Weekly Intelligence Notes #31-02
5 August 2002

 

WIN #31-02 dated 5 August 2002

 

Weekly Intelligence Notes (WINs) are produced and edited by Roy Jonkers for non-profit educational uses by AFIO members, ISIS associates and WIN subscribers. RADM (ret) Don Harvey contributes articles to selected WINs.

 

ANNOUNCEMENT: Mrs Gretchen Campbell, who has been the living heart of AFIO for almost two decades, is gravely ill. Those who know her may send get-well wishes, by e-mail to Gretchen@AFIO.com, or by mail c/o AFIO at 6723 Whittier Ave, Ste 303, McLean, VA 22101.

            Please do not call us, as we cannot add any more information at this time. (RJ)

 


CONTENTS of this WIN

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SECTION I - Current Intelligence

           DCI George Tenet's Tenure Speculation

           Greek Assassins Arrested

 

SECTION II - Context and Precedence

           The War On Drugs and the FBI

           FISA and the Constitution

           Speculation on Covert Action in Iraq

 

SECTION III - Cyber Intelligence

           Security Restrictions on Federal Works and Soldiers

           Italian Police Arrest Hackers of U.S. Websites

 

SECTION IV - Books and Sources

           Sword of Islam: Muslim Extremism by Murphy

           See No Evil: CIA's War on Terrorism by Baer [Excerpt of Hayden Peake Review]

           Justice Department Resources on FOIA

           Church Committee Reports Online

           Hamas Origins

 

SECTION V - Announcements

           NCIX Announces Next Conference

           North Vietnam's Top Spy Dies

           Former German Espionage Chief Dies

 


SECTION I - CURRENT INTELLIGENCE

 

DCI GEORGE TENET's TENURE SPECULATION -- In what is one of Washington's favorite sports, rumors are circulating within the upper levels of the Bush administration that CIA Director George J. Tenet will step down some time in the next several months. Mr. Tenet has been CIA director since 1997. Among the names mentioned as replacements are Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage and Rep. Porter J. Goss, Florida Republican and chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, who, as a former CIA spook, has been one of the Agency's most ardent defenders. Former CIA Director R. James Woolsey also has been mentioned as a candidate, along with Richard Haver, a special assistant to Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld for intelligence issues. A CIA spokesman says Mr. Tenet has no plans to quit. (Jonkers) (Notes from the Pentagon, August 2, 2002 //Gertz)) (http://www.gertzfile.com/gertzfile/InsidetheRing.html)

GREEK ASSASSINS ARRESTED -- The third of the Greek terrorists accused of the assassination of CIA Station Chief Richard S. Welch in 1975 has been arrested by the Greek police. Nikos Papanastasiou, now 50 years old, part of the 'November 17' terrorist group, was captured while on holiday. Another member, Pavlos Seriffs, 46, has confessed to being part of the assassination. team (he was 19 at the time). Alexandros Yiotopoulos, already in police custody, is being held as the mastermind of the murder.

            As noted in WIN #30, these arrests have been a long time in coming and are steps on the way to settling a bitter score. In the witch hunt climate set by the Church Committee Hearings in the mid-seventies, when an alarming number of secret operations and individuals were compromised, Welch had been openly identified as a CIA Station Chief in publications such as the CounterSpy magazine. The traitor Philip Agee had also identified Welch as a CIA officer in his book. It is not clear why Welch was not quickly replaced after all that publicity, but the assassination may have been as unexpected as the September 11th attack was in the struggle to contain terrorism. The 'November 17' group, of course, went on to twenty-two further killings in the name of Marxist utopianism and Greek xenophobia. (Jonkers) (via La Clair)

 


 

SECTION II - CONTEXT AND PRECEDENCE

 

THE WAR ON DRUGS AND THE FBI -- It seems unrelated, but a tough Louisiana Judge Ronnie Bodenheimer, a former prosecutor known for extremely harsh sentencing, was arrested and arraigned at the Federal courthouse in New Orleans on 24 July. Allegedly the Judge, determined to take revenge on someone with whom he had a disagreement, conspired to plant some narcotics in his victim's truck. His co-conspirator has pleaded guilty to a federal drug charge. The FBI has tapes of conversations. The Judge is scheduled for trial in the Fall.

            This item is a small but serious example of the mountain of corruption within our domestic system that will continue to require Federal / FBI investigations and strong FBI crime-solving capability. It further illustrates the insidiously corrupting side-effects of the War on Drugs, which has been conducted with an ideological fervor similar to our latest war, the 'War on Terrorism.' The War on Drugs has a large military and intelligence component -- we are 'at war' in Colombia and adjoining states, (employing chemical warfare and guerilla operations), and foreign intelligence is a strong player in the game. The drug war has also fueled a great growth industry -- the largest underclass GULAG prison population in the world. It has opened the door to official corruption large and small through the availability of confiscated property without the benefit of the courts. It has made individuals vulnerable to blackmail and worse as demonstrated by Judge Bodenheimer's alleged intent to plant narcotics on his victim. And it has led to increasing danger for police as well as brutalization of police methods.

            These facts lead to several suggestions, including (1) a high-level rational re-thinking of our whole approach in regards to narcotics, (2) the necessity of keeping a strong FBI involved in investigating corruption and crime (and not throwing out the baby with the bathwater in the current FBI War on Terrorism reforms),and (3) serious consideration of the potential of similar or worse side-effects of the War on Terrorism on our domestic American values and society. (Jonkers) (WPost 6 Aug 02, p. A3)

 

FISA AND THE CONSTITUTION -- Confounding familiar stereotypes, members of the Senate Judiciary Committee last week said at a Hearing on 25 July that the Department of Justice had set "too high a standard" for approving surveillance under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and needed to be more aggressive. But Attorney General Ashcroft demurred, saying his hands were tied by the U.S. Constitution.

            "The committee is considering the standards for issuance of warrants under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act," Sen. Arlen Specter said, "I believe that the FBI, and in turn the Department of Justice, are not imposing the appropriate standard. They've got too high a standard." Attorney General Ashcroft replied that "The Constitution provides that no warrant shall issue absent probable cause. That's been our sticking point." Nevertheless, the Attorney General continued, "We'll be happy to work with you because we want to make sure we're doing what we can to make available every investigational tool to curtail terrorism."

(Jonkers)(Secrecy News No.68,dtd 29 July 02)

http://www.fas.org/irp/news/2002/07/ash-fisa.html

http://www.fas.org/irp/congress/2002_hr/index.html#doj

 

SPECULATION ON COVERT ACTION IN IRAQ -- The unorganized but widespread campaign on in the media these days on the subject of a possible attack on Iraq, requires alertness to sort facts from beliefs in reading Iraqi-related items. One AP-generated article on the likelihood of success of covert action in Iraq, however, has a ring of unbiased reality in implicitly concluding that covert success will be hard to come by. It notes that Hussein's internal security machine is so effective that it is unlikely any current generals could be turned against the dictator. Former CIA DDI, John Gannon, is quoted as saying, "The generals are a hard nut to crack. To get [Hussein] with covert action is going to be very, very hard." A former CIA "counter-terrorism chief" says, "It is very unrealistic to think their military is going to join against him until they see his dead body."

            The Kurds in the north have some fighting forces, but the two main Kurdish groups oppose each other. Both groups are prospering under the US/British no-fly sanctuary zone, distrust US reliability {with good reason], and are reluctant to commit their future to anti-Hussein actions. Had the writer wanted to continue on his cold-water approach, he might have added that the Shiites in the south (about 40 percent of the total population) are heavily indebted to Tehran for any cohesion they could muster and, like the Kurds, has no reason to be confident of US reliability. (Harvey) (Philadelphia Inquirer 7 Aug '02 // AP // J. Lumpkin)

 


 

SECTION III - CYBER INTELLIGENCE

 

SECURITY RESTRICTIONS ON FEDERAL WORKERS and SOLDIERS -- The wireless soldier may be getting some new strings attached. The Defense Department, concerned that hackers or spies might eavesdrop on classified meetings or secretly track the locations of top U.S. officials, is imposing new limits on its workers use of the latest generation of wireless devices inside military buildings. (Levine's Newsbits, 31 July 02)

http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/techpolicy/2002-07-31-pentagon-wireless_x.htm http://www.siliconvalley.com/mld/siliconvalley/news/editorial/3769089.htm

http://www.govexec.com/dailyfed/0702/073002tdpm.htm

http://www.fcw.com/fcw/articles/2002/0729/web-wire-07-31-02.asp

 

ITALIAN POLICE ARREST HACKERS OF U.S. WEBSITES -- Tipped off by American officials, Italian police shut down two rings of hackers who attacked Web sites belonging to the U.S. Army and NASA, as well as Internet pages in Italy. Police said 14 people were arrested. They were charged with computer fraud and face up to eight years in jail if convicted. (Levine 1 Aug 02)

http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/computersecurity/2002-08-01-italy-hackers_ x.htm

 


 

SECTION IV - BOOKS AND SOURCES

 

SWORD OF ISLAM: Muslim Extremism from the Arab conquests to the Attack on America, by John F. Murphy Jr., Prometheus Books, Amherst, NY 2002. ISBN 1-59102-010-7, with Appendices, Notes, Glossary, Index and Bibliography. This is a popular history, well researched and authentic, written clearly and well. John Murphy traces the intricate interconnections among various terrorist cells, and puts recent terrorist attacks in a historical context. The reader will find this useful in understanding the roots of Islamic extremism that has erupted periodically over the ages.

            Such subjects as the September 2, 1898 defeat of the Mahdiist army at Omdurman, Sudan, that spoiled an Islamic Messiah's efforts to 'liberate' the Moslem world from Western 'corruption' and colonial control, and the more recent violent acts by the PLO in trying to counter the Israeli occupation of Palestine, including the massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympics by the Moslem Black September group, as well as the author's description of bin Laden in terms of the historical context, are most interesting. Incidentally, the author, a military historian, is objective in pointing out that the other two religions bred in the deserts of the "Holy Land," Judaism and Christianity, also have produced their share of extremism and terrorism. This book is worth reading. (John Waller)

[Editor Note: The author has arranged for AFIO Members to receive a 10% discount for orders placed directly with Prometheus at 1-800-421-0351, ext 214, as for Marcia Rogers].

 

SEE NO EVIL: The True Story of a Ground Soldier in the CIA's War on Terrorism, by Robert Baer, Crown Publishers, New York 2002. ISBN 0-609-60987-4, with Glossary, Photos, Index. Edward Shirley's acidic Know Thine Enemy is a recent contribution to the intelligence literature of discontent. At first glance Robert Baer's book might appear to fall in the same category, but that judgment would be wrong. See No Evil is better characterized as a memoir of disillusionment written in a positive style, not the bitter tone of those who wrote because they could not cope with the demands of the clandestine life. While at times critical, Baer clearly is proud of the CIA and his service during his twenty-four year career. The book tells of his unusual upbringing and his recruitment by the Agency that saw in him the makings of a promising case officer. With restrained modesty, Baer provides a first-hand view of a successful case officer in the field as an operational street man.

This is a timely book, documented with intriguing, often awesome stories written with a sense of humor. Baer's comments on the tradecraft of espionage as practiced on the ground, -- the successes and the failures -- will enlighten historians and laymen interested in the profession. See No Evil should be mandatory reading for all candidates for the clandestine service and the analysts -- geographic, functional and technical -- who benefit from the collector's hard work.

This is a fine memoir, one of the very best ever written. (Hayden Peake)

Editors Note: This is an excerpt of the full review of See No Evil written by Hayden Peake, foremost intelligence bibliophile and AFIO member, that will be published in the next edition of the AFIO Periscope, to be published shortly. (RKJ)

 

JUSTICE DEPARTMENT RESOURCES ON FOIA -- The Department of Justice's Freedom of Information Act Guide, last updated in May 2002, was posted online earlier this month on the Justice web site. The Guide provides an authoritative review of the workings of the FOIA along with a detailed explication of how each of the Act's exemptions has evolved through judicial interpretation, providing abundant citations to the case law. The Justice Department has also recently posted updated versions of its Privacy Act Overview and its Freedom of Information Case List. See: http://www.usdoj.gov/04foia/04_7.html  (Secrecy News)

 

CHURCH COMMITTEE REPORTS ONLINE -- Volumes 2 and 3 of the landmark 1976 report of the Church Committee -- formally known as the U.S. Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities --have recently been posted online. Both volumes, which generally address domestic surveillance and civil liberties, have long been out of print. They have newly been made available, along with related materials, by researcher Paul Wolf on his web site here:

http://www.cointel.org . (Secrecy News)

 

HAMAS ORIGINS -- Analyst Nachman Tal describes how Hamas got off to its start with its declaration of struggle against Israel, and how death in the name of Allah would be a sacred good, in SUICIDE ATTACKS: ISRAEL AND ISLAMIC TERRORISM: "Nor should there be any mincing of words: participation in jihad for the liberation of Palestine is a personal obligation incumbent on every Muslim when an enemy steals any of the lands of the Muslims. Given the Jews' theft of Palestine, the flag of jihad must be unfurled."

(Jack Morris) http://www.thepalmerpress.com/rieas2.html

 


 

SECTION V -- ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

NCIX announces that their next conference will be held in Los Angeles, California. The Regional Seminar, to be held in Long Beach on November 6-7, 2002, may be viewed by linking to http://www.ncix.gov/events/sem_LA.html

On a related note, the one-day regional seminar co-hosted by the NCIX and the Dallas FBI's Emergency Response Network drew 600 attendees, a record for an NCIX event. For highlights of the seminar, link to http://www.ncix.gov/events/sem_TX.html,or see NCIX counterintelligence and security Website http://www.ncix.gov/feedback/pubreq.html,

 

NORTH VIETNAM's TOP SPY DIES -- Vu Ngoc Nha, a spy for communist North Vietnam who was a close friend and adviser to two South Vietnamese presidents before he was unmasked by U.S. intelligence during the Vietnam War, has died at age 74.

Nha died Wednesday 7 August 2002, after a long illness at his home in Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon. Nha was an insider in the administrations of presidents Ngo Dinh Diem and Nguyen Van Thieu, and fed secret information to the North until he was exposed by the CIA in 1969 and sentenced to life in prison. After the Vietnam War ended with the North's victory over the U.S.-backed South in 1975, Nha was promoted to major general in the Communist army. Nha's exploits were described in a biography by Huu Mai entitled "The Adviser." (AP 8 Aug 02) http://apnews.excite.com/article/20020808/D7L96HN00.html

 

FORMER GERMAN ESPIONAGE CHIEF DIES -- Gerhard Wessel, 88, a member of Nazi Germany's Intelligence apparatus during WWII, who went on to head West Germany's Federal Intelligence Service, died in July in Pullach, a suburb of Munich.

             Gerhard Wessel was born on Dec. 24, 1913, in the Holstein city of Neumünster, the son of an Evangelical pastor who had been held at one time by the Gestapo for statements he had made from the pulpit. The son joined the army in 1932, directly after his high school graduation. In their book "The General Was a Spy" (Bantam, 1972), Heinz Höhne and Hermann Zolling say his fellow officers regarded the young recruit as "a reserved, impenetrable personality," but General Gehlen was immediately attracted to his analytical mind. They said General Gehlen, who was not a good speaker, also valued the younger man's verbal ability and found him a valuable and efficient staff officer.

            In January 1945, General Gehlen reported to Hitler that the Soviets planned a major attack. Hitler was so enraged that he fired General Gehlen as chief of the intelligence group that focused on Russia, replacing him with General Wessel, then a lieutenant colonel. Incidentally, General Gehlen had been planning his surrender to the United States since the fall of 1944 and had a group of his officers microfilm their files for future use.

            After the war, the United States recognized that it did not have effective intelligence about the Soviet Union, its former ally. General Gehlen negotiated an agreement . The United States paid $3.4 million for the first year's work by what had

been christened the Gehlen Organization. It had 350 agents, and General Wessel was Chief of Evaluation. In 1952, General Gehlen detached General Wessel, then a colonel, from their tightly guarded compound in Pullach to help organize intelligence services for the new West German Army. He supervised counterintelligence for the army for seven years.

            As the Gehlen Organization was transferred to newly sovereign West Germany's intelligence service in April 1956, Wessel remained an aide to General Gehlen, until he replaced him in 1968. As the successor to Reinhard Gehlen as chief of the agency — known as the BND, for Bundesnachrichtendienst -- he is credited with modernizing German intelligence gathering and curbing some abuses. He hired academic analysts and electronics experts to serve alongside agents, and ordered spies to stop shadowing Germans inside Germany. His demand for greater openness was reflected in orders for agents to stop wearing the dark glasses favored under General Gehlen's leadership. He listed the BND in the phone book. During General Wessel's watch, the BND began to have open houses. He attended so many events and parties that Herbert Wehner, a leader of the Social Democratic Party, called him "the cocktail general." He became known for placing flowers everywhere. It takes all kinds.(Jonkers) (NYTimes // D. Martin) 

http://www.nytimes.com/2002/08/03/obituaries/03WESS.html


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