Weekly Intelligence Notes #45-00
10 November 2000

dtd 10 November 2000

WINs contain intelligence items of interest and commentaries selected and produced by Roy Jonkers. WINs are intended to assist AFIO members in pursuing AFIO's educational mission.
Associate Editors John Macartney and Don Harvey contributed articles to this WIN. Opinions are those of the editor or associate editors listed.




ISRAEL AND THE INTIFADA -- Israeli attack helicopters blew up a vehicle carrying members of the Palestinian Fatah Tanzim militia on November 9th, killing Hussein Abeyad, described as a Tanzim commander, and wounding Khaled Salahat, a senior Palestinian intelligence official. According the Associated Press and the Jerusalem Post, witnesses saw four helicopters close in on the vehicle, and two of the helicopters fired laser-guided Hellfire rockets. The attack occurred in the village of Beit Sahur near Bethlehem in the West Bank. 

According to an IDF statement, this action is part of a new approach being initiated by the Israeli security forces. It is aimed at hitting those held responsible for continuing and escalating the intifada. The statement explicitly singled out the Fatah Tanzim militias, and avoided holding Yasser Arafat personally responsible.

Arafat founded the Fatah movement, but seems to have lost control of part of it. Fatah is apparently split into two camps - - those still loyal to Arafat, and a "rebellious" faction that, after many fruitless years, has given up on peace negotiations. For example, Marwan Barghouthi, a Fatah leader in the West Bank and commander of the Tanzim militia, has taken a hard line against Arafat. On Nov. 8, he made the Fatah rift clear, claiming the intifada will go on with or without Arafat. The Palestinian 'hardliners' believe that, after years of occupation and degradation, the only way to achieve some human dignity and independence is through continuing the intifada, which draws Moslem and other worldwide attention and sympathy to their plight.

The helicopter attack may indicate that the IDF is now targeting the Fatah faction no longer loyal to Arafat, who, incidentally, has not condemned or even mentioned the attack so far. Only Barghouthi called the attack an assassination and said it would push Fatah to a revenge attack.
The precision of the Israeli helicopter attack also could, more tenuously, indicate that Arafat's security services are cooperating with the Israelis in order to liquidate 'rebellious' Fatah elements. Thus it would appear that Israel is indirectly keeping Arafat in power, while negotiations are continuing.

Any assessment must be qualified, however, for in this area, disputed for thousands of years, where ancient tribal tales and myths are interwoven with competing religions, cultures, and contemporary power politics within a confined geographic area, the reasons behind events are often truly convoluted, with intrigue, manipulation and propaganda covering and distorting almost everything, from atrocities to covert actions to diplomatic maneuvering. Many things are not what they appear to be, or what they are reported to be (particularly in the monolithic US mass media). It is clear, however, that the oppressed native Palestinian Davids, with their slingshots and stones, have drawn the short straw in their struggle with the occupying Israeli Goliath, with their tanks and snipers, to the tune of thousands maimed and killed, unlike the biblical tale. And in the long-running shadow-play of the 'peace process,' it appears that the CIA's new -- and controversial -- security and intelligence mediating role has been marginalized, at least for the time being. (Jerusalem Post, Agence France Presse, Associated Press, STRATFOR GIS 10 Nov00 // courtesy T. Hart) (Jonkers)

JAPAN PUNISHES OFFICIALS IN ESPIONAGE CASE -- The Japanese Defense Agency said Friday (27 Oct) that it had punished a total of 52 officers and officials in connection with the leaking of confidential information to a Russian military attach´┐Ż by a Maritime Self-Defense Force lieutenant commander. The LtCdr was dismissed and other officials were fined or reprimanded. Apparently no one will face criminal charges, and Japan has decided AGAINST strengthening its espionage laws. (< http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/newse/1028so01.htm >) (Macartney)

AIR FORCE INTELLIGENCE AGENCY REORGANIZED -- The Air Force Intelligence Agency will be transferred from control by Headquarters USAF Intelligence (itself already recently subordinated to Operations) to the USAF Air Combat Command at Langley AFB, Virginia.
The Air Intelligence Agency, the nerve center for Air Force signals intelligence collection and 'information operations' (cyberwar) capabilities, will be realigned on February 1, 2001. According to its commander, Maj. Gen. Bruce Wright, the shift to Air Combat Command underscores "the critical importance of AIA's information operations mission. . .. . We're a weapon system, the same as fighters and bombers. . . We're another arrow in the quiver of a joint force commander to use in his operations."
With 15,000 personnel worldwide, AIA had been affiliated with Air Force Intelligence headquarters in Washington since its creation as the Air Force Security Service in 1948. AIA headquarters will now fall under Air Combat Command headquarters as a primary subordinate unit. All 3,500 personnel at Kelly AFB will remain there. AIA's 67th Information Operations Wing at Kelly and the 70th Intelligence Wing at Fort Meade, Md., will realign under Air Combat Command's 8th Air Force at Barksdale AFB, La.
General Wright will stay in San Antonio as AIA commander but will pick up new responsibilities as the 8th Air Force Deputy Commander for Information Operations. He also will retain command of the Joint Information Operations Center, which provides 'information' support to unified operations. Surprisingly, AIA's National Air Intelligence Center (NAIC -- formerly FTD to old hands) at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, and the Air Force Technical Applications Center (AFTAC) in Florida --  neither of them primarily SIGINT or CYBERWAR entities -- are to remain under the San Antonio AIA headquarters, now subordinate to Air Combat Command.
A congressional source said that while "Air Combat Command's umbrella may make sense for now," he said, it "...may not be the best long-term relationship for AIA" as the threats become more pronounced. "AIA has the potential for its mission to evolve into something even bigger than it is now," he said.
Air Force Intelligence headquarters control and powers have been melting away like ice cream in the sunshine in recent years, but new times call for new approaches. The first response by Washington bureaucrats (or large company CEO's) is always -- Reorganize. AF cyberwar 'information operations' capabilities may be well served by the new arrangement. Whether this is also true for the other AF intelligence elements that are part of this downgrading by several echelons remains to be seen. (San Antonio Express News, Oct 27, 2000) < http://defence-data.com/current/page8900.htm  >)
(< http://www.fcw.com/fcw/articles/2000/1030/news-cybrwr-10-30-00.asp > ///courtesy Harvey and Macartney) (Jonkers)


INTELLIGENCE LEAKS - cont'd -- On 6 November, CIA spokesman Bill Harlow commented on the Presidential veto of the FY'01 Intelligence Authorization Bill, with its provision to hold government personnel accountable for leaking classified information to unauthorized persons.

"The leaking of sensitive classified information is a serious problem that has been recognized by Congress and the Administration. We look forward to working with all parties to craft a new provision that helps preserve national security while fostering the necessary public discussion of important issues. Our interest all along has solely been to plug a gap in the existing law which jeopardizes the security of the United States and compromises our ability to protect the American people. Any new provision should continue to place the burden solely on current and former U.S. officials entrusted with sensitive information."

(< http://www.cia.gov/public_affairs/press_release/index.html >) (Jonkers)

INTELLIGENCE LEAKS - one more time -- U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby, Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, contends President Clinton put the media's interest above national security when he vetoed a bill to make felons of government employees who leak classified documents. Shelby had sought to plug leaks to the press that he believes endanger U.S. intelligence efforts. He referred to DCI George Tenet, who testified that the executive branch "leaks like a sieve."
President Clinton vetoed the intelligence authorization bill Saturday, saying the Congressional anti-leak provision was overbroad and would "unnecessarily chill legitimate activities that are at the heart of a democracy." He had been lobbied by the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN and the Newspaper Association of America, whose President John F. Sturm said that the President's veto protected the rights of citizens interested in keeping government accountable. "We were concerned that this legislation would have resulted in wholesale over-classification of government information simply to prevent it from becoming public."
Senator Shelby attached the provision's wording earlier this year, and it was part of the final version of the bill that passed both houses. There was no public hearing on the issue. The Chairman is said to be reviewing his options with other members of the Intelligence Committee.(Birmingham News 7 Nov 00 // Mary Orndorff) (Jonkers)

NSA REORGANZIATION - cont'd -- Because of the importance of SIGINT (Signals Intelligence) and the NSA mission to the nation, highlighted at the recent AFIO conference hosted by the Director NSA, Lt. Gen Mike Hayden, at Ft Meade, it is useful to continue for one more issue on the theme of NSA reorganization covered in last week's WIN #44.
NSA is the nation's prime code-breaker and code-maker, the central interpreter of foreign electronic communications and the protector of US government telecommunications, computer networks, and global signals traffic. Its products have been stupendously important to decisionmakers and military operations. Why the need for change? Because, said the Director, the Agency risks "going deaf" in a new world of powerful encryption software, fiber-optic cables, and exploding digital cell phone traffic -- all technologies that pose serious problems to existing intercept capabilities. NSA also experienced management and leadership problems in reorienting operations from traditional (legacy) Cold War targets to new 'trans-national' targets -- terrorists, narcotics traffickers, and weapons proliferators.
The call being answered by General Hayden is for the formulation of a new corporate vision or strategy that can meet the challenges, and for a flexible organization that can implement timely changes. Thus Hayden has set about to break up the power of the entrenched NSA civil service bureaucracy (which had served the nation well during the Cold War) by centralizing power in the hands of the director. He abolished the NSA directorates of support and corporate management, consolidating many of their functions in his office under the newly created Chief of Staff position. RADM Joseph Burns, USN, has assumed that position. The beefed-up director's office will also deal directly with the three mission-oriented directorates: Operations, Information Systems Security and Technology.
What has been done was needed and necessary. We must await whether the reorganization will take hold and be effective in meeting the technological and environmental challenges. (WPost 17Oct 2000, p.A31// W. Loeb) (Jonkers)


-- The notes were not on paper. They were in the guts of Dr. Leon Herndon's laptop, on a disc. The keynote speaker of a medical conference was hoping to use Herndon's machine to project the disc data on a screen, but with only minutes to speech time, the laptop was . . . where? Not at the podium, where Herndon had left it while he made a phone call. Swiftly came his dawn of realization: A nimble thief was at work in the Washington Convention Center, pilfering not merely an expensive computer, which could be replaced easily, but data that couldn't be. Along with the speaker's conference notes had vanished a list of Herndon's patients back home in North Carolina and their medical histories.
By the hundreds of thousands, laptop computers are being swiped from hotel rooms and the offices of corporate America, a new genre of crime that can disrupt lives far more than the theft of a car, a VCR or a purse. (Levine 11/04/00)
(< http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A11910-2000Nov4.html >)


SADDAM'S BOMBMAKER: The Terrifying Inside Story of the Iraqi Nuclear and Biological Weapons Agenda, by Jeff Stein and Khidhir Hamza, 2000. The press reports headline the book as "Iraqi Defector Says Saddam Was Near to Building A-Bomb." Not read by the Editor, the book appears to be interesting from several angles: (1) a perspective on Saddam's plans, (2) a successful CIA exfiltration from Iraq, and (3) the participation by a current AFIO member in the exfiltration.
As to Saddam's weapons program, Dr. Hamza, the defector, who was Saddam's personal nuclear weapons advisor in the late 1980's, claims that Iraq was only a few months away from putting a nuclear bomb together when he invaded Kuwait. He further claims that Iraq now probably possesses a crude three-kiloton device, and could begin production once international sanctions are lifted. CIA reportedly does not agree with that inflamed assessment (and also, Hamza/Stein making a connection with continued international sanctions leads one to suspect partisan political purposes and scenarios).
According to the proverbial senior CIA official, CIA holds that Iraq currently has neither sufficient fissile material nor the necessary infrastructure to build a nuclear weapon. They noted that Dr. Hamza has not been in Iraq for six years, but acknowledged his contributions. His "insights have been valuable."
Dr. Hamza also describes his exfiltration, beginning with a letter passed him by a deranged-looking beggar in a coffee shop in Baghdad telling him to take his family to Mosul and to a safe house, where he was picked up by a CIA team. That team included Lt. Col. Rick Francona, a career Air Force intelligence officer on assignment to the CIA, fluent in Arabic and a former chief interpreter for General H. Norman Schwarzkopf during the Gulf War. Rick published a book on his experiences in the Middle East, but (correctly as befits a professional) has never mentioned his participation in the exfiltration. His book, 'ALLY TO ADVERSARY: An Eyewitness Account of Iraq's Fall From Grace' (1999), is included on our AFIO Website <www.afio.com> in the AFIO authors' listing "Books by AFIO Authors.". (Wpost 5 Nov2000, p.A2 // V. Loeb) (Jonkers)

-- Robert Steele, a prolific thinker and indefatigable proponent of enhanced utilization of open source material by the Intelligence community, government and industry, has posted several new papers at the Open Source Solutions web site. Each is about a 2-3 minutes download at 33-56K.
(1) "Modern Conflict: The Reality" (Marshall Center, 26 Oct 00) < http://www.oss.net/Papers/white/ModernConflict.ppt >
(2) "Threats, Strategy, and Force Structure: An Alternative Paradigm for National Security in the 21st Century" (Strategic Studies Institute, Nov 2000) < http://www.oss.net/Papers/white/AlternativeStrategy.rtf >
(3) "The New Craft of Intelligence: Reconstruction and Globalization" Canadian Association for Security and Intelligence Studies, Ottawa, 29 Sep 00)< http://www.oss.net/Papers/white/CASIS2000.rtf >
(4) "Non-Traditional Threats" (Georgetown University, 21 Oct 00) < http://www.oss.net/Papers/white/Strategy.ppt >
(5) "One World, Ready Or Not: From National Capabilities to Global Coverage Through a Virtual Intelligence Community Coordinated by NATO/PfP" (NATO/PfP Annual Flag Intelligence Conference, 13 April 2000) < http://www.oss.net/Papers/white/SHAPE.ppt >


CIA's CHINA THREAT ASSESSMENTS -- LETTER TO THE EDITOR -- BY DCI GEORGE TENET: Responding to the Gertz and Scarborough article in the Washington Times reporting that a prospective Republican Administration intended to "fix" CIA's China-threat evaluations to get assessments more to their liking, the DCI sent the following letter to the paper. (NOTE: The original story was covered, and commented on, in last week's WIN #44.) . The newspaper rendition is entitled:

"CIA Analysts Are Not Pro-China Apologists."
"I am writing to register a strong objection to the section of the Oct. 27 Inside the Ring titled: 'Target: CIA China Shop.' You characterize several CIA employees as pro-China apologists and charge that they have bent our China analysis to fit some preconceived notion.This is not only false, but it also assails the integrity of outstanding analysts. These are dedicated professionals who observe the highest standards of analytic tradecraft and whose work has reflected a balanced appraisal of China, including the risks for the United States that you say they ignore.
Analysis is by definition a contentious business, and we expect and welcome vigorous, even fractious, debate about our conclusions. Your article goes further, however, to suggest that CIA personnel must pass some sort of test to determine whether they start with certain preconceptions and that only some preconceptions are acceptable. This would be the surest way to bring about the politicization of analysis that your article deplores. And it would run totally counter to the reason the CIA was created -to provide national leaders with objective appraisals driven not by a preordained mindset or by what people want to hear but by the facts and what can be inferred from them, regardless of where the chips may fall. /s/ GEORGE J. TENET, Director CIA,Washington DC."

(WashTimes Letter to Edit. Nov 1, 2000)
(< http://www.washtimes.com/op-ed/ed-letters-200011119173.htm >)


AFIO NEW ENGLAND CHAPTER NOTE: "Just a note to let you all know that AFIO/NE's Rob Simmons has been elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Connecticut," writes Peggy Adler.

HOSTILE FIRE CASUALTIES - Cont'd -- AFIO member Bruce DeWald provides the following additional information on 'our Navy in the front lines, before Pearl Harbor':
USS PANAY bombed and sunk by Japanese aircraft in China 12 Dec 1937, 2 KIA, 43 WIA. US Appeased out.
USS KEARNY torpedoed by U boat South of Iceland 17 October 1941, 2 KIA, 43 WIA. KEARNY survived.
USS RUBEN JAMES torpedoed and sunk by U boat near Iceland 31 Oct 1941, 105 KIA, 44 survived.





For comments, contact the editor Roy Jonkers at  afio@afio.com 
For email address changes, contact Gretchen Campbell at  afionational@cs.com 
For back issues of the WIN, check the AFIO Website  www.afio.com 
For AFIO Website requests/comments, contact   afio@afio.com   

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
Email: afio@afio.com