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AFIO Weekly Intelligence Notes #11-99, 17 March 99

The Weekly Intelligence Notes (WINs) originated and are produced and edited for AFIO by Roy Jonkers, AFIO Executive Director. John Macartney (Johnmac) contributed articles to this WIN.

Almost one-third of AFIO members now receive the WIN - some 870 individuals.

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AFIO MINI- SYMPOSIUM 25 MAY - see Bulletin Board, Section IV below.


CHINESE NUCLEAR ESPIONAGE - In 1995 the Department of Energy obtained information from CIA that China might have obtained sensitive nuclear warhead information (possibly based on the US W-88 warhead design) from one of our national laboratories (Los Alamos) in the mid-1980's. This information was allegedly based on US (CIA) spying on the Chinese.

The fact that espionage is conducted by all states is a given, a reason for the need for good American security and counterintelligence. Among these the security of our nuclear weapons system is a paramount concern.

The Department of Energy began an investigation in 1995 based on the CIA reports. Subsequently the FBI launched an investigation in 1996, which is on-going, with vigorous prosecution of any espionage agents promised. One individual, Wen Ho Lee, was fired from Los Alamos after flunking a lie-detector check, but after 2 1/2 years of intensive investigation, the evidence has not been sufficient to indict him.

By July 1997 DOE completed an assessment of two decades of Chinese efforts to acquire nuclear weapons information from the United States. In September 1997 a special working group of the National Counterintelligence Policy Board formulated recommendations for strengthening lab security that became the basis for Presidential Decision Directive 61 (PDD-61) issued in February 1998.

The budget for counterintelligence at the labs was doubled, the number of counterintelligence professionals at the labs was increased, the screening and approval process of foreign visitors was changed, and polygraphs and other security reviews were introduced.

The process of determining what China might have obtained through espionage and what could have been derived from other sources is continuing.

On 15 March 1999, with the issue raising public Congressional and media attention and potentially becoming enmeshed in partisan politics (see WIN 10-99), DCI George Tenet appointed Admiral David E. Jeremiah, USN (ret) to provide an independent outside review of CIA's internal assessment (of the national security damage resulting from China's possible theft of nuclear weapons secrets from Los Alamos National Laboratory). Additionally, an unclassified version of a 700-page report by a special House select committee chaired by Rep. Christopher Cox (R Cal) dealing extensively with the Los Alamos case, is expected to be released in the next few weeks. Rep. Cox noted that this issue transcends partisan politics and needs to be dealt with efficiently and quickly. Senators Shelby and Kerry, respectively the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, also sought to emphasize a bipartisan approach to a serious security issue.

Beyond the counterintelligence and security aspects, the issue revolves around US national policy towards China .The US has encouraged trade with China, and through improved cooperation has been successful in major foreign policy and security objectives, such as cutting off Chinese assistance to nuclear facilities in Pakistan, terminating its nuclear cooperation with Iran, and strengthening cooperation on international arms control issues ranging from chemical weapons to proliferation on the Korean peninsula.

The bottomline appears to be: (1) our policies toward China are fundamentally based on our national security self-interest - with some questions about implementation, (2) all states engage in espionage - no reason to go into shock, (3) the nation's nuclear weapons labs security procedures and safeguards were inadequate - a serious security and counterintelligence problem that needs fixing - and (4) as the latter point's corollary, our espionage can be credited with discovering these shortcomings. (Wpost Mar 15, p. A16 & 17, C-Span 15 Mar 21:30; SJMerc.Nws 10Mar99 - courtesy member Thomas Hart (RoyJ)

KOSSOVO - Yugoslavia is mobilizing its forces in anticipation of a US-sponsored NATO air attack (shades of Iraq) and possible invasion and occupation of its territory. In Kossovo, the Yugoslav Government campaign against what it considers Albanian armed terrorists engaged in cop-killing and atrocities against Serb villagers, is continuing. (Who are terrorists and who are "freedom fighters" depends here, as elsewhere, on the eye of the beholder). Inevitably, here as elsewhere, this involves damage to villages - the unarmed population is caught between two armed sides. Terrorist bombs have resulted in casualties in Kossovo cities.

By implication of the DCI's testimony (question and answer session) before the Senate Armed Services Committee on 2 February (see previous WIN), the US is involved with the Albanian insurrectionists, possibly in the same way as US clandestine operations supported the Croats -- - support that resulted in the notorious "ethnic cleansing" of several hundred thousand Serbs from the territory we recognize as Croatia.

It appears that the Albanian armed insurrectionists (KLA), with their foreign support, who now dominate those majority Kossovo Albanian political elements seeking an accommodation with Belgrade, and who are now taken by us to represent the Kossovars, have been "persuaded" to sign a political accord which envisions NATO occupation of part of Yugoslavia.

The Serbs, who regard Kossovo in the same way as Israelis regard Jerusalem, appear willing to stand and fight to avoid this occupation. (Serbs and Jews also share being the fate of victims of Croat and Muslim Nazi Waffen SS murderers in WWII, which makes our one-sided support of Croatia (with its Nazi symbols intact in its current state) particularly odious) . In terms of REAL POLITIK, however, the Serbs are the odd man out - their potential sponsors and co-religionists (Orthodox Catholic) lack power -- Russia, has no power - and the Serb's ally, Greece, does not either.

US Government and media propaganda have been stoutly one-sided and "politically correct" against the Serbs. The underlying US policy has sought to maintain the stability of borders of various new entities in the Balkans - those with sponsors, and those we choose to recognize. The Europeans are motivated to maintain stability - they already have enough immigrants from the area, and want no more refugees.

As part of the above Team B intelligence estimate, we may see a war inflicting great casualties and damage as well as defeating the Yugoslav/Serb forces (or their backing down and surrender of territory); the ethnic cleansing of Serbs from Kossovo (the Croat model); followed by a generation-long occupation of Kossovo (and Bosnia); along with the addition of Serbs to our list of terrorists, joining Arabs, Kurds and Latinos.

A political settlement based on a balanced assessment, with deep intelligence operations and less one-note military force threats seems preferable on all counts. Intelligence is deeply involved -- from clandestine operations to targeting support. (Wpost Mar 12-15; Cspan 2 Feb; and, for a refreshingly different look from prevailing US media propaganda seeking to justify killing of Serbs, see Harry Summers article "The Curse of Kossovo" in Wtimes, 26 Jan99, p A16)) (RoyJ)

WMD SENSOR REQUIREMENT. U.S. Energy Secretary Bill Richardson has given Energy Department scientists 12 months to come up with better ways to detect materials that could be used by rogue nations or terrorists to make nuclear, chemical or biological 'weapons of mass destruction'. (Johnmac)

IRAQ ESPIONAGE (continued) Several members have asked for the specific citation to UN Weapons Inspector Richard Butler's disparaging remarks about Scott Ritter in the context of media accusations of US unilateral espionage operations in Iraq (ref WIN 09-99). The reference is an article by Evelyn Leopold for Reuters, covering Richard Butler's presentation to the Council on Foreign Relations. Butler was sharply critical of Scott Ritter, who, he said, has revealed many of the commission's secrets, much of it being in error, and called him a "lose cannon who has done us serious harm."

He defended his American deputy, Charles Duelfer, who was alleged by the Washington Post to have known about the unilateral espionage activities. I trust this is all we want to hear about this item. (RoyJ) (Reuters 4 March 99, by Evelyn Leopold, courtesy of Carl Griffith)


WHITE HOUSE RESPONSE TO AFIO'S POLLARD LETTER -- Charles Russ, Counsel to the President, signed a letter addressed to AFIO's president responding to the AFIO position of opposing the release of Jonathan Pollard enunciated in a previous Letter to the President.

The White House letter stated:

I am responding on behalf of the President to your letter regarding Jonathan Pollard. As you know, during the course of the Wye Agreement talks, the President agreed to review Mr. Pollard's case. The President made no commitments regarding the outcome of this review. We appreciate your contacting him to express your views.

In reviewing the matter the President will carefully consider the recommendations and views of the Attorney General, law enforcement, and national security agencies. I will also make sure your views are considered as part of the President's review.

Thank you for taking the time to contact the President regarding Mr. Pollard.

/s/ Charles F.C. Ruff, Counsel to the President. (RoyJ)

VENONA AND THE FBI - FBI Venona documents -- those containing the decrypts of Soviet diplomatic traffic in the 1940's relating to Soviet espionage operations in the US -- were placed on the FBI web site in February (

Two tidbits from these documents are relevant anecdotal commentary on the Washington political and bureaucratic scene:

* In 1952 FBI Director Hoover favored limiting CIA access to Venona materials, noting that - "in view of loose methods in CIA and some of its questionable personnel, we must be circumspect." An interesting perspective!

* Venona declassification also involved bureaucratic political considerations.

"It is believed that disclosure of the existence of (Venona) information at this time would probably place the Bureau right in the middle of a violent political war.

This is an election year (1956) and the Republicans would undoubtedly use disclosure of the (Venona) information to emphasize the degree of infiltration by communists and Soviet agents into the US Government during the 1940's when Democrats were in power.

At the same time, the Democrats would probably strike back by claiming that the FBI had withheld this information from the proper officials during the Democratic administration and at the same time would salvage what credit they could by claiming that the messages were intercepted and deciphered during the course of their administration and under their guidance.

The Bureau would be right in the middle."

A historical, but also contemporary commentary on the many (sometimes convoluted, often realistic) considerations that go into seemingly simple decisions in Washington. (FAS Bulletin No 77, March 1999) (RoyJ)

NAVY P-3'S USED FOR INTELLIGENCE. An article in Aviation Week covered "special" Navy reconnaissance missions - including aspects that, if true, seem unnecessary and hardly beneficial for US reconnaissance intelligence operations.

The article stated that the U.S. Navy has been operating two small squadrons of what appear to be innocuous P-3 anti-submarine patrol aircraft but in fact are state-of-the-art sentinels packed with a multitude of classified sensors. The nondescript aircraft can monitor the sea lanes virtually anywhere in the world.

The mission is clandestine and dangerous. Currently two special operations units -- VPU-1 "Old Buzzards" stationed at NAS Brunswick, Maine, and VPU-2 "Wizards," stationed at NAS Barbers Point, Hawaii -- have three long-range P-3 patrol aircraft each. The aircraft are said to carry sophisticated communications (including satcom), long-range electro-optical cameras, infrared sensors, chemical detectors, power measurement devices and other sensors that can detect, record and analyze emissions across a wide swath of the electromagnetic spectrum. It sometimes involves operating at wave-top level on pitch-black nights to fly as close to the target -- often within 1,000 ft. -- as possible, according to a Navy official. At low altitude, it can sometimes surprise targets (often ships, in the past) and scoop up a broad spectrum of electronic, chemical, infrared and optical data for later analysis.

Intelligence officials said the sensor suite is so sensitive that analysts can tell virtually everything about a ship after a single close reconnaissance. Its capabilities as similar (but less specialized) as those in several 'classified' U.S. Air Force aircraft, including, according to the article:

*RC-135S Cobra Ball, which carries a long-range, medium-wave infrared camera and optical sensors able to detect and analyze missile capabilities from observations of launches and reentries.

arc-135U Combat Sent, which can analyze the complex signals and power output from unidentified electronic devices -- particularly radars -- and assess their capabilities. These assessments form the basis for future electronic warning systems for U.S. aircraft.

*RC-135V/W Rivet Joint, which conducts signals intelligence gathering, including communication intercepts. (Aviation Week, March 8, 1999). (Johnmac / RoyJ)

HOBBYISTS TRACK SPY SATELLITES. Vernon Loeb, the Washington Post's intelligence reporter, writes (20Feb) about people whose hobby it is to track US imaging satellites and publish their overhead schedules and type of sensors on board -- one of the hobbyists named in the article, Allen Thomson, is described as a retired CIA scientist. (Foreign govts track our satellites, of course, which can enable them to evade detection by hiding illicit activity while the satellite is passing overhead.)

According to one of these hobbyists, Keyhole and Lacrosse satellites at altitudes in 400 to 550 miles passed over Baghdad 19 times in the 18 hours after US airstrikes there on Dec 16. The article also carried a photo of a "school bus sized" Lacrosse radar imaging satellite under construction at Lockheed Martin in Denver. Among other tidbits in the article:

- 200 of the 8000 satellites and bits of space debris in earth orbit are US military or intelligence related (only a few of those are imaging satellites, but that number will increase as the US moves to "smallsats" beginning, probably, this year

- 5 countries in addition to the US currently operate imaging intelligence satellites: Russia, France, China, India & Israel, and the US govt publishes orbital data on those; (Japan recently announced it too would have spy satellites soon)

- several US commercial imaging satellites with 1-meter resolution will go up this year; the Indian satellite has 5-meter resolution according to the article and the best US intelligence satellites are "thought to have 10cm resolution"

- imagery released to the media by the Pentagon last year of cruise missile targets in Afghanistan and Sudan as well as the photos of Iraqi targets released in December were probably taken by US intelligence satellites (those releases mark an apparent change in policy, and the images were much more detailed than 5-meter imagery from the Indian satellite that was commercially available. (Johnmac)


WORLD HISTORY OF ESPIONAGE: AGENTS, SYSTEMS, OPERATIONS, by Janusz Pielkalkiewicz, translated from the German by William M. Henhoeffer and Gerald L. Liebenau (unpublished edition inscribed to AFIO) - -

An unpublished special copy of this massive volume was sent to the AFIO Library as a special memorial to William Henhoeffer, retired Director of the Historical Intelligence Collection of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Bill Henhoeffer, a former OSS and CIA officer, initiated this translation because he felt that it contained a wealth of knowledge, highlighting the effects of intelligence gathering and how it has significantly altered the course of human history. It was his firm belief that this book should be required reading for every acting as well as aspiring intelligence officer, for, as his sister Rosemary Herbst wrote in the foreword to the translation, "there is no escaping the power of the history of espionage for those professionals who do not wish to repeat historical errors" - as well as for anyone who merely loves a good story

Bill Henhoeffer died in 1993 before he could complete the task, which was completed by another former CIA officer, Gerald Liebenau. In its current state, the translated volume (865 pages) should be considered unfinished and only briefly edited. The table of contents spans the range from the Phoenicians to the 1980's, covering cases, equipment, and sources. It is well-written, easy reading.

Additional financial resources must be found for further research and editing before an American edition can be contemplated. The German publisher permitted a restricted number of special research copies to be printed as a special memorial to William Henhoeffer. The distribution of this unpublished translation has been limited to those who would appreciate its research value. AFIO is honored to be a recipient.

Original in German "Weltgeschichte der Spionage: Agenten, Systeme, Aktionen", Sudwest Verlag, Munich, 1988 (1186 pages, with 500 illustrations, facsimiles and graphics) ISBN 3-517-00849-4 . (RoyJ)

KAPITALIZM: Russia's Struggle to Free Its Economy, by Rose Bradley, Yale University Press, 1999. Russia is blessed with a wealth of natural resources, but it is on the verge of bankruptcy: last August it defaulted on $40 billion in domestic debt, and may default on $17.5 billion in foreign debt if not bailed out by the IMF in negotiations currently underway. Bradley reviews the Russians road to a market economy. The Soviet-era managers were allowed to gain control of their state-run plants in 1992, thus stifling new initiatives and encouraging robbery. Three years later Prime Minister Chubais sold off the gems of Russian state assets to well-connected banks - same results. With tax reform making meager progress, the state borrowed. When emerging markets in Asia and Latin American plunged along with oil prices, Russia could no longer pay its bills. The transition to capitalism, says Bradley, will take time.

The future is opaque, for the fate of capitalism and open markets in the Russian Federation is connected to the future of the political system. The present Russian Federation is, in Professor Paul Goble's words, a "failed state," in which the Nomenklatura opted out to enrich themselves and invest in Cyprus, Israel or London, leaving a state which is bluff and appearance rather than substance. Only Moscow and its environs are approximating an East European level of prosperity, with the rest of the country far behind or at a subsistence level, with decreasing life expectancy, birth rates and public health. Russia and the US are equals only in the number of people each country has incarcerated in prisons - the highest in the world. In terms of power projection, Russia has become a marginal consideration for US policy, as the Serbs have been discovering. (Busnss Wk Mar22 p. 22) (RoyJ)

 GIDEON's SPIES - - Gordon Thomas, "Gideon's Spies: The Secret History of the Mossad" St Martin's press, 1999. Just out, this is the book that, among other things, claims that Israeli intelligence was tapping into Monica Lewinsky's "telephone-sex" talks with President Clinton. (not reviewed) (Johnmac)



Seating is limited to 100 individuals. First come, first served.

Symposium Chairman is Thomas Spencer, Esq., member AFIO Board of Directors.

Early Registration: Make out check to AFIO. Amount: $125 members of AFIO, ABA or SCIP (per arrangement with George Marling), $165 to others (includes one-year AFIO membership) and send to AFIO, 6723 Whittier Ave, Ste 303A, McLean, Va 22101-4533, with registration information including your name, address, occupation, organization, tel/fax number and email address.


(1) Elizabeth Rindskopf, Esq, (invited) former Legal Counsel CIA and NSA - Contemporary issues affecting US business community.

(2) Edward O'Malley, former Deputy Director of the FBI for CI -- Criminal Enforcement Trends and Procedures relative to Business Secrets and Intellectual Property.

(3) Professor James Chandler, (invited) -- Civil Enforcement Trends and Procedures re: Intellectual Property and Business Secrets.

(4) Rosemary Lark -- Business Intelligence: Corporate America Meets James Bond.

(5) Theodore Shackley (CIA ret) -- Business Terrorism - You are the Target

(6) Panel : Neil Livingstone, Gary Stubblefield, Bob Quigley, and Global Options -- Protecting Your Business Assets // Preemptive Strategies and Case Studies.

(7) Hon. Royce Lamberth, Presiding Judge, National Surveillance Court (invited)

(8) Reception and Mixer.

(9) Viewing of exhibits at the Open Source Symposium 99. OSS 99 is hosting the independent and stand-alone AFIO symposium. The OSS 99 Symposium (host) is a continuation of a successful annual international assembly of extraordinarily varied individuals interested in - or involved in - security, intelligence and open source access and manipulations. For information on OSS 99, contact Robert Steele at

AFIO NOTES: For January and February, honors for new member recruitments go to LARRY SULC and AL PONTE. Well done!

We also welcome to two other new Life Members, MIKE ABSHER, Chairman of the Chapter President's Council, and ROBERT WHITAKER, a valued member since 1983.

Their commitment to AFIO is a vote of confidence in our renewal, and central to our success. We have many interesting new programs and enhancements underway -- AFIO is moving out vigorously on our educational mission to build a public leadership constituency for a strong and healthy US intelligence community. Your support and participation is critical to our progress! (RoyJ)

SOUTHWEST FLORIDA CHAPTER MEETING - On March 22 at 8:30 a.m. the Honorable Porter Goss (R/FL), Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, will address a breakfast meeting at the Palm River Country Club, Naples, Florida. The Chairman's topic is: "Preparing to Meet the National security Challenges of the Next Millennium." AFIO members and guests are welcome. For information and registration, contact Alan Fields or call 941 566 2013 (RoyJ)

NORTHEAST FLORIDA CHAPTER MEETING - The Chapter will meet at the Radisson Ponce de Leon Resort, on April 24 at 11:30 a.m. An excellent restaurant, good food, an interesting speaker -- a worthwhile event for all AFIO members in the Northern Florida and Southern Georgia areas. Cost is only $10.00. Contact Chapter President John Guenther at AND also (RoyJ)


OFFICE SPACE AVAILABLE - AFIO is looking for an "organizationally compatible" renter to sublet an office of some 400 sq ft in the AFIO suite in the center of McLean, Virginia. Some additional storage space is also available. Please contact us if interested or call 703 790 0320 (RoyJ).

WRITERS WANTED! The next issue of AFIO's academic newsletter, the "INTELLIGENCER," will be put together in April and mailed out in May. WE ARE SOLICITING ARTICLES & BOOK REVIEWS

Almost any subject that pertains to the intelligence business past or present is welcome, although we favor those pertaining to: teaching intelligence in colleges and universities ongoing issues and developments in intelligence history pertaining to intelligence Brevity is important in our limited space format, and we prefer articles of 1000 to 3000 words. Let us hear from you! Submit by e-mail to

INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY STAFF MONOGRAPH - One of our members, Jim Boginis, suggested that a history of the IC staff, including its long-suffering attempts to assert authority over - or coordinate programs of - the Intelligence Community, would be a useful topic for an AFIO Monograph. I am therefore looking for a knowledgeable academic or professional to undertake on the project and write on past efforts to manage the Community. We will provide assistance. If interested contact (RoyJ)

COLD WAR INTELLIGENCE PROJECT - CNN Interactive is doing a Cold War project about intelligence operatives "who did not make it back," those who died doing the mission. The producer is looking for historical material, anecdotal stories. Contact Bruce Kennedy (404) 827 4382, or visit the CNN site at If nothing works, email us .(PeterE)

CI UNIT DEACTIVATION ANNOUNCEMENT -- The Intelligence Support detachment (ISD), formerly known as CIC Det, 901st MID and MID-DNA, will have its de-activation ceremony in June 1999. They are interested in inviting those who have been a part of this detachment's history to the ceremony.

Anyone formerly with the CI detachment assigned to protect the MANHATTAN project, the Armed Forces Special Weapons Project, the Defense Atomic support Agency, the Defense Nuclear Agency, or the Defense Special Weapons Agency, please contact the current Detachment at (703) 805 3503 or 805 3533.

Alternatively contact William Stanton, 17060 Capri Lane #202, Dumfries, Va 22026-3221. (RoyJ)


PCIC SYMPOSIUM The 3rd big PCIC event is coming up: 25 March 1999, this time at the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center (formerly Radisson Plaza) on Seminary Road just off I-395 at Exit 4.

"Professional Connections in the Intelligence Community" (PCIC) is a one-day symposium on career development for current and former intelligence & security professionals. Included will be a workshop, three discussion panels, nine seminars and many exhibits by Government and Industry talent scouts and recruiters. It's a big program, with lot's of top-notch speakers, forcing some tough choices on which sessions to attend.

This is NOT another "TechNet" for C++ twinks, this career fair is geared to experienced and upwardly mobile Intelligence Analysts & Operators. The first two PCIC events held in May and Nov 1998 were GREAT, according to folks who were there, many of whom attended BOTH events. The website provides full details on who/what/when/where and why. or call Lori Tugman (202 767 6862)

NOTE to AFIO members - you are eligible for a discount of $30 from the nominal $90 fee - mention AFIO. (RoyJ)


William L. McGonagle (Captain, USN ret) , who was the Commanding Officer of the USS LIBERTY (AGTR-5), and who received the Congressional Medal of Honor for exceptional bravery during the unconscionable attack on that US Navy vessel by Israeli aircraft and motor torpedo boats on June 8th, 1967, died on Wednesday March 3rd, 1999 in Palm Springs, California, at the age of 73. Memorial services will include a service at the Arlington National Cemetery at a later date, and also at the USS Liberty reunion in Virginia Beach, Virginia, in June '99. (Courtesy Rich Schmucker

Captain McGonagle commanded a US intelligence collection vessel. We salute and honor his bravery and his memory, and those of his crew who were killed, maimed or injured by the Israelis on that black day. He - and they - take their places among our intelligence "heroes." (RoyJ)

Editor's Note: Some members cannot open WIN attachments, and a few sometimes receive only the top part of the WIN and not the main text. If you have problems, let us know. We will retransmit and see if that solves the problem. Please note that WINs are produced in Microsoft Word text and NEVER sent out as attachments - only as straight messages. If they are received as attachments, "the system" has transformed them. If any of you are experts that can provide advice on how we can overcome these types of occasional problems, please let me know! (RoyJ)

NOTE - WINs are protected by copyright laws and re-transmission is not permitted without specific AFIO concurrence. The only exception is reproduction for purposes of recruiting a new member.

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