AFIO Intelligence Notes Issue 7

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


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.


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)


- 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 AFIO office.

- 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 others.


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"


Member services and employment availability:
- Albano Ponte specializes in arranging US dollar loans in developing countries (minimum request $5 M) . Email to
- David Bedenbaugh is a financial advisor who focuses on retirement planning. Call 301 897 5999 or
- Jim Ferrier, C-K & Assoc., Milwaukee WI, Specializes in examination of questioned (altered, forged, author unknown etc) documents. Contact - Goal-oriented project manager, polished briefer, former speechwriter for DCI Bill Casey, looking for post-retirement position in June 1998. Contact
- Former Army special operations officer (Colonel), engineering degrees, excellent analyst and writer, several years experience with DARPA advanced projects, seeks association with interesting program. Contact jonkers@betac.comfor address.

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