AFIO Weekly Intelligence Notes #46-20 dated 8 December 2020

[Editors' Note are now below the CONTENTS] REMOVAL INSTRUCTIONS: We do not wish to add clutter to inboxes. To discontinue receiving the WINs, click here.
Visit us on





Section IV - Research Requests, Jobs, Obituaries

Research Requests



Section V - Events

Upcoming AFIO Events

Other Upcoming Events from Advertisers, Corporate Sponsors, and Others

WIN CREDITS FOR THIS ISSUE: The WIN editors thank the following special contributors: rsy, ec, po, pj, mh, km, gh, mk, rd, fm, kc, jm, mr, jg, th, ed, 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.]
If you are having difficulties with the links or viewing this newsletter when it arrives by email, members may view the latest edition each week at this link.

Continuing Series of Cryptologic Museum Webinars on Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity Virtual Classroom
ONLINE CYBERSECURITY CHATS by the National Cryptologic Museum Foundation

The Cyber Center for Education and Innovation (CCEI) have been conducting a series of Cybersecurity Chats as part of their special CCEI Cybersecurity Series. These online chats for K-12 students [but older ages would benefit, too], are presented by cybersecurity professionals and experts. General information on the series is here.

There are many online chats that follow and they may be found here.

If you wish to share your own cybersecurity/cryptology expertise, review the instructions here

Recently Seen Online:

"Intelligence Matters" Podcasts by former acting Director of the CIA Michael Morell

DEC 2, 2020—Ambassador Ronald Neumann on Reducing Troops in Afghanistan. Ambassador Ronald Neumann on Reducing Troops in Afghanistan. In this episode of Intelligence Matters, Michael Morell speaks with Ambassador Ronald Neumann, Former Ambassador to Afghanistan, Algeria, and Bahrain, about U.S. national security interests in Afghanistan as the Trump administration announces a reduction of troops in the region. Neumann discusses potential repercussions of lowering U.S. troops, advice to the Biden Administration, and the possibility of a civil war in Afghanistan. PLAY 38 min

NOV 25, 2020—DECLASSIFIED: Former CIA Officer on the Anniversary of the First American Casualty in Afghanistan. In this episode Morell speaks with David Tyson, a retired CIA officer who served in Afghanistan after 9/11. Tyson joins Michael on the anniversary of the death of fellow CIA officer, Mike Spann, the first American casualty in Afghanistan. Tyson recounts the story of Spann's death, the battle that lead to it, and how he honors Spann's legacy today. PLAY 29 min

NOV 18, 2020—North Korea's Impending Threat of Provocation: Korea Expert Sue Mi Terry. In this episode Morell interviews Senior Fellow and Korea Chair at CSIS Sue Mi Terry on the threats North Korea poses to U.S. National Security. They discuss the growing advancement of North Korea's nuclear missile program as U.S. attempts for negotiating denuclearization halt. Terry expresses concern over a potential provocation from North Korea during the Biden administration transition and recommends that President Elect Biden "send a signal to North Korea to not conduct a provocation." PLAY 36 min

NOV 11, 2020—The State of the U.S.-China Rivalry: Harvard Professor Graham Allison. Morell interviews Harvard Professor of Government Graham Allison about the enduring U.S.-China rivalry. Allison is a leading analyst of national security with special interests in nuclear weapons and China, and Former Assistant Secretary of Defense under President Clinton and Special Advisor to the Secretary of Defense under President Reagan. Allison describes a new climate change M.A.D. policy, China's attempt to ascend to the centerpiece of the international order, and strategies to avoid a nuclear war with China. PLAY 38 min

NOV 4, 2020—Lieutenant General (Ret.) H.R. McMaster on Post-Election Foreign Policy. In this episode Morell interviews Retired Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster, a Senior Fellow at both Stanford University's Hoover Institution and its Graduate School of Business. A career U.S. Army officer and National Security Adviser to President Trump, he is also the author of a newly-released book titled Battlegrounds: The Fight to Defend the Free World. General McMaster passes along advice on how the next president should handle relations with North Korea's Kim Jong Un, gives insight on the effectiveness of our handling of Russia, and shares his passion for helping those in Venezuela. PLAY 38 min

The Morell "Intelligence Matters" series is also available on CBSNews, Google, American-Podcasts, PlayerFM, Stitcher, Art19. These links lead to the Dec 2 podcast but also allow access to all earlier ones.

Inside the SCIF by JJ Green, WTOP - Issue #91-A, 3 December has new details on: What has taken so long to name a CIA director? China and Tech Theft; Warnings about newly-minted "journalists" wish hidden goals; Taliban Drones Rigged with Explosives; Krebs on Compromised Election Claims; , many other topics. Podcast Target USA episode 224 was ahead of most major media when it discussed: Was COVID-19 here last fall?
The latest Target USA Podcast 253 features: From Trump to Biden: National Security at a Crossroads — Senator Mark Warner, Former DIA Deputy Director Douglas Wise and former presidential briefer David Priess discuss the transition, the challenges ahead and what the intelligence is saying about the future.
Last, Peter Oleson's 2-part series for AFIO on Edward Snowden is cited, as well. Those two articles are:

Edward Snowden: An Updated Assessment
Driven by recent concerns that Trump might be considering pardons for Snowden and Assange, AFIO's Intelligencer Editor, Peter Oleson, has allowed the early release of his forthcoming update reassessing Snowden. His earlier paper on the subject is also linked below.

Reassessing Edward Snowden: Whistleblower, Traitor, or Spy? [Pre-publication version. Final to be released in print in Spring 2021 edition of Intelligencer]

Assessing Edward Snowden: Whistleblower, Traitor, or Spy? (from Intelligencer Vol 21, No. 2, Summer 2015)

More from "SpyTalk" Series

Dec 7: "Why a CIA Psychiatrist Called Trump Nuts" by Peter Eisner
Jerrold Post said 'the period between the election and the inauguration will be a very dangerous period.'
Article continues here

Dec 4: "Got spies? We do." by Jeff Stein
Veteran foreign correspondent Jonathan Broder is just another reason to subscribe
Article continues here

Dec 3: "Can Intel & Nvidia Escape Blame for China's Vast Repression?" by Matthew Brazil
A SpyTalk investigation makes the case that the Silicon Valley giants know its chips are used in mass surveillance of Uyghurs.
Article continues here

Dec 3: "Biden Mulls a Dirty-Money Sleuth for CIA" by Elaine Shannon and Jeff Stein
'Batman' David S. Cohen's star rises as Michael Morell's takes a beating
Article continues here

Dec 2: "Kill Chain: Gulf Arabs Hedge Bets Over Iran Assassination" by Jonathan Broder
Fearing reprisals for their new Israel ties, the UAE and Bahrain denounce the hit on Iran's nuclear scientist
Article continues here

Dec 2: "Exposed: Silicon Valley's Hand in Chinese Surveillance" by Matthew Brazil
Intel and NVIDIA insist they know nothing about their technology aiding Uyghur repression, but a SpyTalk analysis suggests otherwise
Article continues here

Readers can subscribe for free at the moment here.

One of the special benefits of membership in AFIO: access to CIA's inhouse gift shop — the EAA Store.

It requires a quick preapproval process described here to all newly joined and current AFIO members. And then allows you to purchase online their unusual logo'd gift items for self or colleagues. Here is the latest photo EAA released on November 24th featuring some of their newest items:

Writers, Officers: Please Provide A Brief Article for This Ongoing AFIO History Project

AFIO's educational project "When Intelligence Made a Difference" seeks writers to identify events throughout history involving any nation or organization when the outcome was affected significantly by intelligence.
AFIO has been publishing edited submissions serially in Intelligencer released two to three times a year. 
To see what has been published, it is available here. Also look at the Fall edition of the journal arriving in the mail of all members and subscribers over the next three weeks.
Those readers interested in contributing an article, should email
For instructors, this project makes a great class assignment. Accepted articles give students a publication credit in a recognized journal.

Guide to the Study of Intelligence and When Intelligence Made a Difference

"AFIO's Guide to the Study of Intelligence" has sold out in hard-copy.
However, it is available in digital form in its entirety on the AFIO website here.

Also available on the website here are the individual articles of AFIO's history project "When Intelligence Made a Difference" that have been published to date in The Intelligencer journal. More articles will be forthcoming in future editions.


There will be no Weekly Intelligence Notes next Tuesday, 15 December.

We will resume the following Tuesday, 22 December 2020 which will be the final WIN of 2020.

Latest Video:
"Nuking the Moon ...and Other Intelligence Themes
and Military Plots Left on the Drawing Board"

Released 8 December 2020

Vince Houghton PhD
Director, National Cryptologic Museum

on "Nuking the Moon...and Other Intelligence Themes and Military Plots Left on the Drawing Board"

Interview of Friday, 20 November 2020 of Vince Houghton PhD, Director, National Cryptologic Museum, former Historian/Curator International Spy Museum. Interviewer - David Priess PhD, former CIA Analyst, PDB Briefer, and author. Host: James Hughes, AFIO President, a former CIA Operations Officer.

TOPIC: Vince Houghton and David Priess discuss Vince's 2019 book, Nuking the Moon...and Other Intelligence Themes and Military Plots Left on the Drawing Board. Weaponizing bats, turning cats into "Acoustic Kitty," faking attacks on the homeland to justify foreign counterstrikes... The interview runs 43 minutes which includes numerous Q&As.

Access Houghton video here or click above image.

Prior videos in series:

Bruce Klingner, Former CIA Deputy Division Chief for Korea; Heritage Foundation Fellow on "U.S. Strategy Towards North Korea"

Seth Jones PhD, Director, Transnational Threats Project, CSIS on "A Covert Action"

Everette Jordan, Dep Asst Sec for IC Integration, Office of Intel and Analysis, Treasury on "Enjoying a Rich, Challenging Intelligence Career Spanning Multiple Agencies."

David Robarge, CIA Chief Historian, PDB Editor on "The Complexities of Counterintelligence"

Nicholas Dujmović, Professor, Author, former CIA Historian, PDB Editor on "Guidelines and Experiences Teaching Intelligence at the University Level"

Shelby Pierson, Election Threats Executive, Office of the Director of National Intelligence on "Nationwide Election Security"

David Priess PhD, Author, former Senior CIA Analyst and PDB Briefer on "The President's Book of Secrets"

Bruce Riedel, former CIA Senior Analyst, Served on National Security Council during Iraq War on "Early Gulf War Policy Decisions"

Martin C. Faga, former Director, National Reconnaissance Office on "NRO Support to the Gulf War"

Joseph W. Augustyn, former CIA Clandestine Services Officer on "CIA's Role in the Creation of the Department of Homeland Security"

Series Introduction: Stewart Baker, Chairman, and James Hughes, President

Special Items for our members:

During this end of year, gift-giving season, we encourage you to give to AFIO and help us celebrate the selfless service and sacrifice of the thousands of dedicated men and women who have served without recognition in the U.S. Intelligence Community. And enable us to encourage, advise, and support the career interests of the next generation of Intelligence Officers. If you are ready to "give back"...please donate here.

Visit, Follow, Subscribe to AFIO's LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube pages.

Members who use social media or wish to explore, will find new announcements and other material on AFIO's Twitter and LinkedIn pages. New videos on our YouTube page appears below as well.
Access them here: LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube. By following or subscribing on those sites, one can be notified as new material appears.

Other items brought to our attention:

Suspected Chinese spy targeted California politicians by Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian, Zach Dorfman of the Aspen Institute on Axios Investigates

A suspected Chinese intelligence operative developed extensive ties with local and national politicians, including a U.S. congressman, in what U.S. officials believe was a political intelligence operation run by China's main civilian spy agency between 2011 and 2015, Axios found in a yearlong investigation. Why it matters: The alleged operation offers a rare window into how Beijing has tried to gain access to and influence U.S. political circles. While this suspected operative's activities appear to have ended during the Obama administration, concerns about Beijing's influence operations have spanned President Trump's time in office and will continue to be a core focus for U.S. counterintelligence during the Biden administration.

Article continues here. Also see account in NYPost here.

"Intelligence Community Legal Reference Book, Winter 2020," a valuable resource for intelligence professionals and officials across the federal government. The documents presented in this book have been updated to incorporate all amendments made since the Spring 2016 version through December 20, 2019, at which point the documents were, where possible, verified against the United States Code maintained by The Library of Congress and Westlaw. The Intelligence Community draws much of its authority and guidance from the body of law contained in this collection. The content includes descriptions of numerous Federal documents ranging from The Constitution of the United States, Central Intelligence Agency Act of 1949, Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act 1978, Freedom of Information Act, Cybersecurity Act of 2015, and numerous Executive Orders. To download free PDF copy of publication from ODNI, it is here.
To purchase a print version from USGPO, click here

Report Points to Microwave 'Attack' as Likely Source of Mystery Illnesses That Hit Diplomats and Spies by By Ana Swanson and Edward Wong, 5 Dec 2020, The New York Times

A government-commissioned report provides the most definitive explanation yet for "Havana syndrome," which struck scores of American employees, first in Cuba and then in China, Russia and other countries. The most probable cause of a series of mysterious afflictions that sickened American spies and diplomats abroad in the past several years was radiofrequency energy, a type of radiation that includes microwaves, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has concluded in a report. The conclusion by a committee of 19 experts in medicine and other fields cited "directed, pulsed radiofrequency energy" as "the most plausible mechanism" to explain the illness, which came to be known as Havana syndrome, though they said that they could not rule out other possible causes and that secondary factors may have contributed to symptoms, according to a copy of the report obtained by The New York Times. The report, which was commissioned by the State Department, provides the most definitive explanation yet of the illness that struck scores of government employees, first at the U.S. Embassy in Havana in 2016, and then in China and other countries. Many of the officers suffered from dizziness, fatigue, headaches, and loss of hearing, memory and balance, and some were forced into permanent retirement. The report as a PDF is available here.

Harvard's Belfer Center Offering Online Executive Education Programs in Intelligence and Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity: The Intersection of Policy and Technology January 11-15, 2021

TWO by Keith Melton, Robert Wallace — Newly Released, Overlooked, or Forthcoming Books

The Secret History of STASI Spy Cameras: 1950–1990
by H. Keith Melton, Detlev Vreisleben, with Michael M. Hasco
(Schiffer Military History, Dec 2020)

This lavishly illustrated and authoritative book presents the secret history of Stasi and Warsaw Pact subminiature spy cameras used during the Cold War. It is a history that could only have been written through the collaboration of veteran Stasi technical intelligence officers and the world's foremost historians on Cold War spy cameras and tradecraft. With more than 450 photographs, the book reveals the history, development, and operational use of more than 70 secret cameras as used by one of the world's most formidable intelligence services—East German Stasi, or MfS—for secretly copying documents, and for surveillance and compromise. Every major camera system used by the Stasi is covered. A bonus at the end of the book is an exhaustive glossary of Stasi and Warsaw Pact photographic systems and optical devices. This book is a must-have for camera collectors, military enthusiasts, historians, and counterintelligence officers.

Book may be ordered here.

Spy Sites of Philadelphia: A Guide to the Region's Secret History
by H. Keith Melton, Robert Wallace
(Georgetown University Press, Dec 2020)

Throughout its history, Philadelphia has been home to international intrigue and some of America's most celebrated spies. This illustrated guidebook reveals the places and people of Philadelphia's hidden history, inviting the reader to explore over 150 spy sites in Philadelphia and its neighboring towns and counties. —Bill Harlow, former CIA Director of Public Affairs

Philadelphia became a battleground for spies as George Washington's Patriot army in nearby Valley Forge struggled to survive the winter of 1776-77. In the centuries that followed—through the Civil War, the rise of fascism and communism in the twentieth century, and today's fight against terrorism—the city has been home to international intrigue and some of America's most celebrated spies. Spy Sites of Philadelphia takes readers inside this shadowy world to reveal the places and people of Philadelphia's hidden history. These fascinating entries portray details of stolen secrets, clandestine meetings, and covert communications through every era of American history. Along the way, readers will meet both heroes and villains whose daring deceptions helped shape the nation. Authors H. Keith Melton and Robert Wallace weave incredible true stories of courage and deceit that rival even the best spy fiction. Featuring over 150 spy sites in Philadelphia and its neighboring towns and counties, this illustrated guide invites readers to follow in the footsteps of moles and sleuths. Authoritative, entertaining, and informative, Spy Sites of Philadelphia is a must-have guidebook to the espionage history of the region. [The authors are AFIO members]

Book may be ordered here. Or purchase directly from Georgetown University Press here.


Changes Sweep Vatican's Financial Intelligence Agency. Pope Francis has approved sweeping changes to the Vatican's financial surveillance authority.

The changes aim "greater transparency and the strengthening of controls" in the economic-financial field, said Vatican's press office said on Dec. 5.

The new statutes have changed the agency's name that Pope Benedict XVI created in 2010 to supervise Vatican financial transactions.

It will no longer be known as the Financial Intelligence Authority but will be called Supervisory and Financial Information Authority (ASIF). [Read more: UCANews/7December2020]

NSA Warns of Russian Government-Backed Hackers Aiming at US Defense Sector Targets. The National Security Agency issued an alert Monday warning U.S. defense contractors to be on alert for Russian state-sponsored hackers exploiting a recently announced vulnerability.

The software issue, which affects VMware Workspace One Access, Access Connector, Identity Manager and Identity Manager Connector, is known as a Command Injection Vulnerability, and could allow attackers to execute arbitrary commands on targets.

The Russian hackers, which the NSA did not identify more specifically, appear to have successfully accessed protected systems by exploiting the flaw, according to the NSA alert. In order to be able to exploit the flaw, hackers must already have access to the management interface of the device, suggesting they already have password-level access.

The agency urges system administrators to patch against the flaw as soon as possible. [Read more: Vavra/Cyberscoop/7December2020]

Supporters of Moldova's New President Protest in Tussle Over Intelligence Service. Thousands of supporters of Moldova's incoming president Maia Sandu protested on Thursday against a move by parliament to strip her of control of the intelligence service weeks before she takes office.

Sandu, a former World Bank economist who favours closer ties with the European Union, defeated the pro-Moscow incumbent Igor Dodon in last month's presidential election, but parliament is still dominated by Socialist party lawmakers aligned with Dodon.

The eastern European country of 3.5 million, where the West and Russia vie for influence, has been rocked in recent years by instability and corruption scandals, including the disappearance of $1 billion from the banking system. [Read more: Tanas/Reuters/3December2020]

CIA Officer Killed in Somali Raid on Suspected al-Shabaab Bomb-Maker. A CIA officer died during a raid in Somalia last month targeting a key extremist thought to be responsible for an attack that killed an American soldier in Kenya last year, local intelligence officials have told the Guardian.

The officer was deployed alongside Somali and US special forces during the operation at Gendershe, a coastal village about 30 miles south-west of Mogadishu, and died when fighters from the al-Shabaab extremist movement detonated a car bomb minutes after the raid began on 6 November, the official said.

A Somali intelligence officer who works with the US-trained Somali "Danab" special forces unit in Lower Shabelle said: "Our officers were supported by the US officers. We flew at 2am that night. The soldiers disembarked from the chopper and went on foot in the bush before a huge explosion went off and killed the American friend and four of our [Somali] officers." [Read more: Burke/TheGuardian/3December2020]

Italy Lays Out Plans to Buy up to Eight New Sensor-Loaded Gulfstreams. Italy is planning to buy up to eight new Gulfstream signals intelligence aircraft and build a maintenance hub for similar aircraft operated by other nations around the Mediterranean.

The plans, which were outlined in documents supplied to the Italian parliament, would reinforce Italy's signals intelligence capability as the Mediterranean becomes a flashpoint for regional tensions with neighbors like Turkey and Egypt tussling over the future of lawless Libya.

The Italian acquisition was first mentioned in this year's budget document, released in October, which cited the need for ‘multi-mission, multi-sensor' Gulfstream G-550 jets and listed an outlay of 1.23 billion euros. [Read more: Kington/DefenseNews/2December2020]


Mercenary Says Kremlin's Wagner Group Recruiting Inexperienced Fighters. A war memoir written by a former Russian paratrooper who fought in Syria for the Kremlin-backed mercenary Wagner Group, owned by Yevgeny Prigozhin, a plutocrat nicknamed "Putin's chef," had been eagerly awaited.

The 54-year-old author, Marat Gabidullin, who rose to become a commander of one of Wagner's reconnaissance units, trailed tantalizing snippets of what to expect in the memoir in an interview last week with Meduza, an independent news site.

In the interview he confirmed the group suffered heavy losses fighting in Libya and that Russian mercenaries in 2017 tortured to death a Syrian army deserter. Videos of the brutality, which included the man being burned in the groin, shot at with machine guns and beaten with a sledgehammer before being decapitated, surfaced months later on the Internet. [Read more: Dettmer/VOANews/7December2020]

CIA Posts Puzzle On Twitter, Invites People Who Solve It To Apply For A Job. Have you ever thought you have what it takes to become a spy? Well you can now find out thanks to a puzzle the Central Intelligence Agency posted on Twitter. The tricky brainteaser shows a wintery scene with a caption that reads, "Put your analysis skills to the test. What time is it in the photo?" They give three options: 3 p.m., 11 a.m. and 7 a.m.

At first glance, the pic just seems to be of a quiet ski resort with nearby homes and snow-covered roads, but looking closer, you might be able to figure out some clues to solve the puzzle.

Most people who wagered a guess didn't think it was 11 a.m., likely because the shadows would be shorter if that were the time. [Read more: Basner/iHeartRadio/3December2020]

U of C Professor Takes a Look Behind the Enigma with First Authorized History of Britain's Secret Cyber-Intelligence Agency. When University of Calgary history professor John Ferris got his first look at the mountains of information available to him at the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), he was overcome with two emotions: exhilaration and fear.

As the writer of the first authorized history of Britain's secretive cyber-intelligence agency, Ferris was given unprecedented access to previously classified documents stored at the headquarters of the GCHQ. For an academic who had been exploring the history of signal intelligence, or Sigint, for the past 40 years, this offered kid-in-a-candy-store levels of excitement.

But fear began to creep in when he realized the sheer volume of material he now had access to. [Read more: Volmers/CalgaryHerald/4December2020]

Lockerbie Bombing Key Witness had History of 'Making up Stories', says CIA Handler. A former CIA agent has claimed he was excluded from the original Lockerbie bombing trial and that investigators should turn their attention to the "true culprit" - Iran.

John Holt, 68, says he was the author of secret cables showing that the Libyan double agent put forward by Scottish prosecutors as the star witness in the Lockerbie bombing trial had a history of "making up stories".

Mr Holt was never sent to the trial by his bosses, even though he had been the CIA handler for Libyan double agent and principal witness Abdul-Majid Giaka. [Read more: Martin/TheTelegraph/5December2020]


CIA Is Losing Its Best and Brightest and Not Just Because of Trump. If you ask CIA senior leaders if they have a retention problem, they will likely point to perennial low attrition rates—as Chief Operating Officer Andy Makridis told me in his office last year. He did acknowledge, however, that what those stats won't tell you is who is walking out the door.

CIA has lost much of the post-9/11 generation of intelligence officers who played key roles in some our nation's greatest national security successes over the past two decades. I joined this group of alumni when I took my final steps across the famous marble CIA seal this summer.

It would be easy to draw a causal relationship between the last four years of the Trump administration's open hostility toward the Intelligence Community, its politicization of intelligence, and the president's apathy for the analysis put in his briefing book each morning and these departures. Indeed, Intelligence Community morale is at an all-time low. But the fraught relationship between CIA and the Trump administration is only part of the story and risks overlooking ongoing challenges within the Agency itself.

The most common refrain I hear from colleagues about why they left CIA over the past several years is "I no longer saw a path for me there." [Read more: Castelli/JustSecurity/2December2020]

A Few Words for America's Night Soldiers. As a retired CIA officer who cares deeply about the craft to which I devoted the better part of my life, I feel this might be a good time to offer a few words to all of my former Intelligence Community colleagues still in the fight.

Serving your country is an honor that offers those who have made it their career inestimable intrinsic rewards beyond simply their pocketbooks. It also comes with expectations of sacrifice and hardship. For you serving in the intelligence field, hazards and thanklessness goes with the territory, but the past few years have brought challenges so unusual and alarming that perhaps you now question your choice of calling. You should not. Our country faces dire international perils and more than ever, needs you to succeed.

Remember that you serve not just any country, but the world's preeminent democracy, dedicated to the rule of law, individual liberty, and justice. Thanks to the foresight of our founders, you pledged your oath to our Constitution, not to any government, party, or leader. This is a source of great strength as you struggle against tyrants, authoritarian regimes and violent movements that would have us live differently. The threats are real, pressing, and our ultimate triumph is not preordained. [Read more: Sims/TheCipherBrief/8December2020]

Course of Action Analysis for Intelligence Professionals: How to Maintain Collaboration When Assuming an Adversarial Position. The purpose of this article is to provide intelligence professionals a set tactics, techniques, and procedures for successful course of action analysis. I also cover how to maintain a cooperative environment when tasked with role-playing the enemy. This article is borne from the experience of having failed to grasp the collaborative nature of war-gaming as a lieutenant, followed by development through my captaincy as a staff intelligence officer and company commander assigned to the National Training Center. Acknowledgement and appreciation to CPT Jacob Roberts, my operations counter-part in over twenty-five war games, and without whom I would have never conceptualized this article. [Read more: Slater/SmallWarsJournal/2December2020]

How to Revitalize the Intelligence Community: A Long, But Essential To-Do List. With the 2020 election over and the unduly delayed transition to the new Biden administration finally underway, the focus within individual government agencies will appropriately turn to assimilating the policies and priorities of the new administration. Within the Intelligence Community (IC), which served as a veritable punching bag during the Trump administration, this realignment should embrace both personnel and morale initiatives designed to depoliticize the intelligence function and assure the workforce that competency and integrity, not political fealty, will once again be the coin of the realm in the processes used to bring analytic intelligence products to consumers. This will be a welcome return to normalcy because the IC, and the nation, face a pressing threat environment populated by hostile actors pursuing agendas inimical to U.S. interests.

The announcement of Avril Haines as nominee for director of national intelligence (DNI) augurs well for a return to honesty, candor, and "speaking truth to power." In her first public comments after Biden announced her as nominee, Haines vowed to speak the uncomfortable truths that can produce difficult conversations and decisions for a president, but that are essential to ensuring that the "first customer" receives advice reflecting the unvarnished verities of impartial intelligence analysis. [Read more: Croner/JustSecurity/4December2020]

Section IV - Research Requests, Jobs, Obituaries

Research Requests

Did you work in CIA's Alec Station or bin Laden Issue Station?
Author of four-volume history of anti-American terrorism at home and abroad from Eisenhower through Trump administrations would like to connect with anyone who worked in the CIA's Alec Station or Bin Laden Issue Station for assistance in writing an accurate profile of the unit for volume III (Clinton and Bush administrations). Please contact Dennis Pluchinsky at

The Vienna Tunnel - "Operation Silver" - Researcher Seeks More Info

After retiring from the CIA I ended up living in Vienna, Austria and got interested in the "Vienna Tunnel."  It was a SIS/MI6 operation from 1949-52 or so which tapped Soviet phone lines between Soviet HQs and Moscow. It was the inspiration for the Berlin Tunnel in that same era. Very little information has been made public about the Vienna Tunnel and much of the information doesn't seem to make sense. If you have any ideas for how to find this tunnel or knowledge about this operation I would love to hear from you at Than you in advance,  -Hans

Did you know: Eloise Page, Elizabeth Sudmeier, Adelaide Hawkins, or Mary Hutchison at CIA? Or have insights on Women in Intelligence? Please assist this author.

Nathalia Holt, Ph.D., author of Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women who Propelled Us from Missiles to the Moon to Mars, is writing a book about the history of women at the CIA during the Cold War. She is eager to interview retired and active intelligence professionals, both men and women, to gather insight into the role of women at the CIA. She is particularly interested in those who knew Eloise Page, Adelaide Hawkins, Mary Hutchison, and Elizabeth Sudmeier. The CIA public affairs office is cooperating. The book will be published by Penguin Random House. The aim is to highlight the untold successes of the CIA during the early Cold War period and the role of women officers. If you would be willing to chat and share your insights, please contact Nathalia at or 805-616-1690 (phone, text or Signal app). Holt's book Rise of the Rocket Girls was a New York Times best-seller and received glowing reviews. USA Today called her book, "Illuminating… these women are vividly depicted at work, at play, in and out of love, raising children — and making history. What a team — and what a story!" Her work has appeared in numerous publications including The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Atlantic, Slate, Popular Science, and Time. She is a former fellow at the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard University.

Replies to Nathalia Holt PhD at More info on this author at or @nathaliaholt


Full Time Assistant Professor for Intelligence Studies Program at Catholic University, Washington, DC

AFIO Members with Academic Credentials! Potential Full Time Teaching Opportunity in 2022 in Catholic University's Intelligence Program
University located at 620 Michigan Ave NE, Washington, DC

Former CIA officer and staff historian Nicholas Dujmovic retired in 2016 to become the founding director of the Intelligence Studies Program at the Catholic University of America (CUA) in Washington, D.C. The program is successful and growing. The undergraduate Certificate in Intelligence Studies currently has 76 students enrolled--the largest such program on campus. The program continues to expand the number of intelligence courses offered, as well as their variety.

Dr. Dujmovic is optimistic that a full time position at the assistant professor level will open in the summer of 2022.
He is reaching out early to the AFIO community to identify potential candidates with the following attributes:

  • Significant service (at least 15 years) as a professional intelligence officer involved in analysis, operations, technical collection, or possibly support. A recent retiree closing a successful career would be ideal.
  • A Ph.D. from an accredited university in political science, history, area studies, a comparable field or a relevant STEM field.
  • Teaching experience at the university level, either undergraduate or graduate.
  • Evidence of past scholarship and a willingness to engage in further research and publication, consistent with CUA's commitment to excellence as a "research university."
  • An enthusiasm for teaching and advising mostly undergraduate students.

AFIO members wishing to learn more are encouraged to contact Dr. Dujmovic at

Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice - UTEP - University of Texas at El Paso

The University of Texas at El Paso's College of Liberal Arts, Department of Criminal Justice, is seeking a full-time tenure-track "Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice."
Position Description: The position begins Fall 2021 at the Assistant Professor level. Responsibilities include conducting and publishing scholarly research, seeking extramural funding, teaching face-to-face and online courses, and service to the department, university, and profession.
About UTEP: The University of Texas at El Paso is a Carnegie R1 and Community Engaged research university in the heart of the U.S.-Mexico border region, in a bicultural metroplex of over 800,000 people. UTEP faculty are nationally recognized for their commitment to student success, teaching, and research. UTEP enrolls more than 25,000 students, of whom nearly 80 percent are Latino/Latina. UTEP provides equal access and social mobility for over 50% of its student body of first generation students. UTEP comprises 10 academic colleges/schools. The Department of CJ offers an online B.A. in Security Studies, a Master of Science in Intelligence and National Security and a Master of Defense and Strategic Studies. The department also offers a B.A. in Criminal Justice, an equivalent 100% online B.A., and an M.S. in Criminology and Criminal Justice.
Required Qualifications: Applicants must have a Ph.D. in Criminal Justice, Criminology or closely related field in Intelligence and/or Security Studies from an accredited university. ABD applicants will be considered if doctorate will be completed by Fall 2021. Active research agenda and published scholarly journal articles are required to apply. Applicants with only a J.D., Psy.D., or Ed.D. will not be considered.
Preferred Areas: All research/teaching areas of criminal justice and criminology will be considered, but preference will be given to candidates who have demonstrated teaching and/or research areas in at least one of these areas: security studies, open source intelligence, or quantitative methods/statistics.
Application Instructions and Contact Information: To apply, visit Applicants must electronically submit: (1) letter of interest that includes teaching areas and research expertise, (2) curriculum vita, (3) one scholarly publication or dissertation manuscript, and (4) names and full contact information of three references that we may contact. If you have questions about the position, please contact the Search Committee Chair, Dr. Egbert Zavala, at
Application Review Date: Review of applications will begin October 5th, 2020 and will continue until the position is filled.
Hiring decisions are based on budget approval. To explore UTEP, do so here. To apply for the position, contact Dr. Zavala at

JTSUSA Has numerous career and part-time assignments available for cleared former military personnel. See listing here. Or contact or visit 

Adjunct instructors at the University of Texas at El Paso (US)
The National Security Studies Institute at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) (see their website here) is seeking adjunct instructors to teach online graduate-level courses:
Legal Issues in Intelligence and National Security
Propaganda and Influence Operations
Intelligence and Counterterrorism
Political Economy of Terrorism
Risk Analysis
Emergency Management
Public Health and Homeland Security
A PhD in public policy, security studies, political science, or a related field is required.
Interested and eligible applicants should contact Stephen Coulthart (


Bill Carleton, Foreign Service Officer
William Baker Carleton, 78, a Foreign Service Officer, died of leukemia on 24 November 2020 in Pine Knoll Shores, NC.
Bill graduated from Denison University in Granville, OH and attended Clark University in Worcester, MA from where he was drafted into the Army in July 1967. He was a loyal patriot who served his country as an Army Captain and decorated Vietnam War veteran (MACV, Central Highlands from 1968-1969). After Vietnam, Bill returned to Fort Holabird, Baltimore, MD as an instructor.
In the early 1970s he pursued his dreams of international travel and study with 29 years in the Foreign Service. He and his family were stationed in Morocco, Iran, Tunisia, Bangladesh and the Philippines and traveled extensively for work and pleasure.
Bill worked as a consultant with Booz Allen Hamilton for eight years before retiring to New Bern, NC in 2008 to their home overlooking the water.
Bill's many interests included photography, reading, travels abroad and boating (he was a member of the Chesapeake Yacht Club in Maryland for 24 years), and was affectionately known as Captain Bill.
He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Carolyn N. Carleton; a son, a daughter, and other family.

Luther Fortner, CIA Communications Officer
Luther Charles Fortner, 88, a CIA Communications Officer, died 27 November 2020 in Lake Ridge, VA.
Luther was born in Saint Joe, AR, one of 11 children. His family migrated to the Tri-Cities area in Washington State in 1949. A Korean War veteran, he served in the U.S. Navy from 1952-56. Luther then joined the CIA as a communications officer and was assigned to Seoul, Korea, where he met his wife, Helen. They married in 1959 and served their country together, spanning the globe for more than 35 years, with postings in Cyprus, Nicaragua, Jordan, Thailand, Ethiopia, Liberia, and Greece.
An avid golfer, bird lover, fisherman, and storyteller, Luther lived his life to the fullest.
He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Helen Grantz Fortner, four children, and other family.

John Glover
John Henry Glover, 85, died 12 November 2020 in Virginia Beach, VA
John was born in Washington, DC. He attended Occoquan High School and graduated from Lynchburg College in 1956. He received his Master's degree from American University in 1965. He served in the U.S. Army from 1958-1960. John had a distinguished career with the intelligence community in Washington, DC for over 40 years.
He loved sailing and fishing and will be especially remembered for his love of animals, particularly his many dogs, a cat and turtles.
He is survived by his wife of 40 years, Sara Glover,
In addition to his wife of 40 years, Sara, he is survived by a son and daughter, a former spouse, and other family.

Tom Johnson, Senior NSA Historian
Tom Johnson, 80, Senior NSA Historian, former president of the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club, died of a heart attack 5 December 2020 while on a hike in the Shenandoah National Park. He was on that hike commemorating the 35th anniversary of a chapter. [This is based on early news before a formal obituary has been received]
Tom was born in Longview, WA. He served in the Air Force and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel. He then worked at the National Security Agency where, among other things, he wrote a classified 4-volume History of Cold War Intelligence Activities that was declassified in 2008.
For most people, I should think they will be remembered by family and friends for only a couple of generations. Pictures and anecdotes will preserve the person in memory for a comparatively brief time. Tom's life's work will last well beyond that abbreviated span, will exist as tangible evidence of his contributions to preserving the lives and deeds of people he himself might never have known but who deserve the attention of future generations. Tom was an historian, a noble calling and an admirable life's pursuit.
The Conservancy has lost a dear and steady friend and our thoughts are with his beloved wife Sharon and daughter Nina."
Tom was involved in many other trail groups. He was a founder and early president of the Great Eastern Trail Association, on the board of the Appalachian Trail Museum, and on the board of the American Hiking Society.
Tom's recent work involved the histories of both the Appalachian Trail and of the PATC. He completed his History of the Appalachian Trail recently, and it should be published soon. His History of the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club is now on the PATC website for download and reading.
He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Sharon, a daughter Nina, and other family. [N.B. this is based on early news before a formal obituary has been received]

Jim Justen, 80, CIA Photogrammetrist Engineer
James Michael Justen, 80, a CIA Photogrammetrist Engineer, died 3 December 2020 of heart failure in Herndon, VA.
Jim was born in McHenry, IL. He graduated from McHenry High School in 1958. He attended the University of Illinois and received a Batchelor's degree in Forestry in February of 1963. After a few months as a Forester at Sinnissippi Forest in Oregon, IL, he took a government job with the Aeronautical Chart and Information Center in St. Louis. He trained to be a Cartographer in January of 1964.
In 1966, he moved to Arlington, VA and began a career with the CIA as a Photogrammetrist.
In 1971, he was sent to West Lafayette, IN to Purdue University where he earned a Master's Degree in Photogrammetric Engineering. In 1999 he retired from government service and took a job with Riverside Research as a contractor. In 2012 he retired for good.
He loved sports, baseball, cross country, football, golf and basketball. He also loved his church and served many years as an Altar Boy at St. Patrick's.
He was married to Susan Marie Neely for 57 years and had five children.

Bill Rooney, CIA Operations Officer
William Frederick Rooney, 78, CIA Operations Officer, died 2 December of cancer in Bethesda, MD.
He was born in Orange, NJ.
Bill was a great American with more than 35 years of a distinguished career with the Directorate of Operations Clandestine Service of the Central Intelligence Agency.
He is survived by his wife Maryann, four children, and other family.

Ray Yarnall, CIA Officer
Raymond Thomas Yarnall Sr, 84, a CIA Officer, died 12 September 2020 in York, ME.
He was born in Boston, MA. He graduated from Clark University in Worcester, MA, and served in the U.S. Air Force and the U. S. Army.
He worked with the Central Intelligence Agency from 1969 to 1992.
He was a member of the American Legion and a Trustee of the Historical Society & Naval Museum in Kittery, ME.
He was a member of St. Christopher's Church and enjoyed reading.
He leaves his wife Virginia L. Burns Yarnall; two sons, a sister, and other family.
Funeral services for Raymond will be held at a later date in York, Maine. Burial will be in the Massachusetts Veterans' Memorial Cemetery, Winchendon, MA.

Section V - Events


Wednesday, 9 December 2020, 12 noon PST - Virtual via Zoom - The "Andre Le Gallo" San Francisco Chapter hosts Farhad Mansourian on The Islamic Republic of Iran and the new United States Administration

This meeting will be conducted via Zoom. Registration link is here.

Farhad Mansourian is a former anti-terrorist officer in the Iranian Imperial Army at the time when Islamic Fundamentalists were attempting to overthrow the 2500 year old Monarchy in Iran. Upon the fall of the Shah of Iran, Mr. Mansourian escaped to the United States where he has remained active and in close contact with current Iranian & Middle East events.

Mr. Mansourian has provided high level analysis on Iranian, Middle Eastern and Islamic issues for local, state and numerous federal agencies including the Pentagon, the White House, Pacific Region Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), DEA and the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force in San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose, California. He is the author of many articles published in a variety of national and international publications and numerous radio and television appearances.

Mr. Mansourian brings a unique hands-on and insightful perspectives on the latest events in the Middle East. Some of the topics presented will include: the decision making process in the Islamic Republic of Iran; the role of security and intelligence agencies in that process; upcoming June 2021 Presidential election in Iran, The Biden Administration, The Trump Administration arms deal; what the Iranian leaders say, what they hope for and what the Iranian people want.

Other Upcoming Events from Advertisers, Corporate Sponsors, and Others

The International Spy Museum has reopened to visitors.

Click here to explore events, exhibits, and ticketing.

Upcoming virtual (and a few live, post-quarantine) events at the International Spy Museum. Click event to explore and register for event. All virtual events require pre-registration.
Access all upcoming Spy Museum events directly from their website:


In addition to the new Royal Blue long sleeve shirts, and the gray long sleeve hooded sweatshirts, the AFIO Store also has the following items ready for quick shipment:

NEW: LONG and Short-Sleeved Shirts with embroidered AFIO Logo and New Mugs with color-glazed permanent logo

Show your support for AFIO with our new Polo Shirts. Be the first to buy these new, high quality, subtle heathered grey short sleeve shirts, and dark blue long sleeved shirts, of shrink and wrinkle resistant fine cotton with a soft yet substantial feel. They feature a detailed embroidered AFIO seal. Get a shirt for yourself and consider as gifts for colleagues, family, and friends. Only $45 each including shipping.
Sizes of (M) men or (W) women shirts; Small, Medium, Large, XL, XXL, and XXXL. At this time all orders will arrive as Short Sleeve shirts.
You may pay by check or credit card. Complete your order online here or mail an order along with payment to: AFIO, 7600 Leesburg Pike, Ste 470 East, Falls Church, VA 22043-2004. Phone orders at 703-790-0320. If interested in other shirt colors or sleeve lengths, contact Annette at:



Available as a thank you for donations are the new AFIO logo face masks:

These soft, form-fitting, washable, non-medical grade fabric face masks have wide behind-the-ear elastics to make long periods of wear comfortable. Also easier to quickly put on or take off. Blue on outside, white inside. The masks do not have a nose wire but are sculpted, shaped, and sewn to fit most users. The all-cloth composition allows the masks to be washed or steam-disinfected without concerns over metal wires. The color logo is washable and a permanent part of the mask.

The masks, however, are not for sale. They are being offered strictly as a thank you gift to our donors.
For tax-deductible donations of $50 you will receive a receipt and our thank you gift of two of these newly-arrived face masks.
Donations of $100 receive four masks to be sent to the same address. Other amounts and split-shipments are available.
To donate now to support AFIO's programs and publications, please do so here.

We wish all members and donors continued good health, safe social distancing, and warmly appreciate any support you are able to provide the association.

AFIO Mug with color glazed logo. Made in America. Sturdy enough to sit on desk to hold pens, cards, paperclips, and candy.

This handsome large, heavy USA-made ceramic mug is dishwasher-safe with a glazed seal. $35 per mug includes shipping. Order this and other store items online here.

Guide to the Study of Intelligence and When Intelligence Made a Difference

"AFIO's Guide to the Study of Intelligence" has sold out in hard-copy.
However, it is available in digital form in its entirety on the AFIO website here.

Also available on the website here are the individual articles of AFIO's history project "When Intelligence Made a Difference" that have been published to date in The Intelligencer journal. More articles will be forthcoming in future editions.

Disclaimers and Removal Instructions

Weekly Intelligence Notes (WINs) are commentaries on Intelligence and related national security matters, based on open media sources, selected, interpreted, edited and produced for non-profit educational uses by members and WIN subscribers.

REMOVAL INSTRUCTIONS: We do not wish to add clutter to inboxes. To discontinue receiving the WINs:

a) IF YOU ARE A MEMBER - click here: UNSUBSCRIBE and supply your full name and email address where you receive the WINs. Click SEND, you will be removed from list. If this link doesn't open a blank email, create one on your own and send to with the words: REMOVE FROM WINs as the subject, and provide your full name and email address where you are currently receiving them.

b) IF YOU ARE NOT A MEMBER, and you received this message, someone forwarded this newsletter to you [contrary to AFIO policies]. Forward to the entire WIN or message you received and we will remove the sender from our membership and distribution lists. The problem will be solved for both of us.

CONTENTS of this WIN [HTML version recipients - Click title to jump to story or section, Click Article Title to return to Contents. This feature does not work for Plaintext Edition or for some AOL recipients]. If you wish to change to HTML format, let us know at The HTML feature also does not work for those who access their e-mail using web mail...however NON-HTML recipients may view the latest edition each week in HTML at this link:

WINs are protected by copyright laws and intellectual property laws, and may not be reproduced or re-sent without specific permission from the Producer. Opinions expressed in the WINs are solely those of the editor's or author's listed with each article. AFIO Members Support the AFIO Mission - sponsor new members! CHECK THE AFIO WEBSITE at for back issues of the WINs, information about AFIO, conference agenda and registrations materials, and membership applications and much more!

(c) 1998 thru 2020. AFIO, 7600 Leesburg Pike, Suite 470 East, Falls Church, VA 22043-2004. Voice: (703) 790-0320; Fax: (703) 991-1278; Email:

About AFIO | Membership Renewal | Change of Address | Upcoming Events | Chapter Locations | Corporate/Institutional Memberships | Careers in Intelligence Booklet | Guide to the Study of Intelligence | Intelligencer Journal | Weekly Intelligence Notes | To Make A Donation | AFIO Store | Member-Only Section | Code of Ethics | Home Page

Click here to return to top.