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TOP SECRET Personal Attention, SpyCast Listeners Known to be the podcast real spies listen to -(STOP)- eavesdrop on conversations with high level sources from around the world -(STOP)- spychiefs molehunters defectors covert operators analysts cyberwarriors technologists debriefed by SPY Historian Hammond -(STOP)- stories secrets tradecraft and technology discussed -(STOP)- museum confirmed to have greatest collection of artifacts on the subject anywhere in the world -(STOP)- podcast rumored ...
 
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The GenNEXUS of NERD (formerly The Amber Spycast)

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The GenNEXUS of NERD (formerly The Amber Spycast)

The Amber Spycast, Joanna Martinez, Travis Johnson, Alaric Hahn

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We used to read and discuss Philip Pullman's phenomenal His Dark Materials series but now that we've completed that adventure, we're diving into genre entertainment and nerd cultural touchstones. Look for us on YouTube and pretty much anywhere else podcasts are available. Our first episode should drop soon! Please join us and listen!!
 
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This was the most popular episode of 2020. Apparently, people are interested in the views of former GCHQ Director, Joint Intelligence Committee Chair, and first UK Security and Intelligence Coordinator on, well - how spies think. I am sure David – now a Visiting Professor at Kings College, London – has a few thoughts on the subject. Hear Andrew deb…
 
Alexis Albion – star of our 500th episode anniversary special – is a very good friend of the current Undersecretary for Arms Control & International Security, Bonnie Jenkins. Way back when, they were both on the 9/11 Commission Report – while Alexis’ focus was on the CIA and counterterrorism before the attacks, Bonnie’s was on the DOD and counterte…
 
Spook. Warrior. Author. This week’s guest is one helluva interesting guy. He was in a clandestine Special Forces unit in Berlin during the Cold War, “stay behinds” who would sabotage, subvert and generally wreak havoc should World War III break out. He was badly wounded after driving over a land-mine in Somalia in 1992, almost losing his entire leg…
 
Project Prometheus. In the words of ex-Delta Force author Brad Taylor, “Super Double Daddy Bad Classified.” If you’re looking to find a podcast that helps break down the complexities of Chinese foreign policy through the vehicle of a page-turner written by a NYT Bestselling Author, you’ve arrived at the right doorstep my friend. Brad does serious r…
 
I was really good at buying drugs, which is how I got recruited into narcotics. Apparently, I make a really good crackhead.” “Frankly, fact-checking doesn’t matter in today’s world.” Intrigued? You should be. Avril and Lisa are absolutely fascinating! Avril built an intelligence team for the Attorney General’s Office in Pennsylvania, from scratch. …
 
Post 9/11, special operations and intelligence worked together side-by-side, shoulder-to-shoulder and hand-in-glove (or any other heavily-hyphenated term you care to mention that connotates BFFness). What will happen with the relationship now, though, and in American history how have these two important components of national security related to ea…
 
Beijing. New Delhi. Kathmandu. “Hang on, I thought the title said FBI, not CIA?” Well, it did. Kathy Stearman was an FBI Legat who lived and worked in all of those capital cities. “Well, I’ve heard of the Ambassador and the Station Chief, but not the Legat?” Well, that’s why you need to listen to this week’s SpyCast! Kathy Stearman is a retired FBI…
 
The Committee on Public Information (CPI) is the first and only Ministry of Propaganda the United States has ever had. It started one week after the United States entered World War I in April of 1917; in fact, there wasn't even conscription for some weeks, but the Committee on Public Information was created right away. Why? To explore this question…
 
Doug London is thoughtful and reflective – but he doesn’t pull his punches and he candidly shares his analysis of the contemporary intelligence landscape. In this second part, Doug reflects on the path taken after 9/11, the CIA at the crossroads, and why human intelligence (HUMINT) will remain central to the vast and increasingly technologically so…
 
This week’s guest believes that espionage is about the “human soul…[it’s] a very intimate profession…the relationship between a case officer and an agent and the need to really have…a profound insight window into their life and their souls.” Doug London may be accused of many things, but you can’t say he’s shallow. His book, The Recruiter, is based…
 
He was a Soviet agent who was “turned” by Karl Marx after reading Das Kapital – which led him to give up the important operations, a host of MI6 agents and a treasure trove of secret intelligence… George Blake was a courier in the Dutch resistance, an MI6 intelligence officer, a language student at Cambridge, a “Vice-Consul” in South Korea, a priso…
 
He has worked as a counterintelligence analyst at the FBI and the DIA. He speaks Russian. He was personally supervised by Robert Hanssen. He has an obsession with Soviet Defectors… “Freedom has many difficulties,” said JFK in his Berlin Speech, “and democracy is not perfect, but we have never had to put a wall up to keep our people in.” What was it…
 
Nada Bakos is a former CIA analyst and Chief Targeting Officer, Mark Fallon was an NCIS Special Agent and Director of the Criminal Investigative Task Force at Guantanamo, Frank Snepp is a former chief analyst of North Vietnamese Strategy for the CIA during the Vietnam War. Mark Zaid - one of the nation’s top national security lawyers - joins Andrew…
 
Description: It’s one of the most haunting murder cases you’ll ever hear about, and it takes place in a small town in Israel. Tair Rada was only 13-years-old when her body was found inside a locked bathroom stall. She was viciously murdered during a school day, and yet no one saw or heard a thing. The police arrested the janitor, Roman Zadorov, and…
 
From the SpyCast Field of Dreams: to coincide with the first game of the 117th World Series, a special episode on the links – yes, there are many – between espionage and America’s Pastime with baseball fanatic and ex-spook (it’s a baseball special, not Halloween, so no pun intended) Marc Polymeropoulos. Baseball fans, welcome to espionage; espionag…
 
On October 17, 2001, Team Alpha were dropped into the mountains of northern Afghanistan. Two of the eight appear in this week’s episode alongside the author of a new book telling the story of the first Americans behind enemy lines after 9/11 – and what a story it is. Justin Sapp was a Green Beret detailed to CIA, he would go on to be a commander in…
 
This is a big one, a very big one: our 500th episode & 15th anniversary We have come a long way since we began back in 2006 – it’s quite fitting then, that in this week’s episode I speak to our very first historian and curator, Alexis Albion, who is currently the Curator for Special Projects here at the Spy Museum Alexis actually left us way back w…
 
From your Visa card to your Outlook account, and from the gas you pump into your Ford to your Windows operating system, a cyber struggle is taking place all around us. In this episode Andrew spoke to founder of Microsoft’s threat hunting intelligence center John Lambert, which tracks the world’s most dangerous cybercriminals and state-affiliated ha…
 
He is the Horatio Alger of the CIA. His first job was punching paper. He went on to be a Station Chief. He worked for every directorate. He lived in several continents. He was in the Soviet Union for six years. He was caught up in the molehunt for Robert Hanssen. He survived to tell his tale. Christopher is genial, hearty and now lives in the other…
 
What do you get if you cross a Greek Orthodox guy from Athens and a Jewish girl from Long Island; and then mix in two Ivy League degrees and a 26-year career in the Central Intelligence Agency? If you haven’t worked out that this refers to Marc, given that he is mentioned in the episode title, you can probably forget ever having a career in intelli…
 
As the 20th anniversary of 9/11 approached Peter Bergen sought to reevaluate the man responsible for precipitating America’s long wars with al-Qaeda and its descendants. Bergen produced the first television interview with bin Laden in 1997. He has had years to reflect on and study the man. In his new book The Rise and Fall of Osama bin Laden he cap…
 
Mike Morell was with President Bush on the morning of 9/11. He saw the President several times that day. Ten years later he was with President Obama for the bin Laden raid. He was former Acting and Deputy Director of the CIA. He comes from Ohio. For the rest, it’s best if you hear Mike. “I believe that when we get to the end of the trail, we’re goi…
 
Kristin Wood was at CIA HQ on the morning of 9/11. Phil Mudd was at the National Security Council. Kristin was a PDB briefer for the VP’s National Security Advisor. Phil was Director for Gulf Affairs. They would go on to work counterterrorism together. Kristen has a Wheaton Terrier. Phil has a farm. For the rest, it’s best if you hear Kristin and P…
 
Dave Terry was with Vice President Cheney on the morning of 9/11. He started work as a PDB briefer the same day as Mike. He went on to be Chief of the PDB. He started out working on grain production at the CIA in 1979. He comes from Kansas. For the rest, it’s best if you hear Dave. “And I think for any intelligence officer, what you're doing is oft…
 
It was the 1980’s. “I don't think they'll ever have the fun I had that year, at 23 years old, going to the White House and the NSC, briefing cabinet members…I mean, you name it. It was just incredible!” Three years into her CIA career, Diana Bolsinger found herself on point as the sole person working on the Afghanistan account in her department. Th…
 
Turning the tide in the Pacific at the Battle of Midway, establishing secure communications on the beaches during D-Day, staving off nuclear Armageddon – what did cryptology ever have to do with anything, right? To discuss these big themes – and to celebrate our partnership on the exhibition “Codes, Ciphers and Mysteries” – we brought back you know…
 
Codes. Ciphers. Mysteries. This week’s guests are fascinated by codebreaking and cryptography: as well they should be! The Voynich Manuscript, the Dorabella Letter, The Beale Papers, the Zodiac Cipher, Kryptos – so much history, intrigue, and speculation. Andrew sat down with Elonka Dunin, code-breaker extraordinaire, and Klaus Schmeh, a world lead…
 
Is Edward Snowden a traitor a hero? Does the surveillance state threaten freedom or secure it? Andrew sat down with investigative reporter Barton Gellman, author of Dark Mirror: Edward Snowden and the American Surveillance State, and part of the team that won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for coverage of the National Security Agency an…
 
Have you ever felt like “cyber” is changing so quickly, it is difficult to keep up? This week’s guest has seen Cyber-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. How? He hosts no less than 10 podcasts per week on the topic! From the Cyberwire Daily to Hacking Humans, and from Career Notes to Recorded Future, Dave Bittner is what you might ca…
 
Counterintelligence. Security. Two words that have serious pull in Washington D.C. The problem is, how do you ensure the strings, woodwind, brass and percussion are all playing the same music? Welcome to the National Counterintelligence and Security Center (NCSC). Acting Director Michael Orlando was this week’s guest, where he sat down with Andrew …
 
"Deeply, deeply, disturbing." This is how Alma's Katsu's book, The Hunger, was described by Stephen King. Ok, I'll repeat that, that's how her book was described by Stephen King, author of Carrie, The Shining and Misery! The Hunger was based on the infamous Donner Party trip of the nineteenth century, but her most recent book, Red Widow, turns to i…
 
Last week’s episode focused on “Karen Schaefer, CIA Operator,” while this week’s episode looks at her time as a “Serial Collaborator.” Karen specialized in making sure the heart, brain, left hand and right hand had a better idea of what each was up to and were functioning in unison – whether as Director of Intelligence Programs at the National Secu…
 
From counternarcotics to counterterrorism, from Latin America to the Middle East, and from the back streets of a warzone to the center of events in Washington DC – Karen Schaefer has had, how should we say, an “eventful” career as an intelligence officer. Charming, smart, thoughtful, and you haven’t even met Karen yet…but seriously, it was a pleasu…
 
Cheesesteaks. Baseball. Rocky. Espionage? Hear about the Philly you never knew – as the birthplace of American espionage. From the Committee on Spies during the Revolution (now there is one committee, that actually sounds like it would be good to be on!) to Allen Pinkerton and Kate Warren during the Civil War, up through the A-bomb, a former Direct…
 
Spy satellites are fascinating! Man-made objects up there – sometimes way up there – looking down to see what other humans are up to. I believe it’s called a God’s eye view. You may not be as unfamiliar with satellites as you think: for starters, you’re on one! The earth is a satellite of the sun, the moon is a satellite of the earth, you are a sat…
 
A superstar line-up chooses an African American spy from American history. Harriet Tubman, Ralph Bunche and Willie Merkerson Jr. are introduced, before we have a discussion about African Americans and the American experience. Our guests are Mel Gamble, a former CIA Chief of the Africa Division and Senior Intelligence officer; Reuben E. Brigety II, …
 
Barry Broman spent most of his life in South-east Asia as a photographer, an infantry officer, and as a “diplomat” (although not really!). It is not that he wasn’t a diplomat - it’s just that he did something else too…like recruit over 40 agents, escape the genocidal Khmer Rouge, supervise covert paramilitary operations, and bring in gargantuan qua…
 
What do Afghan Mujahedeen, the KGB, Pablo Escobar, Iran-Contra, and Chilean Elections have in common? Two words: Jack Devine. This CIA legend is the Forrest Gump of the intelligence world, in that he always finds himself at the center of events. Jack reflects on his remarkable career and hones in on Russian aggression and Vladimir Putin, the subjec…
 
Rob Montgomery had a real scare on deployment in Afghanistan…the scare was back in Virginia though; he had a motion detect on his phone that showed multiple unidentified males outside his home in a sleepy college town - while his wife and children were asleep inside. You’ll need to listen to hear the rest of the story, but it did prompt Rob to thin…
 
Hear an incredible true story. Marthe Cohn was a young Jewish woman who went behind enemy lines into Nazi Germany with a pair of walking shoes, a cover story, and about half a ton of chutzpah. 101-year-old Marthe spoke to Andrew over the phone from her home in Los Angeles.Autor: SpyCast
 
In a first for the show, this week’s guest is a former spy chief from the world’s largest democracy. Vikram Sood was the Director of India's Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW). Andrew and Vikram talk Pakistan, China, the United States, human capital, intelligence reform and the power of narratives: because spies can be sensitive souls too.…
 
Where to begin. Marty was described to me as, “the greatest analyst we ever had (truthfully),” would I be interested in speaking to him? Guess the answer!? The result, a SpyCast with a CIA analytic legend. For 40 years Marty analyzed intelligence for US foreign policymakers, trained a whole generation of analysts, and mentored figures who would go …
 
This week’s guest is Frank Figliuzzi, former assistant director of Counterintelligence at the FBI, who oversaw all espionage investigations across the US govt. He served for 25 years as a Special Agent, which included countering economic espionage in Silicon Valley, being appointed the FBI’s Chief Inspector, and heading up the Cleveland Division. H…
 
Infosec. Cybersec. Techsec. In the second part of our double-header on the US Air Force Office of Special Investigations, we round out our previous discussion with two former Directors of Counterintelligence for the US Air Force, Jude Sunderbruch and Terry Phillips. Their world-wide remit includes cybersecurity, information security, technology pro…
 
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