AFIO Weekly Intelligence Notes #44-17 dated 21 November 2017

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Section IV - Obituaries


Section V - Events

Upcoming AFIO Events

Other Upcoming Events from Advertisers, Corporate Sponsors, and Others

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, km, 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.
CAVEATS: IMPORTANT: AFIO does not "vet" or endorse research inquiries, career announcements, or job offers. Reasonable-sounding inquiries and career offerings are published as a service to our members, and for researchers, educators, and subscribers. You are urged to exercise your usual caution and good judgment when responding, and should verify the source independently before supplying any resume, career data, or personal information.]
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Books of the Week

Secrecy World: Inside the Panama Papers Investigation of Illicit Money Networks and the Global Elite
Secrecy Worldby 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 here.

Collusion by Luke HardingCollusion: 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-ART 2018 Calendar

Impressive 2018 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 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


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 the webpage.
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 two.
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 Guide to the Study of IntelligenceAFIO'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 to hear of shipment fees.

Order the Guide from the AFIO's store at this link.


The Guide is also available directly from Amazon at this link.

MousepadAFIO'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:

Roy BerkeleyA SPY'S LONDON by Roy Berkeley. Foreword by Rupert Allason (author Nigel West)


CIA Insider DictionaryCIA INSIDER'S DICTIONARY of U.S. and Foreign Intelligence, Counterintelligence & Tradecraft.



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 their operatives.

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 politics.

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 and influence-peddling.

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 More:  Ogrysko/federalnewsradio/17Nov2017]

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 Intelligence.

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 December 2014.

"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 invaluable."

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:  Schmidt/nytimes/15Nov2017]

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 alleged misconduct.

"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 fall.

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:  Caruso-Cabrera/cnbc/20November2017]


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 photographic memory.

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 perplexing.

Reed says developing this skill is vital for a spy.  [Read More:  Johnston/gizmodo/20Nov2017]

Becoming an American.   Anna Formici Smith can remember her first Thanksgiving as if it were yesterday.

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 fondly.

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 Scholarship.

SID and PSC have given him the most satisfaction and enjoyment.  [Read More:  Tan/straitstimes/19Nov2017]

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 account.

"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 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  [Read More:  Somers/federalnewsradio/13Nov2017]

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 More:  Ferguson/pbs/17Nov2017]


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 to reflect.

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, Price, Sipher/nytimes/13Nov2017]

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


Monday, 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."

SPEAKER: Eva Dillon - Author "Spies in the Family" About her father, an American Spymaster and his "Russian Crown Jewel" that helped win the Cold War.
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, cash bar.
REGISTRATION: Strongly recommended, not required. Email: Phone: 646-717-3776.

Other Upcoming Events from Advertisers, Corporate Sponsors, and Others

Tuesday, 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

Wednesday, 29 November 2017, 6 - 10pm - Washington, DC - The Honorable William H. Webster Distinguished Service Award Dinner by the International Spy Museum

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 honor.
LOCATION: The Ritz-Carlton, 1150 22nd Street, NW Washington, DC 20037
ATTIRE: Cocktail
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:, or call: 202.654.0954, or use this online link

30 November 2017, 6 pm - Washington, DC - Dr Harlan Ullman discusses "Anatomy of Failure: Why America Loses Every War It Starts" at City Tavern Club.

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 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.

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

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 strategy."
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.

5-7 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 20151
Register here.

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.

Tuesday, 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
Register here.

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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