AFIO Weekly Intelligence Notes #03-11 dated 25 January 2011

[Editors' Note: The WIN editors attempt to include a wide range of articles and commentary in the Weekly Notes to inform and educate our readers. However, the views expressed in the articles are purely those of the authors, and in no way reflect support or endorsement from the WIN editors or the AFIO officers and staff. We welcome comments from the WIN readers on any and all articles and commentary.]
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10th Anniversary
of the Arrest of FBI Agent/Spy Robert Hanssen
A Special Presentation by Brian Kelley, CIA (Ret)

Friday, 25 February 2011, 6 - 8 pm - Washington, DC

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

Important Counter-Terrorism Training
by The Halo Corporation
and Discovery Channel launch of "Kidnap + Rescue."

The HALO Corporation has just released the February edition of the Harbinger. This is a special edition of the magazine/journal and training opportunity booklet which discusses the upcoming launch of the television show, “Kidnap + Rescue,” which features The HALO Corporation prominently in the premier episode (January 29, 10pm Discovery Channel.) This issue of Harbinger has an emphasis on the world of kidnapping for ransom, hostage terrorism and human trafficking. And an assessment of the CIA mishap at FOB Chapman.
Additionally, if you have not visited the Halo website to explore courses and services, they have redesigned the website to provide more information about their Training & Education division’s calendar of events and, of course, their constantly evolving Pro-Shop.

Bicoastal Counter-Terrorism Summit
at San Diego State University by The HALO Corporation

28 March - 1 April 2011 - San Diego, CO

The 2011 Bicoastal Counter-Terrorism Summit (BCTS) has been created to meet the critical needs of Security Professionals and Law Enforcement personnel. Throughout the Summit, Law Enforcement and Security Professionals will share and exchange information, ideas, and intelligence and engage in exercises based on factual scenarios.
For further information contact


Misconduct of Intelligence Employees Revealed. In a new classified report to Congress, US intelligence officials reveal that they have seen more than a dozen allegations in three years of misconduct by American intelligence community employees who were moonlighting at outside jobs.

A summary of the report shows that US intelligence officials have conducted 15 investigations in the past three years into allegations of misconduct by American intelligence employees as a result of their part-time work in the private sector.

Still, the inspector general concluded that the moonlighting does not present a "systemic problem" for the intelligence community.

The report was requested by Rep. Anna Eshoo, a Democrat from California and member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, after news broke early last year that the CIA and other intelligence agencies allowed serving intelligence officers to moonlight in jobs in the private sector to earn extra money.

In one instance several years ago, active-duty CIA employees went to work part time at a private intelligence firm that consulted for hedge funds and financial firms. There, the CIA employees worked on "deception detection" analysis of corporate earnings conference calls, trying to determine if corporate executives were misleading investors as they presented their financial performance information.

One concern for critics of the moonlighting policy is that intelligence officers could be taking on outside employment at contracting firms that work for US intelligence agencies - effectively forcing taxpayers to pay twice for the same work product.

Supporters say it is necessary to allow some intelligence officers to earn extra money in order to keep them from quitting their jobs in favor of higher paying private sector work, and that the moonlighting is not significant, and generally not done in sensitive areas.

The existence of the moonlighting policy appeared to catch senior intelligence officials off guard when it was revealed last year. "Sometimes I, too, am surprised about what I read in the press about my own organization, I will tell you," then-Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair told Congress in February.

The summary report obtained by CNBC provided no details on the 15 investigations into outside employment related misconduct, except to say that some of the alleged offenses included serious charges such as conflicts of interest, spouses inappropriately providing privileged information during government contract award processes, and improper relationships with contractors.

But other alleged misconduct appeared much less serious, including "jewelry sales" and "cookie sales."

Of the 15 allegations of misconduct, one resulted in a prosecution by the US attorney�s office, the summary report noted. In that case, Wayne J. Schepens, 37, of Severna Park, Md., pleaded guilty in 2007 to a conflict of interest, after using his position as an employee at the super-secret National Security Agency to send government contracts to companies that he or his wife owned and operated.

At the time, United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein said, "While he was working for NSA, Wayne Schepens arranged to award government contracts worth over $770,000 to companies in which he and his wife had a financial interest. It is a crime for government employees to participate in awarding contracts that bring them personal financial benefits."

The summary report found that each intelligence agency has its own moonlighting policy and the inspector general said those policies "adequately notify [Intelligence Community] employees of their obligations and unique considerations for obtaining approval for outside employment activities."

And the inspector general suggested that the intelligence agencies should create a "periodic reporting requirement for IC employees approved for outside employment" and that they should maintain records to track the number of moonlighting requests and the whether or not those requests were approved by senior management. [Javers/CNBC/19January2011]

G�l Orders Stronger Intelligence About Hizbullah Fugitives. Turkish President Abdullah G�l has ordered the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) and the police force to gather stronger intelligence about members of Hizbullah who were released earlier this month under a newly amended law limiting the period of arrest for convicts pending an appeals process to 10 years, and who later went missing.

The president said he is closely following the process about releases from prison and added, "The other day I ordered the MİT and the police force to concentrate efforts on gathering intelligence about those suspects."

Some of the Hizbullah members who were convicted of brutally killing 188 people were released because 10 years had passed since the start of their appeal trials, which have still not been concluded. They were released under a law that was passed in 2005, but went into effect on Jan. 1, 2010, that made changes to Article 102 of the Criminal Procedures Code (CMK). The suspects released were required to regularly show up to check in with their local police stations. But none of them complied. Thereupon the Supreme Court of Appeals ordered their re-arrest. Simultaneous police operations in four cities resulted in the detention of 32 suspected Hizbullah members on Saturday, but the organization's higher-ups have yet to be captured.

The Security General Directorate has decided to ask Interpol to issue a red notice for 14 top administrators of Hizbullah. [TodaysZaman/19January2011] 

ODNI Classification Activity, "Population" Increased in 2010. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence reported a notable increase in its classification activity last year, along with an even greater increase in the ODNI "population."

The number of ODNI "derivative classification decisions" - referring to the classification of new records under previously issued guidance - increased 7.6% to 1,762,999 from the year before, wrote ODNI Information Management Director John F. Hackett in a November 12 report. "The increase in total decisions was largely driven by population growth, which increased by 17% from last year."

Among other interesting details, the ODNI report states that "There were two discretionary declassification decisions made by the Acting DNI during FY10 (declassification of 'QUILL' as a Radar Imager and declassification of the fact of 'GAMBIT/HEXAGON' overhead ISR missions)." [Aftergood/SecrecyNews/20January2011]

CIA Sees Vibrant Blogosphere in China. Chinese bloggers "expressed rage and despondence after learning about the plight of 12 mentally retarded men from Sichuan province who were sold into slavery to work at a building materials plant in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region," according to a CIA review of the Chinese blogosphere during the week of December 10-17, 2010.

The CIA survey portrays Chinese bloggers as alert, engaged and influential in shaping government policy.

"The controversy over the mentally retarded workers set off a passionate discussion in the blogosphere on such topics as the treatment of disabled people in society and the role officials play in allowing workers to be exploited in private enterprises."

"The public reaction resulting from the story's popularity in the blogosphere as well as in traditional media almost certainly had an effect on the quick government response," the CIA report said.

Among several other current news stories, "Many Chinese Netizens continue to follow and comment on the legal case of founder Julian Assange," the report said. [Aftergood/SecrecyNews/19January2011] 

Lawyer in CIA Leak Case Questioned by Grand Jury. A former lawyer for Jeffrey Sterling, a onetime CIA officer who has been charged with leaking secrets to New York Times reporter James Risen, was questioned about his client before a grand jury last September, he says.

Washington, D.C. attorney Mark Zaid had represented Sterling, an African American operative for the CIA from 1993 to 2002, in a discrimination suit against the agency a decade ago. The CIA rejected Sterling's final offer to settle the case, which was eventually dismissed by a court.

Zaid says he was subpoenaed to appear before a federal grand jury in Virginia investigating the leak case on Sept. 22 and was questioned "for a couple of hours" by Justice Department prosecutor William M. Welch II.

Zaid would not discuss his testimony, which was first reported in the St. Louis (Mo.) Beacon, a nonprofit online publication staffed by veteran former editors and reporters from the longtime daily St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

But the Beacon, citing an unidentified source, said that "prosecutors questioned Zaid about Sterling's motive in allegedly leaking classified information about an intelligence operation in Iran to James Risen of The New York Times."

Another source with knowledge of the case, who requested anonymity because grand jury proceedings are secret, confirmed to SpyTalk that "the gist" of Welch's questions "always seemed to be about motive," but Zaid would not answer any questions protected by attorney-client privilege.

The Beacon reported that "the indictment alleges that Sterling leaked the information to retaliate against the CIA for its refusal to settle his race discrimination claim and to approve a memoir he was writing," the paper added.

The CIA says that Sterling leaked information to Risen about a sensitive CIA operation to sabotage Iran's nuclear program, which backfired, according a chapter in a 2006 book Risen wrote about the agency.

The author of the Beacon piece, William H. Freivogel, a former St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter who is director of the School of Journalism at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, also wrote that, according to his source, "Zaid's testimony was entirely about his contacts with third parties on Sterling's behalf and was outside of the attorney-client privilege."

Until his arrest on Jan. 6, Sterling had been living in the St. Louis area for the past several years and working as an insurance investigator for Wellpoint, Inc., the Post-Dispatch reported Saturday. Last year he won "a national award from the BlueCross BlueShield Association for helping break up a Medicare fraud ring that submitted about $100 million in bogus bills," the paper said.

Jesselyn Radack, a lawyer with the Government Accountability Project in Washington, strongly objected to the Justice Department's subpoena of Zaid.

"This is just another example of government overkill," she told the Beacon. "As a legal ethicist, I am quite troubled by this."

Zaid said the tone of the questioning "for the most part was professional and relaxed. I was told going into it that I was neither a subject nor target" of the investigation.

The Justice Department declined comment. [Stein/WashingtonPost/24January2011]

Cho Bong-am Cleared of Spy Charge in 52 Years. The Korean Supreme Court Thursday overturned a guilty verdict on the late Cho Bong-am (1898-1959), 52 years after the nation's first progressive party leader was executed on charges of espionage by the government of then-President Syngman Rhee.

Cho, who created the Jinbo (progressive) Party in 1956, challenged President Rhee in a presidential election and was executed three years later for espionage charges.

The retrial came after the Truth and Reconciliation Commission concluded in September, 2007 that the original trial was clouded in mystery and the case should be retried.

Cho has been viewed as the victim of a "judicial murder." It also said the subversion charge against him was created by the Rhee administration to "get rid of Rhee's strongest rival in the presidential election."

Upon the request, the Supreme Court finally held a hearing on Cho's death last year to determine a second ruling on whether Cho's execution was legally justifiable and decided to hold a retrial for Cho.

On Jan. 13, 1958, Cho was arrested by police on charges of spying and violating the National Security Law. He was charged with being sympathetic with North Korea's reunification policy and receiving funds from the North.

He was initially sentenced to a five-year jail term at a district court. But both the appellate court and the Supreme Court sentenced him to death on Feb. 27, 1959, rejecting the call for a retrial from his family, claiming the espionage charges were concocted using faulty evidence and manipulated testimonies. [Tae-Jong/KoreaTimes/13January2011]

U.S. Intelligence Agencies "Sharing Too Much.' Intelligence agencies may be ordered to limit the information they share.

"When you look at information sharing, I think we have almost overdone it," says Mike Rogers (R-Michigan), the new chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

"We have gotten into an era of need-to-share versus need-to-know. Need-to-know is an important provision when you are trying to do some operation to keep us safer. But need-to-share got us in trouble with WikiLeaks and with other leaks."

Rogers tells WTOP there could be some changes coming to the way sharing is done.

"The House Intelligence Committee is going to spend some significant time trying to come to a conclusion on that. I think some changes are coming."

In February 2008, Mike McConnell, who was director of National Intelligence at the time, released a new information sharing strategy.

"Information sharing must improve since it is central to our ability to anticipate and deter the ill intentions of our nation's adversaries."

McConnell went on to say the "new culture of collaboration and risk management will require that people and organizations understand and trust how their partners manage risk. We will need a uniform trust model across the intelligence community."

But as it turned out, one of the biggest threats to U.S. national security since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks was an adversary operating inside the U.S. military with a secret security clearance.

U.S. Army PFC Bradley Manning allegedly leaked hundreds of thousands of classified U.S. military and State Department documents, which made their way onto WikiLeaks, a whistleblower Web site.

"A kid in the military, sitting in a tent in Kuwait with access to a Secret Internet Protocol Router Network (SIPRNet) terminal should not have access to sensitive diplomatic reporting that has nothing to do with his job," says a former CIA covert operative.

And Rogers says, "The sheer number, literally hundreds and thousands of people who have access to information, makes us scratch our head about why they have access to it and what they are doing with it that would provide a better security network for the United States. And I think in a lot of cases you can't come to that conclusion and it has caused us problems."

The former operative explained how it happens:

"The problem is when someone writes a classified cable overseas, for example, and they send it to half a dozen people who handle it and that cable ends up on the SIPRNet - that automatically puts it into a classified system that can be accessed by 500,000 people with a security clearance and a SIPRNet terminal."

A U.S. intelligence official with knowledge of the situation says there's a sense in the intelligence community the "pendulum is swinging back toward exercising greater care in information sharing."

"That means making sure the right people have the right information to do their jobs the right way. If you widen the circle too greatly, you assume a potentially unacceptable level of risk."

In addition to dealing with information sharing from a procedural perspective, Rogers says he worries there may be too many people involved in certain elements of the intelligence community.

"We created the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to be a coordinating body to coordinate the sharing resources amongst the intelligence agencies," he says. "And I think we got a little off track there. The size of the DNI shop is exponentially larger than anyone anticipated.

"And I argue that large bureaucracy that we just sat on top of the intelligence agencies probably is not helping at the end of the day to make sure that people who need the information are getting it."

A DNI spokeswoman declined to comment on the statement.

The need to share information became an imperative to protect the U.S. after the 2001 terrorist attacks.

A DNI directive from 2008 stated: "The Intelligence Community's need-to-know culture, a necessity during the Cold War, is now a handicap that threatens our ability to uncover, respond and protect against terrorism and other asymmetric threats."

But Rogers believes the tables have turned, and he plans to address that and other intelligence community issues with a very simple approach.

"And at the end of the day every session is going to end with: 'Does that make America more or less safe?' And if it is 'less safe,' we are going to change it. And if it is 'more safe' we are going to ask them what we can do help them keep doing it." [WTOP/13January2011]

Ex-Spy Who Helped the Taliban Dies in Captivity. A former Pakistani spy who helped the Taliban rise to power in Afghanistan has died in militant captivity 10 months after he was seized in northwest Pakistan, a top official said Monday.

Sultan Amir Tarar, who as a U.S. ally against Soviet rule in Afghanistan in the 1980s trained at Fort Bragg, N.C., died of a heart attack.

Tarar was kidnapped along with a British TV journalist who was released in September and another former spy, Khalid Khawaja, who was executed by his captors in April. It is unclear why the two men traveled to the northwest, but they may have been acting as guides to the reporter.

Tarar's life personified some of the deep complexities of U.S. and Pakistani policies toward insurgents in the region. His death in militant captivity was also shrouded in uncertainty, but appeared to indicate the extent to which some insurgents in the northwest had abandoned any loyalties to Pakistani intelligence agencies that nurtured an earlier generation of fighters.

He was believed held in North Waziristan, a region bordering Afghanistan that is under effective militant control. [StarTribune/22January2011]

Informant : Posada Lied About How He Got Into US. A former CIA operative who is Fidel Castro's nemesis lied about how he sneaked into the United States in 2005, a Cuban exile testified Monday, showing a photograph to corroborate his story.

Gilberto Abascal, a paid U.S. government informant, testified at the federal trial for fellow Cuba native Luis Posada Carilles, who is accused of lying under oath during immigration hearings in El Paso, after slipping into the U.S. and seeking political asylum. Prosecutors claim Posada made false statements about how he reached U.S. soil and about his involvement in a series of hotel bombings in Havana in 1997 that killed an Italian tourist. Posada, 82, faces 11 federal counts of perjury, obstruction and immigration fraud.

Abascal said he was on a shrimp boat converted into a 90-foot yacht that sailed to Isla Mujeres, near Cancun, picked up Posada and brought him to Miami in March 2005. Entered into evidence was a picture of Posada sitting in a barber's chair and wearing a blue sheet to keep hair off his clothing. He is seen having his hair cropped at the sides with an electric razor. Abascal said the picture was taken in Isla Mujeres.

Posada said during immigration interviews in 2005 and 2006 that he paid a smuggler to drive him from Honduras, through Mexico and on to Houston, where he caught a bus to Miami. He originally denied ever having traveled to Isla Mujeres, but now says he went there and made contact with the yacht, The Santrina, to pick up cash to pay the people smuggler.

Abascal, 45, has yet to be questioned by Posada's lawyers. Lead defense attorney Arturo Hernandez has argued that Abascal isn't credible, having collected more than $150,000 in fees from U.S. officials for spying on Posada.

Abascal spent more than four hours testifying in Spanish through an interpreter. He said he won political asylum in the U.S. in 1999, after spending two years in prison for trying to flee Cuba on a boat from his hometown, Batabano, south of Havana.

Abascal said he got to know a Miami-based Posada benefactor named Santiago Alvarez through another Cuban exile. Abascal said Alvarez hired him in 2004 to convert a shrimp boat into a yacht. Abascal said he, Alvarez and three other men used that yacht to sail to Isla Mujeres, although they had been told they were headed to Central America. As they reached Mexico, Alvarez called the group together and told them the real mission was to collect Posada, Abascal said.

The boat ran aground near Isla Mujeres, where Mexican journalists, including one Abascal suspected was a spy for Castro, were waiting, Abascal said.

"I thought about taking a plane and leaving," he testified. "I was afraid that they were going to think that I was a snitch" because the journalists had discovered where the Santrina was arriving.

Posada, the most-wanted man in Cuba, spent a lifetime crisscrossing Latin America, seeking to topple communist governments. An anti-government insurgent after Castro came to power in 1959, Posada eventually fled the island, became a CIA asset and joined the doomed Bay of Pigs invasion, though he was not one of those who made it to Cuban soil during fighting. He then joined the U.S. Army.

Posada later moved to Venezuela and headed that country's intelligence service. In 1976, he was arrested for planning the bombing of a Cuban airliner that exploded off the coast of Barbados, killing all 73 passengers. He was acquitted in military court, but escaped from prison in 1985, while awaiting a civilian retrial. He then worked with the CIA again, this time from El Salvador as part of U.S. backing of contra rebels in Nicaragua.

In 2000, Posada was arrested in Panama in connection with a plot to kill Castro during a regional summit there. He received a pardon in 2004, then turned up in Miami and asked for political asylum - sparking the current charges against him. He has been living in Miami while the immigration case proceeds.

Venezuela wants to try Posada for the 1976 airliner bombing. He also is wanted in Cuba for planning the bombs that exploded in about a dozen Havana hotels and a popular tourist restaurant, La Bodeguita del Medio. A U.S. immigration judge has previously ruled that Posada cannot be deported to either country because of fears he could be tortured or otherwise mistreated.

Posada has not commented during the trial on Hernandez's advice. But he spoke by phone Monday to Spanish-language radio stations WAQI in Miami, saying, "I have faith in God's justice. We feel good."

He said Cuban-American groups had been great in financially supporting him - but that his legal bills are piling up.

"Experts cost money," Posada said in Spanish. "The trip to hotels . the exile (community) has responded well."

Posada declined to comment about the interview outside the courtroom. Hernandez said his legal fees have been paid for by "asking the Cuban-American community to contribute checks, often in small, individual amounts, for three years." [Weissert/WashingtonPost/24January2011]

Eye in the Sky: Pentagon Tests New Spy Plane. High over the Mojave desert, the Pentagon has been quietly testing a new generation of unmanned plane that flies higher, soars longer and runs greener than anything in the Pentagon's arsenal.

"This will really change the way we think about aviation," Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering Zachary Lemnios told ABC News. "And it's going to open up an entirely new future."

The Global Observer, made by Monrovia, Calif.-based AeroVironment Inc., is bigger than a 767, flies in the stratosphere up to 65,000 feet, twice as high as Mount Everest - out of sight and out of range of most anti-aircraft missiles. From there it will be able to see 600 miles in every direction, enough to cover the entire country of Afghanistan.

Earlier this month, the manufacturer gave ABC News an exclusive look, including video of the first test of a plane, which is powered entirely by liquid hydrogen fuel - light enough to power the drone for a week at a time, far longer than anything in use today.

"It uses hydrogen for fuel, which has three times the energy density of gasoline, which enables it to fly much longer and at much lower costs and - oh, by the way, has zero emissions," AeroVironment CEO Tim Conver told ABC News in an interview at the plane's hangar at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

It emits only water vapor.

The aircraft weighs about as much as a large SUV, but in order for it to fly so high for so long, the wing span has to be enormous - about half a football field. That way even when you can't see it, it can see you.

AeroVironment is best known for electric car chargers and hand-launched, 1- to 2-foot-long unmanned aircraft - some, like the Switchblade, lethal.

"It turns into a guided missile," AeroVironment's Steve Gitlin said, "and it'll follow the target if the target moves."

The new drone takes that unmanned capability much further, doing the work of a satellite for just tens of millions of dollars - some analysts say it would cost about $30 million - compared with hundreds of millions to $1 billion for a satellite. Unlike satellites, it can be up within hours and has the ability to instantly reposition.

The plane orbits above a target for a week at a time. In addition to on-board cameras that offer an unblinking eye, communications equipment offers cell phone, TV and broadband Internet for the same area.

When it refuels, a second plane takes its place. The military would swap out the plane every week, so it has constant surveillance.

The military sees the new drone as a cheaper way to put cameras and communications over Iraq and Afghanistan and more.

But the Global Observer doesn't just have military applications - it has potential civilian uses, too.

It has an interchangeable payload that can carry cameras or communications equipment. The company initially envisioned it as a cheap way to supply broadband Internet, television and phone service cheaply in the Third World.

Then came the terror attacks of 9/11. The company immediately turned to the military, which quickly grew interested.

"This is one of those things you see happen a few times in your career, and you sort of look at it and you say at that moment: Things have changed and that would really open up a new vista for the department and the nation," the Pentagon's Lemnios said. "It's a milestone in aviation, absolutely - no question."

The company says the plane could have restored communications within hours on 9/11.

"All the cell towers in that whole area of New York were out," Conver said. "Immediately a platform like this could be flown over and parked over New York and restate the communications infrastructure."

It has the potential for a more controversial use: border patrol.

"Certainly if one wanted to see what was going on their border, looking at a 600-mile swath or area from one point would be a good way to do that," Conver told ABC.

The plane could also track dangerous storms, Western wildfires, or - perched high overhead like a silent guardian angel in a disaster like Hurricane Katrina - link first responders and searching for survivors in those first, precious hours that can mean the difference between life and death. [Hendren/ABCNews/24January2011]


Former Spy With Agenda Operates a Private C.I.A. Duane R. Clarridge parted company with the Central Intelligence Agency more than two decades ago, but from poolside at his home near San Diego, he still runs a network of spies.

Over the past two years, he has fielded operatives in the mountains of Pakistan and the desert badlands of Afghanistan. Since the United States military cut off his funding in May, he has relied on like-minded private donors to pay his agents to continue gathering information about militant fighters, Taliban leaders and the secrets of Kabul's ruling class.

Hatching schemes that are something of a cross between a Graham Greene novel and Mad Magazine's "Spy vs. Spy," Mr. Clarridge has sought to discredit Ahmed Wali Karzai, the Kandahar power broker who has long been on the C.I.A. payroll, and planned to set spies on his half brother, the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, in hopes of collecting beard trimmings or other DNA samples that might prove Mr. Clarridge's suspicions that the Afghan leader was a heroin addict, associates say.

Mr. Clarridge, 78, who was indicted on charges of lying to Congress in the Iran-contra scandal and later pardoned, is described by those who have worked with him as driven by the conviction that Washington is bloated with bureaucrats and lawyers who impede American troops in fighting adversaries and that leaders are overly reliant on mercurial allies.

His dispatches - an amalgam of fact, rumor, analysis and uncorroborated reports - have been sent to military officials who, until last spring at least, found some credible enough to be used in planning strikes against militants in Afghanistan. They are also fed to conservative commentators, including Oliver L. North, a compatriot from the Iran-contra days and now a Fox News analyst, and Brad Thor, an author of military thrillers and a frequent guest of Glenn Beck.

For all of the can-you-top-this qualities to Mr. Clarridge's operation, it is a startling demonstration of how private citizens can exploit the chaos of combat zones and rivalries inside the American government to carry out their own agenda.

It also shows how the outsourcing of military and intelligence operations has spawned legally murky clandestine operations that can be at cross-purposes with America's foreign policy goals. Despite Mr. Clarridge's keen interest in undermining Afghanistan's ruling family, President Obama's administration appears resigned to working with President Karzai and his half brother, who is widely suspected of having ties to drug traffickers.

Charles E. Allen, a former top intelligence official at the Department of Homeland Security who worked with Mr. Clarridge at the C.I.A., termed him an "extraordinary" case officer who had operated on "the edge of his skis" in missions abroad years ago.

But he warned against Mr. Clarridge's recent activities, saying that private spies operating in war zones "can get both nations in trouble and themselves in trouble." He added, "We don't need privateers."

The private spying operation, which The New York Times disclosed last year, was tapped by a military desperate for information about its enemies and frustrated with the quality of intelligence from the C.I.A., an agency that colleagues say Mr. Clarridge now views largely with contempt. The effort was among a number of secret activities undertaken by the American government in a shadow war around the globe to combat militants and root out terrorists.

The Pentagon official who arranged a contract for Mr. Clarridge in 2009 is under investigation for allegations of violating Defense Department rules in awarding that contract. Because of the continuing inquiry, most of the dozen current and former government officials, private contractors and associates of Mr. Clarridge who were interviewed for this article would speak only on the condition of anonymity.

Mr. Clarridge declined to be interviewed, but issued a statement that likened his operation, called the Eclipse Group, to the Office of Strategic Services, the C.I.A.'s World War II precursor.

"O.S.S. was a success of the past," he wrote. "Eclipse may possibly be an effective model for the future, providing information to officers and officials of the United States government who have the sole responsibility of acting on it or not."

A Pentagon spokesman, Col. David Lapan, declined to comment on Mr. Clarridge's network, but said the Defense Department "believes that reliance on unvetted and uncorroborated information from private sources may endanger the force and taint information collected during legitimate intelligence operations."

Whether military officials still listen to Mr. Clarridge or support his efforts to dig up dirt on the Karzai family is unclear. But it is evident that Mr. Clarridge - bespectacled and doughy, with a shock of white hair - is determined to remain a player.

On May 15, according to a classified Pentagon report on the private spying operation, he sent an encrypted e-mail to military officers in Kabul announcing that his network was being shut down because the Pentagon had just terminated his contract. He wrote that he had to "prepare approximately 200 local personnel to cease work."

In fact, he had no intention of closing his operation. The very next day, he set up a password-protected Web site,, that would allow officers to continue viewing his dispatches.

From his days running secret wars for the C.I.A. in Central America to his consulting work in the 1990s on a plan to insert Special Operations troops in Iraq to oust Saddam Hussein, Mr. Clarridge has been an unflinching cheerleader for American intervention overseas.

Typical of his pugnacious style are his comments, provided in a 2008 interview for a documentary now on YouTube, defending many of the C.I.A.'s most notorious operations, including undermining the Chilean president Salvador Allende, before a coup ousted him 1973.

"Sometimes, unfortunately, things have to be changed in a rather ugly way," said Mr. Clarridge, his New England accent becoming more pronounced the angrier he became. "We'll intervene whenever we decide it's in our national security interests to intervene."

"Get used to it, world," he said. "We're not going to put up with nonsense." He is also stirred by the belief that the C.I.A. has failed to protect American troops in Afghanistan, and that the Obama administration has struck a Faustian bargain with President Karzai, according to four current and former associates. They say Mr. Clarridge thinks that the Afghan president will end up cutting deals with Pakistan or Iran and selling out the United States, making American troops the pawns in the Great Game of power politics in the region.

Mr. Clarridge pushed a plan to prove that President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan used heroin, a rumor that remains unsubstantiated.

Mr. Clarridge also tried to discredit the Afghan president's half brother, Ahmed Wali Karzai, a Kandahar leader.

Mr. Clarridge - known to virtually everyone by his childhood nickname, Dewey - was born into a staunchly Republican family in New Hampshire, attended Brown University and joined the spy agency during its freewheeling early years. He eventually became head of the agency's Latin America division in 1981 and helped found the C.I.A.'s Counterterrorism Center five years later.

In postings in India, Turkey, Italy and elsewhere, Mr. Clarridge, using pseudonyms that included Dewey Marone and Dax Preston LeBaron, made a career of testing boundaries in the dark space of American foreign policy. In his 1997 memoir, he wrote about trying to engineer pro-American governments in Italy in the late 1970s (the former American ambassador to Rome, Richard N. Gardner, called him "shallow and devious"), and helping run the Reagan administration's covert wars against Marxist guerrillas in Central America during the 1980s.

He was indicted in 1991 on charges of lying to Congress about his role in the Iran-contra scandal; he had testified that he was unaware of arms shipments to Iran. But he was pardoned the next year by the first President George Bush.

Now, more than two decades after Mr. Clarridge was forced to resign from the intelligence agency, he tries to run his group of spies as a C.I.A. in miniature. Working from his house in a San Diego suburb, he uses e-mail to stay in contact with his "agents" - their code names include Willi and Waco - in Afghanistan and Pakistan, writing up intelligence summaries based on their reports, according to associates.

Mr. Clarridge assembled a team of Westerners, Afghans and Pakistanis not long after a security consulting firm working for The Times subcontracted with him in December 2008 to assist in the release of a reporter, David Rohde, who had been kidnapped by the Taliban. Mr. Rohde escaped on his own seven months later, but Mr. Clarridge used his role in the episode to promote his group to military officials in Afghanistan.

In July 2009, according to the Pentagon report, he set out to prove his worth to the Pentagon by directing his team to gather information in Pakistan's tribal areas to help find a young American soldier who had been captured by Taliban militants. (The soldier, Pfc. Bowe R. Bergdahl, remains in Taliban hands.)

Four months later, the security firm that Mr. Clarridge was affiliated with, the American International Security Corporation, won a Pentagon contract ultimately worth about $6 million. American officials said the contract was arranged by Michael D. Furlong, a senior Defense Department civilian with a military "information warfare" command in San Antonio.

To get around a Pentagon ban on hiring contractors as spies, the report said, Mr. Furlong's team simply rebranded their activities as "atmospheric information" rather than "intelligence."

Mr. Furlong, now the subject of a criminal investigation by the Pentagon's inspector general, was accused in the internal Pentagon report of carrying out "unauthorized" intelligence gathering, and misleading senior military officers about it. He has said that he became a scapegoat for top commanders in Afghanistan who had blessed his activities.

As for Mr. Clarridge, American law prohibits private citizens from actively undermining a foreign government, but prosecutions under the so-called Neutrality Act have historically been limited to people raising private armies against foreign powers. Legal experts said Mr. Clarridge's plans against the Afghan president fell in a gray area, but would probably not violate the law.

It is difficult to assess the merits of Mr. Clarridge's secret intelligence dispatches; a review of some of the documents by The Times shows that some appear to be based on rumors from talk at village bazaars or rehashes of press reports. Others, though, contain specific details about militant plans to attack American troops, and about Taliban leadership meetings in Pakistan. Mr. Clarridge gave the military an in-depth report about a militant group, the Haqqani Network, in August 2009, a document that officials said helped the military track Haqqani fighters. According to the Pentagon report, Mr. Clarridge told Marine commanders in Afghanistan in June 2010 that his group produced 500 intelligence dispatches before its contract was terminated.

When the military would not listen to him, Mr. Clarridge found other ways to peddle his information. For instance, his private spies in April and May were reporting that Mullah Muhammad Omar, the reclusive cleric who leads the Afghan Taliban, had been captured by Pakistani officials and placed under house arrest. Associates said Mr. Clarridge believed that Pakistan's spy service was playing a game: keeping Mullah Omar confined but continuing to support the Afghan Taliban.

Both military and intelligence officials said the information could not be corroborated, but Mr. Clarridge used back channels to pass it on to senior Obama administration officials, including Dennis C. Blair, then the director of national intelligence.

And associates said that Mr. Clarridge, determined to make the information public, arranged for it to get to Mr. Thor, a square-jawed writer of thrillers, a blogger and a regular guest on Mr. Beck's program on Fox News.

Most of Mr. Thor's books are yarns about the heroic exploits of Special Operations troops. In interviews, he said he was once embedded with a "black special ops team" and helped expose "a Taliban pornography/murder ring."

On May 10, - a Web site run by the conservative commentator Andrew Breitbart - published an "exclusive" by Mr. Thor, who declined to comment for this article.

"Through key intelligence sources in Afghanistan and Pakistan," Mr. Thor wrote, "I have just learned that reclusive Taliban leader and top Osama bin Laden ally, Mullah Omar, has been taken into custody."

Just last week, he blogged about another report - unconfirmed by American officials - from Mr. Clarridge's group: that Mullah Omar had suffered a heart attack and was rushed to a hospital by Pakistan's spy agency, the Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence.

"America is being played," he wrote.

Mr. Clarridge and his spy network also took sides in an internecine government battle over Ahmed Wali Karzai, head of the Khandahar Provincial Council.

For years, the American military has believed that public anger over government-linked corruption has helped swell the Taliban's ranks, and that Ahmed Wali Karzai plays a central role in that corruption. He has repeatedly denied any links to the Afghan drug trafficking.

According to three American military officials, in April 2009 Gen. David D. McKiernan, then the top American commander in Afghanistan, told subordinates that he wanted them to gather any evidence that might tie the president's half brother to the drug trade. "He put the word out that he wanted to 'burn' Ahmed Wali Karzai," said one of the military officials.

In early 2010, after General McKiernan left Afghanistan and Mr. Clarridge was under contract to the military, the former spy helped produce a dossier for commanders detailing allegations about Mr. Karzai's drug connections, land grabs and even murders in southern Afghanistan. The document, provided to The Times, speculates that Mr. Karzai's ties to the C.I.A. - which has paid him an undetermined amount of money since 2001 - may be the reason the agency "is the only member of the country team in Kabul not to advocate taking a more active stance against AWK."

Ultimately, though, the military could not amass enough hard proof to convince other American officials of Mr. Karzai's supposed crimes, and backed off efforts to remove him from power.

Mr. Clarridge would soon set his sights higher: on President Hamid Karzai himself. Over the summer, after the Pentagon canceled his contract, Mr. Clarridge decided that the United States needed leverage over the Afghan president. So the former spy, running his network with money from unidentified donors, came up with an outlandish scheme that seems to come straight from the C.I.A.'s past playbook of covert operations.

There have long been rumors that Hamid Karzai uses drugs, in part because of his often erratic behavior, but the accusation was aired publicly last year by Peter W. Galbraith, a former United Nations representative in Afghanistan. American officials have said publicly that there is no evidence to support the allegation of drug use.

Mr. Clarridge pushed a plan to prove that the president was a heroin addict, and then confront him with the evidence to ensure that he became a more pliable ally. Mr. Clarridge proposed various ideas, according to several associates, from using his team to track couriers between the presidential palace in Kabul and Ahmed Wali Karzai's home in Kandahar, to even finding a way to collect Hamid Karzai's beard clippings and run DNA tests. He eventually dropped his ideas when the Obama administration signaled it was committed to bolstering the Karzai government.

Still, associates said, Mr. Clarridge maneuvered against the Karzais last summer by helping promote videos, available on YouTube, purporting to represent the "Voice of Afghan Youth." The slick videos disparage the president as the "king of Kabul" who regularly takes money from the Iranians, and Ahmed Wali Karzai as the "prince of Kandahar" who "takes the monthly gold from the American intelligence boss" and makes the Americans "his puppet."

The videos received almost no attention when they were posted on the Internet, but were featured in July on the Fox News Web site in a column by Mr. North, who declined to comment for this article. Writing that he had "stumbled" on the videos on the Internet, he called them a "treasure trove."

Mr. Clarridge, his associates say, continues to dream up other operations against the Afghan president and his inner circle. When he was an official spy, Mr. Clarridge recalled in his memoir, he bristled at the C.I.A.'s bureaucracy for thwarting his plans to do maximum harm to America's enemies. "It's not like I'm running my own private C.I.A.," he wrote, "and can do what I want." [Mazzetti/NYTimes/23January2011] 

Life Away from CIA Still Tangled, Lonely for Indicted Ex-Spy. The spy came in from the cold nearly a decade ago. He seemed to be adjusting well to his new life, a regular life, one lived out in the open.

Jeffrey A. Sterling no longer needed to tell people, including his mother in Cape Girardeau, he worked for the U.S. State Department when, in fact, he had been employed by the Central Intelligence Agency.

Sterling, now 43, settled down in what once might have served as ideal cover: a small, neat home in a subdivision of small, neat homes, all beige siding and perfect lawns in this fast-growing St. Louis suburb. He got married. He got a job as a health care fraud investigator. He spoke at conferences. He won awards for his work. He started using social media services like Twitter and Facebook, opening up in ways likely unimaginable in his previous work.

He shared his love for the L.A. Lakers and frustration with the St. Louis Cardinals. He liked cigars. He liked riding his bicycle. He was working on a science fiction screenplay.

It is a journey made by others who have left the CIA's clandestine service. And Sterling seemed to have found his place in a world free of cloaks and daggers.

But his journey was different. Sterling left the CIA alone, with nothing, after becoming the first black case officer to sue the CIA for racial discrimination. He started over in St. Louis. Now he's been charged with leaking classified secrets to a reporter.

And this has people sorting through the details of Sterling's life to try divining just who he is, as though he were a spy all over again.

On Jan. 6, the workaday life Sterling built for himself after the CIA fell apart.

He was at work in downtown St. Louis, at the health insurer Wellpoint Inc., when federal agents arrested him. He was charged with 10 counts, including obstruction of justice and unauthorized disclosure of national security information.

Sterling's arrest shows how the government is moving with new urgency to block the flow of secrets to the public, said Steven Aftergood, an expert on government secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists. This is an "unprecedented" fifth prosecution during President Barack Obama's administration for unauthorized leaks of classified information, more than all previous administrations put together.

"He's in an unenviable position," Aftergood said.

Sterling has pleaded not guilty to the charges. He was extradited to federal court in Virginia, home of the CIA. His lawyer is Edward MacMahon Jr., known for representing terrorism suspects such as Zacarias Moussaoui, convicted for his role in the Sept. 11 attacks.

MacMahon questioned why Sterling, who believed his CIA days were behind him, was being prosecuted now.

"If Sterling was such a dangerous person, how come they left him on the street for so long?" MacMahon said. "He's a good American. He's a loyal American. He never put a single person at risk."

The indictment leaves out some particulars, but it is clear prosecutors believe Sterling talked with New York Times reporter James Risen about a secret operation to thwart Iran's nuclear weapons program. Risen wrote about the plot in his 2006 book "State of War: The Secret History of the C.I.A. and the Bush Administration."

The secret operation went by the code name Merlin. It was a classic spy tale. And, as portrayed in Risen's book, a blunder.

A Russian nuclear scientist on the CIA payroll was supposed to pose as a greedy scientist offering the Iranians technical blueprints for a nuclear bomb. The CIA had poisoned the blueprints with a tiny flaw. The hope was the Iranians would spend years chasing a broken design, delaying their nuclear ambitions.

That's not how it went, according to Risen's book.

The Russian scientist spotted the flaw. The CIA agent handling him - and every indication from the indictment is that this was Sterling - had misgivings about pushing on. His superiors brushed off the concerns. And the scientist flew alone to Vienna, Austria, to deliver the plans to Iranian agents, slipping in a handwritten note alerting them to the ruse.

Risen wrote the CIA operation may have given the Iranians an unintended helping hand in going nuclear. But prosecutors say Sterling "falsely characterized" facts to make the mission appeared doomed.

Aftergood noted the Justice Department could have decided to not pursue the disclosure - it amounted to a single chapter in a 250-page book and not much else. "They could've said, 'Let's put it behind us,'" Aftergood said. "But instead they said, 'Let's go all in.'"

Few people are willing to talk about Sterling now. His family did not return calls for comment. Some people who know Sterling worried that anything they said could somehow be used against him. Wellpoint fired Sterling the day after he was arrested, his lawyer said.

The government has portrayed Sterling as a dangerous man. A threat to national security. He has been called in court filings "deliberate, methodical, and unrelenting." And his alleged disclosures "may be viewed as more pernicious than the typical espionage case where a spy sells classified information for money" because the information was published and shared worldwide.

Those willing to talk about Sterling knew him before he joined the CIA - and most didn't even know that the boy they grew up with in Cape Girardeau and went to college with at Millikin University in Decatur, Ill., had gone on to a deep-cover career with the intelligence agency.

"He was just a big friendly guy with a smile on his face," said John Bowen, who attended college with Sterling. They lost contact for about a decade, "and some of that might've been the nature of what he was doing."

Rick Wiedenhoeft, a college fraternity brother of Sterling's, recalled that Sterling's nickname was "Chocolate Thunder" because he was big, gregarious and, well, a black man in a mostly white frat house. It was an endearing term, he said.

"He was a stand-up guy," Wiedenhoeft recalled, adding that Sterling always seemed more mature than other students. "We always knew he had a little more drive than the rest of us."

Sterling was the youngest of six sons of Helen Sterling, a former municipal court clerk in Cape Girardeau who died last year. He was the first in his family to go to college, earning a political science degree in 1989. He graduated from Washington University School of Law in 1992 and was working in the St. Louis public defender's office when he applied to the CIA. He'd spotted a recruitment ad in the newspaper.

"I wanted to see the world and make a contribution," he told People magazine in a 2002 article about his discrimination case. "This seemed like a unique opportunity."

He joined the CIA in 1993. He was trained to speak Farsi. He was stationed in Langley, Va., home of the CIA, and in New York and Bonn, Germany. He held a top secret security clearance. And for almost two years, he was on the Iran Task Force, where he says he was the only black person in a group of 20. He was supposed to recruit Iranians to serve as spies, but his superiors failed to give him new prospects, according to his discrimination lawsuit and media accounts. He said he confronted his supervisors and was told he stood out too much as a black man. His reply: "When did you realize I was black?"

He filed an internal complaint with the CIA in 2000. That was rejected. Two years later, shortly after being fired from the CIA for several disagreements with his bosses, he filed a discrimination lawsuit in federal court, the first of its kind against the CIA.

That case languished. The CIA claimed allowing the lawsuit to go forward would reveal 'state secrets."

Prosecutors now allege Sterling's failed lawsuit and acrimonious departure from the agency led him to contact the New York Times reporter.

Sterling left the CIA in 2002 with no job prospects. He and his first wife had divorced several years earlier. He had huge debt from college loans and attorney fees. His 1998 Pontiac Grand Prix was repossessed. In 2004, he declared bankruptcy, listing no assets and $150,020 of debt. But by then he had moved back to St. Louis and started the job at Wellpoint.

He seemed to excel in his new role, giving lectures and earning recognition for targeting prescription drug and pharmacy fraud. Last year, he won a national award from the BlueCross BlueShield Association for helping break up a Medicare fraud ring that submitted about $100 million in bogus bills. Several members of the ring ended up in prison. Sterling regularly worked with federal prosecutors and FBI agents across the country, his lawyer said.

Sterling seemed to have put his CIA days behind him. He had remarried and moved into the house in O'Fallon. His neighbors, mostly retirees, thought he was friendly. They sometimes saw him and his wife at the community pool. He could indulge his taste for fine cigars, take a vacation to Jamaica to hear the reggae music he loved, or just sit home and watch "Doctor Who" reruns on the SyFy channel.

He was no longer alone.

Earlier this month, Sterling walked stiffly into the federal courtroom in St. Louis, hands and feet shackled, two U.S. marshals by his side. Sterling wore a bright orange hooded sweatshirt over orange prison garb, made all the more glaring by the sea of dark jackets surrounding him. He limped as he moved, evidence of recent knee surgery. He was guided to a leather chair, a seat that a marshal earlier had inspected for contraband by flipping it over, just as she had run her hands along the bottom lip of the conference table now in front of him.

Sterling sat next to his attorney. The two men talked a little as they waited for the judge. But Sterling was mostly silent. His handcuffs off, he laid his large hands flat on the dark wood table. He looked younger than his age, his athletic build filling the chair and his brown hair closely cropped. His face, bearing a handsome weariness, showed no emotion. Aside from his orange clothes, he looked like the lawyer he was.

He then let his head fall to his chest, as though lost in thought. He did not appear to glance over at the 40 people in the back of the courtroom - friends, family, media and curious court workers. His wife, Holly, sat in the front row, fighting back tears and holding to her lips a necklace with a ring on the end.

The hearing was brief and routine, a last stop before he was flown to Virginia. The case is expected to take many months, if not longer. Prosecutors have asked that Sterling not be released from prison. In court filings, they worry Sterling will turn to his old CIA tradecraft to disclose more classified government details.

It was like Sterling had never left that world of secrets and spies. His small, neat house in the suburbs had provided him with only the false cover of a new life.

"It can be a very lonely world in a covert environment," said a person familiar with the case who asked not to be named, "especially when you fall outside of it." [StLouisToday/22January2011] 

Sub-Scale and Classified: The Top Secret CIA Model of a Soviet Launch Pad. After the Moon Race was won and the remaining Saturn rockets consigned to museums, it became common for members of the media to claim that there had never been a race at all. Even Walter Cronkite, who had been one of the most enthusiastic supporters of the Apollo program in the 1960s, later said that the United States had been "racing itself" to the Moon.

At the height of the race, NASA administrator James Webb had claimed that the Soviet Union was actively racing the United States to place a man on the Moon. But the press and the public started to see these claims as self-serving, if not outright lies. Webb only made statements, and provided no proof. By the 1970s, when no Soviet Moon rocket appeared and the Soviets denied that they had ever done anything as stupidly expensive as trying to land a man on the Moon, it was easy for westerners to doubt there had ever been a race.

The program numbers were an operational necessity, and they were intended to conceal the identity of a specific payload. Nevertheless, they made it possible for people outside of the military - and presumably for the KGB as well - to track programs in a rudimentary way.

But Webb's comments were based upon evidence: extensive satellite images of a massive launch facility at Tyura-Tam (now commonly referred to as Baikonur) in Kazakhstan. The United States intelligence community had even obtained photographs of the large Moon rocket, although for awhile after it first showed up intelligence analysts were not positive that the rocket was intended for lunar missions. They had been perplexed by the relative slow pace of development for the program, which made it appear that the Soviets were not making a best effort to beat America to the Moon. These intelligence analysts were generally unaware of the disagreements and infighting that plagued the Soviet effort. The Soviets were in a race, but they were like a star athlete who lacked focus, and preferred to go to the pub rather than the practice field.

The photographs of the rocket and the support facilities - few of which have been released to date - were still somewhat limited. Nobody had anything like Google Earth, with the ability to manipulate a terrain image with ease. So the CIA also built models.

According to declassified records, CIA model builders built at least three models depicting the large Soviet rocket launch facility which the CIA had designated Complex J. As of a few years ago, one of these models was on display in the CIA Headquarters museum. (It might still be on display there today. See "Rockets, real and model-sized", The Space Review, July 3, 2006.) But another of the models has also turned up in an odd place: a British military base museum. 

The United States and the United Kingdom have long had a close relationship. The United States provided the UK with plutonium when the British ran short. The two countries also shared a tremendous amount of intelligence information. In fact, the United States made a duplicate set of satellite reconnaissance film during the Cold War and shipped it over to the UK for British intelligence analysts to use in their evaluations of the Soviet Union. So it is not that surprising that a once-top-secret CIA model showed up at a British facility.

The model depicts one of the launch pads for the Soviet's giant N-1 lunar rocket. The model sits on a base approximately a meter long and is made of a blue plastic, probably sheet styrene. It is remarkably detailed, demonstrating the fact that it was made with the assistance of some very high resolution reconnaissance photographs. The launch tower can swivel on its base, just like the real thing. Even the underground flame trenches - which in actuality are massive - are depicted below the launch support tower. The display features a gray-painted giant N-1 rocket, which launched four times and failed four times, one time blowing up right above one of the two launch pads and severely damaging it. The rocket model does not have any of the details of the real thing, and if the CIA has a precision model of the Soviet era Moon rocket, it has not been publicly displayed anywhere yet. (At least not that I know about, but I haven't toured many British military bases yet.)

Perhaps the biggest surprise - bigger than the fact that this model exists at all, or that it was on display in an obscure UK location - is the fact that in over four decades, nobody broke it. Maybe the fact that it was top secret for so long might have helped. Fortunately, not many kids have security clearances. [Dwayne Day has written frequently about US intelligence collection on the Soviet space program during the Cold War. He can be reached at] [Day/TheSpaceReview/24January2011] 

Entrepreneurial Espionage - Made in China. China's President Hu Jintao promoted the emerging spirit of American-style entrepreneurialism during his visit to Washington D.C. this week for the highly-scripted U.S.-China Summit.

Jintao has not yet commented on the status of Chinese government's home-grown brand of "shadow innovation," which began nearly 30 years ago and is evolving today into an insidious and dangerous trend called "entrepreneurial espionage."

In 1986, Deng Xiao Peng established "Program 863," a sort of academy of sciences and technologies charged with closing the scientific gap between China and the world's advanced economies in a very short period of time. The 863 program and its institutional derivatives not only sponsored actual research, they also promoted the acquisition of advanced technologies from other countries legally or illegally.

Today, counter-intelligence activities in the United States that have a nexus with China typically involve the illegal acquisition of U.S. technologies. Unlike Russian intelligence officers looking to exploit ego, greed, or other personal weaknesses, China has not normally paid agents for classified documents or engaged in clandestine activity like 'dead drops.'

While some of the recent espionage cases brought against China have ties to China's intelligence services, the vast majority are linked to other state organizations, particularly the factories and research institutes of China's military-industrial complex. Multiple Chinese state entities are engaged in an active effort to acquire restricted U.S. technologies. Unlike other foreign governments, China has a history of encouraging and rewarding private individuals to obtain technology on its behalf.

Chinese intelligence practices rely on nonprofessional collectors motivated by profit, patriotism or other factors and acting either independently or on behalf of the Chinese government to gather science and technology intelligence.

Nonprofessional intelligence collectors - including government and commercial researchers, students, academics, scientists, business people, delegations, and visitors - also provide China with a significant amount of "sensitive U.S. technologies and trade secrets," according to reports by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. "[I]n many cases, the collection efforts of these private-sector players are driven entirely by the opportunity for commercial or professional gain and have no affiliation with [PRC intelligence]."

This practice has led to a vast amount of "entrepreneurial" economic and industrial espionage conducted by Chinese students, trade delegations, businessmen and educational and research institutions, according to reports by the U.S.-China Economic And Security Review Commission.

The Chinese government encourages such efforts and has benefited from them. In 2009, the Commission quoted testimony provided by former FBI Special Agent I.C. Smith that:

"the Ministry of State Security sometimes places pressure on Chinese citizens going abroad for educational or business purposes and may make pursuit of foreign technology a quid pro quo for permission to travel abroad. However, this phenomenon of "entrepreneurial espionage" appears to be particularly common among businessmen who have direct commercial ties with Chinese companies and who seek to skirt U.S. export control and economic espionage laws in order to export controlled technologies to the PRC. In such instances, profit appears to be a primary motive, although the desire to "help China" can intersect in many cases with the expectation of personal financial gain.

"Espionage entrepreneurs" are not focused solely on obtaining state-of-the-art, high-tech data and equipment. In many cases there is no obvious direct state involvement in the theft or illegal export of controlled technology. These entrepreneurial efforts frequently take the form of "mom-and-pop" companies - many of them nothing more than a titular business registered at a residential address - that legally purchase older military technology from U.S. manufacturers or through a secondary market of defense industrial equipment auctions, or even from the Internet, and then look for customer institutions back in China.

"There are pieces of technology... that the Chinese are trying to acquire that are 20, 25 years old, [and] that are mainstays of existing U.S. defense systems but come nowhere close to being considered state-of-the-art, and yet a means-ends test would correctly identify those as critical gaps in the Chinese system," said Dr. James Mulvenon, a specialist on the Chinese military at the Defense Group, Inc., stated during testimony before the Commission in 2009. [Pentland/Forbes/22January2011]

Does the Mossad have Spy Vultures?  True story: Early this week, a griffon vulture flew across the Israeli border and into Saudi Arabia, where it was captured on suspicion of espionage. Local authorities found a GPS transmitter on the bird as well as a leg bracelet emblazoned with TEL AVIV UNIVERSITY. Despite claims by Tel Aviv University scientists that the creature had been tagged as part of a long-term study of area migration patterns using satellite tracking, Saudi Arabian newspaper al-Weeam reported the likelihood of "a Zionist plot." 

This concern comes on the heels of recent reports of sharks and jellyfish weaponized by the Mossad, the Israeli foreign intelligence service, then dispatched to wreak havoc on Egyptian tourism. Moreover, as Middle Eastern rumor has it, Israel possesses unmanned aerial vehicles - a.k.a. drones - disguised as barn swallows, so the captured vulture could at least be a decoy. As one al-Qaeda member recently lamented: Step out of your house, you risk being blown up; Stay inside, your house gets blown up too. Whether the vulture innocently flew off course or was in fact part of an elaborate Mossad covert operation, the psychological effect is the same.

And lethal robotic vultures are a possibility.

The U.S. Army is developing robotic bats that fly autonomously, powered by their own self-recharging lithium batteries. With lifelike outer layers of bat fur and features and the realistic manner they flap their wings, land and perch, these "Com-Bats" can fool real bats, let alone men, all the while transmitting what they see and hear in real-time, from miles away.

In addition, Israel has made no secret of its fleet of unmanned aerial systems, ranging from the Frisbee-size Mosquito to the Heron, a veritable flying arsenal with a wingspan nearly that of a 737.

As intelligence community wisdom goes: Take an existing unclassified device, imagine it with two decades worth of technological enhancement, and it's not unreasonable to assume that the clandestine service "Toy Makers" have it already.   [Thompson/HuffingtonPost/5January2011]


The Future of Open Source Intelligence. The world is becoming increasingly transparent and intelligence agencies need to learn to operate in world with fewer and fewer secrets.

LexisNexis hosted the second round table discussion in its series on open source intelligence (OSINT) at the National Press Club on December 15. The keynote address was given by Doug Naquin, the director of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence's (DNI) Open Source Center (OSC). It also featured Chet Lunner, a former Deputy Undersecretary of Intelligence at the Department of Homeland Security; Thomas Sanderson, a deputy director at the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS); Suzanne Spaulding, a Principal with Bingham Consulting Group; and Jeff Stein, SpyTalk columnist for The Washington Post.

Open source intelligence comes from unclassified sources that are publicly available. This intelligence comes from a wide variety of sources that include foreign newspapers, public data, academic conferences, maps, and even web-based community sites. Despite its public availability, OSINT is far cry from a simple trip to a search engine. It, like all forms of intelligence, requires collection, exploitation, and analysis. The United States primary office for OSINT is the previously mentioned Open Source Center, which operates out of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) although it falls under the offices of the DNI. Many of the other intelligence agencies also operate open source offices to meet their specific requirements.

While the United States has used open source intelligence as long as it has had operating intelligence agencies, in many ways OSINT is still in its early stages. The role of OSINT and how it fits together with other forms of intelligence is still being worked out. While the OSC may be the center of OSINT, it cannot be a monolithic organization responsible for all OSINT because the requirements of its various clients are too disperse. The intelligence that is valuable for the policymakers on Capitol Hill is likely useless for the Department of Homeland Security. The OSC will likely be most valuable as part of a network that can meet specific needs rather than a stand-alone office creating generic intelligence products.

What is certain is that OSINT's role in the future can only grow larger. The Information Age has unleashed an avalanche of potential intelligence sources. News sources, public census data, academic works, and white papers are among the many unclassified sources that OSINT can collect, exploit, and analyze. For better or worse, it has become increasingly difficult for governments around the world to protect their secrets. The OSC and other OSINT providers can take advantage of this situation and provide better and better intelligence for policymakers.

Another important feature of OSINT is that it can be produced outside of government intelligence agencies. Unclassified sources are available to anyone with the desire to collect them. Much of what think tanks, journalists, and academics accomplish could be considered OSINT. One product mentioned at the round table is a program run by Thomas Sanderson in which the CSIS finds journalists, businessmen, academics, etc. with extensive firsthand experience with a region or issue and poses a question to them. These individuals provide answers based solely on primary sources that are compiled and presented to relevant policymakers. The program has been deemed valuable and met with approval from the government.

In a world where it is as easy to access the China Daily or the Daily Telegraph as it is the Washington Post, it should not be a surprise that open source intelligence is on the rise. There are, however, several challenges that prevent OSINT from providing as much value as it could. First is the misconception that because OSINT is derived from unclassified sources it has no more value to a policymaker than what is found in the newspapers or on CNN. The reality is that OSINT comes from a wide variety of sources and is far more nuanced and complex than it is given credit.

The second danger is an over-reliance on individual sources. As it becomes increasingly easy to share information, the trap is that small amounts of information can be spread and reach a wide range of sources. Single accounts that are picked up by multiple news agencies soon give the appearance of being multiple sources. If these stories are then cyclically reported the problem is multiplied as each new report adds weight to the original account. This is similar to the problems caused by an over-reliance on the source CURVEBALL that led to the Iraq WMD intelligence failure.

These challenges aside, the future of OSINT looks bright. Better collaboration on OSINT and its inclusion in all-source intelligence makes for intelligence products that are more valuable to policymakers. Policymakers and other intelligence branches are being made increasingly aware of the potential value of OSINT. While the exact role of OSINT has yet to be determined, its value will make sure that there will always be a place for it in the intelligence community. [Velgersdyk/InternationalAffairsReview/24January2011] 

Espionage Via Spoofed White House eCard. When many people were caught up in the warm fuzzy feeling of peace on earth and goodwill toward man, it may have felt rewarding to receive a Christmas eCard from The White House. The bad news is that the spoofed seasons greetings contained malware aimed at espionage and sucked up several gigabytes of sensitive government documents. Some of the victims worked on cybersecurity as government employees and contractors.

It is currently unknown how many people received the following message on Dec. 23:

"As you and your families gather to celebrate the holidays, we wanted to take a moment to send you our greetings. Be sure that we're profoundly grateful for your dedication to duty and wish you inspiration and success in fulfillment of our core mission."

Regarding this Zeus banking Trojan variant, security blogger Mila Parkour wrote, it "appears to be designed for stealing documents as opposed to stealing passwords and banking information. This places this particular trojan in the category of malware designed for data theft and political/corporate espionage."

Any recipient who clicked on the links and opened the file were then infected with a Zeus Trojan variant that snatched documents and passwords and then uploaded the stolen data to a server in Belarus.

Security expert Brian Krebs wrote in "White House eCard Dupes Dot-Gov Geeks" that he "analyzed the documents taken in that attack, which hoovered up more than 2 gigabytes of PDFs, Microsoft Word and Excel documents from dozens of victims."

Krebs identified some of the victims who fell for the scam e-mail as employees for various governments. These three stood out the most to me:

-An intelligence analyst in Massachusetts State Police gave up dozens of documents that appear to be records of court-ordered cell phone intercepts. Several documents included in the cache indicate the victim may have recently received top-secret clearance. Among this person's cache of documents is a Department of Homeland Security tip sheet called "Safeguarding National Security Information."

-An employee at the National Science Foundation's Office of Cyber Infrastructure. The documents collected from this victim include hundreds of NSF grant applications for new technologies and scientific approaches.

-Financial Action Task Force, an intergovernmental body dedicated to the development and promotion of national and international policies to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.

It is believed by Alex Cox, research analyst at security firm NetWitness, that this government spear phishing attack involves the same guy behind the "Hilary Kneber" Zeus botnet from last year that infected "some 75,000 PCs on a wide range of government and private sector networks." Krebs reports that Cox said, "It's either the same guy, or someone is using this guy's exact same technique."

For now, this Merry Christmas eCard attack is thought to be for espionage purposes and that may very well prove true. This goes to show that anyone, regardless of expertise, can fall for a scam. Over 2 gigs were stolen and the damage is done, but will any policies or information be changed now that they are compromised?

What if, later on, any of this "secret" information were to be published by someone such as WikiLeaks? Is a breach only truly considered serious if that information were to be made public? Case in point is Bank of America which may be the a major American bank that Julian Assange intends to "take down" and reveal an "ecosystem of corruption."

As Bank of America's share price falls, The New York Times reported on the bank's counterespionage work as it gears up for possible published data. A team of 15 to 20 Bank of America top officials are investigating, "scouring thousands of documents in the event that they become public, reviewing every case where a computer has gone missing and hunting for any sign that its systems might have been compromised."

From a security and privacy perspective, it seems like missing computers should have been very important at the time . . . not just if that information might be made public by WikiLeaks. Perhaps computers gone missing were important at the time, but now Bank of America has consulted with top attorneys in case legal problems spring up after a public disclosure, "including the bank's potential liability if private information was disclosed about clients."

If the possibility of espionage was not enough, is a breach considered red-alert important only if the stolen information becomes public knowledge? [Smith/NetworkWorld/3January2011]



INTELLIGENCE PROFESSOR SOUGHT: The Patterson School of Diplomacy of the University of Kentucky in Lexington is looking for a retired intelligence officer to teach one course  a semester as an adjunct professor.  One course will be an overview of the intelligence community and intelligence practices.  The second course would utilize the applicant’s specialized expertise, be it S&T, area studies, operations, etc.  The preferred candidate will have an advanced degree and some teaching experience, but all interested candidates are encouraged to apply.  For more information about the program, please see

Lexington is a delightful small city (population about 300,000), and was selected by Money Magazine in 2010 as one of the 10 best US cities to retire in.  Lexington and the University have excellent medical facilities and a thriving arts environment.  Outstanding and accessible golf courses, horseracing, and SEC basketball all contribute to the environment.  Kentucky taxes federal pensions minimally. 

The position would pay up to $6000 per course and the applicant would have the opportunity to participate in all the activities of the School and the University.

Interested parties are encouraged to send a cover letter and a CV to Evan Hillebrand at


Rethinking the OSS and CIA. It doesn't seem all that long ago that *le tout Washington* was crying for the CIA to be demolished and replaced by an updated version of the OSS, our World War II spying and dirty tricks service.

The idea, accelerated by the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, was that the CIA had grown too bloated, comfortable and cautious over the 40 years since it moved into its new headquarters in Langley, Va. The challenge thrown down by al-Qaeda, it was said, called for a far smaller, nimble, can-do organization, as presidential candidate John McCain put it, that would fight terrorist subversion across the world and in cyberspace.

But a few hours spent with Douglas Waller's forthcoming and lively new book, "Wild Bill Donovan: The Spymaster Who Created the OSS and Modern American Espionage," should cure that. As Waller and a number of other authors before him have discovered, the forerunner of the CIA was every bit as bewitched, beleaguered and befogged for much of its brief existence as its successor has too often been.

Not that Waller, a respected former foreign and diplomatic correspondent for Newsweek and Time, set out to take down the Donovan's OSS, a subject that has already been tackled at least a half-dozen times in serious fashion and many times more that in fanciful memoirs. Indeed, Waller clearly, and rightly, finds much to admire about the OSS, its eclectic corps of brave and imaginative agents and of course, Donovan, the Wall Street lawyer whose dedication and perseverance in winning the war was emblematic of his generation.

But even in Waller's balanced hands, there's no glossing over the record that the OSS's contribution to the glorious victories over Germany, and especially Japan, was marginal. From the invasion of North Africa through the Italian campaign, to the invasion of occupied France and the final push into Germany, the OSS mostly muddled through. It efforts were hobbled by inept station chiefs and turf battles with the uniformed military services, War Department bureaucrats, the FBI and our allies - the Soviets, Nationalist Chinese and even British secret services.

Sound familiar?

"I've jokingly said to myself that I wonder how they had time to spy on the Axis - they were spending so much time snooping on each other," Waller told me.

It's hard to believe that anyone could dig up new material about the OSS, but even at this late date Waller has managed to do it with the help of the Freedom of Information Act. There are new (and sometimes hilarious) details on episodes ranging from OSS break-ins of foreign embassies in Washington to Donovan's plots to assassinate Hitler and dispatch "death squads" to murder top Nazi officials (an idea that was abandoned).

Much of the material feels contemporary. One of the operations Waller dug up will ring a bell with those who remember the Bush administration's intelligence hijinks leading up to the U.S. overthrow of Saddam Hussein. At its center was an OSS spy in Rome, an Italian code-named Vessel who was supplying "spectacular" reports and verbatim transcripts from inside the Vatican, whose envoys had close contacts with the Axis powers.

Vessel, as Waller puts it, turned out to be "a pornographer with a vivid imagination" - not so unlike "Curveball" and other code-named informants who supplied the CIA with bogus information about Iraq's nonexistent weapons of mass destruction.

Maybe swapping out the CIA for the OSS is still a good idea. But not much has been heard of it lately. And after reading "Wild Bill Donovan," you might think it's not such a sensible idea at all. [Stein/WashingtonPost/20January2011]

Cash on Delivery: CIA Special Operations During the Secret War in Laos, by Thomas Leo Briggs. Thomas Briggs' personal memoir, Cash on Delivery, gives a rare and valuable glimpse into American involvement in the little publicized secret war in southern Laos, Military Region III. Unlike more prolific works dealing with General Van Pao's Hmong forces in Military Region II north of Vientiane to the Plain of Jars, covert U.S. and Lao activities around the strategic Bolovens Plateau has been largely unreported.

Briggs' service, following a tour in Vietnam as a military police officer, was timely because North Vietnamese expansion of operations south and west coincided with the period of his 1970-72 tour in Laos. The loss of the use of Sihanoukville port in early 1970, when Lon Nol came to power in Cambodia, stratified the North Vietnamese Army's (NVA) efforts to protect the western salient of the Ho Chi Minh Trail. This entailed expanding rainy season combat operations, when U.S. air power was most adversely affected by weather, toward Pakse, Paksane and the Bolovens Plateau, including Attopeu, key population centers between the Bolovens Plateau and the Trail.

CIA operations in Military Region III at the time were largely structured around Road Watch operations, a time-tested relic from the OSS and Coast Watcher days of World War II when clandestine teams or individuals watched and reported on enemy troop movements and dispositions. Prior to going in-country, Briggs and a colleague spent time attempting to analyze and put some sense into voluminous Road Watch reports languishing unread at headquarters in Langley, Va. It was apparent that the gathering of and reporting of intelligence by indigenous assets with little ability to provide meaningful descriptions - locations or likely destinations or intentions - was worthless. Complicating matters was reporting veracity, so unreliable that polygraphs were routinely used to check if the teams were fabricating their observations and reporting locations.

The Agency's preoccupation with technical collection methods was a significant setback, and Briggs emphasized defections and capture of NVA personnel instead.

Brushes with the bureaucracy and technology notwithstanding, the author had stunning successes and innovations. One of the clearest examples of combined U.S.-Lao heroism is detailed in his account of the rescue of Raven 42, a USAF forward air controller shot down in an epic battle on the Bolovens Plateau as North Vietnamese forces tried to capture Pakse. While fellow Raven FACs juggled an unending stream of U.S. Navy and Air Force tactical air, the wounded pilot and his Lao backseat observer, who refused to abandon him, hid from the North Vietnamese who had shot them down. Briggs downplays his own role in the rescue, riding in on the rescue helicopter and administering what may have been lifesaving first aid to the downed pilot.

Briggs' emphasis on defections and capture of NVA personnel was significant, but these operations also cite a poignant example of timely, critical intelligence that went unnoticed and failed to stop an operation of the greatest significance in neighboring Vietnam - the Easter Offensive of 1972.

Four decades later, as terrorists smuggle bombs onto airliners while a plethora of dots go unconnected, the parallels between the timely and accurate intelligence on the Easter Offensive provided by one of these defectors, a virtual playbook of North Vietnamese intentions, being ignored at Langley, is striking.

The gulf between the highest echelons at the policy level and the young field operatives is cited as a great concern. Careerism at the top and the shrinking pool of midlevel intelligence professionals to mentor these young operatives are also viewed as alarming trends.

The book is not without flaws. Redundancy and restatement of previously reported information could have been trimmed with a more thorough editing. Similarly, the author seems to have concentrated a little too solely on his own role and mission. The significant MACV-SOG Operation Tailwind that occurred in September 1970 was a key U.S. response to North Vietnamese operations affecting Vietnam, but it isn't mentioned, in spite of its occurrence in the Bolovens area. Three decades later the operation would gain notoriety as a CNN-Time magazine news fiasco. Despite these minor shortcomings, Briggs' book should be read, especially by the intelligence professionals dealing with the complex, multifaceted conflicts of the 21st century. [History/22January2011] 

Espionage Unraveled: Book review of Kate Taylor's "A Man in Uniform." Kate Taylor has created that literary prize - a book whose pages the reader cannot turn fast enough.

"A Man in Uniform" is a fictional look at "L'Affaire Dreyfus," the military espionage case that threw France into turmoil between 1894 and 1899 and permanently engraved the name of Emile Zola on political science syllabuses to this day.

Maj. Alfred Dreyfus, an artillery officer in the French army, was falsely accused of selling information to the Germans, convicted on the flimsiest of evidence and sentenced to life imprisonment on Devil's Island. Not everyone believed him guilty, however.

"A Man in Uniform" centers on one Francois Dubon, an inoffensive Parisian lawyer who spends his days drafting wills and contracts. Until, that is, a mysterious woman clad in mourning appears in his office and asks him to find the real spy, the military officer who committed the offenses Dreyfus was convicted of.

Dubon, who is much taken with this mysterious widow, reluctantly agrees to make some inquiries into the case. He fully intends to hand it off to one of his colleagues, but finds himself inexorably drawn deeper and deeper into the affair. He even masquerades as a military officer to worm his way into the counterintelligence office responsible for bringing the case against Dreyfus. This, of course, plays hob with his normal routines, both professional and domestic.

Taylor generates tightrope suspense as Dubon puts the pieces together.

Although Dubon is fictional, Taylor brings him into close contact with real players in the affair - Lt. Col. Georges Picquart, the head of counterintelligence, who reopened the investigation; Maj. Hubert-Joseph Henry, who went above and beyond the call of duty to bolster the government's case against Dreyfus; Marie Bastien, the cleaning woman at the German Embassy whose wastebaskets full of paper started the whole thing; Lemercier Picard, a forger apparently on the government payroll, and Ferdinand Esterhazy, who eventually confessed to being the spy years later.

Dubon is a delightful character: A trifle self-satisfied at the beginning of the book, childishly pleased with himself when he manages to unravel a puzzle, but doggedly determined to see justice done in the end. The reader is only too happy to follow him as he burrows into the murky depths of espionage, counterespionage, betrayal and cover-up. [Lucia Anderson is a freelance writer in Woodbridge.] []


Harry Thayer Mahoney, age 88, a resident of Wheaton since 1976, passed away Saturday, January 15, 2011 at Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield. Harry was born June 19, 1922 in Oak Park, IL.

He was a member of the 82nd Airborne Division during WWII. Harry was an attorney with Hinshaw & Culbertson; served 25 years with the C.I.A. and worked in Corporate Security for the McDonalds Corporation.

Harry received his undergraduate degree from Elmhurst College and his law degree from Northwestern University. Harry and his wife, Marjorie, co-authored 13 books relating to espionage, intelligence and history.

He enjoyed photography, fly fishing and watching old movies. As a child, Harry lived in many places around the world, and was fluent in Spanish and Portuguese.

Harry is survived by his beloved wife of 63 years, Marjorie (nee Locke); loving children Elizabeth (Rafael) Zuniga of Wheaton, Paul (Janelle) of St. Augustine, FL, Matthew (Sara) of Lake Bluff, IL and Sarah (Craig) Antas of Wheaton; 13 cherished grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his sister Evelyn Reid. Private services have been held. [MySuburbanLife/18January2011] 

Lawrence T. Higgins, CIA Employee. Lawrence T. Higgins, 84, a CIA employee from 1951 to 1983 who as a young man played football under future Hall of Fame coach Vince Lombardi, died of a heart ailment Jan. 3 at his home in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.

At the CIA, Mr. Higgins served for many years in the Directorate of Science and Technology's Office of Technical Service, which works on forms of support for agents in the field. His title was technical operations officer.

Lawrence Thomas Higgins was born in the Bronx, N.Y., and raised in Edgewater, N.J. After graduating from St. Cecilia High School in Englewood, N.J., in 1941, he served in the Army in Europe during World War II. He graduated in 1951 from Fordham University in New York.

Mr. Higgins played football under Lombardi, who was a coach at St. Cecilia and Fordham before going on to become one of the most successful coaches of the National Football League.

In 2000, Mr. Higgins wrote a letter to the editor in the New York Times saying that he was responsible for the phrase "run to daylight" that became the title of Lombardi's book about coaching the Green Bay Packers.

In his letter, Mr. Higgins said he was playing for Fordham when, one day during afternoon practice, he had a hard time running his plays into lengthening shadows. He told Lombardi that he could perform the plays well when he could "run to daylight."

Mr. Higgins was drafted by the Chicago Bears but instead went to work for the CIA.

He was inducted in the Fordham's athletic hall of fame in 1991.

His marriage to the former Catherine Sachs ended in divorce.

Survivors include two daughters, Patricia Higgins of New York and Caroline Higgins of Bodega Bay, Calif.; and two granddaughters. [Bernstein/WashingtonPost/22January2011] 

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.

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 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 Las Vegas 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 is used 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, 5:00-6:00 p.m. - Hampton Roads, VA - The AFIO Chapter meets to plan 2011 events and other business. Location: Tabb Library in York County. Main Meeting Room.
We will discuss chapter plans for the year and other business matters. Nonmembers are welcome.
Please rsvp: Melissa Saunders
Directions to Tabb Library, York County
From Norfolk take I-64 West. Merge onto US-17 North via Exit 258B toward Yorktown. Follow US-17 North approximately 2.2 miles to Victory Blvd/VA-171 East. Turn right onto Victory Blvd/VA-171 East. Turn right at the next traffic light onto Hampton Hwy/VA-134 South. Turn right at the next traffic light onto Long Green Blvd. Tabb Library is on the immediate right. It is across the street from the Victory YMCA.
From Williamsburg take I-64 East. Merge onto Victory Blvd/VA-171 East via Exit 256B. Follow Victory Blvd/VA-171 East approximately 2 miles. Turn right onto Hampton Hwy/VA-134 South. Turn right at the next traffic light onto Long Green Blvd. Tabb Library is on the immediate right. It is across the street from the Victory YMCA.

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.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011, 7:00pm - Washington, DC - "Secret History of History - Espionage in the Civil War" at the International Spy Museum During the Civil War both sides used resources to conduct intelligence operations that would give their side an advantage. Despite the often disorderly nature of many of these efforts, significant successes included the use of Union codes which protected critical communications, and both sides effectively using agents to gather and report information.
Clayton D. Laurie, Historian, Center for the Study of Intelligence, CIA, Moderator
Ann Blackman, author of Wild Rose: Rose O'Neale Greenhow, Civil War Spy
Ken Daigler, former Case Officer in the Clandestine Service, CIA, and author of Black Dispatches: Black American Contributions to Union Intelligence During the Civil War
Donald E. Markle, author of Spies and Spymasters of the Civil War
The Spy Museum in partnership with the National Archives presents this program.
Free! No reservation required. Directions available at

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

Thursday, 17 February 2011, noon – 1:00 pm - Washington, DC - "Wild Bill Donovan: The Spymaster Who Created the OSS and Modern American Espionage" at International Spy Museum
"Wild Bill" Donovan was a World War I hero with a Medal of Honor to prove it, a millionaire Wall Street lawyer, and a prominent Republican. Democratic President Franklin Roosevelt chose this brilliant yet disorganized visionary to be his spymaster, head of the World War II Office of Strategic Services (OSS). Veteran journalist Douglas Waller has written a compelling biography of William Donovan. He describes Donovan's reckless nature: how he needlessly risked his life on foreign battlefields and engaged in extramarital affairs that emboldened his enemies in Washington. Waller also recounts the OSS's daring operations overseas and the vicious political battles that Donovan had to fight with Winston Churchill, J. Edgar Hoover, and the Pentagon. Donovan's plans to continue the OSS after the war were defeated, yet the CIA rose like a phoenix from the OSS's ashes.
Free! No registration required! Join the author for an informal chat and book signing. Directions at

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

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


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