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SECTION I CURRENT INTELLIGENCE
JONATHAN POLLARD, NEW YORK POLITICS AND HILLARY CLINTON. Hundreds of mostly Jewish demonstrators rallied at Hillary's senate campaign headquarters Dec 5 as part of a renewal of the effort to pressure the Clinton Administration to release convicted Israeli spy (and US Navy civilian analyst) Jonathan J Pollard from his life sentence.
LOS ALAMOS, AGAIN. In the aftermath of suspected Chinese espionage at the Los Alamos Nuclear Weapons Lab, strong new security measures were announced. Among those were plans to polygraph large numbers of Lab employees and to limit visits to the Labs by foreigners. Both of those measures are meeting strong resistance from American scientists and Energy Secretary Richardson announced on Dec 3 that he will begin issuing waiver for foreign visitors to the lab and scale back the planned polygraph program from some 10,000 DOE employees to a few hundred.
CANADIAN INTELLIGENCE GAFFES. When you get right down to it, can you have a lot of faith in an intelligence agency when one of its senior officers takes top-secret documents on holiday and leaves them in the boot of her car while she is at a hockey game? And another Canadian Security and Intelligence Service senior officer left an uncoded computer disk containing the names of confidential informants and contacts in a telephone booth?
CHINA SENTENCES ALLEGED US SPY. A Chinese-born US resident and green card holding missile expert has been sentenced to 15 years for leaking Chinese state secrets.
PROFESSOR SUES CIA. A geography professor is suing the CIA in a contract dispute sparked by what he claimed was pressure to twist an academic study that touched on prospects for an ethnic breakup of China. Professor Gary Fuller of the University of Hawaii alleged the CIA broke off their 13 years of contractual ties and smeared him to discredit the work of a CIA-funded research team he headed on ethnic trouble spots in Asia.
SECTION II - - CONTEXT AND PRECEDENT
AT DIA, EXCESS IS IN THE DETAILS. This Dec 6 online column by Washington Post military analyst, William Arkin, has a lengthy and interesting discussion of Defense Intelligence Agency and what it does.
Here are some of Arkin's points:
MORE ON NSA's TROUBLES. In the wake of Seymour Hersh's big piece on NSA in Dec 6 NEW YORKER (summarized last week's WIN), more and more articles are coming out, like this Dec 5 NY Times item, which says that NSA isn't what it used to be. Instead, it's being overwhelmed by the information technology revolution and needs drastic change.
ECHELON. Meanwhile, other critics worry that NSA is too powerful, and listens in on "everything" world wide. When the House intelligence committee, Chaired by AFIO member Port Goss (R-FL) requested from NSA the applicable regulations they follow regarding eves dropping, NSA, incredibly, refused to hand over the documents, claiming "lawyer client relationship." In the brouhaha that followed, the Agency did provide something to the committee, but apparently not enough. So, Congress has changed their request to a demand, and written it into law. Meanwhile, a private group, the Electronic Privacy Information Center, http://www.epic.org/, filed a lawsuit, demanding those same documents, and the ACLU established a web site on Echelon. Stay tuned...
NSA GENERAL COUNSEL RESPONDS. In a letter-to-the-editor published in the Washington Post (12/7), Robert Deitz refutes, point by point, a critical op-ed piece that James Bamford (author of THE PUZZLE PALACE) wrote in the Nov 14 Post. Basically, Deitz says that NSA has not, does not and will not break any US laws. Moreover, he says that NSA has cooperated with Rep Porter Goss and the HPSCI, despite stories to the contrary in the press. Deitz begins his letter, "In his Nov. 14 Outlook article, "Loud and Clear," James Bamford wrote that he is "certain that NSA is not overstepping its [legal] mandate," then spent the bulk of his article speculating that the agency might do so in the future"
NEWSWEEK'S TAKE ON NSA. Perhaps the best summary available of NSA's troubles with the digital age is in the Dec 8 NEWSWEEK. http://newsweek.com/nw-srv/printed/us/st/a9040-1999dec5.htm NSA REPORT BY MID-LEVEL NSA PERSONNEL. An article in "Federal Computer Week" (12/6), describes an NSA internal report that led to the ongoing "100 Days of Change." LtGen Hayden, DIRNSA, describes the report's authors, 19 mid-level NSA personnel, as "responsible anarchists."
DOD HONORS COMMANCHE "CODE TALKERS." Charles Chibitty, 78, the last survivor of 16 Commanche Code Talkers who served in Europe during WWII was honored at a ceremony at the Pentagon last week. Chibitty, a native Oklahoman who served in the Army's 4th Signal Company and was part of the Normandy invasion, received several awards during the hour-long tribute, including the Knowlton Award in recognition of significant contributions to military intelligence.
SECTION III - - BOOKS AND RELATED MATTERS
VERNON LOEB & WILLIAM ARKIN ON-LINE. "IntelligenCIA," Washington Post reporter Vernon Loeb's bi-weekly on-line column on intelligence matters is an increasingly important source for information about what's going on in the US Intelligence Community. Similarly, his colleague William Arkin, who reports on defense matters, has "dot.mil." Both columns are excellent; neither is available in the newspaper but can only be accessed on-line.
Unfortunately, there is something amiss with the Post's web page and the the links, which are found on the Post's "Nation" page are often dead -- a situation that has gone on (and off) for the past several months. So, what you need to do is "bookmark" these two URL's, and you can always reach the pages despite the gremlins.
STINGER MISSILE AND SOVIET WITHDRAWAL FROM AFGHANISTAN, A MYTH? By supplying Singer anti-aircraft missiles to the Afghani Mujahedin fighters in 1986, the US turned the tide in that war, driving the Soviets out of Afghanistan and contributing significantly to the end the Cold War itself. That's the conventional wisdom. Now, Alan Kuperman, a fellow at MIT, challenges that in the Summer 1999 issue of POLITICAL SCIENCE QUARTERLY, concluding that "there is no evidence the Stinger even hastened Soviet withdrawal." Kuperman goes on: "...it appears the U.S. counter escalation of 1985-1986 was largely irrelevant to the Soviet withdrawal decision of November 1986. This is clearly the case for the Stinger, which was not utilized in Afghanistan until September 1986, a mere two months before the Politburo's decision to adopt a withdrawal deadline. At the key November 1986 Politburo meeting, no mention was made of the Stinger nor any other U.S. escalation." In interviews with the Washington Post's Vernon Loeb, JACK DEVINE, who ran the Afghan task force at CIA headquarters from early 1986 to January 1987, said that when Mujahedin fighters shot down three Soviet MI-24 Hind helicopter gunships in the Stingers' first engagement, "Russian pilots lifted the altitude at which they were flying =96 and at that moment, all the weaponry bottlenecked at the border came flowing into the Mujahedin. Kuperman's argument that the Politburo's decision to withdraw two months later would have happened anyway, Devine said, "turns history upside down."
MILT BEARDEN, who oversaw distribution of the Stingers as CIA station chief in Pakistan from 1986 to 1989, is even more dismissive. "There's nothing new in Mr. Kuperman's assertions," Bearden said. "What he's saying is that if we hadn't intensified the war, the well-known sense of fair play of the Soviet Union would have kicked in and they would have pulled out earlier. It's utterly specious." See Washington Post reporter Vernon Loeb's on-line "IntelligenCIA" column for Nov 15 for more on this.
MENDEZ, MASTER OF DISGUISES. Article describes how Mendez prepared disguises to help spirit six American diplomats out of Iran after the seizure of our embassy there. Also, a never executed plan to diffuse the US - Iran crisis of 1979 by making it look like the Shah (actually a double) had died in Egypt is revealed. (APBnews.com)
CIA AND COLD WAR CONFERENCE AT TEXAS A&M. Nearly 500 intelligence officers, policymakers and analysts -- most retired and all veterans of the Cold War, including former President Bush and senior members of his Administration -- gathered at Texas A&M in November to mark the 10th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and remember the men and women on both sides of the Iron Curtain who struggled in the cause of freedom over the past half century. The conference opened with references to charges made by Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan that the CIA and the intelligence community flat-out failed to predict or understand what was going on in the Soviet Union during the glasnost and perestroika years of General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev. However, a volume of declassified Cold War documents made released to the conferees, showed that from the vantage point of 10 years later, many of the National Intelligence Estimates and spot-analyses had been substantially accurate. DCI George Tenet was present along with five former DCI's. One of the highlights was a panel involving the former head of CIA counterintelligence Paul Redmond, and former KGB counterintelligence chief, Gen. Oleg Kalugin. (APBnews.com)
Christopher Andrew & Vasili Mitrokhin, THE SWORD AND THE SHIELD: MITROKHIN ARCHIVE AND THE SECRET HISTORY OF THE KGB, Basic, 1999. David Wise, author of THE COMPANY () as well as CASSIDY'S RUN: THE SECRET SPY WAR OVER NERVE GAS (forthcoming, Feb 2000), reviews the Mitrokhin book in the Dec 6 Washington Post. He tells of the controversies that have developed in Britain over the book. Although the government more or less "sponsored" the book, it is proving embarrassing. Parliament is holding hearings, he says, on how and why Christopher Andrew was tapped by SIS (MI-6) to write the book and also why a half dozen or so Brits who are revealed to have been Soviet spies have not been prosecuted.
James Calder, INTELLIGENCE, ESPIONAGE AND RELATED TOPICS: AN ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY, Greenwood Press, 1999, $150, 1368pp. Calder, an AFIO member and former MI officer in the Army reserves, is an Associate Professor of Criminal Justice at The University of Texas at San Antonio. His teaching and research specialties include intelligence, espionage, national security, organized and white collar crime, American criminal justice history, and private and government security practices. His book "provides an annotated bibliography of more than 10,000 citations on intelligence, intelligence services, espionage, and related national or domestic security issues published in serial journal article form, mainly in English language sources, from 1844 onward. Many citations to journals in other languages are also cited. The majority of citations are annotated, but non-annotated titles contain information sufficiently clear to indicate the nature of the contents. Citations are arranged alphabetically by author, and all co-authors are indexed."
STANILAV LUNEV, GRU DEFECTOR. According to the Washington Times (12/6), Lunev, said to be the highest ranking Soviet military defector, say he will provide a detailed account of the "new cold war" being waged against American corporations. This at the Security and Investigations Group's Surveillance Expo '99, which is to convene in Crystal City next week, Dec 13-15. (NFI)
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