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The Live Drop

History • Society-and-culture • News

Venture into the elusive world of intelligence collection and espionage to spot, assess and debrief: spies, handlers, catchers, analysts, cut-outs, dangles, diplomats, security experts and occasionally the storytellers who bring them all to life. Check your electronics and subscribe, do a thoroughRead more

Popular episodes

A Spymaster and a Gentleman, Jack Devine Dispels CIA Myth and Dispenses his Truth

Nov 8 • 01:03:40

See for privacy and opt-out information....

George Koval Discussion: The Atomic Spy Who Got Away

Nov 1 • 50:07

Ann Hagedorn discusses her new book SLEEPER AGENT – about the little known Soviet-trained atomic spy who got away.

George Koval was born to Russian immigrant parents and raised in Sioux City, Iowa. At the age of 17, he emigrated back to Russia in 1932 where, after university studies, he was discovered and trained by the GRU.  He returned to the US, registered for the draft ...

Former CIA Senior Intelligence Officer Marc Polymeropoulos Offers Clarity In Crisis

Oct 22 • 50:51

Marc Polymeropoulos has had to live with the consequences of decisions made under the most high-stress circumstances you can imagine as a senior intelligence officer in the CIA, retiring from his 26 years of service as one of the CIA’s most decorated field officers.

In his book Clarity in Crisis,Marc shares how true leaders need to lead in and through times of crisis and th...

Daniel Levin Negotiates Hostage Release and Mediates Armed Conflict in the Middle East

Oct 15 • 58:24

In his new book Proof of Life, American author Daniel Levin dives into the Syrian shadows - an underground industry of war where everything is for sale: arms, drugs, even people. In this thriller/memoir he draws on his perceptions and experience as a a lawyer turned armed conflict negotiator who, for the past twenty years, has worked with governments and development instit...

Todd Bensman Surveys the Southern Border and the Convoluted Path of Human Trafficking

Oct 8 • 53:09

Back in April 2021, Todd Bensman talked with me about the nexus between immigration and national security in his book America’s Covert Border War: the Untold Story of the Nation’s Battle to Prevent Jihadist Infiltration.  Todd is an award-winning journalist who transitioned to a career as a national security intelligence professional for the Texas Department of Public Safe...

Toby Harnden Guides Us Back Into Afghanistan With CIA's Team Alpha, ODA 595, and the Northern Alliance with his new book: FIRST CASUALTY

Oct 1 • 45:13

Toby Harnden is an awarded journalist, foreign correspondent and former bureau chief of the Sunday Times.  His most recent book is  First Casualty: The untold story of he CIA mission to avenge 911.  After numerous interviews with key players and having visited Afganistan several times over the last decades, Toby documents the unconventional success story of CIA’s Team Alph...

A Moscow Station Conversation with John Sipher who Shares the Secret to a Good Spy Story

Oct 19 • 56:10

The Live Drop's 50th Episode - John Sipher - CIA & Spycraft Entertainment

John retired in 2014 after a 28-year career in the Central Intelligence Agency’s National Clandestine Service. At the time of his retirement, he was a member of the CIA’s Senior Intelligence Service, the leadership team that guides CIA activities globally. John served mult...

Author and former refugee, Kao Kalia Yang Reveals the Life, Loss, and Hmong Legacy of the Secret War in Laos

Oct 13 • 47:41

Live Drop guest Kao Kalia Yang is a celebrated Hmong-American writer.

She holds degrees from Carleton College and Columbia University. Yang is the author of The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir  winner of the 2009 Minnesota Book Awards in Creative Nonfiction/Memoir and Readers’ Choice, a finalist for the PEN USA Award in Creative Nonfiction, and the Asian Literary Awar...

Author Jonathan Dyer Switches Back to his Time on Teufelsberg as an Army Intercept Operator with Field Station Berlin

Oct 1 • 36:50

Jonathan Dyer spent three years during the Cold War living and working in Berlin as a Russian Linguist for the Army's Intelligence and Security Command at Field Station Berlin. From 1983 through 1986, Dyer worked at the NSA’s intercept site on Teufelsberg in what was at the time West Berlin. He was a SIGINT intercept operator and transcriber - his job was to keep tabs on t...

International Security Risk Specialist Mike Croll Starts a New Conversation about Safety, Security and Risk

Sep 22 • 01:16:10

Mike Croll has been around a crisis or two - some violent and some peaceful - starting with the fall of the Berlin Wall. He's worked for the Halo Trust in Cambodia, and with the British Foreign Office, European Union, United Nations and more recently, Facebook.  He's an old friend of your host Mark Valley and they share a few laughs as Mike offers some thoughts about Secur...

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