Weekly Intelligence Notes #29-02
Weekly Intelligence Notes (WINs) are produced and edited by Roy Jonkers for non-profit educational uses by AFIO members, ISIS associates and WIN subscribers. RADM (ret) Don Harvey contributes articles to selected WINs.
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CONTENTS of this WIN
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FBI INVESTIGATING CONGRESSIONAL LEAKS -- The FBI is interrogating congressional aides in an extraordinary inquiry into leaks of classified information. Members of Congress believe they are next. The FBI wants to know how the news media learned details of two messages with cryptic references to a possible attack. The messages, intercepted on the eve of Sept. 11 by the National Security Agency, said, ''Tomorrow is zero hour'' and ''The match begins tomorrow.''
Leaders of the joint House-Senate panel investigating Intelligence procedures relating to 9/11 requested the investigation last month after Vice President Cheney complained to them about the leaks. Even though it was invited by Congress, the investigation is a rare Executive branch incursion into the Legislative branch. Some lawmakers are welcoming it. They say leaks are damaging to intelligence collection. Others say it raises concerns about First Amendment rights and the separation of powers, or resent the assumption that the leak came from Capitol Hill. They question whether federal agents should be investigating the same committee that is reviewing their FBI bosses' performance. Even if nothing comes of it, this demonstration of full-blown FBI investigation may be a (probably temporary) deterrent to loose lips. (Jonkers) (USA Today, 19 July 02, p. 11A //K. Kiely and K. Johnson)
IRAQ WARPLAN LEAK INVESTIGATION -- Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld ordered the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (OSI) to investigate a leak of a reportedly secret war plan on Iraq published in the NYTimes (see WIN 28) .
In a special press conference the SecDef dismissed a reporter's notion that someone might have leaked the information to expose a flawed plan, thus saving lives. "There is nothing you could say that would lead me to believe that the individual (who leaked the info) was well motivated and trying to serve his country by violating federal criminal law -- nothing you could say." He further noted that "people caught passing classified information could spend significant time in jail under the Espionage Act and the UCMJ . . . in times of war, the death penalty is even a possibility."
Earlier, in a 12 July memo, the SecDef had warned senior military and civilian officials at the Pentagon that classified information obtained by the press was being used by Al Qaeda operatives to plan attacks on the United States. Captured fighters have stated that Al Qaeda operatives are extremely security-conscious and have altered their practices in response to what they have learned in the press about Pentagon capabilities. A CIA report states that public disclosures have "jeopardized highly fragile and very sensitive intelligence capabilities that we require for the successful prosecution of the war against terrorism." It adds that the disclosures have made potential allies and sources in foreign countries less willing to work with U.S. agents out of fear their aid will be publicized.
It is good to see that leadership pressure is being brought to bear on that systemic Washington malevolence known as Leaks of classified information. The SecDef has called upon DoD employees who know of leaks to come forward.(Jonkers) (American Forces Press Service, 23 Jul 02 //K.Rhem) (http://www.defenselink.mil/news/Jul2002/n07232002_200207233.html) (LA TIMES 16 July) (UPI 16 July)
REPUTED TRAITOR DIES IN MOSCOW -- Edward Lee Howard, the former CIA case officer who allegedly spied for the Soviets and defected to Moscow in September 1985, reportedly died there on July 12th as the result of an accident. Although Howard continued over the years to deny he was a spy, he had lived in Moscow as a "guest of the state" since 1985, according to senior intelligence officials. Among the information he was said to have turned over were the names of a CIA officer serving in Moscow and a top Soviet scientist who specialized in stealth technology. The U.S. officer was expelled from Moscow, and the Soviet scientist was jailed and subsequently executed.
Howard joined the CIA in 1981. In 1983, as a newly trained case officer, he and his wife, Mary, also a CIA officer, were prepared for an initial posting to Moscow. But Howard failed a polygraph on the eve of their departure and was fired from the Agency. He subsequently met with Soviet agents in Vienna and New Mexico. In 1985, armed with a tip provided by Soviet defector Vitaly Yurchenko about a Soviet mole within the CIA, the FBI identified Howard as a possible Soviet spy and kept him under constant surveillance. This prompted Howard to undertake an escape fitting a spy. He dressed up a dummy and spirited it into his car, then went out to dinner with his wife. When returning from the restaurant, his wife at the wheel, Howard slid out of the car as she turned a corner, having put the dummy in the passenger seat. When his wife returned to their house, she called an office and played a tape that Howard had previously recorded, setting up an interview for the next morning. With that, the FBI, which was listening to Howard's phone calls, decided he was home. Meanwhile, Howard went to the airport and flew to Helsinki, where he took refuge in the Soviet Embassy. Shortly thereafter, in Moscow, the KGB supplied him with an apartment and a dacha in the country.
Among the ironic circumstances of Howard's reputed life as a spy was its intertwining with that of Aldrich H. Ames, and perhaps even that of FBI spy Robert P. Hanssen. Ames, working at the time as a CIA counterintelligence specialist, was among the debriefers of Yurchenko in the summer of 1985. Ames promptly reported the results of the debriefings to the Soviets, including Yurchenko's statement about a KGB mole within the CIA . In one of the more amazing turns in the Cold War intelligence battles between the CIA and the KGB, Yurchenko then re-defected to Moscow, and Howard was suspected to be the mole. Subsequently, as the CIA and FBI began to lose almost all their Soviet agents in 1985 and 1986, Howard's defection to the USSR apparently served temporarily as a cover for Ames's and Hanssen's spying, as Agency officials allegedly attributed the losses to Howard. Ames was not caught until 1994 and Hanssen not until 2001.
All together this is a bizarre tale of intrigue and circumstance. Eventually it will probably be made into a movie -- in which we will "get our man." Or perhaps we did? (Jonkers) (WashPost 21 Jul02, p. 19 // W. Pincus)
BOUNTY HUNTERS SEEKING BIN LADEN'S HEAD -- Federal and private rewards offered for the capture or death of Osama bin Laden and his henchmen have prompted a wave of bounty hunters and other mercenaries to flood into the Afghanistan area. Severed heads and ears are proof of success. "The going currency with bounty hunters is ears," says Edward Lozzi, a Los Angeles PR executive who helped ten ' Fortune 500' telecommunications firms organize a $100 million mercenary effort. The whole enterprise is "a total windfall for the mercenary business." The administration allegedly is quietly cheering the headhunters and encouraging private "off-the-shelf little armies."
Success, however, has been rare and hard to prove. One hunter recently claimed he had beheaded bin Laden aide, one Ayman Al-Zawahiri, and asked the Pentagon for the $25 million reward. The Pentagon apparently asked for proof and they received the severed head -- - but the FBI found wasn't Zawahiri's. The headhunters-cum-con men learned that it is a bit more difficult than they thought to fool the generally gullible Americans. Just any head won't do. One wonder whose it was? Or do we care? (Jonkers) (US News & World Report 29 July 02 // P. Bedard)
HOMELAND SECURITY INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AGENDA -- The National Strategy for Homeland Security released 22 July shows a great emphasis placed on technology to collect, analyze and disseminate security information. Information-sharing and systems form one of the four foundations of the national strategy, and include five major thrusts: (1) Integrate information sharing across the federal government; (2) integrate information sharing across state and local governments, private industry and citizens; (3) adopt common 'metadata' standards for keeping track of data stored in databases across the government; (4) improve public safety emergency communications; and (5) ensure reliable public health information.
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has approved three pilot projects to prove the concept of information sharing in their related Federal Enterprise Architecture that shows how different systems supporting homeland security will work together (except that it does not yet include the intelligence agencies). These pilot projects include: (1) Virtual consolidating or linking of the many terrorist watch lists in multiple agencies; (2) Creating a homeland security portal for users at all levels of government to access key subject areas; and (3) Developing a 10-state system to share and analyze sensitive information related to law enforcement among federal, state and local agencies.
The part of the strategy that should evoke the most public discussion and watchfulness relates to the collection, content and access to "databases of record." The Office of Homeland Security has already formed several working groups to look at the legal and policy issues involved. There is a continuing need for watchfulness to balance homeland security requirements with privacy and civil liberties. Wide availability of information on individuals, obtained from mobilized mass efforts, providing information ranging from truly valuable to frivolous gossip or paranoid accusations about private or group behavior, could bring us to the 'counterintelligence state', similar to that imposed on the populations of the late unlamented Soviet and Nazi states. If that is the end result, the terrorists will have won. But a Strategy is not yet a Plan. There is time for careful consideration. Properly integrating the intelligence information will be a further source of high interest. (Jonkers) (Website FCW.com > 22 July 02 //D. Frank)
SACRED SECRETS: How Soviet Intelligence Operations Changed American History, by Jerrold and Leona Schecter, Brassey's, 2002. The Schecters provide new details about Soviet espionage success, and put an end to any claim that it was of little effect and did no harm.
(1) DoD Homeland Security web site http://www.defenselink.mil/specials/homeland/
(2) DoD "Defend America" terrorism web site: http://www.DefendAmerica.mil
(3) DoD Unmanned Aerial Vehicle web site: http://www.defenselink.mil/specials/uav2002/
(4) DoD "Unified Command Plan" special report, at web site http://www.defenselink.mil/specials/unifiedcommand/
AFIO NATIONAL LUNCHEON 29 July 02, at the Holiday Inn, Tysons Corner, Virginia, featuring Robert Baer and Ronald Kessler, speaking on CIA and FBI operations. Some 250 members and guests will be in attendance.
CONFERENCE IN EL PASO, TEXAS -- Intelligence, Security, and Terrorism: Our Role In Homeland Defense, is scheduled for 17 and 18 September at the El Paso Community College Lecture Forum. It is sponsored by the US Border Patrol, the El Paso Police Department, the American Society of Industrial Security, The Law Enforcement and Private Security group (LEAPS), The Texas Association of Crime and Intelligence Analysts (TACIA) and the El Paso Community college. We are extending invitations to all federal, state, county, and local law enforcement, academia (criminal justice faculty and students), security consultants and businesses, Dept. of Defense entities, first responders, and many others throughout the U.S. The event is FREE, and over 350 attendees are expected. First come, first served. For conference attendance or Exhibit space, contact D. Jiminez, US Border Patrol, tel 915.834.8628. (Jonkers)
ANNUAL ARMY INTELLIGENCE BALL -- 7 September 2002, Hosted by the Army DCS/G-2, and the CG, Intel & Security Command, at the Alexandria Hilton, 5000 Seminary Road, West Alexandria, Va. FORMAL attire/black tie/Mess dress required. Cost is $48. Invited are active and retired military personnel, DoD civilians, and friends of Army Intelligence. Questions, Major Washington 703 601 1923. Registration, call Mr. Aleshin 703 601 0717. (Jonkers)
RESEARCH ASSISTANCE Wanted -- Historical sources with some detail on the VATICAN's INTELLIGENCE SERVICE , operations, failures and accomplishments, especially prior to 1500 AD, and also World War I's White Lady and White Rose networks. Please respond to firstname.lastname@example.org
NOTICE - John Barron, a member of the AFIO Honorary Board, and author of books ranging from KGB: The Secret work of Soviet Secret Agents, (1974), to Operation Solo: The FBI's Man in the Kremlin (1996), is recovering from serious surgery and complications in the Virginia Hospital Center of Arlington [1701 N. George Mason Drive, Arlington, VA 22205-3698] . Get Well cards will be welcome. (Jonkers)
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