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Weekly Intelligence Notes
21 January 2000

WINs are covered by copyright laws and may not be reproduced without permission from the Producer/Editor, Roy Jonkers Most of the material in this WIN was compiled by Associate Editor Dr. John Macartney. Inputs by Prof. Heibel were also included by the Editor.

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FORMER DCI STANSFIELD TURNER, an esteemed member of AFIO, was critically injured while on vacation in Costa Rica. The Czech-built LET-410 plane he and his wife were taking to a nature park, crashed while taking off from San Jose last weekend. Most unfortunately and sadly, Admiral Turner's wife, Karen Turner, incurred fatal injuries and died in the tragedy. Admiral Turner, 76, was President Carter's DCI as well as his Annapolis classmate. He was in a San Jose hospital last Sunday, but no details on his condition are available. AFIO sends our most sincere condolences with this sudden and terrible loss, and empathy for the admiral at this tragic time. (WashTimes 17Jan00, p.A6/Jonkers)) (Macartney)

IRAN NUCLEAR CAPABILITY??? An Iranian official reportedly said last year that his country now had enough nuclear materials to build a bomb. When first reported in 1999 the statement was "not viewed as very significant." But recently CIA seems to have given the report more weight. According to a CIA spokesman, "no one is asserting they have enough for a bomb," but also, "we don't want to discount the posibility." The CIA now has taken the position in briefings to senior administration officials that Iran might now be able to make a nuclear weapon. Iran ratified the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty in 1970, and since 1992 has allowed inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency to look at its nuclear facilities. During the past ten years Iran has occasionally purchased "dual-use" equipment -- that could be used for either peaceful or nuclear weapons programs, from various European countries, including Russia, and from China. Intelligence Community analysts previously estimated, in 1992 and 1995, that Iran could achieve a nuclear capability by the year 2000. Director Tenet's recent briefings on the subject have touched off a sharp policy debate about Iran's nuclear capacity, and the Intelligence Community's ability to monitor it. The agency has told policy makers that it is not certain that Iran actually has atomic weapons now, but can no longer rule out the possibility. Administration officials are considering whether to order a formal NIE on the matter. (Walter Pincus in Wpost 18Jan2000, pA8// Jonkers) (Macartney)

CIA MISLED JURY IN EDWIN WILSON'S CASE. Nearly 17 years after former CIA officer Edwin Wilson was convicted of smuggling high explosives to Libya, the Justice Dept conceded that a critical government affidavit used to convict Wilson was inaccurate. The 1983 affidavit, read to the jury by then-CIA Executive Director Charles Briggs an hour before it convicted Wilson, stated that Wilson was never asked by the Agency to provide any intelligence services after retiring in 1971. Now, it turns out, that statement, which undercut Wison's defense, was wrong. Wilson's attorney is using the matter to try to have Wilson's conviction overturned. (Macartney)

IRANIAN SPY CONVICTED BY GERMAN COURT. A court on Wednesday convicted an Iranian man of spying on Iranian opposition groups in Germany and sentenced him to 1? years probation. Judge Frithjof Kubsch also ordered 37-year-old Hamid Khorsand to pay a $2,600 fine to the human rights group Amnesty International. During the trial, it was revealed that Khorsand's phone calls back to Iran were intercepted by German authorities. (Macartney)

CIA DDS&T RESIGNS ABRUPTLY. Nuclear physicist Gary Smith resigned last week as the CIA's Deputy Director for Science & Technology, nine months after assuming the reins of the sprawling directorate . DCI George Tenet announced Smith's resignation Jan 12 in a news release and immediately appointed Smith's deputy, Joanne Isham, a 23-year CIA veteran with a background in managing reconnaissance projects, to succeed him as head of CIA / DS&T. Tenet gave no explanation for Smith's sudden departure beyond saying that the scientist wanted to resume his retirement. Smith, 64, joined the CIA after retiring as director of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory.



US SPY SATELLITES OUT THREE DAYS - NOT THREE HOURS: The nation's image-collecting spy satellites were all but blinded by a Y2K computer bug for nearly three days, an outage far more substantial than the Pentagon initially reported, according to knowledgeable government officials. The Y2K glitch affected the ground stations that process the data from the three Advanced Keyhole electro-optical satellites and two Lacrosse IR birds that make up the imagery collection constellation.. Virtually the entire constellation of high-accuracy optical and radar spy satellites was either out of service or functioning far below capacity for most of the New Year's holiday weekend. Though no emergency occurred, the three-day interruption came at a time when the entire U.S. intelligence community was on global alert for potential terrorist activity relating to year 2000 celebrations. The interruption began when a computer patch intended to avert any Y2K glitches failed to function properly, resulting in data from five spy satellites coming in as undecipherable garble. As the problem emerged on New Year's eve, controllers greatly narrowed the data they were collecting so that images of only the top-priority targets were painstakingly recovered. This effort enabled the Pentagon to assert in news conferences that it managed to collect most of the intelligence it needed. When the Pentagon initially reported the Y2K flaw, Deputy Secretary of Defense Hamre said the blackout lasted "about two hours" and involved "one of our intelligence systems." At times during the briefing, he referred to the problem affecting "the satellite." Later Hamre said he was reluctant to provide more than sketchy detail on the temporary blindness of the U.S. spy satellite system because it might provide an opening to "bad guys" who would seek to take advantage of that vulnerability. (The Post and Courier (Charleston, SC), Washington, 1-13-00, Jo. Diamond) (Heibel),1282,33401,00.html


US RELAXES RESTRICTIONS ON ENCRYPTION TECHNOLOGY. The action marks another retreat by the NSA and FBI, which have long opposed the export of cutting-edge encryption products, for fear they would be unable to break coded communications sent by foreign governments and terrorist groups. (Macartney)

STATE DEPT INSECURITY. State Dept security officials failed to sweep scores of rooms for bugging devices and repeatedly failed to account for highly classified documents, according to a critical audit by the Department's inspector general. The inspector general said lax security procedures plagued the department's handling of "sensitive compartmented information" (SCI), the government's most sensitive intelligence reports. The report said that 140 offices handling those materials had never been swept for listening devices. It said that 239 of 1,890 SCI reports distributed from the super-secret NSA Cryptological Support Group had not been returned to the group's secure facility inside the State Department between August and October 1998. In one case, a pouch was returned empty; another was returned open with the key in it, the report said. (Macartney)

NSA TECHNOLOGY FOR SORTING INTERCEPTS. A web page on IBM's Intellectual Property Network describes in detail various technologies for computer sifting of textual material for key words and phrases. These technologies are believed to be similar to those used by NSA to sort communication intercepts. (Site includes excruciating details for technogeeks) More on this from someone (who seems to know what they are writing about) on an intelligence chat group: >Contrary to popular myth, the NSA does not require special voodoo and rituals to conduct their sigint business. Similar technology may be found in the corporate sector, often implemented at a fraction of the cost NSA paid in R&D years before. While the NSA has their own in-house labs, they rely heavily on outside contractors for software and hardware support from companies such as Lockheed, TRW, AST, Raytheon, and SAIC. COTS products similar to those used in the so-called Echelon network are available from the same sources; AST produces the "TRAILMAPPER" software, rumored to be an integral part of first level data collection for the NSA. Global Integrity Corp., formerly an SAIC unit, provides comprehensive open source monitoring packages to corporate clients. ( (Macartney)

FBI DECEIVED LOS ALAMOS SCIENTIST. During interrogation, FBI agents browbeat and lied to suspected nuclear spy, Wen Ho Lee. Apparently, that is a common investigative and interrogation technique and is not "against the rules." Nevertheless, Lee's lawyer is trying to use that episode to undermine the government's case against his client. Meanwhile, in reaction to charges that Wen Ho Lee has been a victim of "racial profiling," Energy Secretary Richardson has appointed an Asian American to be DOE's ombudsman for ethnic bias complaints. (Macartney)

ARMY & AIR FORCE TO SHARE NAVY SENSOR FUSION NET. The US Navy's Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) is being transformed into a joint program with air, ground and space sensors expected to be integrated into the network in coming years. CEC is not a system or a weapon. Instead, it is a sophisticated networking capability that allows all members of the network to see targets simultaneously, even if their own individual sensor has yet to detect the approaching enemy missile or aircraft. (Defense News on-line, Jan 24) (Macartney)

EW CAUCUS. A new Electronic Warfare Working Group is being established in the US House of Representatives to expound The requirements and needs of this arcane portion of the military budget. The bipartisan group will be led by Rep. Joe Pitts, R-Pa.. Co-chairs will be Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Wash., John Spratt, D-S.C., and Rep. Randy Cunningham R-Calif. (Defense News on-line, Jan 24) (Macartney)

ISRAEL WANTS SPY SATELLITES. Israel is requesting hundreds of millions of dollars worth of US space capabilities as part of a multi-billion dollar security assistance package Washington is expected to provide as part of the peace deal between Israel and Syria. (Defense News on-line, Jan 24) (Macartney)

BRITAIN's GCHQ EMPLOYMENT CHALLENGE: The British government's code-breaking centre -- the GCHQ -- has set a cryptic puzzle for would-be applicants, and it is reassuringly difficult. The problem is inserted into the GCHQ Internet site ( Applicants are challenged to unscramble the information and arrange it in the right order. The code involves five sets of five letters of the alphabet, each encrypted in a different form. The aim is to translate them and spell out the message. ''You don't have to solve the puzzle to join GCHQ, but if you include the message in your application form, we would certainly be very interested in talking to you,'' the site says. The code appeared just before Christmas, and within 48 hours someone had cracked it. One of the five sections was hidden graphics. Another was in Morse Code. (Calgary Herald, London, 1-14-00 // Heibel). ( (Macartney)


PSYCHOLOGY OF INTELLIGENCE ANALYSIS, by Richard J. Heuer, Jr. (CIA ret), CIA's Center for the Study of Intelligence (CSI) , 2000. How do you beat cognitive biases? How do you set aside preconceived mind-sets and mental models? The author emphasizes the importance of not only analyzing the substance of intelligence problems, but also of understanding the analytic thought processes. He maintains that thinking analytically is a skill like carpentry or driving a car -- it can be taught, it can be learned, and it can be improved with practice. Heuer examines cognitive biases -- subconscious pre-conceptions that impair objectivity and skew analysis in such areas as evaluation of evidence, recognition of signs of change, perception of cause and effect, and estimation of future probabilities. Heuer offers techniques for confronting such biases and diluting their impact. This book is written in a clear, crisp, concise, jargon-free mode that is readily understandable. It is of value not only to other intelligence professionals -- that is, to managers, trainers, collectors, and technicians but also to anyone that has to analyze or make judgments, decisions, and predictions about problems and choices that arise in the course of day-to-day life. Psychology of Intelligence Analysis is available from NTIS, 800-553-6847 or 703-605-6000, for $47 plus $5 handling fee; quote order number: PB99- 928007KPV. Most major credit cards accepted. Order via e-mail: Fax order to: 703-605-6900. See NTIS Web site: CONTACT: Renee Edwards, Public Affairs Director of the National Technical Information Service, 703-605-6400 or" (Heibel)

WHO PAID THE PIPER?: THE CIA AND THE CULTURAL COLDWAR, by Frances Stonor Saunders, Granta Books, London, 1999. (To be published in USA by New Press in April 2000.)

NATIONAL INSECURITY: U.S. INTELLIGENCE AFTER THE COLD WAR, by Craig Eisendrath, (ed) , Temple U Press, Jan 2000. The book is a project of CIP and has a foreword by Senator Tom Harkin. Contributors include Mel Goodman, Pat Holt and Roger Hilsman. "... ten prominent experts describe, from an insider perspective, what went wrong with U.S. intelligence and what will be necessary to fix it. ... they propose a radical rethinking of the United States' intelligence needs in the post-Cold War world.

FEET TO THE FIRE: CIA COVERT OPERATIONS IN INDONESIA, 1957-1958, by Kenneth Conboy, "Naval Inst Press, 1999.

INDUSTRIAL ESPIONAGE. USA Today (1/19) has a good article on secrecy and espionage in the business world and how firms are setting up classified info handling systems and coping.



There was an IMINT guy, a SIGINT guy and a MASINT guy in a bar. Now, if you don't know the intelligence discipline, IMINT is imagery intelligence, SIGINT is signals intelligence and MASINT is measurements and signatures intelligence. They were having a chat and they noticed a couple of young ladies in the bar, on the other side of the bar in the corner, having a very heated discussion. And they looked at each other and they said, "It would be really nice if we knew what those young ladies were saying. We're intelligence types, we should be able to figure this out."

The IMINT guy says," I've got it, I've got this new long-dwell imaging system," and pulls out a big telescope. "I've got a new focal point array that I can update very rapidly, I can look at the video and I can read their lips and figure out what they're saying." He sets it up, gets it calibrated, gets it in focus; and every time he gets it into focus the ladies turn and he can't see their lips. He mutters something about terrain masking and says, "I can't do it."

The SIGINT guy says, "I've got it, I've got this new joint SIGINT avionics family. It's the latest digital system for the Department of Defense." He pulls it out, says "I've got the whole spectrum digitized, I can focus in on what they're saying and figure out what they're discussing." He turns it up and at first he gets a conversation over on the other side of the bar, a couple of gentlemen discussing business. He keeps tuning and tuning, he gets an FM radio station, rock and stuff. He can't hear what the ladies are saying and he mutters something about co-channel interference and says, "I can't do it."

The MASINT guy says, "I've got it, I've got this great new technique where I use lasers to illuminate the subjects, and with a hyperspectral detector I can figure out the acoustic modulation of the salinity content of the sweat on their brow, and by that I can figure out what they're discussing." He tunes it up and gets it all set up and data comes spewing out of the system, tons and tons of data. He doesn't seem to be getting any signatures and he mutters something about aerosol scattering in the cigarette smoke and he says, "I can't do it."

So, they had pretty much given up on figuring out what the young ladies are discussing, when the young ladies come over and they say, "We understand you were trying to figure out what we were discussing."

The intel guys look at each other, sorely puzzled, and the ladies say, "What we really ended up discussing was whether or not you guys would ever figure out what we were talking about."

The IMINT guy says, "Well, how did you know that?" and one of the young ladies says, "Well, we tipped the bartender fifty bucks and he told us, that's called HUMINT," human intelligence.

WIN excerpts, commentaries and critiques are based on open sources and written by the Producer/ Editor (Roy Jonkers) and/or the two associate editors (RADM (ret )Don Harvey and Dr. John Macartney), for AFIO members and subscribers. Each of the editors is a former intelligence professional with a perspective based on 30 to 50 years of intelligence collection, analysis, teaching, operations and leadership experience. Professor Robert Heibel (FBI ret) and other AFIO members (such as George Dothyl, Clark Griffith, Tom Hart, Ed Milligan, Chip Beck and Dr. Kiracoffe) also contribute source or reference material.

WINS for 1998 and 1999 are stored on our Website at . The AFIO site contains a keyword search engine to facilitate WIN back-issue research.

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