Thursday, November 15, 2018

El Chapo's Trial Opens With Chilling Details


The New York Post offers a piece on the beginning of the trial of “El Chapo” Guzman.
Opening statements finally began Tuesday in the trial for Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman — with prosecutors describing some of the notorious accused drug lord’s most heinous acts for jurors, along with his weapons of choice.
“Some of his favorites include a diamond-encrusted handgun with his initials on it and a gold-plated AK-47,” said federal prosecutor Adam Fels.
He recounted how Guzman allegedly ordered hits on his own loved ones and used a small private army — consisting of hundreds of men “armed with assault rifles” — to take out his rivals.
“He ordered his hit men to locate, kidnap, torture, interrogate, shoot and kill those rivals,” Fels said. “Not even Guzman’s own family members were immune.”
You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:


You can also read my Counterterrorism piece on Guzman via the below link:

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Former U.S. Navy Captain Pleads Guilty And Former Master Chief Petty Officer Sentenced In Sweeping U.S. Navy Corruption And Fraud Probe


The U.S. Justice Department released the below information:
A retired U.S. Navy captain pleaded guilty to criminal conflict of interest charges and a former U.S. Navy master chief was sentenced to 17 months in prison today on corruption charges.  The defendants are among the latest U.S. Navy officials to plead guilty and be sentenced in the expansive corruption and fraud investigation involving foreign defense contractor Leonard Glenn Francis and his Singapore-based ship husbanding company, Glenn Defense Marine Asia (GDMA).
Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Adam L. Braverman of the Southern District of California, Director Dermot F. O’Reilly of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS) and Director Andrew L. Traver of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) made the announcement.
Jeffrey Breslau, (seen on the left in the above 2012 photo) 52, of Cumming, Georgia, pleaded guilty to one count of criminal conflict of interest before U.S. District Judge Janis Sammartino of the Southern District of California.  Breslau was charged in September 2018.  Retired Master Chief Ricarte Icmat David, 62, of Concepcion, Tarlac, Philippines, was sentenced by Judge Sammartino, who also ordered him to serve a year of supervised release and pay restitution of $30,000.  David was charged in August 2018 and pleaded guilty in September to one count of conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud.
According to admissions made as part of his guilty plea, from October 2009 until July 2012, Breslau was a captain in the U.S. Navy assigned as director of public affairs for the U.S. Pacific Fleet, headquartered in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.  As part of his duties, Breslau was involved in devising the U.S. Navy’s public affairs communications strategy, and provided public affairs guidance to Pacific Fleet components and other U.S. Navy commands.  From August 2012 until July 2014, Breslau was assigned to the commanding officer for the Joint Public Affairs Support Element in Norfolk, Virginia, where he was responsible for leading joint crisis communications teams. 
Breslau admitted that from March 2012 until September 2013, while serving in the above roles for the U.S. Navy, he provided Francis with public relations consulting services, including providing advice on how to respond to issues and controversies related to Francis’s ship husbanding business with the U.S. Navy.  These included issues related to port visit costs, allegations of malfeasance such as the unauthorized dumping of waste, disputes with competitors, and issues with Pacific Fleet and contracting personnel.  During the course of his consulting agreement with Francis, Breslau authored, reviewed or edited at least 33 separate documents; authored at least 135 emails providing advice to Francis; provided at least 14 instances of “talking points” in advance of meetings between Francis and high ranking U.S. Navy personnel; and “ghostwrote” numerous emails on Francis’s behalf to be transmitted to U.S. Navy personnel.  During the course of this consulting agreement, Francis paid Breslau approximately $65,000 without Breslau disclosing the agreement to the U.S. Navy, Breslau admitted.    
As part of his guilty plea, David admitted that he was assigned various logistics positions with the U.S. Navy’s Seventh Fleet, including with the Fleet Industrial Supply Center in Yokosuka, Japan from June 2001 to July 2004; on the USS Essex from July 2004 to August 2007; on the USS Kitty Hawk from September 2007 to August 2008; and on the USS George Washington from September 2008 to July 2010.  In these positions, David was responsible for ordering and verifying goods and services for the ships on which he served, including from contractors during port calls.  Throughout this period, David received from Francis various things of value, including five star hotel rooms during every port visit, he admitted.  
David further admitted that he repeatedly facilitated fraud on the United States by allowing Francis and GDMA to inflate the husbanding invoices to bill for services never rendered.  For example, David instructed Francis to inflate invoices for the USS Essex’s anticipated November 2007 port visit to the Philippines.  As David transitioned to a new position aboard the nuclear aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk, on or about May 8, 2008, Francis’s company paid approximately 84,637.00 Hong Kong Dollars (HKD) for hotel reservations at the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong for U.S. Navy personnel assigned to the USS Kitty Hawk including 10,396 HKD for David’s four-night stay in a Harbor View Room, David admitted.
Francis pleaded guilty in 2015 to bribery and fraud charges, admitting that he presided over a massive, decade-long conspiracy involving “scores” of U.S. Navy officials, tens of millions of dollars in fraud and millions of dollars in bribes and lavish gifts, including luxury travel, airline upgrades, five-star hotel accommodations, top-shelf alcohol, the services of prostitutes, Cuban cigars, Kobe beef and Spanish suckling pigs.
So far, 33 defendants have been charged and 22 have pleaded guilty, many admitting to accepting things of value from Francis in exchange for helping the contractor win and maintain contracts and overbill the Navy by millions of dollars.
The case was investigated by DCIS, NCIS and the Defense Contract Audit Agency.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Chief Brian R. Young of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mark W. Pletcher, Patrick Hovakimian and Robert Huie of the Southern District of California. 


You can also read my Counterterrorism magazine piece on the Fat Leonard scandal via the below link:

www.pauldavisoncrime.com/2017/03/my-piece-on-fat-leonard-us-navy-bribery.html 

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

James Webb's 'Fields Of Fire': A Look Back At The Finest Novel To Come Out Of The Vietnam War


Gary Anderson, a retired Marine Corps colonel, offers a review in the Washington Times of what I believe is the best novel to come out of the Vietnam War, James Webb’s Fields of Fire. 

“Fields of Fire” is the finest piece of literature to come out of the Vietnam War, and it has been republished on the 40th anniversary of the original. This will give a whole new generation of readers a chance to understand the reality of Vietnam vice the caricatures that have been portrayed since the fall of Saigon in 1975.

“Fields of Fire” launched the very successful literary career of its author, James Webb, who has gone on to write a number of other best-sellers. Along the way he has also served as a Reagan administration official — most notably as secretary of the Navy — and as a Democratic senator from Virginia.

Vietnam was an infantryman’s war, and Mr. Webb (seen in the below photos) describes the day-to-day experience of a Marine Corps infantry platoon in graphic and gritty detail. It is not a fun book to read, nor is it meant to be. The soldiers and Marines who comprised the bulk of our Vietnam infantry were thrown into some of the nastiest conditions ever experienced by American warriors.


Small platoons and companies spent weeks at a time in the bush fighting the Viet Cong insurgents and North Vietnamese regulars. Their only communication with the rest of the world during these sweeps was occasional helicopter resupply to bring in more ammo, food and mail as well as to evacuate the dead and wounded — of which there were many. It was not unusual for an infantry platoon to suffer over 100 percent casualties in the course of a “grunts” tour. Although the characters in the novel are Marines, Army infantry veterans of the Vietnam War will be reminded of their own experiences.


The book seems real because it is. It is a novelized version of Mr. Webb’s tour in Vietnam. The book’s characters are real people with fictional names. The Marines are a mix of ghetto kids, hillbillies and lower-middle, middle-class youngsters whose parents could not afford to get them into college and the accompanying student draft deferment. Most did not want to be there, but they got very good at what they did.

… Mr. Webb was one of the most highly decorated Marine Corps officers to come out of Vietnam. The fact that the survivors of his platoon — and later his company — remain close to him is a tribute to his leadership skills. This reissue of the book will introduce a new generation of military personnel and their civilian masters to the reality of a war that we don’t want to repeat.

You can read the rest of the review via the below link:


You can read also read my Washington Times piece on the Vietnam War via the below link:

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Navy Secetary Richard Spencer’s 2018 Veterans Day Message


Below is Navy Secretary Richard V. Spencer's Veterans Day message.
One hundred years ago, the guns fell silent across Europe on the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month, of 1918. The armistice, which ended World War One, finally ended the most horrific warfare the world had ever seen and the world began its slow march to recovery that continues to this day.
We remember this war on November 11th and we remember the toll it took on nations across Europe and in every corner of the globe, but here in the United States we also use this day as an opportunity to remember those brave young Americans who left their homes and families to fight as the popular song went “Over There” they laid their lives on the line to people they’d never ever seen in far-off countries they’d never been and they made the critical difference, which helped bring the fighting to a close.
This was not the first time American troops had gone overseas to the aid of another nation nor would it be the last.
Throughout the 20th century and into the 21st, it was American Sailors, Marines, Soldiers, Airmen and Coast Guardsmen who stepped forward to defend the freedom in World War Two, Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf, Afghanistan, Iraq and many other challenges around the globe. And so on November 11th, we honor them as well.
The 11th day of the 11th month marks not just the anniversary of one war where American troops made the difference, but a day to remember all of the generations of warriors that came before them and after we know this is Veterans Day.
And this Veterans Day, I hope you’ll join me in thanking someone who served whether mother, father, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, neighbor or friend, and also remember those who still keep the watch and stand guard for freedom on this very day. Take a moment not only to thank them, but ask them to share with you why they chose to defend global safety and security.
We owe them a debt that can never fully be repaid, but which always must be remembered.

On This Day In History World War 1 Ended


As History.com notes, on this day in 1918 World War 1 ended.

At the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, the Great War ends. At 5 a.m. that morning, Germany, bereft of manpower and supplies and faced with imminent invasion, signed an armistice agreement with the Allies in a railroad car outside CompiƩgne, France. The First World War left nine million soldiers dead and 21 million wounded, with Germany, Russia, Austria-Hungary, France, and Great Britain each losing nearly a million or more lives. In addition, at least five million civilians died from disease, starvation, or exposure.

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:

https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/world-war-i-ends?cmpid=email-hist-tdih-2018-1111-11112018&om_rid=de5e4076c942a595dbda53f758321d197499484f6d117f61b6ac5c08e0d6f0aa&om

Saturday, November 10, 2018

A Birthday Challenge For The Marine Corps


Happy birthday to the U. S. Marine Corps from an old, former sailor.

Gary Anderson, a retired Marine Corps colonel, looks back at Marine Corps history and it’s future in a piece in the Washington Times.

Starting an organization in a bar is a risky proposition, and one of two things can happen. First, it might degenerate into a drunken brawl — the alternative is that you will end up with a very interesting organization. In the case of the U.S. Marine Corps, the second happened.

When it began recruiting at Tunn Tavern in Philadelphia following a 1775 act of the Continental Congress, the Marine Corps consisted of a few hundred qualified riflemen designated to act as shipboard policemen, provide the nucleus for boarding parties and provide snipers to fire at the crews of opposing ships. It would have taken a very prescient visionary in 1775 to envision an organization of nearly 200,000 with its own air force. Despite its present size and prestige, the Marine Corps has been on the endangered species list a number of times approaching its 243d birthday on Nov. 10. This year, its existence is not in question, but its core mission may be.

… The Marine Corps‘ official motto is Semper Fidelis (always faithful), but its unofficial motto has always been “we do windows.” That attitude has served the Corps and its nation well.

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:


Note: In the above released photo U.S. Marine Sgt. Bryan Early, a squad leader assigned to 1st Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, leads his squad of Marines in Afghanistan in 2013. The photo was taken by Cpl Austin Long. 

Friday, November 9, 2018

Putin And Russian Election Interference? Perhaps Americans Should Be More Concerned About Crooked Politicans And Good, Ole American Voter Fraud


American intelligence officials have warned of Russia’s efforts to influence our elections, but perhaps there is a greater threat in our home-grown crooked election officials and election fraud.

We need better oversight of our election process, especially where one party has an overwhelming majority and influence. We also need to have voter ID laws enacted. 

We need ID to do the most mundane of transactions in America, yet we allow people without proper ID to elect our leaders. How many non-citizens voted this time? How many dead people?

Now the results of the mid-term elections are in, but they are being disputed and lawsuits and recounts are going forward. A center of this storm is Broward County, Florida.

Kaitlyn Schallhorn at Foxnews.com offers a piece on the controversy surrounding the county’s supervisor of elections.

Broward County Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes is at the center of the explosive Florida ballot-counting battle, with the state's Senate and gubernatorial elections on the line — but it's hardly her first voting controversy.

“She has had a horrible history … and all of a sudden they’re finding votes out of nowhere," President Trump, referring to Snipes, told reporters Friday.

Outgoing Florida Gov. Rick Scott, the GOP Senate nominee locked in a tight and bitter battle for the lead against incumbent Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson, accused Democrats of conducting a coordinated effort to "steal" elections in a campaign of possibly "rampant fraud," in a lawsuit Thursday.

Razor-thin margins in Florida's bitter Senate and gubernatorial races are raising the specter of possible recounts, potentially prolonging two of the most closely watched contests of the nation's midterm elections. A recount is mandatory if the winning candidate's margin is less than 0.5 percentage points when the first unofficial count is verified Saturday by Florida's secretary of state, according to state law.

In an emergency complaint, Scott accused Snipes of being "unwilling to disclose records revealing how many electors voted, how many ballots have been canvassed and how many ballots remain to be canvassed," and charged that the uncertainty "raises substantial concerns about the validity of the election process."

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/brenda-snipes-center-of-florida-recount-has-been-involved-in-past-election-controversies 

A Little Night Music: Ron Carter's 'The Shadow Of Your Smile'


Ron Carter, a jazz double bassist, offers a nice version of Johnny Mandel's classic song, 'The Shadow of Your Smile."

You can listen to the song via the below link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U4n8fL5BYMo

Thursday, November 8, 2018

The Spy Who Was Left Behind: Russia, The United States, And The True Story Of The Betrayal And Assassination Of A CIA Agent


Veteran journalist and author Joseph C. Goulden offers a good review in the Washington Times of Michael Pullara’s The Spy Who Was Left Behind: Russia, the United States, and the Betrayal and assassination of a CIA Agent. 

The 1993 murder was a mystery from the start. A single rifle shot to the head killed Fred Woodruff, CIA branch chief in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia, as he rode in a car on a remote mountain road.

The driver was the body guard for Eduard Shevardnadze, formerly foreign minister under Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev. Once the USSR dissolved, he became chair of Georgia’s governing State Council.

Woodruff was in Georgia to help Shevardnadze form a protective security force. The country was suffering political and social turmoil, with crime syndicates running the equivalent of a shadow government. And the Soviets were trying to regain control of Georgia.

Author Michael Pullara, a Houston attorney, became interested in the murder because he had known the Woodruff family as a boy in the small town of Searcy, Arkansas.

Early press reports blamed the killing on a Georgian soldier, Anzor Sharmaidze, 19, who was angered when the car carrying Woodruff ignored his wave for help with his own broken-down car.

Although Sharmaidze claimed he was tortured into falsely confessing, a judge found him guilty and sentenced him to six years in prison.

A veteran trial lawyer, Mr. Pullara doubted that the full truth was told. The military had fuzzed the truth about the death of his father In Vietnam, thus he was no stranger to official fibbing.

He wanted to know more. As he writes, “I wondered what I can do with a law license, a passport and a credit card.” Thus began an odyssey for the truth that consumed almost 20 years. 

You can read the rest of the review via the below link:

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Anthony Horowitz: James Bond and Me – Reading and Writing in 007’s Shoes


I’m not big on continuation novels, as some writers, like Raymond Chandler and Ian Fleming, have a unique style that truly can’t be imitated. But I understand that their iconic characters, Philip Marlowe and James Bond, are so popular that their loyal readers want to read more about them, just as they enjoy watching the characters on TV and at the movies   
Anthony Horowitz, creator of the TV series Foyle’s War, which I liked very much, perhaps comes closest to Ian Fleming. 
He’s a huge Fleming aficionado, like me, and he knows a good bit about Ian Fleming and James Bond. So, having read his previous Bond continuation novel, Trigger Mortis, I plan to read the new one, Forever and a Day, and review the book for the Washington Times.
Anthony Horowitz explains his fondness for Ian Fleming and his attempt to honor the late, great thriller writer in a piece at criminalelement.com.
Some books really do change your life. For me, it was Dr. No, not the first James Bond novel but the first to be turned into a movie in 1962. I read it when I was ten years old, stuck in an all-boys boarding school in North London, the sort of grim institution that the British do so well (Ian Fleming himself had a pretty rough time at Eton College).
The book opened up a whole world to me: tropical islands, exotic food, adventure, excitement…and, of course, beautiful women. That famous scene, when Ursula Andress emerges from the ocean in a white bikini, seemed like a fabulous dream and her character, Honeychile Ryder, would stay in my mind for the next thirty years. 

… I'm in awe of Fleming's writing style. Look at the opening chapter - Reflections in a Double Bourbon (nobody has ever done better chapter headings). Bond is at Miami Airport, in a contemplative mood, remembering a recent mission.   

“Below the indigo sky the flare paths twinkled green and yellow and threw tiny reflections off the oily skin of the tarmac.” 
Even when he’s not writing action, Fleming captures mood and atmosphere in a way that is much more sophisticated than it seems.
I know because, twice now, I’ve tried to imitate him.
I was thrilled when the Ian Fleming estate contacted me back in 2014 and asked me to be the fourth modern author – after Sebastian Faulks, Jeffrey Deaver and William Boyd – to write a James Bond novel. It really was like being handed the keys to the candy store, and although I was thrilled to grab hold of them, I was also nervous. People go a little bit mad when it’s Bond. The scrutiny you get as a writer, the press interest, the sense of expectation…it’s unlike anything I’ve ever experienced.
You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

'Blowing The Bloody Doors Off': Michael Caine On Five Decades Of being The Coolest Man in The Room


I’ve been a Michael Caine fan since I first saw him in the 1965 spy thriller The Ipcress File. I also liked him in the great crime thriller, Get Carter in 1971. He was also great alongside Sean Connery in John Huston’s The Man Who Would be King in 1975.  
He has starred in so many fine films, but my favorite Michael Caine movie is 1972’s Pulp, where he plays a shabby hack writer who gets involved in crime on the island of Malta. When he guesses right about a murder, the cop asks him how he knew this. “I write crap like this every day,” Caine replied drolly.  
“The writer’s life would be ideal if not for the writing,” Michael Caine’s writer says in the film. I love this quirky, funny film. 
Michael Kaplan at the New York Post offers a piece on Michael Caine and his new book.
When Michael Caine was on the cusp of fame, he received some helpful, if peculiar, advice from legendary screen star John Wayne.
The up-and-coming British actor, then 33, was visiting America for the first time, having been dispatched to Hollywood to promote his 1966 breakout movie, “Alfie.” In the lobby of the Beverly Hills Hotel, he encountered Wayne, then the biggest movie star in the world.
“You’re gonna be a star, kid,” a cowboy-garbed Wayne told Caine. “But if you wanna stay one, remember this: Talk low, talk slow and don’t say too much.”
Then The Duke said something strange: “Never wear suede shoes.”
Puzzled, Caine asked why not. “Because,” replied Wayne, “I was taking a piss the other day and the guy in the next stall recognized me and turned toward me. He said, ‘John Wayne — you’re my favorite actor,’ and pissed all over my suede shoes.”
The Duke sauntered off, and Caine took the star’s tale to heart. As he writes in his new memoir, “Blowing the Bloody Doors Off” (Hachette), “I never wear suede shoes.”
You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:

Monday, November 5, 2018

The Witch Elm


Carol Herman, my editor at the Washington Times, offers a good review in the Washington Times of Tana French’s The Witch Elm.

There’s nothing like a good mystery to distract from a wrenching news cycle. And the award-winning Tana French does not disappoint with her latest, “The Witch Elm,” a novel powered not by one but three mysteries, and the deft narrative skills of its author.

Ms. French, a Vermont-born writer who has lived in Ireland since 1990, gets down to business quickly. Her protagonist, Toby, inadvertently becomes part of a minor art scam at work that he fears will cost him his job. Thereafter, his apartment is raided by two masked burglars who escape with his computer, TV and other valuables, but not before leaving Toby severely injured. And then there is the matter of the human skull found at his uncle’s house, where Toby heads after a prolonged hospital stay for further recovery.

Although pursuing clues to the burglary bears the hallmarks of a traditional whodunit, complete with two detectives named Gerry Martin and Colm Bannon (Flashy Suit), the art shenanigans and the mysterious appearance of the skull in particular give Ms. French the opportunity to excavate the interior lives of her main characters, her singular gift. While the plot hinges on the unraveling of the mysteries, the book also pores over the deeper matters of human desire and its limits.

 “I’ve always considered myself to be, basically, a lucky person. I don’t mean I’m one of those people who pick multi-million euro Lotto numbers on a whim, or show up seconds too late for flights that go on to crash with no survivors. I just mean that I managed to go through life without any of the standard misfortunes you hear about.”

Toby’s words that open the novel reveal much about how the novel will proceed. It is Toby’s voice that guides the tale, with all its charming cadence and understated self-consciousness.

You can read the rest of the review via the below link:

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Mussolini And Hitler


Veteran journalist and author Joseph C. Goulden offers a good review in the Washington Times of Christian Goeschel’s Mussolini and Hitler: The Forging of the Fascist Alliance.

Might we call it “the pact made in Hades?”

In the 1930s, Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini, tyrants who did not especially care for one another personally, signed onto a partnership that was a major step toward the war that devastated much of Europe.

Hitler wanted his southern flank protected, recognizing the ability of the Royal British Navy to land a force in Italy that could cut the legs beneath his campaign centered on France.

Mussolini had his eyes on converting much of North Africa into Italian colonies, ousting the British and French.

The “partnership” — the alliance deserves the quotation marks — was fraught with betrayal and mistrust. Many historians have depicted the duo as “vain, pompous, and jealous rivals.” Mussolini especially has been described as, a “boob” and opportunist.

Nonetheless, British historian Christian Goeschel contends, convincingly, that the partnership, despite its many flaws, was “decisive in destroying the inter-war Wilsonian order.”

At first glance, the men were ideological opposites. Hitler bullied his way to leadership with rhetoric promising to “restore” war-ruined Germany. Mussolini, a sometime editor, started as a socialist; by the time he achieved power in 1921, he cared naught for democracy.

Initial relations were restrained. Mussolini ridiculed Hitler’s putsch as a “caricature of Italian Fascism” — a backhanded acknowledgement of his power. After some early slurs, Hitler recognized Mussolini as a “tough anti-Marxist” in his book, “Mein Kampf.”

You can read the rest of the review via the below link:

Friday, November 2, 2018

A Look Back At The Time Raymond Chandler And Ian Fleming Got Together To Talk About Thrillers


CrimeReads.com offers a look back at the time two legendary thriller writers spoke about thrillers on BBC Radio. The two writers just happen to be my two favorite writers, Raymond Chandler (seen in the above photo) and Ian Fleming (seen in the below photo).
The world of mysteries and thrillers has produced some memorable friendship but perhaps none quite so distinguished as the one struck up later in life between between Raymond Chandler, the laureate of American hardboiled fiction, and Ian Fleming, the legendary English author of the James Bond novels. The relationship began when Fleming wrote to Chandler asking for an endorsement that would be used to help market the Bond novels in America. Chandler ultimately reviewed two books from the 007 series—Diamonds Are Forever and Dr. No—for The Sunday Times, and the two authors, both on their way to legendary status, struck up a warm personal relationship. In 1958, celebrating Chandler’s 70th birthday, the BBC asked Fleming to “interview” his eminent friend. The result was a rollicking, far-ranging conversation in which the authors discussed the state of the thriller, heroes and villains, the struggle for literary credibility, and how a murder is planned and executed. It would be the last time the two friends met before Chandler’s death the following year, in 1959. Fortunately, the conversation was recorded and made available by the BBC. 


You can read the rest of the piece and listen to the radio interview via the below link:

https://crimereads.com/the-time-raymond-chandler-and-ian-fleming-got-together-to-talk-about-thrillers/

You can also read my Crime Beat columns on Raymond Chandler and Ian Fleming via the below links:

www.pauldavisoncrime.com/2009/11/on-raymond-chandlers-influence-on-crime.html

www.pauldavisoncrime.com/2010/06/casino-royale-revisited-film-that.html


China's 5 Steps For Recruiting Spies


Garrett M. Graff at Wired magazine offers a piece on how Chinese intelligence officers recruit spies.

Beware of Chinese spies offering laptops, women, or educational stipends—and especially watch out for odd LinkedIn requests.

On Tuesday, the Justice Department unsealed new charges against 10 Chinese intelligence officers and hackers who it says perpetrated a years-long scheme to steal trade secrets from aerospace companies. The case continues an impressive tempo from the Justice Department, as it continues to try curb China's massive, wide-ranging, and long-running espionage campaign. In fact, it's the third time since September alone that the US government has charged Chinese intelligence officers and spies, including one of its biggest coups in years: The extradition earlier this month of an alleged Chinese intelligence officer, caught in Europe, who will face a US courtroom.

That arrest marks the first time the US has prosecuted an officer of China's Ministry of State Security. The feds believe that the suspect, Yanjun Xu, spent years cultivating a person he thought was a potential asset inside GE Aviation, which makes closely held jet engine technology.

While historic, the GE Aviation case hardly stands as an outlier. Chinese espionage against the US has emerged over the past two decades as perhaps the most widespread, damaging, and pernicious national security threat facing the country—compromising trade secrets, American jobs, and human lives.

Even as popular culture and public attention has focused in the past decade on a few high-profile cases against Russian intelligence operations, China’s spying efforts have yielded a more steady stream of incidents. Over the last 15 years, dozens of people—including Americans, Chinese nationals, and Europeans—have been arrested, charged, or convicted of economic or military espionage for China. In just the 28-month period that a notorious Russian spy ring unraveled around 2010, US officials charged and prosecuted more than 40 Chinese espionage cases, according to a Justice Department compilation.

….Sifting through more than a dozen of the major cases that have targeted Westerners, though, provides an illuminating window into how China recruits its spies. The recruitment follows a well-known five-step espionage road map: Spotting, assessing, developing, recruiting, and, finally, what professionals call “handling.” 
You can read the rest of the piece via the below link: