Wednesday, August 31, 2016


What's the chances of a full-scale naval battle between the U.S. and Iran occurring? free polls
Iran’s provocative naval harassment of U.S. warships, a repeat of Operation Velayat-90, bellicose language, Assad’s unstable government needing a distraction, supersonic anti-ship Missiles and terrorists willing to use them… I hope the dots are never connected.
     U.S. 5th Fleet Navy ships are being harassed by Iranian patrol boats. There’s been three incidents in the last several days. In one encounter, a U.S. ship fired warning shots at an Iranian patrol boat with a .50 caliber machine gun to ward off a dangerous approach. 

     Could such naval skirmishes spark an all-out naval battle? I’d like to jog your memory about a similar incident of Iranian harassment of U.S. Navy ships… one that occurred on a much larger scale- Operation Velayat-90.

     Velayat occurred in 2011 and almost led to a full-scale naval battle between Iran and the U.S. It began when Iranian submarines, warships and C 14 class missile boats tested their might in the Sea of Oman. The saber-rattling operation was considered a “war game” by the Iranian government.

     Quite a “game” to play in the midst of U.S. warships. The Iranians laid anti-ship mines, auditioned their aerial drones, and fired missiles and torpedoes to show the world that they have the power to block oil from passing through the Strait of Hormuz. Their Navy's C 14 class missile boats test-fired the short range Nasr-1 anti-ship cruise missile to demonstrate their ability to destroy nearby American warships.

     What if the Iranian patrol boats that are presently harassing U.S. Navy warships begin carrying the Yakhont (SSN-26) missile? This deadly supersonic anti-ship missile can easily destroy an aircraft carrier. The Russian’s delivered them to Syria years ago, despite pleas from the U.S. that they could be obtained by terrorists. Could this lead to an all-out naval battle between Iran and the U.S.?

     Let me explain. As the situation in Syria deteriorates, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad may create a distraction by surreptitiously supplying Hamas or another terrorist group with these weapons. What if, unbeknownst to Iran, an SSN-26 is launched by Hamas against an American aircraft carrier that frequents the Strait of Hormuz, like the USS Stennis or USS Abraham Lincoln? If Assad’s regime begins to crumble, a U.S./Iran showdown in the Strait of Hormuz would be to his benefit.  

     Getting back to the 2011 Operation Velayat-90. In addition to the “what if” trepidations, Iran’s bellicose words added further tension to the supposedly innocuous war games. Iran’s navy chief, Admiral Habibollah Sayari, said his forces were monitoring the USS Stennis and recorded its passage from the Strait of Hormuz into the Gulf of Oman (Iranian TV segment showed the Stennis being followed by Iranian aircraft).

     Sayari’s words were backed up by Brigadier General Hossein Salmi, the deputy commander of Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guards. He stated to the Fars news agency, “Our response to threats is threats. We have no doubt about our being able to carry out defensive strategies to protect our vital interests- we will act more decisively than ever. The Americans are not qualified to give us permission to carry out military strategy”.

     The wording of Iran’s leaders is the most disturbing, for it shows their belief system at work. Iranian Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi warned, “Not a drop of oil will pass through the Strait of Hormuz” if the West follows through with additional sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program. Commodore Mahmoud Mousave of the Iranian navy stated the USS Stennis was “inside the maneuver zone” where his ships were conducting their exercises and added that his navy “was prepared, in accordance with international law, to confront offenders who do not respect our security perimeters during the maneuvers”.

     The US Defense Department replied, “Interference with the transit of vessels through the Strait of Hormuz will not be tolerated and the US will act decisively to protect our interests”.

     So, there we were, in 2012: The USS Stennis, one of the world’s largest warships, and her carrier strike group in the Strait of Hormuz in close proximity with the Iranian navy. What would happen if any number of direct or circuitous happenings spark an exchange between the two had occurred?

     Let’s explore that possibility. If an Iranian Nasr-1 anti-ship missile went astray, the Stennis strike group would counter with RIM-7 Sea Sparrow anti-missiles, which defend against anti-ship missiles and have been vastly upgraded over the years. They’re larger, faster, more accurate and will zero in on sea-skimming missiles with 90 lbs. of blast fragmentation explosives in each warhead.

     Meanwhile, the Stennis’ 90 fighter planes and helicopter gunships would be launched and commence strafing the Iranian warships and destroy the fleet. If the Stennis was hit, the entire Iranian fleet would be sunk immediately. The Iranian C 14 missile boats would attack, prompting the US fleet’s Phalanx CIWS, close-in weapon system, to light up the skyline firing its 20mm Gatling guns and filling up the sky with armor-piercing tungsten penetrator rounds traveling at 3,600 feet per second to the tune of 4,500 rounds per minute.

     Iran’s missile boats would surely fire away and the incoming Iranian Nasr-1 missiles would, hopefully, be destroyed before reaching their target. At that point, the US fleet would be ordered to use the full force of their weaponry and all of Iran’s fleet would be destroyed.

     Pure chaos would ensue after the spark began and America’s RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missiles (RAM) would be launched to further protect the Stennis flotilla. Scores of RAM’s screaming at Mach 2+ would maintain the retaliation and quickly find their marks.

     The US would immediately leap from defensive to offensive weapons, for the stakes are too high, the earlier Iranian threats too warlike, and the Strait of Hormuz battle ground too cramped. With foes only a stone’s throw away, armed with supersonic weapons, it would be over at the speed of Mach 2+. Hopefully, the Iranian Navy and not the U.S. Pacific Fleet would descend into the depths of the Strait of Hormuz and the Gulf of Oman.

     Such a short, concentrated, but deadly mêlée would only be the beginning. In 2010, the military hotline that Washington proposed between the White House and Tehran to defuse any “miscalculations” was rejected by Iran. I hope it’s back in use, for the war after the next one will be fought with sticks and stones.


Robert Morton, M.Ed., Ed.S. is a member of the Association Of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) and writes the online spy novel series "Corey Pearson- CIA Spymaster in the Caribbean".  The views expressed on this site do not represent those of any organization he is a member of. Contact him on the Secure Contact Form



Wednesday, August 17, 2016

OSINT NEWS- U.S. & Foreign Spy Agency Happenings!

     Welcome to OSINT NEWS, your portal to timely happenings within the U.S. and foreign intelligence agencies. Subscribe HERE!
     Congratulations! As a member of the OSINT NEWS community, you will immediately receive timely posts when they are published.
     There's more! The 3 resources below offer constant timely updates on happenings within the U.S. and foreign intelligence agencies:

(1) You will automatically receive the 
"Spy Agency Happenings!" newsletter which contains timely articles about important U.S. and foreign intelligence agency events. I search through over 150 U.S. and foreign newspapers and journals and hand-pick relevant items centered around a theme for each newsletter. A confirmation will be emailed to you shortly.  

(2) Visit the narrow right margin whenever you want. It holds a treasure of intelligence agency info. Get timely, often daily updates on happenings within the 17 agencies comprising the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) by scrolling down the narrow right margin to "U.S. INTELLGENCE COMMUNITY HAPPENENINGS- click agency below". Choose the agency of interest, then below the 17 agencies listed, a list of all daily newspaper, magazine and recent journal articles appears.

(3) Interested in finding out about daily happenings in foreign spy services? Scroll down the narrow right margin to "FOREIGN SPY AGENCY HAPPENINGS". Just like in (2) above, click the foreign intelligence agency of interest and all daily newspaper, magazine and recent journal publications will appear below the list of foreign spy agencies.

Questions? Contact me on the Secure Contact Form

Robert Morton, M.Ed., Ed.S. is a member of the Association Of Former Intelligence
Officers (AFIO) and writes about the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) and foreign intelligence agencies. His views are his own and do not reflect those of any organization he is a member of. 


Who created ISIS? Who allowed it to rise so rapidly?
     Who was responsible for the rapid rise and spread of ISIS? What is ISIS, where did it come from and when did the U.S. know of its existence. Was its rapid rise a result of an Intelligence Community (IC) intelligence failure or an administrative botch by President Obama?

     Much finger-pointing as to who created ISIS and allowed it to fester and grow is going on. This 8/16/16 Issue of “SpyAgency Happenings!” is devoted to answering these questions for you. I perused dozens of U.S. and foreign newspapers and journals to give you an all-inclusive answer to these questions. Here’s some highlights of the newsletter:

·        Senate democrat says Trump and his “buddy” Putin founded ISIS.

·        Trump says Iraq invasion, not Obama, created ISIS.

·        Where did ISIS really come from?

·        Did Barack Obama and Hillary create ISIS?

·        How the U.S. fueled the rise of ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

·        The origins of ISIS- finding the birthplace of Jihad.

      The 8/16/16 Issue of “Spy Agency Happenings!” also has excellent videos on ISIS, including:

·        The rise of ISIS, explained in 6 minutes (Informative video, I recommend watching it).

·        Putin tells everyone who created ISIS.

·        How the U.S. created the Islamic State- talking heads.

·        Origins of ISIS- special coverage.

     At the bottom of the newsletter is a “Discussion Corner” where you can voice your views on who created ISIS. We’d enjoy hearing from you!
Robert Morton, M.Ed., Ed.S. is a member of the Association Of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) and writes the online spy novel series "Corey Pearson- CIA Spymaster in the Caribbean".  The views expressed on this site do not represent those of any  organization he is a member of. Contact him on the Secure Contact Form

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Bush/Cheney created ISIS, Obama ignored it

Do you believe the rapid rise in ISIS was President Obama's policy failure or an Intelligence Community failure? free polls
     George W. Bush claims that President Obama led to the rise in ISIS and Donald Trump recently declared Obama to be the “founder of ISIS.” I disagree with both accusations, for it wasn’t Obama’s decision to withdraw troops from Iraq which led to their rise- it was former President Bush’s decision to invade the country that did…he was the one who created ISIS.     
     However, I do criticize President Obama for incorrectly blaming the unforeseen rapid rise in Bush's creation on the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC). In fact, the IC did see it coming long before the current political finger-pointing. They sent out red flares that were ignored by both President Obama and the U.S. Congress. Many of America's intelligence operatives, national security scholars, and journalists who have been watching the progress of ISIS question the president's assertion.

Enjoy the Caribbean Islands? Like spy thrillers? Join the "Corey Pearson- CIA Spymaster in the Caribbean" community for free!
     Although, in my humble opinion...and in the judgement of many intelligence analysts... Bush and Cheney were the original creators of ISIS, but Obama ignored its ability to bourgeon. In fact, one senior Pentagon official who had been studying the threat posed by Sunni jihadists in Syria, flatly said, "Either the president doesn’t read the intelligence he’s getting, or he’s bullshitting." 
     However, to offer you a complete picture, I devoted the August 14, 2016 issue of "Spy Agency Happenings!" newsletter to list all the players who were involved in the rise of ISIS.   
     President Obama blamed James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, for underestimating the threat posed by the Islamic State. Shortly after Obama threw Clapper under the bus, CIA Director Michael Morell said on CBS This Morning that President Barack Obama was wrong in claiming that bad intelligence was the reason he did not anticipate the speed in which ISIS would capture large portions of Iraq.
     CBS's Norah O'Donnell then posed to Morell, "The president himself admitted over the weekend that the ISIS advance is more rapid than intelligence estimates had forecast. Was this an intelligence failure or a policy failure?"
     Morell replied, "I don't think this was an intelligence failure. This is a classic problem in the intelligence world. There's a difference between strategic warning and tactical warning. There was strategic warning here in the sense that the intelligence community was saying for over a year, year and a half, two years that this group was getting stronger and stronger and stronger."
     The Obama administration, indeed, was surprised and taken off guard by the successful offensive in Iraq by ISIS, and his administration said, at the time, that it's because of a failure by U.S. intelligence agencies to provide adequate warning about the ISIS threat. 
     Shortly after Obama's pejorative declaration, some in America's Intelligence Community (IC) said the reason for the disconnect was due to weak HUMINT (human intelligence) in Iraq and an over-reliance on technical intelligence. However, Congressman Mike Rogers, R-Mich., the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee said the Iraq crisis was a policy blunder, not an intelligence failure, and that there were signs of the ISIS threat, but President Obama ignored them.
     In fact, Rogers said that years ago he was concerned about ISIS and how it was "pooling up" in a dangerous way- building training camps and drawing-in jihadists from around the world. As chairman of the House Intel Committee, he said "We saw all of that happening."
    Fred Fleitz, who served for 25 years with the CIA, the State Department, and the House Intelligence Committee staff, agreed with Congressman Rogers. Fleitz said there was tons of info on the news about the sectarian war brewing in Iraq and that ISIS was gaining strength in both Iraq and Syria. The Intelligence Community, indeed, provided similar classified assessments to U.S. officials.
     Then, it happened. ISIS seized control of Fallujah and parts of the city of Ramadi. Defense Intelligence Agency Director Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn issued a public warning about the significance of this development and even testified in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee. He said "ISIS will attempt to take territory in Iraq and Syria to exhibit its strength in 2014, as demonstrated recently in Ramadi and Fallujah, and the group has the ability to concurrently maintain multiple safe havens in Syria.”
   Several years ago, Fleitz pointed out that Flynn's testimony demonstrated that a top U.S. intelligence official was doing his job and policy makers, including President Obama, were warned about ISIS and the major global security threats it posed. He added that "Some have claimed U.S. intelligence analysis about ISIS could have been better and that we lacked enough human intelligence sources on the ground in Iraq. Secretary of State John Kerry claimed nobody expected ISIS to advance so rapidly against Iraqi forces because we don’t have people embedded in those units." Kerry presumably meant the CIA did not have sources within ISIS.
     So, was it an intelligence failure? Fleitz gave experiential evidence why Kerry may be partially correct: "...gathering credible intelligence in dangerous areas like Iraq and Syria is always limited because there's no U.S. troop presence, high levels of anti-Americanism, and tight-knit Islamist terrorist groups (like ISIS) that are extremely difficult for the CIA to penetrate."
     Fleitz believes that the entire crisis in Iraq and Syria, and the rising power of ISIS is a major U.S. policy failure due to President Obama not leaving a small troop presence behind after the 2011 troop withdrawal and his continual ignoring of the grave threat posed by radical Islam. He believes the Intelligence Community gave Obama excellent analysis about ISIS and the deteriorating situation in Iraq...but he ignored it. 

Robert Morton, M.Ed., Ed.S. is a member of the Association Of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) and writes the online spy novel series "Corey Pearson- CIA Spymaster in the Caribbean".  The views expressed on this site do not represent those of any organization he is a member of. Contact him on the Secure Contact Form

Sunday, July 24, 2016


What type of relationship should U.S. establish with Cuba? Chose all that apply. Comments welcome! free polls
  This issue of "Caribbean Best-Kept Secrets" is all about Cuba. What do you think about the U.S. establishing normal ties with Cuba?  Please take the Poll above: "What type of relationship should U.S. establish with Cuba?" Also, the article "Should the U.S. and Cuba Become Friends?" adds some pro's and con's surrounding the issue. Also, the video (below) offers insight into the public's view of Cuba being on the "State Sponsor of Terrorism" list.
     In my OSINT research on the attempt to establish normal Cuba/U.S. relations, I ran into an in-depth article in the Jamaica Gleaner newspaper. The Gleaner reports that Cuba’s spot on the American list of states that sponsor terrorism has emerged as a major sticking point in efforts to restore diplomatic ties with the United States and reopen embassies that have been closed for nearly five decades.
     This was revealed on Friday during a meeting of Cuban and American officials for a second round of talks aimed at pursuing the pledge by the US to restore diplomatic relations.

     US Secretary of State John Kerry said removing Cuba from the list was not part of the negotiations but, instead, an evaluation that the department must make based on congressionally-mandated criteria. He said the department must determine whether Cuba, in the last six months, has been engaged in supporting international terrorist acts.
     “That evaluation will be made appropriately, and nothing will be done with respect to the list until the evaluation is completed,” Kerry told reporters, without indicating how long that would take.
     At the same time, Cuban officials said they could not envision opening a formal embassy in the United States while their country remains on the terror list. The only other countries listed are Iran, Sudan and Syria.
     “It would be a contradiction, the re-establishment of diplomatic relations, if Cuba still remains on the list of countries sponsoring international terrorism,” Gustavo Machin, deputy director of American affairs at the Cuba Foreign Ministry, told reporters on Wednesday in Havana.
But after Friday’s talks, Josefina Vidal, a senior Cuban foreign ministry official, told reporters that removing Cuba from the terrorism list was not a prerequisite for diplomatic ties.
     The public's view of Cuba being on State Sponsors of Terrorism list

     In December, US President Barak Obama announced that Cuba’s terror designation would be reviewed. US State Department officials have sought to play down the terror list’s significance in the discussions about reopening embassies, declining to say when a review of Cuba’s designation would be completed.

Robert Morton, Ed., Ed.S. is a member of the Association Of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) and writes the online spy novel series "Corey Pearson- CIA Spymaster in the Caribbean".  The views expressed on this site do not represent those of any organization he is a member of. Contact him on the Secure Contact Form

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Spy Agency Happenings! - Area 51, Air America, Hitler fled to Argentina

The 12/25/15 issue features declassified intelligence documents
      This "Spy Agency Happenings!" 12/25/15 issue focuses on Top Secret declassified  documents that have been released in the U.S. and foreign spy agencies. Enjoy the various articles on this topic, which I hand-selected for you. Here's some of the topics discussed in this issue:
  1. CIA sheds light on Air America
  2. Russia has shot down 13 U.S. spy planes (classified documents declassified!)
  3. Area 51- Secret Aircraft and Soviet MiGs
  4. FBI attempts to explain UFO memo
  5. The capture and execution of Soviet Colonel Penkovsky in 1963, a double agent handled by CIA
  6. CIA quietly releases files showing Hitler fled Germany and went to Argentina in 1945
     There's much more in this issue...enjoy!

Robert Morton, M.Ed., Ed.S. is a member of the Association Of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) and writes  the online spy series "Corey Pearson- CIA Spymaster in the Caribbean." Contact him on the Secure Contact Form

Friday, July 1, 2016


   In the U.S., over 854,000 people hold top-secret security clearances and 33 building complexes, each the size of three Pentagons, conduct top-secret work in and around the D.C. Beltway. Lockheed Martin landed a huge contract to develop the FBI's billion-dollar Next-Generation Identification (NGI) system, which includes 3-D facial recognition modeling enabling experts to construct a subject's entire face from partial video footage.
     The Dept. of Homeland Security and the 17 agencies comprising the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) have access to this NGI database. I'm glad they do, for I believe the I.C. is not spying ON's spying FOR them. Fortunately, we also have Fusion Centers set up in all 50 states and they have access to 240 state, regional, and federal agencies and their databases. They can monitor surveillance systems, intersections, thoroughfares, and parking lots across America.

Get the FREE "Spy Agency Happenings!" newsletter, your portal to U.S. and foreign intelligence agencies.
     For example, FC's monitor Chicago's hi-tech infrared surveillance cameras, which store video feeds for over a dozen years and are set up every mile along the Windy City's freeway system. I came across other FC's in my OSINT research that have access to hundreds of private security cameras in railroad yards, trucking sites, sports arenas, office buildings, shopping malls, large retail stores, and warehouses. The NSA and CIA can access these FC databases and I'm glad the can.
     I feel this increased security to protect us from radical Islam and domestic terrorism is needed. Others feel Fusion Centers are akin to Big Brother encroaching on our personal privacy. A compromise can, and should, be reached by insuring these security measures have proper oversight and monitoring. The bottom line is: Americans need to feel safer. You may like to read Issue 7/01/16 "Spy Agency Happenings!" newsletter, which focuses on domestic spying inside America.
     The 60-year old ban preventing the CIA from conducting domestic surveillance has, to some extent, ended with the establishment of Fusion Centers. Ten years ago, retired CIA spymaster Charles “Charlie” Allen, now in his octogenarian years, reappeared as Chief Intelligence Officer (at age 74) within the Department of Homeland Security and deployed intelligence officers to newly-created Fusion Centers (FC’s) throughout the U.S.
     Allen, who spent 47 years collecting and analyzing foreign intelligence at the CIA, is using FC’s to strengthen America’s homeland security by meticulously sculpting our gravely inadequate homeland intelligence-gathering and sharing capacity into a well thought-out operation. FC’s enable authorities at the state, county and city level to detect and respond to terrorist schemes by leveraging national intelligence with teams of clandestine federal intelligence officers embedded locally in FC's throughout America.
     A decade ago, as a member of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO), I attended a seminar in Tysons Corner, VA where Allen was the key speaker. He announced that by the end of 2008, FC’s will be positioned in all 50 states (Statement made 2006). At this juncture, the CIA and NSA became increasingly involved in domestic spying within the U.S., for two-way, robust sharing of information between overseas counter-intelligence (CI) agencies and domestic law enforcement (LE) happened inside America.
     However, highly-classified foreign and domestic intelligence collected by CI agencies is sanitized through a Homeland Security Data Network (HSDN) before it’s shared with domestic federal/state/local LE.
     In 2006, America spent $337 million for this trans-cybernet HSDN system and Chief Intelligence Officer Allen began positioning CI officers in each FC. The move enabled the CIA and NSA to share overseas terrorist information with over 600 state and local agencies.
     I offer this scenario, which illustrates the critical role FC's play in protecting Americans:
     My story begins when the National Security Agency (NSA) receives intelligence from a spy satellite that picked up a cell phone call made from someone in Los Angeles to a suspected al Qaeda cell in Yemen. It mentioned Dodger Stadium.
     On the ground in Yemen, a CIA Case Officer (CO) had previously recruited one of the suspected cell member’s cousins to spy for the U.S. Suppose that this recruited spy (“asset”) uncovered in his cousin’s home a map of Dodger Stadium and surrounding streets marked off with words in Farsi, and turned it over to his CIA handler.
     In this highly-plausible scenario, through the HSDN secure network, the locally-embedded CIA officers working at the L.A. Fusion Center would be alerted and instantly tap into their underground workstation supercomputers. They would penetrate the secured IC terminals and pull together the staggering intelligence-gathering capabilities of the U.S. intelligence community, then share it with Los Angeles and state authorities- in real time, sanitized, of course.
     The HSDN system would transform the cloak-and-dagger, top secret particulars of this scenario into an unclassified product that would conceal the sources and methods used to acquire the overseas intelligence, but still instantly tip off state and local authorities on the essence of the looming threat. I call this spying FOR America, not ON America.
     We need these locally-embedded FC’s because the lines between foreign and domestic intelligence have become blurred. Overseas threats that target our local communities are real in this new war on terrorism where terrorist cells are transnational and religiously driven.
     Ever since radical Islamist cells have moved into the heartlands of Europe, the UK and the U.S., I've wanted counterintelligence agencies such as the CIA and NSA to "move in" with them. Law enforcement (LE) agencies, like the FBI, are simply spread too thin. They need help!
     Since 9/11, over 4,000 al Qaeda radical jihadist operating in 47 different countries have been arrested in nearly 100 other countries. ISIS has dispersed equally as far and wide. Radical Islamic terrorist cells are becoming better financed from legal and illegal sources, better trained, and are not dependent upon or accountable to state sponsors to whom the U.S. can threaten with mutually-assured destruction.
     They all yearn for loss of American and European lives on a massive scale. We see the Paris, Istanbul airport, San Bernardino, and other attacks carried out with small arms, plastique explosives, and rocket-propelled grenades. However, the U.S. intelligence community has verified that al Qaeda and ISIS have set their sights on acquiring and detonating nuclear, radiological, chemical and/or biological weapons inside America.
     I'm glad that CIA and other intelligence community officers are spying inside America via the HSDN network. The U.S. Intelligence Community’s global intelligence-gathering capabilities are better supporting local law enforcement and local communities.
     A Fusion Center is no doubt operating close to you. Be glad they’re close-at-hand.

Robert Morton, M.Ed., Ed.S. is a member of the Association Of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) and writes  the online spy series "Corey Pearson- CIA Spymaster in the Caribbean." Contact him on the Secure Contact Form