News you may have missed #820

H. Keith MeltonBy IAN ALLEN | |
►►World’s best known spy collector displays his home. And now for something completely different. Most intelNews readers will be aware of H. Keith Melton, the author of more than 25 nonfiction works on espionage (including The Ultimate Spy Book) and the world’s largest private collector of spy memorabilia. The question is, where does he keep all this stuff? The 68-year-old author invited Forbes magazine to his Boca Raton house, which includes his two-story private spy museum. The article is here, a photo gallery here, and a video of the house (but not the museum) is here.
►►Acting CIA director criticizes ‘Zero Dark Thirty’. IntelNews has ignored the commentary that has flooded the Web about Zero Dark Thirty, the feature film fictional account of the assassination of al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden. But when the Director of CIA, the agency behind the real-life operation to kill bin Laden, publicly comments, it is time to pay attention. Michael J. Morell, who took over as CIA Director from General David Petraeus last month, has criticized the film, saying it exaggerates the role of coercive interrogations in producing clues to bin Laden’s whereabouts.
►►British police says MI6 expert ‘killed himself’. British police say MI6 cryptology expert Gareth Williams, who was found dead inside a sports bag in August 2010, probably locked himself into the sports bag, where his naked body was found, and was not the victim of a hit by the security services. Williams, 31, worked for Britain’s secret eavesdropping service GCHQ but was attached to MI6 when his remains were found inside the bag in a bathtub at his London apartment.

News you may have missed #732 (interview edition)

Thomas DrakeBy IAN ALLEN | |
►►Interview with H. Keith Melton. A well written interview with H. Keith Melton, one of the world’s best-known intelligence historians, who describes himself as “a historical consultant within the US intelligence community”. Melton has been a guest lecturer at the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the National Security Agency and the Joint Military Intelligence College. He also says he is “an ongoing adviser to other US intelligence agencies”.
►►Interview with editor of Eye Spy magazine. An extensive interview with Mark Birdsall, editor of the only independent publication dedicated to espionage and intelligence. He shares the story behind the magazine, his take on the current state of espionage and security, and on global security issues. Among other things, Birdsall says that some claim Eye Spy is “a government organ, [while] others an attempt to glean information that should not be published”. He also states that “it has taken a decade of hard work for the title to get recognition in some intelligence circles”.
►►Interview with NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake. Drake began his NSA career as a contractor in 1991, and formally joined the Agency in 2001, working until 2008 in the Agency’s Signals Intelligence and Engineering directorates. The US government took Drake to court, accusing him of leaking secrets about the NSA to a journalist. But the judge in his case, Richard D. Bennett, refused to sentence him to prison, recognizing that his genuine intention in leaking the secrets was to expose mismanagement at the NSA.

CIA trickery and deception manual revealed in new book

CIA manual

CIA manual

A CIA manual of surreptitious behavioral and signaling tricks, which was recently discovered by researchers, has been declassified and published in a new book. In The Official CIA Manual of Trickery and Deception, espionage historian H. Keith Melton and Robert Wallace, former director of the CIA’s Office of Technical Services, have reproduced the entire manual, which was supposed to have been destroyed by the Agency. Remarkably, the manual’s main author was John Mulholland, a professional magician and editor for 23 years of The Sphinx, America’s authoritative magazine for magicians. In 1953, Mulholland left the stage and The Sphinx to work full time for the CIA, which he did for several years. Read more of this post

News you may have missed #0087

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