Weekly Intelligence Notes #11-01
19 March 2001

dtd 19 March 01

WINs are intelligence-related commentaries on open source information, produced and edited by Roy Jonkers. Associate editors Don Harvey and John Macartney contribute articles to the WINs.

 - Protecting America's Business Secrets -
at the Ronald Reagan Center, Washington DC, 4 May 2001

Outstanding speakers including CIA Legal Counsel and other notables.
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THE HANSSEN CASE (cont'd) - When the documents of the legal case against the American who was caught spying for Russia ( Hanssen) were filed in open court, this editor speculated in a previous WIN that the Russian spying for the US must have been exfiltrated or have defected before the case was made public. The October defection by Sergei Tretyakov, a Russian intelligence officer under the diplomatic cover as "first secretary" of the Russian Mission to the United Nations in New York, made public in the media in January 2001, was mentioned in the WIN as an obvious possibility. His quick acceptance in the US defector program was noteworthy -- these days Russians must have a real good reason for being accepted in the defector program. Important as they still are, the value of Russian spies is probably not what it used to be during the Cold War. The latest development that points in the direction of Tretyakov is that the State Department has refused to let Russian officials meet with him, a routine procedure for both sides up to now to determine whether the individual acted under duress. The State Department declined comment.

                   If it was not Tretyakov, the other possibility (from choices available in the public domain) is Yevgeny Toropov, another Russian intelligence officer, who defected in December 2000 in Ottawa, a fact confirmed by Canadian officials ten days ago. It will probably all be revealed as the case proceeds. Someone will have to testify in court as to the authenticity of the documents, and this is another reason for having the defection or exfiltration take place before Hanssen was arrested and the legal case filed.

                  Another facet of the story of catching this spy, as reported in the press, reflects good combined agency intelligence work. In late 1999 or early 2000 the FBI was said to have received firm information that a mole was still operating within the FBI, even after the FBI's Earl Edwin Pitts had been arrested in 1997 (fingered by a another US mole in Russia, a diplomat who also defected). Thus a major mole-hunt by the CIA and FBI was said to have begun. They were successful in getting into the old KGB (now SVR) files and obtained copies of documents proving the existence of a US agent using the pseudonym "B" or "Ramon." Allegedly last fall the Russian mole/spy working for US intelligence got into the SVR files again, and this time did not merely make copies of documents, but actually took a plastic bag that "B" had used to deliver documents. That bag was tested for fingerprints by the FBI, and that led to Hanssen. True or not, a plausible story. And the Russian who copied the files and stole the plastic bag is unlikely to be still in Russia. Tretyakov or Toropov or yet another surprise? Stand by for the trial. (Wpost 18Mar01, p. A5 //Loeb/Pincus/Lynch) ( (Jonkers)

ANOTHER NEW CENTER -- DCI George Tenet recently created yet another 'center' focusing on an aspect of the perceived threat to the US, reflecting an announced presidential priority. The new "Weapons Intelligence, Nonproliferation and Arms Control Center," is staffed by 500 analysts, scientists and support personnel. The new center will be headed by Alan Foley, a veteran Soviet military analyst, who has been head of the Arms Control Intelligence Staff. (Macartney/Jonkers)


SECURITY CLEARANCE DELAYS WORSENING - The DoD Security Directorate has recently reported that delays in completing background checks for security clearances, despite an intense effort to eliminate the backlog of investigations, are longer now than they were last year. A House panel is holding hearings on the situation and has been pressing Defense to fix the backlog. Case completion time for top secret clearances now averages 441 days; it was an average of 380 days last fall. More than 2.4 million people hold Defense security clearances, and the Defense Security Service is primarily responsible for background checks, with help from private firms and the Office of Personnel Management.
                  Eliminating the backlog of updates on personnel already holding clearances -- "periodic reinvestigations" -- is the main cause of the delays. The Defense Security Service says it needs more staff, more help from OPM, and more use of interim clearances by Defense offices. The vulnerability of the Department while the clearances are languishing has been highlighted by all those interested in the problem. If memory serves, the backlog was over 600,000 when the situation first broke into public print a couple of years ago so despite progress, the situation is not likely to go away very soon. Background investigations are labor intensive and regardless of Congressional pressure, hiring qualified people at the salaries offered for such labors is not an overnight task. (USA Today 2 Mar '01, p. 4, Edward T. Pound) (Harvey)

CRITIQUE OF U.S. INTELLIGENCE - In one of the better critiques of U.S. intelligence, Stratfor says that the CIA (and other U.S. intelligence agencies) focus too much on capabilities and intentions and thereby often miss the big picture. Also, too much emphasis is put on collection and not enough on analysis. Knowing intentions, Stratfor writes, may not help much because many of history's important events were not intended. For example, they say, Gorbachev did not intend to destroy the Soviet Union, so no penetration of his inner circle or thinking could have foretold that. Instead, analysts would have had to focus on big picture things like economics and nationalism. (Macartney)


HACKERS HIT SANDIA NATIONAL LABORATORIES - According to leaks attributed to U.S. intelligence officials, hackers suspected of having links to a foreign government successfully broke into Sandia's computer system and were able to access sensitive classified information. The incident allegedly took place in the past several weeks. No details are known. The U.S. intelligence community is said to be conducting a damage assessment. For a listing of foreign intelligence services engaging in the most extensive intelligence operations against the U.S., see WIN 10-01.

Sandia is one of three Energy Department laboratories that are major targets of foreign intelligence services. Sandia is operated for the Defense Department by Lockheed Martin Co. and is reported to develop non-nuclear components for nuclear weapons, including high explosive charges used to trigger nuclear blasts. It also works on developing nuclear monitoring and has an international center that has numerous foreign visitors.

In 1999, all classified computers at Sandia and two other Energy Department laboratories were shut down for a security review aimed at improving cyber-security. Spokesmen for Sandia, the CIA and Energy Department declined to comment on the reports, citing policies of not discussing intelligence matters. (WashTimes 16 Mar 01 //Gertz & Scarborough) ( Jonkers)

CIA SOFTWARE FOR DATA MINING - One called "Oasis" not only transcribes TV and radio broadcasts on the fly, it makes them searchable. Another called FLUENT allows a CIA analyst to search documents in languages he or she doesn't understand. You plug in a search term -- like, oh, let's say, "nuclear bomb"-- and the computer turns up hits, along with a rough translation."

SILENTRUNNER SOFTWARE DETECTS COMPUTER SNOOPS - This software is apparently being used by both commercial firms and government agencies (but few admit it) to detect unauthorized computer snooping by employees and other insiders. (Macartney)


SPIES, TRAITORS AND MOLES: An Espionage and Intelligence Quiz Book, by Peter Kross, IllumiNet Press, 1998. Not a new book, but a timely reference as counterintelligence is again in the news. The author has taken a different tack - asking a question, then providing the answer, and in the process educating us on the role of secret operations in diplomacy and war. It covers spies and traitors who damaged us, but focuses on the role of some of the extraordinary men and women whose covert activities helped win wars, averted assassinations, overthrew governments, and crushed revolutions - the secret side of American history that continues its role in the current era of dominance of the U.S. in world affairs - Pax Americana. The book ranges from the American Revolution to recent years, from the obscure ("Name the haberdasher whom George Washington used as a spy in British-controlled New York" -- or "In the James Bond films, 007 is supplied with secret gadgets by "Q." Who was the true to life inspiration for "Q" ?) to the well-known (Name the family of U.S. Navy spies that worked for the Soviets during the height of the Cold War?). Entertaining to read, easy to pick up and sample. A good teaching tool at the high school or basic college level. (Jonkers)

MISSION TO CHARA, by Lyn M. Boughey, North American Heritage Press, 2001, ISBN 0-942323-32-7. This is a military-espionage novel about skullduggery by some renegade Russian generals with a cache of nuclear missiles, and a spy who must be picked up from deep into Siberia. The tale revolves about a clandestine SR-71 mission. It is told in a crisp, highly readable, Tom-Clancy-like style, with attention to detail. General David Jones, former Chairman of the JCS, comments on the flyleaf that "Lynn Boughey has woven a wonderful story through a masterful blending of fact and fiction. His book is in the category of those you can't put down." General Russ Dougherty, former Commander of the Strategic Air command, says "The depth of knowledge Boughey demonstrates in the employment of the SR71 "Blackbird" gives rise to professional envy by all who have flown it. 'Mission To Chara' will leave the reader with sweaty palms and a dry throat, right through the final chapter." (To buy, call the publisher 1-800-256-7977 or through Amazon.com). (Jonkers)

REVIEW OF 1998 POW /MIA ESTIMATE. In 1997, Sandy Berger, Clinton's National Security Adviser, tasked the Intelligence Community to do a National Estimate on Vietnamese cooperation on POW/MIA matters. The resulting study, NIE 98-03, was issued in May 1998. It drew a torrent of criticism from some members of the POW/MIA community and in particular from Senator Robert Smith (R-NH) who issued "A Critical Assessment" of the NIE which, among other things, charged the Clinton Administration with "politicizing intelligence" in order to facilitate renewal of diplomatic relations with Hanoi. That led to a 178 page joint DOD-CIA IG Review of the 33 page NIE, which was issued a year ago, 29Feb2000. [Basically, the NIE said that Vietnam was cooperating more or less, that no live POW's remained, and that probably no POW's were transferred to China or the USSR during the Vietnam War. The IG Report found errors in the NIE but no politicization or bias and basically concurred in its findings.] The two documents, the May 1998 NIE and the Feb 2000 Review of the NIE, are now declassified and were recently posted on the CIA web page. Both are posted one page at a time -- making them difficult to read. Recommend starting with page 5 (Key Judgments) of the NIE and page 10 (Exec Summary) of the Joint IG Review. (Macartney)

RICHARD TOMLINSON, "The Big Breach: From Top Secret to Maximum Security," Narodny Variant Publishers, Moscow, 2001. Tomlinson is a disgruntled former British MI6 intelligence officer. The fact that this book was published in Russia is another commentary on the slant taken by the author. (Macartney/Jonkers)

BOOK ABOUT MAGIC DECRYPTS AND WW2 INTERNMENT.  David Lowman, "MAGIC: The Untold Story of U.S. Intelligence and the Evacuation of Japanese Residents From the West Coast During WWII," (Athena Press, $29.95, 400 pages). Lowman uses Magic decrypts to argue in favor of the controversial FDR order to intern Japanese-American civilians during the war.(Macartney)

COUNTER-TERRORIST OPERATIONS PLANS & STUDIES -- In the waning days of the Clinton Administration, government agencies developed a Plan to coordinate their response to domestic terrorism, and particularly to incidents involving weapons of mass destruction. The Plan is based on the assumption that "a terrorist incident may occur at any time of day with little or no warning, may involve single or multiple geographic areas, and result in mass casualties. "The plan identifies the responsibilities and authorities of various agencies" and "outlines an organized and unified capability for a timely, coordinated response by Federal agencies to a terrorist threat or act." See "United States Government Interagency Domestic Terrorism Concept of Operations Plan" dated January 2001, posted at http://www.fas.org/irp/threat/conplan.html
See also "Weapons of Mass Destruction: The Terrorist Threat," a December 1999 report of the Congressional Research Service (CRS) online in PDF format: http://www.fas.org/irp/crs/RS20412.pdf (Jonkers)


Larry S writes -- I caught a glimpse of a TV clip of Amb. Brewer, head of the National Commission on Terrorism. He was intimately involved with the intelligence community for months, yet he spoke of overseas "informants" and U.S. "field agents" in an overseas intelligence context. How could that be? Somebody once said that, "understanding begins with calling things by their right names." In this connection, I remember the confusion at an AFIO convention some years ago, during a session on "dirty" agents. Former CIA operations officers, veterans of intelligence collection abroad, were thinking foreign "sources". Former veterans of domestic counterintelligence (mostly FBI) were thinking "U.S. law enforcement officials" We former overseas case officers were talking about agents as our foreign assets being sometimes "dirty" and what might be done about it (Guatemala was in the news at the time.) To FBI veterans, the discussion was about THEM - special agents going bad. There is a world of difference, obviously, and people were talking past each other with more than a little anger apparent.   Will people ever get it straight? The IC never got to Amb. Brewer, apparently, after what surely was lots of opportunity.   Have we lost that semantic battle or aren't we fighting it? It's been an issue (however minor) for decades.


HELP WANTED FOR WW II EXHIBIT IN HAWAII  -- The Chief of Naval Intelligence of the Pacific Fleet Command (CINCPACFLT N2) is building a display in the newly renovated Fleet Headquarters Building in Makalapa, Pearl Harbor, which will honor those who worked in Naval Intelligence in the Pacific in World War II. Centerpiece of the display is the development of Station HYPO, Joint Intelligence Center Pacific Ocean Areas (JICPOA) and Fleet Radio Unit Pacific (FRUPAC) and the vital work performed by these organizations.
                  The display is built around photographs of people and installations. One major area of Intel production we have been unable to find representative photos for is the large section of the JICPOA which performed photo interpretation and cartography, produced targeting materials, terrain models, photo mosaics, etc. Before integration into JICPOA, photo-intelligence support to the fleet was done by the Photo-Reconnaissance and Interpretation Section, Intelligence Center (PRISIC), first on Ford Island then at Kodak Hawaii in downtown Honolulu. We need 2-3 photos of people, preferably at work (over light-table, chart drafting, etc), and of products (e.g., target folder, photo-mosaic, terrain model).
                  If anyone can help, we would need materials in hand by 8 April. Please contact Captain ( USN ret) Dick MacDonald by phone at (808) 261-5334 or by e-mail at RRandMFMcD@aol.com.   (Dick MacDonald) (Jonkers)

IN MEMORIAM - Cord Meyer, Jr., a World War II Marine, and later a top-ranking official in worldwide clandestine operations for CIA from 1951 to 1977 during the Cold War, died on March 13th after a long illness, at the age of 80. Director George Tenet issued a tribute to him, saying that "During a remarkable intelligence career Cord defined the concept, doctrine and implementation of covert action on behalf of the security and interests of our nation. At the height of the Cold War, he played an instrumental role in America's effort to counter Soviet influence." Cord Meyer rose to the position of Associate Deputy Director for Plans (now Operations), second-in-command of worldwide clandestine services. He also managed CIA oversight of two powerful radio operations, Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty, that helped undermine the Soviet regime. After he retired he wrote a book about life in the CIA in 1980,. entitled "Facing Reality." He was a close friend of Sam Halpern, esteemed member of the AFIO Board of Directors. Cord Meyer served as a Marine during WWII, and lost an eye in combat on Guam. He will be buried with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery on March 29th. Those wishing to attend his funeral are requested to assemble at the Admin Building at 10:30 hrs. We bid goodbye to an old comrade-in-arms and respected colleague.



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