Weekly Intelligence Notes #44-17 dated 21 November 2017
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I - INTELLIGENCE HIGHLIGHTS
Section II - CONTEXT &
III - COMMENTARY
Section IV - Obituaries
Section V - Events
Upcoming AFIO Events
Other Upcoming Events from
Advertisers, Corporate Sponsors, and Others
28 November 2017, 6:30pm - Washington, DC - The
Foundation of the CIA: Harry Truman, the Missouri Gang, and
the origins of the Cold War - at the International Spy
29 November 2017, 6 - 10pm - Washington, DC - The
Honorable William H. Webster Distinguished
Service Award Dinner by the International Spy Museum
November 2017, 6 pm - Washington, DC - Dr Harlan
Ullman discusses Anatomy of Failure: Why
America Loses Every War It Starts at City Tavern Club.
- Tuesday, 5 December 2017 - Columbia, MD - Dr Robert W. Love, Historian at US Naval
Academy, discusses the rationale and wisdom of the Attack on
Pearl Harbor at the NCMF 2017 Pearl Harbor Program
- Tuesday, 5 December 2017, 1-4pm - Washington, DC - Meet An F-4 Pilot: Mark Hewitt - at the International Spy Museum
- 5-7 December
2017 - Chantilly, VA - Science, Intelligence and Operations -
The Innovation Imperative at this ATIA TS//SI/TK US Only
- Friday, 8 December 2017, 1-4pm - Washington, DC - James Rosen: High Hand - at the International Spy Museum
12 December 2017, 7 pm - McLean, VA - Professor
Hassan Abbas discusses "The Taliban Revival:
Violence and Extremism on the Afghan-Pakistan Frontier" at the
- Sunday, 17 December 2017, 1-4pm - Washington, DC - Curtis Harris: High Hand - at the International Spy Museum
For Additional AFIO and other Events two+ months or more... Calendar of Events
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Books of the Week
Secrecy World: Inside the Panama Papers Investigation of Illicit Money Networks and the Global Elite
by Jake Bernstein
(Henry Holt, Nov 2017)
Follow the money!
A hidden circulatory system flows beneath the surface of global finance, carrying trillions of dollars from drug trafficking, tax evasion, bribery, and other illegal enterprises. This network masks the identities of the individuals who benefit from these activities, aided by bankers, lawyers, and auditors who get paid to look the other way. Bernstein explores this shadow economy and how it developed, drawing on millions of leaked documents from the files of the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca -- a trove now known as the Panama Papers -- as well as other journalistic and government investigations. Bernstein shows how shell companies allow the uberwealthy and celebrities to escape taxes and provides cover for illicit activities on a massive scale by crime bosses and corrupt politicians across the globe. He recounts how Mossack Fonseca was finally exposed and what lies ahead for the corporations, banks, law firms, individuals, and governments that are implicated.
A disturbing and sobering view of how the world really works and raises crucial questions about financial and legal institutions we may once have trusted.
"A searching look at the tangled, deeply buried financial network exposed by the publication of the so-called Panama Papers.. Bernstein does first-rate work in providing a map to a scandal that has yet to unfold completely." -- Kirkus Reviews (starred review).
Book may be ordered
Collusion: Secret Meetings, Dirty Money, and How Russia Helped Donald Trump Win
by Luke Harding
(Vintage, November 2017)
Substance? Or anti-Russian/anti-Trump hysteria over murky international business deals? You decide.
Seeks to show Trump administration's ties to Moscow, and Russia's decades-in-the-making political game to upend American democracy. Harding, the Guardian reporter and former Moscow bureau chief, quietly meets former MI6 officer Christopher Steele in a London pub to discuss President-elect Donald Trump's Russia connections. A month later, Steele's now-famous dossier -- funded by Hillary Clinton's campaign as opposition research -- and quickly shared with select media, FBI, CIA, DNI, and others, in an attempt to derail Trump's campaign, continues to smolder and send sparks keeping alive a "Russia-Trump-Putin stolen election" theory. The names of the Americans Harding says were involved in a grand conspiracy are -- Paul Manafort, Michael Flynn, Jared Kushner, George Papadopoulos, Carter Page -- and also includes Russian figures like Aras Agalarov, Natalia Veselnitskaya, and Sergey Kislyak. Draws on Harding's understanding of Moscow and its players, and provides what the author says are some bizarre and disquieting details of the "Trump-Russia" meme -- a soup of international espionage, off-shore banks, sketchy real estate deals, the Miss Universe pageant, mobsters, money laundering, poisoned dissidents, computer hacking, and the most surprising -- to some -- election in US history. Book may be ordered here.
There will be no WINs next week as we
celebrate the Thanksgiving Holiday.
We will resume 5 December 2017.
A full column of holiday one-click shopping ideas for Intelligence
Officers and colleagues
CIA Wall Calendars and Day Planners
are now available through the International Spy Museum Bookshop.
To quickly order or learn more about the 2018 CIA wall calendars or day planners use this link.
The mastermind behind the calendar and day planner project is a private citizen who runs CIA-ART.com. He worked with the curator of the
CIA Museum, as he conceived and developed a collection of
fine art depicting declassified missions. He arranged for independent, private artists and funded the project through private individuals and corporations willing
to commission the artwor which tells the history of daring CIA missions. The final works of art were donated to
CIA Headquarters where they are on permanent display.
Based on those works of art, Mr. Kirzinger created these large, nicely-printed CIA-themed wall
calendars and day planners providing the background of the operations, and also filled with other images and explanations of historic documents and
the outcomes of the operations.
Inspiration to have on your wall or desk top. And ideal gifts to send
colleagues, friends, and others.
To order or learn more about the 2018 CIA wall calendars and day planners use this link.
To learn more about the creation of the calendars and day planners visit...www.cia-art.com
CIA Employee Activity Association (Gift Shop)
A source for special, unusual gifts which make lasting memories
Are you getting ready for Black Friday or Christmas or other end of year holiday? Beat the crowds and turn up with some fascinating gifts your recipients will proudly display and keep. Where? Right here on
the EAA store website. Many new items have been added. To find those new items -- the 70th
Anniversary Snowflake ornament you see above, for example -- click here on "What's New" or on the tool bar when viewing
We're sure your family and friends will be happy with the
unique gifts you can get nowhere else. If you don't find exactly what
you're looking for, more items are being stocked in coming weeks.
Don't delay. If you see something you
like, buy now because many of these are available only in small quantities and often when an item sells out, it's gone forever. If it is something you or they would really like, buy
All current AFIO members have the opportunity to join the CIA Employee Activity Association. If you have not already done so, login and read the requirements and modest one-time fee.
AFIO's 788-page Guide to the Study of Intelligence. Peter C. Oleson, Editor, also makes a good gift..
View authors and table of contents here.
Perfect for professors, students, those considering careers in intelligence, and current/former officers seeking to see what changes are taking place across a wide spectrum of intelligence disciplines.
AFIO's Guide to the Study of Intelligence helps instructors teach about the large variety of subjects that make up the field of intelligence. This includes secondary school teachers of American History, Civics, or current events and undergraduate and graduate professors of History, Political Science, International Relations, Security Studies, and related topics, especially those with no or limited professional experience in the field. Even those who are former practitioners are likely to have only a limited knowledge of the very broad field of intelligence, as most spend their careers in one or two agencies at most and may have focused only on collection or analysis of intelligence or support to those activities.
For a printed, bound copy, it is $95 which includes Fedex shipping to a CONUS (U.S.-based) address.
To order for shipment to a U.S.-based CONUS address, use this online form,
To order multiple copies or for purchases going to AK, HI, other US territories, or other countries call our office at 703-790-0320 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org to hear of shipment fees.
Order the Guide from the AFIO's store at this link.
...ORDER HERE from AFIO.
The Guide is also available directly from Amazon at this link.
AFIO's Updated 2017 Intelligence Community Mousepads have arrived.
Made in USA. Click image for larger view.
These 2017 mousepads have full color seals of all 18 members of the U.S. Intelligence Community on this 8" round, slick surface, nonskid, rubber-backed mouse pad with a darker navy background, brighter, updated seals. Also used, by some, as swanky coasters. Price still only $20.00 for 2 pads [includes shipping to U.S. address. Foreign shipments - we will contact you with quote.] Order NEW MOUSEPADS here.
Also available in the AFIO store are:
A SPY'S LONDON by Roy Berkeley. Foreword by Rupert Allason (author Nigel West)
CIA INSIDER'S DICTIONARY of U.S. and Foreign Intelligence, Counterintelligence & Tradecraft.
Section I - INTELLIGENCE
CIA Nixes Holiday Party Invites for
Media. CIA Director Mike Pompeo has opted not to invite
reporters to the CIA's annual holiday party this year, ending a years-long
streak of inviting the intelligence press corps to the upscale event.
The event has historically provided a rare opportunity for reporters to
mingle with agency officials who typically shun or avoid them - but that the
idea has been nixed by Pompeo, who has been openly critical of the news
media, was hardly surprising. The annual decision on whether or not to
invite the press to the early-December event is a director-level call. The
CIA declined to comment.
As far as the Washington holiday party scene goes, the CIA's is one of the
top billings, with a limited invite list that's coveted among diplomatic,
congressional and media circles. In recent years, the inclusion of reporters
at the annual event has been the norm rather than the exception. The last
documented time reporters were excluded appears to be 2011, when then-CIA
Director David Petraeus scaled back the party due to budget issues.
The party, held in the agency's iconic headquarters lobby, is also a
famously bizarre Washington exercise. Reporters, closely minded by the CIA's
press staff, are able to mingle in the hors d'oeuvres line with station
chiefs, foreign partners and occupants of the CIA's executive offices.
[Read More: Watkins/politico/17Nov2017]
US Hires Company With KGB Link to
Guard Moscow Embassy. When President Vladimir V. Putin in
July ordered American diplomatic missions in Russia to slash their staff by
755 employees, the State Department said it would need time to assess the
"impact of such a limitation and how we will respond to it."
Part of that response has now become clear: To make up for the loss of
security guards axed in the Russian-mandated staff cuts, Washington has
hired a private Russian company that grew out of a security business
co-founded by Mr. Putin's former KGB boss, an 82-year-old veteran spy who
spent 25 years planting agents in Western security services and hunting down
Under a $2.8 million no-bid contract awarded by the Office of Acquisitions
in Washington, security guards at the American Embassy in Moscow and at
consulates in St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg and Vladivostok will be provided
by Elite Security Holdings, a company closely linked to the former top
KGB figure, Viktor G. Budanov, a retired general who rose through the
ranks to become head of Soviet counterintelligence.
A State Department official in Washington, speaking on condition of
anonymity in accordance with the department's rules, said that Elite
Security and individuals associated with it had been "vetted" with "relevant
national and local agencies" and would not increase the threat risk.
[Read More: Higgins/nytimes/14Nov2017]
Intelligence Committee Reformed
Amid Questions Over Russia's Brexit Meddling. Theresa May
has said she is looking to set up parliament's intelligence and security
committee (ISC) after facing questions asking if Russia interfered in UK
Labour's Mary Creagh shared reports during prime minister's questions of
Russia setting up fake Twitter accounts which posted thousands of messages
to try and influence the referendum.
Creagh asked: "Will she [May] now not stop dragging her feet and set up the
intelligence and security committee to look urgently into the Kremlin's
attempts to undermine our democracy?"
The prime minister replied that the committee would form imminently,
although she highlighted that when she talked about Russia interfering in
elections on Monday "the examples I gave of Russian interference were not in
the United Kingdom". [Read More: Marzouk/itpro/16Nov2017]
Merger of Foreign Intelligence &
State Security Services Raises Questions. Opposition
parties, former governmental officials and experts have criticized the Prime
Minister of Georgia, Giorgi Kvirikashvili, for making the decision to unite
the Foreign Intelligence and State Security Services (SSS).
The experts assure that this decision will be very harmful to the state
intelligence and security systems, claiming it represents a similar
structure as that seen in the KGB in Soviet times.
The Foreign Intelligence Service was separated from the State Security
Service in 2005 and became an independent organ in order to better eliminate
foreign threats, however, on November 14, 2017 it was decided by
Kvirikashvili that from January 2018, the two structures will be reunited.
Former Defense Minister Dimitry Shashkin sees high risks in the
concentration of power in the hands of SSS Head, Vakhtang Gomelauri, who
will lead the united agencies. He believes the new body will be a real
"monster". [Read More: Morrison/georgiatoday/16Nov2017]
Two Former South Korean Spy Chiefs
Arrested Over Corruption. Two former heads of South
Korea's spy agency were arrested on Friday on suspicion of paying millions
of dollars in bribes to aides of ousted president Park Geun-Hye, as a
widening corruption scandal rocks the country.
Nam Jae-Joon and Lee Byung-Kee, ex-heads of the National Intelligence
Service (NIS), were arrested for allegedly handing at least 4-billion won
($3.63m) of their agency's budget to Park's aides in monthly payments in
exchange for career advancement.
The Seoul Central District Court approved the arrest warrants on the two,
citing risk of flight and destruction of evidence. Former South Korean
leader Park was toppled this year and is in custody while on trial for graft
Nam and Lee, who respectively served under Park from 2013-2015, face charges
including embezzlement, bribery and causing losses to state coffers.
[Read More: businesslive/17Nov2017]
Role of Women Within Jihadism Should
Not Be Underestimated, Warns Dutch Intelligence Service.
Jihadist women are in many cases as committed to jihadism as men and their
role should not be underestimated, said the Dutch General Intelligence and
Security Service (AIVD) in a report published on Friday.
By November 2017, there are about 100 women in the Netherlands who adhere to
the jihadist ideology, and at least 80 women from the Netherlands have
travelled to Syria and Iraq since 2012. Most of them have joined the Islamic
State, also known as ISIS, and a smaller group ended up at the Haqat Tahrir
al-Sham (HTS) battle group, which is affiliated with al-Qaida.
"Never before such a large number of Dutch women has been in a jihadist
battlefield," said the report titled "Jihadist women".
With an increasing shortage of fighters, ISIS is looking for new
opportunities, and has recently allowed women to play a more active and
violent role, noted the report. Before, committing of attacks by women was
not explicitly permitted by ISIS and al-Qaida. [Read More: xinhuanet/17Nov2017]
ODNI Developing Comprehensive Continuous
Evaluation Capabilities for Agencies in 2018. As the
responsibility for the majority of security clearances changes hands, the
National Counterintelligence and Security Center doesn't see its role in
much of a different light.
"From our perspective, whether there's five organizations or 30 doing
investigations, it's irrelevant to us," Bill Evanina, director of the NCSC,
said in an interview with Federal News Radio. "We want to make sure they're
all doing it the same way."
For the NCSC, part of that work means guiding agencies through the murky and
often challenging world of continuous evaluation and insider threat.
Evanina's organization is on track to deploy its own fully functional
continuous evaluation system by fall 2018. That system will vet executive
branch employees and will check about 10 databases for warning signs. It'll
be open to any executive branch agency that signs up to use it. [Read
Carnegie Mellon University Seeks
Participants for Cyber Intelligence Study. Carnegie Mellon
University's Software Engineering Institute wants to know how governments,
schools and businesses carry out cyber intelligence.
The Emerging Technology Center at the CMU institute is conducting a study
sponsored by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
Organizations across the country, including all levels of state and local
government, school districts and businesses from any industry, can
participate. The institute wants to understand what organizations are doing
to acquire and analyze information about the cyber capabilities, intentions
and activities of others.
The study is a follow-up to a similar one in 2013 that examined 30
organizations. [Read More: Aupperlee/triblive/17Nov2017]
Trump Picks Holland & Knight
Partner, Brother-in-Law of FBI Director, for Intelligence Post.
Holland & Knight partner Jason Klitenic, a former deputy general counsel
at the US Department of Homeland Security, is the Trump administration's
pick to serve as the top lawyer at the Office of the Director of National
Klitenic, who served on the Trump transition team, leads the national
security team at Holland & Knight in Washington. He's worked with
Homeland Security, and with the US Department of Defense and US
Department of State, to address security concerns arising out of travel and
trade activities. He joined the firm in 2010 as a partner in the government
contracts practice group.
Klitenic could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
He had previously served as a deputy associate attorney general in the early
years of President George W. Bush's administration before becoming the first
deputy general counsel at the Department of Homeland Security in 2003.
[Read More: Barber/law/14Nov2017]
Director of American Counterterrorism
Center to Step Down. The director of the National
Counterterrorism Center will step down next month, the Trump administration
said on Wednesday. The director, Nicholas J. Rasmussen, is one of the few
individuals in the American government who has served continuously in
counterterrorism jobs since the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
Mr. Rasmussen, 52, had served three years as the country's top
counterterrorism official. He had previously worked to combat extremism
while at jobs at the White House and at the counterterrorism center, where
he served as deputy director from 2012 until taking over as director in
"Nick is deeply committed to the counterterrorism mission and has skillfully
guided the nation through an evolving and complex terrorism threat
environment," Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence, said in a
statement on Wednesday announcing the departure. "His deep understanding of
the intelligence needed to support senior decision makers has been
Friends and associates said Mr. Rasmussen told colleagues that he decided to
remain in the job for about another year after the Trump administration had
asked him to stay. Mr. Rasmussen has served in both Republican and
Democratic administrations, and 27 years in government overall, and he has
not decided what to do next, colleagues said. [Read More:
Confirmation Slows for Nominee to
Serve As Top CIA Watchdog. Two former CIA employees are
accusing the Trump administration's choice for CIA chief watchdog of being
less than candid when he told Congress he didn't know about any active
whistleblower complaints against him.
Members of the Senate Intelligence Committee asked Christopher Sharpley, the
current acting inspector general who's in line for the permanent job, about
complaints that he and other managers participated in retaliation against
CIA workers who alerted congressional committees and other authorities about
"I'm unaware of any open investigations on me, the details of any complaints
about me," Sharpley testified at his confirmation hearing last month.
He said he might not know because there is a process providing
confidentiality to anyone who wants to file a complaint against government
officials, who often are individually named in cases against
management. [Read More: Riechmann/abcnews/13Nov2017]
US Govt Taps Star Brain Injury Doctor to
Probe Attacks on American Diplomats. The US government
has turned to a high-profile brain injury specialist to investigate the rash
of mysterious attacks that ran American diplomats out of Cuba earlier this
Sources tell CNBC that a doctor who specializes in concussions, and has
received research grants from the NFL, is taking an active role in
researching the attacks that injured 21 people.
That specialist is Dr. Michael Hoffer. He works at the University of Miami
as part of a team that received $500,000 from the NFL, Under Armour and GE
Ventures to develop a portable set of eye goggles that gather and measure
precise eye movements, helping to identify brain injuries in real time.
Some of the victims attacked in Cuba have been tested with goggles,
according to a source familiar with the process. [Read more:
II - CONTEXT & PRECEDENCE
A Former MI6 Trained Spy Explains:
How Photographic Memory Works. I was about five years old
when teachers started pointing out that I had a good memory. It lead to
always being cast as the lead in school plays, because I could reliably
remember all my lines within a short period of time. I thought it was
because I worked hard. Turns out it might just be because I have a
Rather than being something you just have - or don't - a photographic memory
is actually something you can develop.
Now I'm not gonna lie - as someone who struggles to remember if I ate
breakfast, being dutifully informed I have the hallmarks of a "photographic
memory" by a former Australian Secret Intelligence Service and British
Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) trained spy Warren Reed was a little
Reed says developing this skill is vital for a spy. [Read More:
Becoming an American.
Anna Formici Smith can remember her first Thanksgiving as if it were
The year was 1964. Seventeen-year-old Italian high school student Anna
Formici was spending a year in the American Southwest through a student
exchange program. She'd been living with a host family in Phoenix and had
just spent a week with the Navajo tribe, learning of the plight of many of
our Native Americans.
Then came Thanksgiving Day. While Anna and her hosts enjoyed a traditional
turkey dinner, they talked about the meaning behind the celebration.
"The coming together of two different people to help each other and to give
thanks at a communal meal - the concept was moving and compelling," she
says. [Read More: Dinsick/bayweekly/18Nov2017]
Technology Enhances Military
Intelligence Training, Capabilities for Soldiers. The
radio crackles and a hush falls over a group of military intelligence
Soldiers from D Company, 41st Brigade Engineer Battalion. They gather around
a map inside the command tent and listen as a soldier provides an update. He
and his company are conducting a foot patrol and they need to cross a
waterway, but they have arrived to find that the bridge is impassable.
As the transmission ends, the soldiers begin discussing the situation. One
traces his finger down the length of the waterway and locates a second
bridge. "Can they cross here?" Others move to their laptops and begin
looking at intelligence reports to determine the best course of action.
While this scene is something that is often seen on the battlefield, 1st Lt.
Emma Smith, company executive officer, said that being able to replicate
these conditions during the company's MI Training Strategy, known as MITS,
exercise is something new and very valuable to the MI soldiers, and it will
enhance overall ground combat readiness.
"This is the most realistic situation-based training that these soldiers can
get outside of a brigade training or a combat training center exercise," she
said. "Being out in a field environment and having to learn how to set
everything up and troubleshoot problems is going to prepare us to function
properly in the future." [Read More: Everly/army/14Nov2017]
Lunch With Sumiko: Eddie Teo, a Very Civil
Servant. When Mr Eddie Teo looks back on his 47-year
public service career, it is the beginning and the end that he regards most
He started working life in the Security and Intelligence Division (SID),
Singapore's hush-hush external intelligence agency. He served 24 years
there, 15 of them as its director.
Since 2008, he has been chairman of the Public Service Commission (PSC),
which oversees the appointment and promotion of key public servants. It also
gives out government scholarships, including the prestigious President's
SID and PSC have given him the most satisfaction and enjoyment. [Read
New Intelligence Community Website
Shining Light on Workforce, Makes Info Search Easier.
"Hopefully, what you see today is somewhat different than the kind of site
that you would expect from the Intelligence Community," said Michael Thomas,
the site's executive editor and Office of the Director of National
Intelligence deputy transparency officer. "What we tried to do is build a
site that is an effective communicator with the broad range of audiences the
Intelligence Community should be thinking about ― for the person who wants
to have access to some daily news from the community or wants to know what
the community is up to and where they're accessible on social media, for
someone who's looking to find a career in the intelligence community or
wants to understand what kind of jobs are available, or someone who doesn't
even know what agencies or elements constitute the Intelligence Community."
Careers, daily news and information on the IC components are all available
and searchable on the new site, though in a call with reporters Thomas
clarified that the highlight of the launch is the new platform for
transparency, the Intel Vault, which complements the IC On the Record Tumblr
"We are taking what used to be the ceiling of how we do things, and making
it the floor and continuing to build atop it," Thomas said. "This database
takes all the material specifically devoted to our 702 authorities, and
makes it fully text searchable; all the statements, all the attached PDFs,
easily searchable in one location. Moving forward, we hope to move the rest
of the material from IC On the Record into this database, while continuing
to use the Tumblr site as a place for alerting folks of new information
being made available, and then we expect to use this same database platform
to make lots of other interesting material available to the public in a much
more effective way that we've had available to us in the past."
The original Intelligence.gov launched under President George W. Bush, as a
kind of "front door" for the community, Thomas explained. It defined the
terms of the component agencies, but morphed over time into a jobs portal.
That portal was replaced by Intelligencecareers.gov. [Read More:
How Lessons From Fighting Terrorism Are
Saving Elephants in Kenya. Widespread illegal poaching in
the African wild is threatening elephants and putting them at risk of
disappearing in 10 to 15 years. Using some of the same techniques developed
to fight terrorism, a new intelligence-led effort spearheaded by a US Air
Force reservist is helping Kenyan wildlife service agents and police disrupt
poaching networks. Special correspondent Jane Ferguson reports. [Read
Section III - COMMENTARY
35 Years With the CIA: Enemies, Adversaries
and Threats to Freedom. Over 35 years ago, the Central
Intelligence Agency hired me to become a case officer. I just retired after
returning from the last of nearly a dozen field assignments, and it's a time
After training in tradecraft to conduct the full gamut of clandestine
operations in the foreign field, I headed immediately to Central America,
the locus of President Reagan's Cold War pushback against Soviet efforts to
gain a mainland foothold close to the United States. The Castro regime '
still in power today after 58 years and ranking third only after China and
North Korea among oldest extant dictatorships - had long been a Russian
surrogate. The epicenter of US foreign policy was Marxist Sandinista-ruled
Nicaragua, but East-West confrontation was also felt regionally.
US support enabled patriotic Nicaraguans to force Sandinista leader Daniel
Ortega to hold elections. Opposition newspaper publisher Violeta Chamorro
won; Soviets, Cubans and Sandinistas lost.
That success, together with the defeat US-supported mujahideen dealt the
Soviets in Afghanistan, Cubans' rejection of Castro through mass defection
to Miami, a "meddlesome" Polish pope, an Iron Lady, a visionary chancellor
in Bonn, solidarity in Poland and hard-won solidarity in the West, spelled
the demise of a decaying nomenklatura in the Kremlin. The fall of the Berlin
Wall in 1989 and dissolution of the USSR in 1991 ended the Cold War, but by
no means challenges to peace and freedom. [Read More: Osth/thehill/19Nov2017]
Don't Muzzle Former CIA Officers.
President Trump reignited controversy about Russia recently by declaring he
believes that its president, Vladimir Putin, is sincere when he asserts that
Moscow did not interfere in last year's presidential election. The director
of the CIA, Mike Pompeo, made similarly confounding remarks last month
when he said that Russia's campaign had failed to affect the outcome of the
election, misrepresenting the formal judgment of the intelligence community.
A CIA spokesman later said that Mr. Pompeo had misspoken.
As former CIA officers, we find both of those comments deeply troubling.
But another, less noticed remark by Mr. Pompeo was equally disturbing. He
said that agency officers have an obligation to remain quiet about their
work for a period that "far extends beyond the day you turn in your badge."
Even if his ire was trained primarily at specific outspoken former
intelligence community leaders, his message to all former CIA officers
was clear: Stop speaking out.
Our response to him is this: Respectfully, we won't. As former CIA
officers, we would like to explain why we have decided to speak out about
the troubling state of our country's leadership and the dangerous
implications for our national security.
Two of us served as analysts focused on counterterrorism and broader
security issues, while another of us was an operations officer for nearly
three decades. Each of us served under presidents of both parties, and we
all left the CIA at different times and for different reasons. We fall on
various points of the political spectrum, but at least one element unites
us: We joined the CIA because of our love of country and desire to
protect the ideals upon which it was founded. [Read More: Otis,
Why Trump's Campaign Staffers Were Such
Juicy Targets for the Russians. Almost no one sets out to
be an asset to a foreign intelligence service, and many who do aren't even
aware that they're doing so, intelligence professionals tell TPM.
That troubling ambiguity - whether seemingly innocuous conversations with
senior Russian officials constituted aid to a hostile government - may lie
at the heart of the investigation into what role, if any, the Trump campaign
played in Russian interference in the 2016 elections.
As multiple investigations delve deeper into suspected collusion between
Russian intelligence and Trump campaign staffers, embarrassing questions
about the Trump campaign's players keep coming up: Does the fact that Paul
Manafort appears to have used Bond007 as his Dropbox password not make him
seem kind of silly? Were people like George Papadopoulos and Carter Page
sophisticated enough for a foreign intelligence service to bother targeting?
Silly? Perhaps. [Read More: Thielman/talkingpointsmemo/15Nov2017]
Section IV - Obituaries
Shirley Jean Gauch Mercier, 86, a former CIA analyst and reports officer, died 14 November 2017 in Orange, CT. She earned a BA in political science from Washington University in St. Louis in 1952. She then worked for more than 30 years with CIA in Frankfurt, Germany, elsewhere in Europe, and in Washington. In the latter years of her career she specialized in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe as analyst and counterintelligence reports officer, receiving the Career Commendation Medal from the Agency on her retirement in 2002. She is survived by her husband of 59 years, Edmond C. Mercier, two sons, and other family.
Richard Owen, 77, Lt. Colonel, USAF(Ret), a former USAF and DIA Intelligence Officer, died 4 November 2017 in Cary, NC. He had been a unit commander with the Air Force Intelligence Service in Washington, DC. Subsequently he was employed as a Senior Civilian GS-15 with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). He was also a disabled Vietnam War Veteran. Rick earned a BA degree from West Virginia University in 1963, and a MA Degree from Central Michigan University in 1976. Upon graduation Colonel Owen was commissioned as a 2d Lieutenant in the Air Force and had a distinguished military career. He attended the Armed Forces Air Intelligence Center at Denver, CO and his initial assignment was Tokyo, Japan. Subsequent assignments included tours at Langley, AFB, VA; Seoul, South Korea; Tan Son Nhut AB, Republic of Vietnam; Fort Belvoir, VA; and the Pentagon. He was a graduate of the Air Force Squadron Officers School, the Air Command & Staff College, and the National Defense University. He was also a graduate of the Korean language course at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California, and also studied at the Tokyo School for Japanese Language. He retired from the Air Force in 1986 and subsequently retired as a civilian Federal Employee with DIA in 2001. He hold many military awards and decorations including the Bronze Star Medal. He is survived by Mia Owen, his wife of 52 years, a daughter, and other family.
Section V - Events
AFIO EDUCATIONAL EVENTS IN COMING
4 December 2017 - New York, NY - The AFIO New York Metro Chapter hosts
Eva Dillon, author of "Spies in the Family: An American Spymaster, His
Russian Crown Jewel, and the Friendship That Helped End the Cold War."
Dillon - Author "Spies in the Family" About her father, an
American Spymaster and his "Russian Crown Jewel" that helped win the Cold
TOPIC: A beautifully written, profoundly moving account
of one of the most important US Intelligence sources ever run inside the
Soviet Union. The book is filled with espionage tradecraft and family
drama. It is essential reading for anyone fascinated by how spying really
works. Books available for sale at the meeting.
LOCATION: Society of Illustrators building 128 East 63rd
Street Between Park Avenue and Lexington Avenue
TIME: Registration starts 5:15 PM Meeting starts 6:00 PM
COST: $50/person. Payment at the door only. Cash or check. Full dinner,
REGISTRATION: Strongly recommended, not required. Email: email@example.com Phone:
Other Upcoming Events from
Advertisers, Corporate Sponsors, and Others
28 November 2017, 6:30pm - Washington, DC - The Foundation of the
CIA: Harry Truman, the Missouri Gang, and the origins of the Cold
War - at the International Spy Museum
The US was late to the practice of intelligence, but
during WWII the country created a new model of combining intelligence
collection and analytic functions into a single organization-the Office of
Strategic Services. How did this outfit transform into today's CIA? Thanks
to President Harry Truman and a small group of advisors. Join Dr.
Richard E. Schroeder, retired CIA officer and author of The
Foundation of the CIA, as he reveals how President Truman and his
"Missouri Gang," which included Sidney Souers and Roscoe Hillenkoetter,
developed this new, centralized agency directly subordinate to and
responsible to the President, despite entrenched institutional resistance.
Schroeder will reveal how this group provided the leadership the US needed
to take on the responsibilities of a global superpower during the very
first years of the Cold War. The book will be available for sale and
signing at the event.
Tickets for the general public: $10 per person. Visit www.spymuseum.org.
29 November 2017, 6 - 10pm - Washington, DC - The Honorable William
H. Webster Distinguished Service Award Dinner by the International
On November 29, 2017, the first annual "The Honorable
William H. Webster Distinguished Service Award Dinner" takes place at The
Ritz-Carlton in Washington, DC. This International Spy Museum event honors
an individual who has served the nation in the field of National Security
with integrity and distinction. The Museum's award is named for Judge
William H. Webster, former director of the CIA and FBI (the
only individual to hold both offices), a man whose reputation for probity
and forthrightness is the standard by which all others are measured.
Before serving the intelligence community, Judge Webster was a
distinguished jurist of the US District Court for the Eastern District of
Missouri and of the US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.
Since retirement from public office, Webster has practiced law at the
Washington DC office of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy where he
specializes in arbitration, mediation, and internal investigation. He is
currently the Chairman of the Homeland Security Advisory Council and a
founding member of the International Spy Museum Advisory Board of
Directors. Judge Webster has a long record of distinguished service to our
country; the International Spy Museum is pleased to name this award in his
LOCATION: The Ritz-Carlton, 1150 22nd Street, NW
Washington, DC 20037
EVENT SCHEDULE: VIP Reception 6 - 7 PM; Cocktail
Reception 6:30 - 7:30 PM; Dinner/Awards 7:30 - 9 PM; After-Glow 9 - 10 PM
Sponsorship benefits and opportunities or to attend this event, email:
Rebecca Diamond (Vice President of Development & Membership) at: firstname.lastname@example.org,
or call: 202.654.0954, or use this online link.
November 2017, 6 pm - Washington, DC - Dr Harlan Ullman discusses
"Anatomy of Failure: Why America Loses Every War It Starts" at City
The City Tavern Club invites AFIO
members and guests to attend a program they are hosting upon the release
of Dr. Harlan Ullman's latest book, Anatomy of
Failure: Why America Loses Every War It Starts. Anatomy of
Failure has been called a "must read" by former Secretaries of
State General Colin Powell and Senator John Kerry and termed a
combination of a Tom Clancy thriller with the gravitas of Karl Von
Clausewitz by House of Cards creator Lord Michael Dobbs (see publisher blurb). To attend, contact Zana Metelski
at email@example.com or
the Club Manager, Heather Herfel, 202 337-8770.
Event location: The City Tavern Club, 3206 M ST NW, Washington, DC
20007; 202 337-8770.
5 December 2017 - Columbia, MD - Dr Robert W. Love, Historian at US
Naval Academy, discusses the rationale and wisdom of the Attack on
Pearl Harbor at the NCMF 2017 Pearl Harbor Program
Join the National Cryptologic Foundation on 5 December
for their 17th Annual Pearl Harbor Memorial Program which focuses on the
rationale for the attack on Pearl Harbor, which even its architect,
Admiral Yamamoto, characterized as a "death warrant." The event features
special guest speaker Dr. Robert W. Love, a professor
and historian at the US Naval Academy. He will explain the motives and
goals of the planners and whether it was "a bold stroke or senseless
When: 10-11:30 am, followed by lunch.
Cost: $25 for NCMF members, $50 for guests
(complimentary one-year NCMF membership included with guest purchase).
Where: CACI Inc., Maryland Conference Center, 2720
Technology Drive, Annapolis Junction, MD 20755
RSVP or More Info: Register online here or mail a check to NCMF, PO Box 1682, Ft.
Meade, MD 20755. For further details, call NCMF office at 301-688-5436.
Tuesday, 5 December 2017, 1-4pm - Washington, DC - Meet An F-4 Pilot: Mark Hewitt - at the International Spy Museum
Come to the Spy Museum and meet an F-4 pilot. Mark A. Hewitt has always had a fascination with spyplanes and the intelligence community's development and use of aircraft. He flew F-4s in the Marine Corps and served as Director of Maintenance with the Border Patrol and the Air Force, and was an Associate Professor for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. He is the author of Special Access, Shoot Down, No Need to Know, and his latest, Blown Cover. His novels have been approved by the CIA Publication Review Board.
Event is free.
December 2017 - Chantilly, VA - Science, Intelligence and Operations -
The Innovation Imperative at this ATIA TS//SI/TK US Only Conference
The ATIA (Advanced Technical Intelligence Association)
believes that the US is at a national, "Sputnik Moment." There is a
compelling need to expand the breadth of outreach within government and,
externally, with the private sector. The overall goal needs to be
accelerating the pace of government science.
The agenda at this classified event provides a structure by which (a) key
government management speakers can describe their vision and initiatives;
(b) will use case studies to provide an opportunity for deep dives into
the problems and technologies needed; and, (c) will include collaboration
panels to explore inter-agency opportunities to leverage new and existing
technologies across mission needs.
More info on conference is here.
Cost: $1075 discounted to $925 to Nov 19.
Where: Engility Heritage Conference Center, Chantilly, VA
Friday, 8 December 2017, 1-4pm - Washington, DC - James Rosen: High Hand - at the International Spy Museum
Espionage, political machinations, oil, secretly funded high-tech weapons of intelligence, ghosts of the Cold War, murder, and poker. James Rosen, Curtis Harris & James Ellenberger are the co-authors of High Hand and wrote under the single pseudonym Curtis J. James. Join the author James Rosen for an in-store Spy Museum Store signing of this spy thriller and join in the discussion on how spies, journalists, union leaders, and politicians intertwine as well as the extraordinary ways that advanced technology could be used in the pursuit of surveillance and interrogation. Event is free.
12 December 2017, 7 pm - McLean, VA - Professor Hassan Abbas discusses
"The Taliban Revival: Violence and Extremism on the Afghan-Pakistan
Frontier" at the Westminster Institute
Hassan Abbas, Professor of International
Security Studies and Chair of the Department of Regional and Analytical
Studies at National Defense University's College of International Security
Affairs (CISA), discusses The Taliban Revival: Violence and Extremism on
the Afghan-Pakistan Frontier. Aside from his expertise on Pakistan and
Afghanistan, he also travels frequently to Iraq for research work on Hashd
al-Shaabi (also known as Popular Mobilization Forces/Shia Militias). Along
with addressing the main topic of the Taliban revival, he will compare and
contrast Taliban and Hashd.
When: Reception at 7pm; presentation 7:30 to 8:45pm.
Where: Westminster Institute, 6729 Curran St, McLean, VA 22101
Sunday, 17 December 2017, 1-4pm - Washington, DC - Curtis Harris: High Hand - at the International Spy Museum
Espionage, political machinations, oil, secretly funded high-tech weapons of intelligence, ghosts of the Cold War, murder, and poker. Who could want more in a summer read? James Rosen, Curtis Harris & James Ellenberger are the co-authors of High Hand and wrote under the single pseudonym Curtis J. James. Join the co-authors Curtis Harris for an in–store Spy Museum Store signing and join in the discussion on how spies, journalists, union leaders, and politicians and politicians intertwine to the extraordinary ways that advanced technology could be used in the pursuit of surveillance and interrogation. This is a high octane spy thriller! Event is free.
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