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AFIO Weekly Intelligence Notes #29-99, July 22, 1999

WINs are produced by Editor Roy Jonkers for AFIO members and subscribers. WINs are protected by copyright laws and may not be disseminated without consent. Most of the articles in this WIN were based on raw material provided by Professor Robert Heibel ((BobH) of Mercyhurst College...

ANNOUNCEMENT: In response to a Special Call for specialized medical advice for a fellow AFIO member who was struck by a serious and life-threatening medical condition that left his medical team searching for solutions, I am pleased to report that almost 150 responses were received, a truly phenomenal response, including a significant number of medical doctors and researchers.

It was a heartwarming message of support for our sick colleague in Texas, boosting his morale, and also providing significant bottomline substantive assistance. Your reponse is a marvelous illustration of the quality and compassion of our membership, and to its diversity in talent united by a common bond. Your willingness to reach out and support a fellow member was inspiring.

I was unable to answer all of the messages, but all were read, digested, and passed on -- and to all of you I extend to all a most sincere "thank you." Your suggestions and advice, from one and all, were most appreciated and useful. (RoyJ)


1) Don't forget to register for the AFIO LUNCHEON 13 September 1999 - Fort Myer, Virginia - 10:30 a.m. - 2 pm. Two seasoned professionals will discuss interesting and little-known behind-the-scenes American intelligence operations in IRAQ and in TIBET. MAKE YOUR RESERVATION NOW - See Section IV Bulletin Board below.

2) Also - the AFIO NATIONAL SYMPOSIUM AND CONVENTION at the NRO and the Marriott Hotel, will be held on 21, 22, 23 October 1999. The contract has been signed with the Marriott Hotel, Tysons Corner, Virginia. We are again in process of inviting a stellar group of speakers, including the DCI and the Director NRO.

But this notice is to alert you to the fact that our Symposium President, RADM (ret) Don McDowell, was able to negotiate a super rate for lodging for our members at the Marriott (for this area) - $89 per night, covering Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, 21, 22, 23 October.We will tell you how to reserve in the next WIN.

3) The WIN is now sent to 1045 members. We only need 55 more members to meet out August 31 objective of 1,100. SPONSOR A NEW MEMBER! Dick Guay of Maine is our latest honoree with five new members sponsored - our hat is off! An AFIO mug is on the way!


US SHARING INTELLIGENCE WITH COLOMBIA -- The United States is sharing intelligence with the Colombian security forces -- but according to the State Department, only to help them combat the drug trade.

In an explanation of U.S. intelligence policy, spokesman James Rubin said the United States would pass on information if it was critical to protecting either Colombians fighting the drug trade, U.S. government personnel, or contractors providing technical assistance. "We have explicit guarantees from the government of Colombia that shared information will be used only for the purposes for which it is intended and will not be shared with any outside groups,'' he added. ``If information comes to our attention that this intelligence is being misused or passed to others we will reconsider... To date we have no such information,'' he said.

The policy dates from March this year and is apparently less restrictive than the old rules. In practice there is a fine line between the military's campaign against drugs and its campaign against rebel groups such as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), which Washington says is deeply engaged in the drugs trade. U.S. authorities have declined to comment publicly on whether they had tipped off Colombia about the impending rebel offensive and helped them pinpoint rebel columns. One U.S. military source, however, said it would be an ``educated supposition'' to suggest that had been the case. (Reuters, 14 Jul 199) (BobH)

BARAK ON MIDEAST CIA ROLE AND POLLARD -- On the eve of his first visit to Washington, Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Barak said the United States should scale back its role as ``policeman and judge'' in Mideast peacemaking. "I don't think the CIA should be involved in counting the number of policemen in the Gaza Strip to check up on the Palestinians."

During his visit he also urged President Clinton to release convicted spy Jonathan Pollard but did not get a response to his plea, a top White House official. The issue of Pollard nearly derailed peace talks at Wye River, Md., last October when then-Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suddenly proposed that he be allowed to take Pollard home to Israel on his plane when the negotiations concluded. Clinton defused the situation by agreeing to review Pollard's case.

At the time, Clinton directed his counsel, Charles F.C. Ruff, to collect recommendations from the CIA, FBI, Justice Department and other agencies about possible clemency. Last December, Clinton promised a prompt decision but he has not disclosed what he will do. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Defense Secretary William Cohen, among others, have opposed Pollard's release. ``The president has not received the report from Mr. Ruff, therefore expressed no view on it,'' Berger said. ``The prime minister indicated he would like to see Pollard released - obviously he has an interest in it - but he does not think it should be part of the peace process'' Berger said Pollard's case has been raised regularly by Israeli leaders, including Netanyahu and former Prime Ministers Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres. Israeli officials say Pollard's conduct should not be excused but that he has been in prison long enough. (AP, 14 & 19 Jul 1999) (BobH)

TALIBAN KEEPING ACCUSED TERRORIST BIN LADEN UNDER SURVEILLANCE -- Osama Bin Laden, who is in hiding in Afghanistan, is under strict surveillance by Taliban intelligence ``to be sure that he is not carrying out illegal acts.'' But Maulvi Wakil Muttawakil told the Arabic daily Ash Sharq Al-Awsat that, at least for the time being, Afghanistan's fundamentalist Taliban movement will not hand him over to the United States. Washington has asked the Taliban to expel bin Laden so that he can stand trial for his alleged role in last August's U.S. Embassy bombings in East Africa. The Clinton Administration has imposed sanctions on the Taliban for harboring bin Laden. The embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania killed 224 people, including 12 Americans. (AP, 15 Jul 99) (BobH)

RUSSIAN JOURNALIST FOUND INNOCENT OF TREASON -- Russian military reporter Grigory Pasko, accused of treason, espionage, and abuse of office in a case involving the turning over of environmental information to a Japanese television network, was convicted on 20 July and sentenced to three years in jail for improper military conduct. Pasko's defense had maintained that Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) made up the case to punish him for reports he provided to a Japanese television station on the Russian fleet's nuclear-waste dumping. Some of the footage showed Russian sailors allegedly tossing radioactive waste into the Sea of Japan. Pasko, who was arrested in 1997 after returning from a trip to Japan, said he never gave sensitive documents about the fleet to the station.

The court found Pasko guilty of abuse of service for personal gain and violating the interests of society and the state, but ruled that the other charges were unfounded. It also ruled that the 10 documents and information divulged about the combat readiness of Russia's Pacific Fleet to the Japanese TV station contained no state secrets. Pasko was released the same day under an amnesty approved by Russian President Boris Yeltsin because he had already served more than a third of his sentence and was a first time offender.( (AP, 16 Jul 999) (Intercom International, 20 July 99) (BobH)


CANADIAN BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE -- The Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) has published advice to help prevent commercial and scientific secrets from falling into the hands of foreign spies at home and abroad.

CSIS says that, although the majority of economic intelligence gathered by businesses and governments comes from legal, public sources, sometimes the information is obtained through "less than laudatory techniques," resulting in lost Canadian contracts, jobs and markets. The most common method of acquiring such information is recruitment of an employee, contractor or consultant. But other techniques include break-ins, briefcase tampering, theft of laptop computers, photocopying, sifting through garbage and the interception of phone calls or faxes.

Visiting scientists, students and delegations can be spies. "Any competing nation, given sufficient motivation, may well engage in espionage against Canada to further its economic objectives," according to CSIS. Foreign spies have set their sights on trade and pricing information, investment strategies, contract details, supplier lists, technical drawings and research and development data.

Business people traveling abroad are especially vulnerable to economic espionage because a foreign government can operate more easily in its own backyard. CSIS recommends avoiding discussion of confidential business matters with strangers, including hotel staff, stewards and drivers. "Some taxi drivers may be used to collect specific individuals from the airport or hotel for the purpose of overhearing or recording a sensitive conversation." Travelers should also be wary of hotel rooms, conference centers and business offices. "These rooms do not provide adequate security for unattended documents or laptop computers," says CSIS. "Phones can be tapped and rooms can be monitored, clandestinely entered and searched. Hotel safes may also be accessible to foreign intelligence services."

The issue is a particularly sensitive one for Canada in light of current U.S. concerns that American technology has passed from Canadian firms to overseas countries. And as a further side-note, Canada itself has also been accused of eavesdropping on trade partners for commercial advantage. (National Post, 13Jul 99) (BobH)

FBI OUTREACH PROGRAM TO MILITIA'S -- A little-noticed program has made strange bedfellows of FBI agents and militia members.

On the orders of FBI Director Louis Freeh and Attorney General Janet Reno, agents in the 56 FBI field offices around the country have been finding ways to reach out to members of militia groups in their local areas. The program, established just weeks after the April 19, 1995, bombing in Omaha that killed 168 people, has had positive consequences for the nation's top investigative agency and the militia movement.

The FBI has been pleased that many members of the nation's militias seem to be in agreement. "They are our FBI. We needed to get a face on them," said Raymond Smith, a commander with the Texas Freedom Fighters and a member of the National Militia Advisory Board. Mr Smith and likeminded militia members said they believe they are fighting the same enemy as the FBI: people who want to undermine the Constitution and the American way of life.

The militia movement believes in state's rights and a limited federal government. Federal agents and militia members both said that the FBI outreach program helps distinguish true constitutional militia members from hate groups and can change the public perception that all militias are "anti-government." (Dallas Morning News, 13 Jul 99) (BobH)

FBI FOIA RELEASE -- The Federal Bureau of Investigation announced today that it has added the following new subject matters to the Espionage, Famous Persons, and Historical Interest categories of its Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Internet website ( : ESPIONAGE (1) Rudolph Nureyev -- 160 pages; (2) Burgess, MacLean and Philby -- 3219 pages: FAMOUS PERSONS - (1) Wernher Von Braun -- 532 pages; (2) Cesar Chavez and United Farm Workers -- 2021 pages: HISTORICAL INTEREST - (1) Jonestown Summary -- 365 pages

There are now a total of 46 of the FBI's most frequently requested and released records on the FOIA site. This is a representative sampling of those in the FOIA Reading Room located at FBI Headquarters.( Steven Aftergood, Federation of American Scientists (July 9, 1999) (BobH)

CIA REASSESSES GULF WAR NERVE GAS FINDINGS -- After eight years and more than $100 million, special Pentagon and CIA offices say they have done about all they can to find a cause for the mysterious Gulf War illnesses. The CIA's special assistant on the issue told a presidential panel on Tuesday that new evidence shows the number of soldiers exposed to low levels of chemical agents in the 1991 conflict is much lower than estimated two years ago.

Both the CIA investigator, Robert D. Walpole, and Pentagon special assistant Bernard Rostker, told the Special Oversight Board on Gulf War illness that they expect no new sweeping conclusions. ``We are pretty close to closing the books,'' said Walpole. He said he expects three final CIA reports on exposure to chemical, biological or radiological agents in the Gulf to be completed by September or October, although intelligence assessments and examination of any new information would continue.

The CIA in 1997 estimated that 10,000 soldiers might have been exposed to low levels of nerve agent from inadvertent destruction of rockets at a site called Khamisiya Pit. The Pentagon at that time acknowledged that up to 100,000 soldiers may have been exposed to low levels of chemical agents during the war. The CIA was never satisfied with its original analysis because it was made to meet a short deadline and based on limited data and worst-case scenarios.

The latest CIA analysis resulted from evidence provided by the U.N. Special Commission that oversaw troop activities during the war, Walpole said. Several sites were re-evaluated, including the Khamisiya Pit. Only one-fourth of the originally estimated 500 rockets were found around the pit and explosives were placed less optimally than previously assumed, Walpole said. Investigation at three other sites also showed no evidence of contamination of Western troops, he said.

Many veterans believe depleted uranium used in U.S. munitions caused their illness. Rostker said there is no evidence of this and that depleted uranium shells saved lives in the Gulf by destroying Iraqi tanks and protecting U.S. troops. Former Sen. Warren Rudman, R-N.H., Chairman of the PFIAB, said that even if major aspects of the investigation have concluded without finding a cause, case studies and investigation of war data bases could still be conducted, and the issue is far from closed. Rudman also proposed an investigation by the National Institutes of Health to settle a the debate over the danger of depleted uranium used in U.S. munitions. . (AP By DAVID BRISCOE, 14 Jul 199) (BobH)

ORGANIZED CRIME - THE NIGERIAN ADVANCE FEE FRAUD SCHEME (419) -- - The Nigerian Advance Fee Fraud scheme, also known as 419 (Four-One-Nine) after the pertinent section of the Nigerian criminal code, is the third to fifth largest industry in that nation. Losses to United States citizens alone, and 419 is Global, are $100 million per annum confirmed and $300 million plus estimated, though no-one really knows how high the actual losses per annum are. 419 operations have been running for over 12 years.

The Joint Task Force on West African Fraud, headed up by the Secret Service, maintains a database with approximately 60,000 phone numbers in Nigeria that have been used within the last four years for 419 purposes.

What differentiates 419 from other types of advance fee fraud are: (1) the sheer scale of 419 operations; (2) the direct mass marketing approach taken by the 419ers to get their materials into homes and offices all over the World; and (3) the relative safe haven in Nigeria from which they operate. There have been less than a dozen convictions in Nigeria for 419 during the entire run of 419 operations, and very little monies have been recovered in those cases. By contrast, in the US alone in 1997, there were nearly 500 convictions for 419 related activities ( usually for the operation of "clearinghouses" and other money laundering services ) and many millions of dollars were recovered.

According to Congressman Ed Markey of Massachusetts, who sponsored a bill in the House in 1998 to aid in the control of 419, there have been 15 deaths of foreigners in Nigeria enmeshed in 419 scams though mid-1998. Two of the dead were United States citizens. No arrests in either of these cases were made by Nigerian authorities.

According to the Secret Service, the massive amounts of capital generated by 419 operations is often reinvested into the drug trade and other illegal enterprises.

The way 419 works is that victims are contacted by letter, fax, or email, generally from Nigeria or by a Nigerian, and offered a lucrative legal or illegal business proposition. Then there are many complications, which require the sending of advance fees to solve. This process continues until the victim stops sending monies, or runs out of monies, or both. For complete information on Nigerian 419, and for detailed instructions on what to do if You or someone you know receives a 419 communication, please see the 419 Coalition website (courtesy C.A. Pascale) (RoyJ)


IRREPARABLE HARM, by Frank Snepp, Random House, 1999. The author previously violated his agreement with CIA and published a book without obtaining prior clearance. In 1977, after he quit his job as an intelligence analyst, he published "Decent Interval," about an event he witnessed first hand -- the fall of Saigon in 1975 - without letting the CIA read it first, something he had signed an agreement to do.

``Decent Interval'' created a storm, telling how unprepared the United States was for North Vietnam's final push to power and how U.S. diplomatic "dithering" during Saigon's last days abandoned thousands of our loyal Vietnamese allies to face uncertain futures, a story that resonates with many a Vietnam veteran. The book was riddled with guilt and compassion for the Vietnamese -- Snepp says he was not able to save a Vietnamese woman who killed herself and the child she said he fathered.

But the book told no official secrets. The fall of Saigon, the helicopters whirling away from the U.S. Embassy, the panicky crowds trying to flee, the thousands left behind were not secrets, only embarrassments. Moreover, the book was published at a time when there was not a day when the agency was not being hammered or embarrassed, or worse - for there were others who did not shrink from putting the lives of agency personnel at risk by publishing the names of agents.

Now, more than 20 years later, Snepp tells in ``Irreparable Harm'' how, after he published his earlier book, the government sued him for violating its rules and found a judge who would not let the word Vietnam be uttered in his courtroom. A battle over what happened in the last days of Saigon turned into a fight over fiduciary trust and Snepp, the CIA man defended by an American Civil Liberties Union lawyer, lost and lost big.

Snepp, now a Los Angeles TV news producer covering stories such as the Monica Lewinsky case, says he was unprepared for what happened to him. ``I thought the law would serve me better. I wanted to help the Vietnamese and wound up hurting everyone around me. I was shocked by all the people I hurt,'' he said.

Snepp endured a long period of being broke and scrambling for work. His hopes of getting his case reversed were crushed by the Supreme Court in 1980. "Irreparable Harm" tells the story of Snepp's travails. The New Yorker's legal expert Jeffrey Toobin calls the Snepp case ``a constitutional train wreck,'' and the Kirkus review syndicate says Snepp's new book ``is a pebble's eye view of being run over by a large truck.'' (Reuters, 13 Jul 99) (BobH)


AFIO SEPTEMBER LUNCHEON, Monday 1030 - 14:00 hrs, 13 September, Fort Myer, Va. -- - Two outstanding speakers - Rick Francona, Mideast expert and former attache in Damascus, Arab linguist, point man for US covert assistance to Iraq during the Iraq-Iran war, interpreter for General Schwartzkopf during the Gulf War, will speak on intelligence and policy issues concerning Iraq's transition from ally to adversary. His book " Ally to Adversary: An Eyewitness Account of Iraq's Fall from Grace,"(May 99) will be available for sale and autographing.

Lunch 12:00 - 13:00

At 1 pm, Kenneth Knaus, who spent four decades as an operations officer in CIA, will speak on his participation in the planning, directing and execution of America's covert attempts to aid Tibetan resistance. His book "Orphans of the Cold War: The United states, China and the Tragedy of Modern Tibet,"(May 99) will be available for sale and autographing.

This luncheon occasion again promises to be an exceptionally interesting event. Introduce AFIO to a guest -- members and their guests $26, others welcome at $29. Send check to AFIO, 6723 Whittier Ave, Ste 303A, McLean, VA 22101-4533.

AFIO NATIONAL SYMPOSIUM - 21, 22 October 1999, at the National Reconnaissance Office (22 Oct) and the Marriott Hotel (21 October) , Tysons Corner, Virginia. Symposium Chairman: RADM (ret) Don McDowell.

AFIO NATIONAL CONVENTION and Awards Banquet - 21 & 23 October 1999, at the Marriott Hotel. Chairmen: Peter Earnest and Roy Jonkers

REQUEST FOR ASSISTANCE - Reporter for The Jerusalem Post seeks information about the fate of Charles Jordan, the executive director of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, who died by drowning under mysterious circumstances in Prague in over thirty years ago, in August 1967, at the age of 59. Assistance is requested from former intelligence or foreign service officers who may recall anything about this event or who would have useful advice on how to pursue this story. The key dates are 1967, when Charlie Jordan died, and 1974, when a book by a Czech defector briefly revived interest in this case. Contact

AMSTERDAM CONFERENCE -- THE IMPORTANCE OF SIGINT IN WESTERN EUROPE DURING THE COLD WAR The Netherlands Intelligence Studies Association (NISA) is sponsoring a one-day historical conference with particular emphasis on SIGINT, in Amsterdam, Netherlands, on Saturday, November 27th. The program includes Matthew Aid (former NSA); Richard Aldrich (UK, Univ. of Nottingham), Erich Schmidt-Eenboom (Germany Inst. Friedenspolitik), Alf Jacobson (Norway NRK), Dr. Cees Wiebes (Neth. WKC (NSA)), Wies Platje (Neth/Indonesia/ NISA), and a roundtable discussion and reception. Atttendance is limited to 100. Submit your registration as soon as possible. Places will be attributed on a first registered-first served basis. The conference rate is US $ 80 including lunch and drinks at the reception. Send letter to the honorary secretary of the NISA, Dr. Cees Wiebes, P.O. Box 18 210, 1001 ZC Amsterdam, The Netherlands, or E-mail: WIEBES@PSCW.UVA.NL


INTERNATIONAL FIRM HAS OVERSEAS TECHNOLOGY MANAGEMENT OPPORTUNITY -- Firm based in desirable Western European location (Ireland), specializing in counter-money laundering and asset recovery, seeks individual for the position of Information Technology manager. Previous US Government clearances considered a plus. Position supports financial investigators in deconstructing complex offshore asset holding and concealing devices. Salary (with tax exempt aspects for US citizens) , bonuses, options, insurance, negotiable. Moving costs and expenses included. Interested individuals contact AFIO , and reference File E-14.

FORMER SPECIAL WARFARE AND INTELLIGENCE OFFICER seeks position. Served in the CIA as a NOC as well as a declared CIA Intelligence Officer with the Domestic Collection Division. Experienced helicopter pilot with combat experience in Vietnam. Completed the CIA DDO/CT course and the SOG Paramilitary course as well as the U.S. Army Military Intelligence Officers Advanced Course. Degrees in Business Administration and Aeronautical Science. Potential employers contact AFIO Ref File# J-120

IN MEMORIAM -- James Barnes Jr., who in 1962 piloted a U-2 spy plane that helped alert the United States to the threat of a Soviet missile buildup in Cuba, died last Tuesday at El Camino Hospital in Mountain View, Calif. He was 70 and lived in Los Altos, Calif. (jdmac 22 July 99)

WIN Back issues may be located at  

AFIO SPEAKERS BUREAU - Contact Chairman Chuck Slack of the AFIO Speakers Bureau (

EVERY MEMBER SPONSOR A NEW MEMBER IN 1999! How? Let us know to whom we can send a membership application.

If a gift, you may fill out the membership application, and we will send the recipient a membership along with a card announcing your gift.

If you need membership brochures to hand out, let us know. You know where to find us -- email, or tel 703 790 0320 - - or AFIO, 6723 Whittier Ave, Ste 303A, McLean, VA 22101-4533 (Mrs Gretchen Campbell)

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