RALEIGH — The lineup at the 8th Raleigh Spy Conference offers a fresh look into lingering intrigue: Fidel Castros advanced knowledge of the JFK assassination, the real reason Deep Throat spoke up on Watergate and the true nature of J. Edgar Hoover.
The annual espionage confab runs Wednesday to Friday at the N.C. Museum of History and brings a collection of experts armed with declassified information including historians with the FBI and CIA.
We have new information on Hoover, we have new information on Castro, we have new information on Mark Felt (aka Deep Throat), said Bernie Reeves, editor and publisher of Raleigh Metro magazine and founder of the conference. Whats the latest on these key themes? These are still major issues.
For most of a decade, the conference has trained a lens on the underworld of international intelligence, sometimes bringing former KGB agents under the same roof as American spooks.
The gathering grew out of Reeves own fascination with undercover work, and it drew to Raleigh the agents who lived it.
This year, much like past conferences, combines a re-examination of well-known figures with an analysis of modern threats from global terrorism. C-SPAN will film the conference for broadcast in September, Reeves said.
The keynote speaker is Brian Latell, a former CIA analyst whose book Castros Secrets contains both declassified documents and interviews with former Cuban agents. In it, Latell describes Lee Harvey Oswald warning Cuban intelligence officers of his intentions to shoot the American president to show his revolutionary mettle.
FBI historian John Fox will provide a look at the real Hoover, giving a profile that runs counter to the Clint Eastwood-directed movie of last year, which Reeves called a scandal.
The whole thing with Hoover continues this myth about him being homosexual, Reeves said. Its been proved beyond doubt the KGB put out disinformation.
Also on tap: the declassified story of the undersea Ice Station Zebra mission, and the profile of the modern terrorist given by the Interpol director of Puerto Rico.