Association of Former Intelligence Officers

Weekly Intelligence Notes

06 - 12 December 2023
(Issue 46)

Sponsored by:

Readers who encounter problems with the email version of the WIN can
view the latest web edition here



A Gift for that Special Former Intelligence Officer?

(Graphic of parody product created by, and courtesy of, Clearance Jobs)

(Legacy Intel Practitioners' Informed Perspectives)


  • Article: Spain expels two US spies for infiltrating secret service - El Pais, 08 Dec 23
  • Article: Former MI6 chief hacked by Russian security services - Daily Telegraph, 07 Dec 23
  • Article: Maverick Scientist: The Briefcase of a Laser Spy - Makezine, 21 Nov 23
  • Documentary: The Discord Leaks - PBS Frontline, 12 Dec 23
  • Article: Governments spying on Apple, Google users through push notifications - US senator - Reuters, 06 Dec 23
  • Article: Senior CIA official posted pro-Palestine image on her Facebook page - Financial Times, 28 Nov 23
  • Article: House showdown expected between rival bills to overhaul U.S. spy powers - Washington Times, 11 Dec 23
  • Article: Covert Indian operation seeks to discredit Modi’s critics in the U.S. - Washington Post, 10 Dec 23
  • Article: X-37B Spacecraft, owned by the Pentagon, is shrouded in mystery and whispers - MSN, 11 Dec 23


Section V - Books, Research Requests, Academic Opportunities, Employment, Obituaries

Books — Forthcoming, New Releases, Overlooked

Research Requests and Academic Opportunities



Section VI - Events

Upcoming AFIO Events

  • Tuesday, 30 January 2024, 7 p.m. - In-Person, Yorba Linda, CA - AFIO Los Angeles Chapter Presentation and Dinner features General David Petraeus former Director of the CIA

Events from Advertisers, Corporate Sponsors, Others

See the AFIO Calendar of Events for scheduling further in the future.

Christmas Gift for Young Readers

The Vienna Trilogy by Tom Gilligan (2023)

In the summer of 1947, Europe was in turmoil. Displaced persons were everywhere. The Red Army occupied Poland, Czechoslovakia, parts of German, and other countries. Austria was divided into zones – Russian, American, British, and French. The NKVD secret police followed on the heels of the Red Army, arresting, kidnapping, even killing those who opposed the communists. This is the setting for Tom Gilligan’s trilogy focused on 11-year old David Hale, whose father, a doctor, was deeply involved with medical treatment for refugees, and also was a former intelligence officer during World War II and continued to support American intelligence in post-war Austria. With his mother and sister on vacation in the US that summer, young David became involved in several intelligence support operations. The trilogy – Escape to the West, Nazi’s on the Run, and Stopping the Russian Bear – recount in fascinating detail how David assisted his father, and an American Intelligence agent, in three gripping adventures. Gilligan, a former CIA DO officer, has written a book appropriate for young readers. The characters are well drawn. The stories are well constructed and gripping. Each of the trilogies is a little more than 100 pages. The author explains the sophisticated words used and espionage terminology and concepts in footnotes, which is a clever tool for young readers to learn vocabulary and understand how HUMINT works. Gilligan also clearly explains the geo-political situation of 1947 in Europe via conversations between David and his father.

The Vienna Trilogy would make an excellent holiday present for young readers ages 10 to 14. On Amazon, $26.99 for all three books in one volume. Each of the books are also available separately.

Reviewed by Peter C. Oleson, Senior Editor, The Intelligencer.


The WIN editors thank the following contributors of content for this issue:


Readers are encouraged to suggest material for any section of the WIN to:


The Weekly Intelligence Notes include a wide range of articles and commentary to inform our readers. Views expressed in articles are those of the authors; they do not reflect AFIO's support or endorsement. Notices about non-AFIO events do not reflect AFIO endorsement or recommendation.
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 readers, who should exercise caution and good judgment when responding and independently verify the source before supplying resumes, career data, or personal information.


Readers who encounter problems with links or viewing the WIN as an email can access
the latest web edition here.



During this season, we all receive many fundraising emails and letters. AFIO rarely asks members for contributions to limit the annoyance factor. As the year's end approaches, permit us this exception to ask you to consider making a U.S. tax-deductible contribution to help us continue our important outreach and educational missions in 2024.

AFIO provides members with access to special events, meeting opportunities, one-on-one career guidance, unique printed and emailed publications, and notices that are not found elsewhere — benefits with costs that far exceed our income from dues. In support of these perks, we invite you to show your generosity and kindness by supporting our nonprofit mission.

You make the real difference! Your support makes our work possible. Click on the donate or help images above to show your support. AFIO values your interest in our products, services, and events and warmly appreicates any level of financial support you are able to provide!

Newest Release

Released exclusively to members 5 December 2023...

Life and Times of an MI6 and MI5 Officer

Recorded 14 November 2023

Jimmy Burns, author of
A Faithful Spy: The Life and Times of an MI6 and MI5 Officer.
Biography of Walter Bell

Interview of Tuesday, 14 November 2023. Jimmy Burns, Prize-Winning Author and Journalist, and AFIO President James Hughes, a former senior CIA Operations Officer and Former NSA Associate Deputy Director of Operations, discuss Jimmy Burns's latest book "A Faithful Spy: The Life and Times of an MI6 and MI5 Officer" on the exceptional intelligence career of Walter Bell.
The interview runs 45 minutes and includes several Q&As.
A Faithful Spy: The Life and Times of an MI6 and MI5 Officer is available here.
More about Jimmy Burns here.

Access the Jimmy Burns interview here or click above image.

This, and upcoming AFIO Now videos in 2023, are sponsored by Northwest Financial Advisors.

The Archive

"AFIO Now" Video Interviews and Podcasts in 2023 are sponsored by
Northwest Financial Advisors

Click here to watch interviews in the AFIO Now series released in 2023.
View interviews from 2020 to 2022 here.
Watch public-release interviews on our YouTube channel or listen to them in podcast form at the links below.

Log into the member-only area for member-only features.

"AFIO Now" Podcast

LATEST PODCAST: In this episode, David Bickford - former UK Under Secretary of State and MI5 & MI6 Legal Director - discusses his spy thriller "Katya," which takes inspiration from his career in Britain's premier intelligence agencies. Bickford also provides advice to those considering a career in the intelligence services. Recorded 20 July 2023. Interviewer: Jim Hughes, AFIO President and former CIA Operations Officer.

Podcast here.

Are you too busy to watch an entire AFIO Now episode on YouTube? Would you rather listen in your car or while accomplishing other tasks? You can download or stream episodes on any of the 8 podcasting platforms that host AFIO Now. 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; Pandora

Special Walking Tours Announcements
from SpyGuide Tours Inc.

Weekend Tours in Washington DC
Georgetown Spy Tour
Embassy Row Spy Tour Daily Tours in New York City
The Spies of Wall Street

New 2024 Dates
18 January 2024: Vintage Espionage, a wine tasting event with an espionage twist at neighborhood favorite, The Italian Oven in McLean, VA

2 March 2024: The January 6th Experience.  See and hear what people saw on January 6th on this one-of-a-kind contemporary history tour

Visit Spyher
Book | Buy | Contact us to schedule a private event | Subscribe and “Get the Intel” for not-yet-public information on upcoming events

Vintage Espionage travels throughout the U.S. 
Visit to learn more and book all tours.

Brochure here.


Special Gifts for Colleagues, Self, or Others

NEW Gray long-sleeved polo shirts with embroidered AFIO logo. Men's sizes only.
Show your support for AFIO with our new Gray Long-sleeve Polo Shirts. Shirts are shrink and wrinkle resistant of fine cotton with a soft, "well-worn, comfy" 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 $60 each including shipping.
Sizes for men, only: Small, Medium, Large, XL, XXL, and XXXL.  $60 per shirt. Order this and other store items online here.

 NEW 20 oz ceramic Mug with color glazed logo. Made in America. Check out our new tapered, sleek AFIO coffee mug!! This handsome 20 oz. ceramic mug is made in the USA, has a white matte exterior, sports a beautiful navy-blue interior, and is dishwasher safe.  Order yours today! $35 per mug includes shipping to a CONUS address. [includes shipping to U.S. based address, only. For foreign shipments, we will contact you with a quote.] SHIPPING: For shipment to a U.S.-based CONUS address, shipping is included in price. For purchases going to AK, HI, other US territories, Canada, or other foreign countries the shipping fees need to be calculated, so please call our office M-F 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. ET at 703-790-0320 or email providing following information: 1) your name, 2) mailing address (or addresses where each gift item will be shipped), 3) name of the AFIO store items you wish to purchase, 4) quantity of each, 5) your credit card number and expiration date, 6) amount (except for additional of shipping fees) authorized to charge, and 7) your phone number and email should we have questions. Foreign shipments fees will be calculated and estimates emailed to you, awaiting your approval.  Order this and other store items online here.

Roy Berkeley's "A Spy's London" - Original U.S. Edition - A Few Unsold Copies Available

In 'this remarkable book' (as intelligence historian and AFIO member Nigel West describes in his Foreword), the reader will be struck by the vibrancy of history made real. Author/AFIO member Roy Berkeley goes behind the facades of ordinary buildings, in the city that West calls 'the espionage capital of the World,' to remind us that the history of intelligence has often been made in such mundane places. With his evocative photographs and compelling observations, The 136 sites are organized into 21 manageable walks. But also a joy to armchair travelers. Among the sites: the modest hotel suite where an eager Red Army colonel poured out his secrets to a team of British and American intelligence officers; the royal residence where one of the most slippery Soviet moles was at home for years; the London home where an MP plotting to appease Hitler was arrested on his front steps in 1940. A few copies are available at only $20 a copy (postage to a U.S.-based address included). Telephone the office at 703-790-0320 or email to obtain one of these last copies.

Access CIA's In-house Gift Shop

One special benefit of AFIO membership is access to CIA's EAA Store.

After completing the required, quick pre-approval process for all AFIO members described here, you can purchase directly from the EAA online store their unusual logo'd gift items for self or colleagues. EAA on 20 October 2023 released the photo above, which features some of their newest CIA items and other gift suggestions.


US air force removes commander of Pentagon leak suspect’s unit - The Guardian, 11 Dec 23

The US air force has removed the commander of the unit where a low-ranking national guard member accused of leaking highly classified military documents worked. Col Sean Riley’s removal as commander of the 102nd Intelligence Wing at Otis air national guard base in Massachusetts was announced along with a report containing the results of an internal investigation into the classified materials leak which led to federal charges against 21-year-old Jack Teixeira. Jack Teixeira appears in court in Boston, Massachusetts, as seen in a courtroom sketch. The investigation found officials in Teixeira’s unit failed to properly take action after they became aware that he was seeking intelligence outside the scope of his duties as a member of the air national guard. Investigators have concluded that Teixeira was acting alone. “Every [military member] is entrusted with the solemn duty to safeguard our nation’s classified defense information,” the secretary of the air force, Frank Kendall, said in a press release announcing the investigation’s results. “When there is a breach of that sacred trust, for any reason, we will act in accordance with our laws and policies to hold responsible individuals accountable. (Full article here.)

Jeffrey Kruse confirmed to lead DIA - Intelligence Community News, 07 Dec 23

On December 6, Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines issued the following statement: “Congratulations to Lieutenant General Jeffrey Kruse, United States Air Force, on his confirmation as the 23rd Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA)! Backed by extensive experience and an extraordinary commitment to ethics in defense of country, the Intelligence Community is very fortunate to have him lead our Defense Intelligence enterprise amidst the increasingly complex threat environment we face today. Though I will sorely miss Jeff’s sage advice as my Advisor for Military Affairs, it will be wonderful to work with him in his new role, as he leads the truly exceptional DIA workforce. (Full article here.)

GCHQ shrinks amid recruitment and retention challenges - The Record, 06 Dec 23

Recruitment and retention challenges at Britain’s GCHQ have seen the intelligence agency’s total headcount shrink to the lowest level in three years, according to data published Tuesday by a British parliamentary committee. As previously reported by Recorded Future News, bringing in new staff and convincing existing personnel to stay at the agency have proven a significant challenge in recent years. The lengthy hiring process and the distance between public and private sector salaries for cyber specialists are contributing factors, as was the COVID-19 pandemic. According to an annex of the Intelligence and Security Committee’s (ISC) annual report, the total number of full-time equivalent staff employed by GCHQ in the year ending March 2022 — a year when inflation peaked at 11% in the United Kingdom — dropped to 7,082. (Full article here.)

NSA woos talent with flexibility in workday, careers, director says - Defense One, 05 Dec 23

New hiring practices and workday flexibility are helping the National Security Agency compete with industry for talented employees, the agency’s director said. The spy agency is trying to hire 2,500 workers this year, which is among the biggest hiring sprees in the agency’s history, according to agency officials. “We have to change,” said Gen. Paul Nakasone, the U.S. Army general who runs NSA and leads U.S. Cyber Command. “We have to do and account for what our workforce really wants and needs in a type of an environment to work at.” The recruiting and retention efforts put in place over the past year are working, Nakasone said during an interview at the Reagan National Defense Forum. “We always think about, ‘Hey, come here for three decades,’” he said. “Now we think about our employee coming here, working, maybe leaving, and then coming back, that's different. And that's really a culture change that we have looked at.” Many private-sector workers have become accustomed to more flexible work environments, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. But that hasn’t always been the case in government, particularly for employees who handle classified information, who may need to work inside secure facilities. (Full article here.)

Licence to break the law: More Canadian spies get permission to commit crimes, memo shows - Canadian Broadcast Corporation, 06 Dec 23

The number of Canadian spies with permission to break the law is rising, according to an internal memorandum. The memo, marked secret, provides a glimpse into a murky world of how operatives can ignore normal rules with prior approval. Under current legislation, people working with the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) who are "acting in good faith" can obtain "limited justification" to "commit acts or omissions that would otherwise constitute offences," said a memorandum to Canada's public safety minister. That limited justification can be granted to agents, contractors or intelligence assets, legal analysts said. These otherwise-illegal activities "may be committed, or directed to be committed, as part of the Service's information and intelligence collection duties and functions," said the November 2022 memo obtained under access to information legislation. The memo was requesting sign-off for a new crop of spies. Though data on the number of agents allowed to commit crimes was redacted from these records, the memo said the number of people with this special clearance is rising. The reason for the increase was redacted. (Full article here.)

House Intel introduces warrantless surveillance reform plan amid battle to reform Section 702 - The Hill, 07 Dec 23

The House Intelligence Committee unveiled its package to reform and reauthorize the nation’s warrantless surveillance powers, the final expected bill as Congress tangles with which legislation to back. Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) — and with it, the government’s ability to spy on foreigners located outside the U.S. — is set to expire at the end of the year. But backing for what the intelligence community considers a vital tool has wavered, as the surveillance allows for “backdoor” searches of Americans communicating with the foreign targets. The House Intelligence bill — introduced just weeks before the law is set to expire — comes as a short-term extension of Section 702 is expected to be included in the defense policy bill, extending the battle between the various committees vying to determine how the law should be reformed. Intelligence’s bill includes a number of reforms to the law, such as those designed to provide greater oversight of the FBI, which has carried out the greatest number of searches of the 702 database for information collected on Americans. (Full article here.)

SpaceX carries South Korea’s first spy satellite to orbit - American Military News, 05 Dec 23

One of Elon Musk’s rockets carried a South Korean spy satellite into orbit as the rivalry between the two Koreas expands beyond Earth. A SpaceX Falcon 9 carrying Seoul’s first domestically made reconnaissance satellite launched from the Vandenberg Space Force Base in California at 10:19 a.m. PST Friday, according to South Korea’s defense ministry. The satellite entered into orbit after successfully separating from the rocket 14 minutes after launch and also made its first communication with a ground station, the ministry said in a statement. The launch comes on the heels of North Korea placing its first spy satellite into orbit last month, allowing Kim Jong Un’s regime to keep an eye on U.S. troop movements in the region. South Korea has relied on the U.S. for space-based intelligence but is now seeking to supplement that by stepping up its own reconnaissance capabilities with a series of launches aimed at putting five spy satellites in orbit by 2025. (Full article here.)

U.S. Urging Pacific Allies to Step Up Surveillance at Sea, Says Official - USNI News, 05 Dec 23

As China expands its operations across the Pacific, the U.S. is urging countries in the region to expand their maritime awareness through new technology like unmanned systems, the Pentagon’s assistant secretary of defense for Indo-Pacific security affairs said Tuesday. “We have been, in a number of our engagements – whether it’s with partners in the South China Sea, with India, with other high-end partners – we have been talking with them about opportunities we see for them to integrate some of these low-cost unmanned systems into their militaries, particularly for maritime domain awareness and to help them police their littoral areas, which is an area coming back to some of the concerns about China’s coercive behavior, an area where the [People’s Republic of China] has been very active,” Ely Ratner told reporters at a breakfast hosted by the Defense Writers Group. “It’s a huge benefit for these allied partners to have greater awareness around what’s happening in their area and these kinds of unmanned systems are critical to that, including sub-surface,” he added. This was a topic of discussion for White House deputy national security advisor Jonathan Finer on a recent trip to India, Ratner noted. The effort is “high on the agenda” as the administration speaks with allies and partners on ways to expands their options for operating in the Indo-Pacific. (Full article here.)

Chinese military surveillance balloon is spotted in Taiwan Strait - ABC News, 07 Dec 23

Taiwan’s Defense Ministry says it spotted a Chinese surveillance balloon in the Taiwan Strait along with a large-scale movement of military aircraft and ships. The ministry said the balloon passed southwest of the northern port city of Keelung on Thursday night, then continued east before disappearing, possibly into the Pacific Ocean. There seemed to be some uncertainty about whether the balloon was operated by the People's Liberation Army, the military branch of China's ruling Communist Party. The ministry referred to it both as a ”PLA surveillance balloon" and as “PRC's balloon," using the acronym for the People's Republic of China, China's official name. A Defense Ministry spokesperson said they had no additional information. (Full article here.)

Australia's Top Intelligence Official Reveals "Top Secret" Intelligence Cloud Plans for Enhanced National Security - Smart Encyclopedia, 09 Dec 23

Australia’s Director-General of National Intelligence, Andrew Shearer, has disclosed the development of a “top-secret” intelligence cloud designed to enhance collaboration among the country’s 10 intelligence agencies. This cloud initiative aims to be interoperable with the intelligence networks of the United States and the United Kingdom, fostering improved detection of national security threats. Speaking at an event hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank, Shearer highlighted the transformative potential of the intelligence cloud, emphasizing its role in reshaping how Australian intelligence agencies collaborate internally and with international counterparts. While Shearer did not provide a specific launch date, he underscored the cloud’s interoperability with the US and UK intelligence systems. (Full article here.)

Inside the secret complex making high-tech gadgets for UK spies - BBC, 05 Dec 23

At His Majesty's Government Communications Centre (HMGCC) at Hanslope Park, what appear to be everyday objects are produced. But that is far from the full story - with a history involving codebreaker Alan Turing, sealed rooms, and comparisons to top-secret gadgets from James Bond films. The reason for the tight security? These objects are made for the UK's spies and help to disguise their work. With the BBC given exclusive access to its sprawling facility, our phones have to be handed in and security staff accompany us at all times. We get a glimpse - but not much more - of what goes on inside as HMGCC seeks to build new partnerships to stay ahead in the spy game. "We've made it really difficult for people to connect with us and that, through our history, has been a really good way of working," explains CEO George Williamson. But he says it is now time to change - even if that does feel "strange". (Full article here.)

Video Highlights of the 2023 William J. Donovan Award Ceremony - OSS Society, 05 Dec 23

CIA Director William Burns was honored this year as the recipient of the William J. Donovan Award, presented each year by The OSS Society to an individual who has rendered distinguished service to the United States of America. The purpose of the award is to recognize someone who has exemplified the distinguishing features that characterized General Donovan’s lifetime of public service to the United of States of America as a citizen and a soldier. General Donovan is the only person to receive our nation’s four highest decorations: the Medal of Honor, the Distinguished Service Cross, the Distinguished Service Medal, and the National Security Medal. (Watch here.)

Counterespionage Corner - Recent Arrests, Convictions, Expulsions, and more...

Cyberespionage Collection - Newly Identified Actors and Operations, Countermeasures, Policy, other...


(Legacy Intel Practitioners' Informed Perspectives)

The Latest Insights from Former CIA Acting Deputy Director for Operations Jack Devine.

In Other News The proprietary analytic newsletter crafted for The Arkin Group's private clients by former CIA Acting Deputy Director for Operations Jack Devine.

08 Dec | What’s old is new again: Putin’s attack on Ukraine has revived a world of border and land disputes that threatens everyone’s security. This week, the US Senate rejected an emergency $110.5 billion spending bill that allocated about half of the funding to Ukraine and $14 billion for Israel. While the bill also designated billions for protecting the US border, the amount and associated policy language were deemed insufficient by key opponents who want to focus more heavily on domestic security. The legislation might now be amended to include more language on US border policy to move the bill forward, but it would still need to get approval by House of Representatives, where it’s also expected to meet with opposition. (Full version available to AFIO members in the coming days here.)

Daily Analysis of Security Issues and Geopolitical Trends

Intel Brief The Soufan Center's flagship, daily analytical product focused on complex security issues and geopolitical trends that may shape regional or international affairs. The Soufan Center was founded by former FBI Special Agent and Soufan Group CEO Ali Soufan.

12 Dec | Israel Turns Attention to Hezbollah Amid Northern Escalation

As their offensive continues in the Gaza Strip, Israeli officials remain focused on the controlled escalation underway with Lebanese Hezbollah along the Israel-Lebanon border, which threatens to increase in the near-future. Israeli leaders and strategists assess that Lebanese Hezbollah, heavily armed and funded by Iran and far larger and more capable than Hamas, has the ability – and perhaps the intent – to conduct a significant attack into northern Israel. Months before October 7, Hezbollah leaders said that their movement intended to invade the Galilee and take over Israeli communities. Israeli leaders and commanders want to re-establish a significant buffer zone along their northern border that will provide ample warning of an attack by Hezbollah units. The Lebanese militia group has not fully joined Hamas’ battle against Israel as some initially feared, largely limiting its actions to cross-border rocket and artillery attacks into northern Israel. While these exchanges appeared to be predicated on an unstated rules of engagements between Hezbollah and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) to limit attacks to military targets, civilian casualties have been incurred on both sides in recent weeks. 80 thousand Israeli residents have been evacuated from northern Israel to avoid the crossfire. Israeli leaders argue that the residents will not return to their homes unless Hezbollah agrees to retreat from the border. Meeting with northern Israeli mayors and municipal leaders on December 6, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said that the government would not encourage the northern Israel residents to return home before Hezbollah pulls back to the Litani River 18 miles north of the UN-delineated border, known as the “Blue Line.”

11 Dec | Key Gulf States Help Putin Break out of Isolation

08 Dec | Politics, Potential, and False Promises at COP28

07 Dec | U.S.-EU Content Moderation Divide Crystallizes with Hamas-Israel Conflict

06 Dec | Israel Presses Offensive in Southern Gaza as Hopes for Renewed Truce Fade

Former CIA Acting Director Michael Morell and former CIA Chief Operating Officer Andy Makridis on critical security challenges.

Intelligence Matters: The Relaunch is a Beacon Global Strategies podcast.

05 Dec | FISA Section 702: White House Adviser Josh Geltzer Returns Deputy Assistant to the President & White House Deputy Homeland Security Advisor Josh Geltzer returns to Intelligence Matters to discuss with Michael the urgent need for Congress to reauthorize FISA Section 702, before it's due to sunset at the end of the month.

The U.S. has both a Duty to Warn and a Duty to Ask by former CIA Senior Executive Glenn Corn - Cipher Brief, 06 Dec 23

In the aftermath of Hamas’ horrific October terrorist attacks on Israel, many in the media were quick to criticize the Israeli Intelligence and Security services and accuse the Israelis of suffering from an “intelligence failure.” Some experts have also asked important questions about the U.S. Intelligence Community’s (USIC) performance prior to the day of the attack, although few in the media have asked the types of hard questions that should be raised after such a tragic event like this one, that resulted in the death of over 30 U.S. citizens, and the kidnapping of over a dozen more Americans. The Hamas terrorist attack has brought the Middle East to the brink of a wider large-scale conflict and forced the U.S. Administration to refocus its attention on this region after hoping to re-direct U.S. attention to other domestic and international issues. While it is hard to say what intelligence the U.S. collected prior to the attacks, and/or whether U.S. Intelligence assessments of the threat from Hamas were accurate without having direct access to the information obtained by the U.S. Government (USG) before the attack, (and details on how that information was handled) based on media reporting, it appears that the USIC and USG did suffer a “failure” in the period leading up to the attack. (Full report here.)

The Wilderness of Mirrors - US Army Counterintelligence by former US Army Intelligence officer Aden Magee - SpyScape True Spies Podcast, 04 Dec 23

In the dying days of the Cold War, the West is on the verge of victory. But the Soviet Union's feared secret service, the KGB, won't give up without a fight. Sophia Di Martino and former US Army Intelligence officer Aden Magee tell the story of a mind-bending game of cat-and-mouse, played out on the streets of 1980s Munich. (Listen here.)

I spy Putin: Recent FSB revelations are a reminder that our society is open to the Russian threat by former British MI6 officer Charles Beaumont - The New European, 09 Dec 23

There is a persistent threat of Russian interference in our politics, as reflected in recent new revelations about the Russian intelligence agency, the FSB’s continued meddling and hacking activities. The impact of these hacks may still not be fully understood: it’s clear that a wide range of institutions and individuals have been targeted, including politicians and journalists, think-tanks and academics. Some of them include former heads of our intelligence agencies likely to be in receipt of sensitive information. This news comes at a time when most people’s fears of Russian activity in the UK has probably fallen away from the highpoint reached around the time of the Salisbury poisonings in 2018. I sense that this has been for two reasons: the poor performance of the Russian military in Ukraine left us feeling the threat had been overdone, and the aftermath meant that we took much firmer action against Russian interests in terms of sanctions and other restrictions. No longer did we have to mince our words talking about Roman Abramovich (sanctioned for his close links to Vladimir Putin) or Alexander Lebedev (a former KGB officer who appeared to have benefited financially from Russia’s 2014 invasion of Ukraine). (Full report here.)


Article: Spain expels two US spies for infiltrating secret service - El Pais, 08 Dec 23

The discovery that two agents from Spain’s CNI intelligence service were bribed to provide classified information to the United States has led to an unprecedented situation between Madrid and Washington. Spanish Minister of Defense Margarita Robles, who oversees the CNI, summoned the U.S. ambassador to Spain, Julissa Reynoso, to her office to explain what happened. Such actions are considered hostile and are not expected between two allies. The Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs, José Manuel Albares, also spoke with Reynoso and expressed the Spanish government’s unease over the revelations, according to government sources. At least two U.S. agents stationed at the U.S. Embassy in Madrid, who were directly involved in recruiting the CNI spies, have been discreetly expelled from Spain. (Read full report here.)

Article: Former MI6 chief hacked by Russian security services - Daily Telegraph, 07 Dec 23

The former head of MI6 and a Cabinet minister had their emails stolen by Russian intelligence as part of a Kremlin campaign to undermine British democracy, it has emerged. The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) launched cyber attacks on hundreds of MPs, peers, senior officials and journalists in an attempt to meddle in UK politics, a senior foreign office minister has said. Leo Docherty told the House of Commons that the Government had sanctioned two Russians, including a senior FSB agent, in connection with the cyber attacks.He said the spies had worked inside the FSB’s Centre 18 and for a hacking group named “Star Blizzard”. Among the victims was Sir Richard Dearlove, the chief of MI6 between 1999 and 2004, who said his emails were compromised after a friend’s account was hacked in 2020. Sir Richard’s messages were leaked online and doctored in an effort to allege a conspiracy to bring down the Brexit withdrawal agreement. He said the Government had recently approached him to tell him he had been a victim of the Russian state hackers. “I think the Government has now got so many incidents they thought it was time to go public,” he said.(Read full report here.)

Article: Maverick Scientist: The Briefcase of a Laser Spy - Makezine, 21 Nov 23

There was a time when I was intrigued by the technology of spying, especially the incredible devices developed for Agent 007 by Q in the James Bond movies. While Q was explaining to Bond how to use his latest fictional gadget, I was trying to figure out how to make a working version. I did not want to be a traditional spy; I just wanted to design their instruments. When I was growing up, I spent hours experimenting with invisible ink and devising secret codes. When I was a senior at Texas A&M, a CIA recruiter learned about my miniature radios and light-wave communicators and encouraged me to apply for an intelligence position. I took a different path in the Air Force, but an interesting spying opportunity arose in 1975, when a letter arrived from the National Enquirer to my book publisher Howard W. Sams and Co. seeking my advice for an article “outlining the growing role of lasers in the everyday life of the people of America.” (Read full report here.)

Documentary: The Discord Leaks - PBS Frontline, 12 Dec 23

An investigation into how a young Air National Guardsman allegedly leaked classified documents on the Discord chat platform. With The Washington Post, Frontline examines Jack Teixeira’s alleged leak of national security secrets, why he wasn’t stopped and the role of platforms like Discord. (Watch here.)

Article: Governments spying on Apple, Google users through push notifications - US senator - Reuters, 06 Dec 23

Unidentified governments are surveilling smartphone users via their apps' push notifications, a U.S. senator warned on Wednesday. In a letter to the Department of Justice, Senator Ron Wyden said foreign officials were demanding the data from Alphabet's (GOOGL.O) Google and Apple (AAPL.O). Although details were sparse, the letter lays out yet another path by which governments can track smartphones. Apps of all kinds rely on push notifications to alert smartphone users to incoming messages, breaking news, and other updates. These are the audible "dings" or visual indicators users get when they receive an email or their sports team wins a game. What users often do not realize is that almost all such notifications travel over Google and Apple's servers. (Read full report here.)

Article: Senior CIA official posted pro-Palestine image on her Facebook page - Financial Times, 28 Nov 23

A top CIA official posted a pro-Palestine image on Facebook two weeks after Hamas attacked Israel, in a rare public political statement by a senior intelligence officer on a war that has sparked dissent within the Biden administration. The CIA’s associate deputy director for analysis changed her Facebook cover photo on October 21 to an image of a man waving a Palestinian flag that is often used in stories criticising Israel. The Financial Times has decided not to name her after the intelligence agency expressed concern about her safety. Posting an overtly political image on a public platform is a very unusual move for a senior intelligence official. It comes as tensions rise inside the administration about whether President Joe Biden should put more pressure on Israel to bring an end to the fighting in the Gaza Strip. In a separate Facebook post, the senior intelligence official also published a selfie with a sticker saying “Free Palestine” superimposed on the photograph. One person familiar with the image said it was posted to Facebook years ago and long before the current conflict. (Read full report here.)

Article: House showdown expected between rival bills to overhaul U.S. spy powers - Washington Times, 11 Dec 23

The House will vote Tuesday on two competing bills to overhaul the federal government’s chief spy power under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The House Judiciary Committee and the House Intelligence Committee have put forward rival measures with major differences, and both bills have bipartisan support. The bill receiving more votes will move on to the Senate. Critics say the spying tool threatens constitutional rights when FBI or U.S. intelligence officials sift through the data without a warrant looking for dirt on Americans, but national security advocates stress the need for it in order to fend off potential global terrorist threats. (Read full report here.)

Article: Covert Indian operation seeks to discredit Modi’s critics in the U.S. - Washington Post, 10 Dec 23

Since 2020, an opaque organization calling itself the Disinfo Lab has published lengthy dossiers and social media posts claiming to reveal the personal relationships and funding sources behind U.S.-based critics of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Disinfo Lab has combined fact-based research with unsubstantiated claims to paint U.S. government figures, researchers, humanitarian groups and Indian American rights activists as part of a conspiracy, purportedly led by global Islamic groups and billionaire George Soros, to undermine India. (Read full report here.)

X-37B Spacecraft, owned by the Pentagon, is shrouded in mystery and whispers - MSN, 11 Dec 23

The Pentagon's X-37B, an unmanned drone, is gearing up for a mission that is set to launch today at 8:14 pm Eastern time. This small spacecraft is less than 30 feet in length and under 10 feet in height. It has a pair of compact wings and a rounded, bulldog-like nose. Often compared to a miniature space shuttle, the purpose and capabilities of X-37B remain shrouded in mystery. Is it a covert weapon, a stealth technology, or something else? These questions linger as the Pentagon maintains its silence. (Read full report here.)


Annual Report 2022–2023 - U.K. Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament, 05 Dec 23

The Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament (ISC) is the only body that has regular access to protectively marked information that is sensitive for national security reasons, such that it is in a position to scrutinise effectively the work of the security and intelligence Agencies and of those parts of Departments whose work is directly concerned with intelligence and security matters. The ISC is therefore an essential part of the UK democratic system, providing a vital check and balance to ensure that secret organisations and their activities are accountable to Parliament and the public for the action being taken in their name. This Report summarises the work of the ISC for the period from April 2022 to March 2023 in carrying out its oversight of the Intelligence Community. The term ‘Intelligence Community’ currently refers to the three intelligence Agencies (MI5, SIS and GCHQ) and some of the parts of those policy departments which deal with intelligence and security matters (Ministry of Defence, Cabinet Office and Home Office). The worrying lack of oversight of parts of other policy departments engaged in security and intelligence activities – and the impact on the assurances that can currently be provided to Parliament and the public regarding those activities – is addressed later in this Report. (Full report here.)

Decrypting diversity in Australia’s intelligence community - Australian Strategic Policy Institute, 07 Dec 23

Under its terms of reference, one of the tasks of the 2024 independent review of Australia’s national intelligence community is to consider whether the NIC’s workforce decision-making reflects ‘a sufficiently strategic response to current and future workforce challenges’. This represents a critical moment to raise longstanding issues about the degree to which our national intelligence agencies represent our nation. Independent reviews of the NIC have been conducted regularly since the 2004 Flood Review—in 2011, 2017 and now 2024—to ensure oversight and establish the strategic direction for Australia’s national security sector. However, NIC reviews are yet to comprehensively apply a gender or diversity lens to this important work. The 2024 review therefore presents an opportunity to address the diversity challenges that continue to diminish the NIC’s operational effectiveness. Many indicators paint the NIC as a community invested in diversity and inclusion. Everything from the appointment of Penny Wong as the third consecutive woman to be minister for foreign affairs, to the leadership of Rachel Noble of the Australian Signals Directorate and Kerri Hartland of the Australian Secret Intelligence Service, and even general comments by leaders in the NIC about the relevance of diversity to the national security community attest to this. (Full report here.)

By Way of Deception Thou Shalt Do War: The Psychology of Intelligence with Dr. Enrico Suardi - Institute of World Politics, 06 Dec 23

Step into the intriguing world of intelligence and deception as we delve into the psychological tactics of warfare. Dr. Enrico Suardi (IWP Class of 2019, Executive MA in National Security Affairs) is director of psychiatry at Saint Elizabeths Hospital, director of forensic services at the Ross Center in Washington, D.C., and the 2024-25 president-elect of the Washington Psychiatric Society. A diplomat of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in psychiatry, child and adolescent psychiatry, and forensic psychiatry, on faculty at Saint Elizabeths Hospital, Georgetown University, and George Washington University, he has served as chief child and family psychiatrist at the U.S. State Department. Dr. Suardi studied political psychology with Jerrold Post, completed his M.D. and a residency in preventive medicine in Milan, Italy, and obtained an MSc in Public Health and Policy from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. This presentation is part of a series of lectures on the behavioral sciences in US national security and public safety. The premise is that the human factor is the basis of crises and the source of solutions. Dr. Suardi will provide an overview of the psychology of HUMINT and intelligence analysis. He will explore the complexity of the spy-agent relationship, recruitment and handling. He will review the psychological literature on counterespionage, starting from Jerrold Post's declassified article on the anatomy of treason. He will conclude discussing the psychology of intelligence analysis and some of the analytic techniques developed to counter human cognitive limitations and biases. (Watch video here.)

The India-Israel-Qatar Spying Saga - Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 07 Dec 23

Dahra Global Technologies and Consulting Services, a private defense consulting firm based in Qatar, made international headlines in August 2022 when eight Indian employees were arrested and charged with passing sensitive documents to Israel. After spending extended periods in solitary confinement, the eight employees—all former Indian Navy officers—were sentenced to death by a Qatari court on October 27. Since Qatar has stringent laws against espionage and disclosing national secrets, the firm has now been shut down and its more than seventy-five Indian employees have been asked to leave the country. Reports suggest that Dahra Global was advising Qatar’s navy on a program to obtain Italian-made submarines, and at least one of the ex-naval officers had previously worked on submarine projects. Qatar was likely motivated to strengthen its naval forces and pursue the submarine project as a result of the recent blockade, led by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE, and Egypt from 2017 until 2021, and which posed serious national security concerns for the emirate. (Read full report here.)

'The weatherman and the umbrella’: a case of complex and multilayered defence intelligence relations in the Netherlands - Intelligence and National Security, 06 Dec 23

In this case study, I explore the relationship between the Dutch Intelligence and Security Service and the Directorate of Operations J2. Using interview data and publicly available documents, I analyse the interaction between DISS and DOPS J2 using a framework on different role models adapted from public administration theory. I found that although the formal organizational structure portrays the relationship as separated, the relationship is more layered and complex in practice, which contributes to a deeper understanding of the complexity and multilayered nature of defence intelligence relations, where interaction often goes beyond the dichotomous portrayal that is predominantly found in literature. (Read full report here.)

The Internet Enabled Mass Surveillance. A.I. Will Enable Mass Spying. - Harvard's Belfer Center, 04 Dec 23

Spying and surveillance are different but related things. If I hired a private detective to spy on you, that detective could hide a bug in your home or car, tap your phone, and listen to what you said. At the end, I would get a report of all the conversations you had and the contents of those conversations. If I hired that same private detective to put you under surveillance, I would get a different report: where you went, whom you talked to, what you purchased, what you did. Before the internet, putting someone under surveillance was expensive and time-consuming. You had to manually follow someone around, noting where they went, whom they talked to, what they purchased, what they did, and what they read. That world is forever gone. Our phones track our locations. Credit cards track our purchases. Apps track whom we talk to, and e-readers know what we read. Computers collect data about what we’re doing on them, and as both storage and processing have become cheaper, that data is increasingly saved and used. What was manual and individual has become bulk and mass. Surveillance has become the business model of the internet, and there’s no reasonable way for us to opt out of it. Spying is another matter. It has long been possible to tap someone’s phone or put a bug in their home and/or car, but those things still require someone to listen to and make sense of the conversations. Yes, spyware companies like NSO Group help the government hack into people’s phones, but someone still has to sort through all the conversations. And governments like China could censor social media posts based on particular words or phrases, but that was coarse and easy to bypass. Spying is limited by the need for human labor. (Read full report here.)

Soviet and Russian Diplomatic Expulsions: How Many and Why? - International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence, 06 Dec 23

Between 1946 and 1991, over 1,500 Soviet officials—mostly intelligence officers operating under diplomatic cover—were expelled from diplomatic and other government representations around the world. Expulsions often involved single or small groups of officials, but occasionally occurred en masse. Countries chose to expel Soviet officials for four reasons: in reaction to anti-Soviet regime changes and political reversals, in retaliation for Soviet covert activities and political manipulation, in reaction to Soviet intelligence officer defectors and intelligence obtained from penetrations of Soviet intelligence services, and, most frequently, in retaliation for espionage. Recent expulsions are modern adaptations of a method that was common during the Cold War with commonalities of purpose, but some variations, especially in scale and level of international cooperation. (Read full report here.)

The ‘Ukraine Model’ for Intelligence Disclosure May Not be the New Normal - Royal United Services Institute, 06 Dec 23

The war in Ukraine heralded a new era of public engagement for Defence Intelligence. However, the Israel–Hamas war has demonstrated that it is not a silver bullet for countering disinformation. In the days and weeks following Hamas’s attack on Israel, and as the Israeli counteroffensive began, no daily intelligence updates were made public by Defence Intelligence in the UK’s Ministry of Defence. This sort of disclosure would not have been expected at all a few years ago. But during the build-up to the 2022 invasion of Ukraine, then-Chief of Defence Intelligence Lt Gen (now Gen) James Hockenhull began briefing publicly that Russia was not drawing down its troops as the Kremlin had claimed. Public commentary on ongoing crises from within the UK’s intelligence establishment was unprecedented at the time. It placed the UK in clear defiance of Russian disinformation, and strongly signalled the UK’s resolve to counter Russian narratives surrounding the war. This tactic likely emerged as a result of Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea. During the invasion of Crimea, NATO identified that persistent military deception – in some cases flatly denying the presence of Russian forces which had already been photographed by media outlets – was a central part of its effectiveness. The NATO STRATCOM Centre of Excellence noted at the time that Western states, the media and the wider public faced a great challenge in identifying and disproving the false narratives that the Kremlin had pumped into the information sphere. When only a few years later Russia repeated its efforts to claim territory in Ukraine with the same disinformation and deception as before, the UK’s novel response offered an immediate antidote which limited Russia’s ability to obfuscate its invasion. (Read full report here.)

Real Life CIA Stories: Agency Spokesperson Kupperman on Working with Hollywood - Cipher Brief's Cover Stories Podcast, 07 Dec 23

Tammy Kupperman Thorp is chief spokesperson for the Central Intelligence Agency. Her principal role is communicating with major media organizations on matters of national security and helping CIA Director Bill Burns communicate with the Agency’s worldwide workforce.  But an interesting side aspect of her job involves coordinating the CIA's contact with the motion picture and television industry and major authors and publishers.  We’ll ask her how and why the Agency works with Hollywood and authors and will explode some myths about the CIA’s role in entertainment, documentaries and more. (Listen here.)

How new reports reveal Israeli intelligence underestimated Hamas and other key weaknesses - The Conversation, 07 Dec 23

After the surprise Hamas terrorist attack on Israel from the Gaza Strip on Oct. 7, 2023, many observers were puzzled about how Israel could have been caught completely off-guard. We were among those puzzled, and proposed three possible reasons: Israeli leaders may have underestimated Hamas’ capabilities and misunderstood its intentions; Israeli intelligence may have been tricked by Hamas’ secrecy, missing signs that it was planning and training; Israeli intelligence leaders may have been so wedded to their prior conclusion that Hamas was not a major threat that they dismissed mounting evidence that it was preparing for war... (Read full report here.)

Infographic: How Much Do Americans Trust the Media? - Visual Capitalist, 02 Dec 23

Media trust among Americans has reached its lowest point in six years. Gallup began its survey on media trust in 1972, repeating it in 1974 and 1976. After a long period, the public opinion firm restarted the polls in 1997 and has asked Americans about their confidence level in the mass media—newspapers, TV, and radio—almost every year since then. This graphic illustrates Gallup’s latest poll results, conducted in September 2023. (View graphic here.)

Intelligence in History - A Collection of Recent Content

The Latest from International Spy Museum Historian Andrew Hammond, PhD.

Spycast is the official podcast of the International Spy Museum and hosts interviews with intelligence experts on matters of HUMINT, SIGINT, IMINT, OSINT, and GEOINT. Spycast is hosted by historian Andrew Hammond, PhD.

05 Dec | “The Most Famous Art Detective in the World” – with ex-FBI Legend Robert Wittman Robert Wittman joins Andrew Hammond to discuss his career and the FBI’s Art Crime Team. Bob recovered over $300 million worth of stolen art and cultural property over the course of his career.

True Intelligence Matters in Film - Spycraft, Episode 4: Clandestine Collection - Marek Bures, Maria Berry, Jan Spindler (2021)

Methods for covertly capturing sensitive data have grown infinitely more advanced as the devices used to do so have become exponentially smaller.

More information about this based-on-true-events production here.

Walking Tours - Washington, DC - Sundays (Dates/Times Vary)

Former intelligence officers guide visitors on two morning and afternoon espionage-themed walking tours: "Spies of Embassy Row" and "Spies of Georgetown." For more information and booking, click here or contact

Section V - Books, Research Requests, Employment, Obituaries

Books — Forthcoming, Newly Released, Overlooked

Lockheed Blackbird: Beyond the Secret Missions – The Missing Chapters –
by Paul F. Crickmore
(Osprey Publishing, 05 Dec 23)

The SR-71 Blackbird is an iconic aircraft that has come to symbolize America's technological superiority during the Cold War. Using recently declassified information, globally renowned expert Paul Crickmore updates his definitive account of the aircraft. The Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird ranks as one of the most elegant, sleek and powerful aeroplanes ever designed. But it was not built to be admired – it was built not to be seen at all. The high-altitude aerial reconnaissance sorties it was to perform were top secret and carefully concealed from public knowledge. However, as the aircraft have become museum pieces and details of their work declassified, the whole story of their design and operation can finally be told. This updated edition of Paul Crickmore's classic Lockheed Blackbird: Beyond the Secret Missions is based on 850 pages of documentation and images declassified by the CIA covering the A-12 Oxcart programme. These highly significant documents range from discussions at the highest levels of the US government concerning the rationale for Oxcart's development and eventual deployment, to extremely detailed intelligence data gleaned from each of the 29 operational missions flown by Oxcart during Operation Black Shield. The Blackbird family of aircraft continue to fascinate a wide age group and, since the aircraft will never fly again, its history has become timeless. This new edition will provide the last word on the SR-71 Blackbird and its operational history.

Order book here.

A Short Introduction to Geospatial Intelligence
by Jack O'Connor
(CRC Press, 27 Oct 23)

A Short Introduction to Geospatial Intelligence explains the newest form of intelligence used by governments, commercial organizations, and individuals. Geospatial intelligence combines late 20th century historically derived ways of thinking and early 21st century technologies of GIS, GPS, digital imaging satellites and communications satellites to identify, measure, and analyze the current risk in the world. These ways of thinking have developed from military engineering, cartography, photointerpretation, and imagery analysis. While the oldest example dates back to the early 16th century, all the ways of spatial thinking share the common thread of being developed and refined during conflicts to help military leaders make informed decisions prior to action. In the 21st century― thanks in great part to advances in digital precision technology, miniaturization, and the commercialization of satellites― these ways of thinking have expanded from the military into various other industries and sectors including energy, agriculture, environment, law enforcement, global risk assessment, and climate monitoring. Features: Analyzes human and algorithmic models for dealing with the challenge of analytic attention, in an age of geospatial data overload; Establishes an original model― envisioning, discovery, recording, comprehending, and tracking― for the spatial thinking that underpins the practice and growth of this emerging discipline; Addresses the effects of small satellites on the collection and analysis of geospatial intelligence. A Short Introduction to Geospatial Intelligence describes the development of the five steps in geospatial thinking― envisioning, discovery, recording, comprehending, and tracking― in addition to addressing the challenges, and future applications, of this newest intelligence discipline.

Order book here.

Our Man in Vienna
by Panagiotis Dimitrakis
(New Haven Publishing, Ltd, 04 Oct 21)

Vienna, located at the heart of Europe was the city of choice for American, British, German and Russian spymasters in their merciless trade, to plot against one another and steal secrets. For the first time a book is dedicated to the secret stories of spymasters, their tradecraft and secret sources from the end of the World War I, the Interwar with the rise of Nazis to the Second World War and the Cold War. The rich of culture and music Vienna hid a labyrinth of spies and dissidents in the interwar period, and a powerful Gestapo presence during the war meant that the Office of Strategic Services and British intelligence could not deploy operatives in Austria in general. In postwar, a few young American and British intelligence officers pitted their wits against hundreds of seasoned Russian operatives of the NKVD and their thousands of informers. and the secret truth was that both Russian and Allied intelligence services employed members of the Nazi intelligence services just upon the defeat of Germany in 1945 and the occupation of Austria.

Order book here.

Research Requests and Academic Opportunities

National Intelligence Summer Academy (NISA) for High School Students: 15-19 July 2024. University of Northern Georgia - Cumming Campus. $149 fee covers meals, course materials, and the motor coach travel on the last day of the program. Scholarships available. Application deadline 15 April 2024. More information, including eligibility and application, here.

Call for Interviews: Alex W. Palmer, a contributing writer at The New York Times Magazine, is working on a book about the history of American intelligence on China. He's looking to speak with any intelligence officers who worked in or on China during their career, from whatever timeframe and in whatever role. He can be reached at and +1-262-894-7160 on Signal.

Call for Information: Dr. Andrew Hammond and Dr. Mark Stout are seeking interviewees for a journal article on the CIA’s Office of Soviet Analysis (SOVA). The final output will be based on oral history interviews which can be (a) on-the-record (b) off-the-record or (c) utilizing a pseudonym. The data will be used for this project only and thereafter destroyed. Our aim is to understand how people who served in SOVA or who worked alongside SOVA made sense of it: what was it like, what was its culture, what were its strengths and weaknesses, how did it relate to the rest of the CIA and other agencies, is there anything we can learn from SOVA re the new era of Great Power Conflict, etc.? If you served in SOVA during the period 1981 to 1992 and would like to be interviewed, please contact Dr. Andrew Hammond at

Call for Information: Seeking information on Al "Albert" Purdum, stationed at Arlington Hall 55, Defense Language School - Albanian 55-56, NSA Linguist, Sr. Cryptologist 57-95. Looking for colleagues or friends who knew him, of him. Researching Role of National Security Linguists and Foreign Affairs. Contact

Call for Information: Seeking information on Octavio Bermudez, State/Commerce Attache Latin America Crosley Broadcasting- 1922-1942. Sources needed - Passenger list of Hoover's 1928 Good Will Tour, Details/objectives by country, 25 year agreement with Ecuador to build broadcast station in Quito- role in Open Source Enterprise, WWII locating Axis Spies, American Propaganda/Spy Communication Network. 41-46 OCIAA propaganda, embedded code/scripts for broadcast, hand delivered to Crosley, Cincinnati - the only fenced compound, with 24 hr. armed guards, watch tower. Researching Role of Foreign Service Attaches - Development of American Broadcasting Capabilities pre WWII in Latin America. Contact

Call for Information: Author drafting a book on the Clinton administration seeks contact with the person who served as COS Manila in November 1996 for the purpose of background research. Members who can identify the COS and/or are in contact with him, please forward this request to the COS or contact the author. Responses may be sent to

Call for Information: Seeking information on, Sgt Major Charles “Chuck” Remagen, assigned to MACV/SOG in Vietnam 67-68. Seek details about his role as a Sgt Major with MACV “Studies and Observations Group in Vietnam 7/1/67 to 1/21/68. Responses may be sent to

Call for Sources: Intelligence activities in Grenada and the southern Caribbean between 1979, Operation Urgent Fury, Leonard Barrett

The Washington Post is developing a multi-part audio documentary series (i.e. podcast) chronicling the Grenadian revolution and the US intervention in 1983. They've interviewed nearly 100 people so far, ranging from the heads of state, former Grenadian officials, current and former US officials, veterans, and intelligence officers. They're looking for people who served at the time and may be knowledgeable about intelligence activities in Grenada and the southern Caribbean between 1979 and Operation Urgent Fury. They would also be interested in speaking with anyone who knew Leonard Barrett during the same period. If anyone is interested in participating, please reach out to Washington Post reporter Ted Muldoon via email at or on Signal at 651-497-5449.

Call For Articles: AFIO Journal, The Intelligencer

AFIO is seeking authors for its section on "When Intelligence Made a Difference" in the semi-annual Intelligencer journal. Topics of interest for which we are seeking authors include:

• The Richard Sorge espionage ring in Tokyo in World War II and the impact of his intelligence on Stalin and the battle for Moscow.
• How Rommel’s Afrika Korps used SIGINT against the British in World War II.
• How A.Q. Khan’s nuclear proliferation efforts were uncovered and stopped.
• The breaking of the Nazi U-boat SHARK encryption system.
• How US intelligence found Usama Bin Laden in Abbottobad, Pakistan.
• How allied SIGINT isolated the Afrika Korps from its logistics chain.
• How US intelligence discovered the Soviet’s high speed Shkval torpedo.
• Intelligence and the rescue of Scott O’Grady.
• Other topics are also welcome.

Interested authors please contact Peter Oleson, senior editor The Intelligencer, at


Assistant/Associate Professor of Intelligence Studies (Global Security and Intelligence Studies) - Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Prescott, Arizona

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University's Prescott, Arizona campus is accepting applications for a tenure-track assistant or associate-level professor of intelligence studies to teach intelligence courses to students in the Global Security and Intelligence program. The successful candidate will teach students about the intelligence community, strategic intelligence, the intelligence cycle and intelligence analysis, writing, and briefing. Prior experience working in the intelligence community is strongly preferred. We are interested in candidates with teaching acumen in intelligence analysis and writing using structured analytical techniques.

Additional information and application here.


Leutrell Osborne — Career CIA Case Officer and Author

Leutrell Michael Carlton Osborne, Sr., 84, passed away on November 18, 2023. Osborne, a former CIA Case Officer, as told in his autobiography, "Black Man in the CIA," was a native Washingtonian, graduating from Roosevelt High School ('57) and American University (BA, '71). His Celebration of Life Service will be on Friday, December 15, 2023; family visitation at 9:30 a.m.; funeral mass 11 a.m. at Nativity Catholic Church, 6001 13th Street NW, Washington, DC.

Martha Kessler — Decorated Career CIA Officer

Martha Kessler of Washington, DC, 78, passed away on December 4, 2023 at home. Martha grew up in Granville, OH. After earning a BA from Denison University and an MA from Western Michigan University, she moved to Washington, DC, where she began a long and distinguished career at the CIA. She served as an intelligence officer from 1970 to 2010, working on the Middle East, South Asia, and terrorism. For six years, she headed the Arab-Israeli Division and was liaison with US peace negotiators throughout the Madrid peace process. She was a fellow at the National Defense University's War College, a guest scholar at the Brookings Institution, a frequent contributor to its Middle East Foreign Policy Journal and the author of Syria: Fragile Mosaic of Power. During her career, she was awarded the CIA's Medal of Distinguished Service and the National Intelligence Community's Medal of Achievement. In retirement, she served as Ombudsman at the Department of Homeland Security.

Mary Schrodt — Career Intelligence Officer

Mary Elizabeth Schrodt, 80, died on December 1, 2023 at her home in McLean, Virginia. Born in Des Moines, Iowa, she found her way to Canada and France to practice her French as a nanny which after obtaining her teaching degree from the University of Iowa, she parlayed into a 31-year career as an intelligence officer with the US government that took her to postings across the world, from Paris to Kinshasa to Denver. Bravery defined Mary from her early adventures abroad, throughout her public service mission, and through her battle with ALS. A memorial service and burial will be held at 11 a.m. January 5, 2024 at Quantico National Cemetery, and an open house at her residence in McLean from 4 to 8 p.m.

Chris Holmes — Decorated CIA Executive

Christopher M. Holmes, 82, died on November 29, 2023 following a battle with pancreatic cancer. Chris, a long time resident of Northern Virginia, lived seven years in the Vinson Hall Retirement Community of McLean. Chris was born in Hartford, Connecticut on May 1, 1941. Chris graduated with honors from Moorestown High School, playing on the varsity basketball team that won New Jersey State Championships in 1958 and 1959. Chris graduated from Tufts University in 1963 with a bachelor's degree in Economics. Later, he received a master's degree in Economics from American University and attended the National War College. Hired as an analyst for the CIA, his career spanned 36 years where he reached the distinction of Senior Intelligence Service Officer and was awarded the Distinguished Intelligence Medal.

Gerry Dye — Former NSA Executive

Gerald "Gerry" E. Dye, 81, of The Villages, FL, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, November 21, 2023. Gerry was a proud and patriotic man who served his country with honor and dedication. He graduated from N. Miami Senior High School in 1960. The University of Maryland in College Park, MD, in 1966 and the National War College, graduating class of 1989, National Defense University in Washington, DC. He retired as a Senior Executive Manager from the National Security Agency in Fort Meade, MD, after 34 years of a distinguished career, where he received many awards. He was a former member of the Phoenix Society.

Don Myers — Decorated Career CIA Officer

Donald Albin Myers, 87, passed away on December 6, 2023, with his loving family at his side. Don was born in Denver, Colorado and most recently resided in Charlottesville, Virginia. During his years he lived all over the United States including Vienna, Virginia, and traveled the world. After High School, Don went on to graduate with a BS in Petroleum Engineering at Colorado School of Mines, served our nation in the Army Corps of Engineers, and achieved a PhD in Neurophysiology at the University of Denver. Don had a career for many years with the Central Intelligence Agency, where he received two prestigious awards, the Intelligence Medal of Merit and the National Intelligence Medal of Achievement, finally retiring from Hughes Space Systems to Williamsburg, Virginia.

Juanita Castro — CIA Asset and Sister of Fidel Castro

Juanita Castro, 90, one of the younger sisters of the revolutionary Cuban leaders Fidel and Raúl Castro, died on 04 Dec. Initially active in her brothers’ struggle against the US-backed Batista regime, she turned against them soon after they came to power in 1959. According to her 2009 memoir, Fidel and Raúl Mis Hermanos: La Historia Secreta, co-written with María Antonieta Collins, Juanita began to collaborate with the CIA from 1961, as it made attempts to overthrow the Castro regime. After the Bay of Pigs invasion by Cuban exiles in April 1961, when Juanita was using her influence to secure the release from prison of several acquaintances, she was approached by her friend Virginia Leitão da Cunha, the wife of the Brazilian ambassador in Havana, who suggested that she might find this humanitarian work easier if she were to be supported by the CIA. Juanita flew to Mexico City that June, where she was interviewed by Tony Sforza, the organiser of Operation Mongoose, a CIA project designed, according to President John F Kennedy’s directive, “to help the people of Cuba overthrow the communist regime in Cuba from within Cuba”. Juanita was the project’s first recruit. With the codename Donna, she returned to Havana, where a short-wave transmitter was installed in her house. She later settled in Miami.

Section VI - AFIO Events

Tuesday, 30 January 2024, 7 p.m. - In-Person, Yorba Linda, CA - AFIO Los Angeles Chapter Presentation and Dinner features General David Petraeus former Director of the CIA.
General David Petraeus former Director of the CIA will be the featured speaker we will subsequently meet for dinner following the presentation at 8.30 PM. If you are interested to attend please RSVP using the information below.
Subject: Gen. Petraeus will offer his expert analysis on challenges in Ukraine and across the Middle East
RSVP here: Meet General David Petraeus
Location: Nixon Presidential Library & Museum, 18001 Yorba Linda Blvd, Yorba Linda, CA 92886
Dinner follows the presentation at 8.30 PM
Dinner location: Chilis Grill 18380 Yorba Linda Blvd
Questions? Contact Vincent Autiero, President, AFIO-Los Angeles Chapter, at

Events from Advertisers, Corporate Sponsors, Others

No nearterm events scheduled.

Gifts for Friends, Colleagues, Self

NEW Gray long-sleeved polo shirts with embroidered AFIO logo. Men's sizes only.
Show your support for AFIO with our new Gray Long-sleeve Polo Shirts. Shirts are shrink and wrinkle resistant of fine cotton with a soft, "well-worn, comfy" 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 $60 each including shipping.
Sizes for men, only: Small, Medium, Large, XL, XXL, and XXXL.  $60 per shirt.
Order this and other store items online here.

 NEW 20 oz ceramic Mug with color glazed logo. Made in America. Check out our new tapered, sleek AFIO coffee mug!! This handsome 20 oz. ceramic mug is made in the USA, has a white matte exterior, sports a beautiful navy-blue interior, and is dishwasher safe.  Order yours today! $35 per mug includes shipping to a CONUS address. [includes shipping to U.S. based address, only. For foreign shipments, we will contact you with a quote.] SHIPPING: For shipment to a U.S.-based CONUS address, shipping is included in price. For purchases going to AK, HI, other US territories, Canada, or other foreign countries the shipping fees need to be calculated, so please call our office M-F 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. ET at 703-790-0320 or email providing following information: 1) your name, 2) mailing address (or addresses where each gift item will be shipped), 3) name of the AFIO store items you wish to purchase, 4) quantity of each, 5) your credit card number and expiration date, 6) amount (except for additional of shipping fees) authorized to charge, and 7) your phone number and email should we have questions. Foreign shipments fees will be calculated and estimates emailed to you, awaiting your approval.  Order this and other store items online here.

Black short-sleeved polo shirts with Embroidered AFIO logo
Show your support for AFIO with our new Black Short-sleeve Polo Shirts. Shirts are shrink and wrinkle resistant of fine cotton with a soft, "well-worn, comfy" 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 $50 each including shipping.
Sizes for (M) men, only; Small, Medium, Large, XL, XXL, and XXXL. $50 per shirt.
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. Questions? Contact Annette at:

PopSocket for cellphones or tablets
Show your support to AFIO while enjoying the convenience offered by our AFIO Logo PopSocket. The PopSocket is most commonly used as a stand and as a grip for your mobile phone or tablet; handy for taking selfies, watching videos, and for texting. The PopSocket looks like a small button or sticker which, when closed, sticks flat to your mobile device. However, its accordion-like design enables it to pop open for use. The benefits of using a PopSocket make it a must-have accessory for your mobile phone or tablet. It also aids in keeping your phone from slipping off your hand during use, falling, or breaking.
Price: $15. Order this and other store items online here.

Duffel Bags - Royal Blue and Black with Full Color AFIO Logo This duffel has it all when it comes to value, style and organization.
600 denier polyester canvas with polyester double contrast; D-shaped zippered entry for easy access. Front pocket with hook and loop closure. End mesh pocket Easy-access end pockets. Four durable, protective feet and built-in bottom board for added strength. Web handles with padded grip. Detachable, adjustable shoulder strap.
Dimensions: 11"h x 19.75"w x 9.75"d; Approx. 2,118 cubic inches
Price: $50. Order this and other store items online here.

Caps - Dark Navy with Navy AFIO Logo
An authentic silhouette with the comfort of an unstructured, adjustable fit. Fabric: 100% cotton. Unstructured. Fabric strap closure with adjustable D-clip. Price: $30. Order this and other store items online here.


Be informed on career opportunities in the U.S. Intelligence Community
Intelligence as a Career - with updated listings of colleges teaching intelligence courses, and Q&As on needed foreign languages, as well as the courses, grades, extracurricular activities, and behavioral characteristics and life experiences sought by modern U.S. intelligence agencies.

AFIO's popular 47-page booklet reaches thousands of high school, college students, university guidance offices, and distributed in classes teaching intelligence, to help those considering careers in the U.S. Intelligence Community.
This is the all new fifth edition.
The publication is also popular with University Career Guidance Centers, professors and academic departments specializing in national security, and parents assisting children or grandchildren in choosing meaningful, public service careers.
This booklet is provided online as a public service from the generosity of AFIO board, volunteer editors/writers, donors, and members.
We thank all for their support which makes this educational effort possible.
  Careers Booklet (new 2023 Fifth Edition) can be read or downloaded 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.
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 appear in future editions.

Address Technical Issues Or Unsubscribe

Some features of the email version of the WIN do not work for readers who have chosen the Plaintext Edition, some AOL users, and readers who access their email using web mail. You may request to change from Plaintext to HTML format here For the best reading experience, the latest web edition can be found here:

To unsubscribe from the WIN email list, please click the "UNSUBSCRIBE" link at the bottom of the email. If you did not subscribe to the WIN and are not a member, you received this product from a third party in violation of AFIO policy. Please forward to the entire message that you received and we will remove the sender from our membership and distribution lists.

Disclaimer and Legal Protection

Weekly Intelligence Notes (WINs) are a carefully selected collection of timely open source reports and announcements and other media focused on intelligence and related national security matters that is produced for non-profit educational use by AFIO members and WIN subscribers. WINs are protected by copyright and intellectual property laws. They may not be reproduced or re-sent without specific permission from the Producer. Opinions expressed in the materials contained in the WINs are solely those of the content creators listed with each item. Notices in the WINs about non-AFIO events do not constitute endorsement or recommendation by AFIO.

(c) 1998 thru 2023

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! .

AFIO | 7600 Leesburg Pike, Suite 470 East, Falls Church, VA 22043-2004 | (703) 790-0320 (phone) | (703) 991-1278 (fax) |

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 | Make A Donation | AFIO Store | Member-Only Section | Code of Ethics | Home Page