AFIO Weekly Intelligence Notes #44-19 dated 19 November 2019
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Section I - INTELLIGENCE HIGHLIGHTS
Section II - CONTEXT & PRECEDENCE
Other Upcoming Events from Advertisers, Corporate Sponsors, and Others
Deceased AFIO Member, Senator Richard Lugar, Honored
U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.) announced that the U.S. Navy has agreed to name a warship in honor of Senator Richard G. Lugar. Senator Young hosted the naming ceremony for the USS RICHARD G. LUGAR (DDG 136) in Indianapolis yesterday (18 November), where he was joined by U.S. Navy Secretary Richard V. Spencer and members of the Lugar family at the Indiana War Memorial.
In June, Senator Young and Senator Mike Braun (R-Ind.) introduced an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that called for the Navy's next unnamed Arleigh Burke Class Destroyer warship to be named in honor of the late Senator Lugar. Senator Lugar died Sunday, 28 April 2019.
"At a time when nuclear proliferation was civilization's greatest threat, Senator Lugar helped save the world," said Senator Young. "It is fitting that the Navy honor Senator Lugar's legacy by naming one of their warships after this dedicated statesman, and I look forward to joining Secretary Spencer and the Lugar family for this momentous occasion."
Senator Lugar volunteered for the U.S. Navy and served his country as an officer from 1957-1960, including as an intelligence briefer to then Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Arleigh Burke. As Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Lugar was a leader in reducing the threat of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons by passing and overseeing the implementation of the bipartisan Nunn-Lugar program, which deactivated more than 7,600 nuclear warheads, millions of chemical munitions, and several thousand nuclear capable missiles, and continues to perform non-proliferation missions in more than forty countries.
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Newly Released and Forthcoming Books of the Week
The Anatomy of a Spy: A History of Espionage and Betrayal
"A fascinating study of betrayal, the foibles and compulsions that motivated so many traitors to betray their countries and compromise classified information. Definitely an essential handbook for the layman as well as the mole hunter and counterintelligence professional." —Nigel West
"There are very few ex-intelligence officers who know their stuff better than Michael Smith. If you want to know why spies put their lives in danger, this is the book for you." —Andy McNab, author
"A forensic, enthralling, and extremely accurate analysis of what motivates spies. Bags of history. Bags of intrigue. The Anatomy of a Spy is an unprecedented and instant classic." —Matthew Dunn, former MI6 officer and author
"A lot of people will do a lot of things for money and a lot of people will do things for spite or ego. There are also people who do things for an ideal, and wouldn't take your money if you shoved it down their throats." —John le Carré
Why do people put their lives at risk to collect intelligence? How do intelligence services ensure that the agents they recruit do their bidding and don't betray them? What makes the perfect spy? Drawing on interviews with active and former British, American, Russian, European, and Asian intelligence officers and agents, Michael Smith creates a layered portrait of why spies spy, what motivates them, and what makes them effective.
Love, sex, money, patriotism, risk, adventure, revenge, compulsion, doing the right thing—focusing on the motivations, Smith presents a wealth of spy stories, some previously unknown and some famous, from the very human angle of the agents themselves. The accounts of actual spying extend from ancient history to the present, and from running agents inside the Islamic State and al-Qaeda to the recent Russian active measures campaigns and operations to influence votes in the UK, European Union, and US, possibly penetrating as far as Trump Tower if not the White House.
Book may be ordered here.
Killer High: A History of War in Six Drugs
Stimulants - alertness enhancers - and other mind-altering drugs have been used in war since time immemorial.
There is growing alarm over how drugs empower terrorists, insurgents, militias, and gangs. But by looking back not just years and decades but centuries, Andreas reveals that the drugs-conflict nexus is actually an old story, and that powerful states have been its biggest beneficiaries.
Andreas shows how six psychoactive drugs-ranging from old to relatively new, mild to potent, licit to illicit, natural to synthetic-have proven to be particularly important war ingredients: alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, opium, amphetamines, and cocaine. Beer- and wine-drenched ancient and medieval battlefields, and the distilling revolution lubricated the conquest and ethnic cleansing of the New World. Tobacco became globalized through soldiering, with soldiers hooked on smoking and governments hooked on taxing it. Caffeine and opium fueled imperial expansion and warfare. The commercialization of amphetamines in the twentieth century energized soldiers to fight harder, longer, and faster, while cocaine stimulated an increasingly militarized drug war that produced casualty numbers surpassing most civil wars. Andreas demonstrates armed conflict has become progressively more drugged with the introduction, mass production, and global spread of mind-altering substances. As a result, we cannot understand the history of war, or of some special operations, without including drugs, and we similarly cannot understand the history of drugs without including war.
Book may be ordered here.
The Contact Paradox: Challenging our Assumptions in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence
Inside the difficult questions about humanity's search for extraterrestrial intelligence.
In 1974, a message was beamed towards the stars by the giant Arecibo telescope in Puerto Rico, a brief blast of radio waves designed to alert extraterrestrial civilizations to our existence. Of course, we don't know if such civilizations really exist. But for the past six decades a small cadre of researchers have been on a quest to find out, as part of SETI, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. What will happen if humanity makes contact with another civilization on a different planet? Journalist Keith Cooper tackles some of the myths and assumptions that underlie SETI—the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence.
The silence from the stars is prompting some researchers to transmit more messages into space, in an effort to provoke a response from any civilizations out there that might otherwise be staying quiet. However, the act of transmitting raises troubling questions about the process of contact. Humans look for qualities such as altruism and intelligence in extraterrestrial life, but what do these mean to humankind? Can we learn something about our own history when we explore what happens when two civilizations come into contact? It almost NEVER is a good outcome.
Finally, do the answers tell us that it is safe to transmit, even though we know nothing about extraterrestrial life, or as Stephen Hawking argued, are we placing humanity in jeopardy by doing so? There may be many others out there and they wisely remain silent. Will we learn why at our own peril?
"The mystery of humanity's place in the universe enthrals millions. Whatever strangeness prevails out there, shouldn't we explore, at least with curious minds? Cooper surveys what science has revealed about this odd cosmos, the vastness of our ignorance and curiosity about any 'others' out there, and some of the steps we can take - even now - to prepare." —David Brin, award-winning author
Book may be ordered here.
Section I - INTELLIGENCE HIGHLIGHTSRussia's FSB Linked to $450M Bitcoin Disappearance. Russia's intelligence agency the Federal Security Service (FSB) could be behind the disappearance of $450 million worth of cryptocurrency from an online exchange platform, the BBC has reported.
The BBC investigation into how Wex, an online exchange for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, went out of business in 2018 has revealed fresh links between the platform's demise and Russia's security services.
One of the site's co-founders told BBC News Russian he was forced to hand over information about customer's digital wallets to individuals from the FSB in 2018. That information would enable them to seize the cryptocurrency which customers had saved on the platform - worth a total of around $450 million at the time. [Read more: MoscowTimes/15November2019]
Iran Will Seek New Fighter Jets, Tanks as 2020 Embargo Lifts. A senior U.S. intelligence official says Iran will likely buy new advanced fighter jets and tanks next year when a U.N. Security Council arms embargo is scheduled to be lifted.
The official says a new Defense Intelligence Agency assessment of Iran's military capabilities concludes Tehran is committed to becoming the dominant power in the Middle East. It also finds the Islamic Republic is making rapid progress developing attack drones and other missile systems.
The report comes amid escalating tensions between Iran in the wake of a series of attacks on commercial shipping vehicles and Saudi oil facilities this year that have been blamed on Tehran.
The intelligence official says Iran would probably buy the tanks and aircraft from Russia and China. The official spoke anonymously to discuss intelligence matters. [AP/19November2019]
Spy Swap: Five Freed in Russia-Lithuania-Norway Exchange. Russia has taken part in a carefully co-ordinated spy swap with Norway and Lithuania, in a deal that required the Lithuanians to change their laws.
It took place at Lithuania's southern border with Russia's Kaliningrad exclave and involved two Russians, a Norwegian and two Lithuanians.
The three countries have been working on the operation for weeks. [Read more: BBCNews/15November2019]
Spain Orders Extradition of Venezuela's Ex-Intelligence Chief to US. Spain's High Court on Monday ordered the extradition of Venezuela's former military intelligence chief to the United States, reversing an earlier decision to refuse the request.
Hugo Carvajal, an ally of Venezuela's late Socialist leader Hugo Chavez, is wanted by U.S. authorities on allegations of drug trafficking. He has previously denied accusations that he collaborated with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia to help smuggle cocaine into the United States.
The High Court said in a written ruling there was "sufficient evidence to justify the extradition". [Read more: Reuters/18November2019]
Myanmar Intelligence Department to get Sweeping Powers to Carry Out Domestic and Foreign Counterintelligence. Under a draft amendment currently at the National Assembly, the department will be able to spy on all foreign countries, institutions or groups that are deemed detrimental to national security.
The government has registered an amendment bill at the National Assembly that will give sweeping powers to the National Intelligence Department to carry out counterintelligence work, including spying on foreign countries, institutions or groups that it deems "detrimental to national security".
A draft amendment to the Special Service Act-1985 was registered last week at the Upper House. Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has brought the National Intelligence Department directly under the Prime Minister's Office, vowing to transform the department into a national security agency "that would not only gather and analyse information but also help set key national security policies". [Read more: KathmanduPost/15November2019]
Russian Intelligence Gathering Ship Visits Trinidad & Tobago. Russian intelligence-gathering ship Yantar (Amber) recently entered T&T waters. Unlike three previous visits in 2018 by another Russian vessel, the Viktor Leonov, which docked in Point Lisas in March and near the Hyatt Regency Port-of-Spain, in January and February, the ship was anchored out at sea from the Port of Port-of-Spain.
The ship-tracking site MarineTraffic.com listed the Yantar arriving at the Port-of- Spain port on November 8th at 4.19 pm and anchoring six kilometers south-east of the Point Baleine lighthouse, one of the farthest points among the ships that were anchored far away from the public's eyes.
Guardian Media contacted via email, Canadian OSINT (Open-source intelligence) research consultant Steffan Watkins, who began tracking the Yantar after the US military voiced concern about Russian activity around undersea cables, raising fears they could attempt to tap into or sever the lines, to ask him what was the purpose of the vessel in T&T and it・s capabilities. [Read more: KongSoo/TTGuardian/19November2019]
Section II - CONTEXT & PRECEDENCEThis Year's NSA Codebreaker Challenge is in Full Swing. Every year the National Security Agency conducts its Codebreaker Challenge. The exercise aims to encourage students interested in cybersecurity to apply their talents in service of national security.
Students must register for the challenge by going to the website the NSA has set up, and then after reviewing some background material about the scenario of the year's challenge, they begin working on a series of tasks that get progressively harder as they go along. "The final task is usually something that would be challenging to an existing expert in the field," said Eric Bryant, a technical director in the crypto-analysis organization at the NSA, on Agency in Focus: Intelligence Community.
Bryant and his team created the concept in 2013 as a way to communicate with academic institutions on areas the agency felt was important to include in their curriculum and as "a way to showcase some of the real world challenges the NSA was facing and be able to launch it out there nationwide for students across the spectrum to able to test their talents," said Kathy Hudson, senior strategist for academic engagement.
The agency is well into this year's challenge which revolves around a secure messaging app that runs on Android. [Read more: Moges/FederalNewsNetwork/15November2019]
Continuing the Fight: Veterans at the CIA. Veterans of the United States Armed Forces have always played an important role at the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Take CIA's predecessor organization, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), for instance. Founded by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt at the outset of World War II - and in the aftermath of the Japanese attack on U.S. naval forces at Pearl Harbor - the OSS began its life as a wartime body tasked with mandates to collect and analyze strategic information and to conduct unconventional and paramilitary operations.
At its peak, OSS employed almost 13,000 people: Two-thirds of the workforce was U.S. Army and U.S. Army Air Forces personnel. Civilians made up another quarter, and the rest were from the U.S. Navy, Marines and Coast Guard. At the helm of OSS was World War I hero, General William "Wild Bill" Donovan. The story of CIA begins- and continues - alongside those of the U.S. military and its Veterans.
Today, Veterans comprise nearly 15% of CIA's workforce, and we continue to serve alongside our military partners across the globe. [Read more: CIA/VAntagePoint/17November2019]
Norway has Spied on the Russian Military for 70 years. Only with Frode Berg did it go Seriously Wrong. In 1955, Ingeborg Lygren was sent to Moscow as a secretary at the Norwegian embassy.
The 42-year old woman from Sandnes, near Stavanger, had been working as an interpreter at the Norwegian Border Commissioner of the Norwegian-Russian border in Kirkenes for the past year. Her knowledge of Russian and Polish were valuable for the Norwegian state. The relationship between Norway and the Soviet Union was tense and in Kirkenes, the Norwegian armed forces were in full swing building up its eastwards looking intelligence work.
Lygen was sent to the Soviet Union to serve both the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Norwegian intelligence services as well as the CIA. Her job was to act as link between the CIA and Russians who had been recruited as agents, pretty much the same task Berg had.
Lygren was to send letters arriving in Moscow via Norwegian courier mail and was also to manage dead post drops, a demanding and difficult job. [Read more: Trellevik/HHN/19November2019]
Rockets and Intelligence: The FBI is Building a $1 Billion Campus in Huntsville, Alabama. Huntsville isn't just for space. The northern Alabama metro area known famously as Rocket City thanks to its aerospace and defense roots will soon become home to an expansive FBI outpost viewed internally as a second headquarters.
The FBI is investing $1 billion to build out its footprint in the area, a plan that will potentially add thousands of additional jobs to Huntsville's overall employment.
"We really look at it like a HQ2, a backup for the footprint that we have here in Washington, D.C.," says Paul Abbate, associate deputy director at the FBI, the top-ranking executive overseeing the expansion, in a rare sit-down inside the bureau's D.C. headquarters. "It's really the future of the FBI, and it's all about technology, innovation, talent and resiliency."
That HQ2 will be a state-of-the-art campus on Redstone Arsenal - the massive U.S. Army post bordering the city of Huntsville. It will focus on everything from terrorism to ballistics to explosive devices. [Read more: CNBC/14November2019]
How NGA is Tackling Interoperability Challenges. The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency is all about data. And the agency, which is set to break ground on a new nearly $2 billion facility in St. Louis later this month, is hoping to get more of it unclassified for better analysis and information for the warfighter.
FCW talked with Mark Munsell, NGA's CTO about some of the barriers to declassifying images and what that translates to for the digital workforce. [Read more: Williams/FCW/12November2019]
Former CIA Officer Gives Talk on China. Former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Operations Officer Ken Daigler, was invited by the Catholic University Intelligence Club to discuss his expertise in counterintelligence, and his overall vast career in the CIA this past Tuesday.
Counterintelligence is defined as activities that help prevent any spying, intelligence gathering, or any other foreign sabotage by a foreign entity.
"I am what they call a classically trained case officer. Part of my training included how to receive a single-engine plane on a field at night using torches, jumping out of airplanes, and agent handling," Daigler said. "I spent 33 years as a case officer recruiting foreign nationals of interest to the US government."
Daigler, who published his book Spies, Traitors, and Patriots: American Intelligence in the Revolutionary War in 2014, gave the roughly 30 students a talk on intelligence, with some history of intelligence in the United States. [Read more: Perillo/TheTower/13November2019]
MI6 Spies Unwind in Their Own Secret Bar, 'C' Reveals. We expect to find him leaning casually on a bar in a tropical paradise ordering his signature dry martini, but it seems James Bond may in fact be more likely to frequent a much more exclusive watering hole a bit closer to his office.
In his first recorded interview, the head of the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) has revealed that the spies in his organisation, better known as MI6, have their own bar, accessible only to those working at the headquarters in Vauxhall, London.
Sir Alex Younger said the secret bar was an essential element in allowing his operatives to unwind, given they cannot talk to anyone outside MI6 about the pressures of their work.
The head of MI6 said: "We can't talk even to our closest friends about what we're doing and so therefore we need a culture within where we can do that with each other." [Read more: Nicholls/TheTelegraph/13November2019]
Forget the Bombs or Missiles: Iran's Intelligence Machine Is Quite Powerful. Very rarely do any of us on the outside world know with much clarity about what exactly is going on in the world of Iranian intelligence. The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Iranian military intelligence, and the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security are notorious for their secrecy and efficiency. General Qassem Soleimani, the long-time director of the IRGC's Quds Force, is one of the most popular public figures in Iran today and has long been a household name (and a major irritant) for U.S. intelligence officers. For those of us who don't have access to the classified intelligence, we have often see Soleimani as the Iranian military man with the thin, white beard who travels to war zones in Syria, poses for pictures on the frontlines with his fatigues, and organizes and deploys irregular Shia militias to to bail out Tehran's strategic allies (like Syria's Bashar al-Assad) when they are dangerously close to being pushed out of power.
A remarkable collaborative project between The Intercept and the New York Times, however, has provided the general public with a little more insight into the Iranian spy-games. Composed of hundreds of reports and cables written within the 2014 and 2015 timeframe and crafted by Iranian intelligence operatives on the ground, the project is a reminder of the proficiency, ruthlessness, cunning, and stone-cold pragmatism of a country frequently described in Washington, D.C. as an emerging 21st century Persian Empire acting solely on emotion and religious fanaticism. While it's always tricky business to extrapolate from a sample, the reports leaked to the Times and The Intercept point to a nation that is more than willing to push ideology aside in favor of cold-blooded calculation - particularly in next-door Iraq. Three things stand out: [Read more: DePetris/NationalInterest/19November2019]
Section IV - Obituaries, Jobs, Research Request
Carlos Avery, CIA Physicist, Senior analyst, local Maryland Railroad historian
John Beam, CIA Operations Officer
John Crutcher, CIA Operations Officer
FireEye Has Many Intelligence Positions Available For You - Worldwide - Contract, Full-time, Part-time, Interns
Explore the many career and contractor intelligence jobs available here. Jobs openings in Cyber Security include - Advisory, Architecture, Digital Forensics & Incident Response, Penetration Testing, Threat Research. They positions are needed here: New York, Chicago, Manila, Reston, Dallas, Atlanta, Suitland, Singapore, Denver, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Doha, Stockholm, London, Milpitas, multiple cities in Australia, Washington, Indianapolis, Tampa, Santiago, Alexandria, Seattle, Carlsbad, Houston, San Francisco, Arlington, Dubai, Amsterdam, Ft Belvoir, Minneapolis, Mexico City, San Diego, Boston, El Segundo, Philadelphia, San Antonio, Chiyoda, Ft Huachuca, Ft Gordon, Ft Meade, Ft Shafter, Kuwait City, Seoul, Sttutgart, Salt Lake City, Austin, Dublin, Bangalore, Cork, Colorado Springs... Explore the many career and contractor intelligence jobs available here.
Faculty Opportunities: Cybersecurity faculty, professionals, and Master's or PHD Graduates can find jobs for CAE designated institutions through the listings below. Listings are by University with the most recent at the top.
Searching for U.S. Expert on Syrian Military Intelligence between 1977-82 for fee-based advice
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AFIO EDUCATIONAL EVENTS IN COMING TWO MONTHS....
Thursday, 21 November 2019, 11:30 a.m. - Colorado Springs, CO - The AFIO Rocky Mountain Chapter hosts Edin Mujkic, discussing "The Balkans: A Joker in Putin's Sleeve"
Synopsis: This presentation by Edin Mujkic discusses Russian interference in Balkan politics, the American and European role in the Balkans, as well as the potential for escalation of the situation toward violence. From interference in the United States domestic politics to support of some of the most brutal regimes in the world, Russia is again the focus of attention. Whether it is media attention, or attention of intelligence and national security professionals, there is a consensus that Vladimir Putin is engaged in a campaign of undermining the post-World War II international theater and generally the Western democracies. While attention where Putin's next move will be, is usually focused on the Baltics or the Middle East, the situation in the Balkans is not generating much attention. The Balkans, always on the periphery of European politics, until it explodes, is fertile ground for Vladimir Putin to exploit its weaknesses and complicate European and world affairs. The political quagmire in Bosnia and Herzegovina that does not have a government since elections in the Fall of 2018, relations between Serbia and Kosovo, the role of Croatia, a NATO member, in internal affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina, are not only exploited, but directly influenced by Moscow.
Biography: Edin Mujkic is an Assistant Professor in the School of Public Affairs for University of Colorado Colorado Springs. He is also a UCCS Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative Faculty Fellow for 2017-2018. Edin received his BA from Auburn University Montgomery, majored in Political Science, with a minor in Criminal Justice. Edin followed up his Bachelor's Degree with a Master's in International Relations (2008) and was a Prince Khalid bin Sultan fellow. Upon completing his Master's degree, Edin entered the Public Administration and Policy Ph.D. program at Auburn University graduating December 2012. While earning his PhD, Edin furthered his education studying Strategic Leadership and National Security at Air War College, Maxwell Air Force Base, AL. Edin is continuing his research focusing on national security, defense, homeland security and U.S. foreign policy.
For more information, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wednesday 4 December 2019, 5:30 p.m. - New York, NY - AFIO NY Metro Chapter hosts CIA Officer (Ret) Dr. John A. Gentry discussing "IC Political Activism since 2016 -- Origins and Implications."
Partisan political activism by current and former intelligence
officers since mid-2016 is the largest and most significant
politicization of intelligence by intelligence officers in U.S.
history. This presentation will explore the causes and the wholly
negative consequences of this new form of politicization for the
IC and the country.
Location: Society of Illustrators, 128 E 63rd St (between Park
and Lexington), New York, NY 10065.
Thursday, 5 December 2019, 12:30 - 2 pm - Los Angeles, CA - AFIO Los Angeles Chapter meeting features Dr John Gans discussing "White House Warriors: How the NSC Transformed the American Way of War."
Dr. John Gans will be the guest speaker for the
Los Angeles Chapter of AFIO and discuss key topics of his newly
published book White House Warriors: How the National
Security Council Transformed the American Way of War, which
covers the people and power of the National Security Council
We look forward to your attendance. Please mark your calendar and your spouse or other guests are welcomed.
Event Location: 5651 W Manchester Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90045. Map
or Directions here.
Monday, 10 February 2020, 5:30 p.m. - New York, NY - AFIO NY Metro Chapter hosts CIA Officer (Ret) and Author/Disguise Expert Jonna Mendez
Jonna Mendez (Spy Dust: Two Masters of Disguise Reveal the Tools and Operations That Helped Win the Cold War), share (with late husband Tony Mendez) their experiences as spies in Moscow during the height of the Cold War in the mid-1980s. The authors begin with the initial list of "the Moscow Rules" and continue to discuss briefly the current state of affairs in Russia under Vladimir Putin, and how they interfered with the 2016 U.S. election. Additional details to follow in coming months.
Location: Society of Illustrators, 128 E 63rd St (between Park
and Lexington), New York, NY 10065.
Other Upcoming Events from Advertisers, Corporate Sponsors, and Others
21-22 November 2019 - Phoenix, AZ - CAE in Cyber Security Annual Symposium
The CAE in Cyber Security Symposium is right around the corner!
CAE is Centers of Academic Excellence. If your institution belongs
to the CAE-CD, CAE-2Y, CAE-R, or CAE-CO Program, you are eligible
to participate. Details to follow several months from now.
Upcoming CAE events and the Cyber Security Symposium.
Tuesday, 26 November 2019, 7 - 8:45 pm - McLean, VA - How Terrorist Groups End - Dr Christopher Harmon at the Westminster Institute
Dr. Christopher C. Harmon is the Donald Bren
Chair of Great Power Competition at Marine Corps University, where
he teaches at schools such as Command and Staff College and the
School of Advanced Warfighting.
Reception at 7:00 pm; Dr Harmon at 7:30.
Where: The American Legion, 1355 Balls Hill Rd, McLean, VA
Questions: Contact Robert R. Reilly, Director,
The Westminster Institute, 703-288-2885 or at email@example.com
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