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AFIO Weekly Intelligence Notes #43-99, 30 Oct 1999

WINS are protected by copyright laws and may not be diseminated without permission. WINs are produced by Roy Jonkers for AFIO members and subscribers. Associate editors RADM Don Harvey and Professors John Macartney and Robert Heibel contributed to this WIN, along with member inputs.

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SADDAM OVERTHROW PROGRAMS (continued) -- The Administration has announced a new overt assistance program to the various groups dedicated to the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, to complement the covert program (announced publicly several times), the continuing daily bombing campaign against Iraqi targets (largely unreported routine), and the public policy announcements of the objective made by the President. Both training and equipment are offered, and both are labeled "non-lethal." In the first installment of training, a small group of Iraqi opposition officers is currently attending a 10-day training course at the Air Force Special Operations headquarters at Hurlburt Field in Florida. In addition the Iraqi opposition groups have been offered $2 million in surplus Pentagon office equipment as a first installment of $97 million in aid authorized by Congress.

The intent is to bolster the fractious groups opposing Saddam. These include Kurdish factions in northern Iraq, Shiite rebels in the south, and various exile groups from the center, the latter presumably well infiltrated by Saddam's agents. The Pentagon allegedly remains skeptical of the credibility and viability of these challengers to Hussein's regime. The announcement of the open support program, labeled a sharp new policy initiative, was made in New York City, possibly not unconnected to domestic politics. (courtesy Tom Hart; SFChron. 27Oct99, based on NYT art by S. Myers) (RoyJ)

MORE ON FORMER DCI JOHN DEUTCH. Unidentified sources recently referred to a recent CIA report that states that ex-CIA director John Deutch may have tampered with evidence in an inquiry into his misuse of classified files. Deutch lost his security clearance in August for transferring CIA files to an unsecured home computer. As the Feds investigated, Deutch tried to erase them. The report also says Deutch had mishandled secret files at the Pentagon in the early '90s. Congressmen, angered that Justice hasn't prosecuted, are now livid. "It's very troubling," says Senate intelligence chair Richard Shelby. Deutch's lawyer had no comment. (Newsweek, Nov 8, 1999) (JdMac)

GERMAN EMBASSY PHONES TAPPED IN WASHINGTON IN 1994 ??? -- According to a recent article in the German magazine FOCUS, Germany allegedly has evidence that U.S. spies have tapped the telephone system and computer network of their embassy in Washington. Citing unnamed sources, Focus alleged that Germany's Federal Information Service (BND) discovered in 1994 that the embassy's phone lines had been tapped and had evidence the U.S. government was behind the surveillance. Contacted through a spokeswoman, the political chief of Germany's intelligence service told Reuters the government did not ``as a matter of principle'' comment on reports of spying. Ernst Uhrlau, the government's secret services coordinator, further stressed the ``good and trusting relations'' and hoped they would not be harmed by media reporting. (Berlin, Reuters Oct 3) (Heibel)

NEWS COMMENTARIES ON A NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE ESTIMATE (NIE). In September a 16-page unclassified version of a National Intelligence Estimate surveying threats facing the US in future years was briefed to the media. A cursory review of how the resulting stories were played in five newspapers, all on the same day, is illustrative of how the same facts can be presented differently (at least in the article headlines). The headlines and first sentences of the articles were:

LOS ANGELES TIMES (10 Sep, page A1) Intelligence Report Warns of Missile Threat to U.S. Forces: In an unexpectedly dire assessment, Russia is seen as the most lethal challenge, North Korea as the greatest concern. U.S. intelligence community warned Thursday that proliferation of medium-range ballistic missiles, driven primarily by sales from North Korea, presents an immediate, serious and growing threat to U.S. forces and allies in the Middle East and Asia and has significantly altered the strategic balances there.

NEW YORK TIMES 10 Sep page A12) New Chinese Missiles Seen as Threat to U.S. An intelligence report issued today predicted that within 15 years, China will be aiming missiles at the United States that will be fitted with small nuclear warheads developed with the help of espionage.

WASHINGTON POST (10 Sep page A3) Iran, Iraq Could Join Missile Threat to U.S. Report May Bolster Calls for Defense System. Iran and Iraq may join North Korea in presenting a ballistic missile threat to the mainland United States within the next 10 years, according to a declassified version of a new national intelligence estimate released yesterday.

WALL STREET JOURNAL (10 Sep page A20 ) CIA Says Rogue-State Missile Threat Is Rising. A new U.S. intelligence report warns that the rogue state ballistic missile threat to the U.S. is growing quickly, increasing the likelihood that the Clinton administration will move ahead with an ambitious and costly national missile defense program.

WASHINGTON TIMES (10 Sep page A22) CIA reports ICBM threat will increase - - Russia, China major menace to U.S. The CIA said yesterday that missile threats to the United States are growing as Russia and China continue strategic weapons efforts and North Korea, Iran and Iraq seek long-range systems capable of reaching U.S. soil or troops abroad. (Harvey)


CIA STASI FILES (continued) --- In an elaboration of the article in WIN #41-99, Walter Pincus of the Washington Post, winner of the first AFIO Stewart Alsop Media Award, provided more details on the CIA files to be provided to the German government. Importantly, CIA Director George Tenet for the first time officially acknowledged that the CIA had the files, and announced that CIA would provide the German government with as much information as possible. A special German committee has been tracking former Stasi agents, who had thoroughly infiltrated the West German government during the Cold War.

The Stasi files were obtained by the CIA in one of the last great intelligence coups of the Cold War, when the Berlin Wall came down in 1989. Copies of a large part of these archives - - those relating to German citizens - - will now be turned over in January 2000. One of the key documents is a master list of 320,000 "identities" - the real names, code names and pseudonyms of German citizens, both East and West, on the Stasi records. Some small proportion - on the order of 10% - 15% - - will have worked as agents of the Stasi -- the rest were merely in the files for surveillance or other innocuous reasons.

Five years ago the CIA provided Germany copies on some 18,000 identities, leading to the identification of 2,000 former Stasi agents. Great secrecy still prevail concerning the files, including how they were obtained in an operation codenamed Operation Rosewood, and relating to content. Even now some of these secrets are potentially deadly ones.(W. Pincus, Wash Post 27 Oct99, p. A27) (RoyJ)

CYBERWAR ATTACK - MOONLIGHT MAZE - - The FBI has tried to determine if cyber-spies at Moscow's prestigious Russian Academy of Sciences are responsible for Moonlight Maze, the most pervasive assault yet on U.S. Defense Department and other computer networks. The first Moonlight Maze attack was detected in March 1998. Three months later, U.S. security sleuths were able to monitor a series of intrusions and traced them back to seven dial-up Internet connections near Moscow. But the intense attacks continued until last May, and the FBI investigation remains open. One reason: U.S. officials are unable to determine if the trail really stops in Moscow or simply appears to.

Either way, the Moonlight Maze attack was enormous. U.S. officials said that the intruders systematically ransacked hundreds of essential but unclassified computer networks used by the Pentagon, the Energy Department, NASA, defense contractors and several universities. Vast amounts of technical defense research were illegally downloaded and transferred to Russia. Investigators found that the hackers used workstations running Sun operating systems and routed high-speed calls through U.S. university network servers to hide their tracks. They usually logged into government computer systems with stolen passwords. Attacking from within, they gained root access to numerous systems. The intruders also sometimes created illegal "back doors" to secretly reenter the compromised systems. They also installed "sniffers," which let them monitor sensitive communications along U.S. government networks, thus sending e-mail as well as other sensitive information stored in compressed data files to the Russian address - front or source. (LATimes 10/31) (JdMac)


NAVAHO CODE TALKERS In some of the toughest battles of the South Pacific, Navajo Code Talkers transmitted thousands of radio messages in a code based on their intricate and unwritten language, in which fighter planes became "hummingbirds," dive bombers "chicken hawks" and submarines "iron fish." Though the Japanese repeatedly broke other American military codes, they never came close to cracking the Navajos', which remains one of the handful of codes in military history that were never deciphered. In fact, the Navajos' secret was considered so valuable that it was kept classified until 1968. And their singular contribution to the wartime efforts of what has been called "the greatest generation" went largely unheralded. Fewer than half the code talkers are still alive.

But suddenly, it seems, their story is popping up everywhere. It was the subject of a recent documentary on television's History Channel. It is celebrated in "The Code Book" (Doubleday, 1999), Simon Singh's history of cryptography. The Smithsonian Institution has asked for help in putting together a display about the code talkers in its new museum of Indian history on the Mall in Washington. Not one but two Hollywood films are in the works.

MEMBER COMMENTARY - - I just finished reading "CIA and the Vietnam Policymakers: Three Episodes 1962-1968, by Hal Ford. It was fascinating reading, but it reinforced what I learned in my 37 year career in intelligence: if your information and analysis is consistent with what policymakers want to hear, it is well received. If not, you play hell even getting it out of the building. The book also reinforced the lesson that when upper management in the intelligence agencies put their stamp on analysis, it tends to bias it toward what they believe their masters want to hear. I saw that happen again and again at CIA, DIA, INR, and in national estimates. It just goes to demonstrate the point once made to me by the Director of the Joint Staff (Dennis Blair at the time): "there are only two possible outcomes--operational success or intelligence failure." (Boyd Sutton)

THE MASTER OF DISGUISE: My Secret Life in the CIA, by Antonio Mendez (William Morrow; $25.00, November 1999). In his new book Mendez shares his candid behind-the-scenes account of his 25-year-career as the CIA's foremost inventor of disguises. The Master of Disguises reveals the artistic craft and state-of-the-art techniques required to forge official documents, create propaganda, and manufacture convincing disguises complete with hair pieces, masks, make-up, and costumes. Mendez also offers a rare inside look at Agency politics, leadership, and other operations, including espionage tradecraft, surveillance, and cloaking techniques, as well as propaganda activities from 1965 to 1990. Mendez's creative talents have earned him the CIA's top honors. In 1997, as part of the CIA's 50th Anniversary, he received the Agency's trailblazer award, a special citation given to the 50 "CIA officers who by their actions, example, or initiative helped shape the history of the first half of the century" of the CIA. In addition, Mendez was awarded the Agency's Intelligence Star for Valor after engineering the dramatic rescue of six Americans from Tehran in 1980. See Bulletin Board Notices for announcement of kick-off reception sponsored by the Cold War Museum. (Francis Gary Powers Jr)

DEMOCIDE WEBSITE - - An interesting new Website was developed by emeritus professor, R. J. Rummel, from the U. of Hawaii. The site looks at what Rummel calls "Democide," or the murder of individuals by government, a subject he has written about in several books. Rummel points out that more people, about 170 million, have been murdered by their own governments in this century, four times as many people as were killed in all of this century's wars combined. (JDMAC)

A MAN OF INTELLIGENCE: MEMOIRS OF WAR, PEACE, AND THE CIA - - the memoirs of General Charles P. Cabell, edited by Charles A. Cabell, Jr. Brig. Gen. USAF (Ret)., Colorado Springs, CO: Impavide Publications, 1997, 401pp., index.

Hayden Peake sent a CORRECTION to the city address for General Cabell's son - - who resides in Colorado Springs (not Boulder). Copies may be obtained from BG Cabell by calling (719) 592-0472; fax (719) 592-0230, or email: $40.00 + S&H. (courtesy Hayden Peake) (RoyJ)

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