Weekly Intelligence Notes #37-00
15 September 2000

WEEKLY INTELLIGENCE NOTES (WIN) #37-00 dtd 15 September 2000

WINs are produced by Roy Jonkers for AFIO members and subscribers.
Don Harvey and John Macartney contribute articles.

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WEN HO LEE -- A former senior CIA officer and former ambassador to China, James Lilley, recently wrote an op-ed piece for the New York Times on his thoughts on the Wen Ho Lee situation as it wends its sorry way into history. The following are extracts from his writings:
--- "Chinese-Americans were quite right to raise alarms about ethnic profiling in weapons laboratories. The accusations of racism and ethnic targeting of foreign-born scientists have poisoned the atmosphere..."
--- "Of course, the fact that China tries to recruit spies doesn't mean that Chinese-Americans as a group should be suspect.
--- When Mr. Cox released his report, the Energy Department had demonized Wen Ho Lee.
--- "To catch any spy requires good investigative work. Chinese intelligence methods are complex and arcane, and special skills and experience are needed to detect them. What seems to be missing on our side is the painstaking, timely investigative use of wiretaps, computer access, independent surveillance and informers."
--- "Instead the government prematurely leveled a lengthy indictment at Wen Ho Lee, Chinese-Americans have been harassed, and evidence has disappeared. What is needed to regain trust among Asian-Americans are fair, scrupulous and professional investigations; we cannot allow poorly handled cases to alienate a segment of our population."
Ambassador Lilley wrote days before the federal judge hearing the case (the plea bargain led to the dropping of 58 of the 59 charges) gave an excoriating tongue-lashing to such high-level federal officials as Energy Secretary Bill Richardson and Attorney General Janet Reno for abusing their power and misleading him into thinking that Lee posed a threat to national security. The Reagan-appointee judge apologized to Lee, and said the arrogant manner in which the case was handled embarrassed him, and each of our citizens in the entire nation.
Straining to find a bright side to the affair and the way it was handled, it may be that the final plea bargain and the judge's castigation of the investigative and policy officials will go a long way to ameliorating the impression of ethnic targeting by counterintelligence officials. (NY (Times 12 Sept '00, by James Lilley) (Harvey)

(Editor's NOTE: The next WIN will contain a CI officer's perspective on the case / RJ)

U.S. PUTS UZBEKISTAN ISLAMIC MOVEMENT ON TERRORIST LIST -- The US government has added the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan to its list of foreign terrorist organizations, saying the group has ties to the Saudi financier Osama bin Laden. In its annual report on terrorism issued this summer the State Department had earlier criticized the Islamic Movement for its "anti-Western and anti-Israeli rhetoric."
The stated goal of the Islamic Movement, a coalition of several thousand individuals and groups from Uzbekistan and other Central Asian states, is to overthrow the secular government in Uzbekistan and establish a Taliban-style state there as well as in other former Soviet republics of Central Asia, which are about 85 percent Muslim. Several of these former Soviet republics are being destabilized by a resurgence of militant Islam and a flourishing drug trade. Most of the Islamic Movement's members are said to live in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Afghanistan. Its recruits have been trained in bin Laden's Afghan camps as well as in Pakistan, whose weak military government faces its own Islamic pressures. Training has also taken place in Uzbekistan's conservative Ferghana Valley, where poverty and unemployment have given the militants' appeal.
The Uzbek government holds the Islamic Movement responsible for five car bombings in Tashkent in February 1999. Uzbekistan claims that the group was trying to kill President Islam Karimov, who has banned religious political parties. Karimov's government naturally welcomed the US move.
Indicating the increased importance of the region to US diplomacy, power politics and overt and clandestine intelligence priorities and activities, Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright last April pledged $3 million in new military assistance for Uzbekistan and a total of nearly $10 million to help Central Asian governments fight terrorism and narcotics trafficking. But she also called upon governments in the region to establish greater respect for human rights and civil liberties. The State Department's most recent rights report calls Uzbekistan an "authoritarian" state whose police tortures prisoners. We are walking a fine line.
Addition of the Islamic Movement to the list of 28 foreign groups that Washington now accuses of sponsoring terrorism means that American citizens and residents are legally barred from contributing money or "material support" to the group. It also means that Islamic Movement members can be denied visas to, or deported from, the United States. It further enables the Treasury Department to seize assets held by the group or its members in American banks and financial institutions. More broadly, the designation sends a signal to other states that the United States considers the group dangerous, requesting their cooperation in restricting the Movement's activities. (NY Times Sep 15, 2000 //J. Miller) (Jonkers)


SENATE CHAIRMAN ACCUSES INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY OF BENIGN BIAS TOWARD CHINA - - U.S. intelligence agencies have a benign view of China and need more "alternative" analyses of the most important future challenges to the US, said Sen. Richard C. Shelby, Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. He stated he is working on legislation that would require more "unbiased" intelligence studies of China.
Legislation to "fix" these analytical problems will be added to the current Senate Intelligence Committee's authorization. "What we're interested in is good analysis; the nation depends on it," said Chairman Shelby. "It has to be good, it has to be accurate; it has to be unbiased. Now, having said that, at times it's hard to get it." . . .... He said many analysts' views about China are based on Cold War, balance-of-power calculations that are not relevant to China's current strategy of asymmetrical warfare -- defeating a high-tech power with less capable weapons and forces."
"You frequently hear people say the Chinese navy . . . couldn't defeat the U.S. Navy in the battle of Midway if it were held today," a Senate staffer added. "But that's not what they need to do. What they need to do is create a zone of free action around Taiwan (Ed. note: recognized as part of China, a figleaf for US diplomacy, a real thing from the Chinese perspective) -- that's their biggest priority -- and if they can make a U.S. president hesitate or be deterred from acting in that area, then they've done what they need to do."
The model for requiring competing views on China is the 1998 panel of outside analysts headed by former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld -- who studied missile threats, and a second group of experts, led by retired Adm. David Jeremiah, who examined how the CIA missed India's nuclear test. "What we're trying to do is make sure that the same process is carried through with respect to China by directing that certain specific tasks be looked at in alternative and contrarian ways."
Some (unattributed sources) in the Pentagon also allegedly proclaimed that U.S. analysis on China is flawed. An unnamed Pentagon official was cited to hold that the current and former directors of the National Intelligence Council, John Gannon and Joseph Nye, have "refused to bring balance into the analysis review process." CIA spokesman Bill Harlow countered that the agency has begun "doing a whole lot more on alternative views and outside analysis on all of our products." "The issue of engaging with outside experts is a work impressively in progress," said another senior intelligence official, who defended the intelligence community's analysis products.
Will setting up a permanent panel of experts from outside risk "politicizing" intelligence estimates? - asked a senior official, adding - "that is not a healthy kind of development." Obviously, stimulating innovative analysis, questioning underlying assumptions and cultural mirror-imaging, playing devil's advocate, and avoiding CYA lowest-common-denominator consensus pablum estimates, are healthy and necessary steps, but is legislation the way to do it, and where will it stop? Are we in danger of moving towards Washington-politics-driven worst-case intelligence "estimates a la carte'? An interesting issue. (Wash Times Sep 15, 2000 Pg. 1 // B. Gertz) (Jonkers)

-- Two-and-a-half months after U.S. B-2 bombers mistakenly destroyed the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade because Pentagon databases had not been adequately maintained, Vice Adm. Thomas R. Wilson took over the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) with a clear priority task: fix the databases. "Because of a faulty database, we were unable to uncover a mistake in targeting, although the database worked pretty well for 900 other targets," Wilson said in a recent interview. (In intelligence it is a fact of life that successes are unheralded and failures go public.)
Beyond running DIA, an agency with 7,000 employees responsible for knowing the weapons and forces of every foreign military force, Wilson also serves as the 'de facto' director of military intelligence and the Military Intelligence Board. The Board, linked via television monitor, includes representatives of the national agencies; the intelligence chiefs from the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines and Coast Guard; the top intelligence officers of the nine unified commands; and an intelligence officer representing U.S. forces in Korea.
Wilson has the group focused on three priorities -- besides databases:
(1) Planning for "asymmetric" threats posed by terrorists, weapons proliferators and cyber-attackers.
(2) Revitalizing a work force pressured by private-sector competition and badly in need of training and advanced technology.
(3) Working to make a disparate array of military communications networks "interoperable."
One of the biggest problems Wilson faces (as did his predecessors for several decades - nothing new - Ed. note) is figuring out how to disseminate intelligence so that it gets "to the right person at the right time in the right format." Great strides have been made since Desert Storm in 1991, when front-line commanders' complained, among other gripes about intelligence, that 11 satellite imagery dissemination systems maintained by the various military services were not interoperable. One senior officer said " I knew no more about the unit I was facing than I did 20 years ago in Vietnam."
At the same time, Wilson said he senses the pendulum swinging away from this intensive focus on inter-operability toward a focus on quality analysis. Intelligence comes down to "probabilities and estimates," Wilson said. "We occasionally get surprised. . . . We've got to focus on the fundamentals, and that's what we've been trying to do."
(Wash Post Sep 14, 2000 Pg. 33, V. Loeb; Wall St Jrnl, 2 Aug 00, p. A22 // Gen Trainor, USMC ret) (Jonkers)

EARTH IMAGES ON THE WEB... THE NEW WORLD OF PUBLIC INTELLIGENCE -- A new world of earth images, once available only to intelligence and military strategists, is opening up for consumers. A start-up called GlobeXplorer Inc. plans to launch a Web site that allows consumers to access unusually detailed aerial and satellite photos. Users can enter addresses in most metropolitan areas, zoom down to view neighborhoods, buildings and even individual homes, using maps that pop up to aid navigation.
Users can also start with a map of the globe and zoom down to individual cities. For many parts of the world, GlobeXplorer's database offers satellite images that allow users to distinguish objects with sizes ranging from one meter to one kilometer. For major U.S. metropolitan areas and cities such as London, Paris and Tokyo, the company offers black-and-white aerial photos with resolution measured in feet or centimeters, making it possible at times to see individual streets, automobiles and other features.
Besides operating its free Web site ( www.globexplorer.com ), the company plans to sell higher-quality images to other Web sites on a subscription basis.
Satellite images at a resolution that was once classified information have been sold commercially for several years. Such pictures aren't necessarily cheap. Space Imaging Inc., a Thornton, CO satellite imagery provider, says it sells some downloadable photos for as little as $10 but requires a $1,000 minimum order for special-order images that are priced from $12 to $44 per square kilometer of ground area that the images cover.
"It's a new era in the earth imaging industry," says Mark Pastrone, a vice president of marketing and strategic development at Orbimage, a unit of Orbital Sciences Corp. that also sells satellite photos. "For the first time, imagery will be broadly available to the general public."
Some people may be alarmed at the prospect of such eyes in the sky available to one and all, and question whether they invade people's privacy. There are now few laws to prohibit snooping at long distance. But that situation may change if "pictures of your children playing in the backyard can be snapped overhead and circulated world-wide," he said. "It simply can't be the case that to protect our privacy we are going to have to hide under lead-lined roofs."(Wall St.Journal Sep 12, 2000 Pg. B1 // D. Clark) (Jonkers)


US CYBER SECURITY BUDGET -- The Chief Information Officers (CIO) Council has identified $48.3 million worth of fiscal 2001 budget requests for cyber security that the CIOs believe will form "a solid, day-to-day foundation" for agency security efforts. "No matter how much we spend on security, our systems that are connected to the Internet will be vulnerable to dedicated, sophisticated hackers for the foreseeable future," wrote Energy department CIO John M. Gilligan, Commerce's CIO Roger W. Baker and State's CIO Fernando Burbano in a memo to Congress.
The three head up the Council's security, privacy and critical infrastructure efforts. They said a recently launched Web repository at http://bsp.cio.gov will share the best security practices that agencies have found. The CIO Council and the General Services Administration are now working to increase incident reporting to the Federal Computer Incident Response Center (FedCIRC).(Levine's Newbits 09/14 < http://www.gcn.com/vol1_no1/daily-updates/2936-1.html >)

IRS FLUNKS PRIVACY TEST -- The announcement Thursday by House Majority Leader Dick Armey, R-Texas, that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Web site is not adequately protecting privacy may be the first of many such disclosures about federal agency Web sites. After releasing a report earlier this week indicating that only 3 percent of federal agency Web sites live up to administration-proposed privacy standards, Armey and other GOP members are considering options for publicizing the names of other non-compliant agencies. (Levine 09/15 < rlevine@ix.netcom.com >)
(< http://www.newsbytes.com/pubNews/00/155293.html >)


THE PRIVATE LIFE OF KIM PHILBY: The Moscow Years, by Rufina Philby with Mikhail Lyubimov and Hayden Peake, Fromm International, NY, 2000, ISBN 0-88-064-219-X. This is a lightweight book by Kim Philby's Russian wife about his life in Moscow after his defection in 1963, when British authorities had finally identified him as part of the infamous Cambridge-educated ring of British spies for the Soviet Union. An ideologically committed communist, he obviously had to confront his own naive expectations about life in the Soviet Union, and this book relates his homesickness, bouts of depression and addiction to the bottle. A short conclusion is that with all that, he lived a lot better than other traitors who ended up in jail, including being comforted by a Russian female companion whom he married in 1971. Philby was described as a congenial figure who got along well with fellow journalists -- who generally gave him good press. But of all the Cambridge spies he is the only one of whom it can be proved without doubt that he handed over agents to torture and death.
Besides Rufina's musings, retired KGB Colonel Mikhail Lyubimov, now a Moscow novelist, provides some additional perspectives on Philby's life in the Soviet Union. If there is a redeeming quality to the book, it is in the part written by AFIO member Hayden Peake, an expert on intelligence literature. He provides an essay entitled "The Philby Literature," and covers the voluminous and contentious books on Philby in 157 annotated entries, divided in three sections -- case histories, books primarily devoted to Philby, and memoirs or intelligence-service histories that pertain to him. Peake writes "Kim Philby would become for one side the model ideological agent and for the other, a symbol of shameless treachery." Sign up this reviewer for the latter view. Without Peake's contribution, the book would not be worth mentioning. (See also, Book review by Robert Raylor, Boston Globe, 10 May 2000) (Jonkers)

BETRAYAL: How the Clinton Administration Undermined American Security, by Bill Gertz, columnist for the Washington Times, has been featured in briefings by State Department security officials because it contains an appendix with leaked classified documents, published to bolster the author's arguments. State Department spokesman Andy Laine commented that the department is holding up the Gertz book as "an example of somebody leaking classified information." Gertz is known in Washington for his flamboyant expos�s based on classified documents, leaked by government officials for political and departmental reasons to gain advantages in the vicious, cynical and often-demeaning cross-currents of Washington politics and budget wars. (WTimes 28Aug00, p. A5) (Jonkers)


The recent revelation that Imad Mughniyeh, an obscure Lebanese terrorist, is the suspected executioner in the 1989 murder of Marine Colonel Rich Higgins, will require considerations of counter-action to be considered. For Gary Anderson, a retired Marine Corps officer, "the issue is simple. Will we now pursue Mughinyeh to the far corners of the earth to bring him to justice for his crime, or will we ignore him " for diplomatic reasons?
Colonel Higgins was the senior US military official in the UN peacekeeping force in the Middle East in 1989. Anderson, his predecessor in the job, writes that Higgins was not targeted because he was a UN official -- he was killed because he was an American. In Anderson's view, the manner in which we respond to such attacks is critical to future deterrence of such acts. The pursuit should be patient but remorseless and with total tenacity. It is not necessary to murder the man, but to bring him to justice -- and if convicted, he should be breaking rocks in an orange jumpsuit for the rest of his miserable life. We trust this is being done for Imad. (WTimes 22 Aug 00, p. A15) (Jonkers)

WWII Intelligence -- not always on target:

* Following a massive naval bombardment, 35,000 US and Canadian troops stormed ashore at Kiska. 21 troops were killed in the fire fight. It would have been worse if there had been Japanese on the island.

* Germany's power grid was much more vulnerable than analyzed by intelligence. One (post-war) estimate is that if just 1% of the bombs dropped on German industry (and civilian populations) had instead been dropped on power plants German industry would have collapsed.

WINs contain intelligence commentaries derived from open-source information . WINs are provided to you for non-profit research and educational purposes. The underlying source material may be copyrighted and all rights are retained by the original author/ publisher.

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