Intelligence Notes #27-00
WEEKLY INTELLIGENCE NOTES (WIN) #27-00 dated 9 July 2000
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SECTION I -
BIN LADEN THREATENS TO KILL AMERICANS. The Al Qaida group led by Bin Laden is said to have relayed a warning to President Clinton against executing Mir Aimal Kansi, convicted of murder in the attack outside CIA headquarters which killed two CIA employees and wounded three others on Jan. 25, 1993, a political murder apparently in revenge for yet other assassinations or killings blamed on US involvement. A jury in Fairfax County, Virginia recommended the death penalty for Kansi on Nov. 13, 1997. The sources said Bin Laden's organization threatened to retaliate for the execution of Kansi -- by killing 100 Americans, according to Middle East Newsline. "If our volunteers are not able to hang 100 Americans in the United States, they would complete this number with employees of U.S. embassies all over the world." In the old way of 'an eye for an eye,' or better yet, 'a hundred eyes for an eye,' a time-honored custom still enshrined today in the cultures of the Middle East, the beat goes on. http://www.worldtribune.com/tout-2.html (Macartney / Jonkers)
NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE ESTIMATE ON BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT -- American intelligence chiefs will gather on 11 July at CIA to try to come to a consensus on an overdue National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) about a National Missile Defense (NMD). Whereas the debate previously was on how soon a "rogue" nation might develop intercontinental missiles, the focus now seems to be on whether or not a US missile defense deployment would cause global instability.
Whatever the NIE says, it will be controversial, given the ongoing NMD debate and high stakes involved. "There's a lot of pressure from the Hill driving this process," said a longtime intelligence official involved in preparing the new report. "You end up with reams of possibilities, including what is least likely and what is unthinkable. We are writing in worst-case language. Frankly, from my perspective, this is nonsense." A senior intelligence official acknowledged that people on all sides of the debate were "looking for something in what we say to support their own arguments." (Macartney) (<http://www.nytimes.com/library/world/global/070500missile-defense.html>
EU, FRANCE TO INVESTIGATE "ECHELON." The European Parliament voted Wednesday to widen a probe into a U.S.-led communications intercept network allegedly monitoring billions of phone calls, e-mails and faxes. The EU commission will investigate whether Echelon infringes on the rights of European citizens and industries.
The EU query is conducted in parallel with a preliminary judicial investigation by a French state prosecutor into the workings of the Echelon system. The French state counterintelligence agency DST has been ordered to find out whether Echelon's activities could qualify under French law as "harmful to the vital interests of the (French) nation." The investigation could spark a diplomatic row with the US, but would not necessarily lead to legal action. Washington has been accused of using the system for economic espionage against its allies, a charge denied by the US. <http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/ap/20000705/wl/eu_echelon_1.html>
(Wall St J /Reuters 07/06/00) (Macartney / Jonkers)
"SAFE HARBOR" SCUTTLED - In a move that signals growing international concern over online privacy, the European Parliament this week voted down the proposed "Safe Harbor" agreement that would have allowed the export of electronic data regarding European citizens to the United States. (Levine's Newbits ) (<http://www.techweb.com/wire/story/TWB20000706S0014>)(Jonkers)
SECTION II - CONTEXT AND PRECEDENCE
INTELLIGENCE AND INTERNATIONAL LAW. The State Dept recently reported to Congress on the implementation of the International Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials. This Convention is a principal weapon for combating a particularly damaging form of corruption. "Bribery and other forms of corruption impede governments in their efforts to deliver basic services to their citizens; they undermine the confidence of people in democracy; and, they are all too often linked with transborder criminal activity, including drug trafficking, organized crime and money laundering," said Assistant Secretary of State E. Anthony Wayne.
At the same time, however, Congress is preparing to pass legislation that will *exempt* US intelligence agencies from the standards and constraints imposed by this kind of international convention. Section 305 of the Intelligence Authorization Act for FY 2001 states that future laws implementing such international agreements or treaties shall not apply to U.S. intelligence unless Congress explicitly declares otherwise. <http://www.fas.org/irp/news/2000/06/000629-bribery.htm> <http://www.fas.org/sgp/bulletin/sec84.html> (Macartney)
LOS ALAMOS SECURITY PROBLEM REPORTS - -
Two recent reports, one by the former chief of counterintelligence for the CIA and consultant to the House intelligence committee (HPSCI), and one by the director of the Brookings Center for Public Service, have examined the recent series of Los Alamos security busts with more depth than the usual media and political handwringing, horror and alarm.
The former counterintelligence (CI) chief ascribes the abysmal lack of security at DoE and the three national security labs, especially Los Alamos, to Energy's failure to convince the lab scientists of the need for tougher security and CI measures. The new regulations "were not accompanied by a strong effort by department officials to sell the changes to the rank-and-file" and as a result, there was open rebellion against publicized efforts to polygraph hundreds of employees; at the same time counterintelligence training efforts at the labs "has been dismal." The report to HPSCI noted that the scientists have some legitimate concerns about whether such a large polygraph program could be made to work fairly. The report noted, however, that a part of the problem was that the scientists believed they were "indispensable and thus should be exempt from such demeaning and intrusive measures as the polygraph."
DoE was criticized in the report as being "ineffectual" in explaining the need for polygraphs. It recommended that DoE should model its security after the NSA example where comparably educated scientists enter a culture where from the very beginning, security, CI and the polygraph "are givens in their daily work."
The second interpretation of the sad Los Alamos security environment focuses on the organization (and layering) of the bureaucracy above the Los Alamos worker. The writer details the number of phone calls Secretary of Energy Richardson would have to make to actually make good on clearing up his mystification about the latest security breach by making calls asking what happened at every link in his chain of command. It would take him 23 to 28 calls just to work through the assistant deputy administrator, associate deputy assistant adminstrator for..., division chief, office directors, branch chiefs, etc. levels in the headquarters alone. Another six to 10 calls would get through the University of California hierarchy which administers the Los Alamos contract, then another five to10 would be necessary in the Los Alamos lab itself. If he wants to check with the Inspector General to get down to the field staff who might actually know something about the security breach, he would need seven to 10 more calls. The writer says "fifty calls and Richardson will still be hard pressed to point a finger at any one person." The problem is not too few managers but too many.
The double-hatting Richardson did when Congress forced the new security organization down his throat comes in for criticism as well. (NYTimes 28 June '00, by James Risen; Washington Post 28 June '00, p.25 by Paul C. Light) (Harvey)
WEN HO LEE CASE (cont'd) The case against the accused Los Alamos nuclear scientist, Wen Ho Lee, now held in solitary confinement after years and months of Government inaction based on the same set of facts (according to reported stories), is proceeding. His lawyers have filed a "selective prosecution" motion, arguing that Lee has been singled out for prosecution (in an organization characterized by years of lax security) because he is a Chinese American. This motion includes a sworn declaration from Robert Vrooman, former chief of counterintelligence at Los Alamos, which states: "I state without reservation that racial profiling was a crucial component of the FBI's identifying Dr Lee as a suspect."
Subsequently, in response to a judge's order, the government filed a motion stating that Lee may have downloaded official nuclear weapons research files in order to compile a resume to impress prospective employers in countries as diverse as Taiwan, Australia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Singapore and Switzerland, and possibly China. The government may add to that list.
Placing official information on private computers is clearly a violation of the rules and inexcusable, but other Government officials have done much worse and get away with a slap on the wrist when discovered, if media reporting is accurate. The context for this type of behavior has been an environment of inadequate security-consciousness (and concomitant invulnerability arrogance or vulnerability ignorance) coupled with pressure to perform -- to extend the workday and do the work at home. For Wen Ho Lee, there is, presumably, classified "other information" as a basis for prosecution -- unless the whole affair is primarily political posturing and Lee is the disposable "throw-away." <http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A47685-2000Jul4.html> <http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A58503-2000Jul6.html> (Macartney / Jonkers)
MORE ON JOHN MILLIS SUICIDE. In the Washington Times "Inside the Ring" column of July 7, Bill Gertz & Rowan Scarborough report that the house Intelligence Committee's press spokesperson, Jennifer Millerwise, abruptly resigned last week. It had been her job to fend off press questions about the tragic fate of the former Staff Director, John Millis, who committed suicide on June 4th.
Gertz & Scarborough go on to write that "senior intelligence community officials . . . told us that the death of Millis was the result of a 'personal tragedy' and not related in any way to [former DCI] Mr Deutch [who Millis had publicly criticized on several occasions], the CIA, intelligence information or US national security."
Previously, Gertz had reported that Millis was despondent because he was under investigation by the committee. The full story will undoubtedly be revealed in time but does not affect the tragedy of this loss.
SECTION III - CYBER INTELLIGENCE
TAIWAN TO CREATE CYBER WARFARE CENTER -- Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense will set up a cyberwarfare center to study strategic and tactical information warfare to threats from Beijing. According to the report by the Central News Agency, the Ministry of National Defense will establish the center and an emergency task force to study possible defenses against cyberwarfare and draw up response plans in the case of emergency.<http://www.newsbytes.com/pubNews/00/151751.html> Levine's Newsbits 07/06) (Jonkers)
FBI RAISES SECURITY ISSUES ON JAPANESE ACQUISITION OF US INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDER -- The Federal Bureau of Investigation has raised national-security concerns about a Japanese company's attempt to acquire a U.S. Internet service provider, signaling the government's increasing worry about the globalization of, and its loss of control over, telecommunications networks. The FBI registered its concerns with the Treasury Department about Nippon T&T corporations planned acquisition of Verio Inc, (Colo). In recent years, the FBI and other security agencies have raised concerns about their ability to maintain surveillance over telecommunications networks being acquired by companies based outside the U.S. Now law-enforcement officials appear to be moving to extend their influence to Internet deals, which generally aren't regulated by the Federal Communications Commission but come before an obscure Treasury panel called the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (<http://www.msnbc.com/news/429428.asp> Levine 06/07) (WSJrnl 07/06/00) (Jonkers)
SECTION IV - BOOKS AND OTHER SOURCES
COMMANDERS WINN AND KNOWLES: WINNING THE U-BOAT WAR WITH INTELLIGENCE, 1939-1943, by David Kohnen, Krakow, Poland, Enigma Press, 1999 (in US, Classical Crypto Books, Londonderry NH), 168 pages. Although the public revelation of the Allied breaking of the German U-boat cipher has become a historical staple, Kohnen tells the real story - the fact that broken messages do not immediately or necessarily produce usable intelligence. They need analysis, interpretation and context.
Commanders Winn (UK) and Knowles (US), both reservists medically disqualified from combat service, were in charge of the British and American submarine intelligence centers that cooperated closely and served as "all-source" analysis centers. Each center became a clearing house where intelligence data from all sources (reconnaissance, radar, HF-DF, HUMINT, etc.) and friendly forces data were 'fused' into a coherent picture. Taken together these sources, when melded with the decrypted messages, formed the basis for predictions of U-boat locations and movements.
Kohnen also examines the controversy surrounding Admiral Ernest King's handling of the 1942 German U-boat offensive along the US east coast, and explores the differences that arose between the British and American organizations and approaches. On balance, even readers well versed in the period will find substantial new information in this work. Professionals will recognize the confirmation of the old truth -- that the best new intelligence sources are of no use if the information is not analyzed and sent to the operating forces in a timely manner. (reviewed by Lt Dale Rielage, USN, Naval War College Review, p. 242) (Jonkers)
DECODING HISTORY: THE BATTLE OF THE ATLANTIC AND ULTRA, by W.J.R. Gardner, Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, Md., 1999, ISBN 1-55750-158-0, references and bibliography, index, 257 pages. This book by a thirty-year UK submarine service veteran, now Historian, Naval Historical Branch, UK Ministry of Defence, presents another view of the same battle covered by the Kohnen book (above), also placing ULTRA in context . Gardner covers the German attack on vulnerable allied shipping lanes across the Atlantic, an attack which was overcome, with some difficulty, by applying a number of means including ULTRA. Many histories have attributed the outcome of the battle largely to ULTRA itself, sometimes because of a lack of rigorous analysis or by a failure to set ULTRA in the full and complex contexts in which it operated. This study rectifies that deficiency, carefully analyzing complicated patterns of factors leading to a more balanced understanding of code-breaking. For academics, students, professionals and aficionados, recommended. (Jonkers)
SENATE COMMITTEE REPORTS -- Both the Senate intelligence committee and the Senate Armed Services Committee have issued reports on the Intelligence Authorization Act for FY 2001. Steven Aftergood commented that the reports "illustrate the rivalry between the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Senate Intelligence Committee -- in which the Intelligence Committee always gets stomped -- but also reveals some incidental details of current intelligence programming debates. The reports can be found at the URL's below. <http://www.fas.org/irp/congress/2000_rpt/s106-325.html> <http://www.fas.org/irp/congress/2000_rpt/s106-279.html>
DIA HAS UPGRADED ITS HOMEPAGE.
VIRTUAL TOUR OF THE PENTAGON can be found at <http://www.defenselink.mil/pubs/pentagon/>
Commentary and opinions included are those of the WIN Producer/ Editor Roy Jonkers or the associate editors (RADM (ret) Don Harvey or Professor (ret) John Macartney), or the contributor listed in the tagline.
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