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 #30-99, July 28, 1999

WINs are commentaries on intelligence-related news items. 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.

ANNOUNCEMENT: AFIO is pleased and honored to report that former President George Bush, also a former Director of Central Intelligence, was persuaded by AFIO Director Charles ("Chuck") Briggs, assisted by AFIO President Peter Earnest, to serve as Co-Chairman of the Honorary Board of Directors (with former President Ford as co-chairman). President Bush's decision provides further credibility and validity to our AFIO objective of building a public constituency for a sound and healthy US intelligence capability.

ANNOUNCEMENT: AFIO LUNCHEON 13 September 1999 - Fort Myer, Virginia - 10:30 a.m. - 2 pm. Two insiders discuss US behind-the-scenes intelligence operations. MAKE YOUR RESERVATION NOW - See Section IV Bulletin Board below.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Make your hotel reservation for the AFIO National Convention and Symposium 21-23 October soonest for best rates. See Section IV Bulletin Board below.


COLUMBIA INTELLIGENCE MISSION -- Four of the seven crewmembers of the Army Dehavilland RC7 reconnaissance airplane reported missing since July 23rd in southern Columbia, South America, have been recovered. The remains of the airplane, which also was carrying two Colombian citizens, were found in a remote, mountainous and heavily forested region. Recovery operations are underway. The following U.S. soldiers were manifested as crewmembers: Capt. Jose A. Santiago, Capt. Jennifer J. Odom, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Thomas G. Moore, Pfc. T. Bruce Cluff and Pfc. Ray E. Krueger. While all crewmembers have not been found or identified, indications are that there were no survivors. The soldiers were assigned to the 204th Military Intelligence Battalion, Fort Bliss, Texas, and were on a counter-narcotics surveillance mission.

This loss continues the tradition of duty, daring, courage and sacrifice by intelligence professionals and crews set during Cold War US peripheral and overflight reconnaissance operations. The beat goes on.

A soldier family fund has been established by the Greater El Paso Chamber of Commerce Foundation to assist families. Anyone wishing to contribute may send a check or money order to the Greater El Paso Chamber of Commerce Foundation, 10 Civic Center Plaza, El Paso, Texas 79901. For more information, please call Bill Speights, at (915) 534-0533. (Washington (Army News Service, Aug. 2, 1999, Ft Bliss News Release) (RoyJ)

CIA DDO INTERVIEW -- Jack Downing, DDO, retiring at the end of July, in an interview with Walter Pincus, stated that it will take until 2005 for the agency to rebuild its clandestine service after years of thin budgets, rapid management turnover and low morale. CIA is currently in the midst of "the largest drive to recruit new case officers in its history . . . thanks to fresh resources" provided by Congress, where HPSCI Chairman Porter Goss has been its effective and articulate champion.

CIA was in bad shape a few years ago, when the Ames scandal and sex discrimination lawsuits had hurt morale and prompted some of the best and brightest younger people to leave the Agency. The press was digging into Cold War activities and CIA was being victimized for its past. As a result, there was a "reluctance to take risks." And with the Cold War over, new CIA centers for counterterrorism, counternarcotics, counterproliferation and counterintelligence were drawing off personnel, while DO line divisions covering geographic areas were being starved. Another personnel drain was "force protection" - covering intelligence threats against US troops overseas, which became a major function under President Clinton. But with new personnel resources, the trends are being reversed and the nation's capability of clandestine espionage and operations restored, and Downing is enthusiastic about the prospects.

Downing, who had served as station chief in Beijing, said that the best period of US-Chinese intelligence cooperation was from 1978 through June 1989 and the events of Tiananmen Square. That was the period during which China and the US secretly built eavesdropping facilities along the Chinese-Soviet border and CIA funneled Chinese weapons to rebels in Afghanistan. But always, said Downing, both sides spied on each other. "That was expected; it still is today. . . they are not doing anything we do not expect them to do."

As noted in a previous WIN, Jack Downing will be succeeded by James L. Pavitt as Director of Operations. Pavitt has selected Hugh Turner, an Arabic-speaking case officer, as his new deputy. (W. Pincus, Wpost 29Jul99, p. A27) (RoyJ)

CIA REPORT ON PROLIFERATION AND WMD -- The CIA's twice-yearly report on developments in proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) - this one covering the second half of last year - was submitted to Congress on 12 July and made publicly available on 13 July after it was declassified. Countries ``of concern'' that are seeking WMD weapons (a loose grab bag that includes everything from missiles to warheads to chemicals) include Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Libya, Syria and Sudan. All of these countries, according to the CIA, depend heavily on outside suppliers. ``Outside assistance is critical to keeping (Libya's) ballistic missile development programs from becoming moribund." For Syria, ``Foreign equipment and assistance have been and will continue to be essential'' to a solid-fuel rocket program. India and Pakistan were able to obtain ``only a limited amount'' of nuclear weapons-related assistance during the second half of 1998, just after the two longtime enemies rattled the world with a series of underground nuclear test explosions.

Throughout the report, the emphasis appeared to be on the difficulty these countries have had in getting around export controls being imposed in China and Russia, the countries the CIA identifies as the main potential sources of mass destruction weapons technology.

The CIA's overall assessment is that China is tightening control on export of weapons technology by a growing number of quasi-independent Chinese development and manufacturing ``entities'' that have been difficult to police in recent years. The report indicates China is sticking to its export control pledges. ``The effectiveness, however, of China's nascent nuclear export controls is not yet clear. Restructuring among oversight entities and the defense industries may impede implementation in the near term." In Russia, the report cited ``positive steps'' toward weapons export control taken by Moscow under ``intense and continuing engagement'' with the Clinton administration, including decrees broadening the list of items banned for export and increasing government control of Russian companies that make these items. ``Despite these decrees, the government's commitment, willingness and ability to curb proliferation-related transfers remain uncertain," particularly in view of the fact that " economic conditions in Russia continued to deteriorate, putting more pressure on Russian entities to circumvent export controls.''

Economic pressures, rather than some grander ideological plan, lie behind much of the threat of the world's weapons proliferation, with Russia and North Korea grappling with troubled or failing economies and Iraq hemmed in by embargoes. Because of the improvements being made in export controls, would-be developers of WMD are currently focusing their efforts on buying so-called dual use equipment - civilian nuclear reactors for Iran, chemical production equipment for Iraq - that could be converted to weapons production. (AP, 17 Jul 99) (RoyJ)

ANGOLA CIVIL WAR INTELLIGENCE -- The head of a UN Committee monitoring an arms embargo on Angola, Robert Fowler, Canada's ambassador to the UN, appealed to foreign intelligence agencies and Interpol to help the Security Council enforce UN sanctions by cracking down on illicit diamond and arms trafficking, which is fueling the continuation of the civil war in Angola. In 1991 a peace accord between UNITA and the ruling Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola was arranged, reflecting the end of the Cold War and US support for UNITA. But in 1992 Savimbi, head of UNITA, refused to accept defeat in the elections held that year, and the conflict resumed. The UN Security Council imposed sanctions in 1993, and Angola collapsed into full-scale civil war in 1994. Without US support, Savimbi sustained his rebellion by diamond smuggling and arms trafficking.

Intelligence and police support is needed to track financial transactions and records of arms and diamond merchants suspected of trading with UNITA. Washington has agreed to share intelligence with the UN. (Lynch in WPost 30July99 p. A26) (RoyJ)


RUSSIA SITUATION REPORT -- Moscow has begun floating barter schemes for international trade, and for the repayment of debts to Russia by countries such as India and Ukraine, in each the latter cases involving military aircraft as part of the deal. Russia's return to barter reflects both the noncompetitiveness of Russian products and the strains imposed on Russian foreign currency reserves by the country's massive foreign debt. As a result, Russia's economy is introverting, reverting to a model reminiscent of the old Soviet Union, during which the nonconvertible ruble resulted in barter exchanges, like Pepsi syrup for Stolichnaya vodka.

Repayment of international loans made to Russia (and to its predecessor USSR) may well be in jeopardy. Moscow recently informed the IMF that Russia's foreign debt, including Soviet-era debt accumulated before January 1, 1992, amounted to $150 billion, or 90 percent of its GDP for 1999. The document called the figure "well beyond any realistic threshold for repayment capacity."

Another feature of Russia's economic situation is the recent increase in domestic industrial production for domestic consumption. On July 15, the Russian Statistics Agency announced that Russia's industrial output was up 3.1 percent in the first six months of 1999. Officials said the fall of the ruble made Russian goods cheaper to manufacture and more competitive in the domestic market, where imports have become too expensive for most Russians. At the same time, Russia's GDP fell 2.9 percent year-on-year in the first six months of 1999. The only place Russian exports are surging are in the arms industry.

With little to offer but raw materials and weaponry, and no currency to spare, Russia is creating an international trade model based on bartering resources and selling arms. Since most of its arms sales earnings are being earmarked for rebuilding its debilitated military -- in the face of open NATO contempt - - Russia may find itself truly unable to service its debt.

Still, the Soviet economy did not collapse when it remained isolated from the world. It collapsed when it attempted to integrate with the world economy and thereby exposed its vast inefficiencies and inferiority. The Soviet Union had the Soviet Republics and it had COMECON. It survived in isolation, exchanging shoddy farm machinery for substandard electronics, but with food and shelter and employment for all -- however mediocre. What is missing today are the partners. Russia's economy is not complete. It needs the Slovak telephones and the Ukrainian wheat and the Kyrgyz cotton. The question is not whether Russia's economy will continue to regress. The question is, which of its former COMECON partners will it take with it. It already has Belarus, and is eyeing Kazakhstan and Ukraine. (Stratfor Global Intel Ctr 30 Jul99) (courtesy Tom Hart) (RoyJ)

CUBAN COURT CASE PUBLICIZES US ASSASSINATION PLOTS - - Fidel Castro allegedly was targeted in 637 US assassination plots over the past 40 years, according to court testimony of Cuban officials in Havana. At least seven of these were said to have occurred during the past decade. The claims are part of a court case in which Cuba is claiming $181 billion in damages from the U.S. government for alleged deaths and injuries to its citizens from years of hostile U.S. policy toward the communist-ruled Caribbean island. Washington has ignored the claim, and no U.S. government representative is attending the hearing, which began July 5.

Much of the testimony drew on declassified U.S. government intelligence documents, especially a report on CIA-planned assassinations of foreign political leaders made to a U.S. Senate Select Committee in 1975. Poisoned cigars, an exploding sea-shell and a wet suit coated with a fatal bacteria, as well as copious numbers of more conventional arms, were part of the arsenal of the many would-be assassins, according to a Cuban intelligence officer. One of the more exotic methods considered by the CIA for killing Castro in the 1960s was to place explosives in a sea shell on the sea bed in an area where the Cuban leader, a keen scuba diver, might be swimming. Another related suggestion was to coat his wet suit with a killer bacteria. One plot, hatched during a visit to Chile in 1972, involved a gun hidden in a video camera.

Responsibility for the assassination plans was laid at the doorstep of the CIA and 'terrorist organizations' created, financed or tolerated by Washington. 'Terrorist organizations' is a reference to anti-Castro Cuban exile groups, such as the Miami-based Cuban American National Foundation (CANF), which was accused of involvement in several death plots against the Cuban leader this decade. CANF leaders were said to have been involved in plans to kill Castro at an Ibero-American summit in Cartagena, Colombia, in 1994; at another Ibero-American summit in Argentina in 1995; and at a similar meeting in Venezuela, in 1997, he said. The most recent abortive plot occurred in late 1998 and targeted the Cuban leader when he attended a summit of Ibero-American leaders in Oporto, Portugal. (Reuters, 19 Jul 99) (RoyJ)


OPERATION SOLO, History Channel, 22 July 99, based on John Barron's book "Operation SOLO: The FBI's Man in the Kremlin," (1996, Regnery Publishing, Inc.) and produced by Towers Productions, Inc. of Chicago, was reviewed by Raymond Wannall, former Assistant Director FBI, in the Washington Times. Wannall found the program generally worthwhile, but stated that in the end, the producers were unable to resist the opportunity to play to the established mass media theme and verity of denigrating former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover.

Operation SOLO was an FBI counterintelligence operation beginning in the early 1950's that resulted in having two brothers, Morris and Jack Childs, codenamed SOLO, into positions where Soviet leaders accepted them as trusted allies. After crediting the importance of the operation, the producers also proposed that the success story was also "part of FBI mythology, an image of infallibility crafted by J. Edgar Hoover." They jumped from Operation SOLO to an unrelated FBI program, nicknamed COINTELPRO, and surveillance of Martin Luther King, and also intimated that FBI was itself contaminated by a Soviet spy.

The latter claim was based on an incident when Operation SOLO papers were thrown into the yard of the Soviet Embassy compound in Washington -- part of an FBI "dangle" operation to attract attention to a bureau informant who, if the bait were taken by Soviet intelligence, would offer to furnish the Soviets controlled secret information. All this was explained in John Barron's book, but omitted from the TV broadcast, in order to support the denigration of Hoover and the FBI.

The political and media treatment of FBI surveillance of Martin Luther King, approved and explicitly authorized by Attorney General Robert Kennedy, is a sad old story. The FBI was after King's associates, Stanley Levison (and his KGB contact, Victor Lesiovsky), and Hunter ("Jack") O'Dell (a secret member of the Communist Party). The program omitted these facts and falsely stated that the FBI found no evidence of communist connections and that the investigation "seemed motivated almost entirely by the hope of embarrassing King, both politically and personally," a notion which has become part of the catechism of a segment of the political spectrum, and which for truth depends on omission of facts and witless repetition. History Channel's producers felt obliged to genuflect before this tradition in spite of the facts clearly delineated in John Barron's book, and in spite of the fact that King's surveillance had nothing to do with Operation SOLO. As Ray Wannall put it, Herbert Hoover had his faults, but the greatest harm done to his reputation has been by deceptive reporting. (based on Raymond Wannall article, WTimes 1Aug99, pageB3) (RoyJ).


AFIO SEPTEMBER LUNCHEON, Monday 1030 - 14:00 hrs, 13 September, Fort Myer, Va. -- - Two outstanding speakers: At 11 a.m., Rick Francona, retired intelligence officer, Mideast expert, Arab linguist, point man for US covert assistance to Iraq during the Iraq-Iran war, and interpreter for General Schwartzkopf during the Gulf War, will speak on intelligence and policy issues concerning Iraq's transition from ally to adversary.

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.. 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 AND CONVENTION 21-23 OCTOBER 1999. The AFIO National Symposium, INTELLIGENCE 2000, will start on Thursday 21 October, with presentations 12:30 until 4 pm at the Marriott Hotel at Tysons Corner, Virginia, and continuing on Friday 22 October, hosted by the Hon. Keith Hall, Director NRO, at the NRO Auditorium in Chantilly, Virginia from 0800 until 1700 hrs.

The AFIO National CONVENTION will convene on Thursday at 4 pm with a general membership meeting, and continue with a reception and the Awards Banquet on Thursday evening. Special tours may be arranged on Friday, and conferences with Board and Chapter members will continue on Saturday morning. A stellar cast of speakers will be invited. Programs and full information will be mailed out shortly and also provided via email. Symposium Chairman is RADM (ret) Don McDowell.

For out-of-town members and guests, arrangements for lodging may be made with the Tysons Corner Marriott hotel, To qualify for the special convention rate of $89 per night (good for Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights only) , you MUST mention ASSOCIATION OF FORMER INTELLIGENCE OFFICERS.

Early reservations are recommended (soonest), as the hotel is expected to fill rapidly and early. Call (703)734-3200, fax (703)442-9301) or 1(800)228-9290.

AFIO CORPORATE PROGRAM - AFIO invites corporations that can identify with and support AFIO objectives, including the building of a public constituency for a sound and healthy US intelligence capability, to become corporate members of the association. The annual fee is $1,000, and includes a number of specific benefits as well as making a significant contribution to a worthy cause. For more information check with AFIO's Vice President for Corporate Programs, Jim Boginis, or tel: 540 338 4652.

Ed. Note: for those of us at 'a certain age' and who might be struck while alone - -

Fact -- - Without help, the person whose heart stops beating properly and who begins to feel faint, has only about 10 seconds left before losing consciousness.

However, these victims can help themselves by COUGHING repeatedly and very vigorously. A deep breath should be taken before each cough, and the cough must be deep and prolonged, as when producing sputum from deep inside the chest. A breath and a cough must be repeated about every two seconds without let up until help arrives, or until the heart is felt to be beating normally again.

Deep breaths get oxygen into the lungs and coughing movements squeeze the heart and keep the blood circulating. The squeezing pressure on the heart also helps it regain normal rhythm. In this way, heart attack victims can get to a phone and, between breaths, call for help. (courtesy John Macartney, from Health Cares, Rochester General Hospital)

IN MEMORIAM - James Barnes, former U-2 pilot, whose 1962 CIA-sponsored reconnaissance mission photos helped alert the United States to the threat of a Soviet missile buildup in Cuba and thereby set off Cuban Missile Crisis, died last Tuesday at the age of 70 at El Camino Hospital in Mountain View, California. We salute an exceptional and brave colleague who made a difference. (New York Times, 12 July 1999) ( (RoyJ)

WINs are now sent to over 1,040 AFIO members and subscribers. We need 60 more new members in August to reach our goal of 1,100 WIN readers by the end of the month. It can only be done with your help!

MEMBERSHIP DRIVE -- - AFIO member Samuel Castorani, who sponsored new member JoAnn Kayani, #1010 on the WIN list, will receive a book. Our thanks and appreciation him and to all who are sponsoring new members, and to the new members themselves!

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)

WIN back issues are located at

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