Weekly Intelligence Notes
WIN #25 dated 24 June 02
Weekly Intelligence Notes (WINs) are produced by Roy Jonkers for AFIO members and WIN subscribers.
PLEASE NOTE: AFIO LUNCHEON ON 29 JULY - CHANGE IN SPEAKERS AND START TIME. See Section V below.
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DEFENSE INTELLIGENCE POSITION UPGRADE -- After repositioning the military for the new homeland security mission by creating the U.S. Northern Command, the Pentagon now wants Congress to authorize civilian changes by approving the new job of Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence. It would be the Defense Department's fourth undersecretary (the others are for Policy, Acquisition, and Personnel and Readiness). A confidential request for the new post went to Congress the week of the 24th of June.
The announced intent of creating an Undersecretary for Intelligence is to strengthen OSD and the SecDef in a war on terrorism that could well be designated as an 'intelligence war.
Mr. Richard Haver, who is now SecDef Rumsfeld's special assistant for intelligence matters, is rumored to be a leading contender for the new intelligence post ( if and when approved). Mr. Haver has a solid resume in intelligence and is known as someone not afraid to challenge the bureaucracy. A former naval intelligence officer, Mr. Haver spearheaded inquiries into national security damage from the country's major spy scandals. He has also served as the chief of staff of the CIA director's National Intelligence Council, and was the director's liaison to a national ballistic missile commission headed by Mr. Rumsfeld before he became defense secretary.
In a second move, the Defense Department also wants to downgrade the office of Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict (SOLIC). A new position of Assistant Secretary for Homeland Security is also proposed, and policy issues for special-operations forces would shift to a Deputy Assistant Secretary for Special Operations, who would report to the new homeland security assistant secretary.
These posts require a change in law and must be approved by Congress. The intent is to have the Senate include the new posts in the 2003 defense authorization bill now being debated. The upgrading of the intelligence position within OSD has been an objective of long standing, and must be welcomed. It responds to the logic of current policies and environment. An informal opinion (expressed in the common vernacular) is that the SecDef wants "to have his own dog to kick, rather than having to reach into a grab-bag below." Another opinion is that this request is a Defense Department move on the chessboard of intelligence community reorganization (Scowcroft Commission advocating creation of a super-DCI). The entire package will be subject to considerable buffeting from the various barons in the Pentagon and Congress. Washington political and bureaucratic maneuvering is never dull. (Jonkers) ( Washington Times 26 June 02 //R. Scarborough)
INTELLIGENCE SURVEILLANCE OF NORTH KOREA INCREASED -- South Korea and the United States agreed yesterday to increase military surveillance of North Korea and to strengthen rules of engagement after a bloody naval clash between the two Koreas on June 21st. Two North Korean patrol ships sailed over the disputed sea border and fired on its boats, killing four South Korean sailors and wounding 19. The United States has 37,000 troops stationed in South Korea.
Separately, South Korean President Kim Dae-jung said he would continue, undeterred by the battle, with his "sunshine policy" of seeking reconciliation with North Korea. (Jonkers) (WashTimes 2 July02 //PJK)
US AND AUSTRALIA CLASSIFIED INFORMATION EXCHANGE -- The US and Australia on June 25 signed a new agreement governing the handling and exchange of classified information. "As the closest of allies, it is appropriate that Australia and the United States continue to maintain arrangements that allow the unhindered exchange of classified information," said the Australian foreign minister. One trusts there will be no further publicity on this mater. (Jonkers) Secrecy News 26 June02) (http://www.foreignminister.gov.au/releases/2002/fa093_02.html)
CIA UNIVERSITY ESTABLISHED -- A CIA University, incorporating eleven different schools - some existing for years, others new - has been established -- although no official declaration has been issued. It is a move to provide enhanced training in the post-September 11 environment.
Franz Bax, the President of the new university, said that "we are deepening the training we are going to do for a whole new generation. Hundreds and thousands of new officers are going to be joining our ranks in the next few years."
In a January 30 broadcast to employees, CIA Director George Tenet said, " Now, as never before, we meet to train with the intensity and flexibility that this (CIA University) approach offers us. The range of complex perils and opportunities that face our country, and the speed at which they change, demand no less."
What are some of the courses? There is a three-week teamwork course culminating in a Crisis Task Force simulation. A popular course is "Writing for the President." And there are courses in economic trends, international banking, the world oil market, and how the international Monetary Fund, World Bank, World Trade organization etc and other non-governmental organizations work. In-house language-training courses are on the menu. And, of course, security awareness training is being upgraded and expanded.
It is to be noted that the training program for the CIA clandestine service will continue to be conducted at "The Farm." (Jonkers) (Reuters 16 May 02 / T. Zakaria)
WHITE HOUSE STAFF CHANGES -- Retired Army General Wayne A. Downing, the top White House official for coordinating the federal government's offensive against terrorism, resigned on 28 June, some ten months after he joined the White House staff as Deputy National Security Advisor for Combating Terrorism. He also was an outspoken hawk in administration debates about how to deal with Saddam.
General Downing spent much of his time at the White House struggling with a variety of federal offices to create a joint "data fusion center" that would keep 24-hour watch and track all interagency intelligence on terrorist activities. Speculation about his reason for resigning abound, but fundamentally, said some who know him, Downing's forceful personality and time as a four-star commander left him ill-prepared for the life of a White House staffer. As a former four-star general he was accustomed to running things on his own.
General Downing will be succeeded by another retired general, John A. Gordon (USAF ret), who is currently the chief of the Energy Department's National Nuclear Security Administration, and previously was Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. (Jonkers) (WashPost 28 June 02, p. 1 //T. Ricks)
FBI LEAK PROBE STIRS DEBATE -- According to some experts, the decision by the leaders of the House and Senate intelligence panels to ask the Justice Department to investigate whether someone on Capitol Hill leaked classified material bypassed the rules of both chambers and raises thorny constitutional questions about the oversight checks between the two branches of government. Congressional representatives have questioned whether an agency that is probed by the Congress, and dependent on it for funding, is the proper one to investigate the Congress. Good question. More than likely, little more will be heard of this. (Jonkers) (Secrecy News 26 June02) (http://www.rollcall.com/pages/news/00/2002/06/news0624c.html)
INFORMATION SHARING -- The House on Wednesday 25 June passed an information-sharing bill that would permit federal law enforcement authorities to share information about potential terrorist attacks with state and local authorities. Passed by a vote of 422-2, the bill, H.R.4598, would require the president to promulgate guidelines for sharing classified and sensitive intelligence information, as well as information obtained through wiretaps or grand-jury investigations. (Levine 26 June) (http://www.govexec.com/dailyfed/0602/062602td2.htm)
HOSTILE CYBER ATTACK CLUES -- U.S. finds clues to potential cyber-attack on Dams and Utilities, and identifies the 911 System as vulnerable. Last fall, Mountain View police detective Chris Hsiung began investigating a pattern of surveillance against Silicon Valley computers. He discovered that unknown browsers from the Middle East and South Asia were exploring digital systems used to manage utilities, dams and government offices. Hsiung, a high-tech crime specialist, alerted the FBI. (Levine 26 June)
FBI COMPUTER OVERHAUL -- The executive in charge of overhauling the FBI's antiquated computer system has resigned. Robert Chiaradio is leaving to take a job at financial consulting giant KPMG. He was elevated to one of the bureau's top four administrative positions last December. (Levine 26 June)
SECRET SERVICE CYBER COPS -- The story of why and how the Secret Service became cybercops was told by Special Agent John Frazzini recently at a meeting of security professionals. The US Secret Service, trained in martial arts, sworn to secrecy, famous for high-tech earplugs and icy stares, the oldest law enforcement agency in the federal is now also protecting our national interests online. Frazzini related the rationale behind the decision to entrust the Secret Service, a law enforcement agency best known for protecting the U.S. president, with the mission to serve as our nation's cybercops.(Levine)
THE LIBERTY INCIDENT: The Israeli Attack on the U.S. Navy Spy ship, by Jay Cristol, Brassey's, 2002, ISBN 1574 88414X. On June 8th, 1967, at the height of the Six-Day War, Israeli air and naval forces attacked the USS Liberty, an intelligence-collection ship, killing 34 Americans and wounding 171. The author, a reputable former naval aviator and esteemed federal judge, spent ten years investigating the incident and concluded that the attack was a tragic mistake by the Israelis, echoing the policy stance taken by the Government of Israel since that deplorable event. Judge Cristol argues that the Israeli attack must be seen in the context of war and the chaos of the operational environment. The crew of the Liberty disagrees with Cristol's assessment, based on their observation of the facts as they happened and the duration (over three hours) of the assault. For this editor the Liberty incident reflects badly on Israel for the attack, whether accidental or deliberate in the conduct of war, and on the US Government for its actions afterwards (although our actions in other cases, such as the Pueblo, were similarly deplorable). In terms of moral principles, national policy and values of national self-esteem, the Liberty attack induces a sensation similar to accounts of the evacuation of Saigon -- a rotten fish - touch it and start to smell. Judge Cristol's book is a legitimate part of the literature to be examined on this question. With all due respect to Judge Cristol, for my part I cannot get beyond the accounts of the survivors and disgust over the actions of both Israel and the US Government in this incident. (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)
LETTERS - Sam P. writes on the FBI -- The Webster Commission Report on the FBI includes a most important statement, referring to law enforcement and counterintelligence, "The two will never fully co-exist in the Bureau unless security programs receive the commitment and respect the FBI gives criminal investigations." It is stated that this is a "key sentence" in the report. To me the key sentence is "whether the two can coexist is a difficult question." My point is that the commission sidestepped the issue of "how does a law enforcement agency become a counterintelligence service?" Too much of a hot potato?
Editor's NOTE -- The shape of the future FBI is still very much a work in progress. The bureaucratic "weight" of the counter-terrorist / counterintelligence function will undoubtedly be raised significantly if the function remains within the FBI at all. The danger is in over-reaction -- going overboard in reducing traditional FBI missions. The basic law enforcement function of the FBI remains important, particularly now in regards to White Collar crime, in the era of alleged corruption by stupendously overpaid executives in major corporations -- regardless of corporate performance -- undermining confidence in the securities, the stock market and American capitalism by making us resemble a Boris Yeltsin Russia. (RJ)
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