The Live Drop

The Live Drop
Host Mark Valley ventures into the elusive world of intelligence collection and espionage to spot, assess and debrief: spies, spy catchers, analysts, diplomats, security experts and occasionally the storytellers who bring them all to life - a HUMINT Ex…

Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster Veteran Dr. Sergei Belyakov Liquidates an Unseen Enemy
May 22 • 52 min
Russian scientist and author relates his harrowing experience as a Liquidator during the Chernobyl nuclear disaster clean-up.
Dissecting the Anatomy of a Spy For Intent and Motivation with Author Michael Smith
May 15 • 44 min
Spies have a variety of motivations for handlers to identify.
Special Forces Author James Stejskal Stays Behind in Berlin with an Unconventional Unit
May 8 • 47 min
The US had a secret unit in Berlin whose mission was to disrupt a Soviet invasion.
Federal Investigator Fred Burton Presents the Beirut Rules And The Hunt for Hezbollah
May 1 • 46 min
Beirut, Lebanon in 1984 - there were no rules.
US Marine and Special Agent Cody Perron Reveals the Diplomatic Security Service
Apr 22 • 43 min
Embassy security and beyond with the Diplomatic Security Service
Shoulder Surfing in Hong Kong with Security Consultant Ilya Umanskiy
Apr 8 • 59 min
Discussion of Corporate and Personal Security in the Age of Information
Air America’s Neil Hansen Drops Some Hard Rice about the Secret War in Laos
Mar 25 • 68 min
True account of an Air America pilot in South East Asia
Former CIA & FBI Tracy Walder Shares an Unexpected Journey from Sorority Girl to Spy to Spyhunter to Educator
Mar 11 • 30 min
A young woman hunts the most dangerous terrorists for CIA and catches spies for the FBI.
Stephen Vogel Digs Into Cold War Berlin and Taps Into British Spy George Blake
Feb 29 • 35 min
CIA & MI6 Dug a tunnel into Soviet lines in occupied Berlin. Steve Vogel wrote the definitive account.
Canadian Author and Journalist Joyce Wayne Rolls Up the Soviets and Local Members of the Cold War’s Ottawa Spy Ring
Feb 7 • 57 min
Author Joyce Wayne reveals the Gouzenko Affair and wartime espionage in Ottawa.
Polish Solidarity Operative Witold Radwanski Reveals the Golden Rule of Konspiracja
Jan 24 • 58 min
A former Polish Solidarity operative describes what it takes to supply and maintain a non-violent insurgency.
High Stakes Poker Player Joe Rivers Reveals How to Avoid Being Shaken or Stirred.
Jul 10, 2019 • 34 min
Live Drop episode 027, I meet up with an old friend of mine who among other things plays high stakes poker. I wanted to talk to him about that world, and perhaps see how it could inform the role of intelligence with the brinksmanship, nerve, bluff and…
Dave Rupert American Trucker, Traveler, and British Spy Who Brought Down the Real IRA
Jul 3, 2019 • 58 min
A trucker from upstate New York, David Rupert spent seven years informing for the FBI and MI5 while working his way as high as the IRA war council. His lengthy testimony brought justice to several key players in the supply and terrorism networks of the…
Irish Writer and Journalist Sean O’Driscoll Found an Accidental Spy in the IRA
Jun 26, 2019 • 59 min
Author and Irish Journalist Sean O’Driscoll talks about his decades of risky investigation into the IRA and his new book - The Accidental Spy - about American David Rupert, aka the Big Yank, a trucking manager, pub owner and erstwhile undercover FBI and…
Former US Army Intelligence Analyst Stephen Hoyt Intuited Soviet Capability with US Military Liaison Mission
May 10, 2019 • 30 min
Stephen Hoyt is a University of Maryland Professor, former analyst and President of the USMLM Association - United States Military Liaison Mission in Berlin. USMLM in cooperation with British and French Allies were the only observers with daily access…
An Advanced History of Intelligence with Professor Mark Stout of Johns Hopkins University
May 3, 2019 • 42 min
Intelligence historian and former analyst, Dr. Mark Stout directs graduate programs in Global Security Studies and Intelligence at Johns Hopkins Krieger School of Arts and Sciences Advanced Academic Programs in Washington, DC. He has previously worked for…
The Counterspycraft of Stuart Herrington from MACV-SOG in Vietnam to Berlin with the US Army Foreign Counterintelligence Activity
Apr 19, 2019 • 57 min
Counterintelligence expert and author Stuart Herrington sets the stage for his introduction to military intelligence duty in Cold War Berlin in 1968. Over the course of a friendly conversation he comments on: The Fall of Saigon, the Foreign…
Ambassador Rudy Perina Decodes Cold War Berlinery and How a Diplomat Can Keep the Peace
Apr 12, 2019 • 48 min
Former Ambassador Rudy Perina has a storied 34 year career in the US Diplomatic Corps. He’s a sought after Charge d’Affaires at US embassies around the world with a history of service in some of the Cold War hotspots like Moscow, Yugoslavia, and Berlin.…
Los Angeles Mediator Lee Jay Berman Is Ripe to Share the Skill of Conflict Resolution
Apr 5, 2019 • 44 min
Though most in his profession are former attorneys, sought after mediator Lee Jay Berman recognized his keen ability to diffuse conflict and find resolution while working in corporate real estate. The skills he maintains, and teaches are highly applicable…
Veteran CIA Security Officer Tom Pecora on Guarding the Clandestine
Mar 16, 2019 • 67 min
Tom Pecora is a 24 year CIA veteran and senior clandestine security manager. He talks about his book Guardian: Life in the Crosshairs of the CIA’s War on Terror, and a career in Clandestine security operations. Mark asks him about the mindset of…
Tradecraft Trainer Jason Hanson Transmits from his Spy Ranch Somewhere in Utah
Feb 27, 2019 • 45 min
Jason is an author, entrepreneur and ex-CIA officer. His books Spy Secrets That Can Save Your Life and Survive Like A Spy are bestsellers and considered essential for those interested in Spycraft with real stories from the field to back them up. Find…
Playwright Helen Banner’s INTELLIGENCE Goes Onstage with Diplomats and Terrorists
Feb 1, 2019 • 54 min
With INTELLIGENCE, playwright Helen Banner raises some big questions in this production about a charismatic negotiator training diplomats for talks with a violent adversary. Though not practiced now (or yet, rather), they use role-playing and…
Thinker and Soldier John Spencer Goes to Town on Urban Warfare
Jan 29, 2019 • 91 min
Maj. (ret) John W. Spencer currently serves as the Chair of Urban Warfare Studies at the Modern War Institute at West Point, NY and Co-Director of the Urban Warfare Project. He’s instrumental in the design and formation of the institute and a prolific…
Michael Reiter Directs AGENTS UNKNOWN and Debriefs Intelligence Networks of the Vietcong.
Jan 1, 2019 • 46 min
Michael discusses his documentary about an American intelligence advisor in Vietnam. In this film MACV veteran John Murphy narrates his experience and the difficulty of reporting intelligence that some might not want to hear. Michael shares his own…
Author and former Navy Special Operations JTAC Will Mackin Brings Out The Dog
Dec 14, 2018 • 49 min
In his book Bring Out The Dog, Will Mackin writes a fictional account of his time with Navy Special Operations as a Joint Terminal Air Controller - ‘a remarkable portrait of the absurdity and poetry that define life in the most elite, Clandestine circles…
Author Antje Arnold Takes Us Behind The Wall as a VOPO’s Daughter
Dec 8, 2018 • 72 min
Author of The Girl Behind The Wall explains her relatively normal childhood in the DDR with little or no exposure to elements of the surveillance state. Or was it there all along? We may have to wait for her second book for the answer. Antje explains the…
Mr Fish aka Dwayne Booth Reveals Purpose of Satirical Imagery
Nov 30, 2018 • 50 min
You’ve seen his thought provoking and shocking political cartoons in LA Times, Harpers, McSweeneys and now all over social media. Mr Fish himself describes how positive advertising has conditioned us to reject uncomfortable and subversive messages and…
Author Michael Brady Reveals his Non Official Cover as Intelligence Professor at The Citadel
Nov 23, 2018 • 65 min
Michael Brady is a retired US Army Lieutenant Colonel, career intelligence professional and author of several spy novels. He teaches at the Citadel, patiently asking his students to support their choices with solid intelligence. Find his work at…
Former NSA & CIA Director Michael Hayden Finds Objective Reality
Oct 12, 2018 • 50 min
Gen Michael Hayden goes back to Intel 101 to give context on the shape and purpose of information gathering, then shares his experiences at the top agencies during the must tumultuous years for the Intelligence Community. And right now, he says might be…
Former KGB Jack Barsky Comes Clean About Life Undercover
Aug 10, 2018 • 47 min
Jack Barsky spied on the US for the KGB from 1978-1988 as part of the Russian Illegals Program. He speaks about the initial sense of adventure that lured him into a career in espionage. Jack reveals the emotional costs of a double life in service to a…
James Vancel of the Busara Center talks Behavioral Economics in Kenya, and East Africa.
Aug 6, 2018 • 48 min
Mark caught up with James Vancel, CEO of the Busara Center for Behavioral Economics, at his office in Nairobi. Busara is a Swahili word meaning Intelligence, and the Busara Center is one of the most sought after behavioral economics consultants in the…
Assembling the Spy Trade’s Most Valuable Weapon - The Code Of Trust with Author and FBI Special Agent Robin Dreeke
Jul 27, 2018 • 54 min
Robin Dreeke is a former senior FBI agent with over 28 years of government service. He was until recently the head of the FBI’ Counterintelligence Behavior Analysis Program whose primary mission is to thwart the effort of foreign spies and recruit…
Former ASA Analyst Tim Hall Talks in Dots and Dashes of His Time in Teufelsberg and Thailand,
Jul 20, 2018 • 68 min
Mark’s old friend Tim Hall was a #Morse communicator for the #ASA. He talks about launching a #LOB from remote #SIGINT sites to duty in #Berlin at #Teuflelsberg tracking the #Spetznaz.
Russia Expert Kevin Ryan of the Belfer Center Demystifies the Elbe Group and a New Role of Retired Military and Intelligence Professionals
Jul 13, 2018 • 58 min
The Elbe Group consists of retired Military and Intelligence generals from the US and Russia. It’s an unprecedented International collection of acronyms who meet to maintain a continuous channel of communication on sensitive issues facing US-Russian…
Russian Actress Evgenia Brik of THE AMERICANS-inspired TV Show ADAPTATSIYA Explains the Elusive Russian soul.
Jul 6, 2018 • 43 min
EPISODE 4: “Adaptatsiya” is a runaway hit show in Russia - their answer to “The Americans” - Mark drops in with Russian actress Evgenia Brik to talk about playing a spy in Siberia, and living the dream in Los Angeles.
Pulling Back The Curtain on Carnegie Center’s Dr. Dmitri Trenin In Moscow
Jun 29, 2018 • 38 min
EPISODE 3 Mark meets with Carnegie Moscow Center Director and Russian policy expert Dr. Dmitri Trenin to talk authoritarian tendencies, Soviet and Russian History , US-Russia relations, and hey, what was Soviet Plan anyway ?
BSTU Communications Director Dagmar Hovestädt Crosschecks STASI and Privacy
Jun 22, 2018 • 50 min
Communications Director for the Stasi Records Archive (BStU), Dagmar Hovestaedt joins The Live Drop in a former Cold War bunker at the Wende Museum — the perfect place for a chat about privacy. Dagmar also reveals the incredible number of record requests…
Andrew Bustamante talks Everyday Espionage From CIA Officer to Today
Jun 15, 2018 • 64 min
Air Force Academy, nuclear missiles, and career CIA, Andrew talks about a life in Intelligence: The ‘703’ cold call, what prepared him, and why he’s moved on from government service to spread the word of #EveryDayEspionage as a sought after speaker and…