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AFIO Weekly Intelligence Notes #50-99, 15 DEC 1999

WINs have been produced and edited by Roy Jonkers for AFIO members and for subscribers since 1 January 1998 . WINS are protected by copyright laws and may not be disseminated without permission from the producer/editor.

Associate editor Dr. John Macartney contributed many articles. RADM (ret) Don Harvey also contributed to this WIN. The contributions of both these gentlemen are most appreciated and keep the WIN from going stale from a one-person perspective and style. My thanks to all who have provided support!

Keep AFIO healthy and effective! Sponsor a new member! For Membership details (as well as back issues of the WIN) see our website at

This is the last WIN for the year 1999. I wish all 1,200 of you Happy Holidays and best wishes for the New Year! Consider a donation to AFIO - this season or in 2000 - - by volunteering for association activites, by sponsoring new members, or by a donation. We need all of these to be successful in our goals. It has been a good year - let's make the next even better. Cheers! RoyJ.


DIRECTOR OF NSA VIEWS THE FUTURE: In a recent interview with Signal magazine, the Director of NSA, Lt. Gen. Michael V. Hayden, USAF, spelled out some of his perceptions as the DIRNSA since last March. Some of the published remarks are:

Just as the advent of air power created a new combat arena in the air, the information age has created a new battlespace. This information domain is proving to be a vital realm for land, sea and air combatants. Now this information space may be where the decisive battle takes place, with the other arenas serving supporting roles.

He noted the change in the role of NSA which traditionally had been one of support to the decision maker and to the warfighter. "Now, 'support* as a verb no longer works. We have to view ourselves as participants in the fight. This implies a far greater degree of responsibility for the final outcome than simply producing a good intelligence product and throwing it over the transom.

The key to the agency's adjustment to the new era is agility. "We are now in an era where, although those [target focus and continuity are still important, the ability to be agile and to move from one area of focus to another quickly, fully and competently has a greater premium.

The transition from support element to provider may be further along in combat operations than in other areas. A noteworthy change is that the old dividing line between blue data and red date - friendly force information and intelligence on the enemy - has been eroded to virtual nonexistence. This type of battlefield information now comes under the umbrella of situational awareness.

After pointing out the customary problem of collecting far more data than can be usefully absorbed, the general said that technology alone is not the solution to the data processing problem. The agency needs to add more analysts and linguists to its staff. "It would not be unfair to describe our work force as simultaneously graying and greening." Most of the new staffers ''are green in experience and are green in what they wear to work every day - they are a military work force. The agency comprises 1a relatively inexperienced junior military work force and a very experienced civilian work force approaching retirement age.

No longer can a linguist be taught Russian and used for a career of translation. Now, no one can predict the expertise in which the world's many languages will be needed at the first sign of crisis. The agency can no longer afford the two-year lead time needed to generate a trained linguist.

The agency as a whole must adapt to its new mission by adopting more realistic security measures. "We are departing the old model, which was to avoid risk, and we are embracing the new model, which is to manage risk." By opting for managing instead of merely avoiding risk, the NSA hopes to open new vistas in capabilities and operations.

Relatedly, the general observed that the NSA long has maintained a "can do" attitude when faced with new requests. However, this has led to a SIGINT system that is "badly stretched" while accruing new missions and challenges without allowing older ones to fade into the background. "We need to learn to say NO at times. (Signal, Oct '99, p. 23). (Harvey)

US WARNS OF TERRORIST THREAT WITH NEW YEAR. Warning is related to the arrest in Jordan of thirteen would-be terrorists suspected of links to Osama bin Laden (aren't they all?) "US officials" say CIA fingered the 13 for arrest, which the CIA denies. (Macartney)

COLOMBIA - On December 12th, guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) overran a Colombian naval base on the Pacific coast near the town of Jurado, close to the Panamanian border, illustrating the fact that without US intelligence support, Colombian military intelligence cannot keep track of FARC troop movements. During the past year improved US-provided intelligence appeared to have turned the tide of war in Colombia, allowing the military to carry out two large-scale ambushes. The U.S. Army's tactical intelligence support provided by the RC-7B is said to have played a significant role in these successes. Since the crash of the U.S. RC-7B in southern Colombia last July, with the loss of its crew, no large operations have been taken by the Colombian army, and the attack on the naval base must be grounds for concern. Since the US has clearly signalled its support for anti-FARC and anti-narcotics operations in Colombia, US discrete open and clandestine intelligence support may well be again increased. ( Stratfor, Inc. , December 14, 1999) (Jonkers)

CHECHNIA - A Russian news agency stated that an army "intelligence unit" was ambushed in Grozny, the Czechen capital, resulting in 50 Russian dead. The armed reconnaissance force was said to have consisted of fifteen armored vehicles, including eight tanks and seven armored personnel carriers.

A spokesman for the FSR (successor to the KGB) called reports that 100 Russians had died in the ambush as "misinformation." Russian casualties are important in terms of the parliamentary elections to take place this coming Sunday, December 19. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (a former KGB officer), is riding high on popular support for the war against the Czechens - an area that many Russians regard as a nest of Muslim terrorists who pose a continuing threat of violence and crime to citizens and to the integrity of the Russian state. High casualties could, however, undermine popular political support for the war and for Putin in the election.

A potentially ominous report indicates that Russian officials are saying that the Czechens are preparing home-made chemical weapons for use against Russian troops in Grozny. Major General Nikifor Vasileyev, a chemical warfare expert, said the Czechens were preparing weapons made of "poisonous chemicals, chlorine, ammonia and sulfuric acid." It might portend a Russian temptation to use such weapons.

The media portion of the conflict includes Western media focusing on refugees and the human costs of the struggle. The Russians, for their part, call reports from Grozny "nothing but a part of a black public media campaign carried out by foreign secret services with the help of correspondents." Whether in the context of Russian politics, public media or in the Great Game struggle going on between the US and its allies and Russia for control of the Caucasus, the conflict and its outcome are interesting and important. (Interfax 16 Dec; AVN; D.Williams, WPost 17Dec 99, p. A32) (Jonkers)

CROATIA/BOSNIA - NATO troops conducted a search and seizure operation in Mostar, Bosnia, on October 14th, involving some 1,500 allied troops, with armed helicopters flying cover. They obtained files and evidence of what was said to be a Croatian "spy" network in Bosnia - - actually a means of funneling support to Croats in Bosnia with the alleged objective of having them split off and join Croatia. Although the late President Franjo Tudjman signed the Dayton accords in 1995, he never really accepted the idea that Bosnian territory dominated by Croats should be jointly ruled with Muslims. The raid reportedly contained evidence of directions and money funneled to two local Croat intelligence chiefs, designating individuals for surveillance, identifying possible intelligence recruits, and specifying local officials to be influenced --- all in order to undermine the Dayton accords. Some items appeared to be indicating local ties between criminal gangs and hard-line nationalists (similar to those in Kosovo supported by the US) and the pursuit of profits from illegal operations. With this action the NATO forces lifted only a piece of the shroud that covers the conundrum of US policy in Yugoslavia, including the unbelievable US underwriting and approval of the ethnic cleansing of Serbs from Croatia and parts of Bosnia, as well as the protection afforded to Tudjman. Now that he is dead, perhaps he will join Milosevic as the scapegoat - or set of villains. (J.Smith, WPost p. A30, 17 Dec99) (Jonkers)

LOS ALAMOS SCIENTIST INDICTED. Dr Wen Ho Lee, the Taiwanese born American nuclear scientist who was fired from his job in March because of suspicions of espionage, was indicted last Friday, arrested and held without bond. The 59 count indictment did not charge Dr. Lee with espionage or allege that he gave the material to any unauthorized person or government, but it did charge that he removed classified nuclear weapons data "with the intent to injure the United States and with the intent to secure an advantage for a foreign power." Basically, the charge is that he moved highly classified data from a secure government computer to another unsecure computer in his Los Alamos office.[Unfortunately for the government's case, that is very similar to what former DCI John Deutch is alleged to have done. Because of that infraction, Deutch was stripped of his security clearances, but he was not prosecuted -- something that Lee's lawyers will undoubtedly bring up in court.]

Although the charges only accuse Lee of having violated security regs, they carry a potential life in prison sentence. Meanwhile, more than a dozen Asian-American organizations are labeling this as "selective prosecution" and "racist," and are gearing up to support Lee. Also, the Senate canceled upcoming hearings on the Los Alamos espionage investigation in response to a plea this week from FBI director Louis Freeh. Finally, a panel of five Stanford University experts issued a detailed 99-page and critical point by point rebuttal of the Congressional Cox Committee Report that originally set off the brouhaha about Chinese espionage. (Macartney)

TECHNICAL PENETRATION OF THE STATE DEPT. A Russian diplomat, Stanislav Borisovich Grusev, was detained and later PNG'd last week after he was found loitering in a park across the street from the State Department. Grusev has been identified by federal authorities as a technical expert for the Russian foreign intelligence service. In searching Grusev, officials said, investigators found a remote switching device hidden in his clothing. The device turned on a receiver and tape recorder in the car and a device designed to detect electronic surveillance signals.

Investigators say they believe that he used the radio devices in his car to activate the eavesdropping device and would wait nearby, hoping to overhear meetings in the seventh-floor conference room. Investigators said the conference room may have been selected for surveillance because it was used on occasion by Russia specialists who work in offices adjoining the oceans and environment bureau. They said they believe that at least two trips were required for the installation of the bug -- one to inspect and measure the molding and another to install the new piece. Although they say it is unclear when the device was installed, government officials said that the bug was powered by a tiny battery, and that the amount of power left in the battery would give them clues to the date of the installation. They theorized that the Russians used the small, low-power battery in an effort to defeat electronic surveillance equipment that might have picked up signals from a higher-powered device. The battery had so little power, however, that a spy was required to linger just outside the department to listen to conversations going on inside the building.

SPIES, SPIES, SPIES. This comes, along with the indictment of Wen Ho Lee, a week or two after two other "Russian espionage" developments: Russian authorities expelled Cheri Leberknight, 33, a US diplomat at the American Embassy in Moscow saying she was CIA and that they had found her carrying spy paraphernalia, including a device designed to detect signals of electronic surveillance gear. And just before that, Petty Officer 1st Class Daniel King, who had worked at NSA was arrested and charged with passing secrets about American submarine espionage operations to Moscow. In a NY Times op-ed, Joseph Finder, an author who "writes frequently about intelligence agencies," argues that espionage and intelligence activities go on in peace as well as war and between allies as well as enemies, and therefore we should not get excited or upset about these latest cases. And columnist Tom Friedman makes light of the whole thing because, in his view, it shows that Russian intelligence has become incompetent. (Macartney)

RESPECT FOR THE MILITARY. Baby boomers who reviled the U.S. military during the Vietnam War have spawned a generation that holds the nation's armed forces in the highest esteem of any group, according to a report by Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. Although the military is having difficulty recruiting, 52% of 19-and 20-year-olds surveyed in 1998 said that they have "a great deal of confidence" in military leaders. Among the possible reasons are the military successes of the 1980s and 1990s, and popular movies and video games that portray the military as competent and dynamic.(Macartney) (USA Today, Dec 8, 1999)

MARTIN LUTHER KING ASSASSINATION CONSPIRACY? Last week the King family celebrated a favorable Memphis jury verdict in a wrongful death lawsuit against Loyd Jowers, a man the Kings charge was part of a wild conspiracy (involving the White House, CIA, FBI, Canadian & British intelligence, Memphis police, military intelligence ) behind the 1968 murder of the civil rights leader. To those unfamiliar with the case, the verdict seemed an important culmination of a long effort by the King family to determine who was behind the assassination. But, Gerald Posner, who has written two excellent conspiracy-debunking books, including, CASE CLOSED, which refuted the many JFK conspiracies, says it's not credible. He writes that the Memphis trial was not about seeking the truth but a ploy to obtain a judicial sanction for a convoluted conspiracy theory that, tragically, has been embraced by the King family. (Macartney)

US AGREES TO PAY $28 MILLION FOR BOMBING CHINESE EMBASSY. China in turn will pay $3 million for damage to US embassy in Beijing during a week of anti-American demonstrations. (Macartney)


FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC ESPIONAGE - - Despite the threat of foreigners stealing trade secrets, FBI agents warn that Americans pose a much greater threat. An FBI agent overseeing the San Jose and Palo Alto offices has said, "One thing that we've found . . . [is that] insiders are responsible for a much greater percentage of theft than foreigners. And the insiders' motives are often money or revenge or ego.

A former director of FBI counterintelligence operations said that the major reason for trade-secret thefts in the US today is the INCOME DISPARITY between low-paid product designers and the top managers. Bosses are often paid enormous salaries and granted lucrative stock options. "Oftentimes, the engineers see the company's stock take off. They see people higher up and in different divisions of the company being compensated at astronomical rates, and there' s a frustration that they're not sharing in that," the former agent said. The first case of violation of the law that treats trade-secret thefts as criminal, both for the thief and the company involved with him in the violation, is currently pending in court. (Source: LA Times 25 Oct 99, p. C2 (Harvey)

CIA / DI, THE WORLD'S BEST ANALYTICAL SHOP? Wash Post reporter Vernon Loeb used his Dec 13 on-line column to interview the DDI, John McLaughlin and discuss the DI, CIA's analytical arm. Among other things, the DDI says that 1/3 of DI analysts have had language training within the past 18 months, while 70 are away on college campus doing full time graduate work. Also, DI travel funds have been increased 35% so that more analysts are able to visit "their country" more often. At the same time, more new analysts are being hired now than at any time in the past decade. Of 250 who joined the DI this year, 30% have 5 or more years experience in the private sector, often overseas; 35% have college grade point averages of 3.7 or higher, 75% have graduate degrees, and 90% have competency in a foreign language. In the same article, CIA critique and former SOVA senior analyst, Dr Mel Goodman, is quoted to the effect that DI analysts are too obsessed with classified info, are too close to the DO, and don't do enough in-depth, long range research. (Macartney)

MORE NOC'S? Washington Post columnist David Ignatius, who is savvy about intelligence and writes great spy novels ("Agents of Innocence," "The Sun King," etc), discusses pro's and con's of Non Official Cover for CIA case officers in a recent column that also reports on an interview with James Pavitt, the new CIA/DDO -- who is apparently skeptical of calls by reformers for more NOC's. Ignatius points out that if she had been a NOC, Cheri Leberknight, the American diplomat recently expelled from Russia would be in prison instead of home for the Holidays.(Macartney)

CYBERTERRORISM THREAT EXAGGERATED? Jane's Intelligence Review (JIR) asked the Slashdot online community to collaborate in writing an intelligent article about cyberterrorism last fall (NSD 5.32). The review, unhappy with what their reporter produced, decided to tap the collective wisdom of the technogeeks. The final result, now available, expresses the general consensus that "careful examination of the issue reveals much of the threat to be unsubstantiated rumor and media exaggeration." (Macartney)

GET YOUR OWN UAV SPY PLANE FOR CHRISTMAS. World's only Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) model plane with special recessed cavity for included Kodak disposable camera. Takes 27 images. At the optimum picture-taking altitude, just press a key on the remote transmitter and take your shot! From as far away as 1000 feet! You can snap mid-air photographs -- of your home, property, family gatherings, or parties. Even your neighbors! Caution: do not violate restricted air space of military installations! $129 (Macartney)


TV SHOW OF INTELLIGENCE INTEREST. "Sworn to Secrecy: Secrets of War" will being airing this Sunday on The History Channel at 9pm Eastern/10pm Pacific and on these dates this spring (with repeats airing the following Saturday at 4pm Eastern/1pm Pacific):

December 19, 1999 Spies in the Sky
January 2, 2000 Hitler's Secrets
January 9, 2000 D-Day Deception
January 23, 2000 Wizard War
February 6, 2000 Battlefield Deceptions
February 13, 2000 Roosevelt's Spymasters
February 20, 2000 Cold War: Inside the CIA
February 27, 2000 Holocaust Secrets
March 5, 2000 Cold War: Inside the KGB
March 12, 2000 British Secret Intelligence
March 19, 2000 The Invasion of Panama
April 2, 2000 Prisoners of War: Part 1
April 9, 2000 Prisoners of War: Part 2
April 16, 2000 Prisoners of War: Part 3
April 30, 2000 Spy Planes
May 7, 2000 The Invasion that Never Was
May 14, 2000 Secret Submarines
May 21, 2000 Psychological Warfare
May 28, 2000 Secrets of the OSS
June 11, 2000 Battlefield Deceptions
June 18, 2000 The Balkans Tinder Box

BILL GERTZ & ROWAN SCARBOROUGH. Washington Times reporters Bill Gertz and Rowan Scarborough have a regular on-line column, "Inside the Ring," on WorldNetDaily. The "ring" here refers to the Pentagon. Scarborough is a foreign and defense policy specialist while Gertz is the Times reporter with extraordinary sources in the US Intelligence Community, and this column frequently deals with intelligence.


NEW WEB SEARCH ENGINE MAKING SPLASH. Netscape's volunteer-based Open Directory Project, ODP, once ignored by bigger players as a do-it-yourself Web directory, is drawing attention and criticism as it has become the Web's fastest-growing site list.,1151,8187,00.html?nl=dnt



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