Weekly Intelligence Notes
17 March 2000
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SECTION I – CURRENT INTELLIGENCE
INTERNET LAW ENFORCEMENT - Attorney General Janet Reno recently said
that Law Enforcement was ill-prepared for cybercrime, and is generally
out-gunned.. They need weapons such as real-time tracking of Internet users,
the ability to locate wireless phones, and the ability to identify anonymous
e-mailers to better catch Internet criminals . A lengthy report released 9
March reiterated the complexities of Internet law enforcement. As massive
volumes of business and financial transactions shift to the Net, previous
pranks and spoofs which allowed unfettered anonymity, now permit anonymous
cybercriminals to operate across international borders, to strike and vanish
in an instant. Reno wants to strike back with better coordination among
local, national and international police and -- most important -- greater
assistance from the Internet industry. The Administration realizes it will
need to proceed cautiously, obtaining more advice from industry and privacy
groups before proposing specific legislation. Especially in this high-tech
environment where capabilities grow and change weekly. In the next two
months, the Justice Department will hold an East Coast and a West Coast
conference with industry and privacy groups to discuss prospective
CIA TO HONOR FIRED AGENT. Terry Ward, 62, former chief of the Latin
American Division, received a prestigious award March 23 for
"exceptional achievements" during a 30-year covert career despite
his dismissal for failing to report on CIA ties to a Guatemalan colonel
linked to two murders in the early 1990s. One senior intelligence official
said Ward's medal was recommended by former colleagues within the CIA's
Directorate of Operations and personally approved "without
hesitation" by James Pavitt, the CIA's deputy director for operations,
even though the award was sure to be controversial. The honoring of Ward
illustrates the continuing and bitter divide between CIA career
professionals and their critics in Congress and the human rights community
over the Agency's performance in the Cold War conflicts of Latin America.
The effort to rehabilitate Ward's reputation comes at a time when the man
who fired him, former CIA director John Deutch, finds himself under
investigation by the Justice Department for serious home computer security
FORMER DCI RESPONDS TO EUROPE'S ECHELON HYSTERIA.
Speaking to a crowd of foreign journalists, former DCI James Woolsey
confirmed that US intelligence does indeed collect against economic targets.
But Woolsey pointed out that the major focus of such espionage was
smuggling, bribery and other examples of cheating in the marketplace and
that the US government, not US firms, is the consumer of such intelligence.
NSA'S TROUBLES. An article in the LA Times
discusses NSA's four day "blackout" in late January when the
agency's computers crashed, and reviews the various NSA problems highlighted
by Seymour Hersh in his December 6 NEW YORKER article. This LA
Times piece also delves into the reforms underway at Ft Meade claiming
that the new Jimmy Carter submarine will be able to intercept underwater
fiber optic cables and that a new constellation of SIGINT satellites is
coming. Each Monday, according to the Times, the Director of NSA (DIRNSA),
LtGen. Michael Hayden, does a 15-minute closed-circuit TV show for NSA
employees. He has discussed his testimony on Capitol Hill, done a stand-up
in the NSA operations center and phoned in from Europe. He also sends out a
classified e-mail message daily to NSA workers around the world. Recent
"DIRGRAMS," as the director's messages are known, have explained
how a new "transformation office" will oversee modernization and
have sought feedback on a new strategic plan..
SHOWBIZ PUTS PUTIN IN KGB. A hit movie of 1968 set a
teenager named Vladimir Putin on the road to his career as a KGB officer
according to Mr. Putin, now Russia's acting president. The movie, "The
Sword and the Shield," depicted the heroic deeds of a Soviet double
agent in Nazi Germany.
JOB APPLICANTS SUE OVER POLYGRAPH TESTS. Darryn
Mitchell Moore had 12 years of experience with the Atlanta police department
when he applied for a job with the Secret Service. Everything seemed on
course, he said, until he sat down last fall for the Agency's prerequisite
polygraph examination. Wired to the machine, Moore apprehensively answered
"yes" or "no" to a series of questions, including one in
which he denied past drug use. According to Moore, the examiner repeatedly
accused him of lying. Moore, who insists he never used illegal drugs, said
he became rattled and was told he flunked the test. On March 14, Moore plans
to join six other spurned job applicants in filing a lawsuit challenging the
use of polygraphs by the Secret Service, FBI and Drug Enforcement
Administration. It contends the pre-employment practice violates their
constitutional rights to due process, attacks the science behind it, and
charges that examiners act abusively toward applicants. The lawsuit, to be
filed in U.S. District Court in Atlanta, rekindles decades of debate about
the reliability of polygraph testing. Congress passed legislation in 1988
that prohibited private industry from using polygraph examinations to screen
job applicants. But the law carved out an exception for the federal
government, and the Secret Service, FBI and DEA are among many agencies
CHINESE ESPIONAGE REPORT AND PARTISAN POLITICS. A new
joint CIA/FBI "Report to Congress on Chinese Espionage Activities
Against the United States" provides an unclassified summary of Chinese
intelligence activities. The report, dated December 12, 1999 and reported in
the Washington Times on March 9, is posted at http://www.fas.org/irp/threat/fis/prc_1999.html
Now, Senator Arlen Specter has issued his new "Report on the
Investigation of Espionage Allegations Against Dr. Wen Ho Lee" which
criticizes the Justice Department and the FBI for errors and omissions in
that investigation. A copy of that 65 page report, dated March 8, is posted
Meanwhile, Senator Charles Grassley has written Senator Spector to express
dissatisfaction with the new report, saying that "it does not reflect
the full body of evidence." The March 8 Grassley letter, first reported
in the Washington Post, is posted at http://www.fas.org/irp/congress/2000_cr/s030800.html
MORTON SOBELL SAYS HE WILL SUE NSA OVER DECRYPTION
METHODOLOGY. In a letter to the editors of the Wall Street Journal
(Mar9), Morton Sobell, who in 1951 was convicted with Ethel and Julius
Rosenberg of "conspiracy to commit espionage," challenges the
veracity of the Venona decrypts. Sobell served more than 18 years in prison
SECTION II: CONTEXT AND
DCI Comments on His Job
A recent interview with DCI George Tenet by Reuters yielded a few
-- Worst moment on the job was a phone call in August 1998 telling him two
US embassies had been blown up in Africa with many people dead.
-- Heightened fear of terrorist plots just before the millennium
celebrations at the end of last year was the scariest time.
-- 1997 capture of Mir Amal Kansi in Pakistan for killing two CIA employees
was his high point.
-- Most fun is when his spies steal valuable secrets that give the president
-- "There is fun in understanding that you've just stolen a secret that
makes a difference to what the president thinks (sic) about something."
-- When traveling about Washington, he prefers a dark, armored sport utility
vehicle to the agency limousine.
-- Speaking of CIA employees, he said: "People don't understand that
these people are enormously talented, very dedicated, and will go through
that wall for you if you ask them to." He was not quoted saying
anything about people in the other 12 Agencies of the community.
Ü Regarding the Deutch scandal, he said: " We're looking at all that.
I cannot tell you that it was compromised, I can provide you no assurances
that it was not compromised." He apparently was not asked why the
investigations are still ongoing three years after Deutch's security
transgressions became known to CIA.
Ü With reference to DCI Tenet's handling of the Deutch affair, the Chairman
of the HPSCI, Porter Goss, has said: "My personal view is he (Tenet)
did a credible job of managing a very nasty, tricky situation. I won't say
he couldn't have done some things better in hindsight."
Ü Addressing the favorite Washington practice of blaming intelligence when
things do not go just the way people would have preferred, the DCI said:
"You take risks every day, sometimes you guess right, sometimes you
guess wrong, and when you guess wrong everybody says you're an idiot.
Well...we know we're not idiots, we know we're doing a good job."
Source: Reuters 3 Mar '00;
WHAT IF THE BAD GUYS CAPTURE A SOLDIER'S COMPUTER? In his Washington
Post on-line column, "Dot.Mil," Bill Arkin writes about the number
of laptop and Palm Pilot computers that are being issued to military,
including front line troops. Presumably by capturing one of these many
devices an enemy would have instant access to almost everything—our plans,
our strength and disposition, intelligence info, etc. Arkin is critical of
the trend. "Beyond the question of waste though, there is the matter of
practicality. Proliferation of personal devices ensure better communication,
record keeping, and access to information. But when systems fail, will
military people still know the skills to use the old grease pencil? I for
one have been writing with a word processor for almost 20 years, and frankly
I've lost my ability to write anything beyond a grocery list in long hand.
Isn't war too important to be left to the laptop," he writes?
NATO SPY ALLEGATIONS DENIED. NATO is rejecting a US report
that a spy in its ranks may have given the Serbs secret details of its 1999
bombing raids on Yugoslavia — but NATO sources said an internal U.S. study
had pointed to a possible information leak.
LOSS OF CANAL ZONE BASES HURTS DRUG INTERDICTION.
Previously, some 2000 AWACS and other surveillance flights a year used
Howard AFB in the Canal Zone to surveil cocaine producing regions of Latin
America. Now those flights are down by two-thirds. Meanwhile, the US has
announced it will deploy two more intelligence aircraft to the area, a
Cessna Grand Caravan and a British J31 Jetstream. Both have been specially
modified for observation and intelligence-gathering missions.
BIN LADEN CAPTURE THAT NEVER WAS. A CIA plan to train
and equip a secret Pakistani unit to snatch alleged terrorist Osama Bin
Laden from his Afghanistan hideout never got off the ground last year
because of foot-dragging by Pakistan, probably on purpose. (Time, March 20)
SECTION III: BOOKS, REVIEWS, & OTHER
JOINT MILITARY INTELLIGENCE COLLEGE BOOK ON COMPETITIVE INTELLIGENCE --
INTELLIGENCE ESSENTIALS FOR EVERYONE, a new book from the DIA's JMIC, is
available for sale from the Superintendent of Documents. It lays out for
businesses world-wide, in clear, concise language, a logical approach to
creating an intelligence infrastructure that is much like the governments..
AFIO member and Mercyhurst College professor, Bob Hiebel, says “We use it
in our Intro to Research and Analysis class. It's well written and designed
by an NSA analyst and JMIC graduate to reach across the lines of national
security and competitive intelligence.” It may be ordered from GPO at
202-512-1800, or http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/sale.html.
FORTHCOMING or JUST RELEASED BOOKS -- (Elizabeth
[All the following can be pre-ordered today from amazon.com or barnes&noble.com].
THE BOOK OF HONOR: Covert Lives & Classified Deaths at the CIA by
Ted Gup, Doubleday/Random House, May 16, $25.95. Gup reveals the identity of
41 CIA Officers who died in the line of duty and have, for many years, been
known only as unidentified stars on the lobby wall at CIA. Based on
extensive research and interviews, Gup describes the tragic stories of
long-denied operations gone bad or ones that experienced unintended
consequences, and a new variety of Agency operations where these heroic
officers gave the ultimate in the service of this country.
SPYTIME: The Undoing of James Jesus Angleton by William F. Buckley,
Jr., Harcourt Brace, July 2000, $25. Buckley gives his take on the rise and
fall of legendary spymaster and Yale classmate JA.
THE CULTURAL COLD WAR: The CIA and the World of Arts and Letters, by
Frances Stonor Saunders, The New Press, April 2000, $29.95.
CREATING THE SECRET STATE: The Origins of the Central Intelligence
Agency, 1943-1947, by David F. Rudgers, University Press of Kansas, June
RED MAFIYA: How The Russian Mob Is Infiltrating America, by Robert I.
Friedman, Little Brown, March 2000, $25.95. Expose of the growing
infiltration of Russian organized crime in the U.S. and rest of world.
BROADCASTING FREEDOM: The Cold War Triumph of Radio Free Europe and Radio
Liberty, by Arch Puddington, University Press of Kentucky, May 2000,
$27.50. A history of the radio organizations and the role RFE/RL played as
the Berlin Wall collapsed and the Soviet Union dissolved.
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NOVEL ITEM OF THE WEEK:
KGB 'Fotosniper' Cameras Among 200 New Treasures From U.S. Sovietski
A rifle-like spy camera – called a “Fotosniper” – purportedly
used by the KGB, is one of 200 artifacts or replicas available by catalog
from the Sovietski Collection, a U.S. firm started in 1992. Other objects of
intelligence artifact interest are Russian Navy SEALs' “Desantnik”
diving helmets, and silk men’s neckties, decorated with vintage Soviet
propaganda art. The Sovietski Collection's free 72-page Spring 2000 catalog
is available from 800-442-0002 (619-294-2008 or Fax 619-294-2500) or click
over to http://www.sovietski.com
(Reuters and other News Sources, March 13)
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