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AFIO Weekly Intelligence Notes #24-99, June 18, 1999

WINs are produced and published by Roy Jonkers for AFIO members and subscribers Associate Editor Don Harvey (RADM ret) was a major contributor to this edition . Member contributions are invited.

This WIN is being transmitted with a week's delay due to other commitments by the Editor. WIN #25-99 will follow shortly.

WINs are protected by copyright laws and disemination is prohibited except with the consent of the Publisher.

Editor's Note: I am delighted to report that WIN readership has now passed one thousand, and is reaching a total of 1009 members. A hearty welcome to our new members, and thanks to our AFIO sponsors!

Our goal is to recruit five hundred new AFIO members this year, and we are halfway there.

Our AFIO mission remains as important and relevant as ever - to foster a public constituency that understands and appreciates the vital role and importance of a sound and healthy US intelligence capability for the nation. So our appeal remains: Every Member Recruit a Member!

Our new goal is - 1,100 WIN readers by August. The AFIO sponsor of every tenth new AFIO member receives a book, inscribed by the AFIO President, Peter Earnest, as a token of appreciation. The #1,000 winner also received an AFIO mug, as will the #1,100 sponsor. The winners for the past weeks were:

#950 - George Norton, who sponsored Frank Wells
#960 - G. H. Zimmerman, who sponsored John Parrigin
#970 - H. Keith Melton, who sponsored Craig Piligian
#980 - Fred Rustmann, whjo sponsored Frank Brentnell
#990 - John Weisman, who sponsored Howard Steers
#1,000 - Michael Haas, who sponsored Gregory Stock

To all others who sponsored new members - our thanks and appreciation - please keep up the good work!

ANNOUNCEMENT: In latest edition of Periscope, the telephone number for Emerson Cooper, AFIO Vice President for Chapters was listed incorrectly. The right telephone number is (360) 653 6107, fax 360 658 1781. Please make the correction.


ECHELON - continued - The Staff Director of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Dr. John Millis, send the following letter to Dr. John Macartney, who prepared several WIN reports in early June on ECHELON -- described as a global intercept program run by NSA in conjunction with U.K., Canadian, New Zealand and Australian counterparts -- based on media reporting. We are pleased to provide this authoritative information from Dr. Millis:

I would like to correct what could be a mistaken impression from your articles "US Congress Concerned about ECHELON" and "NSA, HPSCI Butt Heads over ECHELON" in the AFIO Weekly Intelligence Notes of June 4 and June 11, respectively. Your members may be interested to know that the articles (accurately) reflect inaccurate press accounts.

Chairman Porter Goss of HPSCI has not supported a requirement in the FY2000 Intelligence Authorization Bill, which passed the House on May 13, for "the NSA, CIA and the Justice Department to prepare a report on ECHELON for the Congress." Moreover, NSA has not "refused to hand over to Congress documents on the Echelon program."

These two articles are apparently refering to an amendment to the bill (which was accepted) from Representative Barr requesting "a report in classified and unclassified form describing the legal standards employed by elements of the intelligence community in conducting signals intelligence activities, including electronic surveillance." On the floor of the House, Congressman Barr, who is not a member of HPSCI, said one of his reasons for introducing the amendment had to do with allegations he has heard regarding a "Project Echelon."

Chairman Goss accepted the Barr amendment not because of these specific allegations, but rather because a generic report on the legal standards employed in intelligence collection, such as requested, is in keeping with the proper oversight of intelligence activities. Moreover, the requested report dovetails with the "Additional Views" Chairman Goss attached to the Act. In those Views, he outlined difficulties the Committee has had in getting details from the National Security Agency's Office of General Counsel on the operational guidelines it promulgates to NSA employees in order to limit the inadvertant collection of information on U.S. citizens. The Committee wants to review those guidelines to satisfy its concerns that the guidelines not be too permissive or, on the other hand, that they not be too restrictive, thereby "hamper[ing] the collection of significant national security and intelligence information." These concerns are based purely on the Committee's desire that the intelligence community be as effective as its resources and proper legal restrictions allow it to be.


John Millis, HPSCI Staff Director.

FY-00 INTELLIGENCE BUDGET AUTHORIZED BY HOUSE - After overwhelmingly defeating an amendment that would have frozen the intelligence budget at the 1998 level, the House on a voice vote passed the national intelligence budget. The amount of the bill is classified, but one HPSCI member said the total amount was actually slightly less than the 1999 level. The usual sources guess the amount sought for next year is about $27 billion. "This is frankly the bare minimum needed," Rep. Porter Goss, chairman of the committee, said. "We have for too long taken shortcuts and underfunded our intelligence capabilities." The measure adds less than one percent to the administration's requested budget. As passed by the House, the bill would:

-- Increase money for FBI counterintelligence investigations and training.

-- Boost the DOE's security and counterintelligence program.

-- Add money for computer security at military, intelligence and nuclear-weapons centers.

-- Boost spending for foreign language training.

-- Include a "substantial increase" for CIA analysis of nuclear-weapons programs, particularly in China and Russia.

-- Decrease the space launch and hardware budget for the NRO.

-- Add money on the analysis side of the intelligence community.

A separate story on the House report notes that the Predator UAV has logged more than 11,000 flight hours on support missions in Bosnia and Kosovo. The House bill recommends a $20 million addition to the DoD's $38 million request for Predator. Some $20 million was also added to the $70.8 million request for endurance UAVs, the Global Hawk now that Dark Star has been cancelled. ( Phil. Inquirer (AP) 14 May '99, p. A27; Def Daily 14 May '99, p) (DonH)

INTELLIGENCE BITS AND PIECES. The following items of possible interest to intelligence types have been found in press reports in the last several months:

-- In its latest annual report, the HPSCI has noted that dialogue between the committee and Clinton's national security advisers is "virtually nonexistent, despite repeated attempts by the Committee's senior members." Porter Goss, the HPSCI chairman, said he cannot get the NSC to describe administration policy on various international issues so how can he help set intelligence community priorities.

-- Deputy DIRNSA, Barbara McNamara, made it clear in recent congressional testimony just how vulnerable NSA would be to the export of powerful encryption software should the proposed Security and Freedom Through Encryption (SAFE) Act become law. She said, "The SAFE Act will make NSA's job...difficult, if not impossible." The software would bolster others' ability to encrypt its signals and "it will take too long to decrypt a message--if indeed we can decrypt it at all."

-- After 29 years at the lab and seven years as the director, Gary L. Smith will leave the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory to become the deputy director for science and technology at CIA.

-- As a prudent attempt to deny adversaries easy access to "sensitive"--though not classified--information, the DOD is no longer providing tracking data on military satellites to NASA's Orbital Information Group Web site. Information will not be provided on any military communications, missile warning, imagery and surveillance craft, or on the Navy's GPS constellation of 27 satellites. The Web site had provided information about an object's location in orbit, and its highest and lowest distance from Earth.( W Post 30 Mar '99, p. A15; U.S. Newswire 26 Mar '99; USA Today 5 Apr '99, p. 11A; Balt. Sun 3 Apr '99, p. B2; W Post 1 Apr '99, p. A21) (DonH)

OVERHEAD IMAGERY PLANNING - An intelligence community plan, drafted primarily by NRO and NMIA in consultation with industry, signals a major government commitment to incorporate commercial imagery into U.S. collection activity. The planned one billion dollar investment will support direct purcheses of commercial imagery, processing by private companies of imagery from various sources, and infrastructure upgraded to process and disseminate the products quickly. The intelligence community plans to take advantage of the three commercial satellites scheduled for launch this year, Ikonos 1, Orb View 3, and QuickBird-1 capable of one meter resolution, as well as more capable systems expected to be developed in the future. One of the goals behind the draft plan is to encourage industry to develop improved systems. Using commercial satellites allows the NRO to concentrate its own systems on tougher assignments requiring more advanced capabilities. The commercial imagery is expected to be more readily available (presumably lower in classification) and easier to use by military forces in the field; it is also anticipated to save money. Those who suffered for years with the over-zealous, security-fixated majors guarding overhead imagery can only applaud the current NRO Director, Keith Hall. (Def. News 12 Apr '99, p. 1 (DonH)

KOSOVO KLA IDENTIFIED AS HEROIN SMUGGLING CARTEL - Recently leaked intelligence and law enforcement documents show that drug agents in five countries, including the U.S., believe the KLA has aligned itself with an extensive organized crime network center in Albania that smuggles heroin and some cocaine to buyers throughout Western Europe. The documents tie members of the Albanian Mafia to a drug smuggling cartel based in Kosovo's provincial capital, Pristina. The cartel is manned by ethic Albanians who are members of the Kosovo National Front, whose armed wing is the KLA. The documents show it is one of the most powerful heroin smuggling organizations in the world, with much of its profits being diverted to the KLA to buy weapons. The drugs follow the "Balkan Route" -- Turkey through Bulgaria, Greece and Yugoslavia in cars, trucks and boats, going initially to Austria, Germany and Italy where it is routed onward.

A DEA report prepared for the National Narcotics Intelligence Consumer's Committee said a majority of the heroin seized in Europe is transported over the Balkan Route. It said drug smuggling organizations composed of Kosovo's ethnic Albanians were considered "second only to Turkish gangs as the predominant heroin smugglers along the Balkan Route." A separate DEA report written by U.S. drug agents in Austria said that while the war in the former Yugoslavia had reduced the drug flow along the Balkan Route, new land routes have opened across Romania, Hungary and the Czech Republic. The DEA estimated that between four and six metric tons of heroin leaves each month from Turkey bound for Western Europe with the bulk traveling over the Balkan Route.

France's Geopolitical Observatory of Drugs said in a recent report that the KLA was a key player in the rapidly expanding drugs-for-arms business and helped transport $2 billion worth of drugs annually into Western Europe. German drug agents have estimated that $1.5 billion in drug profits is laundered annually by Kosovo smugglers, through as many as 200 private banks or currency-exchange offices.

In 1998, the U.S. State Department listed the KLA as an international terrorist organization, saying it had bankrolled its operations with proceeds from the international heroin trade and from loans from known terrorists like Osama bin Laden.

This year, 1999, State analysts identify the KLA as an "insurgency" organization. ( Wash. Times 3 May '99, p. A1) (Don H)


DOE LAX ON SECURITY FOR TWO DECADES . The nation's nuclear weapons labs have suffered from lax security, according to a GAO study, for nearly two decades. Since 1980, the GAO has issued 32 warnings about the labs' vulnerability to espionage and recommended nearly 50 measures for better security. According to the study, most of the recommendations were ignored. FBI agents had been brought in a decade ago for counterintelligence help but left in the early 1990s "because of resistance within DOE to implementing the measures the FBI staff believed necessary to improve security." More recently, the GAO found 45 major security violations at Los Alamos in 1998 that were described as "severe." Despite the findings, the DOE gave the facility's contractor, the University of California, a rating of "excellent." A GAO spokesman described the Los Alamos attitude saying, "They don't care if there are foreign intelligence officers there or not. They think they have a defense mechanism in place, but every time we looked at one of their defense mechanisms, we found problems."

The GAO contends security is weak throughout labs responsible for designing and maintaining the nation's nuclear weapons. One unidentified facility could not account for 10,000 classified documents. Equipment and property worth millions of dollars were missing from others. Required background checks on foreign visitors were conducted less than 10 percent of the time in 1988. Only two percent of visitors from China, for example, were subjected to background checks. An earlier appropriation Congress made specifically for counterintelligence, when tracked by the GAO, was found to have been used mostly for studies and overhead by the individual facilities. Several of them had reduced the amount of money they had allocated to counterintelligence. These GAO findings tend to cast a shadow of doubt over the current DOE and White House protestations regarding all the remedial measures recently directed for the labs. ( LA Times 21 Apr '99, p.B6; USA Today 20 Apr '99, p. 9A; Washington Times 21 Apr '99, p. A4 ) (DonH)

NATIONAL SECURITY AT THE WHITE HOUSE - The media have for years reported an ambivalent - and to some observers, dangerous - attitude toward security standards by some White House staffers. The Associated Press, on March 12,1994, provided this little item from the Washington Post, reflecting the security "culture" of the present administration, at least in its early days: "White House Press Secretary Dee Dee Meyers confirmed that she and other White House aides do not have security clearances. Although working at the White House since the first day of the Clinton administration, she and 15 other White House aides kept putting off applying for security clearances because the process was so 'laborious." It is intriguing to speculate on what classified national security information was passed to these nonvetted, noncleared people to be repeated as gossip and leaks. (JEH)


Alexandre Feklissov, Confession d'un Agent Soviétique, Paris: Éditions du Rocher, 1999, 422 pages, 135 FF. (available through: Jean-Paul Bertrand Éditeur, 6, Place Saint-Sulpice, 75279 Paris cedex 06, France. Tel: 01-40-46-54-00; FAX: 01-40-46-91-36)

The Rosenberg case gets another look but this time it is by someone who should know. Alexandr Feklisov, Rosenberg's case officer 1943-1946, has recently published a useful memoir in France. The author, 85, reveals significant details concerning his long career in Soviet intelligence, including a definitive presentation of the Rosenberg case. Feklisov makes it clear that Rosenberg was an ideological recruit whose Marxist-Leninist perspective reinforced his pro-Sovietism. The author gives an extensive account on how Rosenberg was recruited and developed, on what he passed to the Soviets, and on whom who recruited into his spy ring. The author explains how he trained Rosenberg in photography and presented him with a special Leica with which to photograph documents. According to Feklisov, the two had over fifty meetings during which Rosenberg passed documents and photographic copies of documents.

One Christmas, the author says, Rosenberg made a gift of a proximity fuse, then a prime requirement of Soviet scientific and technical intelligence, "Line XY." According to Feklisov, owing to Rosenberg's "gift," a special Soviet factory was established to develop and perfect the proximity fuse, and one well-known later success was the 1960 shoot-down of the U2 piloted by Francis Gary Powers.

There are also accounts of the successful exfiltration to the Soviet Union of Rosenberg colleagues Joel Barr and Alfred Sarant, who passed 9,165 pages of documents to Soviet intelligence. Feklisov says that exfiltration was offered to Rosenberg but he chose to remain in the United States for family reasons. Many details concerning the personalities and operations of the New York "residence" are also presented. Feklisov was also Klaus Fuch's case officer, 1947-1949, and he includes much interesting commentary on this well-known case. While several other cases are included, Feklissov's comments on his behind-the-scenes contacts, via John Scali, with the White House during the Cuba Missile Crisis are particularly interesting. Feklisov, who headed the Washington, DC "residence" during the period, says that it was President Kennedy who offered the compromise leading to a peaceful resolution of the crisis. Official "Camelot" historiography holds the opposite, that it was Khrushchev who backed down and offered a compromise. Feklisov's memoir, written with journalist Sergueï Kostine, reads well and provides significant historical insight. (reviewed by Dr. Clifford Kiracofe)


AFIO CORPORATE MEMBERSHIP -- AFIO invites corporations and professional offices to become corporate members. For more information contact the AFIO Vice President for Corporate Membership Programs, James ("Jim") Boginis, or Roy Jonkers at afio@


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