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Section I - INTELLIGENCE HIGHLIGHTS
Cybersleuths Uncover 5-Year Spy Operation Targeting Governments, Others. An advanced and well-orchestrated computer spy operation that targeted diplomats, governments and research institutions for at least five years has been uncovered by security researchers in Russia.
The highly targeted campaign, which focuses primarily on victims in Eastern Europe and Central Asia based on existing data, is still live, harvesting documents and data from computers, smartphones and removable storage devices, such as USB sticks, according to Kaspersky Lab, the Moscow-based antivirus firm that uncovered the campaign. Kaspersky has dubbed the operation "Red October."
While most of the victims documented are in Eastern Europe or Central Asia, targets have been hit in 69 countries in total, including the U.S., Australia, Ireland, Switzerland, Belgium, Brazil, Spain, South Africa, Japan and the United Arab Emirates. Kaspersky calls the victims "high profile," but declined to identify them other than to note that they're government agencies and embassies, institutions involved in nuclear and energy research and companies in the oil and gas and aerospace industries.
"The main purpose of the operation appears to be the gathering of classified information and geopolitical intelligence, although it seems that the information-gathering scope is quite wide," Kaspersky notes in a report released Monday. "During the past five years, the attackers collected information from hundreds of high-profile victims, although it's unknown how the information was used."
The attackers, believed to be native Russian-speakers, have set up an extensive and complex infrastructure consisting of a chain of at least 60 command-and-control servers that Kaspersky says rivals the massive infrastructure used by the nation-state hackers behind the Flame malware that Kaspersky discovered last year.
But the researchers note that the Red October attack has no connection to Flame, Gauss, DuQu or other sophisticated cyberspy operations Kaspersky has examined in recent years. [Read more: Zetter/Wired/14January2013]
Turkey's Spy Agency Probes Paris Murders of Kurdish Activists. Turkey's National Intelligence Organization
(MİT) has commenced an investigation into the killings of three Kurdish female activists in Paris, according to sources in the spy agency.
"The relevant unit of the organisation is investigating the incidents. We have to wait a couple of days to get a clearer picture," a source from MİT told the Hürriyet Daily News on Jan. 11.
The organisation is closely following the aftermath of the killings, but the source declined to comment on whether the agency is seeking to exchange information with the French secret service over the incident. [Hurriyet/13January2013]
Intelligence Agent Presumed Dead in Failed French Raid of Somali Islamists. A French intelligence agent held hostage for over three years by Somali Islamists is presumed dead following a failed rescue operation by French commandos early Jan. 12, according to the French Defense Ministry. One French soldier participating in the secret operation in southern Somalia was also killed, as were 17 members of the militia group al-Shabaab, officials in Paris revealed. But in response to initial French announcements that the agent - known as Denis Allex - was killed in fighting during the raid, al-Shabaab released a statement insisting that the intelligence officer was still alive, along with an injured French commando French authorities acknowledge as missing.
The early morning operation in the Lower Shebelle region of Somalia came just hours after French President François Hollande announced Friday that French armed forces had backed Malian troops with air strikes in a counteroffensive against Islamist insurgents advancing southward from northern Mali. One French pilot providing air cover to Malian army soldiers died from wounds suffered during fighting. While French officials hailed that continuing intervention as successful in pushing the Islamist militants back toward the north of Mali, both that offensive and the failed mission to rescue Allex raise questions about the future of eight French hostages and other Westerners held by extremists in both Mali and Somalia. [Read more: Crumley/TIME/12January2013]
Ethiopia Jails 10 for Plotting Attacks. An Ethiopian court sentenced 10 men to jail terms of between three and 20 years for plotting attacks with Islamist rebels from neighboring Somalia.
Among those sentenced is a Kenyan, Hassan Jarso, who pleaded guilty when charged in May.
Federal court Judge Bahiru Darecha Tuesday sentenced Mr. Jarso to 17 years in prison. Eleven men were originally charged with the crimes. One was acquitted and six were sentenced in absentia.
The sentences come amid signs of increasing militancy in the East African nation. Ethiopian troops moved into Somalia in 2011 to fight the rebels linked to the al-Shabab group.
Ethiopia's intelligence agency said this month that 15 people were arrested as alleged members of a terror cell linked to al-Shabab. [Read more: AP/15January2012]
Sweden Ramps Up Industrial Espionage Fight. Industrial espionage directed against Swedish companies and research institutions is on the rise, according to intelligence officials, prompting new inter-agency intelligence coordination to protect national security.
On Monday, Sweden's main intelligence services announced that in December they launched new efforts to coordinate their counter-espionage efforts.
The National Coordination against Serious IT Threats [Nationell samverkan till skydd mot allvarliga IT-hot, NSIT] involves the coordinated analysis of threats and vulnerabilities, as well as the development of protective measures to make it harder to gain unauthorized access targets vital to Sweden's national interest.
The efforts, which involves Swedish security service Säpo, military intelligence agency MUST as well as Sweden's National Defence Radio Establishment [Försvarets radioanstalt - FRA], focus on national security threats, rather than disruptive hacker attacks and fraud, the agencies said in a statement.
Increasingly, foreign powers like Russia, China, and India want to gain access to technical know-how and trade secrets from Swedish companies.
"They want to get at information in areas where we have technological expertise, such as the defence industry but also within aviation and space technology, pharmacology and food production," FRA spokesman Fredrik Wallin told Sveriges Radio (SR).
"We lose a great deal of value when research results both from companies and universities are stolen. It has the potential to affect our competitive edge." [Read more: TheLocal/14January2013]
Married Couple Go on Trial in Germany Accused of Spying for Russia for 25 Years. A married couple accused of spying on Germany for 25 years for their Russian paymasters went on trial today in a case that could lead directly to Vladimir Putin's door.
Andreas and Heidrun Anschlag began their snooping career in the same city, Dresden, where Putin was posted for the KGB.
The duo are accused of first feeding information about West Germany to the former Soviet Union, then the reunited land to the Russian Republic.
The espionage agents for Moscow operated under the radar of the intelligence services sending back their reports to their handlers via a radio code.
'The accused had the task of gathering information about the political and military strategy of the EU and NATO as well as security-relevant political aspects of relations between Germany, the EU and NATO to Russia,' said Germany's prosecutor's office. [Read more: Hall/DailyMail/15January2013]
African Union Re-affirms Support for Somali National Intelligence Agency. The Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (SRCC) for Somalia, Ambassador Mahamat Annadif has congratulated President Hassan Sheikh Mahamoud, his government and the people of Somalia on the occasion of the 41st anniversary of the National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) and the re-opening of its headquarters.
Ambassador Annadif said the re-opening of NISA headquarters symbolises the re-building of state institutions which had been destroyed by two decades of fighting.
He paid tribute to the National Intelligence and Security Agency for being a key security instrument in the search for sustainable peace and security particularly in the fight against extremism in the country.
He said: "The National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) has played a significant role in fighting terrorists and its efforts are clearly bearing fruits.
"I therefore wish to reaffirm AMISOM's continued commitment to working with NISA as Somalia moves to stabilise the country and rebuild its institutions." [Read more: CoastWeek/10January2013]
US Suspects Iran Behind Hostage Photos of ex-FBI Agent, as Wife Calls for Action. The wife of a missing retired FBI agent is calling on the U.S. government to put more pressure on Iran to send her husband home, as she releases photos that she received two years ago of her husband as a hostage.
Robert Levinson, a private investigator, disappeared in 2007 on the Iranian island of Kish. The Iranian government has repeatedly denied knowing anything about his disappearance, and the disturbing video and photos that Levinson's family received in late 2010 and early 2011 seemed to give credence to the idea.
U.S. officials now see the government of Iran behind the images and video, intelligence officials told The Associated Press, and Levinson's wife, Christine Levinson, wants the world to know she hasn't given up hope of seeing him again.
"I believe he is still alive," she said in an interview Tuesday night with Fox News' Greta Van Susteren. "I believe he is spending every waking hour making sure that he is well enough to come home to us."
Their oldest daughter is getting married in a month, Levinson said. U.S. officials have told her they are doing everything they can, but investigators haven't been able to find much information about him.
The extraordinary photos - showing Levinson's hair wild and gray, his beard long and unkempt - are being seen for the first time publicly after the family provided copies first to the AP. The video has been previously released.
"I feel that there needs to be more attention to the case, and that is why I am putting the pictures out," Christine Levinson told Fox News. [Read more: FoxNews/8January2012]
Section II - CONTEXT & PRECEDENCE
Before He Was a Spy, 'Argo's' Tony Mendez Was an Artist. He Still Is. The artist was a spy. In some of the world's most dangerous places, his cover was often his palette. And his painter's eye made him a master of disguise and subterfuge during a storied CIA career that is the subject of an Oscar-nominated movie starring Ben Affleck.
Now retired, Tony Mendez is not easy to find. He has hidden himself along a rocky road in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western Maryland, where he and his wife, Jonna, another former spy, have traded the art of deception for artistry of a different sort.
Their secluded red carriage house on 40 acres in Knoxville, about 15 miles from Frederick, is connected to a large gallery and studios. Tony paints. Jonna shoots photographs. Antonio "Toby" Mendez, Tony's son, shows up every day to sculpt. They work quietly and in seclusion, save for their twice-a-year gallery showings for art buyers risking their mufflers to spend thousands of dollars. They don't even interact much with one another while they work.
"If I'm in the middle of something, and one of them came in and said I should make something yellow, that would be blasphemy," Tony said not long ago, sitting in his living room and wearing a black leather jacket with a CIA emblem. "We leave each other alone."
Their solitude has been interrupted lately by brave limousine drivers fetching Tony and Jonna for trips to Hollywood and New York with Affleck, who plays Tony in "Argo," an acclaimed film about the daring rescue in January 1980 of six American diplomats during the Iranian hostage crisis.
The publicity machine for the movie, up for five Golden Globe Awards on Sunday night and seven Academy Awards next month, has nudged a reclusive family into public view. For the ex-spies, it has been unfamiliar terrain. For the artists, it has been great for business, particularly Tony's landscapes. [Read more: Rosenwald/WashingtonPost/12January2012]
CIA Plays Active Role in Managing its Image in Hollywood Films. Up until the 1990s, the CIA was happy to remain in the shadows, unconcerned with how it was, or wasn't portrayed in movies. But that's no longer true. Today, the CIA contributes and advises on certain films, in order to put its best foot forward - and attract the best and brightest new hires.
Even though Hollywood has always been fond of spy thrillers, it didn't really notice the Central Intelligence Agency until the 1960s, when agent Felix Leiter, played by Jack Lord, appeared in the James Bond flick, "Dr. No."
But the CIA has been working with Hollywood since the 1950s.
Tricia Jenkins, the author of "The CIA in Hollywood," says the CIA first started working with Hollywood to influence foreign audiences.
"Their purpose was essentially to shape foreign policy or to win hearts and minds overseas during the cold war," she said.
The CIA, to fight communist ideology, developed a think tank, which obtained the rights to George Orwell's "Animal Farm" - getting a talking pig on the screen 20 years before "Charlotte's Web." Jenkins says the CIA also wanted to promote a certain view of American life, for instance pressing for line changes in 1950s scripts to make black characters more dignified, and white characters more tolerant. This "politically correct" image was intended to promote an attractive image of America to a world picking sides in the Cold War.
But while the CIA used Hollywood to project an American ideal, they didn't seem much concerned with their own image.
"In the old days, the CIA, and its predecessor the OSS - they didn't really spend much time worrying about what the public thought about them," said Ted Gup, author of "The Book of Honor: Covert Lives and Classified Deaths at the CIA."
He says with the end of the Cold War, the CIA realized it needed an image overhaul. [Read more: PRI/14January2013]
From the Archive, 14 January 1939: Former German Spy Reveals Myths of the Trade. Captain Franz von Rintelen, who was chief of the German Secret Service in the United States of America during the Great War, was the guest of the Manchester Publicity Club at its lunch-hour meeting yesterday. Captain von Rintelen renounced his German nationality in 1931, and, as Mr. E. A. Paessler, who presided over the luncheon yesterday, reminded the gathering, during the crisis of September last he placed his services at the disposal of the British War Office.
He gave to his address the title "The art of avoiding publicity," and showed a good deal of dexterity in the art, for, although he talked amusingly about how he managed to live in New York under five aliases, he did not reveal much detail.
Poking fun at the conventional spy story of the film - the story of the man who was spy and hero and who always came to the crossroads of duty and love, generally "falling for the latter" under the fascination of some "platinum blonde," - he said that the platinum blondes of the story did not exist. "At least," he added, "nothing of that sort came my way."
He did once employ a woman, but she was neither "platinum blonde, brunette, nor redhead," but just a plain, simple girl. Somehow the British Admiralty had "borrowed" the secret German code, and that made difficulties. Nevertheless, he managed to get his messages through. He wrote them in plain German and the girl had no objection to "pinning them to her undies."
The secret service agent, he said amid laughter, is a spy if he is on the other side but an intelligence officer if working for you. [Read more: TheGuardian/14January2013]
China's Mystery Complex. Late last month, former CIA analyst Allen Thomson was clicking through a space news website when he noticed a story about a new orbital tracking site being built near the small city of Kashgar in southwestern China. Curious, he went to Google Earth to find it. He poked around for a while, with no luck. Then he came across something kind of weird.
Thomson, who served in the CIA from 1972 to 1985 and as a consultant to the National Intelligence Council until 1996, has made something of a second career finding odd stuff in public satellite imagery. He discovered these giant grids etched into the Chinese desert in 2011, and a suspected underground missile bunker in Iran in 2008. When the Israeli Air Force destroyed a mysterious facility in Syria the year before, Thomson put together an 812-page dossier on the so-called "Box on the Euphrates." Old analyst habits die hard, it seems.
But even this old analyst is having trouble ID'ing the objects he found in the overhead images of Kashgar. "I haven't the faintest clue what it might be - but it's extensive, the structures are pretty big and funny-looking, and it went up in what I'd call an incredible hurry," he emails.
So he'd like your help in solving this little mystery. [Read more: Shachtman/Wired/99January2013]
Move Over, James Bond - Seven Decades Later, Lady Spies Receive Their Due. Nancy Wake died last year at the age of 98. The Germans once described this former World War II spy as "the white mouse" because of her ability to evade capture. She killed a Nazi officer with her bare hands. She ordered the execution of a fellow female spy, because she believed the woman was working for the Germans. Before her death, the United States awarded Wake the Medal of Freedom, Great Britain presented her with the George Medal and France gave her its highest military prize - the Legion d'Honneur. As the New York Times reported, "Ms. Wake received so many medals for her wartime service... that she lived out her old age on the proceeds from their sale."
If only this were true of the other daring women who spied in World War II - some 3,000 in Britain's SOE (Special Operations Executive), and an estimated 4,500 in America's OSS, or Office of Strategic Services, the predecessor to the CIA. In October, the head of Israel's national Intelligence agency stated, "Women have a distinct advantage in secret warfare."
Before the war, a good number of these women had been stay-at-home wives and mothers. But wartime found them going to work in Washington, D.C. or in England as code breakers and intelligence analysts, or dropped into France or Africa as couriers and spies. They worked with the French Resistance and the Allies to recover missing or captured agents or prisoners of war. They gathered invaluable, critical information. They helped downed pilots and Jews escape over the Spanish border. They hid precious works of art from the Germans. Before the war's end, many would be captured and executed by the enemy.
Yet most will never be recognized and too many of them are already forgotten. However, recently the spotlight has been cast on a few of these brave heroines. [Read more: Niven/HuffingtonPost/15January2013]
Section III - COMMENTARY
How Accurate Are Bourne and Bond? Ask an Ex-CIA Officer. Two films in the genre of espionage thrillers, The Bourne Legacy and Skyfall, were released to popular acclaim in 2012. Each is the most recent offering in a series of movies about espionage. They are action movies noted for phenomenal chase scenes, violence, and beautiful women. The chief difference between the two is that the series about British MI6 agent James Bond, represented most recently by Skyfall, approaches the book and movie stories with tongue-in-cheek and humor. The Bourne series takes a more serious view of operations set against a classic struggle between Headquarters and Field Agent.
I was a career operations officer with the CIA, now long retired. I have seen firsthand how much these espionage thrillers have influenced public opinion about espionage as it's conducted by our government. When introduced as a former CIA officer, I find myself looked at as larger-than-life. Frequently, a new acquaintance will say, "I'd like to ask you to tell me what you really did for the CIA, but I know that you would then have to kill me." This is supposed to be funny, but it troubles me because it shows such a fundamental misunderstanding of what it's like to spend many years abroad in the service of the CIA. The family, public and not-so-public lives of CIA operations officers serving abroad are nothing like those portrayed in these and similar films. Please note that this criticism does not apply to the books and movies based on the work of British author John le Carré. In my opinion he comes the closest to "telling it like it is" among the authors who have made the genre popular.
For my first couple of years with the agency (or company, as it's sometimes called) I was a paramilitary officer serving in the Far East. I carried weapons. Never again did I carry weapons; I didn't even see weapons on assignments in Europe. This tidbit may disappoint some readers whose images of U.S. intelligence officers abroad have been formed by thriller books and movies, which are chock-full of shooting and explosions. In fact, the major goal of CIA operations officers abroad should be the collection of HUMINT, not shooting people while riding mopeds or driving fast cars through crowded major cities.
HUMINT is an acronym for human intelligence collection. This type of information gathering, which comes through developing relationships, is the most classic of all spying activities, and is said to rival prostitution as the world's oldest profession. Among other things it requires good language abilities, interpersonal skills that include social graces, a high level of tenacity, a tolerance for ambiguity, a certain amount of chutzpah, and lots and lots of stamina.
How come we need that old-fashioned stuff when we have so much modern technology like listening devices, satellite overhead photography, drones, etc.? [Read more: Sherman/HuffingtonPost/10January2013]
The Next CIA's Director's Challenges. I see no reason why the Senate won't confirm John Brennan, President Obama's chief counter-terrorism adviser, to be the next director of the CIA. There will be pro forma inquiries into his past entanglements with the NSA's domestic surveillance program and his knowledge and approval of the CIA's "Greystone" torture protocols, but he will have ready answers for the questions and he will say plenty in private to soothe the concerns of those whose concerns need to be soothed.
Assuming Brennan becomes the DCIA, as he will thenceforth be acronymed, he'll inherit a powerful spy agency facing a set of tough questions. Actually, every CIA director since the advent of the age of Al Qaeda has more or less dealt with these same issues. The daily demands of the job require tactical thinking and leave little room for attention to the bigger picture.
Is the CIA a paramilitary force? Should it go back to its roots as a source of intelligence and warning? You see this question phrased as such a lot, but it ignores virtually all of the CIA's history, except for a period in the 1990s when the "Peace Dividend" and director John Deutch pulled back significantly on the agency's ambit. The CIA has always been both and will always be both. From the start, the agency has very broadly and probably (in an affront to the original understanding of the National Security Act of 1947) interpreted its mandate to do stuff to further American interests abroad, even and often to the point of violence, as Adam Elkus reminds us today. The question really is one of authorities and chains of command: How are American resources properly allocated? Are the mechanisms of accountability sufficient? Is there really anything better than an ad hoc framework for determining whether combined CIA-military operations are really CIA operations or military operations? [Read more: Ambinder/TheWeek/8January2013]
Intelligence Agencies Must Operate More Like An Enterprise. Major challenges await John Brennan, President Obama's nominee for CIA director, if he gets the nod from Congress. The agency is reeling from the Petraeus scandal and intelligence failures in Benghazi, and critics question its expanding use of armed drones.
At the same time, the CIA is deeply involved in one of the most complex and sensitive technology projects in federal government, one that could help it operate more smoothly if all goes well - or become yet another federal IT boondoggle if it doesn't. The initiative aims to evolve the 17-member U.S. Intelligence Community from agency-specific IT silos to an enterprise environment of shared services and systems. The first deliverables of that project, a standard PC desktop and cloud computing infrastructure, are due this quarter.
The initiative is called the Intelligence Community IT Enterprise, or ICITE, and it's been under way for 12 months. It's rooted in federal cost-cutting efforts - a big chunk of the $75 billion spent annually on national and military intelligence goes into IT systems and support - yet ICITE also promises to improve information sharing and data security across intelligence agencies.
Al Tarasiuk, the CIO of the IC, is spearheading the project, working with the CIOs of the CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, the National Reconnaissance Office and the National Security Agency. Those agencies, the "Big 5," account for the bulk of U.S. intel spending.
Tarasiuk discussed the strategy in an interview with InformationWeek Government a few months ago at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence in McLean, Va., where he reports to director of national intelligence James Clapper. Before joining ODNI in 2011, Tarasiuk was CIO of the CIA. Our meeting took place at ODNI headquarters, located next to the National Counterterrorism Center. Brennan, the nominee to become CIA director, was director of the NCTC earlier in his career.
I mention those overlapping affiliations as a way of illustrating why ICITE makes sense. Intelligence agencies already share information and resources, and the goal is to get them to collaborate more. A cross-agency enterprise IT strategy should facilitate that.
Here's how it will work: The CIA and NSA will open their cloud environments to other intelligence agencies. The DIA and NGA will develop and support a common desktop across the IC. Applications will be developed using a common set of tools - the Ozone Widget Framework - and made available through an NSA-managed "apps mall." Encryption and data tagging will allow for secure information sharing. [Read more: Foley/InformationWeek/14January2013]
Who's the Spy Boss? Creating the office of the director of national intelligence in 2005 was meant to improve the management of the nation’s intelligence gathering in the wake of 9/11, but it has often led to turf wars between national intelligence directors and directors of the CIA.
Now President Barack Obama’s nomination of his trusted counterterrorism aide, John Brennan, as CIA director may leave the impression the CIA director is the top spy, even though the director of national intelligence technically would be his boss.
The problem, past directors in both posts and other experts say, is that the DNI’s role is ambiguous.
The job of DNI was created to reform the intelligence community after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and the faulty intelligence that suggested Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.
Before that time, the CIA director not only ran the spy agency but also had a second title, director of central intelligence, which was responsible for coordinating the activities of the 16 agencies and departments that make up the intelligence community.
An independent commission that reviewed the intelligence failures concluded, and Congress agreed, that one person should focus exclusively on guiding the community. Running the CIA, the review concluded, was a full-time job on its own.
Thus began the role of the director of national intelligence, who runs the entire community and is the chief intelligence adviser to the president. It was not long before tension emerged. [Read more: Benson/CNN/14January2013]
Section IV - Research Requests, Books, Obituaries and Coming Events
[IMPORTANT: AFIO does not "vet" or endorse these research inquiries or job offers. Reasonable-sounding inquiries and career offerings are published as a service to our members, and for researchers, educators, and subscribers. You are urged to exercise your usual caution and good judgment when responding or supplying any information.]
Your Forecasts Sought: IARPA Has Five More Special Topics Needing Your Online Responses:
IARPA released 5 new forecasting problems today, four of which are of the conditional form "Will A happen IF/IF-NOT B happens?" (only "A" shown below)
1185. Will there be a substantial lethal confrontation involving Iraqi government forces and Kurdish fighters before 1 April 2013?
1186. Who will be the next president of Cyprus?
1187. Will M23 seize, recapture, or otherwise occupy the city of Goma at any time before 1 April 2013?
1188. Will North Korea attempt launch of a multistage rocket between 7 January 2013 and 1 September 2013?
1189. Will Russia maintain any military presence at the Tartus Naval Base in Syria as of 1 January 2014?
As always, when you visit our site to make forecasts to these new questions, please also take a moment to review and update your prior forecasts. You may want to use the "Quick Surveys" page to get a convenient overview of your existing forecasts.
To help you with your forecasting, our subject matter expert has reviewed the remaining open questions and identified those where there is significant uncertainty or the risk of surprise events. We also provide recent news on other open questions at a single view. Please visit this analysis in our shared subject workspace in the "Occasional Analyses" section.
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We thank you all for your support! Comments to Sven Brueckner, (INFORMED Project Manager) at Sven.Brueckner@jacobs.comThe INFORMED prototype is hosted at https://www.ace-informed.net. At https://activewiki.net/display/IarpaAceInformedPublic/Home you find background information on our study.
New Book Explains Why Ex-CIA Director Richard Helms Lied to Congress. Richard Helms holds the unsavory distinction of being the only director of the CIA ever convicted of lying to Congress. He did so regarding an attempt to prevent Salvador Allende from becoming president of Chile during the country's first successful open elections in 1970.
Now in a new book, his widow Cynthia Helms attempts to explain why.
Richard Helms, who was the director of the Central Intelligence Agency from 1966 to 1973, carried out the special operation in Chile simply because President Richard Nixon told him to, she writes in "An Intriguing Life: A Memoir of War, Washington and Marriage to An America Spymaster."
But Richard Helms, who died in 2002, lied to Congress because of two competing oaths he'd taken, Cynthia recalls.
After departing the intelligence community in 1973, Nixon named Helms to be ambassador of Iran. During the ex-spymaster's confirmation hearings before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he was asked about the agency's covert operations in Chile, which remained classified. One questioner wanted to know if Helms had tried to overthrow the Chilean government.
"He did not want to mislead the committee, but he could not disclose secrets," Cynthia Helms writes. And he faced a "moral dilemma," she says, because of his two conflicting oaths: the one he had taken when joining the CIA, and the other he took when he swore to tell the truth to the committee.
He chose the oath to the CIA, and told the questioner "no," she explains in the book.
Four years later, that response would come back to haunt him. [Read more: Flock/USNews/11January2012]
A Former CIA Agent Explains How To Advance Your Career Like A Spy. In order to survive, spies have to be really good at their jobs.
They're required to gain their opponent's trust and respond to a crisis quickly.
In the book "Work Like a Spy: Business Tips from a Former CIA Officer," J.C. Carleson writes about her experience as an undercover agent for the Central Intelligence Agency and the business and career tips she gained during those eight years.
From her experience, we compiled nine career tips that can help any employee reach the top of their professional game - and survive. [Read more: Giang/BusinessInsider/7January2013]
Jeanne Vertefeuille. Jeanne Vertefeuille joined the Central Intelligence Agency as a typist in 1954 and then began inching up through the ranks, obtaining postings overseas. By 1986 she had become a midlevel expert on the Soviet Union and counterintelligence. She remained a quiet agency soldier, however - purposefully nondescript and selflessly dedicated. She lived alone and walked to work.
But if she was a gray figure at the agency, Ms. Vertefeuille was also a tenacious and effective one, and in October 1986 was asked to lead a task force to investigate the disappearance of Russians whom the C.I.A. had hired to spy against their own country.
Almost eight years later, the investigation led to the unmasking of a C.I.A. employee, Aldrich Ames, as one of the most notorious traitors in American history. He had sold out the Russian agents - at least eight were executed - for millions in cash. His downfall was in no small part owed to Ms. Vertefeuille (pronounced VER-teh-fay), who brought to the mission a deep knowledge of Soviet spycraft and of her own agency's workings.
She died on Dec. 29 at age 80. In announcing her death, Michael Morell, the acting director of the C.I.A., called Ms. Vertefeuille "uniquely suited for the job" and described her as "a true C.I.A. icon." Some compared her work on the Ames case to that of Connie Sachs, the brilliant researcher for British intelligence in John le Carré's spy novels.
Sandra Grimes, a C.I.A. veteran who also worked on the case, said Ms. Vertefeuille had died of a malignant brain tumor at a nursing home in the Washington area, declining to be more specific. "Jeanne was one of the most private people you can ever, ever imagine," she said.
Ms. Vertefeuille's role in the investigation began in 1986 when, as station chief in Gabon, she received a cryptic cable to return to C.I.A. headquarters in Langley, Va. From May through December 1985, she was told, Soviet spies working as American double agents had disappeared at an alarming rate. She was to lead a small task force to investigate, initially composed of two women and two men and later to be joined by Ms. Grimes.
The journalist David Wise wrote in his 1995 book "Nightmover: How Aldrich Ames Sold the C.I.A. to the K.G.B. for $4.6 Million" that women had been chosen for the unit because their bosses felt that women would have more patience in combing through records. He also suggested that relatively low-ranking officials like Ms. Vertefeuille and the others were selected because the agency was operating on the presumption that no C.I.A. colleague could be a traitor.
"The C.I.A. thought it had picked a minor leaguer," Mr. Wise said of Ms. Vertefeuille in an interview with Time magazine, "but she proved she was good enough for the majors. In the end, she got Ames." [Read more: Martin/NYTimes/11January2013]
Coming Educational Events
EDUCATIONAL EVENTS IN COMING TWO MONTHS....
MANY Spy Museum Events in 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.
Wednesday, 16 January 2013, 11:30 am - 1:30 pm - Scottsdale, AZ - Two experts discuss "the National Security Agency."
Guest Speakers Ken Fauth EdD and Richard S. Post, PhD provide an
unclassified look-see at the world's most secretive intelligence and
security agency along with its strategic/tactical partners, its
tentacles, its roles, and some of its now known stories.
Needed is your RSVP NO LATER than 72 hours ahead of time. If you do not show up for the lunch meeting and have not cancelled 48 hours prior, please send your check to Simone – you will be charged for the lunch. Meeting fees are as follows: $20.00 for AFIO AZ Members; $22.00 for Guests
For reservations or questions, please email Simone: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. To call, please leave a message on 602.570.6016.
Thank you for your cooperation.
Location: McCormick Ranch Golf Course, 7505 McCormick Parkway, Scottsdale AZ 85258.
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
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
Saturday, 19 January 2013, 2 pm - Kennebunk, ME - Maine Chapter of AFIO hears from Libya expert on the Arab Spring
Dr. Ali Ahmida, Chairman of the Sociology Department at the University of New England, born in Libya, will speak about the geographical and tribal divisions of Libya, the eventual result of the "Arab Spring," and the relationship of Libya's government to the extremist groups which have entered the country. The meeting, open to the public, will be held at the Brick Store Museum Progam Center, 2 Dane Street, Kennebunk. For information call 207-967-4298.
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
Friday, 25 January 2013, 1:00 pm - Washington, DC - Thomas Caplan, The Spy Who Jumped Off the Screen at the International Spy Museum Store
An in-store book signing of The Spy Who Jumped Off the Screen by Thomas Caplan,
with an introduction by President Bill Clinton. The Spy Museum calls
this "A classic international spy novel with a fresh, contemporary twist
full of daring adventure that makes for edge-of-your-seat reading.
Reminiscent of the novels featuring James Bond and Jason Bourne, The Spy Who Jumped Off the Screen addresses the very relevant and current threat of nuclear weapons falling into the wrong hands."
No registration required. Visit http://www.spymuseum.org
Friday, 25 January 2013, 6 - 7:30 pm - Washington, DC - Africa and International Terrorism - by Kemal Okudo
You are cordially invited to a special lecture on the topic of Africa and International Terrorism with Kemal Okudo,
National Security Consultant, IWP Class of 2009.
Kemal Okudo has over 23 years of cumulative and diversified executive and operational-level experience in banking, telecommunications, logistics, industrial security, and national security consulting. During his career, he has won awards as a banker; pioneered, designed and supervised the logistics and security functions at one of Nigeria's largest telephone companies (currently with over 30 million subscribers); and consulted for various national governments and global corporations in different areas of national security.
Where: The Institute of World Politics, 1521 16th St NW. Parking map is here.
RSVP and confirmation - required to attend. RSVP HERE
Wednesday, 30 January 2013, noon - Washington, DC - "Power and Policy in Syria: Intelligence Services, Foreign Relations, and Democracy in the Modern Middle East" at the International Spy Museum
The world has watched the bloodbath in Syria where President Bashir
al-Assad used the full power of his security forces. A key component of
his machinery of repression has been the Syrian intelligence service,
which also plays a major role in Syria's foreign policy decision-making.
However, very little has been known about this service…until now. Join Radwan Ziadeh,
Director of the Syrian Center for Political and Strategic Studies, as
he presents a fresh and penetrating analysis of Syria's political
structure and the Syrian intelligence service in the new edition of his
book, Power and Policy in Syria: Intelligence Services, Foreign Relations and Democracy in the Modern Middle East.
Tickets: Free! No registration required. For more information visit www.spymuseum.org
30 January 2013 - Yorba Linda, CA [Nixon Library] - "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 and guests are invited to attend this
CIA-Nixon Library Conference examining 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). There is no cost to attend.
When: 30 January 2013 from 1 - 5:30 PM
Location: Richard Nixon Presidential Library, 18001 Yorba Linda Boulevard, Yorba Linda, CA 92886
REGISTER your interest in attending event by clicking email address at right to obtain additional details: email@example.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.
Saturday, 2 February 2013 - Melbourne, FL - AFIO Florida Satellite Chapter hosts AFIO National President Gene Poteat on "Secret History of History: Selected Key Events Through Eyes of CIA Officer."
Event location: Indian River Colony Club, At East Club, 1936 Freedom Dr, Melbourne, FL 32932. Details and reservations: Bobbie Keith at 321 777-5561 before Jan 29.
Monday, 4 February 2013, 11:30 am - MacDill AFB, FL - Meeting/Luncheon by Florida Suncoast Chapter featuring AFIO President Gene Poteat speaking on "The Secret History of American History: What history books fail to include."
AFIO President and retired CIA Senior Scientific Intelligence Officer Gene Poteat will speak on "The Secret History of American History; What our history
books fail to include." He will explain in a presentation laced with
humor that Intelligence is as old as mankind, yet may not be the second
oldest profession as claimed. He gives a sweeping review of historically
significant events, the outcome of which was influenced by intelligence
rather than as reported.
Location: MacDill AFB Surf's Edge Club, 7315 Bayshore Blvd, MacDill AFB, FL 33621.
RSVP no later than Wednesday, January 30, for yourself and include the names of any guests.
Email or call the Chapter Secretary at (813) 832-1164 or at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.suncoastafio.org
Cost: $20. You must present your $20 check payable to "Suncoast Chapter, AFIO" (or cash) at check-in to cover the luncheon. 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.
Wednesday, 6 February 2013 - Washington, DC - Intrigue in Vienna: An Evening Inspired by The Third Man - sponsored by the International Spy Museum
The Vienna sewers, the Giant Ferris Wheel in the Prater, Orson
Welles, and the haunting theme music of Anton Karas – In 1949, the
iconic masterpiece The Third Man showed a mysterious and
intriguing side of Vienna previously unseen on the big screen.
Remembering this time of exciting adventures, elusive truths, and sheer
elegance, the International Spy Museum together with the Embassy of
Austria are hosting a Third Man themed event. For one evening, you will
have the unique opportunity to immerse yourself in this thrilling world
of secrets, spies, and mysteries while discovering the Vienna of the
Cold War era. The event will feature original artifacts, multimedia
presentations, as well as notable speakers. So join us for this night of
great suspense and action but always remember: Trust No One.
WHERE: L2 Lounge, 3315 Cadey's Alley NW, Washington, DC 20007
TICKETS: $25. To register or for more information visit www.spymuseum.org
Wednesdays, 6 - 27 February 2013 10 am - Washington, DC - "Spy Seminar Series: Exfiltrations, Captures, or Kills: Famous High Stakes Intelligence Operations" at the International Spy Museum
Intelligence operations that hold human life in the balance are some of the most difficult missions any intelligence service will ever undertake. Exfiltrations are supremely delicate. This is the process of extracting a person or people from a targeted site with absolute urgency due to a sudden change which makes the site hostile. This could happen when a spy's cover is blown or a change in leadership puts people in danger. Captures are just that: snaring an enemy. And lastly kills. Wet jobs. Assassinations. When the enemy is bad enough that termination is the only answer. In this series, a distinguished group of experts and former intelligence personnel will introduce you to some of the greatest of these intense operations.
February 6 - The Operation that Killed Osama bin Laden
When Osama bin Laden declared war against the United States for the first time to a Western audience, Peter Bergen was there. He produced Osama bin Laden's first television interview and has written extensively on the terrorist and on Al Qaeda. His book, Manhunt: the Ten-Year Search for Bin Laden—from 9/11 to Abbottabad focuses on the difficulty of finding the world's most dangerous man—the missed opportunities, the lucky breaks, and dedication of the people who finally tracked him down. Bergen will share his professional connection to bin Laden, what it was like to actually "know" him, and his thoughts on the execution and results of Operation Neptune Spear.
February 13 - How the Mossad Captured Eichmann
For 15 years the hunt for Eichmann, architect of the mass murder of Europe's Jews, stretched from war-ravaged Europe to the shores of Argentina. In researching his book, Hunting Eichmann, best-selling author Neal Bascomb gathered groundbreaking new information and interviews, and newly declassified documents to fully tell the story of how the notorious Nazi was brought to justice. He will reveal how the young Israeli spy agency, the Mossad, organized this colossal operation—dispatching operatives like Isser Harel and Zvi Aharoni on their harrowing mission to Argentina to capture and deliver Eichmann.
February 20 - Saving Ryszard Kuklinski
In 1972, Polish Colonel Ryszard Kuklinski volunteered to spy for the United States. His self-appointed mission: to undermine his country's Soviet-dominated leadership to save Poland from nuclear destruction. Over the next nine years of high-risk, clandestine exchanges, he copied tens of thousands of secret documents and covertly passed them to the CIA—including plans to crush the Solidarity movement. Learn the inside story of this extraordinary case and of Kuklinski's last-minute, daring escape from International Spy Museum Executive Director, Peter Earnest, a former CIA officer who did unprecedented research into Agency records for Benjamin Wesier's A Secret Life: The Polish Officer, His Covert Mission, and the Price He Paid to Save His Country. Former CIA officer, Sue Burggraf, who worked with Kuklinski in Warsaw will also comment on the heroic Pole.
February 27 - Canadian Caper
International Spy Museum board member and former CIA chief of disguise Tony Mendez led the famous rescue of six Americans who were trapped in Iran after they had escaped from the US Embassy during the Iranian Hostage Crisis in 1979. Mendez came up with an ingenuous plan to get the Americans out by creating a fake movie called ARGO, setting up a cover film studio, and disguising them as a location scouting team from Canada. Mendez will take you behind the scenes of the operation, recently immortalized in the real film ARGO, from Canada's incredible support of the rescue to what kind of props he brought to make the Americans look more like film industry types.
WHERE: International Spy Museum: 800 F Street, NW Washington, DC Gallery Place/Chinatown Metrorail Station
TICKETS: Tickets: $120 (must be purchased through the Smithsonian)
To register: (via phone) 202.633.3030; (online) www.SmithsonianAssociates.org. Internet Quick Tix code for the program: 1M2-647. For more information visit www.spymuseum.org
Friday, 15 February 2013, 10:30am - 2pm - Tysons Corner, VA - AFIO National 2013 Luncheon features Spying in America by former D/NCS CIA Mike Sulick, and Intelligence Briefings of Presidential Candidates by former CIA Inspector General John L. Helgerson.
The former CIA Inspector General, John L. Helgerson, discusses "Intelligence Briefings of Presidential Candidates" and the former Director of the National Clandestine Service, Michael Sulick, presents - SPYING IN AMERICA: Espionage from the Revolutionary War to the Dawn of the Cold War - a history of more than thirty espionage cases inside the US.
Helgerson provides unique insights into the mechanics and content of these briefings of candidates, the interaction of the participants, and the briefings' effect on the relationships presidents have had with their intelligence services.
Sulick presents a number of espionage cases which 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. Mr. Sulick speaks at 11 a.m. Lunch at noon. Mr. Helgerson speaks at 1 pm. All attendees will receive a digital copy of the unclassified edition of John Helgerson's updated report on "Getting to Know The President."
28 February 2013 - San Francisco, CA - "Defense Strategy for Acquisition and its Influence on Intelligence Gathering" is Lt. Col. William Chadwick's topic at AFIO Jim Quesada Chapter Luncheon.
Lt Col(R) William Chadwick , lecturer at The Naval Post Graduate School in Monterey, will be speaking on "Defense Strategy for Acquisition and its Influence on Intelligence Gathering." The luncheon begins at 11:30AM with no-host cocktails; meeting starts at noon. Location: The United Irish Cultural Center, 2700 45th Avenue, SF (between Sloat/Wawona). E-mail RSVP to Mariko Kawaguchi at email@example.com and mail a check made out to "AFIO" to: Mariko Kawaguchi, P.O. Box 117578, Burlingame, CA 94011. Members and students: $25; non-members $35.
Tuesday, 5 March 2013, noon - Washington, DC - "The Rice Paddy Navy: US Sailors Undercover in China" at the International Spy Museum
After the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1942, the US Navy knew it would need vital information from the Pacific. Captain Milton 'Mary' Miles journeyed to China to set up weather stations and monitor the Chinese coastline—and to spy on the Japanese. After a handshake agreement with Chiang Kai-shek's spymaster, General Dai Li, the Sino-American Cooperative Organization (SACO) was born. SACO consisted of nearly 3,000 American servicemen, 97,000 organized Chinese guerrillas, and 20,000 "individualists," including pirates and lone-wolf saboteurs. This top-secret network worked hand in hand with the Nationalist Chinese to fight the Japanese invasion of China while erecting crucial weather stations, providing critical information to the US military, intercepting Japanese communications, blowing up enemy supply depots, laying mines, destroying bridges, and training Chinese peasants in guerrilla warfare. Join author Linda Kush as she reveals the story of one of the most successful—and little known— covert operation efforts of World War II.
Join the author for an informal chat and book signing.
Tickets: Free! No registration required. For more information visit www.spymuseum.org
Wednesday, 13 March 2013, 6:30 p.m. - Washington, DC - "Blowing Blofeld's Mind: The Psychology of Villainy" at the International Spy Museum
All the greatest men are maniacs. –Dr. No
The Spy Museum's new exhibition, Exquisitely Evil: 50 Years of Bond Villains, features some of the most memorable fictional evildoers of the last half century. Many were inspired by real world figures or by the actions of real people who were really evil. What makes people move down a dark path? These experts can tell you exactly how Bond villains demonstrate classic criminal or otherwise aberrant psychological behavior based on their experiences with real offenders: Dr. David L. Charney,who was the psychiatrist for notorious spy Robert Hanssen and interviewed him extensively in prison; and Dr. Stanton Samenow, a noted forensic scientist and author of The Criminal Personality and Inside the Criminal Mind. Dr. Samenow was the prosecution's mental health witness regarding the younger DC sniper, Lee Boyd Malvo. Why would someone betray their country like Robert Hanssen or GoldenEye's Alec Trevelyan? How realistic is the Stockholm syndrome suffered by Elektra King in The World Is Not Enough? What makes people consider crime as a way of life? In this extraordinary conversation, you'll learn exactly how maudlin sentimentality—Blofeld's love for his cat—can coexist with chilling brutality.
Tickets: $20. To register or for more information visit www.spymuseum.org
27 March 2013 - New York, NY - "Circle of Treason" with Sandy Grimes, former CIA, at the AFIO NY Chapter Meeting
Sandy Grimes, one of the CIA principals behind the search and unmasking of Aldrich Ames - the traitor in their midst at CIA HQ - discusses in "Circle of Treason," her new book, co-authored with the late Jeanne Vertefeuille, this mole who nearly escaped capture. A remarkable story.
Location: Society of Illustrators 128 East 63rd St, New York City.
For further information contact Jerry Goodwin, Chapter President, at 646-717-3776 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, 9 April 2013, 11:30 am - MacDill AFB, FL - "My Life in the CIA" with Richard Holm at Meeting/Luncheon by Florida Suncoast Chapter
Richard Holm, a former paramilitary adviser,
decorated operations officer, senior manager and station chief for the
Central Intelligence Agency, will share fascinating stories of his
experiences during the Cold War. Drawing from the material he used in
writing his book, The Craft We Chose: My Life in the CIA,
he will recount highlights of his 35-year Agency career and explain why
it is imperative for Americans to understand and support what the CIA
does--a goal that also underlies AFIO's efforts to raise public
awareness of the importance of national intelligence. He will also touch
on the impact of an intelligence career on one's family and family
Location: MacDill AFB Surf's Edge Club, 7315 Bayshore Blvd, MacDill AFB, FL 33621.
RSVP: no later than Wednesday, April 3, for yourself and include the names of any guests.
Email or call the Chapter Secretary at (813) 832-1164 or at email@example.com or visit www.suncoastafio.org
Cost: $20. You must present your $20 check payable to "Suncoast Chapter, AFIO" (or cash) at check-in to cover the luncheon. 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.
For Additional Events two+ months or greater....view our online Calendar of Events
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