The Live Drop

Mark Valley

Venture into the elusive world of intelligence collection and espionage to spot, assess and debrief: spies, handlers, catchers, analysts, cut-outs, dangles, diplomats, security experts and occasionally the storytellers who bring them all to life. Check your electronics and subscribe, do a thorough surveillance detection route, find your Live Drop location, and after a mad-minute introduction, listen in on conversations with our fascinating guests who illuminate a complex universe. A HUMINT experiment with host Mark Valley. Get bonus content on Patreon See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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Jack Devine's career at the CIA spanned from the late 1960s to the early 1990s, including the fall of President Salvador Allende in Chile in 1973, the Iran–Contra affair in the mid-1980s, and the fight to push the Soviets out of Afghanistan in the late 1980s. Devine would go on to run the Counter Narcotics Center   in the 1990s, and helped oversee capture Pablo Escobar in 1993. In this interview we talk about his initial impressions of Santiago in 1971, the vast difference between liberalism and communism, and he clarifies the extent and limitations of US involvement in both of Pinochet's coup attempts. In his book Spymasters Prism Jack suggests we need a new Moscow Rules and what they might look like. This is a wonderful discussion with an experienced spymaster himself who's knowledge of intelligence history drives vivid and prescient insights from the past into the future. Jack dispels some persistently inaccurate mythology, and also clarifies why code phrases need not be improvised. Jack Devine - The Arkin GroupIf you've enjoyed this episode and would like to hear more, please consider signing up as a contributing patron and join the community for exclusive commentary, transcripts and other content. A $10 a month donation will really keep us going ---> https://www.patreon.com/thelivedrop Alternatively, if you would like to keep us operational you could offer a one time donation of any amount right here ---> https://www.paypal.me/thelivedrop Welcome Leslie Rosiak and thanks for joining Patreon! Get bonus content on Patreon See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Nov 8

1 hr 3 min

Ann Hagedorn discusses her new book SLEEPER AGENT – about the little known Soviet-trained atomic spy who got away.George Koval was born to Russian immigrant parents and raised in Sioux City, Iowa. At the age of 17, he emigrated back to Russia in 1932 where, after university studies, he was discovered and trained by the GRU.  He returned to the US, registered for the draft and used his scientific background to secure an assignment at a Uranium and Plutonium production site at Oak Ridge, Ohio.  There he had full access to all facilities and passed along information to Moscow via an electronics shop in Manhattan. He escaped back to Russia with out a scratch. It was only years later that the FBI finally identified him. By then it was too late. He might have faded into obscurity had he not tried to collect social security from the US Embassy in Moscow. And writer Alexander Solzhenietsen may have inadvertently outed him in his book THE FIRST CIRCLE, published in 1968.  Ann and I spoke about her research and narrative technique, but mostly we just tried to figure out the motive, process, and timeline of the elusive George Koval.  ANNHAGEDORN.COMIf you've enjoyed this episode and would like to hear more, please consider signing up as a contributing patron and join the community for exclusive commentary, transcripts and other content. A $10 a month donation will really keep us going ---> https://www.patreon.com/thelivedrop Alternatively, if you would like to keep us operational you could offer a one time donation of any amount right here ---> https://www.paypal.me/thelivedropThank you for listening and your support,Mark Valleycreator/host Get bonus content on Patreon See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Nov 1

50 min 7 sec

Marc Polymeropoulos has had to live with the consequences of decisions made under the most high-stress circumstances you can imagine as a senior intelligence officer in the CIA, retiring from his 26 years of service as one of the CIA’s most decorated field officers.In his book Clarity in Crisis, Marc shares how true leaders need to lead in and through times of crisis and thrive under conditions of ambiguity, rather than message their way out or duck from hard decisions. Far from mere theory, Marc outlines the unique and specific mindset and strategies he himself practiced and honed throughout his remarkable career.In this interview Marc starts with an explanation of an operational act: the Mad Minute, before we discuss some of the chapters of his unconventional and insightful book of hard earned leadership principles. There is a steady theme of humility in his advice and anecdotes. Marc shares examples to highlight some of his principles which include: giving recognition to less visible but no less important team members; maintain composure through authenticity; and his focus on constantly developing others with early opportunity. His advice is ambitious, effective and proven in some of the most dangerous regions of the past two decades.In 2017 Marc experienced a traumatic brain injury in Moscow from a directed energy attack. He discusses the doubts he had to negotiate, his treatment, art therapy, and advice to others who may be similarly afflicted.We wrap up with a timely discussion of Havana Syndrome. What is it? Who is likely responsible? What are the initial symptoms that tell you to 'Get off the X.' Marc decisively negotiates the Dirty Dozen questions with aplomb. Results? He's definitely tip-of-the-spear material. Sound-Off - Working to ensure anonymous, consistent quality mental health care for veterans.https://www.gq.com/story/cia-investigation-and-russian-microwave-attacksTwitter @MpolymerIf you've enjoyed this episode and would like to hear more, please consider signing up as a contributing patron and join the community for exclusive commentary, transcripts and other content. A $10 a month donation will really keep us going ---> https://www.patreon.com/thelivedrop Alternatively, if you would like to keep us operational you could offer a one time donation of any amount right here ---> https://www.paypal.me/thelivedropShouts out to our first three Patreoners! Live Drop welcomes new operatives to the network: STANLEY, NEWFANG, and KIWICAT.Thank you for listening and your support,Mark Valleycreator/host Get bonus content on Patreon See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Oct 22

50 min 51 sec

In his new book Proof of Life, American author Daniel Levin dives into the Syrian shadows - an underground industry of war where everything is for sale: arms, drugs, even people. In this thriller/memoir he draws on his perceptions and experience as a a lawyer turned armed conflict negotiator who, for the past twenty years, has worked with governments and development institutions worldwide. After a fairly worldly upbringing, he served in the Israeli Special Forces, studied law, taught in Arabic, and now uses his extensive Middle Eastern contacts and cultural understanding for diplomatic and mediation efforts as well. In this interview, I showed up for the story of a Syrian hostage negotiation, and stayed for the wide-ranging discussion of the importance of historical context in any conflict resolution and the potential institutional reforms that must also take that into consideration. We talked about the government/ruling situation in Afganistan, Lebanon, and Isreal - and the author’s uncanny sense of smell. More about Daniel Levin ---> https://www.daniellevinauthor.comResources mentioned:Lichtenstein Foundation for State GovernanceEmpire of the Summer Moon, S. C. GwynneNothing but A Circus, Daniel Levin The Martyr Made Podcast - Origins of ZionI hope you've enjoyed listening to this episode. I could use your help to make more...I like to keep the track clean of ads, and sales pitches. As such, meeting costs and finding time to produce this podcast is a challenge, so any support is appreciated. If you would like to help make Season Three operational, please consider a one time donation of any amount right here ---> https://www.paypal.me/thelivedropOr alternatively, join The Live Drop Patreon community for exclusive commentary and content starting with a $5 monthly donation ---> https://www.patreon.com/thelivedropAs always, please rate and review the show on iTunes. Your input is appreciated. Thank you for listening and your support,Mark ValleyCreator/Hostthelivedrop.com  Get bonus content on Patreon See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Oct 15

58 min 24 sec

Back in April 2021, Todd Bensman talked with me about the nexus between immigration and national security in his book America’s Covert Border War: the Untold Story of the Nation’s Battle to Prevent Jihadist Infiltration.  Todd is an award-winning journalist who transitioned to a career as a national security intelligence professional for the Texas Department of Public Safety and then returned to writing and publishing. We talk about the threat of muslim extremists crossing and the varied and circuitous international routes they may take - how some, like some Haitians now, can cross from Panama through the storied Darien Gap and across Mexico to seek asylum after crossing into the U.S.  Todd currently serves as the Texas-based Senior National Security Fellow for the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), a Washington, D.C. immigration policy institute. While we talk around the politics of the border,  his book is a story of the ambitious and intrigue-laden covert American counterterrorism programs built after 9/11 from the U.S. border to the tip of South America.  Todd raises the question: have we become a victim of our own counterterrorism success?Recorded earlier this year, on April 16th, 2021More on the author and recent articles can be found at:ToddBensman.com Todd Bensmen - Center for Immigration Studies (CIS)Twitter @BensmanToddAbid Ali Khan Indicted and Sanctionedhttps://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/pakistani-national-indicted-and-sanctioned-human-smuggling-conspiracy**Edited by Pete TurnerI hope you've enjoyed listening to this episode. I could use your help to make more...I like to keep the track clean of ads, and sales pitches. As such, meeting costs and finding time to produce this podcast is a challenge, so any support is appreciated. If you would like to help make Season Three operational, please consider a one time donation of any amount right here ---> https://www.paypal.me/thelivedropOr alternatively,  join The Live Drop Patreon community for exclusive commentary and content starting with a $5 monthly donation ---> https://www.patreon.com/thelivedropAs always, please rate and review the show on iTunes. Your input is appreciated. Thank you for listening and your support,Mark ValleyCreator/Hostthelivedrop.com Get bonus content on Patreon See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Oct 8

53 min 9 sec

Toby Harnden is an awarded journalist, foreign correspondent and former bureau chief of the Sunday Times.  His most recent book is  First Casualty: The untold story of he CIA mission to avenge 911.  After numerous interviews with key players and having visited Afganistan several times over the last decades, Toby documents the unconventional success story of CIA’s Team Alpha from their insertion into the Darya Suf Valley, coordination with Special Forces ODA 595, link-up and cooperation with Northern Alliance commander Abdul Rashid Dostum - leading to the fall of the Taliban at the end of 2001. Toby brings his well-informed insights about some of these initial players: Including David Tyson, JR Seeger, Alex Hernandez and their ride on horseback North with Dostum to Mazar I Sharif, along with the first casualty, Johnny Michael Spann and the events at the Qala-I Jangi fort complex.  We discuss the complexity and the accomplishment of how those few intrepid officers and operators transcended traditions, tribes, allegiances and history in an operation that holds clues to the future of Afghan resistance to the Taliban.  More about the author at:  Tobyharnden.comI hope you've enjoyed listening to this episode. I could use your help to make more...I like to keep the track clean of ads, and sales pitches. As such, meeting costs and finding time to produce this podcast is a challenge, so any support is appreciated. If you would like to help make Season Three operational, please consider a one time donation of any amount right here ---> https://www.paypal.me/thelivedropOr alternatively,  join The Live Drop Patreon community for exclusive commentary and content starting with a $5 monthly donation ---> https://www.patreon.com/thelivedropAs always, please rate and review the show on iTunes. Your input is appreciated. Thank you for listening and your support,Mark ValleyCreator/Hostthelivedrop.com Get bonus content on Patreon See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Oct 1

45 min 14 sec

The Live Drop's 50th Episode - John Sipher - CIA & Spycraft Entertainmentfrom Spycraftentertainment.comJohn retired in 2014 after a 28-year career in the Central Intelligence Agency’s National Clandestine Service. At the time of his retirement, he was a member of the CIA’s Senior Intelligence Service, the leadership team that guides CIA activities globally. John served multiple overseas tours as Chief of Station and Deputy Chief of Station in Europe, Asia, and high-threat environments. He has significant experience working with foreign and domestic partners to solve national security challenges. John also served as a lead instructor in the CIA’s clandestine training school, and was a regular lecturer at the CIA’s leadership development program. He is the recipient of the Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal.John is a sought-after foreign policy and intelligence expert. John speaks regularly on foreign policy and intelligence issues. His articles have been published in the New York Times, The Atlantic, Politico, Foreign Affairs, Newsweek, Slate, Lawfare, The Cipher Brief and Just Security, among others. He regularly appears on the PBS NewsHour, CNN, MSNBC, BBC and other outlets. Twitter: @john_sipherIn this episode John starts off with a discussion of his article  Murdering Reality: The Spurious Spies of Spy Fiction,  and some of the mistakes writers and filmmakers are prone to make.  After a thorough discussion of the history of Soviet intelligence into the rise of Vladimir Putin, John shares some of his experience and perceptions of Russia during his service with CIA.  Unwilling to go quietly into consulting, Sipher reveals why he  decided to take his expertise and storied career into the entertainment business.  The Live Drop Podcast is fortunate to have had John as a guest for such a fun and far ranging discussion.  References to links, and works are below:Putin's People  by Catherine BeltonThe Gerasimov Doctrine  by Molly McKewEuropean Values  - Prague Think Tank Seventeen Moments of Spring (1973)Episode 50I hope you've enjoyed listening to this episode. I could use your help to make more...I like to keep the track clean of ads, and sales pitches. As such, meeting costs and finding time to produce this podcast is a challenge, so any support is appreciated. If you would like to help make Season Three operational, please consider a one time donation of any amount right here ---> https://www.paypal.me/thelivedropOr alternatively,  join The Live Drop Patreon community for exclusive commentary and content starting with a $5 monthly donation ---> https://www.patreon.com/thelivedropAs always, please rate and review the show on iTunes. Your input is appreciated. Thank you for listening and your support,Mark ValleyCreator/Host Get bonus content on Patreon See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Oct 2020

56 min 11 sec

Live Drop guest Kao Kalia Yang is a celebrated Hmong-American writer. She holds degrees from Carleton College and Columbia University. Yang is the author of The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir  winner of the 2009 Minnesota Book Awards in Creative Nonfiction/Memoir and Readers’ Choice, a finalist for the PEN USA Award in Creative Nonfiction, and the Asian Literary Award in Nonfiction. Her second book, The Song Poet  won the 2016 Minnesota Book Award in Creative Nonfiction Memoir, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Chautauqua Prize, a PEN USA Award in Nonfiction, and the Dayton’s Literary Peace Prize.Yang’s debut children’s book, A Map Into the World  is a American Library Association Notable Book of the Year, a Charlotte Zolotow Honor Book, winner of the Northstar Best Illustrator Award, and winner of the 2020 Minnesota Book Award in Children’s Literature. Her co-edited collection titled What God is Honored Here?: Writings on Miscarriage and Infant Loss By and For Indigenous Women and Women of Color  is a groundbreaking work that centers the poetry and prose of women whose voices have been neglected and silenced on the topic despite the fact that they experience these losses disproportionately. Her most recent Children's book: The Most Beautiful Thing   was just published on October 6th, 2020. Kalia is also a teacher and public speaker.I wanted to talk to Kalia about the legacy of the Secret War in Laos - how it is remembered in the Hmong diaspora. A civil war fought alongside Vietnam's in the shadows by the CIA, with Hmong fighters against communist insurgents. I ended up having an enlightening cultural conversation with a poet in real time about birth, life, suffering, loss, death and grief in Hmong tradition and in current-day America.  Her next book Somewhere in the Unknown World  – a collective memoir about the lives of refugees - is available for pre-order and comes out on November 8th, 2020. You can find out more about Kalia and her work at  kaokaliayang.comEpisode 49If you've enjoyed this episode and would like to hear more, please consider signing up as a contributing patron and join the community for exclusive commentary, and content.  A $10 a month donation will really keep us going - https://www.patreon.com/thelivedropAlternatively, if you would like to help make Season Three operational you could offer a one time donation of any amount right here ---> https://www.paypal.me/thelivedropThank you for listening and your support,Mark ValleyCrea Get bonus content on Patreon See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Oct 2020

47 min 41 sec

Jonathan Dyer spent three years during the Cold War living and working in Berlin as a Russian Linguist for the Army's Intelligence and Security Command at Field Station Berlin. From 1983 through 1986, Dyer worked at the NSA’s intercept site on Teufelsberg in what was at the time West Berlin. He was a SIGINT intercept operator and transcriber - his job was to keep tabs on the USSR’s military activities in the Group of Soviet Forces Germany. The Nick Temple FilesHis experiences in Berlin serve as the background for his Cold War thrillers, the Nick Temple Files, and his 21st century thriller, The Holy Lance. Dyer's eclectic body of work includes a post-modern existential novella, Judging Paradise,  and a coming-of-age novel, Let Me Explain, that draws heavily on his adolescent years at a New England prep school.You can follow Jonathan on Twitter @JPDyer, and his website below contains links to find his books and posts about Cold War Berlin and Espionage Writing.JonathanDyerAuthor.comthelivedrop.comEpisode 48If you've enjoyed this episode and would like to hear more, please consider signing up as a contributing patron and join the community for exclusive commentary, and content.  A $10 a month donation will really keep us going --->  https://www.patreon.com/thelivedropAlternatively, if you would like to help make Season Three operational you could offer a one time donation of any amount right here ---> https://www.paypal.me/thelivedropThank you for listening and your support,Mark ValleyCreator/Host Get bonus content on Patreon See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Oct 2020

36 min 50 sec

Mike Croll has been around a crisis or two - some violent and some peaceful - starting with the fall of the Berlin Wall. He's worked for the Halo Trust in Cambodia, and with the British Foreign Office, European Union, United Nations and more recently, Facebook.  He's an old friend of your host Mark Valley and they share a few laughs as Mike offers some thoughts about Security from ancient times to the present and into the future.  And there's a bonus guest around 48:52 who drops in - Mike's son, Ben Croll, shares his experience as 17 year-old young American in the times of the Black Lives Matter Movement and Covid-19, and his hopes for the future.   Episode 47Books by Mike Croll:History of LandminesLandmines in War and PeaceResources:The Halo Trusthttp://www.death-clock.orgLinkedIn.com/in/mike-crollIf you've enjoyed this episode and would like to hear more, please consider signing up as a contributing patron and join the community for exclusive commentary, and content.  A $10 a month donation will really keep us going - https://www.patreon.com/thelivedropAlternatively, if you would like to help make Season Three operational you could offer a one time donation of any amount right here ---> https://www.paypal.me/thelivedropThank you for listening and your support,Mark ValleyCreator/Host Get bonus content on Patreon See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Sep 2020

1 hr 16 min

American photographer Dan Kane has a vivid memory.  He got to Berlin in 1983 and experienced some of the major events like the Nicholson shooting of 1985, the LaBelle bombing in 1986, the Wall coming down in 1989 - and he has some stories to share.Dan was a civilian, fluent in German, and an ex-pat with a variety of jobs in the American sector. He taught English, narrated ads for AFN Berlin (88FM,) and taught photography for the US Army – worth noting that his students were involved in surveillance operations with Detachment A, USMLM, and others.  We postulate about one fairly relentless recruitment approach by the Stasi on a road trip to Rostock, East Germany, and Dan shares the realities of living in the spy capital of Europe in the mid 80s. This conversation was recorded in 2018 in Dan’s apartment in NeuKölln, and unfortunately, the audio sounds like listening in on a real Live Drop - with the ashtray bugged on a coffee table.  Dan's made Berlin his home and studio to an extensive body of work. His exhibits, links and publications can be found at:   Dan-Kane.com  Episode image is from Dan's 'Kulisse' collection of photographs (scenery and nudes) from a former Soviet Military Hospital at Beelitz, Heilstätten.The 1962 spy novel Dan read and summarized to his Stasi driver/captor: FAIL-SAFE, by Eugene Burdick and Harvey WheelerComments, suggestions or questions?  thelivedrop@gmail.comEpisode 46If you've enjoyed this episode and would like to hear more, please consider signing up as a contributing patron and join the community for exclusive commentary, and content.  A $10 a month donation will really keep us going ---> https://www.patreon.com/thelivedropAlternatively, if you would like to help make Season Three operational you could offer a one time donation of any amount right here ---> https://www.paypal.me/thelivedropThank you for listening and your support,Mark ValleyCreator/Host Get bonus content on Patreon See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Sep 2020

48 min 46 sec

Author Trevor Barnes talks about his new book Dead Doubles – about the Portland spy Ring – their Portland, not our Portland.  In the late 50s Soviet illegal Gordon Lonsdale (Konan Molody) ran a group of spies who managed to penetrate a British research facility at the Portland Naval Base, and communicate effectively to Moscow. The compromised intelligence ranged from sonar to biological technologies.  A famous counter-intelligence investigation led by MI-5 was an example of early cooperation between CIA, FBI and MI-5, along with revealing the depths of the Soviet Illegals program in Britain, some of whom were likely never identified.  Trevor Barnes is an intelligence historian who shares the varied connections of this case to much more at the time.  Dead Doubles, by Trevor BarnesSpy Catcher, by Peter WrightA Pack of Lies, by Hugh Whitemore (NYT Review by Frank Rich)Episode 45If you've enjoyed this episode and would like to hear more, please consider signing up as a contributing patron and join the community for exclusive commentary, and content.  A $10 a month donation will really keep us going ---> https://www.patreon.com/thelivedropAlternatively, if you would like to help make Season Three operational you could offer a one time donation of any amount right here ---> https://www.paypal.me/thelivedropThank you for listening and your support,Mark ValleyCreator/Hostthelivedrop@gmail.com Get bonus content on Patreon See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Sep 2020

59 min 13 sec

In this episode we gather some expert intelligence about global health supply chains, and how they are adapting to the demands and limitations of the Covid-19 pandemic. My guest Maeve Magner is an industry renowned global health supply chain advisor who’s clients include: Foundation for New Diagnostics, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The Global Fund, and the GAVI Vaccine Alliance.  Maeve informs from Ireland about the fundamentals of supply chain management from manufacturing, forecasting, and distribution of testing kits, vaccines and production of PPE across the world.  From her almost thirty years of experience Maeve offers us a prognosis for how the pandemic could likely play out. The good news is that there have already been some remarkable innovations and initiatives that are helping bring this crisis under control - some of which are:WIA – Optimization of buildings using internet of things and now being leveraged to manage the return to officeParsyl – Risk Management via Smart Temp Monitors & Data driven insurance products Clinic 365 – Patient engagement platform, scaled up during covid as GPs went to virtual appointments.Zenysis – Interoperability Platform, scaled up virtual control rooms for governments in covid response.Wingcopter – Drone delivery company from vaccines in Vanuatu to insulin in Ireland For those interested in Supply Chain Management:Association for Supply Chain Management Council of Supply Chain Management ProfessionalUniversity of MichiganRelated Resources:GAVI - The Latest on the Covid-19 Vaccine RaceFIND - Rapid Diagnostic Tests for Covid-19EU eyes COVID-19 vaccines, shuns WHO-led allianceLive Drop Episode 044If you've enjoyed this episode and would like to hear more, please consider signing up as a contributing patron and join the community for exclusive commentary, and content.  A $10 a month donation will really keep us going ---> https://www.patreon.com/thelivedropAlternatively, if you would like to help make Season Three operational you could offer a one time donation of any amount right here ---> https://www.paypal.me/thelivedropThank you for listening and your support,Mark ValleyCreator/Host  Get bonus content on Patreon See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Aug 2020

33 min 52 sec

"Fake news" is a term you’ve probably heard a lot in the last few years, but it’s not a new phenomenon. From the ancient Egyptians to the French Revolution to Jack the Ripper and the founding fathers, fake news has been around as long as human civilization. But that doesn’t mean that we should just give up on the idea of finding the truth.In True or False, former CIA analyst Cindy Otis will take readers young and old through the history and impact of misinformation over the centuries, sharing stories from the past and insights that readers today can gain from them. Then, she shares lessons learned in over a decade working for the CIA, including actionable tips on how to spot fake news, how to make sense of the information we receive each day, and, perhaps most importantly, how to understand and see past our own information biases, so that we can think critically about important issues and put events happening around us into context.Find more information about the author at  cindyotis.comOrder True or False, by Cindy Otis releases on July 28, 2020#1 new release in teen and young adult modern historySites mentioned:Snopes.comPoynter InstitutePolitifact.comFactcheck.orgHoaxslayer.comBotcheck.meEpisode 43If you've enjoyed this episode and would like to hear more, please consider signing up as a contributing patron and join the community for exclusive commentary, and content.  A $10 a month donation will really keep us going - https://www.patreon.com/thelivedropAlternatively, if you would like to help make Season Three operational you could offer a one time donation of any amount right here ---> https://www.paypal.me/thelivedropThank you for listening and your support,Mark ValleyCreator/Host Get bonus content on Patreon See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Jul 2020

44 min 18 sec

Lovers Harro and Libertas Schulze-Boysen formed an unconventional and enigmatic network of artists and intellectuals to resist the Nazis in the 1930s and 40s Berlin.  As an officer of the Luftwaffe and Nazi film worker Harro and Libertas sought to operate in plain site, and combine friendship with opportunities for espionage. This gripping spy tale asks the question of how much we are willing to risk to challenge the status quo and change society. Norman spoke to me from Berlin about his research and the Nazi’s unsuccessful attempt to erase all memory of Harro and Liberta’s spy ring. Look for us to talk about the unique authentication and flow of information within this ad hoc intelligence network that was never compromised from within.  Find out more about the author at:  NormandOhler.comThe Bohemians by Norman OhlerBlitzed: Drugs in the Third Reich by Norman OhlerLive Drop Episode 042If you've enjoyed this episode and would like to hear more, please consider signing up as a contributing patron and join the community for exclusive commentary, and content.  A $10 a month donation will really keep us going ---> https://www.patreon.com/thelivedropAlternatively, if you would like to help make Season Three operational you could offer a one time donation of any amount right here ---> https://www.paypal.me/thelivedropThank you for listening and your support,Mark ValleyCreator/Host Get bonus content on Patreon See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Jul 2020

31 min 17 sec

Emily Whalen is a historian of U.S. foreign policy and the Middle East. She is a doctoral candidate in History at the University of Texas - Austin, and an Earnest May pre-doctoral fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School. Soon to be Dr. Whalen essentially offers a thorough country profile starting literally with ancient history to the present unrest in Lebanon. We discuss how the political system represents the various ethnic and sectarian groups and their identities in modern day Lebanon, along with an explanation of the rise and resiliency of Hezbollah. With Covid-19 pressuring an economic disaster, Lebanese are at a crisis point. In this episode we hear from someone who’s lived in Beirut, and made the troubled and fascinating country her life’s work. So far.  This was recorded just before the Black Lives Matter movement, and the Civil strife in the streets of Beirut only weeks early reflects a surprising similarity. Out of political and social division has risen a popular consensus for the need for reforms. You can find Emily Whalen on Twitter @eiwhalen  and more information at  emilyingridwhalen.comLive Drop Episode 041Links to resources mentioned:The Impossible Solution, Yassin al-Haj SalehAugustus Richard NortonThe Belfer CenterThe Good Spy, Kai BirdAgents of Innocence, David IgnatiusBeirut Rules, Fred BurtonThe Daily Star LebanonIf you've enjoyed this episode and would like to hear more, please consider signing up as a contributing patron and join the community for exclusive commentary, and content.  A $10 a month donation will really keep us going ---> https://www.patreon.com/thelivedropAlternatively, if you would like to help make Season Three operational you could offer a one time donation of any amount right here ---> https://www.paypal.me/thelivedropThank you for listening and your support,Mark ValleyCreator/Host Get bonus content on Patreon See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Jun 2020

50 min 39 sec

The Secret War in Laos was sponsored by Americans, fought by Laotians, Thais, Vietnamese, American advisors and pilots while almost entirely eclipsed by the war in Vietnam.  Jessica Pearce Rotondi’s book What We Inherit – is a poignant memoir of a family’s loss and search for answers over generations to find Jack Pearce whose AC130 gunship was shot down over Laos in 1972. Decades later Jack's niece Jessica picked up the search where her mother and grandfather had left off.  Her quest led her to Vientiane, to revisit the Secret War in Laos in which the CIA aided Laotian fighters against the North Vietnamese seeking to secure their supply lines along the Ho Chi Min Trail.  Jessica’s memoir, published last month is ten years in the making, and started with finding a closet of classified documents her mother had assembled.  Jessica talks about the Secret War, the legacy of loss, cost of war on a family, the nature of grief, and the healing powers of storytelling. What We Inherit,  Jessica Pearce RotondiPublished by Olivia Smith at unnamedpress.com – Untold stories, uncharted territory, undiscovered writers.  Check them out.Jessica is on twitter and Instagram @jessicarotondi and there’s further information on her website jessicapearcerotondi.com Opening music is from "Lao Phene" a piece of Lao classical music. Performed here by Musiciens du Palais Royal, Luang Prabang. Please consider donating to the  HALO TRUSTwhose work is focused in Savannaket Province, Laos, where 70 per cent of the population lives below the poverty line. Most families are almost entirely dependent on growing rice, but unexploded bombs make cultivating rice potentially life threatening. Since 2012, they have destroyed over 50,000 explosives and taught communities how to recognize and report dangerous items, so families no longer need to choose between taking risks or going hungry.Live Drop Episode 040If you've enjoyed this episode and would like to hear more please consider signing up as a contributing patron and join the community for exclusive commentary and content.  A $5 a month donation will really keep us going - https://www.patreon.com/thelivedropAlternatively, if you would like to help make Season 3 operational you could make a one time donation of any amount right here ---> https://www.paypal.me/thelivedropThank you for listening and your support,The Live Drop Team Get bonus content on Patreon See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Jun 2020

31 min 50 sec

Latvian Aviator Hubert Cukurs was a popular figure before WWII, but the Charles Lindbergh of Latvia would soon become the Butcher of Latvia responsible for the murder of some 30,000 Latvian Jews. Somehow, he dodged the Nuremberg trials, and fleed to South America after war’s end.  In 1965, with the improbable German war crimes statute of limitations about to expire, the Mossad mobilized their own ace and master spy - Jacob “Mio” Meidad, a brilliant agent who’d already helped kidnap Adolf Eichmann three years prior.  Citing his thorough research, author Stephan Talty describes this incredible operation in which Meidad traveled to Brazil in disguise to befriend Cukurs, gain his trust, and bring the nazi collaborator to justice.  STEPHAN TALTY is the best-selling author of  The Black Hand,  Agent Garbo, and A Captain’s Duty.  His books have been made into two films, the Oscar-winning  Captain Phillips  and Only the Brave.  He’s written for many publications, including the New York Times Magazine, GQ, and Playboy.  He lives outside New York City.  Talty’s book The Good Assassin  is available now.  Episode 039The Good Assassin, Stephan TaltyRise and Kill First, Ronen BergmanHaaretz Review of The Good AssassinSTEPHANTALTY.COMIf you've enjoyed this episode and would like to hear more, please consider signing up as a contributing patron and join the community for exclusive commentary, and content.  A $10 a month donation will really keep us going ---> https://www.patreon.com/thelivedropAlternatively, if you would like to help make Season Three operational you could offer a one time donation of any amount right here ---> https://www.paypal.me/thelivedropThank you for listening and your support,Mark ValleyCreator/Host Get bonus content on Patreon See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

May 2020

24 min 52 sec

This episode isn’t so much about espionage or intelligence collection as it is an example of how understanding how what you don’t know can help shape your reality. How do you take precautions against an unseen and undefined threat - in this episode - to public health.  After getting his Phd in Chemistry, Sergei was called to duty by his reserve military unit for the clean-up at the Chernobyl nuclear reactor site in 1986.  As a ‘nuclear jumper’ he was in charge of 28 soldiers tasked with the dangerous duty of removing debris from the roof of the remaining structures. His 2011 book The Liquidator is a poignant memoir and scientific appraisal of these events.   Sergei discusses the vigilance and awareness necessary to manage an individual and public health threat: radiation or viral.  Sergei now runs his own nano-technology business based in Singapore which faces its unique challenges to contain the pandemic. With his 30 years in the chemical-pharma industry Sergei offers his recommendations. Episode 038WNYC Public Radio InterviewLiquidators of Chernobyl - YoutubeLiquidator: The Chernobyl Story, Sergei BelyakovSergei Belyakov Biography:Sergei A. BELYAKOV received his Ph.D. in organic/polymer chemistry (1984, USSR). After moving to the USA in 1992, he worked as a post-doctoral fellow with Prof. Alan R. Katritzky (University of Florida).In 1998 Sergei moved to the pharmaceutical industry, joining Guilford Pharmaceuticals, a spin-off of Johns Hopkins University, where he developed novel drugs for CNS/metabolic diseases (collaboration with Amgen). In 2005-2006, with MGI Pharma, he led the team of scientists, which developed second generation (SG) Dacogen®, a promising anti-cancer drug.From 2009, Sergei worked at AMRI Singapore, a CRO with expertise in the pre-clinical research, where he held a position of Assistant Director. He successfully guided multiple research teams totaling over 50 researchers in the areas of CNS, HIV and cancer diseases, collaborating with a range of the world-class pharma/biotech companies (Merck, GSK, Takeda, Sanofi etc.). In 2016, Sergei has started a new scientific research company, Theracross Technologies, co-establishing another start-up, Wintershine Health and Skincare, in 2018. Both companies focus on the development of novel delivery nano-systems for biomedicine, food industry, and personal care.Sergei is an author and co-author of over 60 scientific papers and presentations, and of over 20 patents/patent applications, located in the areas of organic and medicinal chemistry and material science.Sergei is a veteran-liquidator of Chernobyl NPP accident (1986); his accounts are gathered in his book “Liquidator: The Chernobyl Story”. He is the author of science fiction novels, and an avid basketball player and coach.If you've enjoyed this episode and would like to hear more, please consider signing up as a contributing patron and join the community for exclusive commentary, and content.  A $10 a month donation will really keep us going ---> https://www.patreon.com/thelivedropAlternatively, if you would like to help make Season Three operational you could offer a one time donation of any amount right here ---> https://www.paypal.me/thelivedropThank you for listening and your support,Mark ValleyCreator/Host Get bonus content on Patreon See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

May 2020

52 min 26 sec

Focusing on the motivations, The Anatomy of a Spy  by Michael Smith tells the story of why spies spy, presenting a wealth of spy stories—some previously unknown and some famous—from the very human angle of the agents themselves. He breaks them into categories that go beyond the widely shared MICE - Money, Ideology, Compromise/Coercion, Ego. We discuss some classic examples from his book: Operation Diamond where the Mossad used sex and coercion on pilots to fly a MIG-29 out of Iraq in the early 60s; Gabriele Gast - who was caught up in a Stasi Romeo-operation; Polish spy Ryszard Kukliński was a patriot who shared the Warsaw Pact operational plans. We touch on the intentions and needs of spies like: Oleg Penkovsky,  Aldrich Ames, Stephen Hanssen, and Ronald Pelton - what was the nugget they were after?Michael shares some of his experience working for the BBC Monitoring Service - listening in on Cold War transmissions across Poland and East Germany. We also discuss the similarities to journalism with both terminology (stringer, fireman, source) and tradecraft from his experience as an award-winning journalist for the BBC, the Daily Telegraph and the Sunday Times. Smith is the author of a number of books, including The Secrets of Station X, Killer Elite and Foley: The Spy Who Saved 10,000 Jews, and MI6: The Real James Bonds. He is a visiting fellow at Kellogg College, Oxford.Look for the debut of the #dozendecions that Michael makes in under a minute that reveal if his true nature is that of a spy, handler, or analyst.  I’m thinking he’s secret agent material. Episode 037More on the author at  michaelsmithauthor.comResources Cited:An Alternative Framework for Agent Recruitment: From MICE to RASCLS, Randy BurkettRyszard KuklińskiKuklinski Documents on Martial Law in PolandIf you've enjoyed this episode and would like to hear more, please consider signing up as a contributing patron and join the community for exclusive commentary, and content.  A $10 a month donation will really keep us going ---> https://www.patreon.com/thelivedropAlternatively, if you would like to help make Season Three operational you could offer a one time donation of any amount right here ---> https://www.paypal.me/thelivedropThank you for listening and your support,Mark ValleyCreator/Host Get bonus content on Patreon See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

May 2020

44 min 29 sec

Author James Stejskal talks about his secret Berlin unit during the Cold War.  Their mission, should hostilities have commenced, was to wreak havoc behind enemy lines and buy time for vastly outnumbered NATO forces to conduct a breakout from the city. In reality it was an ambitious and extremely dangerous mission, even suicidal. Highly trained and fluent in German, each man was allocated a specific war-time persona. They were skilled in clandestine operations, sabotage, and intelligence tradecraft and able to act as independent operators, blending into the local population and working unseen in a city awash with spies looking for information on their every move. Special Forces Berlin was a one of a kind unit with no parallel. It left a legacy of a new soldier: expert in irregular and unconventional warfare, one that was sought after for missions such as the attempted rescue of American hostages from Tehran in 1979. With the US government officially acknowledging their existence in 2014, their incredible story can now be told. Episode 036Special Forces Berlin, Clandestine Cold War Operations of the US Army’s Elite 1956-1990, by James Stejskalhttps://www.detachment-a.org/James on Cold War ConversationsAuthor’s Facebook Page Live Drop theme performed on electric cello by Danica Pinner danicapinner.comIf you've enjoyed this episode and would like to hear more, please consider signing up as a contributing patron and join the community for exclusive commentary, and content.  A $10 a month donation will really keep us going ---> https://www.patreon.com/thelivedropAlternatively, if you would like to help make Season Three operational you could offer a one time donation of any amount right here ---> https://www.paypal.me/thelivedropThank you for listening and your support,Mark ValleyCreator/Host Get bonus content on Patreon See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

May 2020

47 min 13 sec

Fred Burton, one of the world's foremost authorities on security and terrorism, tells the harrowing story of the hunt for William Buckley - CIA station chief abducted by Hezbollah in Beirut on March 16th, 1984. Mr. Burton was deputy chief of counterterrorism at the Diplomatic Security Service, where he was in charge of preventing and investigating attacks against diplomatic personnel and facilities. During his 14-year career, Mr. Burton was involved in many other high-profile investigations including: the search for and arrest of Ramzi Yousef, mastermind of the first World Trade Center bombing; the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin; the killing of Rabbi Meir Kahane and al Qaeda's New York City bombing plots before 9/11; and the deaths of U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Arnold Raphel and Pakistani President Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq.Mr. Burton is the author of four books, including the best-selling memoir, GHOST: Confessions of a Counterterrorism Agent , in which he tells the story of his role in the fight against the burgeoning terrorist threat in the 1980s and beyond. His second book, Chasing Shadows: A Special Agent's Lifelong Hunt to Bring a Cold War Assassin to Justice), follows his 35-year quest to solve the case of an Israeli diplomat assassinated in Mr. Burton's childhood neighborhood. Under Fire: The Untold Story of the Attack in Benghazi, is a New York Times best-seller and provides the first detailed account of the infamous assault in Libya in September, 2012. Beirut Rules is his fourth book.Fred currently oversees Stratfor's analysis of global security developments and consults with clients on security-related issues affecting their business assets or personal safety. Beirut Rules: The Murder of a CIA Station Chief and Hezbollah's War Against America Daniel Pearl FoundationOther works mentioned: Agents of Innocence  by David IgnatiusThe Good Spy  by Kai BirdNo Shadows in the Desert  by Sam KatzRise and Kill First  by Ronen BergmanIf you've enjoyed this episode and would like to hear more, please consider signing up as a contributing patron and join the community for exclusive commentary, and content.  A $10 a month donation will really keep us going ---> https://www.patreon.com/thelivedropAlternatively, if you would like to help make Season Three operational you could offer a one time donation of any amount right here ---> https://www.paypal.me/thelivedropThank you for listening and your support,Mark ValleyCreator/Host Get bonus content on Patreon See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

May 2020

46 min 4 sec

Special Agents of the Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) have been on the front lines of securing diplomacy for over a century. From the Fall of Saigon to the U.S. embassy bombings in east Africa, and the Iranian Hostage Crisis to the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, special agents of the DSS have relentlessly put their lives on the line to protect their fellow diplomats around the globe. Agents Unknown reveals the story of Cody Perron, a former Special Agent of the DSS, and his journey through the Middle East and Southeast Asia, negotiating international fugitive returns, interviewing ISIS hostages, and protecting the highest level U.S. government officials in some of the most volatile places in the world. Raw and unfiltered, Perron offers the perspective of a ground level agent revealing the unconventional duties and accomplishments as one of many “agents unknown.” Cody also offers his experience as a US Marine posted at the US Embassy in Moscow during the 911 attacks and Vladmir Putin’s rise to power.  Episode 034Agents Unknown: True Stories of Life as a Special Agent in the Diplomatic Security Service   by Cody Perron On camera interview with KUSI San DiegoFor more information on the author go to  codyperron.comIf you've enjoyed this episode and would like to hear more, please consider signing up as a contributing patron and join the community for exclusive commentary, and content.  A $10 a month donation will really keep us going ---> https://www.patreon.com/thelivedropAlternatively, if you would like to help make Season Three operational you could offer a one time donation of any amount right here ---> https://www.paypal.me/thelivedropThank you for listening and your support,Mark ValleyCreator/Host Get bonus content on Patreon See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Apr 2020

43 min 22 sec

Ilya is an asset protection practitioner and sought after security specialist.  After immigrating to the US from Moscow, he graduated and later taught at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York.  He spent his formative professional years at Prudential Financial HQ in Newark, NJ, under the tutelage of Paul DeMatteis.  He then went on to Kroll Security for eleven years - starting in New York and then moving to Hong Kong.  Ilya now consults and coaches under his own brand - Sphere State - and closely collaborates with a team of practitioners at Current Consulting, based in Hong Kong and mainland China.  Ilya is helping clients protect people, information, reputation, and environments.  He has worked for governments, corporations, and high net-worth individuals.I wanted to talk to someone about corporate security and the spycraft and counter-espionage that goes into other than governmental operations – what I got was something I hadn’t expected - a nuanced discussion of the theory and application of security in our lives with terms like: digital pause, shoulder surfing, video analytics and my favorite fundamental aspiration. Ilya and I talked a bit about the psychology and history of security then veered into current events and ways to process the diluge of information available today.  This was recorded in mid march of 2020 just as the world was becoming aware of the surge of Coronavirus cases. Two weeks later it already seems like the before-times, but this episode is a look into future challenges in the security industry.  Resources mentioned: Talking to Strangers by Malcom GladwellThinking Fast and Slow by Daniel KahnemanThe Gift of Fear by Gavin deBeckerThe Benefits of Traveling Grey, by Scott Stewart, StratforMisfit, by Ilya Umanskiy in MediumIf you've enjoyed this episode and would like to hear more, please consider signing up as a contributing patron and join the community for exclusive commentary, and content.  A $5 a month donation will really keep us going - https://www.patreon.com/thelivedropAlternatively, if you would like to help make Season 3 operational you could make a one time donation of any amount right here ---> https://www.paypal.me/thelivedropThank you for listening and your support,Live Drop Team Get bonus content on Patreon See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Apr 2020

59 min 54 sec

My guest Neil Graham Hansen began his aviation career as a pilot for Teamster boss Jimmy Hoffa. He then spent more than a decade in Southeast Asia as a captain for Air America - the CIA's airline that operated during the Vietnam era and the 'Secret War' in Laos. Upon returning to the States, unable to let go of the thrills of high stakes flying, his career trajectory veered off course into a Federal prison for smuggling narcotics - where he began his redemption as an advocate for his fallen Air America colleagues.Neil talks with me about the history Air America (the world’s most shot-at airline) that could go anywhere anytime, especially where military wasn’t allowed.  He talks about his relationship to the customer - the CIA, and he clarifies the daring, diverse, and patriotic culture of Air America pilots and crew.  Look for him to explain terms like: sticky brick, blackpearl, hard rice, the customer, and five-dollar turns.Neil has recently written a great book FLIGHT with co-writer Luann Grosscup – An Air America Pilots story of Adventure Descent and Redemption.This historical aviation narrative incorporates the pathos of a war zone, humor, and candid insight. Neil pulls the reader directly into the cockpit, onto dirt mountaintop landing strips, into the raunchy brothels of Laos, alongside his first toddling steps into Buddhism, aboard the plane he flew out of Cambodia hours before it fell to the Khmer Rouge, down the road of self-destruction and beside him as he regains a foothold on the path to integrity.Neil's tireless in telling the story of Air America’s heroes. His appearances are currently subject to confirmation, but look for his presentation at:  AIRVENTURE in Oshkosh, WI Other links and resources mentioned:Air America Historical Social ClubFlight Facebook PageAir America, by Christopher RobbinsExperimental Aviation AssociationVeteran’s Channel Flying Men Flying MachinesEpisode 032 Hello Listener, If you've enjoyed this episode and would like to hear more, please consider signing up as a contributing patron and join the community for exclusive commentary, and content.  A $10 a month donation will really keep us going ---> https://www.patreon.com/thelivedropAlternatively, if you would like to help make Season Three operational you could offer a one time donation of any amount right here ---> https://www.paypal.me/thelivedropThank you for listening and your support,Mark ValleyCreator/Host Get bonus content on Patreon See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Mar 2020

1 hr 8 min

Tracy Walder,  ex-USC sorority girl joined the CIA at age 22, hunted down the most dangerous terrorists, then joined the FBI to uproot domestic spies and wrote a fantastic book about it - The Unexpected Spy.  “I’d show up in countries where armies of terrorists wanted to kill Westerners. I’d wear red lipstick, curl my hair and stand firmly on the rock of my convictions.”  Tracy talks about her select experience in the early drone program at CIA during the Bush administration's push into war with Iraq. Seemingly at the vanguard of the agency’s critical missions, Tracy went on to hunt dealers and suppliers of WMDs across Europe and Africa, before joining the FBI to complete a counterintelligence operation and convict a pair of spies in Los Angeles, CA.  What she always wanted to be was a teacher, and now is on the board of directors of the non-profit girlsecurity.org which seeks to increase representation of women in national security by building a pipeline for girls and young women through learning, training, and mentoring support focusing on building a future workforce of women national security decision makers.   Episode 031More episodes at thelivedrop.comIf you've enjoyed this episode and would like to hear more, please consider signing up as a contributing patron and join the community for exclusive commentary, and content.  A $10 a month donation will really keep us going ---> https://www.patreon.com/thelivedropAlternatively, if you would like to help make Season Three operational you could offer a one time donation of any amount right here ---> https://www.paypal.me/thelivedropThank you for listening and your support,Mark ValleyCreator/Host Get bonus content on Patreon See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Mar 2020

30 min 53 sec

Author and journalist Stephen Vogel’s written a definitive and engaging book about the Cold War’s most audacious espionage operation – Betrayal in Berlin - about a clandestine tunnel as long as the Empire State Building into the Soviet sector of Berlin in the mid 50s.  The operation collected years of telephone and wire communications from the Soviet forces long after it was revealed to have been compromised in 1956 by British spy George Blake.  We refer to the film The Innocent, a 1992 John Schlesinger movie starring Anthony Hopkins as a brash CIA chief based on a larger than life Bill Harvey. The film was historical fiction but essentially re-enacted the tunnel operation capturing the mood and textures of the time.  It was also your host's first acting job. The son of a CIA officer, Stephen Vogel shares his connection the subject matter, the time and the place.  For more information on the author check out  Stevevogelsite.comTransmission 030If you've enjoyed this episode and would like to hear more, please consider signing up as a contributing patron and join the community for exclusive commentary, and content.  A $10 a month donation will really keep us going ---> https://www.patreon.com/thelivedropAlternatively, if you would like to help make Season Three operational you could offer a one time donation of any amount right here ---> https://www.paypal.me/thelivedropThank you for listening and your support,Mark ValleyCreator/Host  Get bonus content on Patreon See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Feb 2020

35 min 26 sec

Joyce Wayne has written a historical novel called The Last Night of the World  about a Soviet female operative, a key player in the Gouzenko Affair.  When Igor Gouzenko defected from the GRU to the RCMP in September of 1945 the west would see for the first time the extent of Soviet espionage activity in North America.   His 200 pages of documents would reveal a covert ring of dozens of operatives working for Soviet military attaché and GRU Rezident Nicholai Zolotkin in the capital city.  In this interview Joyce lays out the setting of wartime Ottawa, the unassuming spy city just north of the American border.  Aside from diplomatic and government centers, a target of intelligence collection was an hour and a half north of Ottawa at the atomic  facility called Chalk River, which is still  in use today as an active research facility.Joyce’s fiction has the haunting credibility of a first-hand account. Her father was a member of Zolotkin’s ring and managed to avoid detection and prosecution throughout his life. He left the communist party in 1947, disillusioned with Stalin’s brutality. She explains the attraction of Communism in the 1930s and 40s and how this period, and the Gouzenko Affair, is not talked about much in Canada. TRANSMISSION 029More about the author at Joycewayne.comHer book The Last Night of the World is available on Amazon.Other works cited in this interview:How the Cold War Began, by Amy KnightThe Fall of a Titan, by Igor GouzenkoThe Spy Who Changed the World: Klaus Fuchs, Physicist and Soviet Double Agent  by Mike RossiterThe Sound of Neutrons - Deep River Players - Chalk River, OntarioSpybrary Episode with Joyce WayneJoyce Wayne on SpycastLive Drop theme on electric cello by Danica Pinner danicapinner.comMore available at show notes on  thelivedrop.comHello Listener, If you've enjoyed this episode and would like to hear more, please consider signing up as a contributing patron and join the community for exclusive commentary, and content.  A $10 a month donation will really keep us going ---> https://www.patreon.com/thelivedropAlternatively, if you would like to help make Season Three operational you could offer a one time donation of any amount right here ---> https://www.paypal.me/thelivedropThank you for listening and your support,Mark ValleyCreator/Host Get bonus content on Patreon See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Feb 2020

57 min 29 sec

TRANSMISSION 028Witold’s experience as a daring underground operator working within and around the Polish borders offers a view into the relationships, ratlines, allies, enemies, and tradecraft necessary to fund and supply the Solidarity insurgency movement from the late 70s until the Communists were peacefully voted out of power in 1989.  He speaks to me from an apartment in Warsaw near the former Ghetto where his relatives had struggled a generation before him.  His unassuming codename - Makaron - means ‘noodle' in Polish, which may offer an explanation to why he was never caught.  After the interview he showed me his favorite spot in Old Warsaw to lose a tail, how they encoded messages using poetry, and the home of controversial Polish spy Colonel Ryszard Kuklinski.This is the first episode in collaboration with my sponsor the Wende Museum of the Cold War in Los Angeles, California.  I’ve included one of my interviews for the The Wende Museum’s Historical Witness Project, sponsored by Fiona Chalum and Joel Aronowitz, which seeks to preserve voices of the Cold War for future generations. In November of last year I went to Warsaw, Poland to help retrieve historical documents and samzidat (smuggled during the near decade of martial law) for an upcoming exhibit for the Wende Museum.  I interviewed several key players in the Polish anti-communist movement, one of whom is my guest for this episode - Witold Radwanski.  thelivedrop.comHello Listener, If you've enjoyed this episode and would like to hear more, please consider signing up as a contributing patron and join the community for exclusive commentary, and content.  A $10 a month donation will really keep us going ---> https://www.patreon.com/thelivedropAlternatively, if you would like to help make Season Three operational you could offer a one time donation of any amount right here ---> https://www.paypal.me/thelivedropThank you for listening and your support,Mark ValleyCreator/Host   Get bonus content on Patreon See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Jan 2020

58 min 17 sec

Live Drop episode 027, I meet up with an old friend of mine who among other things plays high stakes poker. I wanted to talk to him about that world, and perhaps see how it could inform the role of intelligence with the brinksmanship, nerve, bluff and distraction that are tools to a card player, and protection or transfer of clandestine information ie. when to show your cards. Joe doesn’t disappoint, he’s a natural storyteller and fills me in on some of the jargon like: What’s a fish? Stalking, Tilting, Action Player, Smooth Calling, Colluding and the Interview. He also reveals how important it is to control your breathing if the stakes are high and the nerves are starting to frazzle. You can find Joe Rivers on Instagram @rivers483 Thanks listeners for a wonderful first year of podcasting. I’ve learned an immense amount about interviewing and the world of intelligence, espionage, security and diplomacy. There is a lot of information out there: Always be listening, Share what you need to get what you want, build trust, provide something in return, consider sources, share a fact-based reality, consider your biases, put yourself in the shoes of the target, act like you belong, don’t stand if you can sit, rinse and repeat. more information available on the episode debrief at thelivedrop.comHello Listener, If you've enjoyed this episode and would like to hear more, please consider signing up as a contributing patron and join the community for exclusive commentary and content.  A $10 a month donation will really keep us going ---> https://www.patreon.com/thelivedropAlternatively, if you would like to help make Season Three operational you could offer a one time donation of any amount right here ---> https://www.paypal.me/thelivedropThank you for listening and your support,Mark Valleycreator/host Get bonus content on Patreon See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Jul 2019

34 min 44 sec

A trucker from upstate New York, David Rupert spent seven years informing for the FBI and MI5 while working his way as high as the IRA war council. His lengthy testimony brought justice to several key players in the supply and terrorism networks of the Troubles, including Real IRA leader Mickey McKevitt who’d had a significant role in the Armagh bombing which killed 31 civilians and injured hundreds shortly after the Good Friday Peace Agreement in 1998. Rupert learned his spycraft as he went along, with no prior instruction, only taking occasional counsel from his MI5 handlers and his own instincts from a career in the rough and tenebrous world of interstate trucking. Although he provided a trove of information for the FBI and British Intelligence, Rupert had never agreed to testify against those he’d worked with daily in the IRA. But a PBS documentary about the consequences of the Omagh Bombing convinced him he had to take the stand, which we’ll find out wasn’t as easy as it sounds. An engaging and congenial Rupert shares his perceptions of the Irish on their northern border from his arrival with his wife and collaborator Maureen, to his testimony deep in the Republic of Ireland, where loyalties are often at odds with personal identity, and safety. Find out more about him in Sean O’Driscoll’s book 'The Accidental Spy.' http://www.thelivedrop.comIf you've enjoyed this episode and would like to hear more, please consider signing up as a contributing patron and join the community for exclusive commentary, and content.  A $10 a month donation will really keep us going ---> https://www.patreon.com/thelivedropAlternatively, if you would like to help make Season Three operational you could offer a one time donation of any amount right here ---> https://www.paypal.me/thelivedropThank you for listening and your support,Mark Valleycreator/host Get bonus content on Patreon See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Jul 2019

58 min 33 sec

Author and Irish Journalist Sean O’Driscoll talks about his decades of risky investigation into the IRA and his new book - The Accidental Spy - about American David Rupert, aka the Big Yank, a trucking manager, pub owner and erstwhile undercover FBI and MI5 agent within the most violent ruling echelons of the Irish Republican Army. In this episode Sean discusses the possible consequences facing Ireland from England’s Brexit movement, the origin and several incantations of the IRA, and future challenges to Irish re-unification. See show notes at thelivedrop.com for more. Get bonus content on Patreon See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Jun 2019

59 min 4 sec

Stephen Hoyt is a University of Maryland Professor, former analyst and President of the USMLM Association - United States Military Liaison Mission in Berlin. USMLM in cooperation with British and French Allies were the only observers with daily access behind the Iron Curtain during the Cold War. Mission reports provided not only a realistic picture of the Soviet Army, but a window into East German Society. Stephen talks about the origins, singularity and legacy of USMLM along with the Mission Potsdam Conference June 20-22nd of this year 2019 - sponsored by the University of Maryland and hosted by the Potsdam Museum, where notable speakers will discuss this unique HUMINT organization from a variety of perspectives. Thomas Favia is a retired cavalryman and Sergeant First Class US Army. He served in Berlin from 1989 through the fall of the wall until 1993. He lives in Germany and enjoys the occasional good cigar with brothers-in-arms of various nationalities. More information about the annual LTC Arthur Nicholson Memorial and upcoming conference events can be found on USMLM website.USMLM Association Website  Cold War Spies - USMLM PageTRANSMISSION 024 If you've enjoyed this episode and would like to hear more, please consider signing up as a contributing patron and join the community for exclusive commentary, and content.  A $5 a month donation will really keep us going - https://www.patreon.com/thelivedropAlternatively, if you would like to help make Season 3 operational you could make a one time donation of any amount right here ---> https://www.paypal.me/thelivedropThank you for listening and your support,Live Drop Team Get bonus content on Patreon See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

May 2019

1 hr 4 min

Intelligence historian and former analyst, Dr. Mark Stout directs graduate programs in Global Security Studies and Intelligence at Johns Hopkins Krieger School of Arts and Sciences Advanced Academic Programs in Washington, DC. He has previously worked for the Department of the Army, the State Department, the CIA, and the Institute for Defense Analyses. He’s recently co-authored the book Spy Chiefs and has co-founded the North American Society for Intelligence History. We talk the history of intelligence from Sun Tzu to the present with our immense volume, velocity and variety of information. The former analyst points out the nature of information and how some questions can and can’t be answered. After a brief discussion about Activity Based Intelligence this insightful 42 minute interview wraps up with a chat about Cold War Ottawa and the successful partnership of Canadian and US Intelligence Agencies.  - Transmission 023  Dr. Mark Stout on Twitter @WWIPhDNorth American Society for Intelligence History -- intelligencehistory.org Book Recommendation: The Secret World by Christopher Andrew. More information at thelivedrop.com Get bonus content on Patreon See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

May 2019

42 min 45 sec

Top counterintelligence and interrogation expert Stuart Herrington shares from a renowned and decorated intelligence career.  He sets the stage with his introduction to military intelligence duty in Cold War Berlin in 1968. Over the course of a friendly conversation he comments on: The Fall of Saigon, lunch with Henry Kissinger and his most significant command as Director, U.S. Army Foreign Counterintelligence Activity (FCA), between January 1988 and May 1992. During his tenure as Director of FCA, he pursued and wrapped up two of the most sensitive and significant espionage cases in post WW II history: Hungarian operative Clyde Lee Conrad & US Army Analyst James Hall. A vocal opponent of enhanced interrogation methods, Herrington cites the effectiveness of his more humanitarian approach in Operation Just Cause in Panama, The Gulf War, MACV SOG in the Vietnamese provinces, The Iraq War, and Guantanamo.  And he's prolific, having provided us with a published first-hand catalog of his experiences.  He also shares some writing advice along with lessons learned from a fascinating and four-decade intelligence career.Books by Stuart Herrington:Traitors Among UsStalking the VietcongPeace with Honor? An American Reports on Vietnam, 1973-1975Silence Was A Weapon: The Vietnam War in the VillagesStuart also appears in the documentary film The Fall of SaigonTRANSMISSION 022 Get bonus content on Patreon See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Apr 2019

57 min 45 sec

Mark was fortunate to have a chance to speak with Ambassador Rudy Perina** has a storied 34 year career in the US Diplomatic Corps. He’s a sought after Charge d’Affaires at US embassies around the world with a history of service in some of the Cold War hotspots like Moscow, Yugoslavia, and Berlin. We discuss the role of diplomacy in a changing world and what he believes can determine the fate and destiny of nations. He shares his knowledge of fluent Berlinery - the unique system of agreements and rituals in the occupied city. Recorded at LaBrea Tar Pits, Los Angeles, CA 16 Nov 2017** Ambassador Perina passed away on 18 June 2018. He’ll be missed and we are forever grateful for his kindness, candor and lifelong service. Get bonus content on Patreon See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Apr 2019

48 min 27 sec

Though most in his profession are former attorneys, sought after mediator Lee Jay Berman recognized his keen ability to diffuse conflict and find resolution while working in corporate real estate. The skills he maintains, and teaches are highly applicable in the world of human intelligence and diplomacy. Listening, and identifying the underlying desires of opposing parties is an intuitive ability he’s used to resolve conflict and find compromise that leaves both parties with satisfaction and peace of mind. He also shares the darker side of how this intuition and skill can be used to exploit or prolong conflict. We talk about the paradox of current political division and the cognitive reward for reinforcing long held beliefs resentments. His work, classes and further reference can be found at his website mediationtools.com TR020 Get bonus content on Patreon See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Apr 2019

44 min 45 sec

Tom Pecora is a 24 year CIA veteran and senior clandestine security manager. He talks about his book Guardian: Life in the Crosshairs of the CIA’s War on Terror, and a career in Clandestine security operations. Mark asks him about the mindset of ‘stealth,’ 'getting off the X,' and how to protect those in the business of risking it all for information. Listen in for a chat with the Forest Gump of the GWOT. He cites his early experiences with Islamic terrorists in the Phillipines, Bosnia, North Africa, Mogudishu, Somalia, Afganistan, Iraq. Tom talks frankly about PTSD, and the offers some universal advice to anyone entering the Clandestine Service. Transmission 019 Get bonus content on Patreon See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Mar 2019

1 hr 7 min

Jason is an author, entrepreneur and ex-CIA officer. His books Spy Secrets That Can Save Your Life and Survive Like A Spy are bestsellers and considered essential for those interested in Spycraft with real stories from the field to back them up. Find Jason and links to all his company services at spyandescape.com or survivelikeaspy.com. He consults at GPTagents.com. Get bonus content on Patreon See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Feb 2019

45 min 37 sec

With INTELLIGENCE, playwright Helen Banner raises some big questions in this production about a charismatic negotiator training diplomats for talks with a violent adversary. Though not practiced now (or yet, rather), they use role-playing and improvisation to show how we code and decode others through our bias, understanding and imagination. More at helenbanner.comIf you've enjoyed this episode and would like to hear more, please consider signing up as a contributing patron and join the community for exclusive commentary, and content.  A $5 a month donation will really keep us going - https://www.patreon.com/thelivedropAlternatively, if you would like to help make Season 3 operational you could make a one time donation of any amount right here ---> https://www.paypal.me/thelivedropThank you for listening and your support,Live Drop Team Get bonus content on Patreon See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Feb 2019

54 min 45 sec

Maj. (ret) John W. Spencer currently serves as the Chair of Urban Warfare Studies at the Modern War Institute at West Point, NY and Co-Director of the Urban Warfare Project. He's instrumental in the design and formation of the institute and a prolific writer specializing in how increased urbanization affects military operations, planning, and... thinking. Find him on Twitter @SpencerGuard. Get bonus content on Patreon See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Jan 2019

1 hr 31 min

Michael discusses his documentary about an American intelligence advisor in Vietnam. In this film MACV veteran John Murphy narrates his experience and the difficulty of reporting intelligence that some might not want to hear. Michael shares his own challenges, and tips for documentary filmmakers. Episode 15. Get bonus content on Patreon See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Jan 2019

46 min 52 sec

In his book Bring Out The Dog, Will Mackin writes a fictional account of his time with Navy Special Operations as a Joint Terminal Air Controller - 'a remarkable portrait of the absurdity and poetry that define life in the most elite, Clandestine circles of modern warfare.' Will’s stories demonstrates the role of intuition, empathy and imagination into the enemies movements and psyche. A 24 year Navy veteran, Will shares his reentry into civilian life. Find his work at wmackin.com Get bonus content on Patreon See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Dec 2018

49 min 32 sec

Author of The Girl Behind The Wall explains her relatively normal childhood in the DDR with little or no exposure to elements of the surveillance state. Or was it there all along? We may have to wait for her second book for the answer. Antje explains the massive download of western culture those from the East had to digest in the 1990s, and what it felt like to be a cultural refugee in her own land. Episode 13 Get bonus content on Patreon See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Dec 2018

1 hr 12 min

You’ve seen his thought provoking and shocking political cartoons in LA Times, Harpers, McSweeneys and now all over social media. Mr Fish himself describes how positive advertising has conditioned us to reject uncomfortable and subversive messages and images at our own peril. He is the subject of a documentary by director Pablo Bryant “Cartooning From the Deep End” on iTunes December 18th. You can find and support his work at clowncrack.com & mrfishmovie.com Get bonus content on Patreon See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Nov 2018

50 min

Episode 11 - Michael Brady is a retired US Army Lieutenant Colonel, career intelligence professional and author of several spy novels. He teaches at the Citadel, patiently asking his students to support their choices with solid intelligence. Find his work at michaelbradybooks.com Get bonus content on Patreon See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Nov 2018

1 hr 5 min

Gen Michael Hayden goes back to Intel 101 to give context on the shape and purpose of information gathering, then shares his experiences at the top agencies during the must tumultuous years for the Intelligence Community. And right now, he says might be the most dangerous development he’s seen yet, the rejection of ‘objective reality.’ Accurate, verifiable intelligence is more important now than ever. Get bonus content on Patreon See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Oct 2018

50 min 20 sec

Jack Barsky spied on the US for the KGB from 1978-1988 as part of the Russian Illegals Program. He speaks about the initial sense of adventure that lured him into a career in espionage. Jack reveals the emotional costs of a double life in service to a cause for which he eventually became disillusioned. Recorded earlier this year, Jack reveals what ultimately led him out of the spy life, and the strategies and rationalizations he used to keep a sense of personal authenticity. Get bonus content on Patreon See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Aug 2018

47 min 50 sec

Mark caught up with James Vancel, CEO of the Busara Center for Behavioral Economics, at his office in Nairobi. Busara is a Swahili word meaning Intelligence, and the Busara Center is one of the most sought after behavioral economics consultants in the region, with expertise that is growing in demand. James talked with Mark about the company's cultural and analytical assessments and the value these research and analysis efforts have to Intelligence Communities.If you've enjoyed this episode and would like to hear more, please consider signing up as a contributing patron and join the community for exclusive commentary, and content.  A $5 a month donation will really keep us going - https://www.patreon.com/thelivedropAlternatively, if you would like to help make Season 3 operational you could make a one time donation of any amount right here ---> https://www.paypal.me/thelivedropThank you for listening and your support,Live Drop Team Get bonus content on Patreon See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Aug 2018

48 min 19 sec

Robin Dreeke is a former senior FBI agent with over 28 years of government service. He was until recently the head of the FBI’ Counterintelligence Behavior Analysis Program whose primary mission is to thwart the effort of foreign spies and recruit American spies... Robin is the author of The Code Of Trust, based on the system Dreeke devised, tested, and implemented during years of field work at the highest levels of national security.Code of Trust:Suspend Your EgoBe NonjudgmentalHonor ReasonValidate OthersBe Generous Get bonus content on Patreon See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Jul 2018

54 min 30 sec