Intelligence Update – CIA, Spies, Bay of Pigs, and More

"An Air Combat First". Art displayed at CIA headquarters of CIA operative firing an AK-47 at a North Vietnamese biplane. (Painting by and donated by Keith Woodcoak , 2007).
"An Air Combat First". Art displayed at CIA headquarters of CIA operative firing an AK-47 at a North Vietnamese biplane. (Painting by and donated by Keith Woodcoak , 2007).

Intelligence Update 20170102 – CIA and the Bay of Pigs, “The Spy Who Couldn’t Spell”, CIA art calendar, ancient spying in the Middle East, and More.

Bay of Pigs and What Type of CIA Should We Have. There were (in the 1950s and 1960s) and there are today two types of CIA. One collects and analyzes intelligence and the other conducts covert or paramilitary operations. Throughout the history of the Central Intelligence Agency these two parts of the CIA have been – to varying degrees – at odds with each other. A recent article concerning the Bay of Pigs is illustrative of this divide. Read “Spy vs. Spy: The Bay of Pigs and the Battle for the Soul of the CIA”War on the Rocks, by James Lockhart, December 27, 2016.

CIA Art Calendar for 2017. Order your 2017 calendar from a firm that is putting out a quality product. A number of artists painted pictures depicting events in the Central Intelligence Agency’s history. A great addition for the home or work office. Learn more in “A CIA calendar the CIA gift shop refuses to sell? Yes, and here’s the strange story behind it”The Washington Post, December 29, 2016.

“The Spy Who Couldn’t Spell”. Some very keen counterintelligence work and a little luck played a role in preventing a huge loss in intelligence to foreign nations – Libya being one of them. A retired U.S. Air Force Master Sergeant who was in heavy debt decided to play spy while working for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO). However, the fact that he was dyslexic was a big factor in his being caught. Read “The dyslexic spy who nearly took down the US”, News.com.au, December 27, 2016.

Ancient Middle East Spies. The kingdoms that existed almost 2,000 years ago relied on spies to determine the intent of their adversaries and to cause rebellion and weakness in neighboring states. Read more in “Everything Old is New Again: Espionage and Stratagems in Ancient Iraq and Syria”War on the Rocks, December 29, 2016.

Painting at Top of Page. In 2007 Keith Woodcock, an artist, painted a picture depicting a CIA operative firing an AK-47 from an agency chopper into a North Vietnamese Air Force AN-2 Colt biplane. The painting was donated to the CIA and is in display at its headquarters. The painting records the first instance of an helicopter to fixed-wing aerial dogfight. In this particular case the helicopter won – shooting down two of the biplanes. Read more in An Air Combat First, Central Intelligence Agency.

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