Weekly Intelligence Notes #32-01
13 August 2001

WIN #32-01 date13 August 2001

'Statecraft, Tradecraft and Hi-Tech: Intelligence 2001 and Beyond'
2 & 3 November 01
Hear keynote speaker, the Honorable Porter Goss, Chairman of the House Permanent Select Intelligence Committee, and invited senior leadership speakers from the White House, Defense Department, Central Intelligence, Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Security Agency, and more.
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3 November 01
at the Sheraton Premiere Hotel, McLean, Virginia
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and panels on intelligence teaching, media, literature and AFIO policies,
along with a reception, awards banquet, and "spy tours" of Washington.

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TERRORIST ALERT IN PERSIAN GULF AREA -- The State Department has obtained new intelligence information that warns of an impending attack on American citizens or installations in the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Peninsula. The focus of the alert is Kuwait. The alert warns of an Arab or Islamic attack on U.S. interests to protest the escalation of the Israeli-Palestinian war. (Zgram 14 August 01)

NEW NIMA DIRECTOR(s) -- The DCI and DOD have jointly announced the appointment of James R. Clapper, a retired Air Force lieutenant general (and AFIO member), as the first civilian director of the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA). In his new job, the general succeeds Lt. Gen. James C. King who is retiring this year after more than three years at the head of the agency. Established in 1996, the NMIA was created with the merger of the Defense Mapping Agency (DMA) and the CIA-led National Imagery Interpretation Center (NPIC). The DMA in turn was the creature of the merger of the Service mapping and charting centers. The bulk of the personnel in the NIMA are concerned with the creation and distribution of maps and charts for the military services -- although the press (and Congressional) coverage of the agency usually centers on its imagery interpretation function.
            General Clapper's last active duty position was as the Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), capping a 37-year career in all facets of intelligence.
            Earlier the DCI had announced the move of Dr. Joanne O. Isham from her position as CIA's Director of Science and Technology to become the Deputy Director of the NMIA. Dr. Isham had been in the DDS&T slot for only a year. No press mention was made of the rather unusual circumstance in which the two top agency jobs are rolling at virtually the same time. (Harvey) (ABCNews (Reuters) 8 Aug '01)

DEFENSE INTELLIGENCE HIERARCHY TAKES SHAPE -- John Stenbit was sworn in as Assistant Secretary of Defense for Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence. Mr. Stenbit, who has sat on a number of science and intelligence advisory boards, retired from TRW in May (Macartney) 

SENATE COMMITTEE AGAIN PLANS ANTI-LEAKING LEGISLATION -- A bill to make 'willful disclosures of classified information to an unauthorized person' a felony offense, is again proposed by the Senate Select committee on Intelligence. The Committee will reintroduce the proposal in next month's markup of the Intelligence Authorization Act for FY 2002. A Hearing is scheduled for September 5.
            The measure was passed by Congress last year but vetoed by President Clinton on 4 November. He called the bill "badly flawed" and said it could have a "chilling effect," limiting the participation of government officials "even in appropriate public discussion, press briefings, or other legitimate official activities."
            From the perspective of intelligence and security professionals and those participating in providing national security, the bill is a good thing. From the perspective of academics and journalists needing to publish and extending the freedom of the press to the limit, it may not be. Leaking of classified information is practiced widely in Washington on an ad hoc basis -- and regrettably also on a systemic basis. Some journalists live on a steady stream of politically-motivated leaks. For intelligence professionals, "leaking" is a despicable act. If passed by Congress, anti-leak legislation may well be signed into law. (Jonkers) (Secrecy News 10Aug 01)

APPEALS COURT REJECTS FOIA RELEASE OF IMAGERY - - A federal appeals court this week rejected a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit seeking disclosure of intelligence imagery and other records concerning human rights violations committed by Bosnian Serb forces during the summer of 1995. The court rejected almost all of the appellant's arguments. The fact that some photos had been released did not mean that all of them could be, the court ruled. Just because the Secretary of State had revealed the images to foreign governments at the UN did not mean that they could be disclosed to the general public. Further, the government had no obligation to prepare a releasable version of the intelligence photos by degrading their resolution. (Macartney)


HANSSEN DEBRIEFINGS INDICATE SERVICE TO BOTH GRU AND KGB. As the debriefings provided for in Robert Hanssen's plea bargain get underway, it seems that he spied for GRU (Soviet Military Intelligence) in New York from 1979 to 1981 then got crosswise with his wife and priest and so quit. Four years later, in Washington, he contacted the KGB. Probably the GRU and KGB did not know of each other's success, which helped keep them from identifying Hanssen. (Macartney)

SEAPORT SECURITY BILL INTRODUCED- - Poor security leaves U.S. seaports vulnerable to drug smuggling, illegal immigration, cargo theft, and even terrorist attacks on cruise ships, according to federal experts. Senate Commerce Chairman Ernest F. Hollings (D., S.C.) and Sen. Bob Graham (D., Fla.) therefore want Congress to increase funding for such equipment as high-tech cargo-container scanners, and to improve coordination between federal and local agencies. Legislation introduced in late July would extend a shipping tax that is now scheduled to expire in 2002. It specifies that revenues of $68 million would go to the U.S. Customs Service for new screening equipment, and $80 million to the U.S. Department of Transportation to provide loan guarantees and grants for infrastructure improvements, such as better fencing or surveillance.
            "We've got a dangerous situation with respect to the ports," Senator Hollings said. There are no federal standards for security at U.S. seaports and no federal funding for security infrastructure, according to the senator. The ports handle 95 percent of the nation's international cargo, more than 134 million ferryboat passengers and more than five million cruise-ship passengers per year. Said James M. Loy, Coast Guard commandant, " A successful terrorist attack on any one of these [cruise] ships could result in a catastrophic number of casualties and threaten the economic viability of the entire industry." (Jonkers) (Philadelphia Inquirer, 25July 2001 //M. Robinson, AP)

HOUSE REJECTS EXPANDED US PERSONNEL PARTICIPATION IN COLOMBIA DRUG WAR- The House has rejected a White House request to allow unlimited numbers of American civilians to work under contract on U.S. military and other aid operations in Colombia, reflecting rising congressional concern over the deteriorating situation in that country and fears of expanded U.S. involvement. The House voted to cap the total number of U.S. military and contractor personnel at 800.
            With few exceptions, even the strongest defenders of staying the military course in Colombia offered little testimony to its success in stemming either the export of Colombian cocaine, which has a 90 percent share of the U.S. market, or the extent of human rights abuses there. Rep. Mark Edward Souder (R-Ind.), an ardent backer of the program, offered a muted defense of a U.S.-sponsored aerial fumigation program that sprays chemicals on Colombian drug crops. . "It's a tough issue," Souder said. "Nobody wants to have children or families damaged" by chemical contaminants . . . It's important, though, that we do understand this is not Agent Orange," the defoliant used by U.S. forces in Vietnam.
            Although about 135,000 acres of coca plants have been fumigated, coca cultivation increased by 11 percent last year. A late 2000 US estimate showed 336,000 acres of coca under cultivation, plus another 15,000 acres used to grow poppy, ( from which heroin is made). With Washington set to deepen its involvement in Colombia's anti-drug efforts, countries bordering Colombia have loudly complained about anti-drug and counter-insurgency spillover and demanded U.S. assistance. (Jonkers) (Wash Post 26 July) (Zgram 25July01, AP 25 July// http://www.abcnews.go.com/wire/World/ap20010725_1813.html

US PROVIDES FALSE ORBITAL DATA ON SATELLITES. A UN Convention requires member countries to provide the UN with data on their satellites. Apparently the US routinely supplies false location data on its classified (reconnaissance surveillance) satellites which, according to a Space Command spokesperson, is within the letter of the Convention. (Macartney) http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99991128

POSSIBLE KGB TELEVISION SERIES:  Producer Bob Van Ronkel is currently putting together a multimillion-dollar television series tentatively titled "Files From the KGB." The series is planned to be filmed in Russia and it will use an almost all-Russian cast to show the world the swashbuckling adventures of one of the world's most feared intelligence agencies. This time, however, they won't be the cruel psychopaths of Cold War movies or the megalomaniacs of James Bond films. The 21 or 22 episode series, filmed in English, will deal with the Soviet KGB's missions abroad in the style of television series such as "La Femme Nikita." During the Soviet era, the KGB was often depicted as a bunch of shining heroes within the Soviet Union. Their glory period on the screen came while Yury Andropov was head of the KGB with such programs as "Seventeen Moments of Spring," which showed KGB undercover activities during the World War II. Some say that Andropov was a great admirer of James Bond and wanted to create a more exciting image of KGB agents at home. During the past decade, however, the image of the KGB agent has evolved in Russian films from that of a Marx-reading idealist to a cynic who cares for nothing but himself.
            The proposal to create a television series that would extol the virtues of an agency that, along with its predecessors, was an integral part of repressive Soviet domestic operations, such as the arrest of millions of people in Stalin-era purges, is getting a lukewarm reception in some Russian circles. Reacting to the proposal, Konstantin Preobrazhensky, a former KGB lieutenant colonel who is now a particularly harsh critic of the FSB, said "There is nothing positive about KGB activities."
            Ronkel, a California native, is currently in Moscow attempting to get an official seal of approval for the series from the Federal Security Service. "I thought it would be a success with the fascination in the U.S. with the KGB," said Ronkel. Another factor important to Hollywood undoubtedly is the cost. Each episode can be produced in Russia for $200,000, while an average hour-long action series in the US costs upwards of $1Million. As to the dubious aroma of his enterprise of glorifying the foreign operations of the Soviet KGB, Ronkel said "There are always people who'll protest, It's not a documentary. I'm creating Hollywood television. Hopefully it will be entertaining so that no one will be offended.." Not much of chance of that, I think. (Jonkers) (Wash Post / Kevin O'Flynn) (courtesy P. Koestler)


SINGAPORE BANS DIVORCE BY TEXT-MESSAGE -- In an about-face from their decision last month to let men divorce their wives by a text message on their mobile phones, the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore, the Syariah Court and the Registry of Muslim Marriages released a statement Tuesday saying they were "unanimous in their view that divorce through mobile phone text message is unacceptable." (Levine's Newsbits 8 AUG01)

THE HUNT FOR WORM WRITERS IS ON! -- Internet users have become all too familiar with SirCam and Code Red, but the creators of the two worms that have plagued the Internet this summer remain a mystery. If the FBI's National Infrastructure Protection Center has its way, the identities of those who wrote and released the malicious little bundles of code into the world will be known soon. "We are very serious about finding the authors of Code Red and SirCam," the NIPC's Debra Weierman said. "Intentional transmission of worms or viruses across the Internet is a felony. This is a major offense, not some inconsequential lark." http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,1282,45956,00.html
(Levine 9 Aug 01)

CHINA COMPUTER VIRUS EPIDEMIC --As many as 73 per cent of computers in China have been infected by viruses and more than half of them experienced at least three virus attacks, according to an online survey by China's Computer Virus Emergency Response Center. Beijing has the highest infection rate of all cities, with 80 per cent of its computers hit. The survey, carried out in April and May, also found that 14 per cent of infected computers lost all their data and 29 per cent lost at least part of their data. The Ministry of Public Security stated that the Code Red worm had paralyzed the networks of several big businesses, including prominent dotcoms. (SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST, 10 Aug 01 //J. Zhou) (courtesy T. Hart)

CIVIC WIRELESS NETWORK ENCRYPTION INSECURE -- Security researchers have published details of weaknesses in encryption techniques widely used to secure wireless networks. The gaping security holes derive from flaws in the key-scheduling algorithm used by the Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) protocol, which is part of the 802.11 wireless networking standard. A passive cipher text attack, based on the theoretical groundwork laid by the researchers, would allow someone with a wireless LAN connection to retrieve a security key in less than 15 minutes.(Levine 8 AUG 01) http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/55/20877.html 


THE COMING COLLAPSE OF CHINA, by Gordon Chang, Random House, July 31, 2001, 320pp. This book seems to be playing the ongoing A/B Team debate within the US government over China. Within 24 hours of the book's publication, CIA issued a review that basically rebuts the author's thesis. According to the CIA review, "we cannot rule out the possibility of systemic collapse. On balance, however, we assess that the regime retains important strengths and assets that at least reduce the chances of the kind of collapse Chang posits." As far as China's Communist leaders are concerned, the CIA concludes, "it is too early to write them off as easily as Chang suggests." (Macartney)

CHINA DEBATES THE FUTURE SECURITY ENVIRONMENT, by Michael Pillsbury, presents new translations on security policy from some 200 Chinese authors. Check -- http://www.ndu.edu/inss/books/pills2.htm 

THE ROLE OF COUNTERINTELLIGENCE IN COUNTERING TRANSNATIONAL ORGANIZED CRIME, by Volker Foertsch, National Strategy Information Center, 2001. Reviewed by Lawrence B. Sulc.
            There is very little in the public domain on law enforcement counterintelligence and even less concerning its application to Transnational Organized Crime (TOC). Pity. Law enforcement counterintelligence is a vital discipline in dealing with organized crime and especially the crucial international problems of Transnational Organized Crime developing, unfortunately, around us.
            The National Strategy Information Center, to its great credit, has contributed considerably to this largely empty field by publishing The Role of Counterintelligence in Countering Transnational Organized Crime, both a warning and a prescription. It has done so, I suspect, because of the guiding hand of Roy Godson as the Center�s president, whose extensive credentials were re-enforced some years ago by his book, Dirty Tricks or Trump Cards, U.S. Covert Action & Counterintelligence (Transaction Publishers, Rutgers). Fortunately, the book has recently been republished.
The Transnational Organized Crime (TOC) phenomenon has blossomed in the former Communist countries. Throw into the mix increasing globalization and growing international cooperation between TOC structures almost everywhere and it is easy to see why the cauldron of crime is bubbling so around the globe. TOCs are secret organizations, often symbiotic with the security organizations of their host countries.
            TOC organizations must be confronted using intelligence means, penetrated and destroyed (or at least damaged, I would suggest). Government counterintelligence personnel trained to deal with secret structures are well-equipped to deal with TOC. Employing the approach and methods of counterintelligence "has after all been quite successful in the past in countering hostile intelligence and security services," says Foertsch. "Counterintelligence achieves its objectives by identifying, exploiting and neutralizing the activities of secret organizations," Foertsch, explains. One approach, he points out, is to play one TOC organization against another as in the case of the Colombian narcotics cartels wherein the leaders of one cartel were induced to denounce to American authorities the leaders of another - its competitor. The use of disinformation against TOC groups is another possibility cited by Foertsch, while discrediting TOC groups offers further possibilities and public exposure still more.
            Until now counterintelligence has not been applied against transnational organized crime very often and not in a systematic way," according to Foertsch. Quite the contrary. He describes some of the essential elements of the intelligence and counterintelligence measures that TOC, unfortunately for us, uses against the authorities. A major problem with organized crime is its transformation into government-like structures with the illegitimate power to regulate, punish and kill. TOC even emulates the security services by punishing its enemies publicly to instill fear and for the "educational effect. "
The NSIC observes the valuable practice of submitting its papers to "working groups" prior to publication. In this case, a panel of 33 experts discussed it, providing valuable insights. One academic noted that "law enforcement often is not particularly interested in collaboration with intelligence and often intelligence officers are not too interested in working against the criminal target." Several made the point that police and security services, oriented as they are toward prosecution, often avoid long-term CI operations, one of the numerous problems that must be overcome.
            I found that most of the experts� remarks, however sage or pessimistic, signaled the need for law enforcement and intelligence personnel to get smart fast, get together fast and get going fast. We need counterintelligence in countering transnational organized crime. (Lawrence B. Sulc)

            Editor's Note: The above was edited for the WIN. The full review will be published in the Periscope. Incidentally, you could do worse than read, in conjunction with this paper, Law Enforcement Counterintelligence, by Lawrence B. Sulc, as far as I know the first book on the subject. It deals primarily with domestic - but also discusses international - LECI. There are many, many parallels between the two works - two sad stories.

OPERATION TYPHOON: EARLY COVERT ACTION ON THE HO CHI MINH TRAIL In 1961 and 1962 the CIA-trained and -sponsored 1st Observation Group was formed to counter Communist operations along the trail. http://www.thehistorynet.com/Vietnam/articles/2001/08012_1text.htm


--James Bamford, author of the best-selling book "Body of Secrets," angrily rebuked Secrecy News for a July 17 story that described disputed points in his account of the 1967 Israeli attack on the American surveillance ship U.S.S. Liberty. In a written response, Mr. Bamford also provided an extended rebuttal to a recent article about the Liberty in The New Republic. The Secrecy News item was "a model of poor reporting," Mr. Bamford wrote.

            In response to the assertion that there is no verifiable evidence that mass murders of Egyptian prisoners of war took place in 1967 which might have provided a motive for an Israeli attack on the Liberty, Mr. Bamford cited abundant reporting in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and other publications indicating that Israeli soldiers killed hundreds of Egyptians. Mr. Bamford agreed that linguist Marvin E. Nowicki, who had recorded Israeli pilot communications during the attack, believes the attack was an "error." Indeed, Mr. Bamford said, he mentioned this fact explicitly in "Body of Secrets." But while Mr. Nowicki is entitled to his opinion, he wrote, others who had equal or greater access to intelligence data on the attack --including the other Hebrew linguist aboard the U.S. surveillance plane overhead -- concluded that it was deliberate.
            Mr. Bamford noted that while he is an independent writer with "no ties to either Israel or any organization involved with the U.S.S. Liberty," the same cannot be said of Michael Oren, the author of the New Republic article upon which Secrecy News relied, who is an Israeli reserve officer and associated with a right wing Israeli think tank. This association, in Mr. Bamford's view, tends to nullify any claim to objectivity that Mr. Oren may have." The principal mission of the center, where Mr. Oren is a senior fellow, is the cause of extreme Jewish nationalism -- Israel for the Jews -- i.e. apartheid," according to Mr. Bamford. As for The New Republic, that magazine in his estimation has "long [been] the U.S. propaganda arm of the
Israeli far right."
            "As an investigative journalist for nearly 25 years, I am never bothered by attacks like those from [Secrecy News] -- it comes with the territory," Mr. Bamford wrote. "What really disturbs me is the speed with which certain people are willing to run to Israel's defense while ignoring the heroic survivors of the USS Liberty -- and the relatives of those killed -- who have been pressing for a true, comprehensive investigation into the attack for more than 34 years."

The full text of Mr. Bamford's response is posted here:
( SECRECY NEWS July 26, 2001)

LAST CALL -- Sign up for the AFIO luncheon at Fort Myer, Virginia, on 21 August, featuring noted British author Nigel West speaking on the 'British VENONA' (Soviet espionage in Britain), and Dr. William Anderson, MD, Lecturer at Harvard University, on ' The Mind of the Traitor.' Check the Website at www.a
fio.com or contact afio@afio.com.

Weekly Intelligence Notes (WINs) are comments and notes based on open-source information selected, written or edited by Roy Jonkers for AFIO members and for WIN subscribers, for non-profit educational uses. Associate editors John Macartney and Don Harvey contribute to the WINs.

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