AFIO Weekly Intelligence Notes #13-17 dated 28 March 2017

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Section IV - Obituaries


Section V - Events

Upcoming AFIO Events

Other Upcoming Events

For Additional AFIO and other Events two+ months or more... Calendar of Events 

WIN CREDITS FOR THIS ISSUE: The WIN editors thank the following special contributors:  pjk, mh, gh, mk, rd, fm, kc, jm, mr, jg, th and fwr. They have contributed one or more stories used in this issue.

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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AFIO National Spring Luncheon
Friday, 12 May 2017
11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Register here.

New York Times Washington Correspondent David Sanger on
"Terrorism, Secret Wars, Nuclear Proliferation, and the Use of American Power"

Author Eva Dillon on
"Living Life Undercover in a CIA Family"

AFIO National Spring Luncheon features David E. Sanger, Chief Washington Correspondent for the New York Times, speaking on "Terrorism, Secret Wars, Nuclear Proliferation, and the Use of American Power." His address starts at 1 p.m. The 11 a.m. speaker is Eva Dillon, author and magazine publisher, on Spies in the Family: An American Spymaster, His Russian Crown Jewel, and the Friendship That Helped End the Cold War, a book she has just published.
Event location is the Crowne Plaza (soon to be renamed DoubleTree-Hilton), Tysons Corner, VA,
at 1960 Chain Bridge Rd, McLean, VA 22102.

Registration is here
. Do so quickly to assure seating.

Just released - AFIO's 2017 edition of...

Intelligence as a Career BookletIntelligence as a Career - with updated listings of colleges teaching intelligence courses, and Q&As on needed foreign languages, as well as the courses, grades, extracurricular activities, and behavioral characteristics and life experiences sought by modern US intelligence agencies.

AFIO's popular 56-page booklet reaches high school and college students considering careers in the US Intelligence Community. This is the fourth edition.
The publication is also popular with University Career Guidance Centers, professors and academic departments specializing in national security, and parents assisting children or grandchildren in choosing meaningful, public service careers.
This booklet is provided at no cost as a public service - online and in print - from the generosity of AFIO board, donors, and members. 20,000 printed copies of each edition are distributed. Many more are accessed online.
We thank all members for their support which makes this possible.

2017 edition of Careers Booklet in PDF Format available here.

Also now online as a public service is the entire 788-page AFIO's Guide to the Study of Intelligence, Peter Oleson, Editor, with a foreword by Dr. Robert M. Gates.
It can be accessed here.
If you wish, instead, to own a printed, bound copy, those are available here (AFIO) and here (Amazon).

HOLD THE DATE: AFIO's 2017 National Intelligence Symposium

"Succeeding in the Open ' The Future of GEOINT "

will be at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
and elsewhere (TBA),
Thursday & Friday, 28 to 29 September 2017.
Hotel: DoubleTree-Hilton, Tysons Corner, VA

Arrive Wednesday evening, 27 September to overnight at the hotel to be ready early Thursday, 28 September, for coach service to NGA for all day conference including visit to their new museum. Welcome by NGA Director Robert Cardillo. Friday activities TBA. Friday evening is our "Spies in Black Ties" banquet.
Hotel: DoubleTree-Hilton, Tysons Corner, VA [formerly the Crowne Plaza], at 1960 Chain Bridge Rd, McLean, VA 22102. Details, event registration and hotel room registration links to be sent to all current members in coming weeks. Early phone-only room registrations can be made at 1-877-865-1877 at $119/nite.

Books of the Week

Intelligence Success and Failure: The Human Factor
by Uri Bar-Joseph and Rose McDermott
(Oxford Univ Press, April 2017)

Pre-Order here.

The study of strategic surprise has long concentrated on important failures that resulted in catastrophes such as Pearl Harbor and the September 11th attacks, and the majority of previously published research in the field determines that such large-scale military failures often stem from defective information-processing systems. Intelligence Success and Failure challenges this common assertion that catastrophic surprise attacks are the unmistakable products of warning failure alone. Bar-Joseph and McDermott approach this topic by highlighting the successful cases of strategic surprise, as well as the failures, from a psychological perspective. They describe the critical role of individual psychopathologies in precipitating failure by investigating important historical cases using six military attacks as examples, including: "Barbarossa," the June 1941 German invasion of the USSR (failure); the fall-winter 1941 battle for Moscow (success); the Arab attack on Israel on Yom Kippur 1973 (failure); and the second Egyptian offensive in the war six days later (success). From these specific cases and others, they analyze the psychological mechanisms through which leaders assess their own fatal mistakes and use the intelligence available to them. Their research examines the factors that contribute to failure and success in responding to strategic surprise and identify the learning process that central decision makers use to facilitate subsequent successes. Warning failure is not unintentional action, but rather, motivated biases in key intelligence and central leaders that null any sense of doubt prior to surprise attacks.

The book may be preordered here.

Not a Scientist: How Politicians Mistake, Misrepresent, and Utterly Mangle Science
by Dave Levitan
(W. W. Norton, April 2017)

Pre-order here.

A no-holds-barred takedown of political idiocy and the terrifying reality of science denial. In 1980, Ronald Reagan created one of the dumbest talking points of all time: "I'm not a scientist, but . . ." Since then, politicians have repeatedly committed egregious transgressions against scientific knowledge prefaced by this seemingly innocuous phrase. Yet, as science journalist Dave Levitan reveals, that line is just the tip of the melting iceberg when it comes to rhetorical tools wielded to attack scientific findings that don't cooperate with political agendas. It's clear that Levitan doesn't think their tactics are subtle or terribly ingenious. However, underestimating these brazen tactics overlooks their startling efficacy: fake science views sell. Though the author's examples of political misinformation skew predominantly Republican, he qualifies this perceived bias by flat-out stating this majority is simply a reflection of the party's unfortunate abandonment of mainstream scientific values. With a taxonomer's eye, Levitan captures and categorizes these deceptions by chapter, assigning names like "The Butter-Up and Undercut," "The Literal Nitpick," "The Straight-Up Fabrication," and many more. His sharp-elbowed humor dismantles our leaders' deceptive arguments while illuminating the real science behind the worst soundbites from our elected non-scientists.

The book may be preordered here.


Report: Mossad Tried to Infiltrate French Intelligence Services.  The Israeli Mossad allegedly tried to infiltrate the French intelligence services by trying to recruit double agents during a joint operation to learn more about Syria's chemical weapons program, French newspaper Le Monde reported on Sunday.

According to the paper, from 2010 to 2012, Israeli and French intelligence agencies carried out a joint operation codenamed "Ratafia."

Several Mossad agents operating under false names were reportedly sent to Paris in an effort to recruit a Syrian engineer with vital information about Syrian President Bashar Assad's chemical weapons arsenal.

According to Le Monde, Mossad succeeded in recruiting the Syrian engineer. He reportedly provided Israel with the information it needed to prove that the Syrians were exploiting their scientific cooperation with the European Union to further develop their chemical weapons. This led the EU in 2011 to cancel its cooperation agreement with Syria.  [Read More:  Shabak/ynetnews/27March2017]

The 2 Heads of the House Intelligence Committee Are Now Basically at War.  The dispute between the two ranking members of the House Intelligence Community intensified on Friday, after a week in which the Republican chairman received information and bypassed the committee before sharing it with the the White House.

Republican Rep. Devin Nunes, the chairman of the committee, announced on Friday that the scheduled March 28 open intelligence hearing with former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former US Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates and former CIA Director John Brennan had been "postponed," so the committee could make time to hear from FBI Director James Comey and NSA Director Mike Rogers. Nunes also announced that former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who is again in the spotlight following an Associated Press report that he had worked to further the interests of Vladimir Putin's government in Russia, had volunteered to go before the committee.

Although Nunes used the word "postponed," Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the committee, said it was a cancellation and tweeted that Nunes had made the decision to "choke off public info."

"I think this is a serious mistake," Schiff told reporters. "We agreed that many of these hearings would be done in open session."  [Read More:  Abramson/fortune/24March2017]

WhatsApp Must Be Accessible to Authorities, Says Amber Rudd.  Amber Rudd has called for the police and intelligence agencies to be given access to WhatsApp and other encrypted messaging services to thwart future terror attacks, prompting opposition politicians and civil liberties groups to say her demand was unrealistic and disproportionate.

The home secretary said it was "completely unacceptable" that the government could not read messages protected by end-to-end encryption and said she had summoned leaders of technology companies to a meeting on Thursday 30 March to discuss what to do.

Speaking on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show on Sunday, Rudd refused to rule out passing new legislation to tackle encrypted messaging if she did not get what she wanted.

But she stressed it was her desire to persuade internet and social media companies to cooperate voluntarily with the government on this and also the posting of extremist material online.  [Read More:  Sparrow/theguardian/26March2017]

Sudanese Intelligence Chief Meets CIA and FBI Leaders.  The head of the National Intelligence and Security Services, Mohamed Atta, has visited Washington, DC, in response to an invitation extended by the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Mike Pompeo.

According to a statement extended to a few number of local newspapers in Khartoum on Sunday and seen by Sudan Tribune, Atta met Pompeo and the FBI Director James Comey as well as a number of Congressmen.

The statement didn't specify when he arrived in the American capital. But it said the visiting Sudanese official discussed security, political and humanitarian issues in the region.

Sudan is under economic sanctions since twenty years, the east African country is also on the US list of state sponsors of terrorism since 1993.  [Read More:  sudantribune/27March2017]

Should a DISA-Like Agency Take Over Cyber, IT for All Civilian Agencies?  Momentum is building for a new cybersecurity agency in the Homeland Security Department. The idea initially proposed by Rep. Mike McCaul (R-Texas), chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, received some crucial support on March 22 when two former federal cyber executives threw their weight behind the idea.

"I think that taking National Protections and Programs Directorate (NPPD) out of being a headquarters function, which it is clearly not, and making it into a line agency within DHS along with the other functions DHS has and prioritizing that makes a great deal of sense," said Michael Daniel, former cybersecurity coordinator for President  Barack Obama and now president of the Cyber Threat Alliance. "I think continuing the holistic focus on our critical infrastructure and federal civilian agencies also makes a great deal of sense, and that would put DHS on a more solid foundation to partner with the Defense Department and the Justice department in doing their mission."

But maybe the roots of the change that's needed to improve federal cybersecurity already have started to sprout.

Retired Gen. Keith Alexander, the former head of the National Security Agency and US Cyber Command, said while he agreed with the idea to create a new cyber agency at DHS, lawmakers should go further.  [Read More:  Miller/federalnewsradio/27March2017]

FBI Announces Executive Appointments.  Arlene Gaylord Named Assistant Director for the Office of Equal Employment Opportunity Affairs.

Ms. Gaylord most recently served as the section chief of the Global Intelligence Section within the Directorate of Intelligence at FBI Headquarters (FBI HQ) in Washington, DC.

Ms. Gaylord entered on duty with the FBI in 1991 as an honors intern within the Visual Investigative Analysis Unit at FBI HQ. In 1992, Ms. Gaylord was promoted to the position of Spanish Language Specialist at FBI HQ, and served in several field divisions across the country.

In 2004, Ms. Gaylord transitioned to the intelligence analyst position and served in the San Diego and Sacramento Divisions.  [Read More:  fbi/21March2017]

David Glawe to Be Nominated DHS Undersecretary for Intell, Analysis.  President Donald Trump intends to nominate David Glawe, assistant commissioner of the Customs and Border Protection agency, as the next undersecretary for intelligence and analysis at the Department of Homeland Security.

Glawe is a more than 24-year law enforcement and national security veteran who previously held various positions at the FBI, Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the US Postal Inspection Service, the White House said Monday.

He started his career at the Houston Police Department as an officer.

The Senior Executive Service member received the National Intelligence Superior Service Medal for his efforts to support the intelligence community and national security programs.  [Read More:  Nicholas/executivegov/21March2017]

Pakistani Jailed in Germany for Spying for Iran.  A Pakistani man was convicted in Germany on Monday of spying for Iran to search out potential attack targets for the Revolutionary Guards.

The defendant, 31-year-old Mustufa Haidar Syed-Naqfi, was sentenced to four years and three months in prison "for working for a foreign intelligence service", a spokeswoman for Berlin's superior court said.

The court found he spied "against Germany and another NATO member", France, for the Quds Force, the foreign operations wing of the elite Revolutionary Guards.

Syed-Naqfi compiled dossiers on possible attack targets - a German lawmaker who is the former head of a German-Israeli organisation, and a French-Israeli economics professor.  [Read More:  AFP/thelocal/27March2017]

A Spy in Time.  In January 2012, the PET, the Danish secret police, seemly out of the blue, added "the Arctic" to its annual listing of areas foreign spies in Denmark are interested in collecting information about.

In April of the same year, a possible explanation for why presented itself when a Finnish academic was called before a judge on charges of feeding Russian diplomats in Copenhagen with information about the Arctic.

Today, a job opening for "intelligence employees" posted by the PET reveals more: firstly, that the agency is still has the region on its to-do list, and secondly, what the point of its intelligence operations in the region are.

In addition to being able to show a background in investigations or intelligence, as well as good analytical skills, applicants first position will need to display "a knowledge of Denmark's activities and interests in the Arctic". Candidates with a knowledge of Russian or Chinese language and culture are preferred.  [Read More:  McGwin/arcticjournal/24March2017]

Romanian Intelligence Service to Recruit at Country's Largest Job Fair.  The Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) will try to recruit staff at this year's edition of the largest job fair in Romania.

Around 100 companies will participate this weekend at the Top Employers Bucharest (Angajatori de Top Bucuresti) job fair, including for the first time the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI). The job fair will take place at Sala Palatului in Bucharest on March 24 and 25.

"The Romanian state institution responsible for the collection and exploitation of information on national security, SRI will bring a series of career opportunities in various fields. Some of the opportunities that SRI will present at the Top Employers job fair refer to jobs in fields of information-operations, intelligence analysis, IT&C, foreign languages, psychology, law, and counterterrorism," reads a statement from the organizers.

SRI also confirmed the information via a post on its official Facebook page. It's the first time when SRI attends this the job fair.  [Read More:  Popescu/romania-insider/22March2017]


Inside My Secret Life As a KGB Spy in America.  Jack Barsky kept his calm as he neared the traffic circle underneath the West Side Highway overpass. In his hand he held a piece of chalk and furtively drew a straight horizontal line on the wall as he walked past.

If a pedestrian happened to notice it, they might think it a mark made by a kid, or perhaps nothing it all.

But when a certain undercover KGB operative spotted the chalk mark as he drove from his compound in The Bronx to his cover job at the United Nations, he would inform his comrades, and they would know what it meant: Barsky had reported for duty in New York City.

It was 1978, and the Cold War was in full effect. Barsky was a spy, illegally in the US under a stolen identity. One wrong move could put him at risk, perhaps even send him to prison for the rest of his life.  [Read More:  Sanderson/nypost/25March2017]

How Germany's Foreign Intelligence Agency Recruits Young Hackers.  Amid concerns of high-profile cyberattacks and disinformation campaigns ahead of key parliamentary elections in September, Germany's Federal Intelligence Agency (BND) has made a concerted effort to recruit young hackers.

The BND's mission includes obtaining intelligence as mandated by the federal government on key areas pertaining to foreign information, and it effectively aims to protect Germany and its interests. One of the tasks is to recognize and assess potentially-damaging espionage activities and prevent or minimize the fallout.

As Western nations rush to modernize their cyber defense policy, the BND is prominently soliciting applications on its website for digital and computer forensics experts, with the catchline "Sherlock Holmes in cyberspace: BND seeks digital forensics analysts."

Their ideal candidate's qualifications range from experience in reverse engineering to programming software relevant to "information generation" mobile platforms, according to job posts for cyber infrastructure specialists and computer scientists.  [Read More:  Sanders/dw/21March2017]

'Known Wolf' Attackers Force Intelligence Rethink.  Khalid Masood's murderous rampage brings to the fore a question that has dogged Britain's security agencies for years: when should figures on the periphery of investigations be moved into the centre?

Masood was exactly such a "peripheral" figure - someone who had been associated with historic MI5 investigations but was not connected in any way yet known to the current intelligence picture.

That assessment has uncomfortable echoes of Britain's last Islamist terrorism incident: the May 2013 murder of the soldier Lee Rigby in Woolwich, south London. Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale, the killers on that occasion, were similarly "peripheral" subjects of interest to the security services, having appeared on the edges of numerous operations.

Then, as now, the attack led to hand-wringing over whether the intelligence community had failed.  [Read More:  Jones/ft/24March2017]

This Small, Obscure US Navy Unit Hunts Terrorists and Smugglers.  An obscure US Navy unit produced hundreds of "high value" intelligence assessments in 2015. What those reviews covered remains a secret, but the unit was definitely actively hunting terrorists and smugglers around the world.

In 2007, the service stood up the Navy Expeditionary Intelligence Command (NEIC) as the service's only operational intelligence command. Since then, it has supplied human and other intelligence directly to combat commanders across all six of the Pentagon's geographic commands.

"NEIC is a 'game-changing' capability that has been employed across the full spectrum of Navy and Joint operations," Navy Commander Benjamin Snell, then head of the command, wrote in his annual assessment for 2015. "NEIC capabilities are also suitable or have been successfully used in many other missions/operations, to include, phase-zero, theater security cooperation, humanitarian assistance/disaster relief, and non-combatant evacuation operations planning."

The War Zone obtained a heavily redacted copy of Snell's 2015 Command Operations Report for the NEIC through the Freedom of Information Act.  [Read More:  Trevithick/thedrive/24March2017]

What Is the Five Eyes Intelligence Alliance?  The diplomatic spat between Britain and the United States, after the White House claimed that London's spies had snooped on Donald Trump, is just the latest incident to put focus on Five Eyes, an international intelligence alliance.

The White House insisted Friday that spokesman Sean Spicer had not accused Britain of spying on Trump but was "simply pointing to public reports," following a story broadcast by Fox News that indicated Trump's predecessor Barack Obama had used Britain's GCHQ intelligence agency for the wiretaps.

A GCHQ spokesman labeled the wiretapping allegations as "nonsense," but the scandal revived focus on the intelligence network grouping Anglo-Saxon allies US, Britain, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.

The agencies involved are the National Security Agency, GCHQ, the Australian Signals Directorate, Communications Security Establishment Canada and New Zealand's Government Communications Security Bureau.  [Read More:  AFP/mb/26March2017]

Interview: Uncovering the Remarkable Life of A.C.N. Nambiar.  In 1980, deployed overseas as an intelligence officer operating under diplomatic cover, Vappala Balachandran was asked to meet a sprightly old gentleman named A.C.N. Nambiar. It was not a mission but merely instructions to meet a man that Balachandran knew little about, except that he had been of great service to the country and that he had no ties left to his own family. Over the six years of his association with Nambiar small details came about - little anecdotes that revealed the man to be a journalist, a possible spy, a friend of Virendranath Chattopadhyaya (Chatto), "the best known-known Indian revolutionary abroad, much sought after by British intelligence," an assistant to Subhash Chandra Bose, confidante of Jawaharlal Nehru and adviser to Indira Gandhi.

Nambiar's life was such a full one that it is hard to say what is more remarkable, that the British intelligence was able to consider him both a communist revolutionary as well as a fascist sympathiser, that he barely escaped with his life from Hitler's Nazi henchmen and still managed to advise Bose on his dealings, or that it was on his advice that Indira inducted R.N. Kao - the founder of RAW - as her senior intelligence adviser in 1981. Or maybe in this day and age when we have become so used to nepotism, the most surprising is that this man, with his access to people in power across political lines, remained barely solvent, resigned his job as ambassador, and took no benefit from any of his positions.

Speaking to The Wire, Balachandran talks about writing his book, A Life in Shadow: The Secret Story of ACN Nambiar, his memories of Nambiar and the things that moved him to write this book now.  [Read More:  Ahmad/thewire/27March2017]


How a Republican Congressman Accidentally Disclosed a Secret Intelligence Debate.  On Monday, when the House Intelligence Committee held its first public hearing about Russian involvement in the US Presidential election, Republican members were almost completely focussed on leaks.

In his opening statement, Devin Nunes, the chairman of the committee, made clear how important the issue was to the GOP. "Who has leaked classified information?" he asked. "We aim to determine who has leaked or facilitated leaks of classified information so that these individuals can be brought to justice."

Republicans were especially agitated about whether any former Obama Administration officials leaked information from classified transcripts of conversations between Michael Flynn, President Trump's former national-security adviser, and Sergey Kislyak, the Russian Ambassador to the United States, during the Presidential transition. At one point, Trey Gowdy, the Republican from South Carolina best known for his investigation of Benghazi, pressed James Comey, the FBI director, on whether reporters might be jailed for publishing classified information.

"Director Comey, you and I were discussing the felonious dissemination of classified material during the last round," he said. "Is there an exception in the law for current or former US officials who request anonymity?" Comey said that there was not, and Gowdy asked, "Is there an exception in the law for reporters who want to break a story?" (To his credit, Comey said, "That's a harder question.")  [Read More:  Lizza/newyorker/24March2017]

It's Time for a Select Committee on Russia (Also, We Told You So).  A few weeks ago, we argued for the need for the formation of a new congressional Select Committee to investigate the Russia Connection. Developments since the publication of that piece have only served to strengthen our argument. Others are making the same case. Yesterday, Senator John McCain stressed that the need for the formation of a bipartisan select committee is now a "requirement." Likewise, Stand Up Republic, founded by Evan McMullin and Mindy Finn, has called on Congress to do the same.

It is worth briefly reviewing the need for the new select committee and the ways in which the latest developments heighten that need, as well as our arguments as to why a select committee has advantages over an independent bipartisan commission - the model preferred by many Trump critics.

As we noted previously, there are multiple congressional inquiries related to questions of Trump, Russia, and the 2016 election. The principal inquiry is that of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, with the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence investigation taking second place. While those investigations have a role and should continue, we noted three reasons why those inquiries were insufficient.

First, the conduct of the White House and the Republican leadership of both the SSCI and HPSCI have undermined perceptions of legitimacy and independence. When we wrote our piece, we were responding to revelations that both the SSCI and HPSCI Chairman had been "willing to act at the direction of White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer to privately help counter an alarming New York Times story reporting repeated contacts between Trump campaign officials and Russian intelligence during the elections." SSCI Chairman Burr did so off the record, while HPSCI Chair Devin Nunes had done so publicly. Burr has largely stayed out of headlines since the kerfuffle. But Nunes's conduct yesterday effectively obliterates any notion of a credible bipartisan inquiry. This is no longer merely an appearance problem, if that's what it was. It's now a substantive problem. The Chairman of the HPSCI isn't playing straight. There's no reason for anyone to have confidence in the process he's running.  [Read More:  Hennessey,Wittes/lawfareblog/23March2017]

Cautionary Notes on a Select Committee for the Russia Matter.  I agree with Susan and Ben that an independent national commission to investigate the Russia matter is, at this time, unrealistic. But I'm unconvinced by their argument that a select congressional committee - a specially formed committee in one or both houses of Congress, with special staffing and resources - would be an improvement on the three committees now investigating the matter. I'm not completely unconvinced, but it is perhaps worth fleshing out counterarguments to their case for a select committee.

The best argument for a select committee is the inappropriate-bordering-on-bizarre behavior last week (and earlier) of HPSCI Chairman Devin Nunes. Nunes has long been in the bag for President Trump. His terrible judgment and his close connection with Trump and some of the actors under investigation has practically destroyed the credibility of the investigation that his committee, under his "leadership," is conducting on the Russia matter. If the Republicans were smart they would remove Nunes from HPSCI leadership, and fast.

But there are also two other congressional investigations underway. The SSCI Committee, Ben and Susan acknowledge, once viewed "the question of Russian interference in the US election and its ties to campaign figures to be a non-partisan issue related to safeguarding fundamental democracy." They add that "the SSCI had many of the necessary elements for a successful investigation: Much of the subject matter is already within the committee's ordinary oversight jurisdiction, and members and staff are cleared to receive highly-classified materials - which is critical for an investigation that involves sensitive ongoing operations." Moreover, as a committee, the SSCI has until recently acted in a way that "seemed to indicate not only that a serious and thorough investigation was underway, but also that the Committee was prepared to be adversarial with respect to the Trump Administration." All true, and all good.

The main knock against the SSCI investigation is that the Committee Chairman, Richard Burr, spoke to news organizations at the White House's request to dispute reports of multiple contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian intelligence operatives. That was a stupid thing to do, and was also a sin Nunes committed. Considered alone it does diminish the credibility of the SSCI investigation. But Burr's overall conduct has been nothing like Nunes' behavior, especially his press conference disclosing to the world (and prior to disclosing to his HPSCI colleagues) that he had received information--possibly from the Trump White House--indicating that the Trump transition team conversations had been incidentally collected and named in intelligence reports. In light of the many fruitful and independent actions that SCCI has taken to date, especially in light of the downsides to a select committee investigation (noted below), Burr has not destroyed the possibility and value of a useful, credible and independent SSCI investigation. (Further confirmation of this conclusion comes from SSCI's prior "formal requests to more than a dozen organizations, agencies and individuals, asking them to preserve all materials related to a probe the panel is conducting on Russian interference in the 2016 election and related issues," and from this morning's news that SSCI is seeking "to question Jared Kushner, President Trump's son-in-law...about meetings he arranged with the Russian ambassador, Sergey I. Kislyak," including "a previously unreported sit-down with the head of Russia's state-owned development bank.")  [Read More:  Goldsmith/lawfareblog/27March2017]

The 'Muslim Laptop Ban':  Real Intelligence or Plain Stupidity?  Let us get a sense of perspective on what has been dubbed the "Muslim laptop ban."

Unlike President Donald Trump's attempts (so far stymied by the US courts) to impose total travel bans on some Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East and North Africa, this is only about the use of certain kinds of electronic equipment on trans-Atlantic flights.

It does not impede free travel, it does not split families apart, it does not lead to humiliation, detention and deportation at US airports. The only right of which a trans-Atlantic traveler is deprived is the right to watch your own movies, or play games, or conveniently catch up on work or emails, while in flight.

You might argue that 13 hours of in-flight movies constitutes cruel and unnatural punishment, though I doubt you would get very far in the human rights courts. But the bafflement and anger that greeted the announcements, especially from the Gulf, tells us that it is a matter that goes far beyond in-flight entertainment.  [Read More:  Kane/arabnews/22March2017]

Section IV - Obituaries


Norm Gardner.  Norm Gardner died Sunday evening, 26 March 2017, at his home in Reston after a long battle with pulmonary fibrosis and heart disease.  Norm had just returned from a weekend in his hometown of East Hampton, Ct, where a couple of hundred friends and relatives had gathered to honor him by showing how much they loved and admired him.  It was a wonderful tribute and though it was tiring, he would not have missed it for the the world.
Funeral/Memorial Service details are pending.

Andre LeGallo. As announced in the Weekly Notes #11-17 (14 March) Andre LeGallo, 78, former CIA Senior Intelligence Officer, Business Executive, Stanford Hoover Fellow, Novelist, and AFIO Chapter President, died peacefully in his sleep at home in Northern California following an eight year battle with ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease). 
Andre was born in Paris, France and emigrated to the US after WW II at the age of 11.  He proudly became a US citizen.  Andre graduated from Hawthorne High School, Lehigh University and served as an Infantry and Intelligence Officer in the US Army.  He also attended Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, the National War College, the Ecole Nationale d'Administration in Paris and Thunderbird University.  Fluent in French, Andre was also skilled in Arabic and Romanian. No online obit has been released.

Section V - Events


Thursday, 30 March 2017, 12:30 - 2 pm - Los Angeles, CA - AFIO LA Chapter hosts Phil Pressel on "The Hexagon KH-9 Spy Satellite Program."

AFIO LA hosts guest speaker Phil Pressel will be speaking on the subject of the Hexagon KH-9 spy satellite program. Phil worked for 30 years for the Perkin-Elmer Corporation in Connecticut and was responsible for the design of the Hexagon's stereo cameras. It was the last film based spy satellite. The Hexagon satellite was acknowledged to have been an invaluable asset providing intelligence information for security agencies and the military. It was responsible for President Nixon signing the SALT treaty and allowed President Reagan to say, "trust but verify" what the Russians were doing. The program was declassified by the NRO in 2011.
Phil Pressel retired after 30 years working for the Perkin Elmer Corporation in Danbury, Connecticut (now United Technologies Corporation). He is still doing consulting work. He was the project engineer in charge of the design of the formerly top secret Hexagon KH-9 cameras. He and his wife Pat live in San Diego and keep busy traveling, writing, consulting and doing volunteer work. He is a Holocaust survivor and describes his and his parents wartime escape from the Nazis living in hiding in several cities in France in his first book "They Are Still Alive." During 1944 he was hidden and sheltered by a kind and courageous Catholic family in a small village that was a headquarters for the French underground.
Location: LAPD-ARTC 5651 W Manchester Ave, L.A. CA 90045 ROOM 1G
To RSVP, email Vince at

Wednesday, 5 April 2017, 7 p.m. - Atlanta, GA - AFIO-Atlanta Chapter and the Harvard Club Host Dinner & Drinks with a Spy: Jack Barsky, Former KGB.

The AFIO-Atlanta Chapter is co-sponsoring with the Harvard Club of Atlanta a "Dinner & Drinks with a Spy": the spy in question is Jack Barsky, former KGB.
Jack Barsky―who could have stepped right out of the FX Network series The Americans (on Russian illegals, which he was)―has published a book being released today: Deep Undercover: My Secret Life and Tangled Allegiances as a KGB Spy in America. Barsky will provide a presentation, entertain questions, and have dinner with us.
A fine review of Barsky's book should whet your appetite to attend. It is by AFIO member/GA Tech Professor Kristie Macrakis and at this link.
Location: Manuel's Tavern, 602 N Highland Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30307; (404) 525-3447 (tavern).
Fee: Entrance free, buy your own dinner/drinks.
RSVP to assure space.

5 April 2017 (Wednesday), 11:30 am - San Francisco, CA - The AFIO San Francisco Chapter hosts Brigadier General Roderick Macdonald on "The Falklands Conflict 35 Years On."

Brig Gen Roderick "Rod" Macdonald discusses the "The Falklands Conflict 35 years On." at this April meeting of the AFIO "Andre LeGallo" San Francisco Chapter. The Falklands War from 2April to 14 June 1982 was the largest air sea battle since World War II. British forces launched the longest amphibious operation in history, sailing 8,000 miles to retake the Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic, invaded and occupied illegally by over 10,000 Argentine soldiers and Marines. Retired British Army Brigadier General Roderick Macdonald will give a personal overview of the campaign.
WHERE: Basque Cultural Center, 599 Railroad Ave, South San Francisco, CA 94080. 11:30AM no host cocktail; meeting and luncheon at noon.
RSVP: Eventbrite registration link is here. Reservation and pre-payment is required before 26 March 2017. The venue cannot accommodate walk-ins. Contact Mariko Kawaguchi, Board Secretary at or Mariko Kawaguchi, c/o AFIO, PO Box 117578, Burlingame, CA 94011 with your questions.

Tuesday, 11 April 2017, noon - MacDill AFB - The Florida Suncoast AFIO Chapter hosts Dr. Mudhafar Amin on "Iraqi and Regional Affairs from view of a former member of Iraq's Foreign Service."

Dr. Mudhafar A. Amin will be offering insights on Iraqi and regional affairs from his perspective as a history and political science scholar and former senior member of Iraq's Foreign Service. We will also be honoring several WWII veterans living in Tampa Bay as well as holding elections for Chapter officers.
Location: MacDill AFB Surf's Edge Club, 7315 Bayshore Boulevard, MacDill AFB, FL 33621.
Fee: $20, payable at the door by cash or check, for lunch.
RSVP or more info: Chapter Secretary for more information or to make a reservation. Deadline: Tuesday, 4 April 2017.

Thursday, 20 April 2017, 6:30 PM - Michigan - The AFIO Michigan Chapter hosts SSA David A. Fluitt, FBI, discussing counterintelligence and counterproliferation issues.

The AFIO "Johnny Micheal Spann" Memorial Chapter hosts David A. Fluitt Counterintelligence Supervisory Special Agent (SSA) with the Detroit FBI and also serves as the counterintelligence and counterproliferation Program Coordinator within the state of Michigan. Speaker: David Fluitt, Counterintelligence Supervisory Special Agent (SSA) with the Detroit FBI Location: Contact us for information on meeting location Send inquiries to or visit their website at

Monday, 1 May 2017, 6 pm - New York, NY - The NY Metro Chapter Meeting features Dr. Robert Jervis on "Can We Do Intelligence Analysis Better? A View From A Complex Systems and 'Black Swan' Expert."

Robert Jervis, PhD is Stevenson Professor of International Affairs at Columbia University, and was the recipient of the 1990 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for "Ideas Improving World Order." He is an expert on the complexities of systems, politics, intelligence, and human nature and competing values. The ideal speaker for the chapter (and the country) at this time. So you will not want to miss this presentation.
Jervis held appointments at the University of California at Los Angeles and Harvard University. In 2000-2001, he served as President of the American Political Science Association. Professor Jervis is co-editor of the "Cornell Studies in Security Affairs," a series published by Cornell University Press, and a member of numerous editorial review boards for scholarly journals. His publications include Perception and Misperception in International Politics, The Meaning of the Nuclear Revolution, System Effects: Complexity in Political and Social Life, American Foreign Policy in a New Era, and Why Intelligence Fails: Lessons from the Fall of the Shah and Iraqi WMD, and several edited volumes and numerous articles in scholarly journals.
Location: Society of Illustrators, 128 E 63rd St, New York, NY 10065.
COST: $50/person. Payment at the door only. Cash or check. Full dinner, cash bar.
REGISTRATION strongly suggested, not required. Phone Jerry Goodwin 646-717-3776 or Email

Friday, 12 May 2017 - Tysons Corner, VA - AFIO National Spring Luncheon features NYTimes Washington Correspondent David Sanger on "Terrorism, Secret Wars, Nuclear Proliferation, and the Use of American Power," and Author Eva Dillon on "Living Life Undercover in a CIA Family"

AFIO National Spring Luncheon features David E. Sanger, Chief Washington Correspondent for the New York Times, speaking on "Terrorism, Secret Wars, Nuclear Proliferation, and the Use of American Power." His address starts at 1 p.m. The 11 a.m. speaker is Eva Dillon, author and magazine publisher, on Spies in the Family: An American Spymaster, His Russian Crown Jewel, and the Friendship That Helped End the Cold War, a book she has just published.
Event location the Crowne Plaza (soon to be renamed DoubleTree-Hilton), Tysons Corner, VA, at 1960 Chain Bridge Rd, McLean, VA 22102.
Registration is here. Do so now to assure seating.

13 May 2017, 11:30 am - Patrick AFB, FL - AFIO Satellite Florida Chapter meets. Speaker TBA

The Florida Satellite Chapter of AFIO meets for a social hour at 11:30 to 12:15 - and then enjoys lunch at 12:15 pm onwards. A speaker TBA. Greet old, new members and guests (limited cash bar - honor system). Where: The Tides, 1001 N. Hwy A1A, BLDG #967, Patrick AFB, FL 32925 For more information visit their website here. RSVP here.

HOLD THE DATE - 28 - 29 September 2017 - Tysons Corner, VA - AFIO's 2017 National Intelligence Symposium

Arrive Wednesday evening, 27 September to overnight at the hotel to be ready early Thursday, 28 September, for coach service to NGA for all day conference including visit to their new museum. Welcome by NGA Director Robert Cardillo. Friday activities TBA. Friday evening is our "Spies in Black Ties" banquet.
Hotel: DoubleTree-Hilton, Tysons Corner, VA [formerly the Crowne Plaza], at 1960 Chain Bridge Rd, McLean, VA 22102. Details, event registration and hotel room registration links to be sent to all current members in coming weeks. Early phone-only room registrations can be made at 1-877-865-1877 at $119/nite.

Other Upcoming Events

Wednesday, 29 March 2017, 10am - 1pm - Annapolis Junction, MD - Stephen Budiansky discusses A New Perspective on NSA's Covert Activities at this NCMF spring program

Please join National Cryptologic Museum Foundation friends and colleagues welcoming Stephen Budiansky acclaimed author, journalist, and historian of cryptology, speaking on "A New Perspective on NSA's Covert Activities."
A book signing of Mr. Budiansky's book Code Warriors: NSA's Codebreakers and the Secret Intelligence War Against the Soviet Union follows his presentation and lunch follows that at noon.
Mr. Budiansky will speak about his latest book (noted above) that draws on an array of recently declassified documents to explore the NSA's long SIGINT struggle against the Soviets, and traces the historical forces behind the intelligence controversies making headlines today. Mr. Budiansky is the author of numerous books of military and intelligence history, science and biography including Battle of Wits: The Complete Story of Codebreaking in World War II and Blackett's War. He is the former foreign editor and deputy editor of US News & World Report, and former Washington editor of the scientific journal Nature, and a regular contributor to the Wall Street Journal's book review pages. You will not want to miss this program that draws on an array of recently declassified documents to explore the NSA's long SIGINT struggle against the Soviets and to trace the historical forces behind the intelligence controversies making headlines today.
Where: CACI, Inc. located at 2720 Technology Drive, Annapolis Junction, MD 20701, Tel 301-575-3200. Directions and Map here. Click "directions" to get driving guidance.
RSVP NOW: register online here or mail registration fee of $20 (members) or $50 (guests, includes one-year membership) to NCMF, PO Box 1682, Fort George G. Meade, MD 20755-9998. Please register prior to 23 March to ensure space available.

Wednesday, 29 March 2017, 6:45pm-8:15pm - Washington, DC - Deep Undercover with Jack Barsky - at S. Dillon Ripley Center.

What happens when a Soviet spy decides his American life is the best fit? Join former KGB spy, Jack Barsky, and International Spy Museum Curator and Historian Dr. Vince Houghton, for a discussion of Barsky's double life as an American businessman who was really an East German spy for the Soviets in the 1980s. Barksy's new book Deep Undercover: My Secret Life & Tangled Allegiances as a KGB Spy in America will be available for sale and signing after the talk. This event is co-sponsored by the Smithsonian Associates and will be held at the Smithsonian Institution (S. Dillon Ripley Center, 1100 Jefferson Drive SW). Tickets for the general public: $30, tickets for Spy Museum Inner Circle Members: $20. Visit

Thursday, 30 March 2017, 1-4pm - Washington, DC - Beware of the Predator: In-Store Book Signing with Warren D. Holston - at the International Spy Museum.

Meet at the Spy Museum bookstore and meet author/career CIA Technical Operations officer, Warren D. Holston, and Intel analyst/contributing author, Dave White. Holston worked throughout the IC, DOD, and defense industry for more than 30 years and was awarded the CIA's Intelligence Commendation Medal and the Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal. White worked for the USG in a broad range of roles and missions within the Intelligence and Defense Communities for almost 30 years, including serving as a Deputy Senior Operations Officer and Identity Intelligence Analyst at the NCTC and as a biometrics technology consultant in the IC. Their latest book, Beware The Predator, is an easy-to-read guide for anyone who wants to raise their security awareness and defensive posture. This book will help you understand how to protect yourself, your family and business from criminal predators, corporate intrusion, and State sponsored spying. Whether you are a corporate or government executive, a high-net-worth individual, or someone simply concerned about identity theft and personal safety, you should be aware of the vulnerabilities to your personal data and predatory attacks against your assets and relationships. Event is free. Visit

Thursday, 30 March 2017, 6:30 p.m. - Washington, DC - The Mysterious Disappearance of Jim Thompson, "The Silk King of Thailand" - at the Textile Museum

When Jim Thompson vanished 50 years ago, he was the best-known American in Thailand. Rumors still swirl around his disappearance. Thompson had set up the Bangkok OSS office and later served as a CIA asset in Thailand, but it was his beautiful Thai silk that made him famous. He revitalized the industry, amassed a huge art collection, and built a magnificent house from traditional Thai homes to showcase his precious objects. So what could have happened in March of 1967, when he went for a short walk in the high jungles of Malaysia? Why were the CIA, DOS, US Army, and FBI involved in the massive search? Join Dr. Llewellyn Toulmin, the co-founder of Missing Aircraft Search Team, as he analyzes the case from a scientific search and rescue point of view, discusses Thompson's CIA connections, and suggests a solution to this 50-year-old famous mystery.

Tickets: $10. Contact Shana Oltmans at for tickets.

30 March - 1 April 2017 - Washington, DC - Joint Conference on "Creating and Challenging the Transatlantic Intelligence Community"

The Woodrow Wilson Center, the German Historical Institute, and the International Intelligence History Association are delighted to invite you to the jointly organized conference on "Creating and Challenging the Transatlantic Intelligence Community".

Please register for the conference by email to the IIHA Executive Director at before 23 March 2017.
The conference fee is 150 EUR / 165 US-Dollar, 110 EUR / 120 US-Dollar for IIHA members and 75 EUR / 80 US-Dollar for students.
This includes dinners on Thursday and Friday as well as coffee breaks during the conference and a snack lunch on Saturday.
Full list of Speakers and Tentative Schedule here.

Thursday, 13 April 2017, noon - 2 pm - AVM Peter Alan Clement CSC, Head Australian Defence Staff on Australian Contribution to the Fight Against Terrorism

The Washington Sub-Branch of the Returned & Services League of Australia luncheon at the Australian Embassy features AVM Peter Alan Clements CSC, Head Australian Defence Staff – Washington, discussing the Gloster Meteor and the Australian contribution to the fight against terrorism.
Air Commodore Clements operational deployments include Chief of Staff of the National Command Headquarters for Operation SLIPPER in 2002 and air operations Battle Director of the Middle East area in the USAF CAOC (Al Udeid) in the first half of 2010. On promotion to Air Commodore in October of 2011 he was posted to Director General Force Structure Review. He was appointed as the Commandant of the Australian Defence Force Academy in December 2013 finishing in December 2016. For his achievements in this role he was awarded a Conspicuous Service Cross in the 2016 Queen's Birthday Honours List. He was promoted to Air Vice Marshal on 06 January 2017 and took up his current role as Head Australian Defence Staff on 13 January 2017.
Where: Amenities Room, Embassy of Australia, 1601 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036
Charge - $15, including buffet lunch and sodas. Alcoholic beverages- $2 each. Attire: Business casual.
RSVP by noon on Wednesday, 12 April 2017 to David Ward at 202-352-8550 or via e-mail to NOTE: Valid photo ID required. Parking: While there is no parking at the Embassy, paid, off street parking is available behind and under the Airline Pilots Association- 17th and Mass, and at 15th and Mass (1240 15th St). On street two hour metered parking also available.

Thursday, 4 May 2017, noon - 2 pm - CWO(4) James Stejskal USA Rtd., discusses Special Forces Berlin: Clandestine Cold War Operations of the US Army's Elite, 1956–1990 at the Australian Embassy

The Washington Sub-Branch of the Returned & Services League of Australia luncheon at the Australian Embassy features CWO (4) James Stejskal USA Rtd., discussing his new book: Special Forces Berlin: Clandestine Cold War Operations of the US Army's Elite, 1956–1990.
James Stejskal hails from the Great Plains of Nebraska. After a short stint at the University of Nebraska he enlisted in the US Army. First training as an airborne infantryman and serving with the 82nd Airborne, he then qualified for Special Forces and successfully completed the arduous "Q" Course to win his "Green Beret." He served with US Army Special Forces in many "interesting places" worldwide, including Germany, the Balkans, the Middle East, and Africa before retiring as a Chief Warrant Officer 4 (CWO4) after 23 years. But the adventure was only just starting... He then worked as a security consultant for a US NGO in central Africa during the Rwandan insurgency and second Congo War. In the last century, he was recruited by CIS and served as a senior case officer in Africa, Europe, and the Far East before retiring again. He is now a military historian
Where –Amenities Room, Embassy of Australia, 1601 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036
Charge - $15, including buffet lunch and sodas. Alcoholic beverages- $2 each. Attire: Business casual.
RSVP by noon on Wednesday, 26 April 2017 to David Ward at 202-352-8550 or via e-mail to NOTE: Valid photo ID required. Parking: While there is no parking at the Embassy, paid, off street parking is available behind and under the Airline Pilots Association- 17th and Mass, and, at 15th and Mass (1240 15th St). On street two hour metered parking also available.

Thursday, 4 May 2017, 7 pm - Washington, DC - 2017 Night of Heroes Gala - PenFed Foundation

You are cordially invited to join the PenFed Foundation, our partners and friends, Thursday, 4 May 2017, as we honor those who lead the way in supporting our military and veterans. All proceeds benefit the PenFed Foundation, helping members of the military secure the financial future they deserve.
Location: Trump' International Hotel, 1100 Pennsylvania Ave, Washington, DC
VIP Sponsor Reception - 5:30 pm; General Reception - 6:00 pm; Dinner - 7:00 pm Black Tie
Please respond by 21 April 2017.
For more information and to RSVP online, do so here.

Thursday, 25 May 2017 10 am - 11:30 am - Fort Meade, MD - National Cryptologic Museum's Schorreck Lecture: "Codebreaking and the Battle of Midway" with Author/Historian Elliot Carlson

2017 Henry F. Schorreck Lecture Speaker Series features Elliot Carlson, author of the celebrated biography of CMDR Joseph Rochefort (cryptologic hero of the Battle of Midway) - Joe Rochefort's War: The Odyssey of the Codebreaker Who Outwitted Yamamoto at Midway. Carlson's talk will be "Codebreaking and the Battle of Midway: When Cryptanalysis Came of Age." More about Carlson's book is here.

On 3-7 June 1942, the US defeated Japan in the Battle of Midway, one of the most decisive battles in world history. The battle regained the initiative in the Pacific for the US after its setback at Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941 while placing Japan on the strategic defensive from which it never fully recovered. On the 75th Anniversary of this US naval victory, Carlson discusses the pivotal role that intelligence played in it. In particular, the breaking of JN-25, the Japanese Imperial Fleet's operational code, by codebreakers at Station Hypo in Hawaii led by CMDR Joseph Rochefort USN.
Carlson holds degrees from Stanford University (MA) and the University of Oregon (BS); he lives with his wife in Silver Spring, MD.

RSVP: Advaned registration required since this popular NCM Schorreck Lecture Series always has a full house. So, to not lose a spot, email and/or and provide the number of seats you will need. They will confirm your reservations and answer any questions.
Event location: National Cryptologic Museum: 9900 Colony Seven Rd, Fort Meade, MD. Directions here.

4 - 7 June 2017 - San Antonio, TX - USGIF GEOINT 2017 Symposium theme is: "Advancing Capabilities to Meet Emerging Threats"

The always impressive US Geospatial-Intelligence Foundation (USGIF) is offering more than 25 training and professional development sessions at their GEOINT 2017 Symposium on "Advancing Capabilities to Meet Emerging Threats" being held in beautiful San Antonio, TX. Monday, June 5 through Wednesday, June 7 are a variety of training sessions running two hours each. Attendees receive 0.2 Continuing Education Units per qualified session. Expand your knowledge on a familiar topic or learn a new one in one of the hottest, most promising and useful fields in the Intelligence Community. Sessions include: Hacking for Defense: Solving National Security Problems; 3D Terrain Modeling; Analytics for Small Sat Systems; Recent Advances in Deep Learning Cognitive Social Media Analytics Framework; Open Geospatial Machine Learning; Cyber Attack and Defense Wargame with IT, Industrial, and GEOINT Context; And much more.
Location: Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, San Antonio, TX.
RSVP ASAP: Agenda and other information here.

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