Weekly Intelligence Notes #24-02
WIN 24-02 dated 19 June 2002
Weekly Intelligence Notes (WINs) are produced by Roy Jonkers for AFIO members and WIN subscribers.
NOTE: I deeply regret to have to announce that David Whipple, WWII veteran, longtime leader within CIA's Directorate of Operations, and my esteemed predecessor as Executive Director of AFIO, passed away on 18 June 2002. Obit in Section VI below.
NOTE: AFIO LUNCHEON ON 29 JULY - CHANGE IN SPEAKERS AND START TIME. See Section V below.
CONTENTS of this WIN
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HOMELAND SECURITY LEGISLATION LAUNCHED -- Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge delivered a 35-page draft of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to the Capitol on 18 June. In an accompanying letter, President Bush wrote: " Responsibilities for homeland security are dispersed among more than 100 different entities of the federal government. America needs a unified homeland security structure that will improve protection against today's threats and be flexible enough to help meet the unknown threats of the future."
The Homeland security Intelligence section is envisioned as receiving raw intelligence about domestic terrorist threats collected by the FBI and CIA for correlation and analysis. Several senators and representatives are advocating the inclusion of part of the FBI in the new Homeland Intelligence center.
The legislation calls for a Cabinet Secretary, a deputy, five undersecretaries and up to 16 assistant secretaries, providing a new departmental management layer that would involve additional operating costs and potential bureaucratic delays. The new department will cost many billions to create and involve some 170,000 federal employees in agencies to be merged, including the Customs Service, the Coast Guard, the Immigrations and Naturalization Service, the Transportation Security Administration and 18 other agencies and departments. Specifically NOT included, however, are the CIA and FBI, which are to continue to function as separate entities that will (by law) be providing intelligence to the new homeland security intelligence center. This proposal will undoubtedly undergo considerable Congressional and media examination in the coming weeks and months, including on some provisions such as section 204 which would create a new exemption from the Freedom of Information Act for "information provided voluntarily by non-Federal entities or individuals that relates to infrastructure vulnerabilities or other vulnerabilities to terrorism and is or has been in the possession of the Department."
One can further predict epic bureaucratic turmoil, turf battles and expenses in the coming years - - along with the hoped-for benefits. It is clear to all that the US badly needs to study and address its domestic vulnerabilities on a serious and systematic basis. The Administration must see this proposal as a step in that direction. (Jonkers) (WPost 19 June 02 p. A8 / A. Cha) (See also http://www.fas.org/irp/news/2002/06/gwb061802.html
INTELLIGENCE CHIEFS QUESTIONED BY CONGRESSIONAL 9/11 PANEL -- In closed-door sessions DCI George Tenet, FBI Director Robert Mueller III, and NSA Director Lt. General Michael Hayden were questioned on 18 June by the special Senate-House Intelligence panel investigating the performance of the nation's intelligence agencies prior to the September 11 attacks.
After the session, lawmakers told the media some snippets of the testimony. They said that al Qaeda planning for September 11 probably started shortly after the bombings of US embassies in Africa in 1998. Al Qaeda is said to take about three years between the time they identify the target and when it is hit. "They do operations at a rate of about once every 12-18 months, which means they've got terrorist goals which are overlapping in planning and execution." The witnesses were said to have discussed the original concept of the terrorist attack, and the recruitment, training, financing and coordination of those who were involved in the operation.
NSA's General Hayden was questioned about the report that NSA had intercepted al Qaeda communications on the 10th of September announcing that something was going to happen the next day, but had disseminated it only on the 12th. Senator Shelby said that the question was answered. He noted that NSA collects a huge volume of data, is able to translate only a fraction of it, and can distribute only a fraction of that. Also relating to this point, intelligence officials have questioned the operational utility of the NSA intercept message in question. In general the panel members gave the impression that the questioning was tough and thorough, and that the intelligence leaders "held up pretty well." (Jonkers) (WPost 19 June02 page A10 / J. Eilperin)
AL QAEDA ATTEMPTS ATTACKS ON US MILITARY -- Thirteen suspected members of al Qaeda have been arrested during the past months in Saudi Arabia after an aborted attempt to shoot down a US military aircraft.. The men were part of two separate cells that regrouped after having fought in Afghanistan and Chechnya. They apparently received orders from second-tier al Qaeda leaders to hit any and all targets in Saudi Arabia, including government ministries as well as US targets. But they balked at attacking targets that would kill fellow Muslims and decided to attack only the US military at Prince Sultan airbase. They mounted an operation to fire a shoulder-launched surface-to-air missile at a US fighter, but failed, and the attempt was abandoned. It may be noted that the US base is isolated in the desert and intensely patrolled, and US pilots presumably use special precautions against this type of threat.
The missile launcher was reportedly brought into Saudi Arabia by a Sudanese member of al Qaeda who had smuggled them in from Yemen. He has since been arrested in Sudan.
This failed attempt parallels the recent arrest Morocco of three Saudi nationals attempting to attack US warships in the Strait of Gibraltar. The deadly game continues. (Jonkers) (WPost 19 June 02 p. A15 /H. Schneider)
CODE TALKERS HONORED -- The House of Representatives passed legislation to honor the Sioux "code talkers" who provided secure communications in their language for American forces during World War II. The better known Navajo code talkers were similarly honored last year. A detailed history of the Navajo code talkers was published in the Winter 2001 issue of Prologue, the quarterly of the National Archives and Records Administration. (Secrecy News 19 June 02)
FEDS SET UP SECURITY ALLIANCE -- Three federal agencies have formed an alliance to help small businesses protect their information technology. The National Infrastructure Protection Center, a part of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Small Business Administration, and the Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology will provide computer and IT security to the companies. The agencies will sponsor a series of workshops in Washington, San Francisco and Chicago to help train small-business owners to identify cost effective security products, processes and services. (Levine 06/14)
INFORMATION-SHARING BILL ADVANCES -- Working with unusual speed, the House Judiciary Committee approved a bill on June 13 to make it easier for federal agents to share intelligence tips with their state and local counterparts. The Homeland Security Information Sharing Act is one piece in what is expected to be a growing arsenal of legislation to protect Americans by relying on data mining to share details about suspected terrorists. It still faces debate in the Senate.(Levine 06/14)
NEW 'PROPHET' SIGNALS INTELLIGENCE SYSTEM UNVEILED -- The Army this week unveiled a new, mobile signals intelligence and electronic warfare system nicknamed 'Prophet.' It is designed to empower soldiers with surveillance capabilities to match the service's current threats, said Edward Bair, program executive officer for Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Sensors (PEO-IEWS), whose office developed and managed the system. (Levine 6/14)
FRANKLIN: The Essential Founding Father, by James Srodes, Regnery Publishing, Inc., Washington DC, 2002. With Notes, Bibliography and Index. ISBN 0-89526-163-4. When I recently was disposing of parts of my library I was struck by the contrast of books on philosophy and history read and studied some fifty years ago and the contemporary scene of an overload of shallow information. There seems to be a lack of time, interest and relevance for studying the old classics. Nevertheless, there remains a need for thoughtful introspection, and this includes an understanding of the origins of our republic. The Federalist papers remain an impressive foundation of knowledge, but are difficult to read for today's citizens. A more easily readable, and still erudite text is the excellent book on John Adams by David McCullough recently published. James Srodes' latest book, on Ben Franklin, falls in this category, whereby insights on our revolutionary past can be gained in an easily digestible form, while still creating food for contemplative thought. The two, Adams and Franklin, were partners in the great cause, but it was a strained relationship of opposites. Unlike the moral steadiness of Adams, Franklin was a man reflecting the world in which he lived, a world perhaps somewhat like our own, of total change of knowledge, morality and environment. As such he was suited for his chosen role, of supporting the American revolution from abroad with skills as a diplomat, spymaster, covert operator and propagandist. He played a key role in bringing the revolution to a successful conclusion, and Srodes tells the story well, with an easy and readable style. Although not an intelligence 'trade' book, recommended background reading. (Jonkers)
ANNOUNCEMENT: The AFIO NATIONAL LUNCHEON at the Holiday Inn, Tyson's Corner, McLean, Virginia , scheduled for 29 July 2002, from 10:30 (bar opens) a.m. to 2 p.m., including lunch, has a change in featured speakers, as Charles Allen had to decline.
Ron Kessler, author of THE BUREAU: The Secret History of the FBI, will present at 11 am the results of his research and assessment of the FBI, a topic most relevant and timely in terms of the flood of criticism that has inundated that agency.
Robert Baer will at 1 pm, as previously announced, discuss his book SEE NO EVIL: The True Story of a Ground Soldier in the CIA's War on Terrorism, including his activities as a covert agent in the Middle East and his personal, critical assessment of CIA. Both authors are expected to have their books available for sale and inscription.
You may agree or disagree with the assessments, but the combination will make for an unusually provocative as well as timely and interesting luncheon session. See our Website www.afio.com for details to sign up for this interesting session. It can be done by e-mail to AFIO (AFIO@AFIO.com) with your credit card , or by sending a check for $27.00 for yourself and guests by mail to AFIO, 6723 Whittier Ave, Ste 303A, Mclean, VA 22101. (RJ)
LETTER -- "PETE" writes re: Colonel William Barger's obituary -- In a recent WIN you posted an item about Col William Barber, and made the grievous (to any Marine, or historian!) error of including the line about the Chosin campaign being "one of the worst defeats in Marine history." Well, it was not, and that statement is --to use a favorite word from the intelligence community against disparagers and revisionists, simply a canard.
Historian Allan Millett, a professor at Ohio State University and author of "Semper Fidelis: The History of the United States Marine Corps," said the 1st Division was ordered to withdraw from the Chosin Reservoir and did so in an orderly manner. Although it was the mission of the Chinese to wipe out the Marines, they failed, Millett said. "The Marines basically made five to seven Chinese divisions combat ineffective on the walkout, and so the Chinese mission was frustrated and the Marine mission, which was to withdraw . . . was completed."
"A Marine Corps Web site calls the 1st Division its oldest, 'most decorated division-sized unit.' As a result of fighting in Korea, the division added a Presidential Unit Citation to its list of decorations. The fifth presidential citation was 'for the division's 'attack in the opposite direction,' fighting its way out of Chosin Reservoir against seven Communist Chinese divisions. The Chinese suffered an estimated 37,500 casualties trying to stop the Marines' march out of the 'Frozen Chosin. Calling the battle the Marines 'worst defeat' was inaccurate and a mischaracterization of what took place."
DAVID WHIPPLE: It is with heartfelt regret that we must announce the passing of David D. Whipple, former Executive Director of AFIO. He died on 24 June 2002 at Fairfax Hospital, Virginia of natural causes. Family, friends and colleagues mourn the loss of a loving husband and father, mentor and patriot, a man of honor whose sense of humor and love of life were special.
David Whipple's career in the CIA's Operations Directorate spanned 35 years and four continents. His overseas posts included Hanoi during the French war against the Vietminh, Rangoon during the military coups against the civilian government and Bangkok during the build-up of Thailand as a US support base for the Vietnam war. He served in Katanga (the former Belgian Congo) during the three United Nations wars against separatist forces and moved to London as deputy chief of station. He was station chief in four posts: Helsinki (during SALT 1 negotiations with the USSR), Phnom Penh (during the last years of the war against the Khmer Rouge), Lisbon (during the revolution of 1975 and transition to democracy) and Geneva (where he was also responsible for the Bern and Zurich bases). He served as the United States' first National Intelligence Officer for Counterterrorism (1983 - 1985). He received the Intelligence Star (for Valor) and the Distinguished Intelligence Medal (twice) in recognition of the bravery and devotion with which he served his country.
Following retirement from the CIA, he served as an instructor in intelligence tradecraft and was a consultant to various corporations. In 1989 he was appointed Executive Director of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers. He expanded AFIO's educational and media activities with passion and innovation until his retirement in 1997.
He was a veteran of World War II, during which he served in both the US and British armies in North Africa, Italy and the Philippines. He was educated at Dartmouth College; University College (Southampton, UK); Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies; and the National War College (1966 - 1967). He was born in Akron, Ohio on 26 December 1923 and grew up in Medina, New York.
David Whipple is survived by his wife, Carolyn, and their children's families. There will be no burial ceremonies. Memorial contributions may be made in his name to a charity of choice, or to AFIO for a David Whipple Scholarship Fund. We mourn the passing of another old colleague, a fighter for the good cause. We give our final salute to one of AFIO's own. Rest in peace old friend. (RJ)
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© 2002, Roy Jonkers, c/o AFIO, 6723 Whittier Ave, Suite 303A, McLean, VA 22101. AFIO@afio.com; Voice: 703 790-0320; Fax: 703 991-1278.
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