News you may have missed #615

Clair E. George

Clair E. George

►►Ex-KGB spy Litvinenko’s widow seeks donations. The widow of Alexander Litvinenko has appealed for donations to help expose her husband’s murderers. Marina Litvinenko said she has to know the truth about the Russian ex-KGB spy’s death in London on November 23, 2006. He died of radioactive Polonium 210 poisoning in London’s University College Hospital. He had fallen ill shortly after drinking tea during a meeting with former KGB contacts at a West End hotel.
►►Memorial ceremony for controversial CIA figure. Clair George, who died in August from cardiac arrest at 81, has a rare status in CIA lore. He was the first high-ranking agency official to be found guilty of felony charges while carrying out official duties. Despite the public outrage about CIA actions during the Iran-Contra affair, George remained a popular figure among agency alumni because they believe his loyalty never faltered.
►►Taiwan intelligence agency accused of wasting money. Taiwan’s military-intelligence body has come under fire after one of its agents returned as a Le Cordon Bleu-certified chef following a so-called undercover mission in France. The agent, whose U$42,000 tuition for the cooking classes in France was sponsored by the military, has now lent his Le Cordon Bleu certificate to someone else for a fee, according to reports.

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News you may have missed #573 (analysis edition)

Clair E. George

Clair E. George

►►New report details gaps in US spy collaboration. Nearly 10 years after the 9/11 attacks, US intelligence agencies are still struggling to strengthen the information sharing networks that broke down in 2001, according to the latest report by the US Congressional Research Service. Among other things, the 33-page report (pdf) points out that “agencies that obtain highly sensitive information are reluctant to share it throughout the intelligence community out of a determination to protect their sources”.
►►CIA Iran-Contra figure Clair George dies. Clair E. George, a consummate spymaster who was convicted of lying to Congress about the Iran-Contra affair, has died. George was known for operating in what spies call the “night soil circuit” –the less desirable posts of the world. He worked in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. He was the CIA’s station chief in Beirut when civil war erupted there in 1975. He then volunteered to replace the CIA’s Athens station chief, who had just been assassinated by November 17 Revolutionary Organization.
►►Here’s why CIA ‘mind control’ lawsuit was thrown out. A very good and succinct analysis of why a federal lawsuit against the CIA by the Vietnam Veterans of America, for allegedly subjecting US military personnel to chemical, biological and mind control experiments, was thrown out of court earlier this month. It includes the CIA’s court filing in a pdf link, here.