Mixed Me­dia

A con­fer­ence on Spies, Lies, & Nukes

Pasatiempo - - ON THE COVER - — Paul Wei­de­man

Santa Fe’s go­ing to be Spy Cen­tral on Satur­day, Nov. 3, and Sun­day, Nov. 4, when six for­mer CIA op­er­a­tives gather for a pub­lic dis­course on ev­ery­thing from the Kennedy as­sas­si­na­tion to “Covert Ac­tion and Pres­i­den­tial Find­ings.” The lat­ter is the ti­tle of the Hon. Mary Beth Long’s ad­dress in the con­fer­ence ti­tled Spies, Lies & Nukes: In­side In­ter­na­tional Es­pi­onage. Long, one of the event’s five key­note speak­ers, worked for the CIA from 1986 to 1999 and chaired NATO’s High Level Group from 2007 to 2009.

“The cal­iber of speak­ers I have is off the charts,” or­ga­nizer Va­lerie Plame said, “and it’s not just like dusty old his­tory lessons. I def­i­nitely want to con­nect the dots to to­day.” There will of course be dis­cus­sions about the cur­rent com­man­der in chief’s litany of dis­trust­ful re­marks about the CIA. “With Trump and this ad­min­is­tra­tion, that trust has been deeply eroded,” said Plame, a for­mer covert CIA op­er­a­tions of­fi­cer and au­thor of Fair Game: How a Top CIA Agent Was Be­trayed by Her Own Gov­ern­ment. “Trump is dis­parag­ing of ev­ery­one, but this is re­ally bad for na­tional se­cu­rity. When there’s not much day­light be­tween the pres­i­dent and the in­tel­li­gence com­mu­nity, that is bad news.”

Pan­elists for the con­fer­ence are Ellen Bradbury Reid, daugh­ter of a Man­hat­tan Project sci­en­tist and to­day the di­rec­tor of Re­cur­sos de Santa Fe; Todd Greentree, a for­mer U.S. For­eign Ser­vice of­fi­cer; Larry John­son, who was with the CIA from 1985 to 1989 and the State Depart­ment Of­fice of Coun­tert­er­ror­ism from 1989 to 1998; and Sherry Thompson, co-au­thor with her sis­ter of a book about their fa­ther ti­tled The Krem­li­nol­o­gist: Llewellyn E. Thompson, Amer­ica’s Man in Cold War Moscow.

“This is open to the gen­eral pub­lic, and I think we’re go­ing to have a great crowd. I’m ex­cited. I’m ner­vous, but I’m ex­cited,” said Plame, who was at her Santa Fe home work­ing on her re­marks “on the nu­clear is­sue,” as she put it. “I def­i­nitely want en­gaged and ro­bust au­di­ence par­tic­i­pa­tion. I want it to be provoca­tive and chal­leng­ing and in­struc­tive and en­ter­tain­ing, too.”

Thus the jaunty ti­tle. “Well, I don’t want it to be all gloom and doom. You’ve got to give peo­ple their veg­eta­bles, but have it in a way where they’ll eat their veg­eta­bles.” Spo­ken like a mom? “Like the mother of twins,” she said.

The Satur­day-Sun­day con­fer­ence takes place at La Fonda, 100 E. San Fran­cisco St. A ticket to the two-day con­fer­ence is $395; see spy­sem­i­nars .com.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.