SpyCast

By SpyCast

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Description

Each week, the International Spy Museum will offer a new SpyCast featuring interviews and programs with ex-spies, intelligence experts, and espionage scholars. The SpyCast is hosted by Dr. Vince Houghton, historian and curator at the International Spy Museum. Dr. Houghton specializes in intelligence, diplomatic, and military history, with expertise in the late-WWII and early-Cold War eras. The International Spy Museum in Washington, DC is the only public museum in the U.S. solely dedicated to espionage.

Episode Date
Taken Hostage by the Taliban: A Conversation with Kevin King
2852
Executive Director Chris Costa sits down with Professor Kevin King to learn more about his career traveling the world, and how that led to him being held by the Taliban for over three years.
Aug 11, 2020
Hollywood Spies
3910
On July 23rd, we had a great conversation with Jonna Mendez about spies in Hollywood.
Aug 04, 2020
Operation Lemon Aid: A Conversation with Art Lindberg
3539
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with former US Navy officer and double agent Art Lindberg to discuss his career and the sting operation that snared multiple Soviet spies.
Jul 28, 2020
Near Dark: A Conversation with Brad Thor
3153
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with bestselling thriller author Brad Thor to discuss his writing career, his process, book research, and how novelists can play a vital role in US national security
Jul 21, 2020
Race and Intelligence: A Conversation with Darrell Blocker, Cassi Chandler, Mel Gamble, and Malcolm Nance
4187
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with an extraordinary panel to have a candid discussion about racial issues in the intelligence community.
Jul 14, 2020
Spy Chat with Keith Masback
3849
SPY Executive Director Chris Costa sat down with GEOINT pioneer Keith Masback to discuss all things geospatial.
Jul 07, 2020
Fiction Author Roundtable
3748
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with 4 of your favorite spy fiction authors to discuss how they entertain and educate.
Jun 30, 2020
Atomic Spy: A Conversation with Nancy Greenspan
2657
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with author Nancy Greenspan to discuss the life of notorious Soviet spy Klaus Fuchs, the fascinating subject of her new book, Atomic Spy: The Dark Lives of Klaus Fuchs
Jun 23, 2020
Wondery presents Murder in Hollywoodland
377
It's February 2nd 1922, and all of Hollywood is about to wake up and learn that William Desmond Taylor, the most famous film director in town, was murdered in his home last night. The investigation will shine a light on some of Hollywood's most scandalous affairs, backroom deals, and underground drug dens. This real life Murder Mystery is one of the most iconic "whodunnit" cases of the 20th century that will leave you guessing and second guessing who killed William Desmond Taylor for weeks to come. Listen today at wondery.fm/spycastMiH (http://wondery.fm/smalltownMiH)
Jun 17, 2020
Spy Sites of New York City: A Conversation with Keith Melton & Bob Wallace
3362
Executive Director Chris Costa talks to Keith Melton and Bob Wallace about their newest book, Spy Sites of New York City: A Guide to the Region’s Secret History.
Jun 16, 2020
Introducing Truth vs Hollywood
876
Introducing the newest Audioboom original podcast, Truth vs Hollywood. Join Film lovers David Chen and Joanna Robinson as they do a deep dive into well-known films and discuss how similar they are to the actual story.  Truth vs Hollywood premieres 6/12. Subscribe to Truth vs Hollywood on Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/truth-vs-hollywood/id1510582080
Jun 12, 2020
What’s Next? A Conversation with Jonna Mendez, Tracy Walder, and Joe Weisberg
3837
SPY Historian Vince Houghton had a virtual conversation with three former intelligence professionals to discuss their choices of careers following their time as practitioners
Jun 09, 2020
Curator’s Corner with Francis Gary Powers, Jr.
4147
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down for a virtual conversation about the 60th anniversary of one of the most historic events of the Cold War. 
Jun 02, 2020
Shedding Light on the Elite GSG9: A Conversation with Colonel Jerome Fuchs
1890
Executive Director Chris Costa talks with GSG9 Commander Jerome Fuchs about the history and evolution of GSG9, as well as his career with the organization.
May 19, 2020
How Intelligence Analysts See the Corona Pandemic
3755
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with former intelligence analysts Mark Stout and Cindy Storer to discuss how intel analysts in the US and around the world are viewing the coronavirus situation. 
May 12, 2020
Reflections on the Middle East and Afghanistan: A Conversation with General Joseph Votel
2826
Executive Director Chris Costa is joined by former Commander of U.S. Central Command General Joseph Votel to discuss his insights into current events in the Middle East and Afghanistan, and the fight against ISIS.
May 05, 2020
The SpyCast Conversation with Harvey Klehr
3335
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with prolific author and historian Harvey Klehr to discuss Soviet espionage and his newest book, The Millionaire Was a Soviet Mole: The Twisted Life of David Karr.
Apr 28, 2020
Active Measures: A Conversation with Thomas Rid
3783
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down (remotely) with professor Thomas Rid to discuss the history of disinformation, and his new book, Active Measures: The Secret History of Disinformation and Political Warfare.
Apr 21, 2020
The CIA War in Kurdistan: A Conversation with Sam Faddis
3779
Executive Director, Chris Costa is joined by former CIA Officer and author, Sam Faddis to discuss his book The CIA War in Kurdistan: The Untold Story of the Northern Front in the Iraq War.
Apr 14, 2020
Current Affairs in the Middle East: A Conversation with Kirsten Fontenrose
4040
Executive Director, Chris Costa talks with Kirsten Fontenrose, current Director of the Scowcroft Middle East Security Initiative at the Atlantic Council, about current events in the Middle East and her twenty years of experience with the region.
Apr 07, 2020
Talking to a Former Hostage: A Conversation with Jason Rezaian
3685
Executive Director Chris Costa sits down with Washington Post journalist, Jason Rezaian to talk about his book and experiences being taken hostage in Iran.
Mar 31, 2020
From the Vault: Remember When Computer Viruses Were The Scary Viruses?
2918
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Rick Holland, Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) and Vice President of Strategy for Digital Shadows, to discuss the latest cyber trends and developments
Mar 24, 2020
From the Vault: Quarantine Edition
2421
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with bioterrorism expert Hank Parker to discuss current threats and Parker's new book Containment.
Mar 17, 2020
Spy Chat with Chris Costa
3782
Having trouble getting a handle on world events? Join Spy Museum Executive Director Chris Costa and Former CIA/ Spy Museum Advisory Board Member Karen M. Schaefer for a discussion of the latest intelligence, national security, and terrorism issues in the news.
Mar 10, 2020
The Unexpected Spy: A Conversation with Tracy Walder
2950
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with former CIA officer and FBI special agent Tracy Walder to discuss her career in intelligence, and her new book, The Unexpected Spy: From the CIA to the FBI, My Secret Life Taking Down Some of the World's Most Notorious Terrorists
Mar 03, 2020
SpyCast Special Preview: Life's Little Mysteries
772
SpyCast has teamed up with Live Science to bring you this special preview clip of the new podcast, Life's Little Mysteries.
Mar 02, 2020
Russians Among Us: A Conversation with Gordon Corera
3304
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with BBC security correspondent Gordon Corera to discuss the Russian “illegals” program and his new book, Russians Among Us: Sleeper Cells, Ghost Stories, and the Hunt for Putin's Spies.
Feb 25, 2020
The SpyCast Conversation with Darrell Blocker
3534
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with former CIA officer Darrell Blocker to discuss his career and work throughout Africa.
Feb 18, 2020
Chinese Corn Caper: A Conversation with Mara Hvistendahl
2859
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with writer, speaker, commentator, and Pulitzer Prize finalist Mara Hvistendahl to discuss the rise of economic espionage, the American response to this threat, and her new book, The Scientist and The Spy: A True Story of China, the FBI, and Industrial Espionage
Feb 11, 2020
The SpyCast Conversation with Sue Gordon
3829
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with former Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence Sue Gordon to discuss her career and many important topics in intelligence
Feb 04, 2020
From the Vault: The SpyCast conversation with Gen. David Petraeus
2750
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with retired 4-star general David Petraeus, former Commanding General, Multi-National Force – Iraq; Commander, US Central Command; commander of the International Security Assistance Force and Commander, US Forces Afghanistan; and Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, where he served from September, 2011, until November, 2012.
Jan 28, 2020
Spy Chat with Chris Costa
4606
Having trouble getting a handle on world events? Join Spy Museum Executive Director Chris Costa for a discussion of the latest intelligence, national security, and terrorism issues in the news.
Jan 21, 2020
Avoiding the Terrorist Trap: A Conversation with Tom Parker
3856
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with counterterrorism expert and former MI5 officer Tom Parker to discuss the role of human rights in the fight against terrorism. 
Jan 14, 2020
How Haven’t I Heard of This??: A Conversation with William Rosenau
4133
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with terrorism expert William Rosenau to discuss a most improbable true story: America’s first female terrorist group and their attacks, which included the Washington Navy Yard, an FBI office, and even the US Capitol.
Jan 07, 2020
2019 Staff Picks: A Conversation with Adm. Mike Rogers
4400
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with former NSA Director and CYBERCOM commander Admiral Mike Rogers
Dec 31, 2019
2019 Staff Picks: A Conversation with Jack Doyle
3398
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Jack Doyle, former field director for NEST, the Department of Energy’s Nuclear Emergency Search Team.
Dec 31, 2019
2019 Staff Picks: A Conversation with Jim Gant and Ann Scott Tyson
5437
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with former Green Beret Major Jim Gant and his wife, former war correspondent Ann Scott Tyson, who is the author of the book, American Spartan: The Promise, the Mission, and the Betrayal of Special Forces Major Jim Gant
Dec 31, 2019
2019 Staff Picks: A Conversation with David Kennedy, David Turk, and Howard Safir
3718
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with representatives of the United States Marshals Service to discuss the decades-long manhunt for Nazi war criminal Dr. Joseph Mengele.
Dec 31, 2019
2019 Staff Picks: A Conversation with DIA Director LTG Robert Ashley
3021
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with the 21st Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency to discuss his career, the mission of the DIA, and his role as its director.
Dec 31, 2019
Protected Voices: A Conversation with FBI ASAC Jason Fickett
2830
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Jason Fickett, the Assistant Special Agent-in-Charge, Intelligence Division, FBI’s Washington Field Office, to discuss his career and the government’s new program to combat foreign influence.
Dec 24, 2019
Out of the Shadows: A Conversation with Marc Polymeropoulos
3276
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with recently retired CIA Senior Intelligence Service officer Marc Polymeropoulos to discuss a career that spanned more than two decades and crossed multiple continents.
Dec 17, 2019
Trump and His Generals: A Conversation with Peter Bergen
3566
SPY Executive Director Chris Costa sat down with Peter Bergen to discuss his new book, Trump and His Generals: The Cost of Chaos.
Dec 10, 2019
The SpyCast Conversation with Nayyera Haq
3567
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with a former senior advisor to both the White House and the Secretary of State to discuss the difficulties in explaining American national security policy to both domestic and foreign audiences
Dec 03, 2019
From the Vault: SpyCast, the Giving Thanks Edition
1385
In November, 2006, SpyCast was born. After 13 years, 397 episodes, and millions of worldwide listeners, we are still going strong. This is because of you, and your continued support for the little-podcast-that-could. Thank you! Here is the very first SpyCast: a conversation between the great Peter Earnest, and one of our very favorites, Tony Mendez,
Nov 26, 2019
Agents of Influence: A Conversation with Henry Hemming
3308
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with bestselling author Henry Hemming to discuss information operations, fake news, British and German espionage, and his new book, Agents of Influence: A British Campaign, a Canadian Spy, and the Secret Plot to Bring America into World War II
Nov 19, 2019
From the Vault: The SpyCast conversation with Gen. Michael Hayden
4378
Last week, Gen. Michael Hayden was honored by the International Spy Museum with the 2019 William H. Webster Distinguished Service Award. In 2016, SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Gen. Hayden to discuss his life and career in intelligence. 
Nov 12, 2019
Walking Away from the Kurds: A Conversation with LTG Michael K. Nagata
4974
SPY Executive Director Chris Costa sat down with the Former Director, Directorate of Strategic and Operational Planning at the National Counterterrorism Center, to discuss recent events in counterterrorism, and the Trump Administration’s decision to end their support of the Kurds.   Lieutenant General Michael K. Nagata assumed the position of Director, Directorate of Strategic Operational Planning at the National Counterterrorism Center on May 13, 2016.  Previously, LTG Nagata served as the Commander, Special Operations Command Central (SOCCENT), a sub-unified command of CENTCOM, from June 2013 to October 2015. A native of Virginia, Lieutenant General Nagata graduated from Georgia State University and commissioned as an Infantry Officer in 1982. He initially served as a Platoon Leader in the 2d Infantry Division before volunteering for Army Special Forces in 1984. Throughout his career he served in various positions within Army Special Forces to include: Detachment Commander, Executive Officer, Battalion S-3, Operations Center Director, BN Executive Officer, and Group Operations Officer. Later, he served as the Commander of 1st BN, 1st Special Warfare Training Group, responsible for the Special Forces Qualification Course. In 1990, he volunteered and assessed for a Special Missions Unit (SMU), in which he served at various times throughout his career as a Troop Commander, Operations Officer, Squadron Commander, and SMU Commander. After graduating from the National War College, Lieutenant General Nagata served in the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence. He then served within the Intelligence Community as a Deputy Director for Counter Terrorism. As a general officer, he has served as the Deputy Chief, Office of the Defense Representative to Pakistan (ODRP), the Deputy Director for Special Operations and Counter Terrorism (J-37) of the Joint Staff, and Commander, SOCCENT.
Nov 05, 2019
SpooooookyCast: DIA Investigates the Paranormal
3777
In this special Halloween SpyCast, SPY Historian Vince Houghton spoke to DIA Chief Historian Greg Elder about the DIA’s investigation into telekinesis, telepathy, remote viewing, and other spooky stuff. 
Oct 29, 2019
Return to the Reich: A Conversation with Eric Lichtblau
3937
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with author, investigative reporter, and two-time Pulitzer- winner, Eric Lichtblau, to discuss OSS operations in Europe and his new book Return to the Reich: A Holocaust Refugee's Secret Mission to Defeat the Nazis.
Oct 22, 2019
Gitmo Law: A Conversation with Alka Pradhan and Ben Farley
3429
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Guantanamo defense attorneys Alka Pradhan and Ben Farley, who represent one of the 9/11 defendants, Ammar al-Baluchi. 
Oct 15, 2019
From the Vault: Whistleblower Aid, An Interview with John Tye and Mark Zaid
3228
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with attorneys John Tye and Mark Zaid to discuss their project Whistleblower Aid, which is a non-profit organization designed to protect whistleblowers – and to prevent them from becoming leakers.
Oct 08, 2019
Operation Gold: A Conversation with Steve Vogel and Bernd von Kostka
3134
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Washington Post reporter and author Steve Vogel, and the curator of Berlin’s Allied Museum, Bernd von Kostka, to discuss the Berlin Tunnel, the ambitious Cold War SIGINT operation that is the focus of Vogel’s new book, Betrayal in Berlin
Oct 01, 2019
The Life of John André: A Conversation with Douglas Ronald
3559
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with academic and author Dr. Doug Ronald to discuss one of the most fascinating personalities of the American Revolution, and the subject of his book, The Life of John André: The Redcoat Who Turned Benedict Arnold
Sep 24, 2019
The SpyCast Conversation with…wait…Vince, Again??
4053
Former SPY Historian Alexis Albion sat down with current SPY Historian Vince Houghton to discuss WWII and early Cold War nuclear intelligence, and Houghton’s new book The Nuclear Spies: America’s Atomic Intelligence Operation against Hitler and Stalin
Sep 17, 2019
The SpyCast Conversation with David Rolph
4170
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with former CIA Chief of East Berlin and Moscow stations David Rolph, who also served as the handler for one of CIA’s most important Soviet assets, Adolf Tolkachev.
Sep 10, 2019
Moscow Rules: A Conversation with Jonna Mendez
3991
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with former CIA Chief of Disguise Jonna Mendez to talk about operating in VERY denied areas, and her newest book, The Moscow Rules: The Secret CIA Tactics that Helped America Win the Cold War.
Sep 03, 2019
The SpyCast Conversation with Michael Lacombe
3416
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Michael Lacombe, a 28-year veteran of the CIA’s Directorate of Operations. He served as Chief of Station twice in a War Zone, Deputy Chief of Station, and once as Chief of Base, and was Chief of CIA’s Operational Training at the Farm.
Aug 27, 2019
The SpyCast Conversation with Matt Korda of the Federation of American Scientists
3560
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Matt Korda of the FAS Nuclear Information Project, and co-author of the Nuclear Notebook, to discuss multiple current issues in the world of nukes and intel.
Aug 20, 2019
The SpyCast Conversation with Emily Crose
3371
At a live event at the International Spy Museum, SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with former CIA, NSA, and INSCOM infosec specialist Emily Crose to talk the past, present, and future of cyber
Aug 13, 2019
George Sharpe and the BMI: A Conversation with Peter Tsouras
4055
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with former military intelligence officer and prolific author Peter Tsouras to discuss the role of George Sharpe and the Bureau of Military Information in helping the Union win the Civil War
Aug 06, 2019
Bringing Americans Home: A Conversation with Diane Foley and Cynthia Loertscher
3339
Resources: Does the U.S. No-Concessions Policy Deter Kidnappings of Americans? (https://www.rand.org/pubs/perspectives/PE277.html)   University of Maryland START Global Terrorism Database (https://www.start.umd.edu/gtd/) Held Hostage: Analyses of Kidnapping Across Time and Among Jihadist Organizations (https://ctc.usma.edu/held-hostage-analyses-of-kidnapping-across-time-and-among-jihadist-organizations/)   To Pay Ransom or Not to Pay Ransom? (https://www.newamerica.org/international-security/policy-papers/pay-ransom-or-not/) Why concessions should not be made to terrorist kidnappers (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0176268016300143) We Want to Negotiate: The Secret World of Kidnapping, Hostages and Ransom (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38392505-we-want-to-negotiate) Presidential Policy Directive -- Hostage Recovery Activities (https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/the-press-office/2015/06/24/presidential-policy-directive-hostage-recovery-activities) Bringing Americans Home: The First Non-Governmental Assessment of U.S. Hostage Policy and Family Engagement (https://www.newamerica.org/international-security/reports/bringing-americans-home/)
Jul 30, 2019
The Dark Side of Paradise: A Conversation with Richard Kerr
4704
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with former Deputy Director of CIA, former Acting Director, and former Deputy Director for Intelligence Richard Kerr, to discuss his career and his new book, The Dark Side of Paradise: Odd and Intriguing Stories from Vero Beach
Jul 23, 2019
Mosul: A Conversation with Daniel Gabriel
2891
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with former CIA counterterrorism officer Dan Gabriel, who is now filmmaker Dan Gabriel, the writer and director of the extraordinary documentary, Mosul.
Jul 16, 2019
Strategic Warning: A Conversation with John Gentry and Joseph Gordon
3715
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with former intelligence analysts John Gentry and Joe Gordon to discuss one of the most misunderstood aspects of the intelligence business: strategic warning. Gentry and Gordon are the authors of the book, Strategic Warning Intelligence: History, Challenges, and Prospects.
Jul 09, 2019
The Threat: A Conversation with Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe
3520
SPY Executive Director Chris Costa sat down with former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe to discuss the current threat environment.
Jul 02, 2019
Spies of No Country: A Conversation with Matti Friedman
2790
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with journalist and author Matti Friedman for a fascinating look at early Israeli intelligence, and his book, Spies of No Country: Secret Lives at the Birth of Israel
Jun 25, 2019
NEST: A Conversation with Jack Doyle
3398
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Jack Doyle, former field director for NEST, the Department of Energy’s Nuclear Emergency Search Team.
Jun 18, 2019
American Spartan: A Conversation with Jim Gant and Ann Scott Tyson
5437
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with former Green Beret Major Jim Gant and his wife, former war correspondent Ann Scott Tyson, who is the author of the book, American Spartan: The Promise, the Mission, and the Betrayal of Special Forces Major Jim Gant
Jun 11, 2019
Mata Hari, The Spy: An Interview with Dr. Julie Wheelwright
3918
SPY Adult Education Director Amanda Ohlke sat down with Dr. Julie Wheelwright, the author of The Fatal Lover: Mata Hari and the Myth of Women in Espionage.  Julie and Amanda discuss the famous early 20th century dancer: her background, how she became famous and successful against all odds, and the truth about her espionage activities during WWI.
Jun 04, 2019
Freedom’s Laboratory: A Conversation with Audra Wolfe
3451
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with writer, editor, and historian Audra Wolfe to discuss Cold War propaganda and psychological operations, and her book, Freedom’s Laboratory: The Cold War Struggle for the Soul of Science.
May 28, 2019
Area 51 Special Projects: A Conversation with TD Barnes
3335
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with TD Barnes, who served as a field engineer at the NASA High Range in Nevada for the X-15, XB-70, lifting bodies and lunar landing vehicles; worked on the NERVA project at Jackass Flats, Nevada; and served in Special Projects at Area 51.
May 21, 2019
The SpyCast Conversation with Adm. Mike Rogers
4400
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with former NSA Director and CYBERCOM commander Admiral Mike Rogers
May 14, 2019
The SpyCast Conversation with…Vince Houghton?
3564
Guest host David Priess sat down with SPY historian and curator Vince Houghton to discuss Houghton’s new book, Nuking the Moon: And Other Intelligence Schemes And Military Plots Left On The Drawing Board. IARPA/ARL link: https://sites.google.com/create.jhuapl.edu/join
May 07, 2019
The SpyCast Conversation with Dr. John Browne
3609
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with John Browne, former director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, who was there for – among other things – the Wen Ho Lee spy investigation. IARPA/ARL link: https://sites.google.com/create.jhuapl.edu/join
Apr 30, 2019
Leadership and Counterterrorism: A Conversation with General Stanley McChrystal
3230
SPY Executive Director Chris Costa sat down with the former Commander of Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), Commander, International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and Commander, U.S. Forces - Afghanistan (USFOR-A)
Apr 23, 2019
Nukes and North Korea: A Conversation with Jeffrey Lewis
3472
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with arms control expert Jeffrey Lewis to discuss nuclear threats from around the world, and his fascinating book, The 2020 Commission Report on the North Korean Nuclear Attacks Against the United States: A Speculative Novel
Apr 16, 2019
The SpyCast Conversation with Dr. Gary Weir, Chief Historian, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
2730
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Gary Weir to discuss some of the history of NGA, and their vital role in the mission to find and neutralize Usama bin Laden
Apr 09, 2019
The SpyCast Conversation with FBI Special Agent Peter Lapp
3427
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Peter Lapp, whose two decade career at the FBI included extensive work in counterintelligence.
Apr 02, 2019
Gray Day: A Conversation with Eric O’Neill
3403
SPY Historian Vince Houghton say down with cybersecurity expert and former FBI counterterrorism and counterintelligence operative Eric O’Neill to discuss the investigation into, and arrest of, Soviet/Russian spy Robert Hanssen, and O’Neill’s new book on the topic, Gray Day: My Undercover Mission To Expose America’s First Cyber Spy
Mar 26, 2019
Rethinking CT: A Conversation with Jason Blazakis
2801
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with the Director of the Center on Terrorism, Extremism, and Counterterrorism at Monterey to discuss terrorism financing, state-sponsorship, and the rise of domestic terrorism.
Mar 19, 2019
Dezinformatsiya Revisited: A Conversation with Liz Wahl
2997
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down for a second time with journalist, and now congressional candidate, Liz Wahl to discuss Russian disinformation operations and more.
Mar 12, 2019
Hostage Recovery Fusion Cell: A Conversation with Former Director Rob Saale
2259
SPY Executive Director Chris Costa sat down with Rob Saale, the former director of the Hostage Recovery Fusion Cell.
Mar 05, 2019
CIA vs DOD: A Conversation with David Oakley
2762
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Army officer and former CIA intelligence officer David Oakley to discuss the tensions between the military and the CIA, and his new book, Subordinating Intelligence: The DoD/CIA Post-Cold War Relationship
Feb 26, 2019
The New Rules of War: A Conversation with Sean McFate
2752
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with National Defense University professor Sean McFate to discuss his new book, The New Rules of War: Victory in the Age or Durable Disorder.
Feb 19, 2019
Hunting Mengele: A Conversation with David Kennedy, David Turk, and Howard Safir
3718
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with representatives of the United States Marshals Service to discuss the decades-long manhunt for Nazi war criminal Dr. Joseph Mengele.
Feb 12, 2019
Code Name Lise: A Conversation with Larry Loftis
2015
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with bestselling author Larry Loftis to discuss the extraordinary WWII British agent Odette Sansom, and Loftis’s new book, Code Name: Lise: The True Story of the Woman Who Became WWII's Most Highly Decorated Spy
Feb 05, 2019
Counterterrorism Strategy: A Conversation with Peter Bergen & Chris Costa
4061
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with terrorism expert Peter Bergen and SPY Executive Director Chris Costa to discuss the details and highlights of the most recent national counterterrorism strategy
Jan 29, 2019
The First Conspiracy: A Conversation with Brad Meltzer
2539
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with prolific author Brad Meltzer to discuss his newest book, The First Conspiracy: The Secret Plot to Kill George Washington. Link: [https://www.amazon.com/First-Conspiracy-Secret-George-Washington/dp/1250130336/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1547763104&sr=8-1&keywords=the+first+conspiracy+brad+meltzer](https://www.amazon.com/First-Conspiracy-Secret-George-Washington/dp/1250130336/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1547763104&sr=8-1&keywords=the+first+conspiracy+brad+meltzer)
Jan 22, 2019
The SpyCast Interview with DIA Director LTG Robert Ashley
3021
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with the 21st Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency to discuss his career, the mission of the DIA, and his role as its director.
Jan 15, 2019
Disrupt and Deny: A Conversation with Rory Cormac
3396
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with University of Nottingham professor Rory Cormac to discuss the history of British covert action and his newest book, Disrupt and Deny: Spies, Special Forces, and the Secret Pursuit of British Foreign Policy.
Jan 08, 2019
Korean Security Issues: A Conversation with former Ambassador to South Korea Mark Lippert
3420
SPY Executive Director Chris Costa sits down with the former Ambassador to South Korea, Mark Lippert to discuss his career and insights on the U.S. relationship with South Korea, as well as current issues surrounding the Korean peninsula.
Jan 01, 2019
Moscow at Midnight: A Conversation with Sally McGrane
2412
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with journalist and writer Sally McGrane to discuss modern-day Russia, living in Germany, and her novel Moscow at Midnight.
Dec 25, 2018
Masters of Mayhem: A Conversation with James Stejskal
2970
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with former Green Beret and CIA Operations Officer James Stejskal to discuss the legacy of TE Lawrence and Stejskal’s newest book, Masters of Mayhem: Lawrence of Arabia and the British Military Mission to the Hejaz.
Dec 18, 2018
Into the Shadows: A Conversation with Michael Brady
2985
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with ret US Army LTC and former career intelligence officer Michael Brady to discuss his career, the status of intelligence education, and his latest book, Into the Shadows, Assassination Corps.
Dec 11, 2018
The Spy Who Was Left Behind: A Conversation with Michael Pullara
3270
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with attorney Michael Pullara to discuss the case of slain CIA officer Freddie Woodruff and Pullara’s new book, The Spy Who Was Left Behind: Russia, the United States, and the True Story of the Betrayal and Assassination of a CIA Agent
Dec 04, 2018
The SpyCast Conversation with Ambassador Joe Wilson
3853
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Ambassador Joe Wilson to discuss his career, the politicization of intelligence, and uranium from Niger
Nov 27, 2018
The SpyCast Interview with Jeremy Bash
2834
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Jeremy Bash and discussed his career at CIA, DOD, the House Intelligence Committee, and other topics.
Nov 20, 2018
Hostage US: A Conversation with Rachel Briggs & Joshua Geltzer
2364
SPY Executive Director Chris Costa sat down with Rachel Briggs and Joshua Geltzer from Hostage US, a non-profit organization that supports families of Americans taken hostage abroad
Nov 13, 2018
From FBI to CNN: A Conversation with Josh Campbell
4138
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Josh Campbell, former Supervisory Special Agent with the FBI, and now Law Enforcement Analyst for CNN
Nov 06, 2018
Inside the DIA – The Hunt for UBL: A Conversation with DIA Historian Greg Elder
3294
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with DIA Chief Historian Greg Elder to discuss the DIA’s role in the hunt for Usama bin Laden.
Oct 30, 2018
The Secrets of the Bridge of Spies: A Conversation with Francis Gary Powers, Jr., Mary Ellen Fuller, and Vin Arthey
3339
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down for a discussion of the most famous spy trade in history: Soviet spy Rudolf Abel for American U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers
Oct 23, 2018
Active Measures: A Conversation with Jack Bryan
2574
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with filmmaker Jack Bryan to discuss his newly released film on Russian active measures and the 2016 presidential election.
Oct 16, 2018
An American’s Path to Al-Qa’ida: A Conversation with Bryant Neal Viñas
2027
SPY Executive Director Chris Costa sat down with Bryant Neal Viñas to discuss the story of his ideological journey from New York to Pakistan and Afghanistan to wage jihad.
Oct 09, 2018
The Wounded Muse: A Conversation with Robert Delaney
3100
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with award winning author and journalist Robert Delaney, who has been covering China as a journalist for more than 20 years. His debut novel, The Wounded Muse, is out now.
Oct 02, 2018
Man of War: A Conversation with Sean Parnell
2762
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Retired Army Infantry Captain, veteran’s advocate, and author Sean Parnell to talk about his new book Man of War, his wartime experiences, and key issues facing veterans today.
Sep 25, 2018
The Spy and the Traitor: A Conversation with Ben MacIntyre
3290
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with prolific author Ben MacIntyre to discuss the Oleg Gordievsky case and MacIntyre’s new book, The Spy and the Traitor: The Greatest Espionage Story of the Cold War.
Sep 18, 2018
From the Vault, 9/11 Edition: A Conversation with Cofer Black
3865
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Cofer Black, the former Director of CIA’s Counterterrorism Center (CTC), to discuss the role of the CTC before, during, and after the attacks on September 11, 2001.
Sep 11, 2018
From the Vault (But Never Heard Before): A Conversation with William Webster
2768
Former SPY Executive Director Peter Earnest sat down in 2013 with former CIA and FBI Director, Judge William Webster. Hear it now for the first time.
Sep 04, 2018
NatSec and the Law: A Conversation with Mark Zaid
4450
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with attorney Mark Zaid to discuss the revocation of security clearances, non-disclosure agreements, pre-publication review, and recent national security leaks.
Aug 28, 2018
Reflections on Counterterrorism: A Conversation with Nicholas Rasmussen
4858
SPY Executive Director Chris Costa sat down for a special conversation with the former Director of the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), Nicholas Rasmussen.
Aug 21, 2018
US Intel in WWI: A Conversation with Mark Stout
4061
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with former SPY Historian Mark Stout to discuss all things American Intelligence in WWI.
Aug 14, 2018
Busy Days: A Conversation with Shane Harris
3913
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Washington Post intelligence and national security reporters to discuss…well, everything.
Aug 07, 2018
The SpyCast Conversation with former HPSCI Chair Mike Rogers
4055
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with former FBI agent and chair of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Mike Rogers to discuss his career and how he feels about the current state of the Intelligence Community.
Jul 31, 2018
“The Cyber”: A Conversation with Rick Holland
2907
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Rick Holland, Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) and Vice President of Strategy for Digital Shadows, to discuss the latest cyber trends and developments
Jul 24, 2018
The Other Woman: A Conversation with Daniel Silva
2616
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with bestselling novelist Daniel Silva to discuss his career, his writing philosophy, and his new book, The Other Woman.
Jul 17, 2018
Covering the Front: A Conversation with James Gordon Meek
4372
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with ABC News national security investigative reporter James Gordon Meek to discuss his career in journalism and government.
Jul 10, 2018
Operation Black Mail: A Conversation with Ann Todd
2879
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with historian Ann Todd to discuss WWII propaganda efforts and her book, OSS Operation Black Mail: One Woman’s Covert War Against the Imperial Japanese Army
Jul 03, 2018
Wisdom of the Crowd: A Conversation with Dr. Steven Rieber
2690
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Dr. Steven Rieber, IARPA program manager, to discuss CREATE, which seeks to develop, and experimentally test, systems that use crowdsourcing and structured analytic techniques to improve analytic reasoning. [CLICK HERE](https://www.iarpa.gov/index.php/research-programs/create/) for more information on the program. [CLICK HERE](http://join.createbetterreasoning.com) to sign up.
Jun 26, 2018
Nine Lives: A Conversation with Aimen Dean
4434
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Aimen Dean, former member of Al Qaeda, agent for MI-6, and author of the new book, Nine Lives: My time as the West's top spy inside al-Qaeda
Jun 19, 2018
Overkill: A Conversation with Ted Bell
2081
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with spy novelist Ted Bell, author of 10 consecutive New York Times Bestsellers, including the Alex Hawke series of spy thrillers. The newest is Overkill.
Jun 12, 2018
Spy Chiefs: A Conversation with Mark Stout and Chris Moran
3410
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with intelligence experts Drs. Mark Stout and Chris Moran to discuss the 2 volume book Spy Chiefs, which they both contributed to and edited.
Jun 05, 2018
Space and National Security: A Conversation with Chirag Parikh
3904
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Chirag Parikh, the Deputy Director for Counterproliferation at the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, to discuss the importance of space in the 21st century.
May 30, 2018
The SpyCast Conversation with John Brennan
3265
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with former CIA Director John Brennan to discuss his career and key moments during his time as Director .
May 22, 2018
The Targeter: A Conversation with Nada Bakos
3325
SPY historian Vince Houghton sat down with former CIA analyst and targeting officer Nada Bakos to discuss her career, the CIA, and the current state of intelligence in America
May 15, 2018
A Brotherhood of Spies: A Conversation with Monte Reel
3501
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with author and journalist Monte Reel, whose new book on the development and impact of the U-2 program is A Brotherhood of Spies: The U-2 and the CIA's Secret War. For more information about this week’s sponsor, visit ziprecruiter.com.
May 08, 2018
The National Security Strategy: A Conversation with Fmr Dep National Security Advisor Nadia Schadlow
3289
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Nadia Schadlow, the former Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategy, to discuss the recently released National Security Strategy for the Trump Administration.
May 01, 2018
Cold War Navy SEAL: A Conversation with James Hawes
4047
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with former Navy SEAL and CIA operator James Hawes to discuss his time in Vietnam and the Congo in the 1960s. Hawes is the author of the new book, Cold War Navy SEAL: My Story of Che Guevara, War in the Congo, and the Communist Threat in Africa.
Apr 24, 2018
Last Night of the World: A Conversation with Joyce Wayne
2882
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with award-winning literary journalist and author Joyce Wayne to discuss her new historical novel Last Night of the World, which centers on an infamous Soviet spy ring operating in early-Cold War Canada.
Apr 17, 2018
The Mad Scientists: A Conversation with Lee Grubbs
3423
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Lee Grubbs, director of the Mad Scientist initiative, a US Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) program that continually explores the future through collaborative partnerships and continuous dialogue with academia, industry, and government. Check out their blog, at http://madsciblog.tradoc.army.mil/
Apr 10, 2018
Meet the New Guy, Part 2: An Interview with Chris Costa
3499
SPY Historian Vince Houghton continues his conversation with the new Executive Director of the International Spy Museum to discuss his career in intelligence, special operations, counterterrorism, and policymaking. This week’s SpyCast is brought to you by Casper (casper.com).
Apr 03, 2018
Meet the New Guy, Part 1: An Interview with Chris Costa
3306
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with the new Executive Director of the International Spy Museum to discuss his career in intelligence, special operations, counterterrorism, and policymaking. Part 2 will be posted next week. This week’s SpyCast is brought to you by The Great Courses Plus (thegreatcoursesplus.com) and the True Crime Obsessed podcast (truecrimeobsessed.com).
Mar 27, 2018
In the Enemy’s House: An Interview with Howard Blum
2860
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with NYT bestselling author and Pulitzer Prize nominee Howard Blum to discuss his newest book In the Enemy's House: The Secret Saga of the FBI Agent and the Code Breaker Who Caught the Russian Spies. This week’s SpyCast is brought to you by The Great Courses Plus (thegreatcoursesplus.com) and SaneBox (sanebox.com).
Mar 20, 2018
Breaking Cover: An Interview with Michele Rigby Assad
3196
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with former CIA operations officer Michele Rigby Assad to discuss her career in intelligence, and her new book Breaking Cover: My Secret Life in the CIA and What It Taught Me about What's Worth Fighting For.
Mar 13, 2018
Operation Chaos: An Interview with Matthew Sweet
3640
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with author Matthew Sweet, who has written on one of the most…extraordinary topics of the Cold War. His book, Operation Chaos: The Vietnam Deserters who Fought the CIA, the Brainwashers, and Themselves, is out now.
Mar 06, 2018
The Peter Earnest “Exit Interview”
3612
SPY Historian sat down with recently retired International Spy Museum Executive Director Peter Earnest to discuss his career in intelligence, his time with the Museum, and his thoughts on life moving forward .
Feb 27, 2018
The Doomsday Machine: An Interview with Daniel Ellsberg
4643
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down (remotely) with Daniel Ellsberg, who is best known for his release of the Pentagon Papers to the public in 1971\. He is also the author of The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner, which details his early life as a specialist on the command and control of nuclear weapons, nuclear war plans, and crisis decision-making.
Feb 20, 2018
Technology and Human Intelligence: An Interview with Paula Doyle
3966
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Paula Doyle, former Associate Deputy Director of Operations at CIA, where she oversaw worldwide HUMINT operations and activities that required the use of air, land, maritime, space-based and cyber technologies.
Feb 13, 2018
Spy Watching: An Interview with Loch Johnson
4071
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with political scientist and professor Loch Johnson, whose decade-long career in and out of the intelligence world has culminated in a new book, Spy Watching: Intelligence Accountability in the United States.
Feb 06, 2018
The Saboteur: An Interview with Paul Kix
3257
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Paul Kix, deputy editor at ESPN the Magazine, and author of the book The Saboteur: The Aristocrat Who Became France's Most Daring Anti-Nazi Commando
Jan 30, 2018
Destination Casablanca: An Interview with Meredith Hindley
2830
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with writer and historian Meredith Hindley to discuss her new book Destination Casablanca: Exile, Espionage, and the Battle for North Africa in World War II
Jan 23, 2018
The Red Web: An Interview with Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan
3585
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with investigative journalists Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan to discuss Russian intelligence, their security services, and the Russian use of the internet both internally and externally
Jan 16, 2018
American Radical: An Interview with Kevin Maurer
3811
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Kevin Maurer, coauthor of the bestseller No Easy Day, and now coauthor of the new book, American Radical: Inside the World of an Undercover Muslim FBI Agent, which he cowrote with undercover FBI agent Tamer Elnoury .
Jan 09, 2018
A Rebel at the CIA: An Interview with former DDI Carmen Medina
3946
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Carmen Medina, the CIA’s former Deputy Director of Intelligence and Director of the Center for the Study of Intelligence. She is also the author of Rebels at Work: A Handbook for Leading Change from Within.
Jan 02, 2018
The Psychology of Espionage: An Interview with Dr. Ursula Wilder
4893
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with CIA clinical psychologist Dr. Ursula Wilder, who in her over two decades at CIA has worked within the Counterintelligence Center, the Counterterrorism Center, and the Sherman Kent School for Intelligence Analysis.
Dec 26, 2017
Inside Naval Intelligence: An Interview with Deputy Director B Lynn Wright
3248
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Lynn Wright, the current Deputy Director of Naval Intelligence and the Head of the Naval Intelligence Activity.
Dec 19, 2017
A Little Bit of Everything: An Interview with Kristin Wood
4554
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Kristin Wood, who spent more than two decades with CIA in a number of roles – from the briefer to the Vice President, to intelligence analyst, to the National Clandestine Service, to the Open Source Center.
Dec 12, 2017
View from the Top: An Interview with Michael Morell
5437
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with former CIA Deputy Director and Acting Director Michael Morell to discuss his career at the Agency, and his role in some of the most momentous intelligence events of the last two decades.
Dec 05, 2017
Follow the Money: An Interview with Nitsana Darshan-Leitner
4063
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Israeli activist and attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner to discuss the ongoing campaign to disrupt terrorist finance, and her new book Harpoon: Inside the Covert War Against Terrorism's Money Masters
Nov 28, 2017
Speaking Truth to Power: An Interview with Ned Price
4147
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Ned Price, former CIA analyst and Special Assistant to President Obama on the National Security Council staff, where he also was the Spokesperson and Senior Director for Strategic Communications.
Nov 21, 2017
Everything You Wanted to Know About GEOINT but Were Afraid to Ask: An Interview with Keith Masback
3805
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Keith Masback, the CEO of the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation, to talk all things GEOINT.
Nov 14, 2017
The Woman Who Smashed Codes: An Interview with Jason Fagone
3710
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with author Jason Fagone to discuss the history of American codebreaking and his book, The Woman Who Smashed Codes: A True Story of Love, Spies, and the Unlikely Heroine Who Outwitted America’s Enemies.
Nov 07, 2017
Chief of Station: An Interview with John Sipher
4650
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with CIA veteran John Sipher, who served multiple overseas tours as Chief of Station and Deputy Chief of Station in Europe, Asia, Southeast Asia, the Balkans, and South Asia.
Oct 31, 2017
Dinner at the Center of the Earth: An Interview with Nathan Englander
3104
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with author Nathan Englander to discuss his new novel, Middle East politics, the Mossad, the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, and growing up Jewish in America.
Oct 24, 2017
Our First Bond Villain: An Interview with Robert Davi
4318
In late July, SPY Historian Vince Houghton traveled to Pasadena, CA to take part in Politicon, the “Unconventional Political Convention” (think Comic Con for political junkies). There he sat down with prolific actor Robert Davi, who played Franz Sanchez, Bond’s nemesis in License to Kill.
Oct 17, 2017
Spy Schools: An Interview with Dan Golden
3468
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Dan Golden to discuss his new book, focused on the exploitation of American universities by both foreign and US intelligence agencies.
Oct 10, 2017
Preserving Cold War Berlin: An Interview with Bernd von Kostka
3351
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Bernd von Kostka, the Acting Director of the Allied Museum in Berlin, to discuss some of the key stories from the Cold War in Germany.
Oct 03, 2017
Whistleblower Aid: An Interview with John Tye and Mark Zaid
3345
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with attorneys John Tye and Mark Zaid to discuss their new project Whistleblower Aid, which is a non-profit organization designed to protect whistleblowers – and to prevent them from becoming leakers.
Sep 26, 2017
Foxtrot in Kandahar: An Interview with Duane Evans
4324
Recorded in front of a live audience at the Museum, SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with former CIA operations officer Duane Evans, who led a team of special operators into Afghanistan in the weeks following 9/11.
Sep 19, 2017
Patton’s Way: An Interview with James Kelly Morningstar
3636
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with former Army officer and historian James Kelly Morningstar to discuss the use of intelligence by legendary General George Patton, highlighted in Morningstar’s new book Patton’s Way: A Radical Theory of War.
Sep 12, 2017
The Taking of K-129: An Interview with Josh Dean
4284
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with author and journalist Josh Dean to discuss Project Azorian, the Glomar Explorer, and one of the most spectacular covert operations in history.
Sep 05, 2017
Inside the DIA, Episode 2: An Interview with DIA Historian Greg Elder
4552
In the second installment of our recurring series, SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with DIA Chief Historian Greg Elder to discuss the DIA’s role in some of the most momentous events in recent US history.
Aug 29, 2017
From the Vault: Civil War Overhead Recon, An Interview with Dr. Jim Green
3381
Because everyone else is going eclipse crazy, we thought we would re-post SPY Historian Vince Houghton’s interview with one of the tops guys at NASA, Dr. Jim Green. Green’s day job is Director of the Planetary Science Division at NASA. In his spare time, he has become one to the top experts in Civil War balloon reconnaissance.
Aug 22, 2017
Deep Black: An Interview with Sean McFate
2978
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Sean McFate, a former paratrooper, private military contractor, and now author, novelist, and expert in foreign policy and national security strategy. Drs. Houghton and McFate discuss military and intelligence privatization, and McFate’s new book, Deep Black.
Aug 15, 2017
China's Cyber Wars: An Interview with TL Williams
3339
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with former CIA operations officer and Deputy Division Chief for Counterintelligence TL Williams to discuss his career and his new novel, Zero Day: China's Cyber Wars.
Aug 08, 2017
Whistleblower at the CIA: An Interview with Melvin Goodman
4303
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with former CIA analyst Melvin Goodman to discuss his life in government, and his book “A Whistleblower at the CIA: The Path of Dissent” – an insiders account of the politics of intelligence.
Aug 01, 2017
Special Forces Berlin: An Interview with James Stejskal
3438
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with former Green Beret James Stejskal to discuss the role of US Army Special Forces, and their actions against the Warsaw Pact, in Cold War Berlin.
Jul 25, 2017
Dezinformatsiya: An Interview with Liz Wahl
3856
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Newsy reporter Liz Wahl to discuss Russian efforts to propagate disinformation to the American public – and her unique role in exposing this threat.
Jul 18, 2017
Angola, Clausewitz, and the American Way of War: An Interview with Jack McCain
4197
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with US Naval Officer and helicopter pilot Jack McCain to discuss the potential lessons learned from his experiences and his new book, Angola, Clausewitz, and the American Way of War.
Jul 11, 2017
From the Vault, 4th of July Edition: Spies, Patriots, and Traitors: American Intelligence in the Revolutionary War
3314
Hear from former CIA officer Kenneth Daigler, as he closely examines American intelligence activities during the era of the Revolutionary War from 1765 to 1783.
Jul 04, 2017
Predicting President Trump: An Interview with the Authors of High Hand
3315
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with James Rosen (McClatchy), James Ellenberger (formerly of AFL-CIO), and Curt Harris (NIH National Cancer Institute), authors of High Hand. Their novel, which involves a Republican presidential candidate with close ties to Russia, was written long before the 2016 election.
Jun 27, 2017
The Death of Expertise: An Interview with Tom Nichols
4467
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Tom Nichols, professor at the U.S. Naval War College and at the Harvard Extension School, and the author of The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why it Matters
Jun 20, 2017
Inside the DIA, Episode 1: An Interview with DIA Historian Greg Elder
4026
In the first installment of what will become a recurring series, SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with DIA Chief Historian Greg Elder to discuss the DIA’s role in some of the most momentous events in recent US history.
Jun 13, 2017
Our Latest Longest War: An Interview with Ben Jones
4064
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Ben Jones, the former Transition Coordinator for the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, where he coordinated the transfer of Afghanistan's security from the coalition to the Afghan National Security Forces. He is also a contributor to the new book, Our Latest Longest War: Losing Hearts and Minds in Afghanistan.
Jun 06, 2017
Agent M: An Interview with Henry Hemming
3244
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down (remotely) with British author Henry Hemming to discuss his newest book Agent M: The Lives and Spies of MI5’s Maxwell Knight.
May 30, 2017
The Black Hand: An Interview with Stephan Talty
2965
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Stephan Talty, author of two previous books on intelligence, Agent Garbo and The Secret Agent: In Search of America’s Greatest World War II Spy. They discuss his newest book, The Black Hand: The Epic War Between a Brilliant Detective and the Deadliest Secret Society in American History.
May 23, 2017
The Power of Words: An Interview with Sven Hughes
3210
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Sven Hughes, a former reserve soldier within British Military Intelligence, Psychological Operations, and UK Special Forces, to discuss counter-radicalization and the effectiveness of influence operations. Mr. Hughes is also the author of the new book, Verbalization: The Power of Words to Drive Change.
May 16, 2017
Spies in the Family: An Interview with Eva Dillon
5108
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Eva Dillon, whose father Paul was a career CIA officer who ran one of the most prolific Soviet spies of the Cold War. Their stories are told in Eva’s new book, Spies in the Family: An American Spymaster, His Russian Crown Jewel, and the Friendship That Helped End the Cold War.
May 09, 2017
CIA Spy Girl: An Interview with Emily Brandwin
3737
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with former improv comedienne and CIA operations officer Emily Brandwin to discuss her career(s) and views on many things intel-related.
May 02, 2017
The Spy Who Couldn’t Spell: An Interview with Yudhijit Bhattacharjee
4041
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with author and journalist Yudhijit Bhattacharjee to discuss the fascinating case of wannabee spy Brian Regan, detailed in Yudhijit’s book The Spy Who Couldn’t Spell: A Dyslexic Traitor, an Unbreakable Code, and the FBI’s Hunt for America’s Stolen Secrets. Get the book: http://www.spymuseumstore.org/spy-who-couldnt-spell.html#.WP9iGVMrJTY
Apr 25, 2017
The Imagineers of War: An Interview with Sharon Weinberger
3567
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Sharon Weinberger, national security journalist and author of the book The Imagineers of War: The Untold Story of DARPA, the Pentagon Agency that Changed the World.
Apr 18, 2017
Spy Sites of DC: An Interview with Keith Melton and Bob Wallace
3492
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with intelligence historian Keith Melton, and former chief of the CIA’s Office of Technical Services, Bob Wallace, to discuss their newest collaboration: Spy Sites of Washington, DC. Get the book:http://www.spymuseumstore.org/spy-sites-dc.html#.WO-sH1MrJTY
Apr 11, 2017
Deep Undercover: An Interview with Former KGB Illegal Jack Barsky
4505
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Jack Barsky, the longest-surviving known member of the KGB illegals program that operated during the Cold War, and author of the memoir Deep Undercover: My Secret Life & Tangled Allegiances as a KGB Spy in America.
Apr 04, 2017
SpyCast Roundtable: The Women of NatSec Journalism
4201
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with six extraordinary journalists to discuss the challenges associated with reporting on intelligence and national security. They include: Ali Watkins (BuzzFeed), Mary Louise Kelly (NPR), Jenna McLaughlin (The Intercept), Nancy Youssef (BuzzFeed), Molly O’Toole (Foreign Policy), and Ellen Nakashima (Washington Post).
Mar 28, 2017
Allen Dulles, the OSS, and the German Resistance: An Interview with Scott Miller
2915
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Scott Miller, author of Agent 110: An American Spymaster and the German Resistance in WWII, to discuss the relationship between future CIA director Dulles and those Germans scheming to overthrow Hitler.
Mar 21, 2017
Climate and Security: An Interview with Brig. Gen Gerry Galloway and Rear Adm. Dave Titley
3806
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with retired US Army Brigadier General Gerry Galloway and retired US Navy Rear Admiral Dave Titley to discuss the intelligence and national security implication of climate change. Both men are members of the Advisory Board of the Center for Climate and Security. ***NOTE: Vince messed up. The correct link to the survey is podcast.study
Mar 14, 2017
Author Debriefing - Finks: How the CIA Tricked the World’s Best Writers
4071
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down (remotely) with Joel Whitney, the cofounder and editor at large of Guernica: A Magazine of Art & Politics, to discuss his book on how the CIA used culture to fight the Cold War, Finks: How the CIA Tricked the World’s Best Writers.
Mar 07, 2017
Author Debriefing - Beware the Predator: The American’s Guide to Personal Security
3155
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with former CIA Technical Operations Officer Warren Holston and former Air Force intel specialist Dave White to discuss their new book Beware the Predator: The American’s Guide to Personal Security. Get the Book: http://www.spymuseumstore.org/beware-the-predator.html#.WL7Y7xIrJUM
Feb 28, 2017
How Much Should We Know: An Interview with Alex Howard of the Sunlight Foundation
4204
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Alex Howard, the Deputy Director of the Sunlight Foundation, to discuss the public’s right to know what the government is doing in its name.
Feb 21, 2017
From the Vault: The SpyCast Interview with Michael Flynn
3870
A year ago, SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with former DIA Director and National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Here is their conversation.
Feb 21, 2017
Spooks and Nukes: An Interview with Dr. James Acton
3467
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with James Acton, co-director of the Nuclear Policy Program and a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, to discuss the threat of nuclear confrontation and how intelligence can play a vital role in reducing this danger.
Feb 14, 2017
CIA’s Secret War in Laos: An Interview with Josh Kurlantzick
3743
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Josh Kurlantzick of the Council on Foreign Relations to discuss his new book A Great Place to Have a War: The Secret War in Laos and the Birth of a Military CIA.
Feb 07, 2017
“Historian” Roundtable: 2016 Revisited
4801
SPY Historians Vince Houghton sat down to rehash the year that was 2016. He was joined by former SPY Historian Mark Stout, former CIA briefer David Priess, and BuzzFeed intelligence and national security reporter Ali Watkins.
Jan 31, 2017
John Nixon - Debriefing the President
3762
SPY Historian Vince Houghton is joined by John Nixon, who shares what he learned as the first man to conduct a prolonged interrogation of the captured Iraqi president. Get the book:http://www.spymuseumstore.org/spycast-books.html
Jan 24, 2017
Bioweapons Containment: An Interview with Dr. Hank Parker
2689
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with bioterrorism expert Hank Parker to discuss current threats and Parker's new book Containment.
Jan 17, 2017
Cyber Special Forces: An Interview with Dmitri Alperovitch
2787
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Dmitri Alperovitch, the CTO and co-founder of CrowdStrike, the cybersecurity firm that detected the hack of the DNC, and traced the breach back to Russian intelligence.
Jan 10, 2017
From the Vault: The Tony and Jonna Mendez Edition, Part 1
1388
The Secret History of Disguises (November 1, 2006) Peter talks with Tony Mendez, former Chief of Disguise for the CIA. Peter and Tony discuss the intricacies of developing disguises for use in hostile environments, the advantages of selective aging, and the secret history of facial recognition technology.
Jan 03, 2017
From the Vault: The Tony and Jonna Mendez Edition, Part 2
1557
Woman in Disguise - Jonna Mendez (November 18, 2008) Jonna Hiestand Mendez began her CIA career as a secretary and ended it as head of the agency’s Office of Technical Services, overseeing the development of gadgets, disguises, and high-tech devices in support of espionage missions. Today, she discusses with Peter some of the operations she was involved in as well as opportunities for women in the intelligence community.
Jan 03, 2017
From the Vault: The Tony and Jonna Mendez Edition, Part 3
1825
The Iranian Hostage Crisis (September 1, 2008) In November 1979, radical Iranian students overran the U.S. embassy in Tehran, capturing most of the embassy staff—except for six diplomats who found refuge with the Canadian embassy. Today, Peter talks with retired CIA officer Tony Mendez who, in an elaborate deception and disguise operation, managed to exfiltrate the six Americans from Tehran before the Iranians were able to track them down.
Jan 03, 2017
From the Vault: Russians Behaving Badly Edition, Part 1
3100
The Litvinenko Murder and Other Riddles from Moscow (December 4, 2006) Peter sits down with former CIA officer Bob Rayle and Oleg Kalugin to talk Russia past and present. The three discuss their perspectives on the recent poisoning of former KGB spy Alexander Litvinenko. Then, they turn to 1967 and Bob's role in the extraordinary defection of Svetlana Alliluyeva, daughter of Josef Stalin.
Dec 27, 2016
From the Vault: Russians Behaving Badly Edition, Part 2
1870
Leon Trotsky — Murder in Mexico (September 1, 2007) Peter’s guest today is H. Keith Melton, renowned intelligence historian and owner of the largest collection of espionage artifacts. Keith sheds new light on one of the most notorious intelligence operations of all time—the assassination of exiled Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky in Mexico in 1940. Keith reconstructs the operation in all its phases, including material from his own original research.
Dec 27, 2016
From the Vault: Russians Behaving Badly Edition, Part 3
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An Army of Illegals: Assessing the Russian Spy Case (July 12, 2010) Two weeks ago on 27 June, the FBI arrested a network of 10 Russian "deep cover" spies. Peter sits down with former KGB Major General Oleg Kalugin to discuss this remarkable case and the historic spy swap which took place last Friday. Kalugin, who once ran agents in the United States, is forthright in expressing his views about what this case says about the state of Russian intelligence today.
Dec 27, 2016
The Last Diplomat: An Interview with Devlin Barrett of the WSJ and Adam Entous of the Washington Post
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SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Devlin Barrett and Adam Entous, co-authors of an exceptional long-form article, written for the Wall Street Journal, which highlights the tension between traditional diplomacy and the counterintelligence mission of the FBI.
Dec 20, 2016
High Risk, High Reward: An Interview with IARPA Dep. Director Dr. Stacey Dixon
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SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Dr. Stacey Dixon, the Deputy Director of the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity. Drs. Houghton and Dixon discuss some of the advanced scientific and technological research that will transform intelligence far into the 21st Century.
Dec 13, 2016
Pearl Harbor at 75: An Interview with Steve Twomey
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SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Steve Twomey to discuss his new book about the attacks of December 7, 1941, Countdown to Pearl Harbor: The Twelve Days to the Attack.
Dec 06, 2016
CIA’s Man in Havana: An Interview with Canadian Diplomat John Graham
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SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with former Canadian diplomat John Graham to discuss his role as the eyes and ears of Western intelligence following the Cuban Missile Crisis. This story, as well as many others, are told in Graham’s memoir, Whose Man in Havana: Adventures from the Far Side of Diplomacy.
Nov 29, 2016
Author Debriefing – 100 Deadly Skills: The SEAL Operative's Survival Guide
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SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down (remotely) with former SEAL Team 6 member Clint Emerson to discuss his new book, 100 Deadly Skills: Survival Edition, a follow-up to his national bestseller 100 Deadly Skills.
Nov 22, 2016
Able Archer 83: An Interview with Nate Jones
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SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Nate Jones, the Director of the Freedom of Information Act Project for the National Security Archive, and the author of the new book Able Archer 83: The Secret History of the NATO Exercise That Almost Triggered Nuclear War. Get the book: http://www.spymuseumstore.org/able-archer-83.html#.WIdjWrYrJTY
Nov 15, 2016
From the Vault: Election Spectacular, Part III - Why Mark Felt became Deep Throat
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Intelligence officers and investigative journalists both depend on clandestine sources to divulge secrets. But why do people betray a trust? Peter interviews veteran journalist Max Holland about his new book, Leak, which probes the mind and motivations of one of the most famous clandestine sources in American history: Deep Throat. Hear why Mark Felt, the Deputy Director of the FBI, betrayed President Nixon by leaking to the Washington Post and Time about Watergate. Were Felt’s motives patriotic or self-serving…or both? Get the book: http://www.spymuseumstore.org/leak-shy-mark-felt-became-deep-throat.html#.Vz3q4PkrIdU
Nov 08, 2016
From the Vault: Election Spectacular, Part I - An Interview with NBC Chief Political Correspondent Chuck Todd
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SPY Historian Dr. Vince Houghton sat down with NBC News Political Director and Chief White House Correspondent Chuck Todd to discuss the growing role of intelligence tradecraft in American election politics. Todd, the host of MSNBC’s The Daily Rundown, explains how political campaigns – on both sides of the aisle – use surveillance, propaganda, disinformation, deception, and covert action to give their candidates a political edge. This interview was recorded on July 29, 2014. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2g2F6lEJU_c
Nov 08, 2016
From the Vault: Election Spectacular, Part II - An Interview with Ken Vogel of POLITICO
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SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Ken Vogel, Chief Investigative Reporter for POLITICO and author of the article, “The Koch Intelligence Agency.” Houghton and Vogel (who tracks the confluence of money, politics, and influence for POLITICO) discuss the use of use surveillance, propaganda, disinformation, deception, and even covert action in modern political campaigns.
Nov 08, 2016
Stalin’s Englishman: An Interview with Andrew Lownie
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SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with author and literary agent Andrew Lownie, who has been researching Guy Burgess and the Cambridge 5 for over three decades. The culmination of this research is Lownie’s book, Stalin's Englishman: Guy Burgess, the Cold War, and the Cambridge Spy Ring.
Nov 01, 2016
Rise of the Machines: An Interview with Dr. Thomas Rid
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SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Thomas Rid, professor in the Department of War Studies at King’s College London, and the author of Rise of the Machines. The book tells the sweeping story of how cybernetics, a late-1940s theory of machines, came to incite anarchy and war half a century later.
Oct 25, 2016
Countering Radicalism and Extremism: An Interview with Dr. Lorenzo Vidino and Jesse Morton
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SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Dr. Lorenzo Vidino and Jesse Morton from the Program on Extremism at the George Washington University’s Center for Cyber & Homeland Security. Dr. Vidino, and expert on Islamism in Europe and North America, is the Program’s Director, and Morton, a reformed, former extremist who was once a prominent radicalizer in the West, is a research fellow who sees this work as an opportunity to repair some of the damage caused by his radicalization.
Oct 18, 2016
Author Debriefing - True Believer: Stalin’s Last American Spy
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At a live event at the International Spy Museum, SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with journalist Kati Marton to discuss Soviet spy Noel Field, the subject of Marton’s new book True Believer: Stalin’s Last American Spy.
Oct 11, 2016
From MI to UPI: An Interview with Newsweek’s Jeff Stein
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SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Jeff Stein, who covers the spy agencies and foreign policy for Newsweek in Washington. An Army Intelligence case officer in Vietnam, Stein is an investigative reporter of long standing, specializing in intelligence, defense and foreign policy.
Oct 04, 2016
15 Years Later, Part 3: An Interview with Mark Zaid and Bradley Moss
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SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with national security attorneys Mark Zaid and Brad Moss to discuss the impact of the attacks of 9/11 on the US Constitution, and the continuing legal legacy of that fateful day.
Sep 27, 2016
15 Years Later, Part 2: An Interview with Ambassador Cofer Black
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SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Cofer Black, the former Director of CIA’s Counterterrorism Center (CTC), to discuss the role of the CTC before, during, and after the attacks on September 11, 2001.
Sep 20, 2016
15 Years Later, Part 1: An Interview with Dr. Barbara Sude
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SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with former CIA analyst Barbara Sude to discuss the intelligence analysis leading up to the September 11, 2001 attacks. Dr. Sude was one of a team of analysts at CIA who focused on Al Qaeda and bin Laden starting in the 1990s.
Sep 13, 2016
Securing Cyberspace: An Interview with Charlie Mitchell
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SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Charlie Mitchell, editor and co-founder of Inside Cybersecurity, and the author of Hacked: The Inside Story of America's Struggle to Secure Cyberspace. Houghton and Mitchell discuss the ongoing congressional debates over cybersecurity, the landmark framework of cybersecurity standards crafted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the policy ramifications of major hacking events.
Sep 06, 2016
When COIN Works: An Interview with Tom Ordeman
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SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with antiterrorism advisor and risk management specialist Tom Ordeman to discuss the little-know case of the Dhofar Rebellion. Often called the “Secret War” (because so few people have heard of it), the Dhofar Rebellion is an example of COIN Theory implemented to perfection.
Aug 30, 2016
The Corrupted State: An interview with Ilya Zaslavskiy
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SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Ilya Zaslavskiy, who was falsely accused of espionage by Russian security services (the FSB). Unwilling to sit back and allow others to be victimized by a corrupt system, Ilya now dedicates his time to exposing those at the heart of the Russian kleptocracy. See his petition here: https://www.change.org/p/chancellor-chris-patten-oxford-university-and-other-academic-entities-review-cooperation-with-putin-s-oligarchs
Aug 23, 2016
GPS Declassified: An Interview with Richard Easton
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SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Richard Easton, author of GPS Declassified: From Smart Bombs to Smartphones, to discuss the development of GPS and its role in the military, intelligence, and civilian domains. Easton’s father, Roger, led the Space Applications Branch of the Naval Research Laboratory from the Vanguard Satellite era to the early days of GPS development.
Aug 16, 2016
Blurred Lines: An Interview with Georgetown International Law Professor Rosa Brooks
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Blurred Lines: An Interview with Georgetown International Law Professor Rosa Brooks SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Rosa Brooks, professor of national security law, Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation, and author of the new book How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything: Tales from the Pentagon.
Aug 09, 2016
Author Debriefing: NSA’s Codebreakers and the Secret Intelligence War Against the Soviet Union
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SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Stephen Budiansky, the author of seventeen books about military history, intelligence and espionage, science, the natural world, and other subjects, to discuss the history of the NSA and his new book, NSA’s Codebreakers and the Secret Intelligence War Against the Soviet Union.
Aug 02, 2016
A Lifetime in Intelligence: An Interview with ex-CIA Officer Stephen Slick
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SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with former CIA officer Steve Slick, who spent more than three decades at the Agency as a case officer, chief of station, and senior executive. He is now the inaugural Director of the Intelligence Studies Project at the University of Texas, Austin.
Jul 26, 2016
Goat Staring and Other Oddities: An Interview with Jon Ronson
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SPY Historian Vince Houghton traveled to Politicon in Pasadena, CA and sat down (before a live audience) with Jon Ronson, author of The Men Who Stare at Goats, and all-around interesting person.
Jul 19, 2016
The Secret History of WWII: An Interview with Sir Max Hastings
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SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with prolific author Sir Max Hastings, whose 20+ books have set the standard for historical writing over the last 40 years. Dr. Houghton and Sir Max discuss the fascinating topic of Hastings’ new book, The Secret War: Spies, Ciphers, and Guerrillas, 1939-1945, arguably the best single-volume history of the secret side of the War.
Jul 12, 2016
Intel at Leyte: An Interview with John Prados
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SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Dr. John Prados, author of the new book Storm Over Leyte: The Philippine Invasion and the Destruction of the Japanese Navy. Drs. Houghton and Prados discuss the role of intelligence in the Pacific War and, specifically, how it impacted the Battle of Leyte Gulf – the largest naval battle in world history.
Jul 05, 2016
Author Debriefing: Executing the Rosenbergs: Death and Diplomacy in a Cold War World
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SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Dr. Lori Clune, Associate Professor of History at California State University, Fresno, to discuss her new book on how the Rosenberg spy case affected American relations with the rest of the world. A completely new way of looking at this milestone in spy history.
Jun 28, 2016
Combating Extremism: An Interview with Dr. Tara Maller
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SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Dr. Tara Maller, the Spokesperson and a Senior Policy Advisor for the Counter Extremism Project (CEP), to discuss the growing threat – and responses to – online extremism. To learn more about the CEP, go to http://www.counterextremism.com
Jun 21, 2016
The Missing Man: An Interview with the NYT’s Barry Meier
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SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Barry Meier of the New York Times to discuss the story of Bob Levinson, former FBI agent and CIA contract worker, who disappeared in Iran in 2007. Meier’s book, Missing Man: The American Spy Who Vanished in Iran, drew on years of interviews and never-before-disclosed CIA files to weave together a riveting narrative of the ex-agent's journey to Iran and the hunt to rescue him.
Jun 14, 2016
From the SpyCast Vault: D-Day Anniversary Edition
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Juan Pujol was the Walter Mitty of World War II, a nobody who at one doomed venture after another while dreaming of doing something interesting with his life -- saving Western civilization, if possible. Journalist Stephan Talty, whose work has appeared widely, including in the New York Times Magazine and GQ, has told the remarkable story of how against all the odds, Pujol did just that by becoming agent GARBO, the most important double agent of World War II. Hear Talty discuss his new book with SPY Historian Mark Stout in this author debriefing which took place on July 12, 2012.
Jun 07, 2016
The Blonde Bond: An Interview with Vanity Fair’s Howard Blum
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SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Howard Blum, contributing editor at Vanity Fair and the author of The Last Goodnight: A World War II Story of Espionage, Adventure, and Betrayal, a book about one of the greatest spies of WWII, Betty Pack. Pack used seduction as her tradecraft, and stole some of the most consequential secrets of the war.
May 31, 2016
The Commander: An Interview with Gen. David Petraeus
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SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with retired 4-star general David Petraeus, former Commanding General, Multi-National Force – Iraq; Commander, US Central Command; commander of the International Security Assistance Force and Commander, US Forces Afghanistan; and Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, where he served from September, 2011, until November, 2012.
May 24, 2016
Author Debriefing: Eisenhower's Guerrillas: The Jedburghs, the Maquis, and the Liberation of France
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SPY Executive Director Peter Earnest sat down with Ben Jones, Dean of Arts and Sciences and Associate Professor of History, Dakota State University. Dr. Jones also served as an advisor to the National Military Academy of Afghanistan and later as a liaison officer to the Afghan Ministries of Defense, Interior, and their National Directorate of Security for the effort to transition Afghan security from the coalition back to Afghanistan. Peter and Dr. Jones discuss Ben’s new book, Eisenhower's Guerrillas: The Jedburghs, the Maquis, and the Liberation of France.
May 17, 2016
Corporate Espionage: An Interview with CNBC’s Eamon Javers
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SPY Historian Vince Houghton discusses corporate espionage with CNBC’s Washington Reporter Eamon Javers, who is also the author of the book Broker, Trader, Lawyer, Spy: The Secret World of Corporate Espionage. Get the book: http://www.spymuseumstore.org/broker-trader-lawyer-spy.html#.Vz3tD_krIdU
May 10, 2016
Playing to the Edge: An Interview with Gen. Michael Hayden
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SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with former NSA and CIA Director Gen. Michael Hayden to discuss his role as the only person to head both of these key intelligence agencies. Get the book: http://www.spymuseumstore.org/playing-to-the-edge.html#.VyipoBUrJTY
May 03, 2016
Historian Roundtable, Part II: A Conversation with the SPY Historians
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Current SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with all of his former colleagues to discuss listener questions. To submit your own questions, send them via email to spycast@spymuseum.org, or on Twitter, @intlspycast.
Apr 26, 2016
Victor in the Rubble: An Interview with Alex Finley
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SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Alex Finley, author of the new satirical novel about CIA and the War on Terror, Victor in the Rubble. Finley, herself a former officer in CIA’s Directorate of Operations, provides a hilarious look at the bureaucratic absurdity of intelligence operations, and the great lengths capable officers will go to overcome it. Get the book: http://www.spymuseumstore.org/victor-in-the-rubble.html#.Vxk29pMrJTY
Apr 19, 2016
The President's Book of Secrets: The Untold Story of Intelligence Briefings to America's Presidents from Kennedy to Obama
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SPY Executive Director Peter Earnest sat down with former CIA intelligence officer, manager, and daily intelligence briefer David Priess to discuss his new book centered on the President’s Daily Brief (PDB). Every living former President and Vice President, along with most former CIA Directors, Secretaries of State and Defense, National Security Advisors, White House Chiefs of Staff, and senior intelligence leaders, shared with Priess their personal stories about the PDB. And by digging through both the extensive files of the Presidential libraries and millions of pages of declassified CIA raw intelligence reports, analytic assessments, and memos—Priess emerges with a unique—and fascinating—look into the most tightly controlled document in modern world. Get the book: http://www.spymuseumstore.org/presidents-book-of-secrets.html#.Vxk3WZMrJTY
Apr 12, 2016
Sold Out? Iraq, the CIA, and the Kurds: An Interview with Dr. Bryan Gibson
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SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with historian Bryan Gibson to discuss the tumultuous history of US foreign policy in Iraq. From the end of the Second World War through today, Iraq has remained a key component in the American security calculus. Houghton and Gibson take a deep dive into this period, and Gibson demonstrates how Iraq should be considered an integral Cold War environment alongside such places as Cuba, Vietnam, and Afghanistan.
Apr 05, 2016
Author Debriefing: Queen of Spies: Daphne Park, Britain's Cold War Spy Master
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SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Paddy Hayes to discuss his book Queen of Spies: Daphne Park, Britain's Cold War Spy Master. Hayes recounts the fascinating story of the evolution of the British Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) from World War II to the Cold War through the eyes of Daphne Park, one of its outstanding and most unusual operatives. He gives one of the most intimate narratives yet of how the modern SIS actually went about its business whether in Moscow, Hanoi, or the Congo, and shows how Park was able to rise through the ranks of a field that had been comprised almost entirely of men. Queen of Spies captures all the paranoia, isolation, deception of Cold War intelligence work, and combines it with the personal story of one extraordinary woman trying to navigate this secretive world.
Mar 29, 2016
Defeating ISIS: An Interview with Malcolm Nance
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SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with former Arabic speaking naval intelligence counter-terrorism and intelligence officer Malcolm Nance. After spending 35 years participating in field and combat intelligence activity including both covert and clandestine anti counter-terrorism support to national intelligence agencies, he is now a member of the Board of Advisors here at the International Spy Museum. Houghton and Nance discuss the rise of ISIS, the connection between Islam and terrorism, the spread of radicalism worldwide, and Nance’s prescription for the ultimate defeat of the Islamic State.
Mar 22, 2016
Special Breed of Warrior: An Interview with Former SEAL Clinton Emerson
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SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with former SEAL Team 6 member Clinton Emerson to discuss the role of special operations forces in modern intelligence activities. Houghton and Emerson delve into Clint’s life as a SEAL, his work with the National Security Agency, and his new book 100 Deadly Skills: The SEAL Operative's Guide to Eluding Pursuers, Evading Capture, and Surviving Any Dangerous Situation. Get the book: http://www.spymuseumstore.org/100-deadly-skills.html#.VvVe-eIrKUk
Mar 22, 2016
Intelligence Analysis in the 21st Century: An Interview with Dr. Mark Lowenthal
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SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Mark Lowenthal, former Assistant Director of Central Intelligence for Analysis and Production and Vice Chairman for Evaluation on the National Intelligence Council – and the man who (literally) wrote the book on intelligence analysis. Drs. Houghton and Lowenthal discuss the current state of intelligence education, the successes and failures of post-9/11 intelligence reform, and the controversial CIA analysis on Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction.
Mar 15, 2016
Army Intelligence: A View from the Top. An Interview with the Chief of Army Intel, LTG Mary Legere
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SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with current Army G-2 LTG Mary Legere to discuss the current role and mission of Army Intelligence. LTG Legere, who has spent her entire career as an intelligence officer, also provides some historical context on how the dynamic environment of military intelligence has changed since the beginning of the “War on Terror.” Finally, LTG Legere provides invaluable insight into what it feels like to be a woman at the top of what has been traditionally considered a man’s world – in a double sense: both the military and the intelligence community – and how she uses her position to help train and cultivate the next generation of America’s leaders.
Mar 07, 2016
Author Debriefing: United States of Jihad. An Interview with Peter Bergen
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SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with author Peter Bergen to discuss his newest book, United States of Jihad: Investigating America's Homegrown Terrorists. Paced like a detective story, the book tells the entwined stories of the key actors on the American front. Drawing on his extensive network of intelligence contacts, from the National Counterterrorism Center and the FBI to the NYPD, Bergen also offers an inside look at the controversial tactics of the agencies tracking potential terrorists—from infiltrating mosques to massive surveillance; at the bias experienced by innocent observant Muslims at the hands of law enforcement; at the critics and defenders of U.S. policies on terrorism; and at how social media has revolutionized terrorism. Get the book: http://www.spymuseumstore.org/united-states-of-jihad.html#.Vxk3s5MrJTY
Mar 03, 2016
History Roundtable: A Conversation with Drs. Alexis Albion, Thomas Boghardt, Mark Stout, and Vince Houghton
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In what will hopefully become a series of conversations here at the Spy Museum, all of the past and present SPY historians sat down to discuss a key issue in the world of intelligence – from a historical, but not-too-formal perspective. This week’s topic: who is your favorite spy? Join Alexis, Thomas, Mark, and Vince as they present their cases, and stick around to hear how you can find more information on each of our favorites.
Feb 23, 2016
The CI Professional: An Interview with Dr. John Schindler
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SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with former NSA counterintelligence officer John Schindler to discuss his experiences in the Balkans, and his views on the current intelligence war against Russia. Houghton and Schindler also dive into Edward Snowden, WikiLeaks, and the unending battle against violent extremism.
Feb 16, 2016
Defense Intelligence in the 21st Century: An Interview with Former DIA Director Michael Flynn
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SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with LTG (Ret) Michael Flynn, the Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency from 2012-2014. Houghton and Flynn discuss the challenges DIA has faced in the last several decades, including the sharp transitions from the Soviet threat to the asymmetrical threats of the modern day. They also discuss the ways DIA, and the IC as a whole, must adapt to meet the uncertainty of the future. For information about LTG Flynn’s upcoming book, visit http://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250106223.
Feb 09, 2016
The Real Story of the U-2 Incident: An Interview with Francis Gary Powers, Jr.
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SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Gary Powers, Jr., the son of the legendary U-2 pilot who was shot down over the Soviet Union in 1960. Vince and Gary discuss his father’s legacy, the incorrect assumptions about his father’s capture, and the retelling of his father’s story in the Spielberg movie Bridge of Spies, now available on Blu-Ray.
Feb 02, 2016
Higher, Faster, Stealthier: An Interview with SR-71 Pilot Buz Carpenter
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SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with USAF Colonel (Ret.) Buz Carpenter, who flew some of the most incredible aircraft ever developed. As an RF-4C pilot in Vietnam, Col. Carpenter flew low level reconnaissance missions over enemy territory. Later, as the pilot of the SR-71, Buz took aviation to speeds and heights that have yet to be equaled (except by other SR-71s). Finally, at the end of his Air Force career, Col. Carpenter worked with the USAF’s Blackworld program, helping to develop today’s most advanced aircraft.
Jan 26, 2016
The Radicalization of Women in Islam: An Interview with Farhana Qazi
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SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Farhana Qazi, a scholar and speaker on conflicts in the Islamic world, and the first American Muslim woman to serve in the National Counter-Terrorism Center. Houghton and Qazi discuss the role of women in radical Islam, the fight against ISIS, The changing status of women in the Muslim world, the Syrian refugee crisis, and the current state of Pakistan and Kashmir. As a Muslim woman, Qazi provides unique insight into political Islam and the impact of war on Muslim populations.
Jan 19, 2016
Author Debriefing: JFK's Forgotten Crisis: Tibet, the CIA, and Sino-Indian War
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During a public program at the Museum, SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Bruce Riedel, author of JFK's Forgotten Crisis: Tibet, the CIA, and Sino-Indian War. Riedel, who is a senior fellow and director of the Brookings Intelligence Project, joined Brookings following a thirty-year career at the Central Intelligence Agency, serving as a senior adviser to the last four U.S. presidents on South Asia and the Middle East. His book is a story of war, diplomacy, and covert action, told with authority and perspective. He draws on newly declassified letters between Kennedy and Indian leader Jawaharlal Nehru, along with the diaries and memoirs of key players and other sources, to make this the definitive account of JFK's forgotten crisis.
Jan 12, 2016
Political Espionage: An Interview with Ken Vogel of POLITICO
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SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Ken Vogel, Chief Investigative Reporter for POLITICO and author of the article, “The Koch Intelligence Agency.” Houghton and Vogel (who tracks the confluence of money, politics, and influence for POLITICO) discuss the use of use surveillance, propaganda, disinformation, deception, and even covert action in modern political campaigns.
Jan 05, 2016
Author Debriefing: Ghost Fleet: A Novel of the Next World War
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SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with PW Singer, co-author of Ghost Fleet: A Novel of the Next World War (which he wrote with August Cole). In the spirit of early Tom Clancy (especially Red Storm Rising), Ghost Fleet is a imagining of how World War III might play out. But what makes it even more notable is how the book smashes together the technothriller and nonfiction genres. It is a novel, but with 400 endnotes, showing how every trend and technology featured in book— no matter how sci-fi it may seem — is real. Singer, who is also a contributing editor at Popular Science, lays out the future of technology and war, while following a global cast of characters fighting at sea, on land, in the air and in two new places of conflict: outer space and cyberspace. For more on Ghost Fleet, check out ghostfleetbook.com.
Dec 29, 2015
The Whistleblower: An Interview with Thomas Drake
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SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Thomas Drake, former senior executive of the NSA – and whistleblower – who in 2010 was indicted on 10 felony counts; charges that would have carried decades of prison time had Drake been convicted. Instead, in early June 2011, the government dropped all of the charges and agreed not to seek any jail time in return for Drake's guilty plea to a misdemeanor of misusing the NSA’s computer system. Although the legal case was settled, the controversy would continue, as a new wave of whistleblowers (or leakers – depending on your perspective) burst on to the public scene, and dramatically changed the way many Americans viewed the power of their government.
Dec 22, 2015
Coast Guard Intelligence: An Interview with Captain Erich Telfer
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SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Captain Erich Telfer, the commanding officer of the Coast Guard Maritime Intelligence Fusion Center Atlantic in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Houghton and Telfer discuss the role of the Coast Guard in the broader American intelligence community, the professionalization of the Coast Guard intel branch, and CAPT Telfer’s research into the intelligence response to the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. CAPT Telfer’s study can be read here: http://ni-u.edu/wp/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Telfer_UnlimitedImpossibilites.pdf
Dec 15, 2015
Author Debriefing: Spies, Scouts, and Secrets in the Gettysburg Campaign
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SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Tom Ryan, former intelligence professional for the Department of Defense and author of Spies, Scouts, and Secrets in the Gettysburg Campaign. The first book to offer a unique and incisive comparative study of intelligence operations during what many consider the war’s decisive campaign, Ryan’s study evaluates how Gen. Robert E. Lee used intelligence resources, including cavalry, civilians, newspapers, and spies to gather information about Union activities during his invasion of the North in June and July 1863, and how this intelligence influenced General Lee’s decisions. Simultaneously, Ryan explores the effectiveness of the Union Army of the Potomac’s intelligence and counterintelligence operations. Both Maj. Gens. Joe Hooker and George G. Meade relied upon cavalry, the Signal Corps, and an intelligence staff known as the Bureau of Military Information that employed innovative concepts to gather, collate, and report vital information from a variety of sources. The result is an eye-opening, day-by-day analysis of how and why the respective army commanders implemented their strategy and tactics, with an evaluation of their respective performance as they engaged in a battle of wits to learn the enemy’s location, strength, and intentions.
Dec 08, 2015
The World of Global Jihad: A Conversation with Morten Storm
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SPY Historian Vince Houghton talked to Morten Storm, who, after a decade of jihadi life, not only repudiated extremism but, in a quest for atonement, became a double agent for the CIA and British and Danish intelligence. He is now in hiding, fearful that some vengeful jihadist will try to kill him for his work with Western intelligence. However, this won’t stop him from providing SpyCast with his insight and expertise on global terrorism. On a regular basis, SpyCast will send questions to Morten, he will record his answers, and we will post them here. To be a part of this conversation, send your questions for Morten Storm to spycast@spymuseum.org. We will take the best questions and send them to Morten for the next installment. Get the book: http://www.spymuseumstore.org/agen-storm-book.html#.Vz3lp_krIdU
Dec 01, 2015
The Public’s Right to Know: An Interview with Sheryl Shenberger, the Director of the National Declassification Center
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SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Sheryl Shenberger, the Director of the National Declassification Center at the National Archives. President Obama pledged to preside over the most transparent government ever — a vow that included declassifying as many documents as possible. Houghton and Shenberger discuss the process behind declassification, as the NDC tries to honor the President’s promise by closely working with intelligence agencies to release documents to the public. Why do some historic records get released while others do not? Is automatic declassification after 25 or 50 years really automatic? When do we get to learn who really killed JFK?
Nov 24, 2015
The Real Story of Rudolph Abel: An Interview with Vin Arthey
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SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Vin Arthey, who has spent most of his adult life researching the life of KGB Colonel William Fisher – better known as Rudolf Abel. Working with secret sources and inside information, Arthey turned this lifelong study into a fascinating book, Abel: The True Story of the Spy They Swapped for Gary Powers. Houghton and Arthey trace the adventures (and misadventures) of one of the most extraordinary characters in the history of the Cold War.
Nov 17, 2015
Author Debriefing: Disciples: The World War II Missions of the CIA Directors Who Fought for Wild Bill Donovan
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SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with author Doug Waller to discuss his new book Disciples: The World War II Missions of the CIA Directors Who Fought for Wild Bill Donovan. The author of the critically acclaimed bestseller Wild Bill Donovan, Waller tells Houghton the story of four OSS warriors of World War II. All four later led the CIA. They are the most famous and controversial directors the CIA has ever had—Allen Dulles, Richard Helms, William Colby, and William Casey. Disciples is the story of these dynamic agents and their daring espionage and sabotage in wartime Europe under OSS Director Bill Donovan.
Nov 10, 2015
Hitler in Los Angeles: An Interview with Professor Steve Ross
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SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with University of Southern California history professor Steve Ross to discuss the ongoing research for his upcoming book Hitler in Los Angeles: How Jews and their Spies Foiled Nazi Plots Against Hollywood and America. Ross explains how a group of patriotic citizens refused to wait for the authorities to act on the Nazi menace in America, and instead took matters into their own hands. A never-before-told true story of classic infiltration and espionage in the 1930s and World War II.
Nov 03, 2015
From the Vault: The Cuban Missile Crisis - Russian Intelligence – Past and Present
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SPY Executive Director Peter Earnest and former KGB General Oleg Kalugin discuss the current espionage conflict between Russia and Georgia, reminisce about the Cuban Missile Crisis, and bring an old question to light: Was Isaac Stone a Russian spy? From October 2006.
Oct 20, 2015
From the Vault: The Cuban Missile Crisis - Blind Over Cuba
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Professor David Barrett discusses his book Blind over Cuba: The Photo Gap and the Missile Crisis which he wrote with Max Holland. He describes to former SPY Historian Mark Stout how the Kennedy Administration impeded reconnaissance flights over Cuba in the weeks before the crisis and how the Administration successfully covered up that fact. From October 2012.
Oct 20, 2015
Author Debriefing: Church of Spies: The Pope’s Secret War Against Hitler
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SPY Executive Director Peter Earnest sat down with author Mark Riebling to discuss his new book on the wartime espionage of the Catholic Church. The Vatican’s silence in the face of Nazi atrocities remains one of the great controversies of our time. History has accused wartime pontiff Pius the Twelfth of complicity in the Holocaust and dubbed him “Hitler’s Pope.” But a key part of the story has remained untold. In fact, Pius ran the world’s largest church, smallest state, and oldest spy service. Saintly but secretive, he skimmed from church charities to pay covert couriers, and surreptitiously tape-recorded his meetings with top Nazis. When he learned of the Holocaust, Pius played his cards close to his chest. He sent birthday cards to Hitler—while secretly plotting to kill him. Church of Spies documents this cloak and dagger intrigue in shocking detail. Gun-toting Jesuits stole blueprints to Hitler’s homes. A Catholic book publisher flew a sports plane over the Alps with secrets filched from the head of Hitler’s bodyguard. The keeper of the Vatican crypt ran a spy ring that betrayed German war plans and wounded Hitler in a briefcase bombing.
Oct 13, 2015
Author Debriefing: Spy Secrets That Can Save Your Life: A Former CIA Officer Reveals Safety and Survival Techniques to Keep You and Your Family Protected
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When Jason Hanson joined the CIA in 2003, he never imagined that the same tactics he used as a CIA officer for counter intelligence, surveillance, and protecting agency personnel would prove to be essential in everyday civilian life. In addition to escaping handcuffs, picking locks, and spotting when someone is telling a lie, he can improvise a self-defense weapon, pack a perfect emergency kit, and even disappear off the grid if necessary. He has also honed his "positive awareness" – a heightened sense of his surroundings that allows him to spot suspicious and potentially dangerous behavior – on the street, in a taxi, at the airport, when dining out, or in any other situation. With the skill of a trained operative and the relatability of a suburban dad, Hanson brings his top-level training to everyday Americans in this guide to staying safe in an increasingly dangerous world.
Oct 06, 2015
Author Debriefing: The Pentagon’s Brain: An Uncensored History of DARPA, America’s Top-Secret Military Research Agency
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The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is the radical force behind the nation’s most revolutionary, high-tech military initiatives over the past half century. To write the first definitive history of the world’s most powerful and productive military science agency, bestselling author Annie Jacobsen tracked down DARPA scientists, past and present, including current neuroscientists building an artificial brain, cell biologists working on limb regeneration, and even the Nobel Laureate who invented the laser. From conflict-tested science experiments, like Agent Orange and electronic barriers on the battlefield during Vietnam, to War on Terror insect drones, smart rockets, camera-filled war zones and advanced computer programs, she tracks DARPA from its Cold War inception to present day research controversies. Jacobsen shared her journey to the heart of the military-industrial complex—a place where science fiction and military science collide—and revealed a future that is fascinating and potentially frightening.
Sep 29, 2015
Covering Intelligence, Part 3: An Interview with Greg Miller of the Washington Post
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In Part 3 of this three-part series, SPY Historian Dr. Vince Houghton sat down with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Greg Miller, who covers intelligence and national security for the Washington Post. Houghton and Miller discuss the difficulties in reporting on this most secret of topics, the dangers – and benefits – of using anonymous sources, and the ever-changing nature of intelligence and national security journalism. Part 1 of this series was with Mark Mazzetti of the New York Times, and Part 2 was with Ali Watkins of the Huffington Post.
Sep 15, 2015
Covering Intelligence, Part 2: An Interview with Ali Watkins of the Huffington Post
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In Part 2 of this three-part series, SPY Historian Dr. Vince Houghton sat down with Ali Watkins, who covers intelligence and national security for the Huffington Post. Houghton and Watkins discuss the difficulties in reporting on this most secret of topics, the dangers – and benefits – of using anonymous sources, and the ever-changing nature of intelligence and national security journalism. Part 1 of this series was with Mark Mazzetti of the New York Times, and Part 3 will be with Greg Miller of the Washington Post.
Sep 15, 2015
Covering Intelligence, Part 1: An Interview with Mark Mazzetti of the New York Times
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In Part 1 of this three-part series, SPY Historian Dr. Vince Houghton sat down with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Mark Mazzetti, who covers intelligence and national security for the New York Times. Houghton and Mazzetti discuss the difficulties in reporting on this most secret of topics, the dangers – and benefits – of using anonymous sources, and the ever-changing nature of intelligence and national security journalism. Part 2 of this series will be with Ali Watkins of the Huffington Post, and Part 3 will be with Greg Miller of the Washington Post.
Sep 08, 2015
Author Debriefing: Climate Change and Conflict Prevention
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SPY Historian Dr. Vince Houghton sat down with career US Foreign Service Officer J. Andrew Plowman to discuss his book, Climate Change and Conflict Prevention. Plowman uses the Darfur conflict as a case study to examine how the effects of climate change might lead to future violent conflicts, and he assesses the best way to prevent these conflicts. Mr. Plowman’s service with the State Department has included assignments to Peru, Panama, Kazakhstan, and Brazil, as well as Washington assignments with the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs and the Economics, Energy, and Business Affairs Bureau.
Sep 01, 2015
Cuba Libre: An Interview with Intelligence Legend Felix Rodriguez (Part III)
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SPY Historian Dr. Vince Houghton sat down with Cuban-exile-turned-CIA-officer Felix Rodriguez to discuss his extraordinary intelligence career. As a teenager, Rodriguez joined the effort to overthrow (and kill) Fidel Castro. After that mission failed, he trained and led the team that hunted – and captured – the guerilla Che Guevara in Bolivia. By the late 1960s, he took his counterinsurgency experience and applied it in covert operations against America’s enemies in Vietnam. This, and much more. Warning: This podcast contains some salty language. Consider it PG-13.
Aug 25, 2015
Cuba Libre: An Interview with Intelligence Legend Felix Rodriguez (Part II)
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SPY Historian Dr. Vince Houghton sat down with Cuban-exile-turned-CIA-officer Felix Rodriguez to discuss his extraordinary intelligence career. As a teenager, Rodriguez joined the effort to overthrow (and kill) Fidel Castro. After that mission failed, he trained and led the team that hunted – and captured – the guerilla Che Guevara in Bolivia. By the late 1960s, he took his counterinsurgency experience and applied it in covert operations against America’s enemies in Vietnam. This, and much more.
Aug 18, 2015
Cuba Libre: An Interview with Intelligence Legend Felix Rodriguez (Part I)
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SPY Historian Dr. Vince Houghton sat down with Cuban-exile-turned-CIA-officer Felix Rodriguez to discuss his extraordinary intelligence career. As a teenager, Rodriguez joined the effort to overthrow (and kill) Fidel Castro. After that mission failed, he trained and led the team that hunted – and captured – the guerilla Che Guevara in Bolivia. By the late 1960s, he took his counterinsurgency experience and applied it in covert operations against America’s enemies in Vietnam. This, and much more.
Aug 11, 2015
Author Debriefing: The Billion Dollar Spy
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While getting into his car on the evening of February 16, 1978, the chief of the CIA's Moscow station was handed an envelope by an unknown Russian. Its contents stunned the Americans: details of top secret Soviet research and development in military technology that was totally unknown to the United States. From David Hoffman, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Dead Hand, comes the riveting story of the CIA's most valuable spy in the Soviet Union and an evocative portrait of the agency's Moscow station, an outpost of daring espionage in the last years of the Cold War. Drawing on previously secret documents obtained from the CIA, as well as interviews with participants, Hoffman will reveal how the depredations of the Soviet state motivated one man to master the craft of spying against his own nation until he was betrayed to the KGB by a disgruntled former CIA trainee. No one has ever told this story before in such detail, and Hoffman's deep knowledge of spycraft, the Cold War, and military technology makes him uniquely qualified to bring to the International Spy Museum this real life espionage thriller.
Jul 16, 2015
From the CIA to the Classroom: An Interview with Joe Wippl
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SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Joe Wippl, the Director of Graduate Studies and Professor of the Practice of International Relations, Boston University Pardee School of Global Studies. Wippl is also a former CIA officer, who spent a 30 year career as an operations officer in the National Clandestine Service – at the time (as it is again) the Directorate of Operations. Houghton and Wippl discuss his time serving overseas as an operations officer and operations manager in Bonn, West Germany; Guatemala City; Luxembourg; Madrid, Spain; Mexico City; Vienna, Austria; and Berlin, Germany – where he was the Station Chief. Later, while on assignments in CIA headquarters, he served as the Deputy Chief of Human Resources, as the Senior NCS representative to the Aldrich Ames Damage Assessment Team, as Chief of Europe Division and as the CIA’s Director of Congressional Affairs.
Jun 30, 2015
Author Debriefing: How to Catch a Russian Spy
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For three nerve-wracking years, Naveed Jamali spied on the United States for the Russians – or so the Russians believed. Hear Naveed bring his unbelievable, yet true, story to life. By trading thumb drives of sensitive technical data for envelopes of cash, he pretended to sell out his own country across noisy restaurant tables and in quiet parking lots. Although he had no formal espionage training, with the help of an initially reluctant FBI duo he ended up at the center of a highly successful counterintelligence operation that targeted Russian espionage in New York City. With news about Russia’s disintegrating relationship with the United States a frequent headline and political hot topic, How to Catch a Russian Spy is the one-of-a-kind story of how one young man’s post-college adventure became a real-life US counter-intelligence coup. Get the book: http://www.spymuseumstore.org/how-to-catch-a-russian-spy.html#.Vz3ixZMrJTY
Jun 26, 2015
Author Debriefing: Manchu Princess, Japanese Spy: The Story of Kawashima Yoshiko, the Cross-Dressing Spy Who Commanded Her Own Army
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SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down (remotely) with biographer Phyllis Birnbaum to discuss her newest book, based on the life of Kawashima Yoshiko, who supported the puppet Manchu state established by the Japanese in 1932--one reason she was executed for treason after Japan's 1945 defeat. The truth of Yoshiko's life is still a source of contention between China and Japan: some believe she was exploited by powerful men, others claim she relished her role as political provocateur. China holds her responsible for unspeakable crimes, while Japan has forgiven her transgressions. This biography presents the richest and most accurate portrait to date of the controversial princess spy, recognizing her truly novel role in conflicts that transformed East Asia.
Jun 16, 2015
Author Debriefing: When Should State Secrets Stay Secret?: Accountability, Democratic Governance, and Intelligence
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SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Dr. Gen Lester to discuss her new book, When Should State Secrets Stay Secret. Lester’s book examines the oversight mechanisms that have developed within all three branches of government, how they interact, and what types of historical pivot points have driven change among them. She suggests ways to improve oversight mechanisms based on her expert analysis. The book also includes a fascinating chapter on the inner workings of the CIA to which a number of CIA officers contributed.
May 19, 2015
From CIA to Congress: An Interview with US Congressman Will Hurd
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SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Representative Will Hurd, a Republican from Texas’ 23rd Congressional District, to discuss his unique background as a former CIA officer who is now a Member of the US House of Representatives. After spending most of a decade working in Pakistan, India, and Afghanistan, Rep. Hurd brought his experiences and lessons-learned to the Halls of Congress, where he serves on key committees, including Homeland Security and Oversight and Government Reform.
May 12, 2015
The Rosenbergs: The Definitive Debate
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More than sixty years after their execution in June 1953 for conspiring to steal atomic secrets for the Soviet Union, debate still rages about the Rosenbergs. Mike Meeropol, the son of Julius and Ethel, has spent his life in pursuit of the real story behind his parents’ secret lives, their trials, their convictions for espionage, and ultimately their executions. Sam Roberts, journalist for The New York Times, is the author of The Brother, a book written with exclusive access to David Greenglass, Ethel’s brother, whose testimony almost single-handedly convicted the couple. In this extraordinary debate, these renowned Rosenberg scholars— with very different perspectives—take on the divisive issues and key questions that remain despite the declassification of intelligence files from the United States and the Soviet Union. Dr. Vince Houghton, historian and curator of the International Spy Museum and an expert on nuclear intelligence, moderated this authoritative debate on the Rosenberg case. This event took place April 21, 2015.
Apr 30, 2015
Intelligence and Arms Control: An Interview with Kelsey Davenport
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SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Kelsey Davenport, the Director for Nonproliferation Policy at the Arms Control Association, where she provides research and analysis on the nuclear and missile programs in Iran, North Korea, India, and Pakistan and on nuclear security issues. Vince and Kelsey discuss the complexity of the arms control process, the role of intelligence in verifying the status of nuclear weapon states, and the hope for a future without the danger of nuclear proliferation.
Apr 28, 2015
Washington’s Spies: An Interview with Alexander Rose
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SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with historian and author Alex Rose, whose book Washington’s Spies: The Story of America’s First Spy Ring, is the source material for AMC Network’s series TURN. Drs. Houghton and Rose (who is a writer and co-producer of TURN) discuss history on TV, and the plotline of the second season of the hit series. They also take time to focus on the real history of the period, what is history and what is “Hollywood”, the Culper spy ring, and the importance of intelligence during the American Revolution.
Apr 14, 2015
From the SpyCast Vault: An Interview with Major General Michael Ennis
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Former SPY Historian Mark Stout sat down with Marine Maj. Gen. (ret.) Mike Ennis to discuss human intelligence (HUMINT) within the Defense Department and the CIA. In 1998, Ennis commanded the Joint Intelligence Center of the United States Pacific Command, was later named Director of Marine Corps Intelligence Command in 2000, and was the Director of HUMINT for the DIA. In 2006, he was named Deputy Director of Community HUMINT of the Central Intelligence Agency’s National Clandestine Service, his final government posting before his retirement in 2007. This SpyCast was recorded on February 11, 2013.
Mar 31, 2015
Author Debriefing | Operation Chowhound: The Most Risky, Most Glorious US Bomber Mission of WWII
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SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down (remotely) with Australian author Stephen Dando-Collins to discuss his new book, Operation Chowhound. Beginning with a crazy plan hatched by a suspect prince, and an even crazier reliance on the word of the Nazis, Operation Chowhound was devised. Between May 1 and May 8, 1945, 2,268 military units flown by the USAAF, dropped food to 3.5 million starving Dutch civilians in German-occupied Holland. Dando-Collins takes the reader into the rooms where Operation Chowhound was born, into the aircraft flying the mission, and onto the ground in the Netherlands with the civilians who so desperately needed help. James Bond creator Ian Fleming, Hollywood actress Audrey Hepburn, as well as Roosevelt, Eisenhower, and Churchill all play a part in this compelling story.
Mar 19, 2015
Intelligence in the Early Republic: An Interview with Ken Daigler
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The history of American intelligence in the Revolution and Civil War has been extensively covered by both professional and amateur historians. But what about the time in between the wars? SPY historian Vince Houghton sat down with retired career CIA operations officer and historian Ken Daigler to discuss American espionage during the earliest period of United States history. Who were the first foreign agents sent to collect HUMINT? Can we look at the Lewis and Clark expedition as an intelligence operation? How well did American intelligence function during the War of 1812? The Mexican-American War? Daigler, author of Spies, Patriots, and Traitors: American Intelligence in the Revolutionary War and two seminal articles on early American intelligence for the CIA’s Studies in Intelligence, provides the answers.
Feb 17, 2015
Author Debriefing: The Hundred-Year Marathon: China's Secret Strategy to Replace America as the Global Superpower
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For more than forty years, the United States has played an indispensable role helping the Chinese government build a booming economy, develop its scientific and military capabilities, and take its place on the world stage, in the belief that China’s rise will bring us cooperation, diplomacy, and free trade. But what if the "China Dream" is to replace us, just as America replaced the British Empire, without firing a shot? Mike Pillsbury, a fluent Mandarin speaker who has served in senior national security positions in the U.S. government since the days of Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger, draws on his decades of contact with the "hawks" in China’s military and intelligence agencies and translates their documents, speeches, and books to show how the teachings of traditional Chinese statecraft underpin their actions. He offers an inside look at how the Chinese really view America and its leaders – as barbarians who will be the architects of their own demise.
Feb 03, 2015
Defending a Spy: An Interview with Espionage Attorney Plato Cacheris
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What do Aldrich Ames, Robert Hanssen, and Ana Montes have in common? Two things: they all spied against the United States, and they all had Plato Cacheris as their lawyer. SPY Historian Vince Houghton and Executive Director Peter Earnest sat down with the legendary defense attorney to discuss many of his most (in)famous clients – including Ames, Hanssen, Montes – who stole some of America’s most guarded secrets.
Jan 27, 2015
Author Debriefing | Iran-Contra: Reagan’s Scandal and the Unchecked Abuse of Presidential Power
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Through exhaustive use of declassified documents, previously unavailable investigative materials, and wide-ranging interviews, Malcolm Byrne explores what made the Iran-Contra scandal possible and meticulously relates how it unfolded—including clarifying minor myths about cakes, keys, bibles, diversion memos, and shredding parties. Byrne, the Deputy Director and Research Director at the National Security Archive, demonstrates that the affair could not have occurred without awareness and approval at the top levels of the US government. He reveals an unmistakable pattern of dubious behavior—including potentially illegal conduct by the president, vice president, the secretaries of state and defense, the CIA director and others—that formed the true core of the scandal.
Jan 13, 2015
Drones: Past, Present, and Future: An Interview with Dr. Trevor McCrisken
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Guest host Dr. Chris Moran of Warwick University (UK) sat down with his colleague, Dr. Trevor McCrisken, for a SpyCast on the role of drones in modern surveillance, warfighting, and counterterrorism. McCrisken, whose biography can be found here, discusses the weaponization of drones, the targeted killing program of the Bush and Obama administrations, the perception in the West that the drone war is “costless”, and the possibility of what he calls the “perpetual war” against global terrorism.
Dec 16, 2014
Inside the Stasi Archives: An Interview with Dr. Doug Selvage
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SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with historian Doug Selvage to discuss the archives of the East German Ministry of State Security, the Stasi. Dr. Selvage, Project Director in the Office of the Federal Commissioner for the Stasi Records in Berlin, has published widely on the CSCE process, Polish-German relations under communism, and the history of the Soviet bloc. He and Houghton focus on the history of the Stasi, its role in the Cold War struggle between East and West, the devious disinformation campaign to convince the world that the United States was responsible for the AIDS epidemic, and the monumental effort to reconstruct millions of secret documents shredded at the end of the Cold War.
Dec 02, 2014
Spies, Policymakers, and Nuclear Weapons: An Interview with Gregg Herken (Part 2)
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SPY Historian Vince Houghton continues his conversation with historian Gregg Herken, focusing on his previous four books on US nuclear policy. Brotherhood of the Bomb, Cardinal Choices, Counsels of War, and The Winning Weapon redefined the ways historians and policymakers have viewed nuclear weapons. Houghton – who himself is a historian of nuclear weapons and intelligence – and Herken discuss the challenges faced by American policymakers and intelligence professionals in dealing with the world’s most dangerous weapon.
Nov 25, 2014
Spies, Policymakers, and Nuclear Weapons: An Interview with Gregg Herken (Part 1)
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SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with historian Gregg Herken to discuss his new book The Georgetown Set: Friends and Rivals in Cold War Washington. Herken, the professor emeritus of modern American diplomatic history at the University of California, gives a behind-the-scenes history of postwar Washington – the close-knit group of journalists, spies, and government officials who planned and waged the Cold War over cocktails and dinner.
Nov 25, 2014
Can a Drone Read Your Email? : An Interview with Mike Tassey and Rich Perkins
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SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Mike Tassey and Rich Perkins, creators of the Wireless Aerial Surveillance Platform, a state-of-the-art cyber drone. Mike and Rich built their unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) in their garage using off-the-shelf electronics, and with the intention of proving that a drone could be used to launch a cyber-attack. With only an Internet connection, a hacker sitting on a beach anywhere in the world could use their UAV to intercept cell phone conversations, steal financial information, or access secret government documents. The prototype was a success and the race is now on to develop the next generation of cyber drones.
Nov 17, 2014
From Bletchley to Bond: An Interview with Journalist and Author Sinclair McKay (Part 2)
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Half of the world’s population has seen a James Bond movie. The historical and cultural impact of this franchise’s 23 (and counting) films is unrivaled by anything else in contemporary pop culture. SPY Historian Vince Houghton is joined by British journalist Sinclair McKay, who is the author of the seminal book on Bond’s cultural impact, The Man With the Golden Touch. They discuss Sean, George, Roger, Timothy, Pierce, and Daniel, and the legacy of Ian Fleming’s secret agent who has now saved the world for more than 50 years – and who might continue to save the world for 50 more.
Nov 12, 2014
From Bletchley to Bond: An Interview with Journalist and Author Sinclair McKay (Part 1)
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SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with British author and journalist Sinclair McKay for a two-part SpyCast. In Part 1, Vince and Sinclair discuss the role played by the codebreakers at Bletchley Park in the Allied victory in the Second World War. The author of three books and numerous articles on the topic, McKay provides compelling historical insight into a subject that you only think you really know.
Nov 12, 2014
Author Debriefing: Good Hunting, An American Spymaster’s Story
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Jack Devine is one of the legendary spymasters of our time. He was in Chile when Allende fell; he ran Charlie Wilson’s war in Afghanistan; he had too much to do with Iran-Contra for his own taste, though he tried to stop it; he caught Pablo Escobar in Colombia; and he tried to warn George Tenet that there was a bullet coming from Iraq with his name on it. His new book, Good Hunting, is Devine’s guide to the art of spycraft and his belief in the CIA’s vital importance as a tool of American statecraft. Although it has been caricatured by Hollywood, lionized by the right, and pilloried by the left, Devine believes the CIA remains one of the least understood instruments of the United States government.
Nov 11, 2014
Author Debriefing: The Catcher Was a Spy: The Mysterious Life of Moe Berg
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Moe Berg—the major league baseball player, OSS operative and legendary linguist—was one of the most remarkable secret agents ever deployed by the US. Whether authorized by the government as an atomic spy or choosing to surreptitiously film Tokyo of his own volition, Berg relished and accomplished his espionage missions, yet he died penniless and with little acclaim. Nicholas Dawidoff brought Moe Berg’s achievements to light in his best-selling 1994 book The Catcher Was a Spy. In honor of the Pennant Race, Dawidoff will share his latest thoughts on the only Major League baseball player to have his card on display at CIA headquarters.
Nov 11, 2014
Author Debriefing: Double Agent, The First Hero of World War II and How the FBI Outwitted and Destroyed a Nazi Spy Ring
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Leading up to the US entry into WWII, Germany set up a sophisticated and productive espionage ring, which effectively utilized well-placed German Americans in the States. They were able to infiltrate key military and industrial facilities, and succeeded in obtaining critical information, including plans for the exceptionally accurate and very secret Norden bombsite device. When naturalized American William Sebold visited his native Germany in 1939, German intelligence officers saw him as a prime target for recruitment. Threatened with arrest, Sebold seemingly agreed to work for the Germans, but they woefully misjudged him. Returning to New York, he contacted the FBI and told all. In his new book Double Agent, journalist Peter Duffy uncovers how Sebold became the center of a 16-month investigation that led to the arrest of 33 enemy agents in June 1941. Known as the Duquesne Spy Ring, the colorful cast of traitors included military contractors, a South African adventurer with an exotic accent and a monocle, and even a Jewish femme fatale.
Nov 10, 2014
Tinker, Tailor, Shortstop, Spy: An Interview with Former CIA Analyst Bryan Soderholm-Difatte Part 1
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Baseball has been played in the United States since the mid-19th Century, and from the very beginning teams were trying to gain a competitive edge against their rivals. In many cases, this involved stealing signs – the messages passed from coaches to players or from catchers to pitchers. In essence, this is a signals intelligence operation: one team is encrypting its messages, while the other is attempting to intercept these messages, decrypt them, and use the resulting intelligence to their advantage. SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Bryan Soderholm, a former CIA analyst who is now putting his training to use analyzing baseball statistics and history. They discussed the influence of spycraft on the game of baseball – in particular, the infamous case of the 1951 New York Giants, who set the standard for baseball espionage.
Oct 28, 2014
Terrorists, Double Agents, and European Domination (Part 1)
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SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Paul Cruickshank and Tim Lister of CNN to discuss their new book Agent Storm: My Life Inside Al Qaeda and the CIA. The book, which they co-wrote with terrorist-turned-double-agent Morten Storm, traces an improbable journey of conversion, radicalization, reassessment, and redemption. Join Vince, Paul, and Tim as they reflect upon a story that is so incredible it would be completely unbelievable – if it wasn’t completely true. This interview was conducted September 8, 2014
Sep 11, 2014
Terrorists, Double Agents, and European Domination (Part 2)
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Join SPY Historian Vince Houghton as he continues his conversation with Paul Cruickshank and Tim Lister of CNN. Both men share their expertise on ISIS and the threat of Islamic Jihadism, and Tim, who has traveled to Ukraine on four different occasions this year alone, provides his insight into the current conflict between Ukrainian separatists, the Ukrainian government, and Russia. This interview was conducted September 8, 2014
Sep 11, 2014
Author Debriefing: Spies, Patriots, and Traitors: American Intelligence in the Revolutionary War
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Nathan Hale and Benedict Arnold may be the most famous spies of the American Revolution, but they were hardly alone. George Washington’s use of spy networks and wider intelligence efforts were critical to the fight for independence. In Spies, Patriots, and Traitors, former CIA officer Kenneth Daigler closely examines American intelligence activities during the era of the Revolutionary War from 1765 to 1783. Daigler will explain how America’s founders learned and practiced their intelligence role, providing insight from an intelligence professional’s perspective and revealing how many of the principles of the era’s intelligence practice are still relevant today. After the talk, see the Museum’s famous George Washington spy letter. This event took place July 15, 2014.
Sep 04, 2014
Election Espionage: An Interview with NBC Chief Political Correspondent Chuck Todd
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SPY Historian Dr. Vince Houghton sat down with NBC News Political Director and Chief White House Correspondent Chuck Todd to discuss the growing role of intelligence tradecraft in American election politics.Todd, the host of MSNBC’s The Daily Rundown, explains how political campaigns – on both sides of the aisle – use surveillance, propaganda, disinformation, deception, and covert action to give their candidates a political edge. This interview was recorded on July 29, 2014. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2g2F6lEJU_c
Aug 11, 2014
The Birth of British Intelligence Coordination: The Joint Intelligence Committee
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SPY Historian Vince Houghton in joined by Dr. Michael Goodman of King’s College in London. Dr. Goodman is the official historian for the British Joint Intelligence Committee, and in that role he has published the book The Official History of the Joint Intelligence Committee: Volume I: From the Approach of the Second World War to the Suez Crisis. Drs. Houghton and Goodman discuss the early development of British intelligence coordination, which spans two of the most momentous decades of the Twentieth Century, and includes events such as the Spanish Civil War, WWII, the end of the British colonial empire, the Cold War, and the Suez Crisis. This interview took place on June 16, 2014
Jul 01, 2014
Author Debriefing: The Zhivago Affair: The Kremlin, the CIA, and the Battle Over a Forbidden Book
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Travel back to a time when literature had the power to influence the world. Washington Post national security correspondent and former bureau chief in Moscow, Peter Finn tells the dramatic first account of how a forbidden book in the Soviet Union became a secret weapon in the battle between East and West. The CIA secretly printed Doctor Zhivago in Russian and smuggled it into the Soviet Union. It was snapped up on the black market and passed surreptitiously from friend to friend fueling flames of dissent. Finn shares how he and his co-author used their special access to otherwise classified CIA files, to create an irresistible portrait of the charming and passionate Pasternak and a twisty thriller that takes readers back to a fascinating period of the Cold War.
Jun 25, 2014
Author Debriefing: The Good Spy: The Life and Death of Robert Ames
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Pulitzer Prize- winning biographer Kai Bird gives the inside story of his compelling portrait of the remarkable life and death of one of the most important operatives in CIA history, Robert Ames. Through Bird’s personal connection to Ames’ family, he gained access to his personal correspondence and range of contacts. Eventually more than forty retired CIA and Mossad officers told Bird their memories of Ames. Those seasoned spies all seemed to feel that they had been waiting for someone to tell the incredible story of Bob Ames, and how he carefully cultivated his ten-year relationship with Ali Hassan Salameh, Yasir Arafat’s intelligence chief. This highly clandestine relationship between the CIA and the PLO planted the seeds for the Oslo peace process. Get the book: http://www.spymuseumstore.org/the-good-spy-book.html#.Vz3puPkrIdU
Jun 25, 2014
The Beginnings of US Overhead Reconnaissance
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The development of overhead reconnaissance technology is one of the most important – if not the most important – advances in the history of intelligence. Policymakers today use IMINT from spy planes and satellites in their daily assessments of global threats, but did you know that overhead reconnaissance technology predates the advent of powered flight? SPY Historian Vince Houghton is joined by Dr. Jim Green, Director of the Planetary Science Division at NASA, to discuss Civil War balloon reconnaissance. Dr. Green, an expert in the field, explains the role of balloons in the greater Union strategy, their impact on the war effort, and the numerous and significant innovations developed by Union “aeronauts” (including the first aircraft carriers!). This interview took place May 30, 2014
Jun 23, 2014
Spy in the Sky - The KH-9 Hexagon
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SPY Historian Vince Houghton sits down with engineer Phil Pressel to discuss his role in developing the KH-9 Hexagon spy satellite. The Hexagon, which was the last US spy satellite to use film, was declassified in 2011, allowing Pressel to write his book, Meeting the Challenge: The Hexagon KH-9 Reconnaissance Satellite. Houghton and Pressel discuss the formation of the project, the daunting technological hurdles, the impact of the satellite on US national security, and the top secret mission to recover film lost in the deepest waters of the Pacific Ocean.Video of interview available on the Spy Museum youtube page. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MmWlw8Ufo6Q This interview took place May 8th, 2014.
Jun 10, 2014
Peter Earnest: My Life in the CIA
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Former SPY Historian Mark Stout sat down with SPY Executive Director Peter Earnest to discuss Peter’s CIA career. After his recruitment and espionage training at the Farm, Peter’s entry into the world of spying came at an important turning point in the Cold War. From his posts overseas in hot spots while living undercover, Peter’s fascinating career culminated in a very public role as the Agency’s spokesperson. Join Peter for this reflection on a life in the shadows. This interview was conducted June 1, 2012.
May 05, 2014
The Future of Intelligence
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The world sends 3 million emails every second. How do Western intelligence agencies cope with such massive amounts of data? The Spy Museum's Executive Director Peter Earnest sits down to discuss the future of intelligence with historian Richard Aldrich, Professor of International Security at the University of Warwick (UK) and Director of the Institute of Advanced Study. With the prevalence of the internet, social media, integrated communications systems, and surveillance capabilities, everyone is now a de facto member of the intelligence community. Dr. Aldrich discusses Snowden, leakers, whistleblowers, and what he calls “the end of secrecy.” Who – and when – will be the next Snowden? This interview took place April 3, 2014.
Apr 24, 2014
Putin’s End Game in Ukraine
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Peter and SPY Historian Vince Houghton are joined by retired KGB Major General Oleg Kalugin. They discuss the current confrontation between Russia and Ukraine over Crimea, Crimea’s strategic place in Russian history, and the potential conflict over Ukraine’s strategic shift toward Europe and away from Russia. They then discuss the role intelligence and special operations forces might play in any future war between Russia and Ukraine. This interview took place March 14, 2014.
Mar 20, 2014
America's Great Game: The CIA's Secret Arabists and the Shaping of the Modern Middle East
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Intelligence historian Hugh Wilford reveals the surprising history of the CIA’s pro-Arab operations in the 1940s and 50s by tracing the work of the agency’s three most influential—and colorful—officers in the Middle East: Kermit Roosevelt, Archie Roosevelt, and Miles Copeland. With their deep knowledge of Middle Eastern affairs, the three men were heirs to an American missionary tradition that engaged Arabs and Muslims with respect and empathy. These “Arabists” propped up authoritarian regimes, attempted secretly to sway public opinion in America against support for the new state of Israel, and staged coups that destabilized the nations with which they empathized. They were fascinated by imperial intrigue, and were eager to play a modern rematch of the “Great Game,” the nineteenth century struggle between Britain and Russia for control over central Asia. This event took place January 7, 2014.
Mar 04, 2014
Enemies Within: Inside the NYPD's Secret Spying Unit and bin Laden’s Final Plot Against America
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Six months after the 9/11 attacks, New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly initiated a straightforward, yet audacious, antiterrorist plan to be implemented in the Big Apple, dispatching a vast network of undercover officers and informants to track suspected terrorists. In Enemies Within, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalists Matt Apuzzo and Adam Goldman for Associated Press reveal the effectiveness of the domestic spying plan. Based on hundreds of previously unpublished New York Police Department internal memos and exclusive interviews with intelligence sources, including 25-year FBI veteran Don Borelli who assisted with the book, they found that many of those strategies aren’t even close to being useful, functional, or successful. As Assistant Special Agent in Charge in the New York Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF), Borelli was responsible for top investigations and counterterrorism missions that spanned the globe. Join Apuzzo and Borelli for an unbridled look at the breathtaking race to avert a second devastating terrorist attack on American soil. This event took place September 26, 2013. Get the book: http://www.spymuseumstore.org/enemy-within-book.html#.Vz3rRfkrIdU
Dec 05, 2013
Author Debriefing: Cyber War Will Not Take Place
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Is cyber war really coming? Renowned scholar Thomas Rid of the Department of War Studies at Kings College London argues that the focus on war distracts from the real challenge of cyberspace: non-violent confrontation that may rival or even replace violence in surprising ways. In this provocative talk, the author will trace the most significant hacks and attacks and explore some key questions: What are cyber weapons? How have they changed the meaning of violence? How likely and how dangerous is crowd-sourced subversive activity? Why has there never been a lethal cyber-attack against a country's critical infrastructure? How serious is the threat of cyber-espionage? And who is most vulnerable in the cyber realm? This event took place on September 10, 2013 .http://www.spymuseumstore.org/
Dec 05, 2013
Shadow Warrior: William Egan Colby and the CIA
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Historian Randall B. Woods of the University of Arkansas discusses his new biography of one of the most fascinating and controversial figures of the postwar period: William Egan Colby. World War II commando, Cold War spy, CIA station chief in Saigon, and ultimately CIA director under Presidents Nixon and Ford, Colby played a critical role in some of the most pivotal events in twentieth-century history. Despite his strong commitment to global democracy and economic and social justice, he was also drawn to the shadowy world of covert action… This event took place on April 18, 2013.
Nov 19, 2013
The Life of a Military Attaché: Moscow, Almaty, and Warsaw in the 1990s (Part 2)
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In this continuation of the discussion with US Army Colonel James Cox, we hear about the day-to-day work of US military attachés: being military diplomats for the Defense Intelligence Agency. Colonel Cox tells SPY Historian Mark Stout what it was like working in Moscow after the failure of the 1991 coup. He also shares his experiences in Almaty, the capital of the newly independent country of Kazakhstan and later in Poland, a once-communist country, as it joined the NATO alliance.
Oct 27, 2013
The Secret Rescue: An Untold Story of American Nurses and Medics Behind Nazi Lines
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When 26 Army nurses and medics boarded a transport plane in November, 1943, they never anticipated the crash landing in Nazi-occupied Albania that would lead to their months-long struggle for survival. The group dodged bullets and battled blinding winter storms as they climbed mountains and fought to survive, aided by courageous villagers who risked death at Nazi hands as well as Britain’s Special Operations Executive (SOE) and the American OSS. Listen to author Cate Lineberry, a former writer and editor for Smithsonian Magazine, tell this mesmerizing tale of World War II courage and heroism. This event took place August 13, 2013. Get the book: http://www.spymuseumstore.org/the-secret-rescue-book.html#.Vz3qN_krIdU
Oct 27, 2013
The CIA Analyst and the Polish Colonel
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During the 1970s, Colonel Ryszard Kuklinski was a rising star in the Polish General Staff during the Cold War. He was also a spy for the CIA. Colonel Aris Pappas was a rising star in the CIA’s analytic ranks whose specialty was Poland. Pappas sat down with SPY Historian Mark Stout to discuss the Kuklinski case, the important information that Kuklinski passed about the Soviet and Warsaw Pact militaries and the imposition of martial law in Poland, and how he and Kuklinski eventually met and became friends.
Sep 16, 2013
The Life of a Military Attaché: Moscow During the Coup (Part 1)
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In the summer of 1991, US Army Colonel James Cox arrived in Moscow, the capital of the Soviet Union, to serve as Assistant Army Attaché. Little did he know that Communist hardliners were about to launch a coup. When the coup started, the intelligence agencies in Washington immediately needed up-to-the-minute information on developments, so the attachés went out on the streets to get it. Hear Colonel Cox tell SPY Historian Mark Stout what it was like chasing tanks on the streets of Moscow and witnessing Boris Yeltsin make his stand at the Russian White House.
Sep 03, 2013
Espionage in Traditional China
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Sun Tzu’s 2500 year old book The Art of War contains a famous chapter on spies. However, Master Sun was not the only Chinese author to address this topic centuries before Westerners did. In fact, many Chinese authors built on his work. SPY Historian Mark Stout met up with Ralph Sawyer, the translator of the definitive edition of The Art of War and the author of The Tao of Spycraft, to discuss the sophisticated theory and remarkable practice of espionage in traditional China.
Aug 05, 2013
The OSS in Burma: Jungle War Against the Japanese
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“One could not choose a worse place for fighting the Japanese,” said Winston Churchill of northern Burma, but it was there that the fledgling Office of Strategic Services conducted its most successful combat operations of World War II. Troy Sacquety, an Historian for the US Army’s Special Operations Command, ventures into Burma’s steaming jungles in the first book to fully cover the exploits and contributions of the OSS’s Detachment 101 against the Japanese Imperial Army. In this Author Debriefing, Sacquety describes how Detachment 101 succeeded and created a prototype for today’s Special Forces. This event took place on May 13, 2013. Get the book: http://www.spymuseumstore.org/oss-burma-book.html#.Vxk39JMrJTY
Jul 11, 2013
Deceiving the Iraqis in Operation Desert Storm
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Military deception was an important part of Operation Desert Storm, the 1991 coalition effort to eject the Iraqi Army from Kuwait. The man in charge of that U.S. Marine Corp’s part of that deception was Brigadier General Tom Draude. Despite the fact that he had no previous background in deception, General Draude and his team of clever American planners put together an elegant and effective deception plan. Hear him tell Peter how they exploited the expectations of Iraq's military to put them off guard and out of place. Also learn about the role in that books such as The Man Who Never Was and John Le Carre’s The Little Drummer Girl played in General Draude’s thinking.
Jun 26, 2013
A Legal Perspective on the Snowden Case
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Mark Zaid is one of the nation’s top national security lawyers and has defended many alleged whistleblowers and leakers. SPY Historian, Mark Stout, called him in for a consultation on the case of Edward Snowden who has admitted leaking to the press top secret material from the National Security Agency. Hear them discuss Snowden’s present legal position, the options open to a would-be whistleblower, and the actual meanings of treason and asylum.
Jun 24, 2013
A Western Spy among Terrorists in Yemen
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Morten Storm was a Danish convert to Islam who became a close associate of Anwar al-Awlaki, the American imam who was a senior member of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in Yemen. He even ate in Awlaki’s home and helped find him a wife. When Storm repented of his radical ways, he turned to the Danish intelligence service and offered inside access to AQAP. Hear him tell SPY Historian Mark Stout how MI6 and CIA came into the picture and how he helped tracked down Awlaki, who died in a controversial CIA drone attack in September 2011.
May 26, 2013
Spying in America: Espionage from the Revolutionary War to the Dawn of the Cold War
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Can you keep a secret? Maybe you can, but the United States government can’t. Since the birth of our country, nations from Russia and China to Ghana and Ecuador, have stolen some of our country’s most precious secrets. Michael Sulick, former director of the CIA's National Clandestine Service, discusses his book, Spying in America, which presents a history of more than thirty espionage cases inside the United States. This event took place on January 15, 2013. Get the book: http://www.spymuseumstore.org/spying-in-america-book.html#.Vxk4FpMrJTY
May 03, 2013
The Rice Paddy Navy: U.S. Sailors Undercover in China
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After the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, the US Navy knew it would need vital information from the Pacific. Captain Milton ‘Mary’ Miles journeyed to China to set up weather stations and monitor the Chinese coastline—and to spy on the Japanese. After a handshake agreement with Chiang Kai-shek's spymaster, General Dai Li, the Sino-American Cooperative Organization (SACO) was born. This top-secret network worked hand in hand with the Nationalist Chinese to fight the Japanese invasion of China while erecting crucial weather stations, providing critical information to the US military, intercepting Japanese communications, blowing up enemy supply depots, laying mines, destroying bridges, and training Chinese peasants in guerrilla warfare. Join author Linda Kush as she reveals the story of one of the most successful covert operation efforts of World War II. This event took place on March 5, 2013.
May 03, 2013
The United States Military Liaison Mission in East Germany
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Major General Michael Ennis was one of the rare Marine officers admitted to the Foreign Area Officer program where he became a specialist on the Soviet Union. This led to an assignment as a translator on the Washington-Moscow Hotline at the White House and then got him a license to spy in communist East Germany in the 1980s as part of the US Military Liaison Mission. Hear him tell SPY Historian Mark Stout what it’s like to penetrate a Soviet command bunker at night or be chased by a Soviet tank, and learn the intelligence value of a hunk of concrete.
Apr 19, 2013
American Communism and Soviet Espionage: A Look Back with John Earl Haynes
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In the 1970s, historian John Earl Haynes was researching the American labor movement when he discovered interesting connections to the Communist party. Fast forward 20 years to the 1990s, when that ongoing research on the Communist party led him into the murky world of Soviet espionage. SPY Historian Mark Stout sits down with this groundbreaking historian to look back on his career and learn how he became a leading and unlikely expert on Soviet espionage in the America. Follow along on this fascinating journey from Minnesota, to the halls of power in Washington DC, to dusty archives in Moscow.
Apr 01, 2013
Intelligence in Support of UN Peacekeeping in Bosnia during the 1990s
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The United Nations thinks “intelligence” is a dirty word but it still needs intelligence to conduct peacekeeping operations. The result is a euphemism: “military information.” SPY Historian Mark Stout talks with Tom Quiggin, a former Canadian intelligence officer who worked alongside Americans, Swedes, Jordanians, Russians, and others in the Military Information Office supporting UN peacekeeping operations in Bosnia during the 1990s. Hear what it’s like to pass through a checkpoint manned by drunken teenage soldiers or to know that your warnings of an upcoming massacre in Srebrenica are being ignored.
Feb 11, 2013
Born Under an Assumed Name
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Looking back on her childhood, Sarah Taber remembers that “my identity was problematic because of moving from country to country and the overall atmosphere of growing up in the CIA.” As an adult she wrote about what it was like to be raised in a culture of “secrecy, stoicism and silence” in her book Born Under an Assumed Name: The Memoir of a Cold War Spy’s Daughter. Feel the stresses and learn the secrets of a CIA family in this heart-to-heart talk between Sarah and Peter, himself a CIA father.
Feb 11, 2013
From Nazi Germany to the OSS to the CIA (Part 2)
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In this Spycast Peter finishes his conversation with Peter Sichel. Listen to this insider talking about CIA operations in Germany after World War II, the futile support for anti-communist guerrillas in Ukraine and China during the 1940s and 1950s, the strains of leading an undercover life and his friendship with legendary CIA counterintelligence chief James Jesus Angleton.
Jan 22, 2013
Canada’s Security Intelligence Service in the Post-Cold War World
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Canada’s Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) operates on a very different model from the American CIA, being neither strictly a foreign intelligence agency nor a domestic intelligence agency. Today SPY Historian Mark Stout discusses CSIS with Ray Boisvert, who was one of the founding members of the Service in 1984 and rose to become its Assistant Director, Intelligence, a position from which he retired in 2012. Hear them talk about the concept of “security intelligence” in a democratic society and explore the dilemmas which the Service faces in an era of terrorism emanating from groups such as al Qaeda and foreign covert influence from nation states.
Jan 10, 2013
The Zimmermann Telegram: Intelligence, Diplomacy, and America's Entry into World War I
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In January 1917, British naval intelligence intercepted what became the most important telegram in all of American history. It was a daring proposition from Germany's foreign secretary, Arthur Zimmermann, offering German support to Mexico for regaining Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona in exchange for a Mexican attack on America. Five weeks later, America entered World War I. Former SPY Historian Dr. Thomas Boghardt who is now at the US Army’s Center of Military History talks about his new account of the Zimmerman Telegram. This event took place on, November 27, 2012. Get the book: http://www.spymuseumstore.org/zimmermann-telegram-book.html#.Vxk4aZMrJTY
Dec 31, 2012
From Nazi Germany to the OSS to the CIA (Part 1)
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Today Peter begins a conversation with the remarkable Peter Sichel, OSS veteran, senior CIA official of the 1950s, and onetime head of Blue Nun wines. After fleeing Nazi Germany with his family in the 1930s and eventually finding himself in the United States, Sichel joined the OSS and in 1944 he went back to Europe where he recruited German prisoners of war to spy for the US 7th Army. Hear him talk about his operations in Europe and his friendship with future Director of the CIA, Richard Helms.
Dec 21, 2012
The Evolution of Spy Fiction: Bond and His Brethren
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The modern spy novel was born in early twentieth century Britain with writers such as Erskine Childers and William LeQueux whose one-dimensional heroes were English gentlemen holding back the barbarians. How did we get from there to the gray and morally ambiguous world of John Le Carré? And how does all this relate to James Bond and even George Orwell’s 1984? Listen to SPY Historian Mark Stout discuss the development and importance of spy fiction with intelligence historian Wesley Wark.
Nov 14, 2012
Author Debriefing: The Twilight War: The Secret History of America’s Thirty-Year Conflict with Iran
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The United States and Iran have been at daggers drawn for more than thirty years. While this rivalry has never erupted into open war, it has been an enduring “twilight war” in which spies and terrorists often play the lead role. US Government historian David Crist will discuss his groundbreaking book which pulls back the curtain on many of the deepest secrets of this lethal struggle. Among other fascinating revelations, hear about the massive spy network that the CIA developed in Iran with German help in the 1980s, how these spies communicated with their handlers using invisible ink, and how their discovery led to the deaths of more than two dozen people. This event took place on 1 August 2012.
Nov 08, 2012
Author Debrief: Castro's Secrets: The CIA and Cuba's Intelligence Machine
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In Castro’s Secrets, Brian Latell, former National Intelligence Officer for Latin America and long-time Cuba analyst, offers a strikingly original image of Fidel Castro as Cuba's supreme spymaster. Latell exposes many long-buried secrets of Castro's lengthy reign, including the extent of Cuba’s double agent operations against the United States. In writing this book, Latell spoke with many high-level defectors from Cuba’s powerful intelligence and security services; some had never told their stories on the record before. He also probed dispassionately into the CIA's plots against Cuba, including previously obscure schemes to assassinate Castro and presents dramatic new conclusions about what Castro actually knew of Lee Harvey Oswald prior to the assassination of John F. Kennedy. This event took place on October 10 2012.
Nov 06, 2012
Author Debriefing: The Art of Intelligence: Lessons from a Life in the CIA’s Clandestine Service
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In the days after 9/11, the CIA directed Henry Crumpton to organize and lead its covert action campaign in Afghanistan. In less than 90 days Al Qaeda and the Taliban were routed. The Art of Intelligence draws from the full arc of Crumpton’s espionage and covert action exploits to explain what America’s spies do and why their service is more valuable than ever. This event took place 12 June 2012.
Sep 25, 2012
The Red Cell: Fact and Fiction
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The surprise of September 11 2001 was, in part, a failure of imagination and CIA Director George Tenet did not want that to happen again. On September 13 he created the Red Cell and staffed it with “people who were willing to take their analysis to a whole new zip code.” CIA analyst Mark Henshaw’s first novel, Red Cell, is about the adventures of two analysts assigned to that team during a military crisis with China. The story is fiction, but it draws on Henshaw’s three years in the Red Cell. Join him and SPY Historian Mark Stout as they discuss what goes on in Room 2G31 at CIA Headquarters.
Aug 23, 2012
Agent Garbo: How a Brilliant & Eccentric Double Agent Tricked the Nazis & Saved D-Day
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Juan Pujol was the Walter Mitty of World War II, a nobody who at one doomed venture after another while dreaming of doing something interesting with his life -- saving Western civilization, if possible. Journalist Stephan Talty, whose work has appeared widely, including in the New York Times Magazine and GQ, has told the remarkable story of how against all the odds, Pujol did just that by becoming agent GARBO, the most important double agent of World War II. Hear Talty discuss his new book with SPY Historian Mark Stout in this author debriefing which took place on July 12, 2012.
Aug 21, 2012
Our Man in the Middle East (Part 3)
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Peter concludes his conversation with longtime CIA officer George Cave with a brief discussion of some of the funny and unusual events that took place in the course of his career in the Clandestine Service.
Aug 06, 2012
Spies Against Armageddon: Inside Israel's Secret Wars
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The history of Israel’s intelligence community—led by the feared and famous Mossad—includes stunning successes and embarrassing failures with important implications for war and peace today. CBS journalist Dan Raviv co-author with Israeli journalist Yossi Melman, of Spies Against Armageddon, traces this history from the country’s independence in 1948 right up to the crises of today.
Jul 26, 2012
Spies and Commissars: The Early Years of the Russian Revolution
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Russia was a chaotic hotspot after the Revolution of 1917 and an extraordinary collection of spies, adventurers, and opportunists poured into the roiling Russian political scene. Outsized characters like Sidney “Ace of Spies” Reilly, communist activist John Reed, and author/spy Somerset Maugham all played their parts…under the watchful eye of Feliks Dzerzhinsky, the head of the ruthless Cheka, the first of the Soviet state security organizations. Listen to renown British historian Robert Service discuss his thrilling new book about this turning point of twentieth century history.
Jul 13, 2012
Our Man in the Middle East (Part 2)
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Peter continues his discussion with career CIA officer George Cave. They cover Cave’s time in Saudi Arabia—from which he was expelled when a candid cable he wrote about Saudi politics leaked to the press—and back in Washington where he became embroiled in the Iran-Contra Affair. Hear his account of a clandestine trip with Robert McFarlane and Oliver North for talks with Ayatollah Khomeini’s government and other inside details of this scandal.
Jul 09, 2012
Our Man in the Middle East (Part 1)
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George Cave is a legend in the CIA’s Clandestine Service. He was recruited into the CIA in 1956 as a fluent Farsi speaker and was pulled out of his entry training and sent to Afghanistan to deal with an urgent operation there. He never looked back. Join Peter and George as they relive the assassination attempts in Iran against the US Ambassador and George himself in the early 1970s and discuss CIA’s operations in the Middle East over three decades.
Jun 21, 2012
Dick Holm: the Perils and Rewards of a Life in the CIA, Part 2
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Peter continues his discussion with legendary case officer Dick Holm, the author of The Craft We Chose: My Life in the CIA. Holm discusses several highlights and low points of his career. Learn about his work with Belgian intelligence in thwarting a Belgian Air Force officer who was spying for Russia and his role in the embarrassing “spy flap” when he was the CIA chief in Paris. Get the book: http://www.spymuseumstore.org/craft-we-chose-life-in-cia-book.html#.Vz3rhPkrIdU
Jun 01, 2012
Author Debriefing: Alger Hiss - Why He Chose Treason
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In 1948, when Whittaker Chambers accused Ivy League-educated senior diplomat Alger Hiss of spying for the Soviets, few Americans were willing to believe him. In fact, Hiss went to his grave protesting his innocence, but now it seems clear that he was guilty, given the evidence available since the end of the Cold War. Retired counterintelligence officer Christina Shelton has written a new biography of Hiss. She highlights the many missed opportunities and poor judgments in the Hiss case, and discusses them in the context of wide-scale Soviet infiltration and espionage. Join Shelton and SPY historian Mark Stout for a discussion of this provocative new book about one of America’s most controversial icons. Get the book: http://www.spymuseumstore.org/zimmermann-telegram-book.html#.Vxk4aZMrJTY
May 25, 2012
The Hunt for KSM: Inside the Pursuit and Takedown of the Real 9/11 Mastermind, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed
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Josh Meyer, co-author with Terry McDermott of The Hunt for KSM, visits the International Spy Museum to talk about the decade-long FBI and CIA effort to capture Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. Meyer discusses the repeated failed attempts to find the evil genius who had plotted to kill the Pope and President Clinton and explode a dozen planes over the Pacific Ocean, all before masterminding the 9/11 attacks. Finally, hear how the US finally grabbed KSM as a result of the interrogation of another terrorist, Abu Zubaydah.
May 18, 2012
Dick Holm: the Perils and Rewards of a Life in the CIA, Part 1
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Today Peter starts a conversation with Dick Holm, a legendary CIA operations officer, who has served all over the world. Dick, the author of The Craft We Chose: My Life in the CIA, talks about the importance of intelligence and reveals the terrible price that he paid for serving his country as a young officer in the Congo in the 1960s. Get the book: http://www.spymuseumstore.org/craft-we-chose-life-in-cia-book.html#.Vz3rhPkrIdU
May 11, 2012
Leak: Why Mark Felt became Deep Throat
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Intelligence officers and investigative journalists both depend on clandestine sources to divulge secrets. But why do people betray a trust? Peter interviews veteran journalist Max Holland about his new book, Leak, which probes the mind and motivations of one of the most famous clandestine sources in American history: Deep Throat. Hear why Mark Felt, the Deputy Director of the FBI, betrayed President Nixon by leaking to the Washington Post and Time about Watergate. Were Felt’s motives patriotic or self-serving…or both? Get the book: http://www.spymuseumstore.org/leak-shy-mark-felt-became-deep-throat.html#.Vz3q4PkrIdU
Apr 26, 2012
Author Debriefing: Shadow Commander: The Epic Story of Donald D. Blackburn-Guerrilla Leader and Special Forces Hero
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During the Vietnam War, perhaps the US Army’s most secretive unit was the Studies and Observations Group (SOG). This unit conducted reconnaissance missions, captured enemy prisoners for interrogation and rescued American POWs. It also ran teams of clandestine agents, and conducted psychological operations. The leader of this group in the mid-1960s was a legendary Army officer, Donald Blackburn. Listen to author Mike Guardia describe Blackburn’s colorful life in this event which took place on 16 February 2012.
Apr 02, 2012
Eavesdropping in Vietnam: One Man’s Experience
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SPY Historian Mark Stout explores the importance of signals intelligence (SIGINT) to the Vietnam War with retired National Security Agency cryptanalyst Tom Glenn. Glenn served more time in country than any other civilian of the NSA. Hear about the sixth sense that good SIGINTers need to have, the difficulties of working in foreign languages, and how Glenn and his colleagues were able to predict every major Communist offensive. Learn also why American commanders did not always believe them. Finally, hear the wrenching story of Glenn’s last days in Saigon in 1975 as the city was falling to the North Vietnamese Army.
Mar 28, 2012
The Power of Open Source Intelligence
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With the ever increasing global connectivity, more and more information is available merely for the asking. This has led to a flourishing of the discipline of open source intelligence collection. SPY Historian Mark Stout has a probing discussion with one of the world’s leading practitioners of this art: Arno Reuser of the Dutch military intelligence service. With the growth of open source, can we stop stealing secrets?
Mar 21, 2012
Author Debriefing: Smersh: Stalin's Secret Weapon: Soviet Military Counterintelligence in WWII
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In the early James Bond novels, the hero battled the villainous forces of Smersh, a shadowy Soviet intelligence organization. Bond was fictional, but Smersh really existed. Drawing its name from smert shpionam Russian for “death to spies,” it was Stalin’s wartime terror apparatus and it cut a bloody swath of death across Eastern Europe. Its job was to “filter” the Red Army for spies and it was responsible for the arrest, torture, and execution of many thousands of innocent people. Listen to historian Vadim J. Birstein as he discusses this bloodthirsty organization and discusses the evidence suggesting that Raoul Wallenberg was one of its victims. This event took place on 12 January 2012.
Feb 17, 2012
Investigating Historical Spies
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Researching spy history is a difficult business. Spies carefully cover their tracks and intelligence agencies classify everything and release their records only after many years, if at all. Given these difficulties how do historians reconstruct espionage history? SPY Historian Mark Stout explores this issue with Dr. R. Bruce Craig, the author of Treasonable Doubt: The Harry Dexter White Spy Case. Hear Craig describe how a receipt for $1.25 allowed him to discover the real identity of the mysterious “Agent Zero” who spied for the Soviets before World War II. Also listen as Craig tells of his forthcoming book about Alger Hiss and how he has brought lawsuits that forced the government to open up sealed grand jury records for Hiss and Julius and Ethel Rosenberg.
Feb 08, 2012
The Intelligence War Against Terrorism
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Since 9/11, the United States Intelligence Community has expanded into an $80 billion behemoth and taken on many new tasks, for instance spying on terrorists in cyberspace and even becoming a combat organization in its own right. Are we getting value for our money? To what extent did the invasion of Iraq divert important intelligence resources from Afghanistan? And why is the FBI flying reconnaissance flights over northwest D.C.? Intelligence historian, Matthew Aid, the author of the new book Intel Wars: The Secret History of the Fight Against Terror, grapples with these and other questions in a discussion with SPY Historian Mark Stout.
Jan 18, 2012
Intelligence and Espionage in the U.S. Civil War
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Spies, cavalry, and telescopes were the traditional intelligence tools available during the Civil War, but there was also cutting edge high tech: the telegraph and the observation balloon. How did Civil War generals combine these to help make strategic decisions? As we observe the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, SPY Historian Mark Stout discusses this question with Professor William Feis of Buena Vista University, the author of Grant’s Secret Service: The Intelligence War from Belmont to Appomattox.
Jan 13, 2012
Author Debriefing: MH/CHAOS: The CIA’s Campaign against the Radical New Left and the Black Panthers
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Operation MHCHAOS was the code name for a secret domestic spying program conducted by the Central Intelligence Agency in the late 1960s and early 1970s charged with unmasking any foreign influences on left wing protestors. CIA counterintelligence officer Frank Rafalko was a part of that operation. When The New York Times revealed MHCHAOS in 1974 and Congress investigated, MHCHAOS took its place in the pantheon of intelligence abuses. However, in his new book Rafalko says that the operation was justified and that the CIA was the logical agency to conduct it. Listen as he defends his perspective with dramatic intelligence collected on the New Left and black radicals. This event took place on 26 October 2011.
Dec 19, 2011
The Silent Listener: British Eavesdropping in the Falklands War
2724
D. J. Thorp, a signals intelligence officer in the British Army, spent many years eavesdropping on the hot spots of the Cold War in Europe and the Middle East. In 1982 he found himself on board a Royal Navy ship intercepting signals from the Argentinean military as it fought the British in the Falklands War. Listen in as Major Thorp describes to SPY Historian Mark Stout how signals intelligence influenced the course of that war, how his team uncovered an Argentinean plan for a counterattack that could have turned the tide of the war, and even how a signals intercept led British naval personnel to shave off their beards!
Dec 16, 2011
J. Edgar Hoover: Fact vs. Fiction
2162
Clint Eastwood’s movie, J. Edgar, gives a Hollywood take on the controversial Director of the FBI. However, many people have criticized the movie for whitewashing Hoover’s abuses while others have criticized it for its implication that Hoover may have been gay. Peter addresses these issues in discussion with Ray Batvinis, a former FBI special agent, a former Executive Director of the J. Edgar Hoover Foundation, and the author of the book, The Origins of FBI Counterintelligence.
Dec 06, 2011
Uncompromised: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of an Arab American Patriot in the CIA
3299
After a childhood in war-torn Lebanon with an abusive father, Nada Prouty jumped at the chance to forge her own path in America, a path that led to undercover work in the FBI, then the CIA. Her work earned her great respect from her colleagues but her promising career came to an end when federal investigators charged Prouty with passing intelligence to Hezbollah. Lacking sufficient evidence to make their case in court, prosecutors went to the media, suggesting that she had committed treason. Though the CIA and a federal judge eventually exonerated Prouty, she was dismissed from the Agency and stripped of her citizenship. In Uncompromised, Prouty tells her story in a bid to restore her name and reputation. This event took place on 15 November 2011.
Nov 17, 2011
Identity, Espionage, and Social Media
1311
Who are your friends on Facebook? Are you sure? Thomas Ryan, co-founder of Provide Security, knows that you can’t always be certain. Why? Because he created the fictional Robin Sage, a cyber femme fatale, who quickly wormed her way into the confidence of national security professionals who should have known better. He conceived the experiment to expose weaknesses in the nation's defense and intelligence communities, but even he was surprised by its success. Robin Sage is just one of the fascinating and disturbing tricks of the online espionage trade that Ryan shared with SPY Historian Mark Stout. You may never friend anyone again…
Oct 09, 2011
Interrogating a High Value Detainee: A Morality Tale
2097
What would you do if you were told to do whatever was necessary to get a prisoner to talk? This is the situation that career CIA officer Glenn Carle found himself in when he was made the lead interrogator for a detainee who was said to be a member of Al Qaeda’s top echelon. Carle, the author of the recently published book, The Interrogator: An Education, tells Peter what it was like to be in this position. And, he describes how he got on the wrong side of CIA Headquarters (HQ) when he objected to the treatment of the detainee, who he came to believe was not who CIA HQ said he was. Listen in on a discussion that raises profound questions about American values and the struggle against terrorism.
Sep 23, 2011
In the Counterterrorism Center on 9/11: One Analyst’s Story
1790
The war with Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda did not begin on September 11th. CIA analyst Cindy Storer was there from the beginning in the early 1990s, a member of a small band of mostly female analysts who worked on Al Qaeda long before September 11. They faced a frustrating uphill battle convincing others about this new threat and were subjected to ridicule for their supposedly excessive passion right up until September 11th. Hear Cindy discuss with SPY Historian Mark Stout what it was like to be in the building on that day and the amazing combination of emotion, professionalism, and commitment that characterized the following days.
Sep 09, 2011
The Triple Agent: The al-Qaeda Mole Who Infiltrated the CIA
2209
In 2009, the CIA’s partners in the Jordanian General Intelligence Directorate had a source named Humam Khalil al-Balawi working inside Al Qaeda and he knew where Ayman al-Zawahiri, the number two man in al Qaeda was…or so they thought. In fact, Al Qaeda was running a deception. In December 2009 al-Balawi came to a CIA base in Khost, Afghanistan and detonated bomb strapped to his chest, killing seven CIA officers and one Jordanian intelligence officer. It was the CIA’s greatest loss of life in decades. Join Pulitzer Prize winning author Joby Warrick for this gripping true story of miscalculation, deception, and revenge, and learn how Al Qaeda fooled the world’s greatest intelligence service. This event took place on 20 July 2011.
Aug 16, 2011
The Aftermath of Bin Laden’s Death: The Lessons of Strategic Manhunting
1718
The 13-year search for Osama Bin Laden may have seemed unprecedented, but actually such events have not been uncommon in American history. Since the days of Geronimo, the United States has embarked on at least eleven such “strategic manhunts.” Benjamin Runkle, the author of the new book Wanted Dead or Alive: Manhunts from Geronimo to Bin Laden, sits down with SPY Historian Mark Stout to discuss what we can learn from the history of these manhunts. Find out what kind of intelligence it takes to track down an evasive enemy leader and learn what the strategic pay-off can be from a successful manhunt. Part three of a series.
Aug 02, 2011
Mastermind: The Many Faces of the 9/11 Architect, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed
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Khalid Shaikh Mohammed was behind many of the most heinous terrorist plots of the past twenty years, including the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, the Millenium Plots, and 9/11 itself. He even claims to have personally beheaded Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. Investigative journalist Richard Miniter brings to life the remarkable story of “KSM,” including his time living in the United States. Based on interviews with government officials, generals, diplomats and spies from around the world, Miniter reveals never before reported Al Qaeda plots and remarkable new details about the 9/11 attacks. He also lets us into the ultimately successful clandestine operations of American and Pakistani intelligence officers to capture this notorious killer. This event took place on May 19, 2011.
Aug 01, 2011
Author Debriefing: "Wild Bill" Donovan
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“Wild Bill” Donovan was a World War I hero with a Medal of Honor to prove it, a millionaire Wall Street lawyer, and a prominent Republican. Democratic President Franklin Roosevelt chose this brilliant yet disorganized visionary to be his spymaster, head of the World War II Office of Strategic Services (OSS). Veteran journalist Douglas Waller has written a compelling biography of William Donovan. He describes Donovan’s reckless nature: how he needlessly risked his life on foreign battlefields and engaged in extramarital affairs that emboldened his enemies in Washington. Waller also recounts the OSS’s daring operations overseas and the vicious political battles that Donovan had to fight with Winston Churchill, J. Edgar Hoover, and the Pentagon. Donovan’s plans to continue the OSS after the war were defeated, yet the CIA rose like a phoenix from the OSS’ ashes. This event took place February 17, 2011. Get the book: http://www.spymuseumstore.org/wild-bill-donovan-book.html#.Vxk4yJMrJTY
Jul 13, 2011
Modern Intelligence Analysis: From Art to Science?
1669
A great deal of public attention goes to the CIA’s case officers who recruit and run agents and steal secrets. However, few people pay attention to the fact that those secrets are stolen so that they can be put on desks of intelligence analysts. Analysts, then, must put together information from both secret sources and open sources to produce insightful assessments to inform the nation’s leaders. Randy Pherson, a former senior official at the CIA and the President of Pherson Associates, teaches advanced analytic techniques to the US Intelligence Community. Join him as he discusses with SPY Historian Mark Stout his efforts to move the vital field of intelligence analysis toward greater rigor.
Jul 01, 2011
The Aftermath of Bin Laden’s Death: Inside al Qaeda’s Hard Drive
1817
After killing Osama bin Laden, the SEALs reportedly took hundreds of drives, disks, and computers from the house in Abbottabad, Pakistan. What challenges will American intelligence agencies face in exploiting bin Laden’s computers and what can be learned from the computer of a terrorist mastermind? SPY Historian Mark Stout discusses the complexities of digital dumpster diving with Wall Street Journal reporter Alan Cullison, who in 2001 purchased and exploited a computer used by Ayman al-Zawahiri, now the heir apparent to lead al Qaeda. Part two of a series.
Jun 16, 2011
The Aftermath of bin Laden’s Death: Winning the War While Staying in the Right
1995
What are the implications of Osama bin Laden’s death for the al Qaeda movement? What role did waterboarding and “enhanced interrogation techniques” play in tracking down Bin Laden and should we reassess our views of torture? Peter explores these provocative questions with naval intelligence veteran and counterterrorism expert Malcolm Nance, the author of An End to al Qaeda: Destroying bin Laden’s Jihad and Restoring America’s Honor. As a SERE instructor, Nance has been waterboarded and has conducted waterboardings. He has even given expert testimony on the issue before Congress. Part one of a series.
May 20, 2011
Spy versus Spy in East Germany
2051
The East German security service, the Stasi, was infamous for surveilling and oppressing the East German population. However, it also hunted Western spies and there were many to be found; the CIA, the West German BND, and Britain’s MI-6 were all very active. In fact, from 1955 to 1989 the Stasi uncovered more than 1300 foreign spies operating in East Germany. Join SPY Historian Mark Stout as he discusses Stasi counterespionage with Professor Paul Maddrell who has been working in the Stasi archives. Learn about Western espionage in East Germany and find out the grim fate of the spies who were uncovered.
May 09, 2011
Stalking Terrorists Online
1901
Montana resident Shannen Rossmiller is proof that things are not as they seem online. Before September 11, she was a judge, a wife, and a mother but not an expert on terrorism or an Arabic speaker. After September 11, she taught herself Arabic and started to explore the world of online jihadism, pretending to be a male terrorist. She soon found that real jihadists were willing to share their secrets with her. She turned these secrets over to the FBI and as a result some of her online acquaintances are now in jail. Listen in as Peter, who used to steal secrets in the real world, compares notes with Shannen who used to steal secrets in the virtual world.
Apr 21, 2011
Dropping Spies from the Sky during the Korean War
1876
During the Korean War, US military intelligence worked with anti-communist Korean agents and partisans to collect information from behind North Korean lines. SPY Historian Mark Stout interviews Colonel Douglas Dillard, USA (Ret.) who led AVIARY operations, the airborne insertion of the agents and partisans, and Mr. James M. H. Lee, a native of North Korea, who worked at his side as an interpreter. Learn what it was like flying at night over North Korea in a blacked out plane and hear about the courage of the Korean volunteers who parachuted into the dark, many of them never to return.
Mar 16, 2011
Social Media: Tools of Liberation or Repression?
1789
Social media—Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and others—are held up as powerful tools for peoples trying to overthrow police states. Iran’s “Twitter Revolution” electrified the world and the Egyptian government shut off Internet access as demonstrations swept that country. However, Evgeny Morozov of Stanford University, one of the leading thinkers about the political impact of new media, explains to SPY Historian, Mark Stout that they are less powerful than we normally think; worse, “the KGB wants you to join Facebook.”Social media—Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and others—are held up as powerful tools for peoples trying to overthrow police states. Iran’s “Twitter Revolution” electrified the world and the Egyptian government shut off Internet access as demonstrations swept that country. However, Evgeny Morozov of Stanford University, one of the leading thinkers about the political impact of new media, explains to SPY Historian, Mark Stout that they are less powerful than we normally think; worse, “the KGB wants you to join Facebook.”
Feb 01, 2011
Intelligence and Analysis in the National Football League
1412
In 2007, the New England Patriots were caught videotaping the New York Jet’s sideline defensive signals. That was illegal, but it’s remarkable what is allowed, even routine. From surveillance films, to secure communications, to briefing books, and deception operations, the intelligence activity conducted for the gridiron warriors is as intense as that conducted for the US military. T. J. Waters joins Peter Earnest and Dan Treado of the International Spy Museum to discuss his new ebook, Prior to the Snap: How the NFL’s Hyperperformance Strategy Safeguards the World’s Most Successful Team Sport. You’ll never look at football the same way again.
Jan 26, 2011
Spying on the Soviet Army in East Germany
2231
During the Cold War, the United States, the United Kingdom, and France each had a “military liaison mission” authorized to roam East Germany. While the fiction was that they existed to coordinate military affairs with the Soviets in Germany, the reality was that they collected intelligence on the Soviet military. Join Spy Museum Historian Mark Stout as he talks with Brigadier General Roland Lajoie, a former chief of the US Military Liaison Mission, about the accomplishments, adventures, and tragedies of these little known spies in uniform.
Jan 05, 2011
A Young Woman on the Front Lines of the Cold War
1501
Shirley Perry was recruited to join the CIA in 1951, a time when applications were handed out “under the counter” at the university job office, and when the CIA lived in rodent-infested temporary buildings on the National Mall. What was it like to be a young woman in the Agency at that time, and to be sent to Vienna—the front line of the Cold War—to support intelligence operations? Shirley Perry, former CIA case officer, reminisces with Peter about those early days and talks about her new memoir, After Many Years.
Dec 17, 2010
David Kahn on Codebreaking from Ancient Times to the Internet Era
1331
David Kahn is the author of the classic book The Codebreakers. When it was first published in 1967, the National Security Agency was concerned that the book might reveal sensitive secrets. Over the years, however, NSA changed from perceiving Kahn as “an enemy of the people” to depending on him as a popularizer of codebreaking. Join Peter and David Kahn as they discuss Kahn’s career, some of the greatest triumphs of American signals intelligence history, and the challenges facing today’s codebreakers.
Dec 06, 2010
The Real History of MI6
1947
Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service, better known as MI6, is James Bond’s home agency and one of the world’s most secretive organizations. The British government did not even admit that it existed until the 1990s. Yet, in connection with its centennial year, the service has commissioned an outside scholar to write an official history of its first forty years. Peter chats with Professor Keith Jeffery, the only outsider who has ever seen the MI6 archives and given their penchant for secrecy perhaps the only one who ever will in our lifetimes. Drawing on his new book, The Secret History of MI6, 1909-1949, Professor Jeffery shares “how it actually was and how it’s actually done.
Nov 01, 2010
Escape from Tehran, 1979: Part II
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American diplomats Mark and Cora Lijek were hiding at the home of a Canadian diplomat as the Iranian Revolution swirled around them. Peter continues his discussion with the Lijeks and also welcomes Tony Mendez, the CIA officer who led the daring operation to bring them home. Hear how they escaped the country posing as Hollywood filmmakers and the joy they felt as they finally left Iranian airspace.
Oct 14, 2010