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Section I - INTELLIGENCE HIGHLIGHTS
FBI Director Says Cyberthreat Will Surpass Threat From Terrorists. Threats from cyber-espionage, computer crime, and attacks on critical infrastructure will surpass terrorism as the number one threat facing the United States, FBI Director Robert Mueller testified today.
Mueller and National Intelligence Director James Clapper, addressing the annual Worldwide Threat hearing before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, cited their concerns about cyber-security and noted that China and Russia run robust intrusion operations against key U.S. industries and the government.
"I do not think today it is necessarily [the] number one threat, but it will be tomorrow," Mueller said. "Counterterrorism - stopping terrorist attacks - with the FBI is the present number one priority. But down the road, the cyberthreat, which cuts across all [FBI] programs, will be the number one threat to the country."
A report released in November by the National Counterintelligence Executive singled out Russia and China for their aggressive efforts to steal American intellectual property, trade secrets and national security information.
"The cyberthreat is one of the most challenging ones we face," Clapper said. "Among state actors, we're particularly concerned about entities within China and Russia conducting intrusions into U.S. computer networks and stealing U.S. data. And the growing role that nonstate actors are playing in cyberspace is a great example of the easy access to potentially disruptive and even lethal technology and know-how by such groups."
"We foresee a cyber-environment in which emerging technologies are developed and implemented before security responses can be put in place," Clapper said. U.S. officials estimate that there are 60,000 new malicious computer programs identified each day. [Read more: Ryan/ABCNews/31January2012]
Mossad Chief Held Talks on Iran in US Visit: CIA. The head of Israel's intelligence service paid a secret visit to Washington last week to discuss Iran's nuclear program, the CIA director and a top US lawmaker said Tuesday.
Mossad chief Tamir Pardo flew to the US capital to consult with his American counterparts amid speculation over a possible Israeli strike against Iranian nuclear facilities, CIA director David Petraeus and Senator Dianne Feinstein revealed at a congressional hearing.
Sensitive trips by intelligence chiefs are usually kept secret but Feinstein, the chairwoman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, mentioned Pardo's visit at a televised hearing as she discussed how Israel views Iran's nuclear ambitions.
"Well, the vice chairman and I have just met this past week with the director of Mossad, so that is a classified meeting," Feinstein said at the hearing.
The Central Intelligence Agency director confirmed the meeting and said he was frequently talking to Israel's leaders, who he said viewed Iran's nuclear program as an "existential threat."
"Like you, obviously, I met with the head of Mossad when he was here," Petraeus said.
"That is part of an ongoing dialogue that has also included conversations that I've had with Prime Minister (Benjamin) Netanyahu and with (Defense) Minister (Ehud) Barak -- the latter almost on a monthly basis in the nearly five months that I've been in the job," he said.
Feinstein cited her meeting with the Mossad director after asking US intelligence chiefs about the likelihood of possible pre-emptive military action by Israel against Iran's nuclear sites.
US National Intelligence Director James Clapper replied that sanctions would hopefully convince Tehran to abandon its nuclear work but said he would prefer to answer the question in a closed-door session.
Israeli officials have sent conflicting messages about potential military strikes on Iran. [Read more: AFP/1February2012]
'Hell to Pay' if Terrorists' Link to Drug Cartels isn't Checked. Collaboration between Latin American drug cartels and groups such as Iran's Quds Force and the Islamic terror group Hezbollah is growing "far faster than most policymakers in Washington, D.C., choose to admit," a former U.S. intelligence official testified Tuesday.
Michael A. Braun, former chief of operations and intelligence for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), told lawmakers that the operational capability of such groups is being "strengthened by the close relations that they are working hard to develop with very powerful organized criminal organizations in our neighborhood and throughout Latin America."
The ultraviolent Los Zetas Mexican drug cartel and others "allow them to operate freely in our neighborhood, and they're getting closer to our doorstep," he said during a hearing by the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
"If we don't do something about it and really get serious about it, I think there's gonna be hell to pay at some date in the probably not too distant future," said Mr. Braun, who retired from the DEA in 2008 and is a managing partner at the international drug law enforcement consulting group Spectre International.
The committee's chairwoman, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, asserted that Iran's ongoing diplomatic alliance with several Latin American leaders could be giving the Islamic republic's intelligence forces and proxy groups "a platform in the region to carry out attacks against the United States." [Read more: Taylor/WashingtonTimes/2February2012]
Syria Releases the 7/7 'Mastermind'. Abu Musab al-Suri had been held in Syria for six years after being captured by the CIA in 2005 and transported to the country of his birth under its controversial extraordinary rendition programme.
But he is now said to have been released as a warning to the US and Britain about the consequences of turning their backs on President al-Assad's regime as it tries to contain the uprising in the country.
Al-Suri, also known as Mustafa Setmariam Nasar, was al-Qaeda's operations chief in Europe and has been accused of planning the London bombings, in which four British-born terrorists detonated three bombs on the Underground and another on a bus, killing 52 people and injuring more than 700 others in 2005.
In a statement released after the attacks, al-Suri said: "[In my teachings] I have mentioned vital and legitimate targets to be hit in the enemy's countries... Among those targets that I specifically mentioned as examples was the London Underground. [Targeting this] was and still is the aim."
A mechanical engineer, he is also wanted in Spain in connection with the Madrid train bombings in 2004, which left 191 dead, and for links to an attack on the Paris Metro in 1995. [Read more: Lewis/Telegraph/4February2012]
Congressmen Seeks US Citizenship for Bin Laden Informant. Washington: A group of Congressmen here has sought US citizenship for jailed Pakistani doctor Shakeel Afridi, who helped CIA track down killed al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden last year.
A Congressional legislation has been introduced in the US House of Representatives seeking the citizenship for the doctor, who is currently in a Pakistani jail for "treason".
"...Today I have introduced legislation to grant American citizenship to Dr Shakeel Afridi, the Pakistan medical doctor who risked his life to identify Osama Bin Laden and help US military forces bring him to justice," Congressman Dana Rohrabacher said yesterday.
If convicted, he could be executed, the lawmaker from California pointed out.
"My bill would grant him US citizenship and send a direct and powerful message to those in the Pakistani government and military who protected the mastermind of 9/11 for all those years and who are now seeking retribution on those who helped to execute Bin Laden," Rohrabacher said in the House of Representatives.
The Afridi citizenship bill has been endorsed by more than a dozen top Congressmen including Bill Posey, Ted Poe and Roscoe Bartlett.
The legislation came days after the Defense Secretary, Leon Panetta, said that Afridi "was an individual who in fact helped provide intelligence that was very helpful" to the operation which killed bin Laden.
In an interview Panetta had said he is "very concerned" about his fate.
"This bill shows the world that America does not abandon its friends," Rohrabacher said.
Afridi was arrested from his home on May 22 last year after it was found out that he had helped the CIA in confirming bin Laden's location. [Read more: PTI/5February2012]
NATO Report Alleges Pakistani Military Helping Taliban. Pakistani intelligence is directly aiding Taliban forces in Afghanistan, according to a secret NATO document based on thousands of interrogations that was reported by the BBC Wednesday.
It said the leaked report alleged the Inter Services Intelligence knows the locations and activities of senior Taliban leaders.
A BBC correspondent in Kabul called the report 'painful reading' for the US-led international forces and Afghan government.
Pakistan officials have always denied having ties to the Taliban. [Read more: SouthAsiaNews/1February2012]
Intelligence Chief Describes Complex Challenges. America and the world are facing the most complex set of challenges in at least 50 years, the director of national intelligence told the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence here today.
James R. Clapper Jr. said capabilities, technologies, know-how, communications and environmental forces "aren't confined by borders and can trigger transnational disruptions with astonishing speed."
"Never before has the intelligence community been called upon to master such complexity on so many issues in such a resource- constrained environment," he added.
CIA Director David H. Petraeus, FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III, Defense Intelligence Agency Director Army Lt. Gen. Ronald L. Burgess Jr. and others accompanied Clapper during his testimony on Capitol Hill. Clapper spoke for all agencies in his opening statement.
All U.S. agencies are combating the complex environment and making sense of the threats by continuing to integrate the community and "by taking advantage of new technologies, implementing new efficiencies and, as always, simply working hard," Clapper said.
Still, he said, all agencies are confronting the difficult fiscal environment.
"Maintaining the world's premier intelligence enterprise in the face of shrinking budgets will be difficult," the director said. "We'll be accepting and managing risk more so than we've had to do in the last decade."
Terrorism and proliferation remain the first threats the intelligence agencies must face, he said, and the next three years will be crucial. [Read more: Garamone/AFPS/31January2012]
Former Spy Chief to be Personally Sued by Libyan Rebel Leaders who Accuse him of Complicity in Torture. A senior British spy faces legal action from two men who accuse him of handing them over to Colonel Gaddafi's torturers.
Sir Mark Allen, the former head of counter terrorism at MI6, is being sued by two senior Libyan rebel leaders who accuse him of complicity in torture.
Abdel Hakim Belhadj and Sami Al Saadi say Sir Mark played a key role in transferring them into Libyan custody - where they were subject to horrendous mistreatment.
Both are separately suing the British Government for £1million but in new legal actions they are targeting Sir Mark personally. The cases raise the prospect of the former spy chief appearing in court to face the allegations. [Read more: Doyle/DailyMail/1February2012]
Churov Accused of Spying for Britain. Taking "spy mania" to the heights of absurd, a group of Communist lawmakers asked the Federal Security Service to check the country's election tsar for ties to British intelligence.
Central Election Commission head Vladimir Churov personally invited Denis Keefe, deputy head of the British diplomatic mission in Russia, to the commission's press center in Moscow during the State Duma vote in December, the lawmakers wrote on Monday.
But Keefe served on Britain's Joint Intelligence Committee and is an expert on dissident movements staging "velvet revolutions," which raises questions about the nature of his ties with Churov, the lawmakers said.
The letter, authored by nine Duma deputies with the Communist Party and available on the party's web site, formally requests the FSB to investigate Churov's ties with Keefe. Neither Churov nor the law enforcement agency commented on the request as of Monday evening. [Read more: Sysoev/RIANovosti/30January2012]
Hackers Hit Boston Police And Other Websites, Steal Tipster Info. Saboteurs stole passwords and sensitive information on tipsters while hacking into the websites of several law enforcement agencies worldwide in attacks attributed to the collective known as Anonymous.
Breaches were reported this week in Boston, Syracuse, N.Y., Salt Lake City and Greece.
Hackers gained access to the Salt Lake City Police Department website that gathers citizen complaints about drug and other crimes, including phone numbers, addresses and other personal data of informants, police said.
The website remained down Friday as police worked to make it more secure. [Read more: CBSBoston/3February2012]
Retirement Plan: ISI Chief Looking Forward to Golfing Instead of Spying? Arguably, it is one of the most difficult jobs in the world. Heading a spy agency that has more often been in the limelight for all the wrong reasons is certainly a tough task. And perhaps that is why the incumbent chief of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Lt General Ahmed Shuja Pasha does not seem keen to get another extension in his service.
Despite speculations that the government may extend his tenure for a third time in an effort to ease tensions with the military, the Director General ISI reportedly told a western diplomat in an informal chat that he wants to go home sooner rather than later.
After heading the country's premier spy agency since October 2008, Pasha is due to retire on March 18. He was scheduled to retire in March 2010, but was twice given extensions.
"I have had enough of it... I want to get out of it," Pasha was quoted as saying by the diplomat, who met the ISI chief recently.
The diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told The Express Tribune that Pasha appeared to be "under a lot of stress over the developments that have taken place recently."
However, the diplomat's claim could not be independently verified nor was the ISI willing to speak on the subject. [Read more: Yousaf/Tribune/4February2012]
FBI Targets "Hoarder" In Top-Secret Thefts. A U.S. government employee with a top-secret security clearance is the subject of an FBI investigation into his unauthorized removal of classified material from the Virginia offices of an intelligence agency, The Smoking Gun has learned.
When the target was confronted last month by federal agents, he described himself as a "hoarder." During a subsequent search of the man's Maryland home, investigators recovered a large cache of classified documents and computer disks.
The criminal probe is focusing on Robert Harwin, an analyst with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), which creates maps and interprets images from satellites and drones. The agency's advanced, and highly secret technological capacities allowed it to play a key role in the successful raid on Osama bin Laden's compound in Pakistan.
FBI agents, who began investigating the 67-year-old Harwin last month, questioned him on January 20 about the discovery of secret and top-secret documents in his 1991 Toyota Corolla. Along with the classified documents, "Computer Discs labeled with government markings" were found inside Harwin's vehicle.
When asked if other NGA material was stored at his Maryland home, Harwin answered that he was unsure. [Read more: SmokingGun/1February2012]
US No-Fly List Doubles in 1 Year. The Obama administration has more than doubled, to about 21,000 names, its secret list of suspected terrorists who are banned from flying to or within the United States, including about 500 Americans, the Associated Press has learned. The government lowered the bar for being added to the list, even as it says it's closer than ever to defeating al-Qaida.
The size of the government's secret no-fly list has jumped from about 10,000 in the past year, according to government figures provided to the AP.
The surge comes as the government says it's close to defeating al-Qaida, after killing many of its senior members. But senior officials said the threat does not stop there.
"As long as we sustain the pressure on it, we judge that core al-Qaida will be of largely symbolic importance to the global jihadist movement," Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told Congress on Thursday. "But regional affiliates and, to a lesser extent, small cells and individuals will drive the global jihad agenda."
Those are the people added to the no-fly list, current and former counterterrorism officials said. Most are from other countries; about 500 are Americans.
"Both U.S. intelligence and law enforcement communities and foreign services continue to identify people who want to cause us harm, particularly in the U.S. and particularly as it relates to aviation," Transportation Security Administrator John Pistole said in an interview. [Read more: AP/2February2012]
Obama: US Has 'Very Good' Intelligence on Iran. President Barack Obama said the U.S. has a "very good estimate" of when Iran could complete work on a nuclear weapon, but cautioned that there are still many unanswered questions about Tehran's inner workings.
"Do we know all of the dynamics inside of Iran? Absolutely not," Obama said. "Iran itself is a lot more divided now than it was. Knowing who is making decisions at any given time inside of Iran is tough."
Obama said that while he believes the standoff with Iran over its nuclear program can still be resolved through diplomacy, the U.S. has done extensive planning on a range of options.
"We are prepared to exercise these options should they arise," Obama said during an interview with NBC that aired Monday on the "Today" show.
On Syria, where human rights groups say government forces have killed hundreds of people over the last few days in an effort to contain an uprising against President Bashar Assad, Obama said it is important to resolve the ongoing conflict there without outside military intervention.
The president says a negotiated solution in Syria is possible and defended his administration's handling of the violence there, saying the U.S. has been "relentless" in demanding that Assad leave power.
Obama's comments come amid increased tensions in the Middle East and elsewhere over the prospect that Israel, a key U.S. ally, could soon launch a unilateral strike against Iran. Fearing that such a step could trigger a broader war and disrupt the international economy, the U.S. and other western nations are scrambling to try to persuade Israel against a strike. [Read more: Feller/AP/6February2012]
Holder: CIA Interrogation Probe Nearing End. The Justice Department's investigation into the deaths of two detainees in Central Intelligence Agency custody should conclude soon, Attorney General Eric Holder said Thursday.
Holder made no mention of proceeding with prosecutions in the cases and suggested they would be closed.
"There were ....things that were done during the course of those interrogations that are antithetical to American values, that resulted in the deaths of certain people," Holder said during testimony before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. "That investigation has run its course. We are at a point where we are about to close those investigations."
Holder stirred significant controversy by re-opening inquiries into alleged abuses involving about 100 terrorism suspects during the "enhanced interrogation techniques" program authorized by President George W. Bush and during interrogations before that program was formally authorized.
Seven former CIA chiefs asked President Barack Obama to shut down the probes, but he did not do so. Then-CIA director Leon Panetta also reportedly objected to the renewed inquiries, saying they could demoralize Agency personnel.
Last year, Holder announced that the bulk of the inquiries would be closed, but that a full investigation would proceed into two detainee deaths. [Read more: Gerstein/Politico/2February2012]
Section II - CONTEXT & PRECEDENCE
CIA Claims Release of its History of the Bay of Pigs Debacle Would "Confuse the Public." Late last year, the Central Intelligence Agency explained to Judge Kessler of the US District Court in Washington DC that releasing the final volume of its three-decade-old history of the 1961 Bay of Pigs debacle would "confuse the public," and should be withheld because it is a "predecisional" document. Wow. And I thought that I had heard them all.
On the 50th anniversary of the Bay of Pigs invasion, the National Security Archive filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit for the release of a five-volume CIA history of the Bay of Pigs affair. In response to the lawsuit, the CIA negotiated to release three volumes of the history - the JFK Assassination Records Review Board had already released Volume III - with limited redaction, currently available on the National Security Archive's website. At the time, the Director of the National Security Archive's Cuba Documentation project, Peter Kornbluh, quipped that getting historic documents released from the CIA was "the bureaucratic equivalent of passing a kidney stone." He was right. The Agency refused to release the final volume of this history, and the National Security Archive is not giving up on the fight.
Keep it secret!
Volume five of the history, written by CIA historian Jack Pfeiffer - who sued the CIA himself to release the history in 1987, and lost - is described by the CIA as an "Internal Investigation document" that "is an uncritical defense of the CIA officers who planned and executed the Bay of Pigs operation... It offers a polemic of recriminations against CIA officers who later criticized the operation and against those U.S. officials who its author, Dr. Pfeiffer, contends were responsible for the failure of that operation."
While Dr. Pfeiffer's conclusions may or may not be true, FOIA case law appears to be pretty clear that Americans "who funded the operation and Dr. Pfeiffer's histories" have the right to read this document and decide for themselves its merits. Despite the claims of the CIA's chief historian David Robarge, the document should not remain in the CIA vaults because its conclusions "could cause scholars, journalists, and others interested in the subject at hand to reach an erroneous or distorted view of the Agency's role." Historians, after all, are well trained in treating documents - especially CIA hagiographies sources - skeptically.
To prevent the public from reading this volume, the CIA has argued that because it is a draft, it is a predecisional document and can be denied under exemption b(5) of the FOIA. Except - as Davis Sobel, counsel to the National Security Archive points out in our motions - the case law states otherwise. [Read more: Jones/GlobalResearch/5February2012]
Now Visitors can Spy on Satellites. These days, high-resolution satellite images are as close as a visit to Google Earth or other mapping websites. When I call up a shot of my house, I can even see a dead spot in the hedge lining my driveway.
But satellite photography goes back more than 50 years. In those days, the satellites were highly classified military vehicles, using film that had to be jettisoned to Earth from orbit in special canisters.
Three of those once cutting-edge satellites - Gambit 1 KH-7, Gambit 3 KH-8 and Hexagon KH-9 - have just been put on display at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force near Dayton.
The names might call up images of a young Sean Connery as 007, but these were very real, very serious machines.
Museum director Jack Hudson said the satellites - which were launched, tracked and controlled by the Air Force - played a vital role during the Cold War.
The Gambit 1 satellites were the first American high-resolution reconnaissance satellites, used from 1963 to 1967. The improved Gambit 3 vehicles were used until 1984.
The Hexagon satellites, operational from 1971 to 1984, could discern objects less than 2 feet across from 100 miles up. Analysts searched broad swaths of territory with the Hexagon, then would focus in on suspicious images with the Gambit satellites. (Say "Cheese," Comrade Brezhnev.)
After CIA pilot Francis Gary Powers' U-2 spy plane was shot down over the Soviet Union in 1960, the United States discontinued overflights, said Doug Lantry, the curator and project manager for the exhibit. Instead satellites, which the Soviets suspected were up there but could do nothing about, were developed.
"These (satellites) gave us information that we couldn't get in any other way," Lantry said. [Read more: Stephens/ColumbusDispatch/4February2012]
Spies, Traitors and Saboteurs: Fear and Freedom in America opens at Tampa Bay History Center. The traveling exhibition 'Spies, Traitors and Saboteurs: Fear and Freedom in America' opened at the Tampa Bay History Center on Saturday.
The exhibit, on loan from the International Spy Museum, in Washington, DC, explores the history of domestic terrorism and espionage in America from 1776 to 2001.
Spies, Traitors and Saboteurs revisits numerous historic events including the capture of the White House in 1814, the bombing of the U.S. Capitol building in 1971, the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing and the terror attacks of Sept. 11.
"It shows that we have been, in a sense, kind of under siege at different times, by different groups, both from within the country and outside of the country since we have been a country," museum curator Rodney Kite-Powell said. "I think it's good for us to know that we've overcome these problems in the past and we can overcome them again in the future."
The exhibition will be on display through June 24. [Read more: CFNews/4February2012]
Help-Wanted Ad Led O'Sullivan to Challenging Career. You never know when a life of espionage is right there in front of you, in an advertisement, calling you to a new adventure. At least, Stephanie O'Sullivan says she didn't know when she answered a help wanted ad more than two decades ago for an employer looking for someone with experience in "ocean engineering."
The recent college graduate with a civil engineering degree had moved in with her parents in Annapolis, Maryland, while her fiancé, whom she'd met in college, finished up his own program. Her parents, in full anticipation of sailing off into the sunset when her father retired, had bought a boat, and that's where the three of them lived.
"I thought, 'Well I know about that, I live on a boat and I've been into boating all my life because my father was into it," said O'Sullivan, who answered the ad, not really understanding the full scope of what "ocean engineering" meant. She soon realized why the ad was so cryptic: it was for work on a classified program. "It turned out to be intelligence community work and it was luck because it's been a career of infinite challenge."
It must have been the right choice, because O'Sullivan now serves as one of the highest-ranking women in the intelligence community. As principal deputy director of National Intelligence (PDDNI), she manages coordination and information sharing. A big responsibility, given the fact that the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) was created out of the 9/11 commission investigation as a solution for making sure that future information was better shared among multiple intelligence agencies. It's a job that comes with a sense of mission and the burden of constantly wondering whether you've missed anything.
"I know it's corny-sounding, but we have the very great privilege of being able to believe that it makes a difference every day that you're here, that when you get up in the morning, if you rolled over and went back to sleep, something bad could happen," says O'Sullivan, from her spacious corner office at the ODNI.
For O'Sullivan, intelligence work signified a sense of service, an ideal with which she had been raised. Her father was a Korean War veteran who had gone to work at the National Geospatial Agency. "He always instilled this sense that your actions have to be about more than you," recalls O'Sullivan.
O'Sullivan eventually left her "ocean engineering" role in search of a new challenge. She found it in the U.S. Navy, and to a certain extent, even more so later at the Central Intelligence Agency, where she knew right away that what she was about to take on would be different from any other job she'd ever had.
"When I first started at CIA, my boss told me, 'We promise you will not be bored,'" recalls O'Sullivan, a huge smile spreading across her face. "'You will experience every other emotion,' and he was 100% right."
The agency was just starting to attract more women to its ranks when O'Sullivan signed on in 1995. She was among a core group who worked their way into management positions, and hers included a stint leading the agency's Directorate of Science and Technology. She won't talk about what she had a role in developing there, but the DS&T is the part of the agency James Bond would have loved the most. It's the place where new inventions and technological adaptations that help support intelligence and analysis missions are created. O'Sullivan impressed many in that role and eventually became third-in-command at the CIA as the agency's associate deputy director. [Read more: Kelly/CNN/7February2012]
Cairo's Undercover Strongman. When Hosni Mubarak fell from power in February 2011, many elements of his regime remained in place - at least at first. In the year since then, the Egyptian army, the police, and the business elite have struggled to cope with the tide of revolutionary change washing over the Arab world's most populous country.
Not one of these institutions has made it through the process entirely intact. The deeply unpopular national police force has seen its authority relentlessly eroded by protestors and the press. Mubarak-era crony capitalists have landed in jail, their old deals under fire from rivals or the courts. And the military, which has ruled the country in the guise of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), has become the focus of popular anger as it struggles to maintain its control. Now the Muslim Brotherhood, which has ridden recent electoral victories to a dominant position in the new parliament, is set to advance its own agenda, thus adding a fresh element of unpredictability to the struggle for power.
Yet one pillar of the old regime has survived the turmoil with its authority intact - if not expanded. It is the General Intelligence Directorate (GID), the country's most powerful intelligence agency. As the elderly generals of the SCAF have only fanned the flames of discontent with their clumsy maneuverings in recent months, the GID, which reigns supreme among Egypt's competing security services, has gradually emerged as something like the brain trust of the leadership. Unlike the ruling generals, its officers act outside of the limelight, their workings largely obscure to the media and the public. Its role has enabled the GID (commonly known in Arabic as the Mukhabarat) to capitalize on the uncertainty that plagues other reigning institutions. As a result, the man who runs it - an inscrutable 61-year-old by the name of Murad Muwafi - is now poised to assume a key role in the next phase of high-level intrigue. [Read more: Samaan/ForeignPolicy/3February2012]
Section III - COMMENTARY
Who Reviews the U.S. 'Kill List'? When it comes to national security, Michael V. Hayden is no shrinking violet. As CIA director, he ran the Bush administration's program of warrantless wiretaps against suspected terrorists.
But the retired air force general admits to being a little squeamish about the Obama administration's expanding use of pilotless drones to kill suspected terrorists around the world - including, occasionally, U.S. citizens.
"Right now, there isn't a government on the planet that agrees with our legal rationale for these operations, except for Afghanistan and maybe Israel," Hayden told me recently.
As an example of the problem, he cites the example of Anwar Awlaki, the New Mexico-born member of Al Qaeda who was killed by a U.S. drone in Yemen last September. "We needed a court order to eavesdrop on him," Hayden notes, "but we didn't need a court order to kill him. Isn't that something?"
Hayden isn't the only one who has qualms about the "targeted killing" program. The chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), has been pressing the administration to explain its rules for months.
In a written statement, Feinstein said she thinks Awlaki was "a lawful target" but added that she still thinks the administration should explain its reasoning more openly "to maintain public support of secret operations."
As Hayden puts it: "This program rests on the personal legitimacy of the president, and that's dangerous."
There has been remarkably little public debate about the drone strikes, which have killed at least 1,300 people in Pakistan alone since President Obama came to office. Little debate inside the United States, that is. But overseas, the operations have prompted increasing opposition and could turn into a foreign policy headache.
It's odd that the Obama administration, which came into office promising to be more open and more attentive to civil liberties than the previous one, has been so reluctant to explain its policies in this area. Obama and his aides have refused to answer questions about drone strikes because they are part of a covert program, yet they have repeatedly taken credit for their victories in public. After months of negotiations, Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. won approval from the White House to spell out some of the administration's legal thinking in the Awlaki case. But his statement, originally promised for last month, has been delayed by continued internal wrangling.
When it is issued, officials said, the statement is likely to add a few details to the bare-bones rationale the administration has offered in a handful of public statements and court proceedings. The administration has said that strikes against suspected terrorists are justified for two reasons: First, that Al Qaeda is at war with the United States, which makes any participant in Al Qaeda operations an enemy combatant; and second, that anyone directly involved in terrorist plots against Americans poses an "imminent danger" to U.S. security. [Read more: McManus/LATimes/5February2012]
FBI Spying On... FarmVille? The FBI wants to step up their monitoring of social media. Earlier this month the bureau posted a Request for Information (RFI) from potential vendors for a powerful, custom-designed social media monitoring app. However, the most worrying thing isn't that the FBI wants to scrape social media data from terrorists' Twitter feeds, it's that they don't already have a dashboard with these capabilities.
In the RFI, the FBI described their dream software suite in terms that would chill most privacy activists. Various departments at the bureau (cybercrime, anti-terrorism, etc.) would be able to create specific social media and search engine alerts that would be keyed to a Google Maps-style geospatial map. The map (and other stand-alone features within the suite) would also contain information on weather, traffic, domestic terrorist intelligence, and foreign terrorist intelligence. Using the software suite, agents could instantly create spot reports. Agents would also be able to conduct real-time monitoring of public messages/posts on social networks including Twitter, Facebook, and, adorably, MySpace.
The end result is something out of the television show 24. In the proposal, the FBI talks repeatedly about the need to monitor open source intelligence--a fancy buzzterm for publicly available information such as Twitter posts, newspaper articles, television broadcasts, and television programs. Analysis of content from foreign publications and broadcast networks has been a mainstay of U.S. intelligence agencies; apparently, it is something of interest to the FBI too.
Meanwhile, the fact that the FBI has requested information from vendors about building this software does not mean that it's a done deal. RFIs are preliminary steps that alert government contractors to potential projects; it will be some time before this software (if approved) makes its way onto FBI computers. [Read more: Ungerleider/FastCompany/30January2012]
The C.I.A.'s Silence on Drone Strikes Is Getting Awkward. The C.I.A.'s policy of silence around its drone program has really gotten in the agency's way as it tries to defend against a scathing new investigative report that found U.S. drones target rescuers and funerals in Pakistan. The agency doesn't talk about drone strikes at all because they're considered top secret, so that means a "senior American counter-terrorism official" had to go on background to talk to The New York Times about the report just to defend the intelligence community. The C.I.A. needs somebody to go to bat for it on the report from the U.K.-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism because the findings are pretty horrific: U.S. drones target not just the militants they initially strike, but those who come to do rescue work after those strikes, and mourners at the funerals for victims of those strikes. They've killed somewhere between 282 and 535 civilians in a total of 260 strikes, the report claims.
Clearly, the C.I.A. would like to defend itself on those charges, but with everybody talking off the record and some "American officials familiar with the rules governing the strikes" conceding to The Times that they do fire missiles at suspected militants not on any target list, the going is tough. The best the intelligence community could do was to get "American officials" to claim that the numbers of deaths were too high, and have that one unnamed counter-terrorism official to point out that the agency decides on its targets after "intensive intelligence collection." [Read more: Martin/TheAtlanticWire/6February2012]
Section IV - Books and Coming Events
Petraeus: General, Spymaster, Comfortable in Casual Wear. When David H. Petraeus testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, it was a rare public appearance by America's onetime most famous general who by tradition has gone into virtual hiding as director of the Central Intelligence Agency. But the spymaster, who oversaw the troop surges in Iraq and Afghanistan, now has a biographer who is keeping his name in lights, at least on the set of "The Daily Show:'' Paula Broadwell, a doctoral candidate and 39-year-old major in the Army reserves who is the author of "All In: The Education of General David Petraeus.''
Ms. Broadwell describes Mr. Petraeus as a mentor, so her book, written with Vernon Loeb, a Washington Post editor, is not exactly a searing portrait.
"He loves being out of uniform,'' Ms. Broadwell said in a recent interview at the Jefferson Hotel in Washington, describing the general's new civilian life at the C.I.A. When he went to the agency this past September, she said, "It was a huge growth period for him, because he realized he didn't have to hide behind the shield of all those medals and stripes on his arm."
On "The Daily Show" last week, Mr. Stewart summed up Ms. Broadwell's book like this: "I would say the real controversy here is, is he awesome or incredibly awesome?" A short time later the very fit Ms. Broadwell challenged Mr. Stewart to a push-up contest, which she won handily. Mr. Stewart had to pay $1,000 for each push-up he lost by to a veterans' support group. Ms. Broadwell said he wrote a check for $20,000 on the spot.
News nuggets in the book include reports that friends urged General Petraeus to resign last spring when President Obama decided to begin withdrawing American forces from Afghanistan faster than General Petraeus recommended, but Mr. Petraeus's spokesman has since said he never considered it. [Read more: Bumiller/NYTimes/1February2012]
Coming Educational Events
EDUCATIONAL EVENTS IN COMING TWO MONTHS....
MANY Spy Museum Events in February, March, and beyond, with full details are listed on the AFIO Website at www.afio.com. The titles for some of these are in detail below and online.
1 - 29 February 2012, 9 am – 6 pm – Give Gift of Full Month access to Spy Museum as part of "LOVE A SPY"
This February, take your love undercover at the International Spy Museum! The Museum has developed a package to spice up the romance at your next rendezvous. Throughout February the Museum will offer a Love A Spy promotional package, which includes 2 tickets to the Museum's permanent exhibit and a special gift from the retail store that will help spies turn up the heat. This package is good throughout the month of February, excluding the Feb 18-19th holiday weekend. Tickets: $29.95 To purchase, visit www.spymuseum.org
1, 8, 15, 22 February 2012 - Washington, DC - "The Greatest Spies of WWII: Garbo, Baker, De Clarens…and Hemingway?" (4-Session Daytime Course) at the International Spy Museum in collaboration with Smithsonian Associates
Imagine operating behind enemy lines using your wits, fame, or seductive powers to fight a ruthless adversary. The spies of World War II knew that they faced death upon discovery, yet they continued to engage in daring and dangerous exploits to thwart the Axis powers. Some were incredibly effective while others, like Hemingway, were just incredibly bold. In this series, a distinguished group of experts and former intelligence officers will introduce you to some of the bravest and most daring spies of the 20th century.
Juan Pujol Garcia
Wednesday, 1 February 1012, 10:15 am – 12:15 pm - Washington, DC - at the International Spy Museum in collaboration with Smithsonian Associates Program
Spaniard Juan Pujol Garcia—codenamed Garbo—was one of the most effective double agents in history. While working for the British, he deceived the Germans into believing he was operating a valuable spy network. It was valuable…for the Allies. International Spy Museum historian and former CIA analyst Mark Stout will reveal how Garbo managed to deceive the Germans so thoroughly that they thought the D-Day invasion of Normandy was a ploy to distract from a real invasion in the Pas-de-Calais.
Wednesday, 8 February 2012, 10:15 am – 12:15 pm at the International Spy Museum in collaboration with Smithsonian Associates Program
Night club sensation Josephine Baker escaped racism in the U.S. to live a glamorous life as the toast of European café society. As a star in Paris, her affection for France was so great that when World War II broke out, she volunteered to spy for her adopted country. Jonna Mendez, former CIA Chief of Disguise, will reveal Baker's espionage on behalf of the French Resistance and place it in the context of Baker's glamorous and groundbreaking life.
Jeannie de Clarens
Wednesday, 15 February 2012, 10:15 am – 12:15 pm at the International Spy Museum in collaboration with Smithsonian Associates Program
As a member of Georges Lamarque's French Resistance network, Jeannie de Clarens risked her life and was captured twice. Her exact and detailed reports on Germany's secret military plans, especially their development of the V1 flying bombs and V2 rockets, helped persuade Prime Minister Winston Churchill to bomb the German test site at Peenemunde. David Ignatius, Washington Post foreign affairs columnist and spy novelist, will profile his friend de Clarens using selections from his recently filmed interview with the formidable former spy.
Wednesday, 22 February 2012, 10:15 am – 12:15 pm at the International Spy Museum in collaboration with Smithsonian Associates Program
Ernest Hemingway, true to his macho image, plunged into WWII intelligence work with his brother Leicester and his son Jack. The Hemingways searched for Fascist spies in Cuba, patrolled the Caribbean for Nazi subs, parachuted into occupied France, roamed the battlefields of France after D-Day, and even met secretly with the KGB. Nicholas Reynolds, an intelligence and military historian who has taught at the Naval War College, served as Officer-in-Charge of Field History for USMC, and worked on the history of the OSS for the CIA Museum, will recount the Hemingways' exploits.
Tickets: $112 for the 4 sessions. Register by phone with the Smithsonian Associates at 202-633-3030 or online at http://residentassociates.org
Tuesday, 7 February 2012, 6:30 – 8:30 pm – Washington, DC - "Terrorists in Love: The Real Lives of Islamic Radicals" at the International Spy Museum
What do you do if the girl of your dreams gets married off to a
National Guard general who can pay a bigger dowry than you can? If you
are Abdullah al-Gilani, you join al-Qaeda. Later you
learn that your true love ran away from her husband to join the jihad in
Iraq—where she may have been martyred. This sad story of star-crossed
lovers is just one of the true tales Ken Ballen, author of Terrorists in Love,
will share in a night devoted to misspent passion. As a former
prosecutor and counsel to the House Iran-Contra Committee, and now as
President of Terror Free Tomorrow, he has tapped into the inner secrets
of the terrorist world that no spy agency could divine. When terrorists
opened their hearts to him, he found that the stories of Islamic
radicals and terrorists are as much about love as hate: a missed love, a
love you cannot have, a love you can only find in God, a love a man can
never have with a woman, or in one case with another man. Consider
bringing your sweetheart to this eye-opening evening… if you can make
Tickets: $9 For more information visit www.spymuseum.org
Wednesday, 8 February 2012, 6:30 – 8:30 pm – Washington, DC - "Poison Lecture: A Performance about Magic and Deception" at the International Spy Museum
"Combines the secretive worlds of magic and espionage, entertainment
and geopolitics, mass captivation and government, to wittily expose
their kindred spirit."--Beatrice Gross, independent curator
Poison Lecture is everything a lecture is not: it is a multi-layered performance piece exploring the seemingly unlikely connections between legendary magician John Mulholland, the CIA, and the science of espionage. This unique event is the creation of Christine Rebet, a French visual artist based in New York. Inspired by the fact that the CIA hired Mulholland, America's most famous magician to write two secret manuals on sleight-of-hand and covert communication techniques in the early days of the Cold War, Rebet developed this thought-provoking performance. Featured at the Phoenix Fringe Festival, X initiative New York, and at the Fondation Cartier in Paris, Poison Lecture melds historic images with a live magician performing key tricks while "Mulholland" explains them. As the piece unfolds, darker aspects of espionage—assassination, mind control, and manipulation—are revealed, all in the context of iconic foreign political situations of the Cold War.
Tickets: $20 To register or For more information visit www.spymuseum.org
14 February 2012 - MacDill AFB, FL - AFIO Florida Suncoast Chapter featuring former FBI Agent Catherine Hunt
Catherine Hunt, former FBI, is Proposal Manager, EKS Group, LLC. EKS provides the Department of Defense and Intelligence Community with
expertise on intelligence operations, counterintelligence, human intelligence, information operations, and counterterrorism.
Ms. Hunt served as a Special Agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for 11 years in the Los Angeles and San Francisco Divisions and held positions in the Legal Attaché offices at the U.S. Embassies in Cairo and Baghdad.Throughout her career, Ms. Hunt worked counterintelligence and counterterrorism investigations, was the Hate Crimes Coordinator within FBI San Francisco's Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF), and was a FBI Certified Crisis Negotiator. Hunt spent 4 months embedded with the military in Iraq soon after the U.S. invasion, conducting interviews and investigations. Ms. Hunt holds a Masters in Social Work from USF.
Event takes place at the MacDill AFB Surf's Edge Club, 7315 Bayshore Boulevard, MacDill AFB, FL 33621.
Please RSVP no later than Wednesday, February 8, for yourself and include the names of any guests.
Email or call the Chapter Secretary at email@example.com. Check-in at 1130 hours; opening ceremonies, lunch and business meeting at noon, followed by our speaker.
Note that our meetings have moved to a new facility, the Surf's Edge Club, where the luncheon cost is $20.
You must present your $20 check payable to "Suncoast Chapter, AFIO" (or cash) at check-in to cover the luncheon.
Anyone with special AFIO Gate Access should proceed to the Bayshore Gate. If you need directions, please let us know.
The cash wine and soda bar will open at 1100 hours for those that wish to come early to socialize. Inquiries to Michael Shapiro Secretary, Florida Suncoast Chapter of AFIO at (813) 832-1164 or at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.suncoastafio.org
15 February 2012, 3 - 4 pm - Washington, DC - "George F. Kennan: An American Life"
As one of the Cold War's most influential foreign policy thinkers,
Kennan was the architect of containment and the Marshall Plan. But after
leaving government, he went on to become one of the most outspoken
critics of American diplomacy, politics, and culture during the last
half of the twentieth century. Now the full scope of Kennan's long life
and vast influence is revealed by one of today's most important Cold War
Organized by the Cold War International History Project in collaboration with the Kennan Institute and International Security Studies Drawing upon extensive interviews with George Kennan and exclusive access to his personal archive, former Wilson Center fellow and Robert A. Lovett Professor of Military and Naval History at Yale University John Lewis Gaddis, will discuss his revealing new biography, George F. Kennan: An American Life. Event takes place at 6th Floor Flom Auditorium, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
Visit www.CWIHP.org for more information and to RSVP
Thursday, 16 February 2012, noon – 1:00 pm – Washington, DC - "Shadow Commander: The Epic Story of Donald D. Blackburn - Guerrilla Leader and Special Forces Hero" at the International Spy Museum
During the Vietnam War, the U.S. Army's most secretive unit may have
been the Studies and Observations Group (SOG). This unit captured enemy
prisoners for interrogation, rescued American POWs, and conducted
reconnaissance missions in North and South Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia.
It also ran teams of clandestine agents and conducted psychological
operations. The leader of this group in the mid-1960s was a legendary
Army officer, Donald Blackburn, a man who in 1942 had refused to
surrender at Bataan and had gone on to raise a 22,000-man army of
Filipinos to fight the Japanese. Author Mike Guardia will describe Blackburn's colorful life, how his SOG mapped out the Ho
Chi Minh Trail, and how, after his return to Washington, he was the
architect of the famous Son Tay Prison Raid, the largest POW rescue
mission of the war.
Free! No Registration Required! For more information visit www.spymuseum.org
Thursday, 16 February 2012, 6 - 7:30pm - McLean, VA - "Intelligence and Counterintelligence Challenges of Militant Islam" - a talk by Dr. John Dziak.
Militant Islam is not just another religion fostering an evangelical message of transcendence while asking for a place in the public square with other faiths. As with the totalitarian ideologies of the Twentieth Century, it seeks to spread and impose an all-embracing plan of life through an uncompromising struggle, notwithstanding the opposition of those unwilling to submit to its self-ordained mission. This presents uncomfortable challenges to US intelligence and counterintelligence services. The specter of militant Islam on the march has features not unlike those that faced Western security services in World War II and in the Cold War. This presentation will explore and analyze some intelligence and counterintelligence dimensions of those challenges.
About the speaker Dr. John J. Dziak: President of Dziak Group - an intelligence consulting firm; a guest lecturer at the Institute of World Politics; Senior Fellow at the International Assessment & Strategy Center for counterintelligence, terrorism, and strategic deception issues; consultant to the National Intelligence Council; Adjunct Professor at National Intelligence University. He served five decades as corporate president and senior intelligence officer and executive in OSD and in DIA. Dziak received Ph.D. from Georgetown U and is graduate of National War College. He taught at the National War College, Georgetown, and GW, and lectures on intelligence and counterintelligence throughout US and abroad.
Where: The Westminster Institute, 6731 Curran Street, McLean, VA 22101,
RSVPs to: Katharine Cornell Gorka, Executive Director at email@example.com or call 703-288-2885
23 February 2012, 1230 - 1430 hrs - Los Angeles, CA - the AFIO Los Angeles Chapter meeting features Lt. Col. Phil Meinhardt USAF (ret.) on "Eagle Pull" in Vietnam
Meinhardt will be addressing the chapter on what happened after the
1973 truce in Vietnam and the evacuation of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, called
'Eagle Pull' which he wrote. Col. Meinhardt arrived in Vietnam on June
23, 1973 as the Air Force Liaison Officer to the Vietnamese Joint
General Staff, continuing with assignments to the U.S. Support
Activities Group and the Military Assistance Group, Thailand. Col.
Meinhardt is a 1960 graduate of the Air Force Academy and pilot with a
thirty-four year military career that included Chief of Advanced
Concepts and Director of Advanced Space Technology for Air Force Space
and Missile Systems. Col. Meinhardt is a former Republican nominee to
Congress with an extensive planning and policy background.
RSVP AFIO_LA@yahoo.com if you would like to attend, lunch will be served for $20. The meeting will take place at the LMU campus in the Hilton Business Building in RM. 304
Wednesday, 7 March 2012, 6:30 – 8:30 pm – Washington, DC - "Intel and the Arab Spring: What Does the Future Hold?" at the International Spy Museum
How could the world have missed the signs that an Arab Spring was
coming? Did the U.S. suffer from poor intelligence, compromised
relationships, or simply a failure of the imagination? And now how do we
prevent the reemergence of blind spots as we build relationships with
rapidly emerging regimes and their intelligence services? Join
experts Reuel Marc Gerecht, senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, author of The Wave: Man, God, and the Ballot Box in the Middle East, and a former Middle East specialist in the CIA's Clandestine Service; and Colonel W. Patrick Lang, former Defense Intelligence Officer for the Middle East, South Asia and Terrorism, author of Intelligence: The Human Factor,
and expert consultant on intel operations in Muslim countries; for a
spirited discussion of how the U.S.'s understanding—or
misunderstanding—of the Middle East affects intelligence collection and
analysis in the region. Sparks may fly when the speakers share
their potentially conflicting ideas about how the U.S. can alter a
Ticket: $15. To register or for more information visit www.spymuseum.org
Thursday, 15 March 2012, 11:30 am - Colorado Springs, CO – The AFIO Rocky Mountain Chapter presents a re-schedulding of Sheriff Terry Maketa speaking about his official visits to Israel and Trinidad.
This should be an interesting talk as El Paso County Sheriff's rarely travel this far from home. To be held at The Inn at Palmer Divide, 443 S. Highway 105 Palmer Lake, CO, Exit 161 westbound off I-25, West on Highway 105. Please RSVP to Tom VanWormer at firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday, 21 March 2012, 6:30 – 8:30 pm - Washington, DC - "WEAPONS OF MASS DISRUPTION" at the International Spy Museum
Was your computer one of the machines that attacked Estonia?
Go behind-the-scenes on some of the most aggressive cyber attacks of our time. Join Dave Marcus, Director of Security Research for McAfee Labs, for a special screening of Weapons of Mass Disruption. The film, inspired by the Spy Museum's exhibit of the same name, focuses on key events in the evolution of cyber warfare, from the CIA's successful cyber-sabotage of the Soviet Union's trans-Siberia pipeline in the 1980s, to Stuxnet, a calculated cyber attack on Iran in 2009-10. On-screen experts, including Marcus, discuss cyber attacks you may know: the two week attack on Estonia in 2007 in which the country was essentially shut down; and those you may not: the theft of F35 fighter related information in 2009. They also cover the cyber security issues financial institutions face and the vulnerabilities of critical U.S. water and electricity infrastructure systems. The fascinating interviews with cyber experts include insights such as which popular movie of 2007 made Eugene Kaspersky, CEO of the Kaspersky Labs, break out in a cold sweat. Marcus, who specializes in advance intelligence gathering, digital forensic analysis, as well as intrusion detection and prevention, will lead a post-screening discussion of the film's major points and the latest on information security, malware, and vulnerability assessment. Tickets: $15 To register or for more information visit www.spymuseum.org
22-24 March 2012 - Charlotte, NC - Charlotte International Cryptologic Symposium
The line up of speakers includes: Ron Lawrence who
will open the Crypto Symposium with a short talk about all the events
going on in the hotel and about radio collecting and how this came
Debbie Anderson, daughter of Joe Desch the man who designed the Navy Cryptanalytic Bombe, is speaking and showing the documentary "The Dayton Codebreakers." Jim Oram of enigma-replica.com will be speaking on: " Restoration techniques of the Enigma" includes the showing of a video on the restorations he has completed. Free tours of Jim's Enigma Shop where Enigmas are restored.
John Alexander, a private collector from UK, will be speaking and offering some views of his Crypto equipment.
Richard Brisson, a collector from Ottawa Canada with website www.campx.ca, recently retired from the Communications Security Establishment Canada, will be speaking on the history and artifacts related to cryptology and espionage.
Dr. David Hatch, of NSA and CCH, will provide a display of a SIGABA Machine. Dr. Nicholas Gessler, Research Associate Information Science & Information Studies, Duke University, Durham, NC.
Gessler will be bringing a wide variety of Historical Cryptologic equipment for display.
LOCATION: Sheraton Charlotte Airport Hotel, 3315 Scott Futrell Dr, Charlotte, NC 28208.
Register at http://www.cc-awa.org/Registration-2012.html
Registration covers both the Cryptologic Symposium and the Antique Radio Charlotte event.
For Additional Events two+ months or greater....view our online Calendar of Events
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