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Washington D.C.

Spies, Lies & Intelligence: The World of International Espionage

Program No. 16126RJ
Discover a world of espionage and learn about spy history and 21st-century intelligence threats as you explore the nation’s capital and its museums with intelligence experts.
Length
5 days
Rating (4.58)
Activity Level
Starts at
1,499

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Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Mar 22 - Mar 26, 2023
Starting at
1,499
Apr 5 - Apr 9, 2023
Starting at
1,499
Apr 12 - Apr 16, 2023
Starting at
1,499
May 3 - May 7, 2023
Starting at
1,499
Sep 6 - Sep 10, 2023
Starting at
1,499
Oct 4 - Oct 8, 2023
Starting at
1,499
Nov 1 - Nov 5, 2023
Starting at
1,499
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Mar 22 - Mar 26, 2023
Starting at
1,959
Apr 5 - Apr 9, 2023
Starting at
1,959
Apr 12 - Apr 16, 2023
Starting at
1,959
May 3 - May 7, 2023
Starting at
1,959
Sep 6 - Sep 10, 2023
Starting at
1,959
Oct 4 - Oct 8, 2023
Starting at
1,959
Nov 1 - Nov 5, 2023
Starting at
1,959

At a Glance

The United States’ 18 national intelligence agencies have always been shrouded in secrecy. Now, some of their covert cases have been marked unclassified. On this fascinating adventure at the front line of the world’s spy coterie in Washington, D.C., delve into the history of covert intelligence in America and hear about the changing role of the CIA through America’s changing culture, foreign policy and politics. Learn about the art of espionage, find out how spies are recruited and hear stories of the many women who fly below the radar as master spies.
Activity Level
Easy Going
Standing in museums for up to two hours. Walking up to a mile a day.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Uncover Washington D.C.'s seamy world, from lesser-known spy history to famous spy cases — both the cracked and the unsolved, with retired intelligence experts and an NSA officer.
  • Explore the NSA’s Cryptologic Museum and the Spy Museum to learn about the secret world of code making and code breaking.
  • Hear from a cyber security specialist, and examine the role of intelligence in 21st-century threats from the Cuban Missile Crisis to the September 11 attacks.
Featured Expert
All Experts
Profile Image
Ronald Marks
Ronald Marks was a CIA spy for 16 years in the struggle against Russian espionage operatives. He served as Congressional interlocutor for five CIA Directors and guided America’s intelligence interests for Senate leaders Bob Dole and Trent Lott. Ron has been a national security entrepreneur, spy raconteur, cyber expert, and international affair commentator. He is the author of “Spying in America in the Post 9/11 World: Domestic Threat and the Need for Change” that focuses on the challenges and legalities of U.S. domestic intelligence collection.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of Jon Wiant
Professor Jon A. Wiant is a decorated Senior Intelligence Officer with a distinguished 36-year career working on assignments at the Department of State, the White House, the Department of Defense and Central Intelligence Agency. Since retiring, he has become an adjunct professor at George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs. Jon has more than a dozen medals and awards for exceptional work in sensitive intelligence operations and has authored more than 50 articles and book chapters on intelligence and foreign policy subjects.
Profile Image of Robert Wallace
Robert Wallace View biography
Robert Wallace is a retired senior CIA officer, author, consultant and lecturer. As a recognized authority on intelligence history and “spy gadgets.” He was an Army Ranger in Vietnam, a CIA intelligence officer for 33 years and now an author and frequent lecturer on espionage topics. His published books include Nine from the Ninth: A Vietnam Memoir; Spycraft: The Secret History of the CIA’s Spytechs from Communism to al-Qaeda, The Official Manual of CIA Trickery and Deception and Spy Sites of New York City.
Profile Image of Scott White
Scott White View biography
Dr. Scott J. White is an Associate Professor and Director of the Cybersecurity Program and Cyber Academy at The George Washington University. He holds a B.A. from York University (Toronto, Canada) an M.A. from the University of Guelph (Guelph, Canada) and a Ph.D. from the University of Bristol (Bristol, England). Prior to his appointment at GW, Dr. White was the founding Director of the Institute of Homeland Security Studies at Westfield State University (Westfield, Massachusetts) and Director of the Computing & Security Technology Program at Drexel University (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania). He holds a Queen’s Commission and was an Officer with Canadian Forces Intelligence Command. In addition, following his doctoral studies, Dr. White was an Officer with the Canadian Security Intelligence Service. He has consulted with law enforcement agencies and Fortune 500 companies in the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada.
Profile Image of Ronald Marks
Ronald Marks View biography
Ronald Marks was a CIA spy for 16 years in the struggle against Russian espionage operatives. He served as Congressional interlocutor for five CIA Directors and guided America’s intelligence interests for Senate leaders Bob Dole and Trent Lott. Ron has been a national security entrepreneur, spy raconteur, cyber expert, and international affair commentator. He is the author of “Spying in America in the Post 9/11 World: Domestic Threat and the Need for Change” that focuses on the challenges and legalities of U.S. domestic intelligence collection.
Profile Image of Nicholas Dujmovic
Nicholas Dujmovic View biography
Nicholas Dujmovic is a 26-year veteran of the Central Intelligence Agency. He served in analysis, specializing in the USSR, Eastern Europe, and Southeast Asia. He also edited the President's Daily Brief and was a speechwriter for two CIA directors. Nicholas was a CIA staff historian for more than a decade, and has written dozens of classified and unclassified studies on U.S. intelligence history, CIA operations, and intelligence culture. Currently, he is the director of the Intelligence Studies Program at The Catholic University of America.
Profile Image of Ira Deutsch
Ira Deutsch View biography
Ira Deutsch was born and grew up in Brooklyn, New York. At age 20, he moved to Israel and joined the Israeli military, retiring with the rank of LTC after 26 years of military service. His service included international affairs, coordinating relationships with multiple countries including the United States military. Ira’s last assignment before retiring was as a Foreign Liaison Officer to the U.S. National Guard and FEMA, stationed in Washington, DC. His coordinating experience makes him uniquely qualified to serve as a Group Leader.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
The Enemy Within: A History of Espionage
by Terry Crowdy
Gatekeeper: Memoirs of a CIA Polygraph Examiner
by Sullivan, John
Cast No Shadow: The Life of the American Spy Who Changed the Course of World War II
by Lovell, Mary S.
Capturing Jonathan Pollard
by Olive, Ronald J.
Spy: The Inside Story of How the FBI’s Robert Hanssen Betrayed America
by Wise, David
The Bureau and the Mole
by Vise, David
Of Spies and Lies
by Sullivan, John
The Movie Breach: A Personal Perspective
by Kelley, Brian
Available on the CIA Website at www.cia.gov. In the search box, type “Hanssen.”
The Spy Next Door
by Shannon, Elaine and Blackman, Ann
True Believer: Inside the Investigation and Capture of Ana Montes, Cuba’s Master Spy
by Carmichael, Scott W.
Intelligence: From Secrets to Policy
by Mark Lowenthal
Charlie Wilson’s War
by Crile, George
Spy Sites of Washington, DC: A Guide to the Capital Region's Secret History
by Wallace, Robert and Melton, H. Keith
Spy Book: The Encyclopedia of Espionage
by Polmar, Norman and Allen, Thomas B.
15 Reviews
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4.58 Average
This reviewer did not give a star rating. Review left 11/10/2022

This was my 20th Road Scholar program, and the first that did not fully meet my expectations. I see the 2023 version includes a visit to the National Law Enforcement Museum and a speaker about polygraph tests. Those additions would be much preferred to the two “filler” sessions we had that did not really relate to the themes of intelligence and espionage – a guided walk around Lafayette Park and an evening walk by three monuments. The speakers all had relevant backgrounds and expertise but only the first one allowed adequate time for questions and interaction. One in particular made a very inappropriate political comment which I found irresponsible and offensive (not about a US politician). It would have been stimulating to have had someone from the press or academia to raise concerns about ethical and privacy issues. A woman presenter would have been welcomed as well. Bob Wallace used a trivia quiz effectively. While mentioned, I did not feel we got a full look at Aldrich Ames or Robert Hansen. It was fun to hear about the devices developed to support spies like the Jack-in-the-Box, Randy the Rat and secret cameras. Traditional spy methods were balanced with information about today’s cyber intelligence gathering. Nicholas Dujmovic and Jon Wiant were particularly informative and revealed some weaknesses and problems in our intelligence agencies. Ira was a skilled organizer, flexibly filled some gaps, and provided interesting information about DC and Israel. Having mostly enjoyed small group programs, 40 seemed too big a group. The hotel offered comfortable, modern rooms and good meals, pleasant staff, and an easy way to get cabs, although the immediate neighborhood was a bit soulless. Please update the overview and itinerary to refer to 18 intelligence agencies.

(5) Review left 11/09/2022

This trip was great. Our tour leader added an additional component about Israel that was absolutely fascinating. Enjoyed it a lot.

(1) Review left 11/07/2022

This trip was very disappointing. The subject matter was covered almost exclusively by lecture in a small room with too many people for its size. The speakers were mostly experienced former CIA personnel but with a limited exploration of ethical issues and not much self-reflection except for Jon Wiant who understood the complexity of issues and the wisdom to acknowledge hard truths. Two trips broke up the 4 days but not much. The leader, Ira Deutsch, was knowledgeable about Washington. He spent a lot of time talking about his own experiences, sometimes relevant, sometimes not. He made some choices that were not in the best interest of seniors, switching a daylight excursion of the Lincoln memorial and two war monuments to nighttime , in the dark for seniors with canes, vision problems and mobility issues. Very bad judgment. Half the participants could not walk up to the Lincoln Memorial. Fortunately, no one fell but many stayed behind on one of the best features and outdoor opportunities. At least one decided to skip the trip altogether and another wanted to stay in the bus, an option not made available to others who might have opted for that rather than risk falling. He explained his choice to Road Scholar as more convenient than safe, in my opinion. I do credit him with offering to take left over food to either homeless or fire fighters. Good social consciousness on that side but please apply it to the folks at hand with more awareness of mobility issues. Rethink classification of this course in light of more walking in unlit areas than warranted. For the price, the accommodations were fine (except NO SECURE WIFI!) food was fine and lots of nice people. Maybe include an option of email addresses, tell us how we can get a copy of the class photo, etc. Maybe offer some more small interactives with the speakers to add some energy and dynamism to the programs. Please update your travel directions regarding taxi service. No reservations needed. Thanks

This reviewer did not give a star rating. Review left 5/28/2022

Great program and location of hotel is very good within walking distance of the Capitol , National Mall , and Waterfront . Spy museum and the Museum of Law Enforcement are wonderful. Our leader , Lil , was excellent and good source of information even though she was not local . Our lecturers were very informative . I would recommend this program to anyone who likes to learn new things and is willing to be adventurous .

(5) Review left 3/30/2022

This program exceeded my expectations. I came home with a cap that read "Assume Nothing" -- perfect for a program about spies, lies and espionage. Highly recommend.

(5) Review left 3/28/2022

Excellent program. Our guest speakers were superb; knowledgeable, well-spoken, engaging an thought-provoking. Our tour leader did an excellent job. The topic of cybersecurity was especially timely given the ongoing events in eastern Europe.

(4) Review left 11/08/2021

WOW!! A real "eye-opener" to what is going on in the world around us. I learned "secret stuff" I never dreamed of.

(5) Review left 11/07/2021

DC is somewhat complicated. Find the location of the museums and Mall locations. Can you easily walk 1-2 miles to take advantage of free time? If you would need transpertation, determine if Uber or something should be included. There should be a better set of places to eat. Maybe look these over before a trip.

(5) Review left 11/03/2021

I came in knowing for little about the topic and I left knowing how much I don't know but I did learn a lot.

(5) Review left 10/12/2021

This was my third spy program with Road Scholar and I was very happy with it and would recommend it.

This reviewer did not give a star rating. Review left 6/03/2019

nice visit to DC

(5) Review left 5/21/2019

My husband and I are life-long learning "nerds" and we chose to attend this program on espionage because it sounded interesting and it started on the date of our 50th anniversary. I've never enjoyed spy movies because they're too complicated. But this is the most fascinating Road Scholar I've attended and we learned a lot!

(5) Review left 5/14/2019

Really enjoyed this trip--saw places I would not have seen in DC & heard from people I would never have had access to--highly informative & a stimulating delight

(5) Review left 5/12/2019

Absolutely worth while and at a great price. Looking forward to my next adventure while learning.

(5) Review left 4/08/2019

Very enlightening and thought-provoking. I came away with a much greater appreciation of the role our intelligence resources play in today;s geopolitical climates. And, I gained a a deeper appreciation for the role that our intelligence resources play in today's somewhat cyber-frenzied times.






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