Sunday, December 4, 2022

Welcome to the 'Corey Pearson- CIA Spymaster' site!

              Go on a top secret mission of espionage and intrigue with the "Corey Pearson- CIA Spymaster" series!

Check out my newest spy thriller MISSION OF VENGEANCE 
Check out my first spy thriller 
PENUMBRA DATABASE



You can read the new  THE SHADOW WAR spy thriller series, episode by episode, as I write them in the new Kindle Vella program. The first three episodes are FREE!

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CIA officers killed are worshipped on the Wall of Honor

 


The CIA’s Wall of Honor: rows of stars carved into cold granite, each representing an officer killed in the line of duty. Below the wall lies a ‘Book of Honor’ listing 48 of those whose star is on the wall, but they remain anonymous because their contributions to America are still highly classified. The covert missions they were involved in must be kept secret for various security reasons, including the fact that the operations may still be continuing…welcome to the shadowy world of espionage and counterintelligence!

     At last count, there were 139 stars on the CIA Memorial Wall, which is on the north wall of the original headquarters building lobby. A while ago, I walked past it in the early morning at sunrise and was awestruck by the golden sunbeams shining on the quiet, simple memorial. It lit up the stars of the CIA operatives who made the ultimate sacrifice (I was inside Langley for an AFIO seminar about the SR-71 spy plane Oxcart Program). It was a spiritual experience, indeed.

     Last year, the CIA added two new stars to the wall during a secret ceremony for two of its undercover operatives who died in the line of duty. Sorry, Langley is not giving out any details about their identities or missions. Regardless, even though their service must remain known to only a select few, their legacies will remain eternal.

    Yes, the CIA Memorial Wall is a testament to how dangerous a business that CIA handlers (operatives) and the assets (spies) they recruit are in. Some of them were NOCs, Non-Official Cover operatives who didn’t have the protection of diplomatic cover. Thank goodness, most captured NOCs have been sent back to the U.S. through prisoner exchanges, called “spy swaps”.

     In MISSION OF VENGEANCE, CIA spymaster Corey Pearson’s NOC status in brought to light in one scene where he talks with a former Russian KGB defector. Here’s a snippet:

         Corey was blunt with the Russian defector. “Can you guarantee the attack won’t be by Spetsnaz? If it is, anywhere in the Caribbean, not only will your chances for defecting to America be reduced to zero, but we’ll also let Putin himself know that you are a double agent, working against his Caribbean scheme. And lastly, If Markov doesn’t kill you, I will.”

        The former KGB spy replied. “As a NOC, you know there are no guarantees in the spy business. You live a deep-cover life of lies and props. I know you are not a marine biologist traversing the Caribbean trying to save the Nassau Grouper. ‘Corey Pearson’ is a false name, and you work for a phony front company. You don’t use diplomatic cover, so I know what you do is dangerous and if you get caught doing something illegal you have no diplomatic immunity to use for protection from prosecution, and America will deny your existence. The GRU and Spetsnaz operate in the same manner, and I cannot guarantee the attack will be by them or by activated Hezbollah sleeper cells. I can, however, give you my best judgement. I can also give you added reassurance that I want to cooperate by telling you the truth in order to defect.”

     “What type of guarantee can you offer?”

     “How is Suvorov doing in his new life in America?”

     “Why do you want to know?”

     Yury Bocharov sloppily chugged down his nearly full glass of Moscow Mule, wiped his mouth and said, “Because he is my son and I want to be with him.”

End of snippet

     I remember, when staring at the CIA Memorial Wall, the gold stars that were followed by a blank space. Their identities will never be known to the rest of us.   

Robert Morton is a member of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) and enjoys writing about the U.S. Intelligence Community. He authors the Corey Pearson- CIA Spymaster series. Check out his latest spy thrillers: MISSION OF VENGEANCE.

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Spy thriller action movies: James Bond in Dr. No is my fav!

Dr. No was the first James Bond spy movie, and it still is my favorite. I watched it in 1962, in my youth. Sean Connery remains my favorite James Bond character, and he was age 32 when it was produced.

He was a hit with the producers, too, for they hired him on to roll out the next 6 James Bond movies over a period of 9 years. I was addicted to them all: the 1963 hit From Russia With Love with the evil Blofeld; Goldfinger in 1964, when Connery reached the ripe age of 35; Thunderball in 1965, and You Only Live Twice in 1967. 

Sean Connery and his 007 thriller movies were the reason I started writing spy thrillers. I loved them all, but Dr. No remains my favorite. This cool video shows a scene from Dr. No, when Bond arrives at the Jamaican airport in Montego Bay. RIP, Sean Connery, and thank you for the many years of entertainment. 

Friday, October 28, 2022

Spy thriller depicts CIA secret airlines

 


In my MISSION OF VENGEANCE spy thriller, Corey Pearson uses the CIA's HST clandestine airlines to secretly move him around the Bahamas, Florida Keys, and Caribbean. HST is fictitious, but the CIA used the clandestine 'Air America' airlines to conduct its secret missions in Vietnam, Cambodia, and elsewhere.

     HST is a descendant of the infamous Air America, an American passenger and cargo airline established in 1946 and covertly owned and operated by the CIA from 1950 to 1976. It supplied and supported covert operations in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War. I know it well, for a friend of mine flew for Air America back then. He often flew sorties into neighboring Laos. He was paid well, earning almost $30,000 a year salary, not a bad income for 1970, and he was paid even more for hazardous missions. 

     Although then President Nixon denied it, all through the Vietnam War the CIA flew sorties over Laos during undercover operations to supply their anti-communist allies. They used dozen of sophisticated planes and helicopters under civilian colors. It was dangerous work.

     I remember my friend (name will remain anonymous), complaining about never receiving benefits after he retired from the CIA. Talk about being burned! Air America was dissolved in 1976, and the employees were released unceremoniously with no accolades and no benefits, even for those who suffered long-term disabilities. The families of Air America pilots who were killed in action received no death benefits.

     Today, the CIA maintains private aircraft and airlines that it remains tight-lipped about. CIA operatives may fly on commercial, military, and private aircraft, depending on the circumstances. The Agency owns at least twenty-six airplanes, and 10 of them were purchased after the 9/11 attacks.

     While researching info for my spy thrillers, I was amazed at how the CIA conceals its ownership of planes and airlines behind a web of seven shell corporations that appear to have no employees and no function apart from owning the aircraft.

     It maintains airlines under the following front organizations: Aero Contractors (United States), Air America (my buddy flew for this one), Air Asia (Taiwan), American Committee for Cultural Freedom, American Committee for the Liberation of the Peoples of Russia, American Committee on United Europe, and Arizona Helicopters.

     My MISSION OF VENGEANCE spy thriller depicts the planes that the CIA still owns and flies today, even though the High-Speed Transport (HST) airlines is fictitious. Here’s a snippet:

     The HST Cessna 425 twin turboprop flew over the Inagua islands and banked slightly to the left. Crooked Island and the Acklins soon appeared as luxuriant green emeralds on a dark blue sea. They were making good time, traveling nearly 300 mph since departing the Dominican Republic from the remote Baigua Airport. When an urgent mission sprang up, Corey preferred slipping out of a country unnoticed, so he chose this agricultural airstrip near the hamlet of Baigue.

     The gravel runway was no problem for the experienced HST Airlines pilot, but Corey gripped his seat as the unkept trees sprouting up just off the runway centerline and the demolished service building flew by. The pilot abruptly skyrocketed into the air just before the end of the 2,400-foot runway.

     Onboard with Corey were agents Ashley Murray and Alexis Phillips along with two hazmat technicians and their bomb-sniffing dogs which were posing as service dogs. End of snippet

     Lastly, enjoy the video "Air America: CIA Mercenaries Over Laos."

Robert Morton is a member of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) and enjoys writing about the U.S. Intelligence Community. He authors the Corey Pearson- CIA Spymaster series. Check out his latest spy thriller: MISSION OF VENGEANCE.

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

CIA spies rely on spy satellite analysis from the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency

 

NGA analysts provide vital services to troops on the ground

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) is a little known or talked about U.S. intelligence community member, headquartered in Fort Belvoir North in Springfield, VA. It conducts cartography, map making and satellite imagery analysis, providing timely Geospatial Intelligence to decision-makers and military leaders on imminent threats in hot spots around the world.

     It conducts “GEOINT”, GEOspatial INTelligence, a discipline that analyzes imagery and geospatial information, usually from spy satellites. Vice Admiral Frank Whitworth became the eighth Director of the NGA in June 2022, and he works under the authorities of the Secretary of Defense and Director of National Intelligence.

     Geospatial intelligence offers a respectable career with plenty of opportunities for advancement. Salaries begin at a median range of $58,000 for geospatial analysts, and there are numerous paths for advancement into senior analyst or management positions- the median salary for a senior intelligence analyst with a GEOINT skillset is $96,000.

     It is a dynamic field to enter with opportunities to pursue in government, military, and humanitarian organizations. DHS and the U.S. military rely heavily on geospatial intelligence to protect civilians and better understand the complex issues facing our country, from military threats to natural disasters.

     For example, humanitarian organizations rely on GEOINT analysts to assess damage from natural or man-made disasters to help determine how much aid is needed for populations facing crisis. Just recently, the NGA supplied geospatial intelligence support to FEMA in its search and rescue efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian.

     I was impressed how, in 2011, it found Osama bin Laden’s hideout in Pakistan. Not only did it take detailed photographs of the compound, but it even retrieved and analyzed earlier satellite imagery that showed that it was under construction. GEOINT analysts viewed bin Laden’s hideout before the roof was put on, so they could draw a diagram of the doorways, staircases, and bedrooms inside the house. Navy Seal Team 6, no doubt, thanked them immensely, for they could rehearse and practice before their actual raid that killed the al-Qaida leader.

     In my Corey Pearson- CIA Spymaster series, I often embed NGA activities into the plot. Here’s a snippet from the MISSION OF VENGEANCE spy thriller.

Snippet: The IMINT, image intelligence, satellite hovered 310 miles above Yury Bocharov’s estate, snapping high-resolution, color photos of every square foot of the mansion, outer buildings, and grounds.

     The images were relayed to General Morrison’s computer at the CIA safehouse in Key West. The CIA owned eight safe houses in Key West and one of them housed NGA satellite image interpreters who masqueraded as drywallers. A sign out front of their unassuming home read “Key West Drywallers.”

     Inside the fake front company, two NGA men and a woman watched computer screens as the satellite continued mapping the estate. Two older men sat on a patio in the back of the mansion. They directed the satellite to zero in on their faces and snap photos of each. With one-foot optical resolution imaging capabilities, each face filled an entire computer screen. The facial photos were enhanced, then relayed to Morrison’s computer. General Morrison sent them at once to Corey’s computer inside the Sosua safe house.

End of Snippet

     Lastly, enjoy this video about the NGA: 5 Interesting Facts About the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency.

Robert Morton is a member of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) and enjoys writing about the U.S. Intelligence Community. He authors the Corey Pearson- CIA Spymaster series. Check out his latest spy thrillers: MISSION OF VENGEANCE and THE SHADOW WAR.

Sunday, October 23, 2022

NRO spy satellites help in CIA secret missions

 

An NRO spy satellite

The NRO is the most super-secret intelligence agency; it maintains America’s spy satellite fleet- its very existence was classified and hid from the public until 1992, when the DCI recommended its presence be declassified.

     The NRO stands for the “National Reconnaissance Office”, a U.S. Government intelligence agency in charge of designing, building, launching, and maintaining America's spy satellites. It is not part of the CIA and is integrated into the Department of Defense (DOD) agency- but it is staffed by both DOD and CIA personnel.  It is funded through the National Reconnaissance Program, part of the National Foreign Intelligence Program.

     The NRO work for the Secretary of Defense and the Director of the NRO reports to both the Director of National Intelligence and the Secretary of Defense. You probably guessed by now that it is a hybrid organization consisting of some 3,000 personnel including NRO cadre, Air Force, Army, CIA, NGA, NSA, Navy and US Space Force personnel! No surprise that it is funded out of both the U.S. intelligence budget and the military budget to the tune of roughly $ 6.7 billion annually.

     Its amalgam nature symbolizes its importance to America’s national security; it is committed to protecting the security of the U.S., its citizens, and its allies through unparalleled capabilities in space-based intelligence gathering, surveillance and reconnaissance. NRO spy satellites capture signals and images that are critical to keeping us out of harm’s way. Not only do they reveal threats to the homeland, but they also provide battlefield awareness, support counternarcotics, survey the damage from natural disasters, and much more.

     The reason the NRO was created further shows its importance. It was formed during the height of the Cold War when the Soviet Union launched the Sputnik satellite. The POTUS immediately created a super-secret, classified organization on September 6, 1961that would oversee “all satellite and overflight reconnaissance projects whether overt or covert”. The NRO remained a secret until 1992.

     In the MISSION OF VENGEANCE spy thriller, the CIA relies heavily on NRO spy satellites to help it execute its missions. Here’s a short Snippet:

Snippet: “We’re operating at Obscure Transgression. The OT team is officially activated although I already called in team eleven and they’re here now. The Dirty Tricks Division is sailing from Abaco, Bahamas as we speak, and Morrison is repositioning the stealth satellites to fly over Bocharov’s estate. In fact, the IMINT satellite is snapping pictures right now.”

End of Snippet

     Lastly, enjoy this video- WE ARE THE NRO.

 

Robert Morton is a member of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) and enjoys writing about the U.S. Intelligence Community. He authors the Corey Pearson- CIA Spymaster series. Check out his latest spy thriller: MISSION OF VENGEANCE.

Sunday, October 16, 2022

The NSA and domestic spying

 

The NSA spies FOR us, not ON us

The NSA PRISM phone metadata collection is blasted for invading our privacy, but it prevented 54 attacks, including 13 in the U.S., and prevented an attack on the New York subway system by linking phone calls from terrorists in Pakistan with Najibullah Zazi in Colorado.

     In 2013, the NSA and FBI were linking into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies: Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, and Apple. They were able to get a hold of audio, video, photographs, emails, documents, and connection logs. But they were apparently spying FOR us, not ON us, for the info was used to track the movements of “bad guys” and the people they contact. But even though this personal mega data info is used to hunt down those who would do harm to America, many were worried that it could someday be used against the rest of us by some unscrupulous, power hungry POTUS or other high-ranking government official. A scary thought. 

     It appears this electronic spying is extensive. The Director of National Intelligence revealed that PRISM has been in operation since 2008, whereby the NSA obtains electronic communications in real-time from all nine major Internet service providers (mentioned above). In addition, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (“FISC”) found in 2011 that it accounts for 91% of the roughly 250 million Internet communications acquired each year under Section 702 of the FAA. FISC also found that PRISM “facilitates extensive, in-depth surveillance on both live communications and stored information. … It also can collect and monitor communications made entirely within the U.S., without warrants.

     A little-known side of PRISM is that the CIA can search its database for communications between U.S. persons. Hmm…I thought the CIA was unable to conduct domestic spying? Well, there are exceptions to this rule, and I bring them out in the MISSION OF VENGEANCE spy thriller. “Stacie” is CIA mole planted inside the NSA, and she uses PRISM and ECHELON to spy inside the U.S. Here’s a few snippets:

     Snippet 1: Stacey sat at her supercomputer in the bowels of the National Security Agency headquarters at Fort Meade. The parrot tie clasp flash drive arrived an hour ago. CBIF’s High-Speed Transport airlines flew it nonstop from the Dominican Republic to “The Farm”, where two armed couriers took over and delivered it to her.

     Snippet 2: Stacey was a CBIF mole placed inside the NSA to work the PRISM and ECHELON systems. Right now, her mission was to drop everything she was currently working on and crack through the password. Time for the old-fashioned way. Stacey connected the flash drive to the supercomputer’s advanced “Brute Force” program. No doubt, the Russians used a password with many numerical, upper and lowercase letters, and special characters.

     No other NSA employees were near her, as agreed upon by General Morrison and the NSA director. She often spoke to herself in her isolated cubicle. “I’ll start with eight-character combinations.” She entered the instructions into Brute Force. Moments later, it came back with the number of guesstimates it would generate: 6,634,498,321,890,647.

     “Dam! Over six quadrillion. I’m going to be here for a while.”

End of snippets

     Lastly, I had to include this video entitled: Obama on Prism, Phone Spying Controversy: "No One Is Listening To Your Phone Calls": 

Robert Morton is a member of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) and enjoys writing about the U.S. Intelligence Community. He authors the Corey Pearson- CIA Spymaster series. Check out his latest spy thriller: MISSION OF VENGEANCE.