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

Weekly Weekly Intelligence Notes
5 May 2000

WINs contain intelligence news items and commentaries produced and edited by Roy Jonkers for AFIO members and subscribers. Associate editors Don Harvey and John Macartney contributed to this WIN.

WINs are protected by copyright laws and may not be reproduced except with the permission of the producer/editor

Warning Notice: Perishability of Links:  WINs, sent weekly to members, often contain numerous webpage links to fast-breaking news, documents or other items of interest; unfortunately, after four weeks many of these websites [especially newspaper and other media sites] remove items or shift them into fee-only archives.  This underscores the benefit of receiving the WINs as they are released.

-- cont'd -- Secretary of State Madeleine Albright called a State Department "town meeting" at the Dean Acheson Auditorium, attended by about one thousand personnel and open to the press, and said that recent State Department security lapses were "intolerable and inexcusable... I don't care how skilled you are as a diplomat, how brilliant you may be at meetings, or how creative you are as an administrator; if you are not professional about security, you are a failure." Wise words, in some measure applicable to all.
She continued "Forget that the Cold War ended. Our nation still has enemies; our secrets still need protecting; and the threats we face are more varied and less predictable than ever . . . We cannot and should not accept a culture within the department that resists paying full attention to our security responsibilities."
There have been no breakthroughs in the case. The laptop computer with its secret compartmented intelligence information is still categorized as "missing," rather than stolen. Everyone who was in or near the briefing where the laptop was last present, including contractor personnel in the hallways, is being interviewed as the investigation is in full swing. Although Albright shook up the department's security procedures last week, an official said it would take more than new guidelines and resources to prevent similar incidents. If all State and INR regulations had been followed, the laptop would not now be missing.
The State Department laptop incident follows two similar cases of stolen laptops in England. A laptop containing secret information about Northern Ireland was stolen from an MI5 agent in a London Underground station. Another, also loaded with sensitive information, was stolen from a British Army officer at Heathrow airport. And in a third incident, an MI6 officer left his laptop computer with intelligence training information in a bar after a night of heavy drinking -- this one was recovered after MI6 posted a reward. (MI5 handles internal security, MI6 foreign intelligence and foreign spies).
Perhaps there are two problems - security consciousness, and the widespread usage of laptop computers in which to cart around highly classified material. (WPost 4May p. A14, Apr 17, 2000 p. A2) (Jonkers)

US / NORWAY CHARGED FOR SPYING ON RUSSIA -- Hinting darkly of a "response action" to a US radar station being assembled near Vardo, Norway, the Russian Foreign Ministry has charged the Have Stare (Globus-2) station is designed to track Russian ballistic missiles. Both US and Norwegian authorities have denied the charges and maintain the radar, to be operated by Norway's Defense Intelligence Service, is only tasked with tracking satellite-endangering debris floating in space. "The radar is not part of any future United States missile defense program," said Norwegian Defense Minister Eldbjoerg Loewer. Mrs. Loewer said the facility has an intelligence function, but she refuses to go into details, saying the specific tasks are classified.
The Vardo installation is located about 35 miles from the Russian border and is due to be completed this summer. In addition to alleging the radar violates the ABM Treaty and is the "last link" in a chain of radars stretching across Europe and North America, the Russians claim the radar station is already being used to snoop on missile launches from Russian test sites on the Kola Peninsula. The Norwegian Defense Attaché in Washington has acknowledged the site could monitor individual Russian ballistic missile tests.
Since they are having to contend with the repeated complaints and allegations of the Russians anyway, it would be understandable if the Norwegian and American policymakers decided eventually to go ahead and upgrade the Vardo capabilities to the Russian specs. However, the current political climate in Washington makes that about as likely as having a UFO mother-ship land at Vardo. (Wash. Post 19 Apr '00, p. 19; Wash. Times 19 Apr '00, p. C10) (Harvey).

SSCI ACTS ON FY 2001 BUDGET. On April 27, the Senate intelligence committee reported out a bill that would authorize about $30 billion for intelligence activities next year. According to sparse comments after the unanimous vote, there was considerable shifting of funds from other intelligence activities to NSA in order to get that agency "fixed." This is an early step in the budget game, of course. The final budget will take action by the whole Senate, the House intelligence committee and the full house, and probably a conference committee to resolve differences between the two, and approval by the President. And that's only authorization. The actual funding will have to be in the Appropriations bill (mostly DOD appropriations) which will go through different committees (including Armed Services) and hoops (and may well differ in substance) before the fiscal year starts Oct 1. (National Journal's CongressDailyAM, April 28, 2000 via Chris Thornlow) (Macartney)

DEFENSE SCIENCE BOARD RECOMMENDS DOUBLING OF IMAGERY EXPLOITATION BUDGET. The U.S. intelligence community's multiyear spending plan for bolstering its ability to use imagery gathered by satellites and other platforms is grossly inadequate, a Pentagon advisory panel warned. A Defense Science Board task force recommended in April that the planned Pentagon budget for the tasking, processing, exploitation and dissemination (TPED) of imagery be doubled, from $1.5 billion to $3 billion, during the next five years. The panel said the U.S. National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA), which is responsible for TPED, should raise the profile of modernization in the agency by appointing an assistant director for that function.
(Jeremy Singer, Special to Defense News on-line]


-- On 5 April, in Moscow, Russian FSB officers detained US businessman Edmond Pope, 53, claiming he was stealing scientific secrets. The FSB statement said it confiscated "technical drawings of various equipment, recordings of his conversations with Russian citizens relating to their work in the Russian defense industry, and receipts for American dollars received by them." On 7 April, the US embassy in Moscow identified Pope by name, which the FSB had not done. Reports soon emerged that Pope was the head of a private security firm and was a retired US Navy captain who spent much of his career working in naval intelligence. Pope is currently confined in Lefortovo prison.
On 20 April, FSB revealed that Pope was seeking plans for a new kind of underwater torpedo fired by submarines which can reportedly achieve speeds of up to 100 meters per second (360 kilometers/hr). What is known is that it produces a high-pressure stream of bubbles from its nose and skin which coat the torpedo in a thin layer of gas and allows it to travel at extremely high speeds for an object in the water. If all this is correct, it appears that Pope will find it difficult to be defended as a scientist or businessman since the technology appears to have only military applications. In short, doing what Pope appears to have been doing, without diplomatic cover, was extremely dangerous, but for an extremely important target.
Another entirely different explanation for his arrest may be the seizure by the US Navy of two Russian cargo ships in open waters of the Persian Gulf for having Iraq-derived oil mixed in their cargo. The Russians have not been pleased about these unilateral US seizures, and may be looking for an asymmetrical quid pro quo. Undoubtedly, whichever explanation is correct, there is much going on below the surface. (Intelligence, N. 116, 1 May 2000, p. 9) (Jonkers)

CIA OPENS SCHOOL FOR INTELLIGENCE ANALYSIS -- The CIA has publicized a two-fold program to enhance analytical expertise in the Agency. The first is the creation of a separate career track, called Senior Analytic Service. Six percent of senior analytic personnel who applied have been accepted for SAS positions, with additional compensation, more professional freedom, and greater opportunity for promotion.
The second track is a new training program for recruits with the opening of the Sherman Kent School for Intelligence Analysis, dedicated on May 4th. This CIA facility in Fairfax County will provide new employees with a rigorous 26-week overview of intelligence analysis, from tradecraft to ethics -- six times as long as the previous course. John McLaughlin, the DDI, said that both reforms had long been sought, but had come about because CIA Director George Tenet backed it -- the benefit of much-needed longer tenure.
Inevitably, there were voices of caution as to whether the changes meant a true return to in-depth analysis or were mere bureaucratic posturing. Creating further distinctions between analysts was said to run counter to the need for CIA to get rid of layers of management and other bureaucratic impediments to better analysis. David Rudgers, whose book "Creating the Secret State," will be published later this month, holds the opinion that CIA's DI should be the Government's think-tank -- but that idea wasn't popular with previous managements, and people did not read long papers with in-depth analyses.
Frans Bax, veteran Far East analyst, has been named the school's first dean. He hopes to build a faculty out of existing CIA staff. (WPost/Loeb, p. A23, May 4, 2000) (Jonkers)


: UN Special Operations During the Korean War, by Michael E. Haas - Naval Institute Press, Special Warfare Series, March 2000, Notes, Bibliography, index. ISBN 1-55750-344-3. The Korean War is forgotten. Over fifty thousand US casualties, abuse and brainwashing of prisoners, millions of Korean casualties -- but it ended in a draw, a partial victory, and the line against the communist threat remained in place. As in all wars, there was the overt struggle, and then there was the covert one - "special operations." Drawing on DoD and CIA documents declassified at his request, plus hundreds of interviews with veterans of this campaign, Michael Haas tells a tale of heroic achievement as well as futile sacrifice, of daring planning and bureaucratic feuding. His book illuminates not only the seamy underside of this war - any war - but contains lessons that should be learned for any future conflict. I found it fascinating -- but then, the Korean War affected my life and was very real to me as a participant in the Air Force Psychological Warfare program. This is what others had to say: "Prodigiously researched and unrivaled in scope ... takes the reader into a world unknown to most military historians even a half century later" - Gen. Robert C. Kingston, USA (ret)
"A cautionary tale of why unconventional forces under the control of conventional leadership can be a deadly mix to the unconventional participants, especially if they are non-American... Haas's efforts to address the "why" questions as well as the "what" - to dig deeper than mere description - advance our understanding of the Korean War as a whole. (J. Ransom Clark, former senior CIA officer). Highly Recommended. (Jonkers)

CASSIDY'S RUN: THE SECRET SPY WAR OVER NERVE GAS, by David Wise, Random House. US Army Master Sergeant Joseph Cassidy spent 23 years as an FBI double agent, feeding misleading information to his GRU handlers about US chemical weapons programs. Along the way, numerous GRU officers and several real Soviet American agents were exposed. This review in the NY Times by Timothy Naftali is less
illuminating than others I have seen. Vernon Loeb interviews author Wise and
writes about the book in his May 1 on-line intelligence column (Macartney)

25 YEARS OF VIETNAM BOOKS. Writing in the Washington Post, author David Chanoff provides an unusually balanced assessment of the Vietnam War and some of it's many books. Unfortunately missing from his book retrospective is AFIO member Lou Sorley's 1999 book, "A BETTER WAR," that focused on the largely unexamined final years of the war and revised strategy under General Abrams. See also NY Times web page on Vietnam then and now as well as Wall Street Journal article of April 28, "History Proves Vietnam Victors Wrong ". Finally, Senator Bob Kerrey (D-NE), who lost a leg and earned the Medal of Honor in Vietnam and later, I think, became an outspoken opponent of the war, writes in a Washington Post op-ed that "...I believe the cause was just and the sacrifice not in vain."
Finally, a West Point course on Vietnam.

A BETTER WAR: The Unexamined Victories and Final Tragedy of America's Last Years in Vietnam, by Lewis Sorley, Harcourt Brace & Company, NY 1999, Notes, index, bibliography, ISBN 0-15-100266-5. Sorley, a former Army and CIA officer, represents a voice in the wilderness, someone who posits that the US fought a good deal more intelligently and effectively than is generally presented. His hero is General Creighton Abrams, who commanded US forces from 1968 until 1972, and who adopted a strategy protecting villages as the first priority, replacing the earlier "search and destroy" tactic. Sorley contends that Abrams and two key civilian officials, the CIA's William Colby, who headed the pacification program, and Ambassador Ellsworth Bunker - laid the basis for a potential victory that could have been achieved if US support had been more steadfast. One example: -- Intelligence indicated a coming invasion in 1972, with a heavy increase in infiltration into the Central Highlands area from Laos. This was reported to Washington. President Nixon reacted by announcing that 70,000 more troops would be withdrawn by May 1972. Abrams was philosophical - "On the one hand we've got Giap's great campaign coming up. On the other hand, we've got the great redeployment thing coming up. There’s a tendency in there for some conflict.”
Whether Sorley's thesis holds is arguable, but the relief from the prevailing ideological cant on Vietnam war is appealing. For those needing some balance in their reading on Vietnam, readable and recommended. (Jonkers)

AMERICAN SPIES ARE SPOILED? Asked which country had the best agents, Sergei Ivanov, head of the Russian security council and adviser to President Vladimir Putin, replied: "Ours, British and Israeli." American spies, he added, had too much money and were spoilt. (Macartney),3604,214639,00.html


Back to Top

Back to Top

About AFIO | Chapters & Chapter Activities | Membership | Corporate | Weekly Intelligence Notes | Event Schedule | Bulletin Board | Book Reviews | Search | AFIO Store | | Other Intel Sites | Home Page

AFIO Central Office
6723 Whittier Avenue, Suite 303A
McLean, Virginia 22101-4533
Telephone: 703 790 0320 | Facsimile: 703 991 1278