AFIO Weekly Intelligence Notes #08-21 dated 23 February 2021

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Section IV - Research Requests, Jobs, Obituaries

Research Requests



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: 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.

Other items brought to our attention:

The Intelligence Community And Open-Source Information In The Digital Age – Analysis, by member George W. Croner, former NSA General Counsel, in Eurasia Review, FPRI — On January 22, 2021, the New York Times reported that the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) was acquiring commercially available databases from vendors containing U.S. person location data generated by smartphone applications, and the DIA was periodically using that data to track U.S. person device locations (specifically, the Times reported, "Defense Intelligence Agency analysts have searched for the movements of Americans within a commercial database in five investigations over the past two and a half years"). The Times article included a link to a DIA memorandum prepared in response to inquiries about the practice received from the office of Senator Ron Wyden. Senator Wyden subsequently raised the issue during the confirmation hearing of Avril Haines for the position of Director of National Intelligence (DNI) asking Haines about "abuses" of commercially available location data. In a statement released by Wyden's legislative office in connection with Haines' confirmation process, he describes the DIA practice discussed in the Times article as "unacceptable" and as an intrusion on constitutional privacy rights, saying, "The Fourth Amendment is not for sale."
Article continues here...
Published by the Foreign Policy Research Institute, 22 February 2021.

The Arkin Group's February 18 "In Other News" letter to private clients by former Operations Officer Jack Devine features...
• The Justice Department has charged three North Koreans in connection with some of the highest-profile cyberattacks in recent history.
• A White House statement indicates that the SolarWinds hack took place from inside the United States, though U.S. officials still see the attack as being perpetrated by the Russians.
• Below-normal temperatures in the southern U.S. triggered a broad swath of power outages and systems failures that have cut oil production by as much as 4 million barrels per day, the equivalent of ~40% of total U.S. output and ~4% of global output.
Just released: Jack Devine's Spymaster's Prism. AFIO conducted an interview with him about this book and will release that interview to members on March 2.

The Latest... from Jeff Stein's Provocative "SpyTalk" Series

Feb 24: "Intel Panel Chair: Retool Spec Ops for China War" by Jeff Stein
Arizona Rep. Ruben Gallego also aiming at using more military spies and rooting out extremists in the ranks
Article here

Feb 20: "A Few Bad Men -- and More" by Adam Zagorin
The Mauritanian's gripping Guantánamo drama lets military officials off the hook
Article here

Feb 19: "A Spy for Every Winter" by Robert Gaudet
Virginia Hall's World War Two exploits never get cold
Article here

Readers can subscribe for free at the moment here.

News, Podcasts, Interviews, Analysis....from what must be a busy SCIF run by JJ Green of WTOP:

Inside the SCIF by JJ Green, WTOP - Issue #101, 18 February has details on "What does the IC think of Joe Biden?"; China's foreign policy doctrine; French Cyber Agency tracks Russian Hackers; Morocco foils terror attack; US troops rejecting COVID vaccines; NK attempts to steal Pfizer vaccine info; and much more.

The latest Target USA Podcast 264 is on: "Qanon floats conspiracy theory about 4 March 2021" It's a date conspiracy theorists say Donald Trump will return to Washington "to reclaim the Presidency." Former Deputy Director of the Secret Service, A.T. Smith says law enforcement are prepared.
And "The Hunt" explores: Facebook claims terror groups are banned, yet allows ISIS to post material. Why? Dr. Hans Jakob Schindler, senior director of the Counter Extremism Project, discusses what ISIS' objective is and how they're getting away with this.

From the National Cryptologic Museum Foundation:

THE NCMF's #CyberChats, held virtually via their Nepris online classroom, have resumed.
NCMF #CyberChat with Debbie Plunkett is Wednesday, 24 February 2021 2 to 3 pm EST. Access it here.
Digital Learning Day will be held Thursday, 25 February 2021. Access it here.
CodeDay - Virtual is being held Friday, 26 February 2021 and Sunday, 28 February 2021. Explore it here.
NCMF Fireside #CyberChat with Barbara McNamara for Women's History Month is Thursday, 11 March 2021 noon to 1 pm EST. Access it virtually here.
Other NCMF upcoming events will be:
NCMF Fireside #CyberChat with Sally Botsai on 25 March 2021. Stay Tuned for link to register.
NCMF 25th Anniversary on 17 April 2021. Stay tuned for details.

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 January 22 featuring some of their newest items:


Just released to members-only...

Experiences serving as Undersecretary, Office of Intelligence and Analysis,
at the Department of Homeland Security

Released 23 February 2021

Caryn A. Wagner
served as Undersecretary,
Office of Intelligence and Analysis, at DHS

Interview of Friday, 29 January 2021 of Caryn Wagner, Former Undersecretary, Office of Intelligence and Analysis, DHS. Interviewer - Host: James Hughes, AFIO President, a former CIA Operations Officer.

TOPIC: Caryn Wagner and Jim Hughes discuss Wagner's experience serving as Undersecretary, Office of Intelligence and Analysis, at the Department of Homeland Security. Includes discussion of the political complexities of focusing on domestic terrorism, homeland intelligence, and internal national security issues, the FBI, the Joint Terrorism Task Forces, Fusion Centers, sharing of intelligence, National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), relations with state and local partners in law enforcement, ICE, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Coast Guard, no-fly lists and other domestic security lists, the National Intelligence Program, and various funding issues.

The interview runs 47 minutes which includes several Q&As.

Access Wagner video here or click above image.

Prior Videos in the "AFIO Now" Series

To view them, visit our YouTube page here

or log into the Member-Only area of our website here.

Steve Vogel, author, Washington Post journalist, on his book "Betrayal in Berlin: The True Story of the Cold War's Most Audacious Espionage Operation"
Larry Loftis, attorney, author, professor, on "The Princess Spy" on WWII Spy Aline Griffith, Countess of Romanones
Linda Millis, former Senior Intelligence Officer at NSA, CIA, ODNI on "Women in Intelligence"
Vince Houghton PhD, Director, National Cryptologic Museum on "The Nuclear Spies: America's Atomic Intelligence Operation Against Hitler and Stalin"
Joe Augustyn, former CIA Clandestine Services Officer on "CIA's Defector Resettlement Program"
Victor Cha PhD, Former Director for Asian Affairs, NSC on "North and South Koreas – Issues Facing the Incoming Biden Administration" - members-only. Members are also directed to read Dr Cha's Op-Ed "North Korea could become one of Biden's biggest challenges — and not just because of its nukes" in The Washington Post on 15 January 2021 on this topic.
Joseph W. Augustyn, former CIA Clandestine Services Officer on "CIA's Role in the Creation of the Department of Homeland Security"
Seth Jones PhD, Director, Transnational Threats Project, CSIS on "A Covert Action"
David Priess PhD, Author, former Senior CIA Analyst and PDB Briefer on "The President's Book of Secrets"
Everette Jordan, Dep Asst Sec for IC Integration, Office of Intel and Analysis, Treasury on "Enjoying a Rich, Challenging Intelligence Career Spanning Multiple Agencies."
Bruce Riedel, former CIA Senior Analyst, Served on National Security Council during Iraq War on "Early Gulf War Policy Decisions"
Shelby Pierson, Election Threats Executive, Office of the Director of National Intelligence on "Nationwide Election Security"
Bruce Klingner, Former CIA Deputy Division Chief for Korea; Heritage Foundation Fellow on "U.S. Strategy Towards North Korea"
Series Introduction: Stewart Baker, Chairman, and James Hughes, President
Nicholas Dujmović, Professor, Author, former CIA Historian, PDB Editor on "Guidelines and Experiences Teaching Intelligence at the University Level"
David Robarge, CIA Chief Historian, PDB Editor on "The Complexities of Counterintelligence"
Vince Houghton PhD, Director, National Cryptologic Museum on "Nuking the Moon...and Other Intelligence Themes and Military Plots Left on the Drawing Board"
Martin C. Faga, former Director, National Reconnaissance Office on "NRO Support to the Gulf War"

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

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.

NEW — PODCASTS: Our new social media expert has been busy! Are you too busy to sit and watch an entire "AFIO Now" episode above on YouTube? Would you rather listen in your car or while accomplishing other tasks? Now you can quickly download or stream episodes on your favorite podcasting platform. AFIO is now available on 8 podcasting platforms. Search for 'AFIO Podcast' for a selection of the interviews above (public released ones) on Podbean; iTunes; Google; Spotify; Amazon Music; Amazon TuneIn + Alexa; iHeartRadio; and Pandora.

Newly Released, Overlooked, or Forthcoming Books

Red Line: The Unraveling of Syria and America's Race to Destroy the Most Dangerous Arsenal in the World
by Joby Warrick
(Doubleday, Feb 2021)

Warrick provides a character-driven narrative with a cast of heroes and villains, including weapons hunters, politicians, commandos, diplomats, and spies. He traces the decadeslong buildup of the Syrian government's chemical weapons stockpile; its sporadic use against rebels, including a 2013 sarin attack near Damascus that may have killed 1,429 people; the American diplomatic push—after President Obama called chemical attacks a "red line" that Syria's government must not cross—that yielded an agreement to destroy the country's "declared" stockpile; its shipboard destruction in 2014 by a portable hydrolysis device nicknamed the "Margarita Machine" by "a Pentagon wag"; and later chemical weapons programs and chlorine-gas attacks by ISIS militants. Warrick balances harrowing reports of poisoned children dying of paralysis and asphyxiation with character sketches of Syrian spies and medical workers, UN chemical-weapons investigators braving sniper fire, and American engineers facing toxic spills, hostile environmentalist flotillas, and the possible capsizing of their ship. —PW

Book may be ordered here.

Operation Dragon: Inside the Kremlin's Secret War on America
by R. James Woolsey, Ion Mihai Pacepa
(Encounter Books, Feb 2021)

Former CIA Director R. James Woolsey and former Romanian spy chief Ion Mihai Pacepa ( who defected to the US in 1978), describe why Russia remains an extremely dangerous force in the world while putting to rest the question of who killed President Kennedy on November 22,1963. All evidence, they say, points to the fact that the assassination—carried out by Lee Harvey Oswald—was ordered by Khrushchev, acting through what is essentially the Russian leader's personal spy force, the KGB (today's FSB).

Per this review in the New York Post headlined "Lee Harvey Oswald ordered to kill JFK by Soviets, ex-CIA chief claims" by Larry Getlen:

Lee Harvey Oswald was a KGB associate who was personally instructed by Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev to assassinate President Kennedy. Sometime shortly thereafter, the Soviets changed their minds, and Oswald was told to drop the plan. But Oswald, harboring a blinding love for all things USSR, refused.
. . .
The authors claim that all the evidence needed to make their case is contained in the 26-volume Warren Commission Report, but that so much of it is "codified" that no one understood its significance until now.
"Decoded, these pieces of evidence prove that John F. Kennedy's assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, had a clandestine meeting in Mexico City with his Soviet case officer, 'comrade Kostin,' " the authors write, "who … belongs to the KGB's Thirteenth Department for assassinations abroad." [NYPost review continues here...]

Book may be ordered here.

The following articles from the Winter-Spring 2021 edition of Intelligencer are available as PDFs at these links:

Terror in Athens — Remembering CIA Station Chief Dick Welch by Samantha Randazzo Childress and Carol "Rollie" Flynn

When Intelligence Made a Difference - Part V Intro by Peter Oleson
Soviet Deception and the Cuban Missile Crisis by Robert M. Clark
Occasionem Cognosce — Francis Cabot Lowell by Joel Wickwire
The Seizure of Danang City Hall by Jim Schnell PhD
The Breaking of JN-25 and its Impact in the War Against Japan by Peter C. Oleson
Developing a Cooperative Strategy in the El Salvador Civil War by John Fishel

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 Winter-Spring 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.


Top Scientist in Syria Chemical Weapons Program Spied for CIA, Says New Book. The Syrian chemical weapons program's top scientist is alleged to have spied for the United States for years while working to advance the Assad regime's capabilities, according to a new book being published this week.

Red Line: The Unraveling of Syria and America's Race to Destroy the Most Dangerous Arsenal in the World, written by the award-winning American journalist Joby Warrick, reveals the scientist's journey and role in Damascus' chemical weapons program while providing information to the US.

The scientist - whose identity is withheld by the author but is referred to as "Ayman" - returned to Syria after studying in the US during the 1980s on a scholarship. He then became a senior researcher in a secret chemical weapons program named Institute 3000, which was covertly part of Syria's Scientific Studies and Research Centre (SSRC), the institute set up by President Bashar Al-Assad's father Hafez which leads the regime's development of chemical weapons. [Read more: MiddleEastMonitor/22February2021]

Trial of Alleged Egyptian Spy in Merkel's Press Office Starts. The trial of an alleged Egyptian spy who worked for years as a staffer in the German government's press office began in Berlin on Tuesday.

The 66-year-old defendant, identified as Amin K.*, is alleged to have passed information to the Egyptian foreign intelligence service (GIS) between 2010 and 2019.

According to the indictment, Amin K. allegedly monitored media content while working at the federal press office's visitor service, gathered information for Egyptian intelligence officers and tried to recruit another spy. He is also alleged to have passed on the names of five press office colleagues with Syrian roots to the GIS.

In return, prosecutors allege that authorities in Egypt supposedly offered him preferential treatment. [Read more: DW/2February2021]

303rd MI BN Fields Near-Real-Time Intelligence Unit. While units on Fort Hood are brandishing the latest model of weapons, the intelligence community is receiving the latest model of intelligence equipment and software. On January 26, Bravo Company, 303rd Military Intelligence Battalion, 504th Military Intelligence Brigade became the first unit in the Army to field the Tactical Intelligence Ground System (TGS-Lot E). The TGS is a vehicle-mounted system that processes near-real-time intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance information to intelligence analysts and commanders. The TGS extracts information from different intelligence feeds as it occurs on the ground, providing data for quick battlefield decisions.

Staff Sgt. Marquis Fuse, who is the platoon sergeant for the TGS processing, exploitation, and dissemination platoon, and other geospatial analysts have conducted two FORSCOM level assessments of the new system over the past year. He said that the system allows intelligence analysts to weed through intelligence information all at one time instead of going to multiple locations to feed their commanders information for decision making.

"Our unit's feedback was critical to the fielding of the equipment in the Army, the operability of the system, and assisting other units in understanding their need for training." [Read more: Herbert/DVIDS/22February2021]

US Charges North Korean Computer Programmers in Global Hacks. The Justice Department has charged three North Korean computer programmers in a broad range of global hacks, including a destructive attack targeting an American movie studio, and in the attempted theft and extortion of more than $1.3 billion from banks and companies, federal prosecutors said Wednesday.

The newly unsealed indictment builds off an earlier criminal case brought in 2018 and adds two additional North Korean defendants. Prosecutors identified all three as members of a North Korean military intelligence agency, accusing them of carrying out hacks at the behest of the government with a goal of using stolen funds for the benefit of the regime. Alarmingly to U.S. officials, the defendants worked at times from locations in Russia and China.

Law enforcement officials say the prosecution highlights the profit-driven motive behind North Korea's criminal hacking, a contrast from other adversarial nations like Russia, China and Iran who are generally more interested in espionage, intellectual property theft or even disrupting democracy. [Read more: Tucker/AP/17February2021]

Taiwan's New Defense Chief Assumes Post. Former intelligence chief Chiu Kuo-cheng officially became Taiwan's Minister of National Defense on Tuesday in a ceremony held behind closed doors.

Chiu was part of the cabinet reshuffle announced by the Presidential Office on Feb. 19, involving three key security positions.

According to the Military News Agency (MNA), the handover ceremony was presided over by Minister without Portfolio Lo Ping-cheng, who represented Premier Su Tseng-chang. [Read more: CNA/23February2021]


Russian Spy and FBI Traitor Robert Hanssen Arrested 20 Years Ago. On this day in history (February 18), one of the most famous and damaging insiders within the FBI, Robert Philip Hanssen was arrested. He worked as a source for the USSR and subsequently The Russian Federation. Twenty years ago today, Hanssen was arrested on February 18, 2001 when he was servicing a dead drop (covert cache of classified documents) where he was leaving classified documents to be clandestinely picked up by a Russian intelligence officer.

The affidavit in support of the arrest of Hanssen lays out the depth of his subterfuge. On July 6, 2001, Hanssen subsequently pled guilty to 15 charges of espionage and receiving in excess of $1.2 million for his efforts on behalf of Russia.

He is currently serving a life sentence (without possibility of parole) at the United States Penitentiary Administrative Maximum Facility in Florence, Colorado (aka ADX Florence in a 7-by-12 ft cell with four slit windows where he sits for 23 of 24 hours each day. [Read more: Burgess/ClearanceJobs/18February2021]

The Once-Classified Tale of Juanita Moody.
On the morning of Sunday, October 14, 1962, Juanita Moody exited the headquarters of the National Security Agency, at Fort Meade, Maryland, and walked the short distance to her car, parked in one of the front-row spaces reserved for top leadership. The sky was a crystalline blue, "a most beautiful day," she recalled later. Moody had just learned that the U.S. Air Force was sending a U-2 spy plane over Cuba to take high-altitude photographs of military installations across the island. Moody was worried for the pilot - "twice already in the past two years a U-2 spy plane had been shot out of the sky, once over the Soviet Union and once over China. She was also worried for the country. Tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union were worsening by the day. President John F. Kennedy, American military leaders and the intelligence community believed that the Soviet military was up to something in Cuba. Exactly what, no one could say. "I went out and got into my old convertible at the precise moment I had been told this pilot was going to get into his plane," Moody said.

What unfolded over the next two weeks was arguably the most dangerous period in the history of civilization. Close to 60 years later, the Cuban Missile Crisis is still considered a nearly catastrophic failure on the part of America's national security apparatus. How America's top agents, soldiers, diplomats, intelligence analysts and elected officials failed to anticipate and uncover the buildup of a nuclear arsenal on America's doorstep, less than 100 miles off the coast, is still being studied and debated. At best, the story of American intelligence activities before and during the crisis is far from complete. One of the most extraordinary omissions to date is the central role played by Moody, a 38-year-old code-breaking whiz and the head of the NSA's Cuba desk during the perilous fall of 1962. Even today her name is largely unknown outside the agency, and the details of her contributions to the nation's security remain closely guarded. [Read more: SmithsonianMagazine/March2021]

Russian Intel Caught Stealing Sweden's Technology and Defense Secrets. This month, Swedish prosecutors dropped the other shoe upon Swedish citizen, Kristian Dmitrievski, charging him with espionage on behalf of the Russian Federation. Dmitrievski had been arrested by the Swedish Security Service (SÄPO) on the evening of February 26, 2019 while meeting with Russian intelligence officer, Yevgeny Umerenko, an SVR (Russia foreign intelligence) in central Stockholm. Dmitrievski stood accused of passing Swedish industrial secrets to Russia, from at least 2017, and his arrest was characterized at that time by SÄPO spokesperson Gabriel Wernstedt as "the result of a prolonged probe that took a substantial period of time and involved intensive intelligence and investigative work."

Dmitreivski is a 47 year-old, Russian-born, naturalized Swedish citizen worked for Volvo Cars and Scania (a truck manufacturer) - both located in Goteborg. His work provided him unencumbered access to Swedish defense information, analogous to U.S. defense contractors who have access to U.S. national defense information. While he was remanded to custody, in March 2019, he was released pending the filing of charges. Given the long pause, Dmitreivski may have been surprised to find himself facing espionage charges, which carry a maximum of six-years imprisonment in Sweden, almost two years later.

How did it come about? [Read more: Burgess/ClearanceJobs/23February2021]

Kremlin Critic Trailed By FSB Squad Before Alleged Poisoning, Report Says. NPR's Noel King talks to opposition politician Vladimir Kara-Murza about the possible role of the FSB, Russia's intelligence agency, in attacks against opposition activists - including himself. [Read or listen: NPR/18February2021]

Philadelphia Is a Secret Spy Mecca. A little-known secret of Philadelphia is its two centuries at the center of American espionage. A year before the Founding Fathers met in Independence Hall to draft the Declaration of Independence, several signatories -including Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin - created a spy network to counter the overwhelming superiority of the British army in the colonies. The seeds that were planted in Philadelphia during the Revolutionary War grew into tangled roots of intrigue through the course of American history. SPY SITES OF PHILADELPHIA (Georgetown University Press) presents 130 accounts of Philadelphia spy operations and spymasters - here is a small taste. [Read more: Melton&Wallace/DailyBeast/23February2021]


The Intelligence Community and Open-Source Information in the Digital Age. On January 22, 2021, the New York Times reported that the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) was acquiring commercially available databases from vendors containing U.S. person location data generated by smartphone applications, and the DIA was periodically using that data to track U.S. person device locations (specifically, the Times reported, "Defense Intelligence Agency analysts have searched for the movements of Americans within a commercial database in five investigations over the past two and a half years"). The Times article included a link to a DIA memorandum prepared in response to inquiries about the practice received from the office of Senator Ron Wyden. Senator Wyden subsequently raised the issue during the confirmation hearing of Avril Haines for the position of Director of National Intelligence (DNI) asking Haines about "abuses" of commercially available location data. In a statement released by Wyden's legislative office in connection with Haines' confirmation process, he describes the DIA practice discussed in the Times article as "unacceptable" and as an intrusion on constitutional privacy rights, saying, "The Fourth Amendment is not for sale."

Other elements of the Intelligence Community also acquire databases from commercial vendors that contain anonymized mobile location information generated by smartphone applications. [Read more: Croner/FPRI/17February2021]

An Ex-KGB Agent Says Trump Was a Russian Asset Since 1987. Does it Matter? In 2018, I became either famous or notorious - depending on your point of view - for writing a story speculating that Russia had secret leverage over Trump (which turned out to be correct). The story’s most controversial suggestion was that it was plausible, though hardly certain, that Russia’s influence over Trump might even date back as far as 1987.

I conceded it was probably just a coincidence that Trump came back from his trip to Russia and started spouting themes that happened to dovetail closely with Russia’s geopolitical goal of splitting the United States from its allies. But there was a reasonable chance - I loosely pegged it at 10 or 20 percent - that the Soviets had planted some of these thoughts, which he had never expressed before the trip, in his head.

If I had to guess today, I’d put the odds higher, perhaps over 50 percent. [Read more: Chait/NewYorkMagazine/20February2021]

My Tribute to a CIA Legend. "Do good and avoid evil." These were the words that John Stein, who passed away in Rhode Island recently at the age of 88, told his nephew, a newly minted CIA officer, nearly 30 years ago as the nephew set out for foreign lands. These words ring true even today and stand the test of time for every CIA operations officer.

Stein was a legend at CIA, having served as Deputy Director of Operations (the highest-ranking operations official at CIA), the Inspector General, multiple Chief of station tours, and a host of other operational assignments over his storied career. I was fortunate to meet John and his wife Charlie after he retired and I recall the day vividly, wondering how badly I had stumbled in trying to impress one of the heroes of the cold war.

Stein’s career reads out of the traditional CIA of the 1950s. [Read more: Polymeropoulos/TheCipherBrief/18February2021]

Section IV - Research Requests, Jobs, Obituaries

Research Requests

Seeking Spy-Themed Tourism Experts and New Recruits (with IC backgrounds) for Metro D.C. area opportunity

ISO former Intelligence Officers who might be interested in getting involved in spy-themed tourism in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area.
Also interested in speaking with those who may already be involved in the tourism and travel industry elsewhere.
Please contact Rosanna Minchew at or 571-236-9052.

Dept of Labor Researcher Seeks Subject Matter Experts on Apprenticeability of "Cyber All Source Analyst" Jobs

Dear AFIO Members:
One of the responsibilities of the U.S. Department of Labor's, Office of Apprenticeship is to determine if an occupation can be learned through the apprenticeship system of training. Recently, we received an apprenticeability determination request for the occupation of Cyber All Source Analyst. We would very much like to have the benefit of your experience and expertise to assist us in making this determination.
As stated in Title 29 Code of Federal Regulations, part 29.4, Criteria for Apprenticeable Occupations: An apprenticeable occupation is one which is specified by industry and which must:
(a) Involve skills that are customarily learned in a practical way through a structured, systematic program of on-the-job supervised learning;
(b) Be clearly identified and commonly recognized throughout an industry;
(c) Involve the progressive attainment of manual, mechanical or technical skills and knowledge which, in accordance with the industry standard for the occupation, would require the completion of at least 2,000 hours on on-the-job learning to attain; and
(d) Require related instruction to supplement the on-the-job learning
Here is a link to a copy of the Job Description, Work Process Schedule and Related Instruction Outline developed for this occupation. We would appreciate your comments, suggestions and recommendations on the attached Apprenticeability Determination Worksheet. Please return it to us by February 25, 2021.
Please feel free to share the linked documents above in the PDF with as many subject-matter experts as you deem necessary. If you need further information or additional time to prepare a response, please call Dr. Ricky C. Godbolt at (202) 693-3813 or e-mail him at:

Daughter Seeks Info on father, Charles Peter Brooks, from CIC Colleagues Vienna/Salzburg 1948-50; CIA Colleagues 1950-60 Berlin or Elsewhere

My father Charles Peter Brooks, died September 10, 1995 leaving me with too many questions and only a few clues of his real life. After 25 years of research, I have figured out just a few and would appreciate AFIO members help to find former colleagues who might still be around and/or family members of those who might have worked with him. In short, he was born in 1922 in Czechoslovakia, fought WWII in the SNP resisting Nazis in the Tatra mountains, managed to escape, became an economist. In 1948 he was working at the Ministry of Agriculture in Bratislava when he was warned of imminent death and escaped to Austria. In his resistance to communism, he worked with British intelligence as I gathered from some Czech archive records. Helped many Czechs escape but not his former girlfriend who was arrested, in an escape from Brno with a British intelligence supported movement. He then worked with CIC from Vienna and Salzburg during 1948-1950, in collaboration with Imrich Kružliak. At that time he was still Koloman (or Kalman, Kolman). After Austria he was Charlie.
I wonder if there are any CIC colleagues who worked in Austria during those years that could remember him, or any former colleagues family members? I am happy to send photos that I have found to recognize him.
He then worked for CIA, trained in DC around 1950-51, posted in Berlin 1952-1960. Any Berlin colleagues or families posted there? He was apparently married there to a lady called Inge (I do not have a last name) and her mother lived with them, as well as a boxer dog. He was very proud of a Prussian tsar desk in his apartment. Wondering if anyone would know who Inge was, or her last name? I would not know if this was a real marriage or part of his work. He was very undercover, spoke 7 languages, and was sent in missions to Czechoslovakia I believe as well. I believe there was a French bar where they used to drink beers and gather in the evenings. Hoping former Berlin colleagues could remember him, and the nature of his work there?
He was then posted in Buenos Aires, Argentina from around 1960 to 1974, when he was going to Vietnam. (although someone mentioned he was in a private lunch with Kennedy in Berlin, that was off agenda, anyone else here that was in that lunch?). In Buenos Aires, he was apparently a secretary at the US Embassy, but working with local SIDE and police, including apparently other missions in Latin America. If you were in the region during the '60s and the '70s please contact me if you might have crossed paths. A great golf player as well.
Finally, the rest of the '70s and '80s coming and going dividing his time between DC, Miami, Argentina. In Miami he lived in Miami Shores. During the '80s he did polygraph training and testing in Miami, and another CIA colleague was taking the training there with him (if you are here in might remember him?).
Please contact me at Any information or guidance helps me put his life together. Endlessly grateful to all.

Author Seeks Your Assistance Answering a Few Questions Regarding al Qaeda and US Operations

AFIO Colleagues,
I have benefited in the past with AFIO's assistance and need a few additional answers as I write a four-volume history of anti-American terrorism in the US and overseas from the Eisenhower through Trump administrations. Volumes I and II are published and were featured in prior Weekly Notes. I am now working on Volume III which addresses the Clinton and Bush II administrations. This volume has many pages on the evolution of al Qaeda, the 9/11 attacks and subsequent investigations, and the responses by both administrations to the prevailing threat. First, much of the relevant material has not been declassified. In addition, the memoirs by relevant actors are written from the perspective of highlighting the successes and minimizing or ignoring the failures. Given the developments that took place during these two administrations, many of the key actors have not written their memoirs. There have been many books written on al Qaeda, the 9/11 attacks, and the intelligence "malfunction" which contain many examples of "dueling facts" on events and developments. I am seeking to present the facts in my study, but when I cannot determine a "fact," what can I do? I can present both presentations of the fact, which will take up a lot of space in the volume, or simply pick the fact presentation that I think makes most sense. In that case, it is not a fact but an interpretation. I want facts.
Towards that goal, I ask of you AFIO members and colleagues, to help me with a few of these facts. Below is a brief list of questions. If you can answer any of them, please email me at These questions deal with the 1990s, the pre-9/11 decade...developments over two decades ago.
1. In what year did the NSA or CIA detect bin Laden's first satellite phone? I do not want sources and methods, just the year.
2. In what year did the NSA or CIA first detect al Qaeda's London communication hub at which Khaled al Fawwaz acted as the caretaker?
3. In mid-1996, bin Laden asked for an updated Inmarsat Compact M satellite phone. This was tasked to Dr. Saad al Fagih, who tasked it to Ziyad Khaleel, a student in Virginia. He reportedly bought the phone from a store in Dix Hills, Long Island in November 1996. This would mean that the FBI was involved in monitoring this purchase. This would also mean that the FBI might have known that the NSA and or CIA were monitoring bin Laden's cell phone. Is it true that the FBI knew about bin Laden's cell phone in 1996?
4. In what year did the NSA and CIA first detect al Qaeda's communications hub in Sana'a, Yemen – BEFORE the August 1998 attacks on the U.S. Embassies or AFTER, when the FBI obtained the phone number from of the Embassy bombers – Mohamed Rashed Daoud al-'Owhali?
5. In what year did the CIA establish its ground based dish to intercept one side of the calls coming into the Sana's hub?
6. If the NSA knew that some phone calls from the U.S. were coming into the Sana'a hub in 2000 / 2001, why were they not able to determine locations in the U.S.? The prevailing open source explanation is that it did not have the technological capability.
7. Lastly, could someone explain to me in layman's terms how the USG would have intercepted in the 1990s a phone call from a landline and a satellite phone?
These questions are historical. It is unlikely sources and methods used in some of these events are still active. I have read James Bamford and Matthew Aid's books on NSA. While the CIA and DOJ declassified their Inspector General reports on pre-9/11 activities of the CIA and FBI, the NSA has not.
Whatever help you can provide me would be greatly appreciated. I do not have to source you. If you wish, I can camo source you – "A former U.S. government employee who wishes to remain anonymous."
I leave you with a thought you should ponder – the sharpest and largest thorn in history is silence.
Thank you. REPLIES TO: Author/Research Dennis Pluchinsky at


THREE Faculty Openings for 2021 at Hilbert College, Hamburg, NY

Assistant Professor, Criminal Justice; Assistant Professor, Forensic Science/Crime Scene Investigation; and Assistant Professor, Intelligence & Data Analysis.

Interested candidates can view our job postings here.


Joel Cherry, CIA Officer

Joel Payne Cherry, 80, a career CIA Officer, died 10 February 2021 in Falls Church, VA of cancer.
Joel graduated with a Master's in social science from the University of Toledo. He worked for the CIA for over 25 years living in many countries including Cyprus where he met and married Yilper Cemal in 1968.
The family lived abroad in Okinawa, Japan; Ft. Clayton, Panama; Manama, Bahrain and Amman, Jordan.
Post retirement he ran a coin collecting business, Mercury Numismatics, the culmination of a boyhood hobby started at the age of 7. He also enjoyed spending time with family, reading, doing crossword puzzles, and -- of course -- was an enthusiastic world traveler.
He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Yilper; a son, a daughter, and other family. To share condolences with the family, please visit

Ken Pyne, Linguist, Executive Manager at NSA; Professor

Kenneth Lauren Pyne, 86, Linguist, Executive Manager at NSA, Professor, died 10 February 2021 in Macungie, PA of complications of Parkinson's disease. He formerly lived in Lancaster, PA.
Born in Everett, MA, he was a graduate of Moravian College, earned his Masters from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Doctorate from the London Institute of Applied Research. He was also a graduate of the Armed Forces Staff College and the National Defense University.
He was a U.S. Army veteran, serving as an SP4 as a Russian Linguist. He then served in the U.S. Army Reserves in Military Intelligence, attaining the rank of Lt. Colonel.
Ken worked as an executive manager with the National Security Agency (NSA) over 24 years of service. He entered as a Russian linguist and rose to senior manager, while serving two tours overseas in the UK. He retired as a Director for Change Management at the UK Field Station. Ken also served for 20 years as an instructor in Russian, English and Social Studies at Moravian College, where he was also the chairman of the Foreign Language Dept., and was the Asst. Professor of Russian and Director of Special Sessions.
He loved to travel with his wife Jean, enjoyed golf and tennis, and spending time with family. He had a passion for history and sharing it with others. And a great love for his country.
He is survived by five children: two sons and three daughters, and other family.
Friends will be received by Ken's family on Friday, 26 February 2021 from 10:30-11AM at the Charles F. Snyder, Jr. Funeral Home & Crematory, 3110 Lititz Pike, Lititz, PA, with the Memorial Service to follow at 11AM. Interment with Military Honors will follow at 1:30PM at Indiantown Gap National Cemetery. To send a condolence, please visit

Section V - Events


4 March 2021 - Virtual - San Antonio AFIO will discuss "CIA's Defector Resettlement Program" based on CIA Officer Joe Augustyn's AFIO Now Interview

The next San Antonio AFIO Chapter Meeting will include discussion of CIA's Defector Resettlement Program. The topic is part of the National AFIO programing that was recently recorded interview with CIA Operations Officer Joe Augustyn, who managed the defector resettlement program.
A message with the link to the meeting will be sent prior to the meetings.
For more detail, contact John Franklin, President, AFIO San Antonio at or 210-863-0430

Wednesday, 17 March 2021 - Virtual on Zoom - AFIO Atlanta presents its St. Patrick's Day Event featuring Ruth Dudley Edwards on "How the Appeasement of Terrorism in Northern Ireland by Western Liberalism has led to the Spectre of a Fascist Takeover."

The AFIO Atlanta Chapter hosts Ruth Dudley Edwards, an Irish historian, political commentator, and crime writer who has written extensively on the Troubles. Her most recent book is The Seven: The Lives and Legacies of the Founding Fathers of the Irish Republic (2016), and some of her other works include Aftermath: The Omagh Bombings and the Families' Pursuit of Justice and The Faithful Tribe: An Intimate Portrait of the Loyal Institutions (shortlisted for Channel 4/The House Politico's Book of the Year).
Her bio can be found here.
RSVP or questions to or 404.403.8004, Brian Hooper, President, AFIO Atlanta, 1266 West Paces Ferry Road NW, Atlanta, Georgia, 30327.
All AFIO members and friends are invited!

Wednesday, 17 March 2021, noon PST - Virtual Zoom Event - The "Andre Le Gallo" San Francisco Chapter hosts Phil Gioia on "The History of the OSS."

The AFIO San Francisco Chapter hosts Phil Gioia on "The History of the OSS."
Phil Gioia grew up as an Army Brat on US Army posts in the United States, Japan, and Italy. After graduating from Virginia Military Institute, he was commissioned as a Regular Officer in the US Army. Twice wounded in action in Vietnam, he served as an Infantry platoon leader in the 82nd Airborne Division during the 1968 TET Offensive, and as an Infantry company commander in the First Air Cavalry Division (Airmobile) in 1969-70.
Following his military service, Phil received an MBA from Stanford University. He also holds a Master of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University.
Phil has thirty years of experience in business management, has served as investor, CEO or board member of emerging-growth corporations in the technology sector, and is a co-founder of Pathfinder Partners LLC, providing services to the US defense and national security communities.
Registration is required to receive the zoom link. Register here.
Questions to Mariko Kawaguchi, Board Secretary, AFIO San Francisco Chapter at

Thursday, 18 March 2021, 12:30-1:30 pm PST - Virtual Go-to-Meeting Platform - the Los Angeles AFIO Chapter hosts Mark Gorwitz on Iran's Nuclear Activities

This LA Chapter virtual event features guest speaker Mark Gorwitz speaking on open source research of Iran's lithium-6 and tritium activities uncovered last year. Details will be presented on Iranian research going back to the early 1980s and continuing to the present day. Both English and Farsi language thesis, journal articles, conference presentations and documents will be covered.
Mark Gorwitz has over thirty years of experience working in the field of the scientific aspects of dual-use nuclear and missile proliferation. He has written numerous articles during this time mainly focusing on Iran and North Korea. His research activities were profiled in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists and he has also been interviewed by major news organizations for many important proliferation sensitive events such as South Korea's past research in the area of uranium laser isotope separation (AVLIS). He spent ten years working for the DOD and served as a consultant to various U.S. government agencies and contractors in the WMD field. He is currently writing a detailed report on Iran's research activities in the lithium-6 and tritium areas.
Meeting Information: Virtual using the Go-To-Meeting Platform.
TO ATTEND: RSVP via email to
Questions? contact Vincent Autiero, President, AFIO-Los Angeles Chapter at

Thursday, 25 March 2021, noon - Tampa, FL - The Florida Suncoast AFIO Chapter hears FBI Cyber Agent discuss Cybercrime

The Florida Suncoast AFIO Chapter is holding its first post-pandemic inperson gathering featuring John Cauthen, a cybercrime investigator and retired FBI Cyber Agent who worked on many infamous cases during his FBI career. He will share some stories from his tenure and speak to the critical elements of cybercrime.
Event location: the offices of Bleakley, Bavol, Denman & Grace, 15316 N Florida Avenue, Tampa, FL 33613. The offices are off I-275 just north of the Bearss Avenue exit. The program is scheduled to start at noon.

SAFETY: After careful evaluation of the current situation, we concluded it is reasonable to hold an inperson Chapter meeting employing suitable safeguards such as social distancing, mask use, and hand sanitizer.
We have striven to make our meetings informative but also provide the opportunity to meet with colleagues and maintain the ties that are a foundation of involvement in the intelligence community. Almost certainly, we have all experienced Zoom overload, so this is a great chance to gather in person following all COVID-19 guidelines. We thank our member Brian Battaglia for allowing us to utilize space at his office that will satisfy these safety requirements and allow us to meet again.
REGISTRATION GUIDELINES: The chapter will provide box lunches and adhere to CDC guidelines for social distancing, mask use, temperature checks and availability of hand sanitizer. Obtain details from the Chapter secretary at
Registrants/Attendees will be required to complete a COVID-19 Health Acknowledgements and Food Order form which must be returned with reservations no later than noon on Wednesday, 17 March. Complete, scan, and return forms with your email RSVP or fax them to (813) 832-1154.
The cost is $10, cash or check made out to "Suncoast Chapter, AFIO."
TO ATTEND: If you will be attending, please send an email to Michael Shapiro at, no later than noon on Wednesday, 17 March, with your name and the names of any guests. Each guest must also complete a box lunch and health acknowledgement form (Michael will send you those forms if you lack them). The logistics of this meeting require us to enforce a strict reply deadline, so please do not respond late nor forget to include your box lunch order form(s) and your health acknowledgement form(s) since we will be unable to accept late or incomplete RSVPs.
If you make a reservation, find that you cannot attend, but do not formally cancel and receive a cancellation confirmation by 17 March, and then fail to show up, you will be responsible for the cost of your registration because the chapter will have to pay for your scheduled, uneaten meal.

1 April 2021 - Virtual - San Antonio AFIO hosts Martin Gurri on "The Revolt of the Public and the Crisis of Authority in the New Millennium."

On 1 April the San Antonio Chapter meeting will feature a live presentation by Martin Gurri a geopolitical analyst and expert in new media and information effects. He served the DNI Open Source Center in various senior positions, including Director of Research and chief of a Latin American bureau. Wikipedia. He will be talking about topics related to his book: The Revolt of the Public and the Crisis of Authority in the New Millennium.
A message with the link to the meeting will be sent prior to the meetings.
For more detail, contact John Franklin, President, AFIO San Antonio at or 210-863-0430

Other Upcoming Events from Advertisers, Corporate Sponsors, and Others

Thursday, 25 Feb 2021, 1800/6pm EST; 1500/3pm PST; 1300/1pm HST - Virtual GoToMeeting - NIP Speaker Series Features RDML Michael Vernazza

The Naval Intelligence Professionals Virtual Speaker Series this month features RDML Michael Vernazza – Commander, Naval Information Warfighting Development Center, on "Mission, Role, and Status of the Naval Information Warfighting Development Center."
Biography: RDML Vernazza bio available here.
FORMAT: Video Conference – GoToMeeting. Please join the meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone, beginning at 1750/5:50 EDT at this link:
You can also dial in using your phone. US: +1 (571) 317-3122 Access Code: 153-406-485.
New to GoToMeeting? Get the app now at and be ready when your first meeting starts.
As always, please mute your device/phone. Thanks.
AGENDA: (3 min) RDML (Ret.) Cothron, NIP Chairman, welcoming remarks; (~30 min) RDML Vernazza remarks; Q & A moderated by CAPT (Ret.) Bob Allen.
Please ask your questions in the GoToMeeting chat window or email your questions in advance/during the video conference to:

Thursday, 25 February 2021, noon EST - Virtual - Virtual Spy Chat with Chris Costa and Special Guest Thomas P. Bossert - Virtual International Spy Museum Program

Join these experts for an online discussion of the latest intelligence, national security, and terrorism issues in the news. Spy Museum Executive Director Chris Costa, a former intelligence officer of 34 years, will lead the briefing. He will be joined by Thomas P. Bossert, who served as Homeland Security Advisor to two US presidents. Following their discussion of key issues, you'll be able to ask questions via our online platform. Sponsored by Accenture. Event is free but registration required. Visit

Sunday, 28 February 2021, 2-3:30pm EST - Virtual - The Cold War Museum hosts MG Robert Parker (USAF, ret.) on "Protection and Inspection: US Missile Forces & Site Inspections in the USSR"

The Soviets Signed a Lot of Arm Control Treaties with Us. Then Came the Hard Part: Making Sure They Were Complying. What Did That Look Like on the Ground? How Did We Know They Weren't Spoofing Us? How Did Those Site Inspections Work? Ask the Former Missileer AF General Who Was Director of the On-Site Inspection Agency—and Commanded Our ICBM Missile Forces. Major General Robert Parker (USAF, ret.) will discuss "Protection and Inspection: US Missile Forces & Site Inspections in the USSR."
This presentation provides a window into what it took to be a Cold War Missileer at all levels and in many capacities, from Second Lt. Parker reporting for duty at Ellsworth AFB to his rise to commanding the deployment of 1,000 missiles at six bases. But the second phase of his career, as Director the On-Site Inspection Agency, while depending heavily on his experience as a missile commander, called for additional skills: as a diplomat and as an expert evaluator of technological situations with very important strategic consequences.
General Parker will take us through the highlights both of his leadership of the forces controlling some of our most devastating strategic weapons and what it looks and feels like to be part of an on-site missile inspection team where the stakes were very high, and error was not an option.
This is the 41st in a series of presentations sponsored by the Museum featuring eyewitnesses to, and other experts on, significant Cold War events and activities.
Cost: $20, 100% of which is a contribution to the Cold War Museum.
ONLINE ONLY. Eventbrite ticket buyers will receive a link to the virtual room on the Zoom platform where this event will take place. Event, including the Q&A, will be recorded and for those unable to virtually attend when event is taking place, you will still have access to the video after the event. The video will also be placed in the Cold War Museum's archives.
To access the event video after the live event, contact CWM Executive Director Jason Hall at
To register now for this virtual event, use this Eventbrite link.

Sunday, 28 February 2012, 3pm EST - Virtual - The Magic of Spying with Peter Wood: Live Virtual Family Performance and Workshop - Virtual International Spy Museum Program

You may have seen him on Penn & Teller: Fool Us, now join professional magician Peter Wood as he performs the art of misdirection, sleight of hand, and other illusions used by skilled spies. In the real-life world of espionage, spies often call upon the art of magic and illusion to distract the enemy, make evidence disappear, and escape unnoticed. Event is $10/household. Visit

Wednesday, 3 March 2021, noon EST - Virtual - Secret History of History: Three Ordinary Girls - Virtual International Spy Museum Program

Truus Oversteegen, her younger sister Freddie, and their friend Hannie Schaft, came of age during a tumultuous moment in 1930s Europe. In their medieval home city of Haarlem, there were mass protests, communist party meetings, and whispers that the Queen's son-in-law had secret ties to the Nazi party. When the commander of The Dutch Royal Army surrendered to the Nazis in May 1940, the girls felt compelled to resist. Join us for a talk with award-winning author Tim Brady, about his new book Three Ordinary Girls which explores how these young women cleverly wielded the only weapons at their disposal – wits, bravery, audacity, intelligence, and youth – to repeatedly undermine the Nazis and their Dutch collaborators. These Dutch girls started with simple acts of covert illegality: lifting German ID cards to counterfeit them, distributing fliers announcing strikes, and passing out anti-Nazi literature. They then progressed to bigger, deadlier jobs: ferrying Jewish children to safeguard locations, stockpiling weapons, detonating bombs, gathering intel, and ultimately murder. All in support of the Dutch Resistance.
Event is free - registration required. Visit

Saturday, 6 March 2021, 11am-2pm EST - Virtual - Sisterhood of Spies: A Virtual Girl Scout Event - Virtual International Spy Museum Program

Calling all Girl Scouts! Celebrate Women's History Month with the International Spy Museum and learn about the Sisterhood of Spies. Girl Scouts will test their spy skills and learn tricks of the trade. They will meet Sonia Purnell, author of A Woman of No Importance: The Untold Story of the American Spy Who Helped Win World War II to learn about Virginia Hall; former Chief of Disguise of the CIA Jonna Mendez for a gadget workshop; Liza Mundy, author of Code Girls: The True Story of the American Women Who Secretly Broke Codes in World War II to discuss female code breakers; and Tracy Walder, former CIA and FBI and author of The Unexpected Spy. The speakers will share their knowledge about the shadow world of spying and participants will have the opportunity to ask questions. Designed for Brownies through Senior Girl Scouts.
Event is $12/household. Visit

Thursday, 11 March 2021, noon EST - Virtual - Secret History of History: Color Wars Part II - Virtual International Spy Museum Program

Some of us have the blues these days we'd like to shake, but some blues are the subject of desire, intrigue, and passion. This is the story of indigo. Every year Pantone picks a "Color of the Year"—2021 is a departure—two colors: Ultimate Gray and Illuminating Yellow. But these can't hold a candle to a color that's been desired for centuries — indigo. In October we explored how cochineal red became coveted and was the subject of economic intelligence campaigns. Today, we will submerge ourselves in the elemental and timelessness of indigo blue—its history, cultural role, and the efforts made to steal and recreate it far from the land where it emerged. Catherine E. McKinley, author of Indigo: In Search of the Color that Seduced the World and just published The African Lookbook, will explore her personal search for indigo and the incredible role it has played globally for centuries. Please join this colorful conversation, and then you'll be able to ask questions via the online platform.
Event is free – registration required. Visit

Wednesday, 17 March 2021, noon EST - Virtual - Curator's Corner: CROSSFIRE HURRICANE with Josh Campbell - Virtual International Spy Museum Program

CROSSFIRE HURRICANE was the codename the FBI gave the investigation into the Trump campaign's possible ties to Russia. And like any hurricane disaster surrounded it. Join Spy Museum's Historian and Curator Andrew Hammond in conversation with Josh Campbell, former Special Assistant to FBI Director James Comey. In that position, Campbell had a front row seat to the FBI's investigation and experienced the growing alarm inside the Bureau about the sustained assault on the FBI and its independence. The former special agent has written CROSSFIRE HURRICANE: Inside Donald Trump's War on the FBI, an illuminating fly-on-the-wall account from the earliest days of the Russia investigation. Campbell—now a CNN analyst on crime, justice, and national security issues—will also discuss the investigation into the question of Hillary Clinton's private emails and his insights into Trump's war on justice from his perspective inside the FBI. Following their discussion, you'll be able to ask questions via the online platform.
Event is free – registration required. Visit

Thursday, 25 March 2021, noon EST - Virtual - Virtual Spy Chat with Chris Costa and Special Guest Lieutenant General Robert P. Ashley, Jr. - Virtual International Spy Museum Program

Join us for an online discussion of the latest intelligence, national security, and terrorism issues in the news. Spy Museum Executive Director Chris Costa, a former intelligence officer of 34 years, will lead the briefing. He will be joined by Lieutenant General Robert Ashley, Jr., who retired as Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency in October of 2020. Following their discussion of key issues, you'll be able to ask questions via our online platform. Sponsored by Accenture.
Event is free – registration required. Visit

25 March 2021 - Virtual - The next OSS "Oh So Social" Conversation features former Asst Sec of State for INR Ellen McCarthy

The next "Oh So Social" conversation by The OSS Society will feature the Honorable Ellen McCarthy, former Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Intelligence and Research - the successor to the OSS' Research and Analysis Branch - will interview best-selling author Erika Robuck about her new book "The Invisible Woman" - the OSS' Virginia Hall, the only civilian woman to receive the Distinguished Service Cross in World War II. To register for this virtual event, do so here

Store Items:

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.

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