Podcast

SpyCast

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 es...more

Episodes

  • Nukes and North Korea: A Conversation with Jeffrey Lewis

    Apr 16 2019

    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

  • The SpyCast Interview with Dr. Gary Weir, Chief Historian, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency

    Apr 09 2019

    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

  • The SpyCast Conversation with FBI Special Agent Peter Lapp

    Apr 02 2019

    SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Peter Lapp, whose two decade career at the FBI included extensive work in counterintelligence.

  • Gray Day: A Conversation with Eric O’Neill

    Mar 26 2019

    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

  • Rethinking CT: A Conversation with Jason Blazakis

    Mar 19 2019

    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.

  • Dezinformatsiya Revisited: A Conversation with Liz Wahl

    Mar 12 2019

    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.

  • Hostage Recovery Fusion Cell: A Conversation with Former Director Rob Saale

    Mar 05 2019

    SPY Executive Director Chris Costa sat down with Rob Saale, the former director of the Hostage Recovery Fusion Cell.

  • CIA vs DOD: A Conversation with David Oakley

    Feb 26 2019

    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

  • The New Rules of War: A Conversation with Sean McFate

    Feb 19 2019

    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.

  • Hunting Mengele: A Conversation with David Kennedy, David Turk, and Howard Safir

    Feb 12 2019

    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.

  • Code Name Lise: A Conversation with Larry Loftis

    Feb 05 2019

    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

  • Counterterrorism Strategy: A Conversation with Peter Bergen & Chris Costa

    Jan 29 2019

    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

  • The First Conspiracy: A Conversation with Brad Meltzer

    Jan 22 2019

    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=sr11?ie=UTF8&qid=1547763104&sr=8-1&keywords=the+first+conspiracy+brad+meltzer

  • The SpyCast Interview with DIA Director LTG Robert Ashley

    Jan 15 2019

    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.

  • Disrupt and Deny: A Conversation with Rory Cormac

    Jan 08 2019

    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.

  • Korean Security Issues: A Conversation with former Ambassador to South Korea Mark Lippert

    Jan 01 2019

    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.

  • Moscow at Midnight: A Conversation with Sally McGrane

    Dec 25 2018

    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.

  • Masters of Mayhem: A Conversation with James Stejskal

    Dec 18 2018

    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.

  • Into the Shadows: A Conversation with Michael Brady

    Dec 11 2018

    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.

  • The Spy Who Was Left Behind: A Conversation with Michael Pullara

    Dec 04 2018

    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

  • The SpyCast Conversation with Ambassador Joe Wilson

    Nov 27 2018

    SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Ambassador Joe Wilson to discuss his career, the politicization of intelligence, and uranium from Niger

  • The SpyCast Interview with Jeremy Bash

    Nov 20 2018

    SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Jeremy Bash and discussed his career at CIA, DOD, the House Intelligence Committee, and other topics.

  • Hostage US: A Conversation with Rachel Briggs & Joshua Geltzer

    Nov 13 2018

    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

  • From FBI to CNN: A Conversation with Josh Campbell

    Nov 06 2018

    SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Josh Campbell, former Supervisory Special Agent with the FBI, and now Law Enforcement Analyst for CNN

  • Inside the DIA – The Hunt for UBL: A Conversation with DIA Historian Greg Elder

    Oct 30 2018

    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.

  • The Secrets of the Bridge of Spies: A Conversation with Francis Gary Powers, Jr., Mary Ellen Fuller, and Vin Arthey

    Oct 23 2018

    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

  • Active Measures: A Conversation with Jack Bryan

    Oct 16 2018

    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.

  • An American’s Path to Al-Qa’ida: A Conversation with Bryant Neal Viñas

    Oct 09 2018

    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.

  • The Wounded Muse: A Conversation with Robert Delaney

    Oct 02 2018

    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.

  • Man of War: A Conversation with Sean Parnell

    Sep 25 2018

    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.

  • The Spy and the Traitor: A Conversation with Ben MacIntyre

    Sep 18 2018

    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.

  • From the Vault, 9/11 Edition: A Conversation with Cofer Black

    Sep 11 2018

    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.

  • From the Vault (But Never Heard Before): A Conversation with William Webster

    Sep 04 2018

    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.

  • NatSec and the Law: A Conversation with Mark Zaid

    Aug 28 2018

    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.

  • Reflections on Counterterrorism: A Conversation with Nicholas Rasmussen

    Aug 21 2018

    SPY Executive Director Chris Costa sat down for a special conversation with the former Director of the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), Nicholas Rasmussen.

  • US Intel in WWI: A Conversation with Mark Stout

    Aug 14 2018

    SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with former SPY Historian Mark Stout to discuss all things American Intelligence in WWI.

  • Busy Days: A Conversation with Shane Harris

    Aug 07 2018

    SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Washington Post intelligence and national security reporters to discuss…well, everything.

  • The SpyCast Conversation with former HPSCI Chair Mike Rogers

    Jul 31 2018

    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.

  • “The Cyber”: A Conversation with Rick Holland

    Jul 24 2018

    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

  • The Other Woman: A Conversation with Daniel Silva

    Jul 17 2018

    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.

  • Covering the Front: A Conversation with James Gordon Meek

    Jul 10 2018

    SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with ABC News national security investigative reporter James Gordon Meek to discuss his career in journalism and government.

  • Operation Black Mail: A Conversation with Ann Todd

    Jul 03 2018

    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

  • Wisdom of the Crowd: A Conversation with Dr. Steven Rieber

    Jun 26 2018

    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 for more information on the program. CLICK HERE to sign up.

  • Nine Lives: A Conversation with Aimen Dean

    Jun 19 2018

    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

  • Overkill: A Conversation with Ted Bell

    Jun 12 2018

    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.

  • Spy Chiefs: A Conversation with Mark Stout and Chris Moran

    Jun 05 2018

    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.

  • Space and National Security: A Conversation with Chirag Parikh

    May 30 2018

    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.

  • The SpyCast Conversation with John Brennan

    May 22 2018

    SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with former CIA Director John Brennan to discuss his career and key moments during his time as Director .

  • The Targeter: A Conversation with Nada Bakos

    May 15 2018

    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

  • A Brotherhood of Spies: A Conversation with Monte Reel

    May 08 2018

    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.

  • The National Security Strategy: A Conversation with Fmr Dep National Security Advisor Nadia Schadlow

    May 01 2018

    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.

  • Cold War Navy SEAL: A Conversation with James Hawes

    Apr 24 2018

    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.

  • Last Night of the World: A Conversation with Joyce Wayne

    Apr 17 2018

    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.

  • The Mad Scientists: A Conversation with Lee Grubbs

    Apr 10 2018

    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/

  • Meet the New Guy, Part 2: An Interview with Chris Costa

    Apr 03 2018

    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).

  • Meet the New Guy, Part 1: An Interview with Chris Costa

    Mar 27 2018

    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).

  • In the Enemy’s House: An Interview with Howard Blum

    Mar 20 2018

    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).

  • Breaking Cover: An Interview with Michele Rigby Assad

    Mar 13 2018

    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.

  • Operation Chaos: An Interview with Matthew Sweet

    Mar 06 2018

    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.

  • The Peter Earnest “Exit Interview”

    Feb 27 2018

    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 .

  • The Doomsday Machine: An Interview with Daniel Ellsberg

    Feb 20 2018

    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.

  • Technology and Human Intelligence: An Interview with Paula Doyle

    Feb 13 2018

    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.

  • Spy Watching: An Interview with Loch Johnson

    Feb 06 2018

    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.

  • The Saboteur: An Interview with Paul Kix

    Jan 30 2018

    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

  • Destination Casablanca: An Interview with Meredith Hindley

    Jan 23 2018

    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

  • The Red Web: An Interview with Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan

    Jan 16 2018

    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

  • American Radical: An Interview with Kevin Maurer

    Jan 09 2018

    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 .

  • A Rebel at the CIA: An Interview with former DDI Carmen Medina

    Jan 02 2018

    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.

  • The Psychology of Espionage: An Interview with Dr. Ursula Wilder

    Dec 26 2017

    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.

  • Inside Naval Intelligence: An Interview with Deputy Director B Lynn Wright

    Dec 19 2017

    SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Lynn Wright, the current Deputy Director of Naval Intelligence and the Head of the Naval Intelligence Activity.

  • A Little Bit of Everything: An Interview with Kristin Wood

    Dec 12 2017

    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.

  • View from the Top: An Interview with Michael Morell

    Dec 05 2017

    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.

  • Follow the Money: An Interview with Nitsana Darshan-Leitner

    Nov 28 2017

    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

  • Speaking Truth to Power: An Interview with Ned Price

    Nov 21 2017

    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.

  • Everything You Wanted to Know About GEOINT but Were Afraid to Ask: An Interview with Keith Masback

    Nov 14 2017

    SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Keith Masback, the CEO of the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation, to talk all things GEOINT.

  • The Woman Who Smashed Codes: An Interview with Jason Fagone

    Nov 07 2017

    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.

  • Chief of Station: An Interview with John Sipher

    Oct 31 2017

    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.

  • Dinner at the Center of the Earth: An Interview with Nathan Englander

    Oct 24 2017

    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.

  • Our First Bond Villain: An Interview with Robert Davi

    Oct 17 2017

    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.

  • Spy Schools: An Interview with Dan Golden

    Oct 10 2017

    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.

  • Preserving Cold War Berlin: An Interview with Bernd von Kostka

    Oct 03 2017

    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.

  • Whistleblower Aid: An Interview with John Tye and Mark Zaid

    Sep 26 2017

    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.

  • Foxtrot in Kandahar: An Interview with Duane Evans

    Sep 19 2017

    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.

  • Patton’s Way: An Interview with James Kelly Morningstar

    Sep 12 2017

    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.

  • The Taking of K-129: An Interview with Josh Dean

    Sep 05 2017

    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.

  • Inside the DIA, Episode 2: An Interview with DIA Historian Greg Elder

    Aug 29 2017

    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.

  • From the Vault: Civil War Overhead Recon, An Interview with Dr. Jim Green

    Aug 22 2017

    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.

  • Deep Black: An Interview with Sean McFate

    Aug 15 2017

    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.

  • China's Cyber Wars: An Interview with TL Williams

    Aug 08 2017

    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.

  • Whistleblower at the CIA: An Interview with Melvin Goodman

    Aug 01 2017

    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.

  • Special Forces Berlin: An Interview with James Stejskal

    Jul 25 2017

    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.

  • Dezinformatsiya: An Interview with Liz Wahl

    Jul 18 2017

    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.

  • Angola, Clausewitz, and the American Way of War: An Interview with Jack McCain

    Jul 11 2017

    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.

  • From the Vault, 4th of July Edition: Spies, Patriots, and Traitors: American Intelligence in the Revolutionary War

    Jul 04 2017

    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.

  • Predicting President Trump: An Interview with the Authors of High Hand

    Jun 27 2017

    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.

  • The Death of Expertise: An Interview with Tom Nichols

    Jun 20 2017

    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

  • Inside the DIA, Episode 1: An Interview with DIA Historian Greg Elder

    Jun 13 2017

    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.

  • Our Latest Longest War: An Interview with Ben Jones

    Jun 06 2017

    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.

  • Agent M: An Interview with Henry Hemming

    May 30 2017

    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.

  • The Black Hand: An Interview with Stephan Talty

    May 23 2017

    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.

  • The Power of Words: An Interview with Sven Hughes

    May 16 2017

    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.

  • Spies in the Family: An Interview with Eva Dillon

    May 09 2017

    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.

  • CIA Spy Girl: An Interview with Emily Brandwin

    May 02 2017

    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.

  • The Spy Who Couldn’t Spell: An Interview with Yudhijit Bhattacharjee

    Apr 25 2017

    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

  • The Imagineers of War: An Interview with Sharon Weinberger

    Apr 18 2017

    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.

  • Spy Sites of DC: An Interview with Keith Melton and Bob Wallace

    Apr 11 2017

    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

  • Deep Undercover: An Interview with Former KGB Illegal Jack Barsky

    Apr 04 2017

    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.

  • SpyCast Roundtable: The Women of NatSec Journalism

    Mar 28 2017

    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).

  • Allen Dulles, the OSS, and the German Resistance: An Interview with Scott Miller

    Mar 21 2017

    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.

  • Climate and Security: An Interview with Brig. Gen Gerry Galloway and Rear Adm. Dave Titley

    Mar 14 2017

    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

  • Author Debriefing - Finks: How the CIA Tricked the World’s Best Writers

    Mar 07 2017

    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.

  • Author Debriefing - Beware the Predator: The American’s Guide to Personal Security

    Feb 28 2017

    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

  • How Much Should We Know: An Interview with Alex Howard of the Sunlight Foundation

    Feb 21 2017

    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.

  • From the Vault: The SpyCast Interview with Michael Flynn

    Feb 21 2017

    A year ago, SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with former DIA Director and National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Here is their conversation.

  • Spooks and Nukes: An Interview with Dr. James Acton

    Feb 14 2017

    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.

  • CIA’s Secret War in Laos: An Interview with Josh Kurlantzick

    Feb 07 2017

    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.

  • “Historian” Roundtable: 2016 Revisited

    Jan 31 2017

    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.

  • John Nixon - Debriefing the President

    Jan 24 2017

    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

  • Bioweapons Containment: An Interview with Dr. Hank Parker

    Jan 17 2017

    SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with bioterrorism expert Hank Parker to discuss current threats and Parker's new book Containment.

  • Cyber Special Forces: An Interview with Dmitri Alperovitch

    Jan 10 2017

    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.

  • From the Vault: The Tony and Jonna Mendez Edition, Part 3

    Jan 03 2017

    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.

  • From the Vault: The Tony and Jonna Mendez Edition, Part 2

    Jan 03 2017

    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.

  • From the Vault: The Tony and Jonna Mendez Edition, Part 1

    Jan 03 2017

    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.

  • From the Vault: Russians Behaving Badly Edition, Part 3

    Dec 27 2016

    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.

  • From the Vault: Russians Behaving Badly Edition, Part 2

    Dec 27 2016

    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.

  • From the Vault: Russians Behaving Badly Edition, Part 1

    Dec 27 2016

    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.

  • The Last Diplomat: An Interview with Devlin Barrett of the WSJ and Adam Entous of the Washington Post

    Dec 20 2016

    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.

  • High Risk, High Reward: An Interview with IARPA Dep. Director Dr. Stacey Dixon

    Dec 13 2016

    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.

  • Pearl Harbor at 75: An Interview with Steve Twomey

    Dec 06 2016

    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.

  • CIA’s Man in Havana: An Interview with Canadian Diplomat John Graham

    Nov 29 2016

    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.

  • Author Debriefing – 100 Deadly Skills: The SEAL Operative's Survival Guide

    Nov 22 2016

    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.

  • Able Archer 83: An Interview with Nate Jones

    Nov 15 2016

    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

  • From the Vault: Election Spectacular, Part III - Why Mark Felt became Deep Throat

    Nov 08 2016

    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 ...more

  • From the Vault: Election Spectacular, Part II - An Interview with Ken Vogel of POLITICO

    Nov 08 2016

    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.

  • From the Vault: Election Spectacular, Part I - An Interview with NBC Chief Political Correspondent Chuck Todd

    Nov 08 2016

    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.youtu...more

  • Stalin’s Englishman: An Interview with Andrew Lownie

    Nov 01 2016

    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.

  • Rise of the Machines: An Interview with Dr. Thomas Rid

    Oct 25 2016

    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.

  • Countering Radicalism and Extremism: An Interview with Dr. Lorenzo Vidino and Jesse Morton

    Oct 18 2016

    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.

  • Author Debriefing - True Believer: Stalin’s Last American Spy

    Oct 11 2016

    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.

  • From MI to UPI: An Interview with Newsweek’s Jeff Stein

    Oct 04 2016

    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.

  • 15 Years Later, Part 3: An Interview with Mark Zaid and Bradley Moss

    Sep 27 2016

    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.

  • 15 Years Later, Part 2: An Interview with Ambassador Cofer Black

    Sep 20 2016

    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.

  • 15 Years Later, Part 1: An Interview with Dr. Barbara Sude

    Sep 13 2016

    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.

  • Securing Cyberspace: An Interview with Charlie Mitchell

    Sep 06 2016

    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.

  • When COIN Works: An Interview with Tom Ordeman

    Aug 30 2016

    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.

  • The Corrupted State: An interview with Ilya Zaslavskiy

    Aug 23 2016

    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

  • GPS Declassified: An Interview with Richard Easton

    Aug 16 2016

    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.

  • Blurred Lines: An Interview with Georgetown International Law Professor Rosa Brooks

    Aug 09 2016

    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.

  • Author Debriefing: NSA’s Codebreakers and the Secret Intelligence War Against the Soviet Union

    Aug 02 2016

    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.

  • A Lifetime in Intelligence: An Interview with ex-CIA Officer Stephen Slick

    Jul 26 2016

    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.

  • Goat Staring and Other Oddities: An Interview with Jon Ronson

    Jul 19 2016

    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.

  • The Secret History of WWII: An Interview with Sir Max Hastings

    Jul 12 2016

    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.

  • Intel at Leyte: An Interview with John Prados

    Jul 05 2016

    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.

  • Author Debriefing: Executing the Rosenbergs: Death and Diplomacy in a Cold War World

    Jun 28 2016

    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.

  • Combating Extremism: An Interview with Dr. Tara Maller

    Jun 21 2016

    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

  • The Missing Man: An Interview with the NYT’s Barry Meier

    Jun 14 2016

    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.

  • From the SpyCast Vault: D-Day Anniversary Edition

    Jun 07 2016

    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 ...more

  • The Blonde Bond: An Interview with Vanity Fair’s Howard Blum

    May 31 2016

    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.

  • The Commander: An Interview with Gen. David Petraeus

    May 24 2016

    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.

  • Author Debriefing: Eisenhower's Guerrillas: The Jedburghs, the Maquis, and the Liberation of France

    May 17 2016

    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 ...more

  • Corporate Espionage: An Interview with CNBC’s Eamon Javers

    May 10 2016

    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

  • Playing to the Edge: An Interview with Gen. Michael Hayden

    May 03 2016

    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

  • Historian Roundtable, Part II: A Conversation with the SPY Historians

    Apr 26 2016

    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.

  • Victor in the Rubble: An Interview with Alex Finley

    Apr 19 2016

    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

  • The President's Book of Secrets: The Untold Story of Intelligence Briefings to America's Presidents from Kennedy to Obama

    Apr 12 2016

    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 ...more

  • Sold Out? Iraq, the CIA, and the Kurds: An Interview with Dr. Bryan Gibson

    Apr 05 2016

    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.

  • Author Debriefing: Queen of Spies: Daphne Park, Britain's Cold War Spy Master

    Mar 29 2016

    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 Co...more

  • Defeating ISIS: An Interview with Malcolm Nance

    Mar 22 2016

    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,...more

  • Special Breed of Warrior: An Interview with Former SEAL Clinton Emerson

    Mar 22 2016

    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

  • Intelligence Analysis in the 21st Century: An Interview with Dr. Mark Lowenthal

    Mar 15 2016

    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.

  • Army Intelligence: A View from the Top. An Interview with the Chief of Army Intel, LTG Mary Legere

    Mar 07 2016

    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...more

  • Author Debriefing: United States of Jihad. An Interview with Peter Bergen

    Mar 03 2016

    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 terr...more

  • History Roundtable: A Conversation with Drs. Alexis Albion, Thomas Boghardt, Mark Stout, and Vince Houghton

    Feb 23 2016

    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.

  • The CI Professional: An Interview with Dr. John Schindler

    Feb 16 2016

    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.

  • Defense Intelligence in the 21st Century: An Interview with Former DIA Director Michael Flynn

    Feb 09 2016

    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.c...more

  • The Real Story of the U-2 Incident: An Interview with Francis Gary Powers, Jr.

    Feb 02 2016

    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.

  • Higher, Faster, Stealthier: An Interview with SR-71 Pilot Buz Carpenter

    Jan 26 2016

    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 toda...more

  • The Radicalization of Women in Islam: An Interview with Farhana Qazi

    Jan 19 2016

    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 wa...more

  • Author Debriefing: JFK's Forgotten Crisis: Tibet, the CIA, and Sino-Indian War

    Jan 12 2016

    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 wit...more

  • Political Espionage: An Interview with Ken Vogel of POLITICO

    Jan 05 2016

    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.

  • Author Debriefing: Ghost Fleet: A Novel of the Next World War

    Dec 29 2015

    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-f...more

  • The Whistleblower: An Interview with Thomas Drake

    Dec 22 2015

    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 woul...more

  • Coast Guard Intelligence: An Interview with Captain Erich Telfer

    Dec 15 2015

    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 he...more

  • Author Debriefing: Spies, Scouts, and Secrets in the Gettysburg Campaign

    Dec 08 2015

    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 activiti...more

  • The World of Global Jihad: A Conversation with Morten Storm

    Dec 01 2015

    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...more

  • The Public’s Right to Know: An Interview with Sheryl Shenberger, the Director of the National Declassification Center

    Nov 24 2015

    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 hi...more

  • The Real Story of Rudolph Abel: An Interview with Vin Arthey

    Nov 17 2015

    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.

  • Author Debriefing: Disciples: The World War II Missions of the CIA Directors Who Fought for Wild Bill Donovan

    Nov 10 2015

    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 s...more

  • Hitler in Los Angeles: An Interview with Professor Steve Ross

    Nov 03 2015

    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 th...more

  • From the Vault: The Cuban Missile Crisis - Russian Intelligence – Past and Present

    Oct 20 2015

    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.

  • From the Vault: The Cuban Missile Crisis - Blind Over Cuba

    Oct 20 2015

    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.

  • Author Debriefing: Church of Spies: The Pope’s Secret War Against Hitler

    Oct 13 2015

    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....more

  • 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

    Oct 06 2015

    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...more

  • Author Debriefing: The Pentagon’s Brain: An Uncensored History of DARPA, America’s Top-Secret Military Research Agency

    Sep 29 2015

    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 Laureat...more

  • Covering Intelligence, Part 3: An Interview with Greg Miller of the Washington Post

    Sep 15 2015

    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 P...more

  • Covering Intelligence, Part 2: An Interview with Ali Watkins of the Huffington Post

    Sep 15 2015

    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...more

  • Covering Intelligence, Part 1: An Interview with Mark Mazzetti of the New York Times

    Sep 08 2015

    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,...more

  • Author Debriefing: Climate Change and Conflict Prevention

    Sep 01 2015

    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 w...more

  • Cuba Libre: An Interview with Intelligence Legend Felix Rodriguez (Part III)

    Aug 25 2015

    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....more

  • Cuba Libre: An Interview with Intelligence Legend Felix Rodriguez (Part II)

    Aug 18 2015

    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....more

  • Cuba Libre: An Interview with Intelligence Legend Felix Rodriguez (Part I)

    Aug 11 2015

    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....more

  • Author Debriefing: The Billion Dollar Spy

    Jul 16 2015

    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 age...more

  • From the CIA to the Classroom: An Interview with Joe Wippl

    Jun 30 2015

    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 Ger...more

  • Author Debriefing: How to Catch a Russian Spy

    Jun 26 2015

    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 c...more

  • Author Debriefing: Manchu Princess, Japanese Spy: The Story of Kawashima Yoshiko, the Cross-Dressing Spy Who Commanded Her Own Army

    Jun 16 2015

    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 ...more

  • Author Debriefing: When Should State Secrets Stay Secret?: Accountability, Democratic Governance, and Intelligence

    May 19 2015

    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 o...more

  • From CIA to Congress: An Interview with US Congressman Will Hurd

    May 12 2015

    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.

  • The Rosenbergs: The Definitive Debate

    Apr 30 2015

    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,...more

  • Intelligence and Arms Control: An Interview with Kelsey Davenport

    Apr 28 2015

    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....more

  • Washington’s Spies: An Interview with Alexander Rose

    Apr 14 2015

    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 intellig...more

  • From the SpyCast Vault: An Interview with Major General Michael Ennis

    Mar 31 2015

    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 ...more

  • Author Debriefing | Operation Chowhound: The Most Risky, Most Glorious US Bomber Mission of WWII

    Mar 19 2015

    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 ...more

  • Intelligence in the Early Republic: An Interview with Ken Daigler

    Feb 17 2015

    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...more

  • Author Debriefing: The Hundred-Year Marathon: China's Secret Strategy to Replace America as the Global Superpower

    Feb 03 2015

    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 senio...more

  • Defending a Spy: An Interview with Espionage Attorney Plato Cacheris

    Jan 27 2015

    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.

  • Author Debriefing | Iran-Contra: Reagan’s Scandal and the Unchecked Abuse of Presidential Power

    Jan 13 2015

    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...more

  • Drones: Past, Present, and Future: An Interview with Dr. Trevor McCrisken

    Dec 16 2014

    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.

  • Inside the Stasi Archives: An Interview with Dr. Doug Selvage

    Dec 02 2014

    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 disinfor...more

  • Spies, Policymakers, and Nuclear Weapons: An Interview with Gregg Herken (Part 2)

    Nov 25 2014

    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’...more

  • Spies, Policymakers, and Nuclear Weapons: An Interview with Gregg Herken (Part 1)

    Nov 25 2014

    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.

  • Can a Drone Read Your Email? : An Interview with Mike Tassey and Rich Perkins

    Nov 17 2014

    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...more

  • From Bletchley to Bond: An Interview with Journalist and Author Sinclair McKay (Part 2)

    Nov 12 2014

    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...more

  • From Bletchley to Bond: An Interview with Journalist and Author Sinclair McKay (Part 1)

    Nov 12 2014

    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.

  • Author Debriefing: The Catcher Was a Spy: The Mysterious Life of Moe Berg

    Nov 11 2014

    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 ...more

  • Author Debriefing: Good Hunting, An American Spymaster’s Story

    Nov 11 2014

    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 statec...more

  • Author Debriefing: Double Agent, The First Hero of World War II and How the FBI Outwitted and Destroyed a Nazi Spy Ring

    Nov 10 2014

    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...more

  • Tinker, Tailor, Shortstop, Spy: An Interview with Former CIA Analyst Bryan Soderholm-Difatte Part 1

    Oct 28 2014

    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 adv...more

  • Terrorists, Double Agents, and European Domination (Part 2)

    Sep 11 2014

    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

  • Terrorists, Double Agents, and European Domination (Part 1)

    Sep 11 2014

    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...more

  • Author Debriefing: Spies, Patriots, and Traitors: American Intelligence in the Revolutionary War

    Sep 04 2014

    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...more

  • Election Espionage: An Interview with NBC Chief Political Correspondent Chuck Todd

    Aug 11 2014

    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.youtub...more

  • The Birth of British Intelligence Coordination: The Joint Intelligence Committee

    Jul 01 2014

    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 Twent...more

  • Author Debriefing: The Zhivago Affair: The Kremlin, the CIA, and the Battle Over a Forbidden Book

    Jun 25 2014

    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...more

  • Author Debriefing: The Good Spy: The Life and Death of Robert Ames

    Jun 25 2014

    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 t...more

  • The Beginnings of US Overhead Reconnaissance

    Jun 23 2014

    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 reconn...more

  • Spy in the Sky - The KH-9 Hexagon

    Jun 10 2014

    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 ...more

  • Peter Earnest: My Life in the CIA

    May 05 2014

    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...more

  • The Future of Intelligence

    Apr 24 2014

    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, everyo...more

  • Putin’s End Game in Ukraine

    Mar 20 2014

    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.

  • America's Great Game: The CIA's Secret Arabists and the Shaping of the Modern Middle East

    Mar 04 2014

    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...more

  • Enemies Within: Inside the NYPD's Secret Spying Unit and bin Laden’s Final Plot Against America

    Dec 05 2013

    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...more

  • Author Debriefing: Cyber War Will Not Take Place

    Dec 05 2013

    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...more

  • Shadow Warrior: William Egan Colby and the CIA

    Nov 19 2013

    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...more

  • The Secret Rescue: An Untold Story of American Nurses and Medics Behind Nazi Lines

    Oct 27 2013

    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...more

  • The Life of a Military Attaché: Moscow, Almaty, and Warsaw in the 1990s (Part 2)

    Oct 27 2013

    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.

  • The CIA Analyst and the Polish Colonel

    Sep 16 2013

    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 bec...more

  • The Life of a Military Attaché: Moscow During the Coup (Part 1)

    Sep 03 2013

    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 ...more

  • Espionage in Traditional China

    Aug 05 2013

    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.

  • The OSS in Burma: Jungle War Against the Japanese

    Jul 11 2013

    “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 Debrie...more

  • Deceiving the Iraqis in Operation Desert Storm

    Jun 26 2013

    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 th...more

  • A Legal Perspective on the Snowden Case

    Jun 24 2013

    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.

  • A Western Spy among Terrorists in Yemen

    May 26 2013

    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 c...more

  • The Rice Paddy Navy: U.S. Sailors Undercover in China

    May 03 2013

    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 Japan...more

  • Spying in America: Espionage from the Revolutionary War to the Dawn of the Cold War

    May 03 2013

    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.spymus...more

  • The United States Military Liaison Mission in East Germany

    Apr 19 2013

    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,...more

  • American Communism and Soviet Espionage: A Look Back with John Earl Haynes

    Apr 01 2013

    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 fasc...more

  • Intelligence in Support of UN Peacekeeping in Bosnia during the 1990s

    Feb 11 2013

    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 dru...more

  • Born Under an Assumed Name

    Feb 11 2013

    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 fathe...more

  • From Nazi Germany to the OSS to the CIA (Part 2)

    Jan 22 2013

    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.

  • Canada’s Security Intelligence Service in the Post-Cold War World

    Jan 10 2013

    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 societ...more

  • The Zimmermann Telegram: Intelligence, Diplomacy, and America's Entry into World War I

    Dec 31 2012

    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 acco...more

  • From Nazi Germany to the OSS to the CIA (Part 1)

    Dec 21 2012

    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...more

  • The Evolution of Spy Fiction: Bond and His Brethren

    Nov 14 2012

    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.

  • Author Debriefing: The Twilight War: The Secret History of America’s Thirty-Year Conflict with Iran

    Nov 08 2012

    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 Germa...more

  • Author Debrief: Castro's Secrets: The CIA and Cuba's Intelligence Machine

    Nov 06 2012

    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 th...more

  • Author Debriefing: The Art of Intelligence: Lessons from a Life in the CIA’s Clandestine Service

    Sep 25 2012

    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.

  • The Red Cell: Fact and Fiction

    Aug 23 2012

    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. Jo...more

  • Agent Garbo: How a Brilliant & Eccentric Double Agent Tricked the Nazis & Saved D-Day

    Aug 21 2012

    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 wit...more

  • Our Man in the Middle East (Part 3)

    Aug 06 2012

    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.

  • Spies Against Armageddon: Inside Israel's Secret Wars

    Jul 26 2012

    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.

  • Spies and Commissars: The Early Years of the Russian Revolution

    Jul 13 2012

    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...more

  • Our Man in the Middle East (Part 2)

    Jul 09 2012

    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.

  • Our Man in the Middle East (Part 1)

    Jun 21 2012

    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.

  • Dick Holm: the Perils and Rewards of a Life in the CIA, Part 2

    Jun 01 2012

    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

  • Author Debriefing: Alger Hiss - Why He Chose Treason

    May 25 2012

    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 d...more

  • The Hunt for KSM: Inside the Pursuit and Takedown of the Real 9/11 Mastermind, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed

    May 18 2012

    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 terrori...more

  • Dick Holm: the Perils and Rewards of a Life in the CIA, Part 1

    May 11 2012

    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

  • Leak: Why Mark Felt became Deep Throat

    Apr 26 2012

    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 ...more

  • Author Debriefing: Shadow Commander: The Epic Story of Donald D. Blackburn-Guerrilla Leader and Special Forces Hero

    Apr 02 2012

    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 ...more

  • Eavesdropping in Vietnam: One Man’s Experience

    Mar 28 2012

    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. F...more

  • The Power of Open Source Intelligence

    Mar 21 2012

    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?

  • Author Debriefing: Smersh: Stalin's Secret Weapon: Soviet Military Counterintelligence in WWII

    Feb 17 2012

    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 hi...more

  • Investigating Historical Spies

    Feb 08 2012

    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 mysteri...more

  • The Intelligence War Against Terrorism

    Jan 18 2012

    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 boo...more

  • Intelligence and Espionage in the U.S. Civil War

    Jan 13 2012

    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 A...more

  • Author Debriefing: MH/CHAOS: The CIA’s Campaign against the Radical New Left and the Black Panthers

    Dec 19 2011

    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...more

  • The Silent Listener: British Eavesdropping in the Falklands War

    Dec 16 2011

    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 th...more

  • J. Edgar Hoover: Fact vs. Fiction

    Dec 06 2011

    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.

  • Uncompromised: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of an Arab American Patriot in the CIA

    Nov 17 2011

    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. Tho...more

  • Identity, Espionage, and Social Media

    Oct 09 2011

    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 t...more

  • Interrogating a High Value Detainee: A Morality Tale

    Sep 23 2011

    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 objecte...more

  • In the Counterterrorism Center on 9/11: One Analyst’s Story

    Sep 09 2011

    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 t...more

  • The Triple Agent: The al-Qaeda Mole Who Infiltrated the CIA

    Aug 16 2011

    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...more

  • The Aftermath of Bin Laden’s Death: The Lessons of Strategic Manhunting

    Aug 02 2011

    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 t...more

  • Mastermind: The Many Faces of the 9/11 Architect, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed

    Aug 01 2011

    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 t...more

  • Author Debriefing: "Wild Bill" Donovan

    Jul 13 2011

    “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 ...more

  • Modern Intelligence Analysis: From Art to Science?

    Jul 01 2011

    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 ...more

  • The Aftermath of Bin Laden’s Death: Inside al Qaeda’s Hard Drive

    Jun 16 2011

    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-Zawahi...more

  • The Aftermath of bin Laden’s Death: Winning the War While Staying in the Right

    May 20 2011

    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 co...more

  • Spy versus Spy in East Germany

    May 09 2011

    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 arc...more

  • Stalking Terrorists Online

    Apr 21 2011

    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 acquaintanc...more

  • Dropping Spies from the Sky during the Korean War

    Mar 16 2011

    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...more

  • Social Media: Tools of Liberation or Repression?

    Feb 01 2011

    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 y...more

  • Intelligence and Analysis in the National Football League

    Jan 26 2011

    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...more

  • Spying on the Soviet Army in East Germany

    Jan 05 2011

    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 trag...more

  • A Young Woman on the Front Lines of the Cold War

    Dec 17 2010

    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...more

  • David Kahn on Codebreaking from Ancient Times to the Internet Era

    Dec 06 2010

    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 codeb...more

  • The Real History of MI6

    Nov 01 2010

    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 perh...more

  • Escape from Tehran, 1979: Part II

    Oct 14 2010

    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.

  • Escape from Tehran, 1979: Part I

    Sep 28 2010

    When Iranian militants stormed the US Embassy in Tehran, Mark and Cora Lijek and four other American diplomats slipped out a side exit and found themselves on the run in a hostile country. Before long, Canadian diplomats gave them shelter but now they had to avoid discovery while Washington hatched an audacious plan to rescue them. The Lijeks discuss with Peter their ordeal and how they prepared to escape.

  • From the Vault: The Cuban Missile Crisis - Peering Over the Iron Curtain: Overhead Photography and the Cold War

    Aug 16 2010

    Today Peter converses with Dino Brugioni, a pioneer of the art of photo interpretation and a living legend of the US Intelligence Community. Dino shares his personal experiences briefing Presidents and describes the role that he and overhead photography played in such seminal Cold War events as the “missile gap” and the Cuban Missile Crisis. Dino Brugioni has looked inside the most secret places on earth…from above..

  • A Spy in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard

    Jul 21 2010

    A young student in the US when the Iranian Revolution happened in 1979, Reza Kahlili rejoiced and hurried back to his native country, but he soon found that "every promise that Khomeini had made was vividly a lie." In the early 1980s, he made contact with the CIA, agreeing to risk his life and his family's wellbeing as a spy within Iran. He discusses with Peter how he burrowed inside the regime's elite Revolutionary Guard to report what he found, balancing his constant fear aga...more

  • An Army of Illegals: Assessing the Russian Spy Case

    Jul 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.

  • Son of Hamas, Spy for Israel

    Jul 02 2010

    Mosab Hassan Yousef was the nearest thing to royalty in the terrorist group Hamas: the son of one of its founding members. He was also a spy for Shin Bet, Israel's internal security agency, which dubbed him the "Green Prince." Today Mosab and his Shin Bet handler sit down with Peter to discuss their dangerous game and his book Son of Hamas.

  • Caught by the KGB

    Jun 04 2010

    Martha Peterson, a 32 year CIA veteran, was the first female case officer assigned to Moscow. Today she talks with Peter about her sudden capture by the Soviet KGB while executing a covert operation in Moscow.

  • Military Intelligence from the Cold War to Cyber War

    May 07 2010

    In 1973 Captain Gail Harris became the first woman to hold a combat intelligence job in the U.S. Navy. Her 28 year career included hands-on leadership in the intelligence community during every major conflict from the Cold War to Desert Storm to Kosovo. Today, she discusses with Peter her unique experience providing intelligence support to military operations and the challenges of developing policies for defense against cyber warfare.

  • Evolution of Government Surveillance Programs

    Apr 19 2010

    Shane Harris is a staff correspondent for National Journal and the former technology editor of Government Executive magazine. In his new book, The Watchers, he chronicles the government’s efforts to create a computer system capable of analyzing data and identifying terrorist activity. Harris contends that while pinpointing threats remains difficult, the governments can now spy on U.S. citizens with ease. He joins Peter today to discuss the evolution of surveillance, America’s changing views on ...more

  • Tales from the OSS, part II

    Mar 01 2010

    Elizabeth Macintosh continues to offer her insights into OSS. This time, she talks about the many fascinating and colorful people she met at OSS, including Director William “Wild Bill” Donovan and Virginia Hall.

  • Cyber Security and Covert Action

    Feb 17 2010

    Dr. Herbert Lin is chief scientist at the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board, National Research Council of the National Academies. An expert on cyber security, Herb discusses various aspects of cyber attacks, including ways in which cyber weapons can be used for covert action. To view his co-edited report on this subject, visit: http://www.anagram.com/berson/nrcoiw.pdf

  • Intelligence in a War Zone (Melissa Mahle)

    Jan 20 2010

    Melissa Mahle served from 1988-2002 at the CIA, much of the time as a case officer dealing with terrorist issues in the Middle East, running agents and gathering intelligence. Today, she discusses with Peter her perspective on the recent suicide bombing of a CIA base in Afghanistan, the perils of collecting intelligence in a war zone, as well as the terrorist challenge.

  • The Terrorist Challenge

    Jan 08 2010

    The U.S. authorities' failure to prevent a Nigerian suicide bomber from boarding a Detroit-bound plane on Christmas Day, and the suicide bombing at a CIA base in Afghanistan have roiled the intelligence community. International Spy Museum historian Dr. Thomas Boghardt discusses with SpyCast host and CIA veteran Peter Earnest how these incidents unfolded and their implications for intelligence reform.

  • Tales from the OSS, Part I

    Jan 01 2010

    Elizabeth Macintosh served in the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) during World War II. Today, she discusses her personal experience working for OSS, the role of women in it, as well as some of the agency’s most exciting operations.

  • The MI5 Centenary

    Dec 01 2009

    This year, Britain’s domestic security service, MI5, celebrates its 100th anniversary. Cambridge University professor Christopher Andrew, the author of MI5’s official history, Defend the Realm, reveals the agency’s strengths and weaknesses, and relates some of the most intriguing stories involving Britain’s spy catchers.

  • Cyber Threats: Challenges and Solutions

    Nov 01 2009

    Melissa Hathaway served as acting senior director for cyberspace for the National Security Council, heading a 60-Day Cyberspace Policy Review for President Obama that resulted in a comprehensive report with recommendations for action. Today, she discusses the massive and growing challenges of cyberspace—such as identity theft, cyber espionage, and cyber wars—and what needs to be done to deal with this threat.

  • The Changing Face of Al Qaeda

    Oct 01 2009

    How has the sustained U.S. effort to destroy Al Qaeda affected the terrorist organization, and how important is the current struggle against the Taliban in Afghanistan for the future of Al Qaeda? A former Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Combating Terrorism, Juan C. Zarate discusses America’s struggle with Al Qaeda and comments on the organization’s current state.

  • Intelligence and 9/11 with Amy Zegart

    Sep 11 2009

    Could intelligence have prevented the terrorist attacks of 9/11, and has the Intelligence Community been sufficiently reformed to deal with current and future threats? These are the questions that Amy Zegart discusses on the eighth anniversary of 9/11. An intelligence scholar, Amy has worked on President Clinton’s National Security Council and is currently teaching intelligence and national security at UCLA.

  • Sexpionage

    Sep 01 2009

    Since biblical times, spies and intelligence services have used sexual entrapment and emotional blackmail to recruit agents and gather secret information. International Spy Museum advisory board member and espionage author H. Keith Melton discusses the means, methods, and effectiveness of “sexpionage,” and elaborates on specific examples, such as the Russian honeytrap and the East German Romeo agent.

  • The Cambridge Five

    Aug 15 2009

    In the 1930s, five young Cambridge University students were recruited by Soviet intelligence to penetrate the British intelligence community. In the course of their decade-long espionage career, the Five did enormous damage to Western security. British intelligence author Nigel West examines their motivations and activities, and reveals new evidence he has unearthed in Soviet intelligence archives.

  • Cold War Radio

    Aug 01 2009

    Richard H. Cummings served for fifteen years as Director of Security for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL). He reviews the propaganda activities of RFE/RL during the Cold War and describes Soviet bloc operations against the stations, including the 1978 murder of RFE scriptwriter Georgi Markov in London, and the 1981 bombing of RFE/RL headquarters in Munich by the terrorist Carlos the Jackal.

  • Intelligence on Pakistan

    Jul 01 2009

    "Pakistan is the most dangerous country in the world today," asserts Bruce Riedel, a 30-year CIA veteran and currently a senior fellow at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution. Bruce discusses the various threats emanating from Pakistan, including the rise of the Taliban, the security of the country’s nuclear weapons, the murky role of its Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI), and the precarious relationship with neighboring India.

  • Intelligence in Cyberspace

    Jun 15 2009

    Cyber threats, information warfare, and internet espionage are growing challenges for business companies, private individuals, and the intelligence community alike. A former CIA operations officer and current president of the cyber intelligence company Cyveillance, Dr. Terry Gudaitis discusses specific examples of cyber threats as well as techniques to counter them.

  • Inside the National Security Agency

    Jun 01 2009

    The National Security Agency (NSA), America’s premier cryptanalytic organization, is the largest and most secretive member of the American intelligence community. Discussing NSA’s mission, capabilities, and past exploits, former NSA Chief of Information Policy Mike Levin reveals some of the mysterious agency’s secrets.

  • U.S. Military Intelligence—Past and Present

    May 01 2009

    A West Point graduate, Brian G. Shellum was U.S. Army attaché in Germany, served in the armed forces during the first Gulf War, and worked for over a decade as historian for the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). Today, Brian discusses the history and purpose of American military intelligence, describing the DIA and the role of the military attachés posted abroad.

  • U.S. Naval Intelligence in World War II

    Apr 14 2009

    Rear-Admiral Donald Mac Showers joined the U.S. Navy’s codebreakers at Pearl Harbor in 1942 and went on to serve three decades in the American intelligence community. Today, he talks about the contribution of codebreaking to the defeat of Japanese naval forces at Midway in 1942, and he reveals how cryptanalysts helped U.S. forces locate and kill Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, the mastermind of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

  • Intelligence and Conspiracy Theories II

    Apr 01 2009

    During the Cold War, Soviet intelligence used disinformation to malign the United States, for example, by spreading the rumor that AIDS resulted from U.S. Army bacteriological warfare experiments. U.S. State Department Counter-Misinformation officer Todd Leventhal discusses some of the most notorious Soviet-inspired conspiracy theories and explains how the United States sought to counter them.

  • Intelligence and Conspiracy Theories I

    Mar 04 2009

    What makes conspiracy theories so appealing, and why have they become so prevalent in this day and age? Do some of them contain a grain of truth? And who stands to gain from spreading these ideas? To answer these questions, Peter interviews Professor Robert Alan Goldberg, author of Enemies Within, and a leading authority on conspiracy thinking.

  • Intelligence Lessons from Vietnam

    Feb 19 2009

    Working for the Saigon Military Mission and the CIA, Rufus Phillips spent ten years in South East Asia during the Vietnam War. Drawing on this experience, Rufus talks about psychological warfare and counter-insurgency tactics in Vietnam, and lessons for America’s present engagement in Iraq and Afghanistan.

  • Robert De Niro on Intelligence

    Feb 02 2009

    Today, Peter chats with actor and film producer Robert De Niro. De Niro talks about his long-standing interest in the world of intelligence and discusses his latest espionage movie The Good Shepherd about the early history of the CIA. He also provides an insider look at the making of the humorous polygraph scene in Meet the Parents.

  • U.S. Intelligence in Decline?

    Jan 02 2009

    A senior fellow at the Center for International Policy, Melvin A. Goodman served many years as an analyst at the CIA and the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research. A critical observer of the intelligence community, he elaborates on his thesis about the decline of U.S. intelligence, specifically its militarization, privatization, and deteriorating analysis capacities.

  • The CIA and the End of the Cold War

    Dec 05 2008

    As CIA station chief in Pakistan, Nigeria, Sudan, and Germany in the 1980s and early ‘90s, Milt Bearden observed—and influenced—the end of the Cold War from a unique vantage point. Today, he talks with Peter about U.S. support of Afghani mujahideen against the Soviet invaders, intelligence community reforms, and his work as a consultant on spycraft in Hollywood.

  • Woman in Disguise - Jonna Mendez

    Nov 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.

  • Intelligence and the Presidential Elections II

    Nov 01 2008

    Judge William H. Webster, the only person who directed both the FBI (1978-87) and the CIA (1987-91), taps into his vast expertise to discuss with Peter the guidance he would offer to the next U.S. president.  In addition, he provides insight on the ever-present tension between civil liberties and national security, and issues of intelligence oversight.

  • Inspecting the CIA

    Oct 20 2008

    Peter’s guest today is Frederick Hitz, the CIA’s first inspector general subject to U.S. Senate Confirmation (1990-98) and now a lecturer on intelligence at the University of Virginia. In a wide-ranging discussion, Fred talks about intelligence oversight, leadership issues, and terrorism. He also discusses career options in intelligence for young people.

  • Intelligence and the Presidential Elections I

    Oct 01 2008

    A former station chief in Moscow and head of the CIA’s Soviet/East Europe division, Burton Gerber now lectures on intelligence and national security at Georgetown University. Today, Peter interviews him about the post 9/11 reforms of the intelligence community and what guidance he would offer to the next occupant of the White House.

  • The Iranian Hostage Crisis

    Sep 01 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.

  • Intelligence and the Presidency

    Aug 01 2008

    How is information from the intelligence community (IC) conveyed to the president, and how have different administrations incorporated intelligence in the political decision-making process? John Hedley, former CIA officer and editor of the President’s Daily Brief (PDB), 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.

  • Gizmos and Gadgets—the World of Spycraft

    Jul 01 2008

    Peter interviews Robert Wallace, director of the CIA’s Office of Technical Services (OTS, the department in charge of “gadgetry”) from 1998 to 2002. Bob explains some of his favorite devices, such as the T-100 subminiature camera, and compares OTS’ performance to that of its adversaries. He also reviews the role of OTS in some high-profile spy cases and discusses the capabilities and limitations of technical support in intelligence operations.

  • Predicting Terrorism

    Jun 01 2008

    Peter’s guest today is Malcolm W. Nance. A 20 year veteran of the US intelligence community, Malcolm has participated in numerous counter-terrorism operations in the Balkans, the Middle East, and sub-Saharan Africa. The author of The Terrorist Recognition Handbook and The Terrorists of Iraq, Malcolm discusses with Peter the role of Osama Bin Laden, Al Qaeda operations in Iraq, and the threat of domestic terrorism in the United States. He also talks about means and methods of effective anti-terro...more

  • Congressional Perspectives on U.S. Intelligence

    May 01 2008

    Peter’s guest today is former Democratic Congressman Louis Stokes from Ohio, who chaired the House Intelligence Committee in the 1980s and the House Select Committee on Assassinations in the 1970s. Congressman Stokes discusses Congress’ role in overseeing the intelligence community and the value of intelligence to national security, and his committee’s investigation of the deaths of President John F. Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

  • Comrade J and Russian Espionage in the U.S.

    Apr 01 2008

    Today, Peter interviews espionage writer Pete Earley about one of the most senior Russian intelligence defectors ever, Col. Sergei Tretyakov or “Comrade J.” Pete reveals some of the secrets Tretyakov covertly betrayed to the FBI/CIA while serving as SVR (Russian foreign intelligence) deputy resident in New York in the late 1990s. He also sheds light on Tretyakov’s complex motivations for defecting.

  • Intelligence and the WMD Fiasco - Part II

    Mar 05 2008

    Looking further into the U.S. intelligence community’s faulty assessment of Iraq’s WMD program, Peter interviews Bob Drogin, author of Curveball: Spies, Lies and the Conman Who Caused a War. Bob reveals how fabricated information about Saddam’s WMD program from the Iraqi defector “Curveball” could make it all the way to the White House and consequently became one of the primary rationales for war against Iraq.

  • Intelligence and the WMD Fiasco

    Feb 01 2008

    Today, Peter interviews Tyler Drumheller, the former chief of CIA covert operations in Europe. In the run-up to the Iraq war, Tyler consistently questioned affirmative intelligence on the existence of Saddam’s WMD program. He recounts his often frustrating efforts to prevent questionable information, such as that provided by the Iraqi defector "Curveball," from distorting intelligence assessments on Iraq.

  • Valerie Plame Speaks

    Jan 02 2008

    Peter’s guest today is Valerie Plame, a covert CIA officer who recently left the Agency after her name was leaked to the press. Valerie discusses her time at the CIA, the controversy surrounding her case, and the administration’s drive to war against Iraq. She also reveals how suddenly becoming a focus of public attention affected her marriage and family.

  • On Assignment to Congo

    Dec 03 2007

    Today, Peter chats with Larry Devlin, the CIA’s legendary station chief in Congo during the 1960s. Larry reflects on his reasons for joining the CIA, the political situation in Congo at the time, and the face-off with the Soviets in the Third World. He also discusses his response to the controversial directive from headquarters to have Congo’s Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba killed.

  • Intelligence and the Middle East with Robert Baer

    Nov 01 2007

    Peter’s guest today is Robert Baer who served for many years as a CIA operative in the Middle East. Among other things, Bob talks about his tour of duty in Lebanon, the psychology of suicide bombers, and the emerging threat of Iran. He also discusses the movie Syriana, which is based on his book, See No Evil.

  • The Polygraph — Science or Art?

    Oct 01 2007

    Peter interviews John Sullivan, the CIA’s longest serving polygrapher. The lie detector has supporters and detractors, and John confronts the controversy surrounding it head-on. He frankly discusses the role of the polygraph in the Agency’s security process and offers his candid opinion on the possibilities and limitations of this device.

  • Leon Trotsky — Murder in Mexico

    Sep 01 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.

  • Cuban Intelligence and the Ana Montes Spy Case

    Aug 01 2007

    Peter’s guest this month is Scott Carmichael of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). As the DIA’s senior counterintelligence investigator, Scott identified one of the most damaging spies in recent U.S. history, the Agency’s own chief Cuba analyst, Ana Belen Montes. Scott discusses Montes’ motivations, the damage she did, and the continuing threat of Cuban intelligence to the United States.

  • From the Secret Files of the CIA

    Jul 02 2007

    Peter interviews Tom Blanton of the National Security Archive about a recently declassified set of documents regarding illegal CIA activities in the early Cold War. Putting these "Family Jewels" in historical perspective, Tom and Peter discuss the CIA’s participation in domestic wiretapping, assassination attempts at Fidel Castro, and the popular notion of the Agency as a "rogue elephant."

  • British Intelligence—Past and Present

    Jun 01 2007

    Peter interviews Dame Stella Rimington, former Director-General of MI5, the British domestic security service. Dame Stella compares American and British approaches to intelligence and offers her view on the terrorist threat and the Litvinenko murder. She also discusses the authenticity of spy fiction and reveals her favorite espionage writer.

  • Counterterrorism, Intelligence, and the Iraq War

    May 01 2007

    After responding to inquiries from listeners, Peter interviews Melissa Mahle who served for over a decade in the CIA’s clandestine service in the Middle East. Melissa provides a unique intelligence perspective on 9/11, terrorist threats, and America’s continuing engagement in Iraq. She also discusses career opportunities in the intelligence community and the changing role of women in the CIA.

  • FBI Counterintelligence and the Robert Hanssen Spy Case

    Apr 02 2007

    Peter discusses the Robert Hanssen spy case with retired Senior FBI Supervisory Special Agent David Major who knew Hanssen for over 20 years and was one of his supervisors. Dave shares his thoughts on Hanssen’s personality and reasons for spying for the Russians. Last not least, Dave offers his perspective on how the movie Breach captures and misses aspects of the Hanssen espionage case.

  • The Movie Breach and Hollywood’s Take on Espionage

    Mar 01 2007

    Peter interviews Eric O’Neill, the FBI investigator who went undercover as Robert Hanssen’s clerk during the final months before Hanssen was arrested for espionage.  O’Neill is the model for Ryan Phillippe’s character in the current movie Breach.  O’Neill talks about the ways the film mirrors—and diverges—from his real experiences with one of America’s most damaging spies.

  • Israeli Intelligence and the Jonathan Pollard Spy Case

    Feb 01 2007

    Peter sits down with Ron Olive, former special agent in charge of counterintelligence for the Naval Investigative Service, to discuss Olive’s role in the capture of Jonathan Pollard, one of the most controversial spies in history. Ron talks about investigating and interrogating Pollard, explores Pollard’s motivations and significance, and reveals the real significance of gift cacti.

  • Reviewing Robert De Niro’s The Good Shepherd

    Jan 06 2007

    Peter discusses the film The Good Shepherd with former CIA officer Jack Platt and AFIO (Association for Intelligence Officers) Director Elizabeth Bancroft, comparing fact and fiction in the OSS and CIA.  Enjoy a bonus spoiler in which the three debate the meaning of the ending—and the best way to destroy secret information.

  • The Litvinenko Murder and Other Riddles from Moscow

    Dec 04 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.

  • The Secret History of Disguises

    Nov 01 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.