AFIO Weekly Intelligence Notes (WINs) are a 1998 initiative to enhance services to AFIO members and to encourage them to recruit new members. We need new members!
WINs are produced by Editor Roy Jonkers, and includes adaptations of articles produced by RADM Don Harvey (USN ret) and AFIO members. WIN re-transmission is not permitted except without concurrence of the WIN Editor.
See the AFIO Homepage <www.afio.com> for back issues.
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CIA EXPANDING CLANDESTINE CAPABILITIES - CIA has sharply increased its recruitment of case officers as part of a strategic plan to repair damaged US espionage services by 2005, supported by increased Congressional funding. CIA plans to hire more than five times as many potential case officers than in 1995, when the agency hit its post-Cold-War low, and to reopen a number of posts which had been closed. Stations in the developing nations had been closed because the necessity to recruit Soviet KGB and political personnel was gone, but now there is renewed appreciation for the importance of these stations to produce intelligence on terrorists and other international criminals.
Intelligence officials have been cited for some time as complaining that CIA's Directorate of Operations had lost much of its effectiveness in recent years, suffering a drain of talent - including many officers who complained about low morale, heavy-handed bureaucracy and risk-averse policies. The scandals involving Aldrich Ames and Harold Nicholson, both DO officers, also had a negative impact. In addition, a number of CIA operatives have been embroiled in public accusations of spying by France, Germany and other nations, producing allegations of possible shortcomings in tradecraft .
The program to expand CIA's clandestine services has strong support in the House, where Speaker Newt Gingrich pushed through supplemental financing to enable the increased recruitment and expansion of stations.
The Chairman of the Senate Select Committee, Senator Richard Shelby, is leary of the budget increases proposed by the House, reportedly stating that problems cannot be fixed by simply throwing money at the agency, and that he is more concerned about "quality, not quantity, at the CIA." (NYT 27 Jun p. A9) (Editor)
HOUSE CONCERNED WITH INTELLIGENCE SPENDING CONTROLS - The HPSCI had critical words for several "players" in the 1999 intelligence proposed budget, which the full House approved in early May.
"Fences have been placed on portions of the NSA budget with the prospect that a considerable amount of money could be programmed for other intelligence community needs if NSA does not develop strategic and business planning," the HPSCI said in its authorization report. The committee indicated its frustration with the 25,000 person agency, saying that budget and staff cuts ordered by Congress last year "all have met resistance and have been deflected from their intended purpose." Although the committee gave NSA more funds to deal with the explosion in telecommunications technology in the coming years, the panel was unhappy that similar funds from last year were "minimized" and that NSA officials "cannot track allocations for critical functions that cross the old program and bureaucratic lines."
The HPSCI also called on the DCI to take a more active role in managing the intelligence community budget and pointed to NRO programs as needing more diligent oversight. The increasing costs of several major NRO programs incurred committee concern. NIMA financial management was questioned by the committee, citing numerous instances in which the imagery & mapping agency reported conflicting information on some of its programs. The committee still ended up voting slightly more money for intelligence than the administration had asked for, including an increase in HUMINT funding. (Harvey)
INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY APPOINTMENTS - DCI George Tenet announced two appointments to implement the recommendations by Admiral David E. Jeremiah, whose inquiry into the failure of the Intelligence Community to provide tactical warning on the Indian nuclear test included a critique of intelligence management (see WIN #24). Appointed as Assistant Director of Central Intelligence (ADCI) for Collection, coordinating the entire intelligence community intelligence collection system, was Charles Allen, a thirty year veteran operations officer. He will oversee the decisions of the various committees deciding the targets of national systems. He allegedly was chosen on the basis of his reputation for holding contrarian views and willingness to challenge the system.
In addition, the DCI appointed John Gannon, the current Chairman of the National Intelligence Council, to be the new ADCI for Analysis and Production, coordinating analysis and reporting for all community agencies.
The DCI also announced the impending departure of Dr Ruth David, CIA's Deputy Director for Science & Technology (DDS&T), who will move in September to become the President and CEO of ANSER, a not-for-profit public service research institute.
(NYT 5 June 98; CIA PA release No 06-98, 22 June 98) (Editor)
DIA ESTIMATES CUBA IS NO THREAT - A recent estimate by DIA, prepared in consultation with CIA and other intelligence agencies, elicited considerable press reporting, not because the conclusions were surprising, but because of the political maneuvering accompanying the release of the report to Congress. DIA concluded that Cuba "does not pose a significant military threat to the U.S. or to other countries in the region." The report describes an army with mothballed equipment, incapable of mounting effective operations above the battalion level, a navy with no functioning submarines; and an air force with fewer than two dozen operational MIG fighter jets.
When advance press accounts of this finding led to objections by Florida lawmakers, SECDEF sent the report back to DIA for a "second look." Five weeks later Secretary Cohen forwarded the estimate with his personal views that "While the assessment notes that the direct conventional threat by the Cuban military has decreased, I remain concerned about the use of Cuba as a base for intelligence activities against the United States, the potential threat Cuba may pose to neighboring islands, Castro's continuing dictatorship. . ., and the potential instability that could accompany the end of his regime."
This dust-up illustrates the continuing need for the intelligence community to remain resolute in its resistance to politicize intelligence reporting. (Harvey)
IRAQ'S BLAME US URANIUM SHELLS FOR INCREASED CANCER RATES - Iraqi sources attribute a marked increase in cancer patients to US use of uranium-tipped shells and the resultant low-level radio-active toxic dust that followed the explosions. During the 1990/91 Gulf War more than 600,000 pounds of depleted-uranium armor-piercing shells were released by US tanks and aircraft, producing toxic dust that covered the ground and water supplies. The Iraqi Health Ministry has been quiet about the depleted uranium impact, and criticism is emanating principally from various Western anti-war groups. A cancer specialist in Basra stated there is no clear proof of any single cause for the increase in cancer cases in his area, but noted an unusual and marked increase in leukemia and lymphatic cancer, often related to radiation, as well as rare cancers such as pancreatic cancer. Pentagon officials stated there is no basis for the Iraqi assertions and that no adverse effects have been noted, but has issued instructions for US soldiers to avoid contact with targets of the uranium shells on ranges, exercises or war. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission treats depleted uranium as hazardous material. (Wpost 5 Jul 98, page A17) (editor)
- THE PENTIUM MISSION, by Joe Fontana, Orchises Press, Alexandria Va 1998 (ISBN 0-914061-72-0) . A novelist's view of the shadowy war being waged to prevent "weapons of mass destruction" from falling into the hands of states designated as "rogue states." A rollicking good tale featuring Russian Mafia assassins, international intrigue and "special operations" supported by intelligence. Fiction which, if occasional media articles are to believed, contains an image of truth - and much easier to digest. This novel by a veteran international lawyer and current professor is recommended reading.
For Washington area members, books will be autographed at Barnes & Noble, 4801 Bethesda Ave, Maryland on Thursday 9 July 1998 at 7:30-8:30 pm. (editor)
- THE ATTACHES, by Major General (ret) "Chuck" Scanlon (1997), IM Press Inc, Virginia (ISBN 0-9660137-0-0). The general turned novelist provides a view of the life of military attaches set in the mid-1980's Cold War, regional wars, terrorism, illegal drugs and espionage. This is fiction inspired by real life. Very little has been written about attaches, and this novel is an easy way to get an idea of some of the ways the Defense Atttache Service - a quiet player of real importance - operates. (Editor)
- COMMUNISM, THE COLD WAR AND THE FBI CONNECTION - by Herman Bly, Huntington House Publishers, 1998 (ISBN 1-56834-149-5). This book by AFIO member Herman Bly covers his experience with investigations of subversive elements during his 23 years with the Bureau and his assessment of the communist threat. He was the chief of the special FBI Counter-Intelligence operation (COINTELPRO) directed against the Communist Party USA in the 1950's. Just off the press! (Editor)
TAPS - James O'Donnell wrote: " It is with great sorrow that I note the passing of one of the greatest cryptographers of all time, Frank Rowlett. I am reminded of him every time a present day comic refers to military intelligence as an oxymoron. How futile an exercise it would be to explain it at alI. I wish I had the knowledge he had consumed in one day. (<firstname.lastname@example.org>
MONTANA CHAPTER - The Montana Chapter, under the leadership President Charlie Crookshanks (<email@example.com>), took issue with a severely biased and slanted editorial on US Intelligence in a local newspaper by a former Congressman. Rather than just letting it go by, the Chapter challenged the article in the media, and gained a good deal of favorable publicity in the process of bringing some balance and common sense into the argument. To be successful in its educational mission, AFIO needs to be "pro-active" like the Chapter - taking initiatives, especially in seeking rational media coverage of the role and contributions of intelligence. Well done, and congratulations to the Chapter! (RJ)
MEDIA PROGRAM WORKSHOPS - AFIO San Francisco members participated in three workshops that critiques a three-part television series on the Discovery Channel entitled "CIA: Secret Warriors." Peter Karlow, one of the Bay chapter's distinguished members, was interviewed on the program itself. The TV program itself focused almost entirely on covert action, and did not clarify CIA's basic mandate of all-source analysis. The AFIO effort was publicized in a magazine entitled MILITARY (<firstname.lastname@example.org>), further accomplishing the AFIO mission. (RJ)
CONGRESSIONAL TESTIMONY - A member of AFIO's Seattle Chapter, Brian Fairchild, a veteran of nineteen years in the CIA's Directorate of Operations, and currently running his own investigative consulting company, testified before the Joint Economic Committee of Congress as an expert on intelligence matters on 20 May, testifying to the need for legal protection of US industries against economic espionage and the need to enhance DO capabilities to serve as a "first line of defense." His insightful testimony outlined a number of areas in which the DO needs to improve, and will be further covered in AFIO's hardcopy publications. (RJ)
JOB OPPORTUNITY - Associate Director - Employee Safety and Facility Security National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD). This new position, based in Rockville, MD, would develop coordinated strategies and policies for all NASD locations addressing general and site specific requirements.
Requirements: College degree and minimum of 10 years experience in management level organization/corporate security, access control and physical surveillance administration. AFIO members interested send email for further information. (RJ)
ANNOUNCEMENT: EUGENE TIGHE MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP - The San Diego Chapter has decided on a topic for the 1999 Tighe Memorial Scholarship and will begin application packages to students in August. The 1999 topic is: How should US intelligence assets be used to fight illegal drug trafficking within, or into the US?
Since there are stipulations on essay format and an application to complete, interested students at the post-secondary or graduate level should write for a Tighe Scholarship package. A self-addressed stamped envelope must accompany the request. Write to: Scholarship Administrator, 1142 Miramonte Glen, Escondido, CA 92026. For further info <www.fastweb.com> ref. scholarship ID#13999. (RJ)