Weekly Intelligence Notes #24-01
18 June 2001

WEEKLY INTELLIGENCE NOTES (WIN) #24-01, dtd 18 June 2001
WINs are produced by Roy Jonkers for AFIO members and for WIN subscribers, for non-profit educational purposes. Associate editors Don Harvey and John Macartney also contribute articles.
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MIDEAST SITREP -- CIA Director George Tenet received favorable media reporting on his significant and unusually overt personal diplomatic success in getting Israeli and Palestinian security officials to agree on a scheme for ending the reciprocal violence. With US and international moral and diplomatic pressure applied to both sides, Arafat's organization has won a stay of execution and can hang on a while longer by arresting its own activists. In return for their existence as an organization, they will get conversations/talks/words with a reluctant Israeli government - no concessions expected. Things appear to have quieted down some more killings of Palestinians (three women and a boy) and two Israeli settlers (Premier Sharon holding his fire), but a semblance of stability has been restored - a US objective.. The diplomatic mission of the DCI has won significant public  media  goodwill and recognition for himself and CIA. US intelligence will remain involved on a priority basis. (Jonkers) (miscellaneous US and world press)

SPY TRIALS 2001 SUMMARY -- A summary of recent and current spy cases follows:
(1) FBI/HANSSEN -- The accused FBI traitor Hanssen was arraigned on 16 May 2001 on 21 counts of espionage charged with conspiracy to commit espionage, attempted espionage, and nineteen specific acts of spying, fourteen of which are punishable by death. Ten of these fourteen counts deal entirely with communications intelligence issues. They include betrayal of satellite interceptions and nuclear war preparations. The grand jury cited eight examples of compromised "communications intelligence" instances. The specifications of interest to members formerly involved in these matters include:

* In 1986 Hanssen told Moscow that the United States was "exploiting" a technical weakness in Soviet satellites to intercept transmissions.
* In 1988 he helped the Soviets protect their communications by disclosing a limitation on what the National Security Agency could read.
* In 1989, he turned over a top-secret analysis of U.S. plans to "ensure the continuity of government in the event of a Soviet military attack." It is speculated that might have provided the Soviets with highly secret 'Continuity of Government' program documents relating to secret government relocation sites, evacuation plans, emergency communications systems, etc. Such information would have been of considerable interest to the targeteers in the USSR's Strategic Rocket Forces.
* He betrayed six Soviet citizens and agents who were secretly working for the United States, in addition to three KGB double agents mentioned in earlier filings. (NOTE: Two of the US Soviet agents who were executed were also betrayed by Ames). Intelligence interest in this case is now focused on damage assessment. A deal with the Justice Department to get Hanssen to collaborate on the damage assessment in return for ruling out the death penalty is said to be at hand. As to Hanssen himself, his psychiatrist said he had been "tormented by psychological demons" (as well he should be), and other media reports indicate years earlier he had confessed his treason to priests who heard his confession and kept their silence. A convoluted story. More to come. (Wash Post 17May01//p.1///Loeb, Masters, Pincus)(A. Thomson, http://www.intelforum.org)

(2) AUSTRALIAN -- A former Australian intelligence agent was sentenced to 15 years in prison on 8 June 2001 for attempted espionage after federal prosecutors told a judge that Jean-Philippe Wispelaere, 30, had lived up to the terms of his plea agreement and revealed all his illegal activities, to wit, stealing more than 900 U.S.-produced classified documents while working for the Australian Defense Intelligence Organization and then trying to sell them. Six days after he quit the Australian spy service, Wispelaere walked into an unnamed country's embassy in Bangkok and offered to sell the materials. Sources identified the country as Singapore, which told the United States of Wispelaere's offer. The FBI launched a sting, paying Wispelaere $120,000 and luring him to Dulles International Airport, where he was arrested May 15, 1999. The Wispelaere case has dragged on for nearly two years because the Australian was diagnosed with schizophrenia after his arrest and was declared temporarily unable to stand trial. A pathetic case. (WashPost 9June01, p. B7// Masters)

(3) CUBAN -- Five low-level Cuban agents were found guilty by a federal jury on 8 June 2001 in Miami of spying on the US. They were indicted in 1998 as part of the 14-member La Red Avispa (Wasp) network. Their assignment was to infiltrate the Cuban exile groups and to report on US Southern Command military activities in the Caribbean. Five other members of the spy ring had previously pleaded guilty and received light sentences, and four fled to Cuba. One of the agents, Gerardo Hernandez was accused of sending a message to Havana about a planned flight to drop propaganda leaflets in Cuba by some members of the "Brothers to the Rescue" exile group, some of whom were subsequently shot down by the Cuban air force. `Four fliers died, and Hernandez faces a life sentence.
None of the Cubans denied their activities and they portrayed themselves as Cuban patriots trying to defend their country from Cuban-American extremists in South Florida. Two were assigned to report on US military activities, and one found work as a janitor at a Key West airbase, where he noted the comings and goings of US airplanes. No concern has been expressed about damage done to the US military by these spies. (WPost 9 June01, p. A12)

(4) ARMY CIVILIAN -- The trial of US Army civilian (retired) George Trofimoff (also a Colonel, USA/Reserve/retired),74, commenced in Tampa, FL, on 6 June 01. He was accused, in a 32-count indictment, of stealing classified documents while serving as the civilian head of the US Army's Joint Interrogation Center (JIC) in Nuremberg, Germany, and selling them to the KGB. Trofimoff, born in Germany of Russian parents, and naturalized in 1951, worked at the JIC as a US Army civilian from 1969-1994, while also being a member of the US Army Reserve. He was able to retire in 1995 with the rank of Colonel -- a year after having been arrested by the German government on espionage charges in 1994, but released because "the statute of limitations had expired." He resigned from his post at the JIC in 1994 because of the charges. He is said to have provided the KGB with 50,000 pages of documents, including US battle plans and briefs on chemical and biological weapons. Although he is described in the media as the highest ranking military officer to be charged with espionage, to the great irritation of many officers, he did his alleged dirty work as a civilian employee of the Army. At least one officer (AFIO member) who knew him at the JIC said he was widely disliked. Trofimov, always in financial trouble, and serving as a grocery store bag-boy to earn a few extra nickels, fell for an FBI sting in 1997 promising him money. He denies all charges. (NYT 7June01, p. A18,Wpost 6June01 p.A3)

SUMMARY: These indictments and trials are part of a series that began with the arrest of CIA's Aldrich Ames in 1994 (life imprisonment), continued with CIA's Harold Nicholson's arrest in November 1996 (sentenced to 23 years), followed by the FBI's Earl Pitts in December 1997 (27 years), the Army's intelligence specialist David Sheldon Boone in October 98 (24 years), the arrest of the Navy's Daniel King in November 99 (all charges dropped in March 2001), and the FBI's Robert Hanssen arraignment (June 2000) and former US Army civilian George Trofimoff's trial. A sad list of traitors (King excepted), twisted minds and betrayed loyalties. The Cubans, of course, are not traitors, but foreign spies operating without official diplomatic cover -- Cuban clandestine operatives working for their country abroad, always a risky business. (Jonkers)

BAD EIBLING CLOSURE - Correcting a previous WIN, the NSA station will close in September 2002, not 2001. Some personnel are expected to be transferred from Germany to NSA's Menwith Hill station in Britain. (courtesy M. Levin) (Jonkers) http://www.sundaytimes.co.uk/news/pages/sti/2001/06/10/stinwenws02015.html

ANOTHER NRO BUDGET FLAP??? -- In 1996, the NRO was found to have $2 to $3 billion in unspent budget authority allegedly unbeknownst to Congress -- some of which had gone into the new NRO headquarters buildings then under construction in Chantilly, VA. Congress had appropriated funds for follow-on imagery satellite launches, but the existing satellite(s) at the time outlived its/their expected life span. So no launches were needed and the funds were not yet spent - but were carried over. Congress, however, charged they were not advised of these "overhang" funds from past years. Investigations ensued and the top two officials at NRO were fired. According to a media report, a new budget flap on this same type of issue has allegedly developed and NRO Director Keith Hall is being blamed. It is hoped wiser heads will prevail. (Macartney/Jonkers) (Wash Times 8June01) http://www.washtimes.com/national/20010608-99623006.htm


CIA REORGANIZATION -- An item in WIN#21 on "Buzzy" Krongard's appointment to the No.3 position at CIA was based on media reporting. The more authoritative official context for Mr. Krongard's role is to help implement the DCI's "Strategic Direction," published two years ago, in May 1998. A few days ago, on May 31st, the occasion of the official abolition of the Directorate of Administration as part of the recent CIA internal realignment, Mr. Krongard emphasized that this reorganization was an attempt to stress the mission over bureaucratic procedures.
            In Mr. Krongard's words to the CIA audience, "By . . . removing the constraints of the bureaucracy . . ., we can function more corporately. Taking a more corporate approach ensures that all work being performed directly or indirectly must contribute to mission. If it doesn't, then you shouldn't be doing it .. ."
            Why change? Said Mr. Krongard: "The complexity, intricacy, and confluence of the threats facing our national security necessitate fundamental change in the way we, in the Intelligence Community, do our business. It is our responsibility to ensure that our nation has the intelligence it needs to anticipate and counter threats." In terms of bureaucracy,  mission focus, and the changed environment for intelligence, wise words that apply throughout the community. (Jonkers)

CIA HONORS AIR AMERICA -- For years they operated in secret -- civilian pilots who worked for the CIA on missions they couldn't discuss even with their families. Yesterday, 25 years after Air America dissolved, the government finally recognized these quiet heroes, 242 of whom died in the course of accomplishing their missions.
  The story of Air America began after World War II in the 1940s when the Civil Air Transport commercial airline was started in China. Pilots hauled relief supplies and evacuated people throughout the country during China's civil war. In 1950, the CIA bought the airline to use in secret missions to fight communism in Asia, and in 1959, CAT was renamed Air America. CAT and Air America flew supplies, food and personnel to anti-communist troops in Southeast Asia, including the CIA's "secret war" in Laos. In 1975, Air America helicopter crews helped evacuate Americans and South Vietnamese from South Vietnam during the fall of Saigon. The airline dissolved in 1976.
            On 2 June some 850 former CAT and Air America pilots and their families gathered in Las Vegas for their annual reunion to swap stories and recall missions most Americans know little about. They also honored the 242 people who died or disappeared during the missions. A plaque honoring the missing and the dead hangs in the McDermott Library at the University of Texas at Dallas. A smaller version of the plaque is also in the CIA headquarters in Langley, Va. But until now, CAT and Air America workers had never been recognized by the CIA for their service. A CIA representative presented a unit citation.
            Most members of the general public have probably never heard of Air America, except for the 1990 Mel Gibson movie by the same name. But the survivors gathered here said that the movie didn't accurately portray what they did in three decades of fighting in Southeast Asia. It is a story that deserves to be told. Honors given where honors are due. (Jonkers) (courtesy Peter Kessler //Associated Press 3 June 01///A. Wagner)

CHINA REPORT -- A startlingly frank new report from the Communist Party's inner sanctum describes a spreading pattern of "collective protests and group incidents" arising from economic, ethnic and religious conflicts in China and says relations between party officials and the masses are "tense, with conflicts on the rise." The unusual report, produced by a top party research group and published this week by a Central Committee press, describes mounting public anger over inequality, corruption and official aloofness. (Jonkers) (New York Times, June 3, 2001 // E. Eckholm) http://taiwansecurity.org/NYT/2001/NYT-060301.htm   // P. Yang

STRATEGIC ASSESSMENTS ON CHINA -- The quarterly Defense Intelligence Journal devoted its Winter 2001 issue to writings about China. Two short excerpts follow:

(1) From the article by Admiral Dennis C. Blair, CINCPAC (senior Navy Commander in the Pacific) : "I cannot improve upon General Colin Powell's advice to his intelligence officers. He told his officers to tell him what they knew, what they did not know, and what they inferred from the evidence that they had. The validity of what they know and do not know is their responsibility. What is inferred and the action taken on that judgment is a shared responsibility between the commander and the intelligence officer....This is not the Cold War; it is much more complicated. China is not the enemy of the United States, but its insistence on its right to use intimidation and aggression to achieve its aims place it at odds with U.S. insistence upon the peaceful resolution of disputes....The job of U.S. military leaders is to ensure that, as the Chinese do their 'calculations in the temple,' they never come to believe that force can achieve their aims. We never want them to make decisions similar to those that led the Japanese to attack Pearl Harbor. We do not want them to calculate that it is to their advantage to use military force, even if they do not win, as was the case in the Chinese invasion of Vietnam in 1979."

(2) From an article by Dr. Bernard D. Cole, Associate Dean for Faculty and Academic Affairs, National War College: "China is not an expansionist nation, but its sense of nationalism is so strong that Beijing reserves to itself definition of such potent issues as 'sovereign rights,' 'territorial sovereignty,' and 'internal interference.' In other words, China wants to define the playing field and game-rules for pursuing its strategic objectives....China's framework of strategic goals focuses on reuniting Taiwan with the mainland, ensuring its ability to enforce sovereignty over the South China Sea, and preventing the emergence of a hegemonistic Japan in the region. China historically has also campaigned to ensure that nations on its periphery maintain at least a neutral stance....China's strategic view historically focuses on maintaining internal stability and controlling its periphery....Emergence of an increasingly democratic polity in China is not likely to change significantly that nation's strategic view. Any government in Beijing will have to place top priority on societal stability, which today means, at a minimum, maintaining a level of economic prosperity satisfactory to most of China's population. Taiwan's reunification will also continue to be a crucial strategic issue, since no government will be able to consider China fully unified without at least the pro forma accession of the island to the mainland." (Harvey) (Defense Intelligence Journal Vol. 10, No. 1, Winter 2001)

"PASSIVE RADAR" AND FUTURE STEALTH AIRCRAFT MISSIONS -- Technology is always evolving, and for every weapon a countermeasure is eventually developed -- offense and defense shifting advantage. A recent media report discussed the possibility of a microwave tower network playing a role in detecting stealth aircraft tracks. Virtually all airspace - and certainly that between and among towers - is filled with microwave emissions. Aircraft tracks disturb these radio waves and this can be captured, patterned and displayed in a "passive radar" mode. The radar does not emit. It may be noted that there is always a significant gap in time and capability between a theoretical paper possibility and the actual weapon system becoming operational -- and working as advertised, with an appropriate supporting infrastructure, skill, training etc.. The unsubstantiated media report, if valid, could eventually/ potentially affect the planning of stealth reconnaissance -intelligence missions (Jonkers/Macartney).


-- A hacker has invaded the Brazilian government's energy crisis information website. The 'Ministry Of Blackouts' site was blocked for four hours. The hacker also published messages contradicting the government's energy conservation advice. Brazil is suffering its worst energy crisis since the 1950s. President Cardoso set up the emergency ministry to deal with the shortages and control the rationing operation. http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_327741.html

(2) UNITED ARAB EMIRATES -- Computer hackers allegedly based in Israel have vandalized the Web site of the United Arab Emirates' Gulf News newspaper. A front-page Gulf News report said the hackers had used sophisticated technology to break into its www.gulfnews.com Web site, which is hosted on a U.S.-based portal. Experts had traced the source of the attack back through several U.S. sites to computers linked to an Israeli Internet provider. Investigations into the incident were now focused on an Israeli linked to an Israeli institute. http://www.siliconvalley.com/docs/news/reuters_wire/1285870l.htm

(3) MALAYSIA -- Internet vandals defaced eight more Malaysian government sites, highlighting the lax security and poor maintenance among local network administrators. A group known as "Silver Lords" claimed responsibility through the German-based defacement mirror site Alldas.de. The group replaced the main page of the sites with a graphic entitled "For the love of Kashmir." (Levine 6/15) http://www.newsbytes.com/news/01/166895.html


REPORTS ON INTELLIGENCE ISSUES PREPARED FOR CONGRESS -- A series of unclassified and recently updated Congressional Research Service (CRS) monographs summarize the intelligence issues facing Congress in the coming year. The intelligence committee members and their expert staffs are very familiar with these issues, but many other Senators and Representatives who are not on the intelligence committees typically have no one on staff who understands intelligence issues, nor do they have staffs with necessary security clearances to use the output of the committee staffs. This gap is addressed by unclassified CRS studies which are prepared by Dick Best, the CRS analyst for intelligence matters -- who knows his stuff . (Macartney/Jonkers) (Aftergood)

THE MILITARY POTENTIAL OF CHINA'S COMMERCIAL TECHNOLOGY (online book), by Roger Cliff (Rand, June 2001) This report examines China's current commercial technology in eight industries that have the most potential for supporting military technology development, and assesses the prospects for technological progress, in terms of capabilities, effort, incentives, and institutions, over the next 10 to 20 years. The findings suggest that even though China's military will not be the U.S. military's technological equal by 2020, the U.S. still must prepare for a Chinese military whose capabilities will steadily advance in the next 10 to 20 years. (Jonkers) http://www.rand.org/publications/MR/MR1292/

CHINA AND US FOREIGN POLICY IN THE ASIA-PACIFIC: Living with American Dominance, by Mike Smith and Nicholas Khoo (Briefing Paper, Royal Institute of International Affairs, June 2001) Increasingly, the stability of the Asia-Pacific region appears to hinge on whether the Chinese can accept the vigorous assertion of American regional primacy. While this may be a bitter pill for China to swallow, it may have no choice. Despite occasional irritation at US foreign policy, fears of Chinese irredentism ensure that Washington is still the hegemon of choice in the Asia-Pacific. (Jonkers) (Philip Yang //Taiwan Security Research: http://www.taiwansecurity.org/ )

IN THE SHADOW OF THE AYATOLLA: A CIA HOSTAGE IN IRAN, by William Daugherty, Naval Inst Press, Forthcoming, Oct 2001. Daugherty is himself the former CIA hostage. He's also an AFIO member and a ex-Marine who now teaches American government and foreign policy at Armstrong Atlantic State U in Savannah. Dustjacket blurbs will include comments from author Jeff Richelson, ex-POW Dick Stratton, former National Security Advisor Zbig Brzezinski, and Ambassador Bruce Laingen. (Macartney)


MI6 CHIEF DIES -- The Chief of MI6, David Spedding, died last week at the age of 58. While Station Chief in Jordan in the 1980's he had been credited with saving the life of Queen Elizabeth who was targeted for assassination while visiting that country.(courtesy[Kiracofe) (Macartney)

KOSOVO AND THE MYTH OF INFORMATION SUPERIORITY -- This year old article from the Spring 2000 issue of "Parameters," the journal of the Army War College, exposes a number of problems with the doctrine of information warfare. [Namely, we are not as good at it as we think we are and it may be impossible for intelligence to operate well enough information-wise to fulfill the doctrines being formulated in this area.) (Macartney) (submitted by AFIO Chapter President BGen Webb)

Dave B. writes on TRIDENT --

With regard to Mr. Earnest Oney's letter in WIN 23-01, the TRIDENT organization was quite operational as early as 1963. One of it's primary operations was funneling arms and intelligence to Kurdish rebels who were holding down substantial number of Iraqi troops at the time. Israel had a permanent liaison officer to the TNSS (Turkish National Security Service) at the time. Interestingly, the Jordanian Intelligence Service was a peripheral partner in the organization early on.
(Las Cruces, NM)

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