Weekly Intelligence Notes #19-01
14 May 2001

WIN#19-01 dated 14 May 01

WINs contain intelligence-related articles and notes, produced, written, edited by Roy Jonkers based on open source information, and disseminated to AFIO members and subscribers for non-profit educational purposes. Associate editors Don Harvey and John Macartney contribute articles to WINs. Opinions expressed are those of the producer and/or contributors, as noted with each article.

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NATIONAL SECURITY PRESIDENTIAL DIRECTIVE NUMBER FIVE DIRECTS INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY REVIEW -- President Bush has issued NSPD Number 5, directing the DCI to review the ability of the Intelligence Community to fulfill its mission in this era of drastic changes in technology and in target priorities and requirements, and to make appropriate recommendations for improvements. The effort will consider consolidation of programs, reducing bureaucratic rivalries, and policies that will streamline systems acquisition. The DCI is to name two panels to conduct the review, an Internal panel consisting of intelligence officials, and an External panel of private sector individuals. The DCI must consult with the President's National Security Advisor, Condoleeza Rice, in naming the External panel members. The DCI is to produce a report by the end of the summer.

            The Review and resulting Report could conceivably assist the agencies by cutting through systemic resistance to change. CIA has been reported to be struggling with the challenge of absorbing and analyzing the flood of "open source" information (raw data as well as analyses and databases in a plethora of languages and media) on a timely basis, and is also addressing the task of re-orienting a good deal of its clandestine operations to deal with "transnational" targets (e.g. terrorist and criminal organizations, and international narcotics trafficking) that have substantially risen in priority since the end of the Cold War. NSA challenges have also been well covered in the open source reporting. It must accomplish its mission in an environment of increasingly powerful encryption software available worldwide, exploding volumes of digital voice and data traffic, and fiber-optic transmission media that are difficult to exploit. The NRO is facing a challenge in the widespread availability of high-grade commercial satellite imagery from a number of US and foreign sources.

Each of the agencies, and the Military Services, are addressing their own problems, but a community-approach is still seen as unsatisfactory. Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, who recognizes intelligence as a high priority, has observed that the intelligence community "is not a community -- it is a set of organizations." During his confirmation hearings Rumsfeld said he wanted to focus on "improving our intelligence capabilities so that we know more about what people think, and how they behave, and how their behavior can be altered, and what the capabilities are in this world." We must await, eagerly, the results of this NSPD Number 5 review and the resulting recommendations for change. It might well be as interesting as the previously-directed review of Pentagon forces and missions that should be forthcoming within weeks. (Jonkers)
(WashPost 12 May01, p. A3 ///V. Loeb)


PRESSURE FOR FBI "CULTURE" CHANGE -- The FBI is having to deal with criticism of its procedures and modus operandi. Headlines revealing that documents pertaining to the case against convicted Oklahoma City bomber Timothy J. McVeigh were not made available to his defense lawyers reflect adversely on the methodology and efficiency of the FBI's criminal prosecution activities (e.g. 46 of 56 field offices were delinquent in turning over required material). In addition the FBI Counterintelligence division suffered recently from the discovery of a mole within its midst, opening up criticism of personnel clearance & security procedures (no lie-detector tests). And finally, FBI Director Louis Freeh has announced his intent to depart from the Bureau in a few weeks. A close associate of the director is quoted to the effect that, from the start, Director Freeh, a former FBI agent, federal prosecutor and federal judge, believed he had a mission to make the bureau more efficient, more professional, and more tech-savvy, and along the way, to rebuild public confidence (which had suffered from the Waco and Idaho disasters, infuriating many Americans -- such as Timothy McVeigh). But Freeh may have to depart without succeeding in reaching his objectives after eight years in office ( not too uncommon a phenomenon in Washington). The FBI now finds itself the subject of separate, high-level, independent investigations into its handling of both national security secrets and major criminal cases -- both core functions of the Bureau.

            It is said that the FBI's problems go beyond procedures and hardware. A former Justice Department inspector general, Michael Bromwich, stated that, despite the notion that the FBI is a "centralized paramilitary organization, it is in fact a series of fiefdoms." Within the FBI field offices and major headquarters divisions act with such independence that key information generated on big investigations never gets to the key players. According to Bromwich, FBI personnel admit and "know this is a weakness, yet no one can explain why the culture doesn't change." Top Justice Department officials ( frequently at odds with its independent "subordinate" agency), allegedly complain that although Freeh wanted to update (if not reform) the FBI culture, he has perpetuated an FBI culture of arrogance and self-righteousness. Senator Charles E. Grassly (R-Iowa), a frequent critic of the FBI, is quoted as saying that "Freeh tried to some extent, but he was not able to change the cowboy culture inside the FBI." The next director "is going to have to be someone who understands that this culture has to change."

            Obviously the effectiveness as well as the accountability of the FBI is a major concern of all citizens, as is the entire system of Justice and prosecutorial behavior. We may benefit from strong independent reviews of both. We depend on these for a safe and just society that inspires confidence and pride in country. (Jonkers) (WashPost 13 May, 2001, p. 1) /// R. Suro)

BAY OF PIGS -- HAVANA CONFERENCE REPORT --- Dr. Arthur Schlesinger Jr. recently recorded his impressions on the Bay of Pigs Conference held in Havana, Cuba, in March of this year. He opens by stating that, "in the long annals of US foreign policy, no fiasco was more complete, no miscarriage more total, than the Central Intelligence Agency's attempted invasion of Cuba at the Bay of Pigs in April 1961. Historians call it ''the perfect failure.'' He continues:

            After 40 years, the number of people involved in the Bay of Pigs episode is rapidly dwindling. Among the Cubans at the Havana Conference were Fidel Castro himself, the maximum leader, and General Jose Ramon Fernandez, the military commander, as well as veterans of the fight at the beachhead. The American delegation included two of President Kennedy's special assistants (Richard Goodwin and this writer, both of whom had opposed the adventure), and two former CIA officers. There were in addition five veterans of Brigade 2506, the invading force. One of the latter, reminiscing about the fighting, recalled the moment when, hiding in the swamp, he saw Castro drive by in an open car and, fearing discovery, held his fire. ''It is lucky that you did not shoot me,'' Castro said with high good humor. ''For then neither of us would have been here today.''

            "Castro was a faithful attendant who probably talked more than all the other participants put together. One detected a deterioration in self-control from his performance in the 1992 ''critical oral history'' conference on the Cuban missile crisis. Then he was relatively disciplined; his interventions were mostly apt, relevant, and constructive. This time we had to endure an incessant flow of rambling stream-of-consciousness. ''He needs an editor,'' my wife whispered to me. There flashed into my mind Emerson's aphorism: ''Every hero becomes a bore at last.'' Some of us began to worry about his lack of self-control. Was he losing his grip? But Fidel in private remains far more reasonable and engaging than Castro in public. Over the luncheon table his humor, which is wry and genial, comes into play, and he actually listens and replies to other people's points."

            How did the Bay of Pigs invasion come about anyway? On March 17, 1960, President Eisenhower directed the CIA to organize ''an adequate paramilitary force'' of Cuban exiles in order to overthrow Castro and his regime. In his last meeting with Kennedy the day before his inauguration, Eisenhower urged the president-elect to go full speed ahead. Allen W. Dulles, the head of the CIA, detecting limited enthusiasm on Kennedy's part, told the new president not to worry. He assured Kennedy that the invasion would set off uprisings behind the line and defections from Castro's militia, and that if things went badly, the invaders could easily join anti-Castro guerrilla bands in the Escambray Mountains. As for a possible cancellation of the operation, Dulles placed particular emphasis on what he called ''the disposal problem.'' What would happen, Dulles said, to the 1,200 Cubans whom the CIA had been training in Central America? They would wander about the hemisphere, saying that the great United States, after preparing an expedition against Castro, had lost its nerve. Kennedy well understood that Dulles was also warning him against the political fallout within the United States should a former naval lieutenant junior grade dare veto an operation conceived and blessed by the supreme commander of the greatest amphibious landing in history.

            So, says Schlesinger, Kennedy was trapped. He also perhaps felt that after his series of political triumphs he was on a roll. And if brave Cuban exiles wanted to free their land from a dictator, why not give them the means to try their luck? ''If we have to get rid of those men,'' he told me 10 days before the landing, ''it is much better to dump them in Cuba than in the United States.'' His idea was to transform the invasion from a major production into a mass infiltration. He sought to lower the ''noise level'' of the project in order to conceal the US hand and reduce the invasion to something Cuban exiles might have undertaken on their own. He looked with skepticism on the CIA's target, the southern coast city of Trinidad. That would indeed be a major production, and he asked his advisers to find a more deserted area: Hence, the Bay of Pigs.

            Some US commentators have called the shift from Trinidad to the Bay of Pigs, for which they correctly blame Kennedy, a fatal error. Castro disagreed. ''We analyzed possible landing sites,'' he said, ''and we decided that Trinidad was a probable objective. We were well prepared at Trinidad. We had soldiers there, and heavy artillery. If they had landed at Trinidad, there would have been a bloodbath. But we were not prepared for a landing at Playa Giron [the Bay of Pigs]. That choice was not at all bad in its conception. The strategic plan was perfect, the arms were perfect, the use of paratroopers was perfect. If they had been able to seize the roads leading to the beach...'' Musing, he told us how he would have run the invasion. Like Kennedy, he would have favored a multitude of infiltrations over one big production.

            US critics have made much of Kennedy's cancellation of a second air strike designed to knock out Castro's air force. But, as Castro pointed out, the first air strike, two days before the landings, had warned the Cubans that the invasion was about to begin. He consequently dispersed his tiny air force. ''The cancellation of the second air strike,'' Castro aid, ''made no difference at all.''

            Kennedy also repeatedly stipulated that he would not countenance the use of US forces in case the invasion faltered. Neither the CIA operatives nor the Cuban exiles believed him. They assumed that if the invasion failed, the new American president could not afford defeat and would be forced to send in the Marines.

CIA planning had assumed active guerrilla support in the hills. Doubts later arose as to whether there was ever much guerrilla activity, but Castro told us that there were 3,000 guerrillas, though they were not a unified force and some groups had been penetrated by Cuban intelligence. CIA planning had also assumed the existence of anti-Castro activists in Cuban towns and cities. Ramiro Valdez Menendez, Castro's minister of internal security in 1961, told us that 20,000 suspects were arrested in the days after the Bay of Pigs landing. These figures lend plausibility to the CIA assumptions.

            Disaster came, and Kennedy famously said, ''There's an old saying that victory has a hundred fathers and defeat  an orphan.'' The Bay of Pigs was indeed a perfect failure. But for Kennedy it was also an effective, if expensive, education. He talked ruefully about the advantage the professional military had in making their case. ''If someone comes to tell me this or that about the minimum wage bill,'' he observed to me, ''I have no hesitation in overruling them. But you also assume that the military and the intelligence people have some secret skill not available to ordinary mortals.'' He never made that assumption again.

(Jonkers) ((Excerpts from article by Arthur Schlesinger Jr., who is a historian and a former special assistant to President John F. Kennedy.. He participated in planning sessions for the Bay of Pigs invasion) (Boston Globe, April 17, 2001, Pg. 11 ) 


CYBER-SECURITY REVIEW -- The White House announced Wednesday that President Bush will soon receive recommendations on how to coordinate the multiple federal entities involved in the cyber security arena.. Shortly after assuming office in January, the President stated his intention to continue the efforts started in May 1998 by Presidential Decision Directive 63, which requires agencies to secure the systems that support the nation's critical infrastructure, including telecommunications and power. Many officials inside and outside government including in the General Accounting Office have criticized the large number of overlapping agencies involved in critical infrastructure protection. The list currently includes the National Security Council, the Critical Infrastructure Assurance Office, the National Infrastructure Protection Center and the Federal Computer Incident Response Center. (Levine 5/11)

MOONLIGHT MAZE UPDATE -- Many cyber attacks are mainly nuisances. They can be costly, but they do not threaten government secrets. MOONLIGHT MAZE is said to be different. It was first uncovered in March 1998 when network security specialists at the Defense Information Systems Agency discovered that attackers had entered unclassified Pentagon networks through a technique known as "tunneling," in which instructions are embedded within programs for routine computer operations -- making them very difficult to detect. The GAO last March described Moonlight Maze as "a series of recurring "stealth-like" attacks --- that federal officials have attributed to foreign entities and are still investigating." Michael Vatis, former top computer security official at the FBI, said the attackers had purloined unclassified, but still sensitive, information about defense technical research."

            According to a member of the NSA Advisory Board, the investigation has produced "disturbingly few clues" as to who is responsible. On the other hand, the State Department last year issued a demarche to Russia after investigators determined that the attacks appeared to have originated from seven Russian internet addresses. But Russian officials replied that the telephone numbers of the sites cited were inactive and denied knowledge of the attacks. The FBI and the US Space Command (which has primary responsibility for offensive and defensive cyberwar), declined comment, but a source stated that much more is known about Moonlight Maze than has been made public. Finally, there is this thought: a computer security expert at Sandia Labs noted that there is nothing so sophisticated about Moonlight Maze that federal security officials cannot protect their networks, saying, "if you want to stop them, you can stop them." Moonlight Maze -- substance or fluff? Real threat or budget posturing? From open source information difficult to determine. (Jonkers) (Wpost7May01, p.A2 ///V. Loeb) 

FBI FILES ON CITIZENS -- When Richard Smith got his FBI file, he learned a lot of interesting things about himself. He found out that he had died in 1976 and that he may have previously been married to a woman named Mary. He also discovered that he may be known as "Ricky Smith" or "Rickie Smith" -- aliases he shares with a couple of convicts doing hard time in Texas. En fin, Smith -- who is the chief technology officer of the Privacy Foundation -- found that his FBI file contained more errors than correct data.

ECHELON INVESTIGATORS SNUBBED -- A delegation from the European Parliament investigating the existence and impact of a global satellite communications intercept system (the so-called Echelon system) reportedly operated by the United States (and other English-speaking allies), abruptly ended a fact-finding visit to Washington, D.C., Thursday, after Administration officials refused to meet with the group. (Levine 5/11) http://www.msnbc.com/news/572192.asp


The "STRATEGIC INVESTMENT PLAN FOR INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY ANALYSIS," produced by the National Intelligence Production Board (NIPB), was published last week by the CIA. The new Strategic Plan notes that the Intelligence Community investment in open source information acquisition and analysis declined radically in recent years, even as the utility of open source intelligence was growing by leaps and bounds ( as Robert Steele has tirelessly pointed out).. The report states that "Today, open source material of relevance to [intelligence] analysts working in a dispersed threat environment is dauntingly voluminous, and the Intelligence Community is not keeping up with it." But the tide has now changed. The new Plan states that the development of an Intelligence Community strategy for open source has been made a top priority for investment and concerted action over the next few years. It noted that the Community " needs to exploit the Internet and other open media more effectively and efficiently." Under the new Plan it appears that intelligence agencies will now endeavor to make up for lost time, beginning this year with development of "a Community-wide strategy for exploiting open source material." (Jonkers)

(The Strategic Investment Plan for Intelligence Community Analysis is available on the CIA web site (via the AFIO Website <www.afio.com>) or at: <http://www.fas.org/irp/cia/product/UnclasSIP.pdf> // a 3 MB PDF file). (FAS 2May, 01) 


CIA SENIOR PERSONNEL CHANGE --The DCI announced on 14 May that John C. Gannon, Chairman of the National Intelligence Council (NIC) for the past four years, was leaving for the private sector. "A tireless advocate for the role of intelligence and an enthusiastic proponent for greater public policy debate, John has been a powerful voice on behalf of the Intelligence Community."
( http://www.cia.gov/cia/public_affairs/press_release/pr05142001.html)

REUNION ANNOUNCEMENT -- 7499th SUPPORT GROUP COMING OUT OF THE CLOSET -- Calling all former members of 7499th Spt Gp & Sqs: 7499th/7405th/7406th/7407th. Also 7580th Ops Sq & 6916th Security Sq. Fuerstenfeldbrueck/ Wiesbaden/Rhein-Main 1948-1990. ( C-47/B-17/C-54/RB-26/RB-50/RF-100/ RB-57/C-118/ L-20/C-97/ T-29/ C-130.) Reunion 11-15 October 2001, Washington, DC.
Contact Al Brown, 703-455-3828, email <aebrown@erols.com>, or John Bessette (7405th 1965-1968), tel 703-569-1875, email <jcbessette@aol.com>. 

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