Weekly Intelligence Notes #18-02
WIN #18-02 dtd 6 May 2002
Weekly Intelligence Notes (WINs) contain intelligence-related notes and commentaries produced, written or edited by Roy Jonkers for non-profit educational uses by AFIO members and WIN subscribers. The reports contain copyright material and may not be disseminated without permission of the producer/editor. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) cited and/or the producer. The perspectives taken are one based on the US national security interests and a long professional view with roots in the WWII period.
CONTENTS of this WIN
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TRAITOR ROBERT HANSSEN SENTENCED TO LIFE -- A federal judge on Friday sentenced former FBI agent Robert Hanssen to life in prison without parole for spying for Soviet Russia. Many former FBI colleagues packed the courtroom. His 'confessions' during his debriefing, combined with the potential damage to US intelligence sources and methods that would result from an open court prosecution, was sufficient to save his life. (Jonkers)
HOMELAND SECURITY CENTER DISPLAYED -- Led by Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge, the media recently toured a new center to monitor terrorist threats and coordinate responses, scheduled to become operational shortly. The $14Million three-story Center has been publicized as located within the 38-acre US Navy Nebraska Avenue complex in the Washington DC area, some four miles from the White House Situation Room. Within the HS Center, a Threat Monitoring Center, an expansive room with a bank of televisions, computer workstations etc., will be manned by representatives of more than a dozen federal agencies, including the CIA, FBI, NSA. and the departments of Energy, Transportation and State. The objective is "to be connected with every conceivable public institution in the country." Incidents and disasters will be analyzed for patterns to detect links to terrorism. Warnings and actions will be broadly coordinated and communicated.
The Center may well be effective if states and municipalities also have emergency operation centers with compatible equipment. The Administration has requested that Congress appropriate $56M for this purpose. (Jonkers) (WashTimes 9May02 p. A10 //J. Curl)
BORDER SECURITY LEGISLATION -- Prodded by the events of September 11th, the House and Senate passed, by unanimous votes, legislation to tighten visa procedures and enhance border security. The bill requires students to actually attend school as promised and would limit temporary visas for visitors from "terrorism-sponsoring nations." It requires federal agencies to share information with the Immigration and Naturalization Service, authorizes 400 additional INS inspector and investigators, and includes pay increases for Border Patrol agents. As of October 2004 the State Department must issue machine-readable tamper-resistant visas and other travel documents to visitors, and Embassies and consulates must establish terrorist "lookout committees" to ensure officials are familiar with locally known terrorists.
Except for the implementation of the "terrorism-sponsoring nations" clause, which appears to be subject to far-reaching political and bureaucratic manipulation and exaggeration, this measure sounds like a much-needed first-step corrective to the problem of uncontrolled immigration. The President is expected to sign the legislation shortly. (Jonkers) (WashTimes 9 May 02, p. A10 //Dinan)
INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES ENJOY FLOOD OF APPLICANTS -- Along with other agencies, CIA has been flush with applicants since 9/11. According to CIA spokesman Mark Mansfield, some 75,000 applications had been received during the past year, not only from recent college graduates, but from experienced professionals with strong credentials in science and languages who are willing "to take very significant pay cuts" to join up.
CIA Deputy Director of Operations Jim Pavitt recently said "Today I have more spies stealing more secrets than at any time in the CIA. ...We are training 10 times as many case officers as five or six years ago....On the souls of 3,000 innocent men, women and children from Sept. 11. ...I finally have the resources to get the job done." Although CIA does not publicize its personnel strength, media reports speculate that Pavitt's Operations directorate may include some 4,000 officers.
FBI spokesman Paul Bresson said the bureau also has experienced a recruiting surge since Sept. 11. More than 27,000 applications have been received since Sept. 11, compared with 7,200 in the previous fiscal year. The bureau currently has 11,500 special agents and 16,500 support staff. The FBI expects to add at least 900 agents this year to give the bureau its largest work force ever.
The surge in support for the CIA and the FBI has obviously been matched by an unusual willingness by top officials at the two agencies to shed some of their "no comment" tradition and talk about their work. Congressional sources warned, however, that a charm offensive would not exempt the CIA and FBI from criticism. The House and Senate Intelligence committees plan to hold joint hearings next month about Sept. 11 and appear to be predisposed to slam the agencies for missing signals that attacks were imminent. On this point the CIA's DDO Jim Pavitt insists that the CIA was blameless. "We never found the trusted (credible source or content) intelligence that could have stopped the Sept. 11 attacks," he said. "Nothing short of a hijacker turning himself in would have prevented it." (Jonkers) (Daily News 28 April 02 //R. Sisk)
TRUTH SERUM GAMBIT -- Former CIA and FBI director William Webster said recently that the United States should consider administering "truth drugs" to uncooperative al-Qaeda and Taliban captives. Judge Webster said the use of drugs such as Sodium Pentothal or other "invasive" tactics short of torture might make U.S. agents more effective in penetrating al-Qaeda's worldwide network, and suggested that using a "truth serum," a mild, short-term anesthetic, might not be physical abuse Judge Webster's proposal reflects frustration about the minimal results yielded by interrogations of hundreds of prisoners detained during the war on terrorism. But it raises the issue of how far we should go in condoning or employing the physical and psychological brutality used by a number of other nations, including those in the Middle East, for example, in interrogating prisoners and suspects.
In recent weeks Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has emphasized that the US will not resort to such tactics in order to get more information out of al-Qaeda and Taliban detainees held in Cuba, Afghanistan and elsewhere. The FBI and other U.S. law enforcement agencies typically frown on physically coercing or drugging prisoners. Responding to reports that the FBI was considering more aggressive methods that might involve drugs, bureau officials said that "while large and difficult investigations often bring moments of frustration for investigators, none would advocate what is being suggested." CIA officials declined to comment about the agency's tactics, except to indicate that the agency does not "engage in or condone torture." . Nevertheless, whether administering Sodium Pentothal constitutes torture is still an open question. In addition, there is the question of whether ' talkative' translates into valid information. This has not been conclusively established.
It appears, however, that US officials are not averse to using 'work-arounds' to the torture dilemma by letting other governments do the dirty work. One of the most cooperative al-Qaeda leaders captured since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, has been held by Egyptian authorities, who use interrogation methods on al-Libi that would not be available to U.S. questioners. "Egyptian jails," former CIA counter terrorism chief Vincent Cannistraro said, are "full of guys who are missing toenails and fingernails."
The topic of ethics in war is an old one, and in the 'War on Terrorism' our intelligence, counter-intelligence and counter-terrorism officers encounter numerous ethical and legal issues. There are a number of international resolutions and treaties seeking to limit barbarism, motivated by considerations of shared civilized values and of reciprocity fears and expectations. Decisions on the risks to social and human values involved must also be measured against the risks of physical and political disaster. (Jonkers) (USA Today, 26 April 02, p.12 //Johnson & Willing)
BRITT SNIDER DISMISSAL (cont'd) -- As a small footnote to the report in last week's WIN, the ostensible reason why the Joint Congressional panel investigating the reasons for the failures to prevent the terrorist attacks on 9/11 dismissed its staff director, Britt Snider, was that he did not alert the committee that he had hired a former CIA employee who was the subject of a counterintelligence investigation triggered by a polygraph exam. Several officials stressed that it was not uncommon for C.I.A. employees to have inconclusive or negative results on polygraph examinations. In such instances the polygraph tests prompt security or counterintelligence reviews, which usually leads to employees' being cleared to return to work. Nevertheless, Congressional panel members were angered that Snider had not informed them, and they found out from other sources about the problem. It may well have been the excuse the needed. Senator Richard C. Shelby, the Alabama Republican who is the ranking member on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and Senator Jon Kyl, Republican of Arizona, also a member of the Senate intelligence committee, had both expressed concern that Mr. Snider's appointment would leave the perception that the panel would not be sufficiently independent of the intelligence community. (Jonkers) (NY Times 9 May 02 // J. Risen)
DEFENSE DEPARTMENT BIOMETRICS PROGRAM -- Within two years, all U.S. Defense Department workers will enter their facilities via fingerprint
or iris authentication. The biometric technologies will become part of a redesigned Common Access smart card issued to all active-duty and civilian personnel, and to military reservists and contractors working in secure DOD facilities. (Levine 6 May 02)
HOMELAND SECURITY REPORT TO LACK CONSENSUS -- A report due to the president by mid-year on the status of homeland security likely will not represent a consensus, White House Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge said recently. "I already told the president, 'Do not expect a consensus document,'" Ridge said at the Council of the Americas annual conference at the State Department. "We do not have time to build consensus." (Levine 6 May)
HOMELAND SECURITY DEPARTMENT LEGISLATION -- Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.) wants $200 million to develop homeland security technologies under a new Science and Technology Office within a cabinet-level Homeland Security Department. Lieberman and Sens. Bob Graham (D-Fla.) and Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) yesterday introduced the 'National Homeland Security and Combating Terrorism Act of 2002' to centralize the government's many homeland security functions. The new department would coordinate and act as a focal point for all homeland security activities as well as the government's response to natural and manmade crises. (Levine 3 May 02)
NET GUARD TO STRENGTHEN CYBER DEFENSE -- Two bills to strengthen the nation's cyber defenses will come up this month before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), a sponsor of the Science and Technology Emergency Mobilization Act, said his bill would establish volunteer rapid response teams to help restore critical infrastructures in the wake of disasters. The teams, which would be known as the Net Guard, would function like a digital answer to the National Guard. (Levine 3 May)
STRAND BOOKSTORE -- The institution New York bibliophiles love to hate and hate to love. Located at 828 Broadway, New York, NY 10003-4805 . Eight miles of narrow aisles. Over two million new and used hard covers and paperbacks--usually 50% off cover prices. Art, history, literature, philosophy and any other discipline you can imagine. A very good rare book collection in an adjacent building--ask at the information desk for directions. (PJK) (Tel: 212 473 1452. Website http://www.strandbooks.com/index.php
NEW RELEASE FROM MI5 - -The Public Records Office of the United Kingdom announced the largest release of British Security Service (MI5) records to date. Among the declassified files is a set of documents concerning Sidney Reilly (1874-1925), better known as "Reilly, Ace of Spies," and hardly known at all as the former Sigmund Rosenblum. The contents of the new release are described at length, but with only a few links to actual documents, here:
(C.A. Kiracofe; and David Jiminez)
(NOTE: WIN 19 will provide some information on the 'Ace of spies." (RJ)
SECRET SPYCRAFT OF THE COLD WAR...All-Day Seminar, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, Saturday 18 May, from 10 am till 4:30 pm. Conducted by Gerald B. Richards, FBI retired, and H. Keith Melton, counterintelligence professor at the CICentre, and producer of some 41 television programs on espionage, and whose collection of espionage equipment is recognized as the world's largest. They will explain the technology of espionage as they examine real cases and provide exclusive viewing of espionage devices. REGISTRATION: http://residentassociates.org/com/spycraft.asp $120 General Admission, $75 RA Member; $68 Sr Assoc Mbr. To request tickets by phone call 202 357-3030 weekdays 9 to 5 EDT.
writes re: Library of
Congress Veterans History Project. I am a member of the AFIO and
will be interviewing former intelligence officers, military or civilian, who
have served in connection with any of the wars from World War I to the end of
the Gulf War. Interviewees need not have been in uniform, only that in one way
or another they participated in the war effort. Interviews will be in the New
Orleans area during the academic year, and in the Durham, NC
and Greenwich CT area during the summer. Replies to Robert Robins. Telephone during academic year 504/862-8314 but best to communicate by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Larry S. writes - "HELP! I will be conducting a course in Intelligence / Counterintelligence in September at the Univ So Carolina at Beaufort. Do you have one or more short video tapes (say, 10-15 mins) for instruction on intelligence & CI? Any ideas? Anything elsewhere?" Contact email@example.com
Art A. writes on HELP with AIRBORNE RECCE SYMPOSIUM -- "Am trying to put together a Secret Classified one day conference on Airborne Reconnaissance as an adjunct to the annual SPIE Symposium. Normally this is held in San Diego but this year it is in Seattle (8-12 July).I've been in contact w/ Bob Lambert but so far no luck. Do we have any active duty members say at FT Lewis or McChord? or folks w/industry in Seattle area that might have a secure auditorium that could hold 100-120 personnel and that I could contact? or perhaps Nat'l Guard? etc. We have OSD/C4ISR sponsorship. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated." (contact firstname.lastname@example.org )
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