Want to meet someone? ;)

M-Available Meet & Greet: Join us for the ultimate date night, Friday night at 9pm! We’ll set the mood for you to mix, mingle, and maybe make some new connections 😉  Grab a drink from Ron’s bar in Hospitality and come on over!   Attendees are encouraged to dress first-date appropriate (and don’t forget to join us in the M-Available SIG on Facebook!)

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Eight Days in May: The Role of the Intelligence Community and the Justice Department in the Trump/Russia Affair

May 9, 2017: President Trump fires his FBI director, James Comey. Comey’s deputy sets in motion an effort to remove the President from office, an effort that Alan Dershowitz of Harvard Law School would call a “coup d’etat.” May 17: Robert Mueller, Comey’s mentor, is named to head an investigation targeting the President. As noted by Scott Pelley of CBS News, in-between were “these eight days in May when all of these things were happening behind the scenes that the American people really didn’t know about.”

In this presentation, Dr. Steven J. Allen tells the story of those eight days and of the year leading up to them — a story proving that Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer was correct when he said, regarding Trump and the IC: “You take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you.”

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A journalist with 46 years’ experience, Dr. Allen served as press secretary to U.S. Senator Jeremiah Denton and as senior researcher for Newt Gingrich’s presidential campaign. He earned a master’s degree in political science from Jacksonville State University at age 19, and has a law degree from Cumberland Law School and a PhD in Biodefense from the College of Science at George Mason University. Called a “digital revolutionary” (National Journal) and “the Tea Party’s editor in chief” (The Daily Beast), he has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Newsday, The Washington Times, The Washington Examiner, The Hill, and American Greatness magazine. He received the Director’s Coin for service to the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, and is a former Membership Officer of Metropolitan Washington Mensa.

Spy Pilot, Francis Gary Powers, the U-2 Incident, and a Controversial Cold War Legacy

One of the most talked-about events of the Cold War was the downing of the American U-2 spy plane piloted by Francis Gary Powers over the Soviet Union on May 1, 1960. The event was recently depicted in the Steven Spielberg movie Bridge of Spies. Powers was captured by the KGB, subjected to a televised show trial, and imprisoned, all of which created an international incident. Soviet authorities eventually released him in exchange for captured Soviet spy Rudolf Abel. On his return to the United States, Powers was exonerated of any wrongdoing while imprisoned in Russia, yet, due to bad press and the government’s unwillingness to heartily defend Powers, a cloud of controversy lingered until his untimely death in 1977.

Powers’ son, Francis Gary Powers Jr., will join us to discuss the Cold War, U-2 Incident, the controversy that surrounded his father, what the family has done to set the record straight, and the Steven Spielberg’s 2015 movie Bridge of Spies that portrays his father’s exchange for Soviet spy Rudolph Abel in 1962. A book signing will follow in Hospitality.

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Born June 5, 1965, in Burbank, California, he is the son of Francis Gary and Claudia “Sue” Powers. Gary holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Philosophy from California State University, Los Angeles, and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration / Certification in Non-profit Management from George Mason University (GMU), Fairfax, Virginia. In 2019 Gary graduated with his Master’s Degree in U.S. History from Adams State University, Alamosa, CO.

Gary is the Founder and Chairman Emeritus of The Cold War Museum, a 501(c) (3) charity located at Vint Hill, VA 45 minutes west of Washington, DC. He founded the museum in 1996 to honor Cold War veterans, preserve Cold War history, and educate future generations about this time period. As Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee for the Cold War Theme Study he works with the National Park Service and leading Cold War experts to identify historic Cold War sites for commemorating, interpreting, and preservation. Recently, he consulted for a Steven Spielberg Cold War thriller, Bridge of Spies, about James Donovan who brokered the 1962 spy exchange between KGB spy Rudolph Abel and CIA U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers, Sr.

Gary is the author of Letters from a Soviet Prison (2017) and Spy Pilot (2019) which both help to dispel the misinformation surrounding the U-2 Incident. He is a Board Member of the Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum near Omaha, NE and an Honorary Board Member of the International Spy Museum in Washington, DC. Because of his efforts to honor Cold War veterans the Junior Chamber of Commerce selected him as one of the “Ten Outstanding Young Americans” for 2002. Gary lectures internationally and appears regularly on C-SPAN, the History, Discovery, and A&E Channels. He is married and has one son.

What you don’t know can’t hurt you. Or can it?

Cioli Barazandeh offers an overview of particle physics and an update on the work of scientific investigators at Georgetown University and their collaborators that are seeking to model risk of tumorigenesis from space radiation compared to that where data is available on general exposure.  A major goal of NASA’s life-science research is to decrease the dangers of space radiation to enable exploration of space. With this end in mind, Cioli presents the latest data available from the program project to engage others in this mission.

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This talk, “Particle bombardments revealed: Skyfall, results, and mitigators” will include both an introduction to particle physics and an explanation of the studies conducted. If time avails, discussion on other space-related matters may ensue, such as on the curvature of space-time or air-breathing propulsion.  If any sneakiness is detected, it will be removed at once.  Come participate, learn, and have fun!

Isn’t Blockchain Secure?

Blockchain itself is thought to be inherently secure, however, that isn’t entirely true. A blockchain is composed of and connected to various components that introduce vulnerabilities to the overall system. We’ll describe what blockchain security is, explain popular blockchain hacks, and provide some personal experiences.

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Mr. Chandhok is an experienced Cybersecurity professional and CEO of Ledgerops. He has over 10 years of technical experience starting in the defense industry as a Cyber Threat Hunter and Analyst. He has since worked as a Software Developer, Security Analytic Developer, Security Assessor, and Penetration Tester in both the federal contracting and commercial spaces. He has combined his expertise in security with his passion for Blockchain and helps leading blockchain companies stay secure. During his free time, Ajay enjoys playing basketball, lifting weights, and snowboarding around the globe.