CRITICAL THREAT: LIFE IN THE
BUREAU OF DIPLOMATIC SECURITY


Gregory B. Starr to be an Assistant Secretary of State (Diplomatic Security)


The Intelligence Officer's Bookshelf
Intelligence in Recent Public Literature
Compiled and Reviewed by Hayden B. Peake
From The CIA's Site "The Intelligence Officer's Bookshelf"

Gettysburg and why it was a Contingency For the Civil War - What if Pickett's charge was successful?

Samuel M. Katz. Relentless Pursuit: The DSS and the Manhunt for the Al-Qaeda Terrorists. New York: Forge, 2002. 299 pages, endnotes, no index.

The Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) is a relatively little known law enforcement element of the State Department whose primary mission is the protection of the secretary of state and the embassies around the world. Relentless Pursuit is the first book to tell the DSS story, and, after a short summary of its history, the focus is on the DSS role in the fight against terrorism and the hunt for Ramzi Yousef, the Usama Bin Laden disciple who planned both attacks on the World Trade Center. The account of how DSS agents Bill Miller and Jeff Riner captured Yousef in Su Casa Guesthouse in Islamabad, Pakistan, is well told and based on interviews with both agents. Also of interest are the stories of the attacks on the embassy and Marine barracks in Beirut and the changes those events brought about in DSS. The learning process was not over as demonstrated by the attacks on the US embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam. In the latter case the damage would have been much worse had the DSS agent in the embassy not imposed restrictions on all trucks trying to enter the compound a week before the event. This forced the bombers to explode the bomb outside the main gate. These events and the bombing of the USS Cole, writes Katz, resulted in further increases in DSS personnel and resources. The seldom mentioned DSS agents have a difficult job, and Katz tells their story well.

(The FBI falsely took full credit for Yousef's capture, reports Katz.)

Douglas Valentine, author of The Phoenix Program and The Strength of the Wolf, has published a third volume (Joe Payne - At least that is what Counterpunch.org - Weekend Edition - March 12-14, 2010 - Rosetta Stone and the Code of National Security - Drug War Without End - By T. P. WILKINSON says) in what might be called a "Ring" cycle to elaborate the language of America's elite in its wars for the "Rhine gold", aka "national security". Using the methods of a therapist and chronicler, Valentine begins his books with the apparently naive and inquisitive eyes and ears of a youth asking his elders "what they did in the war?" He retains a respectful tone throughout what are essentially interviews and intervenes only to provide needed background for the reader or to occasionally compare the stories of various performers in the same scene. The author only appears when it is necessary to clarify something either he or the reader is unlikely to understand or where confusion arises.

A good book I ordered for myself for Christmas: Indefensible Space: The Architecture of the National Insecurity State


I thought, since I could buy it for $3.25 on Amazon I would first read Agent Fred Burton's first book Ghost, Confessions of a Counterterrorism Agent and what better time to read this book about a Spook than the Halloween season. I want to critique some of the book below:
What I was looking for was information on what Peter Bergin called during my brothers service in 2000, the New Breed of DSS Agents of which he gave my brother credit for being part of by offering them his own experiences and training. The new breed came from dealing with the new threats of terrorist and their use of the jihad movement as a means of disrupting diplomacy and commercial activities that make our society what it is today.

  • On April 18, the anniversary of Paul Revere's ride, the terrorists scored their first decisive victory against the United States.
  • Our new boss pauses long enough to toss another butt in the growing morass in his ashtray. He pulls out a fresh smoke and lights it up.
  • There is a new threat we must counter. Airport security must be tightened. Unfortunately, airports all over Europe have slipshod screening practices. We can't control those potential points of attack, which makes this a gaping weakness in our security armor.
  • I'm suddenly in a toy right out of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. I feel underdressed. I should have brought a larger gun.
  • Bronze Stars for meritorious service are a dime a dozen from Vietnam, but Gallo's is for bravery on the battlefield.
  • Former DSS Agent Fred Burton, who began pumping gas at the corner of Arlington Road and Bradley Boulevard, after years of investigation has made his findings public in a new book Chasing Shadows, A Special Agent's Lifelong Hunt to bring a Cold War assassin to Justice, published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2011.

    His book investigates the murder of Col. Joseph Alon, an Israeli Air Force pilot assigned to the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C. Burton attributes the murder to the elements of the Black September movement who were responsible for the 1972 Munich killings of Israeli athletes.

    Also of interest could be the release in September 2011 on DVD of Who Shot My Father, sponsored by IBA TV Channel 1, Israel. From what I have read it takes a different slant on the murder and points more toward it being a plot by American and Israeli intelligence but not in revenge for the 1968 Israeli attack on the USS Liberty, killing over 30 U.S. sailors, but instead because Joe Alon had found a conspiracy between the American and Israeli officials, particularity Henry Kissinger and Moshe Dayan who was suspected by some to be an American Mole, and because Joe had also found America and Israel wanted to allow a strike by the Arabs just to see how America's latest-generation military hardware stacked up against the newest Soviet equipment that Egypt and Syria possessed.

    Again at this time I was living in the College Park, Maryland area, working for the U.S. Department of State and remember this killing. I am waiting for Special Agent Burton's book and will also hope to be able to order the DVD.

    I was accepted to George Mason University in 1983 but government "contract" ended. I did manage this A in 1975 at NO-VA-CO-CO (Northern Virginia Community College) - No Government Assistance, GI Bill, company provided assistance or any such welfare for me. No, all came out of my pocket.

    The first email was sent October 1971

    Emil W Kontak

    Emil W. Kontak and Robert D. Johnson, U.S. Passport Office, October 1972.

    Let's talk about IRONIES. When I first began working with an organization in the early 1970's I was told to watch out for a certain group. This group evolved from a small band called "The Brotherhood of Eternal Love", headed by Timothy Leary to the Students for a Democratic Society then the Weather Underground Organization. Not until 1975 did I realize I was in parallel with this group because of my constant investigation into their movements. It was not until just days after I stepped back into the State Department that they set a bomb off in that building that I realized they were closer than I thought.