Weekly Intelligence Notes
19 February 2000
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SECTION I: CURRENT INTELLIGENCE
US IMMIGRATION OFFICIAL ARRESTED AS CUBAN SPY - Mariano Faget, a 34-year
veteran of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, was arrested Friday, Feb
18th, by the FBI in Miami on charges of espionage. Through technical and
physical surveillance and videotaping, the FBI had watched Faget making
unauthorized contacts with Cuban intelligence officers and agents in Miami,
Washington and New York. Faget was then caught in a sting operation. Faget held
a SECRET clearance and supervised naturalization decisions and requests for
political asylum in Miami. As such he had knowledge of classified information
about law enforcement sources and may have passed on information about Cuban
defectors. He is the first INS official to be charged with spying. The FBI said
that additional arrests were expected.
Faget's reputation was said to be excellent and "he was the last person in
the world you would have thought of as being part of something like this. He was
thoroughly professional and from all appearances was 100 percent American."
The case "speaks to the heart of public trust," said INS director Bob
Mariono's father was described by the Miami Herald as a hunter of communists for
the government of Fulgencio Batista, overthrown by Fidel Castro in 1959.
According to writer Carlos Franqui's book "Diary of the Cuban
Revolution," Faget Sr. had worked with the FBI in the US. The Fagets were
granted political asylum in the US in 1960, and Mariono became a US citizen in
The State Department, acting on evidence presented by the FBI, on Saturday
ordered the expulsion of a Cuban diplomat linked to the case. (Wpost Feb 19,
p.A1,& Feb 20, p. A25; http://www.nytimes.com/yr/mo/day/news/national/ins-cuba.html
CHECHNYA SITREP - Russian forces have captured Grozny and are pursuing
rebel forces. AP reports Russian air operations against suspected rebel bases in
Chechnya's southern mountains. Russian losses in Chechnya thus far are estimated
to include some 1,500 Russian soldiers killed. It is not known if this number
includes losses by Chechens who are fighting on the side of the Russian army, a
much under-publicized phenomenon in US press coverage.
The Russian army is said to have also lost some 70 armored vehicles, including
13 new T-90 main battle tanks. The T-90, Russia's most modern tank, with a 125mm
cannon that can fire standard shells as well as laser-guided missiles, is
equipped with special reactive armor. DIA sources stated that the Chechens were
able to knock them out by firing five to ten rounds of rocket-propelled grenade
launchers at them, indicating significant equipment deficiencies.
DCI George Tenet testified in Congress saying that the Russians can expect a
long-term type of guerilla warfare. About 7,000 Chechens are believed to be
operating in the region. The rebels have been identified as associated with
"Islamic extremists." The Taleban government of Afghanistan recently
offered to allow the Chechen rebels to set up a government in exile on its
territory. (WashTimes, Gertz, 10Feb00, pA1) (Jonkers)
CYBERFRONT SITREP - The FBI is engaged in an intense cyberhunt in the
wake of last week's denial of service attacks on some of the world's largest Web
sites. Working hand-in-glove with the feds is the private sector -- the same
Internet and high-tech companies that have consistently rebelled against
government interference in their pioneering industry. This unusual cooperation
perhaps foreshadows a new security order in which the government and the private
sector will work together to a degree not seen except in national emergencies.
In a related development, the Central Intelligence Agency's new venture capital
fund, In-Q-Tel, has entered into a $3 million contract with Science Applications
International Corp. (SAIC) for development of software designed to protect Web
sites against "denial of service" attacks and to make computer
addresses invisible to "sniffer" programs. http://www.csmonitor.com/durable/2000/02/14/fp1s2-csm.shtml
SECTION II: CONTEXT AND PRECEDENCE
CHECHNYA IMPLICATIONS -- THE NEW URBAN BATTLEFIELD -- The battle of Grozny
was long and bloody -- for Russian attackers as well as the Chechen defenders.
But you won't see any condescending head-wagging in the U.S. military. As one
senior Pentagon official said last week, "I'm not so sure that we'd do a
whole lot better than the Russians." In the view of many military analysts,
the killing grounds of Grozny offer a view of tomorrow's warfare.
The cost of street-fighting is high casulaties. That was one reason that the
Army didn't try to take Berlin in 1945, a battle that Gen. Omar Bradley told
Dwight Eisenhower "might cost us
100,000 men." Bradley was right. The Red Army, which did fight its way into
Berlin, lost 102,000 men. In addition, 125,000 German civilians died in the
battle and 150,000 to 200,000 German troops.
A 1994 Pentagon study after Mogadishu, Somalia, concluded that " new
capabilities will have to be developed." What might those new capabilities
be? In the last couple of weeks a company of U.S. Marines has been trying to
find out. The Marines have been "fighting" their way through the
houses and office blocks of Fort Ord, Calif., an Army base abandoned in 1994. If
the results mimic those at a similar exercise last spring, they won't be
encouraging. In "attacks" on a naval hospital in Oakland, Calif., the
Marines took casualty rates as high as 70 percent.
For urban warfare requirements the military needs new equipment. Its long wish
list includes handheld sensors to detect an enemy in the next room and the sort
of trolley that mechanics use to go under cars. Why? To rescue wounded buddies.
In Grozny, Chechen snipers deliberately aimed at the legs of Russian soldiers,
waited patiently for a rescue squad -- then shot them, too.
The wish list includes high tech-like robots, and ARPA has recently let
contracts for research on a number of urban warfare systems, including
science-fiction reconnaissance "birds" or even "flies," and
concrete-piercing sensor devices. Unless the resulting systems procurements are
funded, the price will be paid in American blood. (based on John Barry,
Newsweek, February 21, 2000; courtesy J.P. Maher) http://www.newsweek.com/nw-srv/printed/us/in/a16338-2000feb13.htm
L'AFFAIRE DEUTCH (cont'd) -- What were the secrets found on Dr. Deutsch's
home computers? Bill Gertz cites CIA sources saying that the data
reflected CIA's global covert action programs, covering political influence and
paramilitary and financial activities that are "semi-secrets," leaked
to the media but officially "unacknowledged" by the US government
(such as the widely publicized so-called "covert" action programs
against Iraq or Serbia). Deutch also used his home computer to write
presidential "findings" that provide the underpinnings of covert
action programs. If the computers were used only for "open secrets,"
the possible intelligence losses may be less than previously thought. On the
other hand, we have the word of CIA Director George Tenet, who recently told
Senate Select Committee on Intelligence."There was enormously sensitive
material on [the computers], at the highest levels of classification."
Administration and congressional sources say a "top-to-bottom review"
has been launched in the wake of the Deutch affair to determine how widespread
the practice of using home computers for classified work really is.
Counterintelligence experts on computer spying are concerned that information
may be exposed to foreign intelligence services, terrorists or organized
criminal groups that are known to be monitoring the homes of U.S. intelligence
and defense officials. As a result of the investigation, classified information
has now allegedly been been found on a number of personal computers of members
of the intelligence community. There are "many unsecured home computers
that have classified materials on them, " said a high-level
counterintelligence electronic surveillance specialist. "The Deutch affair
shows you just how high the problem has gone." If all this is true, our
Taiwanese-American scientist at Los Alamos, now in jail, may be no more than one
part of a widespread security deficiency, and our intelligence system may be be
far leakier and more vulnerable than we thought. This is not trivial. (Wash
Times, 11 Feb00, Gertz) Sources, http://www.dso.com
TAIWAN MISTAKES LED TO LOSS OF AGENTS IN CHINA - After China fired missiles
in the direction of Taiwan in 1996, the Taiwan Defense Ministry issued a
statement to reassure its citizens, to the effect that they should not worry,
the missiles were unarmed, and only contained devices to check their accuracy.
That statement is said to have tipped off the Chinese security services that
somebody high-up was spying for Taiwan. The resulting probe resulted in the
arrrest and execution of a Chinese general, his mistress and a senior colonel,
and was a setback to Taiwan's espionage network in China. The Reuters news
agency reported last September that Major General Liu Liankun, 58, and Senior
Colonel Shao Zhengshong, 56, were executed following a lengthy three-year long
The Chinese missiles were fired on March 8th, 1996, two weeks before the
Taiwanese presidential elections, as part of an in exercise to discourage
Taiwanese voters from supporting a unilateral declaration of independence. The
M9 missiles landed 35 miles off Taiwan's biggest port, Kaohsiung, in the south,
and 23 miles from Keelung, the second biggest port, in the north. According to
Taiwan sources, General Liu had informed Taipei during the missile exercises
that the three missiles fired contained dummy warheads, and further provided
information on Chinese army mainland troop deployments and strengths. After the
election, plans were said to have been made to exfiltrate Liu out of China, but
bureaucratic snafus caused delays and a lack of timely action.
General Liu had been recruited in the early 1990's in HongKong, where he
represented a PLA front company. Liu was said to have been an easy target for
Taiwan's agents because, at the time, HE FELT HE HAD BEEN WRONGED. He had been
implicated in an army corruption scandal and denied a promotion. After his
recruitment, he was well paid by Taiwan for his services. Chinese investigators
were said to have found almost two million dollars in Liu's house and overseas
accounts. His mistress was implicated as a courier and "bag woman."
General Liu spent many years of his career in the PLA General Logistics
Department. In 1989 he was listed as the armaments department's director. By the
mid-90's he had reached the rank of general and was the deputy director of the
The Chinese counterintelligence probe has rolled up a number of other Taiwan
agents, including the Deputy Chief of Hainan province, Lin Kecheng, who was
sentenced to life inprisonment last August. Lin and nine colleagues were said to
have provided economic, political and other kinds of intelligence information.
Last October a local official, Wang Ping, was sentenced to 10 years for working
for Taiwan military intelligence in Nanchong, Sichuan province. Also as part of
the probe, hundreds of PLA officers and all its defense attaches and diplomats
who deal with security matters have been required to provide information on
their foreign bank accounts and financial holdings.
It appears from these open source reports that Taiwan's intelligence network on
the mainland has been, and probably still is, impressive, but that the Taiwan
Defense Department's politically-motivated statement not only led to the loss of
an important asset, but must have had damaging effects on the network and its
capability to produce intelligence. (Wpost 20Feb, J. Pomfret, p.A1/29) (Jonkers)
JORDANIAN INTELLIGENCE - The Jordanian intelligence agency, the
Mukhabarat, has recently grown in stature as CIA's partner in the fight against
Islamic terrorism. In December, Jordan arrested 13 people associated with Osama
bin Laen, in connection with a plot to attack Christian and American targets in
Jordan. Last year the Mukhabarat is said to have alerted CIA to at least three
plots by Bosnia-based Islamic terrorists to attack US targets in Europe.
According to the NYTimes, the rapport between Jordanian and American
intelligence is so strong that the CIA declares all of its agents in Jordan to
the Mukhabarat rather than to keep them under cover. Indeed. (NYT 6Feb00;
Jerusalem Post7Feb2000) (Jonkers)
SECTION III: BOOKS
GALLANTRY IN ACTION: A Biographic Dictionary of Espionage in the American
Revolutionary War, by Harry T. and Marjorie L. Mahoney, University Press of
America, Lanham, Md,1999, ISBN 0-7618-1479-5. This is an interesting compendium
of American espionage agents, prefaced by George Washington's letter written
eight miles east of Morris Town, July 8, 1777, containing the telling ending
"The necessity of procuring good intelligence is apparent and need not be
further urged - All that remains for me to add is, that you keep the whole
matter as secret as possible. For upon Secrecy, Success depends in Most
Enterprizes of this kind, and for want of it, they are generally defeated,
however well planned and promising of a favorable issue." It continues to
serve as a reminder, of the need for security consciousness (e.g. Deutch et.al.),
and of the importance of intelligence to the public at large -- the reasons for
AFIO's existence and mission.
The discussions of individual agents is preceeded by a 38 page history of the
revolution. Since neither geography nor history appears to be any longer taught
in our schools - including even the seminal history of the American revolution
-- this well written and interesting dictionary is instructive and useful to
readers young and old. All kudos to AFIO member Harry Mahoney - an excellent
contribution. Highly recommended. (Jonkers)
THE PSYCHIC BATTLEFIELD: A History of the Military-Occult Complex, by W.
Adam Mandelbaum, St Martin's Press, 2000. ISBN 0-312-20955-X. This is a history
of psychic spying, a compendium addressing paranormal phenomena seldom covered
as a serious topic, but as old as mankind. There have been books published on
the role of the occult in the Third Reich, and we have had books on remote
viewing programs, but this is a first attempt to provide a historical context
from the time of the pharaohs to CIA's use of military-trained psychics during
the Cold War. The author, a New York attorney, practicing psychic, dark-side
investigative reporter and former intelligence officer, stated that he
researched newly declassified files ("too few") and interviewed
"government psychics," but did not include any classified or sensitive
materials obtained during his period of service.
In his foreword, Mandelbaum provides a glimpse of his perspective in writing
this book. "Gratitude is herein paid in advance to all those who will have
read this history, opened their minds to the potential that is within all of us,
and closed their hearts to those in government who would not have this potential
be publicly known. Some secrets must be kept in order to maintain national
security. Others, in time, must be revealed in order to maintain the dream for a
wiser and more perceptive humanity. " Unfortunately the publicity pamphlet
undermines seriousness of stated purpose by asserting that the book will "
blow the lid off the CIA cover-up." This is a book by an member of AFIO
that is unusual in content, potentially interesting and instructive, however
controversial it may be. I have only perused it, and will be pleased to print a
review by a member. (Jonkers)
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