The OpsLens Team

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Ron Hammond

FOUNDER AND CEO

Ron Hammond is Senior Advisor and Board Member for OpsLens. Hammond is a former CIA Operations Officer and US Army Guard Officer. He has over 28 years in the Intelligence Community where he focused on the Middle East and South Asia, more specifically on combating terrorism and stopping the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Following his career in the intelligence and military communities, Hammond started and sold several highly respected companies in the defense industry. Additionally, he serves as a Board Member for several technology companies.

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Gary Berntsen

SENIOR ADVISOR

Gary Berntsen is a Senior Advisor and Contributor for OpsLens. He is also the bestselling author of Jawbreaker and a former senior CIA Case officer who was among the first into Afghanistan following the attacks on 9/11. Gary frequently makes appearances on Fox News, NewsMax and other major outlets to comment on matters of national security.

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Jon Harris

OPSLENS CONTRIBUTOR

Jon Harris is a former Army NCO, Sergeant Morales Club member, civilian law enforcement officer, and defense contractor with over 30 years in the law enforcement community. He currently works as a criminal trial attorney with a state agency. He is published in Army Trainer Magazine, authored regular columns in several newspapers, and is the author of the Cold War novel Breakpoint. His adventures as a security contractor in Afghanistan and Iraq can be found on www.dispatchfromdownrange.com. He holds a B.S. in Government and Politics and an M.S. in Criminal Justice and has completed his Juris Doctor degree.

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Shelly Mateer

EDITOR

Shelly Mateer is a former CIA officer and author of Single in the CIA, Mission: Stand Down and the Mingling in the CIA series, as well as two children’s picture books, Mommy Thinks She’s a Monster, The Lemon Seed and an elementary-grade chapter book series The Adventures of Shelly Beach. She’s also the creator of the Cooking in the CIA app, the BurpMitt® product line and a comical children’s music album Mommy’s Gone Mad!

Most of her books are inspired and influenced by her experiences working undercover for the CIA’s Directorate of Operations.

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Bart Marcois

OPSLENS CONTRIBUTOR

Bart Marcois (@bmarcois) was the principal deputy assistant secretary of energy for international affairs during the Bush administration. Additionally, Marcois served as a career foreign service officer with the State Department.

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Morgan Deane

OPSLENS CONTRIBUTOR
Morgan Deane is a free lance author, military historian, and former US Marine. His military analysis has been published by Fox News, Real Clear Defense, Washington Examiner and many others. His books include Decisive Battles in Chinese History  and the forthcoming, Beyond Sunzi: Classical Chinese Debates on War and Statecraft.
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Chris Carter

OPSLENS CONTRIBUTOR

Chris Carter is the Director of the Victory Institute, and deputy regional director of the U.S. Counterterrorism Advisory Team. His work appears at SWAT Magazine, Human Events, Canada Free Press, Deutsche Welle, NavySEALs.com, Lifezette, and other publications. Chris is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, warrant officer in the South Carolina State Guard, and retired firefighter.

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Dr. Katherine Harris

OPSLENS CONTRIBUTOR

Dr. Katherine (Kat) Harris is a veteran spouse, expat, and former military contractor with over 20 years of expertise in military/family transition, career counseling, higher education, organizational strategic planning, and international relations. She has conducted seminars and workshops for many Department of Army commands, plus many non-profit and community associations. She served as a translator and liaison for American, British, French, and German civilian/military communities in Berlin and Helmstedt, Germany. Academically, Dr. Harris holds a Bachelor of Science in Management Studies from The University of Maryland European Division, a Master of Arts in International Relations from Boston University, and a Doctorate in Education from Rowan University with an emphasis in leadership and higher education in a global context.

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Samuel Siskind

OPSLENS CONTRIBUTOR

Samuel Siskind studied intelligence research at the American Military University in West Virginia. He served as a squad commander in the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) Corp of Combat Engineers, in the Corps’ ground battalions and later in its Intelligence Wing at regional and divisional stations. For the past five years, Samuel has worked as a consultant and researcher on physical and information security issues for private and governmental institutions, in the US, Africa, India, and Israel. He currently lives in Jerusalem.

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Grant Mattox

OPSLENS CONTRIBUTOR

Grant Mattox spent 10 years in the US Army, where he served first as a platoon leader and then entered Special Forces Assessment and Selection in 2001. Upon Special Forces Qualification Course graduation, Grant served as a Special Forces Officer from 2004-2008 and deployed to the Middle East twice from 2004-2006.

Grant is a graduate of the United States Military Academy and is currently an executive at a fortune 500 company.

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Committee on the Present Danger: China

OPSLENS CONTRIBUTOR

The mission of the Committee on the Present Danger: China is to help defend America through public education and advocacy against the full array of conventional and non-conventional dangers posed by the People’s Republic of China.

Manny Alicandro

Manny Alicandro

OPSLENS CONTRIBUTOR

Manny Alicandro is a New York attorney with broad expertise in securities, governance and litigation. He is a former candidate for public office in New York. He is a frequent industry speaker, panelist, webcaster, and published author. He currently has a show on Flixx.net called Manny’s Point of View and a show on OpsLens called Real and Unfiltered.

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Kevin Freeman - Economic War Room

OPSLENS CONTRIBUTOR

Kevin Freeman is the Host of Economic War Room, a digital media and weekly broadcast financial news show that provides new market insights to the challenges America and Wall Street face today. Kevin Freeman is considered one of the world’s leading experts on the issues of Economic Warfare and Financial Terrorism. He has consulted for and briefed members of both the U.S. House and Senate, present and past CIA, DIA, FBI, SEC, Homeland Security, the Justice Department, as well as local and state law enforcement. His research has been presented in critical DoD studies on Economic Warfare, Iran, and Weapons of Mass Destruction presented to the Secretary of Defense and the Under Secretary of Defense, Intelligence. He has traveled extensively with research trips to Russia and China and throughout Europe and the Americas. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Center for Security Policy.

Jaice Harmon

Jaice Harmon

OPSLENS CONTRIBUTOR

Jaice Harmon has spent nearly 30 years in the IT space and worked in a variety of industries. Jaice has crisscrossed the country and worked the aftermath of one of the largest hacks in history.

Prior to the economic meltdown of 2007, Jaice was also involved in philanthropic ventures to help women who had been trafficked safely exit the “life” and rebuild to thrive, working with women in prison, and addiction awareness.

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Frank D'Onofrio

OPSLENS CONTRIBUTOR

Frank D’Onofrio spent over 40 years in the IT space working in various industries, traveling the world for different organizations as an IT consultant. A 9-11 survivor, Frank rebuilt his life in the aftermath. He is fiercely conservative. Having grown up in the Bronx, he knows success is an attitude and it is based on a dedication to doing your best.

Frank has delivered hard-driving articles showing the liberal left’s hypocrisy and lack of accountability. The first to deliver virtual Candidate Town Halls, interviewing many political influencers. He is the author of the upcoming book “Elvis Presley: The King of Rock and Roll”, to be published in 2021, and author of the Book “Poems for a Rainy Day.”

Frank is a devoted husband, married to the love of his life Irene. He is the father of 6 children and 12 grandchildren. He believes firmly that “Without Integrity – Nothing Works.”

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Dan Harris

OPSLENS CONTRIBUTOR

Dan Harris retired after more than 31 years of service at the Central Intelligence Agency, conducting and managing intelligence operations across five continents. He served twice as Chief of Station in Asia and Europe and as a regional manager of Southeast Asia at CIA Headquarters, as well as Deputy Director of the Defense Clandestine Service. Dan was highly decorated in his service, including a CIA directorate award on incorporation of technology in operations and the Defense Intelligence Agency Director’s Award.

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Taras Lyssenko

OPSLENS CONTRIBUTOR

Taras Lyssenko was a commissioned Army officer, Ranger qualified, who now works in government relations and business development within the realms of defense, energy, aviation, medicine and homeland security. He is widely known for the recovery and preservation of history that had been lost under water. His activities have led to the discovery of the location of hundreds of artifacts once lost. These artifacts include World War II aircraft, ships dating back to the 1800s and even the remnants of a forest that dates back over 8000 years. Taras is one of the leaders of the team that has recovered dozens of the aircraft on behalf of the National Naval Aviation Museum. Those aircraft are now on display in museums and airports across the United States. Taras has worked to bring forth advanced technologies to lower the production and fabrication costs of the valued metal titanium. During these endeavors he has worked with the United States Senate, House of Representatives, Department of Defense, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Department of Energy, large equipment producers, and many corporations. He achieved a Presidential Determination under the Defense Production Act Title, III for his efforts in titanium production.

Taras donates great amounts of time assisting in educational efforts for students ranging from grade school level to institutions of higher learning. He has written two books, the children’s book Wendy’s Fear of Heights and the firsthand account of the many years of marine exploration and aircraft recovery, The Great Navy Birds of Lake Michigan: The True Story of the Privateers of Lake Michigan and the Aircraft They Rescued.

Emily Nunez

Emily Nunez

OPSLENS CONTRIBUTOR

Emily Nunez is a veteran of the Navy and Marine Corps. Her military service includes 9 years of enlisted service in the U.S. Navy as an Aviation Maintenance Administrationman working with F/A-18 Hornets and a tour of duty with the Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron – Blue Angels. She was later commissioned as a Communications Officer with the U.S. Marine Corps. She is currently a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor assisting small businesses with designing, implementing, and managing qualified retirement plans locally and throughout the state of Florida.

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Barbara Allen

OPSLENS CONTRIBUTOR

Barbara Allen is a former Veterans Service Officer. She is an author, and a host of the American Snippets Podcast. Barbara is the widow of Lt. Louis Allen, who was murdered in Iraq by a fellow soldier. Her first book, Front Toward Enemy, details the murder of her husband and his CO as well as the lengthy capital court martial that resulted in the acquittal of the soldier whose guilty plea was rejected and suppressed by the military. Barbara is firmly entrenched in Veterans’ advocacy and a staunch believer in the power of patriotism.

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Mukhlis Mukhlis

OPSLENS CONTRIBUTOR

Mukhlis is an international affairs consultant with more than 18 years of diverse experience encompassing foreign relations, national security, counterterrorism, political transition, critical operations support, strategic business expansion, and organizational leadership.

Mukhlis is an expert in the areas of security, defense, and counterinsurgency affairs with a focus on the geopolitical challenges, regional conflicts, and government affairs in the Middle East and North Africa regions.

Currently, Mukhlis is the President of MIG Strategic Consulting; a consultancy firm based in Washington D.C. metro area and specializes in providing advisory services and strategic solutions to clients in both the public and private sectors on international business, public relations, foreign affairs, government services, regulatory requirements, emergency management, and operational activities.

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Phil Swain

OPSLENS CONTRIBUTOR

Phil Swain is a current government employee. His background covers decades in law enforcement, military, and high-risk security contracting in multiple countries and regions of the world.

He has an extensive writing background and has written for many international as well as domestic publications on a multitude of subjects. Currently he is working in the criminal justice court system and routinely spends his day in the courtroom.

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Richard Douglas

OPSLENS CONTRIBUTOR

Richard Douglas writes on firearms, defense and security issues. He is the founder and editor of Scopes Field, and a columnist at The National Interest, 1945, Daily Caller and other publications.

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Sharon Rusk

OPSLENS CONTRIBUTOR

Sharon Rusk is a retired career intelligence officer. In addition to her government service and a degree in International Affairs, her eclectic interests have included a degree and business in Interior Design, all while maintaining an active real estate license. She was certified as a Feng Shui consultant where she has taught, lectured, and authored magazine articles. She now consults when not enjoying life by the Narragansett or Chesapeake Bays, the Gulf of Mexico, or the Atlantic Ocean.

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Pedro Israel Orta

OPSLENS CONTRIBUTOR

Pedro Israel Orta is a 19-year veteran of the Central Intelligence Agency with service in the Directorates of Operations, Intelligence, and Science & Technology. Mr. Orta served in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, and another conflict zone as a Covert Action Operations Program Manager. He was the recipient of seven Exceptional Performance Awards, several unit citation awards, and several collaborations awards, for his eight years of warzone work. Mr. Orta is a U.S. National Security whistleblower. He served as an Inspector for the Office of the Inspector General for the Intelligence Community. As such, Mr. Orta was the person who disclosed that former Inspector General for the Intelligence Community Michael Atkinson weaponized the Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act process to illegally target President Donald J. Trump. Mr. Orta holds a Master of Arts in Security Policy Studies from George Washington University and is a Summa Cum Laude graduate from Florida International University with a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in Political Science and International Relations. Mr. Orta also briefly served in the U.S. Army reserves. Prior to his CIA employment, Mr. Orta worked in the business world in Miami, Florida. Mr. Orta comes from a Cuban family involved with strong anti-Castro activities including one grand uncle who served as a political prisoner. Mr. Orta now resides in Tulsa, Oklahoma as an ordained minister launching into ministry under the name of Pedro Israel Orta Evangelistic Association, Inc.

Clare Lopez

Clare Lopez

OPSLENS CONTRIBUTOR

Clare Lopez is a former career operations officer with the CIA. She is the Founder/President of Lopez Liberty LLC, with a mission to alert and educate Americans on a range of national security threats, international as well as from the Islamic Movement/Muslim Brotherhood and collaborators among the ranks of Marxists/communists in the U.S. She is a Middle East subject matter expert and published author. She has been an instructor on Iran, Hizballah, and the Red-Black-Green Axis for Understanding the Threat, a nationwide training program on the Global Islamic Movement and jihadi networks. Most recently, Lopez acted as advisor/mentor to Special Forces students in a fall 2020 DoD course, run by Reservoir International. She served as a member of the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi and continues as a member of the Citizens’ Commission on National Security. Formerly VP of the Intelligence Summit, a professor at the Centre for Counterintelligence & Security Studies, Executive Director of the Iran Policy Committee and has served as a consultant, instructor, intelligence analyst, and researcher for a variety of defense firms. She was named a 2011 Lincoln Fellow at the Claremont Institute.

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M. Baxter

OPSLENS CONTRIBUTOR
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Smiley

OPSLENS CONTRIBUTOR

Smiley is a long-time intelligence professional with experience in counterintelligence, covert action, and HUMINT. He has experience serving around the world in multiple capacities.

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T.A. Smith

OPSLENS CONTRIBUTOR

T.A. Smith is a government contractor with decades of experience working with various Department of Defense and military contracts worldwide. She has been instrumental in many senior decisions and implementations of intricate directives at military installations both CONUS and abroad. She holds multiple degrees with a focus in the international field and is fluent is several languages.

In the position of civilian advisor to military commanders, she has been a trusted critical thinker in assisting those commanders in difficult situations. She currently travels to military bases worldwide as a senior advisor on a Department of Defense wide program.

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W. Thomas Smith, Jr.

OPSLENS CONTRIBUTOR

W. Thomas Smith, Jr. is a former U.S. Marine Infantry leader, counterterrorism instructor, and a SWAT Team officer in the nuclear industry. A retired colonel in the S.C. Military Department, Smith was founding director of the department’s Counterterrorism Task Force.

He is a New York Times bestselling editor and a writer whose work has appeared in countless newspapers and magazines worldwide, including USA Today, The New York Post, Business Week, Investor’s Business Daily, Marine Corps Times, Police1, S.W.A.T. magazine, American Legion, The Christian Post, and many others. A special deputy with the Richland County Sheriff’s Dept. and director of the department’s Elder Abuse Awareness Team, Smith is also a senior officer with the National Security Task Force of the S.C. Floodwater Commission.

Andy Hooser

Andy Hooser

OPSLENS CONTRIBUTOR

Andy Hooser is the host of The Voice of Reason, a national conservative talk show that focuses on activism at the local level. The show discusses current events while applying Constitutional principles, traditional values, and logic to the issues of today. Being a millennial, Andy has a unique perspective on the struggles of our time, and tries to apply common sense, logic, humor, and sarcasm to the show. In a time of information overload, his show brings knowledge and wisdom.