AFIO Weekly Intelligence Notes #46-12 dated 11 December 2012

[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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CONTENTS

Section I - INTELLIGENCE HIGHLIGHTS

Section II - CONTEXT & PRECEDENCE

Section III - COMMENTARY

Section IV - Obituaries and Coming Events

Obituaries

Coming Educational Events

Current Calendar New and/or Next Two Months ONLY

 

AFIO Members are Invited to CIA Event in Yorba Linda, California

Register your interest in attending this CIA-Nixon Library Conference to be held in Yorba Linda, California

"President Nixon and the Role of Intelligence in the 1973 Arab-Israeli War"

A CIA Historical Documents 'Release Event' Conference co-hosted with The Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum.

AFIO members, their guests, and others in public are invited to attend this CIA-Nixon Library Conference examining the Intelligence Community's handling of the 1973 Arab-Israeli War. It underscores the difficulty for the IC - in the past and today - to reliably predict the unexpected, especially in the Middle East.

Event features former policymakers and analysts, as well as historians and Middle East experts discussing how intelligence played into the decisionmaking process before, during, and after the conflict. Invited speakers include Brent Scowcroft (National Security Advisor under Presidents Ford and Bush), Charles E. Allen, (former Under Secretary for Intelligence and Analysis, Department of Homeland Security), William Quandt (Middle East expert at the National Security Council), Andy Liepman (former Deputy Director, National Counterterrorism Center), Dick Kovar (former chief of CIA's Middle East Task Force), James Gelvin (Historian, UCLA), Emile A. Nakhleh, PhD (former CIA Middle East expert), and the new Director of the Nixon Library (announcement expected soon). PDF of tentative agenda may be viewed here. There is no fee to attend.
REGISTER your interest in attending event by clicking email address at right to obtain additional details: events@afio.com
Provide your name, email address, and how many guests you might be bringing with you to the January 30th CIA-NIXON Library Conference being held in Yorba Linda, CA [right outside Los Angeles]. You will be sent further details as event approaches.
Additional information is also here.


 

Section I - INTELLIGENCE HIGHLIGHTS

Spies in Sweden mostly from China, Russia, Iran. Spies from more than 15 foreign powers are operating in Sweden today, with Russia, China and Iran being the most active in espionage within Sweden's borders.

Just two months ago, in October 2012, Swedish Armed Forces chiefs were warned about the presence of foreign spies during a closed-doors meeting in the basement of the military headquarters, reports the Svenska Dagbladet newspaper.

Anders Thornberg, the Swedish Security Service (Säpo) chief, confirmed the information.

"Espionage against Sweden is a daily occurrence," said Thornberg, who started his Säpo career in surveillance, observing intelligence officers from Eastern Bloc and intercepting their meetings with suspected Swedish agents.

"In the past, during the Cold War, we were busy looking East but now we also find espionage from other, completely unexpected regions," explained Thornberg.

"The most efficient method for a foreign power is to recruit a local agent."

After the collapse of the Soviet Union the number of foreign intelligence officers operating in Sweden dropped and remained low until 2011 when the number increased slightly.

Two months ago, all Armed Forces unit commanders were warned that there were signs of increased espionage activity in Sweden, especially from distant nations. [Read more: TheLocal/8December2012]

Former Sailor Indicted for Attempted Espionage. A former U.S. Navy sailor has been indicted by a federal grand jury for attempted espionage after he allegedly tried to pass classified documents to what he believed were representatives of the Russian Federation, officials said Thursday.

Robert Patrick Hoffman II, 39, of Virginia Beach, Va., was arrested Thursday and made an initial appearance in federal court in Norfolk, according to an FBI statement.

Hoffman served 20 years in the Navy until his retirement on Nov. 1, 2011, the statement said. Due to his service, he held security clearances that granted him access to classified and national defense information.

On Oct. 21, Hoffman allegedly tried to deliver documents containing national security information to the Russians but instead passed it on to the FBI, which was conducting an undercover operation, the statement said.

Hoffman could face up to life in prison if convicted, the statement said. The indictment does not allege that the Russian Federation committed any offenses in this case. [Read more: StarsAndStripes/7December2012]

No Longer a Turf War, the Pentagon and CIA Work Closely. With the increase use of drone strikes as a powerful fighting force, the military is looking to get more involved in intelligence. Greg Miller says that it's becoming more difficult to tell who's doing what as the Pentagon and CIA work closely together.

David Petraeus, the highly decorated war hero, turned disgraced former head of the CIA made a once unthinkable shift from military to intelligence.

But it isn't at all uncommon anymore. In fact, the line between the Pentagon and CIA has become harder to distinguish. 

Greg Miller, the national intelligence reporter for the Washington Post, says Petraeus's opinions might not be far from the Pentagon's and could potentially be why the Pentagon is getting more involved in espionage. Traditionally, Miller says, the military's purpose is to carry out lethal operations to protect the United State national interests. The CIA's fundamental mission is intelligence collection, but the boundaries between the two have increasingly blurred. [Read more: WBUR/10December2012]

U.S. Intelligence Sees Asia's Global Power Rising by 2030. China's economy is likely to surpass the United States in less than two decades but the Asian country is not expected to take on the superpower role of the United States in gathering coalitions to deal with global issues, U.S. intelligence analysts said on Monday.

By 2030 Asia will overtake North America and Europe combined in global power based on gross domestic product, population, military spending and technological investment, a new intelligence report said.

"China alone will probably have the largest economy, surpassing that of the United States a few years before 2030," it said. "Meanwhile, the economies of Europe, Japan, and Russia are likely to continue their slow relative declines."

The report, "Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds," was issued by the National Intelligence Council, an analytical arm of the U.S. government's Office of the Director of National Intelligence. In addition to U.S. intelligence analysts, the report includes the views of foreign and private experts and can be seen here http://www.dni.gov/nic/globaltrends.

It is the fifth report of a series - the previous one was released in 2008 - that aims to stimulate "strategic thinking" among decision makers and not to predict the future. The reports intentionally coincide with presidential election years to offer insights on global trends to new administrations. [Read more: Zakaria/Reuters/10December2012]

Masked Gunmen Kill Intelligence Officer in South Yemen. Masked gunmen shot dead a senior intelligence officer in southern Yemen on Tuesday, local and security officials said.

Colonel Ahmed Barmadah, deputy head of the Political Security Office, the domestic intelligence service, was leaving his house in the port city of Mukalla in Hadramout province when gunmen on a motorcycle opened fire on him, the officials said.

No one claimed responsibility for the killing but a security official said he suspected that al Qaeda militants, who are battling the U.S.-backed government, were behind it.

Tuesday's attack was the latest in a series of killings targeting security officials and politicians in the impoverished and often chaotic Arabian Peninsula state. [Read more: [Reuters/11December2012]

Kaspersky Lab Outlines Key Security Trends in 2012; Predicts Core Threats for 2013. Kaspersky Lab's experts outlined key security trends of 2012 and presented their views on the core threats of 2013. 

The most notable predictions for the next year include the continued rise of targeted attacks, cyber-espionage and nation-state cyber-attacks, the evolving role of hacktivism, the development of controversial "legal" surveillance tools and the increase in cybercriminal attacks targeting cloud-based services.

Targeted attacks on businesses have only become a prevalent threat within the last two years. Kaspersky Lab expects the amount of targeted attacks, with the purpose of cyber-espionage, to continue in 2013 and beyond, becoming the most significant threat for businesses. Another trend that will likely impact companies and governments is the continued rise of "hacktivism" and its concomitant politically-motivated cyber-attacks.

State-sponsored cyber warfare will undoubtedly continue in 2013. In fact, during 2012, Kaspersky Lab discovered three new major malicious programs that were used in cyber warfare operations: Flame, Gauss and miniFlame. While Flame was the largest and most sophisticated of the cyber-espionage programs, its longevity was its most prominent characteristic. Being at least a five-year-old project, Flame was an example of a complex malicious program that could exist undetected for an extended amount of time while collecting massive amounts of data and sensitive information from its victims. Kaspersky Lab's experts expect more countries to develop their own cyber programs for the purposes of cyber-espionage and cyber-sabotage. These attacks will affect not only government institutions, but also businesses and critical infrastructure facilities. [Read more: AMEInfo/9December2012]

Air Force's X-37B 'Mini-Shuttle' Shrouded in Secrecy. The military's mysterious mini-shuttle is set to launch this week on a classified mission that has captured the imaginations of everyone from amateur satellite trackers to anti-nuclear protestors and potential military adversaries Russia and China.

Built by Boeing's secretive Phantom Works in Huntington Beach, Calif., the Air Force X-37B spacecraft is rumored to be everything from a space bomber to a satellite-killer or a test-bed for advanced spy satellite sensors.

The Air Force is revealing little.

"Inquiring minds want to know, right?" said John Pike, director of GlobalSecurity.org, a leading source of defense, space and intelligence information.

"But posing this question presumes that (the mini-shuttle) does serve some specific purpose. And I think that might be imposing greater rationality on the whole thing than is warranted."

Birthed by NASA in 1999, the project shifted to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in 2004, and then to the U.S. Air Force in 2006. Tuesday's planned launch of the winged vehicle will be the X-37B's third mission.

Pike thinks the program exists, well, because it exists. [Read more: Halvorson/FloridaToday/9December2012]

Spy Appears in Court Under False Name to Deny Sex Attack on Fellow Spook. A spy appeared in court today to deny sexually assaulting and beating a colleague.

The MI5 officer - who is known in court by the pseudonym 'Mark Barton' - is accused of attacking the female colleague between August and December last year.

Today, 'Barton' appeared at London's Southwark Crown Court behind a screen to deny four charges: two of assault, one of sexual assault and one of putting a person in fear of violence and harassment.

The security services officer, who will also go on trial under his false name, spoke only to deny the charges.

Although the 28-year-old is screened from the public, the jury will see him and all the witnesses.

The witnesses will also be given anonymity and be referred to by numbers and some first names, the court heard. [Read more: Arkell/DailyMail/10December2012]


Section II - CONTEXT & PRECEDENCE

What Am I Bid For This Secret. Recently a newly retired U.S. Navy NCO (a petty officer 1st class) was arrested as he sought to sell classified information to what he thought were Russian spies. The "Russians" turned out to be FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) agents pretending to be Russians. The arrested man, Robert Patrick Hoffman II, had worked in the area of submarine warfare and had offered to sell information that would make it easier for the Russians to find and track American subs.

This sort of thing is not unique. Two years ago the FBI arrested a 22 year old navy intelligence specialist, who was offering to sell American secrets, long term, to the highest bidder. The young spy was caught by the FBI, who detected his efforts, and approached him in the guise of a foreign government, to do business. The sailor delivered, and was arrested.

Throughout the Cold War, the Russians found that greed was the best way to get Americans to betray their country. That's only one of the five reasons for spying. The others are ideology (there were never enough American communists to supply the Russians needs), conscience (people who spy because they believe their government is wrong), compromise (the Russians often used sex, the Honey Trap, to ensnare Americans and coerce them to spy) and ego (people who get off on doing something dangerous, like treason).

One of the most valuable American spies the Russians ever recruited was basically an FBI agent with ego issues. Eleven years ago, the FBI arrested one of its veteran counterintelligence agents, Robert Hanssen, for espionage. Hanssen worked for Russia from 1985 until 2001, earning $1.4 million in the process. For the Russians, Hanssen was the perfect spy. He was the much feared, and long suspected, Russian mole in the American intelligence establishment. Hanssen didn't do it just for the money. That was just how he kept score. [Read more: StrategyPage/11December2012]

J. Edgar Hoover Building, FBI's Hulking Headquarters, May Be Torn Down. Just six blocks from the White House, the FBI's hulking headquarters overlooking Pennsylvania Avenue has long been the government building everyone loves to hate. The verdict: It's an ugly, crumbling concrete behemoth, an architectural mishap - all 2.4 million square feet of it.

But in this time of tight budgets, massive deficits and the "fiscal cliff," the 38-year-old FBI headquarters building has one big thing in its favor.

It sits atop very valuable real estate, an entire city block on America's Main Street, midway between the U.S. Capitol and the White House. Just how valuable? The General Services Administration intends to find out.

This past week, the agency that oversees all federal buildings issued an invitation to developers: How would you like to build a new headquarters for the FBI in a different location? In exchange, we'll consider throwing in the J. Edgar Hoover building and the underlying land as part of the transaction.

"We're testing the marketplace," the GSA's acting administrator, Dan Tangherlini, said in an interview. "We think we have very valuable property. How much is it worth?" Tangherlini wants to see if it could be traded for a property that better meets current needs.

The finish line is still a long way off. But in perhaps seven years, according to an estimate last year by the Government Accountability Office, the FBI could be in a new home at a fresh location in Washington or one of its surrounding counties.

The J. Edgar Hoover building may not be praised as architecture, but the current building has become part of American culture.

Half a million visitors a year took the FBI tour. The bureau even met with Walt Disney executives to see how Disney's operation handled big crowds. People on the tour sometimes recognized faces on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted exhibit and tipped off agents. The tours ended when the bureau moved its laboratory, a highlight of the tour, to its training center in Quantico, Va. [Read more: Yost/HuffingtonPost/9December2012]

As Polygraph Screening Flourishes, Critics Say Oversight Abandoned. For more than three decades, CIA polygraphers collected what they hoped would be damning evidence that Michael Pillsbury should be barred from seeing government secrets.

As the dossier on him grew, the China expert nonetheless advised three Republican presidents, got countless security clearances, was a top defense official under President George W. Bush and did sensitive work for the CIA.

The extent of the allegations against him finally came spilling out two years ago, when Pillsbury discovered that he was accused of making multiple confessions during polygraph tests that he later said he'd never made. When he demanded to refute the accusations, CIA security officials politely demurred. Agency officials informed his attorneys that the constitutional right to due process didn't apply to polygraph screening.

"Polygraphers have no accountability," Pillsbury wrote this week in a letter to James Clapper, the director of national intelligence. "This is wrong and needs to be corrected."

The tens of thousands of Americans who now undergo federal polygraph screening every year for jobs or security clearances face entrenched secrecy and daunting legal hurdles if they challenge their tests. Most federal employees are barred from suing in court, forced instead to seek recourse from the agencies that denied their jobs or security clearances in the first place.

As a result, critics say, polygraph abuses go unchecked. Allegations of anti-Semitism and discrimination against Muslims have percolated throughout the intelligence world over the years without ever being aired in court, because the government successfully argues that it would jeopardize national security if the cases proceed.

Congress, meanwhile, has relinquished oversight despite concerns about the scientific reliability of the tests. Before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, lawmakers held hearings to debate the wisdom of polygraph screening. Since then, Congress has dropped a reporting requirement for the Pentagon and required Customs and Border Protection to polygraph all law enforcement applicants.

Federal polygraph programs have flourished, targeting a growing number of private contractors with more intensely personal questions than ever before. More than 70,000 people are now screened yearly.

Yet thousands of people a year could be identified as lying in polygraph screenings when they're not, according to statistical models by the National Academies, which advises the federal government on scientific matters. Under the current system, many of them would have no way to legally challenge polygraphers' conclusions, especially in the intelligence world. [Read more: Taylor/McClatchyNewspapers/6December2012]

German Spies Aided Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor. On December 7, 1941, the calm of a peaceful Hawaiian Sunday morning was shattered at 7:55am. Bombs and torpedoes began to fall and explode into military targets at Pearl Harbor. By the time the attacks ceased just before 10:00am, the dead and wounded were strewn all around the U.S. Naval installation and sunken within a watery tomb, and dark smoke from destroyed ships, military machines, and buildings spewed into the December sky.

This attack upon the U.S. military installation at Pearl Harbor by Japan's Imperial military is recognized by historians as one of the most successful surprise attacks in military history. It was a shock to America and to people throughout the world. But a little known component of this incredibly successful attack is that the Japanese Empire had contracted with a Nazi and his German family to spy on the American military operations at Pearl Harbor from 1935.

Unfortunately, little is remembered about any prior intelligence the Japanese required in order to successfully execute such a blatant and brutal attack upon America.

It is not well known that a family of German spies helped set up the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor and made it much simpler and much more deadly. A German Nazi named Bernard Julius Otto Kuhn (Kuehn) moved his wife and two children to Hawaii in August of 1935 with the mission to spy upon the Americans at their military installation in Pearl Harbor.

The family had been contracted as agents of the Japanese government with the assistance of the Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels. The arrangement was promoted and negotiated by Goebbels as a by product of his relationship with Kuhn's attractive 17 year old daughter, Susie Ruth. At the tender age of 17, Susie Ruth had been Goebbels' mistress in Berlin. When he learned that the Japanese government sought Caucasian spies from Germany to work in Hawaii, Goebbels recommended Susie Ruth and her family. [Read more: Jamison/WashingtonTimes/7December2012]

The Many Faces of Afghanistan's Spy Chief. For those that know him best, Asadullah Khalid has always been "a man of action".

His reputation for "assertiveness" has ingratiated the head of the National Directorate of Security (NDS) - the Afghan intelligence agency - with some of the most powerful figures in the nation.

But Khalid's literally hands-on methods have also earned him powerful enemies abroad and a reputation for ruthlessness. He has been accused of assassinations, torture, and drug-dealing as governor of Ghazni and Kandahar provinces. 

Despite the allegations, Khalid is a favourite among Afghan President Hamid Karzai's inner circle. So it came as little surprise when Karzai rushed to a Kabul hospital to visit his spy chief hours after a December 6 suicide attack wounded him.

The assailant pretended to be a "messenger of peace and negotiation from the Taliban side" before detonating explosives hidden in his underwear at a government guesthouse, an intelligence agency spokesman said. Khalid survived and is now in a US-run military hospital, though the seriousness of his wounds remains unclear.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, the fifth attempt on Khalid's life in five years.

"Karzai was in shock. His reaction was the same as when he got the news about Ahmad Wali," a high-ranking cabinet official said, referring to the July 2011 assassination of the president's half-brother, who was close to Khalid.

That closeness earned Khalid the respect of the elder Karzai, who named him Afghanistan's intelligence chief in September. [Read more: Latifi&Azimy/Aljazeera/10December2012]


Section III - COMMENTARY

Diplomat Says Ignoring Intelligence Reports Can Lead to Tragedy. At 6 p.m. on Jan. 27, 1941, a communicator at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo dispatched a classified, encrypted message to the State Department in Washington, D.C., with the following information:

" ... the Japanese military forces planned, in the event of trouble with the United States, to attempt a surprise mass attack on Pearl Harbor using all of their military facilities ... "

That's right. Almost 11 months before the Dec. 7, 1941 surprise attack on Pearl Harbor that launched the United States into World War II, a State Department Foreign Service officer, in what was arguably the single most important intelligence report ever submitted in our country's history, had provided the exact target that Japan would actually strike.

This information had been obtained, not by any sophisticated technical intercept nor a spy, but rather by an American embassy officer from a "diplomatic" source - i.e., another foreign diplomat, one who had close relations inside the Japanese government. The information had been obtained at a cocktail reception.

Once received at the State Department, the cable was routinely shared with appropriate offices in the government, including in the intelligence community and the military command.

And yet, as U.S.-Japanese relations deteriorated during the year and the day of the attack grew close, with intelligence "chatter" in intercepts suggesting possible hostilities, this report was not brought to the attention of the president, the secretary of state, the secretary of war, nor any senior military commanders. Nor apparently was it ever referred to within any of the analytical estimates being produced inside the United States government.

And so when the Japanese planes shattered that sunny Honolulu morning, it came as a total shock to virtually everyone in government. Thousands died who perhaps might have been saved had the information in that report been heeded and U.S. Naval ships dispersed.

How could that have happened? [Read more: Quinn/DesMoinesRegister/9December2012]

The CIA Officer Who Found Bin Laden - Now Having Trouble at Work. If you're not already aware of the bull-headed CIA agent [NB: officer] whose persistant pressure to track Al Qaeda couriers helped lead the way to bin Laden's compound, you're about to be. The main character of Zero Dark Thirty, the soon-to-be released Oscar bait that portrays the story of the Bin Laden raid, is based on said agent, "is based on a real person" whose identity remains classified as she's still working for the CIA. Things at Langley haven't been going so well for said secret, soon-to-be an anonymous celebrity spy, though. In fact, according to a new Washington Post report, things sound like they're going pretty poorly. She's been passed over for a promotion, pissed off all her coworkers and sounds generally unpopular.

The scenario sounds like a plot line from Homeland. (Actually, it sounds like the plot line from Homeland, but that's another blog post for another day.) The anonymous agent, a woman in her mid-30s, got her start as a "targeter," someone who recruits spies or identifies targets for drone strikes. She's known for being uniquely dedicated to her work, the type that stands up for an idea before anyone else is even giving it consideration. Such was the idea to hawk Bin Laden's couriers, and one of her follow officers told The Post that she "was one of the people from very early on pushing this." If you watch the trailer for Zero Dark Thirty, you'll catch a mention of this point. A Navy SEAL asks his teammate why he believes the story behind their next mission, a mission to kill Osama bin Laden, and the teammate answers, "Her confidence," pointing to the character based on this CIA agent.

It shouldn't be too much of a surprise that this agent's stubbornness and imminent fame is a sensitive issue with her colleagues. After the successful raid, this agent and a few others were awarded the CIA's highest honor for non-combat officers, the Distinguished Intelligence Medal. Instead of congratulating her coworkers, she hit reply-all on an email to the recipients and said that only she deserved the award, since everybody else tried to get in her way when she knew she was right. [Read more: Estes/TheAtlanticWire/11December2012] [Event is similar to the lack of recognition Vertefeuille/Grimes received for capture of Aldrich Ames: the higher-ups got all the prizes and recognition - and they were often the ones who had scant interest or support for the mission. Some things never change.]

Who Bombed ex-Israeli Spy Ben-Menashe's House? Montreal police may hope to just nail the "torch," the culprit who hurled a fire-bomb into the home of ex-Israeli spy Ari Ben-Menashe. But to solve the mystery, they may have to delve into Ben-Menashe's complex intelligence ties, including his hostile relations with his old superiors in Israel.

Montreal police are providing few details about their investigation into last Sunday night's fire-bombing of an upscale home belonging to ex-Israeli intelligence officer Ari Ben-Menashe, as authorities sift through both the evidence collected from the ashes and the wide array of possible suspects.

Indeed, when I spoke with a police spokesman on Friday, all he offered was an outdated statement from Monday about the city assessing the risk of the gutted structure before collecting evidence. However, by Friday, the building had been taken down; the arson squad had scoured the wreckage for residue of the bomb's accelerant; Ben-Menashe had been allowed to pick through the ashes looking for any personal items that might have survived; and the wreckage had been hauled away in dumpsters.

This past week in interviews with me as he worked to rebuild his life, Ben-Menashe, 61, was reluctant to finger any specific suspect, but suggested that the attack may have originated with the Israeli government, which has viewed its former intelligence officer over the past two decades as something between an irritant and a threat.

And, it appears that Ben-Menashe has risen again on the Israeli government's list of concerns. If the bomb had not dramatically disrupted his life on Sunday night, he was planning to fly to Washington on Monday and accompany a senior Israeli intelligence figure to an interview with me.

The bombing not only prevented Ben-Menashe from making the trip, but he said it unnerved the other intelligence official who concluded that the attack was meant as a message from Israeli authorities to stay silent about the historical events that he was expected to discuss.

The fire also destroyed many of Ben-Menashe's documents, his home computer and his personal records, including his old and current passports which provided something of a chronology of his decades traveling the globe.

So, if the Israelis were behind the attack, they would have accomplished many of their goals: intimidating Ben-Menashe, shutting down possible new disclosures of Israeli misconduct from the other intelligence veteran, and destroying records that would have helped Ben-Menashe prove whatever statements he might make. [Read more: Parry/GlobalResearch/10December2012]

A Brief Encounter with Former Spy Chief Khin Nyunt. During my most recent visit to Burma last month, I finally had an opportunity to do something I had tried and failed to do during my four previous trips to the country this year: meet the man who once inspired fear in both ordinary Burmese and members of the former junta alike.

I met Khin Nyunt at a religious ceremony, of all places. The encounter was arranged through a mutual acquaintance, who didn't tell the former spymaster that I would be there. When he saw me, he looked as if he had seen a ghost. Right away, he said: "I am not a butcher. I didn't kill anyone. I didn't put anyone in prison."

His words were a reaction to a recent episode of "Dateline Irrawaddy," a popular weekly program that The Irrawaddy produces for broadcast by the Democratic Voice of Burma, in which we discussed his past role as head of the dreaded Military Intelligence, his subsequent downfall, and his recent remarks about wanting to return to national politics.

Many Burmese were shocked when he said in an interview with a news journal that he was thinking of returning to public life after more than seven years under house arrest following his ouster from power in 2004. When he saw me, he was quick to deny that he had any intention of going back into politics. "I will devote my time to religious and humanitarian missions," the 73-year-old ex-spy chief said repeatedly, waving his hand as if to dispel a nasty rumor.

Regarding his days as one of the most feared men in Burma, he also felt a need to repeat himself. "I didn't torture people, or put people in prison," he said defensively, before adding after a pause: "But in the military, we have to follow orders."

I found this last statement very interesting, as he seemed to be implying that he was merely an obedient soldier taking orders from his superiors during his years as the third most powerful member of the regime that seized power in 1988. At the height of his influence, there were only two other generals who were more powerful: junta strongman Snr-Gen Than Shwe and his deputy, Vice Snr-Gen Maung Aye. Both still hold considerable sway over the military and Burmese politics, despite retiring last year.

It was no secret, however, that Khin Nyunt once coveted the top spot in the junta that ruled Burma for more than two decades. [Read more: Zaw/TheIrrawaddy/10December2012]

The CIA and Paramilitary Ops. The Central Intelligence Agency was born out of American experiences in the Second World War and our anxiety over Soviet intentions and activities in the post war period.

Having had no formal intelligence organization prior to World War Two, the Office of Strategic Services, or OSS, was put together under the Joint Chiefs of Staff to meet the needs of the war itself. That meant that the origins of the American intelligence were paramilitary. The OSS was there, in effect, to fight the war from a paramilitary perspective. OSS parachuted into occupied Europe and contacted indigenous partisan groups there. They blew up bridges and dams and other important pieces of European infrastructure. They were, quite simply, heroes running the unconventional part of our war against the Axis powers.

We came out of that hot war into the Cold War. Many of the people who had run OSS during the hot war were tapped for leadership roles in the new CIA. And that was what we got, a management structure whose primary experience was in paramilitary, hot war operations. And we were facing the entirely new requirement that we produce intelligence on the capabilities and intentions of our enemies in a peaceful environment, a task that was essentially alien to a majority of our managers.

The CIA headed into the Cold War largely unprepared to run the kinds of operations that would be required of it. The Cold War was an intelligence war of subtleties. No more hand grenades or parachute drops. No more paramilitary operations. No more hot war. Just the difficult and demanding job of recruiting spies in the Soviet empire and running them in place in hostile environments characterized by pervasive 24/7 surveillance. We did this with no experienced leadership. We felt our way, had our share of failures, but ultimately got to the point where we could recruit the kinds of assets we needed and then run them in place in their homelands.

The Cold War ended. A decade later, we were suddenly post-9/11. And where did that put us? Right back in a paramilitary environment without the guidance and experience of all those Second World War OSS veterans who actually knew how to run the needed operations! [Read more: Smith/SicSemperTyrannis/11December2012]

Better Spies, Not More. The Defense Intelligence Agency is planning to dramatically expand the ranks of its covert "collectors" - a.k.a. case officers or, more popularly, spies. It has 500 or so and hopes to double that number.

There is nothing inherently wrong with this plan, which is being pushed by the DIA's new director, Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn. It is unlikely to lead to a militarization of U.S. foreign policy, as some fear - the military is already the dominant player in the intelligence community, with its control not only of the Defense Department's DIA but also the National Security Agency and other high-tech outfits.

The real question is, will a beefed-up DIA make up for the intelligence community's long-standing difficulties in acquiring high-quality human intelligence? On that score, unfortunately, there is real cause for doubt.

The problem is that the intelligence community already suffers from a propensity to put quantity over quality, the former being easier to order up than the latter. The CIA expanded dramatically after 9/11, but that has done nothing to prevent a series of embarrassing debacles, including Iraq's nonexistent weapons of mass destruction, the supposed halting of the Iranian nuclear program (claimed by a now-repudiated 2007 National Intelligence Estimate) and the September attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Even the CIA's basic tradecraft has been called into question by the inept "rendition" of a terrorist suspect from Italy in 2003 that resulted in the conviction, in absentia, of 22 CIA employees who left their fingerprints all over the operation.

Granted, there have been notable successes, like tracking down Osama bin Laden and other, still classified, victories. But the problem remains that after 9/11 the CIA hired a bunch of young analysts and case officers who were patriotic and enthusiastic but also inexperienced.

As former intelligence officers have complained to me, too few of the hires have the kind of detailed knowledge of foreign languages and cultures needed to really understand complex societies, and their career paths conspire against acquiring such knowledge. Despite efforts to send more of them abroad, most analysts still spend most of their time in Washington, far from the countries they are supposed to be analyzing. Most case officers, in the clandestine service, shuttle back and forth between different stations in different countries.

All of this makes it extremely difficult to acquire the kind of granular knowledge needed to understand complex foreign societies, especially tribal societies in the Middle East, where personal relationships are all important. [Read more: Boot/JSOnline/7December2012]


Section IV - Obituaries and Coming Events


Obituaries

Peter James "Jim" Gray. Peter James "Jim" Gray, age 70, Retired Police Chief Bay Village OH, Shaker Hts., OH; FBI National Academy Graduate, CWRU Faculty, Successful Entrepreneur Great Lakes Permagroins and Gabion Systems, Peter Gray Investigations, LLC, Active member of Beachwood Rotary, Lakewood Elks. Resident of Cleveland, OH and Jensen Beach, FL. Husband of the late Peggy Gray (Jakubisin). Loving companion of Winkie Donnelly. Dear brother of the late Richard Gray (Theresa), the late Mary Arth (Masterson) (Ron). Survived by Peggy Riley (Masterson), Jack Masterson. Father of Maureen Gray-O'Shea, Peter Jr., Deba Gray (Serena), Melissa Noonan (Gray). Loving grandfather to Morgan, Quinn, Liam, Griffin (Noonan) and James Gray-O'Shea. Uncle to many. Funeral Mass will be held Friday, Dec. 7, 11:30 a.m., St. Angela Merici Parish, 20970 Lorain Rd., Fairview Park. Friends may call at McGORRAY-HANNA FUNERAL HOME, 25620 CENTER RIDGE RD., WESTLAKE OH, THURSDAY, DEC. 6, FROM 4-8 P.M. Family suggests memorial contributions go to Cuyahoga County Blue Coats Inc. to help the families of our fallen Police and Firemen. www.mcgorray-hanna.com. [ThePlainDealer/5December2012]


Coming Educational Events

EDUCATIONAL EVENTS IN COMING TWO MONTHS....

MANY Spy Museum Events in November, December and 2013, 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.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012, 11:30am - MacDill AFB, FL - The Suncoast AFIO Chapter on several first-hand international reports.

Wallace Bruschweiler provides reports on the 12th International Conference of the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT), held in Herzliya, Israel focusing on four geo-strategic processes that are affecting international affairs in general, and Middle Eastern and Islamic countries. And a report on the 2012 AFIO Intelligence Symposium at ODNI and DIA a sweeping retrospective on 2011-2012 espionage, counterintelligence, and security cases, including intelligence gathering successes and failures worldwide, how intelligence
is used in US and other nations and a review showing that far more espionage cases occur in US than public knows —with Russia and China as the top two nations that recruit Americans to spy on the US.
Also to be provided is an update from Chapter member Walter Andrusyszyn on the USF Center of Excellence Program in National and Competitive Intelligence, and tales of Chris Clark's recent visit to China; Chris is a student who has attended our meetings in the past and is looking forward to an Air Force career.
Dr. Ken Campbell's book collection donation has found a home at USF, and Chapter President Gary Gorsline entertained a delegation from the Lower Chamber of the Afghan Parliament at the Lutz Fourth of July celebrations and shares his insights from that experience.
Meeting is being held at the Surf's Edge Club at MacDill AFB, 7315 Bayshore Boulevard, MacDill AFB, FL 33621.
Fee: $20. Make reservation at mfshapiro@att.net
If you make a reservation, don't cancel and get a cancellation confirmation by the response deadline and then don't show up, you will be responsible for the cost of the luncheon. Visit www.suncoastafio.org

Wednesday, 12 December 2012, 5:30 pm - Las Vegas, NV - AFIO Las Vegas Chapter hosts Debra Gauthier on book highlighting career/challenges of female law enforcement officers

Normally, we all meet at the Robin's Roost at the O'Club for food and drink before our AFIO meeting but because we are having our holiday dinner and we will be meeting in the A-Room of the O'Club, a no-host bar, located adjacent to the A-Room will be in operation from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. for your convenience. Please purchase your cocktails at the A-Room bar instead of the Robin's Roost.
Our featured speaker for the evening will be: Debra Gauthier
Topic: "Bright Lights, Dark Places"
Ms. Gauthier is the author of her recently released book, "Bright Lights, Dark Places" which highlights her career and the challenges she faced pioneering as one of the first female officers on the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.
Ms. Gauthier has been a native Las Vegan since 1963 and is the oldest of four siblings. She will be sharing from a chapter of her book entitled, "What Have I Gotten Myself Into!"
Ms. Gauthier's book "Bright Lights, Dark Places" will be on display and available for purchase before the meeting and during the breaks and she will be happy to autograph it for you.

If you have provided your name, date of birth and either a drivers' license number or a social security number, your name will be at the guarded main gate at the entrance of Nellis Air Force Base. If not, please provide this information to me by November 27, 2012, or you will not be admitted. If you currently have adequate base access, you do not need to provide this information.
Place: The Officers' Club at Nellis Air Force Base. All guests must use the MAIN GATE, located at the intersection of Craig Road and Las Vegas Blvd.
Address: 5871 Fitzgerald Blvd., Nellis AFB, NV 89191
Phone: 702-644-2582.
Dinner: A holiday dinner buffet will be served beginning at 5:30p.m. and
Please Note: If your dues are in good standing for the current calendar year, the holiday dinner will be free of charge. If your dues are not currently in good standing or for any guest attending the meeting, there will be a $20.00 charge for the dinner. 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, date of birth and either drivers license number or social security numbers to me before the stated deadline of November 27, 2012; not only so that they will be allowed admittance to the base but to give me an accurate head-count as well.
RSVP: You may email Mary Bentley at mary.bentley@doe.gov or call her at 702-295-0417 if you have any questions. We look forward to seeing you!

Tuesday, 15 January 1013, noon - "Spying in America: Espionage from the Revolutionary War to the Dawn of the Cold War" by author, form D/NCS, CIA Mike Sulick at the International Spy Museum

Can you keep a secret? Maybe you can, but the United States government can't. Since the birth of our country, nations from Russia and China to Ghana and Ecuador, have stolen some of our country's most precious secrets. Join Michael Sulick, former director of the CIA's National Clandestine Service, as he discusses his new book, Spying in America, which presents a history of more than thirty espionage cases inside the United States. They include Americans who spied against their country, spies from both the Union and Confederacy during the Civil War, and foreign agents who ran operations on American soil. Some of the stories are familiar, such as those of Benedict Arnold and Julius Rosenberg, while others, though less well known, are equally fascinating. In each case he focuses on the motivations that drove these individuals to spy, the secrets they betrayed, their tradecraft, techniques for concealing their espionage, their exposure and punishment, and the damage they ultimately inflicted on America's national security.
Tickets: Free! No registration required. For more information visit www.spymuseum.org

Thursday, 17 January 2013, 6:30 pm – Washington, DC - "On the Front Line: Protecting Presidents and Prime Ministers" at the International Spy Museum

If anyone wants to do it, no amount of protection is enough. All a man needs is a willingness to trade his life for mine. –President John F. Kennedy
As Inauguration Day nears and security around the nation's capital intensifies, consider what it's like to guard the President. Imagine the whole world watching you work on your toughest day. A lesser version of this scenario occurs whenever national leaders venture into public. This evening two men who know what it's like to keep the head of their government safe from harm will share their experiences in the field of protection. Mark J. Basil served with distinction in the United States Secret Service for ten years. He coordinated covert protection for Presidents Bush and Obama and for major National Special Security Events. Daniel J. Mulvenna retired from the Security Service of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police after 21 years working in Personnel Security, Counter-Subversion and Counterintelligence. In addition to his government experience in dignitary and VIP protection, he has worked for over 25 years as a security and risk management consultant to multinational corporations and government clients and has conducted personnel protection and counterterrorism training programs for clients all over the world. They'll share the concerns that protection officers must address in light of today's fast-moving culture where anyone with a smartphone can report on the latest movements of Presidents and Prime Ministers.
Tickets: $15. To register or for more information visit www.spymuseum.org

Wednesday, 23 January 2013, 6:30 pm - Washington, DC - "Inside Stories - Spy Hunters: The Women Who Caught Aldrich Ames" at the International Spy Museum

WHAT: "… he seriously considered us dumb broads." – Sandy Grimes

Meet Sandy Grimes, a former CIA Operative in the Agency's Clandestine Service, and hear how she and her fellow operative Jeanne Vertefeuille used their determination, hard work, and cunning to enable the capture and conviction of their former colleague and infamous CIA officer-turned traitor:  Aldrich Ames.  His acts of betrayal were finally halted thanks in large part to the dogged perseverance and penetrating analysis of this remarkable pair.  International Spy Museum Executive Director, Peter Earnest, who was once Ames' immediate supervisor, will also offer comments on the case. The women were finally able to tell the inside story of the unmasking of the CIA's most notorious traitor in their remarkable book Circle of Treason: A CIA Account of Traitor Aldrich Ames and the Men He Betrayed which will be available for sale and signing.
International Spy Museum: 800 F Street, NW Washington, DC Gallery Place/Chinatown Metrorail Station. Tickets: $9. Register at www.spymuseum.org

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


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