The Rehoboth Beach Historical Society will cohost a luncheon at noon, Friday, Aug. 15, at Kings Creek Country Club featuring a lecture by Kenneth A. Daigler, a former CIA employee and specialist on intelligence activities during the Revolutionary War. Daigler has written a book about Revolutionary War espionage. He will also talk about Alan McLane, a Delaware case officer for Gen. George Washington.
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Reservations are required and seating is limited. Call 302-227-7310 to reserve a prepaid seat.
As an operations officer of some 30 years plus experience in conducting human operations, Daigler looks at American intelligence activities during the Revolutionary era quite differently from others writing about the period.
He focuses on the roles and impact of these activities as they directly affected the course of the revolution. He identifies Washington's intelligence officers and their agents, as well as explaining how they operated and demonstrates how their efforts impacted well-known events in the war.
Daigler explains how Washington developed his intelligence management skills some 20 years before taking command of the Continental army and provides examples of Washington's role as both the primary consumer of intelligence and its senior operations manager. He also explores a little-known side of Washington's success as an intelligence officer by discussing his ability to plan and implement deception schemes - perhaps the most difficult form of offensive intelligence tradecraft.
Washington's deception accomplishments contributed to keeping his army from attack on several occasions, and finally convinced the British not to reinforce Cornwallis at Yorktown, thus assuring the victory that ended British thoughts of defeating the Americans.
His insights into the most famous Revolutionary Era spy cases, Nathan Hale and Benedict Arnold, also are significantly different from the popular stories of these men. Daigler looks at the tradecraft involved in developing these operations and cites their failures, with analysis from a professional agent handler.
There will be a large buffet luncheon that includes Cajun baked salmon, mushroom chicken chardonnay, roasted potatoes, vegetable medley, Caesar salad, pasta salad, rolls and butter, assorted cookies and brownies, and iced tea, hot tea, or coffee.
The cost is $25 per person. Alcoholic beverages and specialty coffees are also available at additional cost. Seating, which is limited, begins at 11:30.
Daigler's book, “Spies, Patriots, and Traitors: American Intelligence in the Revolutionary War,” will be available for purchase at the luncheon.
Daigler has an outstanding resume. After receiving degrees from Centre College of Kentucky and the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs of Syracuse University, he served in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Vietnam War. He received the Navy Commendation Medal with "V" indicating valor in combat.
During his agency career, he was a chief of station both domestically (1984-87) and abroad (1992-95), and counterintelligence chief for East Asia Division (2000-03). He received the William J. Donovan Award, Intelligence Commendation Medal, and Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal, among other awards.
After retiring from the agency, he worked as a senior principal for CACI, where he developed a counterintelligence strategy for China and North Korea.