Weekly Intelligence Notes #35-00
1 September 2000

WEEKLY INTELLIGENCE NOTES (WIN) #35-00 dtd 1 September 2000

WINs are produced by Roy Jonkers for AFIO members and subscribers.
Don Harvey and John Macartney contribute articles to the WINs, which are protected by copyright laws.

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See Note at end of this WIN (Section VI) for NEW Convention hotel information. Also Check < www.afio.com >



-- The number of FBI intelligence officers has grown almost five-fold during the past seven years. FBI Director Louis J. Freeh has stated that the bureau is putting top priority on thwarting foreign spies and preventing terrorist attacks, but hard data about the change in emphasis has been sparse because so many of the operations are classified. Now Syracuse's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) has published a report indicating that the total of FBI intelligence officers increased from 224 in 1992 to 1,025 in 1999. FBI Assistant Director John Collingwood commented in an interview that there were increases in FBI intelligence analysts and field agents assigned to hunt spies and battle terrorists. "It's all part of our effort to play a larger role in the intelligence community in counterintelligence and counterterrorism activity, to identify, prevent and disrupt terrorists."
The TRAC study showed that in 1998 there were 37 terrorism convictions and eight internal security convictions from FBI cases. The three categories producing the most FBI convictions in 1998 were drug cases, bank robberies and bank fraud, accounting for 54 percent of the 12,730 that year. Collingwood commented that "the relatively low number of terrorism convictions is a good thing, not a bad thing, We're now working with the CIA and foreign agencies to disrupt terrorists before they can carry out their actions and preferably before they get inside the United States. Figures on those actions aren't recorded, because they are secret."
Collingwood further noted that statistics can understate anti-terrorist efforts. "We recently convicted a gang in the Pacific Northwest of bank robbery and their convictions will show up that way, but they were robbing banks to support their terrorist activities." The TRAC study also noted that "The number of criminal prosecutions of spies and terrorists is not a very good index of FBI concerns . . . because these kinds of cases frequently are not brought into open court."
The study found evidence that the increase in intelligence and agent personnel was reflected in more time being spent developing all kinds of cases, because the percentage of FBI cases that U.S. attorneys agreed to prosecute rose from 41 percent in 1992 to 49 percent in 1998. Also, the conviction rate for defendants in all kinds of FBI cases improved from 67 percent in 1992 to 76 percent in 1998. Median prison sentences rose from 18 months to 25 months. (Associated Press / M. Sniffen Aug 28, 2000 Wash Post p. A02) (Jonkers).

STATE DEPARTMENT SEEKING INCREASE IN SECURITY BUDGET -- Three months after Secretary of State Albright declared herself "humiliated" by lax security (including a missing laptop with classified information) officials are seeking $300 million to upgrade access control at headquarters and to increase the number of security agents by 900 individuals, including a 50% increase in diplomatic security personnel. These requests are based on a review of the Department's security practices that was aided by experts from DoD, the FBI, the Secret Service, and CIA.
The State Department is, of course, not an intelligence agency. It handles approximately 1,000 visitors a day, including many representatives of foreign governments, and 97 accredited foreign journalists -- now restricted to the first two floors of the building. Under pressure from the furor created by publicity over security breaches, security-consciousness at State is said to have increased. On the other hand, for many in Congress the root problem is a cultural issue, " a disdain for security." (NYTimes, 4Aug00, p. A13) (Jonkers)

RECONNAISSANCE SATELLITE LAUNCHED -- A recent media report said that a National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) LACROSSE type satellite was launched from Vandenberg AFB, California, on August 17th by a Lockheed Martin Titan IVB booster. The 15-ton spacecraft capable of producing radar imagery at night and during all-weather conditions, is said to be the fourth launched since the first Lacrosse was lofted by the space shuttle in 1988. It is said to operate in a 425 mile orbit inclined 68 degrees. Times change. Without saying whether this report is right or wrong, during my time in the business we would have bit off our tongues rather than discuss this type of stuff, except as planted disinformation. (Av. Wk & Space Tech., 21Aug00, p. 24) (Jonkers)


There have been a spate of stories in the press in recent months marking the 50th anniversary of the Korean Conflict. One of these treatments was publication of a report on the Korean War by then-Rear Admiral Arleigh Burke, sent from his post on the staff of Commander, Naval Forces Far East to a friend serving on the staff of the Secretary of the Navy. "...Admiral Burke's keen perception of the realities of modern naval and air warfare remain eerily relevant to this day." That assessment is clearly true with the Admiral's comments on intelligence:
"When this war started, the Navy had no intelligence organization here. It depended upon getting its intelligence from G-3 of the Army. G-3, along with all the other intelligence organizations, made an improper evaluation of the situation before the war. Had we had our own intelligence organization, it's possible that our evaluation would have been different. It might even have been correct and we might have been a little better prepared. When we have only one viewpoint, we have harmony and tranquility, but we also have the danger of a single perspective. The biggest danger is that the viewpoint will be wrong.
Intelligence is evaluated by fitting together many fragments of conflicting information.These fragments sometimes form a pattern. The trick is to know which fragments to use and which to discard.
"Most any preconceived pattern can be supported if only selected bits of information are used. Elimination of duplication is good at times, but when ideas or possibilities are eliminated under that guise, trouble is ahead. It is most desirable that different viewpoints, on intelligence matters especially, be laid out so that the top people can have the benefit of all the possibilities and act accordingly. The Navy [and] the nation should not again place complete reliance upon any single intelligence evaluation. It is one field in which much checking may provide better answers."
To intelligence officers, Admiral Burke's views may seem to be elementary, but it is surprising how often non-intelligence officials, especially those largely experienced in the ways of Washington, fail to understand the virtues of his evaluation. (Naval Institute Proceedings May 2000, p.71) (Harvey)

NATIONAL SECURITY ARCHIVES VERSUS CIA -- Continuing the various ongoing series of brouhaha's over classified document releases, this month features a dust-up over release of covert action documents between the Central Intelligence Agency and its number one nemesis among anti-secrecy activists, the private, nonprofit National Security Archive.
A NS/Archive suit filed on August 2nd seeks declassification of the secret CIA histories of operations in Italy and Iran. The Agency, the Archive argued in court papers, has already acknowledged its role in Italy's 1948 elections and the Iranian coup in 1953 that toppled Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadeq, and released extensive information about both events.The NS/Archive had originally filed a FOIA request for the histories in March 1998. But the CIA denied the request and a subsequent appeal, saying only one line from one of two secret histories of the Iranian coup could be released: "Headquarters spent a day featured by frustration and despair." Nice touch.
When the CIA refused to budge from its stance even after the entire document was leaked to the New York Times and published with only minor redactions on the newspaper's Web site, the Archive filed suit."The Archive does not assert that the release of a document into the public domain waives any claims of exemption," the lawsuit says. "Nonetheless, the text of this history casts doubt upon the CIA's claim that the histories cannot be disclosed, even in part, without compromising intelligence activities, foreign relations, intelligence sources and the like . . . As even a cursory examination shows, only very small portions of the history - names of individuals and a few other tidbits of information, for example - could possibly be exempted from disclosure by the CIA. The balance of the document is simple historical information of the type routinely released by the CIA." (WashPost 21 Aug00 // V. Loeb) (Jonkers)

-- Aspects of a mutual defense pact are reported to be on the agenda during CIA Director George Tenet visit to Israel this week. Regardless of the outcome of the talks, the US Administration appears determined to improve strategic and security relations. An announcement is expected when President Clinton meets Ehud Barak, Israel's Prime Minister, on five agreements, including intelligence-related ones. Reportedly Israel will be granted the status of a "strategic ally" of the US. This would formalize the US Government's obligations to help defend Israel defend against attacks.

An aid package for the Israeli Defense Forces will be spent on modernizing the army and funding the joint development of a system to intercept missiles and strike at launchers in enemy nations. Partial compensation for Israel's costs in withdrawing from South Lebanon will amount to well over $150 million. A provision for Israeli / US supervision over arms sales is intended to ensure that Israel does not sell its weapons to states regarded as "sensitive" by the US Government. A memorandum of understanding will commit US military aid to Israel for years to come. Civilian aid to Israel will be phased out while military aid increases. (London Times September 1, 2000 // Ross Dunn/ Jerusalem)

ISRAEL NUCLEAR REACTOR PHOTOS ON THE WEB -- The Web frequently reveals information that Governments rather hold discrete or secret. In recent months, images of a US Air Force base in an off-limits part of the Nevada desert known as Area 51 have been published, as have pictures of North Korea's secrecy-shrouded missile-launching facility. Last week the Federation of American Scientists placed on its Web site satellite photos of Israel's top secret Dimona reactor. An Israeli daily has also published the same images.
Although the building and testing of Israel's nuclear weapons capability (said to be 100 - 200 nuclear warheads) has been supported by the US and has been an open secret worldwide, it has been covered by a policy of "don't ask, don't tell, " denial and deliberate ambiguity. The Dimona images, exposing what has been officially denied, may compromise US moral posturing and complicate policy against nuclear proliferation somewhat. As to Israel, they may well turn greater awareness of their nuclear capabilities to serve their interests.
For a history of Israel's nuclear program, check "Israel and the Bomb," by scholar Avner Cohen, published by Columbia University in 1998. (Christian Science Monitor, Aug 24, p.1) (Jonkers)


NEW ERA FOR COMPUTER VIRUSES? -- Will catching a computer virus one day be just like catching a cold? What if merely sitting next to the wrong person on the bus could not only give you sniffles, but could erase all your morning appointments or drain your cell phone's power? For years, computer security experts have engaged in such whimsical hypotheticals. But the recently discovered Palm Pilot virus suggests that a frightening new era of computer viruses -- one where they spread more like biological viruses -- has begun. < http://www.msnbc.com/news/452912.asp >Levine's Newsbits 08/30)

DARK SIDE OF THE INTERNET -- There's a dark side to the internet. A recent study showing that more than 75 percent of New Hampshire households now are on-line, putting more children in danger of sexual assault. In Newton, police have investigated three cases of child sexual assault in the last month -- all three involved suspects who met their victims through the Internet. "It's like we've been hit by lightning," said Newton Police Chief Richard Labell. But state officials say Newton is far from alone. < > Levine 08/28)

INTERNET ENABLES SURFING FOR SECRETS -- A study conducted for the Pentagon has singled out the Internet as one of the primary vehicles by which classified information related to weapons of mass destruction often falls into the wrong hands. The study, conducted in 1998 for the Pentagon's Office of Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence by Booz-Allen & Hamilton Inc., looked at declassified documents from Pentagon intelligence and security organization. The Pentagon released the study last week as a result of a Freedom of Information Act. It revealed how declassification efforts throughout the Defense Department could be unwittingly divulging secrets. Surprise, surprise! (Levine 08/28) (Jonkers)
< http://www.fcw.com/fcw/articles/2000/0828/web-secret-08-28-00.asp >


CIA WORLD FACTBOOK 2000 -- The World Factbook 2000 is now available on the Central Intelligence Agency Web site (http://www.cia.gov). The World Factbook remains the CIA's most popular and most widely disseminated product. This reference work provides a snapshot as of January 1, 2000, of wide-ranging, hard-to-locate information about the geography, people, governments, economies, communications, militaries, and more for 267 geographic entities. There are nine primary information categories and 100 subcategories for most entities.
The 2000 edition includes 19 reference maps which are available in two formats.
Printed copies of The World Factbook 2000 will be available for purchase next month from the.Government Printing Office http://bookstore.gpo.gov and the National Technical Information Service http://www.ntis.gov. Ordering and pricing information for both domestic and international customers will be available on the GPO and NTIS Web sites.
The CIA plans to make the World Factbook files (totaling about 85 megabytes) available for single-file (complete) download for higher-bandwidth users and as a file set for lower-bandwidth users and will announce when these files are available.
< www.odci.gov/public_affairs/press_release/index.html > Press Releases and Statements Page], 24 Aug 00 www.odci.gov/publications/factbook/index.html


Writes Member Lowenthal: Re Sam Papich's comments: I believe he is unfair to Alan Weinstein. Weinstein's change of views re Hiss's espionage came about not via Venona, but through his own research and analysis. Weinstein began work on his book on Hiss, "Perjury," believing Hiss was innocent. However, by the time Weinstein had finished his research and looked at what he had, he had come to the opposite conclusion. I think Papich's remarks fail to give Weinstein credit for his intellectual honesty. Dr. Mark M. Lowenthal

Writes Member Dick Gay: Yo AFIO crew, Hats off to Sam Papich! BTW I have a friend who was a neighbor of JJA and their kids grew up together. He reports that Angleton was a good neighbor, an attentive father and family man, with never a hint of the so-called paranoia. As regards his drinking habits I must say that compared to many of us he was a model of sobriety. He hit the booze heavy only after Colby decided there was not room for both of them in the OHB. I'll say it again: ANGLETON WOULD HAVE BEEN ON AMES LIKE AN OWL ON A MOLE,
Dick Gay

Short Fuse Help Note: Greetings. I've spent a few weeks examining recently declassified documents about the OSS Insurance Intelligence Unit, which was based in New York and attached to X-2, though it appears most of its intelligence went to R & A. I am anxious to find anybody who was either on this team or who can speak first-hand about the remarkable and little-known role that insurance company records and intelligence played in the war. Please feel free to pass this message on to anybody who could help me locate any individual who was part of this particular operation for a story I hope to complete in the next several days. Many thanks and best regards. Mark Fritz, National Writer, Los Angeles Times, New York Bureau (212 448 2828).

AFIO SYMPOSIUM / CONVENTION NEWS -- The BWI Marriott Hotel is sold out for Thursday night (5 October), although we did get another bloc of rooms. There still appear to be rooms available for Friday and Saturday nights. You might even get a better deal if you ask for the weekend rate for Friday/Saturday only, and go to one of the other hotels listed on our Website for Thursday night. For the other hotels - don't mention AFIO -- get your best deal -- rates are flexible and often discounted for AAA, AARP etc. There are plenty of rooms at reasonable prices almost next door to the Marriott. AFIO Website has details: <www.afio.com>.
AFIO WINs are protected by copyright laws. The information is provided to members for non-profit educational purposes. For back issues with some weeks delay, or AFIO Membership and Symposium information, see the expanded AFIO Website <www.afio.com>, or call AFIO (703 790 0320).

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