AFIO Intelligence Notes Issue
21 February 1998
AFIO Intelligence Notes are a 1998 initiative to provide added
value to AFIO membership. Please use it to recruit new members!
EIN's contain "facts" and commentaries derived from public media
and open sources.
Back issues of the report are stored on the AFIO Homepage under
the "Intelligence Notes" heading. EIN re-transmission is not
permitted except with concurrence of the EIN Editor, Roy Jonkers.
SECTION I - Admiral Harvey's Nuggets
SECTION II - Editor's bullets
SECTION III - Announcements, Jobs and Services
SECTION I. HARVEY'S NUGGETS.
FIRST COMMERCIAL RECONNAISSANCE SATELLITE LAUNCHED. The day before
Christmas, 1997, Earthwatch Inc. of Logmont, Colorado, launched the
first commercial recon satellite in the world. The launch from a
military base in eastern Russia marks the end of the monopoly of
military and intelligence organizations on gathering imagery from
space with resolutions smaller than 10 meters (33 feet, sold by Spot
Image and others). The new satellite can distinguish features on the
ground as small as 10 feet across. In coming years, firms in the US,
Russia, China, France, India and Israel plan to launch
next-generation satellites with one meter (3.3 feet) resolution.
SECTION 2. EDITOR'S BULLETS
NEWS FROM THE WASHINGTON ASYLUM - FBI CRIMINAL PROBE OF CIA
OFFICIALS ACCUSED OF PLOTTING TO KILL SADAM. A top-secret criminal
investigation was conducted of CIA officials on charges of plotting
to kill Sadam Hussein in 1995. The FBI interrogated and polygraphed
at least five CIA officers who were told they were under
investigation on federal criminal charges. Eventually it transpired
that the source for the accusations was information disseminated by
Iraqi dissident leaders trying to force Washington's hand in
operations against Sadam. The FBI dropped the case in 1996. Federal
law forbids CIA from trying to assassinate a foreign leader - an
outgrowth of the many counterproductive attempts against Fidel
Castro. For some observers the case underscores how US policymakers
have been tied up in legal and political knots over Iraq for years.
To others the case is a paradigm of everything that is wrong with US
intelligence policy. (LAT 17 Feb, p A1)
COVERT OPERATIONS AGAINST IRAQ. Since the Gulf War in 1991, a
"presidential finding" has authorized covert action against Iraq,
authorizing CIA to use deadly force. In pursuance of this finding, a
number of operations have been conducted against Iraq.
One of these was CIA encouragement and support for an Iraqi
National Congress (INC) based in the Kurdish region in the North. The
INC was funded and backed by the CIA as an umbrella group to bring
together the various groups of dissidents. A US-educated Iraqi
shiite, Ahmad Chalabi, was placed in the leadership position, but
never really trusted. Reciprocal CIA-INC suspicions, INC coordination
attempts with Iranian-backed groups in southern Iraq, and internal
Kurdish rivalries, undermined the effort, which finally collapsed
after a CIA-encouraged offensive of a rump INC group against Iraqi
forces in the north failed in 1996. It is a convoluted story, worthy
of a book. The other principal effort involved the creation of an
"Iraqi National Accord" group to overthrow Sadam by an internal coup
by military officers. The latter, an operation run jointly by CIA and
MI-6, was based in Jordan. This covert program was, however,
thoroughly penetrated by Iraqi double agents, and Sadam rolled up and
executed at least a hundred officers and others who had been part of
this scheme in 1996. (LAT 17 Feb p A1)
US INTELLIGENCE SUPPORT FOR IRAQ - In the 1980's, American
intelligence and tacit support for Iraqi chemical warfare and
ballistic missile operations against Iran turned the tide in favor of
Iraq in its war with Iran - one of this century's bloodiest wars. At
the time Sadam was considered the great hope of holding back the
militant Islamic tide. Relations between the US and Iran had been
broken off in 1967 over fundamental disagreements over Israel, but
resumed in 1984 based on a shared view of Iran as the primary enemy.
US intelligence provided data about Iran's military operations and
deployments, largely from satellite photography. In 1986, as the war
turned in Iran's favor, the pace of US intelligence support
escalated, and Iraq was able to survive intact. (LAT 17 Feb p A2)
US BOMBING OF IRAQ - The target lists being compiled in the
Bedouin village of Eskan in Saudi Arabia, US Central Command's
forward headquarters, are still being tweaked. Envisioned are
"thousands of aim points" targeting the Iraqi state's electric power
and communications as well as leadership infrastructure - going well
beyond the targeting of NCBW technical/industrial capabilities.
In 1991 only 260 of over 36,000 strikes were in the category
designated "Leadership." Leadership targets in the 1991 Gulf War were
concentrated in the city of Baghdad. But seven years of intensive
intelligence coverage, benefiting from thousands of reconnaissance
flights, countless "inspections," and the windfall of the 1995
defection of Sadam's son-in-law, the late Hussein Khamel, have
revealed the innards of the ruling party's control apparatus
throughout the country, including regional secret police centers and
special security organizations. This time the number of "L" targets
is expected to be far greater.
It worked in Bosnia, where US airpower targeted and destroyed the
Serbian "center of gravity" - their perceived ability to defend
against the Croat and Muslim attacks - leaving them dependent on the
occupation forces. Similarly, the primary objective appears to be to
remove the Iraqi regime's sense of internal security. The Navy is
ready to test its new precision weapons, and the Command looks
forward to an excellent low risk exercise against live targets. (WP
17 Feb pg A1)
US KOREAN WAR POW's IN CHINA - De-classified Army intelligence
reports state that hundreds of American servicemen were shuttled
though a clandestine network of prison camps in China during the
Korean War, and speculates that most died from malnutrition or lack
of medical care. The reports suggest that the US knew of the
prisoners, tracked their movements, and feared for their lives. Some
8,000 American prisoners are unaccounted for from the Korean war.
Defense Secretary William Cohen has asked Chinese officials to open
their Army archives that might account for the missing servicemen. We
await further disclosures - not all of us who served in that publicly
forgotten war are dead yet. (NYT 17 Feb, p A-8)
CHINESE INTELLIGENCE ACTIVITIES - The Senate's Thompson Committee
has drafted a statement, endorsed by the FBI and CIA, that "there are
indications that Chinese efforts in connection with the 1996
elections were undertaken or orchestrated, at least in part, by
People's Republic of China intelligence agencies." The focal point
was John Huang, who was appointed to the Department of Commerce
through the influence of Indonesian banker James Riady (Lippo Group).
For eighteen months Huang read secret cable traffic, received at
least three dozen CIA briefings, and looked at some 500 pieces of raw
intelligence. He visited the White House and the Executive Office
Building more than sixty-five times, made hundreds of calls from his
Commerce office to Lippo offices, and regularly visited a Lippo
office across the street - often just after CIA briefings - where
Huang sent and received faxes and made more calls. He also was said
to have conveyed $100,000 to Webster Hubbell as a favor to Clinton.
The Senate package points to a Chinese intelligence operation to
collect US trade-policy and other official secrets, and to the use of
agents of influence to buy changes in US foreign policy. The mass
media have it all wrong - this is the real scandal, not some tawdry
sex affair. (NYT 16Feb p.A19)
SECTION 3. AFIO EVENTS & ANNOUNCEMENTS
- 9 March 1998 - Luncheon at Fort Myer, Virginia.
Mr. JOHN LAUDER (11:00-12:00 noon.), Director of the CIA
Non-Proliferation Center, speaks on Nuclear/Chemical/Biological
proliferation issues (Russia, Mideast etc).
AMBASSADOR RICHARD MCCORMACK (1- 2pm), former Under Secretary of
State for Economic Affairs, will address Asian financial intelligence
- trends and prospects.
Last chance to register: Send in your name, telephone number and
check for $24 (members and their guests) or $29 (non-members) to the
- 20 May 1998 - AFIO NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE PRIORITIES SURVEY
(NIPS) Symposium - from 0730 - 1600, at Tysons Corner Marriott, Va.
Limit one hundred seats, at $99 for AFIO members, $129 for
AFIO MIDWEST Chapter will meet for 2 day working tour of OFFUTT
Air Force Base in Omaha, Nebraska on 24 & 25 April. All AFIO
members are welcome. Call Chapter President Angelo DiLiberti @ 847
931 4184. The MidWest Chapter will also host its 7th ANNUAL
INTELLIGENCE SEMINAR at GREAT LAKES NAVAL STATION the last week in
June. During the last week in September the Chapter will sponsor a
working tour of the CANADIAN Armed Forces Military Intelligence and
Security School at Camp Border, Canada. Call the Chapter President if
interested in participating! Great Program!
ANNOUNCEMENT - On Discovery Channel
Monday PM 8-11pm - 3 hour documentary "Spytek"
Wednesday 10-11 pm "Spyplanes"
Thursday 10-11pm "CIA Secret Warriors"
JOBS AND SERVICES:
Member services and employment availability:
- Albano Ponte specializes in arranging US dollar loans in developing
countries (minimum request $5 M) . Email to email@example.com
- David Bedenbaugh is a financial advisor who focuses on retirement
planning. Call 301 897 5999 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Jim Ferrier, C-K & Assoc., Milwaukee WI, Specializes in
examination of questioned (altered, forged, author unknown etc)
documents. Contact email@example.com
- Goal-oriented project manager, polished briefer, former
speechwriter for DCI Bill Casey, looking for post-retirement position
in June 1998. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Former Army special operations officer (Colonel), engineering
degrees, excellent analyst and writer, several years experience with
DARPA advanced projects, seeks association with interesting program.
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