Peter Finn

Finn, Peter. "At CIA, a Vocation of Imitation." Washington Post, 8 Sep. 1997, A01.

"For most of his 36-year career at the Central Intelligence Agency, [Kenny] Lane made fine-scale models of foreign weapons systems, prisons, government buildings and sundry far-flung terrain.... Lane retired late last year. And his departure from the CIA coincided with the agency's decision to shut down its three-dimensional-modeling shop, a victim of government downsizing and the rise of sophisticated computer imaging." The CIA had started the modeling shop in 1964, "using artisans to build replicas from intelligence reports, especially overhead photography taken from satellites and U-2 reconnaissance planes. It was the only operation of its kind in the alphabet soup of intelligence agencies." See also, Dwayne A. Day, "Sub-Scale and Classified: The Top Secret CIA Model of a Soviet Launch Pad," The Space Review, 24 Jan. 2011.


Finn, Peter. "CIA Recipe for Invisible Ink among Newly Released WWI-era Documents." Washington Post, 19 Apr. 2011. []

On 19 April 2011, the CIA released "a cache of six World War I-era documents. The documents, which deal mostly with invisible ink, date from 1917 and 1918.... The six documents were first held by the Office of Naval Intelligence during World War I, and at least one was obtained from the French." The documents are available at:


Finn, Peter. "Diplomats Ejected Day After Poland Ousts Russians." Washington Post, 22 Jan. 2000, A16. []

"Russia retaliated against Poland [on 21 January 2000] by ordering nine Polish diplomats to leave Moscow, charging that the West had orchestrated Poland's expulsion [on 20 January 2000] of nine Russian diplomats to 'test' acting President Vladimir Putin.... [Polish] Foreign Ministry spokesman Pawel Dobrowolski said he could not confirm Polish media reports that the government consulted with NATO on the expulsions, but added that because Poland 'is a full NATO member, then it is obvious that such things happen as part of a fully coordinated activity.'"


Finn, Peter. "Dual U.S.-Russia Citizens Face Spy Charges: Secrets Sought From Energy Firm, FSB Alleges; Tie to British Council Cited." Washington Post, 21 Mar. 2008, A13. []

According to the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), "Ilya Zaslavsky, who worked for a Russian venture of the British oil giant BP, and his brother Alexander were arrested" 12 March 2008. The two brothers, who hold dual U.S.-Russian citizenship, "have been charged with industrial espionage after they allegedly attempted to obtain classified information for foreign energy companies."


Finn, Peter. "Olsen Nominated to Lead National Counterterrorism Center." Washington Post, 1 Jul. 2011. []

The White House announced on 1 July 2011 that President Obama will nominate Matthew G. Olsen, NSA general counsel and previously a Justice Department official, to be director of the National Counterterrorism Center.


Finn, Peter. "Retired CIA Veteran Will Return to Head Clandestine Service." Washington Post, 22 Jul. 2010, B3. []

CIA Director Leon E. Panetta announced on 21 July 2010 that John D. Bennett has been appointed head of the National Clandestine Service, succeeding Michael J. Sulick, who is retiring. "Bennett, a former Marine and a Harvard graduate, had retired in May after a nearly 30-year career at the CIA, but was coaxed back to take charge of the service." Among other posts, Bennett previously served as station chief in Pakistan and chief of the Special Activities Division.

Text of the D/CIA's announcement, "Director Leon E. Panetta Announces New National Clandestine Service Chief," 21 Jul. 2010, is available at:


Finn, Peter. "Russia Alleges Scientist Divulged State Secrets: Researcher Who Worked With S. Korean Firm Says All Contracts Were 'Official.'" Washington Post, 22 Feb. 2005, A10. []

"Oscar A. Kaibyshev, 66, head of the Russian Academy of Sciences' Institute for Metals Superplasticity Problems in the city of Ufa, was charged with illegally exporting dual-use technology and research and divulging classified material to ASA Co., a subsidiary of a Korean firm, Hankook Tire Manufacturing Co. If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison."


Finn, Peter. "In Russia, A Secretive Force Widens: Putin Led Regrouping of Security Services." Washington Post, 12 Dec. 2006, A1. []

"Russia's intertwined political and business elites are increasingly populated with ... former intelligence agents who have personally proved themselves" to President Vladimir Putin. "At the same time, Putin has spearheaded the regrouping and strengthening of the country's security services." In particular, the Federal Security Service (FSB), headed by Putin in the 1990s, "has emerged as one of the country's most powerful and secretive forces, with an increasingly international mission."


Finn, Peter. "Secret U.S. Memo Sanctioned Killing of Aulaqi." Washington Post, 30 Sep. 2011. []

According to administration officials, "[t]he Justice Department wrote a secret memorandum authorizing the lethal targeting of Anwar al-Aulaqi, the American-born radical cleric who was killed by a U.S. drone strike" on 30 September 2011. " The decision to place Aulaqi on a capture or kill list was made in early 2010, after intelligence officials concluded that he played a direct role in the plot to blow up a jet over Detroit and had become an operational figure within al-Qaeda's affiliate in Yemen." See also, Scott Shane, "Judging a Long, Deadly Reach," New York Times, 30 Sep. 2011.

[CIA/10s/11; MI/SpecOps/10s; Overviews/Legal/Assassination; Terrorism/11]

Finn, Peter. "Suit Dismissed against Firm in CIA Rendition Case." Washington Post, 9 Sep. 2010, A2. []

By a 6-5 decision on 8 September 2010, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit "dismissed a lawsuit seeking damages" from Jeppesen Dataplan, a Boeing subsidiary, "that worked with the CIA as part of its 'extraordinary rendition' program." The court ruled "that the government's decision to invoke the 'state secrets' privilege means that the case cannot go forward." See also, Charlie Savage, "Court Dismisses a Case Asserting Torture by C.I.A.," New York Times, 8 Sep. 2010.

[Overviews/Legal/Topics/StateSecrets & Rendition]

Finn, Peter, and Petra Couvée.

1. "During Cold War, CIA Used 'Doctor Zhivago' as a Tool to Undermine Soviet Union." Washington Post, 5 Apr. 2014. []

"[M]ore than 130 newly declassified CIA documents ... detail the agency's secret involvement in the printing of 'Doctor Zhivago' -- an audacious plan that helped deliver the book into the hands of Soviet citizens who later passed it friend to friend, allowing it to circulate in Moscow and other cities in the Eastern Bloc. The book's publication and, later, the awarding of the Nobel Prize in Literature to Pasternak triggered one of the great cultural storms of the Cold War.... The CIA's role -- with its publication of a hardcover Russian-language edition printed in the Netherlands and a miniature, paperback edition printed at CIA headquarters -- has long been hidden."

See also, Celia Mansfield, "Using Literature to Lift the Iron Curtain: Declassified CIA Documents Reveal Agency's Role in Publishing the Russian Language Version of Doctor Zhivago," Intelligencer 20, no. 3 (Spring-Summer 2014): 23-28.

2. The Zhivago Affair: The Kremlin, the CIA, and the Battle Over a Forbidden Book. New York: Pantheon, 2014.

Peake, Studies 58.4 (Dec. 2014), declares that "The Zhivago Affair is a great story, wonderfully told." For Neal, Studies 59.2 (Jun. 2015), "[i]n addition to its historical significance of shedding light on a relatively unknown Cold War intelligence effort, The Zhivago Affair is also an excellent story with a wide cast of characters acting in front of a global backdrop."

3. The declassified CIA documents on the publication of Doctor Zhivago can be accessed online at:

[CA/To80s/Arts & Books; CIA/50s/Gen]

Finn, Peter, and Julie Tate. "Justice Department to Investigate Deaths of Two Detainees in CIA Custody." Washington Post, 30 Jun. 2011. []

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. announced on 30 June 2011 that the "Justice Department has opened full criminal investigations of the deaths in CIA custody of two detainees." U.S. officials said the two cases "are the death of an Afghan, Gul Rahman, in 2002 at a prison known as the Salt Pit in Afghanistan, and that of an Iraqi, Manadel al-Jamadi, who was questioned by three CIA officers at Abu Ghraib in 2003."


Finn, Peter, and Joby Warrick. "Under Panetta, a More Aggressive CIA." Washington Post, 21 Mar. 2010, A1. []

As CIA Director, Leon Panetta "has led a relentless assault on al-Qaeda and Taliban operatives in Pakistan.... [H]is willingness to use force has won over skeptics inside the agency and on Capitol Hill." According to current and former senior intelligence officials, "Panetta authorizes every [Predator] strike, sometimes reversing his decision or reauthorizing a target if the situation on the ground changes."


Finn, Peter, Joby Warrick, and Julie Tate. "CIA Report Calls Oversight of Early Interrogations Poor: 'Improvised, Inhumane' Techniques Were Result." Washington Post, 25 Aug. 2009, A1. []

"A partially declassified" report by the CIA Inspector General released on 24 August 2009 "describes the early implementation of the agency's interrogation program in 2002 and 2003 as ad hoc and poorly supervised, leading to the use of 'unauthorized, improvised, inhumane and undocumented' techniques.... But the report, noting the steady accumulation of guidelines from agency headquarters, said discipline and safeguards within the program 'improved considerably' over time. Still, the report pointed to ongoing tensions between interrogators in the field and officials at the CIA Counterterrorism Center as to when detainees were compliant and when the use of 'enhanced interrogation techniques' was appropriate."

Highlights from the 2004 report are available at: Washington Post, "The CIA Inspector General's Report," 25 Aug. 2009, A4. See also, Mark Mazzetti and Scott Shane, "C.I.A. Abuse Cases Detailed in Report on Detainees," New York Times, 25 Aug. 2009.



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