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AFIO Weekly Intelligence Notes #46-99, 18 NOV 1999

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Associate editors RADM Don Harvey and Professors John Macartney and Robert Heibel contributed to this WIN, along with member inputs.

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AVERSION TO CASUALTIES. Although it is an article of faith in policymaking circles that the public demands any US involvement abroad to be casualty-free, polling research does not support that idea. In a survey of 4900 citizens divided into 3 groups, military elites, civilian elites and the general public, all groups seem prepared to accept substantial casualties. Military elites are the most casualty adverse, while the public seems ready to accept body bags in the thousands, for example, to "stabilize the Congo," or tens of thousands "defend Taiwan." (jdmac)

RPG ROCKETS FIRED AT US EMBASSY IN PAKISTAN. Several rockets were fired at American and UN diplomatic buildings in Islamabad, Pakistan on Nov 12, but they missed their targets. The attacks came 2 days before (US sponsored) UN economic sanctions were to go into effect against the Taliban govt in neighboring Afghanistan over its refusal to hand over terror suspect Osama bin Laden. NY Times, 11/13, (jdmac)

TALIBAN ARREST TWO JORDANIANS FOR SPYING ON BIN LADIN. According to Pakistani press reporting, the Taliban government in Afghanistan arrested two Jordanians, along with their modern wireless system, for spying on suspected terrorist leader, Osama Bin Ladin. The two were allegedly providing information to Jordanian secret agencies and perhaps Israel as well. (BBC Nov 11; Heibel)


SIGINT TIES IRAN TO BOTH KHOBAR TOWERS (1996) AND BEIRUT MARINE BARRACKS BOMBING (1983). NEWSWEEK (11/15) has learned that an NSA phone tap recorded a Sept. 24, 1983, call from the Iranian ambassador in Syria to his foreign minister, in which the ambassador relayed orders he'd given to Abu Haidar, leader of the Husaini Suicide Forces Movement. The ambassador told Haidar to get weapons from Yasir Arafat's Fatah group to "undertake an extraordinary operation against the Marines" in Beirut. A CIA source says U.S. military officials had the intercept in hand a month before the bombing which killed 241 Marines and other US servicemen, but failed to prevent it.

Meanwhile, although the State Dept maintains the evidence of Iranian govt involvement is ambiguous, an official with access to the material told NEWSWEEK, "We have hard evidence on the Iranian government's role." CIA sources say terrorists received money and passports from Iran and that Iranian agents were casing American facilities in 1995. (jdmac)

FY2000 INTELLIGENCE AUTHORIZATION. The House passed next years intel authorization bill on Nov 11; the Senate is expected to pass it this week. Apparently the bill contains generous funding for a new constellation of imagery satellites that will cost some $4.8 billion, but that there is no money programmed for exploitation and dissemination of the new imagery. As a result, the House has notified the IC they will cut back on the satellites unless funding is found for exploitation. In the words of Rep Jerry Lewis (R-CA), "It does not do any good to take pictures no one will ever see." The problem is serious, because the needed exploitation will cost up to $2.8 billion, so the whole program is at risk. Also in the bill is a provision making it a crime to identify publicly any former clandestine intelligence officer within 5 years after they have left govt service. A similar law covers currently employed clandestine officers. Washington Post, Nov 12. (jdmac)

NSA & "ECHELON," AGAIN. A Vernon Loeb article in the the Nov 13 Washington Post reviews the hysteria around "Echelon," which is allegedly the code name for an automated SIGINT system operated by NSA with assistance from SIGINT organizations in Britain, Canada and Australia. Sensational charges in the EU parliament about a global SIGINT system that listens in on everything -- every phone call, every e-mail, every telex, etc, has been fueling controversy, mostly in Europe but with some spill over into the US Congress. Then in the Nov 14 Washington Post, James Bamford, author of "THE PUZZLE PALACE," a ground breaking 1982 book about NSA, also addresses the issue. From my (jdmac) perspective, there's an interesting contradiction here. On the one hand, I keep hearing that NSA and the SIGINT business are being overtaken by the info tech revolution -- that is, the explosion in e-mail, faxes and other communications, coupled with fiber optics and the widespread availability of "unbreakable" encryption, is making SIGINT as we knew it ineffective. On the other hand, we hear this hysteria about "Echelon," which allegedly hears everything. (jdmac)



Mark Lowenthal, INTELLIGENCE: FROM SECRETS TO POLICY, CQ Press, 1999. Lowenthal has made a major contribution to the literature of intelligence, and this new book will undoubtedly be the textbook of choice in many college classes next semester. It is a primer on intelligence, especially strong in its discussions of analysis, the role of the policy consumer, oversight and the post-Cold War intelligence agenda. Dr. Lowenthal, who teaches part time at both Columbia and George Washington Universities, is the former Staff Director of the HPSCI, a former Deputy Asst SecState for intelligence (INR), and a former senior CRS official, as well as the 1988 grand champion of the TV show, "Jeopardy." And, of course, Mark is a member of AFIO. (jdmac)

Art Hulnick, FIXING THE SPY MACHINE: PREPARING AMERICAN INTELLIGENCE FOR THE 21ST CENTURY, Praeger, 1999. Although I have yet to see this brand new book by AFIO member Art Hulnick, I expect it will also become an important college textbook. A retired CIA case officer, Art now teaches at Boston University, is active in ISA's Intelligence Studies group, has published many articles on intelligence and definitely knows his stuff.

DISPATCH. The October 1999 issue of Dispatch is now available on the State Department Web site:



NOV 18, Thursday, Washington. NMIA Potomac Chapter luncheon, Bolling AFB EM Club, 11am. Speaker will be Dr Mark Lowenthal, former Staff Director of the HPSCI and former DepAsstSecState for Intelligence (INR). He will talk about and sign copies of his new book, INTELLIGENCE: FROM SECRETS TO POLICY -- which will be available at a discount at the luncheon. Lori Tugman, 703-921-1800 /

NOV 18-20 (College Station, Texas) CIA's Center for the Study of Intelligence and the Bush School of Government and Public Service are sponsoring a conference on "US Intelligence and the End of the Cold War" on 18-20 November 1999 at Texas A&M University. Among the 35 outstanding speakers featured at the conference are President George Bush, George Tenet, James Baker, Brent Scowcroft, Robert Gates, Richard Cheney, Oleg Kalugin, Arnold Kanter, Allen Weinstein and Thomas Powers. BY INVITATION ONLY. Contact Susan Mathews at: Center for Presidential Studies, Bush School of Government and Public Service phone - 409 862-8845, e-mail -

DEC 1, Wednesday all day NMIA Conference on Counterintelligence, Ft Myer, Virginia

DEC 2, Thursday all day NMIA conference on intelligence, DIS '99, Ft Myer, Virginia.

DEC 1, Wednesday IALEIA Fall Conference "Law Enforcement Intelligence Analysis," Marymount University Conference Center, Ballston Campus, Arlington, VA (

DEC 6, Monday AFIO Winter luncheon, Ft Myer O'Club, 11am - 2pm. The 11am speaker to be Mr Antonio Mendez, author of MASTER OF DISGUISES: MY SECRET LIFE IN THE CIA. Luncheon speaker will be Fritz Ermarth, former Chairman of the NIC. To register, send check for $26/person to AFIO, 6723 Whittier Ave, Suite 303A, McLean, VA 22101-4533. (703.790-0320)

DEC 7, Tuesday, 9am to 1pm Conference on returning four-star rank to Admiral Husband E. Kimmel, the Pacific Fleet commander at Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941; 9am -1pm. All star cast. Admission by invitation; call CAPT Todd Creekman, USN (ret), Executive Director, Naval Historical Foundation, 202 678-4333; fax 202 889-3565.

DEC 9, Thursday, 10am - 1pm NMIA Potomac Chapter luncheon, Bolling AFB EM Club, 10am former CIA imagery expert, Dino Brugioni, speaking on his new book, "Photo Fakery" Luncheon speaker, Col Phil Ishio, USA-ret, speaking on captured documents exploitation in WWII Pacific theater. Lori Tugman, 703-921-1800 /

JAN 20, 2000, Thursday, 11am - 1pm NMIA Potomac Chapter luncheon, Bolling AFB EM Club, 11am. Speaker will be Dr Ruth David, former CIA DDS&T and now President and CEO of ANSER, speaking on "Homeland Defense." Lori Tugman, 703-921-1800 /

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