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Spy cruise prepares to set sail for Caribbean

About 100 spooks are expected to board a Holland America cruise ship for SpyCruise, which sets sail Nov. 13 for the Caribbean for a week of talks on terrorism and national security issues. First stop: Turks and Caicos.

The speakers list is a who's who of spooks, including: Gen. Michael Hayden, former director of the CIA; Porter Gross, a former congressman with ties to the intelligence committee and another former director of the CIA; Peter Brookes, who served with the CIA and the State Department and is now a fellow at the Heritage Foundation; and Andre Le Gallo, a former CIA chief in Mali, Romania, Israel and Belgium with specialties in managing counterintelligence and special operations.

The event is sponsored by the Centre for Counterintelligence and Security Studies and Henley-Putnam University. Part of the proceeds go to a scholarship fund for the children of fallen CIA officers and another memorial fund for a U.S. Army soldier who was killed in training, according to Bart Bechtel, a retired CIA operations officer who is coordinating the trip.

Bechtel, who also calls himself the SpyCruise director, said the speakers won't get paid, but do get their room and travel covered.

He said the cruise attendees attract former and retired intelligence professionals, military and civilian employees from the CIA, FBI, NSA, DIA, plus mystery writers, journalists, law enforcement officers and those with conspiracy theories.

"We welcome everyone," Bechtel said.

A ticket aboard the spy cruise ship run from $1,000 to $4,000.

By Dana Hedgpeth  | October 13, 2010; 5:02 PM ET
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Porter "Gross?"

Posted by: jesusHhong | October 14, 2010 8:59 AM | Report abuse

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