Weekly Intelligence Notes #48-01
10 December 2001

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.

See Section V below.

John Micheal Spann, 32, USMC/CIA
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 Beret*

*NOTE: These men were killed in combat by friendly bombing, which also wounded a considerable number of other Special Operations troopers.


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 analysis
(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)


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 communiqu�s, 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 to war.
     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 "significant."
     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 attach�s.
     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 ) (http://www.latimes.com/templates/misc/printstory.jsp?slug=la%2D120701codes)


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 Dec01)

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 12/10/01) http://www.newsbytes.com/news/01/172821.html

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)


(1) Updated: *The September 11th Source Books, Volume III, Biowar: The Nixon Administration's Decision to End U.S. Biological Warfare Programs.
(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


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 taking."
     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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