AFIO - Association of Former Intelligence Officers

About AFIO | Chapters & Chapter Activities | Membership | Corporate
Weekly Intelligence Notes
| Event Schedule | Bulletin Board | Book Reviews
| AFIO Store | | Other Intel Sites | Home Page

AFIO Weekly Intelligence Notes - 12 January 1999

WINs are commentaries produced by AFIO Executive Director Roy Jonkers. As the readers will have noted, WINs 49 and 50 did not see the light of day in 1998, due to personal circumstances. The 1999 series started on 4 January, with the help of John Macartney who produced that edition, with a new numbering system.

Every member is enjoined to make a New Year's Resolution: support AFIO by recruiting at least one new member in 1999.

The support and participation by every member, each in his own way, is vitally important to the organization and to the mission.

NOTE: The WINs now reach almost one-third of AFIO's members.

NOTE: the notation "&nbsp" has appeared in some WINs. We are advised that this is not a bug, but some anomaly in format translation, possibly from old software.


IRAQ BOMB DAMAGE ASSESSMENT (BDA) - Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen stated that during four nights of intense bombardment, 97 targets were attacked, with 30% either destroyed or severely damaged. Principal targets were Iraq's communications, intelligence and security systems, it's short-range missile development sites (permitted for Iraq after the Gulf War), presidential palaces, troop barracks and air defense sites. One oil target - the refinery at Basra - was also hit.

Some 650 sorties were launched, including some 415 cruise missiles ( 325 Navy Tomahawks and 90 cruise missiles from USAF B-52's). US and British aircraft used included the B-52 and B-1, and UK Tornado GR1 fighters who launched from Kuwait. Iraq did not defend itself. No SAM's were fired. Iraq has admitted to less than 100 military casualties. Civilian casualties included those at the Al Mustansiriya University, at the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, and at the Basra refinery, among others.

General Henry H. Sheldon, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, stated that Iraq's (short-range) missile production and maintenance program (previously permitted) had been set back by at least a year.

Specific categories of targets and BDA include:

1. Air Defense System Sites attacked: 32. Damaged or destroyed 6. Light damage: 8

2. Command & Control Sites attacked: 20. Damaged or destroyed 11 Light damage: 6

3. Weapons Security Facilities attacked: 18. Destroyed or damaged: 7 Light damage: 11

4. Weapons Production, R&D, & Storage sites attacked: 11. Destroyed or damaged: 1 Light damage: 9

5. Republican Guard/Army sites attacked: 9. Destroyed or damaged: 3 Light damage 6

6. Airfields attacked: 5. Light damage: 5

7. Economic targets (Basra) attacked: 1. Light damage: 1

The bomb damage statistics must be seen in the context of a range of actions underway to topple Saddam Hussein, a mission openly announced by White House National Security Advisor Sandy Berger. There is speculation that the bombing - under the WMD ("Weapons of Mass Destruction") political cover - was an apparent facet of a campaign involving an internal military coup, Shiite insurgency in the south and Kurdish attacks in the north.

A sustained effort to infiltrate Saddam's multi-level security intelligence apparatus, under the UNSCOM / WMD cover, was previously revealed publicly in the context of the Scott Ritter affair (it appears he went "out of control"). In addition, there appear to have been successful efforts to enroll key military commanders in a plot to overthrow Saddam. This is indicated by Saddam's Presidential decree #98 decree on 16 December, drastically restructuring and redeploying his armed forces, and the subsequent arrest and execution of a number of Iraqi officers, particularly from Iraq's Third Corps stationed south of Baghdad, during and after the bombing campaign. The plot was apparently discovered in time, and Ba'ath party security officials arrested and executed the officers involved. Special operations may have taken place from Kuwait in the southern (Shiite) region of Iraq, and steps to form a Kurdish regular army (with uncertain long-range ramifications for long-range regional stability) in the north were made public.

These published speculations and straws in the wind, provide a context for the US/UK bombing campaign. Taken together they indicate a serious full court press is underway. Saddam has now called for the overthrow of Arab regimes assisting the US. In return, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait support the US call for the overthrow of Saddam. Stand by for the next shoe to drop. With this kind of sustained pressure it is unlikely Saddam can last. (WP 20 Dec 98 p. 1 and <> (RoyJ)

RECENT INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENTS - Events internal and external to the intelligence community recently reported in back pages of the press included:

- - Randy W. Deitering has been appointed as the Executive Director of the PFIAB - the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board. He has over 23 years in intelligence, primarily with CIA.

- - Morton Halperin has been named director of policy planning at the State Department. He has been noted for his defense of human rights and opposition to any hint that covert intelligence operations might infringe on those rights. Mr Halperin recently said that he has dropped oppositon to unitlateral US military operations and covert actions.

- - A recent NYT editorial commended the DCI for his release of the 1998 intelligence community budget of $26.7 billion, but then went on to deplore that he has not released the 1999 budget figures. He is enjoined not to retreat from releasing figures just because because the budget has increased (news stories call the increase about $1.8 billion). But then the editorial betrayed its bias by continuing, "since well over two-thirds of the cold war budget went into collecting intelligence about the Soviet Union, it is hard to understand why so much money is needed today, event to combat terrorism, develop new satellites and hire new staff."

- - CIA has reduced the operations of its Office of Research and Development so that it could develop relationships with national research laboratories, industry, and other federal agencies, to carry out research. The 35-year old CIA office scaled back its research efforts in the areas of natural language processing, facial recognition, pattern recognition and other advanced software applications. A CIA spokesman said, "This is a movement away from advanced technologies to mature technologies."

- - With the realignment of the US Information Agency and the Agency for International Development under the Department of State, the issue of using government press and cultural attache posts for CIA cover was raised in the press. State Department spokesman James Rubin said on 11 January that the ban on using these positions as cover for "spies" would stand. (WT 11 Dec, A11; WhiteH PressOff. 2 Dec98; NYT 4 Dec98 A29; FedCompWk 23 Nov p12) (DonH) (WTimes 12 Jan99)( RoyJ)

RUSSIAN TOPOL-M ICBM OPERATIONAL - The first regiment of 10 new single-warhead intercontinental ballistic missiles, the Topol-M, became operational at a base in the Saratov region on December 27, 1998, after a successful flight test on December 9th. Nuclear forces have been having serious problems, including lack of funding; obsolescence of warheads, platforms and systems; and the pressure of arms control treaties. The Topol-M is one of the few new initiatives undertaken. The objective is to build 30 - 40 Topol-M's per year.

In addition to turmoil among the strategic forces generals resulting in the resignation of several senior officers, an internal dispute over control over nuclear forces was publicized, involving the Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev, and the General Staff. Sergeyev has proposed creating a separate command for control of all nuclear forces in all services. Currently control over nuclear weapons passes through the General Staff, who disagree with spending money on creating a new organization when the military budget is so low. The Staff also pointed out possible operational confusion when conventional forces operate under one command and nuclear forces under another.

Sergeyev's proposal is, however, in line with current Russian doctrine which places greater reliance on nuclear forces at a time that conventional forces are at an abysmally low state of operational capability. His position is likely to prevail. (Wpost 27Dec98 A1) (RoyJ)


THE SPY POLLARD (ad infinitum) - Secretary of State Madeleine Allbright has informed the White House that there are no compelling foreign policy reasons for releasing Jonathan Pollard. The FBI and Justice Department Criminal Division have vigorously opposed release of Pollard.The Department of Justice has not yet given its position to the White House, pending a visit by three representatives of a Jewish group who appeal for clemency and letting Pollard enjoy the fruits of his treason ($300,000 etc. said to be set aside - at interest - in a Swiss bank account). Former Senate staffer Angelo Codevilla has also publicly supported Pollard's release, proclaiming that "he knows as much as there is to know" about intelligence, and rejecting statements by others, saying "These people don't know anything about the intelligence business."

This presumably includes CIA Director George Tenet, who is known to be opposed. HPSCI Chairman Porter Goss publicly stated his opposition in the press, saying that "we are talking about someone who sold out his country for a few bucks, got caught, and he's whining, playing the national, ethnic card." The White House has received a storm of messages from Congress, reflecting public sentiment.

The Defense Department has not published its recommendation, but six former Secretaries of Defense have published an open letter opposing Pollard's release. Four admirals for whom Pollard worked during his tenure at the Office of Naval Intelligence wrote a letter opposing Pollard's release based on the magnitude of his treason (see Periscope Jan. 99). They, and other US intelligence officials have stated that Pollard's spying represented a massive compromise of secret operations and data, including US agents and electronic collection operations, as well as US diplomatic codes.

The AFIO Board of Directors has voted unanimously to go on record as opposing Pollard's release. A statement was sent to President Clinton.

The President, who will apparently decide on domestic political strategy grounds on how to proceed -- given the position enunciated by the Secretary of State -- may take weeks or months to make his decision. Individual AFIO members may voice their opinions to <> (WTimes 11 Dec 98, p. A11; Jan 12, 99 p A2) (DonH & RoyJ)

SOUTH VIETNAM - 37 hours of tapes donated to - and now released by - the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum revealed that Kennedy expressed regret over sending a cable that preceded the overthrown of South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem, and resulted in the latter's assassination. Kennedy was quoted as saying that "I feel we must bear a good deal of responsibility for it. In my judgment, that wire was badly drafted; it should have never been sent on a Saturday. I should have never given my consent to it without round-table conference." This editor can personally attest to the shock of seeing a copy of the cable at the time and agrees with the ex-post-facto Presidential reassessment. (WP 25 Nov 98, p. A19) (RoyJ)

GRU ANNIVERSARY - Russia's GRU - military intelligence (espionage) service, marked its 80th anniversary in early November 1998. President Boris Yeltsin sent a congratulatory message to the staff and veterans of the Main Intelligence Directorate of Russia's armed forces General Staff headquarters.

General Anatoly Kvashnin, chief of the General Staff, wrote in a rare front-page article in the military daily that the GRU still played an important role but had been forced to reassess priorities due to a lack of funds. He said the GRU was cooperating with Western intelligence agencies in the fights against terrorism, drugs and nuclear proliferation.

But the general's most bitter comments came in reference to World War II and his denouncement of Stalin and his closest advisors, who had disregarded military intelligence warnings of a German attack. "It was not military intelligence that was guilty that the USSR essentially lost the opening period of the war with Germany."he wrote. He noted Stalin's reaction to a particular agent's report, accurately naming the invasion date: "Find out who came up with this provocation and punish him." The general further mentioned that 50% of the GRU staff were arrested in the 1930's; the GRU founders were both shot.

The GRU today faces funding pressures. It uses satellites, ships, aircraft and electronic eavesdropping to gather intelligence, but the most vital sources remain its agents and analysts. The GRU also has six Spetsnatz special forces units, still Russia's toughest troops. (Russia Today 6 Nov 98) (RoyJ)

ISRAELI UNDERCOVER OPERATIONS - Recent articles in the Israeli and British press revealed the existence in the 1950's of type of singular Israeli 'under cover' operations - by marriage. Agents in a special Shin Bet' unit - 'mista'aravim' - posed as Bedouins or Arabs and married Muslim women - and even produced children 'under cover.' The existence of the unit, designed to keep an eye on 'Israeli Arabs' - the Arab minority living within the borders of the present state of Israel - operational for seven years in the 1950's, was revealed by Yossi Melman, author of Every Spy a Prince. He said he stumbled onto the information while researching a new book. The press articles dramatized the traumatic effect the denouement had on the families concerned (e.g. "I'm not your husband Ahmed. I'm Yossi from the Shin Bet").

Amos Melman, head of the security service during this operation, broke a forty year silence to explain the effort to keep tabs on the Arab population within Israel - and its results. "There are a number of reasons why I do not think such an experiment will be tried again," he said, " the complications far outweighed any advantages."

The Arab population within Israel (as distinct from the occupied West Bank) numbers about 16% of the total population. They lived under military rule until 1966, and currently complain of continuing discrimination. (Ha'aretz 29 Sep and 2 Oct 98; The Telegraph 30 Sep 98; The London Times 30 Sep 98.) (RoyJ)


LOST CRUSADE: America's Secret Cambodian Mercenaries, by Peter Scott, United States Naval Institute, Annapolis, Maryland, 1998; ISBN 1-55750-846-1. A former Army advisor to the Phoenix program from 1967 - 1970, Scott presents an insiders account of the bonds forged between Americans and brave Asian allies, in this case the Cambodian Khmer Krom, during the long Vietnam war. Blending combat narrative and emotional drama, village culture and the complex relationship with Special Forces soldiers, analysis with reflection, Scott has immortalized the Khmer Krom's final crusade against communism, and produced a highly readable and interesting book. (RoyJ)

TOP SECRET INTRANET, by Frederick Thomas Martin, 1998. A top secret, secure network across the intelligence community, called Intelink, has revolutionized the dissemination of U.S. intelligence in recent years. The author, a former NSA official, tells how the 13 intelligence agencies have gone from zealously guarding their own secrets to sharing many of them over "the world's largest, most secure network." Started in late 1994, Intelink is now used regularly by 50,000 analysts, operatives, military officers and policymakers with top secret security clearances at 100 different sites. Reportedly, they can access the latest satellite imagery from NIMA, search the network for communications intercepts from NSA, and chat electronically with other analysts.

The searchable universe of Intellink consists of 440,000 electronic pages, which makes it a very large site by commercial standards. Intelink's operations center is housed at NSA, and all terminal are located inside top-secret government facilities. Only commercially available software was used in creating the net. Traffic on the net is highly encrypted.

The intelligence agencies on the Intelink maintain their own internal intranets separated by firewalls from Intelink, leaving Intelink largely for "finished intelligence." At DIA the daily intelligence brief presented every morning to the Joint Chiefs, is now available to military commanders all over the world via Intelink within 15 minutes.

The Intelink has forced the Intelligence community to severely bend the 'need-to-know' doctrine of the past, and has also forced acceptance of a 'frightening situation' from a counterintelligence standpoint where a traitor could download secrets that might not otherwise have been available to him. Work is ongoing to create software to build certain electronic pages that require their own digital identification for a user to gain access. (Loeb/WP 1 Dec 98, pA23) (DonH)

SPYMASTERS: Ten CIA Officers in Their Own Words, ed. by Ralph E. Weber, Scholarly Resources, Inc., Wilmington, DE., 1999, ISBN 0-8420-2715-7 (paper). A superb book containing interviews with ten senior CIA officers, such as Allen Dulles, William Colby, Richard Helms and AFIO Board member Sam Halpern. The accounts cover a wide range of intelligence activity, describing not only a number of critical events but also the relationships between the agency's directors and presidents during the cold War. CIA's successes and shortcomings are recounted and evaluated by men who were there. It is interesting, and often fascinating reading, and important for all who seek to provide context for their understanding of the inner workings of the agency and intelligence operations. The editor, Ralph Weber, a professor at Marquette University, is a former CIA and NSA Scholar in Residence, and a member of the AFIO Board of Directors. Highly recommended. (RoyJ).


ISR SYSTEMS CONFERENCE - will be held 8-11 Feb 99 at the Mission Valley Marriott Hotel, San diego. The conference will explore and identify enabling technologies, strategies and barriers to achieving information superiority. Clearance level is SECRET. Registration fee is $25.00. Register for conference and download security form at URL

<>. Hotel reservations 1 800 842 5329. For conference information and no-cost industry exhibits, email <> (Peggy Walter) (Mike Fagan)

Chapter Announcements

The Suncoast Chapter held its second meeting of the 98/99 season at the MacDill AFB Offciers Club on 8 December. The guest speaker was Grayston L. Lynch, who was one of two CIA personnel assigned to work with a group of Cuban frogmen who spearheaded the Bay of Pigs invasion. After the presentation, Colonel Nathaniel Alderman Jr. USA (ret) was presented AFIO's General Richard E. Stilwell award for sustained and exceptional contributions to AFIO's regional educational mission during the past ten years. The chapter will hold its next meeting on 9 February, with former AFIO President and current Board member RADM (ret) Don Harvey as guest speaker. AFIO members and guests are invited. Contact Nat Alderman <>. (Bernie Tauber)

The new North Florida Border Chapter will meet in Palatka, Florida, on 23 January 1999, at the Holiday Inn at 12 noon. Area members and guests, or Florida/Georgia residents interested in membership, are invited. For additional information, call Chapter President John Guenther, 904 471 5993.

The Atlanta Chapter held is annual Christmas luncheon on 13 December, with seventeen members and guests in attendance. Shirley Bodie Finley was elected President, Bob Rhoads VP, and Jim Sturgis Secretary-Treasurer. For membership and meeting information, contact <>.

Member Notes

AFIO member Chip Beck (CIA retired) visited Cuba in November/December '98 to support research on a book he is writing on the Cold War. During his visit he asked for humanitarian assistance in locating the burial site of ex-CIA officer George "Kaiyak" Bacon, an Intelligence Star recipient, who was killed by a Cuban Army patrol in combat near Cuimba, Angola, on 13 February 1976. Beck is planning to follow up six promising leads with Cubans who might have information and documentation in Cuban military files on a forthcoming trip back to Cuba. The Cubans have agreed to assist Beck, who representing Bacon's aging parents in the recovery effort.

AFIO member Michael Ryan announced the start of a new publication, the Global Intelligence Monthly, offered at a subscription price of $45 a month. Interested individuals may contact him at <>

Andrew Lownie, British author, is preparing a biography on Guy Burgess (working title: Stalin's Englishman"), is seeking assistance in his research from knowledgeable individuals on this side of the Atlantic. He may be contacted at <>,

AFIO member Ken Sullivan is searching for information about Wild Bill Donovan - primarily in the OSS, and specific stories pertaining to covert responsibilities and activities of Mansfield, Withrow and Doering. Can anyone help? Contact <>

The NATIONAL CRYPTOLOGIC MUSEUM will soon have handheld audio tour guide systems available, called INFORM, to help visitors, and in line with its vision to create a world class museum. A new museum shop also opened for business, providing a range of memorabilia and souvenirs. A printed inventory list is available for mail ordering. (Tel 301 688 7337) The NCM Foundation, which supports the museum, publishes an interesting newsletter, The Link, with news from the cryptographic history world. Membership is $25 a year. Check it out <

The AFIO Speakers' Program is an integral part of the Association's mission to inform the American public on the role and importance of intelligence. The Association maintains a data base of members who have volunteered to speak to groups around the country. In the past speakers have been provided to universities, high schools, Chapter meetings and civic associations. This AFIO program is managed by Chuck Slack. He may be contacted at <> (RoyJ)

WINs are protected by copyright laws and may not be reproduced without permission of the editor, except for single instances for purposes of recruiting a new member.

Back to Top

About AFIO | Chapters & Chapter Activities | Membership | Corporate | Weekly Intelligence Notes | Event Schedule | Bulletin Board | Book Reviews | Search | Other Intel Sites | Home Page