary Robert Gates, a former chief of America's top spy agency, said Tuesday that US and Chinese intelligence services cooperate more than the two countries' armed forces.

Asked at a briefing in Beijing if ties between intelligence agencies could serve as a model for improving strained US-China military relations, the CIA veteran said: "The way I would put it is that I had an association with certain relationships that remain largely unaffected, as I used the term yesterday, by shifting political winds.

"I would like to see the military-to-military relationship in the same category."

His comments marked a rare public acknowledgment of long-standing, behind-the-scenes communications between leading intelligence officers in both countries, despite strains that have repeatedly disrupted US-China military relations.

China in recent years has suspended defense contacts over US arms sales to Taiwan, but during his visit this week to Beijing Gates appealed for a permanent security dialogue that would not be linked to "shifting political winds."

During the Cold War, Gates rose through the ranks as an analyst to become a senior official at the Central Intelligence Agency, eventually serving as its director from 1991 to 1993. [AP/12January2011] 

German Court Sentences Two Libyan Men to Jail for Espionage. A German court sentenced two Libyan men to prison for spying, one of whom oversaw a network of informants seeking information on opposition figures in Germany and western Europe.

Abdel A., an officer for the Libyan intelligence service who was convicted of running the network, was sentenced to two years and six months in prison, the Berlin court said today in an e-mailed statement. Adel Al, an informant who delivered information to A., was sentenced to a year and 10 months.

The two were convicted of working as spies for the government of Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi from August 2007 until they were taken into custody on May 13 last year, the court said.

Last September, German authorities arrested a 45-year-old man, identified as Omar K., suspected of involvement in the Libyan espionage network. [Donahue/Bloomberg/12January2011] 

Libya Arrests Two Berbers for Spying. Two members of Libya's Amazigh Berber minority have been arrested for espionage, the country's security service said on Tuesday, responding to claims by Amnesty International.

Twin brothers Mazigh and Maghris Bouzahar, accused of "spying for a foreign intelligence agency" have been arrested and are being investigated by the state prosecutor, Libya's intelligence agency said on its website.

On Thursday, Amnesty urged Tripoli to "immediately clarify the whereabouts and legal status of four men - two Libyan and two Moroccan nationals - held in Libya seemingly in connection with Amazigh cultural or academic activities."

The London-based rights watchdog "expressed concerns that the four men might be held solely on account of their... Amazigh language and culture, in which case they would be prisoners of conscience."

Amnesty said that the Bouzahar brothers were arrested on December 16 at their Tripoli home by intelligence officers who later "confiscated a number of items, including all books related to Amazigh culture and a computer."

It identified the Moroccans as researchers from The Royal Institute of Berber Culture - Al Mahfouz Asmari and Hassan Ramou - and said their families lost contact with them on December 19, after they had travelled to Libya from Tunisia.

Libya's security services rejected Amnesty's "allegations" and confirmed that the two Moroccans were freed "out of respect to Moroccan officials".

The Libyan security service said it was "well aware that foreign intelligence agencies use research - be it academic, historic, archaeological or cultural - as cover for their activities."

In June, Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi repeated denials that the Amazigh Berber minority resides in his country, stating that these tribes "disappeared and no longer exist."

Amazigh - which means "free men" in the Berber language - represent 10 percent of Libya's population and have been demanding recognition ever since Kadhafi seized power in 1969. [AP/12January2011] 

South Korea and Japan Discuss First-Ever Military Agreement. In a controversial move, Japanese Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa and South Korean Defence Minister Kim Kwan-jin held talks in Seoul on Monday over the first-ever military agreements between the two countries.

The two agreements, which are yet to be finalized, involve the sharing of military intelligence - a General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) - and mutual servicing and supplying for UN peacekeeping operations or "humanitarian" missions. Although the two agreements are symbolic, they represent a significant step toward closer security ties. According to the Asahi Shimbun newspaper, a GSOMIA deal would allow South Korea to become part of US-Japan ballistic missile defense framework.

Both countries are US allies and are neighbors, but there has been virtually no bilateral military cooperation. Within South Korea, deep popular suspicion and resentment persists over Japan's brutal colonial rule of the peninsula from 1910 to the end of World War II in 1945. Successive postwar Japanese governments have never seriously addressed the crimes committed during the 1930s and 1940s in Korea and other Asian countries.

The chief driving force for closer Japanese-South Korean military ties is the Obama administration. Over the past 18 months it has aggressively sought to undermine China's rising influence in Asia. Since US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declared in mid-2009 that the US was "back to Asia," Washington has been strengthening formal alliances with Japan, South Korea and Australia, as well as cultivating stronger ties with countries such as India and Vietnam, in order to tighten a strategic encirclement of China.

A triangular alliance of the US, Japan and South Korea possesses obvious strategic advantages for the US against China. Both South Korea and Japan are near China, possess an advanced military-industrial base and house a large US military presence.

Tentative steps toward closer military relations have already taken place. Last July, when US and South Korea carried out a large-scale joint naval exercise in the Sea of Japan, Japanese naval officers were sent as observers for the first time. The pretext for the exercise was North Korea's alleged sinking of a South Korean warship in March. The war games took place despite Chinese concerns.

Both South Korea and Japan were quick to deny that Monday's talks were directed against China. A South Korean defense ministry statement claimed the discussions involved "ordinary exchanges and are completely unrelated to any move to keep China in check." Instead, the ministry declared that North Korea's "provocative acts," including an artillery exchange between the Koreas in November, were "unacceptable and seriously disturb the peace and stability" of North East Asia.

The US has encouraged a hard-line stance by South Korea, which held a series of live-fire exercises last month that threatened to trigger a conflict. Washington actively undermined diplomatic efforts by China and Russia to ease the tensions on the Korean Peninsula and has repeatedly accused China of failing to curb Pyongyang's "rogue" behavior.

On Monday, South Korea rejected North Korea's latest offer of unconditional talks to end the present standoff and improve relations. The snub is based on an agreement reached by the US, Japan and South Korea last month not to engage with Pyongyang unless it accepts their dictates on a range of issues, including its nuclear program.

As the Japanese and South Korean defense ministers met, US Defense Secretary Robert Gates was heading for China, before visits to Japan and South Korea. Yesterday, Gates upped the pressure on North Korea, and thus China, by declaring that Pyongyang's nuclear and ballistic missile programs were "becoming a direct threat to the United States". In a gross exaggeration of Pyongyang's capacities, he asserted that North Korea could have a missile capable of reaching the US within five years, even though its most recent long-range missile tests in 2006 and 2009 failed badly.

There are considerable political obstacles in both Japan and South Korea to closer military relations. An unnamed Japanese defense ministry official told the Asahi Shimbun that even providing logistical support to the South Korean military during a crisis on the Korean Peninsula would be "an issue to work on over the next 10 years". Japan is currently constrained by the so-called pacifist clause in its constitution that would ban such action by its military.

Within Japan, there is widespread opposition to the country's remilitarization and any involvement in US wars. Large protests erupted after Tokyo sent troops to assist the US-led occupation of Iraq in 2004 - the first overseas deployment to a war zone since World War II. Huge demonstrations took place last year after the ruling Democratic Party broke its election promise to remove a major US airbase from the Japanese island of Okinawa.

Japanese Prime Minister Nanto Kan, who came to office last May, after Yukio Hatoyama was forced to resign, strongly backed the US base remaining on Okinawa, and the US-Japan alliance. He was challenged within his own party, however, by Ichiro Ozawa, who reflected concerns in the ruling elite that Japan's ties with China - its largest trading partner - would be affected.

Similar issues face the right-wing South Korean government. President Lee Myung-Bak has taken an aggressive stance toward Pyongyang since coming to power in 2008. He brought to a virtual halt the previous "sunshine policy" to engage with North Korea and open it up to South Korean investors.

Lee's opponents, however, are disturbed at the prospect of a conflict with North Korea and the undermining of economic ties with China. An editorial in the Chosun Ilbo on January 5 insisted that Korean-Japanese military cooperation must be "limited." It warned that China was South Korea's largest trading partner and that it was not in "South Korea's best interests to be pushed to the forefront of the conflicting alliances in the region."

The Lee government has also avoided publicity of the defense talks with Tokyo, due to fear that the meeting would trigger protests. Small demonstrations erupted in front of the Japanese embassy in Seoul on Monday. Protestors distributed a statement opposing any Korean-Japanese military cooperation "without resolving the issue of Japan's past wrongdoing."

However, the push by the US for trilateral relations with South Korea and Japan will continue unabated, and will in turn contribute another destabilizing factor to the extremely tense situation in North East Asia. [Chen/WSWS/13January2011] 

Deadly Day in Afghanistan Includes Bombing in Kabul. A suicide bomber on a motorbike blew himself up Wednesday next to a minibus carrying members of Afghanistan's main intelligence service, killing at least two other people and injuring more than 30. It was the second bombing in the capital in eight days, a slight but worrying uptick in attacks in Kabul.

At almost the same time, a remote-controlled bomb killed the deputy intelligence chief and his driver in the eastern province of Kunar.

The dual attacks on intelligence officials coincided with a deadly day for Western troops in Afghanistan. Six members of the NATO force were killed by improvised bombs, five in the country's east, and one in the south. Their nationalities were not disclosed by the Western military, but Americans make up the bulk of troops in both those regions.

Adding to the turmoil, a spokesman for Afghanistan's attorney general said an investigation had been launched on possible wrongdoing at Kabul Bank, the nation's largest financial institution, which nearly collapsed last year and is now under the stewardship of the nation's central bank. Kabul Bank's major shareholders include a number of people close to President Hamid Karzai.

The Kabul explosion, which took place during morning rush hour on a crowded road in the western part of the city, came as Vice President Joe Biden was concluding a visit to Afghanistan. The vice president, who departed about 90 minutes after the blast, had traveled to an air base north of Kabul after meeting Karzai in the capital Tuesday.

The Taliban took responsibility for both bombings, and boasted that the one in Kabul had killed 14 people. It is not unusual for the movement to make exaggerated claims about an attack's effectiveness.

The head of the criminal investigation department for the Kabul police, Gen. Mohammad Zahir, identified the dead as an officer with the National Directorate of Security, the nation's premier intelligence service, and one civilian, in addition to the bomber. Six of the 32 injured were NDS personnel, he said, and the others were civilian bystanders.

The toll could rise, officials said, because at least two people suffered critical injuries.

The attack took place near the ruins of a former imperial palace, close to the city's main psychiatric hospital. Zahir noted that motorists usually try to avoid even honking their horns in the vicinity of the mental asylum, so as not to frighten or disturb the patients.

"But the person who committed such a harrowing and brutal incident in front of the psychiatric hospital can't be counted as human," he said. Half a dozen people in the building, including patients and medical personnel, were hurt by flying glass, though none seriously.

Karzai condemned the bombing, as did the U.S. Embassy and NATO's International Security Assistance Force.

Recently, Western military officials had pointed to a drop-off in attacks in Kabul, and linked that decrease at least in part to the success of targeted strikes against the Haqqani network, a Taliban offshoot based in Pakistan's tribal area of North Waziristan. The Haqqanis were responsible for a number of spectacular attacks in the Afghan capital in 2008 and '09.

Before last week's bombing in Kabul, which killed a policeman, an attack in December on a military bus on the city's outskirts killed five Afghan army personnel. That was the first major strike in Kabul since May, when a suicide bomber attacked a convoy carrying senior Western military officials, killing 18 people. The dead in that strike included six members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization force, several of them high-ranking officers.

It was not clear whether the Kabul attack was planned as a strike against the intelligence service or the minibus was a target of opportunity. The Afghan intelligence services are thought to have played a significant role in pinpoint strikes by Western and Afghan troops against midlevel Taliban commanders, which the NATO force says have damaged the movement's command structure. [King/LATimes/11January2011] 

Cuba Allows Visit with Jailed American "Spy." Cuba allowed a senior US official to visit in jail an accused American spy whose prolonged detention has become a major sticking point in efforts to work towards normalized relations.

Alan Gross, a 61-year-old State Department contractor, was arrested in December 2009 on suspicion he was a US spy who was distributing cell phones and laptops to opponents of President Raul Castro's communist regime.

Junior officials from the US mission in Havana have been allowed access to Gross, but Roberta Jacobson, deputy assistant secretary of state for Latin America, is by far the highest ranking official to meet him thus far.

"This morning Roberta Jacobson had the opportunity to meet with Alan Gross," State Department spokesman Philip Crowley told journalists in Washington.

"We remain very concerned about Mr. Gross's health, and it does bring a sense of urgency to why we believe very strongly he should be released as soon as possible."

US officials say Gross worked for a non-government organization contracted by the State Department to supply computer and communications equipment to civil society groups in Cuba.

Washington is protesting his detention and US officials point out that despite holding him for more than a year the Cuban government has yet to slap him with any formal charges.

Arturo Valenzuela, the top US State Department official for Latin America, said recently that Washington had made it "very clear" to Havana that it will be difficult to reach any major agreements as long as Cuba is holding Gross.

The United States cut off diplomatic relations with Cuba in 1961, two years after Fidel Castro assumed power after overthrowing the American-backed dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista.

Recent administrations in Washington have tried to isolate the Castro regime diplomatically while enforcing a 48-year trade embargo that Havana says has put a stranglehold on the island's economy.

Cuba lies just 90 miles (145 kilometers) off the Florida coast, but long gone are the menacing days of the Cuban missile crisis, when tensions over the island brought two nuclear-armed superpowers - the United States and the former Soviet Union - to the brink of war.

Raul Castro has announced plans to dramatically reform the Caribbean island's economy but until all political prisoners are freed and individual freedoms are increased, a major shift in US policy is unlikely.

US President Barack Obama has freed Cuban Americans to travel to Cuba and send remittances to relatives there. He also allowed telecommunications agreements to go forward and resumed a dialogue on immigration with Havana.

Regardless, Obama cannot lift the trade embargo unless Congress approves it, and with large Republican gains in November's mid-term elections, appetite for such a move is considered meager.

Lacking diplomatic relations, Havana and Washington do consult regularly on issues such as drug trafficking and illegal immigration.

Jacobson was in Havana for a fourth round of talks on immigration, which were relaunched at a meeting in New York in July 2009 after a six-year hiatus.

The senior official also met Thursday with top Cuban opposition figures, including Elizardo Sanchez who heads the Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation (CCHRNR).

The prominent opposition group is officially banned but is tolerated by the regime of Castro, who replaced his ailing brother Fidel at Cuba's helm in 2006 and was officially elected president two years later.

A similar meeting 16 months ago between the Cuban opposition and one of Jacobson's predecessors drew an angry response from Cuba's leaders but there was no immediate reaction on this occasion.

The immigration talks are aimed at promoting safe, legal and orderly migration between the two countries.

Cuba seeks to stem persistent illegal US-bound emigration of its nationals across the shark-infested Florida Straits. Washington in turn says Cubans want to flee the island seeking personal freedom and better economic opportunities.

The United States currently reserves an annual 20,000 visas for Cuban nationals. This particular rule has been in effect for 17 years.

In 2010, 442 Cubans were intercepted at sea, down from 799 in 2009 and 2,199 in 2008, according to the US Coast Guard. [AFP/13January2011] 

Jury Acquits Man of Spying for Iraq. A federal jury in Detroit acquitted an ex-Army translator of being a spy for Iraq, but convicted him of lying to investigators about his contacts with foreign government officials when he sought security clearance.

In the end, jurors weren't convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that Issam (Sam) Hamama, formerly of Sterling Heights, was a spy for the Saddam Hussein regime in the 1990s.

"There was not enough concrete evidence that he had knowingly and willingly" worked as a spy for Iraq, said juror Antoinette Monastiere of Roseville, who had never been on a jury before. "I was nervous, more nervous than you can imagine."

After the verdict, Hamama's lawyer, Haytham Faraj, put his arm around his client, who appeared upset about the conviction, as did his wife, who wiped her face with a tissue as she sat in the courtroom behind her husband. The couple said nothing.

Hamama faces up to five years in prison for making false statements to authorities about his past contacts with foreign government officials when he applied for a job as a government translator in Iraq in 2003.

Despite the conviction, though, Faraj expressed some relief at convincing the jury that his client was not a spy.

"We have been vindicated," Faraj said. "Lying is one thing, but they were accusing him of voluntarily working as a spy for a foreign country."

That, he stressed, wasn't true, "and the jury thought that as well."

The government had argued that Hamama betrayed the U.S. by failing to disclose his life as an Iraqi spy who went by the code name 6129, tracking U.S. activities and groups for years, and feeding information back to Iraq.

According to court records filed in U.S. District Court in Detroit, Hamama left Iraq in 1979 and lived in both Sterling Heights and El Cajon, Calif., before authorities caught up with him in 2008 in Bangor, Maine, where they arrested him over his alleged secret life. The government didn't know about Hamama's contacts with Iraqi officials until his name surfaced in documents seized after the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003. That same year, Hamama had applied to become a U.S. contract translator in Iraq, declaring that he had never had contact with foreign governments.

That, the government contends, was a lie.

Hamama, prosecutors said in court records, never disclosed that he was an agent for the Iraqi Intelligence Service (IIS), that he got paid by the Iraqi government for his work, that he had met IIS officials in Washington, and that he had collected information about people and groups in the U.S. who were of interest to the IIS, and shared the information with Iraq.

There was also a letter that Hamama wrote in 1991 to the Iraqi minister of the exterior, court documents show. In it, Hamama expressed his loyalty to Hussein, and offered to serve as an intermediary with an opposition group to "lessen the size and influence and activity of the traitorous counteracting Iraqi forces," prosecutors wrote in court documents.

During trial, Hamama's lawyer portrayed his client as a man who loves both the U.S. and Iraq, and whose activities have been wrongfully portrayed by the government. He said that while his client did have contact with Iraqi officials in the U.S., he did not know they were intelligence agents, but rather thought they were diplomats. He also told jurors that his client simply passed along benign information about Iraqi Christians in the U.S.

Hamama was not charged with feeding intelligence to Iraq when he worked as a U.S. military translator, but rather faced charges of conspiring to act as an unregistered agent, and making false statements on an application to become a contract translator. During trial, some witnesses praised him for his work in Iraq.

"I would trust my life" with Hamama, retired Lt. Col. James Oliver testified.

Hamama faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. He will be sentenced May 18.

After the verdict was read, Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Martin told U.S. District Court Judge Nancy Edmunds that he would seek a "significant" sentence for Hamama. He also asked if Hamama could be detained until he is sentenced, arguing that he's a flight risk. Edmunds rejected Martin's request and instead allowed Hamama to remain free on bond, with his wife, while he awaits sentencing.

Hamama has been free on bond since his arrest in 2008. [Baldas/DetroitFreePress/14January2011]

Web Host Go Daddy Shuts Down Pakistani Website over CIA Outing. Web hosting provider Go Daddy ( ordered the removal of a controversial article that included the name of a former CIA agent in Pakistan.

In the first week of January, Go Daddy presented PakNationalists with an ultimatum, threatening the webmasters that they "either remove the content" or they would move their website to another Web host in 48 hours.

Go Daddy warned the Pakistani website in an email that the "decision [to remove the content] is final, and is not up for debate."

The article discussed the potential court case against former CIA Islamabad station chief Jonathan Banks, who was accused of being behind the allegedly illegal drone attacks on areas of Pakistan.

The article was removed on January 5th but can still be viewed courtesy of the Google cache.

Since Banks was allegedly in Pakistan on a business visa he does not have diplomatic immunity from prosecution. The CIA reportedly pulled Banks from Islamabad after he received death threats.

Although the story was picked up by many large media outlets around the world, including several US websites, Go Daddy only ordered the Pakistani site to take down the article.

"We inquired as to who could have made this complaint," said Gulpari Nazish Mehsud, a volunteer with PakNationalists. "The US company won't give us a name, but it doesn't take a genius to guess who is making the complaint."  [Lee/WHIR/17January2011]


Nazi Revelations Stir Germany's Post-War Ghosts. What do you do with a nasty old Nazi? Let him stew in exile in South America or use him for the value he might still have?

The latter is what the secret services of post-war West Germany chose to do, according to Spiegel magazine.

The normally reliable news magazine reports that Klaus Barbie became an agent of the West German foreign intelligence agency when he was apparently in hiding in South America.

It has seen documents of the Bundesnachrichtendienst or BND, and these papers reveal that the "Butcher of Lyon" was helping German intelligence with information about his South American country of hiding even as he was on the run.

Barbie risked life in prison or even the death penalty had he been caught because he had been in charge of the deportation of Jews and others to death camps, including the ordering of the deportation of children from an orphanage.

He was eventually captured and put on trial in France, but Spiegel reports that long before that he was sending reports to the BND about the politics of Bolivia where he had become something of a figure in society under the false name, Klaus Altmann.

According to Spiegel, the BND recruited him in 1960 and was well aware of his true identity.

At least Barbie might have had a use, but how do you explain the similar case of Adolf Eichmann?

There is no evidence that this organizer of mass-murder became a post-war spy, but there is evidence that post-war German intelligence knew where he was - in Argentina - nearly a decade before Israeli intelligence captured him.

The German mass-circulation newspaper, Bild, petitioned the government in Berlin for files and these, once produced, showed that the BND located Eichmann in Argentina in 1952, eight years before he was kidnapped by agents from Mossad and taken to Israel where he was tried and hanged.

How do you explain the concealments? The harshest view is that post-war West Germany was not a complete break from its past.

Many people in post-war power had been Nazis who continued in official roles. The German foreign ministry, for example, has just published its official investigation and found that some diplomats did have a blood-stained past before 1945. And in this world, so the argument runs, sympathy for the Nazis meant precisely that.

According to this view, Germans tolerated Nazis because some post-war Germans were not repelled by their own country's past.

A more nuanced view is that as one war ended another one began and that the new battle was the one that had to be fought, and with whatever weapons - and personnel - were available.

With Germany defeated, the new threat to democracy was the Soviet Union so anybody who was useful in that fight was used, even if it was the Butcher of Lyon.

The United States used the rocket science developed to destroy British cities as the basis for its own space program.

Operation Paper Clip was set up by the US intelligence agencies to make sure scientists went West and not East. And so they did, including Wernher von Braun who designed the V2 (aimed at London) and the Saturn V (aimed at the moon).

In her book, The Cultural Cold War: The CIA and the World of Arts and Letters, Frances Stonor Saunders relates how even musical figures with a Nazi past (like the conductor Herbert von Karajan) were given an easy time for fear they would end up in the Russian sphere.

Many of the people involved are now dead and gone, from musicians who held party cards but who "merely" kept Berlin entertained to the active doers of genocide.

But revelation does still matter. Germany is still examining itself about what happened seven decades ago. There has been an outpouring of documentation, particularly since the fall of the Berlin Wall. And it is thought that Stasi files may yet reveal more details of the dark past of prominent figures.

So, the post-war accommodation of Nazis reaches down to us today. Some in the generation of 1968 justified their violence as a continued war against what they claimed to see as the continuation of the Nazi state because the Federal Republic had taken a soft-line on former Nazis other than the very highest echelons who were tried and executed.

Few take that view now and perhaps few did then. But there is a debate about when Germany might be able to become a "normal" state, one which remembers the horrors Germans perpetrated but which is not permanently damaged by the memory.

Towards that end, the flow of information about what really happened after the war and the debate it has prompted may be a sign of hope: Germany is facing up to its own ghosts. [BBC/17January2011]

Caribbean Cruise with Former CIA Chiefs. There's no such thing as an ex-spy. There are only spies who pretend they have retired. Or so they tell you. But I have yet to meet a retired spy who walked the dog and pruned the roses all day.

Take Bart Bechtel for instance - an ex-CIA operations officer, a specialist in domestic and international terrorism matters and a US Navy veteran with 31 years of espionage and counter-intelligence experience - a spy to his fingertips.

It was Bart Bechtel who decided to organize a seminar for spooks - past, present and future - and their wives, girlfriends and interested parties.

But instead of hiring a dreary university lecture hall in a Washington suburb, he invited students to come on a seven-day Caribbean cruise (for which they would pay) and spend most days on lectures, briefings and rubbing shoulders with the principal speakers.

And the big draws? Top of the bill were no less than Porter Goss, former head of the CIA from 2004-2006 and his successor Gen Mike Hayden who ran the super-secret National Security Agency (US equivalent of GCHQ - the UK's secret intelligence agency) for six years before taking over the CIA from 2006-2009. He is the highest ranking and most senior former spy still alive in the US.

This pair were guest lecturers but they were also, in a sense, trapped onboard ship, therefore journalistically accessible in a way that had me scurrying to join the cruise and spend private time with these significant masters of the secret world.

Can you imagine their British equivalents joining a huge 2,000-strong cruise ship, mixing with ordinary passengers, spending hours of face-time with reporters, and speaking frankly about such walking-on-broken-glass subjects as targeted assassinations, water-boarding, the torture of enemy combatants, and extraordinary rendition? I wouldn't hold my breath.

"This is not a pleasure trip for me," Porter Goss told me. "This is a trip to spread the message about how important the intelligence function is."

And what about their personal security on board Holland America's giant cruise ship, Eurodam?

"The agency knows when I travel, they're alerted to that," Gen Hayden explained. "I suspect they do what it is they think appropriate, but I don't have to know about that."

In other words, there were bodyguards but no-one knew who or where they were. But they were there unseen, minding at sea and on land for tourist excursions.

The spook seminars with about 120 students took place in three dedicated lecture rooms on the promenade deck, spaces squeezed between the huge ship's shopping mall and an even larger casino area where the one-arm-bandits sang out day and night.

For Bart Bechtel, this was a golden opportunity to proselytise. "The intelligence community is under attack, badly understood, the civil libertarians are trying for scalps. There are all kinds of indignities."

There was an uneasiness about President Barack Obama and liberal Democrats in general.

"Our commitment to war is a little uneven at this point. The fact of the matter is we are at war but it's not evenly understood."

Bart Bechtel and the other sponsors of the seminar - Henley-Puttnam, an online university that offers postal and internet degrees in several disciplines of espionage including counter-terrorism - were keen to drum home the message at every opportunity.

So we had talks and confidential briefings on Iran, Hamas, Israel, Pakistan, rogue states, failed states, al-Qaeda and a host of other threats to national and international security.

And all this happened as 1,900 fellow tourists ate, drank, gambled and danced around us. Bizarre.

My role, as a defense and intelligence reporter and writer, was to show a couple of my BBC TV Panoramas to the audience and take questions.

It was also to make a documentary for Radio 4 and, to this end, both Porter Goss and Mike Hayden came willingly to my cabin and spoke freely (where were those bodyguards? how come I never spotted them?) but with occasional and justifiable caution about the spy business and especially the CIA's hugely controversial role as a new paramilitary force since 9/11.

On shore excursions, both former spy chiefs merged imperceptibly with fellow tourists. I was part of a tourist group with Mike Hayden that wandered lazily around the old town of San Juan in Puerto Rico.

The general wore a large-brimmed baseball hat, pulled well down over his forehead, and became unrecognizable.

But back on board, both men spoke freely to those tourists who recognized them. Gen Mike Hayden explained why he felt a need to be open.

"We exist in a society that distrusts secrecy and power most of all. In order to be successful espionage services have to be only two things - secretive and powerful. So you've got that cultural tension and I feel a certain sense of responsibility to try to defuse that."

Other guest speakers and lecturers at the seminar included a clutch of old Cold War warriors.

Some had formed a private spy agency to report in Southern Lebanon on the military activities of Hezbollah and its Syrian allies.

Others have made it their business to publicize every possible threat the West faces.

Even Gen Hayden is deeply pessimistic about the situation with Iran and remains "pretty certain" that unless there are fundamental changes very soon, the West will have no choice but to use what he gently describes as "the kinetic option".

Among the paying passengers who formed their audience on the cruise were a novelist, a soccer coach who wanted to be a spy and a National Security Agency worker whose wife bought him the cruise as a present.

"We have to buckle down - many Americans - their heads are in the sand," one told me.

All had a special interest in the security of the US. "I'm just sorry that more members of my country don't get involved," another lamented. "They simply don't participate. They watch television."

Obama supporters were in short supply - I found only one in 120 people. The seminar was no place for beards, sandals, liberals or Wikileakers.

But I admire Mr. Bechtel's initiative in sugaring the pill of a fairly politicized seminar with a general jolly around the sunny Caribbean on a luxurious liner.

Who says spies can't have some fun too? [Tom Mangold was Panorama's senior reporter until 2003. He is now a freelance journalist and author. His documentary Ship of Spies will be broadcast on Radio 4 at 1030 GMT on Saturday 15 January.]  [Mangold/QuestionEverything/14January2011] 

CIA Honors Civil Rights Heroes. Most would not consider civil rights the top concern of the nation's spies, but it was standing room only this week as hundreds gathered in the Central Intelligence Agency auditorium attentively listening to speeches on the civil rights movement.

Even the CIA commemorates the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. It was one of several agencies remembering the civil rights hero in advance of the federal King holiday on Monday.

Director Leon Panetta told the intelligence officers it is just as important today that all Americans follow the message of King, that "unless we provide equality to all, regardless of race, regardless of color or creed or gender or disability or sexual orientation, that none of us truly can be free."

Panetta called on everyone to rededicate themselves to the American dream King fought and died for, "an America of, by and for all people."

Panetta recounted his own lifelong commitment to the civil rights movement, from his days on Capitol Hill working on landmark civil rights legislation, to his service as the director of the U.S. Civil Rights office, to his time as President Clinton's chief of staff trying to protect affirmative action.

The CIA director then introduced the guest of honor, Nikki Giovanni, an acclaimed black poet and educator, whom he compared to King.

"It is very fitting that we celebrate the life of Dr. King - a great orator, poet, activist, teacher and leader - with words of wisdom from another great orator, poet, activist, teacher and leader," Panetta said.

Giovanni took the stage and immediately grabbed the attention of her audience by proclaiming, "I'm a big fan of slavery." While acknowledging slavery is bad, Giovanni said black Americans have an incredible history, having come through the period of slavery with their sanity intact.

"Every day I wake up and say I'm so damn glad I'm black," Giovanni said.

With passion and humor, Giovanni then explored a pivotal moment in the civil rights movement that didn't focus on King, but rather on Rosa Parks, the black woman whose refusal to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama, bus in 1955 brought the national spotlight on the injustice of segregation and led to a change in the law.

"I'm a big fan of Martin, but ... where would Martin be without Rosa?" said the longtime Virginia Tech professor, who wants to see December 1 designated as Rosa Parks Day.

Giovanni, who was a friend of Parks for more than 20 years, shared her impressions and some personal stories about the civil rights icon.

She described Parks as a positive person with a sense of humor, always polite, a real Southern woman. She said Parks had an incredibly soft voice which just seemed to carry. She recalled a phone conversation with Parks about a sentence she wrote in "Rosa," a children's book chronicling the bus standoff. Parks told her she liked the book, but questioned Giovanni's characterization of her as having "fiddled for a dime," a reference to Parks' trying to find 10 cents to pay the bus driver.

"I've never fiddled in my life," said Parks, to which Giovanni responded, "Mrs. Parks, you're going to fiddle in my book."

She marveled at Parks' calm as she waited for police to come arrest her, her refusal of the officers' suggestion that she give up her seat on the bus.

Giovanni said she told Parks it was good it was her, because if she had been in that position, "I would have said, 'Do I look like your mama's sister?' I would have had to say something. Then they would have had to hit me. Then someone would have said 'don't hit Nikki.' Then someone else would have pulled out a gun. It would have changed - totally different.

"Fortunately, it was Mrs. Parks."

Giovanni said Parks was a private person who kept her cards incredibly close. "She wouldn't be on Oprah talking about what she does and doesn't do," Giovanni joked.

She also referred to Parks as a beautiful woman and suggested actress Halle Berry would be a good choice to portray her.

Giovanni interspersed her remarks at the CIA with a spirited defense of black men.

She believed Raymond Parks, Rosa's husband, got a bad rap for excessive drinking. "Raymond didn't start drinking too much until someone started trying to kill his wife," Giovanni said, adding, "I get sick of people for picking on black men, because they are just people who are responding to things that are happening to them."

She maintained black men could never have started the Montgomery bus boycott that followed the arrest of Rosa Parks, because something "ugly" would have happened.

But she also is convinced the men were in a more difficult position than the women. They had to "go home and pray their wives would be OK - had to be the most difficult time in a black man's life."

Giovanni marveled at the ingenuity of the black maids who, when asked by the white people they worked for if they supported the bus boycott, would respond, "No ma'am, and I'm staying off those buses until this trouble is over."  [Benson/CNN/14January2011]


Who Killed the Iranian Physics Professors? In March of 1990, a Canadian ballistics expert by the name of Gerald Bull, who was suspected of being involved in developing Iraq's missile system, was murdered in Brussels, after being warned by a friend that the Israeli secret police, Mossad, was planning to kill him. To this day we do not know who killed Gerald Bull. The same fate might await the resolution of a number of cases in the past few years, where Iranian physics professors and scientists have been attacked and, in some cases, killed.

On November 29, 2010, there were two assassination attempts against Iranian nuclear scientists, Professors Majid Shahriari and Fereydoon Abbasi Davani. The former, Shahriari, did not survive. Both attacks were carried out by men on motorcycles, as most news media reported. Also, as many media outlets reported, Iran swiftly blamed the CIA and Mossad for the attacks. AFP, on November 30, 2010, quoted President Ahmadinejad as saying: "One can undoubtedly see the hands of Israel and Western governments in the assassination which unfortunately took place... the Zionist regime this time shed the blood of university professor Dr. Majid Shahriari to curb Iran's progress." Israel's foreign ministry "declined to comment," AFP reported.

The name of the surviving scientist, Abbasi Davani, appeared among the "Persons involved in nuclear or ballistic missile activities" in the 2007 UN Resolution 1747 against Iran. Actually, his name was the first on the list and he was identified as the "scientist with links to the Institute of Applied Physics, working closely with Mohsen Fakhrizadeh-Mahabadi." The second name on the list, Fakhrizadeh-Mahabadi, was identified as the senior scientist and former head of the Physics Research Centre (PHRC). "The IAEA," the resolution read, "have asked to interview him about the activities of the PHRC over the period he was head but Iran has refused."

After the November attacks, the Israeli media made similar speculation as to who was behind the attack. For example, on November 30, 2010, Yossi Melman, a senior commentator for Haaretz, stated in an article in The Independent: "No organization claimed responsibility but it is obvious, not just because of accusations by Iranian officials and Iran's media, that Israel was behind it. Most experts who follow Middle East politics and Mossad history would agree." Melman speculated that these attacks are "part of the endless efforts by the Israeli intelligence community, together with its Western counterparts including Britain's MI6 and America's CIA, to sabotage, delay and if possible, to stop Iran from reaching its goal of having its first nuclear bomb."

As Melman noted, the attacks were "at least the fourth attempt to assassinate Iranian scientists linked with the country's nuclear program in four years" and "there were probably other attempts which did not hit the headlines." "The attribution to Mossad," according to Melman, "is not because of the use of motorcycles, though in the past Mossad has been involved in similar operations." "It has more to do," Melman went on to say, "with the policy of Mossad to deal a blow to Iran's nuclear program. On top of assassinating nuclear scientists to terrorize others and force some to quit, it is believed that Mossad was also behind penetrating Iranian purchasing networks and selling them flawed equipment of its nuclear enrichment centrifuges and most recently by planting a virus which has damaged the nuclear computers at Natanz."

Similar speculation about who was behind the sabotage and assassinations in Iran appeared elsewhere. For instance, on November 30, 2010, The Jerusalem Post referred to a report in the French newspaper Le Canard and stated that according to the "French intelligence sources," acts of sabotage and assassinations that were "carried out in the past year in Iran were conducted by Israel with the help of the CIA and MI6." The sabotage, the report went on to say, included "the introduction of the Stuxnet computer virus into 30,000 computers in Iran's nuclear reactors and explosions in October in which 18 Iranian technicians were killed at a factory in the Zagros mountains that manufactured Shihab missiles." The assassinations, according to the report, were conducted by "Mossad in cooperation with the American and British intelligence agencies."

There were also rumors in some Iranian news media, as well as some foreign news sources, that the US designated terrorist organization Mujahedeen Khalq-e Iran or MEK [MKO, National Council of Resistance, and various other names used by the organization] was also behind the assassinations. For example, Iranian Students News Agency stated on December 1, 2010, that the "monafeghin," a code name for MEK, had admitted that they had "played a role" in the attack. In this report they referred to some MEK documents that appeared on the website of "Habilian Center," a group that claims to be a non-governmental organization fighting terrorism in Iran.

On December 1, 2010, AP also reported that according to Iran's defense minister, Israel had enlisted members of MEK to carry out such attacks. Indeed, on November 30, 2010, Fars News Agency quoted Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi as saying: "This inauspicious act was sponsored by the Zionist regime and in coordination with the western intelligence agencies, the US and Britain in particular, and was carried out by MKO [MEK] hirelings."

Confirming all such news, particularly the role that MEK might have played in the attack, is difficult. However, as I mentioned in my 2008 book, The United States and Iran: Sanctions, Wars and the Policy of Dual Containment, as well as a forthcoming book, MEK has worked closely with the Israelis in the past, often acting as a conduit for them. Indeed, the most important and the only correct piece of information that this organization has ever made public-namely, the August 14, 2002 announcement that Iran has been building two nuclear facilities-was supplied to them by the Israelis, as I have argued in my book. The organization has also posted on the web, on a number of occasions, the names and addresses of some university professors or nuclear scientists in Iran, including Drs. Fereydoon Abbasi Davani and Mohsen Fakhrizadeh-Mahabadi. For instance, on November 19, 2004, the website "Iran Focus" posted a piece under "Verbatim: Opposition cites new intelligence on Iranian laser enrichment." The piece referred to the "text of a press conference" held in Paris by Mohammad Mohaddessin, the "chairman of the NCRI [National Council of Resistance] of Iran Foreign Affairs Committee." In his talk, Mohaddessin accused Iran of "using advanced laser technology to secretly enrich uranium and of lying to the United Nations nuclear watchdog body about the covert program." Like many other such claims by MEK, this assertion was false. But in his press conference Mohaddessin referred to the Center for the Development of Defense Technology and stated:

The center is run under the supervision of Dr. Fereydoon Abbasi, a Ministry of Defense laser specialist and one of the few experts in separation of isotopes. He is also in charge of the nuclear training and research at the Ministry of Defense. Dr. Abbasi plays a key role in the Ministry of Defense's elaborate concealment program to keep the regime's nuclear activities secret and deceive IAEA inspectors.

He concluded his talk by listing the names of "laser experts" working for the Iranian Department of Defense. The names included Mohsen Fakhrizadeh-Mahabadi and other colleagues of Professor Abbasi Davani.

It is interesting to note that in fall 2010 and winter 2011, and even throughout the period when MEK's name was in the news for a possible link to the attack on the Iranian nuclear scientists, there was a feverish campaign in the US to remove the MEK from the US list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations. On November 16, 2010, six Members of Congress signed such a letter addressed to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The letter, signed by Representatives Bob Filner, Dana Rohrabacher, Ted Poe, Judy Chu, Ed Towns and Mike Coffman, highlighted House resolution 1431, introduced by Bob Filner, which called for the MEK's removal from the US list of terrorist organizations. On December 17, 2010, AP reported that in a symposium in Washington several "Bush-era officials" have "urged the Obama administration to strike an Iranian opposition group [MEK] from a terrorism blacklist and support regime change in Iran." The officials listed were Tom Ridge, John Bolton, Frances Townsend and Michael Mukasey. Mukasey, the former attorney general under Bush, was quoted as saying: "We should take off the list of terrorist organizations the one group [MEK] that is devoted to restoring freedom in Iran."

The Christian Science Monitor, which also reported the same event, quoted Mukasey as saying that the "the regime in Tehran" is at the "center" of an "Islamism that threatens civilization as we know it" (December 19, 2010). On December 23, 2010, The Washington Post reported that at a rally in Paris organized by the "French Committee for a Democratic Iran, a pressure group formed to support MEK," former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani, former secretary of homeland security Tom Ridge, former White House homeland security adviser Frances Fragos Townsend and former attorney general Michael Mukasey "demanded that Obama instead take the controversial Mujaheddin-e Khalq (MEK) opposition group off the U.S. list of foreign terrorist organizations and incorporate it into efforts to overturn the mullah-led government in Tehran." "The United States should not just be on your side," Giuliani was quoted as saying, it "should be enthusiastically on your side. You want the same things we want."

On January 10, 2011, Iran's Minster of Intelligence, Heidar Moslehi, announced that "more than 10 people" linked to the Mossad were arrested in connection with last year's killing of a nuclear physicist (AP). The case referred to the assassination of Dr. Masoud Ali Mohammadi, a professor of physics at Tehran University, who was killed by a bomb-rigged motorcycle that exploded outside his house as he was leaving for work in January 2010. An individual was shown in a video confessing to Professor Ali Mohammadi's murder after getting training in Israel. Some people in Iran, including the wife of the assassinated professor, were satisfied with the investigation and found the confession credible. But the opponents of the Iranian government appeared to be skeptical, especially some members of the Green movement who had tried earlier to portray the government as a suspect in the killing, since Ali Mohammadi appeared to be a supporter of the opposition leader Mir-Hossein Mousavi. Indeed, one of the main organs of the opposition movement interviewed Professor Ali Mohammadi's wife and, without much success, tried to shake her confidence in the confession. The Israeli analysts, too, appeared to be skeptical of the Iranian government's announcement that those responsible for the assassination have been captured.

Also skeptical that the murder case of Professor Ali Mohammadi has been solved were the Sherlock Holmeses of this world, who have followed closely this and similar cases in the past. They still remember the unresolved case of Gerald Bull's murder more than two decades ago. [Sasan Fayazmanesh is Professor Emeritus of Economics at California State University, Fresno. He is the author of The United States and Iran: Sanctions, Wars and the Policy of Dual Containment]. [Fayazmanesh/Payvand/17January2011] 

The Successful Secret Service You Never Hear About. France is expanding its intelligence operations, with its main intel agency getting a budget boost while many government agencies are being cut. Recruiting has been increased, and the emphasis is getting people who can help maintain the French edge over the many Islamic terrorists who have settled down in France. This expansion will leave DGSE (the French CIA/MI6/Mossad/SVR equivalent) with about ten percent more personnel (and a total strength of a bit over 5,000.)

The DGSE, like its British counterpart (MI-6), keeps a low profile. But DGSE has been very effective. France believes it is better organized and equipped, than Britain and most other European nations, to deal with Islamic terrorism. There are three main reasons for this attitude. First, France has a government system that concentrates much power at the center (like most European states), and there are few legal constraints concerning individual rights (in sharp contrast to the United States, Britain and Germany.) French law is fundamentally different. If accused, you are guilty until proven innocent. French prosecutors operate much like police commanders, deploying investigators and police during the investigation and prosecution of cases. This different attitude also enables French intelligence agencies to operate with more speed and efficiency. This efficiency is also the result of reforms, begun the late 1990s, to unify and streamline the many intel agencies in the French government.

The French also believe that their century of experience dealing with Arabs in North Africa, even though they abandoned their last colony there, Algeria, in the 1960s, gives them better insights and skills. At least when it comes to dealing with Islamic radicalism.

Finally, France has had to deal with some very active Algerian terrorist groups over the last decade. These groups were more effective in France because of the millions of Arabs living in the country. Many of these Arabs support Islamic radicalism, and have provided cover, and other assistance, to Islamic terrorists.

The French believe that invading Iraq was a mistake, because it just stirred things up with the Arabs (in France, and throughout the Middle East.) Part of this is the usual French arrogance, blindly believing that whatever methods they have developed must be the most efficient, and that any other approach is obviously second best and defective.

Islamic terrorists have not pulled off an attack in France since 1996. However, despite their smugness, the French are alarmed at the growing threat from among their own Arab and Moslem immigrant population. But this is a problem that has been growing for decades, and France has not been able to come up with a solution. Unlike the United States, France does not encourage assimilation as much. Thus, while France has better tools to deal with terrorists, the United States supposedly has a better social system to prevent them in the first place (but this might change as the numbers of Muslims increase). Thus the United States can go into Iraq and cause far less danger back home. This, of course, makes the French furious. Invading Iraq may help the United States in the long run, but it just causes more problems for France, and other European nations, in the short term. [And in the long run, we all lose by stirring up the Muslim hornets' nest of intolerance.] [Dunnigan/StrategyPage/12January2011] 

Freeing Pollard Would be a Terrible Mistake. In September, Britain's Guardian newspaper reported that filmmaker Michael Moore had launched a campaign to free Pfc. Bradley Manning, who has been accused of providing most, if not all, of the classified documents being revealed on WikiLeaks. Mr. Manning has not yet been charged with a crime.

At the same time, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced that he will soon, again, seek the release to Israel of Jonathan Pollard, an American citizen employed by U.S. naval intelligence, who was convicted in 1987 of espionage on behalf of Israel and sentenced to life in prison.

Mr. Pollard has admitted that he received thousands of dollars in cash and valuables as well as a monthly salary from the Israelis. According to the Naval Criminal Investigative Service agent who led the Pollard investigation, interrogated Mr. Pollard and obtained his confession, Mr. Pollard sold or attempted to sell information to other governments (South Africa and Pakistan, for example). Ultimately, he accepted a plea bargain with the U.S. government that he would be sentenced to up to life in prison for "conspiracy to deliver national defense information to a foreign government."

Mr. Pollard was given Israeli citizenship in 1995. In 1998, the Israeli government confirmed Mr. Pollard's activities. There is absolutely no question that he committed espionage. Clearly, he is a mercenary who was prepared to sell U.S. secrets to anyone who would pay.

Mr. Pollard's case aside, we need to ask ourselves: Why are the Israelis running espionage operations against us? Are we not their absolute best friends? Do we not support them with every gift one nation can give to another?

The American intelligence community's approach to Israel has been hands-off. From the creation of the CIA in 1947, CIA operations officers were absolutely forbidden to target or cultivate for recruitment any Israelis. We were their closest ally and friend on the planet. They kept nothing from us. There was, therefore, no need to collect intelligence clandestinely through human sources.

But Israel did not share that point of view. It clearly was running recruitment operations against us throughout the post-war period. FBI officers told us in the early 1970s that there were Mossad officers all over the country in official and non-official positions who were actively recruiting Americans. Numerous sources here indicate that Mossad is more active recruiting Americans today than ever before.

It seems logical that Mr. Manning will be prosecuted, despite what Michael Moore wants. This is an entirely internal U.S. matter.

The Pollard case is the same - yet it is totally different. Mr. Pollard is an American who broke U.S. law, was convicted and incarcerated. It is not an internal political group that seeks his release, as in the Manning case, but a foreign government that has acknowledged that it runs intelligence operations against us.

What would happen if the U.S. were to accede to Mr. Netanyahu's request to free Pollard? This is not like the recent return of Russian national sleeper agents to Russia. Mr. Pollard is an American citizen. Among many negative repercussions, we would be telling any current Americans who either are spying for Israel, or contemplating that activity, that there may be a way out if caught.

For Mr. Pollard to be released to Israel, he would have to be pardoned by President Barack Obama. What would the rationale be for a pardon for a self-confessed, mercenary spy? How would our president look to the rest of the world in the aftermath of such an action?

The unspoken question here is whether either the U.S. or Israel sees Mr. Pollard a bargaining chip for progress in the Middle East. If that is the case and America agrees to swap Mr. Pollard for, say, a one-year moratorium on settlements, it would be a terrible mistake. We would be prostituting our legal system for questionable goals that so far have proved unattainable.

In the end, a settlement moratorium and the two-state solution represent the only course of action open to Israel if it wishes to preserve itself as a democratic, Zionist state. It is a course that Israel has to want to follow for its own reasons - not one that is worthy of blackmail or bargaining over Mr. Pollard.

[Haviland Smith is a retired CIA station chief who served in Eastern and Western Europe and the Middle East, as chief of the counterterrorism staff and as executive assistant in the director's office. His e-mail is] [Smith/BaltimoreSun/12January2011]

It's Time for Intelligence to Prevail. We're not here to defend J. Edgar Hoover. But we should point out that he died in 1972.

Still, some who oppose Portland's return to full participation in the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force continue to act as if he were in charge. Despite the FBI's success in averting a would-be jihadist attack in Pioneer Courthouse Square last year, these critics speak as if the FBI were stuck in a time warp - all-but-destined to overreach and violate the rights of Americans.

That's unfair. Yet Thursday, Hoover's legacy reverberated powerfully when the City Council held an unusual meeting at Portland State University, designed a bit like a talk show.

Mayor Sam Adams and Commissioner Randy Leonard fanned out into the crowd of 200, bearing microphones and soliciting questions about whether the Portland police should rejoin the FBI task force.

While they netted some thoughtful comments, others were of a darker, more paranoid hue. "The FBI tells us it's changed," one person said, adding: Why are its headquarters in Washington, D.C. "still the J. Edgar Hoover Building?"

The averted attack during Portland's Christmas tree lighting ceremony has touched off a debate about the city's decision, six years ago, to withdraw from the task force. That withdrawal was, clearly, unwise. But the process set up by the mayor to help the council reach an answer is likely to be illuminating, nevertheless.

Stop and think about the practical consequences of erecting walls between the FBI and the local police, as Portland did in 2005. That only serves to make the federal agency more opaque, more remote and more inpenetrable to Portlanders - not more transparent.

The multi-agency task force is still operating here, after all, only without the daily participation of Portland officers. Agencies that are represented include the Oregon State Police; Port of Portland; Washington County Sheriff's Office; Internal Revenue Service; Department of Homeland Security; Immigration and Customs Enforcement; Federal Air Marshal Service; U.S. Secret Service; U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service; Federal Protective Service; and U.S. Attorney's Office.

In our view, everyone involved should be explicitly empowered to be whistle-blowers, if they're ever asked to engage in anything illegal. And from 2000 to 2004, in effect, that's pretty much the way it worked for the Portland officers in the group.

They operated under a Memorandum of Understanding that made an officer's duty to abide by local, state and federal laws explicit. The FBI has 56 field offices, or divisions, each of which is affiliated with a Joint Terrorism Task Force.

But Portland's is the only one now operating without a written understanding with the FBI. That makes Portland unique among major metropolitan areas - uniquely crippled and blindfolded, in our view.

Try as Adams did on Thursday, to keep the crowd in a neutral gear - neither clapping nor booing, but instead listening and weighing the value of each speaker's remarks - an applause-o-meter would have registered a tilt against police rejoining the FBI group.

But ask yourself: Does keeping a distance really diminish the potential for abuse - or make the task force, if anything, less responsive to Portlanders' concerns?

We think the answer, unequivocally, is the latter. The challenges we face demand greater - and more intelligent - collaboration, not less.

And be advised: Hoover has left the building. [OregonLive/15January2011]

Steps Could have been Taken to Avoid Arizona Tragedy. Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik reported that Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., was tragically shot in the head at point-blank range, or about from two feet. She did not have a chance to avoid the bullets meant for her and prevent the horrible massacre her town-hall attendees suffered. However, evidence gathered by Dupnik tells me that steps could have been taken to prevent this tragedy.

Yes! Congressional candidates and members have been saved by other sheriffs from flying bullets and gun-toting threateners.

In the summer of 1976, after I won the Republican nomination to run for the seat held by popular Rep. Norman Y. Mineta, D-San Jose, I was feeling good despite my obvious uphill underdog race during those Watergate-tainted times. While in a campaign meeting at my home, I heard a strange firecracker sound. The next morning that cracking sound turned into a real bullet lodged in my oldest daughter's bedroom inside wall. The investigating sheriff's deputy said that bullet came from the street in the back of my house, probably as a warning shot from someone driving a sports car.

After I was elected to Congress in 1986 I was flying high again. I braved my first 1987 town-hall meeting in Palo Alto, a known haven for the left, especially supporters of the communist Nicaragua government. My late chief of staff, former Sunnyvale Mayor Fred Logan, briefed me on my way home from the airport, revealing that law enforcement intelligence indicated that my life was in danger.

Two plainclothes detectives were assigned to protect me at the meeting. The pro-Nicaragua demonstrators did disrupt my presentation several times. To my delight, the pro-peace American citizens group also attending, led by a retired admiral, kept them in line by insisting on a democratic-style debate I was perfectly willing to lead.

A few months later, I was driving to a speech I was scheduled to make at Moffett Naval Air Station to the Tennessee Ernie Ford chapter of the Air Force Association. I was both a member of the association and a retired Air Force major. Even though my car had U.S. congressional plates, I was politely asked at the Moffett gate to step into the security building nearby. Inside, I was told again that my life may be in danger and asked whether I still wished to make the speech. After my chief of staff expressed satisfaction with the security precautions, I gave the speech without any problems.

Smiles and handshakes followed until Fred pulled me to the side. He reported that a woman who had reservations to my dinner speech and dressed in a National Guard uniform was arrested at the Moffett gate for trying to smuggle in a loaded rifle in the trunk of her car. With relief I can say nothing further was ever heard on this case.

That political leaders need to take prudent steps to protect themselves has been clear for centuries throughout the world. So what about congressional security? In reality, life-threatening danger to a member of Congress is not driven by political hate speech as lefty columnists like Paul Krugman or controversial television commentator Keith Olbermann would have you believe. They and Dupnik just try to use the Giffords tragedy to defame their chosen political targets, such as Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh, without proof. President Barack Obama strongly criticized such divisive finger-pointing.

The assassin danger is really created because political leaders force people or groups or governments to do things against their will. In the United States, ending slavery caused Lincoln's assassin to shoot. I believe opposing foreign governments were behind Lee Harvey Oswald's rifle that led to President John F. Kennedy's end. Sometimes for crazies, the simple display of political power through a speech or a town-hall meeting allows those feeling wronged to explode.

Not much can be done against the aims of psychotics. However, in my case, good law enforcement intelligence prevented bad outcomes. That's something Dupnik obviously did not provide sufficiently for the recovering Giffords or her dead and wounded town-hall attendees.

[Ernie Konnyu represented California's 12th congressional district from 1987-1989. He wrote this article for this newspaper.] [Konnyu/MercuryNews/15January2010]



Director for Intelligence and Operations Support for JACOBS TECHNOLOGY

Company: Jacobs Technology Inc. - Unified and Special Operations Group

Location: Tampa, FL

Minimum Experience: Greater than 15 years experience as an Intelligence Officer/Sr NCO within Army/Joint Special Operations Community or CIA.

Responsible for the management of intelligence and operational services task orders/contracts supporting the Special Operations,

Defense and Federal Agencies throughout CONUS/OCONUS.

Contact: Bob Yuill 813-282-3500 x 207 


Francis J. Madden, 81: NSA. Madden, a National Security Agency employee for more than 30 years, died Dec. 24 of cancer and pneumonia at FutureCare Old Court nursing home in Randallstown, Md. He had been a Beltsville resident.

Mr. Madden retired from the NSA in 1984 as an industrial production process specialist at Fort Meade.

Francis Joseph Madden was born in Altoona, Pa., and served in the Navy from 1947 until 1952. He moved to the Washington area when he began working for the NSA in the 1950s.

His marriages to Joan Ardinger Madden and Teresa Luscombe Madden ended in divorce.

Survivors include three children from his first marriage, Barbara Fine of Carlisle, Mass., Jeffrey Madden of Columbia and Jeanne Madden of Baltimore; and three grandchildren. [Brown/WashingtonPost/11January2011] 

William E. Seidel, CIA Analyst. William E. Seidel, 88, a CIA analyst who retired as a member of the intelligence community staff in 1979, died Dec. 22 at his home in Charlottesville after a heart attack.

He was a longtime resident of Alexandria before moving to Charlottesville in 1999.

Mr. Seidel joined the CIA in 1955 after serving in military intelligence during the Korean War.

His family said he became an expert on Russian missile technology at the CIA and spent a year in Frankfurt, West Germany, in the early 1960s interviewing defectors.

Toward the end of his career, Mr. Seidel worked as a budget analyst on the CIA's intelligence community staff.

Wallace Erwin Seidel was born in New York and was a 1948 history and political science graduate of Hobart College in Geneva, N.Y. He received a master's degree in political science from Columbia University in 1951.

He served in the Army during World War II, and his decorations included the Bronze Star Medal.

Survivors include his wife 68 years, Anna Anderson Seidel of Charlottesville; four children, Alfred Seidel of Boulder, Colo., Wesley Seidel of Ascot, England, Sandra Seidel of Charlottesville and Lisa Salinas of Viera, Fla.; and two grandsons. [Shapiro/WashingtonPost/12January2011] 

Joseph A. Colosi, CIA Economist. Joseph A. Colosi, 70, a research economist who worked for the CIA's Directorate of Intelligence from 1978 to 2008, died Jan. 2 at Sunrise assisted-living facility in Reston. He had dementia.

Dr. Colosi, a Manassas resident, volunteered at Catholic churches in Northern Virginia.

Joseph Anthony Colosi was a native of Niagara Falls, N.Y., and a 1962 graduate of Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service.

He received a master's degree in international relations from the University of Chicago in 1964 and a doctorate in economics from the University of Wisconsin in 1977.

In the mid-1960s, he served with the Peace Corps teaching English in the West African country of Guinea.

His marriage to Nancy Woodcock Colosi ended in divorce. A son from that marriage, Anthony Colosi, died in 2006.

Survivors include his wife of two years, Synthia Vega Montalvo of Sterling; two sons from his first marriage, John Colosi of Dulles and Peter Colosi of San Francisco; a sister; and a brother. [Bernstein/WashingtonPost/17January2011] 

Franklin 'Bud' Tucker. Franklin "Bud" Tucker, 87, a National Security Agency personnel officer from 1952 to 1994, died of a heart ailment Jan. 10 at a hospital in Ocala, Fla. He moved to Ocala from Columbia in 1997.

Mr. Tucker was a native of Albany, N.Y., and a 1947 history and journalism graduate of Syracuse University. He was an Army Air Forces veteran of World War II.

Survivors include his wife, Mary Lou Fletcher Tucker of Ocala, whom he married in 1967; and a son, Daniel Tucker of Arlington. [Bernstein/WashingtonPost/17January2011] 

Henry I. Ahearn. Henry I. Ahearn, 100, who retired in 1975 as one of the top civilian administrators with the old Defense Mapping Agency, died Dec. 22 at Avalon House assisted-living facility in McLean. He had complications from hip-replacement surgery.

Mr. Ahearn, a former Bethesda resident, spent 40 years with what was long known as the Army Map Service and then as the Defense Mapping Agency. It is now the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.

He began as a draftsman and became a chief executive assistant to top military officials running the agency.

Henry Irving Ahearn was a native Washingtonian and a 1928 graduate of Roosevelt High School.

He was a member of the Knights of Columbus and for many years was head usher at St. Jane Frances de Chantal Catholic Church in Bethesda.

He did volunteer work for Meals on Wheels and played in a duckpin bowling league in Bethesda.

His wife, Doris Kimball Ahearn, whom he married in 1944, died in 2002. Their daughter Laurie Ahearn died in 2000.

Survivors include five children, James Ahearn of Olney, Joni Normyle of Melbourne, Fla., Doug Ahearn of Leonardtown, Mike Ahearn of Damascus and Wendy O'Brien of Reston; a sister; 12 grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren. [Bernstein/WashingtonPost/14January2011] 

Coming Educational Events


MANY Spy Museum Events in 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.

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 – 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 for JORGE Scientific Corporation, and President of Strategic Engagement Group, on the 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:

Friday, 28 January 2011, 6 pm - Washington, DC - Dr. Don Arthur, Surgeon General, USN(Ret) on "Medical Diplomacy" at the Institute of of World Politics

DONALD C. ARTHUR, M.D., Senior Vice President for Medical Affairs, Chief Medical Officer, Main Line Health, served 33-years in the USN culminating as 35th Surgeon General. As Surgeon General, he was responsible for delivery of medical and dental services to over 700,000 active duty service members and 2.6 million retirees and family members. His oversight included 28 hospitals, 266 free standing clinics, 4 regional support offices, 6 research centers in 4 countries, and an annual budget of approximately $5B.
Dr. Arthur has been the Chief Executive Officer of two medical facilities: the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, MD, and the Naval Hospital in Camp Lejeune, NC. For five years, he was Chief of the Navy Medical Corps, responsible for personnel policies, recruiting, career planning, graduate medical education, research activities, and all other professional programs for the Navy's 6000 physicians.
Location: The Institute of World Politics, 1521 16th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20036
Please RSVP to

Sunday 30 January 2011, 6 pm - Lyndhurst, OH - AFIO N Ohio Buffet Dinner Meeting featuring COL John Alexander on "Geotransformational Trends and their Impact on the Practice of Intelligence." Meeting includes Election of Officers.
AGENDA:"Election of Officers "Report on AFIO National Symposium "Speaker - COL John Alexander "Please submit additional proposed Agenda items to as soon as possible.
WHERE: Bar Louie Lyndhurst Legacy Village Mall 24337 Cedar Road Lyndhurst, OH 44124 (216) 325-1120
COST: Chapter and AFIO Members and their guests $25.00; National AFIO Members and their guests $28.00 Non-Members $30.00
RSVP: Email to or phone the names of those attending to 440-424-4071 RSVP's will be considered firm.
Reservation needed by January 24, 2011

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, 6 pm - Las Vegas, NV - Lawrence Marino on "Are You A Target?" at AFIO LV Chapter Meeting.

Lawrence L. Marino, OCP, NSO OPSEC Manager, Security Awareness Supervisor, PAI Corporation
Contractor to the Nevada Site Office addresses the Roger E. McCarthy Las Vegas AFIO Chapter at Nellis Air Force Base Officers' Club. (Guest names must be submitted along with their birth date to me by 4:00 p.m., Thursday, January 27th. Please join us at 5 p.m. in the "Robin's Roost" bar area for liaison and beverages
OPSEC? OPSEC? We don't need no stinking OPSEC! There are many reasons you may be thinking this. Perhaps it's because you are retired or haven't dealt with intelligence information or classified in many years. Maybe it's because OPSEC only protects unclassified bits of information and all you've ever dealt with is SCI or codeword. Maybe it's because no one has ever really explained what OPSEC is really designed to do. I suggest that it may even be because you simply don't care about OPSEC or know what it can do to help you. Either way, we're gonna talk about OPSEC and what it can do for you regardless of which stage your career is in. You and I both know that each of you reading this and each of you present at this presentation is a target. The question now is; what can we do about it?
Mr. Marino is currently the Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration, Nevada Site Office Operations Security (OPSEC) Manager, where he dedicated 33 years to OPSEC, Intelligence Analysis, Communications Security and training.
Mr. Marino currently serves as President of the Operations Security Professionals Association (OSPA) Training Academy and is a current member of the OSPA Board of Directors and a past member of the OPSEC Professionals Society (OPS) Board of Directors. He is also the Chair of the Department of Energy Security Awareness Special Interest Group Steering Committee, President of his local Toastmasters Club and an OPSEC Certified Professional (OCP).
Dinner: You are welcome to arrive early and join us in the "Robin's Roost" bar area, inside the Officer's Club. The Robin's Roost has an excellent, informal dinner venue along with a selection of snacks. Water will be provided during the meeting, but you may also purchase beverages and food at the bar and bring them to the meeting. Once again, please feel free to bring your spouse and/or guest(s) to dinner as well as our meeting, but remember to submit your guest(s) names to me before the stated deadline above.
RSVP: If you are planning to attend the AFIO meeting on Wednesday, February 2, provide your name and birth date to Mary Bentley, Event Coordinator, at asap. Your info must arrive before 4 p.m., Thursday, January 27, 2011, to be included on Nellis access list. If you have guests, provide their name and DOB.
LOCATION: The Officers' Club at Nellis Air Force Base. All guests must use the MAIN GATE located at the intersection on Craig Road and Las Vegas Blvd. Address: 5871 Fitzgerald Blvd., Nellis AFB, NV 89191 Phone: 702-644-2582.

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

Monday, 7 February 2011, 6:30pm - Washington, DC - "Sex(pionage): Spies, Lies, and Naked Thighs" at the International Spy Museum
Anna Chapman "had a libido worthy of a James Bond femme fatale."—New York Post, 5 July, 2010
As Valentine's Day approaches, some lovers plan sensual dinners while others prepare to search their paramours' computer hard drives. Romantic surprises aren't always a good thing! And if you have something to hide you might just find yourself the victim of one of the oldest tricks of the trade: sexpionage. From ancient intrigues to Anna Chapman, spies, counterspies, and terrorists often conduct their undercover activities under the covers! International Spy Museum Board Member, retired FBI supervisory special agent, and owner/founder of the Centre for Counterintelligence and Security Studies, David G. Major will reveal how seduction isused as a tool to attract and manipulate assets, to coerce and/or attempt to coerce and compromise targets, and to control spies in both reality and fiction. Major will tell all about the spies who stop at nothing to get their man—or woman! Guests will enjoy a Zola Choctini as they gather essential knowledge for any questionable or suspicious relationship.
Tickets: $25.00 per person, 18 and older only. Register at

Tuesday, 8 February 2011, 11:30 am - Tampa, FL - AFIO Suncoast Chapter luncheon features Florida State Rep. Kevin C. Ambler.

Kevin C. Ambler (R) has served in the Florida State House of Representatives, District 47. District 47 is located in Northwest Hillsborough County. Representative Ambler attended Cornell University on a four-year Air Force ROTC scholarship where he received his Bachelor of Science degree in economics in 1983. Upon graduation, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Air Force. In 1986, he received his J.D. from Southwestern University School of Law in Los Angeles, California. Soon after, he was appointed as an Air Force judge advocate and assigned to the Office of the Staff Judge Advocate, MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, where he served for nearly 5 years in several positions including Chief of Claims, Chief of Legal Assistance, Chief of Military Justice and Chief of the Civil Law division. During this same time, he also was appointed by the U.S. Attorney General as a Special Assistant United States Attorney and was responsible for prosecuting criminal cases in federal court against civilians arising on MacDill AFB. Later, his responsibilities expanded to defending the United States in federal court in medical malpractice and personal injury cases arising under the Federal Tort Claims Act. Representative Ambler entered private practice and transferred to the Air Force Reserves in 1991. During his first year as a reservist, he was awarded the Harmon Award by the Air Force Judge Advocate General as the Most Outstanding Reserve Judge Advocate in the U.S. Air Force. Representative Ambler's other military decorations include the Air Force Achievement Medal, two Air Force Meritorious Service Medals, and two National Defense Services Medals.
Location: MacDill AFB Officer's Club.
Please RSVP no later than January 31st with the names of any guests to or or call (813) 995-2200 or visit on web at Refer to the information "To attend our Meeting" for important details. Check-in at 1130 hours; opening ceremonies, lunch and business meeting at noon, followed by our speaker,
We have maintained the all-inclusive cost at $15. The cash wine and soda bar will open at 1100 hours for those that wish to come early to socialize.

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

11 and 12 February 2011 - Orange Park, FL - The AFIO North Florida Chapter hosts FBI SAC Jax, James Casey, including tour of Jax FBI Field office

In conjunction with SAC Casey's presentation at the chapter luncheon being held Saturday, February 12, our Chapter President Baird has arranged a tour of the Jax FBI Field Office the day before -- 2:00 pm on Friday, February 11th. All participants must undergo an FBI background check and for that they need the following personal information: Full name, Social Security number, and date of birth. Rush this to Vince Carnes at or 352-332-6150 by email or by phone on or before Friday, January 28th. Additional restrictions: NO electronic devices, NO cell phones - leave these at home or in your car. A photo ID will be necessary for admittance. Tandy and I look forward to seeing everyone at the meeting, and remember that family and guests are cordially invited to either or both parts of this two day event: FBI visit and/or the luncheon. To attend the luncheon on the 12th, RSVP to 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

24 February 2011 - Arlington, VA - Col. Lang on "The Islamic World Today" - at luncheon of Defense Intelligence Forum

The group meets at the Pulcinella Restaurant, 6852 Old Dominion Drive, McLean, VA. Colonel W. Patrick Lang, USA (Ret), will speak on The Islamic World Today. Colonel Lang is a retired Army Military Intelligence, Special Forces, and Foreign Area officer. In his last active duty assignment, he was Defense Intelligence Officer for the Middle East, South Asia, and Terrorism. Following retirement, he became the first Director of the Defense HUMINT Service. He was the first Arabic Language professor at West Point. He served ten years as an executive for a company operating in the Middle East and South Asia. He is a consultant for television and radio, including The News Hour with Jim Lehrer. He wrote Intelligence: the Human Factor, a definitive text on human intelligence collection operations, and several novels based on Confederate secret services in the Civil War.
Registration starts at 1130, lunch at 1200. Reserve by 18 February by email to Give names, telephone numbers, email addresses, and choice of chicken cacciatore, tilapia puttanesca, lasagna, sausage and peppers, or fettuccini portabella. Pay at the door by check for $29 per person. Make checks payable to DIAA, Inc. WE DON'T TAKE CASH! If you don't have a check, have the restaurant charge your credit or debit card $29 and give the restaurant's copy of the receipt when you check in.

Friday, 25 February 2011, 6 - 8 pm - Washington, DC - 10th Anniversary of the Arrest of FBI Agent Robert Hanssen - presentation by Brian Kelley, CIA

Institute of World Politics Professor Brian Kelley, a retired CIA officer who knew and worked with Hanssen, will provide the intimate details about the "story behind the story" relative to the investigation of the FBI traitor.
Using the actual video clips taken of the arrest of Hanssen, along with salient clips from the movie Breach and from a 60 Minutes story which document the events leading to Hanssen's arrest, Professor Kelley will walk the audience through the complex case of the bizarre traitor focusing on Hanssen's lack of operational "tradecraft" coupled with salient investigative issues which took this investigation down the wrong path for many years. In addition to his talk, Mr. Kelley will introduce some special guests who were connected in various ways to the investigation.
RSVP and Location: The Institute of World Politics, 1521 16th Street NW, Washington, DC. Please RSVP to

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