AFIO Weekly Intelligence Notes (WINs) are a 1998 initiative to provide added value to AFIO membership.
Format and name are still being adjusted to find the optimum formula. WINs contain published "facts" and commentaries derived from public media and open sources.
WIN back issues are stored on the AFIO Homepage WIN re-transmission is not permitted except with concurrence of the WIN Editor, Roy Jonkers.
SECTION I - Admiral Harvey's Nuggets
SECTION II - Editor's bullets
SECTION III - Announcements, Jobs and Services
NEW "WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION" PANEL -. The 1997 Intelligence Authorization Act established a "Commission to Assess the Organization of the Federal Government to Combat the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction." Congressional leaders and the President have now named eight members to the commission.
Congressional appointees are Sen. Arlen Specter, retired Senator James Exon, former Rep. Anthony Beilenson, and Henry Cooper, consultant. White House appointees are John Deutch, former DCI; Robert Gallucci, dean of Georgetown School of Foreign Service; from Rep. David McCurdy; and Daniel Poneman, former nonproliferation expert at the NSC. The panel will probably conclude that the intelligence community is organized reasonably well, but that the policymaking side of government is not adequately organized to deal with this problem.
LOS ALAMOS TRAITORS (continued) - The youngest (19 at the time) member of the Los Alamos team that developed the atomic bomb has admitted in his recent book that he passed nuclear secrets to the Soviet Union. The now 71-year old claims he felt concern about a possible US monopoly and says he feels no remorse for being a traitor. He was investigated as an espionage case by the FBI in the 1950's and 1960's, but never charged. He was recruited at Harvard, worked most of his scientific career as a research biophysicist at Cambridge University, and has kidney cancer and Parkinson's disease.
COVERT ACTION PLANS AGAINST IRAQ LEAKED - a draft plan to destabilize Iraq through a concerted propaganda and infrastructure sabotage campaign has been leaked to the media. On one level the leaks appear to demonstrate Washington leadership divisions and disagreements over required actions to take and the chances of success. On another level the public discussion of future planning for "covert" action constitutes an almost comical contradiction in terms. There is disagreement among policymakers over the vulnerability of the ruling Ba'ath party to covert action. The major political opposition groups in exile, in Jordan and London, are fragmented. The Kurds in the north are deeply divided and often at war with each other. The Shiite groups in the south have ties to Iran and have been ineffective. However, with a powerful group of Senators calling for action, something will probably be done -- hopefully not to be announced previously in the news media. (NYT 26 Feb )
RUSSIAN BIOLOGICAL WARFARE RESEARCH - In 1989 a Soviet defector, Vladimir Pasechnik, revealed the existence of a Soviet "Biopreparat" complex for chemical and germ warfare weapons development, with at least 25,000 people employed in military and civilian laboratories in the 1980's. The defector claimed that the Soviets had plans for producing anthrax bacteria as well as smallpox and plague viruses.
In 1992 Boris Yeltsin renounced the biological warfare program and ratified a Biological and Toxic Weapons Convention. Tri-lateral US-UK-Russian confidence-building inspections were arranged in 1992, but faltered after 1994 when the US and UK pressed for access to Russian military installations. Negotiations to strengthen the 1972 Convention were conducted in 1996 and 1997, but did not succeed due to differing national requirements and perspectives. Now another high-ranking defector, who was part of the Soviet/Russian program from 1975 until 1991, has been given a public forum to put pressure on Russia to prove that it is not secretly continuing with illicit germ warfare research.An example of Intelligence in the service of foreign policy objectives. (WP 26 Feb 1998, page A 17, NYT 28 Nov 97, p A39)
MOSSAD's TIME OF TROUBLES (continued) - General Danny Yatom, Chief of Mossad, resigned a week after he and other Mossad officers were blamed by a government commission for the failure of the assassination attempt against Khaled Meshal in Jordan. Yatom disclaimed findings of fault, but stated that he bore overall responsibility and therefore resigned. Meanwhile Israeli public media jumped onto another alleged Mossad "fiasco," the apprehension of Mossad operatives by the Swiss on 25 February. The operatives made so much noise during the installation of a phone bug in the basement of an apartment building that neighbors called the police. The press embellished this story with recitals of other Mossad "failures," including the failed attempt to bug the Iranian Embassy in Cyprus in 1991, and the much more serious blunder in assassinating the wrong man in Lillehammer, Norway in 1973, when a Moroccan waiter was killed instead of the terrorist target.
Leaks to the press from within the agency and the government have led various commentators to remark on internal problems within the agency, reflecting distrust between the ruling political group and agency officials, deep divisions within Israeli society between secular and religious Jews and over the peace process, and rivalries between intelligence agencies. In short, the intelligence process is said to have become politicized, warping its findings.
Mossad has had a reputation for ruthless competence, both in the field of foreign intelligence activities and in assassinations. According to Benny Morris in his book "Israel's Secret Wars," Mossad agents have assassinated several dozen people abroad. Mossad has succeeded in preempting a number of terrorist attacks and the agency has scores of successes to its credit. It will survive its current time of troubles. (WP 27 Feb page A15, WP 25 Feb page A21, WT 26 Feb page A13, WT 2 Mar p A14)
FBI AGENT AWARD - Former FBI agent Frederic Whitehurst who performed as a "whisteblower" on deficiencies in FBI crime lab procedures in 1995, and was subsequently suspended with pay in 1997, was awarded economic damages plus legal fees. Whitehurst is to be reinstated and resign immediately. The Department Inspector General, in a 500- page report, asserted that FBI crime labs made serious errors in analyzing evidence in major criminal cases, including the Oklahoma City and World Trade Center bombings. Deficiencies included errors in court testimony, substandard analytical work, and flawed management policies at three of the FBI's twent-three labs. In at least two cases testimony appeared tilted to incriminate the defendants.
But the IG report also noted that the majority of Whitehurst's allegations were not substantiated, including hundreds of charges of perjury and fabrication of evidence made against individuals dating back over 10 years. The report was highly critical of Whitehurst, concluding that he could no longer function effectively at the laboratory, noting "the harm he has caused innocent persons by making inflammatory but unsubstantiated allegations, and the doubts that exist whether he has the requisite common sense and judgment to serve as a forensic examiner. "(WT 27 Feb page A8, WP 27 Feb page A23)
INFORMATION WARFARE - The Pentagon's unclassified personnel and payroll computer networks were hit by an organized and systematic infowar attack, according to the Department of Defense. The attack was concentrated on eleven military installations and coincided with a "hacker contest." It did not involve classified information and appeared to have been conducted in the spirit voyeurism, macho-ism and vandalism. Nevertheless, DOD is taking steps to update its defenses against such infowar attacks and is coordinating closely with the Justice Department.
BAY OF PIGS REQUIEM - Old operations never die or even fade away. A 150 page classified report on the Bay of Pigs operation by then-CIA Inspector General Lyman Kirkpatrick, allegedly a relic resident in the CIA Director's safe for all these years, has been released. In short, as reflected in the press, the report alleges that the Agency's reckless gambling, arrogance and incompetence were to blame for the disaster, not mistakes by policymakers. Do not be hasty in sharing this conclusion. AFIO will release a balanced perspective on this matter shortly.
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.
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 REVIEW (NIPR 98) Symposium - from 0730 - 1600, at Tysons Corner Marriott, Va. Limit one hundred seats, at $99 for AFIO members, $129 for others.
- Want to read a good novel about MILITARY ATTTACHES by someone who has been there? Read Major General (ret)"Chuck" Scanlon's "The Attaches," IM Press Inc, PO Box 377, Fairfax Station VA 22039-0377
The AFIO Web site carries information on AFIO MEMBERS seeking jobs and offering services, such as:
- Need to search the Web for an investigation? Get David Vine's
"Investigator's Internet Resource Guide." Will save time and assist
your inquiry. Inquire at email@example.com
-Jim Ferrier, C-K & Associates, Milwaukee WI, specializes in examining questioned (altered, forged etc) documents. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- 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
- Senior Engineer, BSEE, coinventor of state-of-the-art biometrics
security system based on real-time recognition of facial images,
Tempest systems development, EMC/EMI, frequency management
engineering, seeks new challenges. For reference, 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 for address.