Weekly Intelligence Notes #22-01
4 June 2001

WIN 22 dated 4 June 2001
 
Weekly Intelligence Notes (WINs) contain balanced commentaries on intelligence-related events and developments, produced by Roy Jonkers based on public open-source information, for the non-profit educational use of AFIO members and WIN subscribers. Associate editors Macartney and Harvey contribute articles to the  WINs. The opinions expressed are those of the editor(s) and authors and do not represent any AFIO position, but reflect the role and importance of intelligence to US national security and interests.

Warning Notice: Perishability of Links:  WINs, sent weekly to members, often contain numerous webpage links to fast-breaking news, documents or other items of interest; unfortunately, after four weeks many of these websites [especially newspaper and other media sites] remove items or shift them into fee-only archives.  This underscores the benefit of receiving the WINs as they are released.

SUPPORT THE MISSION -- SPONSOR A NEW MEMBER TODAY!

SECTION I - CURRENT INTELLIGENCE

THE PALESTINIAN PROBLEM -- ALERT -- A step toward a version of  a Final Solution may be at hand for the Palestinians. There are indications that the Israeli government is planning to move in force against Arafat's pathetic semi-government and destroy the Palestinian Authority while further humbling the population, using the proclaimed "restraint" after the latest incident of terrorism as a period of military and intelligence preparation. From the Israeli Government perspective, the continuing Palestinian protests and particularly the recent rash of suicide bombers, creates extreme internal political pressures on a  government already inclined to tough actions, and are unacceptable. The Israeli public, like the Palestinians, becomes more supportive of harsh solutions as a result.
       From the Palestinian perspective, after decades of a purposefully demeaning foreign occupation by a government dedicated to pushing them out of their country, after recently seeing the Israeli army shoot down over 11,000 of their rock-throwing children, teenagers and young men (source US State Department) and take a variety of other mean-minded measures such as bulldozing their farms and fruit orchards, the Palestinian population is now desperate and radicalized, and individuals are shooting back, with a rising death toll of both Israelis and (mostly) Palestinians.

      From a US media perspective, the reporting has been skewed and portrayed as a fight between equals. From the US Government perspective, Israel is an ally and can do no wrong -- and will receive additional funding and support for Israeli policies, whatever they may be, even as the Government preaches and fosters accommodation. From an Islamic Arabic perspective, the sense of injustice intense and anti-Israeli and anti-American rhetoric is harsh; some extremists are mobilized to plot terrorist actions throughout the region, some funds are going to feed the Palestinians in their camps and bantustans, but the (mostly corrupt and weak) Arab governments really would like to see the problem disappear. The Israeli and American Jewish public opinion has been split between a humanist approach or a hardline extremist approach to the Palestinian population and lands, but is affected by Israeli casualties.  Moral judgments depend on where one stands, or alternately, appear hypocritical in a comparative world context (e.g. Serbia/Kosovo) . Self-interest appears a more traditional basis for national policy. In this sense the dynamics for hardline Israeli military Real-Politik action are in place. One expects that the US Government policy and Intelligence warning organizations are on high alert. (Jonkers)

IRAQ INTELLIGENCE -- Iraq on Sunday 3 June halted its 2 million barrels-a-day of crude oil exports. This was done in protest against the UN Security Council decision to extend the "Oil-for-Food" program by only one month instead of the usual six-month renewal. The shorter renewal gives the council members more time for further study of a US/UK plan to adjust sanctions -- another phase in the multi-faceted effort to overthrow Saddam Hussein. The Oil Minister of Saudi Arabia immediately stated that they would cover the shortfall caused by the Iraqi decision and would work for stability in the markets. Oil was the reason for the Gulf War in 1990 - we must pay attention. (Jonkers) WashPost 3 June 01)

CONGRESSIONAL REPORT ON THE USS COLE AMBUSH -- After three months of investigation, the House Armed Services Committee has issued its report on the terrorist attack [called "ambush" in the title here because the attackers consider themselves at war with the United States] on the Norfolk-based destroyer, the USS Cole, in Aden harbor, killing 17 Americans and wounding 39 others. Generally agreeing with previously issued reports, the Committee said: "The USS Cole tragedy was not the fault of any one decision, policy or practice. Rather, many mistakes, oversights, errors in judgment and missteps - each of which may have been insignificant on the individual basis - combined to leave the USS Cole and its crew vulnerable to a terrorist attack."

Among other intelligence-related findings and recommendations:
      **Top US commanders in the Persian Gulf region had a "peacetime mind-set" that might have led to a lax attitude "inappropriate to the actual
threat in the region."
      **There was "clearly a shortage of intelligence information" (sic) regarding any specific attack on the USS Cole. There should be a heavier
reliance on human intelligence.
      **There must [note the emphasis of a "must" rather than "should"] be a better process to convey intelligence to ship commanders.
      **More personnel are needed to collect and analyze raw intelligence reports.
      **Regular assessments should analyze the "vulnerability" of US ships and aircraft [and presumably American personnel as well] in a region.
      **While anti-terrorism efforts have focused on possible attacks aimed at onshore installations or ships at a pier, ".waterborne threats proved
to be the Achilles' heel of the Navy's counter-terrorism program."

      Someday a smart graduate student will earn a Master's degree for recording and expounding upon post facto assessments that criticize the Services for not creating a process that promptly conveys vital intelligence to tactical commanders. He or she will have a wealth of historical data to mine. One common characteristic of these assessments is that they directly or by implication place the blame for the word not getting to the tactical commander on the intelligence producers rather than the commanders of the commander. Despite occasional good words to the contrary, intelligence is considered a "push" responsibility rather than a "pull" requirement in the military chain of command. Unfortunately, the other side of that intelligence coin is the occasional tendency of the chain of command to flood the field commander with anything remotely likely to be pertinent intelligence. (Harvey) (To which the Editor can add an old Dutch seafaring proverb, roughly translated as: "the best sailors are found ashore"/RKJ)

DCI ON HANSSEN DEATH PENALTY -- The case is well reported in the press. Hanssen was indicted 16 may on 21 counts of espionage, 14 of which are "capital eligible" which could result in the death penalty. DCI George Tenet is said to have personally lobbied Attorney General John Ashcroft several times against seeking the death penalty for the accused FBI spy. The CIA is interested in keeping him alive so that he would cooperate on the damage assessment and could still be quizzed years down the road if more questions arise about the damage he may have done to US security. (Jonkers) Time Mag.26 May //CNN.Com 19 May 01)

SECTION II - CONTEXT AND PRECEDENCE

NSA SIGINT MEMORIAL TO FALLEN SIGINT (MILITARY) CRYPTOLOGISTS -- Note that the word "military" is inserted in the title of this article to make it clear that the "fallen" men commemorated were members of the Army, Navy, Air Force or Marine Corps [with the exception of 2 of the 152 -- and one of those was a civilian killed by the Israeli's while serving on a Navy ship].

      The National Security Agency opened to the public at its Ft. Meade headquarters a signals intelligence memorial on a polished granite wall listing those who lost their lives while serving with the NSA in the service of their country. The listing testifies to the dangers of gathering electronic and signals intelligence from ships, aircraft and battlefield listening posts. In the opening ceremony on Memorial Day, a plaque and keepsakes were presented to the family of Army Private Jay Stoner, whose name appears first on the listing.  Private Stoner was killed in the Korean War by shrapnel while crawling onto a battlefield amid heavy shelling to fix a communications line leading from intercept stations near Chinese positions at Kumsong to American tactical commanders.

      The largest single tragedy reflected by the deaths listed on the NSA wall, are the 34 Americans serving on the naval intelligence ship USS Liberty who were victims of the 1967 Israeli attack. Israel eventually paid damages to the US after the White House and the Congress collaborated in making Israel's shelling of the ship in international waters the only such incident NEVER investigated publicly. {The survivors of the Liberty maintain an internet site:<http://www.halcyon.com/jim/ussliberty/>). The first cryptologic serviceman killed in Vietnam was Specialist 4 James T. Davis who died when the truck in which he was riding was ambushed 21 December 1961.

      The press item reporting the Memorial Day ceremony illustrated either the lack of familiarity of the media with the National Security Agency or the reportedly growing gulf between the civilian populace and the American military. The article referred to the fallen hero, Private Stoner, as "the first employee of the National Security Agency to die." Later the article identified a Major General as "head of NSA's uniformed component." It is likely that Private Stoner and his compatriots believed themselves to be serving in the military, not as NSA "employees." Since NSA is one component of the Department of Defense [and formerly was named the "Armed Forces Security Agency"], heavily manned, especially in the field, by Service members of the respective cryptologic elements of the parent Service, and is headed by a Lieutenant General or Vice Admiral, it would be difficult to identify correctly a "uniformed component." (Harvey) (WashPost 28 May 2001, p. A21)

IRAQ -IRAN PERSPECTIVES -- On 28 May Saddam's Ba'ath Party paper published an article on the Iranian nuclear program and proclaimed it a threat to pan-Arab security. The author said: "While Iran continues to retain the three Iraqi islands--Greater Tumb, Smaller Tub and Abu Musa--and while Iranian officials continue to cast covetous eyes on Arab lands and water, the growing Iranian nuclear program poses a threat not only to pan-Arab security but also to the entire Arab existence."

      Another article earlier (on 2 May) had presented the view that "Some Iranian political analysts say that strengthening the Iranian nuclear program will lift the status of their country in the region and put it on the map of the major powers in the Middle East. What does this mean? It means that Iran, Turkey, and the Zionist entity agree on one goal and one hostile policy toward the Arab nation."

      Most WIN readers probably did not realize this partnership (Israel, Turkey and Iran), as seen from Baghdad. Iraq obviously is using its media to promote acceptance - or a leadership position - in the Arab world, and the "nuclear threat" from arch-enemy Iran is an exploitable theme. (Jonkers) (Baghdad Al-Thawrah - official press of Iraqi ruling Ba'ath Party, 28 (and 2) May 01, internet version, translated by FBIS )

IRAN NUCLEAR PROGRAM -- A recent article in an Egyptian magazine indicates that the most important nuclear research centers in Iran are the Nuclear Studies Center in Tehran, which was set up in 1968, the Nuclear Technology Center in Isfahan, the Nuclear Studies Center for Agriculture and Medicine in Karaj, the Nuclear Research Administration in Yezd, and the nuclear power station in Bushehr. In 1992 Iran permitted IAEA officials to visit its nuclear installations. It also affirmed its adherence to the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty [NPT], which it ratified in 1970.

      The article then notes the history of the Iranian nuclear program, which dates back to 1974 when Iran signed a nuclear cooperation agreement with France. In 1976 Iran signed an agreement with Germany on building two nuclear power-generating reactors in Bushehr. After the fall of the Shah in 1979 the nuclear program was temporarily suspended but it picked up again and Iran was able to build a nuclear research reactor in 1992. In 1993 China agreed to build two 300-megawatt nuclear reactors. In 1995 Iran signed an agreement with Russia under which Russia undertook to deliver two 1,000-megwatt reactors.

      One might observe that for a country drowning in oil, electric power generated by nuclear reactors would not seem a high priority. Regional Power status might well be. And it might equally be that if Israel decides to take offensive military action against the Palestinians, these targets may be taken out enroute. (Jonkers) ( Ibrahim Khalil al-Allaf // Al-Siyasah al-Dawliyah [International Politics], (issue 142, October 2000, Egypt// Translated by FBIS).

SECTION III - CYBER INTELLIGENCE

ENCRYPTED MOBILE PHONES ON THE MARKET -- A Specially modified mobile phone that encrypts conversations is now available worldwide, offering business executives, government officials, and law enforcement officers the ability to talk via a secure connection even while on the move. The TopSec GSM phone is based on Siemens' popular S35i GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) handset, modified with a so-called "crypto-chip," said Stefan Böttinger, a spokesman for German communications security company Rohde & Schwarz. The device uses a combination of asymmetric 1,024-bit and symmetric 128-bit encryption for a high level of security, he said.(Levine 6/01)
<http://www.cnn.com/2001/TECH/ptech/06/01/encrypted.phone.idg/index.html >

CYBER ATTACKS AGAINST JAPANESE SITES MULTIPLY -- Japanese websites are coming increasingly under fire from Chinese and South Korean hackers, angry about Japan's version of historical events as written in a forthcoming textbook. According to Japanese Internet watchdog Everyday People, 63 Japanese websites were hacked in 2000, while during the first five months of 2001, crackers hit at least 650 domains. Even the total for May 2001 -- 250 defaced and hacked sites -- surpasses last year's count. This spring, South Korean hackers used a Denial-of-Service attack to crash the website representing Japan's Ministry of Education. The attack prompted Japan to ask South Korea to crack down on the hackers.(Levine 5/31)
<http://www.securitywatch.com/newsforward/default.asp?AID=7832>

SECTION IV - BOOKS AND SOURCES

THE BOOK THAT NEVER WAS (OR WILL BE??) -- A retired Los Alamos scientist who spent the past decade gathering firsthand information on China's nuclear weapons programs is fighting U.S. efforts to block publication of his long (500 pages) book. Dan Stillman's book, based on meetings with Chinese scientists and visits to their secret facilities, has been under review for 1 1/2 years at the Energy Department, Defense Department and CIA, said his attorney, Mark Zaid. Pentagon and Energy Department spokeswomen confirmed that the review continues.

      Stillman, 67, retired at Los Alamos National Laboratory in 1993, but has made 10 visits to China since 1990. He said he is among only five Americans allowed to visit both the Chinese nuclear test site and nuclear weapons lab. "I simply asked questions, and they seemed happy to answer,'' Stillman said in an interview last week. "Everything I brought back in my notes was unclassified,'' he said, suggesting the U.S. intelligence community later imposed "a very high classification level in order to control the information.''

      Stillman said it is possible China never stole U.S. secrets. "Out of 1.3 billion people, it's certainly possible to find some really brilliant scientists that can develop their own nuclear weapons program without having to steal it from the U.S.,'' he said. "I've never understood why some people in the U.S. think that we are the only intelligent people in the world.'' One trusts that the Government's position is based on real security concerns rather than political withholding of information from the American public that the Chinese already know -- like their own installations. (Jonkers) (Assoc. Press 29 May01 //R. Benke)

AFIO MEMBER ARTICLE -- Tom Carroll, Colorado Chapter, contributed an article entitled "Ankara's Strategic Alignment with Tel Aviv" to the May 01 edition of the Middle East Intelligence Bulletin at <www.meib.org>. The article discusses the genesis and implications of the new Turkish/Israeli strategic entente, especially its military aspect, with a special emphasis on the Turkish side of the story. (Unread/Jonkers)
 
WINs are reports and commentaries selected, written or rewritten and edited by the Producer/Editor or Associate Editors. Opinions expressed are those of the Producer/Editor and/or Associate Editors, or those of the media citations provided, and intended for the non-profit educational use of AFIO members and WIN subscribers. WINs are protected by copyright laws.

 

AFIO MEMBERS - SPONSOR A NEW MEMBER -- WE NEED TO GROW TO SURVIVE AND ACCOMPLISH OUR MISSION!!

KEEP AFIO SOLVENT - SPONSOR A CORPORATE PARTNER!

CHECK AFIO's WEBSITE - ALWAYS KEPT CURRENT - FOR DETAILS
 

For comments, contact the editor Roy Jonkers at  afio@afio.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 | Legislative | Careers | Donations | Book Reviews | Search | AFIO Store | Academic Exchange | Other Intel Sites | Home Page

AFIO Central Office
6723 Whittier Avenue, Suite 303A
McLean, Virginia 22101-4533
Telephone: 703 790 0320 | Facsimile: 703 790 0264
Email: afio@afio.com