Weekly Intelligence Notes #31-01
WIN #31-01 dated 6 August 2001
Weekly Intelligence Notes (WINs) are comments and notes based on open-source information, produced by Roy Jonkers for AFIO members, ISIS associates and WIN subscribers, for non-profit educational uses. Associate editors John Macartney and Don Harvey contribute articles to the WINs.
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SECTION I - CURRENT INTELLIGENCE
FBI DIRECTOR CONFIRMED - Robert
Mueller was confirmed on 2 August as the 10th Director of
the Federal Bureau of Investigation, after relatively comfortable and
friendly nomination Hearings during which the recent criticisms of the
Bureau were reviewed. These included accusations of Bureau arrogance,
management mistakes (e.g. Ruby Ridge, WACO, and counter-espionage cases like
Wen Ho Lee), internal security and access shortcomings (e.g. Hanssen), and
computer system failings as well as morale issues deriving from alleged
preferential treatment of FBI senior managers in relation to the rest of the
Occasional organizational shake-ups have their uses, and the new director, who has a reputation of being a strong manager as well as a zealous prosecutor, has indicated that he will make appropriate personnel and system changes. In all this we can find comfort in the fact that the FBI is filled with capable and dedicated personnel, and trust that the new director will burnish FBI prestige and morale and enhance effectiveness and efficiency. (Jonkers)
JUSTICE DEPARTMENT GIVEN FBI
OVERSIGHT -- The new Attorney General, John Ashcroft, has removed
bureaucratic obstacles that previously served to distance the FBI from the
scrutiny of the Justice Inspector General. His recent directive reassigns
responsibility for the investigation of suspected misconduct involving
employees of the FBI from the FBI Office of Professional Responsibility to
the Justice IG directly. Previously the Justice IG required a direct order
from the Attorney General or his deputy to institute an investigation of the
FBI. Mr. Ashcroft's move comes in the wake of at least three separate
ongoing investigations of the FBI and a couple of congressional oversight
pending hearings; it may preempt several congressional moves to create
separate watchdogs to oversee the FBI, outside commissioners for the
agency, or comparable ideas to aid the beleaguered bureau.
Since the bureau has been known to resist outside scrutiny, the media has raised the question of possible lack of internal cooperation with a Justice IG. One FBI official who did not want to be identified probably answered the question when he said, "Times have changed, and I think we realized this is the direction things were going on this issue, so we'll support it." (Harvey) ( LA Times 12 Jul '01, p. A5; Washington Times 12 Jul '01, p. A6)
DCI ANNOUNCES LEADERSHIP CHANGES AT CIA AND IN THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY -- DCI George J. Tenet announced several senior appointments of interest
(1) John L. Helgerson, currently the Deputy Director of the National
Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA), will become the Chairman of the National
Intelligence Council (NIC), succeeding John C. Gannon, who retired in June
2001. As Chairman of the NIC, Helgerson will head a group of senior
experts--known as National Intelligence Officers--drawn from all elements of
the Intelligence Community and from outside the government. They produce
National Intelligence Estimates on particular geographic regions of the
world and on particular functional areas such as economics and weapons
proliferation. Helgerson is a career CIA officer. He is author of
"Getting to Know the President: CIA Briefings of Presidential
Candidates, 1952-1992," and excellent publication of CIA's Center for
the Study of Intelligence (CSI)in 1996, and available on CIA's public web
(2) Joanne O. Isham, who has been CIA's Deputy Director for Science
and Technology (DDS&T) since January 2000 will succeed Helgerson as
Deputy Director of the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA). The DCI
credited Ms Isham with overseeing the launch of In-Q-Tel.
(3) Donald M. Kerr, formerly an Assistant Director of the FBI, was
named as the new CIA Deputy Director for Science and Technology (DDS&T)
- the fourth in the last few years. Since 1997, Kerr has been responsible
for the FBI's Laboratory Division, and before that, from 1979 to 1985, he
was Director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory. The DCI called him a
"world-class talent" and looked to him to "add new chapters to CIA's
long history of technical research, creativity, and outreach to government,
the academic community, and industry."
(4) Dennis Fitzgerald, and imagery and SIGINT systems expert who is currently the CIA's DDS&T, is to be the new Deputy Director of the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO). (Jonkers) (http://www.cia.gov).
INTELLIGENCE-RELATED ACTIVITIES -- A
recent leak to the press states that China launched a new imagery
reconnaissance satellite on 1 September 2000. The satellite is Beijing's
first high-resolution imaging satellite and is disguised in media
announcements as a civilian earth monitoring system. The new satellite uses
digital-imaging technology to relay pictures to ground stations instead of
having the photographic film sent back in canisters as was done with past
Chinese satellites. The satellite is Beijing's first electro-optical
The satellite has been designated as the Jianbing-3; its public name
is Ziyuan-2 ("resource"). In an elliptical orbit of 305 miles by
294 miles, the Jianbing-3 orbits the earth every 94.3 minutes. Resolution
has been characterized as about nine feet which is not as good as US imagery
(by a long shot) but comparable to some commercial imagery satellites and
considerably better than earlier PRC birds. PRC spokesmen say the satellite
was designed and built by the Academy of Space Technology and was developed
indigenously. It is possible that it benefited from China's space
cooperation with Brazil.
On a different topic, a nationally syndicated columnist has published his speculative interpretation of recent Chinese actions such as the aggressive (and inept) interception of a US military reconnaissance flight over international waters and the arrest of Chinese-born researchers visiting the PRC. His premise is that such Chinese actions are intelligence related, not diplomacy related. He sees the PRC message to US intelligence as: Don't try to use Chinese Americans or Taiwanese citizens who can move about unobtrusively in Chinese society for intelligence purposes; we have tightened even more the surveillance around your embassy and intercepted your spy plane; these arrests of overseas Chinese visiting here should show you that in China, we know how to chop off the heads of a few chickens to frighten the monkeys. The columnist goes on to note that about 50,000 Chinese students go to American colleges today, an increase of 10,000 over the past 12 years. The journalist suggests "a more careful and vigorous screening of visas to weed out spies that Beijing has planted" would be an appropriate US response to the Chinese activities. (Harvey) ( Wash Times 1 Aug '01, p. 1 // B. Gertz; 2 Aug '01 // J. Hoagland)
SECTION II - CONTEXT AND PRECEDENCE
COMINT COLLECTION PROBLEM -- In
1996, DOD sought to bring order to the airborne SIGINT collection efforts of
the different services (each developing unique sets of hardware and software
for each of their SIGINT-dedicated aircraft), by introducing common
equipment. The one-size-fits-all program chosen was the USAF-led Joint Airborne
SIGINT Family (JSAF) system, with the high-band subsystem development
focused on radar intelligence and the low-band subsystem as the COMINT
component. While the high-band subsystem is on schedule, the low-band
COMINT system effort cost has grown from $76 million to $266 million with no
assurance of successful completion.
The Air Force has now decided to terminate the low-band contract
with the money running out in September. NSA, the Services, and the NRO are
studying what can be salvaged from the work completed so far. The main
technical problem on the low-band subsystem was system integration [which
should not be a big surprise to any experienced systems developer] with the
hardware development 99 percent complete and software development 95 percent
Since upgrades to the various Service programs already in existence had been suspended in anticipation of an effective single JSAF system, the Services are reportedly wanting to resume developing enhancements for their separate legacy systems. However, these efforts are hobbled by the fact that there is no Fiscal 2002 money for the programs.
Those big thinkers in DOD and on the Hill who espouse commonality and unification as an unquestioned "given good" are not expected to use this experience as an illustrative example to justify multiple or redundant approaches. (Harvey) (Aviation Week & Space Technology 23 July '01, p. 34 /// R. Wall)
FACE IDENTIFICATION SYSTEMS FOR SECURITY VERSUS PRIVACY- - Face identification systems are a powerful new tool for security and crime fighting, including applications for military and intelligence uses, but there are serious privacy and concerns for the Brave New World of the future.
Face recognition systems have broad applications. Casinos are finding them useful for scanning their properties for known cheats. One airport is using the system to search for terrorists. Banks are using facial recognition to help identify ATM users, eliminating the need for passwords or PINs. Motor vehicle officials in West Virginia use facial recognition software to scan databases of driver photos for duplicates and frauds. The system was used during the Super Bowl this year to scan the crowds for known criminals. Police have used it to match images caught by dozens of cameras in an entertainment district against digital mug shots of known criminals.
Abroad, Israeli officials have used the software to "manage the flow of individuals entering and exiting the Gaza Strip." Mexico recently licensed the software to scan its databases for duplicate voter registrations. Keflavik International Airport in Iceland announced in June that it is adding facial scanning surveillance to its close-circuit television system as a security measure. In Britain, police in the London Borough of Newham linked the software and some 300 cameras two years ago to search for known criminals, and credit a reduction in crime to the system.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency recently granted a company a $2 million contract to help in creating a system that will identify "humans, alone or in groups, from great distances" and 'in the dark,' according to documents describing the 'Human ID at a Distance' program. The "Human ID program will provide the technologies that will significantly enhance the protection of U.S. Forces, at home and abroad," such as outside embassies or military facilities, according to DARPA. Several other firms also receive "several million a year" from defense and other agencies.
Privacy advocates and civil libertarians said the ties of these facial recognition companies to military and intelligence agencies adds fuel to the debate about the proper use of these technologies. Said Jeffrey Rosen, a law professor at George Washington University "America now faces a choice about how far we want to go down the road to being a surveillance society." House Majority Leader Richard K. Armey (R-Tex.), said . "The most serious threats to our freedom often advance in small steps. Face recognition systems may one day provide significant benefits in military applications, but we are taking a step in the wrong direction if we allow this powerful technology to be turned against citizens who have done no wrong."
The cry appears valid, the trend is disturbing, but it appears the horse is out of the barn, and the application of the technology, by the US or others - for better or worse, appears unstoppable. (Jonkers) (Wash Post 1Aug 01, op. A1 // R. O'Harrow Jr)
DEPARTMENT REPORT ON PERU - CIA DRUG INTERDICTION TRAGEDY - -
On April 20th 2001, a Baptist missionary, Veronica "Roni"
Bowers and her 7-month-old daughter were killed, and their CESSNA pilot
Kevin Donaldson seriously wounded, when they were shot down after a
CIA-contract surveillance plane, flown by American contract employees,
targeted the aircraft as a suspected drug flight, tracked it, and helped
guide a Peruvian Air Force fighter jet to it.
Even before the report, U.S. employees who were formerly part of the program had questioned the decision by CIA's contract pilots to track and then target a civilian aircraft that was headed directly toward the region's main airport in Iquitos - at midday.
The President suspended intelligence agreements with Peru and Colombia in April of this year after the tragedy occurred, pending an investigation, now apparently concluded. The shoot-down provoked widespread public and congressional outrage in April, just as the program had done earlier in the Clinton administration in 1994. Lawyers in the Defense and Justice departments argued at that time that it was against U.S. and international law to fire at civilian aircraft except in self-defense. They said it would undermine U.S. arguments on air terrorism in international forums, and that the United States could be held liable if it provided assistance to shoot civilian planes out of the air, no matter what was aboard them.
In December 1994 President Clinton certified that such cooperation was a national security necessity and that the countries in question -- Peru and Colombia -- had "appropriate procedures in place to protect innocent aircraft." Before Bowers and her daughter were killed, Peru had carried out 38 shoot-downs or force-downs with U.S. assistance since late 1994, resulting in 20 deaths. All were confirmed as drug smugglers after Peru conducted investigations -- without U.S. participation.
The House voted in late July to withhold $65 million in military and development aid for Peru next year ( part of the administration's counter-drug funding for the Andean region) until the President, State Department and CIA certify that corrective steps have been taken. The Senate intelligence committee is still considering what recommendations will accompany its own report. The President's decision on the program is expected to come only after due deliberation. (Jonkers) (WashPost 31July01, p.A1 &Aug3, pg 2 // K. DeYoung). ((http://www.fas.org/irp/news/2001/08/peru_shootdown.html)
SECTION III - CYBER INTELLIGENCE
NIPC CODE RED II ADVISORY 01-17 -- The FBI continues to work in close coordination with its public and private sector partners regarding what has been named Code Red II. The NIPC considers Code Red II to be a serious threat because it spreads rapidly and installs a backdoor that can be accessed by anyone familiar with the exploit. Any intruder can use the backdoor compromise to make other system modifications at will. As a result, the repair of the infected system may require the reinstallation of the operating system, data files, and the Microsoft patch. As in the case of Code Red last week, the Microsoft patches can be located at the following URLs:
NT 4 machines:
For those already infected by Code Red II, a suggested process for repairing your system can be found at www.cert.org/tech_tips/win-UNIX-system_compromise.html.
Recipients of this advisory are encouraged to report computer crime to the NIPC (National Infrastructure Protection Center), and to other appropriate authorities. Incidents may be reported online at http://www.NIPC.gov/incident/cirr.htm
The NIPC Watch and Warning Unit can be reached at (202) 323-3204/3205/3206 or NIPC.Watch@fbi.gov.
(Special Agent Gary Harter -firstname.lastname@example.org)
WORM -- Thousands of
Malaysian Government and private sector files, including confidential
documents, have been transmitted to Internet users via e-mail due to the
Sircam worm. Files in the Prime Minister's Department, the Treasury and the
Ministry of International Trade and Industry have been hit, as well as the
computer systems of several
Meanwhile, a Ukrainian Web site on Thursday claimed it had received secret documents from the administration of President Leonid Kuchma after the Sircam worm e-mailed the files. ForUm printed one of the documents it said it had received - a timetable for Mr Kuchma's movements on Ukraine's 10th anniversary of independence later this month. Mr Kuchma's exact movements are usually a tightly guarded secret. The worm, known as W32.Sircam, corrupts files and can ultimately damage a machine's hard drive. It has previously struck in Cuba and Alaska. (courtesy Tom Hart)
OF CAUTION ABOUT WORMS AND VIRUSES FROM AFIO INFORMATION SERVICES:
Members are advised to be cautious about opening e-mails even from those
whose names they recognize and might expect mail from on a regular basis.
SIRCAM selects names from the infected user's address book and selects
a document and renames it as an attachment to that outgoing e-mail.
The attachment is given a new ending that indicates it can be automatically
activated by the worm; however most users will not notice since most of
the name looks familiar and harmless: examples are the renaming
of a Word document from "Safe Text.doc" to "Safe
Text.doc.pif" A Pif file can be triggered to function much as a
program file, and the worm might have hidden its program in that file.
Before opening ANY attachments, carefully look at the FULL name of the
file, and do not open any that end with "PIF"
"BAT" "EXE" "BAS" or similar program or
macro names. The only safe names for those who lack a robust virus
checker (which is kept current) are those e-mails ending in TXT. Even
document files in WordPefect or Microsoft Word can harbor worms and viruses
as part of hidden macro files. Better yet, open no attachments (even
from those you regularly e-mail) until you have a current anti-virus
WORDS OF CAUTION ABOUT WORMS AND VIRUSES FROM AFIO INFORMATION SERVICES: Members are advised to be cautious about opening e-mails even from those whose names they recognize and might expect mail from on a regular basis. SIRCAM selects names from the infected user's address book and selects a document and renames it as an attachment to that outgoing e-mail. The attachment is given a new ending that indicates it can be automatically activated by the worm; however most users will not notice since most of the name looks familiar and harmless: examples are the renaming of a Word document from "Safe Text.doc" to "Safe Text.doc.pif" A Pif file can be triggered to function much as a program file, and the worm might have hidden its program in that file. Before opening ANY attachments, carefully look at the FULL name of the file, and do not open any that end with "PIF" "BAT" "EXE" "BAS" or similar program or macro names. The only safe names for those who lack a robust virus checker (which is kept current) are those e-mails ending in TXT. Even document files in WordPefect or Microsoft Word can harbor worms and viruses as part of hidden macro files. Better yet, open no attachments (even from those you regularly e-mail) until you have a current anti-virus checker.
SECTION IV - BOOKS AND SOURCE
RUSSIAN ARMS AND TECHNOLOGIES -The XXI Century Encyclopedia series.
NEW RELEASE - Volume #3 NAVAL WEAPONS
Open attachment to view information on all 3 volumes or go to web site:
http://tommax-military.com (Thomas Langan)
'AID AND COMFORT: JANE FONDA IN NORTH VIETNAM,' by Henry Mark
Holzer, Professor Emeritus, Brooklyn Law School. Through an examination of
her conduct in Hanoi (which involved considerably more than radio
broadcasts) and an analysis of the American law of treason (including the
five post-WW II "broadcast" cases), "Aid and Comfort"
proves conclusively that sufficient evidence existed for a treason
indictment and conviction. The book also reveals why the Nixon Department of Justice failed to prosecute Hanoi Jane. For further information, please visit WWW.HANOIJANE.NET <http://www.HANOIJANE.NET> (Ned Dolan)
SECTION V - LETTERS
LETTER -- Joe Crivelli writes in regard to the NAVAJO CODE TALKERS: General Pershing used Navajo, Comanche, and Choctaw codetalkers in the AEF. This idea came from his experience in the Southwest. I've seen passing references to Comanche and Choctaw being used in Europe. As for general service by American Indians, check Special Operations, especially US Army. Indians have always served with distinction in SO. After all, the Special Forces branch insignia is the crossed-arrows of the Indian scouts. It's said that Kit Carson decided on this insignia.
LTC Joe Crivelli, GS, USAR
by D. Gaddy re the
NAVAJO "Code-talkers"--There is an informative exhibit at NSA's
National Cryptologic Museum, open--free--to the public, that explains the
background in the two wars. In WW I, security depended on the rarity of the
tribal languages of the individual soldiers, and the unlikelihood of
knowledgeable German "hearers" being available or able to react in
a timely fashion (another key consideration). In other words, clear-voice
also seen reports that German interest in indigenous Native American
languages picked up between the wars. But there were, I believe, instances
of the same practices by the US Army during WW II. It didn't matter if an
academic in Berlin could figure out from a recording what was involved or
said--well after the fact. What made the Navaho experience in the USMC
unique was the fact that even a native speaker would not understand the
meaning of the conversation, because of the code words they used.
I might add that, despite the measures taken over the years by the government to deny them the use of their own language, as well as other matters of neglect and discrimination, these men were patriots beyond reproach. Vague about who the Japanese were or where Pearl Harbor was, they were volunteering to become warriors again, lying about their ages (up and down) if necessary. They were Marines, they were warriors, and they were a uniquely packaged "on-line" encryption system possessed by our side. Their service and sacrifice should never be forgotten. David W. Gaddy, Museum Curator.
SECTION VI - IN MEMORIAM
SIR DAVID SPEDDING, former Chief of the UK Secret Intelligence Service, MI-6, died this past June of lung cancer. The MI6 position was immortalized by the author Ian Fleming as the espionage 'supremo' known only as "M." But if there was a fictional precedent for Sir David, it was to be found not so much in M, who sent James Bond off on his missions, but rather perhaps in the work of John le Carré, the pseudonym of David Cornwell, and his 1986 novel, "A Perfect Spy." Sir David was steeped in British espionage traditions. He was recruited as a spy at 24, while still a postgraduate history student at Oxford University. Unlike many of his predecessors, cold warriors who learned their craft spying on the Soviet Union, Sir David was an Arabist who spent much of his working life in the Middle East before his appointment in 1994 as 'C', as Britain's top spymaster is traditionally known. In another tradition, it is said that C is the only person permitted to write secret memos in green ink.
Spedding was formally recruited into M.I.6 in 1967 and worked under diplomatic cover in Beirut after learning Arabic at the British Foreign Office language training school in Lebanon. While he also served as a spy in Chile from 1972 to 1974, at the time Salvador Allende's government was being destabilized, he worked mainly in the Middle East, in Abu Dhabi and Jordan, where he spied on Iraq's covert weapons supplies. In 1984, according to associates, he played a behind-the-scenes role, the details of which remain classified, in thwarting a bomb attack planned by Abu Nidal on Queen Elizabeth II during a royal visit to Amman, Jordan. With characteristic modesty, he played down his part in the episode, which ended when Jordanian agents arrested the would-be bombers. By the time Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990, Sir David was in charge of all of Britain's Middle East intelligence activities, including covert operations during the Persian Gulf war. But it was on the home front that he faced the most controversy over issues like M.I.6's move to new, high- profile headquarters on the banks of the Thames, accusations that M.I.6 had plotted to assassinate Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi of Libya and the secret service's tactics in spying on Mr. Hussein's weapons programs. Sir David retired from the service in 1999. He was 58 when he passed away. (Jonkers) (NY Times //Alan Cowell, June 16, 2001)
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