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AFIO Weekly Intelligence Notes #06-99, 10 Feb. 1999

WINs are protected by copyright laws and may not be disseminated in whole or part without permission of the AFIO Executive Director, except for single instances for purposes of recruiting a new member.


Two great speakers:

MORNING Speaker (11:00 - 12:00) John Koehler, author of STASI: The East German Secret Police, will discuss his book and the role of STASI in internal repression and worldwide espionage (see book review below).

AFIO member John Koehler served as foreign correspondent for Associated Press in Berlin and Bonn for 28 years, and was an Assistant to the President under President Ronald Reagan. This will be terrific session. The author is willing to autograph his book.

AFTERNOON Speaker (13:00 - 14:00) : Professor Paul Goble will speak on the topic of - WHITHER RUSSIA?

After the financial collapse, and with deteriorating nuclear armament and a disintegrating regional security system, Russia a topic of highest importance. Russia today is in a state of severe depression (exceeding the depth of our depression in 1929 - '33) and has been compared in the press to a corrupted financial and moral derelict, with criminal gangs intertwined with government, armed with an arsenal of nuclear weapons. Professor Goble is a recognized expert on Russia, with a longtime association with Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty. You are promised a fascinating, stimulating and enlightening presentation.

Reserve your place - send check for $26 (members) or $29 (non-members) to AFIO, 6723 Whittier Ave, Ste 303A, McLean, Va. 22101-4533. For further info, call 703 790 0320.


ABDULLAH SUCCEEDS HUSSEIN AS JORDAN"S KING- King Hussein's death over the weekend brought to an end his 45 years of rule. The late King was able to bridge internal divisions between Bedouins (the source of Hashemite legitimacy) , Circassians (providing control of the army and security apparatus) and Palestinian refugees within his small kingdom of 4.5 million, and balance the conflicting external pressures from neighboring Iraq, Syria and the local power giant, Israel, during his reign. He was said to have had close ties with US and British Intelligence and policymakers. He warned Israel of an impending Arab attack in the 1960's, and accommodated internal pressures by aligning his country with Iraq at the start of the Gulf War. Subsequently he went on to be a trailblazer in the US-sponsored "peace process," including formal recognition of Israel, an exercise of realism in a region where religious extremists are found in great numbers in every state. While the true political and intelligence interrelationships will not be revealed for many years, each of Hussein's major decisions can be rationalized in common sense terms of national self interest and survival.

In his last official act as King, Hussein replaced his brother, Hassan, with his eldest son, Abdullah, 37, in late January. There was some press speculation that the U.S. (the press inevitably also involved CIA) played a role in encouraging King Hussein to make the change and name Abdullah as the king-designate. Again, the real story is unknown. Abdullah, whose mother is British, and educated in the West, is said to be a political neophyte - but he is the commander of the Jordanian Armed Forces, a force for internal stability and continuity. The new king will face internal as well external challenges and pressures, but will not be lacking for advice. The role of US (or UK) intelligence will hopefully not be reflected in the press. (Washington Post 8 Feb 1999, p. A14, 9 Feb p. A1) (KenH / RoyJ)

DCI IDENTIFIES U.S. THREATS, PREDICTS ATTACK BY BIN LADEN- In wide-ranging testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee, DCI Tenet and DIA Director Hughes identified the current range of trouble spots and threats to U.S. security, including, among others, terrorism ( Osama bin Laden), North Korea missiles and Balkan instability.

The DCI suggested there is sufficient information to believe another attack by terrorists associated with Osama bin Laden is imminent. Tenet stated "We have noted recent activities similar to what occurred prior to the African embassy bombings..." Moreover, Tenet believed that the attacks would not be limited to conventional bombings, but might also include kidnappings and assassination attempts. In response, security has been increased at U.S. embassies and U.S. forces remain on high alert.

North Korea has apparently accelerated its missile program. The North is working on a three stage missile (Taepo Dong II), believed capable of reaching the continental United States. The DCI added, however, that the North was experiencing technical problems in developing the missile, and that any launch at this point would probably not be very accurate.

In regards to the Balkans, a question was raised in regard to clandestine support by CIA to the KLA (Albanian terrorists cum freedom fighters, always a matter of the eye of the beholder). Newspaper articles have suggested the same group of undercover US "mercenaries" that indirectly supported the Croatians in brutally ethnic cleansing a few hundred thousand Serbs from their territory (realizing their WWII Nazi state's dreams, but assisting US short-term stabilization efforts in the region), and trained Moslems in Bosnia (to provide a force balance among the ethnic entities in Bosnia), is currently regularizing and training KLA Albanians. The two directors refused to reply to the question in open session, thus indicating the likelihood that support is being provided, as has also been indicated in press reports. (Wtimes 4 Feb 99, p. A18; AP 3 Feb 99; NYT 3 Feb 99, pA6; Wtimes 99 p A1) (KenH / RoyJ)

OVERT / COVERT PROGRAM TO REMOVE SADDAM- The U.S. designated seven Iraqi opposition groups as potential recipients of the $97 million allotted to help overthrow Saddam Hussein, and has appointed Frank Ricciardone as the new 'Coordinator for Transition' in Iraq. His daunting task is to unify the more than 70 opposition groups dedicated to removing Saddam from power.

US/UK efforts are reportedly underway to train Iraqi exiles in sabotage operations, targeting roads, communications and electricity operations, and attacking army patrols. The British Special Air Service (SAS) is expected to play a role in training the exiles. A small group of exiles (about 200 to 300) would receive basic training for a two month period. Subsequently groups of about 20 men would infiltrate Iraq, armed with light weapons and explosives, and conduct hit and run operations. The eventual goal would be to infiltrate cities in the Sunni heartland of Iraq. Meanwhile Iraq will continue to be a 'live-target' exercise area for US and British air and missile forces.

Whether the opposition groups can be brought together and the plan put into action remains to be seen. Two of the primary opposition groups, the Shia Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (Sciri), and the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), have publicly rejected U.S. assistance. For what it is worth, sources in Arab states in the region are said to be skeptical and wary of the potential instability resulting from Saddam's overthrow. (The Sunday Times- UK 4 Feb 1999) (KenH / RoyJ)


CONCERN RAISED OVER LEAKS TO MEDIA- In recent Congressional Hearings, DCI Tenet and DIA Director Hughes decried the frequent appearance of classified information in the news media. The DCI stated "I think the government is hemorrhaging in a way that I've never seen in my lifetime, and the implications for the nation's security are profound." General Hughes added that the balance between keeping the public informed and protecting classified information had tipped too far toward informing the public. Tenet blamed federal employees for the leaks. According to Tenet, eighty percent of the leaks originated in the executive branch. The DCI pledged to work closely with the FBI to find the sources of the leaks and stop them from occurring. (Inside the Pentagon, 4 Feb 99, p. 19) (KenH)

PETITION TO RE-EXAMINE HISS CASE LAUNCHED- A group of historians is attempting to re-examine the Alger Hiss case, this time by petitioning to have secret grand jury records of the case unsealed. They believe the records will shed light on 'procedural inconsistencies ' in the Hiss investigation. Hiss himself believed the grand jury records would exonerate him, despite seemingly conclusive proof to the contrary. The petitioners are concerned not with his guilt - which they appear to accept - but rather some of the "inconsistencies" of the proceedings themselves. A lawyer for the petitioners (the American Historical Association, the American Society of Legal History, the Organization of American Historians and the Society of American Archivists) believes the federal court will decide by mid-summer whether or not to release the records. (Baltimore Sun, 31 Jan 1999, p A2) (KenH)


The Final Months of War With Japan: Signals Intelligence, US Invasion Planning, and the A-Bomb Decision, by Douglas MacEachin, Center for the Studies of Intelligence, December 1998. As World War II progressed it became clear that unconditional surrender by Japan would require an invasion of its homeland. The Japanese correctly identified Kyushu island as the most likely invasion site. Signals intelligence in the Spring-Summer of 1945 showed that Japan was dramatically expanding its defense forces on the island, ensuring large US casualties if an invasion materialized. This CIA monograph contains a fascinating and authoritative view of the elements that went into the decision to use the A-bomb. Essential reading for scholars and students of history. Monograph ( CSI 98-10001) may be obtained from the National Technical Information Service, tel: 1-800-553-6847. NOTE: Mr. MacEachin addressed the AFIO San Antonio Chapter on 10 February. Call AFIO Chapter President Henry Bussey (210) 490 5408, email <> for chapter membership. (RoyJ)

STASI: The Untold Story of the East German Secret Police, by John O. Koehler, 480 pages, Westview Press 1999, ISBN 0-8133-3409-8. Drawing on his own extensive experience as associated Press Bureau Chief in Berlin during the Cold War, interviews with former STASI officers as well as victims of oppression, STASI documents and US intelligence sources, Koehler recounts tales that contribute to understanding but sometimes read like Hollywood spy thrillers. He reviews Stasi activities within East and West Germany, ranging from internal repression to international espionage, terrorism,and clandestine operations, extending as far afield as Latin America and Africa.

Recommended (RoyJ).


The ABM Treaty in a Changed World, will be the topic of a Capitol Hill Forum on February 18, 1999, Rayburn House Office Building, room 2168 (Gold Room), 5 to 7 pm. The forum will feature the Hon. R. James Woolsey, former DCI, and three other eminent speakers, and is sponsored by the Center for National Security Law, U Va. No charge, but reservations required. Call 804 924 4080, or email (RoyJ)

TEACHING: AFIO member who is teaching a course on the 'American Intelligence Community' for The Washington Center would welcome intelligence professionals willing to speak to students by phone or in person. The Center is a Washington DC non-profit organization which arranges internships for undergraduates from various colleges and universities. Contact (RoyJ)


Executive Assistant - Small non-profit organization investigating 'globalization' problems such financial instability and organized crime, is looking for an Executive Assistant to coordinate a range of programs, possessing skills in communicating, computers and organization of administration. Send resume to Box 112, 1718 M Street NW, Washington DC 20036. (RoyJ)

Security Project Officer - to advise senior Corporate managers on development, implementation and monitoring of Department of State programs (Local Guard and Residential Security), including conducting on-site reviews and travel to foreign posts. Contact, reference folder E-4.

AFIO members: Your encouragement and participation is the basis for AFIO's success. We need each and everyone of you in fulfilling our educational mission of building of a public and leadership constituency for a strong and healthy US intelligence capability.

Each member, contributing to the mission according to his or her capability, is vitally important. If you can, recruit a new member or associate member in'99.


WINs contain commentaries researched and produced by Editor and AFIO Executive Director Roy Jonkers. This WIN contains articles based on research by Graduate student Ken Holt (KenH)

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