WIN 48-01 dtd 10 December 2001
Weekly Intelligence Notes (WINs) contain intelligence-related open
source news items and commentaries, selected, written or edited, and
produced by Roy Jonkers for AFIO members and WIN subscribers for
non-profit educational purposes. Associate editor RADM (ret) Don
Harvey contributes articles to the WINs.
IN MEMORIAM - AFGHAN WAR
See Section V
John Micheal Spann
Master Sgt. Jefferson Davis
, 39, USA, Green Beret*
Staff Sgt. Brian Cody Prosser
, 28, USA, Green Beret*
Sgt. First Class Daniel Petithory
, 32, USA. Green
*NOTE: These men were killed in combat by friendly bombing, which also
wounded a considerable number of other Special Operations troopers.
SECTION I --
INTELLIGENCE AUTHORIZATION BILL
-- Lawmakers from the
Senate and House agreed on 5 December on an Intelligence Authorization
Bill for FY'02, including a substantial 8% increase for the
intelligence budget, one percent higher than the President had
requested. What does it mean in dollars and cents? Intelligence
spending is generally kept secret. But the CIA revealed, after being
sued by the Federation of American Scientists, that spending totaled
$26.6 billion in 1997 and $26.7 billion in 1998. Since then, it's been
estimated at $30 billion.
The measure sets out four priorities:
(1) -Revitalizing the National Security Agency.
(2) -Correcting deficiencies in human spy networks.
(3) -Correcting the imbalance between information collection and
(4) -Funding for a robust research and development (R&D)
initiative, reversing declining investment in this area.
The final legislation does not contain the dramatic
expansion of government surveillance authority that the executive
branch had requested, but it does include a number of lesser
"technical amendments" that will facilitate intelligence,
counterintelligence and counter-terrorism surveillance operations. .
(Jonkers) (AP/Reuters 5 Dec 01 //C. Skorneck) (http://intelligence.senate.gov
) (: http://intelligence.house.gov/
)(Secrecy News 7 Dec01)
ANOTHER OSAMA VIDEO -- American officials have
reported the existence of a videotape of Osama bin Laden discussing
the Sept. 11 attacks. On the tape, said to have been found in a home
in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, bin Laden is said to praise God for far
greater success than he expected, using language that indicated he was
familiar with the planning of the attacks. Reportedly bin Laden seemed
amused that many of the hijackers in the attacks apparently did not
know they were on suicide missions - "There is a lot of
laughter on the tape," one administration official said.
Deliberations are said to be underway on releasing the tape to the
public, weighing considerations of intelligence compromise versus the
need for building the case against Osama. It is likely to be released
in whole or in part. (Jonkers) (NY Times, Wash Post, Wash Times 10
December 01) (courtesy J. Taranto)
RUSSIAN URANIUM-SMUGGLERS ARRESTED -- Russian NTV
television reported Thursday 6 December that police arrested seven
people accused of trying to sell more than two pounds of
highly-enriched weapons-grade uranium for $30,000. The arrest was made
in Balashikha just southeast of Moscow and the men were in possession
of a capsule containing Uranium-235. The suspects allegedly belonged
to a local criminal gang.
If confirmed, the seizure would be the first
acknowledged case of theft of weapons-grade material in Russia. The
FSB was said to be handling the investigation.
A spokesman of the Nuclear Power Ministry
said there are several plants in and around Moscow where such material
could be obtained, but that the quantity of uranium reportedly seized
would be insufficient to make a nuclear weapon.
News of the arrest came as U.S.
Undersecretary of State for arms control John Bolton was meeting in
Moscow for talks on cooperation to prevent the spread of weapons of
mass destruction. The Russian news report, true or not, must be seen
in the context of this visit and of US Congressional deliberations on
the amount of dollars to be invested in Russia for safeguarding
nuclear materials. (Jonkers) (Paul Joyal Intercon Report on Russia)
(courtesy E. Badolato)
SECTION II - CONTEXT AND PRECEDENT
ATTACK ON CAPITOL PREVENTED? -- Intelligence sources
told Newsweek that a Qaeda "sleeper cell" in the United
States was poised to launch an attack --perhaps against the Capitol
Building -- not long after the 9-11 atrocities. The sources believe
that the FBI, in its sweep against visa violators and other suspects
of Mideast backgrounds, picked up members of a "support
cell" tasked with providing logistics help to the people actually
carrying out the mission. The would-be terrorists then went
underground or fled the country. (10 Dec 01, Best of Web Today, &
Newsweek) (courtesy J. Taranto/PJK)
JAPAN BROKE US DIPLOMATIC CODE BEFORE PEARL HARBOR --
While researching secret codes used prior to the attack on Pearl
Harbor 60 years ago, a young Japanese-American professor stumbled upon
a document in the national Archives, declassified by the CIA about
five years ago, that proved that Tokyo had succeeded in breaking the
U.S. and British diplomatic codes. A few microfilmed documents,
showing the Japanese translations of the telegrams, were attached.
For decades it was widely believed that
Japan, then a developing country with a fierce rivalry between its
army and navy, hadn't been up to measure when it came to
code-breaking, particularly the documents of the Americans. "We
are so . . . arrogant," said Donald Goldstein, a professor at the
University of Pittsburgh and co-author of "At Dawn We Slept: The
Untold Story of Pearl Harbor." "It's very possible they
could have broken our code, so why shouldn't they have?"
It was not easy to confirm in Tokyo. Most
top-secret documents were burned after being read in wartime Japan.
Those that remained were confiscated by the U.S. during the occupation
that followed Japan's 1945 defeat and are now housed in U.S. archives.
But the professor unearthed a folder marked
"Special Documents," containing 34 communiqués, simple
typed pages written primarily in English, of U.S. and British
diplomatic discussions and telegrams, many from U.S. Secretary of
State Cordell Hull to various U.S. ambassadors.
The contents of the documents have long been
known to historians the world over, and some even pop up on the
Internet. But their appearance in the Japanese archives reveals that
Tokyo knew what was going on in Washington in the weeks before Dec. 7,
1941, when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. In particular the
findings may shed light on why the few doves in the Japanese Cabinet
-- such as Foreign Minister Shigenori Togo -- dropped their opposition
Thomas G. Mahnken, a strategy professor at
the U.S. Naval War College in Rhode Island who recently completed a
book on U.S. intelligence on Japan in the years before World War II,
says the knowledge that Japan was breaking the codes is
Then again, Mahnken notes, the U.S.
diplomatic telegrams "were not tremendously sophisticated,"
and a number of countries had even broken those used by military
Within the clash of cultures and
misunderstandings of intentions (on both sides), and within the
context of armies on the march in 1941, the discovery of Japanese
code-breaking achievement is interesting, but it probably had little
or no impact on political decision-making and events leading up to
Pearl Harbor. (Jonkers) (LA Times 7Dec01 //V. Reitman) (http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-120701codes.story
SECTION III -- CYBER INTELLIGENCE
EYE-IN-THE-SKY PERSONAL SURVEILLANCE IN US -- The
California Corrections Department is developing a program to track
parolees via the Global Positioning System. The department signed an
agreement last month with a company that makes devices for monitoring
an individual's whereabouts via GPS. A glimpse of our future Brave New
World?? (Jonkers) (Levine Newsbits 10 Dec 01) (http://www.gcn.com/vol1_no1/daily-updates/17632-1.html)
TERRORIST TECHNOLOGY SHOPPING LIST -- The U.S.
Customs Service has identified about 100 key technologies, weapons and
other items that make up a "shopping list for terrorist
organizations," and is asking businesses to help prevent such
items from falling into the wrong hands. The list has been shared with
U.S. intelligence agencies and the Defense Department. (Levine 10
GONER WORM VIRUS CREATORS ARRESTED IN ISRAEL --
Despite efforts to hide behind nicknames and stolen Internet accounts,
four Israeli teenagers responsible for creating the "Goner"
Internet worm were easy to identify, investigators said. The names of
the teens, who were arrested Friday by police in the northern city of
Nahariya, were not disclosed under Israeli law. (Levine's newsbits
ORACLE PAINTS BULLS-EYE FOR HACKERS -- Since Oracle
Chief Executive Larry Ellison began boasting that his software was
"unbreakable," hackers have taken that as a challenge to try
to crack the company's Code. In the seven weeks Oracle's
"Unbreakable" ad campaign has been running, hacking attempts
on the company's Web site have increased ten-fold. (Levine)
INTERNET INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS TREATY -- An
international treaty designed to protect copyright holders in the
"digital age" is ready to become law, now that 30 countries,
including Japan and the United States, have ratified it. The World
Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Copyright Treaty, or WCT, is
designed to protect the rights of composers, artists, writers, and
others whose work is distributed over the Internet or other digital
media. (Levine 10 Dec01)
SECTION IV - BOOKS AND SOURCES
NATIONAL SECURITY ARCHIVE UPDATES --
(1) Updated: *The September 11th Source Books, Volume III, Biowar: The
Nixon Administration's Decision to End U.S. Biological Warfare
(2) Updated on 7 December -- "Electronic Briefing Book on
Biological Warfare," (first published by the Archives on 25 Oct 01).
This update came in response to new revelations that the mailed
anthrax that has killed five Americans in recent weeks may have come
from the United States' own biological warfare program.
According to William J. Broad of The New York Times:
"The dry powder used in the anthrax attacks is virtually
indistinguishable in critical technical aspects from that produced by
the United States military before it shut down its bio-warfare
program. The preliminary analysis of the powder shows that it has the
same extraordinarily high concentration of deadly spores as the
anthrax produced in the American weapons program. While it is still
possible that the anthrax could have a foreign source, the
concentration is higher than any stock publicly known to be produced
by other governments.
The similarity to the
levels achieved by the United States military lends support to the
idea that someone with ties to the old program may be behind the
attacks that killed five people."
The updated Electronic
Briefing Book includes the complete text (107 pages) of the U.S.
Army's internal history of the U.S. biological warfare programs, a
history which was released to a congressional subcommittee in 1977. (
NSARCHIVE 7 Dec 01, <mevans@GWU.EDU> http://www.nsarchive.org/NSAEBB/NSAEBB58/
(courtesy G. O'Hara & Tom Hart)
AL QAEDA TRAINING MANUAL -- The Department of Justice
on 6 December 2001 released excerpts from what it termed an "Al
Qaeda Training Manual" that provides inspiration and instruction
for would-be jihadis. The manual, translated from an Arabic original
acquired by the Manchester, England police during a search of an al
Qaeda member's home, was introduced earlier this year at the embassy
bombing trial in New York. "The Department is only providing ...
selected text from the manual because it does not want to aid in
educating terrorists or encourage further acts of terrorism,"
according to a notice on the Justice Department web site.
The translated manual, as released by the
Justice Department, are posted here (in a four
part, multi-megabyte PDF file): http://www.usdoj.gov/ag/trainingmanual.htm
TERRORISM DOCUMENTATION -- More than 70 days of trial
transcripts from the case USA v. Usama bin Laden, which was conducted
in New York between February and July of this year, have been acquired
and posted online by Cryptome.org. It is an immensely rich, disturbing
and informative record. (Secrecy News 7Dec01 )
SPECIAL RECONNAISSANCE DEFINITION -- Special
Reconnaissance is a military term currently in vogue. Definition:
"Reconnaissance and surveillance actions conducted by special
operations forces to obtain or verify, by visual observation or other
collection methods, information concerning the capabilities,
intentions and activities of an actual or potential enemy or to secure
data concerning the meteorological, hydrographic or geographic
characteristics of a particular area. It includes target acquisition,
area assessment and post-strike reconnaissance." (Wash Times, 7
Dec01, Gertz and Scarborough) (PJK)
WORKING WITH THE CIA -- by former CIA case officer
Garrett Jones in Parameters, US Army War college Quarterly (Winter
2001-2002). Article addresses the working relationships between
military officers and CIA support personnel. Jones notes that
"extraneous screaming and yelling are counterproductive." A
mostly pedestrian account, it includes some notable insights into
joint military-CIA activities from a perspective that is rarely
represented. (Secrecy News 7 Dec01) http://carlisle-www.army.mil/usawc/Parameters/01winter/jones.htm
SECTION V - IN MEMORIAM
JOHNNY M. SPANN, 32, CIA PARAMILITARY GROUP, and
former captain, US Marine Corps, was buried with full military honors
by the Marine Corps on 10 December. He was killed at Mazar-I-Shariff,
during a reported uprising of POWs, a story in which the fragments
reported in the media do not yet add up to a coherent whole, including
observations of hundreds of Taliban reported dead with their hands
tied behind their backs, and a large number of friendly US special
operations troopers, Afghan allies and civilians killed by US bombs
gone astray. But there are no doubts about Johnny Spann, a patriot and
colleague who answered his country's call to duty to become the
first and only American to die at the hands of the enemy in
Afghanistan. He served in a dangerous combat area in a turbulent
environment on a special mission. Said DCI George Tenet in his
graveside eulogy, Johnny was a " "patriot who knew that
information saves lives, and that its collection is a risk worth
Mrs. Spann said her husband "was a hero
not because of the way he died, but rather because of the way that he
lived.. . . .It seemed like when Mike took an oath to protect the
Constitution of the United States from all enemies foreign and
domestic, that he took that oath to our family as well," she
said, as the couple's infant son, Jake, watched quietly from his
grandfather's lap. "He just thought that it was really his duty
as a father to protect his children from terrorism just as equally as
he thought it was his duty to provide a roof over their heads."
The agency announced the creation of a fund
named in Johnny Spann's honor for the support of his family and others
whose breadwinners are killed in action. He was the 79th employee of
the spy agency killed in the line of duty and one of nine Americans
who have died in Afghanistan. Like the 78 agents who died before him,
Mr. Spann will be honored with the placing of a star in the lobby of
the C.I.A. headquarters.
US ARMY GREEN BERETS -- Three Green Berets killed
when an American bomb missed its target near Kandahar. The three were
Master Sgt. Jefferson Davis, 39, of Watauga, Tenn.; Staff Sgt. Brian
Cody Prosser, 28, of Frazier Park, Calif.; and Sgt. First Class Daniel
Petithory, 32, of Cheshire, Mass. No less than Johnny Spann are these
men mourned, outside of the Washington DC spotlight, for choosing and
doing their duty in combat - to leave us free to live our lives. These
fine young men were memorialized on December 10th by their own, at
Fort Campbell, Ky.
AFIO MEMBER LEO D. CARL, 83, died of cancer Nov. 21
at his home in McLean. He was also an author, lexicographer and
Russian linguist. As an intelligence officer with the Air Force, he
spent much of his career on loan to the Central Intelligence Agency.
He was an expert on the Soviet secret police organization, the KGB.
After his retirement in 1967 he devoted himself to creating
intelligence source books. His "International Dictionary of
Intelligence" was followed by the larger "CIA Insider's
Dictionary" and a series of reference encyclopedias titled
"VENONA Transcripts." He was generous in sharing the
revenues of his work with AFIO. Memorial and burial services will be
held on 19 December at the Old Post Chapel, Fort Myer, Virginia, when
we say farewell to another valued old colleague.
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