Late Spring Break for Spy Watchers
Tuscon's going to be crawling with spies and spy-watchers in early May.
Major League Baseball, in its bottomless wisdom, has whacked the National Pastime upside the head again. But if you still have Cactus League tickets, you might consider staying down in Arizona and heading to Tuscon for “Spies, Lies and Nukes,” a May 1-3 conference hosted by renowned former CIA officer Valerie Plame. Yours truly has been invited to speak on a panel. I’m thrilled.
You, too, can come—no security clearances required. And it should be a treat for espionage aficionados. Discounts are still available if you act fast.
From the conference announcement:
This 3 day conference will be held at the beautiful Hacienda del Sol Resort in Tucson, AZ. Hear intriguing, provocative, and sometimes shocking conversations on cyberattacks, covert actions and nuclear scams. Learn how real spies are recruited and about daring operations that changed history from legendary and highly decorated CIA officers who lived in the "wilderness of mirrors" for years.
Well, okay, as SpyTalk followers know, I didn’t live through a “wilderness of mirrors” myself—I merely ran a military intelligence collection operation targeting North Vietnamese units and commanders in 1968-1969. But a number of ex-CIA officers scheduled to speak at the conference did.
And it’s an all-star lineup, with people like Jim Lawler, who busted A.Q. Khan’s nuclear proliferation ring; Jonna Mendez, the CIA’s former chief of disguises; former done-everything, been-there senior CIA operations officer Marc Polymeropoulos; Alma Katsu, former senior NSA and CIA analyst; Lucy Kirk, former CIA station chief.
And: Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, top former CIA operations officer and Energy Department nuclear proliferation expert; CIA Clandestine Services veteran Glenn Carle, author of The Interrogator, reviewed as “best and most truthful account of life inside the CIA ever written”; Gary Schroen, a CIA legend for leading the first agency team into Afghanistan following the 9/11 attacks; and last but very hardly least, Mary Beth Long, who after a decade in CIA operations became the first woman ever confirmed as Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, and who also served as Chair of NATO’s High Level Group (HLG), responsible for NATO’s nuclear policy.
Pretty, pretty, pretty good.
So “come on down!” as they say on “The Price is Right.” Hope to see you there.
Conference and hotel details are here.