• Quote of the Week I think analysts have to understand that the most precious commodity in Washington DC is not secrets or information, everybody's got that. It's time. It's time. The future in Washington DC. Longest is four years. And every day, it's a day shorter.  Overview Where to begin. Marty was described to me as, “the greatest analyst we ever had (truthfully),” would I be interested in speaking to him? Guess the answer!? The result, a SpyCast with a CIA analytic legend. For 40 years Marty analyzed intelligence for US foreign policymakers, trained a whole generation of analysts, and mentored figures who would go on to have senior leadership positions within American intelligence, such as former Acting and Deputy Director of CIA Mike Morrell. In this episode we talk China, Asia, making sense of the world, and a whole host of topical issues. Vietnam Veteran. China Hand. Briefer of Presidents. Marty served in the Vietnam War as an NCO, went on to become an Asia expert, with particular expertise in China, and headed up two major analytic units – he actually became Deputy Director of the Office of East Asian Analysis the same day as Tiananmen Square (April 15, 1989). He retired in 2005 having held the #4 and #3 positions at CIA and having had one-on-ones with four sitting presidents. What do you think President Carter said to him when he answered the door to his home in Plains, Georgia, Marty there to brief him as head of the China section? You’ll need to listen to find out. And...   This one was just so much darn fun – he’s so smart and so good natured (now, there’s two things that don’t often go together). Fun Fact Marty and former Acting and Deputy Director of CIA John McLaughlin started on the same day as each other and retired within a week of each other. They remain good friends. Marty's Book Recommendation "If there is one book you should read on intelligence analysis, I would read..." Robert Jervis, Why Intelligence Fails (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2010) You can support local independent bookstores by purchasing here: https://bookshop.org/books/why-intelligence-fails/9780801478062  Further resources Martin Petersen, "What I Learned in 40 Years of Doing Intelligence Analysis for US Foreign Policymakers," Studies in Intelligence: https://bit.ly/3hgQGXI  Martin Petersen, "Reflections on Readings on 9/11, Iraq WMD, and Detention and Interrogation Program," Studies in Intelligence: https://bit.ly/3vX3hn5 Martin Petersen, "Reviewing 2034: The Next World War," The Cipher Brief: https://bit.ly/3fbBGHX Dorothy Wickenden, "'2034,' A Cautionary Tale of Conflict with China," The New Yorker: https://bit.ly/3bknGup 

  • This week’s guest is Frank Figliuzzi, former assistant director of Counterintelligence at the FBI, who oversaw all espionage investigations across the US govt. He served for 25 years as a Special Agent, which included countering economic espionage in Silicon Valley, being appointed the FBI’s Chief Inspector, and heading up the Cleveland Division. He is the recent author of “The FBI Way” and a current columnist and national security correspondent for NBC News.     In this week’s episode we talk about a sitting member of congress and a presidential candidate who were just a little too close to foreign intelligence services, and hear some of his thoughts on former FBI Director’s Bob Mueller and James Comey. Unfun fact: Frank’s first unit chief at FBI HQ was at the center of, “possibly the worst intelligence disaster in US history.” Listen to find out more. Buy Frank's book "The FBI Way" here:  https://bit.ly/3xEx99s 

  • Infosec. Cybersec. Techsec. In the second part of our double-header on the US Air Force Office of Special Investigations, we round out our previous discussion with two former Directors of Counterintelligence for the US Air Force, Jude Sunderbruch (https://www.af.mil/About-Us/Biographies/Display/Article/1969469/jude-r-sunderbruch/) and Terry Phillips (https://www.af.mil/About-Us/Biographies/Display/Article/2438496/terry-w-phillips/) . Their world-wide remit includes cybersecurity, information security, technology protection and all things air power and counter-intelligence. N.B. – SpyCast 2.0 Next week we reboot SpyCast with improved audio and some additional tweaks, hacks, bells and whistles. Through the rest of 2021, we will be seeking out every ounce of audio quality we can and continuing to refine the content and much else besides. We will also be rolling out new material including transcripts for each episode with time-stamps, extended show notes that break the content down and give you the take-aways, as well as links to further reading/sources and complimentary episodes. Thanks for your patience! It. Has. Been. Emotional.

  • Andrew and Director Dominic Cooke sit down to talk about his new movie The Courier (2021), starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Rachel Brosnahan and Merab Ninidze, which tells the story of Greville Wynne and Oleg Penkovsky. A Cold War spy thriller based on true events where humanity was precariously perched on a wire. Overview   Director Dominic Cooke & Andrew The Courier (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8368512/) (2021) starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Rachel Brosnahan and Merab Ninidze Based on one of the most remarkable espionage stories of the Cold War High level Soviet military intelligence officer, codename Hero (USA), Yoga (UK) Historical backdrop: the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Berlin Crisis (http://www.alliiertenmuseum.de/en/topics/berlin-crisis.html) , Kennedy vs. Khrushchev The Spy Who Saved the World?   How did a rather unremarkable English businessman find himself working undercover behind the Iron Curtain (https://www.nationalww2museum.org/war/articles/winston-churchills-iron-curtain-speech-march-5-1946) on behalf of western intelligence? How did he end up as a courier for a Russian military intelligence officer who was secretly working for the west? How, frankly, did your average Joe end up in the infamous Lubyanka Prison in Moscow, only to be exchanged for a KGB intelligence mastermind named Gordon Lonsdale (who was really Konon Trofimovich Molody)? This is the story of Greville Wynne and Oleg Penkovsky who for a short period of time worked together during some of the most critical – and tense - years of the Cold War: from Kennedy’s Inaugural in ‘61 (https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/documents/inaugural-address-2) , and the Bay of Pigs and the building of the Berlin Wall later that year, to the climacteric Cuban Missile Crisis in October of 1962 (https://www.jfklibrary.org/learn/about-jfk/jfk-in-history/cuban-missile-crisis) , an event to which the names of Penkovsky – who provided crucial information – and Wynne will forever be associated. Indeed, they were “rolled up” by the KGB that very month. Greville came back from his incarceration a shell of his former self and never really recovered, struggling with depression and alcoholism for the rest of his life, while Penkovsky would be executed for treason.   An Englishman and a Scotsman Walk Into a Podcast   Hear more as two University of Warwick (https://warwick.ac.uk) Alumni chat it up about the Cold War, drama, spy fiction, whether or not Benedict Cumberbatch really lost all that weight for one of the movies most poignant scenes, and much more besides.   N.B. SPYCAST 2.0 - LAUNCH DATE, May 4, 2021!  

  • If you think that all the best spy stories happened during the Cold War – we have a doozy for you.  In 2008 FSB officer Alexy Yurievich Artmonov was presented with three choices: (1) put a bullet in his own head, (2) wait for someone else to do it, (3) run. Which would you choose? Alexy chose (3).  In fact, this story has all the makings of Cold War spy fiction: caught between the long arm of corrupt government officials and the mob, a spy and his wife go on the run leaving friends and family behind; to shake off any would be pursuers they book multiple decoy flights, and end up drinking rum cocktails in the Caribbean, before walking into the US Embassy in Santo Domingo seeking to exchange secrets in return for a new life and new identities…except, it was not quite that simple. Oh, and it happens to be true.  Join us as we explore how Alexy, the Russian FSB officer born in the former USSR, became Jan Neumann the graphic novel author, producer and storyteller living in America.  Like the very best spy stories, truth happens to be stranger than fiction. P.S. Next week we announce the launch date for SpyCast 2.0!

  • Intelligence and the Presidency

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    John Hedley, former CIA officer and editor of the President’s Daily Brief (PDB), who reviews the relationship between the IC and presidents since World War II. Continuing our journey through SpyCast’s greatest hits enroute to our relaunch, we arrive on a topic of perennial interest and great importance: intelligence and the US presidency. Just how is information from the intelligence community (IC) conveyed to the president? How have different administrations incorporated intelligence into the political decision-making process? This blast from the past features John Hedley, former CIA officer and editor of the President’s Daily Brief (PDB), who reviews the relationship between the IC and presidents since World War II, in the course revealing fascinating episodes from his personal experience in dealing with several administrations and multiple presidents.

  • Josh Campbell lit his cigar and extinguished the match. It was Inauguration Day 2017, and he was on the roof of his Washington D.C. apartment building. As the outgoing Obama’s made their way overhead on a helicopter, he turned to his father who had flown up from Texas for the event and remarked, “I hope Trump is good for the FBI.” Josh Campbell, former Special Assistant to the Director of the FBI, was chosen by James Comey because he didn’t shy away from speaking his mind. No matter what your politics are, you will want to hear him speak his mind and listen to his fly-on-the-wall account of some of the most momentous events in the modern history of the FBI. He was present at a meeting in Trump Tower on January 6, 2017, two weeks before the inauguration, that would later lead to his boss being fired; it would also lead to his former boss Bob Mueller being appointed as Special Counsel to head up an investigation into alleged collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign during the 2016 presidential election. Before the Report on the Investigation Into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election, and indeed before Mueller’s appointment, the FBI headed up a counterintelligence investigation into the allegations they codenamed Crossfire Hurricane (yes, after the first line of the Rolling Stones most performed and perhaps best loved song, 1968 hit Jumpin’ Jack Flash!). This is also the name of Campbell’s recent book – Crossfire Hurricane: Inside Donald Trump’s War on Justice & the FBI (https://spymuseumstore.org/crossfire-hurricane-inside-donald-trumps-war-on-the-fbi/) – written as part of his effort to speak out after leaving the FBI. Campbell, who is now a CNN correspondent (https://www.cnn.com/profiles/josh-campbell) , spoke to Andrew at an International Spy Museum event on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, 2021. We couldn’t get you two Irishmen, but we did get the next best thing: a Scot and an American with a very Scottish last name. This episode may lead to heated arguments: but if it does, it will merely be keeping in line with pub culture in Glasgow, Belfast and Dublin! Carl Sagan said, “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” Listen and decide for yourself what is and what is not extraordinary and what is and what is not evidence – because due diligence dictated that it couldn’t be all holding hands around the campfire between Andrew and Josh. P.S. Not too much longer before SpyCast 2.0

  • The Cambridge Five – From the Vault

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    As we continue ramping up for SpyCast 2.0, featuring a content overhaul and improved audio, we release a real gem on a perennial favorite of the SpyCast community. You literally couldn’t make this one up, it has everything you’d expect to see at Shakespeare’s Globe – betrayal, suspicion, ambition, political machinations, royal intrigue and flabbergasting chutzpah. Philby. Burgess. MacLean. Blunt. Cairncross. Spies who betrayed their country in the name of an ideal: communism. In the 1930s, five young Cambridge University students were recruited by Soviet intelligence to penetrate the British establishment. In the course of their espionage career, the Five did enormous damage to Western security. The gradual unravelling of the spy ring across the decades also led to mole-hunts and an ever widening ring of paranoia. It even put the “special relationship” between Britain and America under strain. While parts of their story inspired the pages of Cold War spy thrillers, back in 2009 British intelligence author Nigel West examined their motivations and activities, and revealed new evidence he unearthed in Soviet intelligence archives.

  • As we gear up for an exciting new Spring program – which will feature a number of changes including a content overhaul and improved audio – we are releasing some of our greatest hits from the vault.   Back in 2007 Dame Stella Rimington, former Director-General of MI5, spoke about British intelligence past and present and compared British and American approaches to intelligence. She was the first female Director General of the Security Service (better known by its three letter abbreviation, MI5) and her autobiography is entitled, Open Secret: The Autobiography of the Former Director-General of MI5. She is also the author of a number of novels. Most recently in her “Liz Carlyle” series are, The Moscow Sleepers (2018) and Breaking Cover (2016).   During her 30+ year career, she worked in all the main fields of MI5’s area of responsibility: counter-subversion, counter-espionage and counter-terrorism.   During Dame Stella’s watch, MI5 moved towards greater openness, so it is fitting that this interview is with a former CIA Director of Media Relations, The International Spy Museum’s former Executive Director Peter Earnest.   Suggested pairings:   How Spies Think – Spy Chief David Omand (Nov 24, 2020)   The MI5 Centenary (Dec 1, 2009)

  • ONE OF THE GREAT SPY STORIES OF MODERN TIMES Palestinian & Israeli. Agent & Handler. Mosab & Gonen. One became involved with Hamas almost as a birthright, his father, after all, was a founder and its spiritual leader; the other was inspired to join Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security service, after the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin in 1995, and had a father in the Israeli Army. They seemed destined for a collision course. Fate would bring them together, danger would bind them together, but it was loyalty that kept them together. A unique bond was forged between Mosab Hassan Yousef, aka “The Green Prince,” and Gonen Ben Yitzhak, aka “Captain Loai,” that is remarkably rare in agent-handler relationships. “If he could come to Israel – and I know he can’t – he would be like a member of my family,” notes the Israeli, who revealed his true identity to testify on Mosab’s behalf at an immigration hearing in San Diego. Gonen’s children, meanwhile, call the Palestinian “Uncle Yousef.”  Some stories seem too far-fetched to be true. This one is both.   Hopefully you can come to the International Spy Museum one day where we look at their story in one of our exhibits (in the meantime you can also stream the award-winning documentary, The Green Prince). This episode is a blast from the past, our founding Executive Director Peter Earnest was the compère, that lives on.   Recommended pairings:   “Shadow Wars, 2020” – Israel, Iran & America Dec 8, 2020   “Israeli Intelligence” Dec 1, 2020